I hugged my little girl tight and fought the urge to scream. It had become a mid-night routine. I dreaded going to bed. The vision of the wrinkled man seated on the wooden bench in the park, revealing his blood-soaked tongue, chased me throughout the day. I would make mistakes in cataloging the books and put my car keys in the refrigerator. Stuck, I bared my mind to my mom. She gave me a convincing reassurance, advised me to meditate and break the long spell of social slumber. I obliged. Faisal was beautiful. Only my mother’s disapproving glances owing to our religious differences, worried me. On our second day, we went for a drive. The park looked familiar, the winter barrenness lending it an air of intimidating darkness. To my horror, I saw the wrinkled man appear on the rugged wooden bench, his blood-soaked tongue glaring. I turned back, Faisal was nowhere to be seen. I ran as fast as i could. The only sound i could hear was that of rapid footsteps following me.
Shuffling between a demanding job, evening classes, household chores and a million tasks over the weekends, something had escaped me for three long weeks, until her aching voice wove a serpentine web of guilt.
She had steadied my hands at the steering wheel, never re-married despite all the rumors on her heart, always gestured ‘you can’ and ‘after you’.
With the residual gratitude in me, I rushed. To her.
Grasses stood tall in her once impeccable lawn, the cobwebs hung like showpieces from the ceiling.
Beside her withered pots, she sat smiling giving me yet another chance to err.
Word count – 99
Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by the talented author and artist Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Thank you, Rochelle.
Mesmerized by clouds floating on the mountain, she paused. She closed her eyes to inhale the holy air and soaked in its peace. The dream flashed again. His eyes were calm and affectionate, as ever. Wiping her tears, she walked on. Smiling little monks greeted her at the monastery’s entrance. The Buddha and the holy chants transported her to another universe. She took a deep breath, spun the prayer wheel and waited for the dream to transpire. As the holy prayer wheel came to rest, like clouds floating on mountains, he appeared. She wished for the moment to never fade.
Word Count- 100
Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by the talented author and artist Rochelle Wisoff-Fields . Many thanks, dear Rochelle.