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By Neel Anil Panicker

Call it a momentary lapse in concentration, an slight error in judgement, an inexplicable blackout, or what have you__at the end of the day, it turned out to be a very costly slip.

One that not just turned the fortunes of the match, ultimately leading to the opposition team walking away with the glittering diamond studded five million dollar prized trophy but also one that ensured the sudden, tragic end of Mohan Bisht’s most promising cricketing career.

In the space of one mean full length 22 yard bowling delivery, Bisht’s future nosedived, plummeted, sending him careening into the deep dungeons of sporting oblivion__a dark bottomless pit, a frightful abyss, wriggling out of which was a near impossible task.

In a jiffy one by one his once ardent fans and friends turned into sworn enemies, the near endless bouquets getting replaced with soul breaking brickbats.

Shortly, all that remained with the twenty- something once ebullient cricketer were nightmarish images of that fading November evening when he had let the ball sneak through his open palms while fielding at first slip, that most coveted of fielding positions in the game of cricket.

“How could he…how could he, the best fielder of his team, the one with the safest pair of hands in the entire team, drop this most simple of chances, one that proved to be a most costly slip as the lucky batsman concerned went on to score a century that ultimately won his team the match and the trophy, and with that all the glory that befalls the victorious?”

©neelanilpanciker2017 #sixsentencestories  #fiction  #shortstory #DROPPINGITALL #259words



Thursday photo prompt – Messenger #writephoto by Willow

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By Neel Anil Panicker

Sush or more precisely her wanton spirit loomed large over the residents of Mavilla Manors, the tony neighborhood of Kalyan, a distant Mumbai suburb.

Like an giant albatross it hovered over the lives of its inhabitants, controlling, directing, demanding, even dominating them with brute unbridled authority; an evil power, a devilish force let loose on its unsuspecting victims.

Little Harpreet stood out for special attention. The youngest of three siblings and that included two elder sisters besides a college professor father and a bank employee mother, Preet as he was lovingly addressed, had led a fairly cocooned existence until he was ten years old__old enough to be able to undergo the ten minute walk down the forested lane to where the school bus picked and dropped him; old enough to extricate the spare key from the inner pouch of his red Scoobie Doo bag and open the kitchen door and let himself into the sprawling five room house by the river; change into fresh clothes, and sit down for lunch that the maid would have prepared, and then proceed for his daily tuitions at Sawarkar’s, located six houses down the road.

But not certainly old enough to distinguish and differentiate between good and bad, or even right and wrong.

And that’s how he met, or rather came face to face with evil, stark dark blood sucking evil.

It came stealthily, deviously, dressed in external finery, morphed in human form, as a seemingly innocent and ultra charming fifteen-year-old that went by the rather fanciful name Harrison Malhotra, the adopted son of the late Sushmeera Biswas, Sush for short.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #ThursdayPhotoPrompt  #thealbatross


Welcome to Six Sentence Stories

Six sentences any way you like, any genre, any length, any order…just six. Link up at the turn of midnight! Hop around!

Use the cue SKIP.

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By Neel Anil Panicker

Mrs Lakra stared in horror at the lifeless body that lay on the ground a mere two feet from where she was standing.

Hot tears streamed out of her eyes as she realized that she had become a widow in the prime of her life; that her husband of three years was no more, that there was now no one who she could quarrel with, albeit good humouredly,  as she had done so for almost every waking hour of their shared existences.

As the gravity of her loss gradually sunk in, the tall statuesque woman burst out in wild shrieks, her heartrending cries forcing the colony denizens, most of whom were readying themselves to a spell of nightly sleep after partaking of their dinners, to step out of their houses and rush towards the park.

“He’s Akash from B Block, the affable guy who runs the photocopying business from his ground floor flat,” shouted out a bespectacled septuagenarian, his frail body shaking uncontrollably.

As the muted murmurs and bare whispers gave way to animated talks, a young man who was watching the proceedings from behind a mango tree in the far left corner of the park, quietly stepped away from the lush surroundings and skipped out through a desolated corner gate.

He held on to his wrists from which was dripping fresh blood that marked a trail on the soft earth all the way to a bylane across the road lane into which he disappeared.

©neelanilpanciker2017 #sixsentencestories #fiction #skip #205words


Thursday photo prompt – The tunnel – #writephoto

Hosted by the talent Sue Vincent at

Man caught in the light at the end of the tunnel


By Neel Anil Panicker

Nature’s elements hold sway here, man a mere slave to them, his senses long gone


Raghav cocks his ears against the dank walls but hears nothing. He extricates his hands from the folds of his back, towards what he believes is his face.

Nothingness stares back at him.

It was as if he were gone blind, his eyeballs mere black dots surrounded by blacker contours.

Something slithers around his feet. Cutting through the jaggedness and the overall dampness, he feels a slight sensation.

Something, he has no means of knowing what that could be, crawls its way up his ankles.

Furiously, his hands jab out at the intruder that’s worming up through the folds of his baggy shorts.

The effort’s disturbed, as all of a sudden, the feeling disappears, as if by magic.

Mystified, his logical brain warns him there is no such thing as magic. That what he’s experiencing is stark life, unfolding, albeit in slow motion, set to rhythmic music by the metronomic beats of his crazily palpitating heart.

It was then that cold fear envelops him. His eyes stab into the darkness; his senses in full vigil.

He feels a deep, searing despair as if he were an utterly defenceless rabbit, caught by its neck and gasping through the very last breaths of life; its predator, a ferocious fox sinking its sharp as nails teeth deep into soft skin, tearing asunder the delicate fabric of life.

The icicles of his brain scream out one word: death.

©neelanilpanciker2017 #tunnel #thursdayphotoprompt #250words



Thursday photo prompt – Twilight – #writephoto


Written for weekly flash fiction photo prompt challenge hosted by Sue Vincent at


By Neel Anil Panicker

For Pramila nothing’s changed, or so it seems. The sky above is bathed in the same golden brown hue that she’s been seeing for twenty years or so. That’s  roughly the time she’s spent, all by herself, in this bare boned one roomed hutment sans any electricity, heating or other discernible appendages of modern living.

Here she lives, in near seclusion, in this quaint old fishing village so far cut off from mainland Bengal that it would fail to show up on even the most advanced search engines.

There she’s out, in the open, under the stars, below the blue skies, her bald head glistening a silvery white under the glare of the half moon. All she sees is the silhouette of the waves; the tumultuous crests and troughs of the high seas reminding her of her own topsy-turvy existence.

Standing there, her frail self a sodden figure in the twilight afterglow, she travels back in time to those halcyon days when she ruled the streets of Kolkata as a gangly fire spitting knife wielding all woman gang leader. Murder, kidnapping, extortion, bootlegging…you name it, she’s done them all.

Pity she ended up in Tihar Jail, the place where they send you when your crime dossier would make Al Pacino look like God’s chosen messenger of peace and love.

In the twilight of her life, does she ever ponder, wonder, or even look yonder?

Honestly, she cares a damn fig.

Been there, done that.  Know what I mean?

©neelanilpanciker2017 #thursdayphotoprompt  #fiction #250words


Thursday photo prompt – Wings #writephoto


By Neel Anil Panicker   

 “Oh my little baby, do you know how lucky you are! Mrs Sinha proclaimed, unabashed delight overriding an otherwise phlegmatic demeanor.

‘Yes Aishu, your mother’s right. We’re most fortunate the proposal has come from the Guptas.’

Aishwarya looked across the room at her parents.

The wall clock chimed eleven; it was well past their regular sleep time.

 “Ashu, count yourself immensely lucky. This is your golden chance. Think about what’s going to happen. You’ll be living in the lap of luxury. London, Paris, Switzerland…all the beautiful places you dreamt about visiting will now be a reality. Oh! I am so happy for you, my dear. They have fallen for your simplicity, your values, and your grand success.”

Grand success! Ah! For sure. Momma was alluding to her bagging the first rank in the IAS, the country’s elite examinations.

Besides the obvious prestige and power, the position brought with it enormous responsibilities. One stroke of her pen, one signature of hers could send many a corrupt person behind bars; protect the poor from exploitation and safeguard the rights of the marginalized.

No, she had made up her mind. Her hard work and education, her simplicity and values was not meant to be sacrificed at the altar of outdated family obligations.

Under no circumstances would she allow herself to be blackmailed and manipulated to end up as a trophy wife of some unappreciative businessman.

Her education had given her wings. It was time now for her to fly and conquer the skies.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #thursdayphotoprompt #fiction #shortstory #250words




By Neel Anil Panicker

For Anita life could be neatly divided into a before and an after.

In the before she was this inveterate prankster, ever effervescent and cheerful, drinking to her heart’s content life’s intoxicating nectar, rifling through life, studying, reading, sleeping and when awake, ever plotting, planning, devising one Machiavellian act after another, all pretty much harmless and expected of any pimply, gauche fifteen-year-old blessed with parents who would steal the moon for her.

But then fate struck its cruelest blow when one dark forlorn weather beaten night the world came crashing down on her; in a tragic car accident she lost the love of her lives, her dear parents.

For months thereafter, pushed to the brink of madness, she found herself locked inside her room, windows closed and curtains drawn, while her shell shocked heart drowned in a bottomless well of sadness.

Eons later when the tears had all dried and there were no further memories left for her to be buried, she got up, drew the curtains aside, opened the windows, and let the sun fall on her tear-swept once cherubic face.

This was her after; she resolved then and there that she was going to take charge of her life, was going to make the best of it, for herself and more importantly, for the sake of her loving parents whose dream it was that their only child one day grow up to be a global world peace leader.

#SIXSENTENCESTORIES #fiction #shortstory #240words