Category Archives: Flash Fiction

The Angel in You.

 

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Amy had seen that face before. She would recognise it anywhere. The face that had over the years faded away but resurfaced strongly when the appearance became physical. The face had changed Amy’s life. The face that had given Amy a second chance.

The lady wasn’t in her patrolling uniform. Her hair was open and flowing. She had a glittering dress on. Her smile was stunning as she looked at her beau. The eyes were still the same though. Compassionate and empathic.

As Amy sat there in the underground railway, looking at the lady, that night came flashing before her.

The stormy night, the strong currents, the alluring bridge, a broken heart, deserted roads, an emptying wallet, She had been overcome by a strong and sudden bout of depression. Nothing had seemed to be working in her favor. Her parents didn’t say it, but she could see their disappointed eyes. It was worse when they put on unmatched smiles to make her feel better. Her mind gave her so many easier ways out, as she stood under the canopy of the cafe, waiting for the torrential rain to take a break. With not much to do, she felt deserted and lonely like never before. She didn’t want to step out into the rain. But her mind made her limbs move onto the roads from the kerb. She didn’t want to get wet. But she found herself soaked to the bones within seconds. She didn’t want to cross over to the bridge. But she found herself standing at its egde. Precariously. She was afraid — of herself. She wanted someone to stop her. She also knew there was no one around, no ray of hope, no silver lining. Was this the only way? Maybe, this was what was meant to happen. She could feel water rolling down her cheeks. She wasn’t sure if it was tears or drops of the rain water. She looked into the water below. They seemed to be hungry to lap her up, thrashing themselves on the banks impatiently.

Someone jolted her out of her trance, dragging her away by the arms. She seemed like an angel to Amy! The lady only said, “Go home. However bad things might be, you do not deserve this.” Embarrassed and shocked at the recent turn of events, Amy practically remembered fleeing the scene, with that face etched in her memory forever.

 

Without further waste of time, Amy walked up to the lady and said to her, “You saved my life once. And I will be eternally grateful to you.” Puzzled, but understanding that she must have helped her in some way, the lady welcomed the hug Amy gave her.

 

Today, Amy is returning home from work to a loving husband. Her parents are proud of her. She is proud of herself.

 

Graciously Yours!

 

The Smouldering Eyes.

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I’d seen her often. Sitting idly. By the side of the road. She had a mysterious aura. She wasn’t dressed poshly but neither was she a beggar. She never said a word. Her eyes spoke of her pain. The neighbours had advised me to stay away. No one told me why. No one seemed to know why.

I felt for her, compassion I like to think. I approached her one night, asked her where her home was, where her family was, where her husband was. She looked up at ‘husband’. I knew I’d struck a chord.

I was so wrong.

The smoulder in her eyes made me back away. She picked up a rock. She bared her teeth at me. Her forehead wrinkled. Her stance became offensive. My hands raised, palms facing her, I assured her I was just trying to help. An incoming car, headlights on, honked loudly. Distracted, I looked at it, only to hear her running away in the dark alley behind.

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The rock lay on the road. She never meant to hurt me. She only wanted to save herself.

From what, I wonder. From whom, I wonder. Why, I wonder.

Graciously Yours!

 

 

Pain.

“That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.”
– Augustus Waters, The Fault in Our Stars.

Their only son walked out of their life.

She knew he was feeling suffocated in their house. He could not have pursued what her husband wanted, anymore. He had wanted out for long but not this way probably. If only her husband had been less orthodox and more understanding, she wouldn’t have to see her son walk out the house with a suitcase full of belongings and his camera hung by his shoulder.

Her husband didn’t stop her son. Her son didn’t pay heed to her. She slipped in a wad of cash into his camera bag when she was sure that neither of them would be backing out. That was all she felt she had done for her only son. She tried persuading her husband to allow their son some freedom as he walked down the stairs. She said he was being abandoned. Her husband said he was running away from his responsibilities.

That was it. That was the last they had spoken of bringing back their son.

Three months later.

Like everyday for the past three months, she woke up to her son’s picture on her bedside table. Like everyday, she felt a knife slicing through her heart when she made breakfast for only two. Like everyday, she and her husband spoke of general things before he left for office. Like everyday, she cried a little after her husband left.

Like everyday, her husband touched his son’s picture before leaving for office. And like everyday, she wondered if they really were tears glistening in her husband’s eyes.

“You of all people know it is possible to live with pain.”

– Mrs. Lancaster, The Fault in Our Stars.

 

Graciously Yours!

At peace within.

 

 

Her petite frame stood by the window, the hands outstretched to feel the torrential rains pour down on her palms.

He went and held her by the waist, nestling her back into his arms.

They stood like that for ages it seemed. The chill in the air, peace in her breaths, the sound of the claps followed by her slightest shudders, brought him still closer to her. 

He couldn’t hold himself back anymore, and took her hand and slipped on the ring.

“Marry me, will you?”

He felt the sharp intake of breath, goosebumps run all over her while the skies lit up in full approval!

With quivering lips, a heart thudding out of her chest, she turned to bury her face in his torso. 

The tears welled in her eyes. They flowed down to his heart, as the nurse came in and said, “The patient needs to rest. She has her last chemo tomorrow.”

Graciously Yours!

A Look Is All It Took.

“And up next is the hot favorite of the season — Nikhil with the slew of his latest songs!”

The crowd roared in welcome. He was her current favorite singer. She was in love with his voice. And his face, too. But voice more. And then he walked onto the stage. She wasn’t crazy enough to try and leap across the stage security but she was crazy enough to get up on the benches and cheer for him.

When he started singing, her friend pulled her down on the seat again and they started swaying to the voice. The rawness, love, passion in his voice that she heard sent her tumbling in a world of her own. Her friend jabbed her in the ribs. She tore her eyes from the stage and looked at her companion angrily! The friend just nicked a look towards a group of boys sitting a few feet away. Some of them randomly had their cell phone cameras focusing in their direction arbitrarily. Some randomness.

She caught one of them looking at her and when they caught eye contact, he looked away not losing the smile.

The smile seemed eerie.

The paranoia triggered.

She had countless incidents running through her head. Nikhil’s voice had been pushed to the background to the constant stream of chatter of safety, security, and self precautionary measures she had heard in the 24 years of life! She chided herself for having come without a male companion.

Any direction she looked, any smile she caught, any stray look she saw, made her heart sink lower.  She crossed her legs. Sat upright. Lost her smile.

A Look Is All It Took.

Why I am not safe among my own?

Celebrating Womanhood? You decide.

“… Her heels clicking on the tarmac, the street lights lighting her path ahead, talking over the phone while walking down the deserted by-lane to reach the safe havens of her home, she wished her friend a “Happy Women’s Day” and kept the line. Another 5 minutes and she would be home, she thought. She heard an oncoming bike and looked sideways to see if there was space to weave through the footpath occupiers. Finding none, she continued walking ahead, expecting the biker to be careful enough not to hurt her. But the bike came and stopped just near her, surprising her and causing her foot to twist while she fell on the footpath. She looked up angrily to see two pairs of eyes leering at her. The anger gave way to fear. The screeching bike had woken some of the beggars and within seconds, which felt like hours, one of those young lads came to help her get back on her feet. Several of them came and stood beside her. Her phone vibrated. An incoming message, announcing  ‘A 3-day special discount in celebration of Women’s Day.’ …”
 
Yes, there’s inequality. Yes, there’s commercialization. Yes, there’s tyranny. Yes, there’s irony.
 
But, above all, there’s hope.
 
Happy Women’s Day.

 

To Dream Of Love…

The teenage heart flutters at the very mention of love! The worldly experiences make love less dreamy to the more experienced souls… But sometimes when you are on the verge of falling in the bliss of love, don’t let it go… Never let it go… Grab the chance before it’s too late!

 

I got into my car. After a long day of work, all I wanted to do was sleep! I asked the driver to take me home.

I checked my cell for any messages or calls. Three calls from Mother! I called her and told her I’ll be home in another 30 minutes. No messages from Nikhil. Wishful thinking.

I laid my head on the seat, stashed away the phone in my bag.

He held my hand in his. I looked to my right. Nikhil was sitting, reading something on his cell. I squeezed his hand lightly. Tearing his eyes from his cell, he looked at me and smiled. His eyes locked with mine.

Just the sight of him made my heart skip a beat! He didn’t even know that my heart does that for him.

He set his cell aside.  I snuggled closer to him, resting my head on his shoulders. Being near him, somehow felt so reassuring. I just wanted to stay like that forever. The silence didn’t hurt. The ache in my back did!

“Long day?” he asked.

“Hmmm. Very long. Very tiring!”

“Tell me about it.”

“You don’t wanna know.”

“Of course I do.”

“Then how come you never call. Or ask. Or spend some time alone. You know I’d like it.”

“You never said so.”

“Well, I just did! I like you, and I treat you special. I want to feel the same.”

There was no reply.

I turned to look at him. Umm, there was no him!

I looked at my palm cupping the air, waiting for someone to slide a hand in.

Crap! I’d drifted off to sleep!

People say dreams come true! I wanted to make sure this one did.

I retrieved my cell from my handbag.

I dialed Nikhil.

“Hey!” said the voice at the other end.

“Hi!”

“Long day?” he asked.

My heart skipped a beat!

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