The Unnamed Negotiator

The police inspector stood amongst the rioters, negotiating.

“They started it first,” screamed a youth leader.

The inspector told him what would happen to his future was he arrested. Anger reduced, they jeered at him. He was not the aggressive cop they were hoping for.

“Did you open teargas?” thundered the commissioner.

“No signal, sir.” The inspector cut the call and stood between the rioters, talking in soft tones, reminding them not to fall prey to their passions. Their mockery turned to exhaustion and they dispersed in the midnight, as a lonely figure walked back to his police car.

This story was written for Charli’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. This week’s prompt is to write a story that rethinks the hero. Thank You, Charli.

The Spring Music

The earth gently opens

to show frail patterns

of leaves, green and purple, basking in their poise

before pulling back to

guard their sibling blooms.

Quails chatter in a calm

extinct birds’ language,

showing off their tanned wings to partners, hushing

at the delicious spray

of dew on their beaks.

Huge mountains and plains still

while oceans whisper,

as skies pour down, drenching tiny and huge lives

soaking the brownish sand

in colors of joy

The poem above has been written for Carrot Ranch Double Ennead Monthly Poetry Challenge. Thank you, Colleen, for the opportunity.

Late Realization

Sam completed his homework as his sister waited patiently with her Math problems. After helping her, Sam organized the table for the primary school students he tutored. He could hear his mom typing away in the next room. She was also training to be a Montessori teacher. Sam thought about their lives a year ago. His mother spent all her time on TV soaps while Sam and his sister fought over petty video games. His father, the sole breadwinner, labored until he fell sick with Covid. Now Sam wished his father had been around to see his ‘responsible’ family.

This was written for Charli’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. The prompt this week is to write a story that takes place a year later.

Flash Fiction Challenge – Before the Call

Maria savored the hazelnut chocolate, eyes closed, as each bite melted in her mouth and warmed her heart. She wore her favorite pink lace dress, which now hung loosely around her thin body. However, she no longer cared about her weight.

She touched the pink pearls her husband had given her long ago. They were as fake as he was. But, she had kept both.

Maria walked around her beloved garden, feeling the twilight breeze on her face.

She leaned back and took a deep breath. Then she dialed the clinic to ask for the result of her diagnosis.

The above is my response to this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. The prompt is to write a story of 99 words about deep wishes. Thank you, Charli, for giving us the opportunity.

Unremembered

I sit in the General Hospital, waiting for my turn when I hear a loud wailing. Expecting to see a child, I am shocked to see an elderly lady in a wheelchair, crying with her eyes tightly shut. I am deeply disturbed and could see that the other patients are uncomfortable too. This incident reminds me of an old cleaning lady in our condo whose eyes glistened as she told me how lonely she felt as her children and grandchildren lived far away. There is another instance of a man in our neighborhood who is dreadfully scared of dogs but has to walk his daughter’s dog, as she is too busy to do so. As I walk away from the hospital, I see an elderly man staring into space.

His treble

the language

of wrinkles

The Wooden Chair in CHO

Hi Friends,

The Wooden Chair was the first haibun I had written. This was published in Contemporary Haibun Online’s July issue, 2013, Vol 9. Please find below.

My Wooden Chair

I stroll restlessly in my new house as trees outside are being chopped for construction. Lifeless new buildings are sprouting in the neighbourhood. I wonder mildly about deforestation as I lean back in my chair.

my wooden chair screeches–
memories of a
felled tree

When the Light Barged in

I stood in the corner

of my tiny room,

scared of the light

that followed me

wherever I went.

I pulled my curtains,

hiding inside, holding

on to darkness, taking

comfort in misery

when sunlight crept in

through the tiny opening

in my curtains.

Terrified of the light,

I buried my face in

my hands.

Sunlight colored my fingertips,

pricking my eyelids.

I felt the light

with closed eyes,

flooded by its warmth,

its positivity and grandeur.

No longer fearful,

I shed the comfort of darkness

and stepped on

the path of light.