MIND’S A MAZE (GENRE: Realistic Riction)



By Neel Anil Panicker

Her mind’s aching with sepia toned memories; memories that get dimmer by the hour.

‘Cancer, of any type, is slow poison. It kills you; slowly, breath by breath.’

This is someone’s memoir she read.  They batter her already battered mindscape.


This month’s been hectic. She’s traveled through childhood, relived her school days, her joyous life as the “most naughtiest, loveliest, bestest 10 year old girl in the history of Scottish High School.”

This from her Fifth Grade teacher; somewhat bombastic but heartfelt utterings.

Outside, the hospital van wails. She extricates herself from the past. It’s Chemo Day, again.

Her future beckons.

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle  at

15 June 2018






By Neel Anil Panicker

“It’s PRIYA. P…R…I…Y…A.  So stop calling me ‘Flamingo’.”

‘Because you are one.’

Priya looked at Raj, whose hands kept flitting in and out of the side pocket of her little blue dress, reaching places whose existence the nineteen year old wasn’t even aware of.

“Oh! is that so? Tell me, how did you arrive at that deduction”?

The two were at the National Zoo and leaning against the parapet that overlooked an oasis of blue waters surrounded by thick bushy outgrowth all around it.

Wednesday, at this hour of the afternoon, a quarter past three, was, even by Delhi’s standards, pretty languid.

The animals and birds, big and small, and their watchers, the men who were tasked with the upkeep of what was arguably the nation’s best kept sanctuary were taking their much needed siesta, away from public glare and scrutiny, safely tucked in their nests, homes, hearths or wherever it was that they felt comfy and relaxed.

Turning around, Raj, his hands hidden from public gaze, replied, “That’s ‘bcoz you’re tall, shapely, have a slender figure, have a very glowing lush apple like face, and ….”

‘And what, dear Raj? Priya vollied, her voice suddenly putting on a flirtatious honey dipped tone.

Raj dug his eyes deep into hers before retorting, “And also b’coz you have long, very long endless legs”.

Priya blushed before retorting, : Don’t forget; I have a long, sharp beak too”.

#neelanilpanicker #fiction #shortstory #sundayphotfiction #flamingo

Sunday Photo Fiction – June 10, 2018



By Neel Anil Panicker
“Nothing, nothing is the matter”.
Rajesh opened his mouth to say something but then quickly checked himself.
She’s definitely hiding something, for sure, he said to himself.
He flipped boringly through the pages of ‘The President is Missing’, the book he, an absolute non-enthusiast of political thrillers, was trying to read.
” Read it. For once, you will fall in love with realistic fiction”, were Shelly’s words as she coaxed him into ordering the latest bestseller from  a premier online site.
He decided to try another route. Turning around to his wife who herself was immersed in a book, ( another racy political or crime thriller___her favourite genres__), he said, his voice a practised casuality,
“Darling, what’s the name of that intern who was linked with Clinton? I keep forgetting her name off and on.”
The second s ticked by. He waited; waited and watched.
There was no response. Zilch. Cipher. It was as if she wasn’t even there in the bedroom.
As if she, her mind, were somewhere else.
‘So there was definitely something; something that was bothering her, playing on her mind so badly as to render her absolutely oblivious to her surroundings, to others around her, to even her husband, her hubby of over a decade.”

Rajesh watched her face, still immobile, inscrutable as a rock, and wondered whether it had anything to do with Harsh.
The thought made his blood boil and sent paroxysms of pain shoot up through his veins.
In no time and despite the air conditioning, he began to perspire.
As tiny sweat droplets began to trickle down his temple, he lifted himself from the bed and stumbled into  the balcony abutting their fourteen floor two-bed room apartment, the one he had bought and shifted to only six months ago.
#neelanilpanicker #shortstory #fiction #flash #nothing #301words

Short Story Sunday 216: Nothing




Mythology of Change
By Neel Anil Panicker
“I hate all that is happening in this office, half screamed Akshay.”

Rahul lifted his eyes from the smartphone and looked across the room at his colleague.
The two were at the Faculty Room and had just wrapped their first two hour session of the day. Another six more were to follow, almost on the trot.

“My dear friend, I know you’re upset and some of it is understandable”.

Rahul was alluding to some major  upheavals in all departments especially in the Faculty Department including  workload  and more  stringent quality changes
that had taken place ever since the ownership of ‘Coaching Time’ changed hands.
The new owners, two under 30 brash upstarts hell bent on splurging on their ancestral wealth but unwilling to extend that largesse to the staff, the mainstay of any organisation, especially so in  the intellect driven Education Industry, were hell bent on squeezing every penny’s worth out of the employees. In fact several of the very old hands, some including Akshay had completed almost two decades in the organisation.

Rahul, who had joined barely a year ago understood his friend’s plight and felt sorry for him.

“But look  at it from this way,” he proffered.

“The mythology of change is security. I think what is upsetting you is the insecurity that comes with all these changes. And that is why you, as do others who feel the same, are so resistant. ”

“So true, Rahul. I mean they have upset the apple cart; completely changed what we are used to. In fact so drastic are these changes that all I see around me is nothing but pomp and show. There is this absolutely avoidable ostentatious display of wealth on non-core areas. I tell you all that glitter is not gold.”

“If that be the case, then my friend you should go forth and embrace the glitter. So what if it is purple glitter, burgundy glitter, mauve glitter,  burgundy or glitter of any other colour.”
#neelanilpanicker #fiction #flash #shortstory #329words


SET TO SAILthree line tales, week 122: a canal, boats and colourful houses

By Neel Anil Panicker

Crouched on the wooden planks of the single seater canoe, its top helpfully covered in blue plastic sheets, Richard squinted his eyes and peered out into the dark, his sleep deprived eyes scanning the imposing heights that rose and enveloped the narrow stream from all sides; at the red bricked assembly line of row houses stacked one on top of the other.

His X-ray vision zoned in on one particular direction, and particularly, at the match-sized third floor corner flat to his left, and soon enough his midnight vigil paid dividends as he watched the curtain lights fade out and then a slowly, like the parting of the mythological Red Sea, the curtains parted and out there, stood__a smile dancing on her almond shaped visage__his lady love Angelina, her shimmering white silhouette reflected in the crystal clear waters below.

He found himself swimming in the high tide of emotions but quickly regained composure and mulled his next move; which was how to escape with the love of his life before dawn when the pier would come alive with early morning chatter and the pitter patter of fishermen and seafarers getting ready for the day’s business.


#neelanilpanicker #fiction #flash #shortstory #ThreeLineTales #love #romance

Three Line Tales, Week 122

Three Line Tales, Week 122



A Costly Mistake

Creative Writing Prompt | Sentence Starter | Flash Fiction | Short Story | Writing |

By Neel Anil Panicker
“Can you come here for a second”?
The question seemed to have startled Liz for she turned around a little too quickly, in the process spilling the hot cup of morning coffee on to the bed.
Shit, now I just changed the sheets, she hissed under her breath.
Now what the hell does he require, she wondered as she extricated herself out if bed, her belaboured movements a reflection of her utter annoyance.
Yes, what is it now? I just changed your diaper, didn’t I?, she thundered, her thick mannish arms encircling her rotund figure.
Seconds sped by but there was no response.
Just as was about to open her mouth again, a faint feeble voice, a man’s, a very, very old and sick person’s, was heard, “I…I am sorry, but…I guess…I…I have wet the bed again.”.
God knows what devil overcame her but even before the old man had finished muttering his gibberish, Stella had grabbed the steel stool beside her and hurled it onto the man’s head.
The flying weapon landed on it’s intended Target and the old man collapsed on the bed, his head now split wide open and the brains splitting all out, the snow white bedsheet now  morphed a blood red.
It took a few seconds before Stella regained her senses but by the time she realized the mayhem her sudden loss of sanity had wrecked it was too late.
She had not just brutally killed her nonagenarian father-in-law but was also staring at the depressive prospect  of spending the rest of her life behind prison bars.
#neelanilpanicker #fiction #shortstory #flash #instashorts #wordprompt

Time To Write: Sentence Starter 35

Creative Writing Prompt | Sentence Starter | Flash Fiction | Short Story | Writing |

Creative Writing Prompt | Sentence Starter | Flash Fiction | Short Story | Writing |




By Neel Anil Panicker

The thieves took everything except the dog. Probably, they thought, whoever they were, what harm were an old ever wheezing half blind apology of a dog who could barely walk on half a limb.

But then the band of highway robbers who climbed the ten foot high wired fence after cutting off the power supply and putting to sleep the four guards stationed round the clock at the perimeters of the acre-long estate showed that they were after all just human and could be outwitted by a mere four legged doddering German Shepherd who had long passed his  expiry date.

Or, how else could one account for the fact that the entire gang, the half a dozen who committed the midnight heist and made off with the booty that included among others a couple of rare paintings, a steel trunk that contained gold and silver artefacts, and four bespoke limited edition watches, each worth at least a million dollars, was behind bars within 24 hours of the crime?

 “Those Picassos were the rarest of the rare. But that’s besides the point. What’s more important is that Tiger’s instincts are still top class, what say, my dear lady?”

Duchess Mary Margaret of  Lancashire looked admiringly at her husband before replying, “Tiger’s instincts plus yours. So thoughtful of you to plant that micro chip camera onto to Tiger’s neck belt.”

#neelanilpanicker #flash #flashfiction #FirstLineFriday #228words

First Line Friday: May 25th, 2018

Your line for this week is:

The thieves took everything except the dog.