Flash Fiction: Battle of Wills

Flash Fiction: Battle of Wills


Two decades ago, photo centre was the multi purpose hall of Gracia Town. On weekdays, it served as a photo studio. During the weekends, it was used for religious gatherings and at night, it was the IT club for the youth of the town. I remember mama’s message loud and clear, even my shadow was not to fall near Photo centre at night.
Try as much as the elders did to stop the youth from sinning in their religious place, it was all in vain. The youths were as stubborn as the elders were.

After a series of dialogue, the youths deliberated to fight the elders. One look at youth’s able bodies and the elders’ frail one, the mayor decided to end things. Photo centre’s door was locked down, never to be opened again.

Today, photo centre stands with its two strong pillars- a musty smelling, paint fading vacant space which serves as a historical reminder of the fight which almost broke out between the youths and the elders of Gracia town.

word count: 172 words. This story is in response to Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers photo prompt challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. Each week, an image is provided and we write a 75-175 word story on it. Thank you Uday for this week’s image.  

Flash Fiction: Blackouts (11)

Flash Fiction: Blackouts (11)


                  “Detective Dave called”
                   “What did he want?”
                “To let you know that he’s got this eyes on you, just incase you decide to do something drastic.”

Richard expected an outburst from Allison but all he got was a barely audible “oh”. Allison had worked herself day and night trying to find a way to get out of the fix she was In.

She had interviewed every person on duty, the week the artifact was stolen. She had contacted hackers to trace down the origin of the alleged payment money. The best answer she got- the person who did the job was a genius; the slight awe in their voices when they said it, did little to numb her pain.

She sat, trying to process the latest shock when a memory surfaced. A while ago, she was at the park feeding the ducks when she noticed someone staring at her. What struck her was his eyes. She remembered noting “he had the coldest eyes”, and for a brief moment, Richard Blake was the least of her worries.

Word count: 170-ish ( I forgot to note down after editing). In response to Flash fiction For Aspiring Writers photo prompt challenge. Hosted by priceless Joy who is also the owner of the wonderful pic lent to us for the challenge. This is also the 11th part of the Flash Fiction series Blackout. After this part, I think it’s safe to say Allison loves the outdoor and parks 😉

part1 part2 part3 part4 part5 part6 part7 part8 part9 part10

Flash Fiction: Blackouts (9)

Flash Fiction: Blackouts (9)


Hey Katy, how’s the other side… Hope grandma’s doing okay over there. The past week has been a downward spiral for me with a corkscrew pattern. I lost the one thing I loved, my job. An antique that was put under my care for a gallery we were hosting is missing; I’m the main suspect.

It’s funny how i’ve racked my brains a billion times to see what went wrong, I’m getting nothing. My account’s frozen and I’ve had to live off of Richard. *laughs nervously* I know it’s such a cliche but, thankfully that father of ours has got more money than he can chew.
            I wish you were still here… I miss you.

Allison threw the last of the pebbles into the water, then rose up and smarted the dust off her skirt. Katy had aways loved the water; Allison used it as a medium to clear her head when things got complex.
Far off from the lake was a sight which caught Allison’s eye.
                  Her eyes narrowed, “Who’s that with Richard?”

Word count: 173. This story is in response to Flash Fiction for Aspiring writers photo prompt challenge. This beautiful picture was taken by Dawn Miller, thank you very much. And I also apologize for not being able to participate last week.
Here are: part1 part2 part3 part4 part5 part6 part7 part8
Can’t wait to see you next week. 🙂 

The Maiden-

The Maiden-


You want to hear a story-
Well, once upon a time;
There lived a dark haired maiden,
With skin a caramel brown;
Her eyes- a lighter shade of grey,
Which shone blue under light.

This maiden had a family,
Three sisters and a dad;
Her mother passed away long since,
Their father rarely around;
she had to work and strive from dawn,
To keep the chimney alight;
But with a smile she strove each day-
Her siblings could sleep at night.

Now where’s the twist in the drama?
I hear you eagerly ask;
Well here’s the interesting part,
I’d share with you at last-
This maiden worked her hats off,
Keeping her siblings alive;
Till they grew up, and schooled now too-
And married off in grand.

But live alone the maiden did,
Amidst the neighbors prying;
Ignoring words, most not too nice-
She still didn’t settle down;
Some thought that she must be insane,
To let such beauty die;
They couldn’t see that she was happy,
Living a life on her terms.

But people always need reason,
If things aren’t their way;
And Kept on forcing the maiden’s hand-
Till she admitted, she was insane;
And now when travellers wonder why,
Such beauty is not engaged;
The towners cooly answer on –
Oh, that maiden, she’s insane.


From the eyes of a child 2

From the eyes of a child 2


When I awoke, the sun had begun to set and Ahmed wasn’t back yet. An uneasy feeling in the way only a seven year old could explain come to my mind, and I had racing thoughts of Ma and Baba. The events of the afternoon felt unreal and the thought of home clouded my judgement. In that moment, I forgot everything Ahmed told me and instead raced as fast as my legs could carry me towards the direction of home without glancing down.

As I got towards the main town gate, I stumbled; fell down and rolled over on things that felt like a mixture of cushion and wood. It was uncomfortable, not to add the skunky smell that filled the atmosphere. I managed to find my footing, stood up and took a look at the mattressy-wooden thing that I had rolled over on. Staring at the sight in front of me, I shrieked and screamed. My legs were numb, my hands shivering, tears flooding- I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Lying beneath my feet, in front of me where hundreds of bodies, draped in white with patches of red all over. This couldn’t happen in reality, no, I was only dreaming. For the first time since I had left school, I looked up and around me. To my right and left, men and boys with blood stained clothes were dragging bodies and dumping them at the edge of the already huge pile. Women were gathered together a little away from me, in clusters, weeping, sobbing loudly. Some were on the floor and rolling in tears, others were sitting with hands constantly flared up. Some of the women were seated, with babies clutched to their breasts, a blank expression on their faces- a lot of the women, I recognized. It seemed nobody noticed the little girl in brown skirts and a white shirt, ruffled thick black hair, standing behind a pile of dead bodies, shivering in fear with tear stained face. Too many lives had been lost that day for the living to be noticed. Humanity was lost in Baga, and that wasn’t the only thing lost sadly.

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From the eyes of a child

From the eyes of a child


When he was nearly thirteen and some armpit hair had begun to sprout from my brother Ahmed’s underarm, tragedy struck. We lived in the remote village of Baga which is located at the Eastern border of Nigeria; Life wasn’t easy I heard my mother complain to fellow female gossipers but as kids, to us, life was perfect. Well, that was until the rebels came.

We had been hearing of terror attacks in smaller villages (yeah, hard to believe, there were actually villages smaller than ours), but as Baga was known for our fiery hunters and fighters, we felt safe- our mistake.

One windy morning as I and Ahmed were trotting down the sandy narrow pathways back from school, talking heartily about how much we loved the harmattan weather, we heard it. At first it sounded far off amidst our chatter, but as we got closer to the main village, we could hear it loud and clear. First there was screaming, and then crying and in-between, some loud male voices speaking in our local dialect but clearly their accent was poor.

I clutched Ahmed’s arm, and for reasons unbeknownst to me, tears started streaming down my cheeks. We just stood there, at the same spot, hearing the cries mainly comprised of women and children’s. I was shivering, my knees were clicking together like dancing plates. Ahmed who was way taller than me, over four feet, held me close to him and kissed my ruffled head. I remember him whispering to me, “maybe it’s just a drama”, something we both knew was absurd. But I guess we both needed the re-assurances, because I replied amidst the tears, ‘maybe’.

We dragged on a few more feet, and this time, we could make out what was being said. Immediately, Ahmed grabbed me by the arm and we ran into a nearby high bush, it was more like he pulled me. I was never more glad to be short, the high bushes shielded us perfectly.

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AGOS: Summer’s home coming

AGOS: Summer’s home coming

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all-“

This was the quote that greeted me on a brown rustic wooden board that stood beside Sam’s door. Stepping out of the car, I stood for a moment, inhaling the jolly sweet rusty smell of after-rain which evaporated from the sand In the mini gardens. The sky was mostly cloudless with only a few light clumps of clouds here and there, and even those were shady. The unwelcoming rays of the sun penetrated through my skin, a hot 35 degrees; I was home. It had rained the previous day, no wonder the weather was so hot.

“Need any help?” George’s voice snapped me out of my daydream.

He stood a little behind me, grinning as I turned to face him. He knew pretty well I hadn’t even started offloading yet, I was lost in thoughts.

“Hey, don’t mock the cancer girl, doc. I’m hurting enough already you know.” I replied back, gently grasping at the upper part of my blouse where I knew my heart was.

He laughed, “Oh, so you’re playing the cancer card now huh, good thing I’m immune.” We both laughed.

Dr George Sandow’s an old friend of mine. He was the one who diagnosed me with my Meningioma and helped me through the first few months of coming to terms with having a tumor growing in my brain. Ever since then, we became tight friends even with an age gap of about 12 years. I remember when I was leaving town, he told me
“This is your home Summer, and when your home comes calling, you know where to find me.”

When I called him the other day that I had decided to come back, his voice rose to a high pitch as he exclaimed,
“I’m glad you took it literally Summer.”
Perks of living in a small town, everybody knew everybody and everybody got emotionally invested in everybody’s business.

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A Glimpse of Summer: Summer’s Story

A Glimpse of Summer: Summer’s Story

My name is Summer and I am dying… It took me a long time to get a grip over this fact but now I have and it doesn’t hurt as much anymore. Five years ago, I got diagnosed with Meningioma which is a brain tumor. I was only twenty six. It turned out, the severe morning headaches and visual disturbances which I had attributed to migraines, were due to a tumor in my brain. My life ended and began on the day I got diagnosed. I remember the doctor saying “there is hope”, the prognosis was good and “most” people had a good chance of survival. I kept it a secret from my two best friends- Kit and Sam. The oncologist had said I had a good chance of surviving, so I thought, why worry them. I had planned on revealing my diagnosis to them after the treatment began, but then, somewhere along the line, something changed.

A few months into treatment (which was really hard to keep a secret from my prodding best friend Kit), more tests and scans were performed to check the progress of the tumor. It wasn’t good. The treatment wasn’t working, the tumor was steadily growing bigger and basically- I was among the unlucky few.

The doctor explained to me in the most basic of terms, saying, they had to change treatment methods due to the increase in growth of the tumor. More “aggressive” tactics had to be employed which meant more and worse side-effects. He didn’t add that part, but experience taught me. Severe abdominal pain, nausea- and a whole lot of other life- inconveniencing pain.

I knew I had to tell Sam and Kit because either way, sooner or later, they would find out. Weight loss, mood swings and especially sudden vomiting weren’t things that could be easily hidden. Or even, a patch of “no hair” in the head due to biopsy- that hurt me a lot because I love my hair. And then, Sam broke the news that he and Julie were getting married and I thought it best not to disrupt their happiness and be the bringer of bad news.

But the truth was, that was just an excuse. I was scared, petrified, and in an emotional roller coaster. I had seen what cancer had done to my mother, and even though I knew I wasn’t her, thinking back to the pity state she was in, the “poor thing” look people gave her, I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to be reminded every single day that I was a walking time bomb who could pass out, flare up or even leave at any moment. It is in human nature for us to feel sorry for our fellow humans when they are going through a rough patch. I get it, but at the same time, I didn’t want that.

I wanted to leave the image of a lively good old Summer, the girl who believed the world was her oyster, who loved her friends beyond the moon, who was happy despite hidden wounds. I wanted people to remember me as “the real me” and not the cancerous version of me. At times, I felt so mad that I could curse “cancer” itself, whatever it is. But it is still me. This cancer is part of me, it is formed from my cells, my genes! Read more

A Glimpse Of Summer 5

A Glimpse Of Summer 5

The ride from the hospital to Sam’s place felt like forever. The image of those two beautiful babies kept coming back at me. It had begun to drizzle- the drops of rain on the taxi’s window obstructing my view of the street. I looked to Sam; the tears had subsided, but he was still silent, lost in a trance. I couldn’t blame him- he just lost his wife and with no prior experience, had two babies to take care of.

Returning my gaze, I watched as the unhindered streetwalkers went about the roads and pavements, oblivious to the rain and the dark clouds gathering above them. I said a silent prayer to Julie.
Thank you, for those precious babies.”

Julie was as little as she was fierce. Dainty looking and most times underestimated. But in reality, she was as strong a woman as it got. She knew her chances of survival weren’t good, but still went on with it.

“Either way, sooner or later the inevitable will arrive. At least, I know I’m leaving something behind this time.”

That was her standoffish reply to my prodding her about going through with the delivery. Despite the news of her death and the gloomy atmosphere encapsulating me, the sides of my lips creased into a little smile. I was lucky to have ever met such wonderful people in my life. First Summer and then Julie.

I felt a stinging sensation in my right eye, but this time it was tears of Joy. Still, I fought hard to hold it back. I had enough to worry about with Sam, I didn’t want the taxi driver thinking he had two emotionally unstable people in his cab.

We arrived at Sam’s place. The rain had resolved into a soft drizzle. I got down from the cab and settled the Taxi driver who murmured a thank you and drove off. I walked Sam down the cobblestone pavement which led to his front door.
                                “Thank you, Kit”

That was the first word he had spoken since we began the journey back from the hospital. I remained silent.
                           “We’ll be okay.” … “Right?”

I knew he was talking about him and the babies, I nodded. Figured he needed space and time off to himself, I gave him a hug. With my hands softly grasping the sides of his face, I told him with counted words
                “Sam, if you need anything. Anything, I don’t care what time it is, just call me.”

He nodded and I let go of him. I watched him put the key and unlock the door, he drudged into the house and shut the door behind him.

Making my way to my little apartment, I couldn’t help but think back to Dahlia and Azalea. Those were the names Julie and Sam had chosen for the babies. It would take about a week for Julie’s parents to arrive from Europe. Meaning, I was going to be an unofficial mother for a week. But for some reason, the thought didn’t scare me even a little bit. In all honesty, I was looking forward to Dahlia and Azalea’s coming home.

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has followed this story- liked, commented and encouraged me to continue. I really appreciate all the support. For the next few parts, I would really love to include your inputs and ideas into the plot- after all, this story is all because of you. 

Would you love to see Summer back in the story? What story length do you prefer? Any ideas or input you’d like to see in the story? Thank you guys for everything ❤

P.S- there’s a link to all the other parts In the comment section. Just In case this is you first time and you’re wondering who Summer is 😉

A Glimpse Of Summer 4

A Glimpse Of Summer 4

A few hours passed by, the bulb of the operation room went off and the surgeon In his green scrubs came out. Walking steadily towards us, one look at his face and I knew something was wrong. He’d obviously learned to mask his expression, but his posture announced the gloomy news. The sloped shoulders and counted footsteps were a sure sign for disaster. Bad news was inevitable; the question was, how bad was the news he was about to break.

Let all be well, I prayed fervently despite the negative signs in front of me. My experience, escorting Summer’s mother to the hospital during her battle with cancer, taught me a few things about doctors. Merely from their gesture while approaching a patient, you could tell if it was going to be good news or bad news. With the doctor standing in front of me, the signs were screaming “Bad.”

He began with the usual, ‘I’m sorry’… Crap
Julie had passed on and the babies were to be kept in an incubator for a few days until they stabilized. Samuel blanked out after hearing Julie’s demise, he just stared into space, said nothing, did nothing.

                  “Sam?” “Sam, I whispered shaking him lightly at the shoulder.

He didn’t even shrug me off, just stood there with a blank expression on his face. A nurse came and showed us to a small pediatric room. It had baby pink and sky blue colors painted on alternate walls. Drawings of Mickey, Minnie, a baby in a crib and little stars-moon were plastered on the wall. We weren’t allowed to enter. In front of us was a huge rectangular see-through window. With my left arm firmly wrapped around Sam’s shoulders, peering through the window, two babies lay in an incubator. They were wearing the pink overalls I and Julie had picked out previously.

From my vantage point, I could see they were sleeping. Hearing a sniffle above me, I looked up to see tears streaming down Sam’s eyes as he saw his baby girls.                           
                                      “It’s going to be okay,” was all I could say
I was relieved when I saw him cry because any emotion was better than no emotion.

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