(Note: Sorry, I hope you won’t mind as I have gone beyond 200 words with this one that just came in one full flow.)
AT THE CROSSROADS
By Neel Anil Panicker
As a child whenever a problem assailed Albert, he would duck past the half-broken boundary walls and enter the vast expanse of the airport.
Here, lost to the buzz of landings and takeoffs, the little boy would spend endless hours stepping in and out of black and white squares, expertly decoding the byzantine chalked crisscrosses and finally reaching the tarmac, just in time to see a beautiful bird taking off to the skies.
This was the place that gave wings to his dreams.
Today, those dreams had bitten the dust.
As Albert stumbled past the cemented tracks, the every elements that earlier soothed him__the gentle early morning breeze whispering into his ears; the noisy chirpiness of sprightly sparrows as they cut a line through the blue skies; even the soft cradling of grass around his ankles__all of them seemed as if withdrawn; looking askance at him, the way small kids would look fearfully at a deranged man.
For the first time ever, ‘cutie Al’ now turned thirty-four, found himself at the crossroads.
Standing here, all alone and lonely, his tortured mind a turnstile of emotions, Albert felt hit by a 320 mile hurricane that had swept everything in its wake.
He stared down at his hands: there were blood on them.
The blood of Sona, his dear wife, the wife who swore by their unborn child; the wife who ultimately slept with his best friend; the best friend whom he had known since he was born; the best friend who he grew with and looked upon as a role model; the best friend who first taught him how to hold a gun and shoot_first a pigeon, then a duck, and much later a man, and then men, several; the best friend with whom he later teamed up to create the fiercest drug mafia this side of Colombo; the best friend who was his brother; his own blood__who now lay dead, his arms around Sona, both drowned in their own blood.
©neelanilpanicker2017 # fiction # shortstory #FFfPP # 330 words
FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER- 2017
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