Steve’s First Day at School

I looked at the mess on the ground and felt like banging my head against the wall. Two things stopped me:

  1. There was no wall readily available in the middle of the playground; and
  2. I knew that you need to be patient with kids like Steve, getting mad at them will only make things worse.

But making Steve aware of my disappointment in him was equally important, so I looked at him with a somber expression and said, “You know you are not supposed to do stuff like this Steve. What will Papa think when he comes to know about this?”

Steve had tears in his eyes as he said, “Wasn’t my fault ma’am, I was just sitting quietly and eating….”

This denial of responsibility would not do at all, so I cut him short, and said, “You need to start taking responsibility for your actions, son.”

“But I was not responsible ma’am, it wasn’t my fault, I swear,” cried out Steve.

“Then whose fault was it?” I countered.

“Well, as I was trying to tell you ma’am…” Steve started off.

I don’t know what came over me then, but I just couldn’t resist stopping him right there and telling him, “There is no try, only do.”

I’d always wanted to use that dialogue, fate had finally presented me with an opportunity, I wasn’t going to let it go this easily.

Steve kept staring at me quizzically, like I was not the Headmistress of his school but some veteran of a mental asylum who had replaced her, and then shrugged his head, and said, “I was just sitting, and trying to eat in peace and quiet…”

I interrupted him again, “What were you eating?”

He looked at me with his tear-filled eyes wide open and said, “Duh?”

I realized my error immediately, and said, “I know, I know, I was just trying to evaluate the impact of the shock on your memory.”

Steve gave up on me at this point I think, and continued as if I had not interrupted, “I was just eating what Papa had packed for me today, when the gardener asked me for the time.”

I thought of butting in at this point, but as they say, discretion is the better part of valour, so I demurred.

Steve continued, “I looked at my watch, and that is when it happened.”

I did butt in at this time, and said, “And look what you did on my watch by looking at your watch!”

I’m too much of a smart-ass at times, but what’s the use of being in charge if you can’t get away with saying such things.

Anyways, I gestured at Steve to quickly conclude, for out of the corner of my eyes, I could see the clean-up crew arrive and start prepping up.

Steve was looking quite embarrassed by now, and his eyes threatened to overflow again, but with a valiant effort, he narrated the rest of his story, “My watch was on my left hand, the same one in which I was holding my blackberry jam-filled doughnut. I turned my hand, and the jam spilled on top of the poor gardener. I immediately kept my doughnut on the side and started cleaning the gardener up. And it was then that I realized….”

I didn’t say anything, but I’m sure Steve saw the question mark in my eyes clearly enough, and he said, “…I realized…that I had kept the doughnut on top of the gardener’s wife.”

And despite myself, I couldn’t help but steal a horror-struck look at the gardener’s wife, or what remained of her, squashed by the 500 kilograms jam doughnut that had been the lunch of the only son of the BFG.

Photo courtesy Sue Vincent


Written as a part of Thursday Photo Prompt – Carved at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.

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Call of Duty

The rugged mountainous path was filled with signboards, asking us to stop, to reconsider.

PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg

But I had no time to read those stupid signs. I had to follow my family, my friends, the people closest to me.

They knew what they were doing, they’d always known what was best for me.

And so, I followed them as they started running towards the edge of the cliff, and followed them as they accelerated, and followed them as they jumped, into the void.

Like generations of lemmings before me, and generations that would follow, blindly.

For that’s what we always did.

*************************************************************************************99 words.

Written as a part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The objective is to write a short story of 100 words or less, based on the photo prompt given above. To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Note: I know, I know, lemmings don’t really commit mass suicide, but the myth is ingrained in popular culture and belief, so I decided to use it in my little allegorical tale.

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Gone Fishing

I saw the park, and the pond nestled in the greenery, and knew that today was my lucky day. As always, I had gone prepared with my fish landing net, opportunities can present themselves anytime, anywhere, so ‘Always be prepared’ was my motto.

All excited now, I bent down by the side of the bridge with my net. But I knew it wasn’t enough to catch them. So, I stretched a bit more.

I sensed some movement now, but it still wasn’t enough. Maybe they need a better look at the bait, I thought. And now, I stretched as much as my body would allow, and then some more, till I felt as if I would break with the stress.

And it was then that one of them finally took the bait, and with a loud chuckle, told her friend, “Will you take a look at that ass?”

And hidden from their sight, my face lit up as the friend replied, “It’s gorgeous, isn’t it.”

I knew today was my lucky day.

Photo prompt courtesy Yinglan


172 words.

Written as a part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, hosted by Priceless Joy. The challenge is to write a story in 175 words or less, based on the weekly photo prompt. For more information visit HERE. To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.


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Stop! Or My Mummy Will Shoot!

After a long and grueling chase through the streets of Silver City, we finally had him cornered in a cul-de-sac.

“Give it up Billy,” I told him, “the game’s over.”

“Ya don’t know who you’re messin’ with pal. Go back to your fancy dress party,” Billy replied nonchalantly.

“There’s three of us, and you’re all alone, just come quietly, no one needs to get hurt,” my wife tried to convince Billy.

“I’m never alone,” Billy said, taking his trusted Colt out of its well-worn holster.


“STOP! Or my Mummy will shoot,” I cried out in alarm, as his arm started coming up.

Billy laughed, and said, “Her arms are bandaged ya doddering fools, how’s she gonna shoot a gun?”

“Who said anything about a gun,” I replied, as my Mummy opened her mouth, and shot out a swarm of locusts that enveloped Billy the Kid before he could even blink. Life as the Rulers of ancient Egypt had been fun, but living in the Wild, Wild West as Bounty Hunters did have its compensations.

225 03 March 18th 2018

Photo courtesy A Mixed Bag


174 words.

Written as a part of Sunday Photo Fiction, hosted by Al Forbes. The challenge is to write a story of 200 words or less based on the photo prompt given above. For more details, visit HERE. To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.



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The Break-In

We returned home to find the door ajar.

Fearing the worse, I asked my family to stay behind me, and cautiously opened the door.

The living room looked like a disaster zone.

And then, I noticed the trail of blood, going inside.

We dashed into the bedroom…

….only to find a little girl there, bleeding from her mouth.

And as soon as she saw us, her eyes became red…as she shouted, “That carrot cake was so hard, it broke all my teeth, you brutes. If I don’t put you in prison for this, my name is not Goldilocks!”

*************************************************************************************99 words.

Written for the Carrot Ranch Literary Community Flash Fiction Challenge, hosted by Charli Mills. This week’s challenge, in her own words, was:

March 16, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about carrot cake. It can be classic or unusual. Why is there cake? How does it feature in the story. Go where the prompt leads

To participate, or read some clever, innovative, and funny stories starring the humble carrot cake, please visit:

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We had to keep looking ahead, keep moving forward, for there was nothing left behind us, nothing but death and destruction.

Uprooted from a land on which generations of us had taken birth, lived our lives, and prospered. Our lives shattered on the whims and fancies of one man, whom they worshiped as a saint.

Banished, forever, never to return.

Our future generations would never be able to frolic in those green pastures, nor would they ever get to drink the rejuvenating fresh water from those bubbling brooks that could bring a dead one back to life. Aah, the sweet taste of home.

But no, there was no time to think of those happier times. We would get plenty of time to dream, to get drunk on nostalgia, but first, we had to survive.

Survive this arduous journey through lands that had been uninhabited by man or beast since centuries.

Survive the baking hot sun by taking cover in whatever caves we could find.

Photo prompt courtesy Sue Vincent

Survive the total lack of food or water on this cruel land.

Survive the vultures that were circling overhead, waiting for some of us to give up and stop moving….so that they could move in for the kill.

We saw sons losing their fathers, and mothers being forced to leave their sick or dead progeny behind.

We saw strange sickness take over the bodies of our loved ones, and our numbers deplete by half, and then half again.

We saw some of us go mad with hunger, and anger at what had become of us, and attack one of their own. We all had to collectively put these poor souls down.

We would have cried, but there were no tears left any more, we had seen too many horrors, too much pain, too much loss.

And then, finally, after what seemed like years, but was actually less than a fortnight, we reached the neighbouring country.

Our faces lit up as we saw the walls surrounding the city.

There were only a few of us left, but at least we were safe now. We would rebuild our lives from here, we would grow again, we would allow love to grow in our hearts again.

But this turned out to be just another cruel joke that fate had played on us.

The residents of the city saw us, and shut their gates.

They attacked us even as we went up to the walls to ask for help.

They poured molten oil on us from the walls, and lit us on fire.

They poisoned the wells outside the walls which would have helped us survive a little longer.

But still, some of us survived, for our will to live would just not allow us to die.

And we fought back, and won.

For we had no other choice but to keep looking ahead, keep moving forward, for behind us was nothing but death and destruction.

They would forever blame us, call us evil, but no one would ever think of laying the blame on the feet of the one man who was responsible for what we had become- St. Patrick, who drove all of us out of our home, Ireland!

*************************************************************************************Written in response to the Thursday Photo Prompt – Ahead at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the above image.

Note: The first time I ever came to know about there being no snakes in Ireland was through a Jeffrey Archer collection of short stories that I had read while I was in school. Over the years, I also came to know that St. Patrick was the one credited with driving away all snakes from Ireland (as per legend of course). So when I saw this picture, it somehow led me to thinking about what the snakes would have thought of his noble act. After all, snakes are people too 🙂

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The Perfect Shot

“OUCH!!!! What did you do that for?”

“Because you messed up again, you loser.”

“But I was just a wee bit late.”

“Your ‘wee bit late’ means at least a million less likes on Insta…wee bit late, it seems.”

“It’s not my fault, my camera was not fast enough.”

“Yeah, it’s the camera’s fault of course.”

“It’s still not a bad shot…OOOOOFFFFF!!!”

“Not a bad shot? Not a bad shot? It is just a picture of a solitary camera on a dark road, not of me gobbling up the owner of the camera seconds before this shot!”



99 words.

Written as a part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The objective is to write a short story of 100 words or less, based on the photo prompt given above.

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

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