Wednesday, 30 March 2016

A to Z Challenge 2016

This year too I have decided to take part in A to Z Challenge. Unlike last year I have already prepared a bank of stories that I would be posting from 1st April onward.
I wish success to all the bloggers who are participating in the challenge this year.
It would be nice if you could visit my blog during April and comment on my A to Z stories. Your visits and comments would definitely encourage me to complete the challenge successfully.

I would also make an effort to visit at least 10 blogs participating in the challenge every day.    

Monday, 28 March 2016

Fashion Photographers

She looked at the Photocentre for a few seconds and felt amused.
‘This seedy place can’t be a fashion photographic centre. She must have been joking. I think I should make some...……..’ she was lost in her thoughts when a smart, handsome boy accosted her.
‘Don’t get influenced by the appearances. Appearances are always deceptive. This is the place where you ought to be. We are the best fashion photographers in the town. Rest assured, you won’t regret your decision. Just give us a chance. In fact, just give yourself a chance.’
She felt she was being swept away by his charm. He could be right, appearances could be deceptive.
‘Why don’t you come in and I will show you what remarkable portfolios have we created? Have a look and then you can decide for yourself. There’s no hurry.’
She was about to take a step forward when the door of the Photocentre was violently thrown open. A girl, disheveled and distraught, rushed out. Tears were running down her discoloured cheeks.
In a flash the charming boy turned fiendish. He caught hold of the girl trying to escape from the Photocentre and slapped her brutally.

A post for FFfAW on a photo prompt.  

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Taxi Driver
It was a cold night; air was thick and dense. The train was late. It should have reached by half past eleven. But it was past one when it reached his destination.
Very few passengers got down from the train. He rushed out of the station. But not even one taxi was available. He was getting desperate; he had to reach his office before eight in the morning. It was five hours drive to his home.
Out of nowhere a man, with a large scar on his face, confronted him, ‘Taxi?’
He was unnerved and was tempted to say no but said, ‘Yes.’
‘Double the fare.’
‘Not safe to drive at this hour.’
‘Goons……wild animals………even ghosts.’
He was about to decline the offer but the urgency of reaching office compelled him to agree.
They would have driven for about thirty minutes when a police jeep overtook them. Driver stopped and abruptly left the taxi and vanished.
‘It’s a stolen Taxi,’ the police officer barked. He looked brutal.
‘No, I hired it.’
‘I don’t see the taxi driver.’
‘He left just now.’
‘What did he look like?’ asked the accompanying constable.
‘He had a scar on his……..’ He felt a clammy hand on his arm. He turned around. It was the taxi driver; the driver whispered, ‘Run, they are not men.’  
He was too terrified to react. He heard the constable telling his inspector, ‘It’s the person who was murdered last month and his taxi was stolen.’
He opened the door but was unable to run; his feet had got rooted to the ground.

A post for Three Word Wednesday

Friday, 25 March 2016

The Stink
                                                                                         Photo prompt © Ted Strutz
For years he had spent every drop of his energy to get away from the stink that haunted him even beyond his childhood.
Nobody seemed to mind the stink. For them, perhaps, it did not exist. But he found it nauseating.
The day workers came in their truck to clean the public lavatory, which was just behind their one-room home, the stink would become unbearable and he would invariably vomit. Mother would only scold him.
He was now years away from his childhood and miles away from that stinking public lavatory, but even now he was scared of the stink.
A post for Friday Fictioneers on a photo prompt.

Word count 100

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The Grandmaster

He was about to lose third game in a row. It was insulting; he was losing to a kid who could not even name the chess pieces correctly.
‘What’s wrong with me? It’s as if I have forgotten to play chess?  Every move I makes turns out to be a blunder,’ he kept muttering silently.
He was a Grandmaster and two times runner-up in World Chess Championship. True he had fallen both in his life and in his ranking and had failed to win any tournaments for last five years but he was still a great player.
It was then that he noticed the little girl who was intently staring at him.
She smiled and said, ‘Aren’t you too anxious to win?’
He was dumbstruck; she had spoken the truth that he had been refusing to accept it.

A post for Magpie Tales on a photo prompt.
A Cock-and-Bull Story

‘That’s where they are all locked in. Don’t ever dare to go near that place,’ said Pipi, who was just six, to his kid brother.
‘What’s written on that board?’
‘It says, “Dogs not allowed here.”’
‘Dogs can smell the ghosts and when they smell a ghost they become nervous and when they become nervous they start howling.’
‘But why did grandpa lock them?’
‘When he was a little boy he loved to shoot wild birds and animals. One day he saw a ghost hiding behind a tree. He shot at that ghost and that was a big mistake. You can’t shoot a ghost. That ghost called his friends and they all chased the grandpa. But he was a clever boy. He ran into the hall where his old man was keeping pigs. The ghosts foolishly followed him in. The pigs got scared and started screaming and ran out of that hall. The grandpa quickly closed the door and all the ghosts got locked in.’
‘How do you know?’
‘I know,’ replied Pipi confidently and authoritatively.
The kid brother was, as he had expected, fully impressed. The elder brother smiled at his own cleverness.

Monday, 21 March 2016


This was the first time I had ever had to sign for a letter addressed to Occupant
‘Now they want to psychologically torture me? Now they won’t even address me by my name?’ I asked myself.
I had earned the wrath of the community but I had consistently refused to behave in an abominable way. I was ostracized but that did not change my resolve.
I left the house, a bit crestfallen, and was shocked to see a strange hording that had been placed outside the fencing.
‘What sort of joke it is?’ I muttered and was not surprised to hear sniggering laughs of those who were, at one time, my friends.
“I will not become a blood-sucking vampire, never. You...……..” I was about to let out a curse. But I promptly checked myself.
‘Have they already succeeded in provoking me?’ A doubt began to seep into my hollow ghostly chest.

WC 151

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Wild Imagination
Photo prompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
‘Grandpa, there’s someone in that house.’
‘No my child, it’s been vacant for ages.’
‘But I saw someone. He was there in that window, looking at me. He looked like a big toad’
‘Your imagination is running wild.’
‘Trust me, there’s someone, he looked at me, his face was wrapped in a black mask, he uncovered his face and you won’t believe what he looked like.’
‘What did he look like?’
‘He looked like a revenant.’
‘Where did you hear this word?’
‘I know.’
Grandpa looked at the child thoughtfully. Suddenly an abrupt movement in the vacant house caught his attention.
Word count 101

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Winter Shelter

‘But this is the middle of nowhere.’
‘No dear, we have almost arrived and we are just where we have to be.’
‘You must be joking.’
‘You see that grid and that skyscraper over there, that’s the place we are headed for.’
‘I don’t know what are trying to say.’
‘Dear, this year we are going to have lot of snow in the winter. Weather is going to be a really harsh. We need to find a place where we can survive the cold, wintery days. And there’s no better place than that skyscraper over there. I know I have been there.’
‘But still it’s in the middle of nowhere.’
‘It doesn’t matter as long as it turns out to be a nice, cosy winter shelter.’
The pair of chattering ladybugs landed on what for them was surely a skyscraper.

Word count 135

Tuesday, 15 March 2016


‘I will come back, I promise, I have to, I need you all as you all need me, I will come back…..I will……..’
He whispered such and many other comforting words into the ears of his wife, his four year old boy and his dog.
The wife and the boy were reassured; they desperately wanted to believe his words.
But the dog was not fooled. It had sensed that it could be their last meeting.
The dog looked into the eyes of the soldier and read the lie that his eyes were unable to hide. But it then chose to be fooled; it did not want the mother and the child to grieve; at least not today.
A post for FFfAW on a photo prompt

Word count 117
Ghost Ship

Everyone abroad the ghost ship was busy planning the raid on El Dorado.
They were all squatting on a beautiful Persian carpet in the tastefully furnished dining hall of the ship.
‘Our last expedition to El Dorado was a terrible disaster. But this time we must succeed,’ said the captain who was the only ghost in that room that was not drunk.
‘That was more than three hundred years ago and we were mortals then; but now we do not fear anything, not even the storms and not even the pirates,’ boasted the first mate.
‘Let’s not tempt the fate; let’s be realistic and approach El Dorado very carefully.’
‘Now we have powers to overwhelm every obstacle, even the selfish and cunning men,’ interjected a sailor who was the oldest among them.
But no one in that dining hall could anticipate the fate that was to about to befall them.
A storm was raging near the coast of El Dorado. It was no ordinary storm; it had a life of its own and it had plans to target the ghost ship. It wanted to test its immense power against the unearthly beings.

A post for Sunday PhotoFiction on a photo prompt and

Monday, 14 March 2016

The Ruin
                                                                                      Photo prompt © Emmy L Gant
The poor fellow was sick of rains. Every roof was leaking. Every room was flooded. And the cough and cold were killing.
He hated men. They were so selfish. No one had stayed in the house for thirty years. And the owner was unwilling to carry out any repairs. The house was nothing but an ancient ruin.
He wanted to punish humans. But he had been told a hundred times that they could not match the cunning and cruelty of humans.
‘But men detest us……..’
‘It’s their ignorance…….’
‘It’s hard being a ghost……’
‘I agree……it’s like being in hell.’
Post for Friday Fictioneers on a photo prompt.

Word count 99

Saturday, 5 March 2016

I know it’s only been three weeks since we went on strike but it seems that we have been out of the factories for ages.
The factories are deserted and an odd boy or girl can be sometimes seen roaming on shop floors.  Kids are still oblivious of the calamity that is about to befall on all of us. No one expected that things would take such a nasty turn.
We were assured that the rich would cave in within days. We had to hold on only for a week or so and then the deal would be negotiated and concluded to the satisfaction of every worker.
But the rich did not cave in; many of them, on the contrary, left for exotic places to enjoy their holidays. Those who did not go, sent out a clear message that they would talk once the strike is called off; till then, no work no pay.
The headstrong amongst us committed a cardinal sin; they damaged some of the factories. That was enough to provoke the State.
In our hearts we know that most of us are on the verge of caving in.


Word count 191

The old man looked at the beaming face of his grandson and sighed.
‘You still think it is wrong for us to protest. But how long can we tolerate this corrupt, tyrannical regime. This President has even stopped holding the elections. We will not rest till we throw him out of power,’ the boy almost shouted in anger.
‘And who will take his place?’ asked the old man in a melancholy tone.
‘Our leaders have already thought of everything. Don’t you worry; wise and honest people will run the state. And we have enough of them in our party.’
The old man looked at the boy and recalled the days when he too had gone protesting against the corrupt and tyrannical regime that ruled the country about forty years ago. They had all been inspired by a young idealist who was bubbling with new ideas; whose passion for change was highly contagious; who had provoked thousands of students to come out on streets and not to rest till they had thrown out the tyrant who ruled the country.
They had succeeded. That young idealist had come to power and had ruled the country for twenty years and then had bequeathed the power to his only son.
Today his grandson had risen against the tyrannical regime of the only son of that young idealist.

A post for Sunday PhotoFiction on a photo prompt.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Power Failure
                                                                                                Photo prompt © Sean Fallon
He was standing like a lifeless statue, stark naked, intently looking at a jar full of batteries.
“What happened to my tea?”
He did not react. That was enough to annoy Pixie.
“Why doesn’t he obey? Something wrong with him?” she muttered in irritation and left her bed. In anger she forgot to cover herself up.
“Now what?’ she gave him a piercing look.
He refused to react.  She got provoked and hit him on the face. She regretted her folly; she had only hurt herself.
“Power failure, no? I should have known; nothing has been right with this robot.”
A post for FridayFictioneers (on a picture prompt) and
Three Word Wednesday (word prompts- naked, obey, piercing)
Word count 100