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A story is only as good as the storyteller.

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flash fiction

PRISONERS AND MONSTERS

This is a story about two brothers who are captured and imprisoned by the secret police. Even though this is a fictional story, similar things have been known to happen. There may come a time when mother’s tell their kids- not that go to sleep or a monster will come lurking around but go to sleep because the monster may be the man who lives across the street.

He looked as if he had seen a ghost. His eyes were wide open and even though his gaze was upon me, his thoughts seemed far away.”They are here”, he finally managed. I raised my eyes only to find his conveying the fear I felt. The fear we all felt.

It is not the dead I fear for they have served their term in this hell on Earth and now rest in peace. It is the living I fear for they can be far more inhuman. I am a prisoner here along with my brother. We do not know the reason for our imprisonment. My name is Ali and I am fifteen. My brother’s name is Hamid and he is seventeen. We share this cell along with thirty other prisoners.

I clearly remember the day we were brought here. We were roaming the market, searching for the items which mother had sent us to buy. The items weren’t many as we could not afford much. A couple of men smoking cigarettes stared at us as we passed by. Then one of them caught my brother by the collar and punched him in the face. My brother tried to fight back but there were too many of them. We were beaten in front of everyone. The men said they belonged to the secret police. They handcuffed us and brought us here.

No single person from our cell has been sent home alive. Our families usually receive our bodies in body bags and that is if they are lucky enough to receive a body. I am not sure our parents have been informed where we are.

We are tortured in the hope that we may agree to have committed treason, but most people here are innocent. The nights are the worst when the screams of tortured prisoners echo through the prison cells.

My brother looks at me as if he has seen a ghost. His eyes are wide open.”They are here”, he manages. His eyes meet mine reflecting the pain and fear in mine as I stumble through the door of the prison cell. He catches me before I fall to the ground. He knows they have electrocuted me from the rotten smell which rises from my burnt skin. I would like to tell him that it’s not so bad, except for the fact that they have cut off my tongue.

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REALITY CHECK

distorting-reality03

source – google images

“We never stop to consider that our beliefs are only a relative truth that ‘s always going to be distorted by all the knowledge we have stored in our memory.”-Miguel Angel Ruiz

The man was already there when I arrived. There was a gap among the railings where the man was standing. It seemed as if something had crashed through the railing carrying away a part of it. I passed by him unnoticed and moved on to the other end of the bridge feeling secure under the cloak of solitude.
He stood there for a long time. He looked like a statue frozen in time. He didn’t move a muscle, didn’t even move his neck. He simply gazed into the distance to whatever was waiting for him. Then he took a small step forward and plummeted into the darkness or maybe light. I felt a cool breeze brush against my skin and then I was falling. The still sheet of water parted like shards of glass as my body hit the water. I was drowning. The murky waters of the river were surrounding me, trying to blanket me in their embrace. How did I get here? It was the man who was had jumped not me. I tried to fight against the pull of the water but I was no longer in control of my body. My limbs no longer obeyed my brain.
I woke up, gasping for air. I was drenched in sweat. The fear of not being in control smothered me. After sometime my breathing returned to normal. I took a sleeping pill along with the glass of water kept beside my bed. Sometime later i fell into an uneasy slumber.
I woke up feeling light-headed, the fears of last night forgotten in anticipation of a new day. I called out to my wife but there was no answer. She must have already set out to drop over daughter off to school. I prepared breakfast for myself and then set off to work. I was the professor of history at the local college whereas my wife taught in school. She usually took the car to go to school and come back with our daughter while i took a cab as our destinations were in the opposite directions.
While sitting in the back my thoughts again wandered off to my wife and only child. She was a lively twelve year old. She was an excellent musician and could already play the piano quite well. Her music teacher called her a prodigy and said by the time she was old enough, She would be able to get into top institutions for music.
I ran into the Dean while walking towards my class. He looked sad and surprised at the same time on seeing me. He gently put his hand on my shoulder. “How are you?”, he asked me. I told him I was fine and touched by his concern for me. He looked sad but for some reason he always looked sad. He simply patted my shoulder and moved on.
For some reason I did not have a single class that day. I decided to speak to the Dean over this matter the following day but was content for the time being grading essays based on the French revolution. All of my colleagues were in a somber mood and more than one of them enquired after my welfare.
I returned home that evening only to find that my wife and daughter had not yet come home. At first I was worried but then remembered that it was a Tuesday and she had music lessons.
But as it grew late I began to worry. I tried to call my wife but she didn’t pick up. I decided to take a walk in the direction of their school.
I recognised the bridge from my dream as it was very similar. I walked towards the railing like a man in a trance. My thoughts returned to my family once more. What did my daughter look like? Why couldn’t I remember what she looked like? I had reached the railing by this time and was climbing over it when someone caught hold of my collar and pulled me back. I turned around to look into my father s face.
“The dean said that you visited the college today” he said,” I was worried”

.
I tell him that I was worried because my wife and daughter were late from school. He looks bewildered and says” There was an accident two weeks ago, your wife is dead”. I feel sick as if I am about to vomit.
” But what about her, where is she?
“ Her?”
“ Yes my daughter, where is she?”
He looks at me with pity and confusion,“ You do not have a daughter”, he says.

The ground shifts beneath my feet as I collapse.
Twelve years ago my wife gave birth to a daughter who was still born. We were unable to have any more kids. It was traumatic for both of us but we moved on, our love only grew. My wife died in a car accident which took place on the very bridge where I collapsed a week ago. The accident took place two months ago. Her car steered off the bridge carrying away a part of the railing while trying to avoid a collision with another car which had stopped in the middle of the road.
My psychiatrist tells me that it was the death of my wife which finally tipped me over. Reality was too harsh so I created a distorted version of it in which I had a daughter and my wife was still alive.
My father has moved in with me after the incident on the bridge. He looks after me. Most days I bear the crushing weight of my loss and come to terms with reality. But some days the weight is too much to bear. I call out to my wife and think of the daughter who is a figment of my imagination.

JUST EVERYDAY STORIES – INSOMANIA

“I can’t sleep”, he muttered to no one in particular. It didn’t matter though because an annoyed voice answered him anyway.

“Maybe you would sleep if you just shut your eyes and stopped complaining for a few minutes”.

“I really am trying, you don’t need to be such a jackass about it”.

“And you need to stop calling me that. Anyways what’s the matter with you? You’ve never had trouble sleeping before.”

“How the fuck would you know if I have trouble sleeping or not?”

“I have  been sharing this room with you for the past six months, that’s how I know. Who’s the jackass now?”

“Whatever,” he grunted looking up at the ceiling.

 

SIX WORD STORIES

He cried, blinded by his insight.

JUST EVERYDAY STORIES – THE RECEIPT

“Do you know what this is,” he said pointing to the piece of paper in the little boy’s hands.

The little boy shook his head all the while looking at the burly man with his frightened eyes.

“This right here is the reason why I haven’t killed you yet’

The little boy squeaked.

“I ‘m joking you little runt, this is my receipt from the grocery,” he said snatching the piece of paper away from the little boy.

“Now go find your parents”

The burly man gave a grunt of approval as the little boy scurried away like a frightened squirrel.

 

Stay

It was easier back then, all he had to do was pack his bags and leave.

It was harder back then, he never had a reason to stay

Now he had her, and she was everything he needed.

But she was no longer there to tell him that.

WHITE LIGHTS – PART I

He turned right and stumbled into a long white empty corridor where he stopped. There was a solitary figure standing at the end of the corridor where there was a door, probably waiting to be called in. The figure was busy fidgeting with the buttons on his coat and glancing at the watch on his skinny wrist every minute or so. The man was preoccupied so much so that he did not notice Raheem spying on him until five minutes later. He pointed a finger at him and made a wiggling motion meant to call the boy to him. Raheem took a timid step forward. He knew that he was not supposed to be in this part of the ship but he could not ignore the man who was beckoning him with his outstretched finger. He would later recall that the man seemed to have a strange almost mystic control over him. He  started walking towards the man as if in a daze. Before he fully realized what he had done, he had already reached the other end of the corridor.

Raheem violently shook his head in order to clear it.The man was no longer there, instead the door which had been closed for as long as Raheem could remember now stood wide open. The room inside was dark but he could make out the shadows that were moving inside. Ignoring his mother’s warnings and his own apprehension, he stepped into the room and was swallowed by the darkness.

To be continued……

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SHADOWS AND SLAVES

How is the dark unknown if you can define it as the dark? It is the light that is undefinable. Because even when you see you can never be sure of what it is that you are seeing. Faces are masks where your eyes are the only slits that allow a glimpse of the soul. Everyone has a slave in a shadow, it does what you do, when you do it. But as soon as it gets dark, the shadow gets a chance to escape and be free in whatever realm it is that shadows are free.

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The man who played the part of an immoral God

The doctor looked up from his notes at the frail old man lying in the hospital bed. The old man was looking intently at him, his fear palpable. He smiled. The person lying in front of him had lived a long and unscrupulous life. He had been given the power which should have been reserved for god , the power to take life . Now the power to decide whether he should live or die lay in his hands. The decision had been made. He injected the old man with the chemicals which would make his immediate demise peaceful. His intention was not to cause pain but simply to rid the world of such vermin.

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