Interiors of a plush theatre

Flash Fiction | I Do Too

The production studio’s logo appears. The remaining lights come on. The tunnel of light-dust from the projector to the screen fades out. More cleaning staff emerge from the Exit doors, and wait.

I get up, dust the remaining crumbs from my t-shirt and jeans, quickly look around to ensure I haven’t dropped anything, and begin walking to the front of the row.

What do I see? A girl in a deep pink printed tee, faded jeans, silver tote, wavy hair falling gently on her shoulders, too walking to the front of her row, three rows ahead.

Is this possible? Another soaked-to-the-bone movie-lover?

I tentatively look at her, she returns the look, and smiles back pleasantly. I return a wider smile.

If we had been at the same level of rows, we could have for now at least walked down this aisle together.

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A bearded man with glasses looking down into something

Flash Fiction | Passed

“Sir, could you check your details please?” The young woman at the counter asked him to look at the applicant monitor facing him.

He squinted at the screen. Putting his hand into his bag, which he had placed on his lap, he pulled out a spectacle case, clicked it open, spread out the temples of the glasses within, and put them on.

It was the woman’s turn to squint. “You have reading glasses…?” She politely inquired, remembering to smile.

He diverted his eyes from the screen, looked at her above his glasses, bobbed his head a couple of times, smiled back, and turned his attention again to confirming the details on the monitor.

From the corner of his eye, he saw her pick up his passport from the table none-too-discreetly (she was a young woman, after all), flip to the inside cover, and on reading his date of birth, widen her eyes and turn up her eyebrows. She couldn’t contain herself. “Sir, you don’t look so old…”

Looking at her again, his validation over, he smiled more than passport and visa snaps allow you to.

A slightly blurred image of a guy behind a wheel

Flash Fiction | Almost There

He wasn’t just proving a dream date, he was proving a dream guy. He was fine with them splitting the bill, he didn’t get up when she excused herself to go to the restroom, no sly peeks at his smartphone when they were talking, no holding the door open for her – not for the restaurant, not for the car – although he did gesture her to both go in and sit in before him.

Fastening her seat-belt as he started the ignition, she noticed what she had missed when they were on their way here: not a single god’s idol on the dashboard or anywhere around. Wow, could he be the mythical, truly liberal guy? Why, she could go ahead and uninstall Tinder after this.

Hope coursing through her and culminating in a smile, she asked, trying to keep it as cool as she could, “So, how come you don’t have any godly pix or idols like every other car…?”

Smiling, he pulled out a small idol from the recesses of the cockpit, touched it and then his forehead, put it back in, and replied, feeling he had salvaged himself, “Here you go. I just keep Him in here to avoid Him getting dirty and dusty.”

‘Damn,’ she sighed, looking away. ‘Our babies would have ruled the world.’

 

Irfiction: Payback

Logo for IrfictionMy first take at fiction, through my eternal favourite subject of animals. And in case it’s not evident, find out what Irfiction is here: About Irfiction.

It finally dawned on him. Why he was fed the freshest, greenest grass the past few days. Why the kids led him – paraded him – down the street. Why the elders came every once a while and felt him up – his belly, his legs, his flanks… And he thought they were petting him.

As they dragged him by the ears presently, toward the crimson-smeared area, it finally hit him. They feed you so that they can feed on you. Horror slowly consumed him. Yet, the last tenacious bit of him – oh, he was tenacious all right, having bounced brazenly from one rock to another on his tiny toes even as a kid – managed to bleat out, his loudest bleat ever, to the next in line, “If… If they do this to us… isn’t there any way… we get back at them…?”

Next-in-Line wasn’t exactly a wise old white one; none of these are – old, that is. And… he was next. As Tenacious was slowly readied for the ritual – first the hind legs were tied, so he wobbled and fell, then the human hands swooped to tie up his fore limbs, then his mouth was fastened, finally two hands each held each of his limbs and mouth and head – as Tenacious was slowly prepared, he kept searching Next’s eyes, lips, face for some redeeming answer.

On his part, Next was trying his best, even as he was slowly started getting paralysed himself. Just as the blade came to rest at Tenacious’s neck – perhaps waiting for the auspicious time, perhaps from some prayers – he could sense some murmurs from nearby, perhaps allowing him one last look – Next, and the humans, turned in the direction of the murmurs. The strains of the TV wafted in, much as the stench from here wafted there: “Hundreds of pilgrims have been reported dead in the holy city… on the eve of the festival. Authorities are…”

Next looked back at Tenacious, and slowly carved out the words through his goatee, “Oh, we… get… back… at… them… alright…”

Gently, Tenacious closed his eyes, even as his ears caught more of the urgent words, “Reports say many more are injured and fighting for their…”