Another flash fiction piece of mine, titled “Whim“, has been published in Flash Fiction Magazine. Creativity has sort of taken a back seat these days, as I’ve been guiltily trying to get back to writing my dissertation. This is actually a rather old story, written quite a few years ago, as an experiment on a little writing group I had started with two friends. The game was for each person to choose a word, and then to write a brief story on one of the words, preferably not the one that she herself had chosen. That’s how this story came to have this one-word title; well, that, and the fact that I was too lazy to change it. The starting point of the story (the shock of having a perfect stranger access something embarrassingly personal) was loosely based on a personal narrative related by yet another friend, though of course I took great liberties in embellishing it — had great fun doing that, too! It’s fun to imagine that you’re the kind of smoking hot woman that gift store clerks leer at, not the kind whose existence they grudgingly acknowledge!
Another 100-word story, “The Retreating River“, is now up on A Story in 100 Words. Like “The Conductor“, which was written on a chaotic bus ride from Thrissur to Kozhikode, this one was written on a train ride between the same two towns. Specifically, the description of the river was inspired by the sight of the Bharathappuzha near Shornur, which has deteriorated into a river of sand splattered here and there with trickles of water.
[Illustrated by A.V. Sherine]
Sunil’s adolescent fantasy of being a bus conductor was now fulfilled. Nubile women pressed against him in strategic spots, he smirked.
At Valanchery, a horde of schoolgirls boarded. Sunil could barely squeeze through to sell tickets. This was heaven.
At Vattappara, thirteen aunties got on. Commuters. Other passengers were in hell. Sunil attained paradise. Though paradise was slightly suffocating.
At Kakkad, the tension eased slightly, but before Sunil could exhale, twenty quavering old biddies surged into the bus. A handbag knocked against Sunil’s temple.
When the bus pulled into Ramanattukara bus stand, Sunil was no longer in this world. Literally.
UPDATE: This story has been published on A Story in 100 Words. You can view it here.