The Magic Of Memory

(Photo Credit: Akshata Ram)

It was exactly as she had laid out the bright red costume and the compact dolls forty-three years ago. The remorseless and unrelenting passage of time had neither been merciful on her constitution nor magnanimous with her fortunes.

This was Valerie’s way of expressing her overwhelming gratitude for the sacrifices her mother had willingly and silently made and the unconditional love she had showered upon her. Working three brutal shifts a day, she had invested every penny earned into Valerie’s future. Just when Valerie had created a niche for herself in a rambunctious world, the cold touch of Alzheimer’s gripped Mum.

Now as Valerie spread the costume and the dolls on the spotless bed in the assisted-care centre, she pressed the buzzer near the bed stand.

Two nurses wheeled her mother in. Valerie’s eyes welled as she saw the one individual whom she loved the most in her life, stare at her with vacant eyes. Slowly making her way towards her, kneeling down and with tears streaming down her eyes Valerie said, “Merry Christmas Mama.”


This story has been written as part of the FLASH FICTION FOR ASPIRING WRITERS – FFfAW Challenge #196, more details about which may be found HERE

For reading similar entries submitted in response to the FFfAW Challenge #196 please click HERE

Thank You Akshata Ram for the photograph!

The Ganesan Interferometer

SPF 10-2-18 Anurag 3

(Photo Credit: Anurag Bakhshi)

The aircraft banked steeply to the left revealing a stunning vista of the tranquil and deep blue sea. On its shores were clustered in a haphazard order, picturesque houses, each one a near perfect replica of its neighbor. From this altitude the collection looked to Ganesan like a carton of pretty matchboxes. As the scenic beauty held him in its thrall, Ganesan was forced to refreshingly reflect on something other than the murky swirl of thoughts that had plagued him since the time he had boarded.

“We need you to board the next available flight and get over to the Research Institute at any cost.” The Director of the International Institute for Quantum Mechanics could hardly conceal the excitement in his voice. “Your findings could have an earth shattering effect.”

Although initially taken in by the euphoria and enthusiasm of the Director, Ganesan was consumed by a very palpable fear of failure. He definitely did not want to be known as a Schrödinger on steroids. But his experiments never lied. The ‘interferometer’ obeyed only logic.

In the next 30 minutes the world would be shocked beyond wits to find out that the Theory of Relativity was now history!

(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 Susan Spaulding. For more details, visit HERE.

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

The truth sucked the life right out of his chest.

She was leaving. Although he expected this to happen sooner rather than later the inescapable fact tore into him like a dagger through his chest. Yes. She was leaving. The truth sucked the life right out of his chest.

She confessed to him that she would be taking with her a treasure trove of beautiful memories too precious to be discarded. But what about the ones that she would leave behind – abandoned, orphaned and isolated? Yes. she was leaving. The truth sucked the life right out of his chest.

There would be no more drinking to the strains of Carlos Santana’s ‘Black Magic Woman’. There would be no more consternation inducing giggles within the confines of a movie hall. There would no longer be heard her peals of laughter competing with the clinking of glasses and tumbling of ice. Yes. she was leaving. The truth sucked the life right out of his chest.

The complaining sounds of the Puegeot as she shifted gears would be a cathartic memory. As would be the curses spontaneously escaping her lips as an over enthusiastic driver tries overtaking her on a congested stretch. Her peals of laughter will be the only treasures left for him to hold onto. The madness, the melee, the methods and the marvelous days would become a fading mist. Yes. she was leaving. The truth sucked the life right out of his chest.

But wait he will. Wait for her to return like a Dante awaiting his Beatrice. Wait for her he will like a barren land eager to taste the plunging deluge of a sweet monsoon. Wait for her he will like a an art waiting to be unearthed by a Van Goh. Wait for her he will like a rough stone crying out to be plucked out of a mine and made malleable into a precious diamond. Wait for her he will in spite of all his pain and tears. Wait for her her will overcoming his deepest and unexpressed fears. Wait for her he will until the end of time. Wait for his ‘ASH’ he will, even if The truth sucked the life right out of his chest.

Written as part of the December Writing Prompts organised by


(Copyright Sue Vincent)

The tranquility was, for Venky, an exquisitely created deception. The serenity was an elaborate façade that drew within itself many a master conspirator owing allegiance to Mother Nature. The still water itself was the main orchestrator of the intrigue, drawing attention of the unsuspecting. The radiant Sun then stepped in casting its resplendent rays of light upon the vast expanse of water making it glitter, shimmer and be bathed in a translucent orange. The majestic mountain was a solemn sentinel in Grey guarding and brooding over the vast expanse of liquid. The gnarled tree with its twisted branches being reflected in the water crowned off this fascinating trickery.

This place was Venky’ refuge. A shrine whose benedictions he sought both in times of triumph and tribulation. A leveler that warned him not only to not get carried away by success, but also to treat failure as a handmaiden of determination. The whole setting in fact reminded Venky of one of the most enduring and confounding physical experiments of all time – The Double Slit Experiment. This experiment It demonstrated, with unrivaled strangeness, that little particles of matter have something of a wave about them, and suggested that the very act of observing a particle has a dramatic effect on its behaviour. In the experiment, the very act of looking somehow seemed to make sure that the electrons traveled like well-behaved little tennis balls. It’s as if they knew they were being spied on and decided not to be caught in the act of performing weird quantum shenanigans. It was the same with Mother Nature. When you happened to intently concentrate on the river, everything seemed to be immaculately pristine. The unmoving mass of water was impeccably well behaved with nary an element of dissatisfaction. But beneath this mass of stillness was a roiling cauldron of activity, anger and altercation.

This conflict also reminded Venky of Ash. Ash, who at the current phase of his life was even more complicated than a mischievous electron. Charming yet stubborn, beautiful yet beguiling, accommodating yet frustrating, she was the one imponderable question for which he had no answer. Similar to the unruly electrons, his observation of her seemed to induce dramatic patterns of behavior. Patterns that both induced hope and exacted despair in equal measure. This continuum of alternating emotions had Venky in a bind. Days were spent rejoicing while nights were reserved for strange reflections. A dazzling smile followed by a spell of deathly silence, a warm hug succeeded by a strange bout of disappearance, cheery dispositions inexplicably and suddenly masked by a stony attitude all combined to contrive a heady concoction of extreme irony.

Venky was looking out for answers. He also knew that they could only be provided by the greatest conjurers of them all – Mother Nature. And it was to her bosom that he retreated in his quest for peace.

This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt – Beneath curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.


farm stuff CCC5

(Photo Credit: Crispina Kemp)

The two squat and mammoth pair of compact pipes looked to a layman like synchronized perpetrators in crime. In the factory of the future they were the disposers and the cleansers. The past would be smoked out through their monstrous nozzles while the present worked furiously to keep preserved, the future. Since the two inanimate ‘wall soldiers’ were exhausting themselves by venting out the unwanted, their creators named them “The Vexhausts”.

Then a combination of 3D Printing gone awry and Deep Learning gone wrong redrafted History. A history from which all traces of the evolution, exploits and eccentricities of a species termed “Homo Sapien” were completely obliterated.

Egotistically acquired foolishness was trumped by monstrously created Artificial Intelligence.  Lab geniuses were now lab rats and Trans-humanists a mere transit between experiment and evisceration.

Meanwhile, the two loyal Vexhausts stood as mute witnesses to what was the greatest Hubris of them all.

(Word Count: 150)

Written as part of the Crimson’s Creative Challenge #4 More details regarding this challenge may be found HERE.

Shaun’s Head Banging

(Photo Credit: Douglas M. MacIlroy)

“Shell out $150 for a memorably dizzying experience that you will never forget!” proclaimed the on line brochure. Upon remittance, the subscriber would get instant access to a DIY video which would assist in the the creation of a monster Globe by employing a few basic materials. A fervent sense of excitement overtook Shaun as using a mix of steel Grey paint, Papier-Mache and glue, he followed all the steps suggested by the video. Just when the globe was taking shape, a voice said, “For a dizzying experience bang your head against the ball!”

Shaun had been duped – yet again!

(Word Count: 100)

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

 For the complete list of entries, please click HERE

The credit for the breathtaking photograph goes to Douglas M.MacIlroy

A Mirror Image of who he once was

“Hopes that soar too high have their wings clipped” was Ash’s warning to him

 But set was his sights upon an island of faith towards whose shores his heart                       began to swim;

“Blame me not for the darkness, for I have tried to show you the light”

The fantasy and foolishness of love had him in its grip as to the finish he was ready to fight

Now a man undone, a wreck unraveled and a visage of chaos that has come to pass

Alas, what would Venky give up to be even a Mirror Image of Who He Once Was


Fools indeed do rush in where even angels fear to tread

Here he was plunging headlong into the abyss to her undisguised dread;

“It is not me but yourself that you are depriving of a choice”, she had begun to plead in vain

When has a heart that has lost itself to the lures of passion ever felt the pain?

Now moulded by anxiety and made malleable by agony, lost it all he has

Will Venky ever be even a Mirror Image of Who He Once Was


Every footprint of time has a story to tell

Some of which induce a chill down the spine whereas some cause tears to swell;

“The arrow of time once released knows neither guilt not passion” was her prophesy

Ignoring at his own peril her words of wisdom, he now finds no mercy

Fated to fall and probably never to rise again, facing a destiny callous and crass

Venky will never again be even a Mirror Image of Who He Once Was


Written as part of the December Writing Prompts organised by