Minutes later, I wake up in my bed,
startled, gasping for air.
I open the window and let in some fresh air.
Something strange is filling up my lungs.
I can’t breathe.
Is the house too smoky?
Ahh! Maybe the cake’s made, I reminisce.
I walk over and open the oven door.
The cake, as I see, is half baked.
Eight minutes and forty-six seconds more before the timer goes off.
Time enough for a smoke!
I step onto the porch.
And dig into my pocket looking for the cigarettes,
I had only just bought.
I find one and light.
My lungs can take the smoke no more. …
“Once the supply chain’s broken, they will be damned!” He radioed, “over.”
“Private, can’t authorize you to go kamikaze, to down the bridge!” commanded the Sergeant, “over.”
“Fuck authorization,” he roared angrily, “over and out.”
Here, under the victorious fluttering flag rests a young private who dared to defy orders.
Monday | 9:00 PM
Today Miss Fernandez asked Ananya and me to get Suresh uncle and Appa to school tomorrow for a parent teacher meeting. I don’t know why!
I don’t remember doing anything wrong. I reached school, and as always, sat next to Ananya. In the recess, I ate her sandwich, and she had my dosa. Ananya and I exchanged boxes because I don’t like dosa. You know, I have told Amma not to pack dosa, but she never listens to me. Today I cried only once, in the Math period. But it was not my fault. Shah teacher scolded Ananya as she had not finished her homework. Ananya started crying, and on seeing her cry, I also started crying. …
“Tonight?” she inquired.
“Yes,” I said, dangling the key in front of her face.
“I am scared,” she confessed.
“Don’t be.” I asserted. “We’ll creep in and out of there in no time. Once out, we go our separate paths. You get back what’s rightfully yours and me, Sweet Revenge!”
“Word selection: key, path, creep. Remember, in order for your work to make it into Friday’s lineup, you must use all selected words in your story. Thank you, and good luck!” — Justin Deming
In response to the prompt theme: March Madness by Justin Deming —
If you are interested in 500 words and not 50:
March 16, winter was receding, and the arid Ahmadabad summer was yet to set in. This ‘on the cusp’ season would usually result in pleasant mornings. At 5 minutes to eight, a good two hours before the school bus would pick him, he was all dressed up and ready.
“Maa, I have a math test and need to memorize tables.” he cried out the rehearsed lie and rushed to the terrace of his three-story apartment. The plan was simple; keep an eye on the gate and wait for the white ambassador car that gets baba back from his office trips.
He had been waiting for today morning since the time he had overheard his aunt tell his neighbors, “Eeshwar was not supposed to come back like this. …
Searing through my soul
her gaze, seeking empathy
whispers, “I’m hungry.”
Another Haiku on similar lines, you might like:
A longer piece on the need to do away with the xenophobia and exhibit compassion.
Here, even darkness
is but an old acquaintance.
Here is where home is.
Inspired by the Simon & Garfunkel classic, “The Sound of Silence.”
Another Simon & Garfunkel inspired Haiku:
Battle lines drawn, an eerie calm, ‘It’ lingers.
Breadth short, eyes moist, souls depart.
Fractured reflections, decayed bodies fumigated,
floor to ceiling. All that remains is smoke and mirrors.
Families on a slow burn, deplete. A kill ‘It’ kills.
A mortal race on knees, grudgingly kneels.
In times so testing, lest we forget,
bent we have, fallen we are, but break we’ll not.
A plague feeding off our fears, ‘It’ spreads.
We seal borders. ‘Quarantine’ I from us. We close,
when open we must. Empathize we must. Resist we must.
We pray. We hope. Only when we unleash the human spirit . . .