By Neel Anil Panicker

Of late, especially, and more so, since Sushma’s sudden death, the daily climb up the forested slope was proving to be quite tedious.
It wasn’t as if he had suddenly turned infirm or that his body had refused to obey the dictates of the mind.
On the contrary, for a septuagenarian leading a superannuated existence, John Albert Dayal, retired Eastern Railways Senior Superintendent, was doing pretty well,  ever fit and agile, his six foot ramrod straight frame a source of much envy among neighbours less than half his age.

Hiking up the trail was something he had always looked forward to.

“Why do you need to torture your bones by insisting on going up that forested hill. Don’t you know that it is infested with wild animals?” harangued his sister Martha, a year older to him, and recently widowed.
Left to herself, she would do nothing but bake honey dipped nutty chocolate cakes,  a delicacy she had learnt back in the days when she was young and employed at Hot Breads, the preferred eating joint of the gourmands.

But John was of a different breed.
Rather than indulging in such rich sweetmeats, which anyways he avoided like the plague ever since the doctor pronounced him as afflicted with advanced  diabetes and abnormally high blood pressure, he found pleasure in Nature.
So off he went, his ears oblivious to Martha’s protestations,
In no time he had left behind the city landscapes and waded deep into a thick foliage of pine and cedar trees.

Feeling slightly heavy and uncharacteristically tired, he sat down under the bark of a giant peepal tree and looked upwards.
From behind the thick foliage, the sun’s rays snaked in and sketched strobed images on his parched visage.
After a while he reclined his back against the tree trunk, stretched his legs out, and closed his eyes.

And that’s how they found him the next morning.
‘Fortuitous of him to go that way’, was the general consensus of all who knew him.

(c)neelanilpanicker2017 WritePhoto #Thursday Photo Prompt #fiction#flashfiction #shortstory #334words

Written for Thursday Photo Prompt hosted by at

Glade – #writephoto by Willow

Also written for

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Saturday Mix – Same Same But Different, 7 October 2017

Welcome to the Saturday Mix, 9 September 2017! at

This week we are diving into the depths of our thesaurus and exploring the world of synonyms.

Same Same But Different
Your ‘Same Same But Different’ task is to take the five challenge words and NOT use them in your writing. That’s right, you need to dig out your thesaurus and find a synonym for each word instead.

Your words are:

  1. produce
  2. puncture
  3. smile
  4. young
  5. difficult

Your writing form is either poetry or prose.



Sunday Photo Fiction – September 10th 2017

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211 09 September 10th 2017

By Neel Anil Panicker

It was supposed to be their dream house. Their retirement nest. A house by the river. Add spectacular views of the early sun as it snakes past the narrow slits of exotic palm leaves, gently splashing its orange tinged red rays through diaphanous curtains on still sleepy residents safely tucked under silken bedsheets; add the very same rays receding behind lofty snow capped mountains while giving way to spectacular moonlit nights; add the gentle swirling of the crystal clear waters as it lullabies you to sleep.

Add all this, and what you get is bliss; nirvana; happiness to the power of infinity.

Alas! That was not to be. Mrs and Mr Sood’s dreams of settling down and spending the golden years of their remaining lives in Villa Paradise, (that’s what they had christened their utopia, their comfy house by the river) quickly turned to dust.

One fine morning the lady woke up to find her husband of half a century dead on the bed, the spent cartridge of a .303 bullet lay beside him.

‘They’ll come, they always come’ he used to mumble around, something she would dismiss as signs of the onset of dementia.

She peers into the muddy waters below.

‘You’re right. Always were. Spies never had it easy.’

©neelanilpanicker(2017 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED) #SPF #FICTION #SHORT STORY  #neelanilpanicker #neeltheauthor



FFfAW Challenge-Week of August 22, 2017

I am participating in Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writer, where we write a piece between 100 and 150 words (more or less 25 words) in length inspired by the photo prompt above.

Hosted by Priceless Joy at 


Thank you Yarnspinnerr for our photo prompt this week!

By Neel Anil Panicker

Metal pots lay scattered on the grill bars of the vast estate that was Ambuja Mansions, the fifty acre farmhouse owned by the Ambujas.

Inspector Sharma bent down and touched the blackened belly pots, all six of them.

“Hmm…something’s been cooking.”

Getting up, Inspector Sharma inspected the surroundings from inside his dark Ray Ban.

An empty road stretched out in front of him as far as the eye could eye.

There was no semblance of any city life all around the lone farmhouse situated in a very secluded tony suburb of SouthDelhi.

“Constable Kadam, you see these small vessels over here?”

‘Yes, Sir. It’s the first thing I noticed on coming here.’

“Kadam, you may be good at noticing but are very bad at inferring.”

‘Sir. I don’t understand.’

“Kadam, You said you saw three bodies inside, right?

‘Yes, Sir… one of an elderly, and two of his sons. I confirmed it.’

“Confirmed? And who did you confirm all this from, dear Kadam”

‘His family members, Sir.  The deceased’s wife. She was …’

Inspector Sharma looked at his deputy open sarcasm.

“Kadam, the dead man had no wife, least of all any children.”

As Kadam let a shriek, the sound of gunfire reverberated the surroundings.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #FFfAW #fiction

neelwrites/tentacles/Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie/fiction/372words/21/0/2017

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

First Line Friday -August 16th 2017

Include the first line of course! Tag it Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Fridays, and short fiction. Create a link (ping-back) to this post and add your link to Mister Linky below.

Your line for this week is:

After the accident, unease grew like a mold in the corners of his mind.


By Neel Anil Panicker

After the accident, unease grew like a mold in the corners of her mind.

Like a slow moving creeper, its multifarious tendrils enclasped and tightened itself on her, clasping and wrenching the last vestiges of laughter and happiness out of her inner vitals.

With every passing day her agony and helplessness magnified as she sat motionless, confined to her bed, her body and limbs a waste bag of rotten flesh, her hollow stony eyes fixated on the lone door leading out to her bedroom.

From this unprivileged position she watched, utterly helplessly, the passing parade of life.

She watched her husband of over two score decades carry on with life’s myriad duties, rushing in and out of their palatial villa by the sea, barking orders to a litany of servants, attending to video conference meetings with his clients from across the globe, and in between dropping by to feed her  delicacies dear to her, ones that he would personally prepare, unwilling to delegate such tasks to the master chef.

And when he would spoon feed him wearing that disarming smile on his gorgeously handsome face she would gratefully accept the offerings.

But long after he would be gone, the sheer vastness of the sand kissed villa would tear down upon her and like massive frothy waves hurtling from the sea, her mind would turn a whirpool of searing doubts.

In no time the doubts and disbelief, the scepticisms and the fears had taken deep roots inside her mindscape, scarring her fast turning psychotic brain immeasurably.

As days gave way to nights and the cycle of life repeated itself viciously,

out of the recesses of her mind crept out her deepest fears, each gnawing and slowly eroding away the very last semblances of sanity.

What if he leaves me, what if he snatches our children away from me, what if he marries another woman? What if…

Every waking hour she turned slave to her tortuous mind, battling unknown ghosts.

It was a losing battle and one that ultimately consumed her own life.

I died the day I lost my legs and hands. This is just me burying the remains, she surmised as she drank to her heart’s content from the bottle of poison.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie #372words


Sunday Photo Fiction – August 20th 2017

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Hosted by J Hardy at 


209 08 August 20th 2017

By Neel Anil Panicker

My name is Galileo.

Galileo who? Galileo what? Did I hear you say?

Well, not surprising, though.

In this fast paced emoji driven, information pumping adrenaline high robotic age whoever has the time for digging out relics of some hoary past?

Well, if it’s any consolation, I’m the one to whom is attributed the famous phrase Eppur si muove.  It refers to my claim that it’s the Earth that revolves around the Sun and not the other way around.

Big deal, you might say.

But I tell you, in my day around 500 years ago what I said was considered a sacrilege.

The omnipotent, omniscient custodians of the Church (read God) took serious umbrage to my utterances.

I was incarcerated in a deep dungeon, and made to drink poison.

Hey, why am I telling you these things? It’s a story long interred and buried in the dustbin of history?


Well, folks, I’m doing this so you and the generations that would follow yours learn to stand up to all manner of wrongs and injustices perpetuated in this world in the name of God, that you understand there can exist a happy marriage between science and morality devoid of mass hatred fueled by religious bigotry.

(neelanilpanicker2017 #spf #fiction #200words

BACKGROUND: And yet it moves

“Eppur si muove” redirects here. For other uses, see Eppur si muove (disambiguation).

And yet it moves” or “Albeit it does move” (ItalianE pur si muove or Eppur si muove [epˈpur si ˈmwɔːve]) is a phrase attributed to the Italian mathematician, physicist and philosopher Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) in 1633 after being forced to recant his claims that the Earth moves around the immovable[1] Sun rather than the converse during the Galileo affair.[2]

In this context, the implication of the phrase is: despite his recantation, the Church’s proclamations to the contrary, or any other conviction or doctrine of men, the Earth does, in fact, move (around the Sun, and not vice versa). As such, the phrase is used today as a sort of pithy retort implying that “it doesn’t matter what you believe; these are the facts.”





Three Line Tales, Week 81

Hosted by Sonya at


Three line tales week 80: a pizza oven

photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha via Unsplash

By Neel Anil Panicker

“How on earth could a man who’s so madly in love with his wife throw her into a burning oven?”

‘Well, well. Even I find that hard to believe though how I wish he were simply humanly and not madly in love with her.

Then he wouldn’t have done what he did, isn’t it?.’

©neelanilpanicker2017 #ThreeLineTales #fiction #50words



Pena, Portugal

Hosted by the wonderful H Hardy Carroll at

Pena, Portugal

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:



Image result for sundial, PENA, PORTUGAL

By Neel Anil Panicker




A woman’s face etched in a beatific smile and holding in her arms a barely three-month-old baby girl greets Emily.

A tear drops from her eyes as she places in her pint sized bag the sepia tinged black and white photograph, the sole reminder of the only family she ever had.

Outside, she cranes her neck upwards and peers into the sky.

The bright orb of fire sends a pleasant tingling sensation surging through her veins, warming the cockles of her heart.

‘But why’s there no blast? Why the delay?’

Emily wrings her hands anxiously and peers yet again into the sky.

Slowly, as if goaded by the power of her unflinching eyes, the clouds give way and bright dazzling rays sparkle onto the earth.

And then as if in pronouncement, a huge ear splitting sound blasts through the atmosphere.

It is the sundial’s cannon ball strike signalling noon time.

It’s also the prompt for her to head for the main road.

There awaits Francis, the love of her life, the liberator of her soul.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #whatpegmansaw #fiction #pena,Portugal