Short Story Archive for Fun:

six word stories – reworked

Hemingway, with his creation of the six-word story,
combined poetry and drama into a short form that has
grown in popularity while remaining difficult to achieve.
For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn. —Ernest Hemingway

Longed for him. Got him. Shit. —Margaret Atwood

Well, I thought it was funny. —Stephen Colbert

Revenge is living well, without you. —Joyce Carol Oates

All those pages in the fire. – Despair, Janette Burroway

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Seriously life is no laughing matter

Laughing matter is what life is, seriously

cutting smiley faces word cookies seriously

Jealousy nip in bud stop flowering

Two timing bigamist roasted fired solo

Glorious autumn natures last hurrah applause

Mind boggling contortionist untangled at last

Terse levity with brevity always rocks

Opponents politicians woo glue sundry blues

four eyes, love marriage, kids, old

doyen’s family sad, young widow happy

cage open bird flew cat happy

mafia twins identical, police mystified conned

orphaned  newborn abandoned old father remarried

big note, discarded pants, beggar rejoices
~bina gupta

 

Confession of a bookworm

Once upon a time, on any given day I used to read one-two books on daily basis.  With photographic
memory and an inordinate love for lingua Anglais it was pure manna for me. Being an outdoorsy sporty type as well,
I used to play with friends after school until sun died down and cows went home!   At home, I’d curl up in nooks
and crannies being quite slight in build and dad would have devil of a time searching for me and admonishing roundly
as he worried about my poor eyes –but in those days I rather fancied “spectacles” salivating for a pince-nez
on my perfectly formed nose!  Later when I did get them as a wish fulfillment, I learnt to hate them malevolently! Ha!

I read just about everything I could lay my hands on but “thrillers, whodunits and then romances” were genres
I liked most in that order.  Books found me like magnets to metal.  Friends, acquaintances unloaded their piles
on me throughout the years and I’ve happily obliged.

Then I got married, became a wife and mother.   Arranged marriages are usually hit or miss – mine was a huge miss-
enough said.  For quarter century I lived a full fledged internal life behaving like an automaton externally.
I never thought there was an out until destiny declared ‘enough is enough’.   Books had become a distant dream
during this period of my life.  Then destiny decided to turn my life on its head and I got remarried.
I came into a house of book lovers in the big Apple no less!   My suppressed love for words surfaced
and I swam in it deliriously.  Regardless of good or bad times, I never lost my sense of humor –fake
or genuine; I took my laughter pill religiously. Above all, I survived. Writing became my outlet and poems
are my lazy way of expressing what’s in my heart and I think I’ve become adept at it- I have to be grateful
to two office colleagues who literally kicked my behind to get me started on my writing gig.

Now that I have a free hand and total freedom, I find that even though books give me a high like none other –
am unable to stay put and read one at a go – my long suppressed persona is like an imp that has suddenly
whooshed out of bottled life and wants to drink life real’s elixir firsthand and travel gives me these
highs and lows.  I greedily drink nature in its full regalia with my 20/20 vision post cataract surgery
and being a people watcher I get further entertained.  My home is overflowing with books that I fondle
lovingly; consoling them with words like “one day when I retire and come
to a full stop” I will sip you page by page cover to cover like my favorite masala chai!
Until then hold your horses”

What to do, life is short, I need to be everywhere in person, eyes all agog in wonderment.  Still, that has
not stopped me from downloading books on my IPad and also buying “spined” ones.  That is it – my confession
in a nutshell.  I may also suffer from ADD -(attn. deficit disorder- maybe) lol ~ Finis.

Orange Lizard -folktale

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It lay supine
On its hind
Abandoned forlorn~
Torn from
Tiny hands    Enticed by ice-cream cone~
~~
Mom’s Fairytale

A good Lizard  Once gave its  Life to save an  Orphan child
Jealous step mother Ugly as sin cajoled Unaware pretty Vera To drink poisoned milk
Delighted hungry child  Stuck out an emaciated arm   When Good Samaritan lizard Leapt to warn
Rattled child let milk cup  Slip from grip, brave lizard  Drowned in poisoned milk  Saving Vera’s life
Chastened Vera, never  Trusted step mom again  Grief stricken she  desperately tried to revive savior in vain
Vera now plays with garden  Lizards, tenderly tending,  Birds come for their share Of love and innocence
That is why lizards change  Color when danger is near And are known as  Chameleons dear~

(on way home from work I saw orange plastic lizard on pavement  and recalled mom’s folklore..)

image is from google

Five Fifty-Five Word Micro Tales

eye witness 

these babies have had free ride for long.  time to set them free.  she researched , planned to nth degree.  zeroed in on best of best finally.  D-day had arrived.  her only stipulation was to be an eye witness before signing on dot.  Agreement was arrived at.  Plastic surgeon skilfully reduced bust to relieve her back.

Murder

Bent on vengeance, Sheila thought “murder”.  Finally she got the expected tweet.  Her best friend Judas Judy would be arriving any minute.  She had made her the laughing stock among their friends.   With her toy gun cocked, she bided time.   This would surely scare living daylights out of nervous Nellie JJ.  Sheila savored the thought.

Accident

Overturned car teetered at cliff’s edge.   Occupants, mother and toddler lay nearby.  Help was on way.   Weepy boy appeared to be consoled by his mother.  Crowd parted as blaring ambulances neared.  EMTs  checked  injured.  They shook their heads sadly as the mother had died on the spot but miraculously the child had escaped unhurt.

Amnesia

Falling on head on icy driveway had caused Sam’s amnesia.   Doctors assured Mona his memory would return.   It was critical he recover fast.  Company they’d built by hard work lay at brink of disaster.   Their stock had fallen steadily in the market, investors were  nervous.   Only Sam knew safe’s combination containing those valuable bonds.

Hysteria

Their only daughter Tiffany was getting married today.  It was four hours since she had gone to the beauty parlor and not returned.  Marge, Tiffany’s mother felt a steady rise of hysteria.  How would the senator and she face their VIP guest?  Horrible thoughts like kidnapping or  that Tiffany had runaway in panic, plagued her.

Safe Treasure – 3rd of safe trilogy

Lalaji aka Amar Nath sat on the park in deep thought.  Then he smiled, coming to a decision.   He put back his head, gave a guffaw and returned home with a spring in his steps.

Lalaji sold his compact two bedroom place, banked half and left for his village, to live out his remaining days basking in old memories in the mellow surroundings of the ancestral home.

Shalani, an childhood friend and favorite cousin saw him under the ancient banyan tree surrounded by children and came over to greet.  They had been very close as children and soon Lalaji spilled his guts and wept.  He missed his grandchildren left behind in the city. Hence he showered his love on the village kids who soon came to love him and addressed him as Grandpa.  Shalini decided to teach Lalaji’s three sons and their wives a lesson.  She had a wicked gleam in her eyes.

Shalini’s daughter Leela and her husband Ram were close neighbors of Lalaji’s sons Amit, Sumit and Ankit and she decided to call them for a party.  Her wedding anniversary was within days and would be the perfect excuse.  Once Lalaji’s family was within earshot, Leela said to a friend,” you know it is a real shame about poor Uncle Lala Amar Nath.  His sons deprived him of all his worldly goods sucking him dry and then got rid of him like yesterday’s newspaper! The shameless ingrates.  My mom Shalini told me that she was very happy that they did not come to know about uncle’s safe treasure”.   Then, she glided off leaving Lalaji’s offspring aghast!

The mercenary sons scrambled to huddle in a corner and palaver over this new information nugget.   Their wives urged the sons to seek out the old man and invite him back to the city after showing abject remorse and seeking a pardon in piteous tones.  The old man was sure to melt as he doted on his grand-kids.

Lalaji was seated at his usual perch surrounded by children when three sets of feet halted near him.  In unison they genuflected before him blubbering for forgiveness.  Shalini was standing behind the banyan having come there on an errand and became privy to this show of crocodile tears.  She snorted and laughed wickedly.  Her plan had been foolproof after all.  Now it will be smooth sailing for cousin Amar Nath she thought and left with a happy relieved frame of mind.

Lalaji resettled in his family’s bosom where all his three sons lived in the dream home he and his beloved wife Shanti had built and they’d  inherited from him.  Each son lived on a separate floor and had separate business as well.  Hence life was a smooth sail.

Lalaji was made much of each week by a different son and his shameless effusive wife who’s eye was only on the main chance of knowing more about the safe treasure.  Lalaji stayed mum after having been stung so bitterly by own flesh and blood.  He enjoyed his grand children very much.  They never tired of his folk lore and fairytales and tales from the Panchtantra and the great Hindu epics.  Thus their morals and moral fiber strengthened by gentle advise imparted with love and humor that matched his twinkling happy eyes.  He silently thanked the good fairy whoever he/she was that had wrought this miracle.  His sunset years had become full of light.

Lalaji had only hours to live.  His family gathered around his bedside.  Finally the youngest grandchild of five egged on by his mother asked grandpa about his Safe Treasure.  Grandpa smiled and all the puzzle pieces fell in place.  He remembered Shalini, his cousin called him a safe treasure- full of sound advice and a treasure trove of folktales for tender ears.  Silently he thanked his beloved benefactor.

In a firm voice he said, “Listen children, the safe treasure you seek is me.  Cousin Shalini always called me a “safe treasure” as she loved my stories that I weaved constantly and which she never tired of.  Regarding any cash and valuables, I have in the bank a nest egg of a quarter million which I leave up to you three to divide equitably amongst you.  However, if you can give me a proper sendoff in the traditional Hindu way and immerse my ashes in the holy Ganges River, your mother’s soul will be at peace.  I do not care one way or another.  Also if you my three sons, can on a regular basis visit a home for the aged and bring some cheer in the lives of the forsaken all your sins will be washed away.   Your children will benefit immensely from such trips as well.  I leave the decision up to you all.  That is all I have to say to you”.  Then he turned his face towards the wall and journeyed on.

** Pañcatantra, Sanskrit:  ‘Five Principles’) is an ancient Indian collection of animal fables in verse and prose, in  frame story format.

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