Anis and the Sig Sauer P210

(Photo courtesy of DB McNicol via Pixabay )

The crow was no more different than any crow could or would have been, when in a state of tiredness. It’s cawing, though, was a bit out of both sync and strength. The sound emanating from within the beaks resembled a string tension produced by a bad violin.

The wretched bird had chosen to position itself in the most hazardous part of the road – right in the middle of a four lane freeway where vehicles were whizzing past in a whirring and screeching frenzy. Anis, vaulted over the railing separating the highway from the meadows and sprinted across towards the weak bird.

The crow made no attempt to move away at the sight of the approaching Anis. Stooping down, he tenderly picked up the bird and moved away towards a deserted shack. Anis however felt a subtle change in the contours of the bird. The body seemed to be hardening. A chill ran down his spine as the crow looked him in the eye and seemed to smile maliciously. As he desperately tried to ‘drop’ the crow down, it metamorphosed into a sleek Sig Sauer P210 firearm and with its muzzle pointing right under Anis’ chin, it went ‘BOOM!’

(Word Count: 200)

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Donna McNicol . For more details visit HERE

To read more of the stories based on this week’s prompt, click HERE

Balm & Benevolence

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it goes the popular refrain

A proven technique to ameliorate wanton grief and pain

But matters of the heart don’t correspond to this universal norm

There exists neither balm nor benevolence to tinker with or lend some calm


A tablet for sleeping; to bring one to the here and now

Alas! No medicine has yet been invented – and never will – to deal with the woes of love.

(Word Count: 75)

Courtesy of Sammi Cox Weekend Writing Prompt#119





Led Zeppelin “UNSOLICITED”

(PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields)

The policeman had an irritatingly uninterested air about him.“Led Zeppelin again? What number was it this time?” Venky realised it was a futile attempt to convince the skeptical cop about his singularly unusual ‘predicament.’

Night after night, Venky had woken up to a cacophony of rock music thundering from the front of his garage. A makeshift stage miraculously appeared, along with a pair of Matterhorn speakers. It was always Led Zeppelin and only he could hear them.

After one song, normalcy resumed as stage & speakers disappeared as mysteriously as they had appeared. Last night it was “The Immigrant Song.”

(Word Count: 100)

This story was written as part of the FRIDAY FICTIONEERS challenge, more about which may be found HERE

For more stories based on the above prompt, click HERE 

The Rustling

(Photo Credit: Crispina Kemp)

The heft of the exquisitely crafted Winchester’ 94 did not seem all that well balanced now. Designed by John Browning and built by Winchester, first in 1894, the 94 was the go-to rifle for every cowboy, ranger and buccaneer. Max knew all these facts. But at this very minute, they had the same relevance to him, what string theory had to a raccoon. The deer which had bounded up the steps in one graceful leap had vanished, nay, evaporated into thin air. And this was not a metaphorical imagination.

A perpetual rustling of leaves triggered by a soft breeze now transformed into a devilish growl. As rivulets of sweat streamed down his face, Max swung the barrel of his rifle in a panicky arc searching for an invisible intruder.  A sudden giddiness overpowered him as he felt the forest closing in on him like a portal being closed.


(Word Count: 149)

Written as part of the Crimson’s Creative Challenge #40 More details regarding this challenge may be found HERE.

Life Extension Design – Tassilo Weber

Image result for life extension tassilo weber

Combining the known and the radical – with a checklist thrown in between – Tassilo Weber’s “Life Extension Design” is a curious if not intriguing read. Hopping onto the bandwagon that conveys the lure of longevity, Mr. Weber proposes a set of measures that alternate between the logical and the skeptical for leading a life in longevity, if not in perpetuity.

“Clean up your social media channels and start following Peter Diamandis (also subscribe to his Abundance Insider), Ray Kurzweil, Aubrey de Grey, Singularity University, and Futurism. Join Facebook groups around the topics of longevity and life extension. Subscribe to Maximum Life Foundation’s newsletter on Make your life extension Wikipedia. Inform yourself about rejuvenation therapy providers on Join meetups with life extension communities in your city if they exist. If not, consider traveling to other places to meet with such communities. Meeting like-minded people is a priceless experience. Also check out the RAAD (Revolution Against Aging and Death) Festival in San Diego. It’s the most important life extension event right now.”

Even though the aforementioned paragraph appears at the fag end of the book, they more or less set the theme for the reader. A visible pattern emerges as Mr. Weber enthusiastically feeds off the effervescence (some would argue far-fetched) of the 71-year old American inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil. Whether it be citing the fact that Mr. Kurzweil consumes an astounding seventy-seven supplements per day (yes you read that right) or deifying him as being one of the pioneers in the quest for extending lifespans, Mr. Weber leaves no room for guess work as to hi predilections and inclinations.

The appeal and novelty of Mr. Weber’s book lies in the sequential steps which he charts out for enabling the reader to lead a healthy, stress-free and contended life. These steps would pave the way for the ultimate extension of life when the concept ultimately fructifies. Based on the concept of Design Thinking, these steps are:

  • Capture: “Start where you are by interviewing yourself about the basic life extension areas”
  • Jump start: “Get some inspiration for your first steps of self-improvement”
  • Plan: “Learn to use the first design tool to navigate yourself towards health optimization”
  • Experiment: “Internalize an experimental approach to life and learn to use the according tool”
  • Orchestrate: “Get to know the advanced areas of life extension and manage them with the

orchestra frame”; and

  • Master: “Program yourself for long-term success and constant self-iteration.”

Three key elements in each of the aforementioned phases according to Mr. Weber are Open, Experiment and Working. “Open means that you haven’t started to tackle it yet. Experiment means that you filled out a Self-Improvement and an Experiment Frame and are in the process of experimentation, while there is still an existential gap between present you and future you. Working means that this gap is more or less closed, and for now you’ve found a set of habits that makes you the life extender you want to be in that area.”

Found within each of these phases is a set of to-do things that holistically go towards improving both the physical and the mental well-being of the reader. While usual suspects such as Yoga, Meditation, exercise and dietary regimen make the obvious cut, more unconventional are some of the “Kurzweilian” proposals. For e.g. “For advanced prevention, or rather an emergency back-up in case you don’t make it till the point when rejuvenation technologies are available, you can make a cryonic preservation contract with Alcor or Cryonics Institute. To cover the costs, you have to take out a life policy and pay an additional yearly membership fee to your supplier of choice. It is a somewhat laborious back-and-forth process to set up a contract and make all the arrangements to ensure your head will be frozen right in time after your heart stands still, but it’s absolutely doable, even if you live outside the United States where both suppliers reside.”

To the credit of Mr. Weber, the more sweeping and non-traditional measures are not suggested as either sacrosanct or uncompromising. He along with the more widely followed approaches, refers to these as ones that are available.

On the whole “Life Extension Design” is a book that has elements of surprise as well as sense.


Time’s Up!

Jagged bolts of lightning slamming forcefully into the ground

Rolling thunder hidden within overcast skies producing hideous sound

Sheets of rain cascading down in a burst of unrelenting fury

Lashing down impartially upon every building, automobile, and tree.


Standing by a huge window, within the confines of a concrete tower

Venky stared intently awestruck by Mother Nature’s raw power

Singing an elegiac song with accompanying strums of melancholy

Rendering him rooted to the spot even though he wanted to desperately flee.


Memories came flooding in as his eyes unwittingly welled up

Heartbreak could wait as he heard his boss shout, “times up!”

(Word Count: 102)

Courtesy of Sammi Cox Weekend Writing Prompt#118

Joanne’s Mutant

(Photo from Morguefile )

“Irish debauchery..22.10..PM..Active..Take down..No prisoners..shoot to kill…shoot to kill..Over”  The voice was precise, unambiguous and assertive.“Copy, Copy, Over”  hissed the compliant reciprocal voice over the scrambled high technology private line.  Joanne jotted down the specifics in her notepad. The paper would be burnt later. Now there was nothing much to do except finish the insipid ice lemon tea.

Joanne was the chief of the Malaysia Mutant Tracking & Preservation Bureau”(“MMTPB”).  A no-nonsense mother of two with degrees in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Quantum Physics, Joanne was the foremost expert on the nuances and intricacies involving the existence and functioning of mutants. She was also responsible for protecting the docile mutant breed from mercenaries hunting them down to serve ulterior motives.

In a crowded mall in a Tony precinct called Solaris in the heart of bustling Kuala Lumpur, a mutant gifted with the skills of Extra Sensory Perception was being hunted down by a militant outfit. Sipping on a pint of Stella Artois in an Irish pub, the mutant was calm personified. Suddenly all hell broke loose! Staccato burst of gun shots riled the bar as glassed and bottles shattered to accompanying screams of hysteria and panic. Joanne waited….

(Word Count: 198)

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Donna McNicol . For more details visit HERE

To read more of the stories based on this week’s prompt, click HERE