April 30, 2014

A-Z Challenge Wrap Up

I had the most amazing time doing this challenge and writing the 26 short stories. 

Here is a list of all the stories in one place.


It would be great, if you can take a moment to vote below and let me know which stories you liked.

Thank you for Reading!

Which A-Z stories were your favorite?


April A-Z Challenge - Z is for Zaire - River (Origin : African)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters

It was a beautiful Friday evening. The wind created a steady shower of leaves laying a carpet of mixed hues in the cafeteria's patio. There were students walking around, some dressed in their best, eager to get to their dinner dates, others casually walking in a group to go out and forget the stress of college. Zaire sat at a table by a lamp, his head deep inside a Mathematics book. He looked up every now and then, carefully assessing his surroundings. He was used to the buzz of the early evening giving way to a chilling silence as the evening passed. Then it would just be Zaire, and the open skies.

Zaire put his book down and walked towards a nearby fountain, the water gleamed in the light of the full moon. Zaire ran his hands in the cold water of the fountain, the free flowing water had not stopped to amaze him. He looked upwardly at the skies, with fond memories of home. It was the same skies, with the blessing of the stars and the moonlight, that had got him so far. He missed home and his family, especially his mother. The thought of his mother, made him feel hungry. He went back to the table, and pulled out the remainder of his lunch from his bag.

It did not taste anything like his mother's food, but Zaire had not once questioned how fortunate he had been. He had initially thought twice about taking the opportunity given to him by the visiting Americans. He had felt sad to leave his family behind in their small village, living a life of struggles for their basic needs. But he had realized it was important to follow his dreams, and so Zaire had flown like a river towards the sea of opportunities. He was determined to work hard and make it big. He had vowed to change everything for the better for his family, and for his entire village.

Zaire sat back again with his Mathematics book, pulling the ends of his cardigan and fastening its buttons. The autumn nights were getting chillier for sure, but Zaire knew he could fight it. His worry was about the winter months, when he had to adapt to studying indoors in his dorm. Some habits were hard to break, especially for a kid who grew up studying outside in the moonlight, while his family slept in the darkness of their house.

April 29, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - Y is for Yoshi - Righteous (Origin : Japanese)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters

Yoshi was glad to be in familiar surroundings, the Sakura trees, especially after a long flight, that had made him sick. It was his first time away from home, but he was proud to represent his country in the Cherry Blossom Festival. He felt the calligraphy pen in his pocket and the picture. The festival started tomorrow, his stall would write children's names in Japanese. He would begin his search for his missing father tomorrow too. It had been fifteen years since he had left home for this festival. Will he find him and prove to be a righteous son?


My first attempt on a 100 word fiction challenge!

Short Story Contest Entry

If you have not had enough with my short stories for the A-Z challenge, here is one more.

This time for a short story contest by Tell-a-Tale.

What was interesting with this contest was we were given a choice of themes and some challenge words that had to be included in the story. Using which the story had to be written and submitted within a day. The amazing experience I have gained from the past month definitely helped here.

The winners of this contest, are determined by both, a panel of judges and public voting.

So, if you do like the story, please click on the like buttons at the end of the story page, in this link.


Thank you!

April 28, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - X is for Xiao-Chen - Early Morning (Origin : Chinese)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters

It was the first time I had gone to work that early - the morning fog covered the building like a thick blanket as I walked towards it. A light at the corner of the hallway greeted me, surprising me of someone else's presence. As my curiosity dragged my feet all the way down the hallway, I found a middle aged Asian man, small in stature, deeply engrossed in his work. That is the day I first met Xiao-Chen. A man of few words, rarely seen outside his cube, and I had not known him for the year that I had worked there.

That was in Spring. I noticed him a few times again during lunch, as I went to the break room to heat my lunch. There he sat, head bent over his bowl of noodles, adeptly gathering them with his chopsticks, only briefly looking up to nod. He intrigued me, for looking so calm, not a change in his expressions, come rain or snow, dressed in the same black sweater and khakis, rarely speaking a word.

My curiosity got the better of me. For months, I probed my colleagues, sometime subtly during meetings, and at other times over lunch, hoping to gather some insight about him. He was a good employee they said, always finishing his work on time, but didn't talk to a soul, but still got away as friendly, with his polite nod. There were rumors of him being lonely, some said he saw a shrink, some even thought he was not stable, and that, one day, he would bring harm by doing something drastic.

Work went on, and it was soon the holiday season. I was on a long vacation from work, engaged in a lot of family gatherings and fun. But early one morning, I had to sneak out of the house to work, to pick up the gift I had bought for my wife and hidden at my desk.

It seemed eerie as I got inside, the same fog, and the same light welcomed me. Only this time, Xiao-Chen was not at his desk. Instead, I saw him walking from one cube to the other, with a backpack over his shoulders. My mind raced with questions. Should I confront him? Or should I call security? Or should I just ignore and head back home? Before I made up my mind, I saw him standing in front of me with the same polite nod. He slowly turned around and walked to his cube.

I rushed to my cube, determined to check it's contents, and email the team. Upon entering I found a gift box wrapped in shiny red, sitting on my desk along with a greeting card. As I opened the gift to find a mug with hot chocolate mix, Xiao-Chen entered and said, "Don't tell anyone," and hurriedly left with a nod.

I stared at where he had stood, trying to understand what was going on as I opened the card that read:

"Happy Holidays - With Warmth, Your Dear Friend!

Finally, I had a face and name to the "Dear Friend" who had been leaving a gift for everyone each Christmas. And that early morning,  the person who intrigued me for months, had warmed my heart, and become a dear friend.

April 26, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - W is for Winona - First Born (Origin : Lakota)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters

Winona felt excited about her new surroundings, as she played with her younger siblings, near their freshly built teepee. They had moved to a new location today following the buffalo's trail. Winona gathered her siblings and took them inside as she heard her mother's song. It was her favorite time of the day, when they sat together and listened to fascinating stories told by the women, in the smoke of the teepee.  Soon she heard the gallop of the horses in the far distance, as she ran out to see the men returning with a new prey. "They would be eating buffalo for dinner," she thought excitedly. As soon as the women had cooked the meat, everybody gathered around and ate hungrily. Before Winona was done eating and helping her siblings eat, she began hearing the sounds of the drums. She could feel the Earth come alive as the beats of the drums and their feet rose to the skies. Winona looked around happily, content with her life in the Great Plains, not knowing what the future held for them.


Inspired by my daughter's American Indian project for school.

April 25, 2014


April A-Z  Challenge - V is for Vilas - Charming ( Origin : Sanskrit)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters

Vilas walked stealthily across the hallway, making sure there was nobody watching him from the windows, as he moved towards the dark room at the far end of the hallway where he had seen it being hidden. He had chosen the perfect time for the task when the women of the house took their afternoon nap, if everything went as he had planned, he should finish his job easily and leave without a clue left behind. He was soon at the door to the dark room and he anxiously stepped in and spotted it right away, it sat on the tallest shelf in the room wrapped in a newspaper to disguise it to avoid unnecessary attention. Vilas climbed onto a step stool and pulled himself high on his toes, just as his fingers finally reached it, his elbow accidentally knocked down a jar and sent it crashing down. The next thing he knew his mother and grandmother were standing at the door to the pantry where he stood shell shocked as he was caught red handed in his first attempt in stealing a chocolate bar.

April 24, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - U is for Urmi - Wave (Origin: Sanskrit)
Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters
Urmi stood grimly in front of the Kensington Palace with flowers in her hand. It had been three days since the news of Princess Diana's death, and Urmi felt like she owed her this homage.  Like many others in her profession, Urmi had felt a pang of guilt when she had heard the news about Diana's death, especially since she had written many articles about her over the years, for the local newspaper that she worked for. Her eyes welled with tears as she saw the messages left by thousands of people. She felt the same kind of sadness that she had felt eight months ago when she had lost her husband to cancer. She had nursed a growing turmoil inside her ever since, about what she should do with her life now. She had contemplated everything from retirement to changing careers, but had found no answers. All those questions inside of her echoed even louder in the dim light of dawn, as she bid farewell to a person she had admired.
She had picked the wee hours of the morning to pay homage in order to avoid the crowd and also give herself enough time to prepare for her flight to Calcutta that evening. She had explained to her company that it would be a sabbatical of sorts, a brief pause to regain herself. But Urmi herself did not know the purpose of her visit to her home country. Perhaps meeting family and friends, visiting places she grew up in, dwelling for a while in familiar surroundings would give her the answers to her questions she thought. She was beginning to understand that her soul was searching for something more than what her job provided
It was a long flight and upon arrival, Urmi was flooded by her family and friends, temporarily relieving her of the gloom she had been surrounded by. The next two days went in meeting a lot of people, good food and idyllic banter with her loved ones. But by the end of it, Urmi still felt restless, her mind seemed alienated to her surroundings, busy in its quest for something. She heard a loud commotion outside of the house brining with it the news about the sudden demise of  Mother Teresa.
In less than a week, she stood there waiting to pay homage again, this time nearly 5000 miles away, to a person she had idolized through her growing years. She was deeply moved by the stories she heard around her while she waited for her turn in line. When she got closer and looked at the frail body laying there surrounded by the aura of the work she had done, a sudden wave rose inside her, Urmi finally felt like she knew what she wanted.
In a few months Urmi stood in front of the new school she had started in Calcutta for underprivileged children, with a sense of contentment.  A new wave of energy had taken over her and her quest had finally ended.

April 23, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - T is for Tashi - Prosperity ( Origin : Tibetan)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters

(Image Courtesy: Wikipedia)

Tashi rushed down the hilly road towards the bus station, she had got word from her most reliable source that there was a bus arriving that day, with a lot of tourists. She carried a box filled with her famous homemade momos to hand to the man in charge of the bus station. He deserved a special treat for sure, for an information like this. It was not everyday that they had tourists in their hilly city in the cold month of November. She had informed two of her other friends too, families like theirs definitely were in need of these blessings. They had four more months till their regular jobs as tea leaves pickers would resume in spring.

Tashi stood with her two friends, smiling looking at the prospective sign of a bus driving into the bus station. She secretly wished that there were a few visitors from outside the country, she had a special way with them and had at times managed a really handsome tip. As she spotted some brown hair amid all the black heads, she rushed towards them, explaining to them in the few English words she had learnt, that she was a porter and could carry their luggage up the hill where vehicles could not go.

Tashi climbed up the hilly road eagerly, smiling through the burden of the leather on her head and shoulders, as she pointed at various sites on their way to the hotel. Her chirpy conversation with the visitors with less words and more animated actions had won their hearts. They had asked her if she could lead them to the inside stories of the city and its people for a documentary movie they were going to film.

After promising to be back the next day, she headed back home during the early evening as the sun went down over the hills. She paused briefly to take in the sights as she lit a bidi, it was her treat at the end of a tiring day. She closed her eyes with gratitude, clutching on to the small sack of money tied around her waist - her earnings for the day.

As she entered her modest dwelling, she saw her four kids playing together in a corner as her husband approached her looking happy to see her. He eagerly tugged at her money sack, explaining to her that his friends were waiting for him for the past hour. They would be gambling again that night, it was the only hope for them to survive through the winter he said. She handed him some small bills, explaining to him that business was not exceptionally good that day.

As he saw him leave, she took out the remaining bills of money from a secret pocket she had stitched in her traditional robe and hid it in a jar in the kitchen. She would take it to the bank the next day on her way to the hotel to deposit it in an account that she had secretly opened for her kids.

April 22, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - S is for Sharini - Earth (Origin : Sanskrit)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters

Sharini was lying in the hospital bed, too tired to open her eyes, as she heard the voices of her family with the ticking of a clock in the background. They sounded worried if she would recover and return home. If only they were so concerned all these years she thought, as images of the abuse and exploitation that she had been through, flashed before her eyes.

She felt the warmth of her favorite granddaughter's hands as they gently cupped hers. She was the one who had always tried to help her, but had failed without the support of the entire family.

Sharini knew her family was depending on her, she felt sad as she knew she didn't have the energy to pull through this time. Sharini felt like she had nothing left within her to give anymore, she had given it all, if only they had known how to preserve it she thought, as the voices of her family along with the clock's ticking faded away to the background and beyond.


If I have to pick one image, that changed how I think about the role I played in taking care of our planet, it is this one. It shows the inside of a dead bird, that had swallowed plastic that we throw, thinking it was food!

It is a huge deal! I try to do my part, I have not perfected it as yet, it is definitely not easy. But I certainly think that following the three Rs whenever I can has helped in some way.

Reduce  -  Reuse -  Recycle

I hope everyone does their part too! Happy Earth Day!

April 21, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - R is for Renée - Born Again (Origin : French)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters 

(Source : Wikipedia)

It had been two years since Renée had opened her café, and business had so far been slow. In the recent months,  she had been at the front of the café, talking to the few customers who stopped by, taking reviews of the food.  It surprised her to see such few returning customers, despite the rave reviews she received about her food. Her quest for a solution ended when she met Jane, who had been visiting the restaurant since she began working at a nearby building.

Jane had come in the first time on a cold November afternoon and ordered a bowl of french onion soup. Renée had personally served her, and had seen Jane's surprised look upon seeing the bowl.

"I actually wanted the whole bowl, not half" Jane had said.

"This is the full bowl Ma'am, " Renée had said "Perhaps you would like something else with it?"

"Seriously!?!" Jane had completed the rest of the sentence under her breath, as she skimmed the croutons and hungrily ate them.

Renée watched to see Jane finishing up her soup in no time, definitely seeming to enjoy her food.

She went up to Jane enthusiastically for a review, when Jane had got up saying "Don't bother, I will not be coming back for your sampler again."

Renee had spent a week worrying since she had heard Jane's review. She had been reconsidering her portion sizes, when suddenly one day she saw Jane enter the café again.

"I am sorry for the way I behaved the other day," Jane said "I have been dreaming of the soup, it tasted heavenly."

Renee smiled and went inside to get a bowl of soup for Jane.

"I am reconsidering our portions," Renee said "till we decide about that, I can get you another bowl, with baguette on the side perhaps?" she said, setting down the steaming soup.

"Oh no, actually the truth is, my wedding is in six months and I need your help," said Jane "I love this wedding dress I saw in a store and there is no way I am going to fit into it.

I have decided to come eat at your diet restaurant everyday, and try to fit into that dress before my wedding" Jane said licking the remains of the spoon.

"Sure, it will be a pleasure" said Renee making note of the term "diet restaurant".

It was the best feedback she had ever received. A few months later, there was a new sign in her restaurant that said "We offer diet portions: loose weight while you enjoy good food," with a picture of Jane in her beautiful bridal attire.

Renee's café was born again with the new sign, and had never been busier!

April 19, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - Q is for Qadir - Capable (Origin : Arabic)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters 

Qadir sat in the VIP section of the packed stadium, eagerly awaiting the start of the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Cup Football. The loud electrifying cheers from the spectators in Qatar, reminded him of the cheers he had heard on the television the day their country was chosen to host the world cup games. It was twelve years ago, and Qadir had been laying on a hospital bed with both his legs in a cast, after his dreams of playing for the nation's football team had been crushed by an accident. As he watched the announcement on television, he had found a new hope of still being able to do be associated with what he loved the most. Qadir heard his name being called as the organizer of the event, as he made his way to the spotlight of the ceremony, he felt that he had finally kicked out the gloom and disappointment of not being able to play again and scored the biggest goal of his life.


Another Flash Fiction!

Image : Proposed Doha Port Stadium

April 18, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - P is for Paolo - Small (Origin : Italian)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters 

Paolo being the youngest in his family, had struggled with his self confidence from when he was little. His short and stout stature had not helped him either. He had always been laughed at by his brothers and cousins and when he had asked to join them, he had been told, "What can you do? You are too small for anything. "

Paolo had spent his time hiding in the kitchen during the many family gatherings they had, feeling secure in the presence of his beloved grandmother. There he had felt at home, midst the aromas of the tomato, garlic and basil, while Nonna's songs would make the kitchen come alive. Paolo helped her by rolling the prosciutto, while he watched her expert fingers work on making delicious tortellini. She had called him her personal food taster and he had felt mighty privileged to be the first to be getting a bite of Nonna ' s famous recipes.

Time had flown, and Paolo had grown in years, but his self confidence had not. He barely managed to graduate high school not knowing what do with his life. He had been spending a lot of time talking to Nonna, helping her cook and being her personal taster. On one such day, when he was standing there watching the freshly made uneven shaped dough going into the pasta maker and coming out as evenly spun spaghetti, something occurred to him. He had hugged his Nonna and ran out to fill the application to a culinary school.

Now Paolo was doing what he knew best, he was the chef and owner of a famous restaurant called "Nonna ' s Little Kitchen". He did not have to step out into the world without the comfort he felt in Nonna ' s small kitchen, he had created his world in it and invited others inside.

April 17, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - O is for Otto - Fortune (Origin:German)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters 

Otto sat in the subway station waiting for his train, it was a big day for him, he had finally decided to take control of his life. It had been difficult facing the every day demands of life, in spite of working hard at two jobs. The meager salary he brought home hardly met their needs and only fueled the many taunts of his wife. It had hurt him to see the disappointment on his children's face every time he had said no. He had seen the love and respect for him diminish at home over the years, though he had given back unconditionally. He had got used to living life clinging onto tiny rays of hope, since his childhood.

It had been hard growing up watching his father come home and hit his mother. His mother had grieved quietly, living a frustrated life, finding an outlet in Otto. Every strike she received in silence, she had doubled it and hit Otto. He in turn had taken it all in quietly, telling himself he owed it to his mother, till the grief finally took her completely in its clutches. Otto had left home that day, never returning back. He had vowed to himself that he would be the good husband and father that his father had never been.

The train arrived into the station as he climbed inside securing his backpack. It was a short ride to the bank which was the building opposite the station. He walked in and pulled out his gun immediately, seeing fear in people's eyes. He was surprised he could bring that emotion in people! They followed his every instruction, and filled the bag with money, it was the first time somebody had listened to him. He realized the power of his new side as he fired at the security camera before leaving. It came down scattering into pieces, just like the righteous life he had led for all these years.


This story was inspired by the Cherokee Indian story of the two wolves.

April 16, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - N is for Naina - Eyes (Origin : Sanskrit)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters 

Naina was a happy girl, except when it was time for bed.
When the light went out and the book was read,
the thought of playing, soon filled her head.

One night her mother had a special story to share,
about a little friend who came in each night to care.

The friend flies in from the window as the sun goes down,
To help precious kids, too little to sleep on their own.

She sit's on Naina's tummy, and goes on a tickle prowl,
To make sure it is full, and she does not hear a growl.

She then creeps and crawls right upto her chest,
And lands onto Naina's chin, with a leap at her best.

She jumps onto her nose, making it wiggle,
the wiggle is followed by a loud giggle.

Then she waits and watches, the right moment not to miss,
as Naina gives her mother the last goodnight kiss. 

Plop! Into Naina's eyes she dives ready to explore.
Mother looks closely into Naina's eyes and exclaims,
"Your little friend looks just like me!"

Naina loves her already, and wants to keep her safe and snug,
Her eyelids curl and close to give her friend a big hug.

The friend sprinkles sleep into Naina's eyes,
as she peeks into Naina's mind, using magical ways.

There she collects happy thoughts built from the day,
and makes them into sweet dreams, in her own loving way.

She fills Naina's head with the happiest dream,
To make her smile, as she lay asleep.

April 15, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - M is for Maya - Illusion (Origin : Sanskrit)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters 

Robert stepped out of the shower thinking of how good it had felt, he should do this more often. But ever since he had started working on his second book he had lacked time for such luxuries. The book was a sequel to his first book, which was an instant bestseller, rising him to fame overnight. He had felt the pressure of the expectations right from when he started the second book.

He was so glad he had Maya by his side, she had been his inspiration. Especially since he had spent the past two years in isolation on a little island, immersed in the world of his book. Maya was the one who had been there for him, taking care of his every need. He had finally decided to take her out again today, he owed it to her, for all that she had done for him.

Robert steered his boat towards the nearby town to which he had not been for a long time. His eyes steered from the lights of the town towards Maya, standing by his side. She looked beautiful
with her dusky complexion glowing in the moonlight, her long dark hair flying in the breeze, brushing his face. He was looking forward to the dinner.

They walked towards the restaurant they had chosen, it had been his favorite and Maya had instantly agreed. They sat at the table, deep in conversation, while he noticed many staring faces. He felt good that people had not forgotten him, in spite of being out of the limelight for so long. Just as the meal arrived, a young man walked up to him for an autograph. He looked at Maya and smiled, hoping she had been impressed by his popularity.

" I am a big fan of yours," said the young man handing a pen, "is your next book releasing soon?"

"Yes it will be out in a few months, a sequel to my first book."

"Is the story going to be about Maya again?" he asked.

"Of course after all she got so popular, and just between the two of us, she is right here! "

"Sir here?! Where? Are you okay, there is nobody here!" the young man shrieked.

This was turning out to be just like the last time he had come out with Maya, he was angry again just like then. This was the reason he had isolated himself from the world.  He did not want to have anything to do with a world that did not believe that Maya was right there with him!


For all of you who write fiction, do you feel you live in the world of your characters more than your own sometimes?

April 14, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - L is for Lucia - Light (Origin : Latin)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters 

Lucia held the letter in her hand, her face stained with tears, as she hugged her twin brother for the last time. The letter had arrived a week before to the children's center and true to their greatest fears, they would not be migrating together. Lucia squeezed a picture of their dead parents into her brother's hands, "Remember whatever happens, we are family," she said as she saw him smile through his tears. He had always been the more emotional one, and had needed a more secure environment, which is probably why they had chosen to keep him back. She waved to him one last time before she ascended the space ship with a sign that said, 'To Mars', hoping she would see him again, even if it was light years later.

April 12, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - K is for Kalaya - Beautiful Lady (Origin : Thai)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters 

Amit waited in the lobby of his favorite restaurant for a table of his choice. He peeped inside to see if he could spot Kalaya, but he could not see her from where he was. He sat there deep in thought, life had been kind to him, he had everything a man could ask for, a soaring career, a loving family, a beautiful home and a secured future. There was nothing more he could have asked for, and he owed it all to one person!

As he was ushered in to be seated at the table, he spotted Kalaya close by, standing behind the register with her usual smile that lit up the whole room. He sat down and opened his laptop and looked up eagerly to see if Kalaya had noticed him, but she had been busy with the customers. 

As soon as the waitress approached him, he said,  "Drunken Noodles with vegetables please,"  without opening the menu card.

"No fish sauce for him" added Kalaya from behind the register.

Amit looked up at her with a smile and nodded, and for a brief moment their eyes met. It was but natural she knew how he liked his food, he had been coming to this restaurant for nine years now.

He had been in college when he first visited the restaurant with his friends. It was a new family owned restaurant and a beautiful lady had welcomed them and seated them at a table. Her smile had felt like warm sunshine on that cold dreary day. Amit could not take his eyes off her and felt like he was enthralled in a spell, he could not help but feel a positive energy in her presence. Just as she was taking his order, he received a call to say he had been selected for a scholarship for his Masters program. Amit had waited for this for so long, he could not believe his luck!

He had soon returned several times, and undoubtedly every time he was in there, something good had happened to him. He made sure he went in there on big days, the day of his job interview,  the day he proposed to his girlfriend, the day he started his company. He had been convinced it was something to do with Kalaya. It soon turned into an obsession, he was there for smaller things too. He soon took his work to the restaurant, when he had to send emails for important transactions. The good luck had worked like a charm, every single time.

Just as he was done sending that important email to a promising client, his plate of drunken noodles arrived. He was about to dig into it hungrily, when he noticed a letter placed beneath the plate. 

He opened it and saw, written in bold red was a message:

"We ran out of luck, so closing soon and moving back home.   -- Kalaya"

April 11, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - J is for Jharna - Water Spring (Origin : Sanskrit)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters 

The little girl walked a long way across the sand in the scorching heat, with an empty earthen pot looking for water. As she finally approached the oasis of tourists stocked with bottles of water, her legs felt weak and images faded from her eyes, as she fell to the ground. Jharna woke up sweating from the same dream that had haunted her for three years now, as her mother came running in to comfort her and assure her that it was only a dream. Jharna went back to sleep, and her mother sighed in relief, looking at her daughter who had lost her memory of the past. Jharna had brought a purpose into their lives after years, Jharna was the oasis they had found on their desert trip.


My first attempt on a five sentence story! What do you think of it? Would you have written something differently?

April 10, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - I is for Irene - Peace (Origin : Greek)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters 

Dear Diary,

I am writing after 3 days as we were away for the weekend. We were out on a beach trip, just Mom, Dad and me, it was like the best vacation ever, in a lot of ways!

We spent time at this really cool beach house, and I almost lived on the beach and got this really gorgeous tan! Mom and I went snorkeling on the first day, the sights were awesome! We had an amazing time at a bonfire with the neighbors that night, met some really cool peeps, more about that another day.

Dad was as usual in his own world on the first day, reading his book, smoking his cigars. We hardly saw him that day. But on the second day, something changed! He finally agreed to the one thing we have all been waiting for! Okay let me start from the beginning!

Mom had gone out for dinner with a friend, and I was stuck in the beach house with Dad. We were both in our rooms when I heard Dad scream from his room. When I went in, I saw that he was all sweaty and scared, it looked like he had been awakened from a really bad dream. I was not sure what to say, I am barely used to having a conversation with him. I just sat next to him and held his hand, and he looked at me and started sobbing. I held him and hugged him, and he just sat there crying uncontrollably. And then he began to tell me the stories, not sure how he decided I was finally ready to hear them!

He began with the day I was born, when Mom was alone in Indiana and neighbors had to rush her to the hospital. He was away, posted in Iraq. It was a long labor, he had called and spoken to Mom and cried that he could not be there. I was their first child, after eight years of marriage. He had wished that the war had ended, and that there was peace, and he was home by my Mom's side. He had told her that day to name me "Irene". 

I was then sobbing with him, through the other stories, the memories of which I want to erase from my mind and not pen down here. That day finally, my Dad was reborn, rid of  some of the burden he carried on his shoulders for thirteen years!

Can't write any more today..more tomorrow. Goodnight!

P.S - I almost forgot to write about what Dad finally agreed to after all these years! We are going to see a doctor tomorrow for Dad. He has finally agreed to get prosthetic legs! I just got my Dad back, and Dad is soon going to get his life back!

April 9, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - H is for Helen - Shining Light (Origin : Greek)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters 

Helen washed her face with the cold water one last time, and looked at herself in the mirror. She finally felt cleansed and free, she was ready to go. She grabbed her bag, as she pulled up her hair into a casual bun and stepped out, concealing herself behind her shades. Her limousine was waiting outside, it would be a long ride, perfect for a late afternoon siesta.

As she arrived, a gentle evening breeze invited her, bringing with it the smells of the ocean. She smiled in relief, she was home! She took off her footwear and let her feet unashamedly kiss the sand. It was the familiar warmth that she had loved, and she enjoyed every step she took towards the water. She could hear the voices and the laughter from the past in the air. The warm rays of the sun gently caressed her bare limbs, as she walked towards the waves. She paused to take in the breathtaking sights of the vast ocean, lit by the sun, a calmness took over her. Then she jumped in, giving herself completely, and was soon surrounded by the comfort of the water.

Helen sat on the sand looking like a goddess from a painting, her wet hair adorned her content face, etched with the most perfect features. She felt loved and secure here, no longer a stranger among the crowd. This was where her heart was, her memories were. As the sun took its position, she sat awaiting to witness the making of her favorite painting. She watched every stroke as the rich hues of orange and red filled the sky, and she replicated the picture onto her mind's canvas. She watched the last stroke, before the blues took over all the other hues, and hoped that some day her family will accept her again. She walked back to her limousine feeling refreshed, ready to live through the next month, before she would be back here again.

As she rode back in the darkness of the outside world, she began preparing herself again for the shining lights.

As she arrived, a chaos invited her, bringing with it the reality of her life. There were paparazzi everywhere, as Helen smiled and waved. She stood perfectly poised for the pictures as she answered questions about her movies, rumors and affairs patiently. She walked elegantly towards the door and turned back one last time to wave, and smiled thinking of how cleverly she had been hiding her most prized affair with her memories!

April 8, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - G is for Giada ( Origin: Italian)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters 

I am Giada and today is my birthday, I am turning four. I am celebrating the day with mom, dad, my older brother Danny and my little sister Diana. I was the only one adopted into this family, but mom and dad have always loved me the same as Danny and Diana. I am really happy with my family, on most days!

But as anybody else, I have my dog days. Especially on days when it is all about Danny!  All we do is run around for Danny's sports practices and matches. And I just get to sit around there, smelling the sweat and hearing mom and dad praise Danny, while we watch him. I do get jealous of him, but nothing like the way I felt when Diana was born.

I was the baby of the house until Diana came along, and then my whole world changed.  It seemed like everybody was so busy with her, that they forgot all about me. Those were sad days. But that one cute look from little Diana changed everything, now there is nobody more possessive about her than me!

And like everyone does, I have some favorite things to do with my family. I love running and chasing with Danny and Diana, going for walks with mom, playing ball with dad and eating dinner with the whole family. Mom is such a great cook, we end up licking our plates every time!

I especially love hearing stories about when they got me home when I was just a few weeks old. I love the way mom looks into my eyes and tells me how she instantly fell in love with my green eyes and gave me the name Giada.

I absolutely love my family and could not have asked for anything more. Except maybe for a few things! No more sitters, more human food for dinner and no more visits to the vet. If only I could make my family understand that these are the things I want for my birthday instead of the new dog collar that says Giada!