soniaraowrites

about writing and other such passionate matters

Archive for the category “short story”

THE BETRAYAL

It was a game between them. The sun would win if he was able to make Ambika drop her veil – her dupatta – from her head. And he would have won too (who can overcome the intensity of those fire-tipped rays that passionately caress the earth?) only if Ambika did not have centuries of tradition . . .

(Here is my entry to ‘LitLive My Story’ Contest.  Please traipse over to:

https://apps.facebook.com/promotionshq/contests/294213/voteable_entries/59756992 to read the complete story. You can, if you want,  Like / Vote for this entry 🙂

And if you drop a comment that will be the icing on the cake. 🙂

Thanks in advance for reading. And you might need to be logged into Facebook to show your ‘like’ for this story).

THE STRANGE REUNION – A short story

I was glad for the sunlight after days of dull insipid weather. There was another reason to rejoice. Today was the 10year reunion of the 1990 batch of NMS University and my friends and I were looking forward to it as a thirsty man looks for water in the desert.

We had been deprived of juvenile fun for too long, ever since we had taken up jobs immediately after leaving college. In fact, this reunion had taken on the mantle of a succour in desperate times.

We did give a cursory thought to our professors but, not having been prize-winners in any sphere of college life, they had never been an important part of our universe.

All of us, Sheena, Riya, Tania, Suchita and I, had put ourselves through gruelling hours at the gym at the mercy of remorseless personal trainers to get a body to die for. Okay, not really to die for. But at least a body one would not die of shame of, even after two kids and an exhausting lifestyle.

Booted and suited, looking like the successful executives we were, we reached the venue. It was empty. Did we get the date wrong? That would have been possible if Tania had been in charge of the details, she was absent-minded even after so many years.

All the logistics had been tracked by Sheena, the brainy one, the nit-picking, missing-the- wood -for -the -trees Virgo. We all turned, eyes accusing, towards Sheena. Even the perfectionist could meet her match.

The date was right and so was the time.  So, where was everybody? We looked around for a clue to this strange turn of events. The farmhouse where the party was scheduled had a deserted look. No lights in the large French windows and no sign of any life.

But wait, a thin, droopy figure moved furtively among the trees that lined the walkway. It moved towards us and suddenly a matted-haired, long-nailed old hag dressed in a long patchwork skirt and a peasant blouse stood before us.

“Glad you could make it.”

The leery cackle sent a shiver down our spine. Beads of nervous perspiration lined our foreheads as we debated whether to make a run for it with our heels or without them. Just then she grabbed Suchita by the arm. Startled, Suchita, the meekest of us, screamed loudly, as she tried in vain to loosen the old hag’s grip.

“We shall have lots of fun. The cauldron’s bubbling and I am hungry”.

Visions of being boiled alive in large cauldrons flashed through our minds. But this was the 21st century and witches no longer existed, atleast not the ones that ate people. But did this witch know it? Shaking in our boots but taking strength in our numbers we pleaded with her to let us go. We would get some tasty MacDonald’s burgers for her instead, we promised her.

As I tried to prise away her fingers from the screaming Suchita’s hand, I applied more pressure than I intended. Propelled by this sudden motion the hag rocked backwards and almost lost her balance. I put out my hand to steady her and was left holding a bunch of hair.

“Was she so old that she has just disintegrated leaving behind only her hair?” this thought crossed my mind as I stared open-mouthed.

This was no witch. This was Mrs. Sita Banerjee, the most popular professor of our time. She was the only Economics teacher who could boast of full attendance in her class.

Why was she dressed so? Had hard times fallen on her? Had she taken up witch craft? Too many questions, that needed answers.

Mrs. Banerjee laughed merrily, (the leery cackle thankfully no longer to be heard) as she told us of the plan by the professors to fool us. The others were partying in a tent behind the farmhouse and we were greeted with shouts of glee as we reached there.

And the cauldron? Yes, it was there but fortunately it was full of just punch.

Our hands were still shaking as we complimented Mrs. Banerjee on her realistic acting even as she prepared herself to welcome the next lot of guests.

 

ICE WATER IN HER VEINS – A very short story

“Aaarg …”

The prince, clutching his throat, uttered animal-like sounds of pain.

With a sudden movement of his head, the prince looked at her. In the light of the full-moon, his bloodshot eyes could not take away Cathy’s attention from the red welt on his neck just below his right ear. His teeth, in the dim light of the evening lamps, glimmered like fangs.

“Your Highness, what’s the matter?” she asked, even though her sinking heart already knew the answer.

Red-hot blood ran in her gypsy veins. She had a reputation for curing diseases which doctors had not even heard of.

The minister, who, earlier in the day, had waited patiently till she delivered a difficult baby, told her she was the last hope for the prince who suffered a strange skin allergy, an ailment that neither doctors nor witch doctors could cure.

Making the sign of the cross she tried to talk to the prince but she knew it was a futile exercise because the signs were evident. And that she, too, was doomed.

She woke up next morning with a searing pain on the right side of her neck.  Blood like ice water flowed in her veins.  And she, too, would have to outsource her blood supply. 

THE TURKEY AND THE ANT

(A modern-day story, this time. As usual comments are most welcome :))

Once upon a time, in a barn, lived Mrs. Turkey, now known as Mama Turkey with a brood of the cutest turkey babies you ever saw.

And like all new mothers (this was an Indian Turkey), Mama Turkey did not get any rest, what with all the looking-after of the babies, the feeding and the cleaning, especially the cleaning.

Soon, as all kids do, these babies were able to stand up on their own feet.

“Ah! Finally! Freedom… from the babies, for a few hours.”

Mama Turkey was ecstatic as she envisioned a few hours of solitary pampering at the Bird Beauty Salon.

There was a small hitch.

Who would take care of her babies in her absence? Father Turkey was nowhere to be seen, ever since the birth of the kids.

“That Mr.Turkey, the wastrel, the no-good fellow.”

Mama Turkey cursed her absent husband, sighing, as her mother’s  strangely prophetic words rang in her ears, “Keep away from Mr.Turkey, he is bad news, a good-for-nothing. He will never keep you happy.”

The day that had dawned was bright and sunny. Criminal to waste this beautiful day.

Without further ado, Mama Turkey dressed up the kids, donned her sneakers and guided them out of the house in a single file, anticipation of an adventurous day writ large on all the faces.

So much walking couldn’t help but work up a massive appetite. Mama Turkey pointed out the anthill to the kids and as they explored their way into a new form of food, she drooled in salivary lust as she almost tasted those bitter-nutty black ants thronging within the hill.

“Children, eat your fill and some more. This is a delicacy, as rare as they come. God knows when you will next get a chance to eat here.”

Mama Turkey joined the kids in their gourmet adventure.

The meal eaten with gusto and relish left the anthill an empty shell, the industry within it now residing in the tiny quivering bellies of the Turkey babies.

“What a most enjoyable meal. What pleasure! Our life would have been the best life of all if only Man did not enjoy eating us so much. But come Christmas and Thanksgiving, their celebration is not complete if they don’t have us on their plates. They stuff us and carve us and then eat us with oysters and spicy gravy.”

Mama Turkey’s lament continued, “We are cursed. Man, be it a poor man or a lord, none will ever say no to a meal of Turkey. O Woe! Woe betide me. Man is such a glutton. No thought is spared for us poor turkeys.”

Mother Turkey didn’t stop her raving and ranting, eating and raving, eating and ranting.

An ant, who had escaped the unexpected massacre of her family, managed to climb up a tree, beyond the reach of the turkey.

She could only shake her head in disbelief when she heard Mama Turkey’s words.

“Did you enjoy your breakfast, Mama Turkey?” The sad little orphan ant couldn’t resist the barb.

For the first time ever, Mama Turkey was struck speechless.

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