I’m Disobedient

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The little me spilled food on the floor;
In spite of warnings before.
Mother was very angry;
For my act of disobedience.

I solved my math differently;
The teacher had her way.
Caning on my hand followed;
For my act of disobedience.

I wore my dress with freedom;
Frowns and stares ensued.
I received stinging rebukes;
For my act of disobedience.

I took my tuitions happily
Until the master scolded me;
For not spreading my legs wide.
Again, an act of disobedience.

I did my numbers impeccably;
The boss was not happy at all
Because I did not fudge them.
An act of disobedience, again.

Days after my marriage
Came the wrath of my in-laws;
The dowry wasn’t followed up.
Sigh, an act of disobedience.

It has its sturdy hold on me;
Right or wrong it doesn’t see.
Throughout life it follows me,
I’m disobedient – cast in stone.

I’m taking part in the Write Tribe ProBlogger Challenge. The prompt for today, Day 5, is ‘Disobedience’.

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The House Atop The Hill

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The old abandoned house atop the hill was a favorite hangout spot for Nidhi and Alok. They preferred meeting there most evenings. The sunset was one of the attractions. The other was the variety of birds chirping as they headed back to their nests. On rainy days, it was just pure bliss to see the water dripping through the leaves, giving the house a surrealistic feel.

Today, as they stood beside the window on the first floor from where they could get a good view of the sunset, a rustling sound from somewhere inside the house disturbed them. When Nidhi and Alok looked back, they couldn’t see or hear anything at all. They brushed off the disturbance and went back to enjoying the sunset, taking pictures and selfies. A few minutes later, they heard the sound again. This time, when they looked back, they could just see a hooded figure roaming the house. Nidhi and Alok glanced at each other and followed the sinister figure.

“Did you know this house was haunted?” Alok asked in a low voice.

“Haunted? No way!” Nidhi wasn’t game for any such stories.

“I heard a couple were murdered here in the 1970s. That was the period when this house was abandoned. But I haven’t heard any spooky stories yet,” Alok remarked.

The hooded figure appeared again. They noticed that the hood was white. It seemed to flail its arms and walked as if struggling for balance. Nidhi and Alok could feel the tension build up. Suddenly, it disappeared into an adjoining room.

“I guess it’s gone,” Nidhi said.

“Yeah. Let’s leave too, it’s getting darker,” Alok suggested.

“Are you afraid?” Nidhi pulled Alok’s legs.

But when she looked in his eyes, she saw an incredulous expression. Nidhi followed his eyes and saw the hooded figure approaching them with quick steps. Both stood rooted to their position with bated breath.

It appeared to watch them for a while and in an instant, came closer. Then, in a swift motion, the hood came off.

“Happy Friday the 13th!”

It was Neeraj, a mutual friend, who was playing a silly prank on them. He gleefully accepted the admonishments from Nidhi and Alok before they had a nice laugh over what happened. The three of them then set off for the city, eager to munch on their favorite pizza.

I’m taking part in the Write Tribe ProBlogger Challenge. The prompt for today, Day 4, is ‘Bated breath’.

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Terminal 2

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The spaceship’s current routine was perfect. Craig looked at the numbers on the screen and smiled at Vince, his colleague. They would be ahead of time to reach Terminal 2.

A few minutes later, Craig manoeuvred the spaceship to dock up with Terminal 2 nicely and ensured the safety latch was in place. He and Vince entered the terminal and proceeded towards the supply room.

They quickly collected their supplies. Craig winked at Vince and turned towards Rebecca, who was manning the room. Vince punched in a few codes on the main keyboard. Meanwhile, Craig smiled at Rebecca as gallantly as he could and asked her,

“Will you marry me?”

He then pulled out a beautiful ring from his suit.

Rebecca blushed and said, “Yes!”

The entire Terminal 2 was now watching on their screens as loud cheers erupted.

I’m taking part in the Write Tribe ProBlogger Challenge. The prompt for Day 3 is ‘Terminal’.

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Noel’s Nostalgia

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Night had fallen a long time back. Traffic continued unabated and the light and sound show of the vehicles on the road made strange designs on the curtains. Noel woke up muttering under his breath. It took a while for him to get his bearings.

He checked his watch and saw that it was past 11 PM. He went to the bathroom. The smell of dried blood was unmistakable. He had shaved earlier that evening and cut himself in the process but had forgotten to wash his razor where some blood had attached itself.

He washed his face and hair and stood upright. 12 years of jail did nothing to temper Noel’s killer instincts. Where others would be put-off at the smell of blood, he was nostalgic. Memories of the last kill he had made was still fresh. The adrenaline rush when he made each kill was a surprise even to him. He knew he had to indulge in another serial-killing soon. This time, he did not want to get caught. He would go solo so no one would get a chance to rat him out to the police.

The night was still inviting when Noel stepped out. The moon hid behind the clouds seemingly at his ominous presence on the streets. He slickly hid his dagger in his coat and walked, a cruel smile lining the contours of his face.

I’m taking part in the Write Tribe ProBlogger Challenge. The prompt for Day 2 is ‘Nostalgic’.

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The Bell Fruit Tree

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The bell fruit tree had flowered, Smriti noticed that morning. The sapling was a beautiful gift from her best friend Arpan several years back. She looked at the series of pictures of the tree she had drawn. A wry smile crossed her lips when she looked at the years scribbled below the pictures. Arpan’s calls always came during the years the tree had not blossomed. He was an adventurer, travelled unknown places and did not call regularly. She wondered about the mysterious connection between the tree and the frequency of his calls before getting caught up in the chores of everyday life.

Smriti was peeling onions for lunch when she heard her daughter come in to the kitchen.

“Amma, there’s a call for you – it’s an unknown number.”

Smriti took the phone from her and was pleasantly surprised to hear Arpan at the other end.

“But the bell fruit tree flowered this time. How come you are calling me?” she asked with bewilderment.

“What?” it was Arpan’s turn to be shocked.

Coming to her senses, Smriti realized that Arpan didn’t know anything about what she was saying. She filled him in on everything and they had a hearty laugh at the end.

“That was a magic sapling, Smriti. When it blossoms, I don’t and when it doesn’t, I do. This time we decided to blossom together for a change. You see the connection now, don’t you?” Arpan pulled Smriti’s legs.

The pattern was broken. Smriti’s day was made as well.

 I’m taking part in the Write Tribe ProBlogger Challenge.

Lifeline

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“You have to be moved tonight to another hospital with more facilities,” the doctor informed Sumi, realizing that her condition had deteriorated.

When Yohan, her good friend in the next room, heard about this, he was devastated.

Both of them had advanced carcinogenic melanoma and had grown very close over the past two months.

“How about one last cup of coffee?” he asked her.

There was more than a hint of inevitability in that question; it was just a matter of who would go first.

Written as part of Saturday Short Story prompt on the Write Tribe WhatsApp group. The theme for today is:

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The Lucid Dream

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I woke up disturbed this morning. That was because I had a very lucid dream. My dreams are not usually clear. They are blurred, hidden, like the clouds covering the moon and you can only see the silhouette. Sometimes it’s very dark too, and all you can figure out is that you are at the receiving end of something horrible. Those are the dreams where you wake up with a sweaty body, parched throat, numb legs and shaking hands. But the one I had last night was clear, so clear, that it was as if I was physically there at that point of time. This one nagged at me for a while this morning, before I got caught in the crossfire of living. It pulled me again to its contours later this evening and I had to shrug it off forcefully from my mind. I wouldn’t categorize it as a bad dream. It wasn’t a good dream either. But it was a dream – strange and deep but the meaning eludes me. I thought I’d write about it.

The place was melancholy. Dark clouds hung over, about to burst into a torrential downpour. The trees swayed incessantly in the strong winds. Leaves were petrified of being disengaged from the branches. I walked through a puddle of water. It was a slow walk. I took my time as I meandered towards a field. The grass was heavy with the amount of water it held. My shoes were sodden with all the walking in the water. The wind had picked up and I noticed a couple of houses past the meadow. The lights were flickering, barely managing to stay alight. I felt a tingling sensation on my left leg. I knelt and found a few ants playing around my calf. I shook off the silly ants. When I was upright, I was shocked to see a little girl standing a few feet from me.

She was not more than 10 years old and smiled at me. It wasn’t a cute, childish smile. It was a sad, disconcerting smile. She had a beautiful dress – a red top and a black skirt. For a few moments, we kept looking at each other apparently studying each other’s eyes. She had black eyeballs and it had a sea of stories to tell, I thought. The more I looked at her, the more teary eyed she became until at last I couldn’t look. I turned my gaze only to find that the scene had darkened. When I looked back to where the girl had stood, she wasn’t there. She had moved away from me and was frantically waving at me. It seemed she was desperate. I followed her hands and with each step I made, she made more strides. The distance between us widened and I had to quicken my steps to catch up with her. I had followed her to a lake. It was an angry lake, the water flowing vigorously. I could hear birds chirping animatedly. They had to get to shelter as it began raining – slow at first before picking up pace. Amidst the rains, it was difficult to sight the girl. But she was there. Suddenly, with a smile as bright as a star could be, she ran towards a house beside the lake. I followed her there too – I couldn’t resist doing that. The moment I reached the seemingly desolate house, she had shut the door. I opened the door and looked inside. There was no one. The place was eerily silent. The house had just three rooms – a living area, a kitchen and a bedroom. I just couldn’t find the girl anywhere. In the bedroom, I found the red top and the black shirt neatly tucked on a side of the bed. But she had vanished.

Who could that little girl be?