On duty

Bloody hell. Years of intensive training… for what? To stand around guarding a bunch of politicians. Obliged to protect the very ones over whose dead body I wouldn’t shed a tear! Sucks.

I look at Al. He looks equally frustrated. We have been here for the last three hours. Another half hour till he passes by? I need to take a leak.

Forget a damn crowd, other than a few photographers, no one has even turned up. Total boycott. Smart move. Small crowds piss him off; let’s see how he reacts to no crowd.


In response to the 100 Word Wednesday: Week 36 challenge based on a photo by Izaak Standridge.

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Grandma’s gifts

When ever grandma came to visit us she brought us bread. Lots and lots of bread. Of different shapes, sizes and even textures.
For the next few days it would be sandwiches for breakfast and bread with curry for dinner. Frankly her bread did not even taste good and was often broken and crumbly.

Yet mama and papa welcomed her gifts with arms outstretched and faces aglow, all the while thanking God for her safe passage. Huh!

But today mama is weeping cause grandma didn’t make it home.

Why did the police arrest poor grandma?

And what exactly is cannabis?

In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers of 15th September based on a photo by Kelvin M. Knight

The circle of life

I am a man of the soil, a farmer.
Wide open fields of lush green or honey brown, paths of mud and stiles, trees, grass, the song of birds and the gurgle of the stream, this is my world. Waking up to greet the dawn, toiling all day until I earn my rest, and then finally relaxing to the music of the insects as they dance with the winds. This is my day.

Not for me are the constraints and confines of city housing.

Yet I sit here today, in a compact apartment, overlooking another apartment, my closest link to the earth being a few potted plants, with a content smile on my lips.

It is the way of nature…

A man feels great satisfaction the day he builds his own home, but he feels even greater pride the day he steps into his son’s home.


Photo by Shivamt25

In response to the 132nd Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge.

Another morning

The smell of effluent and refuse waft up making me crinkle my nose. At least I don’t gag any more. The house is awake as evidenced by the clanking of pots and rumble of the flush. Discordant strains of guitar blend with the brawl of a little child. Well, sleeping was definitely out of the picture now. Might as well get up before the hot water runs out.

I go wait by the toilet. Miguel steps out. “Hey man! I hear they are hiring at Randy’s. I’m heading there. You coming?”

“Sure man,” I reply. “Just give me five.”

Randy’s was hard work, but the pay was fair, and he usually threw in lunch. Better get there before word spreads. I relieve myself, wash off last evening’s grime, and hop into my only pair of not-torn jeans.

The baby is still crying. “What’s up Sal? Did you take her to the clinic?” I ask.

“They gives me a refill for her inhaler. They asking me to move to dry housing. Where I go with no money?”

I nod my head. There is nothing that I can do for her. No words of comfort that I can offer. And I got to get to Randy’s.


In response to the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of 10th September based on a photo by A Mixed Bag 2013

Kids Rule

I am beyond trying to understand some people’s motives.

Normally I have a thumb rule – empathy. I try to put myself in their shoes to understand why they are behaving in a certain way. Usually that works. At least it helps calm me down. But there are times, such as this week, when try as I might, I still cannot fathom certain behaviours.

Two of my fellow volunteers at the orphanage are having a major ego clash. These are people having successful day jobs. Their alleged purpose here is to give back to society. Their emphatic rhetoric is that God will reward. And yet…

Over the last three days I have received messages from both, each accusing the other of being dominating and autocratic. Why? How does it matter who is doing what and how, as long as results are delivered. You are not going to get a raise or a promotion for being the boss. Then why do these things matter. Why do you feel the incessant need to tout everything you have done to everyone. Why does it bother you if someone else has edged ahead of you in the race for recognition. Its like in their mind there is this hypothetical pedestal with room for only one at the top.

But… This is an orphanage. You are here for the kids and the kids do not care which aunty is instructing the superintendent on job allocation, or which aunty bought 26 nice new chairs this month.

And as for God, well I have a sneaky suspicion that he’s not going to be too thrilled that you decided to autocratically allocate the recognition department to mortals and the rewards department to him.

For a while I was tempted to quit, to get away from these crazy ladies. Soon I realised that I was focusing on the wrong things. Bottom line – the bathroom is being cleaned more frequently and there are now 26 new red chairs. A WhatsApp chat can be cleared with one swipe of the finger, and pent up stress can be released with one Stream of Consciousness rant 😉

Kids rule.

The hunters

She looked gorgeous in black. With her cascade of obsidian hair in sharp contrast to her alabaster skin, those high cheek bones and sharp nose, she may have been the grieving widow, but she was still the sexiest woman in the room, and she knew it.

From behind the veil, her kohl lined eyes scanned the room, finally coming to rest upon the young man in the fourth row, taking in his muscles, clean shaven square jaw, the fine lines of his bespoke suit, and the subtle glint of his Rolex. He was probably at least ten years younger than her, but that only made the chase more exciting. She decided right then that she wanted him, and what she wanted she always got. One way or another.

*

She stared at the pictures before her. This was not the first time that he was cheating on her. He was young, rich and handsome, women threw themselves at him, but he always came back to her. Normally she didn’t care. But this bitch was obviously pregnant. This time she was scared.

*

She had nothing. He had been slowly and systematically transferring all their assets into his name and she hadn’t even noticed. In her crazy whirlwind life of parties and holidays, she hadn’t realised when the ground had disappeared from under her feet.

Loading her husband’s old pistol she could not help but scoff at the irony of the picture hanging above the mantle…

Time is like a ravenous lion – he devours everything.


In response to the Photo-Fiction #102 challenge

Beyond the mighty mountain

I watch the mighty mountain at the end of the wilderness. The road that leads there is so long, and I am just a young lass.

“Where is mama,” I had asked papa.
“In heaven.”
“And where is heaven.”
“Beyond the mighty mountain.”

Soon I’m going to be old enough to walk the long road and go beyond the mighty mountain. My mama will be waiting for me in her pretty pink dress, arms wide open, smelling of vanilla and bread. It’s all going to be so beautiful.

I see the picture in my mind’s eye whenever papa comes to my room at night.


In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 8th September based on a photo by Danny Boweman.
It’s a work of fiction that I pray is never true for any little girl, ever.

Shit luck

“Urgent delivery. He promised a generous tip if you make it in half hour.”

My day had been really shitty so far. The alarm had not rung, and despite getting dressed in record time, I had missed the bus. I was starving and cranky. I need cheering up. Like a generous tip!

I rushed to grab a bike.

But it simply wasn’t my day. I tripped, fell, twisted my ankle. No cycling for me. Shitty fortune continues!

Sam calls me next morning. “You lucky bastard,” he screams.

“My ankle hurts like a bitch. How is that lucky?”

“Andy made your delivery. Customer was a psycho. He shot him. Andy’s dead man.”


In response to Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday, week 35 prompt based on a photo by Zachary Staines