neelwrites/alonelyvigil/parttenofadangerouslove/fiction/358/12/08/2017

Thursday photo prompt – Alone #writephoto

Hosted by the gracious Sue Vincent at https://scvincent.com/2017/08/10/thursday-photo-prompt-alone-writephoto/

A LONELY VIGIL

By Neel Anil Panicker

Prisons make for great camaraderie.

Call it brotherhood of the underdog, survival instincts, or sheer boredom,

it is not unusual for two people locked in a common cell to turn into best buddies over a period of time.

It’s two in the morning, though within the darkened walls of a prison cell, time is but a mere statistic, meaningless and of not much value.

Crouched in a corner and still holding in his hands the tiny cell phone, Ali just about had time to digest the earth shattering news that Moosa had conveyed to him seconds ago when he looked up to find his prison mate not just wide awake but staring down at him from across the cell room, a mystery smile playing on his lips.

It was a look that transported Ali back to his childhood days in his impoverished village in Gorakhpur; a look the landlord’s henchmen at the orchard farm used to give him when they suspected him of stealing mangoes.

Momentarily shaken, Ali quickly regained his composure, and looked his cell mate in the eye.

The two locked horns for what seemed an eternity. It was his cellmate who broke the stare and flashed a smile, only this time it was a wide, friendly smile, a smile that seemed to say, “don’t worry man, we’re both sailing in the same boat. All your secrets are mine too and shall remain so, forever buried in my heart’.

It was not long before the two convicts got talking. Before daybreak, Ali and his cell mate, whose name he came to know was Lakhi alias Lambu had become thick buddies.

Within the next few days and nights, the two had shared enough of their lives and confided just about enough to forge a strong bond of friendship.

Come nightfall and as the prison would plunge darkness, the two friends would huddle around the bed and converse for long hours till they fell prey to sleep.

It was while in the midst of one such nightly conversation that Ali received a call from Liza, a call that had the potential to change the course of his life.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #alonelyvigil#parttenofadangerouslove#ofprisonnights#358

DEAR READERS/WRITER FRIENDS INTERESTED IN READING THE EARLIER PARTS KINDLY CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW

For PART ONE

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/neelwritesffphoningaroundfictionromance100words27072017/

For PART TWO:

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/neelwrites3linetalesphoningaround-part2fiction28072017/

PART THREE: https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/neelwritessundayphotofiction03ofdangerouslove30072017/

PART

FOUR https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/neelwritespart/

PART FIVE https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/neelwritessixsentencestoriesepisodesixofdangerouslovefiction/

PART SIX

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/neelwriteswatcherfictionthursdayphotoprompt03082017/

PART SEVEN https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/neelwritesgaffarmian-alifeoutsideprisonwallsthreelinetalesfiction188words/

PART EIGHT https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/neelwritescatsoutofthebagfffpppart8ofdangerouslovefiction08082017/

PART NINE

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/neelwritesthediscoveryfffawpart9dangerouslovefiction09082017/comment-page-1/#comment-3979

neelwrites/cat’soutofthebag/FFfPP/part8ofdangerouslove/fiction/08/08/2017

FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER- 2017: WEEK #30

Hosted at https://flashfictionforthepracticalpractitioner.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-2017-week-30/

CAT’S  OUT OF THE BAG?

bolts

 

By Neel Anil Panicker

Ali struck out the back of his palm and squatted a mosquito that had settled on his bare legs.

The standard issue prison uniforms were too short for his six foot tall frame. The half length cotton trousers barely reached below his knees. This coupled with a half sleeved collarless shirt made his body a healthy hunting ground for a swarm of blood sucking mosquitoes who lorded over the hapless prison inmates and attacked with a sadistic delight only seen in hardened criminals. It was ironical to see mere flies practicing their deadly skills on hardened prisoners who in the outside world were capable of putting the fear of the devil in the minds of fellow human beings.

Al, the master criminal was slowly getting to learn that the nuts and bolts of prison life were quite different from the world that he came from.

A slight vibration tingled his bones under the trouser pockets.

Ali looked around at his prison mate. He was lost to sleep.

He looked past his cell gate into the long corridor that loomed ahead. It was pitch dark. Not a soul in sight. He strained his ears against the iron bars. Not a single sound either.

It was two hours past midnight. Still a few hours before the change of shift.

The inmates, the guards…everyone was in sleep mode.

Stealthily, he retreated to his corner space and crouching against the wall, retrieved the phone from his inner pocket and then pressed the green button.

The phone came alive in an instant.

“How are you, Ali Bhai?” It was Moosa’s, the man with the whisky scarred voice.

Only Moosa addressed him as Ali Bhai. For all others he was simply Al.

Moosa’s was the first and only voice he had heard from among the gang members ever since his incarceration.

‘You know me, Moosa Bhai. I am an action guy. Can’t sit alone for long.

This jail thing is so boring.’

“Have patience, bhai. It’s just a matter of time.”

A matter of time, bullshit. Today is my  fifteenth night in this God forsaken place. The maximum I have ever been in prison.

As if reading his thoughts Moosa answered, “I know, dear. Usually we are out by a week.”

‘Moosa, I’m losing it. I feel trapped here.’

“Ali Bhai, I feel for you. I wish you were outside; that we were together, zipping off to the countryside__chatting, binging on movies, gorging on aloo paranthas, gulping whisky…VAT 69, you know …

The thought of what he was missing made downed Al’s moods further.

‘I wish the same, Moosa Bhai. I wish I were outside. I wish I were with Liza.’

The phone went silent for a second.

All Al could hear was the uneven, slow snoring sound of his fellow inmate.

“Are you alone there, Ali? Is there anyone around?”

‘I am alone. You can speak. What’s the matter, bhai?’

“I’m hearing something. There are rumours…whispers actually.”

Al pressed his ears to the phone.

‘About what? About who?’

“About You. About you  and Liza.”

‘What exactly did you hear?’

“Can’t really say. Just a hunch.”

‘Just what’s it, Moosa? Spit it out.’

“Just a conversation. Over the phone. Yesterday…while entering the den…”

The den? Ali knew he was referring to Afzal Bhai, their boss’ private room, the one inside which his boss confabulated with only his very trusted men.

‘The den? What did you hear, bhai?’

“Boss had called me about the Dwarka case. He was just ending a phone call. I just heard a few bits…just snatches of it…his last words caught my ear…They were “you don’t spite the hand that serves you” and then… “ I will teach the bastard a lesson he will never forget”.

Sheer cold wave ran through Ali’s spine. He felt a stab of pain in his chest as slow beads of perspiration began to form on his temples.

‘Did he mention a name? Was he referring to anyone?’

“No. He just slammed the phone down when he heard my footsteps.”

‘What do you think? Is it about Liza and me? Does he know about us? Is that what he was referring to?’

“I don’t know. I can find out if you want. But in the meantime, Ali, my bro, be careful. Be very careful.

Al wiped his sweaty hands across his face and said,

‘I will. I will for sure. Thanks, Moosa bhai.’

“Got to go now. Shall call you after I dig some more info, bye.”

As Al slid the phone back into his trousers, he looked upto to see his prison mate

smiling down at him.

It was a slow, hesitant curve of the lips, and in the dead of the night,

it was enough to spur Al’s already racing heartbeats.

#neelanilpanicker2017 #parteightofdangerouslove #dangerouslove#fiction#cat’soutofthebag#795

DEAR READERS/WRITER FRIENDS INTERESTED IN READING THE EARLIER PARTS KINDLY CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW

For PART ONE

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/neelwritesffphoningaroundfictionromance100words27072017/

For PART TWO:

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/neelwrites3linetalesphoningaround-part2fiction28072017/

PART THREE: https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/neelwritessundayphotofiction03ofdangerouslove30072017/

PART

FOUR https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/neelwritespart/

PART FIVE https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/neelwritessixsentencestoriesepisodesixofdangerouslovefiction/

PART SIX

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/neelwriteswatcherfictionthursdayphotoprompt03082017/

PART SEVEN https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/neelwritesgaffarmian-alifeoutsideprisonwallsthreelinetalesfiction188words/