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By Neel Anil Panicker

What is it about a road that screams hope,
wondered Jessie as she stared at the open winding stretch that broke through the  mud splattered melange of bylanes that girdled her  obscure hamlet lost behind the Chottanagpur Hills

As she stood, absolutely immobile, her hands clutching a dirty yellow bag that had clearly seen better days, the girl, who hadn’t seen the inside of a school in her entire sixteen year on Planet Earth,  scratched her head and looked forlornly at Highway 24, wondering where those asphalt laden stretches led.

Was it the road, her pathway to deliverance, the escape that she had been craved for, a freeing away from a life of hellish poverty and freedom from the  sexual assaults on her frail body from the  depraved monster that she had, had been led to erroneously believe was her father?

What’s a girl who’s got nothing to lose afraid of, the impoverished teen surmised as she slung the sole belongings of her life—a red skirt, a pair of plastic slippers and a pocket Bible— kindly dispensations of an old widower woman who lived two huts from hers.

Thus, her mind made up, Jesse lugged forward, unmindful of the sweltering heat of mid-May, unmindful of what paths and trajectories her life would further travel, unmindful of everything except the deep knawing throbbing in her infantile heart—a non-stop  cadence that pulsates in her chest and smashed through her veins, and smacked at her brains—reminding, goading her to do something about it.

Thus geared up, the girl from the hamlet by the sea, the three square mile back of beyond stretch that was lost to civilisation marched forward, her head held high, her infant heart alive with a million hopes.

#neelanilpanicker #flash #fiction #shortstory #sss

3 thoughts on “neelwrites/flash/shortstory/fiction/sss/29/03/21

  1. Courageous for only 16 years of age yet old enough to realize, only she can change her life in the immediate.
    The road ahead of her, hopefully is the road forward always, to a better life.

    The title is perfect for your Six, Neel and I think we can all relate to it in some way.


  2. My hope against hope is she finds her dreams.


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