By Neel Anil Panicker

Holy smoke! One look at the woman seated opposite him and Inspector Sharma felt a stirring in his loins even as a slow bulge began to build up under his pants.


Thick lustrous auburn hair pulled straight back only further accentuated the air brushed smoothness of a high cheek boned porcelain china face that sat majestically atop an hour glass figure that looked as it had popped out of a glossy movie poster.

Looking at the smoking hot beauty for a moment he wondered if had made a mistake, wondered whether for once his famed powers of deduction had gone wrong, that she wasn’t the killer, and that she had absolutely nothing to do with the body that lay dead in the inner bedroom of this sprawling sea side bungalow in Lutyen’s Delhi___the lifeless bullet ridden body of the man the world knew as the ‘Diamond King of India.’

In a bid to clear the doubt that was plaguing his mind, Inspector Sharma decided to probe the woman one last time.  “Could you please tell me Mrs Khurana where and what exactly were you doing between four and six today morning”?

‘I…we…I mean I was …’

That’s it!_the smoking gun. He had got the answer, the small iota of doubt that had nested in his brain, even it was for a nano second, had now completely vanished; this lady was all smoke and mirrors, she indeed was the killer.

Suave upper crust English bred women born into wealth who lived in 100 crore mansions the size of a football stadium and travelled the globe in their own private jets did not blabber and get tongue tied when facing questions from lowly keepers of the law.

©neelanilpanciker2018 #fiction #shortstory #sixsentencestories #inspectorsharmacrimeseries #285words




By Neel Anil Panicker

“I am sorry, I’m very terribly sorry Sir to have lost the contract.”

So, what do you have to say in your defense, Mr Srivastava?”

“Sir, I trust me when I say that I left no stone unturned in my efforts to impress the meeting. Right from doing weeks long research and knowing every single thing about Smith & Sons to even knowing the strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes of Mr Smith as well as his two sons, Robert and Edwin I did all that was humanly possible to ensure that they give us and us only the million dollar worth of contract.”

But alas! Despite all your well intentioned efforts you failed, you failed in securing the deal, this all important contract that was worth over ten million dollars and which now has gone to our arch enemy, the Kapoors. Isn’t that so, isn’t that what is the stark, bitter truth, Mr Chief Deal Maker, the all knowing Perfectionist non parallele?.

“I am sorry sir, but what else could I have done”?

What else? You haven’t done one thing wrong, you have done the most important thing wrong. You made the wrongful assumption and thought Smith & Sons means it is an all male enterprise whereas the reality is that it is hundred percent owned by matriarchal head of the family, eighty year old Mrs Elizabeth Smith who even today takes every single decision about all personal as well as business matters. You stupid fool, you made your pitch but it wasn’t to the right person.

©neelanilpanicker2018 #fiction #shortstory #sixsentencestories #257words



This week’s cue is PITCH!






By Neel Anil Panicker

That morning as Ragini stepped out of her mud hut by the village and made the ardous two kilometre long climb up the forested hill, for the first time ever, her mind was assailed by doubts. Missing was her usual effervescence, missing too was her trademark buck toothed smile that she offered to one and all, missing too were the usual bunch of magnolia flowers she carried with her, safely tugged in the inner folds of her worn out saree, an old yellowed cotton one that clearly had seen better days.

Many a time in the past six months she had been tempted to buy a new one. ‘Get some new dresses. You look like an old hag. What’s happened to you?  Look at how you’re carrying yourself nowadays’, her septuagenarian mother-in-law would admonish her, an event that by now had become an almost daily ritual.

“I will, Nan, I will,” was all she would reply as she went about her daily household chores.

An hour later she arrived at the clearing, and gazed at the monolith oblong stone that stood upright, its face, vermillion smeared, the tongue glistening a shiny black.

She extricated the gold bangle from her saree fold and laid it at the deity’s feet.

“Oh Lord, this is all I have. All these years I’ve been good, done nothing wrong. But my husband’s still in the clutches of that woman. Give him back to me, quick. Do that, else, or I’ll bathe you in her blood”.

©neelanilpanciker2018 #fiction #ThursdayPhotoPrompt #shortstory #250words

Thursday photo prompt – Shrine #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt – Shrine #writephoto



Weekend Writing Prompt #35 – End of Year Challenge

Hosted by 


Word Prompt

 End of Year Challenge





By Neel Anil Panicker

“It’s the End of the Year Challenge. Who’s up for it?”

None moved, all had their eyes closed and necks craning upwards, not even one daring to look down.

Finally John, ever the court jester, ambled up to the front and spoke, his voice, a broken whisper, “Hey buddies, chin up, it’s just water, plain water. What the big deal? Nothing’s going to happen.”

Three pairs of eyes___Oscar, Harry and Nelson’s__ opened, albeit slightly, and looked at him. Fear writ large on all of them.

‘If you are so confident why don’t you do it, John?’

John looked across at Nelson and suddenly felt blood drain out of his veins.

Cold fear girdled up his loins.

Nelson was the group bully. A hustler, the one who always got away with the ‘easy’ tasks.

John weighed his options. He could say no but then that would be a make him a pussy, a weakling. As such they called him ‘sissy’.

He had to shrug off that label. A new year was about to unfold. He needed an image makeover, gain respect, be counted as a man.

But then what about the flip side? The pond was ten feet deep, filled with water, enough to drown anyone, least of all a mere slip of a boy.

He took a deep breath and spoke, his voice a raised timbre, “Ok, I will do it. But here’s the deal. I need you guys to sponsor me one large Peppy Paneer izza plus Coke every week for the entire 2018.”

A gasp floated through the air. Someone let out a muted ‘what’?

‘Ok, deal accepted. Now jump, Johnnie baby. I don’t think you’ll come out of that alive’.

John caught the leer in Nelson’s voice.

He had to do it__ there was no going back now.

Closing his eyes, John stepped forward and leapt into the cold waters.

As his frail bony self hit the icy waters, he prayed that the swimming lessons that he had surreptitiously learnt on You Tube channels were enough to keep him afloat.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #shortstory #343 #endofyearchallenge


Thursday photo prompt – Ebb – #writephoto

Hosted by   at


By Neel Anil Panicker

Adani closed his eyes and the visions came floating by.

A near dilapidated apology of a mud house sans windows and doors.

He peeped inside and saw a creaking wobbly legged old wooden cot and lying on it an eighty year old woman spitting blood and bile onto the mud floors, her flaked skin and mangled bones spreading out all over like blackish blood cots on deadened bones.

On the floor around her lay in various stages of wakefulness, a shirtless man and a reed thin woman, and five small kids who looked equally emaciated, their socket less eyes staring out into the increasingly darkening roofless skies above.

The youngest among them, barely seven years old, was the template of utter gutter filth: a mixture of urine, bile, blood, spit and vomit was plastered all over his stark naked body, an obnoxiously pungent odour oozing from every single pore.


Adani opened his eyes and saw a hundred television cameras aimed towards him.

A woman thrust a mike. “Sir, how does it feel to have struck gold in this wilderness?”

Gautam Adani, the owner of Adani Power, a Fortune trillion dollar multinational conglomerate smiled wryly, “It feels great, a bit ironical though, as we knew never knew all this while we were living under a pile of gold.”

©neelanilpanicker2017 #ThursdayPhotoPrompt #theebb #fiction #flashfiction #218words



By Neel Anil Panicker

Ali stared into the message that came alive on his cellphone.

“Plan 2 kill u. Tmrw court”. Escape, ILU.”

For an instant he feared his heart had stopped beating as his head turned dizzy and a cold dampness broke through his body. It was followed by a wave of spasmodic convulsions that saw his arms and legs contort and twist itself in frightening angles around his entire body.

It took him a while to regain his senses and thereafter the full import of Liza’s message hit him sending his mind careening into the dungeons of despair.

So, it is was true. The Don is after his blood. Wants to kill him. What did she say? Where? Tomorrow…in the court. Escape, ILU were her last words…

As the world around him slept, Ali sat up bolt upright and mulled over the developments.

Tomorrow was his court appearance. He would be taken to court around noon along with other undertrials. They will be in an armored police van.

Somewhere around the court premises Afzal Bhai’s sharpshooters  would be waiting, ready to spray him with bullets.

Ali needed to escape; escape the madness that was Afzal Bhai, escape the dreadful machinations of his henchmen who had a fearsome reputation of always carrying out their boss’ orders right down to the T.

Sleep was an anathema as for the next few hours Ali thought hard and long, running over in his mind a multitude of escape plans, and then slowly discarding them all, one by one, for their sheer impracticality.

As dawn threatened to break through and his fate seemed all but sealed Ali stared into the red bricked walls of his prison, his eyes transfixed on the antics of a lizard that slid in and out of the walls without a care in the world.

For a long time he stared at the reptile, and then suddenly, as if seized by a brain wave, he extricated his phone and stabbed a message, “Meet outside chamber. Get some pythons, live ones. Also carry extra veil…ILU”.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #wearingsomenewshades #adangerouslove #partfifteenofadangerouslove

#fiction #341words




















Thursday photo prompt – Mask #writephoto

Hosted by the excellent Sue Vincent at



By Neel Anil Panicker

Sweet Alice. That’s what she was known as back in kindergarten.

Cute Al was what her grade one teachers addressed her as.

For a greater part of her schoolhood, Alice served as a most pleasurable stress buster for all.

All that changed when she tipped thirteen.

In a jiffy she turned from cutesy to voracious man eater.

Rohan was her first prey. The spindly guy with long locks who sat directly opposite her in class would never know what hit him.

Soon to follow were Amit and Mukesh, the former the class topper and the other junior football captain.

The next two months saw almost her entire class falling for her charms, whatever that may be.

By the time she left school, she had turned sixteen though was far from sweet.

Her assets included a bouncy voluptuous figure that had the potential to stop a ten tone truck on its tracks; jet black kohl lined bedroom eyes that held within them the promise of forbidden bliss; and a racy tongue that she used to good effect to entice, entrap and enlist more members to her ever burgeoning fan club.

She now boasted of an endless string of lovers, all snared, consumed and discarded within the span of 24 hours__the maximum retention period being an elephantine one week.

The fact that she had a short fuse only added fuel to the fire and as her infinite admirers would have testified, playing with fire had turned into a combat sport as they all rushed to bake their cakes in her red hot oven.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #Thursdayphotoprompt #fire #alice