Steph adored oceans, rivers and even ponds. Apparently, water loved her back. That was probably why she was able to become a competent marathon swimmer. Starting with the English Channel, she was able to conquer the toughest of straits. Steph was called the ‘Queen of Channels’ until she encountered the Red straits.
Nobody had conquered ‘The Red’(as it was called) until then and the only teenage champion who attempted died mid-way in 1929. Surprisingly, her separated parents and old school friends came to see her off. Steph understood her enormous responsibility to her country and the hopeful crowd, as she dived into ‘The Red’ with a prayer.
After swimming for 18 hours, Steph was felt invigorated, instead of exhausted. She plunged on, with renewed energy, as she reached the middle of the straits. There were remnants of a wrecked ship. Steph ignored it and swam ahead, her goal in mind. All of a sudden, someone pulled her down. Seaweeds or sharks? Steph felt scared for the first time. As hard as she tried to rise above, she found herself going deep inside. There were further wreckages deep down- parts of an aeroplane. The last image she saw was that of a young man, wearing an outdated blue swimsuit. ‘The sea always claims its own.’ he said, shivering at the memory of 85 years.
This was written for Alastair Photo Fiction.
He stared at the ship, called Victoria. Now was the time to attack, he felt. The ship was surrounded by fog and his men were ready with weapons, just waiting for a word from him. He was about to turn when a moment caught his attention. An elegant woman, aboard Victoria’s deck, was examining something. He, with an eye for these things, could clearly see that the ‘something’ was diamond. Then she carelessly tossed it to the river, as he stared. Now she held a chain, examining it. In a thoughtless frame of mind, he jumped into the sea to retrieve precious jewellery.
The next moment, a squad from Victoria jumped into the nameless ship. “You are under arrest.” thundered the commander. He called a number as the dumbfounded pirates were handcuffed.
“Task done, ma’am”
The elegant lady smiled, “All for some trinklets.”
This was written for Alastair’s photo fiction.
“Monday evening – Read up your biology from four to five. Chemistry lessons from five to six. Learn Physics from six to seven. Just spend half an hour each on English and Maths, since you are so good at these subjects. If you strictly follow these, you will be a class topper.”
Ruslan sighed, thankful that his father had missed the weekends. Just then, his father wrote the weekend timetable and circled them.
A few weeks later, his father breathed these last words before he passed away, “Study. Your future…” The next day, a tearful Ruslan and his mother were evacuated from the house by creditors.
Fifteen years later, Ruslan returned to his house. “Hurry up”, his boss shouted at him. The timetable was still there in the table, though the markings were faded. His father’s hollow voice rang in his ears. “Your future..”
Ruslan took his carpentry tools and slowly followed his boss.
This was the cheapest ornament he could find in the gift shop. However, it glittered and looked huge. So, Larry took it home. Mary looked at the ornament with shining eyes. She dangled it lovingly on the Christmas tree.
Everyday she went over to the living room to check if her precious glittering ball was still there. She touched it and even kissed it when she thought no one was looking. Larry noticed everything and felt envious of the ornament. He started buying expensive designer ornaments for the tree. Larry even went around decorating the house with lights and got a new Christmas tree. He decorated the tree with all ornaments, except the cheap ornament. Next day, he found it in a prominent place on the tree.
Exasperated, he unfastened the ornament from the tree and tossed it away. Mary picked it up from the rubble, “This is the first thing you bought for me in the 25 years of our life together. I would never throw it away.”
This was written for Alastair’s Photo Fiction.
I lay in the couch. A few people stood, still few wiping their eyes. My soul hovered around the room, restless, impatient and anxious. The man I loved stood on the porch, his face turned away from my body. Hardened by years, he displayed no emotion. My tortured soul was struck in the room, prepared to haunt the unloving earth for ever.
All of a sudden, he turned partly around. A lone tear, perhaps prompted by some distant memory, fell from his eyes. In that tear, my soul found eternal peace.
This was written for Ermilia’s Picture it & Write.
The meeting was conducted in a secret room, marked ‘Private’.
“This is very important, gentlemen. All our agents are missing, including Mr Derek Sparrow, and we don’t know what happened to them.”
“There are no remains either.”
“The enemy camp was raided last week and they found Mr Sparrow’s clothing.”
The men were still contemplating when a bird flew in through the window and sat on the table.
“I am Derek Sparrow.” said the bird.
There was stunned silence for a minute. Then one of the men blurted out, “But you are a Pigeon…”
“Listen, you chump…” the Pigeon started in an abusive tone
“Oh! This is indeed Mr Sparrow.” said the head, convinced
Danny felt that he was five years old as he listened to Mr Bowman’s account of the swearing-in ceremony. Indeed, he had been five when had last seen the parliament at close quarters. His parents were poor immigrants and Danny had gone through a lot.
“Will the ministers assemble by 9 AM?” asked Danny
“Yes. And the swearing-in ceremony starts by 9:30.”
“Are we too early, Mr Bowman?” asked Danny, smiling.
“No, Mr Prime Minister, we are just on time.” said the National Security Advisor as he led the prime minister-elect inside the parliament.
The short story above was written for Alastair’s photo fiction. Alastair has interesting photos each week. So, do check them out and take part in this exciting challenge.
When Charlie proposed to Cheryl, she made sensational plans for her wedding. She had just ordered the wedding gown when Charlie backed out, saying that she was not the woman for him. Though Cheryl was highly disappointed, she kept the gown. Next was Larry, the stand-up comedian. Cheryl bought a new wedding gown, as the older one reminded her of Charlie. But, sadly, Larry deserted her at the altar, sending a note that said that she was ‘too serious’ to be his wife.
Then, she was proposed by Freddie, the football player; Harry, the poet and Jimmy, the con man (!) None of them worked for her and Cheryl abandoned the idea of marriage at 32. Fifteen years later, she met Russell. When she accepted his proposal after thinking long and hard, she rejected the idea of a formal wedding. Russell relented and they were married at the register office, with Cheryl dressed in casual jeans. Before departing for her honeymoon, Cheryl gave away her five wedding gowns to the charity, and finally washed away the memories of her past relationships.
This was written for Ermilia’s Picture it & Write
“The soldier in this sculpture has an uncanny resemblance to you.” his hostess told Malcolm
“What would I know of horse riding?” laughed Malcolm.
He looked furtively at the hostess as she moved away, entertaining other guests.
Born Mohammad Faizuddin in 1480, Malcolm was one of Babur’s faithful soldiers in Samarkand. As he lay injured in a war, he was treated with rare plants by a mysterious saint. Malcolm understood the real impact of his ‘treatment’ when he survived any life-threatening disease and recovered after every injury.
Malcolm moved to India, Turkey, Russia and later relocated to England. He loved and hated his timeless immortality. A passionate soldier, he took part in every war, and his latest achievements are world wars I and II. He has been known as Malcolm for the past two centuries.
This short story was written for Alastair’s photo fiction.
Edwin sat in the dining hall of the cruise ship, Philomena. The waiter tossed a plate of food on his table, spilling some contents. “What next?” he asked angrily.
“Strawberry ice cream” stammered Edwin
The waiter scowled at him. Edwin returned to his room to find his clothes back from the laundry. They were still dirty and his room was not swept well.
He described the events to his friend in the next cabin.
“Philomena employs only cockpit crew and engineers. The other ‘employees’ are those who sneak in without paying their fares.”
Edwin shuddered. “Where can I hide?”
Thank you, Rochelle, for hosting Friday Fictioneers and thanks to Jan Wayne Fields for the lovely photo.