Microtales

vide Rajiv Chaudhry

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A Problem Child – Flash Fiction

My constant look-out for good FF posts led me to this, yesterday. Clever though fiendishly evil. Read till the end:

Source:  horrorinpureform

I hate it when my brother Charlie has to go away.

My parents constantly try to explain to me how sick he is. That I am lucky for having a brain where all the chemicals flow properly to their destinations like undammed rivers. When I complain about how bored I am without a little brother to play with, they try to make me feel bad by pointing out that his boredom likely far surpasses mine, considering his confine to a dark room in an institution.

I always beg for them to give him one last chance. Of course, they did at first. Charlie has been back home several times, each shorter in duration than the last. Every time without fail, it all starts again. The neighbourhood cats with gouged out eyes showing up in his toy chest, my dad’s razors found dropped on the baby slide in the park across the street, mom’s vitamins replaced by bits of dishwasher tablets.

My parents are hesitant now, using “last chances” sparingly. They say his disorder makes him charming, makes it easy for him to fake normalcy, and to trick the doctors who care for him into thinking he is ready for rehabilitation. That I will just have to put up with my boredom if it means staying safe from him.

I hate it when Charlie has to go away. It makes me have to pretend to be good until he is back.

End

From Reddit

A Story And A Fun Game For Children…

and for us too, I think.

Next in the series (the first one here): The scene, not very unusual, put to a group of children was:

“The lady of the house set on the table a bowl of freshly baked cookies.

And when she was not around, Chotu, all of eight years, got to it and picked one that was the largest. Bade, elder by a couple of years, instructed by his mom to keep a watch – use of any force or raising one’s voice disallowed, took his job seriously.  Trying his best (or worst?) to persuade Chotu to put it down, at the same time removing the remaining cookies to safety, he said, “Chotu

The children were given time to develop the story from here on.

At the end of the allotted time, they were called in turn to present their conclusion. Here’s a selection from the many stories presented:

**

“Chotu, you took that one from the bottom of the heap, right? That was the first one Amma was figuring out the settings for baking them right. See, she even made them smaller for them to come out alright. Am sure this oneit would be faintly smelling of the dough and taste a little raw in the mouth

**

“Chotu, you took that one from the top of the heap, right? That was the last one – Amma scraped hard all the dough sticking to the bottom and also from the sides of the mixing bowl, lumped them together and baked as one large piece. You will find it a little flaky, crumbling in your hand and tasting a little uneven in your mouthAnd who knows what else got into it from the bowl, ugh”

**

“Chotu, what are you doing? What will mom do then? That piece was specially done by mom for your teacher. I even saw her sending a pic of it to her. You know, she has invited your teacher for a cup of tea here at our place and she’s on her way.”

**

“Chotu, you shouldn’t. That was from the batch she cooked specially for Bruno. Don’t know how it got mixed up with this pile.”

**

Not known if Chotu succeeded!

End

Source: 123rf.com

A Story And A Fun Game For Children…

and for us too I think.

A group of children were given an exercise. A scene, not very unusual, was put to them. And they were asked to take the story forward.

The scene: A house-owner hears noise coming from the back of his house. When he opens a creaky door and walks to the spot, he finds a girl standing under the mango tree frantically signalling to her friend atop to come down quickly. On the ground there were here and there a few half-eaten ripe mangoes taken from the tree.  The man, tall and hefty, looks menacingly at the boy trapped visibly up in the tree at a height too risky to jump down and flee.

After a while they were called in turn to present their conclusion. Here’s a selection from the many stories presented:

**

The boy on the tree said to the owner: Sir, we were not stealing your mangoes. See, we aren’t carrying any in our hands or bags. You know between us we had argument before coming here on who is the biggest land-owner around here. I was saying it was you. And I knew I was right. My friend here was not agreeing to it. I decided there was a way to convince her. I climbed up this tree and was showing her how far the lands owned by you stretched on all sides – like the palm tree seen there in the distance stands on the eastern corner of your property and so on. That’s when you came here. If you allow me, I’ll show her the rest.

**

The trapped boy gathered his wits quickly and said to the owner standing below: Dear Sir, we were passing by your yard talking among ourselves about an upcoming outing on Sunday. That’s when heard a racketmade by a bunch of squirrels feasting on the mangoes.  And if the fruit they bit into was a little less than ripe, it was discarded and they moved on to try another. Look at all these fruits half-eaten lying on the ground – it’s all their doing. We could not bear to see those luscious fruits so dear to you being ruined by these pests. So I said to het I would climb up the tree and drive them off. And that I did and as I was coming down, you came here, Sir. We were anyway planning to come in to tell you about all this. Surely you, a large-hearted person, wouldn’t be sending us back empty handed?

**

The boy said to the owner: Sir, we’ve no idea why you look upset. We were passing by minding our business when your man standing over there called us in. He said his master would pay if we could pick off the tree a bag full of mangoes, waving a cloth bag at us. We accepted the assignment. I went up, plucked the fruits one by one and dropped them down for him to catch and put away in his bag.  When the bag was full, he signalled me to stop. Taking the bag, he went this way promising to be back in a jiffy with our payment.  I was climbing down when you came inwe were expecting your man with the money as promised. Don’t know who you are. If you’re the owner, kindly pay us what you owe and we’ll be gone before you turn your back. You wouldn’t gyp a couple of kids of their legit earnings, would you?

**

Interesting?

End

Source: Based on a short piece read in Dhina Thandhi, a Tamizh daily, several years ago. Image from Elango Velur Thiruturaipoondi Tiruvarurஇயற்கை மற்றும் பசுமை and artstation.com

Scare Me, This Time, In About Two Sentences!

.

“Wait. Was it you who ordered the pineapple pizza?” asked the delivery guy with the last remaining box in hand [Sheeley].

**

You are watching a horror movie with your friend at night. Don’t know why is he calling you on the phone? [Kuntal]

Limited data plan. Downloading failed at 97%.

Studied hard for physics exam. First word in the question paper rhymes with mystery.

**

My dog has only barked 3 times ever since he was a pup, and somebody nearby at the time would die within hours. Could himself be the one dying if he is barking right now, and I’m the only one to hear it? [Lam]

**

The US President prepared to address his nation from the safety of the nuclear bunker [Ahmad]. .

**

My dog growls at the bottom of the stairs every time the lights flicker. Today it was growling at me [Chin].

**

Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying – Arthur C. Clarke [Strain].

**

12:00 Midnight ———— The Stories Get ‘Dark’ ————-

My wife was scared of drowning…so I shot her in the head before our ship sunk [Ahmad].

**

They said what you eat is what you become, I always wanted to become like her [Farswan].

**

You walked away from the scene of a car accident, someone stopped you: hey! One of your hands is still in the car! [Nikol]

**

If I knew it’d be this lonely, I would’ve been cremated [Bal].

**

Personal Favorites/Experiences

‘Sorry, Sir, the warranty expired last month – you’ll have to….’

Health Bulletin: We regret to announce….

‘Sir, this flight left yesterday….’

‘Hey, you’ve quoted to the customer last month’s prices.’

‘Didn’t you read the last line? It clearly says…’

‘You’re standing in the wrong queue, Sir.’

‘Election card won’t do, need Aadhar card.’

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Sourec: quora.com and The Atlantic

Some Tiny Tales

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A City Of Two Tales

People are so full of stories, anecdotes, and experiences, personal or otherwise.

I collected a couple of them new in this stay at Chennai over the last few weeks. Both, in local context.

The first one was narrated by K with whom we travelled to Tiruppathi, a gentleman of deep knowledge and wide experience – it’s unfortunate I had not known him earlier and enough to tap into his vast repository of anecdotes.

A practicing professional in Accountancy and Finance, K heard this one from a respectable Muslim business client of his years ago when it had happened:

On one occasion, a general of high rank in the Indian Army was socially calling on this client, his friend. As a matter of routine, hours before the visit, an inspection team came in and turned the house upside down and went away satisfied.

When the general finally arrived, he was warmly greeted by his friend, taken into the house. And they settled down for their friendly banter. In course of which the host registered a mock complaint:

‘Do you know what your men did to my house?’

The general profusely apologized for discommoding the host and said it was part of a standard procedure that could not be waived.

A smile appeared on the face of the host. He led the general to one of the bedrooms. And quietly lifted the mattress up a few inches to reveal a gun that looked good for its business!

(It is not known if any heads rolled subsequently. May be that’s how/why the Pulwama attack on CRPF succeeded and many other incidents before? Wonder laxity if any never got talked about)

Later the two friends sat down for dinner. The general went gaga over the biriyani that was served:

 ‘Hey, tell me, did you steal the chef from Shadab or Paradise…’

The host called out: ’The general loves your biriyani, won’t you come out and show your face for a moment, Narayana?’

**

This is from N whom I called on a couple of days ago, residing in Besant Nagar near the Marina Beach.

One night, he was taking a stroll on the beach with not many around at that hour.

Suddenly he was accosted by a man obviously gone a little far for his good.

Nevertheless, he held himself up steady for a brief moment to tell N:

Brother – kinship gets easily established – this Modi (the Prime Minister)he’s a genius, mind you. See how all these guys with all their ill-gotten stash got screwed overnight thru demonetization? That’s not enough, my friendtake this from me to Modihe must fix an expiry date on all currency like an year, two or even five…then see what happensno more hoarding, saving and all that…the money would have to be spent soon after it’s made…will do a lot of good to all around, think about it.

Now at peace, his India-saving message delivered, he dissolved back into darkness of the night.

Something to think about?

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