The Doting Grandma

Sitting alone in her ramshackle cottage, the old lady grumbled as she sewed torn buttons back onto a shirt.

“Boys these days,” she mumbled in frustration, “they fight like raccoons, and it is we who have to suffer.”

Her rickety fingers were not as nimble as they used to be, and the needle was looking blurred through her cataract-ridden eyes, but she’d promised this very shirt to her grandson, so she soldiered on.

If only,” she sighed, “that boy Ivan had allowed me to eat him peacefully, I would’ve gotten his shirt ready for my Baby Yaga ages ago.”


99 words.

Written in response to the  Carrot Ranch July 5: Flash Fiction Challenge, hosted by Charli Mills. The objective is to write a story in exactly 99 words inspired by the weekly prompt. The prompt this week was: Buttons.

Note: Growing up, among my most precious possessions were two hard-bound collections of fairy tales: one had stories from Russia, and the other had tales from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

Baba Yaga used to be frequently featured in these fairy tales, most of the times as an evil witch, but at times also as someone who helps out the hero(typically Ivan) through guidance or magical objects like a woolen yarn that keeps spinning till it reaches his destination. This she provided to him once he answered her question, or just prove himself to  have a heart of gold and nobility of purpose at times.

And then, of course, I next came across her through the John Wick films, in which his character is supposed to be as scary, and as mystical, as her.

This story is my tribute to that legendary character who was my constant companion in my childhood. I, obviously, have taken the liberty of creating a grandson for her 🙂


About anuragbakhshi

At the age of 40, I decided to exit the corporate world, and enter the world of stories as a full-time writer. Wish me luck!
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18 Responses to The Doting Grandma

  1. syncwithdeep says:

    hahha.. I have also grown up reading Russian fables and I secretly enjoyed reading the story with fear when the witch gobbles the children in most stories. and this brought me jitters indeed. loved the way u got connected to ur childhood memories through the prompt.

  2. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Being an orchestral oboist, my mind immediately started playing Baba Yaga’s hut from Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky.Thanks for reminding me of it!

  3. Sarah Ann says:

    Lovely set-up and twist. Grandmas love their grandchildren however an awful person they might be themselves 🙂

  4. Nicely done! The twist made me chuckle out loud. This is the second time Baba Yaga has popped up unexpected in my reading this summer. I wonder what that means…

  5. Liz H says:

    You never fail to delight and terrorize. 😉
    Nice extra history of Baba Yaga!

  6. Frank Hubeny says:

    It is the first I’ve heard of Baba Yaga. Nice shift at the end in your story with the unsuccessful eating of Ivan.

  7. Oh, now that was a twist. With a side of Ivan. Well done.

  8. Charli Mills says:

    Your childhood tales have left their mark on you, Anurag, and yet you write to make them your own. So of course, take liberties! I enjoy your style.

  9. Pingback: Buttons « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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