By Neel Anil Panicker

For a long time Venkat sat there, by the shore, motionless and emotionless, his tiny hands clasped tightly together as the waves crashed onto the rocky edges, each thunderous splash lathering his bare torso, drenching him with whatever the angry sea brought in__bile, froth, and salt working as a coolant all over his puny body.

Then, slowly, as the waters turned slightly warmer, he opened his eyes and gazed at his reflection on the waters below.

His face, come alive in the full moon’s golden streaks, had turned a flotilla of reddish orange. But it was the eyes that held his attention as he peered into them, the eyeballs, twinkling brighter than the brightest star, two floating dots in a mass of fluid.

It was then that he realised the full import of what he had done.

And with that came what he thought he had buried in the deepest recesses of his scarred mind__the memories, the horrendously mind shattering memories.

Like some monstrous unhinged ill formed sea creature, it came, the very same memories that stuck to his soul like and crisscrossed past his battered mindscape in all those horror filled sleepless nights of yore.

One among them persisted and bounced back, repeatedly smashing against the half broken edges of his mind, leading him to ultimately break into a long, heart wrenching cry whose virulence ricocheted off the rocks that abutted him, crashing into the sea with a dissonance that stayed afloat for what seemed like eternity.

It was the dead of night and he was in his room, a small dank and smelly doorless tin shed. He felt someone sliding up to him, first a hand, then the legs moving all over him, the lips, the mouth taken over by some brute force and seconds after began the hour long brutal crushing down of his dignity or whatever remained of it.

The sea hissed along angrily as another memory followed.

This time he had a knife in his hand and he was plunging it deep into his employer’s heart. He didn’t know how long he bored it down the man’s chest but he stopped only when there was pin drop silence and the only sound he could hear was that of his own self, his petrified heart beating faster than it had ever in the fourteen odd years of his sodden existence on this planet.

A light glowed in the dark, lighting up the horizon beyond the waters. He knew what it meant. It was time for the boat’s arrival. He had watched it every single night from the netted iron bars of his factory, the soap factory that was his home from the time he was four, bought and brought here to serve his master in more ways than one.

This was his first outing ever, the first time he had ventured out alone.

He looked upto at the sky and the twinkling stars. He had never seen the sun.

It was time he did; the moon would guide him to it.



Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Photo Challenge #200



FFfAW Challenge-Week of January 2, 2018

Hosted by Priceless Joy at


By Neel Anil Panicker

Dolphins shoot up and down from the limpid blue waters, each splash creating concentric rings through which peer out shiny  little red tailed fish, their dove shaped eyes glistening brightly in the glory of the afternoon sun.

From the harbour Lisa watches on, her mind reflective, her eyes finally resting on the ships yonder, on one of them in particular as it readies to depart, the final hoot echoing into the distant skies.

Her mind floated to exactly a year ago. There she was, utterly exhausted and famished, dragging her bedraggled bare boned frame, gingerly stepping onto the deck, taking her first tentative steps in an alien land, a land over a thousand miles away from home, her marital home, a home that turned into a living hell, a 24-hour torture chamber in the almost three years that she remained locked and chained in it.

A swan flapped her wings and floated by.

Watching it, Lisa felt she was one, a fairy in white.

Her heart filled with peace.

At last she had escaped.



100 Word Wednesday: Week 50

Hosted by bikurgurl at



Photo by Brooke Lark

By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma pulled himself away from the body.

His eyes centred on the table.

Arrayed in neat rows were small saucers filled to the brim with cubed fruits. An eclectic range of tall multi-hued glasses stood vigil next to them like poker faced foot soldiers in full royal regalia.

One particularly held his attention.

An half-filled glass of orange juice.

He knew he was staring at the murder weapon.

Slowly letting out a muted half whistle, he turned around.

Facing him were five men and one woman, all under twenty.

One among them was the murderer.

©neelanilpanciker2017 #flash #fiction #shortstory #100words


Thursday photo prompt – Mists – #writephoto

Hosted by by  at



By Neel Anil Panicker

Richard rubbed the palms of his hands in a vain attempt to generate some heat as he edged past the main gates of the sprawling heavily wooded park.

An icy blast of cold frigid air greeted his arrival.

For a moment he stood transfixed, rendered temporarily immobile, as the full fury of Delhi’s mid-December wintry mornings smashed onto him. He felt the cold, slimy and snake like, slither into his innards, infiltrating every single hollow and crevice of his six foot tall frame which was wrapped in three layers of heavy woollen clothing.

His eyes, by no teary with mist, vainly bored through the murk.

He could see the silhouette of a giant gulmohar tree staring out at him.

Richard felt a cold chill run down his spine as he locked eyes with the large pockmarked trunk, now completely bathed in white, its many branches dropping from the skies, the twigs hanging out like near endless white nails.

The scary vision reminded him of the bed time stories that his grandmother unfailingly  narrated him as a child come sundown.

Enunciated with a distinctive twang and with the appropriate intonations and modulations, all delivered in a deadpan poker face, each story had a ghost as its central character, an evil spirited 100-year-old mysterious white haired long nosed long nailed

apparition that sprang up from all nooks and corners and as mysteriously disappeared into them but not before littering the path behind her in human blood.
“This is not time to be scared of some non-existent ghost especially when he was planning something big”, Richard psyched himself before heading forward for a round around the ten kilometre long circular park.

A good fifteen and two rounds later, Richard felt better; his insides warm and his mind relaxed.

He spotted an empty bench at a secluded outer curve. Now, all alone to himself with nothing but the occasional cooing of a cuckoo from a nearby tree and a gentle breeze kissing his frosty cheeks, he mulled over the future course of action.

True, she was his wife but sure, she was a pain.

In fact more than a pain. She, he reflected, had made his life a living hell. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Who was that wise ass who said that? He racked his brains hard to find a name but soon gave up.

Well, for a change the tables are going to change.

Hell hath no fury like a man wronged.

He was the wronged one in this relationship. And she would pay for that. Pay heavily.

She would pay with her life, Richard surmised.

How, when and where?

These were now merely logistics whose answers he would surely arrive at.

Maybe one more round of the park would do the trick.

With that thought in mind, Richard sprang up from the bench and raced ahead, this time purposefully.

©neelanilpanicker2017#shortstory#flash#fiction #ThursdayPhotoPrompt #481words


December 14: Flash Fiction Challenge

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the phrase “only in…” It can be used to tell a story about a profession, a place or situation. Go were the prompt leads you.

Hosted by Charli Mills at



By Neel Anil Panicker

Choc-o-block’s the word as two, three, four, six, even quite a few eight wheelers straddle the roads in an ant-like procession.

Men and machine jostle, joust and just about do everything possible to move half an excruciating inch. The air reverberates with the cacophony of a million voices and noises as non-stop honking, whistling, shouting, screaming and abusing takes over.

Monday morning murderous mayhem unfolds on the streets as a gun pops out of a Mercedes window and its owner sprays bullets into the sky. Only in Delhi do otherwise perfectly normal drivers lose it.




Spiralling Away

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

By Neel Anil Panicker

She caught her reflection in the mirror.


From hour glass to bloating mass; collateral damages of a ‘not so happening’ marriage.

She turned around and eyed her tormentor. There he was, brutish smugness stamped all over his swarthy face. An hour ago she’d taken him, rhythmic belt beatings included.

In turn she had served him his favourite Hyderabadi biryani. Also, her ‘special’ of  the day, a vial of arsenic slipped into the wine glass.

The dagger dug deep into his chest. A slight shaking around the legs, then the limp  frame slipped into nothingness.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #FF #fridayfioctioneers #flash #flashfiction #shortstory #100words





Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Photo Challenge #192

Hosted by  at



– Image found on Discrete

By Neel Anil Panicker

She slipped into the semi-darkened room and quickly went about her business, stepping out of her clothes, the  off shoulder blue top first, then the brassiere underneath it, and finally the panties.

And then under his watchful, lustful eyes, she crept onto the lone corner window bed, and spread-eagled her lithe frame onto it.

She heard him heave and pant as he slid out of his pants and soon he was on top of her, his hands feverishly racing through the length and breadth of her body, tracing hollow crevices and scaling steep inclines.

She closed her eyes and began to recite the table of four. Four one’s are four, four twos are eight, four three’s are… Damn’t! She cursed herself. She was always poor at studies. No wonder she was caned the maximum.

She changed tack.

A day was 24 hours. She worked 16 hours every day, spending time in strange rooms such as the one she was at.

Each day she met ten men, and each man spent an hour with her,  and before leaving gave her Rs 200. Of that her share was Rs 20. So, how much money did she make in a month, assuming that she didn’t take any offs?

Unmindful of the shaking and the pushing and the thrusting, her mind went into calculation mode.