By Nee Anil Panicker

The clouds were white milky sheets. Set against the backdrop of azure blue skies with the slightest tingle of violet, the view from the top was magical to say the least.

Naina had never come this high.

But Akram was insistent.

“Believe me baby, it’s going to be cool. Plus, it’ll forever free you from your fear of heights”.

He was like that__words like baby, cool, wow, yippie…flowed easily from his thick nicotine stained lips that always curved up in a half mocking smile.

His thick mop of curly hair loosened its strands and like a dog straining against its leash, desperately tried to break free__tossing and twirling, daring the icy winds that blew over them.

Sitting on the edge of a rocky outgrowth two feet away, Naina looked down from the hill top.

All she could  see was a 500-metre bottomless pit of sheer green.

Her head turned dizzy as a whirlpool of disjointed thoughts began to swirl around in her head.

Had she really come this high? Could she have been such a fool to have acquiesced to this half boiled idea of this crackpot of a boyfriend of hers and tagged along on a Monday such as this when ideally she should have been in school

teaching tiny tots Jack and Jill and other arresting nursery rhymes. True, he was good. Good in bed, that is. I mean at her age, pushing the thirties, to get the undivided attention of a horny teenager ever willing to improvise was definitely a big boon, akin to someone bagging a lottery, she surmised. But then now this__ to come this far, to agree to climb a hill and stare down a rocky  fall? No, no ways was this cool. No baby, no way was she staying one moment longer.

Having made up her mind, Naina signalled to Akram.

“Come, let’s go. I feel dizzy…”

The words hung in the air as her feet slipped behind a loose pebble and off she went floating like a bird deep down the valley.   

#neelanilpanicker #ThursdayPhotoPrompt #flashfiction #shortstory

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Thursday photo prompt: Summit #writephoto

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By Neel Anil Panicker

“STOP. Strictly no touching.  Hands off the table”.

Edrin lifted his shaggy dog eared eyes and looked  to his left, at the prison guard.

‘Damn’t, can’t he turn blind, at least for a moment’, he muttered, as he locked eyes with Diana.

The two were at the Cochin Central Jail, at its Visitors’ Gallery, to be precise.

‘Darling, I hate to see you here. Guess what, the world outside has turned sour and odourless without you’.

Edrin scratched the back of his neck, and then poked at his nose furiously, all gestures she correctly assessed as indicative of his extreme irritability.

His shoulders hunched forward like a massive oncoming wave, riding up and down his collar bone__a massive JCB  machine gone off the rails.

“Listen, next week. I want me out, okey?”

Despite the guard’s proximity, he’d managed to keep his voice, a mere whisper, audible enough for her to hear his mangled words.

Leaning forward, Diana asked, “Tell me what needs to be done and it’ll be done”.

Her eyes were split wide open, the eyebrows arched upwards to their maximum, the pupils of her eyes two little limpid pools.


Edrin raised his head and looked around with practised nonchalance.

Barring  two other white robed inmates and their respective visitors besides a couple of guards, the oblong shaped hall was empty, it being closer to end of visiting hours.

His eyes fell on the calendar the hung on the wall opposite him.

“July 21. Three days from now. 1600 hours. Northern periphery flanking Gate No. 6.”

As Diana pursed her lips open to say something, he ended, “Remember to drive down in a jeep. Sit tight, knees to the ground, and await my signal”.

“That’s enough. Time’s up. Go back to your cells”, barked the guard as the two locked eyes, secretive smiles playing on their lips, before turning their backs and heading away in opposite directions.

 #neelanilpancker #prisonbreak #threethingschallenge #318words


Three Things Challenge, 17 July 2018

Today’s things are: calendar, knee, jeep  




By Neel Anil Panicker

It’s that time of the year when bosom buddies turn foes and blood thirsty foes turn childhood chums.

Yes, football mania has taken over the world.

The neighbourhood park is a hallapallooza of chatter, with men, women and kiddies all mouthing one or the other trivia in between conducting their regular sashtaangs and surya namaskars and twisted toe walkathons and bench presses and what have you!

Was caught in the midst of a street fight between two ‘born again’ football fanatics.

‘Croatia, Croatia, Croatia…’

Turning around Rajesh volleyed, “Come on, do you even know what you are saying. Don’t you know France is the better team?”

‘Hey Nilabh, now don’t you tell me a thing about football. Been kicking ball all my life. I know enough about the game to give you a run for your money. Now, you tell me why do you think France is going to lift the Cup?’


Picking up the gauntlet, Nilabh volleyed, “Oh, that’s easy. We’ve have Mbappe, the wonder kid. Also Griezmann…and not to forget Pogpa at the midfield. And guess what, we’ve also have the best coach in the world__Deschamps. A true champ he is.”

‘Is that so? Guess who we have. We have Serbian superstar Djokovic on our side. Plus, we have all the Goliaths of the world rooting for us, anyone anywhere in the world who is down and out, in the dumps, is an underdog is praying for us. And what’s more, we have a  President  wearing an enormous red and white chequerboard top, whistling and screaming her lungs out, thrusting the ‘V’ sign into the Russian skies. Now tell me, can you, can anyone for that matter beat that.”

I walked away suitably impressed praying that may the best brand of nationalism win.

#neelanilpanicker #football #croatia #france #sundayphotofiction  #worldcup2018

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