Ash – The Dubliner

2019-05-19 Terri Smeighs

(Photo Credit: Terri Smeigh)

It was her first day in Dublin and she was famished. The bloody flight was delayed by 3 hours’ courtesy a technical snag. ‘Technical snag’ – the refuge behind which every airline seeks to take cover to mollify angry and frustrated passengers. And in so far as Ash was concerned, it took very little to get her angry. A dynamite waiting to detonate, her nerves always seemed to be high strung. Ash, the very heart beat of Venky. The day he knew she would be going off to Dublin, his world turned topsy-turvy. He could not envisage a day without her presence; now he would be forced to endure a future that had Ash at its periphery.

He called her with a mixed element of anticipation and trepidation. “Hello!”; “Hello, hi” she answered. It was always Hello and Hi. “How was the flight? Where are you now?” “It is bloody overcast and I am at a quaint red bricked place that calls itself a steakhouse and am famished!”

Venky quelled a laugh that spontaneously rose from within. His Ash – bull headed, frank, candid and confident. He knew not how he would exist without her presence. But she never left him.

(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

Mother Nature and Hell Boy

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(Photo Credit: Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash)

The dry wood satiated the raging appetite of the fire as the flames leapt higher and higher. The crackling sound as the firewood snapped was as crystal clear and resonating as a pistol shot. A menacingly howling wind exacerbated the calamity further as the whistling force spread the orange glow in all directions. As brave and determined firemen struggled with their hoses to douse what seemed to be a hellfire threatening to consume the entire forest range, this was Low Siew Kuan’s worst nightmare coming true. The Director for the Conservation of Bio Diversity and Prevention of Flora and Fauna, Siew Kuan had yelled hoarse about the perils of Climate Change.

In conference after conference, meeting after meeting she had painstakingly, patiently, and poignantly warned about Greenhouse gas emissions, via the greenhouse effect, causing the global temperature to increase and the climate to change. She warned that such an effect enhances the likelihood of wildfires.

“Hah” a CEO had snorted derisively in response. Undaunted and undeterred, Siew Kuan continued, “Why? Because warmer temperatures exacerbate evaporation, meaning the atmosphere draws increased moisture from soils, making the land drier.”

Capitalism however trumped Coniferous forests as companies continued their slash and burn policies. SK watched in horror as the antlers of a red deer stag were set ablaze making it look like Mother Nature’s own version of Hellboy. As the fire engulfed the deer’s elegant frame, Siew Kuan fled the scene with tears of angst and anxiety streaming down her anguished face.

(Word Count: 249)

#TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya

For more stories for the week, please click HERE

The Ash Track

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(Image Credit: Fandango)

“You have to walk if you desire to be fit”, Ash goaded Venky on as he huffed and puffed his way through the much treaded and cracked walking track. Rivulets of sweat streamed down his forehead, depositing themselves on his cheeks before plummeting down his Led Zeppelin T-shirt, which by this time was damp and soaked. The weather was not helping one bit. The sun blazed down with a vengeance and with an intent that was remorseless. But those ferocious rays were, but water off a duck’s back for Ash. Supremely fit she was a Greek sculpture. Kick boxing on Monday; Pilates on Tuesday; Badminton on Wednesday followed by an insane bout of Fly Cycling on Thursdays. Venky didn’t even bother wondering what the weekends were for her. All he knew was that she was a selfless soul who was trying to get his life back on track following a horrendous automobile accident that had shattered his hip and pelvic bones, and in the process immobilizing him for close to eight excruciating months.

If he had any radiance left in his being, it was Ash. His Ash. But he knew that he was not her Venky.

Will he ever be?

(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 Susan Spaulding. For more details visit HERE

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

Hemingway Of The Hills

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(Image Courtesy: CRISPINA KEMP)

For the untrained and the unsuspecting, it was only an ugly unwashed, untenanted rectangular block of concrete, hopelessly trying to hide behind an even more ungainly sprouting of ill directed foliage. At first glimpse the man-made structure seemed a grotesque lump on the bushy hair of a gigantic head that was the preserve of a giant.

But for Venky, the ‘house’ – if the configuration could be called that – was paradise. A refuge from the hustle and bustle of procedure, and the laughter and lament of people. There was no time for pipe dreams and no need for city lights. A miraculously working kitchen worked over the proceeds collected from a small vegetable patch cultivated behind the house. A single bedroom with a modest bookshelf and an archaic cot was adequate for a solitary livelihood.

There, under the sunlight in the morning and the glimmer of a single tubelight, he wrote.

(Word Count: 150)

Written as part of the Crimson’s Creative Challenge #26 More details regarding this challenge may be found HERE.

Such a Lovely Face

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(Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

“Relax”, seemed to say the bank of milky white clouds, “we are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like, But you can never leave!”  What was Venky trying to leave? Fate? Portend? Love? Life itself? Or was he arriving at some beckoning destination? The brilliant foliage of orange bursting forth from either side of the highway wickedly whispered in his alert ears, “Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends.” So that was it. Jealousy. Jealousy that was pure and child-like.

An overnight drizzle had left its slippery mark on the road. It was becoming difficult for the driver to obtain the requisite grip on the surface. To add to the discomfiture, even though it was only late noon, the poor visibility made driving with headlights an absolute necessity. His mind, if not priorities were as slippery, if not more, than the curving road which the vehicle was struggling to maneuver. Leaping from agony to ecstasy, swinging between euphoria and lament, he was a roiling cauldron of raw emotions. He never saw the mammoth SUV come careening in on the blind turn. Unfortunately for Venky, neither did the driver blinded by a ferocious burst of high beam. As the car ripped away the railings and cartwheeled like a ragged doll over the precipice, he remembered Ash’s favourite line before his eyes closed, “we are all just prisoners here, of our own device.”

(Word Count: 250)

#TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya

For more stories for the week, please click HERE

Pilachu’s Day of Reckoning in Mikanda

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(Photo Credit: A Mixed Bag)

It was a painstakingly crafted artifact. Only the most deserving and exquisite pieces of wood warranted chopping, choosing, carving, and polishing.  The two wings of the mythical creature were bent and curled upwards. The neck was peculiarly and agonizingly slender. The open mouth revealing the two sets of broad teeth seemed to be grinning whereas the rotund eyes expressed surprise. Two spindly legs gave miraculous balance and support to the animal.

Pilachu held her creation in her hands and patiently waited for the Queen Mother Chan Ming Choo to make her resplendent appearance. This was Pilachu’s day of reckoning. The whole of Mikanda would be eager witness to her test. At the anointed hour, Queen Chan Ming Choo glided by in a palanquin. Her head was adorned by a Tiara of glittering diamonds.

The palanquin bearers gently placed her down and she ascended her gigantic throne made of ivory and gold. A majestic wave of her hand and the ceremony began. Pilachu did an arm stand and balanced her art on her soles. A deft somersault and she caught the animal and bending on her knees offered it to Chan Ming Choo.

“Mikanda has chosen”, said the Queen. “ARISE PRINCESS PILACHU!”

(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 Susan Spaulding. For more details visit HERE

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

Ash & The Magnificent Blue Irises

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(Photo Credit: Crispina Kemp)

Swamps are the nurturing mothers to beautiful lotuses, magnificent irises and breathtaking lilies. These gorgeous flowers do not blossom despite the swamp. They blossom precisely because of the swamp. Neither Ash nor Venky were in the know of this fact. They were neither botanists nor biologists. Well, one need not be a botanist to be immersed in and admire the striking beauty of a seemingly miraculous expanse of blue irises. One such swamp was their rendezvous. It would be inappropriate to term it a rendezvous since they weren’t surreptitiously meeting. If for Venky, she was his heartbeat, for Ash he was a genuine sounding board. Sense a dichotomy here? Well he didn’t. That in the end turned out to be Venky’s Waterloo.

He did not merely see her reflection in the muddy waters of the swamp. He perceived a beautiful future. He sensed hope.

She, opted for reality.

He lost.

(Word Count: 150)

Written as part of the Crimson’s Creative Challenge #25 More details regarding this challenge may be found HERE.