neelwrites/noman’sland/thursdayphotoprompt/#writephoto/31/01/2018

NO MAN’S LAND

By Neel Anil Panicker

It is a couple of hours after midnight, that still born hour when the entire world and its backyard have taken a sabbatical; that  pregnant pause, that briefest of brief interludes before the deluge begins all over again, before the rambunctious merry go round wheels of life start all over again, spinning forth in a furious abandon__ entrapping man, woman, and all manner of being in its wondrous cosmic cycle.

From the edges, Robin stares at the never ending carpet of blue that spreads out all around him. He cranes his neck and bores his eyes at the waters below. His face has come alive in a flotilla of little concentric rings ala a young girl’s floral dress as it swings and sways around in gay abandon.

For an interminably long time Abdul stands there, his frail body transfixed to terra firma, his dog eared mind in limbo.

Soon after, the memories came hurtling by much like a not so welcome guest that’s long overstayed one’s hospitality.

An oft repeated scene, albeit in painful slow motion, plays out in his mindscape. There he is, a young boy, rail-thin, the bones jutting out like broken down bamboo shoots from around his waists, an apology of a khaki half pant wrapped around them, his hands, equally frail and trembling, desperately holding on to his mother’s fingers as the two, along with his father and his two elders brothers and a sister and a host of others, all relatives and cousins and people from his village run forth, ducking and dipping as all around them ring the thunderous blast of gun shots. A scream and a thud follow. Someone’s fallen, the ground under his feet turns a carpet of red. The last words he hears before he blanks out are, ”Kill them all, bloody immigrants”.

©neelanilpanciker2018 #fiction #ThursdayPhotoPrompt #shortstory

Thursday photo prompt – Blue #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt – Blue #writephoto

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neelwrites/somethingtobury/thursdayphotoprompt/fiction/shortstory/209words/22/12/2017

Thursday photo prompt – Thaw #writephoto

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SOMETHING TO BURY

By Neel Anil Panicker

Richard stood, his trekking boots rooted to the rocky edges, his mind stilled by the mesmerising sight of pearly white mountain peaks jutting out into the cloudy skies. Below him, sparkled a carpet of cedar and pine trees, clothed in eclectic colours and dotted around them were heart stopping bottomless crevices alongside which drifted gorgeous waterfalls__froth-filled skeins of white lawn.

‘Some other day, some other time, he would stave off a day or maybe a week to soak in the indescribable pleasures of the Himalayas,’ he promised himself.

Not today, not now, he reminded himself.

For now, he’d a job to do.

He had climbed this high, a staggering 8,000 metres above sea level; come this far, criss-crossing continents, hopping in and out of planes, all the way from distant Detroit, not for nothing.

He had come to bury a memory, a bad memory that began a decade ago, and now threatened to last an entire lifetime.

He turned around to look at Irene. Her mouth agape, staple buck tooth smile in place, she gazed in wonderment as the ghostly river below them turned an amber.

She was his memory, his bad memory, the one he had come to bury.

But for that he had to first kill her.

©neelanilpanciker2017 #ThursdayPhotoPrompt#fiction #flashfiction #somethingtobury#209 words

neelwrites/night’svigil/thursdayphotoprompt/fiction/flash.25/11/2017

Thursday Photo Prompt HOSTED BY sue vincent

NIGHT’S VIGIL

By Neel Anil Panicker

Raymond looked down at his feet and kicked Jack’s once muscular body, now just a crumpled mass of tissue turned ‘cold as winter’.

It had taken him a good hour to get rid of his best buddy, and more specifically partner in crine.

Good riddance, he screamed out in gay abandon, a cry of unbridled joy, absolutely aware that standing where he was, at the promontory that stood atop a gargantuan rock at the extreme right edge of the mile long deserted beach, none would hear or even see him as far as the eye could see.

He flicked a Marlborough from his inner baggy pockets and cupping his large alligator hands struck a match as an icy wind swept by.

Three quick inhalations deep into his lungs and he was a calmed man.

Slowly his gaze lifted far into the sea towards a solitary speck of land__Sir Albert’s Island.

His wrinkled eyes sparkled with untinted joy.

He had made it. Well, almost.

Nearly five months of threadbare planning, three murders, a couple of shootouts, and a daring mid-day bank robbery later, he had managed to lay his hands on a pile of money.

The spoils of the day added upto a staggering five million American dollars.

He touched the peak of his felt hat in acknowldgement of the success of the mission.

It had been worth it, the sheer daredevilry, the bizarre risk of crash landing a two seater rented aircraft and hoisting his band of four robbers straight into the bank’s inner santum sanctorum, the exact hexagonal area where the huge vault lay, and then fighting and shooting their way out into freedom, the massive steel trunk full of hard cash acting as a much needed shield.

Raymond’s mind suddenly flicked back to the present. He had double crossed his way to a pot of money.

But knowing the ways of the Spanish Police well enough, he knew that if ever harboured any hopes of enjoying all that wealth he had to get to the island and thereafter beyond to be absolutely safe.

His mind went into a tailspin as he stared out into the ever darkening sea waters.

(c)neelanilpanciker2017 #fiction #flashfiction #ThursdayPhotoPrompt

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/watcher/fiction/thursdayphotoprompt/03/08/2017

Written for Sue Vincent’s weekly writing prompt at https://scvincent.com/2017/08/03/thursday-photo-prompt-watchers-writephoto/

Thursday photo prompt – Watchers #writephoto

 

THE WATCHER

PLACE: TIHAR JAIL

TIME: A LITTLE AFTER TWO IN THE AFTERNOON

It’s Sunday afternoon and the prisoners are trudging back from the workshops.

The gruelling five and half hour morning shift has just got over and the inmates, some five hundred of them segmented into ten groups of around 50 each are being herded back to their cells where they would remain for the next hour until the stony prison walls reverberate with the sound of the bugle, the signal for the commencement of the next shift, mercifully half an hour shorter.

Uniformed prison guards march them down long, dark corridors that further open into windowless dark square blocks that house the prisoner cells.

Each cell comprises at least five times its official capacity of four inmates, especially now as it reaches the pinnacle of the year end festival season and also when winters are at its prime.

In no time, the prisoners, men of varying ages in matching pale blue attire stumble back to their barracks, their heads bent and shoulders stooped, their pale work weary eyes downcast with a pervading sense of gloom and despair much like the way tiny black ants get swallowed into teenie weenie holes.

A visibly bored betel chomping prison guard, machine gun slung loosely strung around his arm, escorts Al, the last of the inmates back to his egg shaped cell at the far right corner, and then troops back to his watch post at the other end of the long tunnel, the sound of his boot steps piercing through the eerie stillness that hangs like a huge albatross all around the high ceilinged walls of ‘C’ Wing.

As his fellow prisoners embrace sleep, their emaciated frames wrapped around in foetal positions, Al ponders over the end of another day, another week in this hell hole, and then escapes into dreamland, jumping across the heavily fortified walls of what is Asia’s largest penitentiary and straight into the arms of his beloved Liza.

(#neelanilpanicker2017 #partsixofdangerouslove #dangerouslove#fiction#thewatcher#334words

DEAR READERS AND 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/

 

neelwrites/firingaway/thursdayphotoprompt/fiction/260words/21/07/2017

Thursday photo prompt – Mask #writephoto

Hosted by the excellent Sue Vincent at https://scvincent.com/2017/07/20/thursday-photo-prompt-mask-writephoto/

#writephoto

FIRING AWAY

By Neel Anil Panicker

Sweet Alice. That’s what she was known as back in kindergarten.

Cute Al was what her grade one teachers addressed her as.

For a greater part of her schoolhood, Alice served as a most pleasurable stress buster for all.

All that changed when she tipped thirteen.

In a jiffy she turned from cutesy to voracious man eater.

Rohan was her first prey. The spindly guy with long locks who sat directly opposite her in class would never know what hit him.

Soon to follow were Amit and Mukesh, the former the class topper and the other junior football captain.

The next two months saw almost her entire class falling for her charms, whatever that may be.

By the time she left school, she had turned sixteen though was far from sweet.

Her assets included a bouncy voluptuous figure that had the potential to stop a ten tone truck on its tracks; jet black kohl lined bedroom eyes that held within them the promise of forbidden bliss; and a racy tongue that she used to good effect to entice, entrap and enlist more members to her ever burgeoning fan club.

She now boasted of an endless string of lovers, all snared, consumed and discarded within the span of 24 hours__the maximum retention period being an elephantine one week.

The fact that she had a short fuse only added fuel to the fire and as her infinite admirers would have testified, playing with fire had turned into a combat sport as they all rushed to bake their cakes in her red hot oven.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #Thursdayphotoprompt #fire #alice

neelwrites/tunnel/thursdayphotoprompt/250words/22/06/2017

Thursday photo prompt – The tunnel – #writephoto

Hosted by the talent Sue Vincent at https://scvincent.com/2017/06/22/thursday-photo-prompt-the-tunnel-writephoto/

Man caught in the light at the end of the tunnel

THE TUNNEL

By Neel Anil Panicker

Nature’s elements hold sway here, man a mere slave to them, his senses long gone

senseless.

Raghav cocks his ears against the dank walls but hears nothing. He extricates his hands from the folds of his back, towards what he believes is his face.

Nothingness stares back at him.

It was as if he were gone blind, his eyeballs mere black dots surrounded by blacker contours.

Something slithers around his feet. Cutting through the jaggedness and the overall dampness, he feels a slight sensation.

Something, he has no means of knowing what that could be, crawls its way up his ankles.

Furiously, his hands jab out at the intruder that’s worming up through the folds of his baggy shorts.

The effort’s disturbed, as all of a sudden, the feeling disappears, as if by magic.

Mystified, his logical brain warns him there is no such thing as magic. That what he’s experiencing is stark life, unfolding, albeit in slow motion, set to rhythmic music by the metronomic beats of his crazily palpitating heart.

It was then that cold fear envelops him. His eyes stab into the darkness; his senses in full vigil.

He feels a deep, searing despair as if he were an utterly defenceless rabbit, caught by its neck and gasping through the very last breaths of life; its predator, a ferocious fox sinking its sharp as nails teeth deep into soft skin, tearing asunder the delicate fabric of life.

The icicles of his brain scream out one word: death.

©neelanilpanciker2017 #tunnel #thursdayphotoprompt #250words