Time To Go (50 Words)

 

 

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At breakfast,

‘Your boss is in town?’

Silence.

‘Got pulled up or something?’

More silence.

Finally, ‘Nothing, but why do you ask?’

‘This week you are leaving home early at half-past. I’ve never seen you…now there, why don’t you finish your…’

Just right for the bus to the Central Park.

End

 

 

Image: flickr.com

Pardon Me, Your Slip Is Showing

She finished dinner in her room and buzzed for the plates to be cleared – after the meal, she did not want any smell of food lingering in the room.

A knock at the door – she opened to find a stranger in place of the room-service she had expected.

The stranger seemed no less surprised at seeing her.

Recovering quickly, ‘I’m sorry, I thought it was my room…’

Not waiting for a response, he swiftly turned away making to the bank of elevators at the far end.

She closed the door softly and returned pensively to the lounging sofa…shortly after she got up and called the front-desk.

If it wasn’t to follow up with room-service, what was it about?

End

 

13-year-old Aditi Krishnan had me scratching my head until she gave it out. My excuse: I had not had my mid-day coffee yet. If you had yours and still…look it up in the comments.

The Journey (A Drabble of 100+ Words)

This morning…

Someone tapped on the shoulders startling me out of my snooze. A voice asked where was I going. A profound question from some inquiring soul aspiring to be clued into life’s philosophy – my life’s, a journey of three score years plus till date. An admirable pursuit of vicarious learning, I thought. I collected my wits in a trice, not to keep a thirsty knowledge-seeker waiting. Looking up, I discerned the form coming into clearer focus.

Well, an acolyte he wasn’t.

‘Colaba,’ I muttered, hurriedly fishing in my pockets for change.

The journey-ticket was thrust into my hand as he moved on.

End

The Man I Never Knew

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By Kecia Sparlin

Keith drove me to the station. He carried my bags, bought my ticket, and waited with me for the bus.

“Give Emily my love.”

I’d stay a while with our daughter while I looked for a place of my own nearby.

“I’ll tell her.”

The bus rolled, and I turned to find Keith through the window. Twenty-five years of marriage, I thought I should wave goodbye to the heartless bastard even if he felt nothing.

The brakes shrieked. Passengers screamed. My head hit the seat.

“A man,” a woman shouted. “He ran in front of the bus!”

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Knock, Knock…Who Is It? (150 Words)

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A man knocked on the door of the old woman’s house.
“Who is it?” a squeaky voice inquired from inside.
“It’s the butcher,” he said.
“Who is it?” repeated the voice.
“It’s the butcher,” said the man.
“Who is it?”
“It’s the butcher!!,” said the man angrily.
To draw on his first call a stone deaf customer with a cracked voice…phew.
“Who is it?”
“It’s the butcher!!!!”, he screamed.
“Who is it?”
“It’s the butcher, the butcher, the butch…”
Suddenly the butcher fell to the floor his hands cluthching at his chest.
A little later the old woman came home and found a man lying on her doorstep foaming at the mouth.
‘Who could it be?’ she mumbled to herself as she rushed inside to call for help.
There’ll be no more taunts. Proud at learning a second sentence in her life, “It’s the butcher!” replied her pet parrot.
End

Source: eflclassroom.com and freeimages.com

A Tale From A Mango Tree (Children’s Story)

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‘You, know, I’m the one taking all the risks, sneaking into houses. You stand at a safe distance ready to run away at the first sign of trouble.’

‘And don’t forget you’ve no act unless I pick you up and drop you over the fence, keep watch and get you back same way.’

The two men, one short and the other tall, were arguing under the Mango Tree over their fair share of the loot taken from an unwilling wayfarer whose misfortune it was to cross their path early in the evening, .

As always their wrangle was inconclusive and it was agreed to maintain the status quo at 50-50. .

The short man now emptied the contents of the wayfarer’s bag into a pile on the ground – it was all silver coins. Didn’t amount to much belying the heft. Cursing their luck over the insubstantial returns for their efforts, he dutifully did the ‘one for you, one for me, watched over by a pair of wary eyes,’

The meager split finished, ‘Okay…means we’re not done for the night.’

‘You’re right. You have anything in mind?’

‘I have heard there’s an widow living all by herself in the village. Old money. I suggest we pay her a visit tonight. A real cinch – we should be done and gone before the clock moves.’

It wasn’t dark yet and a little shut-eye was in order before attending to their business usually conducted after mid-night. The coins were secured in  waist belts covered by the dhoti folds, the turbans straightened and laid out on the ground and in a few turns they were lost to the waking world.

The entire proceedings were watched with dismay by Kaaga, the crow. The hapless wayfarer had rested under the Tree and even shared his food before running into these men. And now they plan to rob the poor lady.

He turned sad:

‘The kind lady…never missed setting aside every morning some cooked rice for us. But how do I alert her to their nefarious plans? We don’t speak their language.’

Awash with despair, ‘A shame that I know what’s going to happen and still helpless to do anything about it.’

‘May be we could do something,’ said the Mango Tree, a mute witness to the happenings till now.

‘How do you mean?’

‘It might just work…go and get Mooshika (the mouse) here – we need him.’

Soon enough an excited Mooshika scampered to the base of the Tree – for, it was quite unusual to be called at this hour.

‘You’ve told me some time ago you hoard things people leave behind or lose at the village tank and it’s getting so full up that you find it difficult to move around in your own home?’

‘That’s right. Badly needs cleaning up – since she’s isn’t around I don’t mind saying this.’

‘Anything in silver? Not coins.’

‘Oh, plentiful – chains, rings, tiny bells fallen off anklets, small diya’s (wick-lamps)…you know we have no use for these.’

Thereupon Mooshika heard from the Mango Tree what was to be done, which it accomplished silently in the next few minutes, helped by a few friends.

Just when the tall man got the spell right to open up the treasure chest inside the cave, he was rudely woken up by faint sounds near his ears of bells tingling.

A light sleeper he was as suited for his trade, he was immediately alert. Unable to discern any immediate threat he calmed down. Nevertheless it was safer for them to be ready for any danger lurking close by; so he woke up his accomplice.

As the short man got up, a rain of silver trinkets fell on the ground from his garment.

The tall man’s countenance hardened.

He fixed the other man with a malevolent glare: ’So you hid these from me…you cheat’.

‘Don’t know what you’re talking about.’

The tall man silently pointed to the silver on the ground.

‘Oh…no idea, really, how they got to me…believe me you’

Trading mutual allegations, the feud heated up.

It was too late…the rising decibels had brought a crowd of unwelcome villagers to the spot.

Without a thought, they took off to keep the hide on their back…as fast as their legs could carry, stumbling and pulling themselves up and helping each other in their flight.

Never mind it was late, Kaaga cawed gustily, Mooshika and his pals danced unabashedly and the Tree sighed in relief.

End

The House (500- Words)

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The neighborhood was very busy at this hour; it was easy for the man to watch the house inconspicuously. And he had to move away in short time as there were other streets to cover before evening.

She came out to buy vegetables from the vendor. As she reentered the house she saw it.

This was going too far. The young men renting the room on the floor above had to be called and roundly ticked off, first in the morning. It spoiled the look of the stately house and, importantly, it would depress the rent the other rooms to be let out would fetch with prospects. Not that she was hard up for this income.

Draping the full-length balcony hand-rails lining the front, their clothes were hung out to dry, making an unseemly mish-mash of a facade for all to see. It had to be stopped forthwith. She was going to be quite firm – they must walk up to the clothesline specially fixed up for them at the back of the house.

It was true she needed her tenants, more to save the house from decay thru disuse.  Also it was good to have them around to run occasional errands for her. Even the downside – the problems they caused for her every day – in fact worked out to be an upside; sorting them out left her with little time to brood on her loneliness and life at large. She did have her hours of quiet when they went out to work during the day.

From the meager purchases, she must be cooking for one – just herself – he guessed. Did not see anyone else come and go. The house had the air of old money. It would be all quiet on sun-down with the shops on either side closing down. Just the kind of house he loved visiting mid-night. A real cinch, it was.

There was no need to look any further. Quite pleased with himself, he could have even hummed his favorite tune and not earned a frown from his brotherhood. He turned homewards – there was time yet for a refreshing nap. The job called for more than a tired body and mind.

Just then, perchance he looked up and his gaze fell on them.

‘Oh, s##t, he muttered to himself. ‘What bl##dy luck! I might have walked right into a crowd.’

It was those clothes in plural, flapping spasmodically in the breeze, from the balcony rails, like freshly netted fish in death throes…

End

 

 

Source: Image from clipart-library.com