Thursday photo prompt – Portal – #writephoto

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Weekly Writing Prompt #118

Weekly Writing Challenge

DOOR Template Instructions
Poetry and/or Flash Fiction
December 4th 2017 | #118

(5) Words: | GHOST | PINCH | RATE | GOLD | BURY |



By Neel Anil Panicker

A beautiful woman, the most beautiful he had ever seen, her ‘slender as a twig’ body clad from top to bottom in white appeared out of the cumulus clouds above and swung a magical wand towards him.

Immediately, Richard felt a strange, tingling sensation all over his body as shiny golden beams of light lit the night sky.

The all white apparition smiled beatifically down at him.

A honey dipped voice, soft as gurgling mountain waters whispered,

“Young man, follow my instructions carefully for you are about to become the luckiest man on this planet. Take seven steps from the East of your hut and stop, facing the mango groves that lie beyond your backyard.

Now start digging fifty feet into the ground. You will soon hit a dead end. That is the clue for you to turn left and dig another two feet. Soon you will see a small slit in the earth. It leads to a tunnel.  Crawl through it for about ten feet and you will have entered a cave. It is the Abode of Kuber, The God of Wealth.

Buried there are glittering diamond necklaces, gold earrings, precious stones, silver, platinum… take what you want…it is limitless and they are all yours”.

Richard couldn’t believe what he was witnessing and hearing. The pupils of his eyes dilated twice its normal size. His ears lobes strained to catch the soft, magical voice that was being drilled into his head.

Could this be true? Will he become rich? With such wealth he can virtually rule the earth, be master of everyone, own everything that he had ever wanted or lusted after?

Still unbelieving of his good fortune, he pinched himself on the cheek.

“What’s this month’s rate?”, he heard a familiar voice shouting into his ears.

Richard opened his eyes and found himself staring into the perplexed face of Raghav Sir, his regular customer, the gentleman from whom he bought old newspapers. Old newspapers that he bought and sold for a living. His dream had just turned to dust.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #flash #shortstory



Thursday Photo Prompt HOSTED BY sue vincent


By Neel Anil Panicker

Raymond looked down at his feet and kicked Jack’s once muscular body, now just a crumpled mass of tissue turned ‘cold as winter’.

It had taken him a good hour to get rid of his best buddy, and more specifically partner in crine.

Good riddance, he screamed out in gay abandon, a cry of unbridled joy, absolutely aware that standing where he was, at the promontory that stood atop a gargantuan rock at the extreme right edge of the mile long deserted beach, none would hear or even see him as far as the eye could see.

He flicked a Marlborough from his inner baggy pockets and cupping his large alligator hands struck a match as an icy wind swept by.

Three quick inhalations deep into his lungs and he was a calmed man.

Slowly his gaze lifted far into the sea towards a solitary speck of land__Sir Albert’s Island.

His wrinkled eyes sparkled with untinted joy.

He had made it. Well, almost.

Nearly five months of threadbare planning, three murders, a couple of shootouts, and a daring mid-day bank robbery later, he had managed to lay his hands on a pile of money.

The spoils of the day added upto a staggering five million American dollars.

He touched the peak of his felt hat in acknowldgement of the success of the mission.

It had been worth it, the sheer daredevilry, the bizarre risk of crash landing a two seater rented aircraft and hoisting his band of four robbers straight into the bank’s inner santum sanctorum, the exact hexagonal area where the huge vault lay, and then fighting and shooting their way out into freedom, the massive steel trunk full of hard cash acting as a much needed shield.

Raymond’s mind suddenly flicked back to the present. He had double crossed his way to a pot of money.

But knowing the ways of the Spanish Police well enough, he knew that if ever harboured any hopes of enjoying all that wealth he had to get to the island and thereafter beyond to be absolutely safe.

His mind went into a tailspin as he stared out into the ever darkening sea waters.

(c)neelanilpanciker2017 #fiction #flashfiction #ThursdayPhotoPrompt


Thursday photo prompt – Ebb – #writephoto

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By Neel Anil Panicker

Adani closed his eyes and the visions came floating by.

A near dilapidated apology of a mud house sans windows and doors.

He peeped inside and saw a creaking wobbly legged old wooden cot and lying on it an eighty year old woman spitting blood and bile onto the mud floors, her flaked skin and mangled bones spreading out all over like blackish blood cots on deadened bones.

On the floor around her lay in various stages of wakefulness, a shirtless man and a reed thin woman, and five small kids who looked equally emaciated, their socket less eyes staring out into the increasingly darkening roofless skies above.

The youngest among them, barely seven years old, was the template of utter gutter filth: a mixture of urine, bile, blood, spit and vomit was plastered all over his stark naked body, an obnoxiously pungent odour oozing from every single pore.


Adani opened his eyes and saw a hundred television cameras aimed towards him.

A woman thrust a mike. “Sir, how does it feel to have struck gold in this wilderness?”

Gautam Adani, the owner of Adani Power, a Fortune trillion dollar multinational conglomerate smiled wryly, “It feels great, a bit ironical though, as we knew never knew all this while we were living under a pile of gold.”

©neelanilpanicker2017 #ThursdayPhotoPrompt #theebb #fiction #flashfiction #218words


Thursday photo prompt – Tower – #writephoto

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By Neel Anil Panicker

The tower loomed above him like some monstrous mythical creature that seemed to grow larger and larger with every single excruciating step that he took.

‘God! spare me this torture,’ he wanted to scream out, his anguished cries reverberating all around the icy blue skies, ricochetting off the innumerable small hills that dotted the jagged landscape, but then he checked himself.
His pursuers were close behind, barely a 100 metres away, and he didn’t want to take any chances, not after coming this far from his tormentors, and so near to his goal.

Swiping his brow off thick beads of sweat, the man stepped forward, his each step a stagger as he negotiated the steep bolder strewn mud splattered narrow incline that led to the ancient tower.

As he inched closer to it he could make out the pole, a massively long iron bean that rose Phoenix -like from the bowels of the tower and pierced the skies. On it, fluttering proud and high, the silhouette of a flag, a white rectangular piece of cloth, a clear indication that freedom was but a few steps away.

The sight filled his heart with renewed vigour and he raced ahead, almost running towards the tower.

It was then that he was hit, a shower of bullets knocking him to the ground, blood spluttering out of his chest and upper torso.

Slowly, he turned around and just before his eyes descended into darkness, he saw them, their victorious faces, in particular one face, the visage the very personification of Devil himself.

An earth shattering heart wrenching cry escaped his lips.


The tyres screeched to a halt inside Tiz Hazari Court premises, and that woke up Ali.

He rubbed his eyes in disbelief, but couldn’t wish away the face of his tormentor.

It was Afzal Guru, his crime boss, and now his Enemy Number One.

(c)neelanilpanicker2017 #part26 of A Dangerous Love #312words #fiction #novella #ThursdayPhotoPrompt #writephoto #thetower

If you would like to read the earlier parts of this ongoing novella ‘A DANGEROUS LOVE’

kindly click on the links below:


















PART 22:






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

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Glade – #writephoto by Willow

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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.


Hosted by Sue Vincent

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


Thursday photo prompt – Scattered #writephoto


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By Neel Anil Panicker

‘Salaam, Arif Chacha.’

The septuagenarian looked up and peered through the iron bars at the young girl outside.

It took him some time before his cataract ridden eyes adjusted to the dark outside; gradually the silhouette of a burqa clad woman came into vision.

He adjusted his old worn out spectacles and gradually the face turned clearer.

His eyes shot up in recognition.

“Why! You are Liza baby. Allekum Salam. It’s been ages. The last time I saw you were a young child…barely ten or so.”

The blare of passing horns muted the last words.

Liza half turned and shot a glance at the street behind her.

Old Delhi, even at this hour of the night, refused to slow down; tongas, cycle rickshaws, scooters, cars, massive trucks carrying loadfuls of cement, bricks, iron bars and other construction materials whizzed in and out of narrow lanes. The sound of human voices in an array of tongues clashed with a medley of mind numbing sounds, the overall effect not unlike that of a madhouse on fire.

Liza hastily tucked her hands under her burqa; though covered from top to toe she couldn’t afford the risk of being spotted.

This was her father’s area. His people were all around.

If word reached Afzal Guru’s ears that the Don’s daughter was seen here in

Kabootar Wali Galli then her goose was cooked.  The Don would roast her alive.

“Arif Chacha, I need a favour”.

The old man’s eyes peered at her. Favour? What possible favour could the Don’s daughter want from him?

“It’s urgent. I need your help”.

It took a moment before the penny dropped.

From behind the iron bars the old man quickly inspected the street behind her.

Though choc-a-bloc with human activity, none were looking over to his small nondescript hole in the wall establishment.

But still this wasn’t the time to take risks, more the guest at his door was the dreaded don’s daughter.

He made a decision. Within seconds a small door square slit opened inwards with space just about enough for a person to squeeze through.

He motioned Liza to enter.

Once inside, he shut the trap door and waited for Liza to adjust herself to the darkness.

“Yes, Liza baby. What’s it that you want? You could have asked for it and I would have personally come and delivered it.”

Tiem was running out. Liza too realized the enormous amount of risks she was taking. Moreover, she didn’t want anyone, least of all Arif Chacha to get into trouble because of her.

Without wasting anymore time, she blurted out, “Chacha. I need some bombs”.

Even in the pitch darkness, she noticed the old man’s expressions had changed.

A look of sheer horror and shock swept through the pockmarked face.

“I need it now. Will you help me, Chacha”?

The old man, though still reeling under shock, thought over her request.

True, he was an arms dealer, an illegal supplier of arms.

For over two centuries his family was in business; a family tradition passed on from one generation to the other.

All manner of people were his clients.

Petty thieves, professional robbers, hardened criminals, even unscrupulous politicians__they all came to him, buying his wares for a price.

It was a business conducted in absolute stealth; a single word, a furtive glance, a quick exchange of goods, a hasty retreating into wilderness.

He looked at the burqa clad girl I front of him and understood.

Without uttering another word, he motioned her inside to a small inner room sans any windows.

“Here, take your pick”.

Lined up from floor to ceiling were machine guns, machetes, swords,, small firearms, and placed in a corner were scores upon scores of bombs, packed in boxes, their tops ripped open.

A maniacal gleam lighted up Liza’s eyes. She bent down and picked a box. It contained six large circular bombs, all bottled green in colour.

She got up and was about to leave  when her eyes fell on a row of small pistols.

“Those are of foreign make. Six rounds each. They come with inbuilt silencers.”

Liza picked one and slid it along with the box of bombs inside the inner pockets of her burqa.

“I don’t know what you intend to do with this but I wish you the best, my dear baby.”

In the dark the two looked at one another. Liza knew the old man was taking a tremendous risk by helping the Don’s daughter; a risk that could lead to his death.

“Thank you Arif Chacha. I have looked at you as my own and I shall never forget your benevolence. Khuda Hafiz”.

And then she was gone. As stealthily as she had come, carrying, hidden under her coat, enough arsenal to wreck havoc and free her love.

As she wound her way past the narrow footpaths and sped towards

Sumer Manzil, Liza’s prayed and hoped that her plans for the morrow would come to fruition.

Ali’s words from the previous night spurred her forward, adding a zing to her steps, and filling her lovelorn heart with unbridled passion.

“Everything is fair in love and war, my baby”.

©neelanilpanicker2017#ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2017 #part19ofadangerouslove #fiction #novella #

#Thursday photo prompt – Scattered #writephoto



If you would like to read the earlier parts of this ongoing novella ‘A DANGEROUS LOVE’

kindly click on the links below: