The Orwellian Obsession

(Photo Credit: Valerie J. Barrett)

Venky read somewhere that the inspiration behind the dystopian epic, “1984” came to George Orwell only after the brilliant author had cloistered himself away from the scrutinising gaze of the world by renting a sparse cabin situated on an isolated stretch of  land.

Venky, desirous of emulating his literary idol, retreated into the refuge provided by the scenic hill station that was Cameron Highlands. A four hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, Cameron offered the perfect setting as well as solace.

With a kettle for company, & a clothes iron to ‘iron’ out the creases, he began writing “The Ash Chronicles”.

(Word Count: 99)

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 Irish Premonition


(Image Credit: Crispina Kemp)

“One of these days I will book a berth in a boat such as this to a faraway land ” said Ash pointing to the moored or marooned (depending upon the mood of its owner and the predilections of its captain) boat in white.

Even though Venky had heard this monologue a billion times, on this sharp and crisp midsummer morning, a nasty chill ran down his spine. Cold sweat broke out on his forehead and very soon rivulets of them streamed down his face. “You are a walking rain!” exclaimed Ash in sincere wonderment.

“Enough!” hissed Venky in a voice that was singularly venomous and one which even he did not know he possessed. Startled by this incredulous reaction, Ash retreated into a silence that was both stony and deafening.

Exactly six months later Ash was on her way to Dublin. She didn’t sail though. She flew.

(Word Count: 148)

Written as part of the Crimson’s Creative Challenge #31 More details regarding this challenge may be found HERE.

An Un’BEAR’able Experience

(Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding)

People do not attempt glamping in an area where a bear is running loose. Rather, bears do not, or are not supposed to run around gleefully like happiness on steroids where glampers have set up their tents.

By nature, averse to adventure, Venky preferred to spend time with his nose buried in a Raymond Carver rather than raft across an expanse of turbulent white waters. Hence, when he proudly unfurled a green tent and whipped out the round tickets for the bus his friends were gob-smacked.

It was going well until the god-damned sun bear arrived. At 65 kgs, this was one of the smallest species of them all. But bite matters more than size. The searing pain when the bloody bear plunged its teeth into the ample posterior of Venky as he was stooping to zip the tent, made him scream so loud that the nasty bear jumped up with fright. Both man and bear stood screaming and shrieking for a few seconds.

By the time help arrived, what was once a Blue Jeans lay on the ground torn to bits with Venky hanging perilously from a branch and trying to ward off the bear with a long stick.

(Word Count – 199)

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, click HERE

Prototype of a Wall

Spending time staring at prototypes for an intrusive wall

When not imposing sanctions and specializing in name call;

Employing social media with the maturity of a three-year-old

Surrounded by a coterie incapable of telling or being told.

“Don’t send anything into my country” he indignantly yells

“I will decide what needs to be made and what sells”

It is only a matter of time before the world wakes up to this evil

Realizing the despot being kicked out will be the one great idyll

(Word Count: 84)

Courtesy of Sammi Cox Weekend Writing Prompt#109

The Ash Method

(Photo Credit: Ceayr)

The most conspicuous thing about the house was the plants. Lining the red painted steps leading towards the door, neatly clustered on the extended ledge and even delicately perched on the railings of the balcony, the pots in which the greenery was housed made for a pretty and aesthetic sight. She called them her children. Devils Ivies, Dracaenas, Moth Orchids and Anthuriums, pre-christened children who arrived on her doorstep. Assiduously watering them, she even spent a few minutes crooning pleasantries in front of them.

Venky once asked her, “What’s with your love for plants?”

“Pure and unconditional reciprocation”, replied Ash.

(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 

Double Irish Dutch Sandwich & Tax Havens


(Photo Credit: kyryll ushakov on Unsplash )

The Moody Blues were crooning “Nights in White Satins”. Perched on a bar stool I nursed my third glass of Monkey Shoulder Whiskey resting my elbows on the gleaming and translucent bar counter polished to a spit and bereft of even a speck of grime.  The friendly bar tender went about his chore with a meticulousness that bordered on the obsessive. “Wednesday nights are usually docile”, he educated me. “We hardly get a handful of thirsty crows.”

Two such “crows” languidly lounged on a comfortable settee just to the left of the bar. Dressed in Desmond Merrion Supreme Bespoke suits, they had loosened their neckties and were sipping from what appeared to be identical glasses of Carthusian Sazeracs. Making no attempt to mellow their decibel levels, they looked determined to holler over Justin David Hayward and his band.

“I prefer the Double Irish Dutch Sandwich”, asserted Mr. Tall. “This is how Apple, Google and Starbucks carted away profits to their tax havens.” The brows of Mr. Short furrowed and he responded, “Ireland is no longer a safe bet. I prefer the Singapore Sling route. This is exactly how my Group avoided $3.4 billion in taxes over the past 4 years.”

The door to the bar flung open and six men in suits strode towards the settee and grasping the shorter man by his shoulders lifted him off his seat and handcuffed him. Mr. Tall calmly said, “Mr. Steve Bozo, you are hereby arrested for blatant tax evasion and corrupt practices.”

(Word Count: 250)

#TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya


Leveling for a Laboratory

Atilla the tractor 1

(Photo Credit: Crispina Kemp)

The excavator resembled a frowning caricature in red. But it was neither an Optimus Prime frolicking on fat wheels nor an improvised Avenger enjoying his moment in the Sun. The shredding of the copious proliferation of dense grass and ‘reclaiming’ the green acreage was the culmination of an exercise in perseverance, heroics and patience on the part of one determined and unrelenting environmentalist.

Siew Kuan had risked the intransigence of bureaucrats, insidiousness of deadly gangsters, the indifference of politicians and the insouciance of society itself in trying to securing this stretch of land that had deviously changed hands from the newly incorporated Institute for Ecological Preservation to a real estate magnate who unashamedly used money and muscle power.

Threats, notices, and corrupt offers later, the Courts had finally ruled in her favour. Now the observatory could be installed, the instruments procured and the laboratory made functional.

There, still was work.

(Word Count: 150)

Written as part of the Crimson’s Creative Challenge #30 More details regarding this challenge may be found HERE.