Winter’s child

 

“Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.”As Eve stood shivering on the bathroom mat, looking at the red streak snaking down her legs, the chill rose up to freeze her from within and outside. She fought the tears tottering on the slippery threshold of her consciousness, wondering why this was happening to her.

 
She had followed the Doctor’s orders and she and George had seen to it that they did not miss the days marked on the calendar. It had not been easy but neither of them had demurred. Yet, it seemed that the seed she desperately hoped would bloom refused to take root. Her womb continued to be barren, month after month. At times, she wondered if God was punishing her for something that had in no way been her fault.

 
Shoulders drooping, she dragged herself back to bed. George stirred but then snuggled back under the warm covers. Sleep evaded her though she tried her best to court it. Ruefully she let it slip away and resigned herself to a few more hours of “mind-hoopla” as she called it. Her mind flitted from thoughts to memories to thoughts in a never ending loop.

 
She was born into a wealthy family but her parents were too busy playing to the gallery to really care. The children were just trophies to be exhibited on certain occasions. Her elder brother Josh was a carbon copy of their Dad and idolized him. Their younger sister was a wallflower, with no opinion of her own and content to live as directed. Eve, on the other hand was a rebel.

 
Thus she was happy to leave home for college at nineteen. There she met Matt. He was a pleasant change from all the people she used to meet in her pseudo life at home. Both felt an instant attraction, which over the next two years developed into deep love.

 

Eve knew her parent’s reaction to her choice and so she hid it from them till the day Matt joined the hospital as a full time Doctor.
Matt promised to take her to meet his parents during Thanksgiving. They both wanted a Christmas wedding.

 
The meeting however never took place, nor did the wedding. Driving to work next week, Matt met with an accident and he died on the spot.

 
Eve was beyond herself with grief and went home for the first time in four years. She was sick so often that it took her some time to realize that she was pregnant. She was shocked at first but then overjoyed .However, her joy was short-lived for her family did not approve of her having a baby out of wedlock.

 
She could still remember the conversation word to word.

 

Her Mom had looked at her with utmost distaste as if she was something the cat dragged in “Why must you insist on bringing shame to the family name?”

 
“After all that we have done for you is this how you repay us?” shouted her Dad, his swarthy face turning purple.

 
Not to be left behind, her ineffacious brother declared, “We can’t let you have his bastard.”

 
Her sister of course had nothing to say.

 
Eve decided not to bow to their pressure tactic but she had underestimated her parent’s guile and wickedness. One night, they drugged her and spirited her away to a private nursing home. When she came to, it was already too late. As soon as she could walk, she left home and never looked back.

 

 
Even George believed she was an orphan and she had no intention of revealing these dark secrets to him, ever.

 
She sighed and decided to get up as dawn crawled in slowly. She put the kettle on and watched snow drifting down relentlessly. The sky looked dull, just like her mood. She called her Doctor around noon from her office-she did not want George to be privy to this setback-at least not today. Her Doctor told her to come in the next day.

 
Next morning Eve woke up and was taken aback. She had not bled at all during the night-what was going on? Was she ill?

 
With trepidation she walked into the clinic. The shadow of uncertainty loomed large as she lay down on the examination table.

 
A few hours later, she was driving back, a smile on her lips. The miracle of spring was accumulating in her womb and she could not wait to celebrate its arrival with her beloved George.

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This is my response to Speakeasy’s weekly prompt #157 which required us to (a)write a response(fiction or poetry) in 750 words or less (mine is 748, including the title) (b) using the following sentence as the FIRST line in your submission: “Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.” and (c) make some reference to the media prompt,which this week the  drawing above, by Leonardo da Vinci, entitled Study of a Womb.

The challenge is open to everyone,so if you want to join in or read the other entries,please click on the url http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/fiction-challenge-157-open/

 


Do you see her much?

Do  you see her much?

 

Oh, all the time, all the time! 

Oh, I see her everywhere.

Why, oh why won’t she let me be?

When all is over between her and me?

I did her in and buried her

Then, why won’t she just lie still?

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This is my response to this week’s ultimate question at Gargleblaster #157. The challenge was to answer the ultimate question “Do you see her much?” in exactly 42 words. If you are interested in joining the fun,rush over to the site  for complete details by clicking on the url http://yeahwrite.me/gargleblaster-157/ but hurry for the grid closes at 42 entries.


No reprieve

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

No  reprieve

He looked at the small pile of stones and pebbles covering the little grave near the water. The wooden stake bore no epitaph but he knew his sweet Lily lay there. Their love was one of a kind and these insensitive fools had, interfered stopping their love from reaching its desirable culmination. But, he was going to outwit them-his Lily would be proud of him.

He hid behind the boulders and saw them leave after burying her.

 He raged and fumed. Did they think they could separate her from him? Since when had death been a deterrent? Rather, death had always been his partner in crime.

He had to wait till night fell. He needed the cloak of invisibility for his shenanigans. Not that waiting bothered him. He lit a cigarette and pulling his overcoat around him, lay back on a boulder.

The wind was rising with the incoming tide. The ocean was busy gathering her wayward waves, intent on teaching them a lesson in self-control but the restless waves playfully escaped her clutches, dashing against the rocks with gleeful abandon.

His stomach growled and his mind hungered. He was ravenous in more ways than one but satiation was not easy. He had to be careful. He dug his hands into the deep pockets of his overcoat and his fingers touched it. He shivered with pleasure.

A few hours passed .He crept towards a hollow in the rocks and took out the crowbar he had hidden there earlier. He moved towards the grave stealthily and set to work. The more he dug, the more his hunger grew. He was used to hard labour-the decade in prison had taught him that. It took him an hour to uncover the mound and soon he picked up 9 year old Lily’s body and placed it on the ground. Oh, how beautiful she looked.

His hands closed over the cold sharp steel nestling in his pocket and he fingered it lovingly. Gazing upon Lily’s face, he murmured, “How pale your lips look, my love-let me add some colour.” With that, he slashed at her wrists. Drops of blood oozed out and he licked at them and then bit down hard on Lily’s lips.

 He loved the ashen face, the unmoving body and the pale limbs. He remembered the softness of young flesh, the pleasure it gave him to plunge into such unresponsive young bodies and he felt his arousal raise its head. Images of slashed and mutilated bodies arose in his mind and he lost control.

He tore at the dead child’s clothes and then ravaged the dead body viciously, all the while stabbing the body and whispering terms of endearment interspersed with dirty talk.

The moon grew pale watching this and the ocean receded as far as possible, unable to bear witness to such depravity. Only the petrified stones, smeared with the blood and gore of the innocent, bore a silent testimony to the inhuman acts of a so called human....

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The above story was written for Write on Edge,writing prompt,2014,week 11. The challenge was to write a piece of fiction or poetry in 500 words or less(mine is 500 words,including the title)based on either the photo above (I decided to pick the photo)or use the quote by Robert Frost ,”I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover’s quarrel with the world,” or use both.For more details or to participate please click  on this http://writeonedge.com/2014/03/writing-prompt-2014-week-11/

 

Let sleeping legends lie

the speakeasy at yeah write #152 

 

http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=19652242

Let sleeping legends lie

 

“I think we should turn back.”

“Amy, stop whining!”

“But Martin, I am tired!”

“Amy is right, and besides I think we are lost.”

“Ha! Trust you to whine and Diana, we are not lost.”

Spreading the map on a nearby rock and pointing to an X marked in red Martin said, “We are right here.”

 “Just tell me, how many hours more till we reach that darned cave?”

“Four? Okay, at the most five.”

The girls groaned.

Thick foliage made it kind of dark even in the daytime and the forest floor carpeted with pine needles and dried leaves made walking  difficult.

After an hour Amy said,”Can we take a break? My legs are killing me.”

“Ah, look what these jungle insects have done to mine!”

“Told you to wear chinos, but you were intent on fashion. Now suffer!”

“You brat! It will serve you right if there is no treasure.”

“So what, even if there is none? National Geographic or Flickr will be happy with the great photographs Martin is capturing.”

“Amy, what about your camcorder? Are you recording everything?

“Yes I am but I still think we should return now-I have a bad feeling about this.”

“Stop it Amy. Never knew you to be superstitious.”

“But, that guide..?”

“Ha! Ha! That Petra-what an entertainer! He and his cock and bull stories!”

“But what if they are true?”

“What if they are true…” mimicked Peter. “Are you daft or what Diana! A folklore that is 400 years old? Gimme a break!”

“It would be so easy to give up now but think of how much fun we will have even if it is true.”

“Fun?”

 “Yes, we will be famous .Imagine our faces on all the news channel. Young explorers reveal age old secret…”

“Shut up you two!”Diana glared

“Have you noticed suddenly how quiet it is?”Amy shivered.

“That’s because my portable radio’s batteries just conked off. But I have a set of spares, let me change them.”

A few minutes later, the forest air resonated with retro numbers and the mood lifted.

“Okay, rest for half an hour, then we stop only when we reach the cave.”

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In the cave, she stirred in sleep disturbed by forgotten images. Her grey blue scales glistened with moisture and her forked tail lay inert-for the time being. A little to her left stood two huge eggs, one green and the other blue. Two more eggs –one red, and another grey blue stood immobile. There was no sound except a faint rustling of her wide ink tipped wings. Suddenly the green egg started to vibrate and slowly cracked open. A while later the blue egg followed suit. She opened her gold flecked red eyes and instinctively moved towards the noise. Soon, a low keening filled the cave and four new lives crawled towards their mother. She gathered them close and waited. Her sharp ears had caught a long forgotten sound and she knew the images were coming to life-again. She remembered that it was in a battle with such beings that her mate had lost his life. It was time they learnt their lesson.

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“Here we are!”

“Finally! Phew!”

“Okay, let’s go in.”

“Ugh, what a horrid stench!”

“Its pitch dark in here.”

“Where are the torches? Shine the light in here.”

“Hello what’s this?”

“What? Where?”

“Over here.”

“Oh my, so cute! What is it?”

“Look at its tiny wings-it has a snout and a tail too!”

“Hello, there are three more-in different colours too!”

“Mini dragons, ha-ha!”

“Don’t laugh stupid and turn off your radio-can’t hear anything.”

“Amy, where is your camcorder? Record it pronto!”

“Martin, get all the angles! Imagine the sensation when this footage is released!”

“Better than Jurassic park, man! We are going to be bloody rich and famous!”

“No Diana! Don’t touch-they may bite.”

“Guys, have you thought that these little things may have a mom?

“OMG! What if she …It’s getting hot in here or what?”

“What is that swishing noise?

“I knew it! The legend is true!”

“Run for your lives! It is the mother Dragon!”

 

But it was too late. Only the portable radio lay there,the Bee Gees belting out ”Staying alive”,with gusto.

 

She may have been hibernating for half a century but her memory and senses were sharp. Agility and cunning made her formidable and soon she and her kids were having their first meal. 

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This was written for speakeasy #152 at yeahwrite. The challenge was (a)to write a piece of fiction or poetry,750 words or less(mine is 740 including the title)(b)to use the sentence ,”“It would be so easy.”,anywhere in the piece and (c)to make some kind of reference to the media prompt, which this week is a video for ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees.In case,this challenge interests you or you would like to read what others have written,click on this link http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/152-open/

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No foul play

well

 the speakeasy at yeah write #151

No foul play

“Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes.”

Gerry stopped writing and shut his diary with force. Anger and sorrow struggled with each other to gain foothold. Sorrow won. He missed her. If only…

He went and stood by the window. Night had decided to wear her star spangled coat and was busy romancing the full moon. He closed the window. Such beauty pained him.

His mind went back to the time when all was orderly, or so it seemed. His Dad was a soldier and was home only on short holidays. He was a good father and a dutiful husband but nothing more. His mother on the other hand, was an artist with a passionate temperament, which she kept well hidden under routine. He was an ordinary boy living an ordinary life.

Then one day, when he was fourteen, it all changed. His Dad came back from Afghanistan sans his right leg. Wallowing in self –pity, his Dad took to the bottle. His mom tried her best to take care of the family by taking up odd jobs but it was not enough. She had been a beautiful woman, but her face stated to lose its glow with the constant worry. Soon, his father started becoming abusive. Initially it was only verbal but then it escalated into physical blows.

Life dragged on, with no respite for the family. The only silver lining on the black cloud called “crisis” was Gerry’s excellent grades at school.

One night, when Gerry was sixteen, he found his mom in the basement painting the walls furiously. He was astonished to see the vibrant colours and bold strokes that she used. He watched silently, as she added a cobalt blue and then contrasted it with a flaming orange. Later he convinced her to let the artist in her take charge.

She surprised everyone by excelling in her chosen field and very soon, many art galleries were showing interest in her work. She had her first independent show, when Gerry turned eighteen. Soon after, he left for college on a full scholarship. Life seemed to have steadied itself.

At college, he made friends and enjoyed studying. He received letters from his Mom which told him about her shows and he was happy that she was tasting success. He was unable to visit home for the next two years as there were some extra courses he had opted for which needed him to stay back during the breaks. So, when he went home, he was a little puzzled to see his mom looking radiant but a little flustered, as if she had a secret.

Two days before he was due to return, he learnt of his mom’s secret. She told him that she had met Bud, another artist-a sculptor- six months back and they had fallen in love. However, as his mom was not free there was no future for them. Gerry was happy for his mom and expressed his wish to meet Bud. A meeting was arranged and he was pleased with his mom’s choice. However, his Dad posed a problem. He was not ready to let his wife go and said”no” to divorce. His drinking and violent behaviour took a turn for the worst. Bidding her a fond farewell, Gerry promised his mom to be back during Christmas to find a solution.

But that was not to be. Six weeks to Christmas, he received news about his Mom’s death and had to rush home. Police officers said that they had found his mother lying with her neck broken at the end of the stairs leading to the basement. Possibly she had slipped .They ruled out any foul play as his Dad was found dead drunk, on the sofa in the hallway. Gerry had his reasons to believe otherwise.

A few days after the funeral, Gerry plied his Dad with drink after drink. He kept egging him on and implying that he was glad his mom was no more. Still, his blood froze when he heard his Dad confess.

“Ah, I hated that bitch! Pushing her that day felt damned good. No one leaves me!!”His Dad growled in a slurred voice.

A week later, Gerry slipped back into the house, unnoticed, and pushed his drunken Dad down the stairs. He was satisfied to hear the squelching sound his Dad’s head made when it struck the corner of the marble slab at the bottom.

Police ruled out any foul play, again.

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This was written for the Speakeasy weekly writing prompt, the speakeasy at yeah write #151 ,which is to write a piece in 750 words or less (mine is 748 words,including the title) (a) using “Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes.” as the first sentence,and (b) include some sort of reference to the photograph posted above, taken by Czintos Ödön.If you are interested in reading all the entries or joining the challenge please click on this url- http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/151-open/

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A thing called life (Ligo Haibun)

Ligo Haibun Challenge – 01/11-07/11

Hello friends and readers,today make my debut in another new arena-the Haibun. Encouraged and gently guided by none other than Managua Gunn,am ready to take my first tentative steps in this genre of writing.The picture prompt for this Haibun is below-

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Hope my submission below is not too disappointing 😛

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A thing called life

 

She shivered. “Is it the autumn chill or the chill in my heart? Or maybe I am getting old!” She smiled ruefully at that thought.

 

Fitting a lifetime of memories in cardboard boxes and packing cases is not an easy task but he managed to go through the paces. With the last bit of memory rolled up and packed away, the house resonated with an emptiness that had made its home in his heart, the night it all ended.

 

Life is so like seasons, she mused .Everything is same, yet all is new. Only our perspective changes, just like the leaves changing colour. Nature shows us the way, but we human beings resist change.

 

Standing outside on the busy road, he looked up and for a moment saw her at the window, leaning out and laughing .His blinked his eyes. His treacherous heart was playing tricks-again. The once familiar neighbourhood, felt so alien today.  It seemed just yesterday, when he had carried her in and gently set her down in the hallway of their new home. How her eyes had sparkled, proud and happy to be beside him.

 

Promises really don’t mean anything, do they, her mind probed. We just trade words for possible dreams, probable hopes, for a future unseen. Just like the tree has no idea which of the leaves will change colour in autumn or be the first to detach itself, none of us know what will stop breathing first-a relationship or life..

 

Their life had been so full-of love, of happiness, of unbridled joy and all because they were together. The children, when they came brought in their share of blessings, which just strengthened their bond. What he did not foresee was the cruel blow that fate was planning, for he was bewitched by lady luck’s limitless bounty.

 

The evening gloom had begun to permeate the garden outside, she observed.Within, the icy tentacles of despair were curling around her hapless heart. Counting slowly to ten, she eased her breathing and told herself, “Don’t be a ninny! You need to be strong. You have to tell him that you are leaving-he deserves that much!”

 

Why she kept it a secret till the last moment, he failed to understand. She had always been so open. He had panicked and chaos had ensued. He felt betrayed-it was so unfair…he had had no time to even grieve her loss…

 

Flurry of seasons

momentary joy-deaf to

the tolling death knell

 

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