Corny parallels

This scoring system baffles me. You start with Love, yet you play to score, and by the time you get the Advantage, you’ve no more Love.

Come to think of it, it’s sort of like my marriage.

It takes balls to play the game, it takes you to the Court, and of course there’s a racket on both sides!


In response to The Three Line Tales, Week 103 Challenge, based on a photo by Christopher Burns via Unsplash

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Looking down

Baba, is that the building you helped build?

It is so tall. My eyes cant see all the way up. They get lost in the clouds. Did you really go all the way up there? Did it not scare you. I would be terrified. The day we heard that one uncle had fallen and died, ma cried so much. We prayed everyday that Allah would keep you safe. Can we go up and see?

We don’t need to buy tickets. You just tell them that you want to show your children what you built.

Why not?

The tickets cost an entire month’s salary!

It’s OK baba. I’m sure its prettier to look upwards, than down.

In response to Bikurgul’s 100 Word Wednesday: Week 54 challenge, based on a photo by Roman Logov

The house at the end of the rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby…

You’re going to love it, honey. A week at a remote home-stay, out in the middle of nowhere, living the life of a farm-hand, free of pollution or technology.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true…

They don’t even have cellular coverage, so no urgent messages from the boss. And it’s so cheap. He said that we are his first guests and he’s planned everything perfectly.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me…

Why are you doing this? Please. We’ll give you whatever you want. Just let us go. Don’t touch her. I’ll do whatever you want. STOP. STOP.

Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me…

NO. NO. O GOD. NOOOooo

If happy little blue birds fly beyond the rainbow
Why oh why can’t I?

In response to the 150th Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge.
This week’s photo prompt is provided by @any1mark66. Thank you Mark!

The story is intertwined with the lyrics of Judy Garland’s “Somewhere over the rainbow”. My thanks and apologies for the same.

Caged

“A beautiful creature like her should be left free. She should run wild, go where ever her mind takes her. Its wrong to confine her like this.”

“But father, it says here that she was born in captivity. She does not know the great outdoors that you speak of. This zoo is the only world that she knows.”

“Two wrongs do not make a right. Its wrong that her parents were bred in captivity. Its wrong that she lives in captivity.”

“She’s part of a conservation program. They are working to improve the population of snow leopards.”

“Well, then she should be in a reserve. Not a zoo.”

I watched the firm set of father’s jaw line. That expression meant that his mind was firmly and immovably made up. It was the same expression that he had when he told me that women in our family do not wear revealing clothes, do not stay out late, and most certainly they do not go to big cities and live alone.

A sudden laugh bubbled up my throat. “Father, do you think that she looks at us and wonders why we are standing behind a barbed fence.”


In response to The Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of 14th January 2018 hosted by Al Forbes

Familial dichotomy

My last post was almost a month back.

I am appalled. It started with ‘Not today. Positively tomorrow.‘ and eventually became ‘Is today actually today or is it already tomorrow?‘ By the time my brain smog cleared, I was wallowing in ‘Shame on you. You need to get your act together, lady!‘ Until today, eventually, after hours of self-motivating perk-up monologues, I resolved to ease myself back in with the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt.

A very wise Linda said – When you’re ready to sit down and write your post, look to the publication closest to you, and base your post on the sixth, seventh, and eighth word from the beginning of the page. Enjoy!

I picked up the paper beside me, which happened to be a real estate commercial, and read the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th words.
image_6483441

That’s it. That’s bloody it.
The reason why I have not been able to write for the last month – I just couldn’t get what is the serene location nor the quiet down time.

Visitors tire me. In-laws tire me out even more. Just having to constantly watch what comes out of my mouth is tiring, its tiresome. What was fascinating, and only in retrospect, was the familial dichotomy between shared upbringing and divergent lifestyles. There was a warmth that seemingly infused the room as the siblings reminisced, and yet we were constantly aware of the undercurrent of egotistical clashes that could suck that very warmth out at any moment. Verbal communications did not always speak the same language as the emotional interactions. We smiled, we laughed, we feasted, we bid tearful farewells, and then we heaved a secret sigh of relief as some unnamed burden lifted from our souls.

It took a few more days to reclaim my living space and my routine.

Now here I am. A little older, a little more cynical, but definitely also a little richer for having gained some more insight into the intricate tapestry that is my family. After all, family shapes us. And constantly reshapes us.

We look to connections with immediate family in order to understand our place within larger communities: our neighborhoods, cities, countries and worlds, our genders, economic classes, generations, races and sexual preferences. ”
– William Tolan

nD

Jim walked through the almost desolate museum. Except for the curators and their obviously bored grandchildren, there was no one to be seen. Not even the lure of free tickets and popcorn had worked. As of now, the museum housed more extinct species than living ones.

‘Museums are becoming extinct,’ he lamented to his grandson.

‘Pops, you need to change with the times. Who wants to see some inanimate bones, when they can experience everything in n dimension in the Virtual Reality museums.’

‘Flying with the Pterosaurs and being chased by a T-Rex is not science, it is science fiction.’

‘Maybe, but at least people pay to see that.’


In response to the 146th Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge, based on a photo by Yinglan Z.

Moments

In life there is no ever after, and happily needn’t start with a fairy-tale. Twenty years of marriage had taught me that.

Ours wasn’t love at first sight. He wasn’t a romantic sweep-a-girl-off-her-feet type of guy. But he was honest, hard working, and more importantly, he gave me respect and space, a courtesy rarely extended to women of my generation.

When that mutual respect transformed into friendship and love, I cannot say.

We did not discuss things like feelings, or mark milestones with expensive gestures or elaborate adventures. As I packed away his things, I realised that while we may not have had any grand moments, we had enjoyed many happy ones.
In the brief time that we had together, we had created many beautiful memories.

Like this silly old snow globe that he gave me for our first Christmas…

“Show me that,” my mother-in-law requested from her wheel-chair. “You still have this! Your father-in-law, bless his heart, gave this to me for our first Christmas.”

I held on to the globe tenderly. My beloved had been a romantic after all.


In response to the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of December 17th 2017, based on a photo credited to A Mixed Bag 2013

Price and value

You know mom, diamonds are not actually very valuable. Its all just an artificial hype. Consumerism at its best. You sure wasted a lot of money on that.

Trying to keep a nonchalant face, I look at the diamond on my finger. Big, shiny, expensive. The envy of so many. It looks so beautiful and desirable from the outside, that we often forget that if you ever took it in, it could kill you. One of the hardest materials, it makes a perfect cutting tool.

Yes, this diamond was the perfect reflection of the man who gave it to me.

Little does my son know, it’s not just money but an entire youth that was wasted on this.

I tried to slip it off, but after so many years, it was almost as if it had fused into my hand, become an inseparable part of me. It would be hard to take it off. But not impossible.

I soap up my finger, twisting and yanking. Slowly and painfully, inch by excruciating inch, I finally get the ring off. Wiping it clean, I carefully wrap it in soft tissue, and firmly shut it away in a box.

Pack up your things, darling. We are going to go stay with grandma for a few days.” I tell my precious son.


The 12th Scrivener’s Forge exercise in creativity, challenges us to write a scene in which we take two unrelated things and make one flow from the other.

I’ll admit that I am a little confused about what exactly is expected, but this is my attempt.

Yearn

Around the lamp post we spun, you and I, as the rain came down drenching us in magic and merry oblivion. We made promises of eternal love and togetherness, vowing never to stop dancing in the rain.

Then the sun came out, drying out the rain, obliterating all traces of our childishness, and in the harsh light of day we saw only practicality. Life happened as life does.

Yet even now when the rain is falling and the night twinkles, a little child peeps out from her hiding place, and yearns to dance around that lamp post again.


PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 15th December