Creative Writing, fiction, Funny, Humor, Humour, Short Story, Writing

The Heist – Short Story


“We need thirty-one of those,” Rahul pointed inside the store, “The Boss was very specific about that.”

A well-aimed brick sailed through the helpless glass window with a loud crash.

Rashi tiptoed in, her svelte figure deftly avoiding the glass remains. She picked up The Loot with her gloved hands and carefully stashed it away in an airtight container in her backpack. She wished she could contain her nervousness in a similar manner, but her trembling hands wouldn’t listen. After all, The Boss had personally asked for these. One mistake and her partner would have to deal with a gooey mess. Her hands trembled a little more.

“Nice job back there, Rashi. How many did we get?” Rahul asked between deep puffs of breath after they had put a decent distance between themselves and the crime scene.

“Thirty,” Rashi replied, grimacing from a mix of fear and pain. She knew that The Boss never settled for less, even if it was only one less. She also knew, a bit too late, that heels weren’t the most appropriate footwear for a heist. She proceeded to curse The Boss and every actress that had been part of a heist movie under her breath.

“Are you sure you haven’t missed counting one?”

Rashi nodded, massaging her traumatized foot.

“Not good.”

Rashi nodded again.

Rahul paused to catch up with some more of his breath and thoughts. The Boss still hadn’t approved his request for company conveyance and he was too old for these post-heist sprints. He brushed his hands through his graying hair, out of nervous habit, before looking at his mobile phone’s clock. It was two hours to midnight. Not only was he already too old, he constantly continued to get older. The last of his twenties would sail out of reach in a few minutes. He should have been partying with his friends, getting drunk beyond recognition, yet here he was, carrying out dangerous nocturnal heists instead. The thought of his friends jolted him out of his musings. It reminded him that most of them had been bumped off over the years because they had failed to carry out The Boss’ missions. He needed to focus, regrets could wait until he sponsored the next instalment of The Shrink’s obscenely generous pension plan.

“We must find one more,” Rahul said.

“But…from where? We just got every single one, didn’t we? We’ll have to wait until the next batch.”

“We can’t wait that long. We have less than two hours to get these to The Boss. He explicitly mentioned that he wanted them by midnight. He even had The Glint in his eye when he mentioned it.”

“Not The Glint, no,” Rashi backed away instinctively.

“Yes, The Glint,” Rahul assured her.

“Do…do you have a plan?”

“I do. We’ll need another brick.”

***

The second well-aimed brick of the night sailed through the Jaguar’s windshield, making the obligatory loud crash. The security alarm wailed into the night. Rahul and Rashi receded into the proverbial underbelly of a dark corner in the driveway and waited.

The Maker, as his patrons called him, stirred in bed. Years of paranoia, arising from a mix or real and imaginary attempts to steal The Formula, had turned him into a light sleeper. The frantic cries of his Jaggu did not go unheard for long.

The front door of the duplex house soon opened with a thud. Rahul waited intently behind the bush. A generous belly poked out of the door as if to scout the area, before being followed by the rest of The Maker’s middle-aged figure out into the adjoining driveway. He let out a scream as his eyes fell on the grisly remains of his Jaggu’s windshield, or at least he tried to, before he was ambushed by an age-defyingly nimble Rahul. A quick tap on The Maker’s head by Rashi, using the multi-talented brick, brought the driveway scene to a close.

The Maker woke up a couple of minutes later, a little groggy, and tied to one of his own chairs.

“Give us The Formula, if you want to live,” Rashi growled on cue.

“Yes, give us The…um, no, that’s not what we want,” Rahul scowled back.

“No?

“No! What’ll we do with The Formula? He’s The Maker, not us. Only he knows make more of them the right way.”

The Maker, interjected at this moment, “Are you saying that you’ve broken into my house, at this ungodly hour, to make me make you a…”

“Yes, and it should be done in the next sixty minutes,” Rahul interjected.

“Impossible. What if I refuse?”

“That Jaguar of yours still has a few windows left, I notice,” Rashi replied.

“Nothing’s impossible for The Maker,” The Maker corrected himself.

Rahul untied The Maker and walked him to The Workshop.

“Now, don’t get any ideas. Just do as you’re told and no one or thing shall get hurt,” Rahul spelled out the standard threat.

The Maker rolled his eyes, “Who do you think I am? Iron Man? I assure you that I won’t create suit-of-war in there. Now leave me alone. I need to concentrate.”

Rahul stepped back with his hands raised in a mock gesture.

“Sheesh. This one has a temper, doesn’t he? I certainly wouldn’t want to break into his home again anytime soon.” Rashi said.

Rahul looked at his phone’s watch. Ninety minutes to midnight. They might just make it in time.

That’s when another one of the clearly overworked brick fraternity made its way through the workshop’s window. They knew how to make an entry, one had to give them that. They could have taught a thing or two to the burly men in masks, who ungainly followed the brick in, negotiating the remaining bits of glass.

The leader of the burly pack scanned the occupants, “Rahul? What are you doing here? You know you aren’t supposed to be part of this mission.”

“Don’t tell me what I can or cannot do, Sharma. You’re not the boss of me.”

“Well, no, but The Boss is the boss of you. Didn’t he explicitly forbid you to mess with this heist?” He paused before adding,  “Oh, and thanks for outing my name, you idiot. So much for my disguise.”

“Right,” Rahul rolled his eyes, “The Maker now knows that his house has been broken into by one of the two million Sharmas in the city. You’re done for.”

“Yeah? Well…whatever,” Sharma retaliated as best he could.

Sharma looked at Rashi’s backpack and eventually two and two were put together, “Hold on. What’s in there? Is that The Loot? Were you responsible for the break-in at the Master’s store?”

“Um…”

Sharma pointed a gun at Rahul’s head. “I should have known. You’re always trying to one-up everyone in front of The Boss. Well, not this time. I’m not as stupid as poor gullible Verma. Hand the goodies over.”

Rashi, despite herself, couldn’t help but ask, “What happened to Verma?”

“Not now, Rashi,” Rahul snapped.

“Don’t want to tell her about Verma? I guess there is some remorse in there after all.”

Rahul gritted his teeth. “Let it go, Sharma.”

“Never. Verma and I had a bond that went beyond rhyming surnames. It still pains me when I think of what you did to him.”

“What…happened to him? He’s not dead, is he? Did Rahul kill him?” Rashi asked the most obvious question considering her present company.

”Dead? Hah. If only. No. Verma is very much alive. If you can call that a living.” he paused, trying to power through the pain. “He’s now a…a…soft…software developer,” he blurted out finally.

Rashi cringed. A sudden wave of nausea swept over her.

“And Rahul here was the one that told him he should become one. He even funded his education,” Sharma added.

“He was good at it! You didn’t see how his face lit up when he made those Matrix like things happen to his screen.”

“The things from the bullet scene?” Sharma interjected.

“No, not the bullet scene! I mean those green moving things…you know…the stuff hat…hack…hackers do?”

Sharma shrugged.

Exasperated, Rahul looked at Rashi, searching for support. “It was his calling dammit! Surely you understand why I did that, Rashi? He was not good enough to be one of us. He had…other talents. Surely, in this day and age, we can allow a man to live life as he pleases even if it is strange and unnatural without judging him.”

Rashi continued to give him an admonishing stare.

“He told me he wanted to become a full-stack specialist!” Rahul tried going all out in one final attempt at justifying his actions. “He said his idol was Bjarne Stroustrup!”

“Those aren’t real words and you know it,” Sharma interjected.

Rashi nodded in agreement.

Rahul looked crestfallen.

Sharma smirked.

Rashi took this opportunity to snatch the gun from Sharma’s outstretched hand.

“Son of a…,” Sharma began.

Rahul kicked his legs from under him in one smooth motion.

“…unnggggh,” Sharma ended as his head hit the ground, the impact knocking him out immediately.

Rashi cocked back the gun.

The rest of the group showing an alertness lacking in their leader’s actions, quickly clambered back out the window.

“Take your boss with you!” Rashi cried out after them, to no avail.

“Those guys were really bad at their job,” she said.

“Rashi, you must believe me about Verma…” Rahul tried again.

“I couldn’t care less about Verma,” Rashi stopped him mid-sentence.

“She is done.” The Maker suddenly walked into the erstwhile battle scene.  He held up the finished product such that the tube-light glinted off its shiny edges. “A thing of beauty as usual.” He remarked, clearly satisfied.

Rahul snatched it out of his hands and added it to the contents of Rashi’s airtight container.

“Number thirty-one. We’re done,” Rashi said.

Rahul looked at his watch. “Fifty minutes to midnight. Let’s go.”

“Wait…what should we do with Picasso here?” Rashi asked.

Rahul thought for a bit, and replied, “Kill him.”

The Maker, petrified, took a step back.

Rashi looked quizzically at Rahul.

“I’m kidding, I’m kidding. You should have seen the look on your face!” He laughed.

Rashi rolled her eyes. The Maker tried to stop hyperventilating.

“Let him be. He won’t call the police. He knows better than to mess with The Boss’ people.” Rahul said.

“He does, doesn’t he?” Rashi looked at The Maker. The Maker nodded between gasps of breath.

“And what about Sharmaji here?” Rashi pointed to the limp figure on the floor.

“Ugh. I guess we’ll have to take him with us. I think I saw a dumpster around the corner.”

“All right then. Pick a side and lift.”

***

The Lair had an air of celebration around it when Rahul and Rashi got there. Rahul spotted The Boss immediately. He was tough to miss, dressed in a crisp white suit – the staple of mafia bosses and fashion-challenged youths through the ages. Rahul went up to him and greeted him with perfectly executed pecks on the cheeks that would have made the author of The Dummy’s Guide to Mafia Etiquette proud. Rashi was too low in the organizational hierarchy chain to act as if she existed and decided to stand behind Rahul while resolutely staring at her feet.

“Aren’t you early? I thought The Secretary would have called you in a bit later,” The Boss said, surprised.

Rahul dramatically took out the container from Rashi’s backpack and held it up to The Boss.

“Tell me that’s not The Loot, Rahul,” he said, his mafia boss sense tingling.

Rahul shrugged.

“Damn it, Rahul. You know I had assigned this to Sharma.”

“I’m sorry for disobeying you. But this was the first time that you’ve ever asked Sharma to lead an important job instead of me. I may be getting older, but I’m still better than Sharma. I had to prove to you that I could beat him to it.”

The Boss let out a disappointed sigh before raising his hands to get the attention of The Secretary. She seemed to be in panic mode.

She came over when she saw the wave and began, “Neither Sharma nor Rahul is picking up my call. I don’t know what…” she stopped when she spotted Rahul and Rashi.

“Why aren’t you picking up my calls?” she asked Rahul, agitation writ on her thin, pointed eyebrows.

“I was…uh…a bit busy,” Rahul replied.

“Yes, he was busy getting us The Loot,” The Boss interjected, making no attempt to hide the exasperation in his voice, and handed over the container to her.

The Secretary took The Loot and inspected its contents. It caused her to stretch her already furrowed brows to the limit.

“What happened to Sharma?” she asked.

“Nothing permanent,” Rahul replied, with as much nonchalance as he could manage at the moment.

The Secretary shrugged her shoulders and walked away with The Loot.

“Wait here and don’t move,” the Boss gave the two of them a curt order and walked away in The Secretary’s direction.

Rahul and Rashi suddenly became very aware of the fact that The Lair was now empty. The gang hovering around them had disappeared at some point during their conversation.

“Should we be panicking right now?” asked Rashi. She had been watching the proceedings from afar and quietly evaluating alternative professions.

“Probably…”

The lights in The Lair turned off, plunging the entire place into darkness.

Rashi clutched Rahul’s trembling hand.

“Shhh…” Rahul shushed her, trying to listen, his ears sifting through the silence for danger.

Rashi reached for her phone in her bag in order to use its backlight.

“Don’t,” Rahul whispered. ”The darkness is a disadvantage for them too.”

“Them?”

“Yes. We’re surrounded. And they’re slowly closing in.” Rahul’s instinct honed by years of training which included playing dark-room with his cousins in his ancestral home, had notified him of the tip-toeing figures that had probably encircled them by now. He searched his lint lined pockets for something that could be used as a weapon. Rashi took out the pocket knife she always kept in her socks for emergencies.

The figures came closer.

The lights flickered back on. Rashi picked a direction randomly and flung her knife. An explosion reverberated through the air. Someone screamed.

“SURPRISE!!!” The figures yelled in unison.

The Boss led the cheer from the front. The Secretary appeared startled, one of the balloons in her hand had just exploded. She shrugged it off and joined the shrill rendition of ‘Happy Birthday dear Rahul’. No one noticed the knife sticking out of the wall behind her.

Rahul looked at his watch. It was midnight.

The Boss walked him to the table where The Loot was spread out waiting for him.

“There you go. Thirty-one cupcakes and thirty-one candles. Make a wish and blow out the candles.”

Rashi had snuck out in the meantime and removed the evidence of her heroics from the wall.

She looked towards the table as Rahul paused to make a wish.

“Why cupcakes?” she asked the goon standing next to her.

“Cakes are for sissies. And besides The Boss hates them,” he replied.

“Of course,” Rashi joined in the chorus.

Rahul looked at the offending thirty-first cupcake that had ruined his day.

“Why did we need thirty-one cupcakes though? I’ve only turned thirty,” he asked the Boss.

“Isn’t it obvious? The last one’s for good luck.”

“Of course,” Rahul let out a tired smile, before proceeding to blow out the candles.

 

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The Heist – Work in progress


“We need thirty-one of those,” Rahul pointed inside the store. “The Boss was very specific about that.”

A well-aimed brick sailed through the helpless glass window with a loud crash.
Rishi tiptoed in around the glass remains and picked up the loot with her gloved hands, careful not to drop any of it, and stashed it away in an airtight container inside her backpack. She wished she could contain her nervousness too, but her trembling hands didn’t listen. After all, The Boss had personally asked for these. One mistake and her partner would have to deal with a gooey mess. Not a pleasant thought. Her hands trembled a little more.

“Nice job back there, Rishi. How many did we get?” Rahul asked between deep puffs of breath after they had put a decent distance between themselves and the crime scene.
“Thirty,” Rishi replied, with a mix of disappointment and fear. She knew that The Boss never settled for less, even if it was only one less.
“That was all of them?”
Rishi nodded.
“Not good.”
Rishi nodded again.

Rahul paused to catch up with some more of his breath and thoughts. The Boss still hadn’t approved his request for company conveyance and he was too old for these post-heist sprints. He looked at his mobile phone’s clock. It was an hour to midnight. Not only was he already too old, he constantly continued to get older. The last of his twenties would sail out of reach in another ninety minutes. He should have been partying with his friends, getting sozzled beyond recognition, yet here he was, carrying out dangerous nocturnal heists instead. The thought of his friends jolted him out of his musings. Most of them had been bumped off over the years because they had failed to carry out The Boss’ missions. He needed to focus, regrets could wait until he sponsored the next instalment of The Shrink’s obscenely generous pension plan.

“We must find one more,” Rahul said.
“But…from where? We just got every single one, didn’t we?. We’ll have to wait until the next batch.”
“We can’t wait that long. We have less than two hours to get these to The Boss. He explicitly mentioned that he wanted them by midnight. He even had The Glint in his eye when he mentioned it.”
“Not The Glint, no,” Rishi backed away instinctively.
“Yes, The Glint”. Rahul assured her.
“Do…do you have a plan?”
Rahul looked at her square in the eye. “I do. And we’ll need another brick.”

The second well-aimed brick of the night sailed through the Jaguar’s windshield, making the obligatory loud crash. The security alarm wailed into the night. Rahul and Rishi receded into the belly of a particularly dark corner in the driveway and waited.

The Maker, as his patrons called him, stirred in bed. Years of paranoia, arising from a mix or real and imaginary attempts to steal The Formula, had turned him into a light sleeper. The frantic cries of his Jaggu did not go unheard for long.

The front door of the duplex house soon opened with a thud. Rahul waited intently behind the bush. A generous belly poked out of the door as if to scout the area, before being followed by the rest of The Maker’s middle-aged figure out into the adjoining driveway. The Maker let out a scream as he surveyed the grisly remains of his Jaggu’s windshield, or at least he tried to, before he was ambushed by an age-defyingly-nimble Rahul. A quick tap on The Maker’s head by Rishi, using the multi-talented brick, brought the driveway scene to a close.

The Maker woke up a couple of minutes later, a little groggy, and tied to one of his own chairs.
“Give us The Formula, if you want to live,” Rishi growled on cue.
“Yes, give us The Form…um…no, that’s not what we want.” Rahul scowled back.
“No?
“No! What’ll we do with The Formula? He’s The Maker, not us. Only he knows how to make more of them the right way.”
The Maker, interjected at this moment, “Are you saying that you’ve broken into my house, at this ungodly hour, to make me make you a…”
“Yes, and it should be done in the next twenty minutes,” Rahul interjected.
“What if I refuse?”
“That car of yours still has a few windows left, I notice,” Rishi replied.
“I’ll do it! There’s no need to get loved ones involved.”
Rahul untied The Maker and walked him to his workshop.
“Now, don’t you get any ideas. Just do as you’re told and no one or thing shall get hurt,” Rahul spelled out the standard threat.
The Maker rolled his eyes, “Who do you think I am? Iron Man? I assure you that I won’t create suit-of-war in there. Now leave me alone. I need to concentrate.”
Rahul stepped back with his hands raised in a mock gesture.
“Sheesh. This one has a temper, doesn’t he? I certainly wouldn’t want to break into his home again anytime soon.” Rishi said.
Rahul looked at his phone’s watch. Ninety minutes to midnight. They might just make it in time.

That’s when another one of the clearly overworked brick fraternity made its way through the workshop’s window. They knew how to make an entry, one had to give them that. They could have taught a thing or two to the three burly men in masks, who ungainly followed the brick in, negotiating the remaining bits of glass.

The leader of the burly pack scanned the occupants, “Rahul? What are you doing here? You know you aren’t supposed to be part of this mission.”
“Don’t tell me what I can or cannot do, Sharma. You’re not the boss of me.”
“Well no, but The Boss is the boss of you, isn’t he? Didn’t he explicitly forbid you to mess with this heist?” He threw down his mask, “Oh, and thanks for outing my name, you idiot. So much for my disguise.”
“Right,” Rahul rolled his eyes, “The Maker now knows that his house has been broken into by one of the two million Sharmas in the city. You’re done for.”
“Yeah, whatever.” Sharma retaliated as best he could.
Sharma looked at Rishi’s backpack and eventually two and two were put together, “Hold on. What’s in there? Is that the loot? Were you responsible for the break-in at the Master’s store?”
“Well…”
“I should have known. You’re always trying to one-up me in front of The Boss. Well, not this time. Hand it over.”

To be continued…

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flash fiction, horror, scary

The wish


I never left my television on. But, I wished I had been forgetful tonight.

The night was still as usual. But, I wished the cracked window pane, was the wind’s doing.

My boyfriend wasn’t home. But, I wished those footsteps I heard creeping up behind me, were his.

As I turned to face it, I wished I was dead.

Sometimes, wishes do come true.

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Food, Funny, horror, Humour, Short Story, Writing

The Twist


The steak was succulent. The chicken juicy. The entire meal had a certain…character to it. He tucked into the dinner with an unusual abandon, even for him. When he’d finished licking his fingers, she finally spoke. He had almost forgotten that she was eating with him.

“You like it?”

“Like it? It’s magical! Where did you find such a genius of a chef?”

“Oh, he’s good, no doubt. But the magic here lies in the ingredients and also…” she hesitated “…the meticulousness with which they were sourced.”

**********

“Stop! Halt! I’m not going to listen to any more of this tripe. I can see the twist coming a mile away. She served him a human being, didn’t she?”

I smirked in that annoying way which always got on people’s nerves.

“No, she didn’t. How predictable would that be? And who said anything about there being a twist, anyway?” I said, as insincerely as I could.

“Fine. Continue then,” he said gruffly.

“Where was I now…oh right.”

**********

“Where do you source your food from?” he asked.

“We grow it ourselves.”

“What’s your secret?” He asked as he not-so-discreetly scraped the remaining juices off the plate using his fingers.

“Our farm animals are put on a very special diet. So, are our vegetables. We don’t use ordinary feed or fertiliser.”

**********

“She grinds humans up into the fertiliser and the feed, doesn’t she? Is that it? It’s even lamer than I thought!”

“Why are you being so morbid? And I do agree – that would have been very lame. Now, if you don’t have any more ‘theories’, shall I continue?”

He nodded. A cold, steely determination had crept into his eyes.

I smirked again.

*********

“I’d love to meet and compliment the chef in person. This was easily the best meal I’ve had in my life,” he said.

“Of course. I’ll summon him immediately.”

A couple of seconds later, a voice coughed behind him. He looked up to see a tall slender man in a chef’s hat standing over him. “Well, that was quick,” he said.

“Meet The Count, our head chef. He has apprenticed under a lot of master chefs and is now a man who definitely possesses the sum of their skills. He’s absolutely lapped up their talents, so to speak.”

The Count smiled at him. He smiled back. The Count’s teeth glinted.

*********

“Vampire!”

“This, sir, isn’t chic-lit!” I said, with as much indignation as I could muster.

*********

“What’s your secret?” He asked.

“Would you believe, cauldrons? I always cook in cauldrons. And I like to sing with the other chefs while I do it,” The Count replied.

“That’s…interesting.” He said.

“Surely, there must be something else?” He probed further. He knew that The Count was hiding something.

The Count hesitated for a bit, then leaned into his ear and whispered.

*********

“Warlock?”

“Nope.”

**********

“Salt. Lots of it.” The Count said. “And a shitload of MSG,” he added with a wink.

**********

“You’re horrible at spotting the twist” I said. And then I ate him.

Telling that story always gives me the munchies.

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flash fiction, horror, Humour, sci-fi, Science-Fiction, Short Story

The Rewrite


She showed him the horror again.

Clear as crystal. His own. It can really affect you, that.

It was the curse, she told him.

He had heard about the curse before. From her as well as the elders. Three centuries ago, an ancestor had burnt a witch in cold blood. The witch’s sister, who plied the same trade, hadn’t been impressed. Every male heir since then had met with a gruesome, albeit creative, end.

He believed what he’d seen. He believed in the curse. But he also believed that he could undo it.

*****

It had required a lot of effort, but it was finally ready. He sat at the controls and drew in a deep, purposeful breath. This was it. He was ready to rewrite history, and his own future in the bargain. He pressed the button, the science did its thing, and the machine hurled back into time.

*****

He peeped through the window again. The witch still lay asleep. There was no sign of any tip-toeing ancestors in the vicinity. He guessed he had some time to kill before he’d have the opportunity to prevent the deed from being perpetrated. He sat down in the bushes, lit himself a cigarette, and waited.

The screams jolted him out of his nap. He rushed to the source. The machine was up in flames. So was the witch. She must have gotten inside, curious to determine what the contraption was. Maybe she had fiddled with the engine. Maybe there had been a short-circuit. It was too late to save her, or the machine which would soon become her coffin.

A cold tap on the shoulder caused him to turn around. It was who he’d thought it’d be. And she was mad.

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flash fiction, Funny, Humour, Short Story

Forbidden fruit


“Don’t eat that pear,” she said.

“But why?” He asked, giving it a look over.

“It’s forbidden.” She tried to snatch it from him but he dodged her attempt.

“Who are we, Adam and Eve? And this isn’t even an apple!” He chuckled, taking a huge bite out of it anyway.

“Well, it isn’t a pear either.”

He was too busy choking on the wax to notice her joy at having nailed the punchline.

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Doubt


“How can you not believe in yourself?” The others always ask me. They find it amusing.

Maybe they have a point though. I can fly like a bird. I’m faster than a train. Bullets don’t even tickle me. I can perform feats which no ordinary man can. Why do the doubts still persist then? I’ve tried to push them away. I’ve tried to see what they do when they look at me. But the doubts always return. I can’t do it. I can’t get myself to believe in ghosts.

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flash fiction, horror, Short Story

Birthday – flash fiction


After years of heartbreak, the adoption agency finally called. We were happy. We were complete. At least, until the sickness engulfed his tiny frame.

He offered to help. In exchange I’d have to sacrifice another human on my son’s first birthday. I’d have taken a worse deal. He kept his word. When the dreaded day came, I kept mine. Her eyes will haunt me forever.

I hid the body and returned home. My hands still trembled. My wife greeted me with a bemused look. “You won’t believe this. The adoption agency called a few minutes ago. Apparently there was a mix up with his birth certificate. They said his actual birthday is on the fourth of next month.” She looked around at the decorations she had spent all day putting up and laughed. “What a waste,” she said. I nodded in agreement.

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horror, scary, Short Story

The screams


I followed the screams. I had to reach her. She continued to run down the wrong path. I tried to warn her, called out to her to stop, but my voice muffled by the thunderous rain always seemed to fall short. For the first time in my life, I was truly afraid.

And then I heard the sickening thud. She had fallen. I filled with dread when I saw a figure run towards her, with a pistol gingerly extended in front. I had to reach her before he did. Her screams were barely coherent between her frightened sobs now. “Help…daddy…please,” she repeated, over and over. She finally looked in my direction. I waved at her between strides, trying to tell her everything would be fine, but I could sense the fear in her eyes as they darted between me and him. I suddenly realised, with almost paralysing apprehension, that her life depended on who won this race. I think she did too. She closed her eyes, and waited.

Luckily for her, I came in first, and I knew what I had to do.

I plunged the knife into her ribcage with all my might, twisting it in, until all that remained was silence. I looked up to him as he finally reached her. The family resemblance was obvious – she had his eyes. I watched calmly as those eyes, now brimming with tears, aimed the pistol at my head. I wasn’t afraid anymore. The screams had finally stopped.

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AusvsInd, IndvsAus, kohli

The Kohli way and the competitive whitewash


This has been a very interesting overseas series for India. The results haven’t been very different from the ones that have come before it, yet the way they have got to them has been. For starters, the team hasn’t been shamefully outplayed – there is a possibility that this series may be the one the ‘most competitive whitewashes’ that India has been part of in recent times, if that makes sense. We haven’t been ineptly bounced out of the game. There have been a couple of long sessions where the batsmen have taken the fight to the Aussies. Even the bowlers have come up with the odd decent performances where they’ve been able to restrict and control the scoring with some incisive bowling before letting the session wander away. And most noticeably, our fielding has been consistently top notch, even among the members of that not-so-exclusive slip cordon club. In both the preceding test matches, India have found themselves at least once in a position where they could have gone on to a memorable overseas victory, before squandering it away in a way that the Indian fan is very familiar with.

The other standout aspect of the series has been the ‘banter’. Virat Kohli gave this very peculiar no-holds-barred press conference yesterday after playing yet another great knock in Australia.

People predicting that the game may become a bit gentler in the aftermath of the massive tragedy that preceded the series were proved very wrong, very quickly.

Now, Virat is a naturally aggressive individual who likes to take on his opponents. In fact, he actively seeks opportunities to do so. It’s a refreshing trait for Indian cricket fans to see in one of their star players. It makes for great television every time he stands his ground and gives it back to a bowler like Johnson, or when he blows kisses to the people inside as well as outside the playing field. That’s the Kohli way and he’s God’s gift to cricket broadcasters, commentators and writers everywhere. But , as with everything, it seems to come at a price.

In the press conference I’ve linked above, a visibly agitated Kohli says that the banter doesn’t affect his batting, but then goes on to contradict himself by saying that he made a conscious effort to ‘back up the talk’. Bowlers the world over have already figured out that it is very easy to break his concentration by getting under his skin, even if it may not always work out in their favour. But hey, they’ll say, it’s definitely worth a try when things aren’t going your way. As one of the best batting talents of his generation, Kohli needs to think about whether there will come a day ten years in the future, when he will look back and wonder if he could have scaled higher peaks, if he wouldn’t have let these things bother him. For the sake of Indian cricket and his numerous fans who have already been witness to some scintillating Kohli innings, let’s hope that question never needs to be brought up.

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