FRIDAY FICTIONEERS hostedby the ever reliant Rochellewisoff



By Neel Anil Panicker

‘Cash, jewellery, appliances, cars…nothing’s missing. Looks like it’s personal.’

“Very personal”.

The two looked at the seven bodies strewn like mashed potatoes all over the tiled floor; their heads decapitated, hands tied to backs with nylon tape, every single body space sporting horrific burn marks.

‘Maybe, they were looking for information; turned mad when they didn’t find it, and decided to kill them all.’

“Could be, ” said Inspector Sharma as he moved towards the balcony.

“Bring her to the police station,” he said looking into the bejewelled eyes of the mynah.

“Once she talks, all secrets will tumble out.”

(c)neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #flashfiction #FridayFictioneers #100words



Sunday Photo Fiction – September 24th 2017

Hosted by SPF at



2012 09 September 24th 2017

By Neel Anil Panicker

The short collars don’t get dirty and yellowed anymore.

Gone is the irritatingly hideous touch of slow burning sweaty droplets trickling down starched white shirts, the pungent smell staying with you long after an angry sun has closed shop for the day.

Missing too are the sight of mouth watering mangoes and blood red water melons; the young and not so young no longer await their turn to lick into delectable ice creams.

But then all that’s something nobody minds so terribly as what awaits is simply wondrous.

As the clichéd lines go, ‘It’s in the air’.

You can feel it in the slight early morning chill as you walk by neighborhoods swathed in a pastel green; the smiles are back in peoples’ faces; there is a soporific lightness in the air all around you that goads one to tuck away under warm sheets, stealing an extra six winks without the accompaniment of soul searing guilt.

All around there is a refreshing openness__be it in the skies above or the earth below.

It’s official: summer’s over, autumn’s here.

If so, can spring be far behind.

The air will soon be filled with romance.

Pity, all I have are but memories.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #SPF #flashfiction #autumn #200words




Hosted by Sacha Black at

PROMPT:  Write about the weird kid at school


By Neel Anil Panicker

Lunch time would see him sneak past as we dipped into our tiffin boxes.

He would stand outside the school gates, his eyes fixated on the empty street outside.

He sat in the farthest corner, perennially lost in his world.

Some even called him ‘mad’.

None of us understood an orphan’s pain.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #52words #OddOneOut




Hosted by K Rawson at

St. Petersburg, Russia


(GENRE: Historical Fiction)

By Neel Anil Panicker

As the eight door state car, a shining black limousine screeched to a halt, a sprightly six foot tall man in an overall coat quickly ran upto and held the back door open.

A few moments later, Joseph Stalin, the most powerful man in Russia spoke.

“Nikolai, we’ve a problem. We aren’t killing them fast enough.”

‘Comrade, I’m aware of that. I have a solution. Have a look at this.’

“That’s a bread van, you fool”.
‘Only from the outside. It’s in fact a Dushegubka.’

“Now what’s the hell is that?”

‘It’s an airtight mobile gas van. What we do is simply strip our enemies naked, tape their mouths and bundle them into the truck. The piped fuel gas will ensure that they all die inhaling carbon monoxide even before the vehicle reaches the graveyard.’

“Excellent. Easy and quick riddance. This way we save on the bullets too. Long Live The Revolution.”
‘Comrade, there’s one small hitch. The driver would be able to hear the screams as the victims die slow, painful deaths’.

‘Oh, that’s wonderful. He gets free entertainment.’

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #flash #historical fiction #whatpegmansaw #179words


The gas van was invented and used by the Soviet secret police NKVD in the late 1930s during the Great Purge.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

The Great Purge or the Great Terror (Russian: Большо́й терро́р) was a campaign of political repression in the Soviet Union which occurred from 1936 to 1938.[1] It involved a large-scale purge of the Communist Party and government officials, repression of peasants and the Red Armyleadership, widespread police surveillance, suspicion of “saboteurs”, “counter-revolutionaries”, imprisonment, and arbitrary executions.[2] Mobile gas vans were invented to execute people without trial.[3][4][5] In Russian historiography, the period of the most intense purge, 1937–1938, is called Yezhovshchina (Russian: Ежовщина; literally, “Yezhov phenomenon”,[note 1] commonly translated as “times of Yezhov” or “doings of Yezhov”), after Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the Soviet secret police, the NKVD, who was later killed in the purge. It has been estimated that 600,000 people died at the hands of the Soviet government during the Purge.[6]

It was later widely implemented as an extermination method in Nazi Germany to kill enemies of the regime, mostly Jews.[8]

The Nazis began experimenting with poison gas for the purpose of mass murder in late 1939 with the killing of mental patients (“euthanasia”). A Nazi euphemism, “euthanasia” referred to the systematic killing of those Germans whom the Nazis deemed “unworthy of life” because of mental illness or physical disability

One of several methods used was the gas van. Such vans were first deployed in 1940 in “Euthanasia” operations. Hitler delegated the “Euthanasia” operation to Reichsleiter Philip Bouhler, Dr. Karl Brandt, and several doctors of their choice.

Prior to gassing, the victims were ordered to hand over all of their valuables. They then had to undress themselves and finally entered the gas vans. The two doors at the back of the wagons were closed, the tube then locked to the exhaust. To calm down the naked victims a lamp was switched on for some minutes. The driver then started the motor, which ran in neutral gear for about ten minutes. During this time the motor produced enough carbon monoxide to suffocate the victims. As they were so crowded together there was lack of air anyway. When the screaming and pounding had stopped, the driver started the drive to the cremation.

Nikolai Yezhov

Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov (Russian: Никола́й Иванович Ежо́в, IPA: [nʲɪkɐˈlaj jɪˈʐof]; May 1, 1895 – February 4, 1940) was a Soviet secret police official under Joseph Stalin. He was head of the NKVD from 1936 to 1938, during the most active period of the Great Purge. His time in office is known as the “Yezhovshchina” (Russian: Ежовщина),[4] a term coined during the de-Stalinization campaign of the 1950s.[note 1] After presiding over executions and mass arrests during the Great Purge, Yezhov became a victim of it himself. He was arrested, confessed under torture to a range of anti-Soviet activity, and was executed in 1940. By the beginning of World War II, his status within the Soviet Union became that of a political unperson.[5]




hosted by the ever gracious Rochelle at

15 September 2017




PHOTO PROMPT © Kelvin M. Knight

By Neel Anil Panicker

Aurelian’s chest swelled with pride under the toga, the silk damasks, the translucent gauzes, the gold clothing in Tyrian purple dyes.

The Roman Emperor’s sartorial flair in full glare.

Restitutor Orbis (Restorer of the World)…Dominus et Deus (Master and God).

He had the hoi poloi eating out of his hands.

The ‘bread and circuses’ that he was throwing at them were proving their weight in gold; ravenously lapped up the plebeians still unschooled about the machinations of the elite.

No need to shed blood. Or, fire a bullet.

Throw them crumbs and they ‘re yours.

He couldn’t thank  Apollonius enough.

©neelanilpanicjer2017 #FF #historical fiction #100words  


Aurelian (LatinLucius Domitius Aurelianus Augustus;[1][2] 9 September 214 or 215 – September or October 275) was Roman Emperor from 270 to 275. Born in humble circumstavlnces, he rose through the military ranks to become emperor. During his reign, he defeated the Alamanni after a devastating war. He also defeated the GothsVandalsJuthungiSarmatians, and Carpi. Aurelian restored the Empire’s eastern provinces after his conquest of the Palmyrene Empire in 273. The following year he conquered the Gallic Empire in the west, reuniting the Empire in its entirety. He was also responsible for the construction of the Aurelian Walls in Rome, and the abandonment of the province of Dacia.

His successes were instrumental in ending the Roman Empire’s Crisis of the Third Century, earning him the title Restitutor Orbis or ‘Restorer of the World’. Although Domitian was the first emperor who had demanded to be officially hailed as dominus et deus (master and god), these titles never occurred in written form on official documents until the reign of Aurelian.


Bread and circuses” (or bread and games; from Latinpanem et circenses) is metonymic for a superficial means of appeasement. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the generation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace,[1] as an offered “palliative“. Its originator, Juvenal, used the phrase to decry the selfishness of common people and their neglect of wider concerns.[2][3][4] The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the commoner.


#FridayFotoFiction Sep 8-13 Prompt

Hosted by the wonderful Tina at


fiction Writing Friday Foto Fiction

By Neel Anil Panicker

He raised his hands to cover his face but the shutterbugs outsmarted him, capturing his shaggy, crestfallen visage, their high resolution lenses picking out every single fibre and tissue, pore and crease, capturing for posterity his misery and fall from grace.

He felt like being fed to the vultures, a piece of meat served on a platter for the pleasurable  consumption of voyeuristic masses.

The very same masses who even barely a day ago bowed their heads in deference and paid obeisance to him at his palatial ashram while he showered them with his benevolence from atop his majestic golden throne, surrounded, fanned and fawned by a never ending bevy of bewitching beauties. ‘Sadhvis’, he liked to call them in public.

The truth lay bare when one of them spilled the beans on his ‘nocturnal’ activities.

The wheels of fortune had turned fully for Baba Furqan Bengali whose new address read ‘Prisoner No. 537, Tihar Jail’.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #fridayfotofiction #shortstory


FFfAW Challenge-Week of September 5, 2017

Hosted by Priceless Joy at




By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma looked one last time at the raised fingers.

The next moment he had left the hospital room and was making his way towards the elevator.

“It’s a murder. A well planned cold blooded murder”.

As the lift doors clanked shut, the ever smiling Constable Pandey bared his betel stained teeth.

“Sir, The doctor, relatives…All say it’s a natural death__massive coronary heart failure”.

Inspector Sharma looked across at the bloated frame in front of him, wondering not for the umpteenth time how the Police Department could be so naïve as to recruit such a bumbling buffoon.

“Look Pandey. What’re the facts. The dead man was 83, a bachelor, multimillionaire and with no legal heirs. Was being looked after by a 30-something virago whose got a crime record longer than the Nile.

They had almost hit the ground floor.

“…and he was paralytic, neck down; couldn’t move a limb.”

The lift doors sprang open.

“…which means someone raised those fingers”

‘Why would someone do that, Sir?

A hot blast of air greeted the duo as they hit the mid-afternoon Kolkata streets.

“That’s what I have to figure out, Pandey”.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #FFfAW #fiction #shortstory