After Twenty Years

 

Savio savoured the dessert, his mouth watering for more. He hesitated. A uniformed man walked around; his head held high. At any point, Savio feared his food would be snatched away and he would be ordered back to his cell. Hurriedly, he devoured the second cup of ice-cream, an unexpected treat. It was his favourite, though he did not remember the name of the flavour. Somebody cleared their voice, ‘’Sir, would you like anything else?’’ 

Savio looked at the smiling face and shook his head. He leaned back, relaxed. He need not fear uniformed men anymore; he was free. 

This was written for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction. The previous week’s challenge was to write a 99-word story on what freedom feels like. Read the rest of the entries here.

Don’t Turn Back

Flight Attendant Siam Mendes steadied his hands on the control. It had been 6 hours since they lost contact with the Air Traffic Control. Their pilot was dead and the co-pilot was being restrained by a group of stewards. Amidst screams and swears from the co-pilot, Siam tried to concentrate, recalling the basic training he had as a recreational pilot. A slick aircraft flew to his right side. An angry face from the cockpit peeked out and a hand brandished something. Soon another lightweight flew to his left. 

Then the radio beeped soothingly, ‘’Mr. Mendes, can you hear me?’’ 

This story {99 words) was written for Charli’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. Do click here to read the other stories in the topic, Danger Zone.

The Scent of my Town

The buildings are tall, stacked like Dahlia pink

with traces of delicate red and white.

The aroma in each house has a link,

permeating the lonely scent of the night.


I name a cicada and a cricket

that saunter the palm tree’s pale green branches,

croon a peppy tune in the night’s blanket

and spread leafy scent on empty benches.


The southern wind carries the paint of church

with the fragrance of the temple’s sandalwood,

moving past the sycamore, pine, and birch,

breaking the secretive night’s dark-green hood.


Now the scent is replaced with toxic fume

and the new name is ‘industrial boom’.

Aftermath

His soul wakes every Memorial Day and wanders across various tombstones, confused with the crowds and flowers. Perhaps he is trying to find the girl in the green dress he never proposed to, his mother who had prayed for 10 years to have him or the enemy who had asked for water. Or does he look for a meaning to his short life or wonder about people who live beyond 22? Whatever it is, don’t go there. Let his soul rest. Light a candle for him in your heart and revere the freedom he and his likes gave you.

The short story above has been written for Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. This week’s challenge is to write a story behind a memorial.

Being Together – DOUBLE ENNEAD

The quilt of earth shields an
unborn silver plant.
The soil rejoices as it imagines
unified leaves topped
with a purple crown.

This was written for Colleen’s Double Ennead Challenge No. 7. This week’s challenge is to use the poetry Oracle to create a Double Ennead.

Saddle Up Saloon: Thrush Travels

The poem below was written for Colleen’s double ennead challenge No. 6. The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS! During this month, poets were challenged to use the image below to compose their poetry (ekphrastic poetry).

Lone thrush flies with the breeze,

floats in the wind’s song,

wavers and shivers at the sound of thunder,

calms at the sky’s blue folds

and their white patches.


Lone thrush flies with the breeze,

looks for life in hills,

stills at the urgent cries of pouncing eagles,

rubs wings with a goldfinch,

croons with small songbirds.


Lone thrush flies with the breeze,

stares at earth’s colors

flies to join golden finch in the red maple,

cuts into samara

finds home in lush warmth.

The Butterfly’s Journey


The poem below has been written for Carrot Ranch Double Ennead Monthly Poetry Challenge No. 5, conducted by Colleen. This challenge starts with the double ennead of 99 syllables reduced to 48 syllables to 24 syllables to finally, a haiku (12 syllable poem).

Double ennead (6/5/11/6/5)

The pale green butterfly

seeks a pale green leaf

wanting to spread his body on his shelter

fluttering his wings and

breathing the leaf’s scent.


Breathing in a way that

only the leaf hears.

His tiny chest heaves and falls to the music

of the dark, roaring sea

and his eyes quiver.


The butterfly travels

alone to his land

of hazy dreams where he drinks from pale flowers

that has a shade of green,

the leaf unaware.


48 syllable poem (3 stanzas 4-7-5)


Pale butterfly

spreads his body on the leaf

breathing in her scent


His chest rises

to the music of the sea

as his eyes quiver


Butterfly soars

in dreams and drinks from flowers

the leaf unaware


24 syllable poem (1 stanza 6-6-6)


Pale butterfly finds home

in leaf only to chase

his unfulfilled yearning


Haiku (12 syllable)


flailing summer

he leaves life

finds home in mirage

Living Forever – Flash Fiction Challenge

Cherie looked at the old photo of college students, decorating her wall. He was the one on the corner. He had refused what she had asked and was now a flower vase in her showcase. Each vase symbolized the mood, color and character of the person, thus keeping them alive forever. Her collection had kept growing and she intended to add more.

“Cherie, did you dust the mantelpiece?” her madam called out.

“I will do it right away, madam,” replied Cherie, rushing over to the living room.

Madam had her collection of bouquets too. The ones that never withered.

This week’s flash fiction challenge is to write a story about “the old photograph.” What is captivating about it? Where did it come from? How does it incite a story? Thank you, Charli, for the opportunity.

Being ‘Normal’

My body shivers as I get off the train to look at the strange spectacle of human faces from the corner of my eyes. Unmasked and fearful of making eye contact, some people seem to rush down the streets while others keep close to the walls, their heads down. Assailed by sunlight, I walk in circles, wondering if I should cross the street to my office. I breathe with relief as I notice the essentials of life outside my office. Masked and relaxed, my eyes crinkle into a smile at my teammate as I walk confidently to my seat.

This was written for Charli’s Flash Fiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch. This week’s challenge is to write a story about a new way to office. Has the office changed? Can we return to normal after big changes or time away? Go where the prompt leads!