Posted in Fiction

The One That Got Away

Their conversations often bordered on the realm of surreal dreams, tentatively dipping into the exhilaration of uncertainty with bated breath. The short sentences were thrown back and forth with agility – stinging, soothing, keeping one alive. She often felt like this was where it was all supposed to begin and end and begin again, like the point where the curves of infinity met in this two-dimensional world of words. And in the real world, that point became an endless pole, the axis of her existence.

“I do not really want you to be happy, you know”, she murmured.

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Posted in Fiction

Story-Picking

His stories seldom carried names. They were like pieces of a puzzle, without definitive timelines or protagonists, just flashes of bright colours and emotions on a wordy canvass. They fell dangerously from his lips, as if cast to the wind with abandon – a million wispy seeds of a dandelion drawn from every bright yellow memory.

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Posted in Fiction

The Miracle

He was busy comparing the numbers when the call came. He ignored the rings. The numbers.. those were more important. He would show them, of course. His wife and his daughter who thought that they could make him look like a fool and get away with it.

“So what if I liked buying lottery tickets?”, he muttered to himself.. “They smirk and laugh behind my back as if I’m an idiot. ‘Look at the statistics..’ ‘look at the odds..’ well, I say the odds are pretty damn great if I buy enough tickets!”

The odd win altered his confidence in a way that the thousand fails did not. He would obsess over the numbers, absolutely sure that he would one day win that million. Oh yes, he was sure. Perhaps it was the straw that he grasped at, knowing that nothing else he did could bring back everything he plundered and ruined; that he did not have the skills or the heart to work his way up the ladder like the common man, not toil from rags to riches.. oh no, of course not. He was nothing short of royalty, and that is what he would be again, once he won his million, and reclaimed all that he lost.

Once he won. It would be the miracle he needed to show the world. He knew that he would, and so he picked at the numbers again.. ticket after ticket, staring at the numbers that never matched anywhere. The miracle was still at bay.

The phone rang again, and he picked it up furiously, irritated at the bunch of paper that refused to turn into gold in his hands.., and then went still.

What was that.. his daughter? What about his daughter?

Dead?

Dea..

It was all very blurry. The funeral, the crowd, the nods, the sighs. Perhaps it rained a little. Perhaps it didn’t. Perhaps it was too sunny. He couldn’t say. It was too bright and too dark to tell.

And somehow it was still darker a few days later when another call came through.

“What was that.. a million..??”

“Yes, sir. Your daughter had named you as the sole nominee for the term insurance cover, hence the lump sum amount goes to you. There are some formalities of course. If you could please come over to our office, we could start… hello??”

Posted in Fiction

Fireworks For Christmas

Shops glowed with Christmas lights as she walked down the street. Large posters everywhere announced special discounts on overpriced goods. People moved past in a hurry clutching bulging packages rustling with crispy newness. Joy is in the air, sang some elves stationed outside a toy store, with Santa nodding in agreement. She eyed them with dispassion. Festive seasons always brought out the cynic in her. Ballyhoo of goodwill on prescribed dates struck her as ridiculous. Humbug, she muttered, siding with Scrooge.

It was then that the world erupted in colors. Fire dragons flew from a lone roof top to burst into flames in the sky. Little phoenixes rose from them, coloring the night glittery red, green and yellow. The clouds crunched under their wings splitting the stillness. A child laughed. Something stirred. As she watched, the glimmer faded into a bokeh of memories. She stood still, remembering.

Christmas Eve. 21 again.

They walked around in the park adjacent to the sea, hand in hand, oblivious to everything else. The cool night air was still and soothing, like his whispers in her ear. Her quiet laughter fell like dew drops into the silence, discerned by him and no one else. They walked on forever, for in love every moment is eternity in itself.

She was the one who noticed the abandoned boat, half hidden by the foliage. It lay against the sand and reeds, just brushing the water, oars interspersed with the waves like fingers refusing to let go. It welcomed them without stirring. Side by side on the wooden thwart, she felt him graze her arm. She looked up at him with the hint of a blush on her cold cheeks. He pushed aside an untamed strand of her hair and held her face in his left hand. Across the shore, the sky became a flurry of hues. The last thing she saw before closing her eyes was a blur of golden sparks, before the feel of his lips simulated the same in her head and the world ceased to exist.

She opened her eyes 42 years later and smiled. Yes, joy was in the air.