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By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma lifted his head from the sheaf of papers at his desk and asked, “How long have been working with me?’

Constable Pandey sprang to attention and pulling his stomach in, squirmed. “Nine months, Sir.”
‘Nine months, eight days, seventeen hours, 42 minutes and some fleeting seconds since you’ve been deputed to assist me here at the Crime Branch Special Unit, right?’

“Yes…yes, Sir”.

“Well, it’s time you prove yourself. Tell me about this ‘Delhi Psycho Killer.’

Pandey eyes lit brighter than a 100 watt bulb.

“Sir, it’s simple. There have been seven killings in the past seven years. All the killings have happened in parks during winters, between mid-November to late December, early mornings, between 5 and 6. The murdered were all women, above 60, either widowed or divorced.”

‘Hmm…impressive, but what does this imply, Pandey?’

“Sir, looks like the killer loves the winters.”

‘Or, maybe that he hates the winters but hunts for victims who love them’.


Weekend Writing Prompt #41 – Weather

Word Prompt






By Neel Anil Panicker

“It smelled? Well, it smelled of burnt plasticky, with overtones of sweet gunpowdery, charring fleshery, and concrete dustery.”

Inspector Sharma looked bemusedly at his colleague and shook his head.

When will these trainee newbies forego their English bred tongue and speak the language of the plebs, he wondered.

‘Yadav, I’m sure you must have taken pictures of the spot. Let me have a look at them.”

Moments later, the two men were peering into a pack of black and white photographs.”

“Sir, I spoke to the tribals. They say it’s always like this__i mean the air’s full of toxic smell. Gun shots, they say. Say it’s the Naxals undergoing weapon training, the forests serving as a natural shooting range”.

‘Ssshhhh…have  a look at this.’

Sharma stabbed his forefinger at a grainy image.

‘See that white patch sticking out of the pot hole. That’s sulphur. It proves an IED blast killed the Home Minister. Now all we have to figure out is who killed him. And that’s a lesson I shall impart you post lunch, ok’.

©neelanilpanicker2018 #flashfictionforaspiringwriters #fiction #shortstory #175words

FFfAW Challenge-Week of February 6, 2018




By Neel Anil Panicker

Father, I feel lost, of no use. My life has turned pitch dark and shorn of all light.

“That’s not the case, my son. There’s light at the end of the tunnel?”

Father, but I see no tunnel, no light? Where is it?

“Son, you are mistaken. Look inside you and you’ll find it.”

Father, if what you say is true, how do we discover it?

“Faith, son, faith. For that to happen you need to keep faith, have trust, believe in yourself, believe in the munificence of the Almighty who trusted you and gifted you the light. Have faith and the tunnel will find you. It is within you, within each one of us; eternally lit, forever guiding our path, hacking through the dark underbelly of our lives and illuminating it with its brilliance.”

How would we know we have reached it?

“You will not know it but you will feel it. Your entire being will glow with an inner radiance. You will feel happy as if you have attained enlightenment aka Gautam Buddha.”

©neelanilpanciker2018 #fiction #shorttsory #FFfAW #175WORDS

FFfAW Challenge-Week of January 30, 2018

Hosted by Priceless Joy at



By Neel Anil Panicker

‘What’s that Grandpa’?

The nonagenarian wrinkled his cataract ridden eyes and looked towards the direction of the pointed fingers.

“That, my dears, is the King’s Throne”.

They’re looking at two crude wooden benches, its tops carved in solid stone.

“How could this ever be a King’s Throne, Grandpa? You sure are lying.’

Grandpa sat them down on the two benches facing one another.

“Let me tell you a tale. Back in time when I was a kid your age, there were warrior clans that lorded all over. Minus any one king, the six chieftains forever fought with one another leading to bloodshed and sorrow. Then one day they said enough was enough and called a truce. So they came here, sat and deliberated for six days and nights. Finally, one was elected as supreme leader.

He became their king and sat at the centre, the King’s Throne; the others around him. Peace was restored, everyone lived happily ever after.”

The childrens’ eyes bulged in wonderment.

Raju, the brightest of them, muttered, “Wish our present day leaders sat here and smoked the peace pipe.”

©neelanilpanicker2018 #fiction #shortstory #FFfAW

FFfAW Challenge-Week of January 23, 2018

Hosted by Priceless Joy at



By Neel Anil Panicker

The memory of his betrayal ripped through her heart, searing and singeing every single sinew, vein and muscle in her five foot slender frame, shattering to smithreens her mental peace, causing her to wobble unsteadily all around her spartan room as she howled and shrieked, hurling invectives like the way certain mad women do at traffic intersections.

‘The bastard’, she hissed, ‘you will pay for this; pay heavily for this rejection of my body and soul’.

The sky outside her 17th floor hotel room overlooking the Arabian Sea morphed a purplish dark, the clouds that hovered above now floated around menacingly__forming, disforming, and re-forming amoeba-like as if desparetly searching for land masses to shower their venom upon.

Shweta plonked herself into the corner wicker chair and downed the last drops off the Vodka bottle.

Considerably calmed, her quitened mind now a steady boat, she planned her next course of action.

She had already made up her mind: Harshit had to die; it was just a matter of when and how.

(c)neelanilpanicker2018 #fiction #flash #sixsentencestories


FFfAW Challenge-Week of January 9, 2018

Hosted by Priceless Joy at


By Neel Anil Panicker

“You are making a huge mistake, Chella”.

The 47-year-old leader of Peoples’ War Group stared at his childhood friend Jagdamba Mahto.

The two were holed up in a cave deep inside the Bhadraharsotwa Jungles.

Not many in the extreme left wing party he had founded barely a decade ago had the authority to address him by his first name.

To everyone he was Commander in Chief, a name that struck fear and kept the police forces of five States on tenterhooks.

‘Look what’s happened, Chella. Your dictatorial style’s led to the creation of three more splinter groups. We’ve made enemies. We’ve…’

“Come to the point”.

Even the mild mannered Mahto knew when to tread carefully.

‘Chella, all of us want to overthrow the corrupt government of Karimpala and establish Peoples’ Government. Let your ego not play spoilsport. I suggest a truce. Bring them all under one roof, give them some power, buy their loyalty, my friend.’

Silence followed. After a while Chella spoke, his voice, a soft whisper, “You’re right. Been always right, my friend.’

©2018neelanilpanicker #fiction #flash #shortstory #175words #FFfAW


FFfAW Challenge-Week of January 2, 2018

Hosted by Priceless Joy at


By Neel Anil Panicker

Dolphins shoot up and down from the limpid blue waters, each splash creating concentric rings through which peer out shiny  little red tailed fish, their dove shaped eyes glistening brightly in the glory of the afternoon sun.

From the harbour Lisa watches on, her mind reflective, her eyes finally resting on the ships yonder, on one of them in particular as it readies to depart, the final hoot echoing into the distant skies.

Her mind floated to exactly a year ago. There she was, utterly exhausted and famished, dragging her bedraggled bare boned frame, gingerly stepping onto the deck, taking her first tentative steps in an alien land, a land over a thousand miles away from home, her marital home, a home that turned into a living hell, a 24-hour torture chamber in the almost three years that she remained locked and chained in it.

A swan flapped her wings and floated by.

Watching it, Lisa felt she was one, a fairy in white.

Her heart filled with peace.

At last she had escaped.