Choice

It was a dark, moonless, and snowy evening… They sat on wooden bench waiting for the bus. Eye contact struck the match showing the realms of a different world. They could take seven steps to get close to discover the unexplored world. They might remain unmoved to be the slave of their own fantasies. They sat still, mirroring their body language – shrunken and hugging themselves, waiting for the other to make the first move. Time flew past as it does forever. The bus arrived; she passed him without bothering a look for it is better with dreams than reality.

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Monsters under My Bed

She sleeps with a heap of books, a smiling dinosaur, a simple camel, and a lazy, ginger cat. She likes a cool, dark room to sleep. She woke up from deep slumber as felt a sudden chill of someone tugging her sheet slowly. She did not dare to open her eyes as the growl under her bed steadily grew; she felt that there was something close to drool or blood on her books, a leg was missing from the camel, and could not find dinosaur or the cat.

Her imagination brought back all the dark villains she has ever read to life that is now waiting under her bed to grab her ankles. Her cry never reached her own ears as something jumped on her with vengeance. A vile creature with a malformed face and gleaming big eyes tried to lick the life out of her. Her fingers finally managed reach the switch of reading light. Sincerely hoping that light could dissolve the monster, she opened her eyes just in time to save another licking attack from her pug.

Go Away

They were returning home after a cup of coffee, nuzzled under one umbrella, rain splattering all over, and feeling the warmth of each other in the mild weather. He had one arm around her in a protective way while the other was holding umbrella. She covered his hand holding the umbrella as though to provide additional support to avoid the unruly winds tipping off their frugal shelter.

They reached home wishing the walk could continue forever. She ran into their lawn with a reckless abandon and threw her arms heavenwards. He sought her immediately, took out rogue strands of hair from her face to hold her lips in his.

Shivering a little, she was melting slowly in the hot coffee-breath. He said ‘Pull the blinds and switch on the light. Rain is such a mess.’ Her coffee mug was close to her mouth.

Irreconcilable Differences

New York City,
September 15th, 2001

Dear Ivan,

I don’t know why I call you dear even now. That is how they taught me to write a letter. Of all people why I should I write a letter to the one who has walked out of my life nonchalantly. Did you even care to look up where I was on 11th? I haven’t changed my number yet. No message, no calls… was I that bad? For God’s sake, I’m pregnant with your baby. You would have dismissed it with a wave of your hand or that noisy sigh of relief that I would have perished with your baby to save you some trouble while watching TV. I can imagine your false concern in those beady black eyes next day with your friends on national security. God… you can talk and talk doing nothing.

I want to write to let you know that I survived. I came for a jog and fresh air in Central Park but could not move a limb or breathe. I neither could appreciate the early streaks of autumn nor the pleasant weather. Only thing I could feel was my blood was coursing thick in the veins like an acid trying to burn my very existence from this earth. It all happened then. How I wished to be at my office in 105th floor on the fateful hour? I still could not cry. I’m very angry.

Regards,
Rebecca
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New York City,
January 21st, 2002

Dear Ivan,

I lost my job, living on savings, insurance will run out in another 5 months, and yet I don’t want to see you. I noticed your struggle to control the devilish grin when I said no rights on baby including visitation rights for no alimony claims. Men are proud of their first born. Aren’t they? Your indifference makes me sick. Doctor says it is a girl. I won’t let you to do the same to another girl of my blood. I really don’t want to see you. It just fills me with low self-esteem and makes me vulnerable enough to harm you in all possible cruel ways. You took all nice things from me including tears and left me with an unwanted burden to constantly remind me of a worst past. Leave me alone. I need a job in Wall Street now and not you.

Regards,
Rebecca
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New York City,
March 6th, 2002

Dear Ivan,

I visited OBGYN today for routine checkup. I got off the cab and walked along busy pavements of First Avenue. As I walked into the hospital, it seemed as though every person had a loving partner. I’m not jealous. I just don’t have feelings of any kind these days. My smile hardly reaches eyes even when faint flicker of hope swirled in the form of job offer. You know how I wanted to be a stock broker at that big place. I haven’t felt happiness. I almost have everything I want except you. Probably it is better you are not around to see my supposedly best days.

Regards,
Rebecca
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New York City,
May 22nd, 2002

Dear Ivan,

Medical Center is more of a second home now. There were 10 strangers and no known person except for the doctor in the labor room. They begged me to scream and cry. As you know I lost the ability to cry, I did not scream too. That excruciating pain was oddly relieving. Isabelle came into the world to confirm my vilest nightmares. She reminds me of you – she has your thick curls, high jaws, and thin, trembling lips. I immediately wanted to throw her out of my window.

Regards,
Rebecca
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New York City,
July 30th, 2002

Dear Ivan,

I came out of post-partum depression and Isabelle is not put up for foster care. I took her out for the first time to Central Park. It need not have been this way. How your eyes filled with desire fixes me in any place in those early days? Sweet-nothings spills over the night, your declaration of love, hunt for a one-of-a-kind wedding gown, no-expenses-spared marriage, romantic honeymoon, passionate nights… isn’t there a single grain of truth in all these? What went wrong? Absence and angst replaced love and lust. Deep down there must be a lie, manifested as truth, later morphed into love, and slowly disintegrated tall tales because of the weak core. I missed to see this deceit from the beginning.

Regards,
Rebecca
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New York City,
August 28th, 2002

Dear Ivan,

Ed agreed to baby sit Isabelle today while I was in an office party. I met Ed during one of our excursions to Central Park. A ball fell at my feet and I looked up to see man running towards me; I threw the ball at him and he returned that to bunch of other men. Drizzle broke out feebly and I took Isabelle to move. He offered help and then introduced him as Ed. After you, it was very difficult for me to trust any men. I refused. He took Isabelle from me. He pointed that it might rain heavily and that it could be difficult to get a cab. He waved to his friends and started sprinting. He dropped us at home. He lives two blocks away from us. He too works in Wall Street. I don’t know when he came home and got himself involved in diaper duties. He is nice and cordial. Since when have I started observing other men??

Regards,
Rebecca
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New York City,
January 3rd, 2003

Dear Ivan,

Ed’s friends were bound to Europe for the holidays while he was tied up with work. He spent the holidays at home switching between Isabelle and work. He pointed to me that she has got my eyes. Yes, she really does. I noticed only after that. Glad she has my features too. They both get along well. Ed helped me with shopping at Fifth Avenue. He is good and open but thinks that I’m arrogant, closed, stubborn, and proud. Little did he know that only those has brought me this far.

Regards,
Rebecca
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New York City,
December 18th, 2004

Dear Ivan,

It is long since I wrote to you. I was busy with Isabelle and work. Ed took us out on a vacation to Atlantic City to get some sea in summer. Isabelle started talking in God’s language. I could only understand ‘mama’ so far. Yesterday night when Ed was taking Isabelle to bed, she called him, ‘papa’. Neither did I teach nor did he correct. He was happy as though his own child had called him ‘papa’ for the first time. Then something weird happened, tear drops escaped my dry eyes. Ed let my cry loudly on his shoulders for more than an hour. When the pouring subsided, he wiped my face with a wet towel and kissed my lips for the first time. I felt like born again.

Regards,
Rebecca
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New York City,
January 9th, 2006

Dear Ivan,

I ran into your friend Jerry at Rockefeller Center. He tells me that he has lost you in a skiing accident at Alps. I froze hearing it. You not only slipped off my mind but also from a cliff. When I moved in with Ed, I wanted to erase all your memories. I sold half and gave the rest to charity. All I have left of you is Isabelle and these letters. I could not bring myself to destroy these letters that are never meant to reach post office. These words are mine that details the battle with my mind and heart. Now, it doesn’t hold any meaning. I’m going to burn the bundle so that you could get some light and warmth as you travel to the nether world.

Regards,
Rebecca
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Hugs and Kisses

It is his daily routine to wake up with his smartphone to tweet morning wishes, read newspaper with coffee, enter bathroom with magazines, check tweets during breakfast, and once back from office it is Facebook for friends, LinkedIn for professional updates, photos in Flickr, or updates his website. She grew tired of this obsession and took charge to rekindle the romance between them. The efforts were lost in vain as he came with a new toilet-shelf book when she arranged for a bath together and he barely noticed the sexy lingerie trying to fix a broken HTML in his website when she hopped onto their bed.

Unabashed by the failed attempts, she approached it tenderly – tweeted about buying groceries on the way back home and sent a mail with the details. He picked up items in the order she has written – bread, olive oil, sugar, milk, eggs, celery, beans, carrots, oranges, grapes, hugs, and kisses. The women buying apples left the grocery store dazedly with bruised lips.

Le Voyage Extraordinaire

Year 3815 C.E., Galactic Traffic Control beeped an alarm for Mercedes to look up the great screen where a red dot was blinking. Her squint look at the red dot for 5 seconds brought the details of the warning to the screen – galactic cruiser Tlaloc M-7 steered by Captain Edmond has left 1Norma and is moving towards 2Sgr A*. Tlaloc M-7 seemed to have slowed down as it has swept pass the destination for the Emergency Response System to trigger MTEH (Moving Towards Event Horizon) alert.

Unabashed of signal availability to the cruiser that is dangerously close to 3event horizon, Mercedes sent the message, “Starboard and full speed”, overriding the cruiser control, followed by sending a guard ship to Tlaloc M-7. Cruiser turned and with a great struggle started gathering speed. Edmond suffering from spacetime sickness felt a pull backwards…

Appendix
1. Norma is the closest arm to the galactic core of Milky Way
2. Sgr A* or Sagittarius A* is the super massive black hole in the center of our Milky Way galaxy
3. Event Horizon is the surface that surrounds the black hole that marks the point of no return

P.S.: Guess I’m the first one to write an appendix for a flash fiction 🙂

Bookworm

The wizened old man with a flowing white beard, woolen cap, shrunken with time, sat on a three legged stool, rekindling the fire that he set using phosphorus, in the wee hours of morning. He carefully measured zinc oxide and threw it into the muddy broth that was bubbling in the tin cauldron that was already emitting strong stench of sulfur, containing the treasure of his life – seven blocks of silver that he inherited from his late wife. While going over his notes, a silverfish jumped from his notebook and ran, he threw the log over the silverfish but the bookworm took the hit in its hind part and hid underneath a stone.

Yellow light creeks dawn, he continued stirring thoughtlessly, a lightening hit his cauldron that electrocuted and charred him to bones immediately. Rains lashed out from heavens, extinguished the remaining fire, mixed with the broth from the cauldron, reached the stone, and moved further. Another lightening split opened the cauldron to expose seven yellow bars covered with translucent fluid and a bookworm in excellent health came out from near the stone and took refuge in the bag full of books and notes from rain.