Nessie was here!

Nessie was here. DNA confirms it.

Marie was one of their best and most sensible investigative journalists. If this message had come from anyone else, he would have dismissed it as a hoax.

He had called O’Donnell at the local office, who in turn confirmed from Zee at Forensics, that some DNA had come in for testing and that the results had been sent directly to Marie.

And yet it was a bit much to believe.

So, he had consulted with Dr. Aileen. She forwarded him a paper on how eDNA sampling technique could be used to capture DNA of any creature that moves through the water. This DNA can then be compared with the other nearby lochs and a database of about 100,000 organisms to see if anything sticks out as unusual.

Confident of due diligence he had run the story.


At 5:30am he was woken up by a hysterical Marie.

“What ever made you think that I was even searching for the Loch Ness monster? I am a crime journalist, not some crazy thrill seeker. I came here to investigate the Foyers murder case. Remember the famous billionaire who went missing, and now the other shareholders are trying to take over controlling interest. That’s the evidence I have – of the murder of Vanessa ‘Nessie’ Fitzgerald.”  

In response to Susan’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of 25 November 2018, based on a photo by C. E. Ayr.

Excuse me

Give me a yellow card, give me a red card, give me even a tarot death card. Just don’t, please don’t, ever give me one of those exotic menu cards.

When I go out to dinner, I want to relax, unwind. I shouldn’t have to use my powers of deduction and literary acumen to place my order.

Good evening madam. May I take your order?

Scenario 1: Be adventurous.
“Err, yes. I’ll have this… this… and this.”
“So that will be Goi Cuon, Gai Phad Phrik and Khanom Krok.”
“Err, yah.”
‘Cause I’m much too confused to verify or contradict.

Scenario 2: Place your faith in God and mankind
I bat my eyes at the maître d’ and ask, “What would you suggest?”
Meanwhile my husband is glaring at me thinking, how come you never accept anything that I suggest!

So basically, either pin the donkey’s tail, or roll the dice.

And tell me, is it even safe to eat what I can’t name?
I mean, imagine if I get food poisoning. My face turns blotchy, my body all itchy, my mouth starts swelling, my throat is constricting, I’m rushed to the doctor. While wheeling me into the emergency room he asks me, “Madam, what did you last eat?”
“Yum hua plea,” I struggle to say.
“Yes! Yes! I will help you. But first tell me, what did you eat.”
How on God’s earth am I going to explain that Yum Hua Plea is a banana flower salad with chilli paste and coconut cream, tossed with crunchy peanuts, herbs, poached prawn and boiled eggs!

Honey, where would you like to go to eat?
Let’s just go to the local food court. You know the kids love that stuff.

In response to this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt – card.

I recently got stumped at a new Pan-Asian restaurant. Please excuse me, but I have used a few names from their menu. I’m sure it makes perfect sense to a lot of people, but to me it could just as easily have been Latin.


Lord have mercy.
This was going to be one of those conversations.

You have to drink the milk, Simon.

I think the word you’re looking for is should drink the milk.

OK wise guy. You should drink the milk.


Should. Milk is a whole food. It’s good for you.

Hmm, says here that A whole food, is a natural food that has not been processed or has been refined as little as possible. This milk is pasteurized. Not a whole food.

I meant that it’s a complete food. And don’t start reading out that definition.

Well, if its so complete then why did they have to enrich it with Probiotic and Vitamin D, E and K2, drones his machine-imitation voice.

I’m trapped in a maelstrom of irritation, frustration, pride. I see the twinkle in his eye. He thinks that he’s won the argument.
I play the trump card.

Then will you please drink it cause it would make mommy really really happy?

The twinkle dims a little.

In response to the 185th Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge, based on a photo contributed by Yinglan.

It’s a conspiracy!!!

The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “flower/flour.”

You may say that it’s illogical to think that the universe is conspiring to embarrass me in front of the entire WordPress community, or to imaging that someone in some other corner of the word sat back, rubbing their hands in glee, musing, ‘Hmmm, now what prompt can I sucker punch her with?’
Logically I’m just not that important.

Now you’re wondering what the big build up is for?

Two reasons. First of all, I’m a writer, this is my stream, and giving a buildup, no matter how corny, is my prerogative. Secondly, I suck at making chapatis*, or any other flat bread that involves flour, and when you are a 40+ Indian woman, that is a real discredit to your upbringing.

I try. I really do. I’m a good girl, I am…

They tell me the trick is in the kneading. Boy do I knead. I knead like the future of my first born depends on it, (which is bloody unnecessary since my first born doesn’t even live at home with us)! Any more kneading and I could drill my way to whichever place is antipodal to India. (I just googled that. Apparently, I would emerge in the South Pacific, which makes sense since I don’t know how to swim, and that’s just how much my luck sucks.)

Next, I’m supposed to roll it out with a gentle touch. I’m so gentle that my husband wishes to be reborn a chapati!

Finally comes the roasting part… My roast is always toast.

Ya. So, since I can’t make a decent chapati, and every plant/flower that I try to nurture, ends up shriveled and dead, I’m justified in thinking that someone (I’m not taking names) somewhere (she below and the Lord above) really has it out for me.

*Chapati is an unleavened flatbread made of whole wheat flour which is a staple in the Indian Subcontinent

Identity crisis

The Bagpiper


The scream that rent the air was as good as a siren. That unmistakable sound of pure terror had every head turn in its direction.

The screaming went on and on. It didn’t even sound like she was pausing long enough to breathe. Surely she’d have to either stop or pass out soon.

She must have been at least five, beet red in the face, streaming tears, flat on the floor clinging on to some guy’s, probably her Dad‘s, leg. With another kid I might have passed it off as a temper tantrum, but the befuddled expression of the man convinced me that it was not so.

Maternal instincts kicking in, I rushed over.

‘I’ll be good daddy, I swear I will,’ she was bawling now.

‘What’s wrong?’ I asked the father.

‘Honestly? I don’t know. All I said was that we’ll go see the bagpiper.’

‘Not him daddy. He’ll make me follow him to the sea. Please daddy please,’ she added in great gasps.

Suddenly her terror made sense. ‘O no darling. He’s not the pied piper. No one’s taking you away.’

In response to the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge based on a photo by C. E. Ayr.

The rhythms gonna get you…

Earworm – I’ll confess. I had to look that one up in the dictionary. And boy did it make me laugh. That catchy piece of music that keeps repeating in my head. My lifeline. My constant companion.

But I take offense to the term. Calling it a worm makes it sound like something dirty, unwanted, intrusive. It’s not. I love my earworms. Sure I could do with some better musicality, but I’d rather have ad-jingles playing in my head than negative thoughts. If I left it to my subconscious, I would be living in a very dark place indeed. Instead I’m constantly jiving in a disco.

I am a disco dancer, jindagi mera gaana…*

Focus. Focus.

Creating the perfect earworm is serious business. Every body in the music and advertising industry knows that. Tunes are created to be catchy. The early worm… the worm with the best bite… the worm with the best life… It’s a damn science. Technicians and data analysts make their living studying it.

As an only child, like any normal only child, I developed the habit of talking to myself, and singing to myself. If I knew the lyrics, I sang it, if I didn’t, I concocted it. Thus the seeds of a future writer were sown.
Only one problem. I would pick up a few lines of the song and repeat it over and over. Suffice to say that I very lovingly and painstakingly cultivated my worm farm. In India we play a game called Antakshari. Each contestant sings the first verse of a song that begins with the consonant on which the previous contestant’s song selection ended. I ace it.

Surprisingly some people, chiefly my son, don’t share my affection for my earworms. If I sing out, Hello, Is it me your looking for?, he finds it corny. I just called to say I love you, is creepy coming from a mother to a son apparently. What corrupted times we live in! We live in a really warm city. Feeling hot hot hot is my go-to jingle. “Please don’t start that again,” he grumbles. So I try reverse auditory melodic unstickification. Basically force myself to forget my song by consciously replacing it with another.

My earworms are at peak performance when I’m cooking or driving. The 45 minute drive to drop my son off is just a canvas begging to be splashed with colour. “You don’t have to vocalise everything that’s in your head,” he tells me. But I’m smart. “Well if you keep would talk to me then I won’t have to sing,” I try to manipulate. He’s smarter. He bought himself noise cancelling headphones. Sometimes he uses it to listen to music. Sometimes he uses it to keep out the music.

But like any true artist, I don’t let the critics get to me.

I just can’t refuse it
Like the way you do this
Keep on rockin’ to it
Please don’t stop the, please don’t stop the
Please don’t stop the music

In response to the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt – earworm.

*zindagi mera gaana = Life is my song (lyrics from a better forgotten old hindi song

Sitting on a park bench…

Sitting on the park bench…

Those were supposed to be lyrics in a song. How did he go from being the guy who strummed his guitar to Aqualung, to actually become the old man, he wondered.

The words run through his head.
Sitting on a park bench… Drying in the cold sun… Feeling like a dead duck… Leg hurting bad…

Damn Jethro Tull. Those guys sure could tell the future!

Sitting on the park bench… Eyeing little girls…

At least it wasn’t with bad intent, he laughed to himself, as two little tornadoes charged towards him, their screams interrupting his crazy thoughts.

The challenge of Sunday Photo Fiction of June 17th was to write short fiction based on a photo by Susan Spaulding.
The first thing that I thought of was the song Aqualung by Jethro Tull. My apologies to Tull and all his fans (of which I am one) for this corny writing 🙂

Oh the seasons

In response to Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge, a humorous take on the seasons four…

Hot days are past
Winter is here
Frost Giants aren’t real
But sleet’s a real fear
We rake leaves no more
Instead we get to shovel snow

The lakes are filling
The flowers start to bloom
A burst of colour
No more winter gloom
But good days pass fast
and sun’s about to blast

Goodness gracious
Great ball of fire
Even without budging
I still do tire
Will all the perfumes of Arabia
not camouflage this odor of mine!

The trees are shedding
making a really pretty mess.
Too bad I cant say the same
about the shedding of my tress.
Tis the perfect season for my bones old.
Its not too hot, and its not too cold.