Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

21 September 2018


PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson


Amruta cups her soft fingers around the wooden handle and watches as a sea of kaleidoscopic panels make concentric circles above her head.

Her gaze then falls at the umbrella rim from which cascade puffed droplets of wind-washed waters that make a splash on the rain splattered grounds below.

Her heart goes pitter patter.

Beside her, Pranay watches her watch the unfolding of Nature’s pristine glory.

His palms lock hers as waves of spasmodic delight run through the spines of the two lovers.

From a distance, and from under another umbrella, a man watches them, then spats on the earth.

#NEELANILPANICKER #lovers #flash #novella #crime #pranay-amrutalove story #100words #fridayfictioners #crime



This story is written for multiple fiction writing prompts:

FOWC with Fandango — Smart

By Neel Anil Panicker

From the shadows Detective Chacko watched the two boys, barely out of their teens, one sporting a bright red bandana bedazzled with several silver stars that glittered eve more under the glare of the florescent street lamps; the other much thinner but with a scar that ran across half his left face; a distinctive knife slash and also one that gave him a menacing look, as if her were a wild boar what with his dark as the Devil himself skin glowing brighter than a thousand watt bulb.

Definitely not chalk and cheese;  much like a pair of Siamese twins made of the same block, mused Chacko as he arched his back slightly against the stony walls to get a better view.

Half a breath later, the neon lit front door of Charlie’s All Night Cafe burst open and a man, tall and wearing a felt hat, one of you see in those American cowboy gansta movies of an era long gone by, stepped out and walked towards the two boys.

‘See man, don’t play smart with me, man. What weather, feather…look you arse holes, me no friend…strictly business…show money, I give trip…okey”.

Ten feet away Chacko strained his ears but wasn’t very sure he picked up all that was said.

All he knew and cared for was that seconds later when the street was empty all over again, a transaction had taken place and that the drug scene was truly alive and kicking in Kochi, and that ‘Abraham Lincoln’ was back in business.

#NEELANILPANICKER #flash #fiction #realisticfiction #storystarter #detectivechackocrimefictionseries #254words





By Neel Anil Panicker
‘I was angry. So I killed them.’

Despite the wintry cold, hot beads of sweat began to run down Inspector Sharma’s temple.
He shook his head in one rapid motion and moved towards the haggard looking man who stood with his back to the wall.

Now inches apart, the Crime Branch super sleuth looked into the eyes of the middle aged balding man in front of him.
A pair of strangely alien eyes, the pupils, white spherical splotches that contrasted eerily against an all black skin tone stared right back at him__unflinching, emotionless__as if they were just two stones jutting out of a mountain edge.

And then despite his years of dealing with criminals of all ilk including the hardened, the crazed, the hopeless, and also the utterly remorseless; knowing them and their psyche fully well, he felt himself increasingly lost as he desperately tried to figure out into which category this man who had a perpetual scowl on his regular worker class face belonged.

And so there they stood ___the cop and the criminal, locked eye ball to eye ball, none refusing to blink, both holding on steadfast to whatever life principles each were individually wedded to, as time stood still as if waiting for deliverance.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity and long after the two had studied to perfection every single bodily contour of the other, Inspector Sharma decided enough was enough and that he needed to light a smoke.

Pulling himself away from the high octane tension ridden atmosphere, the cop strode out of the room, slamming the door behind him with a ear splitting kick of his heavy police boots.

Outside, as he stood in the small apology of a square box sized garden dragging nicotine into his perforated lungs, the cop wondered whether his presence or absence would have any bearing on the outcome of the day long interrogation.
Hardened criminals, once they have been ‘broken down’, either admit to or deny the commission of the said crime or crimes. At times they even go ahead and admit to crimes they have no connection with.

But here, this man was proving to be a real tease.
It wasn’t the admission of his crime that raised the heckles of the cops on duty at R.K Nagar Crime Branch Police Station; instead, it was the sheer brazenness of the admissions.

‘Sir, I have committed 20 murders, no wait minute, I think it is 25.’ 
And then after a while, ‘No! Make that 36. Yeah, that’s right. I believe that’s the count.’

As Sharma heard the man bandy about figures with such practised ease as if he were trotting out a batsman’s batting average, the senior cop thought, and not for the first time that evening about human nature, and about what goes into the functioning of the human brain, what mind could be so diabolic as to slaughter like cattle some thirty odd innocent men, and then carry on with the everyday humdrum existence that is life without so much as looking back over the shoulder at the macabre trail of destruction that’s been left behind.

#FOWC #523words

Written for multiple prompts:

FOWC with Fandango — Tease



Written for multiple writing prompts:

FOWC with Fandango — Prism

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL (genre:literaryfiction)

By Neel Anil Panicker

Ram Bahadur never took his 24/7 job as a hostel cook at St. Paul’s Residential School for Boys lightly; for him it was as important as the Office of the ‘most powerful man on the Earth’.

Managing single-handedly a full fledged canteen for an universe of 200 plus students even while catering to their every whim and fantasy, wish and command___be it tomato soup for one with just the right dash of condominents, boiled to the precise temperature, or ensuring the varied lunch time demands of both vegetarians, non-vegetarians, and also the eggetarians are met to their complete satisfaction was a daily nee hourly task that required it’s fair share of tight rope walking.

Adding to the misery was the heart crushing reality that there was no help coming his way, none to act as a supplement in his daily quest in dishing out delectable delicacies, especially so after an assistant that was provided to him by the School head honchos did the disappearing act a couple of months ago, finding it a “beggar’s job___utterly thankless and unrewarding’.

Unmindful of all this, the sixty year old prodded on, serving one gourmet delight after another, living and breathing the dictum__service before self.
Life, as he looked at it, was one big canteen in which some were born to serve and some to be served.

That’s what was that kept him going, ensured that that perennial smile that lay plastered on his pale aquiline face never diminished or lost its luminosity.

That’s the prism through which the man who left the mountains half a century ago and made the plains his home looked at life.

#TTC #SixSentenceStories #FOWC #283 #fiction #flash


Three Line Tales, Week 137

Three Line Tales, Week 137


three line tales, week 137: an abandoned asylum
By Neel Anil Panicker 
Down but not out __that’s what defines my sodden existence trapped inside this hell hole called life.
Come dawn’s first yawnings, I slither my way out__my crazed sunken eyes, two black holes hollower than the hollowest hollow___,only to be driven back by the harsh glares of sunlight’s beams.
Beaten, I beat a hasty retreat into dark bottomless pits, my flailing outstretched hands, monstrous tiger claws___ vainly, desperately clutching onto the very last vestiges of my fast disappearing sanity, knowing fully well that tomorrow’s just another day, and that I may have lost the battle but the war’s far from over.
#neelanilpanicker #fiction #flash 100words #ThreeLineTales #death#depression




FOWC with Fandango — Game




By Neel Anil Panicker

Two minutes into the class, and boredom’s already set in.

I mean, tell me, whoever sits through a two hour class on English Grammar?

‘Preposition’ _ that’s what the bald as an eagle man who looks closer to my grandfather’s age,  and with a perpetually irritating smile on his deeply criss crossed visage grandly announces is the Topic of the day as if her the great Mr M himself rolling up his sleeves and announcing Round Two of ‘The Great Indian Musical Currency Game’.

Get that, Preposition! Hey, wake up buddy. Parts of Speech was what I did aeons ago when I was still trapped inside half pants and had the hots for our English teacher, the delectable Miss Esther, the mesmerizing apparition who when each time she opened that mouth of hers gobbled every one of our nubile hearts.

And God! Did she move! She had the thing and brought in the much needed zing to my adolescent life.

Anyways those were the times, and here I am, Circa 2018, and staring at the white board where Andy Sir, (though he goes by the street name Turtle, (and don’t ask me how the heck did he landed up with that), is explaining the pros of using ‘at’ over ‘in’. Also, the cons of not using both.

After sometime, turtle turns around and espouses, ” You can’t teach anyone Preposition. Either you know it or you don’t.”

Dammn’t!  Then why the fish is he here?

In exasperation I turn around and bingo__there’s ‘Miss Curves.’ Our eyes meet from two rows and a corner away.

I smile. She returns the favour with a ‘Priya Warrier wink’.

And lo! My heart sinks.

I mouth that I like the undulating folds of her crepe top. She protrudes her full lips__ I spell that as ‘creep’.

Unmindful, I volley back with another radio chatter__ our very own Morse Code.

The class move’s at a turtle’s pace; our lust quicker than Usain Bolt’s.

B-School or no B-School, I’ve seen the light, and oh boy, am I glad!!!






Written for multiple writing prompts:

FOWC with Fandango — Stability

This is my 175 word story for the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. We are given a photo prompt that is kindly photographed by our participants and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. It’s fun and everyone is invited to participate. For more information, clickHERE.

To read all the stories submitted for this challenge, click on the blue froggy button below:


By Neel Anil Panicker

Raphael moved the curtains aside and peeped out. Nothing met his eyes; there was no view.

Gone were the everyday signs of stability that met his eyes___the beautifully laid out rose garden; gone too were the tall cinder trees that ran along its edges; also the looming spires of St. Thomas Catholic Church, the place that otherwise would be choc-a-bloc with Sunday morning worshippers.

Instead, all that greeted him was a thick hazy blanket of mist. It was as if someone had taken an eraser and rubbed clean the face of the earth leaving only an eye shadow.

As the day crawled forth Raphael felt an increasing bony chill run down his spine as he watched with horror the distant horizon and wondered whether the sun would make an attempt to pierce through the maze and obliterate this white carpet of nothingness.

It was then that his faith began to ebb as the most reputed doctor in town slowly began to realize that if the weather gods played truant any further he would soon die.