Tag Archives: Creative writing

You Made It Too Easy

Hello.

Old friend.

Should I say I’m sorry?
(Oh, but I’m not.)

You see, today was one of those days when the sun was relentless. I fanned myself a few times, but it helped me no more than that stupid broken fan that hangs from the ceiling.

I remember your red hair, plastered to your forehead as you complained about the heat exactly three hundred and sixty five days ago. Yet, you did nothing to fix what you broke, did you?

The air today was heavy with the positively delightful stench of sweat, and it was when I was searching for a cure for this suffocation, a respite, that the idea of, let’s say visiting you, entered my mind.

I’m sorry (again, I’m not) that I broke into your house. You see, I know exactly where you keep your spare key because it’s where I keep mine. It was far too easy to turn the key twice to the right, to let the door swing open, to take in the vision of your garish sunshine yellow washed walls. It was too familiar a sight.

I remember your midnight blue shirt, flecked with that hideous bright yellow. I wanted something less bright, more muted, but you picked the shade for my walls and we painted it one weekend, seven hundred and forty days ago. My walls are still the same, and now yours look like this too.

Your bedroom is no different. There is a window next to the bed, because you like to sleep facing the night sky. It’s why we bought my apartment in the first place, and these days, when I shut my window at night, I wonder if it’s because I can’t sleep facing the same sky as you do.

One two three
One two three

The same books. The same number. Isn’t that why we got along at first? We like the same books.
We like the same stories, so maybe, just maybe you’ll like this one.
The same fittings. The same number of drawers in the kitchen.
The same number of knives in the same wooden block.

It’s your bedroom again. Or should I say mine?
Your wardrobe. Your safe.
My wardrobe. My safe.
Familiar numbers dance on my fingertips. Of course I know your code. It’s the same as mine. It was far too easy to turn the dials, to swipe away all the bills you’ve neatly stacked, to think of it as alimony.
You made it too easy.
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to clean you out, to take all your money.
But I need it. I have a fan to fix, dear ex-husband.


Note to the reader: This story was written in response to this prompt. Do check it out and tell me if I’ve done justice to the prompt.

Doppelgänger Alert

The Little Things

Isn’t it funny
How we fight
Over and over again
About nothing?
Don’t you see
How empty this is?
Inconsequential little things.
Did you forget to close the door?
Or perhaps put down the toilet seat?
Maybe you left the milk out again?
Don’t you see
How our fights
Are slowly
Turning into battles?
And someday when you lay the table for two
But eat from a plate for one,
Or when you have enough milk for me and you
But only a glass to pour,
Or when your king sized bed
Finally seems too big.
Will you laugh then?
At how we breathed
Consequence into things
Of Inconsequence

Paradox

Note: Open to your interpretation. My mind is rather twisted, obviously. Still, I mean this in the most positive of ways. It may not seem like it, but honestly. Always hope for the water.

I feel my feet sink lower into the sand, as the storm blows in circles all around me. Clocks turn, people fly by- their faces blurred, scarves pulled upto their eyes.  Days turn into nights turn into days.  All around me, the sands swirl in the gusty wind, as I stand there, with my vision impaired and my senses dulled. Thick, dark hair billowing around the contours of my face. Feet sinking lower and lower into these deceptive swathes of gold. Animated and suspended, rushed and stilled, all at the same time.

If I could, I’d bottle up all these grains and fill  an hourglass with hours and minutes. If  only I could. Maybe then I’d be in control of time.
Slow things down. Observe and act. But for now, I’ll sigh as the sand slips through my fingers, and  I’ll play with the cards I’ve been dealt.

What a whirl this is. Even so, never moving, never changing. Perhaps I should keep up, I think.  Perhaps, I should move with the sand, with time, with the sands of time. Maybe I should just grip the fingers of both my hands around one thigh and pull it out of the thickness, place it a tiny step forward and then do the same with the other leg.  Repeat, repeat, repeat. Move. Just move, dammit. Move forward.

Activity is all around me. Inactivity is in (the) body. Time for a quick fix? I hope, and don’t hope at the same time. Shrink and swell with the wind, and the sand. Embrace this. (Or not.) Move forward, (or stand in comfort), waiting for the sand to blanket itself around me. Burial. Obfuscation. Soil will layer itself above your rotting flesh. Nature is so…  efficient.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to weep over death for more than eternity. Especially when you know that carbon dioxide you breath out can, and will sustain another living thing.

This too shall pass. Life always does… pass. Again, step out and move forward. Or stay. Choices, changes. Comfort (?).

Choices, changes, comfort. Step out. Now.

All around me the sands move and my coat tails dance in the wind. It’s too hot for a coat, but it serves its purpose, cloaking everything on the inside.  People move forward and backward, rushing with their scarves still clinging to their faces.

Do something, hisses my mind.
And so, I do.  Digits around left flank. And then right.
Left, right, left. Like militia, but with emotion.
Faster, till this storm is behind me.

Maybe there is, beyond all of this, a blue stream, brimming with sweet, frigid water. Gurgling and bubbling. Meandering through rocks.
No more sand and storms and heat and winds after this.
I don’t know.
But I can, and will move because that stream just might be there.

Or perhaps there’s a cliff.
Maybe I’ll fall off the edge.
Maybe I’ll grow wings.
Maybe there isn’t a cliff at all.

Uncertainty is the flavour of the month.
I hear they’re handing it out on street corners, and it’s selling out like hot cakes.

And in the meantime, Life laughs sadistically in the background. The air is tinged with irony- best served with(out) hope.

Move forward, or stand in comfort. Step out. Or stay. Choices, changes. Comfort (?).
The irony is that change is the only constant of life.

Always hope for the stream though, and if it’s the cliff, jump. Never stagnate. Maybe the fall will be light, and you’ll find yourself swimming in waist-deep azure water.

You never know what all of this leads to in the end.

fleshwounds.

When we fall in love,
I want to feel it
In the core of my being
Let it not float
On my lips
Just my lips
Like some hollow declaration
Of some plastic future

Let it echo through my insides
Bang against my bones
Tear out in short gasps of breath
Bursts of fireworks
Yes yes yes
Snatches of intense, fervent emotion
Pouring out from every opening
Every gap
Plugging all our holes with
Perfervid sensation
One string
An invisible link
Between you and me

Let it wake me up
Like coffee
Hot, Bitter and Strong
Let it shake my insides
Make me laugh and
Perhaps cry
And bleed

Let us tumble
Dive headfirst
Into a rush of butterflies
Tying stomachs into knots
Let it be everything
Potent, Over-powering and raw
Who wants a fairy tale?

Let it hit us like a ton of iron bricks
Rattle our rib cages
Break a few bones
And some hearts, maybe?

Let it be pure
And happy
Just happy
Dancing-On-Air happy

Let our knees wobble with weakness
A heady rush of blood to the head
With each beat of the heart

Let it shatter our insides
Peel our skins
Cause flesh to rot
Splinter our bones
Mark us with hidden, indelible ink
Till all we have left are our bare souls

This love we feel
Should not
Will not leave us with mere fleshwounds, darling

Second Hand

Two years later, I run into you. And as expected, you bring to my mind a rush of memories, forcing me to question why I ever left you.

Trapped in this world, you were always my reality, I think.
Fiction. Crime. Drama. Romance.

An unexpected meeting in a ‘Second-Hand  Bookstore’. I’d hardly call you used, my love.

 

Wanderlust.

Thank you google images!
Thank you google images!

Let’s get wonderfully lost
Ditch the map
Forget our phones
Follow the stars
Penniless pockets
Unfamiliar tongues

Let’s catch the train
And go where it takes us
Along slopes of hills and valleys
With the smell of tea
Lingering in the air
Along the ocean
Can you feel the salt coating your lips?

Let’s eat dishes
With names we can’t pronounce
And meet people
Whose words will be etched
In our hearts forever

Let’s stop looking at the world
From our shiny tour buses
With giant binoculars in our hands
And faces pressed against tinted windows
Why not jump off the bus
And just wander?
Let’s lose the intinerary

Let’s revel
In not knowing
Where we are or
Where we’re going
Let’s get beautifully lost

Let’s fall into Wanderlust

The Siren’s Call

Courtesy- Google Images
Courtesy- Google Images

There’s something immensely beautiful about sailing alone in a vast ocean. Some may even say profound, for it reminds you of how small you are. It instills a sense of humility in you. When a storm is on the rise, this feeling grows, reminding you that you are simply a drop in the ocean.

The waters of the sea lap up against the moderately sized ship. The sailor feels dazed, as if he has just awoken from a deep, deep slumber with no sense of how or when he got there. The heavy waves are rolling against the structure, rocking the sailor and his ship left and right, side to side. He clutches onto railings and bars, in hope that he will not be overthrown due to the sheer force of it all.

“The skies and the seas are angry. They are warring with each other,” he chuckles lightly, shrugging his shoulders, as he observes the darkened sky and feels uneasy at the growing sense of unrest in his heart. The seas roar violently all around him. He makes note, with a sense of panic, that whenever he is gripped with such distinctive emotion, something always happens. It is almost like a premonition.

The warning bells are ringing.

      *****

In an old English tavern, a sailor puts down his final pint of beer and throws his arms around an unsuspecting old man. Excited, he trails off into an extensive rant about the sea, while the other patiently listens. There’s an odd glint in the old man’s eyes and his hair and beard are both long and silvery. There’s something mystical about his appearance, but the young man pays no heed.

After he has said his piece, the old gives him an amused look, and says to him, “You need only to be cautious enough not to succumb to the Siren’s call.”

****

The sailor remembers the strange conversation, and the glint in his eye. He remembers everything. He remembers that Sirens are magical creatures, beautiful and deadly, all at once. They can lure you, entice you and seduce you effortlessly through their songs. The sailor is worried.

*****

In an old house, barely big enough to fit two, the sailor packs his bags. “I’m off,” he calls with finality to no one in particular. He has recently discovered that nothing is more painful to the human soul than the sting of unwanted, agonizing words, sinking in. No feeling is harder to process than the tyranny of words meant to pierce the heart.

In the light of this discovery, he thinks about the death of his first love; a beautiful, slender woman with a stunning face. “Her laughter was like music,” he thinks sadly, feeling a shard of loss strike his heart. He understands that she is gone forever. He understands. He accepts. He cannot move on.

                  *****                                   

The sailor remembers her well. He called her Aglia, a Greek word for splendor and beauty. “She lived by her name,” he thinks sadly.  He misses her far too much.

Still tangled in thoughts of his lost love, he is unaware of the haze that shrouds the ship, obscuring his vision. From somewhere in the distance, he hears a song. An alluring melody. He has never heard anything more pleasing or beautiful. Gripped with inexplicable emotion and lust, he steers his ship towards the clear voice that cuts through the mist. The voice never leaves his head.

You need only to be cautious enough not to succumb to the Siren’s call.

The sailor spots her, poised gracefully on a rock, her fingers combing through her golden hair. Her eyes are blue; strikingly blue, like icy sapphires. When she smiles, he feels lighter, happier, more free. Neglecting the warning words of the old man at the bar, he plunges into the cool waters of the ocean and swims deftly towards the jagged rock.

But it is her voice that has captured his mind. He can think of nothing else.

He feels the echo of desire resonating throughout his body, banging against his every bone; so powerful that he forgets all else. The only thing he thinks of is how sweet her melodies sound in his ears.

He approaches her, and without a moment’s hesitation, he lowers his head and presses his lips against her own. The tender kiss, which starts off as a breath of fresh air, progressively turns darker. It becomes more demanding. The feeble woman in his arms grows stronger. He feels giddy and weak as he inhales her brine-infused breath, while she drinks in his soul with dangerous passion.

Within moments, the sailor is a mere, lifeless form, thrown carelessly across the rocks.
The Siren sings another song.

The Funny Thing About Change

Image Courtesy- Google Images
Image Courtesy- Google Images

A few people who know me quite well will tell you that I fear change like Voldemort fears death. That I’m scared to Hell and back that something will disrupt the delicate balance that governs the present and the future. I found this idea too ridiculous to even take into consideration in the beginning, for I love spontaneity and recklessness. Unfamiliarity thrills me. I don’t like to make planned, calculated moves when it comes to many, many things, but now when I think about it properly, I guess I am afraid of change. Scared to lose whatever makes sense in a whirl of absolute unfamiliarity.

I’m not afraid of improvement, but maybe I am scared of some emotions I can’t handle too well. I can’t tell what frightens me so much, but perhaps it is the possibility that there is such a great chance of loss or rejection, and that I can’t ever be prepared to handle it. (I hate being told that I can’t do something.) It’s very visceral, yes. But such emotions always left me feeling far too lost. However, more recently I’ve grown sort-of comfortable with the idea that nothing is static and the only thing that’s constant about life is change itself. Adaptability is probably not my strongest point, but at the end of the day, maybe it’s all that counts. Because change does that. More often than not, it gives you the chance to adapt and even though I called it a ‘whirl’ before, but maybe it’s more gentle, more gradual, more like a swivel.

The thing about change, forgive my poor metaphor, is that it is like growing your hair. It happens so slowly, and you can’t make out the difference from one day to the next. You can’t feel it. It isn’t palpable enough. And day by day, it grows longer and longer, and you fail to realise it because the change is so so minute. But then, all of a sudden, someone comments on how long it has grown and you feel the full weight of the realisation that your hair has progressed from shoulder-length to mid-back and you haven’t ever felt it happening. Similarly, change happens little by little, so slowly that you sometimes mistake it for stagnancy. But it will happen and the understanding that something is different will probably only strike you once it is too late, unless you’ve paid attention to the signs.

In many ways, it’s like evolution, which is a constituted of a series of smaller mutations.  Life did not jump directly from the single-celled organism to human being. There were several stops along the way, signs that something else; something much more complex was ahead. It’s the same with degeneration as well. You will see it coming. Still, it’s funny how we sit and wait for the smaller changes to multiply, or maybe accumulate in the patterns of geometrical progression (?), before we are completely ready to open our eyes and see that it has compounded into so much more than it should have ideally been. Do we always need to sit idle till the storm strikes?

I’m not going to make sweeping generalisations and give you certainties, but there’s a great chance that change will leave breadcrumbs along the route, little signs and blinkers that it is on its way; and when it does hit, it may hit you with a pat before a blow, giving you ample time to be mentally prepared and to adapt to it. Maybe waiting for the full after-effects isn’t the wisest way of telling if something has already happened.

So, I think I do seek some amusement in how this works, because if you look at it from the ‘micro’ lens, not much has changed from yesterday to today. And not much will change from today to tomorrow, or from tomorrow to the day after. But when we look back, years from now, everything has happened.