neelwrites/crashlanding/flashfictionfor aspiringwriters/shorttsory/31/07/2018


By Neel Anil Panicker

Knee high, insulated, timberland, wellington, combat, comfort, work…the list seemed endless.

Boots, boots, and then some more. Rajat Banerjee had never seen so many types of shoes in his entire three score something lifetime.

An hour later when he stepped out of La Footsie, he had lightened up his wallet by over ten lakhs.

‘The Burj Khalifa’, he spat out at the chauffeur as he eased himself into the car and closed his eyes.

In no time he would arrive at what was an oasis of absolute luxury, a place that seemed personally ordained by Lord himself for man’s enjoyment.

A personalized steam bath administered by bootilicious ever amenable hour glass divas awaited him, to be followed later by all night reverie by the poolside.

Bespoke, that’s what life had turned into ever since the Kolkata slum boy won the jackpot a year ago.

He was still lost in dreamland when the monster truck that speeded from behind reduced to pulp his brand new all white Mercedes Benz.

#neelanilpanicker #FFfAW #shortstory #flash #instashorts

FFfAW Challenge – 176th

To read all the stories submitted for this challenge, click on the blue froggy button below:

To read all the stories submitted for this challenge, click on the blue froggy button below:




Inspired by

Three Things Challenge, 29 July 2018

Today’s things are: mirror, submarine, octopus 


Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt!



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IS OCTOPUS A FISH?  Image result for

By Neel Anil Panicker

The well past middle age man with the neatly styled salt and pepper beard first stabbed his fork into the soft underbelly of the Southern blue ringed octopus and then dunked it into a bowl of tangy Anchelo Chilli Sauce before depositing the delicacy in his mouth, his taste buds bursting alive with the spicy liveliness of  the fresh off the sea eight armed marine mollusk.

Octopi? Octopuses, Octopode? Octopodus? How the fish does it matter which side of the battle line, or as in this case battlelines one is_ whether you a card carrying member of the loyalists among English Grammar Nazis who affirm that octopi is hypercorrect arising as it were of the mistaken belief that the –us in octopus is a Latin second declension ending; or  should one join flanks with Fowler’s Modern English Usage that affirms that “the only acceptable plural form is octopuses; or even the Marriam-Webster that cries itself hoarse arguing that octopi is the correct form, though even whilst joining this mother of all wars, the highly revered The Oxford English Dictionary prefers to play it safe and simply list all three__octopuses, octopi, and octopodes in a decreasing order of usage, though not forgetting to mention that the last form is a wee bit rare.


None of this mattered to Dr K.V.S. A. Ramanna, senior nuclear physicist and head of India’s much vaunted Nuclear Programme.

As he gazed at his reflection in the wall mirror  in his well stocked upper deck room of  the 6000 tonne INS  Arihant, India’s first nuclear ballistic missile submarine, a smile crept across his face.

Not bad, he reflected, not bad to have seen his life transform literally from zero to hero__ the journey from the bowels of extreme poverty to the very echelons of intellectual power, may have seen more than its share of turbulence, but each trough of the choppy sea waves had only strengthened his resolve enabling him to power his way and ride the exhilarating crests of life.

Yes, life had been good; one grand roller coaster ride, in fact,__ both for him and his twin brother__the one who made a living out of decoding the etymological origins of anything that walked on Planet Earth and beyond.

#neelanilpanicker #flash #shortstory 3ThreeThingsChallenge #SixSentenceStories #373words


Sunday Photo Fiction – July 29, 2018


Joy Pixley 5 Edited

Photo Credit: Joy Pixley

By Neel Anil Panicker

‘Oh Lord Muruga, we bow our head in obeisance at your feet and thank you a trillion times one more time. You’ve kept us safe from police and fellow criminals and for this benevolence we shall be ever grateful. As promised, here’s a fifth of our ‘earnings’. Please continue to shower us with your benediction as always’.

From a narrow hexagonal slit in the rocks, Ashwathama watched as the criminals unopened heavy jute bags and laid on the granite floor in front of them gold and silver ornaments, several bundles of cash, Kancheewaram sarees, even what seemed a very costly all leather designer bag.

Once they had made their way down the precarious stony steps, eighty-eight Ashwathmma crept out of his vantage position and carried the ‘offering’ back into the hollow.

Life had been one unimaginable miracle, ever since, some three decades ago, a twenty year old who’d just lost his entire family to a ravaging flood, climbed up the mountain and on a crazed whim carved a monolith 100 feet high statue after a Herculean two-year effort.

Since then, he’d anointed himself Lord Muruga’s intermediary __passing on the pickings of the ‘haves’ to the ‘havenots’__a win-win situation for all.

#neelanilpanicker #SUNDAYPHOTOFICTION #200words #shortstory #flash #fiction


Today’s things are: mattress, golf ball, green


Today’s things are: mattress, golf ball, green


By Neel Anil Panicker

“Mr John, you mean to say he held a couple of  golf balls in his hand when you last saw him. What time did you say it was?”

This was the second time  Detective Chacko had asked that question this Friday morning in the past two hours, albeit to three different demographic groups.

‘Look, I guess it was around a quarter past seven because that’s about the time when I step out and walk up to the green.’

‘Is it true what everyone says?’ 

The experienced sleuth furrowed his thickset eyebrows as he half cocked his oval shaped head and looked squarely  at the man seated opposite him, studying the reaction his open ended question had posed.

‘What…er…what, what Sirrr…?’

Chacko very slowly lifted the index finger of his left hand and began to rub gently around the chin his ill kept salt and pepper beard around the chin.

‘That, he surmised, was by no means a natural stammer; slurring of this type revealed  a sudden bout of insecurity, even fear.

Call it instinct, or perhaps his years of experience culled from meeting with a range of suspects, but Chacko knew he was onto something here. He also knew that he had to tread very carefully herewith lest this rotund forty-something bespectacled man in rimless spectacles turned suspicious, and thereby incommunicado.

Picking his words carefully, the wily detective gently dropped his next question while at the same time keeping his hawkish eyes pinned down on his interviewee, “Mr John, is it true that you two, I mean you and the dead man’s wife are…sorry were very close, and this was much before you two got married to your respective spouses?”  

The question seemed to have knocked the gut out of John for almost instantly the colour drained out of his handsome face and as his shoulders stooped even as he simply stared down at the mattress below his feet, his eyes looking as if they had seen just seen the Devil himself.

neelanilpanicker #fiction #flash #DetectiveChacko #crimeseries #crime  #murder



Written for

Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt! Resort


Three Things Challenge, 26 July 2018

Today’s things are: fan, cool, summer


By Neel Anil Panicker

 “Heartless blood sucking vampires, do nogooders, fat ass Mammon worshippers, worthless  dregs on Earth they all are and all this I say not once, not twice but a hundred times loud and clear, in the hope, in the vain hope that it jolts one among you who have gathered here this hot summer afternoon to get up and shoot the nimcompoops who run the civic body of this increasingly unliveable town.

From the street corner Joshua, his handsome virile face dripping with the sweat and grime that’s synonymous with an Indian summer eyed the crowd that had swelled to a few hundred in the past one hour or so and wondered whether Anindo Chattopadhyay, General Secretary of All Unorganised Workers and Daily Wagers Union had the much needed lung power and charisma to hold this audience riveted for the next couple of hours, at least.

He got his answer the very next moment as the by now boisterous and increasingly agitated band of protestors broke into raucous lusty cries of “We Want Justice”, “Down with Highhandedness” that resonated far and wide all around the town square.

Watching the fast unfolding spectacle warmed the cockles of Joshua’s heart and he instantly pulled out a phone from his back pocket and pressing a number which he had on speed dial, whispered, “Darling, it’s getting hot here. Looks like they’re going to resort to violence. He’ll be busy for at least three more hours. Get ready, I’m coming over”.

At the other end of town, in a near secluded middle class neighbourhood, a delirious Mrs Chattopadhya kept the phone down, switched on the fan and broke into an impromptu street dance that saw her deliriously jumping up and down all over the floor of her seventh floor apartment bedroom.

Finally, her mind on an even keel, she sat down and began to mull the various ways and means to keep cool the ‘hot as burning coal’ Joshua.

#flash #flashfiction #fiction #shortstory #ThreeThingsChallenge #SixSentenceStories  #322words #resort #cool #summer #fan