STORY THREAD; Nov 5– Nov 11, 2015 Flash Fiction Writing Contest: “A Seed”.

The LinkedIn Comment Thread can be found here.

This post is for STORIES related to the writing prompt: “A seed – it can be interpreted metaphorically or materially”. Critiques, comments and feedback are encouraged on the LinkedIn Comment Thread; non story comments here will be deleted.


The point of these friendly contests is to hone our craft and create successful stories within a predefined set of limitations. There is no monetary compensation.

Please Note: comments may be considered “published” in regards to other contest requirements.

All stories are fall under general copyright laws. No part may be reproduced without the express consent of the respective author.

 

Story Submission Rules:

  1. One story per author. Stories must be in English, unpublished and your own work.
  2. Stories must fit into a single comment box and must be under 1000 words.
  3. Voting starts Wednesday morning at 9:00am PDT / 12:00pm EST / 10:30pm IST / 5:00pm WET/GMT/ 4:00am AEDT (Thursday) and ends the same time on Thursday / 4:00am AEDT (Friday). Send your votes via email LIFlashFiction (at) gmail.com. Winner will be announced in the Comment and Story thread. You may vote only once and cannot vote for yourself.
  4. The winner shall name the next week’s writing prompt.
  5. In case of ties, co-winners may be announced and the moderator shall select a winner to name the theme.
  6. The winner has three days after the announcement to contact either Alice Nelson or Carrie Zylka via LIFlashFiction(at)gmail.com with the next theme/items of their choosing.
  7. See How to Participate for complete rules and disclaimers.

16 thoughts on “STORY THREAD; Nov 5– Nov 11, 2015 Flash Fiction Writing Contest: “A Seed”.

  • November 6, 2015 at 3:35 am
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    “The Girl Who Loved Her Music”
    © Carrie Zylka 2015

    Carrie was ready to get the morning started, a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato (upside down with whip cream and extra caramel drizzle of course) in one hand, she got onto the freeway and headed to work. She reached over and turned on her smartphone, tapping the Spotify icon on the homepage. She tapped the “Faves” playlist and turned the volume dial up. Way up.

    This week’s writing prompt was “A Seed”. So many different ways to go with this one, her brainstorming ritual was simple: she turned her mind’s eye to her music for inspiration.

    One by one the songs rolled through, she could listen to a lot of songs in her hour-long commute to work.

    ___________________________________________

    “I spoke to God today, and she said that she’s ashamed. What have I become, what have I done? I spoke to the devil today…” Nope, sorry Five Finger Death Punch way too preachy for today.

    skip

    “You can’t hurt me this time, I’m prepared for anything. You won’t get that close now, I’m protected from your lies…” Ahhhhhhh sorry Allen Lande, not this time, way too depressing for this prompt, wish I would’ve used you in the Nemesis prompt like I’d originally thought to do.

    skip

    “Escape the hell, of capitulated mortals, and drink the blood of a king. A desert rain has washed away direction, had angels looking after me, so it seems…” FAVE SONG, love me some Avenged Sevenfold, goodness gracious one of my favorite songs of all time – maybe the Angel story I’ve been working on, a battle? A story about her journey? But how would a seed fit in? Hmmm maybe not today, but maybe a future story, yes most definitely a future story.

    skip

    “And the rain will kill us all; we throw ourselves against the wall. But no one else can see, the preservation of the martyr in me…” Acid rain on the crops? Seeds planted, deformed? Dying? Maybe. Maybe not – sorry Slipknot, looking for something a little more positive here. Hmmmmm this is a serious jam though, ok you get to play through. {Red light: commence headbanging; tons of blond curls flying, oops almost spilled my coffee…}

    skip

    “Pinch this tiny heart of mine, wrap it up in soiled twine, you never read what you’ve written…”

    skip

    “Prick your finger it is done, the moon had now eclipsed the sun, the angel has spread its wings, the time has come for bitter things…” Oh Manson – I miss the old you, maybe the next chapter in the Maelic saga. Angels, demons, fighting, cataclysm, seeds dying? Hmm no, not gelling.

    skip

    “Don’t you know I broke the mold, like a hammer to a landmine, you better stick to what you know, ‘cause I ain’t playin’ just to rewind…” maybe a war story? Maybe a fight story, something badass? The seeds of dissent? Nah – sorry Shinedown just not right for this prompt.

    skip

    “I won’t be what you want me to be, your picture perfect vanity; I don’t want to be your dirty pretty…” In This Moment – you may have caught my attention. {Nodding my head, agreeing with myself.}

    “I won’t close my eyes like you want me to, I am wild, I am free, I am untamable, I’m more than you’ll ever see…More than just your dirty pretty…”

    Winner, winner, chicken dinner, maybe a story about a beautiful, vain woman who was somehow granted her beauty using a spell or by a djinn, but as the little tree next to her mirror grows, her beauty fades.

    Hmmmmmmmmmm…..

    yes

    ____________________________________________

    Carrie pulled into the parking lot, she shut down Spotify and turned off her truck. Locking the door she got out and grinned. The seed of a fabulous story had been firmly planted in her mind and she couldn’t wait to properly nurture it.

  • November 7, 2015 at 1:14 am
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    The Bad Seed

    It was hard to determine when the seed was planted. It seemed that it had always been a part of her life – sometimes dormant, sometimes alive and flowering. It was most deadly when flowering and attempting to bear its toxic fruit.

    Ana looked at the stranger reflected in her mirror and didn’t recognize the haggard woman standing there. She gazed at the dull eyes, the limp hair and the facial muscles sagging into an expression of despair. With one hand she gripped the edge of the bathroom sink and with the other; she held the fruit that promised freedom.

    Her thoughts were scattered and turning like a hamster in a wheel going nowhere. The killing plant was in full bloom teasing her, taunting her, and obscuring her view. When was it planted? She tried to remember. Was it when she was three and abused by the babysitter’s husband? Was it when she was six and ridiculed by her first grade teacher for her faith in God? The wish that she hadn’t been born ran through her immature brain.

    When she was eight and molested by the brother of a friend the plant sprouted into life. He threw her into a makeshift grave and told her “bad people” die. She knew she wasn’t bad but she did think about dying to escape the pain. Her thoughts of wishing she’d never been born changed into wishing she were dead. She didn’t know how that could happen, but she knew it had to be better than the shame and pain she bore. The shame wasn’t hers to bear but an eight-year-old could not understand this.

    During good times the seed was dormant and she would forget it existed. During bad times, it would begin to sprout anew. It defied the laws of nature. It was dormant when good things occurred or she was happy. It grew when storms of strife and despair raged around her. As much as she loved flowers and watching things grow, the killing seed created a plant to be feared yet it was enticing all the same. Instead of recognizing the toxicity of the plant, she came to see it as a form of salvation when times were rough and she wanted to escape from the world.

    Ana lived a cursed life not of her own making. The world documents events in terms of statistics. She was the part of those statistics that documented those destined to become victims, sufferers and the cursed. If one of a number of people suffered a traumatic event, she was destined to be that one. It seemed she had been programmed from birth to live a jinxed existence. Life proved this to her over and over. One in five women are sexually molested as children; she found that she was that ONE on more than one occasion. One in four women suffers infant or pregnancy loss; she was again that ONE – on three separate occasions. One in four women becomes a victim of domestic abuse; again she was that ONE – on two separate occasions.

    With each traumatic event, the seed sprouted anew and grew into a tree full of strength and might. Ana was an adult in a torturous marriage that she could not escape when the killing tree first bore its toxic fruit. The thoughts of her past – “I wish I’d never been born” and “I wish I could die” subtly changed into deliberate thoughts of how to end her days, her pain and her life. The roots of the seed and tree were firmly planted in her brain and would not be removed, no matter how she tried. She was tired, weak, and uncaring. Darkness surrounded her world and fed the tree which did not need light to live, survive and thrive.

    Ana looked again at the stranger reflected in her mirror and didn’t recognize the haggard woman standing there. She gazed at the dull eyes, the limp hair and the facial muscles sagging into an expression of despair. With one hand she gripped the edge of the bathroom sink and with the other; she held a handful of pills – the toxic yet enticing fruit of the tree that promised her freedom from physical and emotional pain. She might become yet another statistic but she wouldn’t be around to care. With the plan made and control in her hands, she was filled with elation and confidence. Dare she take the final step to taste the fruit?

  • November 8, 2015 at 5:52 am
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    Puberty Blues
    By Alice Nelson ©2015

    Jack Berry was at that awkward age; not quite a man, but not a boy any longer either. Puffs of hair sprouted out of places that were normally bare, and his voice cracked at the most inopportune times.

    Today it broke in front of Melissa Doolittle and her friends. Jack sat next to Melissa in Biology class, and the two had flirted with each other in that clumsy way kids do. But Melissa was with her friends, and she laughed at Jack, because that’s what silly girls do sometimes when boys are around.

    Jack was heartbroken, he quickly shut his locker and headed home with his head hanging low, and his thoughts on life without Melissa.

    Jack didn’t even hear the man approach, and let out an embarrassing squeal when the stranger tried getting his attention.

    “Psst, psst. Hey kid, come over here.”

    Jack had never seen the man before; he was a short, average looking chap, who appeared to Jack to be harmless.

    “Hello, hello, hello.” The man said. “I see ya have a long face my friend, something bothering you?” Before Jack could answer, the man went on. “Well, I got something that’ll cheer ya right up. He stooped low and whispered this next part to Jack. “Even someone whose heart’s been broken.”

    “How…” Jack began, but the man didn’t even stop to take a breath.

    “Right here my friend, is the answer to all your problems.” Jack looked around, and thought he should leave, maybe yell ‘stranger danger’ like he was taught in school.

    But the man put something in Jack’s hand, and said. “Look inside kid.”

    It was a small yellow bag; and when Jack opened it, there was one little seed inside.

    “I can see you’re confused kid, well that’s understandable. But this magic seed will cure all that ails ya.”

    Jack didn’t think anything could cure what ailed him. He thought about Melissa. Her long dark, wavy hair, green eyes, and that beautiful smile.

    The stranger said. “It can help you woo Melissa, Jack.” The boy overlooked the fact that he had not told this man his name, and that he seemed to be reading Jack’s mind. But something in the man’s voice made Jack want to stay —even against his better judgement.

    At that moment Jack didn’t’ care; he wanted Melissa and if this seed could help, that was all that mattered.

    The stranger said, “At midnight Jack, plant the seed in Melissa’s yard, and she shall be yours. But I should tell you, it won’t be easy, there is always a cost to getting the things we desire most.”

    Jack nodded, he didn’t care what it cost if it meant getting Melissa.

    “Midnight,” the man repeated, and like that, he was gone.

    Jack figured it was too ridiculous to be true, but he was struck dumb by love. ‘Even if it doesn’t work,’ he thought, ‘the worse that can happen is Melissa has a new plant in her yard.’

    That night, Jack’s house was silent; the way houses are when everyone in them is soundly asleep. He quietly dressed, and climbed out the window. Melissa lived only a few short blocks away, but when Jack got there, he began to second guess his decision.

    “Full speed ahead, hey young Jack.” The man had appeared behind Jack without making a sound, startling the poor boy.

    The stranger smiled and said, “Do it, my young friend.”

    Jack wanted to ask him so many questions, but his thoughts were all jumbled, and he couldn’t think of a coherent thing to ask.

    Jack planted the seed in Melissa’s back yard. He didn’t know what he thought would happen, but Jack was hoping for something magical.

    “Just wait.” The man said, pointing at the place where Jack just planted the seed.

    Jack shook his head, he thought he was going crazy, but there were sprouts growing right before his eyes. The plant continued to grow at an incredible rate, creaking and groaning as it made its way up into the clouds. When it finally stopped, the man said, “This is what you must do Jack. The cost of getting what you desire. Climb to the top, prove you will do anything to get Melissa.

    Jack tried to run, but the stranger grabbed him.

    “Climb.” The man said.

    And that’s what Jack did.

    He finally reached the top, and what Jack saw left him speechless. It was an exact replica of the school hallway where his locker was, even Melissa was there with her gaggle of friends. Confused Jack said, “Hi Melissa.” His voice cracked just like before, and she began laughing at him all over again.

    This time though, Jack didn’t walk off feeling dejected. Instead he joked, “I sound like a goose playing the trumpet, don’t I?”

    Replica Melissa laughed, “That’s funny Jack.” She said. He smiled, but it didn’t last long. Suddenly the giant stalk vanished, and Jack was free-falling towards the ground. Just as he was about to make impact, he woke up. Jack was in Biology class; he had fallen asleep during a lecture on whether or not the beanstalk in Jack and The Beanstalk was a scientific possibility.

    Jack chuckled. ‘I knew it was all a dream.’

    He reached in his backpack, and felt something that seemed strange, yet familiar too. It was a little yellow bag; just like the one in his dream. Jack sat staring at it, and when he looked up, Melissa was staring at him.

    She scribbled something on a piece of paper and handed it to him.

    I’m sorry I laughed at you earlier. Please, forgive me. ~M

    Jack smiled and nodded.

    ******************

    The restaurant was crowded as Jack waited for Melissa. He thought back on that day in middle school, still not sure if it was real or imagined. But Jack knew it made sense to put Melissa’s engagement ring inside the little yellow bag that made their life together possible.

  • November 8, 2015 at 4:31 pm
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    The Willow Tree.

    The willow stands tall, majestic, its delicate branches kissing the water. A little to the right, leaning at an angle and almost buried in the undergrowth, stands a roughly carved stone. It bears a single word: ‘Jamie’.

    Moss grows copiously around the stone, protecting it.
    Wild birds call and soft winds blow around this sacred spot, summers and winters pass, seasons come and go; the tree grows tall.

    If one should wander by and discover this stone, one might be moved to ponder on its origins. What lies underneath?

    Abigail often comes and sits beneath the willow, drinking in the solitude and remembering happier times; times when she and Jamie ran and laughed by the stream. Endless summer days so long ago before the winter chill settled on her heart, before she lost the ability to feel.

    Abigail’s story.

    It was on one of these days that a little child, no older than seven or eight approaches. With the innocent curiosity of childhood, she asks,

    “Why are you sad?”

    Abigail replies.

    “I’m not sad, I’m just remembering.”

    The child, relieved that Abigail has not driven her away, comes closer. Her small fingers trace the letters on the stone.

    “J-A-M-I-E. I can read.”

    “Ah, yes. Jamie.”

    Abigail looks into the middle distance; minutes pass.

    “Tell me about Jamie.”

    “It was a long time ago, child.”

    “How long ago?”

    “Long before you were born, I was young then. It was over fifty years ago.”

    The child settles down on the grass, ready for a story.

    “Jamie and I were in love, but my father said we were too young for such nonsense. Jamie was a shepherd, so he didn’t have much money or even a place to live. To separate us, my father sent me away to stay with an aunt for a year.”

    “I don’t like your father.”

    Abigail smiles ruefully.

    “Neither did I, at the time. I remember the evening before I was sent away, as clearly as if it were yesterday. Jamie and I had been gathering berries in the woods, we were both heartbroken.”

    Abigail’s eyes glistened with unshed tears.

    “We were sitting in this same spot; of course it was different then, there were fewer trees, and this stone that you see was crisp and new. Anyway, Jamie picked up a seed from the ground. ‘Plant this’ he told me, ‘and when I see you again it will have grown.’ We found a stick and dug a hole; together we planted the seed. Many times since then I have watered it with my tears.

    While I was away war came to our village, and all the young men had to enlist. So it was that Jamie went to fight.

    I came home after a year, the village was much changed, all the young men were away fighting, and it was left to the old men and the women to do their work. It was not a happy time; we were all uncertain and worried about the future.

    I’ll never forget the day the telegram arrived; I awoke that morning with a feeling of dread that I couldn’t shake off. The telegraph boy rode up on his bicycle and I knew before he reached my door that it was bad news. I was afraid to open the telegram, my hands were shaking, and I handed it to my father. Saying nothing, he put his arms around me and held me close.

    The next thing I recall is waking up in my bed. They told me I had fainted. I did not cry, in fact, I couldn’t cry; I could feel nothing.”

    Abigail paused once more.

    The child looked on, anxiously. In her young life, stories always had a happy ending.

    “Months passed and eventually I received a small parcel containing his dog tags and a medal. As Jamie’s parents were long gone, I was considered his next of kin.”

    Wide-eyed now, the child asks.

    “Where was his coffin?”

    “He was buried with his comrades in a peaceful cemetery overseas, row upon row of white stones mark the spot, and in the summer the wild poppies grow. After some months I returned to our place in the woods, the seed had taken root and a young sapling was growing. This gave me comfort, and I buried the dog tags with his medal. The stone was nearby, so I carved his name with a penknife.”

    As Abigail tells her story, a sense of lightness and relief envelops her. The willow tree will remain for future generations. Maybe, in time the child will tell the story to her own children. Jamie and Abigail will live on in folklore.

    The child approaches and lays her tiny hand on Abigail’s shoulder, the wisdom of ages in her young eyes.

    “That was a lovely story.”

  • November 8, 2015 at 8:45 pm
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    Thoughts Down Deep Finally Come to the Surface

    A dreaded feeling; the wait. I hate being here. Is there no way out? It is a dark prison
    here where I’ve found myself. Time seems to have stopped, or I have just lost track of
    it. How long, I wonder, has it been?

    The dark is closing in on me, and the cold has increased too. Without the light to shine
    the way, I’m lost. I’ve never been in a predicament like this before. I really want out. I
    need to think. What will it take to change my circumstances? The answer’s here
    somewhere.

    Yes, I’m alive, but so alone. Why is there no one to join me in this deep dark hole?
    How I got here is a puzzle to me, I just woke up one morning to find my life had
    changed; not a little, but a lot. I do recall how it was. I remember gentle breezes on my
    cheek, and the warmth of the bright sun around me.

    If I have to stay here much longer, I think l’ll go mad. Then I saw a shaft of light and felt
    the warmth beyond. Could this be my escape route? Slowly and gently, I felt myself
    being pulled and drawn closer to the light as it grew brighter. The air was suddenly
    much fresher and the world took on a new look.

    Folks around me were staring. I wish I had a mirror to see what they saw in me. One
    child asked her mother if she could pick me. Then I joined a dozen others like myself
    and was placed in a glass vase on a fireplace mantle. I’m guessing this is home. Am I
    experiencing a renewal? I feel like I’ve been here before.

  • November 8, 2015 at 11:37 pm
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    Sowing and Reaping

    It was the insult that started it.

    “Did you actually go to school, you dimwit!?”

    The manager overheard Brian’s outburst and came over. Lizzy was standing by the table with the bill in her hand and explained to her boss that she’d made a small (honest) mistake of addition.

    “How can you employ cretins like this, for crying out loud? Can’t even tot up a simple bill?”

    “I’m sorry, sir. Perhaps if we discount the bottle of wine?”

    Brian smirked to his friend, sitting opposite him at the table.

    “At the very least, I should think.”

    They left and Lizzy finished her shift, but at the end of the evening the manager took her to one side.

    “We can’t be having that kind of thing, Elizabeth. I’m afraid I’ll have to let you go.”

    “Please, Derek …”

    But the manager had turned and was heading for the kitchen.

    When Lizzy got home and told her husband, Dan, he took it very badly and slammed out of the house; they had a mortgage to pay and were struggling as it was.

    Dan drove to the pub; he didn’t have much money, but what he had in his pocket was going down his throat. He finished off four pints of beer in quick succession and accepted a double whisky from a friend.

    He knew he shouldn’t have driven home, but when you’re drunk, you don’t listen to your inner voice. He’d gone two blocks when he drove through a red light and crashed into the side of a car driven by Allison, who was killed outright. Dan was arrested and would spend a year and a half in prison.

    Allison was an actress and was driving home happy; she’d just heard that she’d been given a part in a new big-budget film to begin shooting the following month. She was to play the lead opposite a similarly up-and-coming actor. They’d auditioned hundreds of actors and actresses and decided on these two as being a perfect match.

    Her opposite number, Jimmy, got a phone call the next day with the news. The studio would have to go with another couple, and the contract he was to sign that day would not now take effect. Jimmy was distraught because like Allison, this was the big chance he’d been waiting years for.

    Jimmy’s partner, Alan, worked as a nurse in the local hospital. Jimmy phoned him with the news and Alan could tell the state he was in; Jimmy had been on medication for depression, not helped by his failure to find acting parts, and now came this major setback. Alan feared Jimmy might do something stupid and hurried to finish his last round of the ward so that he could get home and be with him.

    Alan worked on the children’s ward and was a very good nurse … normally. On this particular evening, though, as his mind was elsewhere, he switched the medication of the last two children on the ward. For the first, Sian, it caused only mild nausea, but for the second, Molly, it caused cardiac arrest and death.

    Molly’s parents were called in and were, of course, destroyed by the news. Sarah, the mother, was quiet, seemingly in shock. The father, Brian, angry and in tears, wanted to know how the mistake was made.

    “I mean didn’t that bloke go to nursing school, for crying out loud!?”

    .

  • November 8, 2015 at 11:43 pm
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    November 6, 2015
    Writers Hangout
    Seed

    “Thirsty, so Thirsty. Dark. Unbelievable darkness and heaviness here. Where am I?”

    Lying flat, still all around it seemed damp and dark, suffocating, she realized there was no moving. She felt a little drip of water seeping through the dirt above.

    “Dirt! There is dirt all around me. What happened to the sunshine and cool breezes?”

    This feeling of being parched had been going on for quit awhile, but this blackness was something new.
    She had no sense of time, as the ground would dry out, another few drops of water would ooze through, just enough to almost be refreshing, then suddenly there was to much water and no place to go.

    A bit latter she could feel an unexplained warmth. Not sure what it was but knowing she needed to reach for it, she began to push and turn and stretch up towards the heat with everything in her. The water must have loosened the soil, she was able to twist about, the harder she worked the more she could feel. It seemed there was as much going down as going up. She tried to lift her head and noticed a small sliver of light, it caused a newness of determination to keep moving, surge through her being. Maybe if she could get her head up a bit more she could break through the earth and find a way out. Knowing all the pain she was struggling with wouldn’t compare to the joy of breaking free.

    Finally she broke free, the wind blew, she felt herself bend almost in two, but she held firm. The seasons changed time after time, yet she was able to bare it. She grew mighty in stature.

    Ms Franklin, one of the few of her kind left, had weathered the years well, she stood proud and tall, her roots ran deep, she knew this year was important not only for her but for the future.

    She sent out a whisper,”Come children, Come listen and I will tell you a tale. Things have not gone well the last century. We are almost extinct from over use and abuse, diseases and lack of proper care. Some have acknowledged this and want to make a difference, in order to do so they will need your help. What I am about to tell you is not to scare you but to help you.

    When I was your age I was plump and round, shinny and bright like you, pleasing to the eye. I was plucked and quartered, my heart cut away, laid out to dry. When I became as parched as I thought I could stand, I was placed in a bed of soft soil, covered over and given so much water I thought I would drown. For days the water would seep through the soil for me to absorb, suddenly things started to change and I grew tall and strong and now I am able to bring you to this point.

    Harvest time is almost here, it will be up to you to die to self, so you too may become strong. You must be buried and reborn in order to bloom. What lies deep inside you maybe just what can change the world forever, so let what is hidden in you come out.

    1 Peter 1:23
    23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

  • November 9, 2015 at 7:06 am
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    Acer Rubrum junior’s Freedom Dash

    Freedom and independence was the ambitious Acer Rubrum junior’s obsessive dream.

    At last her delicate samaras were dry and ready for flight; two fibrous papery wings ready to whizz her off to faraway places.

    It had to be this week or never.

    The early autumn wind rose and swept through the stand of trees. The smallest branches shook, red leaves rustled.

    ZOOM!

    Acer was detached and swept up by the swirling air currents, no time for emotional goodbyes and niceties.
    There never had been for any of them and this moment was no exception.

    What an exhilarating start to this life changing adventure!

    Every year the time arrives for the seeds to detach, spiral sideways to find a place clear of their parent, hover, then slowly gyrate to earth to settle and wait. They wait for their own life within themselves to germinate.

    However Acer Rubrum junior had grand plans of her own.

    SNAP!

    Acer Rubrum junior caught up in an air current, quickly acted to her advantage. She snapped open her two wings, let her body drop vertically and began twirling. Twirling was critical to gaining immediate height and flight. Quickly she whipped the current into a tornado-like vortex and by her own volition whirled away into the expansive cloudy grey tinged sky.

    ‘Fly far, be amazing’ was her constant mantra.

    Keep spinning; spin hard and fast to maintain the vortex.
    Suck the wings upward and oppose gravity.

    GO!

    Acer spun, whirled and thrilled at what she saw and felt.

    The air currents slipped beneath her keeping her aloft just as long as she continued to spin hard and fast.
    The ground slipped away and within minutes gigantic trees became miniatures of themselves.

    Her delicate wings twirling, whirling creating a strong vortex that lowered the air pressure above them.
    She had become a tornado that defied gravity and cut a path through thermal currents, propelled onward through the air.

    The tiny spinning spectacle would draw the curiosity of a passing bird. Maybe it was a lark or a blackbird that would swoop toward her with sharp-eyed appraisal, then swept away to follow more important pursuits.

    EXHILARATING!

    Just last week she overheard a discussion where it was mentioned that the fruit never falls far from the tree.

    ‘Not so for this baby!’

    An idea that was too awful to contemplate. Not for her to lie dormant within tossing distance of her parent tree, nor to be mooching along with thousands of her kind.
    Imagine; cramped for space, fighting for a share of nutrition, seeking sunlight, waiting months and perhaps years to eventually give life to the life within her.

    NO!

    Let’s break rules. Detach and go far.
    Seeds must change to grow.

    ‘Fly far, be amazing’

    What was the quote…?
    That’s it; ‘From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow.’

    She planned to fly to a place where she will be unique to her surroundings.
    Once there, it will be time to burrow in and allow nature to get busy on its work of germination.
    When the seed shell cracks open that life within will sprout.
    She will continue to grow from small and delicate until on reaching maturity be admired by many for her calm elegance, her grace and her beauty.
    From season to season her changing colours will draw much attention. People will stand in awe of her.
    The ruby red leaves nurturing the spirit of humankind; her mighty trunk, her branches offering shelter to bird and beast throughout all seasons.

    ‘Acer Rubrum junior stop weaving your dreams, spin faster!’

    ‘Fly far, be amazing.’

    Determined to keep travelling Acer pushed her wings a little higher and increased the rotating revs of her spinning. Darting forward she gathered momentum and climbed higher still.
    Giddy with excitement Acer twirled and spun, on top of the world riding the thermals just like an eagle.

    Spinning and twirling, getting faster and faster.
    The delicate papery wings were vibrating at such incredible speed that they were generating heat.

    CRACKLE!

    Acer Rubrum junior became so hot that the wings, her samaras, crackled!

    Intense heat had created a thermal barrier.
    She was pulled right up; the spinning speed was slowed right down.
    She continued to slow until she stopped moving forward altogether and hovered just like a helicopter.

    No more flying!

    Slowly she gyrated and hovered. Only a matter of moments and Acer will have reached the ground.

    She looked down. Looking up at her was a welcoming party of several Red Maple trees.
    Beneath the trees a family of chipmunks scampered and scavenged for nuts and seeds, their cheeks already bulging with surplus seed stores.

  • November 9, 2015 at 5:04 pm
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    Seedling
    © 2015 Sami A.F

    What is this place? It is dark. I can’t breathe. Do I even breathe? Maybe not now, but I will someday. But when? I feel trapped at this moment. What is this? A cocoon? Perhaps I would transform into a winged insect. Perhaps I would become beautiful one day.

    One day.

    Like a dead body in a coffin, deep within the earth, I feel a loss of hope. Mostly because I fail to decipher my current location. I fail to decode my own existence, I am simply here. I am, simply, being.

    This place I am in. I am unable to give it a name, if it even has one. This, container, that has entrapped me in a form of solitude proves to be quite hostile. There exists no light, no air, and no body. Only my mind exists. That is a new form of torture.

    At this point, I am only a consciousness.

    Movement. I can move, yet I am unable to stand erect. What is this body of mine? I do not possess hands to feel, yet I have a small body to move. A body trapped inside this coffin. It is dark, therefore I am unable to see my form. I am unable to determine what I am.

    Alone, and lost.

    For a while, that is what I am. An unidentified body. I am unidentified to me, yet to those outside this container, it is difficult to tell. Who am I to those who look at me from outside this coffin? Are they waiting for me?

    Moisture.

    I feel something. Something surrounding me. Surrounding the container. Am I the container? I am not the body inside, I am the entire entity. Yet it is still dark.

    A crack. A crack in the container. Should I panic? Have I been broken? No. I am being born. My, unidentified, body begins to move and stretch towards the crack. I push through and break free. Free of constraint. Free of loneliness.
    I can see the light. The delicious rays that kept me alive. The luscious rays on my body giving me warmth. It is magnificent. It is life-changing. My body is here. I can see it. I am beautiful. I am something. I am a being. I am me.

    No longer just a consciousness.

    No longer just a seedling.

  • November 9, 2015 at 9:23 pm
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    The Seed Of Knowledge.

    Mr Sartre was hired from the employment agency by Sidcup Catholic Faith School. He was a young Frenchman who was traveling and at the same time earned his bread by working as a Maths teacher. Although born to catholic parents and baptized, when he grew up he attended the church on only weddings and funerals.

    That particular day, he was free in the afternoon and the headmistress asked him to cover Mrs Doss, the Religious Knowledge teacher’s class as she was in the first stage of her pregnancy and was ill. She had gone to her home.
    As he took on the class, he started teaching what he remembered about the Catholic Religion. “God created the universe and paradise where he created Adam from a fistful of dust and allowed him to live in Eden, God’s kingdom.” He gained the children’s full attention as he spoke with his strong voice and French accent. He was pleased that he could command and maintain order in the class. “God saw that Adam was lonely, therefore he created Eve with another fistful of dust so that she can keep Adam company and be happy forever.”

    He picked a chalk and drew on the board to depict Adam and Eve in the paradise. “Now, Adam and Eve were allowed to eat all the fruits in the garden except the apples from this tree.” He drew an apple tree with apples falling from it and a serpent entwined over its trunk.

    “This serpent,” He stabbed the drawing with his finger started telling Eve that if she and Adam ate
    the apples they would become as clever, as creative as God himself, they would be able to change the Universe.” The children eyes became wider and wider as they listened to the lecture and followed the gestures that Mr Sartre was acting as he spoke.

    “Eve picked a juicy apple and took it to Adam and they ate it. And behold, they could see God’s kingdom as it really was and they noticed each other as human beings, sort of a little copy of God himself, demi-gods you could say. They went and ate more apples to gain more intelligence. God was not blind. He saw how disobedient Adam and Eve (his children) had become. So, he threw them down on Earth. Eve was clever. Before she plummeted down to Earth she took an apple seed with her. From that single seed, they grew one tree which produced loads of apples and seeds. The more apples they ate the more knowledge they gained. They populated the Earth with their own children, little copies of themselves. They grew apple orchards for themselves and for their offsprings. The family grew and grew.”

    “Is that how Mrs Doss got pregnant, Sir?” Angelina, one of the students broke the silence in the classroom. “I saw her eating apples all the time.”

    “Well. This is another story.” Mr Sartre said. A bit distracted from the comment. “Apples have other health benefits such as vitamins and antioxidants. And that sort of thing. We won’t go there for now.” He said.

    “That’s why she’s fit and all the boys like her. She’s clever too.” Angelina nudged her friend as she spoke, “From now on I’m going to eat apples and apples all the time to become clever, have boyfriends and have lots of children.”

    “Me too.” The other children chorused. “We have loads on our trees.” Some of them realized that they did not need to buy them. The classroom buzzed with the excitement of the children talking at the same time.

    “Silence!” Mr Sartre shouted above the commotion, and attention was restored. “As people traveled they took apples seeds with them and grew them all over the World. This is how we have apple trees in most countries in our World.” His lecture finished as soon as the bell rang and the children drifted away to their home,

    The next day, the headmistress called him to her office. A group of parents stood, lined along the office’s walls and almost deafened him with their high pitched voice. “We’ve sent our children to be educated on the main subjects in this school and you’ve been giving them Sex Education without our or the school permission.”

    “Sorry!” Mr Sartre put his hands over his ears. His voice was drown in the parents’ shrieking.

    “That’s French for you! Male teachers have dirty minds!” The headmistress seemed to side with the parents.

    Mr Sartre had to pack his books and case and leave the school premises. The parents demanded his resignation.

    Luckily, the agency found him another position the next day.

  • November 10, 2015 at 6:39 pm
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    A Seed Has Been Planted

    © Anika Madison 11/10/2015 (953 words)

    Eleven year old Lisa Williams nervously stands in front of the church which is filled to capacity. She takes a deep breath and begins.

    “The tears I shed are not just tears of sadness, but also of joy. The tears I shed do not just represent the loss I am feeling.
    The tears I shed also represent the happy memories. My daddy was the best man I ever knew and I am proud to say that I will always be his little girl. Please remember him with a smile. I know I always will. I love you daddy.”

    Lisa rushes to her mother Ann who cradles her with loving arms and gently rocks her as she begins to sob.

    Whispers fill the pews.

    “Such a brave girl.”

    “Her father would be so proud.”

    Roger Williams, a successful business man and family patriarch has passed away from pancreatic cancer. Although he traveled for business quite often, his family never felt neglected. He was loved by so many, that the ushers had to seat some in the last rows of the choir stand and scramble for more chairs to accommodate as many as they could before turning people away.

    Just before the Pastor gets up to deliver the eulogy, the last whisper is heard behind the pew that holds the immediate family. “A seed has been planted.” The whisper belongs to Ann’s sister-in-law and best friend Grace. Grace’s mind is slowly being consumed by dementia. Since her brother’s passing, the family has been wondering why Grace keeps saying the same thing over and over again, especially to Ann. “A seed has been planted.”

    Two years later at the age of 13, Lisa has begun her teenage transformation that most parents dread. But Lisa’s transformation is more severe than most. She is in and out of trouble, has begun running away and hanging with the wrong crowd. This bad behavior would go on for years.

    On Lisa’s seventeenth birthday, Ann receives one of those calls with news that no parent wants to hear. Ann rushes to the hospital but when she arrives her legs begin to move in slow motion. She does not want to be in a place where she is told the remains of her daughter will be.

    “I am sorry to inform you that your daughter was in a car accident tonight and…”

    “My sincere condolences for…”

    Ann cannot bear what comes at the end of these sentences that keep playing out in her head. The words whirl through Ann’s mind like the eye of a hurricane. She almost loses her balance as she stands at the reception desk waiting for the doctor. Ann keeps saying to herself, “Lisa Williams? My Lisa?”

    When the doctor comes out to speak to Ann, it was though he is speaking in a foreign language. Ann’s world seems foreign. He could not possibly be talking about her Lisa. Fortunately that night, he wasn’t. In the room where Ann is expecting to identify her daughter, she ended up identifying her friend Lisa. It was not Ann’s Lisa, but her wild friend’s remains that lie on the gurney. After many sincere apologies, Ann was taken to the correct room where her Lisa was unconscious but very much alive.

    Three weeks later, as Lisa continues her recovery at home, Ann finds a letter on her nightstand. She tearfully reads a letter from her late husband to his only daughter. Two lines stand out, “Take care of mom while I am away.” Ann feels her heart sink as she reads the last line of the letter, “Plant your seeds in fertile soil and they will always provide the best offerings.” Roger was always trying to teach Lisa valuable lessons through his own wisdom and the teachings of the bible. Ann begins to sob as she remembers the Pastor reading from Roger’s favorite bible verse about sowing the Word of God into good soil and it will be well received and bring forth good fruit, Mark 4:20. Ann wonders when Lisa began to forget what her father taught her.

    With all of the stress Lisa has caused, Ann’s health was beginning to deteriorate. As Lisa recovers, Ann’s health takes a turn for the worse. One of her kidneys has begun to fail as a result of a hidden drinking problem. Ann used to turn to the bible for help, now she turns to the bottle. Arguments fill the Williams’ home that used to be filled with love. A few months later, Lisa leaves again. Five months later Ann collapses in her friend’s home as she pours her heart out in pain. At the hospital she is told that she will need a kidney transplant. Miraculously just days later, a match has been found and the surgery is performed.

    In her hospital room, Ann looks over at her hospital roommate. Even though her vision is blurry, her roommate looks very familiar.

    Ann hears a familiar voice behind her, “A seed was planted.”

    Ann turns to see her sister-in-law Grace smiling at her. Grace had been wheeled to Ann’s room by her brother Eric. Even though dementia is taking her into her final decline, Grace still has the strength to visit her best friend. Eric believes this is God’s final miracle for his loving sister. Ann smiles back as she takes Grace’s hand.

    A nurse comes in to check the vital signs of both patients. After the nurse leaves, Ann turns to her roommate and says with a very weak voice, “Hello.” Ann’s tears of pain have been replaced with tears of joy as they flow from her tired eyes and soak the pillow beneath.

    Her roommate gives a small but familiar smile and says “Hi mom.”

  • November 10, 2015 at 9:31 pm
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    The seeder (revised)
    © Emmanuel Malho 2015

    It was 1981. Anthony Evans was returning from his 10-day holidays in Porto Amboim. It was a long, almost painful twenty-three hour flight with a nine hours’ scale in London. He stood in the Luanda bay, in a five-star hotel, all paid by the company where he’s working. He spent his days in the hot, calm beach in Mussulo island. He met a wonderful Angolan woman by the name of Sofia Ribas. Anthony instantly felt attracted to her the first time he saw her. He was asking for a drink at the beach bar and she was already having one. She seemed to be alone, and Anthony went to her. A few hours of chitchat and they were back in Anthony’s room for a night full of passion. Sofia showed him that the weather isn’t the only thing that’s hot in Luanda; afterwards, they spent every night together.

    Three weeks later, Anthony was fully back to his normal routine. He would wake at six o’clock in the morning, prepare himself in fifteen minutes and grab his breakfast on the go. He would grab a bagel and a large macchiato cup, after his forty-minutes insane gym workout. At one o’clock in the afternoon, half his work day would have elapsed. A forty-minutes break would have to be enough to have lunch and get ready for the fast-paced afternoon. Then he’d go back home to his flat and sink in his sofa watching TV, with a glass of brandy as his company. The last days Anthony didn’t feel so well. He was having fever and his throat was getting more dry and more sore every day. Anthony was diagnosed with laryngitis. “Nothing that bad”, he thought while he was getting his prescription.

    Two years later, his life was in turmoil. His work life turned a living hell. Every colleague seemed to be pulling him down, him, the last years’ top performer. He turned to drugs to endure it. Every week he’d go to a dark alley, fifteen minutes away from home. He’d take a part of his salary and get his shot. The stress derived from work and the drugs were taking their toll in his body. He couldn’t spend an entire normal day at work because of gastrointestinal problems and lately some intense muscular pain made him drop the gym.

    Three years later Anthony lost his job. The money was barely enough to eat. He was losing a lot of weight – more than he should. His health condition kept the same – vomits from five to seven times per day, chronic diarrhea and the muscular pains were almost intolerable. His drug addiction grew, and with the lack of money he got the drugs in exchange for sexual favors. He was not only pleasing his dealers, he would also please some of their clients – men and women. Anthony thought his life couldn’t go any more down the spiral. He was wrong.

    Seven years later, he felt lost when the Center for Disease Control and Prevention took him and the drug gang to the hospital. Other members of the gang had similar and other symptoms as Anthony. They’d all developed an influenza-like illness, most of them rashes and some of them large tender lymph nodes. A few had serious sores of the genitals. “I want everyone following the prevention guidelines! Anyone NOT following them will be immediately dismissed from duty” he heard a man shout. “We’ll have to test each of them for their T-cells. By the symptoms, I expect all of them to be infected. Dismissed.” All had a sample of their blood taken. They didn’t know why they were being taken, but they had to abide by the orders they’d been given. As they got in to their beds, Anthony could recognize some, but not all of the previous internment. Each room had three beds. He was ordered to stay in room 3-F, bed 17. As he entered the room, his jaw dropped. “Tanya, what are you doing here?” he asked, finding his well-known “business partner”. She was one of the most exquisite “clients”. Tanya was a Spanish successful entrepreneur, and a nymphomaniac. He knew from his dealer’s club. Eventually, he winded up being sexually “abused” by her several times. Some would not believe how sexually perverted that woman was. She must have done it all, for God’s sake. And now she was there, hospitalized, as he was. “Well, I had some health problems” she said, smiling sarcastically. A few minutes’ talk clarified Anthony that Tanya had the same symptoms as him and the members of the gang. They had taken her blood sample this morning. “They said they needed to check my T-cells or something like that”. “Anthony Evans, your turn now” said a nurse entering the room and taking his blood sample.

    A couple of days after his admission, Tanya was called for a reunion with the unit’s doctor. She came back minutes later, tears running down her face. “Tanya, what happened?” he asked, preoccupied with her. She was in shock. She was unable to speak. She looked at him, powerless, terrified, agonized. Still, she couldn’t speak. She lied down in her bed, turned his back on him and kept crying to the wall. That afternoon, it was Anthony’s turn to speak with the doctor.

    “Your blood tests are back. We detected an abnormal T CD4 + cell count” he said, with the results in his right hand. He was using his surgical mask and his gloves. “What do you mean?” Anthony asked, clueless about what the doctor just said. “You are HIV positive”. In that second, Anthony’s world collapsed. He couldn’t bear the thought. He scattered the seeds of the HIV in American grounds.

  • November 11, 2015 at 3:42 am
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    So Shall Ye Reap.

    He entered the office holding his hat with both hands. His uniform had the bars and decorations of a high-ranking police officer.
    “I was told that Senator Smith would be in his office this morning.”

    The secretary gave him her most professional, but condescending smile. “The Senator stepped out for a few minutes to meet with some constituents. Do you have an appointment? Mr…?”

    “Lieutenant Boyd, ma’am, with the South Fork Police Department.”

    She scribbled the information on a notepad. Can I ask what your visit is in reference to?”

    His eyes betrayed nothing, as if she were staring into the face of the grim reaper.
    “No ma’am, but it’s imperative that I speak to the Senator in person.”

    “Ooookay.” She sighed. “Have a seat Lieutenant. I’m sure he won’t be long.”

    “Thank you ma’am.” The Police Lieutenant scanned the room and picked a chair in the furthest corner. Even while sitting, he remained at attention. His eyes stared straight ahead. She resumed the task of screening incoming calls for the Senator.
    She glanced at the policeman, “Can I offer you something to drink Lieutenant? Water? Coffee?”

    “No ma’am. Thank you ma’am.”

    A flurry of conversation just beyond the door signaled the imminent return of the Senator. “Yes Jim, I understand completely. You have my full support—and you know that.”

    The other voice replied in very low tones, too low to hear. It gave the impression of a powerful person, one who never raised his voice, and never needed to.

    The Senator replied in a conspiratorial voice. “Look Jim, I’ve been supporting the gun lobby since my first election. I’ve opposed every legislative effort to restrict or control them, and you can rest assured that that will never change. You can tell your boss that you heard that directly from me.”

    A moment later he backed into the office, nodding his thanks in suave tones of reassurance. “Yeah, that’d be great. Call Ginny and set it up with her, okay?” He closed the door with a firm thunk, and began to speak even before turning. “That goddamn gun lobby never lets up.”

    “You mean the NRA, Senator?”
    “Jesus.” He ignored her question. “They have my complete support. They need to focus their energy on those pansy-assed liberals across the aisle.” His demeanor changed as soon as he noticed the policeman, who was now standing. “Ah, we have a visitor.” He gave Ginny a look of disappointment that was not lost on her. After all, she was the one who’d arranged his tee time.

    “I’m sorry Senator, but he said it was very important.”

    The Senator waved her into silence and strode over to the Lieutenant with an outstretched hand. “Sorry to keep you waiting officer, how can we be of service to you today?”

    The Lieutenant gravely accepted the Senator’s hand. “May we talk in your office sir? I think this conversation would be best held in private.”

    The Senator scowled at the offer. His inner office was his sanctuary: A place reserved for those he knew, trusted and only those explicitly invited. In a condescending tone he parried the request. “There’s no need Lieutenant, I have the utmost trust in Ginny here.”

    “Perhaps—you should sit down then, Senator.”

    The Senator settled into a chair.

    “Senator, your son was killed in a random shooting at his school today.”

    In the ensuing silence, the Lieutenant said, “I’m sorry for your loss, Senator. We have the shooter in custody, but it’s unlikely he’ll survive his wounds.”

    “Ginny!”

    “Yes sir.”

    “Never mind.” He stood a little shakily.

    The Lieutenant reached to steady the Senator. “Perhaps you should sit back down sir.”

    The Senator brushed his hand away. “I’m fine. I need a drink, that’s all. Excuse me a minute.”
    He retreated to his inner office, leaving the secretary alone with the Lieutenant. She was crying. “I don’t know what’s wrong with people in this country.” She blew her nose and wiped it angrily. “Do YOU?”

    The Lieutenant looked at the floor, still as a statue.

    “I mean really.” She wiped her nose again. “He was the sweetest little boy, such a darling child. I just can’t…”
    POOM!
    It was the unmistakable sound of a gunshot, muffled by the wood of the richly appointed office.

  • November 11, 2015 at 4:04 am
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    Doubt

    When it was planted, the seed did not have any notion or awareness about itself. Gradually it came to a state where it became aware of what was happening around it. It could feel the presence of soft hands gently adjusting the moist soil around it. The seed could witness the hazily visible gigantic hands through the loose soil. When the sun became harsh and infiltrated the seed’s dark abode, the hands would place a coconut frond on top to give the seed much needed shade.

    But most of the time, the seed would be asleep in its warm cocoon during the day. At nights, the temperature would drop to make it shiver in its coat.

    One fine morning, the seed heard a soothing voice. It was the first time that it ‘heard’ something. A thought came by, for the first time too. It was not of joy or hope. The thought touched something sad in the heart of the seed. It became aware of a certain expectation in the air. The hands, it felt, were digging around where it was embedded in the soil. A little water was sprinkled on top of it. It was definitely soothing but something else like a powder too came with the water. The seed almost felt out of breath and agitated. Through it all, the seed could hear a soothing voice gently encouraging it to sprout.

    The seed wondered about the expectations from it. Its heart weighed down by the task of sprouting. The voice, it heard, was saying that it was time to do so. The seed had no idea how to do that.

    It would seem despite the favourable conditions, the seed was not sprouting. Ages later for the seed, which in human time was one day, the seed could feel a certain vibration in its body. It was not painful but was not comfortable also. The seed did not know what was happening. Out of its comfort zone, the seed felt raw and vulnerable. It realized that dealing with the moment in hand was the ideal solution. So it became a witness. It felt the changes now happening fast. The seed felt its energy draining gradually. A white delicate stem was now moving fast to breach the surface of the loose soil and simultaneously a single white root was snaking down towards darker realms of the earth underneath.

    In a state of panic, the seed prayed for sustenance. The changes happening inside it were unprecedented and so there was no way for the seed to fall back on its previous experience to know how to deal with it. The stem had now two tiny leaves that were drinking the rays of the early sun. The heart of the seed could again hear the soothing voice which sounded happy and contented. It was indication enough for the seed that it can now rest and wither away. Some other force has taken over and it will take care of all the doubts that the seed had.

    And the seed disintegrated.

  • November 11, 2015 at 9:56 am
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    Maya

    Maya sizzled with anger. At every party, Ravi embarrassed her to the hilt, and all she could do was pretend that it was okay for her husband to flirt away to glory. She was a modern woman, yet she portrayed that all was well in their marriage and most of the wives she knew did the same. Ravi was blatant about his flirtations which she felt went beyond that and she meant to dig deep for the truth. Faithfulness was the core of a marriage, she firmly believed in that.

    She watched the femme fatale in her husband’s lap, who had most of her stuff doctored, trying to seduce Ravi and was he enjoying it!! Such women didn’t just want their breasts big, they wanted them BIG.
    Maya wasn’t new to all this she had her nips and tucks, but they were very subtle, even Ravi didn’t suspect only the minuscule scars gave her away. But he didn’t comment. It was de rigueur in their society.

    Maya was enveloped with sheer rage to see her husband flirting outrageously. GRRR!

    She smiled at Sanjay, and forced him to buy her a drink. “Care for a dance?” Sanjay asked, trying to escape the conversation.

    “What are you talking about?”

    “I’m talking about that,” she pointed to Ravi who was almost into the bitch’s cleavage and she cringed in disgust. She knew Ravi and Sanjay were best friends and he had to know his inner secrets that others wouldn’t know.

    She was raving mad with Ravi’s behavior. Maya charged at Sanjay, “What the hell is going on between my husband and that bitch?” Her patience was at its lowest ebb and she was about to burst.

    Sanjay hesitated. Ravi was his best friend he couldn’t betray his confidence like that. He would kill him.

    But Maya was adamant and said, “I insist you tell me,” Then she began sobbing, “You know I have no one but you to ask, none of his other friends I trust.” And she looked so vulnerable that he was lost. He let her head rest on his shoulders. She was sexy and he wasn’t immune to her advances even though it was a one sided one. All Maya cared for was worming out the truth from Sanjay.

    Soon she moved awkwardly as if she sensed something, but he put on a blank face and she had to believe he was innocent. But he felt guilty after that, and so he decided to tell her. He confided in her, “I am sorry but it is the truth he has his dalliances, and don’t ask me names they’re too many to count. His business meetings, abroad seminars are all a farce. He plans them according to his affairs.”

    She was shocked. Maya never expected this to be revealed. She thought he would deny it, lie about it, but he opened a can of worms.

    The next day they had another party to attend, and she was going to dress to the hilt and watch him see if she still had that effect on him. She was sheathed in a gown that left nothing to the imagination, but Ravi didn’t even notice. She writhed in anger. Like typical males he was bored of her and there was no charm in the marriage for him.

    Ravi watched as Maya tried to seduce him. She did actually, he was tempted, and he couldn’t forget her father was financing his venture but it was time – these Mehra’s needed to be taught a lesson – they treated him like dirt while he was wooing her. But her dad couldn’t resist saying yes to their union, once Maya threatened to commit suicide.

    But the minute her father invested money Maya changed overnight and became the nagging pest who wanted to know about every penny he was spending. He had affairs by the dozen but pretended he was just being a social flirt. She couldn’t know anything more. He was too clever for her. Only his friend Sanjay knew it all and he trusted him.

    Maya looked at her husband getting ready. She seemed confident but she kept check herself in the mirror. She decided to attack, “Sanjay told me everything.”

    “What?” he asked.

    “About your affairs.”

    “Ha ha, my affairs, me, I have no time for affairs, you stupid woman.”

    “Don’t you dare call me stupid. You can’t fool me I’m sure that he told me the truth.”

    “Darling, Sanjay has had the hots for you for eons, and he did that to make you crawl over to him in anger and revenge.”

    She aimed the glass of water at his face.

    Then calmly retorted, “Ravi it’s time I faced the truth. I’m not a love struck spinster to go over the moon if Sanjay flirted with me. I have seen through your game and I think it’s time to make some changes…Fidelity is not an option, it is the norm in marriage, and the seed of doubt was sown.”

    “Oh dear, it’s going to be a tough year,” Ravi rued the future.

    They reached the bottom of their penthouse stairs and Maya suddenly remembered her purse. She said, “Darling would you get my clutch, please uh I forgot to take it – it’s in the bedroom near the bidet.”

    “Yes dear, sure, anything for you,”
    “Here comes the bring my this… take my that….bah! It’s her ‘revenge’ time!” Ravi thought as he picked it. He carried the Christian Dior on his shoulders and walked in a sway. It was light, but life wasn’t going to be! Damn Sanjay, couldn’t he have kept his trap shut! Now the seeds of revenge were sown.

  • November 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm
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    Time’s up!

    Please submit your 1st – 5th place vote (in order) for this week’s Writers Hangout Short Story Contest to

    >>> LIFLASHFICTION (at) GMAIL (dot) COM <<< no later than 9:00am PDT / 12:00pm EST / 10:30pm IST / 5:00pm WET/GMT on Thursday/ 4:00am AEDT (Friday). REMEMBER IF YOU DO NOT VOTE, YOUR STORY WILL NOT QUALIFY. Results will be posted later that day. Placing "Seed" in the subject line is helpful but not necessary. Please note: your email address will never be disclosed, shared or sold, but may be used for administrative purposes.

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