SPF July 8 2018 (1 of 1)

By Neel Anil Panicker
It’s just a bed: A rickety closet, a side table atop which straddles an improvised lampshade that emanates light just bare enough to help me navigate the oblong space that I call home.
I saunter in at hours that can at best be termed unearthly, and drag my two weary feet across and slump onto to the ‘cool as autumnal freshness ‘ satin laced bed sheets, gloriously oblivious to my surroundings.
This when I am pitch drunk.
But there are also times when I am sober, when no clients come my way, when I return empty handed–, my pockets devoid of pelfs and perks associated with my line of business.
Coincidentally, these are also the nights I go to sleep, my stomach still craving and cramping for a mongrel of food.
You might wonder, looking at me, at my fancy clothes, and also the place where I stay, that I must be loaded, that I must be happy.
Truth be told: I am not. I am but an impoverished village girl who’s housed in this room paid for by pimp whose needs as of a dozen others I fulfill every single night.
A minimal being serving maximal needs of animalistic beings.
#neelanilpanicker #sundayphotofiction #flash #fiction #storystarter #200words



To read more of the stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE


© JS Brand


By Neel Anil Panicker

“In life every moment you discover something.”

Constable Bose eyed the maquette in Detective Chacko’s hands.

‘They’re the Kelpies.’

“A what?”

Bose’s wonder struck eyes eyed the two quaint steel disformed carvings.

‘Ever been to Scotland, Bose’?

Bose’s was shorn of all words.

He knew his boss had an disarmingly insultful sense of humor.

He waited that wee bit before the next volley came.

‘How would you?’

The question was rhetorical; Bose bit his lips in exasperation.

“Sir, what’s the connection with the eight 2 am murders in our Cochin City”?

‘There is. These are no ordinary horses. They are a Scottish legend. Malevolent spirits. Known to morph into beautiful women, entrap young men, and then gobble them up.’

“Oh my God! So are you saying…”

‘Exactly. The world may have become very advanced but crime’s still steeped in tradition. The killer, and there’s just one, always leaves one behind after every murder.  A set comprises a perfect ten. So, there’s two more to go. Unless of course, he’s dealing in multiple sets.’

#neelanilpanicker #flash #fiction #200words #TTC #FOWC #crime





FOWC with Fandango — Extraordinary

April Pearson

Photo Credit: April Pearson


By Neel Anil Panicker

“I see a bad omen. What about by you, Angel?”

Angel waited for a moment even as she dug into the last of her pizza triangles, the few she had and quite sensibly so,  tucked into her inner baggy short pockets.

Then, reading very correctly that for once Reshma wasn’t indulging in mere rhetorics and the question did indeed beg for an answer,  Angel volleyed, “I see hope. I see goodness. I see some very dark clouds, but I also see a silver lining behind them all.’

Reshma’s eyes did a double take, its pupils dilating, a shell shocked expression forming on her otherwise not so saturnine face.

“Angel, you’re nothing if not extraordinary. How can you manage to stay so sanguine when we’re in the middle of a jungle miles away from civilization and when all we’ve been hearing for the past four  hours are the terrifying shrieks and shrills of wild animals?”

Without batting an eye Angel looked at her best friend and past her at the young boys, both her age, and all school mates, before replying, “That’s because all you see is a rainbow but I see the sunshine that”s hiding in plain sight behind it.”

#neelanilpanicker #sundayphotofiction #flash #flashfiction #shortstory #FOWC #200words



SPF 09-23-18 Fandango 2

REDUCED TO MATTER  (fiction/realistic)

By Neel Anil Panicker


Sebastian slammed the newspaper aside and then launched into a tirade.

“It’s not this godforsaken city or its netherland neighbourhoods or even the narrow secluded near dark alleys that spiral out of nowhere. It’s not even the lone decrepit house or even the four asymmetrical rooms that it holds within its folds human lives that once mattered but have or soon would reduce into matter. The fact of the matter, the starkly, brutally disturbing fact of the matter is that human lives have turned into the lowest forms in the entire totem pole of life beings.”

‘You sound excessively rattled today, Sebbie. Pray, did you take your tablets?’

“Exactly, did I take my tablets? Did I have meals? Am I feeling well? Has that abdominal pain that had been troubling you for the past fortnight now lessened? You ask me umpteen questions, and I reply back to each dutifully. We do this all day and well into the night. And guess what we do this because we care. We care, therefore we inquire. At times we also fight, and may be cry, and then like we laugh it all of. Right, dear. And we’re pushing out seventies. But then there are some out there who have none to care of and care for and share their lives. Ultimately their benumbed minds grow gnarled roots from which birth skeletal claws that spring forth and squeeze out the last single breaths of their luckless, loveless lives.”

#neelanilpanicker #sundayphotofiction #spf #flash #fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by Susan Spaulding, who has taken over this great weekly prompt from my old friend Al Forbes.
This week’s photo is by Fandango, about whom, I am embarrassed to say, I know nothing. But I did once skip a light one before turning cartwheels across the floor.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
Click on this link to enter your tale, and see what others have written.




Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr

By Neel Anil Panicker

“Do you also see what I see?”.

‘Sir, I see a man. I have had him verified. His name’s Daniel. Is the caretaker. Been working in the garage for over five years now. Said he worked at a castle 50 miles away. Got that verified too. The guy’s clean as a whistle.’

Detective Chacko turned around, looked at his junior, and wondered whether jealousy could be the reason his boss had attached such a nincompoop to him.

If so, he would have to make do under the circumstances.

Striking a more placatory note, he said, “Good job, Thomas. Now, I want you to once again look at the screen and tell me what exactly you see”.

A minute later Thomas’ blurted out, rather triumphantly, his childish voice reverberating all across the semi darkened basement room of the Crime Branch Main Office of Cochin Metropolitan City.

‘Sir, I see another man. He’s sitting on the bench. He’s holding a single leaf; his eyes darting around, as if he’s waiting for someone.’

Chacko latched on to the reply, “Good. My gut tells me this man is tied to the double murders. How is that so is something I have to find out.”

#neelanilpanicker #fiction #flashfiction #SPF #sundayphotofiction #shortstory #storystarter #TTC #FOWC #crime #detectivechackocrimemysteryseries #200words

Sunday Photo Fiction – October 14, 2018

FOWC with Fandango — Castle



Photo Credit: John Brand

By Neel Anil Panicker

The evening had long cast its long shadows on the narrow stretch that wound up the northern periphery leading out of the main arterial road. Unlike the chaos and the maddening hustle and bustle of the mainland this was an oasis of calm and peace, or so it seemed.

For here, as the nights grew thicker and darker, the deeds turned blacker and more sinister.

Ambling down the gradient, his hands well secured inside khakhi shorts, Johnny, the resident drug dealer, languidly rolled the little square piece of dark chocolate up and down his palette before gently allowing it to slide down his throat.

A soft breeze played down the nape of his neck and teased the back of his ears, adding to the tingling delight that wafted through his being.

A couple of deals to finish and then he would call it quits___simply sneak in to Mary’s, down a couple of beers, and then gently slide into the arms of Julie, and then…

By the time he turned around it was too late; the knife had dug deep into his spleen, rupturing his left heart, the blood gushing out and dirtying the wind swept squeaky clean street within seconds.

#neelanilpanicker #crime #murder #drugs #flash #storystarter #200words #sundayphotofiction

Written as part of the following multiple writing prompts:

Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Susan Spaulding. For more details visit HERE.

To read more of the stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

FOWC with Fandango — Stretch





IMG_2304 (2)

By Neel Anil Panicker

Constable Bose flashed his torchlight inwards. As a beam of light ricocheted off a broken window pane, his bleary eyes caught what looked like human blood.

His mind went into a tizzy as he stumbled his way further in.  Something was wrong for sure. He needed to find out what exactly it was.

As his eyes got accustomed to the pitch darkness that surrounded him, he slowly turned his gaze all around. It was then that he saw it___first, a woman’s leg; then the upper torso; and then the face__a criss-cross of knife marks__,and above it the eyes__two black buttons staring shell shocked into the wooden ceiling above.

Despite himself, Constable Aniruddh Bose of Cochin City Crime Branch Unit half puked, his gut half spilling onto his all crispy white shirt.

Seconds later as his hands moved to the left, the lights caught another grotesque vision__the sight of a young girl, barely in her teens, bare armed and bare legged, sans any clothes barring a brown panty that was hitched down to her knees.

Her face too was knifed in similar fashion like the woman’s; her eyes too staring into space.

Bose puked for a second time that Friday evening.

#neelanilpanicker #flash #fiction #crime #novel #serialkiller #detectivechacko #200words