The hollow

Some primal instinct of survival must have surged through my body. There is no other explanation for how I could have run so far into the woods.

I could be dead. I will be dead if caught. Run!!!

This singular thought electrified my exhausted legs.

I glanced back when I thought I had lost them. In that moment of folly, the entire world came crashing in a heap of green and blue and brown. I tripped over a tree root and fell on my face.

Fear overwhelmed me. Trembling, I struggled to get up. That’s when it caught my eye – that wide gaping hollow at the base of the guilty tree; strangely dark.

The sound of approaching footsteps spurred me to dive into the hollow. Refusing to breathe, I inched forward to flatten myself against its inside wall. On reaching it, I let out an involuntary yelp; the wall was ice cold, in the middle of the tropical forest.

I panicked. Surely they had heard me now! Confused and desperate, I searched for any means of escape. That’s when I saw the mark of a human palm on the wall. Would it open, if I touched it? With no time to decide, I had no choice. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than a violent death. I placed my hand on the wall.

I have been here ever since. Over the years, I have often looked back at that moment of desperation. Every single time, I regret placing my hand.


Flash fiction in response to Weekend Writing prompt hosted by the lovely Sammi Cox. Thank you so much, Sammi! This week’s prose challenge.

Write a story with a maximum word count of 250 words that tells the story of a character or group of characters who discover a secret doorway.  Your story must include the following elements:

  • a description of the secret doorway
  • an explanation of how the doorway was discovered
  • a firm decision to either go through the doorway or not

My escape

He would kill me if he found me. But this wasn’t living either. I made my decision. I wouldn’t be controlled by that Leviathan beast of fear anymore.

 I walked to the door. 


This time, I was late for submission to YeahWrite’s monthly Microprose challenge. That doesn’t stop me from posting it here though. :).

Details of the challenge:

Your task this week is to write a story in exactly 33 words incorporating the word leviathan, specifically the third definition “something large or formidable (that leviathan of international corporations)”

A new day

Nathan woke up squinting; the gentle morning light blinding the eyes that had slept for too long. He sensed her immediately. Instinctively he closed his eyes, turned in her direction and slowly opened them. He saw her, radiant and smiling. Her tears wet his forehead as she kissed him.

“How do you feel honey?”

“I feel… I don’t know. Drugged. And Thirsty.”

“They say it will wear away in a few hours’ time. Here, have some water.”

Nathan drank out of her hands and lay back down in exhaustion.

 

“I am scared, Emily. What if it hasn’t worked? They did say it was experimental.”

“Then nothing changes, does it? We would have lost some money but then… Come on Nathan. You only need to try.”

photo-20170904154630548Nathan looked down on his hand that had been his lifeless companion all life. He willed it to move. And suddenly – it did; making shadows he never knew he was capable of. Smiling, he looked out the window at the rising sun. A glorious day had just begun.

Word count: 173

Photo courtesy:  artycaptures.wordpress.com


Flash fiction in response to FFfAW hosted by Priceless Joy.

 

Convincing Suma

“You really should seek help you know.” I begin, being the responsible elder sister and all.

“Yeah… I know.” she drags, looking into her uneaten dinner plate, into a plate of pain.

“Suma. This is no joke ok? Look at you! Look at how much weight you have lost this last month. You don’t eat. You don’t even get a night’s worth of restful sleep. How long can you sustain like this?”

More staring at the plate with more melancholy writ on the face. Time to step up the game.

“Sigh… Look dear. You know I mean well… I have been through this myself. Trying to ignore it will not make the pain go away.”

“I KNOW Akka. But YOU don’t know what I am going through. What is it for you? You are brave. You could do it. I am not, ok? I can’t. I just can’t!”

Say something. Quick!

“It’s not like that at all! Courage is not something you are born with. It is what you acquire over time. Every time you face your fears you get more courageous.” Wow! Where did those words of wisdom come from? And at such an opportune moment. Certainly, this should change her mind?

“Pfft.”

Ok. Obviously, wisdom didn’t work. Try compassion?

“Suma, I understand you are scared… Will you feel better if I come with you? I can take time off from college you know. It’s ok by me.”

Some melting evident. Hey! Good job! But don’t look too happy just yet.

“Come on! I can only do so much. YOU have to do the rest. Believe me, it is not as bad as you think it is. Just imagine… You will be out of this misery you seem to have gotten yourself into and enjoy life as before. You will be yourself again. ”

Oh, some change! Ok. Look serious. Look like you mean it. Don’t lose it now!

“Ok, Akka… I guess I do have to do something about it…. Tomorrow is ok?”

“Perfect.”

She clutches my hand as sweat peeps out on her forehead. “I am so, SO scared,” she whispers, fear overpowering her.

“Don’t worry. It’ll be ok” I reassure her as I guide her into the dentist’s clinic.



The climax

red-tinted-forest

Photo credit: Sammi Cox

The situation reached its climax at sunset when I squealed for mercy in front of the muzzle, seconds before it shone in a flash of brilliance, leaving me a wandering, vengeful ghost in this dark jungle; until you crossed my path.


Can you guess whose fear would have been greater, the dead or soon to be dead? 😉


Microfiction in response to Weekend Writing Prompt hosted by Sammi Cox. The challenge was “Prose Challenge – Write a pangram – a single sentence that contains every letter of the alphabet at least once – inspired by the theme of fear and set in the photo.”

 

Artificial Intelligence!!

The comment from Maddie on my post,  Supreme being of them all! got me perplexed. When I had posed the question, I had thought about only biological beings. But his comment on artificial intelligence forced me to contend with intelligent machines too. The first question to answer is then: Should they be considered inclusively in the “beings” class?

Although I find accepting this extremely difficult, the more I think, the more I convince myself to say “Yes”. Artificial intelligence allows machines to think and learn. It allows them to interact with everyday objects seamlessly, make decisions based on past experiences and so on. These are cognitive abilities that so far have been restricted to biological beings with a somewhat evolved brain. A bacteria in comparison is far less intelligent (though it defeats us all in being adaptable and hence surviving any adverse condition). These intelligent beings (yeah there I called them beings) may be missing some abilities, yet, but I do believe it is only a matter of time before they gain these advanced abilities too.

Which brings me back to the first question. Who is the supreme of them all? Suddenly, even the prospect of this question is too scary, too significant to grasp and too ambiguous to answer rationally in the present. For now, I table this question and retire to watch time reveal the answer.

 

 

 

The recycled soul?

Two independent events over the weekend that were coincidentally relevant have forced me to think about fundamental questions of birth and death. In the past, I have studied the questions of birth and death, life and its vagaries, desire and pain, destiny and free will as explained from multiple religious standpoints. However, in the recent past, I have learned to simplify my existence, my world view, my understanding and love of God to very few basic principles. This simplification has allowed me to be far less questioning and far more accepting thereby making life, well, more simple. But these two seemingly small events revived the questions from the past that had been blissfully suppressed so far. Quick context. Event 1: Advertisement that called for essay entries with the title “Who am I”. Event 2: Unplanned spontaneous discussion on reincarnation for a Hindu.

Continue reading “The recycled soul?”