Creative Writing Prompt | Flash Fiction | Short Story | Set the Scene | Writing |

By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma parked his police car behind a side street abutting Karol Bagh Metro Station and walked the next fifty yards leading into the congested bylanes, careful to keep his head down and appear as nondescript as he could.

‘Mingle, be one with your surroundings’, was the salient piece of advice meted out to him by his seniors when he had just begun taking his first tentative steps into the dizzying though highly risky world of professional sleuthing.

Ten minutes later, Sharma found himself at the end of a narrow side street, and staring upwards at a nondescript double storied British–era building. With its plaster peeling off its moth infested outer walls and a huge windowless frontage that was smeared in black soot, the building stood out like a sore thumb even in this most drab of surroundings__a kilometre long circular stench-filled stretch that looked as if it were cold shouldered by the winds of modernity that were blowing all across wannabe bustling Delhi city.

A minute later he had climbed the rickety wooden stairs and walked down the darkened hallway to the left.

Reaching its dead end, he found himself face to face with a wrought iron door above which hung a copper board on which was etched in calligraphic gold the words “Royal Capital Library”.

Sharma drew in a deep breath and wiping the dirt off the seven inch sole of thick leather boots, he pulled the latch and stepped in.

The moment he did so and inspected the new environs he drew in a sharp breath, and for once stood there, completely in awe of what he was looking at.

There they stood; like armies of soldiers, swords in hand, dressed in battle gear, standing proud and tall in the bright red splattered battlefield, all ready and itching for battle; their glossy visages screaming out vengeance and ultimate victory over the formidable enemy.


Only, these were no Alexander’s band of worthy world conquerors but were mere books.

Books of all shapes and sizes and colours and vintage; books that lay in wait, awaiting the dainty hands and nimble fingers of the intellectual warriors who slided from one end to the other of the vast rectangular hall.

Chacko took a 360 degree slow turn as his eyes soaked in every single detail all over the seven rows of neatly lined up books. He noticed that their spines faced outward, that each book was colour coded with dots, that the fiction section was arranged in an alphabetic order, the there were two types of shelves__ the lower ones stacked the children’s section and had soft floor cushions while the others were slightly higher and were choc a block with adult reading material and all around the corners spaces lay a teak wood circular tables around which sat, their heads immersed in thick leather bound tomes, men and women of a certain age, their butts glued to comfy leather arm chairs.

All around muffled stillness and a wizened old silvery haired man, so utterly immobile that one could have been mistaken him for an Egyptian mummy, sat behind a small corner desk marked Librarian, and completed the picture of a place that looked like a much needed oasis of intellectual wealth in a city and world that seemed to have forgotten that there existed a world beyond movies and video games and mindless kitsch.

Here, thought Inspector Sharma, lay all that a person needed for his well being__the best of succour for the mind.

Inadvertently, he let out a sigh. How long had it been since he had stepped into such a library, any library for that matter__one, two, five, ten? Ten long years? As the harsh reality dawned on him, he realised that caught up as he were with chasing criminals and putting to pasture the dregs and deadbeats of the world had left him with no time to

connect with the world of books, with a passion that had consumed his life as a teenager, that had even led to he committing his first ‘crime’.


The thought of crime brought him cruelly back to terra firma. Realising he had a job to do, he looked to his right, found what he was looking for, and walked up the end of the hallway, careful not to make any noise that would disturb the congregation of readers who sat, their heads buried in books, all around him.

“Excuse me, I am looking for Dante’s Inferno”. The man behind the desk looked up at him and nonchalantly replied, ”Ninth column, third row, seventeenth from right”.

Slightly nonplussed but still gladdened by the quick precise response, Inspector Sharma wound his way back.

In no time he had extricated what he was looking for and retreating to a quiet corner, hurriedly opened Page 79. There, lying, as if in wait for him was a half torn white slip of paper with the words, “Tonight, 11: 20; Chattarpur Farm House”.

Inspector Sharma let out a low whistle. Babloo Mental__It was time’s up for Delhi’s most wanted gangster.

#neelanilpanicker #fiction #novella #inspectorsharmacrimeseries  #844words

Time To Write: Set The Scene 9 [Creative Writing Prompt]





By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma’s hawk eyes scanned the high domed  pearl white Victorian archways of St. Thomas Church.

Men, women and children, some young enough to be held in their mothers’ arms,  seated all around him in benches, in two rows and six long columns that extended all the way  from the pulpit to the main jam packed hallway.

From a hexagonal slit in the balcony twenty feet high watched Carlos the Rat, the scourge of the entire police machinery.

And in the crosshairs of his long range telescopic gun was Rama Krishnan,  his bete noire and  also the Cochin City Mayor.

#neelanilpanicker #fiction #fridayfictioneers #flashfiction #inspectorsharmacrimeseries #100words



8 June 2018



SPF June 3 2018 (1 of 1)

By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma took a while to orient himself to the near blinding darkness. Only seconds before he stepped off the torturous 47 degree summer madness that was Udaipur and arrived at the ghostly single room dilapidated mud house located a kilometre and half off the city municipal limits; the nearest signs of civilisation being a rusty hand pump sans its handle at the roundabout leading to the gravel led pathway.

And then commenced the sensory badgering.

Pressing a handkerchief to his nose to fight off the all pervasive smell of ammonia, stale cigarette smoke and cheap country hooch liquor, the senior cop’s eyes began to scan the mayhem that lay all around him.

The place screamed debauchery with a capital D; empty beer bottles, condoms packets, cigarette butts completed the picture.

It was then that he saw it. At first they looked like betel stains. Small irregular blotches of near fading red imprinted onto the yellowed walls that was sans any distemper; an assembly line of insects moving, albeit in super slow mode, in and out of the tiny slits between the purplish brick laden walls.

He inched his way through the muddy dankness and flashed a torch.

Red blotches flared to life.

He knew what they were.

The elusive serial killer was back in business.

#neelanilpanicker #inspectorsharmacrimeseries #fiction #shortstory #instafshorts #flash

Sunday Photo Fiction – June 3, 2018

Photo Prompt: C.E. Ayr



By Neel Anil Panicker (EPISODE 34 OF A DANGEROUS LOVE)

“Shootout in Tis Hazari Courts: Dreaded Mafia Don Afzal Guru shot dead; 5 others killed including 2 cops

The nation’s capital today reverberated with the sound of gun fire as Tiz Hazari Courts was witness to one of the bloodiest incidents of violence in a very long time.

After an over hour long encounter during which saw as many as 75 rounds were fired by both sides, the Crime Branch wing of Delhi Police gunned down most feared mafia don Afzal Guru.

Three of his associates including his most trusted lieutenant and right hand man Salim Mirchi were also killed in the hour long encounter that took place during peak time at around two in the afternoon in and around the Central Courtyard. It is said that at the time of the encounter the courts were in recess and the place was the place was teeming with litigants and lawyers.

According to well places sources, the incident occurred when a group of 12 prisoners including Ali, an acolyte of the don were being escorted out of a jail van and taken to the courtrooms  for their respective hearings.

Though the exact of sequence of events is yet to reprised, it is learnt from well placed sources that Ali has gone missing post the encounter though the police has not yet officially confirmed it.

‘We are investigating the matter from all angles. As of now we are not ruling out gang rivalry. We believe…”

Inspector Sharma threw aside the morning’s paper even as his face creased into a big smile.

‘Gang rivalry…bull shit. That’s what they write. That’s what you tutor them to write Always. And that’s what the public get to know.’

The super cop lit a cigarette and inhaling deeply, reminisced about the events of the previous afternoon. It had been quite a busy one. One that culminated in the fulfillment of his decade-long objective: the elimination of  Afzal Guru; the end of his reign of terror.

The smile broadened. Everything had worked according to plan. The laying of the trap, the lowering of the bait, the lure, and the fall.

Everything except…

Inspector Sharma swatted an imaginary fly from across his face as if he were brushing away all uncomfortable thoughts.

What’s life without some compromises, without a little bit of skullduggery? . You win some; you lose some.

After what seemed an eternity, Inspector Sharma got up from his chair and stepped of his office at the Crime Branch headquarters.

“Bring the jeep. I am going home”

Even the most hardworking of cops need a break.

It was time he surprised his wife; time he took her out for a movie, and then possibly, a quiet dinner at Sagar Ratna.
‘She would love the ambiance there, also their delectable hot piping dosas,’ he mumbled to himself as the vehicle sliced through the evening traffic.

©neelanilpanicker2018 #PART 34 of A DANGEROUS LOVE #FICTION #NOVELLA #461WORDS

To read previous episodes click on the links below:























PART 22:


 PART 23

PART 27:

PART 28:








By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma peered through his long range telescopic lens at Antop Hill that looked like an ant hill bathed in sheer white.

Nothing much of significance as far as the eye could see.

He shifted his gaze towards the foothills, at the river front, then slowly zooming in on the bridge that bisected Wayfarer’s.

It was teeming with camera slinging tourists, all looking down at the silvery waters that held Nature’s umpteen marine charms.

It was then that he spotted him. Hovering around the central foyer was the man sporting a blue cap.

Carlos the Killer, was back in action.

#neelanilpanicker #fiction #flash #instashorts #100wordwednesday #writingchallenge  #INSPECTORSHARMACRIMESERIES

100 Word Wednesday: Week 72

Hosted by



By Neel Anil Panicker

“Who’s that?”

‘Sir, that’s Raman, the cashier.’

“Ok Asif, tell me when and where did you find the body?”

‘Sir, today morning I opened the shop as usual at ten. After inspecting the daily stock register, a few minutes later, I went to the staff rest room that is in the basement. It was then that I saw the body. It was lying face down on the floor which was full of blood. I immediately called over Raman and then made the call to the police.’

“And as per Raman’s statement barring you two, none had entered the store before we came which was exactly within ten minutes of your call, right?”

‘Yes, Sir’

“Then who is this, could you care to explain?”

Asif looked into the camera console and his eyes popped out as if in surprise.

‘Sir, that’s Caesar.’

“Who’s Caesar, Asif?”

‘Sir, Caesar is Suhel Seth, our owner’s pet dog. Seth Sir’s in America. At least that’s what he said when I called to inform him about the murder today morning.’

Inspector Sharma let out a slow whistle.

A dog, it’s master, and a murder. Monday morning’s begun with a bang, he concluded.

#neelanilpanicker#fiction #shortstory #flashfictionforaspiringwriters #murder #inpectorsharmacrmeseries


FFfAW Challenge-Week of March 27, 2018




boats and bar

By Neel Anil Panicker

The view from the hill top hotel window was spectacular: a sea of blue and cutting through it, several high speed fibre glass boats choc-a-bloc with cheerful men, women and children__the flash of cameras adding an extra zing to the luminosity of the high beamed mercury vapour lamps that ricocheted off the rocks that walled all around.

Watching the panorama unfold through the periscope of his Nikon DSLR DS700, (a last minute requisition that the department had okayed, albeit a tad reluctantly), the merry unbuckling of human spirits; the rambunctious squeals and full throated laughters of the city dwellers who had converged this far, temporarily escaping from the hustle and bustle of everyday madness that was the bane of urban living, Senior Crime Branch Inspector Sharma momentarily forgot the real purpose of his visit as his senses soaked in the carnival atmosphere that permeated the azure skies.

A movement in the ground below caught his eye. His eyes narrowed and soon framed the figure: first just the silhouette___a vision in floating saffron, bare torso, large hairy arms___, and on closer examination, the tell tale hexagonal shaped fiery tongued dragon tattoo.

It’s him, the wily cop muttered. His quarry, the infamous ‘Butcher of Gorakhpur’, had arrived.

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WEEK #12