The Car Wash

The car is pretty clean as cars go. Except for some sauce on the back seat. I’m not sure why crazy Mr. Robinson was making such a big deal. ‘Everything. Don’t be slacking off at the crevices. I want it cleaned and disinfected. Wash the mats, the boot. Do you know how to lift the seats? Good, below the seats too. And oil the doors.

I have allergies,’ he had splutters when I’d stare at him confounded. ‘You disinfect everything. I’ll be paying you four times as much,’ he’d a added on, for possibly the fourth time.

Rumor was that Mrs. Robinson had left him. Perhaps that was making him loco. What do I care? Four times was good.

It was only when I was going to oil the door that things got a bit mucky, with hair and sticky stuff on the hinge. Hey! Wasn’t Mrs. Robinson a red head too?


Written in response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 30 November 2018.


It took a series of vicissitudes to lead to this shemozzle.

Perhaps it all started with Farmer Raju’s ultimatum to the Councilman.
Just because he lived miles away from the nearest town, he could not be denied high speed internet. The Prime Minister had himself stated – A Strong India is A Connected India.

Had the bi-elections not been coming up, were Raju not considered rather influential in the community, and were his vote not necessary, the councilman might not have insisted that the fiber-optic cables be laid within 24 hours.

Had the workers not been forced to dig up the highway in the middle of a scorching summer day, they might have had the temperament to ensure that the road relay work was carried out properly.

Had the understaffed roadways department not left ditches on the side of the road, then the garbage truck driver trying to avoid this poorly tarmacked road, might not have swerved into the ditch, broken his axle, skidded, tilted over and splattered the entire trash content of his truck across the Sideway Motel’s front yard.

And because the garbage truck never made it to the Waste Management Plant, its contents were not pulverised or incinerated, Detective Ramesh now stood before a body, wondering who dumped it in the trash.

In response to Susan’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of 14 October 2018, based on a photo contributed by C. E. Ayr.

La ville colorée

I stare at the map in my hand.

Photo Prompt © Dale Rogerson

This was the address.

After the miles of wilderness, I had driven through to get here, this entire town was a riot of colours. I could just as well have been in Legoland. All the houses were either Brick Red or Royal Blue or Crimson Yellow. The doors were decorated with ornaments and string lights.

I reach the fountain with its beautiful translucent corals and turn right. Even this narrow alley has colourful umbrellas flying above, as if the starless sky was much too bland.

Photo Prompt © Bikurgurl

I look around, wondering if I was on the set of some film, seeking out the hidden cameras. All I see are the pedestrians walking in pairs, always in pairs…

So I am cheating a little here, combining two prompts.
The first is
Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers prompt of 21 September 2018 based on a picture by Dale Rogerson, and the other, Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday: Week 89 prompt based on her picture taken at the Seattle Aquarium.

As I gaze

I make my own tiny window within the window. Sitting on the ledge I peek out at the empty street. The rain has washed everything clean, like God suddenly decided to take out the clutter. One by one the objects will be filled in again. Bright yellow buses will arrive to spill out colourful children. Cars of all sizes will zip by.

They think I’m foolish to sit here every chance I get. While they go off to do important things, chase the tangible, I wait here observing the mundane, contemplating the details of existence. The way I see it, they are missing out on the greatest art in progress.

They say what I do doesn’t matter. They are wrong. I am the quiet stream along whose bank flowers grow. I am the coolness they sip to quench their parched throat.

And when I hear the buzzer ring, I rise in positive purpose. The apple pie is done and the winter vegetables need to be roasted.

In response to Priceless Joy‘s 182nd Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge, based on a photo prompt contributed by wildverbs.

Tic-Tac-To: All in a game’s work

I love Home Depot. You get everything. Bleach works really well to clean up blood stains, but then blood has a nasty way of settling in the cracks. I’ve watched enough episodes of CSI to know that.

Better to rip out the floor boards and burn them. Need a saw and a good pry bar. Some compost from the gardening section. I guess I should plaster and paint the basement door too. Not like I’m going to be using it. At least not anytime soon. O and I need more oil for the furnace.

I love Home Depot.

Tit-tat-to, my last go
Three jolly butcher boys all in a row
Stick one up, stick one down,
stick one in the old man’s burying ground.

In response to Priceless Joy‘s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers 175th Challenge based on a photo prompt by Yarnspinnerr.

*CSI = Crime Scene Investigation is an American forensic science crime drama

*The poem quoted is an old poem from 1882 that was apparently used by the winners of the original game that was played using a chalk and slate and was the forerunner of the modern game of Tic-Tac-to


Turn right. Turn right.

What? Where?

There. That road is beautiful. Look at the enthralling trees and vibrant wild flowers. Picture perfect.

But… we need to go straight.

Please baby. It’s like the entrance to some enchanted fairy tale.

I don’t know, hon. This doesn’t even show up on the map. We don’t know where it goes.

Baby, we are on vacation. You need to relax. Let’s just go where our heart leads us. Pretty please.

And so they turned… and drove on and on and on… down the unending road; because not every fairy tale has a happy ending.

In response to Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday: Week 48 challenge, based on a photo by Trevor Cole

Unanswered questions

The room looked like they were tourists. Only the sheer number of vintage cameras lying around was baffling. Did people still use film rolls in this digital age! And why so many?

The backpack, duffel bag and boots clearly belonged to the man in the room. Two passport covers and neatly laundered clothes strewn around, implied the presence of another, probably a female.

Yet the landlord and neighbours claimed that the room had been unoccupied for the last month. If it were not for that one loud bang, no one would have noticed him.

“Where is she?” I ask him.

If only the dead could talk.

In response to Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday: Week 44 challenge based on a photo by Brevitē