Because randomness is the way to go! ;)

Posts tagged ‘Short Story’


The curator switched off the main light and looked back into the room. All seven paintings were lit by their individual soft lights. They were placed all around the room with benches for observation in the middle of the room.

Personally, the curator didn’t like this particular exhibition of paintings. They made him uneasy. He couldn’t point out why but they seemed to be eerily alive- especially in the dark.

The curator left the room in a hurry. It was 11.15 pm. He knew he was late. The wife would be angry. He checked the room once more before locking up for the day. His boss would have his head on a platter if anything were to happen to the paintings.

The room with the paintings was enveloped in complete dark barring the lights of the paintings. The room was quite empty and still. Yet something was breathing. Breathing, waiting, anticipating.

The room was aloof from the city while somehow still being a part of it. The muffled sounds of the Halloween celebrations managed to creep in. What they did not manage was to break the calm of the room. Paintings don’t get startled, do they?

At 11.45 precisely, a hooded figure materialised next to the locked door. It was a young woman. She was of slight built and pale complexion. She was panting furiously. The witch was still an amateur. Her name was Francesca Santorini and she had a job to do.

Francesca took a diary out of a baby blue coloured-satchel that hung by her side. This diary belonged to Vanessa Santorini. Francesca came from a family of witches but her family hadn’t produced a competent witch for many a generations. Francesca was the first witch after Vanessa. So, naturally, the burden fell on her young shoulders.

Frannie, as her mum called her, started preparing for the ceremony. She lit seven candles, each kept in front of a painting. She took out an ornate knife. The knife had a marble handle carved with the symbol for house de Clancy. Not even Frannie’s 103 year old grandmother had any idea how the knife had come into their possession.

Frannie used the knife to make a horizontal cut on the first finger of her right hand. It pricked and burned. She had an exremely low tolerance for pain. She ground her teeth and began drawing the necessary runes as per the instructions in Vanessa’s diary.

She was aware that she might not see tomorrow but it was a question of family honour and duty. The Santorinis were fiercely proud of being true to both.

Frannie finished drawing the runes- some of which were tricky to get right- just as the clock struck twelve. It was time.

She gulped down the putrid potion brewed by her mother. Her mother was not capable of anything but brewing the basic potions. This little vial had almost cost her her life.

Frannie began to chant. The temperature of the room rose. The air was charged with an underlying current of power. The paintings began to glow. Francesca Santorini’s violet eyes now had a feverish shine to them. She moaned in pain and ceased to chant. But now the room was filled with voices of those who had once lived chanting the same powerful words as Francesca.

The pages of the diary began to burn themselves into her mind, as if she had lived them herself.

Vanessa Santorini had been adopted by the Duke at the tender age of twelve. Being a charming girl with a sharpened wit had soon brought her the Duke’s favour. She wanted for naught for her every wish and her every whim was carried out by the Duke.

She was left unaware about the witch-blood that was pumped by her heart until the age of 17, the year when she came of age.

The Duke wished for her to get an education. Vanessa was sent to the University where she encountered two people who changed her lives.

It was there that she was reacquainted with her birth-mother who ensured that the Duke’s wishes were carried out. Vanessa did get an education, just not the one expected by the Duke. She was schooled by her mother in the crafts known to all witches. Vanessa was powerful.

Vanessa also encountered a certain Hugh de Clancy. He was like no one she had ever met. He was kind, smart and just so alive. She was instantly smitten by him. Hugh too developed a fondness for her. He found that Vanessa matched him in wit and humour, and they could converse on an infinite number of topics without ever getting bored.

Alas, it wasn’t destined to be for Hugh was engaged to a cousin of his called Margery who he dutifully married.

Vanessa was heartbroken and seeked her birth-mother’s council. Her birth-mother began preparing Vanessa for the fight to gain her heart’s desire. Preparing was all that Vanessa could do for her heart was still meandering near Hugh.

The following summer Hugh invited her to his lands. She graciously accepted his invitation. When Vanessa landed on Hugh’s doorstep, Margery was not around. Vanessa easily laid her trap and seduced Hugh. She expected him to divorce Margery at the very next instant. She thought his heart too yearned for her. Perchance that would have been so, had Margery not returned with a glowing face, a rounded stomach and some news. Hugh was to be a father.

In his inexplicable joy, Hugh forgot about Vanessa and began showering affection on the mother-to-be. Vanessa was enraged. She was envious but without hope. How could she match a baby?

She didn’t leave but spent all her time staring vacantly at the lush green grounds. Her plan lay forgotten. That is, until she received a letter from her birth-mother. With her mother’s words came Vanessa’s days of sloth to an end.

Hugh might have allowed her into his bed but she wanted more. She began lacing his meals with potions. Love, lust and devotion. Hugh’s attentions shifted again and Vanessa basked in them. Margery was reduced to the abandoned pregnant wife for Hugh had no time for her anymore.

One bright summer afternoon, the future Lord Hugh de Clancy proposed an arrangement to Vanessa Santorini. She was to stay in his mansion, not as his wife but as a mistress.

Vanessa was shocked. She, a Santorini, become someone’s mistress? That was unacceptable. She refused. Her pride was hurt. She realised Hugh would never be hers.

Meanwhile, Margery wasn’t willing to go down without a fight. She used all her resources to unearth Vanessa’s secret. Practising wicca was forbidden by the human law. Margery went to the authorities.

Vanessa was cornered by the Sheriff and the villagers but she escaped using the very powers the mob despised. Hiding in her birth-mother’s cottage, she poured her wrath into seven paintings- each standing for one mortal sin that she had committed. They were all there- lust, envy, sloth, greed, gluttony, pride and wrath.

She performed a spell that split her soul into seven. She escaped the mortal world leaving behind a diary for the squalling red-faced baby she had pushed out of her womb.

Vanessa Santorini would get her revenge.


The room in the art gallery was a mess. The curator was sure that he was going to lose his job.

There erstwhile spotless white floor was now a horror covered with dried blood. The seven priceless paintings by the mysterious artist Vanessa Santorini seemed to have exploded leaving behind shreds of the canvases. Candle stubs and wax blobs were stuck to the floor.

Bloody footprints  were leading towards the exit. Vanessa Santorini, immortalised by her work, had to wreck havoc on the de Clancy family. It was her time for revenge.


About the author:

The author of this story goes by Mia, is a giant nerd and proud of it. She loves potatoes, desserts and almost all other kinds food. Mia blogs at Diary of an introverted schmuck. She is a Whovian, a Potterhead, a Westerosi, a Demigod, a Padawan and a Feminist. Her heart’s strongest desire is to watch Green Day, The Submarines and Fall Out Boy live.

Mia wrote the story inspired by this prompt:


I really liked what she did with the prompt- and to think she almost didn’t submit the story!

Yeah, remember how I said the previous one was probably the last one?
So Mia submitted hers today, which she wasn’t able to complete earlier due to various reasons, but I’m glad she did.
Now I could say that it was always meant to be posted and it was like a surprise, bonus story for all the readers- but you, loyal readers, know that I’m just not that kind of person, and I just tell you whatever is the truth.
That’s just my thing.

Now that I’ve gotten the extremely unnecessary ramble out of the way, let me proceed with the usual stuff.

If you like the story, comment here or on Mia’s blog telling her about it! 
She’d love to know your feedback.

The list of prompts was inspired by this article I happened upon, quite a few have stories written about them so go to the Fiction category on my blog, and you can read all of them and more there!

This is the sixth story of a part of a series of stories I’m posting, which were written by my friends, I talk about it here.

Here’s the previous story, you might like it too.

And here’s the very first one, if you’re interested in reading that! 

I did say that I had a story in progress but clearly that’s not happening and January is over as well!
But if and when I do finish it, I’ll post it here, and I’ll link back to a few of these stories so you know exactly what it was supposed to be a part of… Believe me, you’ll need reminding!

Have a happy February and I hope that the extra day brings you extra joy!

(Once upon a time, I liked leap years… I’m growing more and more cynical every year- or at least, every four years!)

(You know what? I’m actually wondering if you guys even read all the stuff I write after the story is over… I mean, the story is definitely the most interesting part, so why would you?
But if you do, then I’d really like to know about it…. Hmm… comment below saying “Feta and Avocado” and I’ll know you read it- it could be like a secret code word, and then, those who don’t read it will wonder why people are talking about salad-y things after reading such a wonderful fictional story….
Even better! Instead of commenting only on this one, randomly pick another story posted this month- you could pick your favourite- and comment on that!
Hahaha… This’ll be so much fun.
Unless none of you comment: then it’ll simply justify my cynicism.
Ha! It’s a win-win!)


It has been six months since I was trapped in this desolate room. As usual, the sun rises, sunlight filters through the trees and revives the grass. Raindrops rejuvenate the soil. Birds chirp. Leaves sway and the breeze scents the earth. Flowers bloom. Dew drops establish their kingdom across grasses. Butterflies whisper from one flower to another. Sunlight sparkles, rain splatters and the moonbeam illuminates just enough. But I cannot see any of these, because my fate decreed a life in a closet for me.

At first instance, my master seemed a kind man to me. When he brought me in this house, I anticipated a royal treatment. I expected him to take me along wherever he went. I admired him and considered myself fortunate to have him as my master. Whenever he touched me, I felt over-the-top bliss. I could sense that he adored me as much as I revered him. I knew I had come at the right place.

But it cannot be spring throughout the year. He seemed to be a busy man, always attending phone calls. He lived alone. For me, he was everything; but for him, I don’t think I mattered as much. He soon began to neglect me.

One fine evening, in a fit of hysteric outrage, he dumped me in a corner. I was injured in several places, but there are no hospitals for us. My spine was almost damaged. I wailed and wept; I despised what my loving master did to me. But he paid no heed to my screams- or maybe he could not comprehend my tongue. Since that confounded day, I have never been able to sleep peacefully. For seven nights in a row, I awoke imploring him to spare me. But he was not there to listen. He walked off, captivating me in this grim place.

I miss my sisters, brothers and friends. I miss my family. We all stayed together in a house which was more like a store. I had many friends back there. The head of our house was a bibliophile and shrewd businessman. There was an underlying tenderness in the way he saw us, cleaned us and always wanted to portray our best side to new prospective masters. With due respect to the warmth he provided to us in this stone-hearted world, we would go to any master he sent us to, without repudiating. This is how all of us would depart without grievances.

At my old home, my room was brightly lit. Every morning I woke up with the sun and slept in the arms of stars. I don’t know if my previous master decoded my preferences, but he always let me station next to the window. That is how I grew up, with nature. My clothes always shone when sunlight touched it. They waved when the breeze swept past me. The room had no curtains, only a door that my master locked each night before going to bed.

I have not seen the sun rise ever since I came here. I arise to pitch black darkness. Nothing is visible in the room before 9 a.m., until the maid comes to clean the room and switches on all lights. I have not talked to the stars about my last crush for so long. They might have forgotten me by now. The moon must be very relieved these days. I cannot see it waning anymore.

I don’t know why my new master didn’t take me along with him. Why couldn’t he release me? Why did he have to dump me? Why didn’t he kill me once and for all? Why did he have to subject me to such a lonely, cursed life? Why was I a victim of his frustration? Don’t I deserve a life in this world just like anybody else?

Life in captivity- it is one of the worst things that could happen to you. I can only imagine how animals stay in zoos and birds survive in cages. It is so difficult to be trapped alone, forbidden from moving. If I could walk, I would escape from this despicable place the very day he mistreated me. Sometimes, life does that to you. It closes every door, shuns you in the remotest corners. Helplessness is being able to do nothing about it. Sooner or later, you shall realize that for others, you are just not worth the effort.

If I am ever able to emancipate myself, I will run back to my old home. But I will also check upon my new master. Is he okay? No matter what he did to me, he had a life- I know he did. I would want to find out if he is fine. I cannot wait to reunite with my family. Most of my friends and family would have been sold to other masters. But there would be new ones and I would be glad to meet them. I long to return to my first and only home.

For most of us, there is no homecoming. Once we are sold to a master, there is no chance we can return home. But I see a ray of hope. Our old master often bought some of us again for a lower price, if the new master no longer wished to keep us. I don’t know how much money I was sold for. I had my eyes shut when the transaction was being processed. I didn’t want to go to any other master. But I could not tell this lest I shall hurt my old master. One of the reasons he kept us caringly was that the better we looked, the more we appealed the prospective buyers. He raised us as pigs for slaughter but we never minded because in the company of our beloved, we did have the time of our lives.

The maid has come again, after a week. The room stinks. Cobwebs have accumulated in every corner. There are so many right next to me. Alike the master, she pays no attention to me. She does not even touch me, she considers me so filthy. If she looked at me, I’d try to initiate conversation with her. I am so tired of keeping quiet. My mouth longs to utter a syllable. I seem to have gone mute since the incident six months ago. Those cries that fell on my master’s deaf years and the screams I awake to every morning- except yelling, I seem to have given no other task to my vocal cord in the past half year.

Imprisonment is not only a physical but also a mental assault. It is imprisonment of thoughts, ideas, voices, opinions, expression, choices and freedom. It is imprisonment of hope, joy, ecstasy, delight, vigour and life per se. It seems to be an end to life but not an end to agony; end to interaction but not to isolation.

Life as an old, torn, no more read book is not easy, my dear readers!


About the author:

A nineteen year old who loves reading, writing and orating. ​Reads fiction and started non-fiction lately too. Writes a blog, essays, stories, poems, letters, songs and anything else that strikes her mind. Often comperes events. 

Potterhead. Hufflepuff. Fighter. Motivator. Hardworking. Workaholic. Loves her family. Few friends. Loves few but loves too much. 

Takes pleasure in making others feel special. Wants to spread happiness all over and be the sunshine 🙂 

Aishwarya wrote this story inspired by this prompt:


I like how the prompt has been used as a hope for the character in the story, something that in fact, isn’t really a part of the story.

If you like the story, comment here or on Aishwarya’s blog telling her about it! 
She’d love to know your feedback.

The list of prompts was inspired by this article I happened upon, quite a few have stories written about them so do check them out!

This is the fifth story of a part of a series of stories I’m posting, which were written by my friends, I talk about it here.

Here’s the previous story, you should check it out!

And here’s the very first one, if you’d like to read that!

There might be more to come, but it depends on several factors, so as of now I can’t tell you for sure.

In any case, I’ll be posting other stuff as well, so you’ll want to return to the blog for my acerbic wit and humour, which, admit it, you’ve missed for a while now. 😉


Fireworks are the perfect metaphor for being in love with someone who may not feel the same – equal parts beautifully exciting and potentially devastating. Falling in love with him was exactly like a too-close-for-comfort firework display. He was as haughty and unruffled as he was tender and caring. His arms made her feel like she was wanted but unopened front doors in the middle of July told another tale. Being in love with him meant that life was unpredictable – some days he would bring her flowers and other days she would keep waiting for a phone call that would never come.

She was nothing extraordinary. She was skin, muscle, sinew and bone. But she was in love – all consuming, breath stealing, heartbeat skipping, and insomnia inducing love. The surreal tingle of simply being in some measure in a romantic exchange was more than enough to make her go a little crazy. Things were not so bad until she found herself at home in the suffocating agony of affection that was not equally reciprocated or at the very least, expressed. She often wondered if the fact that he was absolutely wrong for her made them connect so well.

And at times when the labored breaths escape her, she wonders if she is dehydrated enough to be dizzy. Was three hours of profuse sobbing enough to turn her body into a dry wasteland? – She wonders one evening. ‘Was it possible to feel like you will never be happy again with someone?’ – She catches herself think on her way home from work. She certainly feels barren on the outside.  

Her thoughts are running amok in fields of dreams she spun way too soon. The fields tell a story of warm summer days spent sipping cold beers and cold winter nights spent smoking the best pot in the city. Her fields are glazed in the lemony scent of his aftershave and the wild lilac flowers that are reminding her too much of his pillowcases. The sun is beating down now as uncomfortable as his gaze. She can see the edge of the forest now. She is at the end of her field. This is all the running her thoughts can take for now. This is where she pulls herself away from what looms ahead in her head.


One afternoon she catches herself wondering if it is possible to miss something you have never even had. Petrified, she decides to change her life.

She keeps herself busy with tasks that demand her undivided attention and every last reserve of energy. She tries to run a mile everyday to tire enough to sleep instantly at night. She watches movies that do not have even a shred of romance in them. She has given up on music and reads the most unimaginative books. She wonders if she can ever eat a brownie again without missing him again. She does what she must to keep going.

But in the brief moments when her well organized day cracks for a moment to let in the ghosts of the past she mourns silently of what could have been. Her thoughts leap beyond the field to unexplored territory. She mourns for the days she would not wake up next to him. She misses his strong embraces and urgent kisses. She misses the way he would have taken care of the demons knocking away at her in the night. She swallows the tears he would have wiped away. She wonders if they would have ended up having blue curtains or stuck to his white ones. She believes that he would have seamlessly melted into her more intensely than she imagined possible. She muses endlessly on how he would have said her name. She wonders and ponders and stops abruptly when exhaustion or sleep takes her away.

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)”


About the author:

OscarPotterhead is an Indian blogger, aspiring author, Journalism major and wishes she was a dog whisperer/food stylist/ice-cream taster instead. When she is not passive-aggressively stalking good – looking folks across the internet, you can find her obsessively planning her next dream trip. She likes her coffee like her soul – black and bitter. Her boyfriend is just like her Ipad – She doesn’t have an Ipad. Her best friend is her 5-year old Labrador and she has recently taken a liking to war documentaries. 

OscarPotterhead wrote the story inspired by this prompt:


The last stanza of poetry in the story is taken from a Sylvia Plath poem called “Mad Girl’s Love Song“. You should read it, I really liked it!

If you liked the story, comment here or on OscarPotterhead’s blog telling her about it! 
She’d love to know your feedback.

The list of prompts was inspired by this article I happened upon, quite a few have stories written about them so stick around for the rest.

This is the fourth story of a part of a series of stories I’m going to post, which were written by my friends, I talk about it here.

Here’s the previous story, you should check it out!

And here’s the very first one, if you’d like to read that!

I’ll post the next story on the 22nd on January, be sure to check it out!

(Can you believe it is already more than halfway through January? I can’t! I feel like I’m still in 2015, in a way!
This doesn’t happen to me usually… 2016 feels a bit weird.)


I still remember her face as she drifted away. Tears tracing lines down her face, features twisted in despair.

I still remember her arms. Reaching out for me. Fingers outstretched.

I still remember her voice. Calling out to me. Saying she was sorry.

I still remember.

But she doesn’t.


I would like to say that I know, down to the day, how long she has been gone. But time is not the same anymore. Time not spent remembering her is a dull haze.

Time spent thinking about her is painful.

I tried to be happy. Tried to find someone else.

I couldn’t.


I often go camping in the mountains where I met her. She loved being here, in the trees, and heights and fresh air.

She would have loved tonight.

“You are so lucky,” she once said.

“I know,” I replied, wrapping my arms around her.

“No,” she giggled as I nuzzled the crook of her neck. “Not me.  This planet. This sky. You live in a world that is art. Someone must have painted the sky with yellows and grays and blues. Someone who knew that the sky was wonderful and wanted to remind the world how beautiful it was.”

“Did you paint it?”

“I wish. I could never…”

“Why not? You appreciate it more than anyone. You remind every day how wonderful the world is.”

She sighed.

“I’m reminding myself.”

I laughed. “You’re the last person who would ever need reminding.”

I was wrong.


I didn’t believe her when she told me she was from the moon. Who would have?

Who would believe that there was a population on the moon? Neil Armstrong certainly didn’t mention any celestial beings when he made his great leap for mankind.

Granted, I could believe that she was a princess. She was beautiful and graceful and kind, and her voice sang melodies that were both haunting and mesmerizing.

I loved her.

I love her still.


Tonight would be special. Scientists called it a blood supermoon—not only was a lunar eclipse happening, but the moon would be larger in the sky, because it was closer to Earth in its orbit. We both loved stargazing, and we came up here because the mirror-like surface of the lake on the mountain reflected the night sky. Above and below us, only stars.

But there was also the moon. Reflected on the surface of the lake in a stripe instead of a disk.

“It’s like a road,” she murmured once.

“A road to where?”

She smiled wistfully. “A road to the stars.”

“Would you walk down that road?”

“A road to the stars? A path of moonlight?” She asked as if it were a stupid question. Of course she would want that. “No.”

“Why not?”

She kissed me. “You wouldn’t be with me.”

“I’d obviously go with you.”

She hesitated, and then shook her head.

“That is the last thing I would want.”


The people of the moon are much like their home world. Natives of the moon are a cold and hard people. They lived for the purpose of existing.

They are capable of emotion, but they also believe emotion is a vain and useless thing. They had created ways to forget what it was to feel. It didn’t hurt, she had assured me.

But then, the point was that you couldn’t feel anything.


As night fell and the red moon rose into the sky, emptiness began to build up inside me. I didn’t know what I expected. Just because the moon was closer didn’t mean she was closer to me. That I could hold her. Make her remember.

This was a bad idea. The large moon taunted me from where it hung in the sky. Reminding me of where she had gone.

And then I heard it.

Her voice, singing.

My mind may have been playing tricks on me, but I didn’t care. I wanted it to be her. To say she came back. That her people had allowed her to come back. They realized they were wrong to take her away. That she remembered everything.

The singing grew louder, and I cried as the memories resurfaced. Her face. Her smile. The way she looked like the world had everything. The way she looked at me as if I were the world.

The way I knew she was the world.

If she was here, there was only one place where she would be.

I ran to the lake.


She had run away from her home, hoping to understand the blue marble in the sky that she had watched her entire life. She did eventually understand. But fleeing to Earth had consequences.

One was that she learned to love.

Another was that she would lose that love.

She would forget everything.


The red of the moon shone from the surface of the lake. A road of moonlight paved in red. A path to the stars, as large as it could ever be.

No one was there.

I was alone on a mountain, by a lake, missing her.

Her voice, which I had heard so clearly just moments before, gone.

Taking off my shoes and socks, I rolled up my pant legs before walking into the lake. The sand was soft beneath my feet, and I stood ankle deep in the reflection of the moon.

The road of moonlight to nowhere.

I continued to walk in the moon’s reflection, deeper and deeper. No singing, just the sound of water moving out of my way as I waded deeper and deeper. I was in up to my waist when a giggle interrupted the silence.

“I thought I told you I didn’t want you to go on the road to the stars.”


This story was inspired by both Sam’s prompt, “Mangata” the Swedish word for the road-like reflection of the moon in the water, and the Tale of Kaguya, a Japanese folktale about a princess from the moon who goes to live on Earth. Her foster parents set her up as a princess on Earth, living in riches, but in solitude. She becomes acquainted with an emperor, but rejects his advances, because she knows she must return to the moon, where she will forget everything. As she is spirited away, she gives the emperor a vial of the elixir of life, but he orders that it be burned on the tallest mountain with a letter he wrote to Kaguya, in hopes that the smoke would reach her.

My story is a modernization of this tale, where the princess returns.



About the author:

Leanna was destined to be a nerd since birth—she was named after Star Trek’s Deanna Troi after all. Since then, she’s become a nerdfighter, Ravenpuff, avid book reader, Young The Giant fan, and internet addict aspiring to be a writer/scientist. Find her on public transit reading a book and with headphones in her ears. 

Leanna wrote the story inspired by this prompt:


The prompt was beautiful, and I think nobody but Leanna could’ve done it justice.

Maybe I just mean that retrospectively; in any case, I love the story.

This girl has done all the work for me: she’s written the story, written about the story so you know exactly how amazing it is, and she’s written about herself- what’s left for me to do?

Oh well, the usual stuff:

If you like the story, comment here or on Leanna’s blog telling her about it! 
She’d love to know your feedback.

The list of prompts was inspired by this article I happened upon, quite a few have stories written about them so stick around for the rest.

This is the third story of a part of a series of stories I’m going to post, which were written by my friends, I talk about it here.

Here’s the previous story, you should check it out!

And here’s the very first one, if you’d like to read that!

I’ll post the next story on the 18th on January, and it’s amazing, so try not to miss it.

I’m sorry for posting this one a bit late, but yesterday evening after I heard about the sad demise of Alan Rickman I couldn’t function for a while. I really couldn’t bring myself to post the story, even though I pretty much just had to click the Publish button…

He will be missed.


I’ll be the one reading Harry Potter at 80 and answering the question “After all this time?” with an “Always”

*raises wand*

Do You Want To Go On An Adventure?

            When Adelaide Brennan had gotten up that morning, she wouldn’t have thought she’d be skipping school, breaking the law and running from ghosts that following afternoon, and all for a girl she had just met.

            Hailey Akiyama she had said her name was, and she had asked Adelaide if she really wanted to go to school, or if she’d rather have an adventure.
            Adelaide had to admit that she had said yes because it had reminded her of Doctor Who, but she had kind of forgotten the more dangerous part of the TV show. You know, the part where you had to run for your life and where there’s the possibility of death. 
            So she had said yes, without even knowing who the girl was. She had never seen Hailey at school before, nor had she heard of her. 
            ‘’Not to be rude or anything, but… Who are you exactly?’’ Adelaide had asked the girl as they made their way through the woods next to the school. Hailey had insisted they’d go that way for several reasons. She even had a list written down, as if she had expected to justify her choice:

1.      If the teachers see us leave, they will come after us and drag our asses back to school

2.      It’s more fun this way

3.      Forests are magical

4.      I thought you wanted an adventure?

5.      All the best adventures take place in magical places like forests

            Adelaide had pointed out that not just ‘the best adventures’ took place in forests; horror movies did too. Hailey had rolled her eyes at that and continued down the path. After a few seconds of silence, in which Adelaide had pondered whether Hailey might be a psychotic murderer, she had decided to ask who the girl was, for better or for worse.
            ‘’I told you already; Hailey Akiyama.’’
            ‘’Yeah, but who are you?’’
            ‘’Jeez, sorry Mr. Caterpillar. Want a hookah with that? I’m Hailey Akiyama, almost sixteen years old. My mom’s from Tokyo and moved to whatever you call this sad excuse for a town when she was twenty-one for love. Romantic right? Yeah, until her ‘big love’ left us when I was eight to go on a ‘big adventure’ like he’s Bilbo Baggins or something. Then we moved back to Tokyo, until Bilbo decided that he didn’t want a big adventure after all, since ‘mom and I were his big adventure’. So here we are, one happy family reunited.’’ Hailey had rolled her eyes so many times during her story that Adelaide thought they’d roll out at some point, but they were still secure in her head. 
            ‘’I’m sorry.’’
            ‘’Don’t be. Anyway, since Daddy dearest is so fond of adventures, I thought I’d try one myself. But adventures on your own are boring. I need my companions, my-‘’
            ‘’Dwarves?’’ Adeilade had asked, feeling insulted.
            ‘’What? No! Why do you- Oh, because of the Bilbo thing. No, dwarves are a nuisance. You can be my handy mage, ready to heal me when I get in trouble. And I will get in trouble.’’
            They had arrived at the end of the forest. 
            Hailey had turned around to grin at Adelaide.
            ‘’I thought ‘all the best adventures take place in forests’? Why are we about to leave it?’’
            ‘’I said like forests,’’ Hailey had pulled away a branch to show an old castle, almost fallen to ruins. ‘’Castles are even more magical.’’
            Adelaide had bitten her lip.
            ‘’Doesn’t someone own that place?’’
            ‘’Nah, it’s abandoned.’’
            ‘’So it’s haunted. Even better.’’
            Hailey had laughed at that. 
            ‘’I like you…Er, what’s your name actually?’’
            Right, Adelaide had never had the time to introduce herself. As soon as she had said yes, Hailey had pulled her towards the forest.
            ‘’Adelaide. Adelaide Brennan.’’
            ‘’Nice to meet you, Mr. Bond,’’ Hailey had grinned as she stepped out of the forest. ‘’Let’s start our mission.’’
            ‘’When did our adventure turn into a mission?’’
            But Hailey had ignored her question.

            The castle had indeed seemed to be abandoned, but that hadn’t calmed Adelaide’s nerves. She had expected someone – or something – to jump out at them from every nook and cranny. Hailey had laughed at her nervousness, but that was before they had arrived in the throne room, where they were currently hiding behind the throne.
            ‘’Ghosts don’t exist.’’ Hailey still claimed, even after they had seen several suspicious shadows that had seemed to chase them as they had run towards the throne room.
            ‘’You believe in dwarves and mages, but not ghosts?’’ Adelaide whispered furiously at the other girl. She had skipped school, probably broken the law by trespassing – she was ninety-nine percent sure that someone owned the castle – and was now hiding from possible ghosts. Her mom would kill her, if the ghosts didn’t get to her first. 
            ‘’I don’t believe in dwarves and mages either!’’ Hailey hissed. ‘’I was just having fun!’’ 
            ‘’Well your ‘fun’ has gotten us into this mess!”
            ‘’You didn’t have to come with me!’’
            Adelaide opened her mouth to retort – even though Hailey was right-, but at that moment the door creaked open slowly. The two girls covered each other’s mouth, looking at each other with wide eyes. 
            Footsteps started to approach. 
            Adelaide felt her heart calm down. Ghosts don’t have footsteps.
            ‘’Hailey Akiyama, get up from behind that throne right now.’’ 
            Adelaide and Hailey looked at each other in surprise. They released each other’s mouth and got up, though Hailey pushed the other girl down again. She held her finger against her lips and turned around the throne.
            ‘’Hi Dad! Hi….who are you?’’
            ‘’This is Mr. Hannigen, the owner of the castle.’’
            ‘’Oh! Well, I’m very sorry Mr. Hannigan. It’s just, I love adventures. It’s a family thing, right Dad?’’
            Adelaide couldn’t see the girl’s expression, but she could guess the look Hailey was giving her father. 
            ‘’Get here, right now.’’
            Adelaide heard the three people leaving the room, and quietly got up herself. When she rounded the throne, she found herself all alone. Great, just great.

            She made her way out of the throne room, hoping to find her way back out of the castle. Hailey, her dad and the owner were nowhere to be seen, which might be a good thing. At least she wouldn’t be in trouble with the law. Though that wouldn’t matter if she never got out of there.
            Adelaide decided that if she walked down the hallway, nothing would be able to go wrong. Oh, how wrong she was. Soon she found herself back in front of the throne room, apparently having gone in circles. 
            She threw her arms in the air in frustration.
            ‘’Great, just great! Any ghosts out there that want to finish me off, so that my day will get even better?’’ 
            A hand fell down on her shoulder, causing her to jump in the air.
            She was greeted by hysterical laughter. Adelaide turned around to find Hailey standing there, holding her stomach and leaning forward. 
            ‘’Oh. My. God!’’ she laughed. 
            Adelaide punched the other girl on the arm. 
            ‘’What the hell is wrong with you?! First you drag me along on your stupid adventure to this stupid castle, then you leave me behind, and then you sneak up on me like that?’’
            Hailey held up her hands.
            ‘’In my defence, you agreed to the adventure, I left you so you wouldn’t get in trouble and I didn’t ‘sneak up on you’. I just walked towards you. You think a simple ‘hi’ wouldn’t have startled you in this place?’’
            ‘’It still would’ve been a better greeting.’’ Adelaide said, still fuming. Hailey rolled her eyes.
            ‘’Come on, let’s get out of here.’’
            ‘’You know the way out?’’
            ‘’’Course I do.’’
            ‘’You promise?’’ 
            They continued on in silence.
            ‘’How did your dad know you were here?’’
            ‘’Uh, the principal called him because I wasn’t at school,’’ Great, Mom probably got a call too. ‘’And Dad kind of guessed where I’d be. Like the castle I’d been talking about recently.’’
            ‘’Seriously? You’re that stupid?’’
            ‘’Oi! I may be stupid, but you followed this stupid person!’’
            ‘’I didn’t even know you! How was I supposed to know you were stupid?’’
            ‘’Er… I suggested skipping school to go on an adventure?’’
            Adelaide sighed.
            ‘’Guess we’re both stupid.’’
            They had arrived at the doors.
            Hailey turned around and grinned.
            ‘’But you’re the stupidest, since you couldn’t even find the exit.’’

            Adelaide glared at her.

            ‘’I’m never going on one of your stupid adventures again.’’

            But that was far from true. Because no matter how scared she had been that afternoon, no matter how mad her mother was at her and no matter how much she had been against skipping school before that day, she hadn’t had that much fun in a long time. From that day on, no matter how much they bickered and complained about each other, they were inseparable. 


About the Author:

Hi I’m Michelle; writer, journalist student, blogger at The Writing Hufflepuff and The Feministas, Hufflepuff, Pokémon Master, Demigod, Waterbender… Basically  a professional fangirl! I hope you’ll enjoy my story 🙂

This story was written by Michelle inspired by this prompt:


It is a word from Mandarin, and Michelle pretty much nailed the expectations I had for a story using this prompt, so yayy!

If you like the story, comment here or on Michelle’s blog telling her about it! 
She’d love to know your feedback.

The list of prompts was inspired by this article I happened upon, quite a few have stories written about them so stick around for the rest.

This is the second story of a part of a series of stories I’m going to post, which were written by my friends, I talk about it here.

Here’s the first story, you should check it out!

I’ll post the next story on the 14th on January, and it’s a beautiful one so I hope you don’t miss it!

P.S. The author would like you to sing the title of the story in your best Anna from Frozen voice (those of you didn’t do that anyway, that is, those of you who’re not me 😛 )


“What do you miss most about your city?”

She almost didn’t hear the question as she gazed into nothingness. She was suddenly jolted back to the present and to reality. It was too crowded, too noisy, too dark, too … everything. She couldn’t think for a minute and seeing her confused expression her friend repeated the question a little louder this time, “I asked what you missed most, about home, I mean.”

Finally, it seemed like she understood the question. Smiling wistfully, she said, “That’s a difficult question, you know. There’s no single thing I miss the most, there are so many. I miss the smells of the city, which change as the city changes. One moment you smell the delicious aroma of roadside bhajjis and wadas, and the next you smell some expensive perfume from the highly sophisticated women walking past, and the very next, you smell garbage and you wrinkle your nose and walk past as quickly as possible, to find yourself smelling something completely different and unknown. I miss the people and the crowds. There are so many people around you that you could never be alone, and yet you are because no one really knows you and it doesn’t always matter what you think or believe in. You might be cursing the people getting in your way when you are running to catch a train that’s leaving in the next minute, and yet, you see an unknown hand extending out of the compartment to pull you in and you take it, you jump in, smile at the stranger and say a quiet thank you, and then push your way through with the possibility of never setting eyes on the stranger again, one of the many faces you are likely to forget and yet, in an odd way, remember too.
“I miss the rains, the smell of the wet earth when it first rains, the constant tap tap on your window and the sloshing around in puddles and getting completely soaked even though you have an umbrella, because umbrellas really don’t help when it rains, really rains, in my city. I miss the sounds. It is so quiet here. When I look out of the window of this apartment, I don’t see people and the cars never honk. There are no firecrackers for no particular reason, and there are no vendors hawking their wares. I would constantly complain about the sounds, the children playing and screaming in the playground, the firecrackers in Diwali, but now I know that it was such an important part of my life. You know, we sometimes don’t appreciate the things that are right there in front of us, staring us in the face.”

Her friend was listening with rapt attention, never having heard her speak so much.
Suddenly realizing that she was looking at her, she quietly nodded.
The wistful look still present on her face, she continued, “I don’t know if you realize how important all this is to me. You might think I am rambling about all the wrong things here, smells, sound, crowds. But it’s true, these are some of the things I miss most about my city. I miss the lights too. My city looks beautiful during Diwali. There are lights everywhere; some of them twinkling, some stationary. There are lanterns in various shapes and when you look outside the window, you see the lights and the lanterns stretching as far as you can see, and you realize that there are people just like you: eating the same kind of sweets, laughing at similar everyday things, fighting about the same things, working just as hard as you do, and facing the same problems as you. It really puts matters into perspective, you know. Don’t take yourself too seriously; you are not alone in anything that happens to you—good or bad. I miss the festivals and the rituals that go with them. It really doesn’t matter whether you celebrate them or not, there are people around you, your family or friends, for whom the festival is important and that makes it significant in your eyes too. “And the food! I really miss the food; the street food—chaatvada pavbhajjidosasidlis, sandwiches—the different sweets, the home cooked food, which you might constantly complain about when at home but start missing as soon as you leave. But, I think what I miss most are the people. When you are at home, you might think that there are too many people around you who interfere in your business, influence your decisions—family, relatives, friends—and then you leave and suddenly there is no one around you to ask whether your decision to do this job or study here is right or wrong. The onus is on you and it can be quite terrifying.”

She laughed silently at this, as if remembering something and shook her head, “I am talking too much. Aren’t you bored already?” But her friend shook her head and laughed. She said, “I am loving this. You know, you’ve been here for two months and I have never seen you talking so animatedly about anything. You really miss your city, don’t you?” She nodded silently, looking at her with eyes sparkling with unshed tears. She was realizing though, that her rant was actually making her feel better. She hadn’t felt so good since coming here, to this foreign country and living amongst foreign people. But then again, it was her choice to come here, to take up this job away from her people and her city; she just didn’t realize that it would be so difficult.

Her friend was looking at her oddly. “What is it?,” she asked her.

“I have just realized something. You know, everything you spoke about—the sounds, smells, lights, people, crowds, everything—it’s all here,” her friend said. “Here?” she asked, incredulous, “What do you mean, here?”

“I mean that you can find all of this here too. Maybe everything’s slightly different, but it’s still here. This is still a city like any other and there are smells, and sounds, and people, and crowds, and food, and lights, and festivals too. The smells are different, you can smell the freshly fallen snow, and the leaves in autumn, you can smell the flowers blooming in spring. And it might not rain all that much here, but every season has something you can enjoy and appreciate. Well, there might not be honking cars and people pushing past each other on the roads, but the metro is just as crowded, the people are, after all, people, with similar lives, similar definitions of happiness and sadness, similar problems. And you might think that with our practise of going abroad or living away from our parents and families, they do not have much of an influence on our lives, but you’d be wrong. You know, people and places are different, sure, but they are still the same. You just have to concentrate on the similarities and accept the differences, and there you have it, a new place to call home.”

Her friend smiled at her and took a sip of her drink. She was surprised, to say the least, because she’d never thought about it like this. But then she nodded too, and smiled, and the tears remained unshed. She had an opportunity and a place to make a new beginning, to call home, and she was going to make the most of it.


About the Author:

First time writer. Works as a content editor for a living. Procrastinator.
Loves (in no particular order): 
Reading,travelling, all things Harry Potter, chocolates, Sherlock, (occasionally) writing, cricket, The Avengers, music, FRIENDS, etc.
Favourite quote(one of many):
Not all those who wander are lost.

This story was written by Tanvi inspired by this prompt:


Beautiful word, isn’t it?
I love the French language!

If you like the story, comment here or on Tanvi’s blog telling her about it!
She’d love to know your feedback.

Oh! And this is Tanvi’s first attempt at writing a short story so it’s a little more special!
I, for one, am proud of her. 😀

The list of prompts was inspired by this article I happened upon, quite a few have stories written about them so stick around for the rest.

This is the first story of a part of a series of stories I’m going to post, which were written by my friends, I talk about it here.

I’ll post the next story on the 10th on January, stay tuned.

It’s one of the cutest stories I’ve read recently- you can’t not love it! 🙂

The Rainbow-Eyed Boy

Part One

One of my earliest memories is not of my parents.  Sometimes I wish it was that way but then I remember Drew when he was still a kid and I feel this fondness that makes everything better.

When I was a little girl, I once visited my Great-aunt Margaret with my parents. She lived in a manor house far away from the city. All I cared about was the enormous gardens.

I begged and begged mum and dad to let me play in the garden. The six year old me believed in elves, fairies and garden gnomes. That was the very reason why they were reluctant to allow me. I had a tendency to linger off and get lost.

Maggie assured them that I would be quite safe; that the garden had fences and that the fences were intact. So, finally, they let me go.

Maggie’s gardens were a wonderland for me. The grass was always green and soft under my feet. There were always birds that were always singing. And there were butterflies.

God knows, I loved butterflies. I could spend hours and hours chasing them. I even talked to them and then made up replies.

That day, I had been particularly busy chatting with a blue one who constantly seemed to fly away mid-sentence.

How rude.

I was chasing him, intending to give him quite a listening to when I realized that I had ventured a little too far. I could have touched the fence if it weren’t for the bushes. I also realized that I was a bit out of breath. Wings were a faster mode of transport than my chubby feet. I plopped down on the grass and looked into the woods through the gaps in the fence.

I wondered if there were any ferocious beasts in there and whether I could possibly take one to scare Toby Meyers. He had been sneaking spiders into my bag-pack for almost a week now.

While I sat, conjuring images of beasts, the bush in front of me rustled and I jumped out of my skin. I thought it was one of the beasts of my imagination, who had come to eat me.

Then I remembered the way Toby Meyers had called me a girl when I shrieked at the spider that crept out of my bag. I am not scared of spiders, a fact Toby refused to believe. Jenny, the spider had become my pet once I got over the surprise.

“Who is it?” I asked the bush, my voice wobbling a little.

I imagined an ambush by the beast. But what I saw instead was a pair of rainbow-colored eyes peeping out shyly from behind the bush. Slowly the body followed the eyes out of the bush. It belonged to a boy, only a few years elder to me. He had the wildest mop of the greenest hair. He did nothing but stare at me like I was some kind of an alien.

“Lily! Lunch-time!” yelled my mom, right on time.

I looked in the direction of her voice and yelled back “Coming, mommy!”

When I looked back towards the bush, the boy with the strange eyes was gone.

Part Two

I never thought I’ll be returning to Maggie’s manor. It was too far from the city and my parents thought that Maggie was weird.

But I did come back.

Around two years had passed since I had first visited Maggie. Two years since I had seen the weird boy with green hair. Six months since the accident. Six months since my parents died.

I was shuffled through a wild array of aunts’ and uncles’ houses. Everyone wanted to do their bit in helping Hannah and Michael’s daughter, emphasis on the bit. Everyone except Maggie. She wanted to keep me with her for as long as I needed her.

All my aunts and uncles let out sighs of relief when Maggie declared her decision of taking me in. No one even thought twice and I was deposited at Maggie’s doorstep cold and miserable. I missed my mum and dad.

Maggie was nice to me. She had a specially decorated bedroom for me. It had a canopied bed and a vintage dresser. I felt like a princess.

But nor the bed, nor the canopy could stop me from missing mum. I needed her to read me a bedtime story and tuck me into bed before I could actually sleep. But she wasn’t here and Maggie had no clue about children.

The first night at Maggie’s manor, I lay snuggled in my canopied bed, wide awake and mad at Maggie. The eight year old me needed someone to blame for my misery and that night it was Maggie.

I was cooking up a plan to escape into the woods and live the Jungle Book life. The images I painted were quite vivid and I was lost in the dream.

Meanwhile, a very loud crashing noise came from the other side of the house.  Since I had being surviving on a diet of Enid Blyton books, I set out to investigate.

What I expected was a burglar who I was going to beat up using the rusted swords hanging in the corridor outside my bedroom. 

What I found was a boy with bright green hair and flaming ears. He was lying on the floor- a tangled mess of limbs and broken lamps. 

He got up, brushed the broken bits off himself and offered me a handshake. He had rainbows in his eyes.

“I’m Drew.” He said. “Drew short for Mildrew.”

“I’m Lily.” I replied. “Lily short for Lily.”

Drew was my first friend at my new home.

Part Three

Drew was the perfect best friend except for the thing that we couldn’t meet up every night. He used to turn up during new moon nights and then disappear for a month, no trace that he even existed. Sometimes, I wondered whether he was a fragment of my imagination. But whenever I had such doubts, the moon would disappear and Drew would appear.

I often wondered if Maggie knew about Drew. She never said anything but she never asked why I was so sleepy every morning after a new moon.

Great Aunt Margaret, or Maggie as she insisted I call her, was the coolest guardian ever. She was the perfect definition of the eccentric aunt but she wasn’t stupid or easy to fool. She kept me in line. She had never married. She said that she didn’t need a man to live.

I absolutely adored her. Maggie, Drew (once a month) and Maggie’s butler Andre were the only people I hung out with. Maggie was my mum, sister, friend, aunt and teacher- all in one. She also had a cook, a housekeeper, a gardener and some maids working for her. But I never really formed lifelong friendships with them.

Over the years, I grew into an introverted, bookish girl. Maggie encouraged my love for reading. She had the resources too; she had collected numerous titles which I devoured.

Drew, on the other hand, grew up and became this amazing guy. He had always been beautiful, unique. But as we began to grow up, I realized that Drew was a babe. He was magic. Literally. He was a color elf (with adorable pointy ears and all), in charge of painting the nature. He was just apprenticing currently.

But Drew was magic. The way his vibgyor eyes sparkled when he spoke, the way they crinkled when he smiled, the way they were animated when he gestured. All of it fascinated me.

Yeah, I was crushing on him.

It was my sixteenth birthday, it was a new moon night and Drew was late. I had convinced myself that he had a dainty elf for a girlfriend.  He must spend the remaining 29 days of the month in her pleasing company.  I imagined them kissing, painting the world red, literally.

I was insanely jealous of this elf girl and I was convinced that he was ditching me on my birthday for her.

By the time Drew finally turned up, I had worked myself into a state of pissedoffness.

“Wow Drew! Aren’t you on time? Punctuality must really be your forte. I get that you have better things to do but Drew, it’s my birthday and you are my only friend. It’s no fun having a party with the oldies. All Maggie drinks is green tea. I sneaked us some wine. I just… I need you more than you need me. Okay? And you will have to bear with it ‘coz I’m not letting you go. Got it?”

Drew put his arms around my waist, holding me close. Our noses touched. I could feel his breath on my face.

“Got it.” He whispered, his lips brushing against mine.

Part Four

“Don’t worry! I’ll catch you.” He whispered. “Jump!”

I was sitting on my window sill with my right leg dangling right above Drew’s mop of green hair. We had been dating for almost a year now– eleven months- but this was the first time I was sneaking out.

Maggie’s manor was huge. There were plenty of places to sneak around with your secret boyfriend. But today, Drew wanted to take me out for a midnight picnic by the stream, just next to the spot where I had first seen him.

“C’mon Lils! I promise I won’t crumple under your weight!”

“Haha. Very funny.” I finally decided to let go. “Okay. Here I come.”

Unsurprisingly, I ended up falling face first on Drew and we together toppled down the grass. Neither of us was hurt but Drew was a bit winded.

“Remind me to never do that again.” He said, straightening himself and then pulling me up.

Last year, Drew had had a massive growth spurt and now he towered over me. If elves were actually short, I would be the magical being here.

It was a full moon night. The food in Drew’s basket was all foreign to me.

“Elfish food.” He explained.

After our midnight meal, we lay next to each other, staring at the sky.  The stars were hardly visible today but the round moon made up for their absence. The sweet smell of drew-moistened grass surrounded us. I could feel the heat emanated by Drew’s body.

“I love you.” I whispered as I drifted off to sleep.

I felt lips brush against my forehead as I was lost to the realm of dreams.

The next morning I woke to the sun trying to burn me to a crisp. I was all alone. Drew must have left around dawn as I knew he would.

Part Five

He didn’t come back.  I waited. I hoped. Months passed and it was as if he had never existed. Except in my memories.

My memories… I spent quite some time living through them. The time I spent in the library, among the books, it was as if I had shifted there. Drew’s absence was like a dark hole trying to swallow me whole.

And then Maggie fell sick. She had never been young for as long as I had known her. But she had always had that youthful, vibrant air about her. I always thought of her as some kind of an ageless being, a permanent fixture.

Now, her age had caught up with her and it was almost the time for her to go. She knew, I knew. She spent days just silently gliding around the manor, staring at walls or paintings as if lost in memories. Maggie was dying but gracefully so.

Even then, it was very difficult. I had to see her losing herself bit by bit. She withered away right in front of my eyes.

The night when it was time, Maggie called me to her room. She had lost a lot of weight. But her eyes still had that light that made her Margaret Stevens.

“So I am going to be dead by sunrise. Even when I am gone, you’ll always have a home here. But please, don’t stay back. Don’t spend your life waiting for someone who is never going to turn up. Promise me that!”

I promised with tears flowing freely down my cheeks.

Maggie left us in her sleep. I busied myself with the preparations for her funeral. All the aunts and uncles who had previously abandoned me turned up and immediately left when they found out that Maggie had left everything to me.

Everyone left before Maggie must have gotten comfortable in her grave.

I couldn’t bear to stay another day. The manor was too empty and there was also the thing I had promised Maggie.

My bags were packed. Only the goodbyes were left to be said. Andre had decided to retire. The maids had found alternate employments.

It was a full moon and I found myself venturing into the gardens. Here was where I had last seen Drew.

It had been a hard year. Losing Drew and then losing Maggie. Then dealing with all those relatives who didn’t give a damn about Maggie or me, listening to their jealousy induced barbed comments.

It caught up with me. I fell down on my knees, haunted by memories. I hugged myself and fell apart. I don’t know for how long I sat there, crying. But finally, I got up and faced the mocking moon. I turned to leave and there he was.

He looked so familiar and so different somehow. He was broader, had stubble and looked more firm. His eyes held mine, unwavering. There were scars on his arm and on his neck, just below his face.

“Lily” he said. He was no longer a child but nor was I.

“You can’t do this. You cannot just disappear for months and then suddenly turn up and expect everything to be a-okay. “

He pulled me close and buried his face in my hair. By now, my tears were back. I could feel moisture trickling through my hair.

“I’m back now, Lils. I am back and I am not going anywhere.” His voice was hoarse with tears.

This short story was written by my friend over at Diary Of An Introverted Schmuck.
If you liked the story, do leave comments here or on her blog, complimenting her about it. I’m sure she’ll like that.

This story is a part of a series I’m posting written by my friends based on Harry Potter. You can read the post where I explain it all here.

This is the previous post in the series.

The prompt “Meanwhile, a very loud crashing noise came from the other side of the house.” is from Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.

This was officially the last post in the series, but a couple of my friends said they’d wanted to try this too. So if they do end up writing stories, I’ll post them here whenever.

Merry Christmas!!!

Perhaps tonight- after a month of waiting-

Perhaps tonight- after a month of waiting- would be the night-

The night when SapocFM (or so he was told his name would be spelt in this language called English. What did these earthlings need vowels for anyway? His name was perfectly pronunciable without the “A” and “O” sounds in between) could finally raid the house of the Jones and gather his supplies for the next step of the mission. The larger and more difficult step.
It had taken him a one-month wait to get around to the first task. He was way behind schedule but oh well!

Technically, he need not have waited a month. He need not have waited at all.
All he had to do was stealthily break into the living habitat of an earthling and gather a few of those soft pieces of material they called cloth and collectively, clothes.
(Yes, he had been practising his vocabulary words, it was an essential part of his mission on Earth.)
But he had taken a special liking to the four-legged creature with the golden fur residing at the Jones’ house. He did not look like the others nor did he speak English.
SapocFM had learnt that it was a “dog”.

He would pass as a human if he wore their clothes and put on a mop of hair on his head.
Fortunately for him, these humans had this palette of colourful powders which they proudly caked their faces with, and after the use of that… erm.. fake up?
Aah! Make-up!!
That’s what they called it.
(He knew he should’ve paid more attention while researching Earth Culture than he did.)
So after using this make up, he would be welcomed into their herd.

He looked into the window of the Jones’ again- he got a good view from the tree he was sitting in and it provided good cover- getting impatient that the female member of the species was spending hours trying on different clothes before leaving the house.

“Honey! We’re getting late- don’t want an incident like last time’s now, do we?” the male called out to the female in a reprimanding tone.
It fascinated SapocFM that the men (aah yes! MEN! He had been racking his brains for the correct word!) seemed to dominate the world here.
Back home, both men and women were given equal rights and most of the times, gender of people wasn’t even brought up. The only few times when it was taken into account was at the hospital, in schools while teaching biology or during some scientific researches!
Maybe he would put this point under “Peculiarities of planet” in his project.
Yeah…okay, so this wasn’t actually a mission.
It was just a school project.
And it was very lame.
So lame, in fact, that while it said to visit the planet chosen for field visit, the actual report would only consist of it’s “Geography”, “Climate” and a little bit about the culture.
Nobody even bothered to visit, they simply used the UWE (Universe Wide Entanglement) to find the information and then put it into their projects.
But SapocFM was going to make this wonderful project and become the star of his school!
So he devised his own mission, one with obstacles and challenges along the way.
This also made the project a lot more fun.
And all of those things aside, who in the right mind would turn down an opportunity to take their new spaceship on a ride to another planet?
So far, he’d only been allowed to take it out in his own galaxy, but this was for school. Nobody could stop him; which is why SapocFM had chosen the farthest galaxy he could find and picked up a planet in it.

The next step of his mission (he was calling it a mission, not a project) was to dress up like humans and interact with a few, this meant he could experience firsthand what it was like to be the dominant species inhabiting the planet Earth.
He was getting really impatient now.
Were the humans ever planning on leaving?
Just as he was about to go back to his spaceship to rest for a while, he heard a shuffling sound somewhere very close to the tree he was hiding in.
He became alert immediately, looking around for the source of the sound.

As he looked around, someone patted him on the back.
He would’ve fallen off the tree as he nearly jumped out of his hide had it not been for his Adherinator 333. Using it while he sat on the tree had beed good thinking. It was mostly just useful on planets that didn’t have gravity. He only bounced a bit before being restored to the perfect position he was in, pre-stranger attack.

He looked up to see said stranger smiling at him. He seemed to be young. Probably just the same earth-years old as SapocFM himself. No, a little younger definitely.
“Hey! Who’re you? I’m Ben. What’s your name? What’re you doing up here in this tree?? I have a treehouse on the other side of it- would you like to come play with us?”
“My name is SapocFM. What’s a treehouse?”
SapocFM racked his brain trying to remember what it meant. He wasn’t sure if he had learnt about it.

“It’s a house we made up in this tree.C’mon! I’ll show you!” This new human named Ben told him and started climbing higher on the tree.
SapocFM hurriedly switched off the Adherinator and tried to keep up with Ben lest he was left behind.

“Benny! There you are! What took you so long?” said another voice a little higher up in the tree.
SapocFM carefully climbed up and took a look at the source of the other voice.
Not that he would admit it to anybody, but he was a little scared now.
He relaxed a little when he saw that it was just a little girl like Ben. Maybe a little older.
“Soph! How many times do I have to tell you not to call me Benny! I’m not little anymore. I’m seven! Have a look at who I brought up here.”

“I’m gonna call you Bennydoodles even when you’re 50!” Then she turned to SapocFM and kept staring with wide eyes, “Who are you? You look… different. Are you new here? And I’m Sophie, Ben’s sister.”

“My name is SapocFM”
That’s the only way he had learnt to introduce himself, and he believed it to be precise. He was confused about how Ben and Sophie said that they were their given names.
How can humans be their names? Their names were just their names, something they didn’t even choose themselves.

“Don’t start asking him questions now, let’s go see how Puzzles is doing. Oops! I shouldn’t have said that! Now SapocFM knows too. No but he doesn’t really know who we’re talking about when we say Puzzles, does he?
But we could let him in on our secret. Shall we let him in on our secret?? Please, let’s! Please!”

“Alright! He probably already knows- and what with your blabbering, it won’t be long before Mom and Dad find out too! So much for keeping Puzzles a secret”

Ben excitedly turned to his new friend and told him all about the little brown puppy they had secretly adopted.
He also explained why they were calling him Puzzles, “Our mom said that it puzzles her why we suddenly want to have cereal twice a day now. But you guessed what we do right?”
He looked expectantly at SapocFM.

Undettered by a lack of coherent response, Ben went on, “I’ll tell you! We put milk in our bowls in the evening but don’t actually put cereal in it and then secretly bring the milk up here for Puzzles. It was Sophie’s idea! Isn’t it fun? She is smart, isn’t she? She can be annoying sometimes, but you’ll like her”
“I am not annoying!” Sophie said annoyingly.
“You are too!”

SapocFM really had no idea what Ben was telling him anymore (he didn’t know what a puppy was. He kept racking his brain because this time, he was sure he had learnt about that word before), but it made him really happy to be here in their queer little house up the tree, and thought their quarreling was fun and he thought he knew that feeling.
It felt like family and friendship.
He had friends back home.
He missed them now. It had been a month since he met them.
So he smiled at Ben and asked awkwardly “Can I see… Puzzles?” Then looked at Sophie, because it felt like she was in charge.

She smiled at him, but before she could say a word, Ben was already dragging him deeper into their treehouse (which was, as he was just noticing, exceptionally large and very colorful with lots and lots miniature land-vehicles and books lying around) where stood a smaller and an abnormally cuter version of the dog he had seen in the house of the Jones.
Of course! That’s a puppy, the offspring of a dog!
At the sight of Ben, Puzzles came running upto them and started licking Ben’s hand. SapocFM knelt besides him and- although frightened- touched the puppy’s soft fur.
Puzzles started licking his hand too and it felt warm.
Sophie came in with a bowl of milk which she set in front of Puzzles and excitedly looked at SapocFM, “You’re the first stranger he likes! He doesn’t even go near my friend Mel! The other day she offered him a biscuit but he hid behind my legs!”

“I’m your friend too now, aren’t I?”

“Yes you are my friend too!” Ben said without skipping a beat.

SapocFM and Sophie laughed.

Sophie said, “Yes you are! And I’m gonna call you Sappy!”

“Even when I’m 50 years old?” SapocFM asked.

“Even when you’re 50 years old.” Sophie replied.

As he laughed along with Ben and Sophie, SapocFM realized how not-lame his project was.
Tonight, after a month of waiting, SapocFM was with friends.


This short story was written by yours truly.
If you liked the story, do leave comments here or anywhere around this blog, complimenting her about it.
I’m sure she’ll like that (I am very confident about this statement this time).

This short story is a part of a series I’m posting written by my friends based on Harry Potter prompts. You can read the post where I explain it all here.

This is the previous story in the series.
The prompt “Perhaps tonight- after a month of waiting- would be the night-” is from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

I’ll put up the next story on the 25th of December (yes, Christmas day. The story is kinda magical) and the prompt is “Meanwhile, a very loud crashing noise was coming from the other side of the house.”

“What are you doing, you piece of shit?”

“What are you doing, you piece of shit?” Sandesh shrieked. His wife Pratibha looked at him, her spirits undeterred and she pulled a heavy book from the stack on the mantelpiece. “Writing something like this,” she declared.

“Have you lost your mind? Women should be using their hands only for cooking and cleaning. Pens or typewriters find no place in your life. Go and get me lunch, you foolish woman,” he insulted her as usual. He had never spoken to her sweetly ever since they got married, three years ago. For him, she was only a maid in the house; she would never be the mistress of his heart.

He was forty and she was twenty-two, her face gleaming with the early twenties charisma. She was the brightest student in the town but her parents could not afford to educate her beyond her B.A. (Eng. Hons.). She wanted to study and be self-dependent but she was a rose nipped in the bud. Aspiring to be a writer, she penned phenomenal poems; wrote versatile verses and scripted sagacious sagas. She was gifted- she could weave together beads of scattered words into a well-knit story. She could jumble ideas and conjure fiction like a sorcerer. She wrote what her heart dictated. It was her dream to spark a revolution using her pen, but she got married. She couldn’t let her story end before it began.

Every morning, she devoted herself to household chores. If he saw her idle even for a second, he hit her as though she was made of stone. She wrote a word or two when he was away or at work. She decided to burn the midnight oil and write a book highlighting the woes of a woman who aspires to be a somebody in life. She would strive to bring the fairer sex an identity and respect in the world; she would help make their lives fair in the true sense.

She took out the typewriter she brought from her natal home three years back. She had never dared to touch it in his presence. She feared he would discard it like crap; or worse, sell it to buy himself more liquor. She wrote as soon as he left home. She wrote as he slept. She wrote as he drank. She wrote whenever his gaze was away from her. She stole many such opportunities; after all, he looked at her only when he hit her or devoured her body. Otherwise, she was a stranger to him.

This routine continued for two months but he saw her today. He came back home early. He saw her writing something and his blood began to boil. He only expected her to be in the kitchen. He could not see her doing anything else. This came as a severe blow to his ego. He took a cane kept below the table, ready to hit her till her hand detached and fell off. Today would be the last day she would be able to use her hands to do anything.

His hand rose in mid-air; but it stayed where it was. She had assumed another cane in her hand, a bit bigger; she was ready to strike back. He dropped his cane. He looked at her with wide, blood-shot eyes. How did this timid lamb turn into a hungry tigress?

“While you were exploiting me for the past three years, I was studying for my M.A. I never went to my parent’s place during summer or winter; I went to appear for my exams then. I have an M.A. degree now and a job paying much more than yours. I have been selected to work with a firm that hires young writers. You will never understand that the pen is mightier than the sword and always shall be. No longer will I work as a maid in your house. I have arranged for my own accommodation close to the firm. I owe my life to writing; I’ve died every moment staying with a hang-man like you. Never again dare to dominate or exploit a woman. She can do anything and everything- much better than you.”

She packed her bag and left the house, leaving behind only one book; a thick one lying on the dining table, it was named ‘Stronger Than Ever- from Somebody to Nobody’ and had the picture of a confident woman painted on its cover.


This short story was written by my friend Aishwarya who blogs at The Power Of Dreams.
If you liked the story do leave comments here or on her blog complimenting her about it. I’m sure she’ll like that!
This short story is a part of a series I’m posting written by my friends based on Harry Potter prompts.
You can read the post where I explain it all here.
This is the previous story in the series.

The prompt “And she pulled a heavy book from the stack on the mantelpiece.” is from Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets.

I’ll put up the next story on the 22nd of December and the prompt is “ Perhaps tonight- after a month of waiting- would be the night-

Gray Blood

He was wine and music and disappointment and hope, woven together loosely with threads of gossamer, and everyone in the room around him knew this, but none of them mentioned it.

He reclined into the couch. The floors and the walls seethed with music spilling from speakers. A girl next to him was thinking out loud, saying that hearts could beat until they stopped, and yet if they hadn’t loved, they hadn’t lived.

“Isn’t that right, Aaron?”

Who was Aaron? But the girl next to him was pointing right at him, a dazed but determined look on her face, with the question still suspended in the air between them.

He was Aaron.

Aaron nodded, and the movement made him want to immediately lie down somewhere and never wake up. He asked her, “How much have I had to drink?”

“Too much and not enough,” she whispered without missing a beat. She was wearing a pink dress, hair loose and long all around her shoulders; lips red and smudged. He knew her. He knew her, but he couldn’t come up with her name. He couldn’t even come up with his own name, a few minutes ago.

She leaned further in to the couch. Under the glowing magenta lights and because of the thumping room, he knew they both looked like something out of a painting, all splashes of cherry reds and violets and…

And gray. His hands were a dull gray, the nails bordering on black, his shirt pale as snow.

His heart dropped.

He reached out and touched Aster’s arm. Aster. Her name was Aster. You only remember things when you don’t seek them out. His fingers were a shocking contrast to the bright pink of her skin, with the fairy lights above them angled directly onto her. Like she was absorbing all the hues of the room into her.

That wasn’t true. He looked at his feet, at black swirls on skin as grey as a storm. She wasn’t absorbing color. He was repelling it.

He was cotton and stone and sorrows and love, bound breathlessly with threads of gossamer, and only he knew it, and he did not mention it.

Slowly, he stood up. The blood in his veins felt like icy smoke pushing at his body from the inside, and it crashed to and fro against the shores of his organs. A heady daze surrounded him, and left as fast as it came onto him. He walked languidly, alcohol pooling at the bones in his feet.

The room had a repetitive feature; people having the time of their lives wherever he looked. Dancing, kissing, talking and laughing their lungs out. A bottle was in Aaron’s right hand, and he didn’t remember it getting there; the vodka in it, the color of frosted roses with the pink light of the room, interrupted only by shadows of people who weren’t really people- they were pounding, electric hearts. It almost took his mind off his own body being monochromatic.

He put his hand on a man’s shoulder, and sputtered, “What color am I?”

The man did not look back. He shuffled away, pumping his head to an upbeat song, leaving Aaron slack-jawed.

Why wouldn’t he talk to him?

Aaron reached his arm out and curled his fingers around a girl’s wrist. Her skin felt like the glow of a dying fire; and not because it was warm, but because he was cold.

“What color am I?”

The girl danced away from him like he was a planet and she was an asteroid.

This went on, with him gripping the shoulders of nameless bodies and screaming into their faces, clinging on to any sense of recognition in their eyes, only to have it ripped away.

Aaron saw Aster leaving, and called to her. He had trust in her, in the promise that she would return every word he said to her. She would see him, and his nails wouldn’t be black anymore, and everything would be right and his voice could stop grating against his throat.

Aster’s ignorance was the opposite of blissful.

He couldn’t take it. He was utterly, indisputably alone in a room full of souls and blood and starry eyes. A weed in a garden full of peonies.

Aaron took a swig from the bottle in his hand and marched toward a group of men hunched over a table, hurling slang into the air for him to breathe. He put the bottle down on the table a little harder than he meant to, so that it slopped over onto the table. No one took any notice. The vodka spilled onto the table mat, darkening the fabric under it.

His own skin was still terribly gray, gray as Aster’s eyes.

He wanted to leave, and leave he did. Because the color had drained not only from his being, but also his mind. He left the building and left Aster, and left the girl with the warm skin and the bottle of rosy vodka.

And he didn’t return. He spent seconds that turned into minutes and minutes that turned into months in a place he called home, but which didn’t really feel like anything more than a skeleton of cement and bricks.

Indiscernible units of time spent at a computer. Cups upon cups of coffee. Aaron thought that after he spent hours typing, he could see red spots on his fingers. Maybe his blood thawed at hard work.

Not this hard work.

When he slept, he sometimes dreamt that he couldn’t wake up, because trees had taken root in his lungs and his neck and maybe he was already buried, because that was how it felt in his heart. Like walls had closed in on him. The only way out didn’t exist.

And one particular day, he woke up to find that a part of him wished he hadn’t, because he was tired of the gray walls of his gray home and his gray body and his gray blood. He ached to feel the same alcohol pounding at his feet that he had at that party all that time ago; to hear the same whisper of Aster’s sotto voce claim that he’d had too much to drink, and not enough.

He poured himself a cup of coffee- still relieved that it didn’t turn a dark gray at his touch, because he didn’t think he could bear it- and prepared to sit down at the table. In his hurry, he slipped and crashed head first onto the floor.

When he came to, he opened his eyes to coffee and blood mixing on the wooden floor, in a dark masterpiece of sorts.

It was like someone picked his heart up and made it beat again.

In the elevator ride out of the building, he couldn’t help but smile uncontrollably when the operator wished him a good day. He ran on the street, feeling his lungs expand with air that smelled of hope. He made a purchase. He actually could talk to a person, who accepted money from him and gave him a few oil paints and a paintbrush in return.

“Sir, why are you gray?”

He didn’t stop to answer. Instead, he reached forward and pulled the man into a full embrace, inhaling beer and crayons and ink.

And then he ran back.

And he could feel his skin coming to life, but it hadn’t, not quite yet, so he dipped the brush fully into paint and dragged it down his nose.

He was life and death and flowers and smoke, wound together in a loving embrace with threads of gossamer.

He thought he would die from the color that exploded on his chest.


This short story was written by my friend Isha who blogs at Spectrums and Semantics.

If you liked the story, leave comments here or on her blog, complimenting her about it. I’m sure she’ll like it.
Also, I feel like telling this to everyone, Isha is only 16!
Yes, that story was written by a 16 year old. It is amazing, isn’t it?

This story is a part of a series I’m posting written by my friends based on Harry Potter prompts.
You can check out the post where I explain it all here.
This is the previous story in the series.

The prompt “He put the bottle down on the table a little harder than he meant to, so that it slopped over onto the table. No one took any notice.” is from Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix.

I’ll put up the next story on the 19th of December and the prompt is “ And she pulled a heavy book from the stack on the mantelpiece.

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