Journeys

‘The crimson Maori warrior Tawhaki and his brother Karihi marched to the underwater home of the Ponaturi tribe to avenge their father’s death . Urutonga , their captive mother was the door keeper of the Ponaturi tribe’s night abode on land called , Manawa-Tane. Overjoyed to see her sons , she advised them to wait and let the sun’s ray burn the Ponaturi tribe alive. Their deceased father’s bones hanging on the roof of Manawa- Tane, rattled with happiness to see his slayers reduced to lifelessness.’ ‘According to another Maori legend, the crimson Pohutukawa flowers represent Tawhaki’s blood . ‘
‘Sorry about the detour’ , the tour guide said .
The spectacular grandeur of the confluence of Tasman sea and the Pacific Ocean as viewed from Cape Reinga made Sheila feel thankful for having undertaken the lone adventure on Kiwi islands with kayaking ,sandboarding, snorkeling experiences as medals for her leap of faith .
Sheila bid good bye to the Maori spirits journeying through the roots of the  800 year old venerated Pohutukawa tree, into the ocean before finally  entering their ancestral homeland of Hawaiiki-A-Nui.

 

Word count- 175

Written for flash fiction for aspiring writers, based on this week’s photo prompt . Thanks to priceless joy for hosting the challenge.

This week’s photo prompt is provided by TJ Paris. Thank you TJ!

 

Pohutukawa trees: Iconic Christmas trees of New Zealand, bearing vibrant crimson flowers .

Maoris: The native Polynesian people of New Zealand

Cape Reinga :is the northwesternmost tip of the Aupouri Peninsula , at the northern end of the North Island of New Zealand.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Reinga

Slip of tongue

‘What about that handbag, no not the navy blue , the aquamarine blue bag beside it and no that  wouldn’t do either as it doesn’t have the required number of zips.’

Zinia seemed to be ready to hop over to the next shop after browsing through the huge collection of a few dozen bags at the ‘Leather emporium’.

‘Good , they did not have a bag for my tastes as I have already ordered a few online, I guess we could look for some belts , you know, I only have six of them’ , Zinia said.

Like a good friend , I obliged and before I knew , she had  dragged me to the belt lane to try on the thick, thin, glittery, formal and a whole array of belts , only to be unhappy with each and every one.

‘Are you sure, you don’t like any?’, I asked , silencing my raging impatience with forced patience and she just made a cute expression of a sad ‘no’ with a mellow ‘can we go check some boots’?’

Little did i know that a minor slip of tongue,’OK, i will go with you’, was to be my undoing.

Written  for Six Sentence Stories at Zoe’s uncharted , the cue of the week being “slip”. Thanks to Zoe for hosting the challenge.

 

A phone call and a mourning

Firmly jelled to my dormitory bed ,determined not to receive it again,  I count the phone ring in the corridor –  .. two , three….

‘Come on Anita, freshers can’t be choosers’, commands the stout, bespectacled senior , rudely barging in,minus a knock.

I couldn’t wait to be a non-fresher and be done with the obligatory phone attendant duty.

 

The attendant in the old age home politely  knocks and gently points to the  ringing red phone on my table.

‘… Miss Anita,sorry about your loss’, pours  the concerned stranger into the mouthpiece.

Those dormitory days appear, sunny.

I wait for a happy messenger .

 

 

Word count- 98

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. Thanks Rochelle for hosting the challenge.

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s magic!

 

Shania takes a tissue from the coffee table and sniffles hard .’ I guess, I am ready for yet another adventure ‘, she utters , gathering her broken self together.

Dropping off her 2 year old at the day care , she sets out to  test her hunting skills, afresh.

‘Not enough, not enough!’, Jim curses himself ,staring  towards  the sparse ‘catch’ in his fishing net with disappointed abandon .

He had promised his wife enough fish to allow her some rest time with little Toby.

Shania is visibly pregnant,  on her way back from the other side.

She hopes , the alert border policemen do not recognize her .

Lady luck guides her safely to her doorsteps.

She empties the stuffs from her sweat shirt and hides them in the closet to sell at the local market at a higher rate.

Jim returns home, dejected.

‘I got this talisman for you . Tomorrow will be a better day ‘, Shania says, tying the  amulet around Jim’s wrist. It was enough to uplift his dampened spirits. Temporarily .

Word count- 166

Written for flash fiction for aspiring writers, based on this week’s photo prompt . Thanks to priceless joy for hosting the challenge.

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Louise with The Storyteller’s Abode. Thank you Louise!

 

 

 

There she goes again!

I felt acknowledged, I felt precious, I felt alive with Shekhar  and our wedding was quite appropriately a celebration of our love, yearning, companionship and affinity.

It wasn’t that he stopped loving me , it was just that he didn’t have time or the inclination to stand up for my choices or my freedom when his parents,( who lived with us )vetoed on them.

Stepping out of the house without his parent’s permission or even choosing to pray in my preferred way, were perceived as disrespect and eventually I started to question myself , for,I wasn’t meant to be a prisoner, I wasn’t meant to be a slave!

The endless compromises, the perpetual suppression, the constant choking feeling had started to weigh me down transforming me into an irritable, gloomy, short-tempered woman and then there were frequent arguments with Shekhar, some heated fights.

It has been five years since I last saw Shekhar on those steep, ominous stairs, outside the courtroom and i feel, perhaps, Shekhar’s purpose in my life was to teach me the meaning of yearning – the kind of longing that one feels for azure blue seas and enchanting white sands

Sometimes , I wonder if Shekhar ever laments his loss for not having taken a bold stand or how different our lives would have been with a little more understanding and acceptance from his parents but I have to confess that there’s a certain contentment and peace in flying free, un-caged and unfettered by shackles of subservient hopelessness in a new life where I can be fearlessly ME.

This is my entry  for Six Sentence Stories at Zoe’s uncharted , the cue of the week being “stand”. Thanks to Zoe for hosting the challenge.

Note- This is a condensed version of a story i had written a few months ago. 

It might also help to mention that a joint family structure where parents , sons , daughters-in-law, grandchildren live under the same roof, isn’t a rare arrangement in Indian society.

 

Something special

‘I know, its going to be her first and last ride in my worn-out car ‘Adam muses, stealing a glance at Sarah’s delicate face  and beautiful, glistening locks.

‘I wish it were a charming luxury car . She would hate me ,’ .Negative  thoughts merge and disperse , creating a tangled web of anxiety  in Adam’s mind.

‘Let me try and live in the moment with the girl of my dreams .’

‘Ah! I love that song !,’ they exclaim together , tuning the radio higher .

‘Adam, your car reminds me of my granddad’s car. I loved it.’

‘Really?’ Adam heaves a sigh of relief.

Word count- 99

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. Thanks Rochelle for hosting the challenge.

PHOTO PROMPT © Kent Bonham.

A revelation

‘Anwar…Faiz… slow down , will you ? Its difficult for your old mother to keep pace ‘ .

‘Sorry, mother ,  the boys aged 8 and 10, answer in unison’.

The demands of work and family  had made long walks a rare occurrence for Farzana .

However, she  had promised to show something beautiful to her boys and reveal a precious part of her, hitherto unknown to them .

‘Its on the other side of the stony stairs’, Farzana announces enthusiastically .

They run through the stairs and find an aloof Buddhist temple on descending . The golden sleeping Buddha fills them with calm and the holy chant elevates them.

‘I am a Buddhist by birth . I adopted Christianity in school . And, now I follow Islam because I find the  answers to  many of my spiritual  questions hidden  in the Holy texts of Islam. Remember, religion is just  a medium to know yourself better, a medium of self-expression. Make no more of it ‘, Farzana says  affectionately,  holding their young hands.

They hear the welcome chimes from  the shining Cathedral , situated only a short distance away.

Word count- 175

Written for flash fiction for aspiring writers, based on this week’s photo prompt . Thanks to priceless joy for hosting the challenge.

This week’s photo prompt is provided by J.S. Brand. Thank you J.S. for our photo prompt!