Cache Memory

unretentive, oblivious

Tag Archives: Flash fiction

Bad Luck

Ghosts

At flashfiction.in

The fog lights of the heavily dented sedan flickered as a last attempt to illume but did not succeed. It was not the first component failure suffered by Lillian’s car and whatever that remained screamed for an overhaul. At least, the dents were present before the nth hand purchase. Several taunts, close shaves and breakdowns later she planned on to save to buy a new car. So, Lillian decided reach work early each day so that she could clock in more hours.

Before she could mouth a curse, a Mack rammed straight into the bonnet. The bumper pivoted the car for a quarter of a circle before the hood squashed against the truck’s windshield. It all looked like a perfect choreography, straight from an action flick. Gravity pulled the weight of the car and the vehicle retraced the arc. The driver of the truck, fatigued and maybe inebriated decided to flee the scene. Lillian had not passed out by then. She realized that she was pinned down to her seat. The shock took her voice away and the tattered covers were slowly soaking up red. Lillian lived for another four hours till traffic started when the fog cleared.

The post mortem report ascertained excessive blood loss as the cause of Lillian’s death.

The car was almost as good as it was before the accident except for one vital component when investigators confirmed that the seat belt which was one of the few working parts of the car, malfunctioned after the impact and did not retract out.

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Uncovered @ Clarityofnight

I really like it at Jason’s, especially when he is organizing a flash fiction contest.

This is the third time I am participating and hope I break the jinx this time round. A coveted place in the 40s club.

The pic above was to be used as inspiration (in honour of Stephen Parrish, a friend of Jason’s who recently got published).

The first draft i wrote wasn’t up to the mark and I had to make some serious changes, obviously after some stern remarks and honest opinions. Here it goes:

Partners

It felt as if I had crossed the Milky Way and back in a split second. The impact caught me while I was deciphering the combination of the vault. Eight times the factorial of seventeen… and WHAMM!

Just before I landed upon my fractured skull, I grabbed one of the exhibits and hurled it onto his face. Jim lost his balance and the sixteenth century vase from the Ming dynasty made enough sound to set the alarm off.  I revived and punted him before he fell flat, breaking his nose in the process.

I trusted Jim, mostly because he wasn’t clever. While there was always a risk, Jim listened on all occasions. He was particularly useful in doing stuff that required more muscle than anything else. Maybe he gave in to the enormity of the situation. Never before we had attempted this big a heist. I had to make a decision. I had three minutes with me. We had practiced this to the second. For four months.  Had this little hiccup not occurred, I would have already broken the code and started to prepare for the exit, with the swag.

Compounded with the pain in my head, the rotating red flash light almost blinded me. While Jim was still recovering, I pulled him across the linoleum flooring and tied him to a railing. As planned, I made the run not before spitting on Jim’s face.

‘The Star of Bombay’ deserves a better plan.

____________________________

I so hope I make the cut this time around.


Mr. Dudley’s Study

“Wow, that is spectacular!”, Katie exclaimed the moment she pushed the heavy door and entered Mr. Dudley’s study.
She was already panting by climbing eight floors of the almost abandoned building. She bolted the door behind her and pinned hair back.
“Useful.”
Katie drew a deep breath and took a few more moments to let the view from the old fashioned windows sink into her.
The antique Mahogany desk caught her eye. It smelled musty but a certain scholastic touch was still attached to it. It surprised her that the desk was clean. An empty bottle of scotch stood by the corner of the desk. There was a photo frame. Grace was smiling.
The one room apartment badly needed a clean up. Scientific journals, random notes and old books lay strewn all over the study.
“Its been 15 years…will he even recognize me?”

Katie had traveled some 3000 miles searching for her grandfather. From whatever traces Mr. Dudley had left and all that Katie could lay her hands upon, Stockholm was the last possibility. Mr. Dudley had just left one day. No notes, no phone, no wire, no nothing. He left behind his wife and a government provided scientists’ quarter.
No reason could have been associated to his sudden disappearance. The people at the lab had no clue about his whereabouts. Neither were the police able to trace him.
“He hasn’t worn his glasses. Shouldn’t be far away.”
Katie waited.
*****
Click.
Katie’s heart was pounding.
“Uhhh….hey who are you? How did you get in?”
“Hi! Mr. Dudley…just some simple science and mechanics”
“How do you know me?”
“I am…”
“Katie?”
“Oh my God, is that you Katie?”
“How long?”
“Three years. You don’t have to explain.”
“But…”
“Makes no difference.”
“Why did you think I was alive?”
“Because you promised me that I can be your assistant once I am 21.”

The camera

A  job with the Reuters is all Jesse had longed for. Few months back, he read an ad for the position of a  junior photographer. He applied and almost forgot about it. Not long ago, he was clicking unimportant photos of robbery remains or showy social functions for a local newspaper in a small town.

He opened another note that came with the appointment letter.

“IRAQ!”

Jesse had mixed feelings. Are they so sure of his abiliites that his first assignment would be to cover a never ending war? Or is he being made a scapegoat at the cost of others’ unwillingness?

“C’mon! Its Reuters for God’s sake.” Jesse was headed to Baghdad.

 *********

Journal Entry

2:43 AM, 12th March 2004, a god forsaken cave, somewhere in Tikrit

As I write this, the sky is getting redder. Its symbolic. Off to a special assignment. PoWs and treatement meted out to them. My sources tell me there is something fishy in one of those camps where they keep them. I don’t belong to any side. I belong to what I feel is right.

*********

Khaleej Times, 16th April 2004

Tikrit : A body of a Reuters photo journalist was found in an abandoned house here late last evening. The name of the deceased  is said to be Jesse Rodrigues. No terrorist or tribal group has taken the responsibility for this brutal murder. However, according to the chief of police, Ahmad Raza, the mysterious circumstances under which the body was found does not rule out any other angle in the case. A camera was found in Mr. Rodrigues’ house in the city. The outcome of the probe and examination of the camera will divulge more about the case and the war torned country.   

Escape

Cue : Escape

This is the last time I am doing this. Then it’s just you, me and our baby, honey. Vincent kissed Maria who lay asleep beside him and quietly slipped out of the house.

Vincent was a different man from what he was a few months ago. Maria had changed his life forever. With their baby on the way, responsibility had called him over. They had planned their wedding in a quaint little church just outside Candolim. Vincent was to work as a mechanic in a garage in the little town in Goa, far from the mad, bad Mumbai. It was all decided. A new start on a clean slate.

“I have told you before, this is my final job, boss.” he said to Bro Tito.

Tito did not speak. He pointed towards a table. Vince opened the package and saw the photograph of the target. He did not have to be told how he was going to carry out his last job.

He reached the destination. He opened the glove compartment in his truck and loaded his Glock.
“This is the last time you are going to speak, bitch” he thought.

He leaned against the wall, a sea of thoughts gushing through his mind. His mouth went dry. Vince had taken his decision. This was the only way he could have saved her. Saved them.

He reached the bedroom and saw the target sleeping.

“Good…you don’t have to see this happen”. He took a last look at the photograph.

Vince screwed the silencer, closed his eyes, and… SHWP!

Vince had escaped his predicament.

Meenu

This week’s cue : Water

Meenu did not need any help to wake up that morning. In fact, she hadn’t even surrendered to the dream that she saw every night for the last two months. She had worked hard, very hard to see this day materialize.

Meenu had lost her mother when she was born. But her father, a clerk at a bank, never made her feel the need of one till that day. Her eyes told him how she wished her mother was alive to see her deliver the violin recital in front of the whole school. He wanted to say so much to her but couldn’t. She wanted to say to her father how much she loved him, but couldn’t.

The curtains opened up to Meenu facing a sea of people in the school auditorium. The most number of people that she had played for was two. Meenu made a mental note of the notes and closed her eyes. She rested her chin against the butt of the fiddle and drew a deep breath.

“For you mom…”she thought.

The moment the bow touched the strings, the audience was awed. Never before they had heard anyone, let alone a ten year old play like that.

“That’s my daughter!” Mr. Sharma sprang up from his seat, watery eyed.

“Such a pity. The girl creates magic but can’t even listen herself playing. ”, said teacher Singh.

 In the vote of thanks after the annual function, headmistress Gloria said, “The Helen Keller school for the deaf and dumb is proud to have prodigies like Meenu Sharma on its rolls.”

The Supermart

Recently I joined a flash fiction community called FlashXer. I must say that the members in the community are real serious about what they do. I hope I remain loyal to my writing instincts (whatever there are) and contribute and learn as much as I can. I shall be posting my submissions on various cues that the moderator gives to the community members.

This week the cue was :

Pushing her laden grocery cart through the supermarket, she was suddenly aware that she was being shadowed.

My Attempt:

Pushing her laden grocery cart through the supermarket, she was suddenly aware that she was being shadowed.

Emma pulled her handbag up her shoulder. A sciophobic, she tried to convince herself that she was the only customer in the cosmetics aisle. This was not the first time that Emma had an experience like this, she was sure of someone’s presence.

‘Was that someone breathing on my neck??’ Emma was turning pale and while she was blabbering to herself, she tripped over a stack of Halloween merchandise. She wanted to cry.

Emma gathered herself and did not care about the broken heel and hurriedly dragged herself towards the billing lady.

‘Tiffany’, said her name tag.

“Hi Ma’am.”

“Bill this! QUICKLY!!”

“Alright! You don’t look ok ma’am…can I help?”

“JUST PACK IT!!”

“You should stay…let me get you some water.”

“OK”

“Here…”

“Well it happens to many customers.”

“What?”

“Are you new in town?”

“Yes”

“Well you see, this store was built on a 16th century grave yard.”Tiffany gave Emma a sly smile.

Silhouette : Short Fiction Contest

Its Jason again. My entry for the competetion on his blog is as follows.

The Victim

“Ya Allah!”

 Ali Mushtaq sprang up from his rickety bed, startled.

His tattered shirt was wet, stuck to his incised and frail torso.Third degree.

 The cell reeked of piss and dead rodents.

 But that’s not what bothered him.

Eight months. Every night. Same dream. Same suffering.

Ali had taste of steel in his mouth. His vomit did not make much difference to what surrounded him. He called out  name. It echoed back from the dark unending corridors.

 Soon, Ali was murmuring verses from the Koran till the devils took over.

 Rewind.

The rain. The overcoat. The cigar. The pistol. The shot.

The only contrast to the scene was blood.

RED.

Who the heck killed Sabina Ali Mushtaq?

————————————————————-

Let me know your comments on the attempt.

The Buzz

He lifted his face from the gush of water from the spout of the tap.

He looked at himself in the broken mirror. The mirror added to the truth of his life.

He wiped his face with his sleeve and sat down on the commode.

He looked outside the bathroom ventilator where a pigeon family had just started to build a nest.

He rose up and felt disgruntled with himself, he just had a demonic thought in his mind.

He flushed for no reason. He liked sound…the draining away of stuff that was shit out.

He twisted the knob.

He took a step that was already cemented.

He grew tense.

He stood and looked around.

He turned back and grabbed a towel, rolled it, dug his teeth into it and stopped himself from screaming.

He cried out a name.

He pressed his hands against the platform and snorted the last few grammes.

Solace.

Just a love bite…

Admiration and love are two different things…

Puh-lease…

No really…you never really understand what I  try to say..ALL THE TIME!!

Yeah right! Who would? When your ‘lover’ tells you about a new girl from school or college who he used to ‘admire’…ALL THE TIME!!

But…

What do you want to prove…am i not good enough for you? Do you long to see them in me??

See you are just making a building out of a brick..

I am sick of these girls…and that was not the  right idiom…

See…even you know that you did it…hehe

Shut up…dont piss me any more…

Ok..lets go for an ice cream..?

Not helping…

A coffee?

This neither…

A drink..will that be fine?

Its 10 o’ clock in the morning…

Is it…?????

Lets get dressed…

Nooooooooo…come to me  baby…

Oh! that smile reminds me of  Tanya…did i tell you about her???

YOU ARE A DEAD MAN!!!!!