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Thursday photo prompt – Signs – #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt – Signs – #writephoto



By Neel Anil Panicker

The encrypted message on the Police website read:

A convicted criminal has escaped from a high security Canadian prison a month ago. According to Interpol, it is suspected that this man named Avtar Singh, age, around 35, has escaped to India, and may be holed up in his ancestral village in Kapurthala, Punjab.

Inspector Sharma stood in the centre of the large hall and looked piercingly at the eight people lined up in front of him.

“You,” he thundered, his baton pointing menacingly towards the only male member around.

“What’s your name?”

‘ Sardar Angrez  Singh, Saheb’.

The voice, despite the advanced age, __he looked not a day less than eighty__had not lost its timbre, and the rich baritone boomed across the four walls of the haveli-styled two story building.

Inspector Sharma twirled his moustache.

He had to be careful.

This was no ordinary family. His subordinates had apprised him about the ‘Singhs.’

Not only were they prosperous, owning several hundred acres of rich farmland, but they boasted of some very powerful political connections.

The elder son, Satinder Singh, had even contested the last municipal elections on the ruling party ticket.

Avtar was a year younger to him.

“When did you last see or hear from Avtar?”

‘A month ago. He said he was driving to Toronto and would be back in a week.’

“Back to India?”

‘No Saheb, back to Vancour where he stayed. He is a truck driver, you see’.

Inspector Sharma chewed the information, his eyes taking a 360 degree inspection of his surroundings.

Clearly, this was a wily old man, tutored to say the right things.

No point wasting his time. He had to take a different approach.

He turned around to leave.

It was then that his eyes fell on the large photograph that hung on the red brick wall opposite him.

He stepped forward and peered into it.

Three reindeer heads, their pointed antlers jutting out, almost breaching the edges of the large rectangular frame.

Not unusual, he thought.

A cold country animal from the deer species.

The man must have brought it all the way from Canada during one of his annual sojourns to India.

He was about to turn around when his eyes fell on the plaster.

He touched the cement around them. They were slightly sticky.

It meant the photo was recently mounted, plausibly less than 48 hours ago.

His eyes lit up behind his dark glasses.

It could only mean his quarry was here, or somewhere nearby.

Now, it was all a matter of finding out where.

#neelanilpanicker2017 #TheWritePhoto #fiction #flashfiction #Thursdayphotoprompt #421words




By Neel Anil Panicker

Don Afzal Bhai was thankful the room was sound proof. He had ensured that.

That way when hard leather connected with soft skin and the shrieking and the wailing and the crying and the pleading commenced, it stayed and died within its four walls.

And as the hour rolled over into the next and the shrieks and wails gave way to soft whispered oohs and aahs, a whiff of fresh jasmine wafted around the exquisitely decked up curtained room that boasted of soft low lights peeping out of highly ornate wooden lampshades that otherwise would have enjoyed pride of place in a millionaire’s abode.

Placed at the four corners abutting the master bed that spread out invitingly like the spiralling waters of a giant oceanic wave full of froth and fury, the lights served another larger purpose.

Its beams fell directly on the massive master bed where lay the most feared mafia don of Old Delhi, naked like a new born, eyes shut, body and mind long lost to the sensual and sexual charms of the woman booby strapped to his body.

The woman, who matched the don every single measurable inch in nakedness, boldness, and naughtiness, was no ordinary woman. She was the Don’s mistress, his favourite stress buster, the   one who’s job it was to ensure his physical welfare.

Over the past decade or so, she performed her duties with a rare aplomb,

gaining besides Afzal Bhai’s trust and continued, a few prime properties in the heart of Lucknow, the place from where she originally hailed.

‘Ah, the pleasures of life’, Afzal Bhai moaned as expert hands worked their magic on his massive oak of a body, pressing a vein here, pulling and pushing a limb there, sending pulsating throbs of sheer pleasure scurrying through his loins.

‘Will you be staying over tonight, sanam,’ she asked, caressing his moustache strewn lips with a bunch of ripened berries, her hands finding solace deep down his lumbar regions.

Like a supremely satisfied cat having smacked clean all the milk, and now spread-eagled on all her fours, Afzal Bhai smiled satisfactorily as he pondered over the question.

Not a bad idea. There wasn’t much business to conduct early in the morning. The durbar could be postponed by an hour or two.

He was about to say yes when Salim’s words of last night reverberated in his ears.

“Boss, he’s trouble. Big time trouble. Ali’s bail application is due for hearing any day.

You need to do something fast. We don’t have much time on our hands”.

Three hours later, when he pushed aside the iron sliding gates of the third floor corner house appropriately christened Jannat Jahan, he was a changed man. Almost magically, his walk had turned sanguine, his kohl lined eyes had a fierce glow to it and as the noontime sun shone brightly on his jet black Mercedes, he slipped inside it through the half opened door, ensconcing himself comfortably in its plush interiors.

Looking over at Salim, who as his wont, was seated in the front seat, he barked “Ali mustn’t reach the court. Kill the bastard before that, preferably inside Tihar Jail.”

















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208 08 August 13th 2017

By Neel Anil Panicker

“How would you like to die? Be deep fried in hot molten oil or mutton chopped into small little pieces to serve the gastronomic tastes of gourmands?”


Ali couldn’t believe his ears. It was his fourth week in Tihar Jail and he was on the phone with Liza and she was talking about death, his death.

“Yes, jaan. Get ready to die. Abbu is after your life.”

The name of the dreaded mafia don Abu Fazal sent a chill down his spine.


Jaan, our little secret is out. Abbu knows all about us. He’s making plans to kill you.”

Ali felt a lump form in his throat. His Adam’s apple bobbed up and down. Suddenly, the heat in his six by eight feet cell turned unbearable.

‘But how? How’s is it possible. How did you get to know?’

“I don’t know dear. Somebody’s ratted on us. I got to know about it last night. Like most other nights these past few weeks, ever since you’ve been in Tihar, sleep has become my enemy.

I was hungry and headed to the kitchen. Was passing by Abbu’s den when I heard voices from inside. It was Abbu. He was speaking to someone over the phone. I held my breath and cocked my ears to the door. It was then that I heard him say, “The bastard. I’ll teach that traitor a lesson he’ll never forget, even when interred in his grave. How dare he even look at my daughter. Kill him, Salim. I order you to make kheema of that bastard.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. My very own father ordering the murder of his only daughter’s lover?

My heart pounding and my head swirling like a typhoon, I somehow pulled myself away and tiptoed back to my room. Ali my dear, my love, my jaan, they are after you. He’s going to kill you, to kill me also if need be. I know him. He means what he says. I’m scared. I fear for you, for your safety. I can’t bear to think of a life without you…please my love, we need to do something…you need to do something…please…”

Ali heard footsteps approaching his barrack.

“Someone’s coming. Will call you later. Will do something…I promise…have faith, my love”.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #partelevenofadangerouslove#thedisclosure#379



Thursday photo prompt: Knock #writephoto

Behind Devil’s Doors

By Neel Anil Panicker

The full length wall room mirror is plastered with a golden edged sticker that boasts the legend “The Lord’s House is full of love.”

Looking into it, Pramila runs her fingers over her badly battered face, the little finger tracing the knife scar all the way from below the left eye to the lower jaws.

As she turns around, her eyes, swollen and bloodied, fail not to notice the imprint of strong male hands just below the left collar bone.

On closer examination, it also reveals five linear marks, much like those left behind by a screeching heavy duty truck tyre.

For a moment her frail body convulses as her benumbed brain remembers the bestiality of the previous night.

Like a statue she stands there, her body and mind as if in limbo, transfixed, unmoving, stony, and lifeless, God knows for how long.

Then slowly, she stumbles back to her senses and peers beyond at the reflection of the man on the bed, a man who barely a week ago had sworn in front of the holy fire to love and protect her from all danger, a man who was her lawfully wedded husband.

He eyes hover on his naked maleness, on the massive six foot hairy frame spread-eagled on the master bed; on the oversized head that juts out of hard boned rippling muscles as if it were a enormous ocean liner’s enormous hulk.

Her gaze falls on his eyes, a bulbous blood red, emitting sheer evil

even when closed.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #thursdayphotoprompt #fiction #251words

 Read  the second part here: 

Her eyes further travel down and take in the hairy hands, oversized and resembling a grizzly  mountains bear’s, at the tightly locked fists__small little iron balls, they seemed to her.

These were the very same hands that had last night and for every previous night, unbuckled the leather belt and assaulted her mercilessly, unmindful and unmoved by her heart wrenching cries and copious tears, her vociferous protestations and gut splitting pleas.

Her mind’s video plays out the scenes of horror; the blows, the beatings and the beratings, reliving  the pain when those fists had landed, first on her spine, then her head, hands, legs, and finally on her face, the brutal impact sending her careening to the corner walls, smearing the hexagonal shaped mosaic floor in thick veins of blood, her two front teeth a flotilla of broken dreams.

And so it runs, like a slow motion movie, unspooling one torturous reel after another, as the  happenings of the last seven days and nights come alive like with a frightening fury and traumatize her deeply scarred psyche with an intensity she can do without.

Stark images of one man’s untold brutality, slow and hazy, come into focus…the belt beatings, its brass knuckles tearing into supple flesh, the hands and legs contorting in murderous pain, the stilted voices of protest dying a million premature deaths…

She turns around and stares one last time at the man who had made her life a living hell.

There he was, even in his sleep, managing to send a shiver of fear down her spine.

And then something strikes in her mind. A long buried memory from school comes alive…her teacher, the English teacher’s words…Pramila, remember, to quietly suffer injustices is the biggest injustice that one does, not just to oneself but to society as well.

The words, long forgotten, now jolt her back from her stupor.

She then and there resolves to fight back the injustice meted out to her.

And then her eyes constrict and her lips tighten as her mind toughens with a new found fierceness.

She was going to give as good as she gets. Blood for blood, tooth and tooth, an eye for an eye.

It was payback time and at the receiving end was her newly minted husband, a demonic two-horned, evil eyed, alien skulled, wide whiskered monster in a man’s clothing.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #thursdayphotoprompt #fiction


Sunday Photo Fiction – May 21st 2017



200 05 May 21st 2017

By Neel Anil Panicker

Today is the last day of the School Matriculation exams and Rashmi is in tears.

As the school gates firmly shut behind her, life for her has reached a dead end: her dear school, her alma mater where she spent ten years of her life is not authorized to conduct higher classes, classes that lead to her becoming a graduate, and maybe beyond.

Swept over by nostalgia, she cranes her neck over high brick walls to view for one last time the single storied structure and its classrooms; the playground, the assembly hall and the wide corridors.

With a heavy heart she turns back home to the horror that awaits her: marriage.

‘I have fixed the match. The boy is from the neighboring village. Works in a factory’, she had heard her father talk to mother a week ago.

Her mother had not uttered a word. How could she? Theirs was a deeply patriarchal society. Here  a man’s diktat was inviolate and women no worse than chattels to be lifted and dumped from one place to the other, from one household to another___like a piece of sack.

“But maa, I am only fifteen. I want to study further, earn, become independent. There’s another school…”

Her mother had cut her short.

‘No way.’

She had heard horror stories of the other school located three kilometers away. There had been incidents___of harassment, molestation, one of rape as well. No way would she be allowed to study there, to walk the deserted roads.

‘Your father’s right. We’ll get you married. That way the family honour is safe.’

That night as Rashmi went to sleep, she concluded that society, her school, her parents__ all were traitors; traitors who conspire against the girl child, traitors who don’t bat an eyelid as they remorselessly go around killing the budding aspirations of young girls who are smart and want to study but are denied the means to do so unlike boys for whom all privileges are rolled out in a red carpet.

That night as she slept on the corner mud floor, Rashmi fought through her tears, thinking hard and fast, trying to think of a way, some way, any way out of the quagmire that she found herself in.

©neelanilpanciker2017 #historical fiction #01 #spf #373words


Historical Background:

Haryana: Rewari girls demanding school upgradation go on strike

We fear harassment and molestation by youths of other villages and hence, we are demanding upgradation of our school up to Class XII, says a girl on hunger strike.

Around 80 girls of a government high school here have gone on an indefinite strike demanding upgradation of their institution, fearing they will be harassed if they travel to a senior secondary school located in a different village for higher studies.

The stir by the girls, studying in class IX and X in Gothda Tappa Dahina village, entered its sixth day on Monday. Of the 86 protesting students, 13 are on hunger strike, village head Suresh Chauhan told PTI. “For higher education, girls of our village have to go to Kanwali village, located 3 km from here, after Class X,” he added.

One of the girls on hunger strike said: “We fear harassment and molestation by youths of other villages and hence, we are demanding upgradation of our school up to Class XII.” The protesters said they would not stop until the government accepted their demand. Meanwhile, the district education authorities said since the school did not fulfil the minimum condition required for the senior secondary level, it could not be upgraded.

“At least 150 students are required in Classes IX and X for the senior secondary upgrade but the Dahina village school has just 86 students in both classes,” said Dharmbir Balrodia, District Education Officer (DEO), Rewari.





By Neel Anil Panicker

Alone in the pitch dark garage of his house, that stood like a solitary pine, a classy duplex flat in the in the extreme far corner of Fifth Avenue, the snooty upper class secluded neighbourhood of South Delhi, fifteen year old Abhilash turned into a nervous wreck on the brink of a breakdown.

As he steadied himself against the red bricked walls, his lean frame drenched in large icicles of sweat, his mind engaged in a fierce battle with his heart which had turned into a cauldron of emotions as his fifteen year old self wrestled with the new found knowledge__of what he had seen and, more importantly, what now needed to be done.

For the umpteenth time that sultry afternoon he played out in his mind the video recording of the events of the past one hour.

‘He is back come home from school, a couple of hours earlier than usual___an event necessitated by the sudden demise of the Vice Principal__finds the front door strangely locked, walks around to the back and gets in through the kitchen door, (he always keeps a spare key for emergencies).

The house is pitch dark.

Where’s Mom?

Maybe she’s asleep.

At this hour? Why not?

Earlier in the morning, he had overheard her say to Dad about not being able to make it to Sharma Uncle’s daughter’s reception.

“It’s this headache. Keeps recurring. I guess an afternoon’s sleep would help me shake it off”, she had said.

He tiptoes into her bedroom hoping to surprise her.

He is about to turn the handle door open when he hears a slight noise.

Someone’s inside. He hears muffled whispers. A man’s voice?. Rough and crass. Muted laughter follows.

His heart beats crazily under his chest, his fingers turn moist, he has trouble standing, his limbs start shaking.

Who’s inside? In Mom’s room. In his parents’ bedroom. And where’s Mom.

His mind, a hellish torture, demands answers.

He bends down, peeps through the keyhole.

What he sees shakes the earth beneath his feet. The pupils of his eyes dilate, its irises turn blood red.

His Mom’s inside, in bed and, beside her, is another man___their arms entwined, bodies bare.  

He doesn’t know what or even how to react.

He races out of the narrow corridor, stumbles his way out of the kitchen door, and hides himself in  the garage.

(neelanilpanciker2017   #fiction   #THE MURDER OF INNOCENCE #01  #393 words  #to be continued


Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is a weekly writing challenge designed for both the flash fiction newbie and the more experienced writer. It is the desire of this challenge to allow writers the opportunity to clear the cobwebs from a more tedious and involved project. Becoming a part of a new and growing writer’s community might be just what the doctor ordered to rejuvenate your writing juices.

his challenge is open until 11:00 pm Friday night, May 12th, 2017.

Click on the Blue Frog to share your story with our community.



By Neel Anil Panicker

Anita loved her early morning walks. It helped that her house was the last abutting the forested area that stretched out over more than a few acres and beyond leading up to the river. She would wake up at the crack of dawn, much before her parents or even her immediate neighbours, the Sharmas’, whose daughter Pia and she were best pals at high school.

Sunday morning was no different and by the time she had unlocked the front gates and stepped off into the wilderness, the first signs of dawn were threatening to pierce through the leafy spread in the sky. A slight nip in the air, though, forced her to hurriedly tuck her hands inside her jacket pockets.

She walked through the rocky landscape, occasionally taking long strides, at times even making a quick dash uphill and then resting herself atop a hard rock.

She looked up at the changing hues of the distant horizon as small little birds perched on tree tops chirped in delight on the birth of a new day.

It was then that she saw it, just a feet from where she was, to her left, neatly etched out in the dusty earth__multiple tyre marks.

She bent down to have a closer look. They were, no doubt, of a large vehicle, may be a Jeep or even a mini truck, the latter she knew of, as she had seen the same markings when the Sharmas’ were visited by their ‘relatives from town’, a boisterous group of a dozen or so city bred people including three utterly obnoxious kids, all of whom would step out of their mini truck that screeched to a halt bang outside their peripheral gates, the tyre marks a half inch deep oblong shape.

She felt the soil, it was damp. The marks were fresh, of not more than a couple of hours earlier.

Who would drive up this high and that too in the near dark? And for what purpose?

As her mind grappled for answers, her eyes fell to her right. Something was there among the bushes, half hidden from view, a shoe, perhaps.

She stepped in closer and parted the leaves and it was then that she saw it: first, a human leg and then the entire body; a male, a young man’s, with his head smashed and blood splattered all around a face that looked straight out of hell.

She ran, yelling and screaming, until she reached home.

©neelanilpanciker2017 #fiction #shortstory #ThursdayPhotoPrompt #415 words

Thursday photo prompt – Empty #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt – Empty #writephoto