Going green

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mage courtesy of Unsplash.

 

The ladies tea club was holding its fortnightly meeting today. The meeting was of course just a ruse for the ladies of the four blocks to meet and gossip in the community recreational hall. Every member was expected to volunteer at least once a year. The chosen member paid for all the refreshments and was expected to give a small token of appreciation.

 
Marla was not happy. This fortnight, her neighbour Sanchi had been chosen. Marla had never really liked Sanchi who had moved into the next apartment recently. She had observed some strange people entering but never leaving Sanchi’s house. Yes, she had kept a constant watch through her peephole-one can’t trust foreigners. Sanchi had Gypsy blood, she was sure. I mean who else had that olive skin, kohl lined eyes and long black hair!

 
But Marla simply could not afford to miss all the gossip. So off she went.

 
Sanchi stood at the door, thanking everyone and handing over a small plant .As she handed it, she whispered something to each member which made them smile. Marla did not like the looks of that plant but stood waiting. Maria, her friend was in front of her. Sanchi whispered something and handed over the plant to Maria and Marla was astonished to see Maria hugging Sanchi. Maria never hugged anyone and Marla had been her friend for the last 5 years!

 
Her turn came and Marla was sorely tempted to refuse it but good manners made her grin and bear it. Sanchi handed her the creepy looking plant and whispered, “Plant it in every window ledge and your happiness will multiply. The world will cease to matter and you will be reunited with Luke.”

 
Marla was shocked. No one knew about Luke-her husband, who had disappeared some 6 years back. How did this woman know about her secret? She was definitely not going to plant anything anywhere. She threw the plant in a dustbin in the hall.

 
A week later she was surprised to see greenery sprouting from every apartment and laughter and music emanating from all corners. But strangely she could see no one anywhere. So she decided to call on Maria who lived on the tenth floor.

 
As she reached the landing, a strange smell made her recoil. She was horrified to see green tendrils of some strange plant blocking Maria’s door. When she tried to go near, it hissed and snarled, Frightened she backed off.
Back home, she dialed every number in her phone book but was greeted with only silence. That night, she heard strange slithering noises in the corridor.

 
Morning saw her packing her bags-she had to leave! But when she came out of her apartment she was petrified to see thick green, bulbous curtains, blocking all exits.

 
Marla realized it was too late to escape! The world would definitely cease to matter now for she was going to die and be reunited with Luke, whom she had murdered 6 years ago.

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The above story was written for Write on Edge,writing prompt:2014,Week 21.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 ,Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.” by Ralph Waldo Emerson,or use both.For more details or to participate please click  on this url http://writeonedge.com/2014/05/writing-prompt-2014-week-21/

 

Sheona

Sheona

 

Darkness teased light as evening tiptoed in. Daytime predators and prey both started settling in for the night’s rest. On the other hand nocturnal creatures stirred and stretched eager to start their routine.

 
Rawleigh stood in front of his secret castle with his wife Mortina. 

 

She held a golden orb in her hands and Rawleigh held his sword on it. Mortina waved her wand and intoned in a melodious voice-

 

“Let this golden light, draw on powers that be
Protect this abode and the inhabitants
From prying eyes aiming to “see”.
I call on thee, O astral elements
Do stand by me
Protect me and mine from all evil that hides
And let them be cast aside.”

 

The incantation over, she drew a circle around them. Immediately the castle disappeared and in its place stood a broken down gate. Two young hares, rump to rump like duelling pistols, crouched by the gate.

 

 

Rawleigh turned to his wife and smiled. She belonged to a secret coven and was a very powerful Wiccan witch.

 
“My dear, now go safely and no harm will come to you or those you love. I will await your return. Remember, if you are in danger, tap your sword hard on the ground and the forces will come to your aid.”

 

“Thank you my love. What would I do without you?”

 

“Hush! That day will never come. Our love is strong enough to overcome all obstacles. Now go forth and bring another baby home.”

 

Rawleigh mounted his steed and with a nod and smile, galloped off into the night.

 

After a few hours, he reached the edge of the forest. He watched the flickering torches surrounding the Inkletee castle. He knew an army of guards were protecting what he had come to spirit away.

 

He alighted from his steed, patted it and continued on foot. The night fell like a cloak of invisibility around him and he used it to navigate his way to the enemy bastion. Stealthily he climbed the wall and jumped inside. Keeping to the dark corners, he finally made it to the secret chamber. He took out the magic key that Mortina had given him. Unlocking the heavy door, he entered and was enraptured.

 

There she was in all her golden glory! Manacles held her secure in the box but her head and green eyes belied any defeat. Nostrils flaring, she stared. She looked majestic with her beautiful sienna wings. Her long scaly tail swished. Rawleigh fell in love instantly. She sensed it and her eyes softened. Rawleigh had that kind of effect. It was a gift.

 

By day, he was just another brave Knight but by night he was a Dragon tamer. Rawleigh loved dragons and his mission in life was to rescue dragons from captivity.

 

Most people feared and hated these gentle creatures and thus the dragons were being hunted relentlessly. He tried to save as many as he could but till he had met Mortina, it had been very tough. His heart had broken every time he saw them butchered.

 

Mortina and her friends from the magical world understood this and were equally passionate about saving these graceful beings. Their secret team was doing all it could to help Rawleigh.

 

Unfortunately, the team had recently discovered a group of wizards led by the wicked Witch Inkletee practicing black magic. They needed Dragon blood to cast their black spells. Tonight Rawleigh had come to rescue the golden dragon from their clutches.

 

Rawleigh opened the cage and with one swipe of his magical sword, freed the Dragon. “My sweet Sheona”, he cooed and caressed her shiny scales .Soon she was nuzzling and licking his face.

 

To secret away such a huge creature was the next big hurdle and Sheona was too bright to be invisible. Rawleigh decided that he could not risk the golden dragon being seen. So, he tapped the Sword hard on the ground.
Instantly, three little elves and two pixies appeared. They were a part of the team and knew what to do. The elves set to make a small sack and finished it within a few minutes. It was wondrous to watch them work so swiftly and efficiently. The pixies sprinkled magic dust on Sheona and she became tiny enough to fit into the sack. Their work done, they disappeared.

 

Heaving the sack on his shoulders, Rawleigh crept away. Reaching his steed quickly, he rode home, happy that he had been able to save another beautiful creature.

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This is my response to Speakeasy’s weekly prompt #156 which required us to (a)write a response(fiction or poetry) in 750 words or less (mine is 750, including the title) (b) using the quote,“Two young hares, rump to rump like duelling pistols, crouched by the gate.”  anywhere in the story, and (c) make some reference to the media prompt, the song Glory Box, by Portishead.

Those who would like to read the other entries or participate in this challenge,please click on the url http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/156-open/

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A life extraordinaire

A life extraordinaire

 

“This is your last chance, Myra,” thundered Magdalena.
No one in Neverland had ever seen Magdalena, the Fairy Queen lose her cool in last 600 years. But Myra brought out the worst in her. She had been training to be a wish fairy since the last 150 years but she was always messing up.

 

“Remember,” Magdalena continued,” you can grant three wishes to one human and this spell has to last for a year. Till that time you are to remain earthbound. In case you fail, you are going to be transformed into a butterfly fairy and that’s final.”

 

Myra nodded meekly and picking up her wand and the pouch of magic dust, took off in search of her quarry.

Harry sat at his ordinary dining table, eating an ordinary breakfast and looking forlorn. For the nth time in a week, he wished for an extraordinary life. Till recently he was quite satisfied, if not happy with his life. At 30, he held a good job at a small firm earning enough to live in comfort. He dated once in a while but did not have a steady girlfriend. Then, about ten days back, he happened to meet his friend George and the unrest started.

 
Now George had been a pudgy, pimply fellow with little brains and so to see him looking quite dashing with a sexy siren type of wife hanging on to his arm, while they walked towards their swanky Porsche was difficult to absorb. Then George invited him home and the sprawling, luxurious country house with golf course and swimming pools made Harry’s head swim. George was a businessman and hobnobbed with the jet set.

 
Since then, Harry had been moping, wishing for a hi-flying life. Sighing, he got up to get ready for work, totally unaware that Myra the intern, had landed at his window and decided to pick his brains at that moment. She smiled and said to herself,”Easy does it Myra! No goofing up-this is your last chance.” She concentrated, trying to remember the right spell and then flew inside Harry’s house. She pointed her wand at Harry and waved it, blowing some magic dust towards him.

 
Harry immediately felt very light and happy. That evening, he met a beautiful girl named Sara and could not believe his luck when she seemed interested in him too. They got talking and discovered that they had same likes and dreams. Promising to meet next day, they parted. Harry hardly slept that night.

 
Next morning he was taken aback to receive an email from a very reputed company, asking him to come for an interview. He believed that Sara was his good luck charm and went joyfully to give that interview. His new found confidence and positive demeanour got him the high paid job easily.

 
Soon Sara and Harry were inseparable. It turned out that her father was a very well placed politician and with his help, Harry was soon scaling new heights in his career. Six months down the road, he proposed to Sara and she accepted. The wedding took place with a lot of pomp and show.

 
Myra watched all this with gleeful anticipation. She was looking forward to completing her internship successfully and flying back home in six months time. Funnily, she was beginning to enjoy her life among humans-they fascinated her. Thus distracted, she forgot to sprinkle fairy dust on Harry one morning and everything started unravelling.

 
On his way to his newly acquired business Harry met with a minor accident. Thought he was at fault, seeing his new Bugatti damaged, he lost his temper and berated the driver of the other car, not noticing that it was the police chief. He was jailed for committing a public nuisance.

 
Myra flew in to rectify matters but though her intent was to resolve the issue, in her panic, she mixed the spells and this caused so much complication that Harry was not only refused bail but was imprisoned for 3 months.

 
Meanwhile, Myra lost her wand and this worsened matters. Sara started seeing another man and soon she eloped with him.
Harry returned a changed man. He came back to an empty home and was not really shocked to learn that he had been dismissed from his job. Looking back he pined for his old life. Myra was recalled to serve as butterfly fairy.

 

Through the clarity of retrospect, the obvious conclusion surfaced: things don’t always turn out as planned.

 

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This is my response to Speakeasy’s weekly prompt #154, which is to(a) write a piece in 750 words or less (mine is 750,including the title & the required quote) (b) with some kind of reference to the media prompt, a short film by Tanmay Shah, entitled Intent, and (c) use the last sentence of: “Through the clarity of retrospect, the obvious conclusion surfaced: things don’t always turn out as planned.”

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Enchanted

Friday Fictioneers

This week,our fabulous hostess Rochelle Wisoff-Fields decided to give us a gift at FF by posting the photo prompt a day early 🙂 So we early birds caught the worm and are now sitting pretty on Tuesday,imagining it to be the weekend 😀  Those of you who are fellow addicts at FF  already know what I am talking about – for all others, here is the link to the site. http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/friday-fictioneers-2/  Check it out,I promise you will not egret it 🙂

This week’s photo prompt has been provided by John Nixon .It has a lot of promise and I know that this week I will be reading more than 100 fantastic takes on this prompt.Sadly,my muse has gone on a vacation,so I had to spill out whatever occurred to me-could not miss the early bird prize now,could I? My 100 words follow the photo below 🙂

Copyright-John Nixon

                                              Copyright-John Nixon

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Enchanted

 

“There is nothing bewitching about this forest, “hissed Marge.

“Yeah, it’s ugly!”

“Shh…The elves may not like it Pat,” warned Nina.

“Elves?”Giggled Cory.

“Fairies too,” whispered Tory, her twin.

“Where are the magical beings?”Marge looked angrily at Nina.

Hidden eyes watched.

“Kids don’t believe in magic nowadays!” exclaimed the fairy Queen.

“Yet, they love video games!”  the elf remarked.

“Where do they think those fantasy ideas came from?” the Witch sneered.

“So, trick or treat?” the imp winked.

“Both!”

Roots crept up wrapping the kids.

They screamed in terror.

Then, open mouthed they watched the forest transform magically…

 

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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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Gone with the mist

Write on Edge

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

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Gone with the mist

 

Meghan woke up sweating. Her heart was racing. This was the fourth time this week that she had the same nightmare.

 Beside her, Jimmy, her husband stirred, opened his eyes and smiled.”Already up? What’s the time?”

Meghan propped herself on her elbow and peered at the table clock. “It is just 5 a.m.You go back to sleep.”

“Where are you going?”

“To get some exercise. Can’t let myself become fat!” She smiled at him mischievously.

Not one to let such an opportunity pass him by, Jimmy retorted,”Come back to bed and let me be the judge of that.”

She laughed, swatting him playfully and before he could react, she slipped past his grasping hand, and entered the bathroom.

 Fifteen minutes later she was running at an easy pace, enjoying the fresh morning air and nature’s beauty. She loved the forest and she was glad that Jimmy did too. They had been very lucky to find such a lovely property in the countryside. She was a freelancer and had turned her hobby of photography into her profession. Proximity to the forest gave her ample scope to engage in her hobby and earn both money and fame professionally. Her dream was to work for National Geographic someday. Jimmy was a marine biologist. His work took him away for months but then again, on the flip side, he could be home at a stretch of 30-35 days, like now. Meghan sighed. Life was good.

Halfway across her route, she suddenly became aware of the quietness and was surprised. At this time, the forest just teemed with life! She slowed down and looked around. Her eyes widened. A mist was rolling in. She was filled with a sense of foreboding. She decided to turn back and go home.

As she ran, the mist thickened and she found it hard to see the path. She had hardly gone a few metres, when she felt something grab her ankle, and she fell.

“Ouch!”She cried out involuntarily. She sat up gingerly. The ground seemed squelchy and smelled like rotting dead creatures. Meghan tried to get up but her ankle gave way. She sat there and cursed herself for not bringing her cell phone. How many times had Jimmy cautioned her!

Suddenly, she heard a horrible keening and her blood ran cold. This was the same sound she had been hearing in her nightmare. She could hear something shuffling and dragging itself through the trees-something that she did not want to see. Her heart in her mouth, Meghan started searching for some weapon, knowing very well that whatever was coming, could not be stopped.

Her mind went back to the rumours she had heard in the market- the locals mentioning something about some strange mist which  took over the area every alternate Summer, and changed everything and  that every time, a young woman went missing!

The unbearable stench was making her gag. The keening hurt her ears. Meghan was terrified but she had nowhere to run.

It had arrived.

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The above story (500 words)was written for Write on Edge .For more details,rules etc about this site,please click on this url-http://writeonedge.com/2014/01/writing-prompt-2014-week-4/

Writing Prompt: 2014, Week 4

The Witch’s promise

Trifecta: Week 110

Time for Trifecta challenge and this is what they have to say for this week’s challenge:)

Now onto this week’s Trifecta prompt. We’re back to one word and its third definition. And, of course, as many syllables as you please in your 333-word limit! Happy writing! QUAINT (adjective)  3a : unusual or different in character or appearance :  ODD   b : pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar <a quaint phrase> Remember: • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words. • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post. • The word itself needs to be included in your response. • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above. • Only one entry per writer.

 See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.XRrxyItB.dpuf

Here is my 330 word story-hope you enjoy reading this as much I enjoyed writing it:-)

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The Witch’s promise

They peered over the hedge, looking into a garden. Mrs. Crabtree was collecting luscious strawberries from her plants and humming to herself.

“ Isn’t she old?” Amy mused.

“Umm, very! And oh so quaint!”said Jack, stifling a laugh.

“She kind of reminds me of Miss Marple”, added Kate, the bookworm.

“And pray who is Miss Marple?”

“You are such an oaf Paul! Miss Marple was a character by Agatha Christie-the charming old lady who solved murder mystery!”Boasted Kate.

“Pooh!”Said Paul and made a face at Kate.

The youngest of the group, Laura whispered, “I don’t like this. Let us go. I think she is a witch.”

They all burst out laughing and had to duck immediately. They would wait for a more opportune moment to steal some of those lovely strawberries.

Next week, the five did just that –Laura refused. As the Sun was setting, they walked up to her cottage and made sure, no one was home. Then, they sneaked in through the hedge and stole a basket of strawberries.

On the verge of leaving, their noses were assailed by the delicious smell of freshly baked apple tarts and chicken pies and they told each other, “No harm in just looking.”

And off they went up the garden path, into the warm kitchen.

There their eyes widened when they saw the sumptuous spread laid on the table-delicacies they all loved. Torn between the desire to dig in and leave, they stood transfixed.

At that very moment, the front door opened and Mrs. Crabtree entered the room. She did not seem surprised to see 5 uninvited teenagers in her house. Instead she smiled and told them,”Come on children.Don’t be shy. Eat your fill.I promise you won’t regret this.”

So they did, failing to notice the glint in Mrs. Crabtree’s eyes as she served them more food, humming under her breath,”The witch’s promise was coming,you’re looking elsewhere for your own selfish gain…”

If only they had listened to little Laura…

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