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




Six sentences,  any genre, link thurs a.m. and hop, link and hop…


This week’s cue is LINK


By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma moved away from the dinner table and was now intently studying a Raja Verma nude oil painting mounted on the walls just above the liquor cabinet, desperately trying to decipher the inexorable link between the kings of yore and their ever pliant subjects.

“What were you doing between the ten and eleven on Sunday night when the murders are believed to have been committed”?

The question seemed to have caught Ram Bahadur by surprise and a shiver of fear ran down his spine; his already droopy old man’s eyes further wilting under the penetrative gaze of the senior cop.

‘I…I…was here Sir, very much here, serving food to Gulati Sir and Madam.’

The air around the curvaceous hall suddenly grew dense as a wry smile formed around Inspector Sharma’s whisker-ringed lips.

The postmortem report had categorically mentioned the Gulatis had not eaten a single morsel of food for at least six hours prior to their violent deaths.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #sixlinetales #fiction  #158words


Sunday Photo Fiction – June 11th 2017


SPF - June 11th 2017

By Neel Anil Panicker

Life for Abdul Sattar was a two player game of chess; his opponent, the whole wide world.

Abdul played his part with great zeal and cunning; winning being his whole sole motive.


Losing, for him, was never an option. The vicissitudes of fate had ensured that.

Splitting points reserved only for weaklings.


A child of a Lesser God, life’s cards were all stacked against him.

Minus the love and support of non-existent parents, he started out as every Tom, Dick, and Harry’s  favourite lamb, ever ready for slaughter.

Bullied, abused, beaten, threatened…he had seen, felt and experienced it all before one could spell bingo.

At an age when children were meant to be in school and mastering the three Rs, our man had his first brush with the law. His crime: stabbing to death his violator.

By the time he stepped foot into the tenuous teens, he had learnt enough about first moves, split second openings, deft maneuverings, tactical retreats, left flank slices and brutal frontal attacks to end up as the lord of the rings, the undisputed master of the game.


It was then that he met the queen.

It was checkmate time.

Overnight he turned from king to pawn.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #spf #fiction #shortstory #200words


 Friday Fictioneers by its fantabulous  Facilitator, Rochelle has chosen the marvellous Sarah Potter‘s lovely pic this week.

Dare to have a go at writing a 100-word story. Click on Rochelle’s name to get the rules and regs – reallly, they aren’t that complicated…

Wanna read other versions?  Do click on the blue frog


Copyright Sarah Potter

By Neel Anil Panicker

“At this price it’s a steal, Akshay”.

‘It’s something the landlady said.’

“Now what’s it Akki? That she stays in her bungalow with her paralytic husband. That they bought this house back in the 80’s when the rates had slumped southwards. That her two children have flown the nest and settled abroad and rarely visit them. Is that what bugs you, dear husband?”

‘No, something else, Susie. Did you hear her say this place been locked ever since she bought it ten years ago?’


‘How come there’re fresh plants on the balcony sill. And traces of blood…warm human blood?”

©neelanilpanicker #fiction #FF #100words



By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and covered his mouth.

The effort proved to be in vain. The invasive stench wriggled out of half hidden creeks and crevices edging past rocky outgrowths and mated with other equally repulsive odours.

A second more here and Inspector Sharma knew he would be a dead man; killed, quite ironically, not by a criminal’s .303 bullet but by the vagaries of Nature.

Sharp police eyes took in the details: Male, around 35, five feet nine, well built, expensive white crepe shirt, matching trousers, pure leather pointed brown shoes, gold ring on the left index finger, most likely married, no visible external injuries.

Inspector Sharma scratched his head.

A suicide? In the middle of the forest? Miles from civilization? Who would come this far to kill himself?

Or, is it a murder? Killed elsewhere, body dumped here?

But then his informer had said…

It was then that he heard it, a slight rustling of the leaves behind him. By the time he turned around it was too late.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #FFfAW #fiction #shortstory #175words


FFfAW Challenge-Week of June 6, 2017


100 Word Wednesday: Week 21

Written for:



Image Credit Ales Krivec

By Neel Anil Panicker

‘Here, have a look at this.’

George peered into the Polaroid photograph thrust into his hands.

Gibralter-like snow capped mountains on either side nestled a remote valley through which flowed serene blue waters. Beyond which stood a magnificent Georgian palace, its reed thin spires zooming into the clouds above, the icy waters below capturing its ethereal beauty.

A paradise on earth…a dream in stone…an ode to humankind’s creativity.

‘Been staying here since the escape. Machine gun toting guards, sniffer dogs, automatic alarms, electrified fences…the works.’

George let out a slow whistle.

Alex Mathews. Hunting him down would be infinitely pleasurable.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #100wordwednesday #fiction



Thursday photo prompt: Inside-out #writephoto

By Neel Anil Panicker

The mellifluous pitter patter of raindrops as they hit roof tops and self assuredly snaked their way down building walls and factory pipes to surrender themselves to the dank earth still held her in wonderment.

Back in her village, Bindu had often looked at the roof turrets, at the gargoyles and the waters that disappeared through their fiendish mouths.

Rains to her symbolized the washing away of sins, the cleaning up of human

filth, the keeping alive of aspirations.

This afternoon as they lash from the skies, she, her chin jutting out through the ledge, searches far and wide, her sleep-deprived eyes eagerly questing for someone, anyone from among the mass of humanity that trots by, any one soul who would look up and read the sorrow in her eyes, take pity on her, be man enough to extricate her from the hell that awaits her.

She knows things need to hurry, that time is not on her side.

Only last night she had heard her abductors’ whisperings.

Cocking her ears to the wall, she had managed to catch a few words, stray utterings just enough to know that they meant to sell her in the next two days.

Three lakhs, prostitution, sex slave… random words had hit with a sledgehammer’s force.

Later she had cowered herself to a corner, her slender twelve-year-old self turning cold.

Below, they float past her, the respectable class of society.

Who among them will play savior; will help her escape from hell, she wonders.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #ThursdayPhotoPrompt #fiction #250words

Written for

Thursday photo prompt: Inside-out #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt: Inside-out #writephoto

Microfiction #writephoto: A lonely child