By Neel Anil Panicker

Alex says he doesn’t want the doll house. Lisa wonders not for the umpteenth time if she had made a mistake. They were about to be married. She twice. Her childhood home. Recalls the golden memories. No, her mom would never have done it. And now that she is gone, her step father wants it removed, calls it an eyesore. Wants to convert it into a room and make money Make but she was going out.

Toime to end her doll day and get into the real world.

“I don’t care what you do with it, I just want it gone,” Alex said, pointing at the dollhouse.

Lisa stood at the entrance, her slim frame shuddering, her limbs slightly shaking as the sheer harshness of those words seeped in through her tender skin, skittered down the veins, and knifed through her heart tearing it asunder.

How could he, how on earth could a man change so soon, she wondered.  It had been barely a week since her mother’s death and ‘Uncle’ had changed, was showing his true colours.

She couldn’t believe how her mother, a smart and intelligent woman could ever have fallen for such as a man; this selfish, vain man, her step father, the man who had forcefully ingratiated himself into the Kapoor household after her father had died, first posing as a distant relative, a do gooder, a beacon of hope, and then slowly ingratiated himself to such an extent as to propose marriage to her mom.

Perhaps she was fooled in by his overarching ‘care’ and ‘man around the house’ persona, or maybe, she was too starved for love and companionship to have given him the benefit of doubt.

Isn’t that every woman does, barters her life and gives her all to the man in the fond hope and belief that she would change him to her way of thinking, make good of him and thereby make good of their shared lives.

But all that was water down the drain now, thought Lisa as she looked past her ‘Uncle’ at the doll house one last time.

Gennie, the bear eyed her from under a taped bright red wooden table, toy trains and baby dolls attired in frilly girlie frocks with buttoned eyes that smiled resplendently under the glare of multi-hued electric lights made her feel misty.

This miniature doll house was not just the place that she and her mother built box by box with a lot of care and love but this was also her oasis, her childhood retreat, the haven she turned into whenever the pressures of growing up seemed a wee bit overwhelming for her.

And now that haven, that one place that she thought was her and hers alone was also lost.

Lost for ever, its contents to be thrown out and the room itself refurbished and converted into a rental, just one more means for ‘Uncle’ to make money.

Well, she reasoned if that’s what he wants then let him have it, not just the doll house but the entire house and its belongings.

It was time for her to leave, it was time for her to hit the streets, to risk her chances, to step onto to the big bad world, and so what life has in store  for her.

Without that resolution in mind she turned around and walked away, carrying with her only memories, happy memories of a life well lived, a life when everything was perfect and she, and her mother and her father walked and loved and laughed like small little dolls.


First Line Friday – February 16th, 2018




By Neel Anil Panicker

“I am sorry, I’m very terribly sorry Sir to have lost the contract.”

So, what do you have to say in your defense, Mr Srivastava?”

“Sir, I trust me when I say that I left no stone unturned in my efforts to impress the meeting. Right from doing weeks long research and knowing every single thing about Smith & Sons to even knowing the strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes of Mr Smith as well as his two sons, Robert and Edwin I did all that was humanly possible to ensure that they give us and us only the million dollar worth of contract.”

But alas! Despite all your well intentioned efforts you failed, you failed in securing the deal, this all important contract that was worth over ten million dollars and which now has gone to our arch enemy, the Kapoors. Isn’t that so, isn’t that what is the stark, bitter truth, Mr Chief Deal Maker, the all knowing Perfectionist non parallele?.

“I am sorry sir, but what else could I have done”?

What else? You haven’t done one thing wrong, you have done the most important thing wrong. You made the wrongful assumption and thought Smith & Sons means it is an all male enterprise whereas the reality is that it is hundred percent owned by matriarchal head of the family, eighty year old Mrs Elizabeth Smith who even today takes every single decision about all personal as well as business matters. You stupid fool, you made your pitch but it wasn’t to the right person.

©neelanilpanicker2018 #fiction #shortstory #sixsentencestories #257words



This week’s cue is PITCH!




December 14: Flash Fiction Challenge

Hosted by Charli Mills at

December 14: Flash Fiction Challenge

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the phrase “only in…” It can be used to tell a story about a profession, a place or situation. Go were the prompt leads you.


By Neel Anil Panicker

She felt his tsunami-like stare on her ripe as a summer mango body.

She felt the slash of cold iron nails as leathery belt lashed at her skin, tearing asunder delicate skin, blood squirting out like showers springing out of a sparkler gone crazy.

She felt his words, cruel and harsh, a hammer striking into her soul as her body flung into air, kicked with a maddening rage that spelt brutality with a capital B.

Only in love would she allow anyone to do that to her.

Only when in love would she willingly turn herself into a puppet.

©2018neelanilpanicker #fiction #flash #99words



This week’s cue is SUSPEND…


By Neel Anil Panicker

“Listen, dear friend, trust me when I this and am saying this not out of my hat but out of my experience, a great many years of hard won experience.”

‘Do I have a choice? Go ahead, I am all ears’.


“So here it is straight off the horse’s mouth: If you want to take a wow class and win friends and influence people then you should suspend all judgement.”
‘Hmm…interesting, in this world there is no dearth of free idea floaters and now that I see you too have joined that ‘Entry By Invitation Only’ club why don’t you enlighten me as to how exactly do I go about this earth shattering path breaking pedagogical strategy that you so elegantly have euphemistically christened as SUSPEND ALL JUDGEMENT?’

“Well, first of all you should keep your eyes and ears open in the class to look around for any and all sorts of non-academic activity and that includes all sorts of shenanigans including coochie cooing into one another’s ears, engaging in near animated discussions about the morals or lack of it of neighbourhood street dogs, and even heatedly analysing threadbare the inverse correlation between the rising levels of global warming and the plunging necklines of Hollywood beauties.”

‘There it is, I got it, a bit paradoxical though it may be. First, I need to keep my eyes and ears open and then close them. A class act indeed’.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #six sentence stories #fiction #short story #237 words

neelwrites/Grace/Saturday Mix – Double Take, 23 December 2017/poem/tanka/23/12/2017

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Hosted at

This week’s Double Take has a ‘Christmassy twist’ to it! Our homophone sets are:

presence – the state of being present


holy – with religious significance
holey – perforated, with holes
wholly – fully, completely


Image result for CHRIST

By Neel Anil Panicker

Your presence makes sense

God’s priceless present are they

Holy thoughts fill me

Cleansing my soul_ so holey

Wholly I submit to you.


Thursday photo prompt – Mists – #writephoto

Hosted by by  at



By Neel Anil Panicker

Richard rubbed the palms of his hands in a vain attempt to generate some heat as he edged past the main gates of the sprawling heavily wooded park.

An icy blast of cold frigid air greeted his arrival.

For a moment he stood transfixed, rendered temporarily immobile, as the full fury of Delhi’s mid-December wintry mornings smashed onto him. He felt the cold, slimy and snake like, slither into his innards, infiltrating every single hollow and crevice of his six foot tall frame which was wrapped in three layers of heavy woollen clothing.

His eyes, by no teary with mist, vainly bored through the murk.

He could see the silhouette of a giant gulmohar tree staring out at him.

Richard felt a cold chill run down his spine as he locked eyes with the large pockmarked trunk, now completely bathed in white, its many branches dropping from the skies, the twigs hanging out like near endless white nails.

The scary vision reminded him of the bed time stories that his grandmother unfailingly  narrated him as a child come sundown.

Enunciated with a distinctive twang and with the appropriate intonations and modulations, all delivered in a deadpan poker face, each story had a ghost as its central character, an evil spirited 100-year-old mysterious white haired long nosed long nailed

apparition that sprang up from all nooks and corners and as mysteriously disappeared into them but not before littering the path behind her in human blood.
“This is not time to be scared of some non-existent ghost especially when he was planning something big”, Richard psyched himself before heading forward for a round around the ten kilometre long circular park.

A good fifteen and two rounds later, Richard felt better; his insides warm and his mind relaxed.

He spotted an empty bench at a secluded outer curve. Now, all alone to himself with nothing but the occasional cooing of a cuckoo from a nearby tree and a gentle breeze kissing his frosty cheeks, he mulled over the future course of action.

True, she was his wife but sure, she was a pain.

In fact more than a pain. She, he reflected, had made his life a living hell. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Who was that wise ass who said that? He racked his brains hard to find a name but soon gave up.

Well, for a change the tables are going to change.

Hell hath no fury like a man wronged.

He was the wronged one in this relationship. And she would pay for that. Pay heavily.

She would pay with her life, Richard surmised.

How, when and where?

These were now merely logistics whose answers he would surely arrive at.

Maybe one more round of the park would do the trick.

With that thought in mind, Richard sprang up from the bench and raced ahead, this time purposefully.

©neelanilpanicker2017#shortstory#flash#fiction #ThursdayPhotoPrompt #481words


WelcomeTo Six Sentence Stories

Hosted by ZOE at

This week’s cue is TUNE!



By Neel Anil Panicker

“Fine tune your ears and latch onto every single word that I am about to say now for a lot of blood is going to be spilt in the next hour or so; simply make sure that none of these are yours.

In an hour’s time you, all ten of you, clad in plainclothes and impersonating litigants, will enter through the unmanned Western gates and take up strategic positions all over the Tiz Hazari Court Complex.

Each of you will be carrying thick files not quite unlike the ones litigants bring along to court premises all over.

Inside each file are hollow spaces, small but spacious enough to lodge 9mm Italian long range precision pistols fitted with telescopic lens.

I’ll be at the Central Courtyard around the giant peepal tree and at the appropriate moment pull out a red coloured handkerchief from my Pathani suit pockets.

It’s the signal for you to go berserk and pepper spray the temporary cell cubicles with bullets; the objective__kill Ali and all who come in his way.”

©neelanilpanicker2017 #PART 31 of A DANGEROUS LOVE #FICTION #NOVELLA #177WORDS

Dear Readers,

If interested in the entire ongoing novella please click on the links below:


















PART 22:


PART 27:

PART 28: