Battle strategies

The battle was raging.

Angry dark vapour laden clouds were firing arrows down upon the earth. Fierce winds attempt to topple over the palm trees, who through sheer doughty grit rose back up again and again. The music they were making was intoxicating and primitive.

An impertinent thought pops into my head. I want to join the dance. Is it a figment of my imagination or are they calling my name? Thrilled by the invite, I open the window.  

A hard gust of icy cold wind smacks my face and I retreat and hastily gobble down the erstwhile plan. What was I thinking! Even blindfolded, one does not walk into a battle with nature’s wrath.

I look through the window again. The sky beyond the proud palm fronds is slowly morphing into a deep royal blue.

Reading the motifs, I experience an absolute clarity of purpose. I know what must be done.

Snuggling back into the warm and tranquil embrace of my bed I tune into the latest season of The Crown.

Photo by Hunter Tober on Pexels.com

Written in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Challenge 342 and the following daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (impertinent, vapor), Your Daily Word Prompt (tranquil, doughty), Word of the Day Challenge (gobble, figment), The Daily Spur (dark, thrilled) and Ragtag Daily Prompt (motif, crown).

The demur

It was a rather irregular and vulgar affair.

Two complete strangers seated around an ostentatious spread.

“Eat…eat…” he urged me on pointing towards the turkey as he continued to farcate. However, the spittle flying out of his mouth and the gravy dribbling down his chin decimated any appetite that I may have had. I had been burning the candle at both ends and had no patience for his grandiloquence. Instead I attempted to drown my simmering rage in my glass of punch. Eventually the thelemite let out a burp, and I almost felt relief realising that this signalled the end of the charade.

He buzzed and a pathetic looking man-servant hobbled in dragging his steps. Noticing a bandaged foot that was obviously still healing I felt compassion for the poor man. That was until he got closer and I was hit by his malodour that was a mixture of dusty clothes and stale sweat. The strong perfume of amber that he had on served only to make the smell more noxious.

I looked towards my host but he seemed unfazed.

“Well, now we can get down to business,” he proclaimed. “I am having tea with the minister and should be off to the club soon.”

I was seized with an almost violent urge to leave the room. The temerity of the man. If it were not for his hubris, we would have no business to get down to.

“Many have approached me, but I have chosen you. Now tell me, what is the best that you can do?” he added.

“It’s rather a paradox. The more you have, the more you need, I suppose. Basically, if you impignorate this mansion I can give you the money that you need to repair it,” I offer with scadenfreude.      

*****

This temerarious attempt is in response to the following daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (hubris, temerity, paradox), Your Daily Word Prompt (seize, proclaim, demur), Word of the Day Challenge (candle, impignorate, farctate, healing), The Daily Spur (relief, irregular, affair), Ragtag Daily Prompt (amber, steps, compassion) and MMA Story Time Word of the Day (rage, turkey, punch).

No Parry

Parents often bequeath characteristics to their children. I appear to have bequeathed sarcasm. My son being a rather capable gentleman usually responds to my jabs with an ‘I see you and I raise you one’ attitude. The battle of wits is quite a tough one in our home with a hysterical audience in my husband. In fact, we’ve made a sport of it where the loser proudly appreciates the winner; pride being a sentiment usually feel on the parent’s side at their child’s impressive triumph.

(85 words)

Written in response to Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt and for the following daily prompts: The Daily Spur (side), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (hysterical), Your Daily Word Prompt (capable), Ragtag Daily Prompt (tough), and Word of the Day Challenge (triumph).

Haute Cuisine

The afternoon was an engaging experience. It all began a few weeks back when I decided that my son must learn to cook else the poor Indian boy was going to starve in Germany without his desi food (Haha…jokes on me).

However, my reluctant gourmand (former) set a few conditions before his foray into the culinary world – it had to be simple, it had to be quick, it had to be healthy, he didn’t like washing dishes, he would not carry masalas from India (for some reason he seems to think that there should be no difference between packing for a two month trip or a two year trip) and most importantly, it should not make the kitchen or fridge smell of masalas as he was likely to share housing with non-Indians (very sensitive of him but very challenging for me).

I asked him his preference of foods. “Mum, when I look at food all I see is protein, vitamins and carbs. Let’s just have them in the right balance.”

“That’s not how I cook,” I splutter.

“Not trying to berate you mum, just saying that’s me.”

Naturally I decided to start with the basics – tandoori chicken. Then I started jotting down the recipe which included turmeric/lemon juice/vinegar and red chilli powder/chilli flakes and by the time I got to garam masala most of the ingredients started becoming optional. (Note: by today even the Indian has become optional. Palatable appears to be the only criteria… and the protein and vitamins.)

Eventually I hit upon a majestic dish that met my son’s expectations – one where you mix your chicken, frozen vegetables, quinoa/rice/pasta/millets and any spices available in your kitchen (I am yet to find an alternate for salt; suggestions welcome) with two grand variations of sauté or bake. For further recipes, simply vary the quantity of spices or substitute ingredients with suggested and creative alternatives.

“Mum, you’ve found me the perfect recipe. See, cooking should not be a chore.”

“Neither should eating,” I defeatedly reply.

*****

Written in response to MLMM’s Sunday Creating Context prompt where we are required to write a response using the following as a starting point. Choose one of the highlighted words to shape our context.

The day/afternoon/evening was a/an hilarious/disappointing/engaging experience. It all began…..

Additionally, the following prompts: The Daily Spur (majestic), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (berate), Your Daily Word Prompt (quantity)

A few of my unfavourite things

Nothing is more daunting than navigating today’s world of prolific disinformation and misinformation, especially in the annals of WhatsApp University*. I refuse to use the term ‘fake news’ as that phrase has become an impotent joke.

Mind you, there is an almost awe-inspiring diversity in the ignorance on display – political propaganda, religious propaganda, nationalist propaganda, conspiracy theories, celebrity gossip, nutritional theories. There is no topic that our aeolists will not spout, nor any line that they will not cross. They will divulge information about a person that even said person is unaware of. There was a time when I believed that a silent spectator was an abettor. I have lost count of the number of times that I have tried to correct people on my ‘groups’ only to be schooled myself. Now I have given up. I don’t argue. I don’t educate. Most importantly, I do not attempt to convert any ideology. Every now and then I drop a few ‘fact-bombs’ and enjoy the dead silence.

And you know that really sweet aunty who everybody loves to have over because she has such a bubbly personality – well, she’s the probably the valedictorian of the WhatsApp University.

———-

An opinion piece written in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Mad about Metaphor Saturday mix where we were asked to use the metaphor “She has such a bubbly personality“, and the following daily prompts: The Daily Spur (line), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (prolific), Your Daily Word Prompt (divulge), Ragtag Daily Prompt (diversity), and Word of the Day Challenge (count).

*WhatsApp University – a satirical term used in India for those credulous people who believe in everything being circulated on WhatsApp even if it is fake and propaganda.

Bubbles

I don’t believe in utopia or the promise of forever. If ever I did, then the last twenty-five years have burst those bubbles.

Yet your amazing zeal for life and the picture that you paint of a possible future together as a couple have made me almost wonder. I surmise that whatever mysteries or suspense or even battles that life holds ahead it would indeed be a far nicer ride to share it with you.

You treat me like an equal. You treat me with respect. Not merely a pretty face with a callipygian derriere. With you I have felt like a person of worth. I feel free and at peace around you.

Today you stand patiently waving goodbye, not knowing if I will return, glad that I’m off to have my grand adventure, with not a speck of grudge. Suddenly I feel those bubbles of hope burst forth again.

I guess, sometimes it takes a goodbye to find an answer.

I’m off now, my love, but this chicken will definitely come home to roost.

*****

Written in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver Challenge and the following daily prompts: The Daily Spur (couple, chicken), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (surmise, utopia), Your Daily Word Prompt (zeal, promise), Ragtag Daily Prompt (suspense, paint), and Word of the Day Challenge (callipygian, amazing).

That special something

I shuffle through the flora searching for it. The outcome of today’s lunch resides in my ability to find it. Time is running out, but if it is fated then I shall prevail.

Mushrooms, mushrooms… where are you my special mushrooms…

Gotcha.

Written in response to the following prompts: The Daily Spur (lunch), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (outcome), Your Daily Word Prompt (reside), Ragtag Daily Prompt (flora), and Word of the Day Challenge (fated).

Image of the deadly Amanita phalloides from wikipedia

Looking into the crater

Please do not climb on rocks

This world is a volcano about to go off

Image from Google submitted by Nekneeraj

Tis just a normal day yet we all wait

On tenterhooks anticipate

Red or blue, what will it be

The aeolists on both sides do disagree

Tis not my land so I should not care

But the butterfly effect – that will be there

This world is such an intricate mesh

You burn yourself, it singes my flesh

A storm I can see brewing all around

Humanity seems to be going aground

I cannot vouch how this will end

But a simple prophecy I can extend

This world will end unless our ways we mend!

*****

Inspired by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Prompt and the news; written to include words from the daily prompts The Daily Spur (normal), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (anticipate), Your Daily Word Prompt (vouch), Ragtag Daily Prompt (tenterhooks), and Word of the Day Challenge (aeolist, storm).

A whammy

The spoon dropped from my hand. “Is this a joke?” I ask.

“Joke would not be my word of choice… a whammy perhaps! Why, do you find it completely surprising?”

“Well, I kept trying to pacify myself that aloofness is an augury of boredom with the mundane. Was that illogical?”

“If you didn’t find the secret bank account and locked den ominous, then perhaps it was you who was not lucid through those years!”

I continued staring in incredulity at the photograph My wife was leading the resistance.

Image from Corey Agopian at Unsplash

Written to respond to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #90 of a picture of a resistance, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt, which is to write a story that contains or make reference to a joke of some kind, and a bunch of word prompts from The Daily Spur (photograph, illogical), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (pacify, ominous), Your Daily Word Prompt (choice, augury), Ragtag Daily Prompt (lucid, spoon), and Word of the Day Challenge (surprising).

Perfect Cogs

I watch them hurriedly picking out their books for the next class. Little cogs in the wheel rushing from class to class filling their heads with information without the ability to process that information. Little cookie cutters churning out identical unimaginative answers. Their idea of fun and frolic being an ‘educational field trip’. Spending their youth working towards the perfect resume to get accepted into a perfect college that will land them the perfect job. Never understanding that to expect perfect was the most outlandish idea of all.

The bell rings. I straighten my tie and morph into another perfect teacher.   

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Written for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers, using words from The Daily Spur (picking), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (outlandish), and Your Daily Word Prompt (frolic).