Doctor’s visit: a boring affair that one wants to avoid; but as luck would have it, I found myself sitting in the waiting room of a general practitioner. (A) I knew I just needed antibiotics, but I couldn’t get some without a prescription. It would take me hardly a minute but there were five people waiting in front of me. (B) Suddenly, I was hit with an idea that only Satan himself could have incepted in me.
‘I m at the doctor’s,’ I pretended to talk on my phone. ‘Right? Even I don’t know why he decided to make cuts on all my fingers to collect blood sample for a leg injury…’
The plan was working. From the corner of my eye, I could see everyone get uncomfortable and as I made the details more gruesome, everyone started to leave. (D) All but one had left. I upped my game to make the scene more horrendous, but he wouldn’t budge. I had just finished making the doctor take my pancreas out when he slid next to me and tapped my shoulder. (C)
‘You can stop now,’ he said. ‘I made the doctor cut my toes off for a headache a little while ago.’
Based on the prompt: Write a very short story – not more than 200 words – about a trip to the doctor or dentist using the ABDCE (Action, Background, Development, Climax, Ending) structure. Identify the structural elements in your story.
Karen’s blonde hair had almost started reaching shoulder. She ran her hand through her locks and puffed it up so that she could pretend that it was more voluminous that it actually was. She hadn’t ever been fond of the way each strand seemed to be taking a separate life decision for itself when she herself was not able to take one. Sometimes she just wished the she had jumped aboard the ship with Derick. By now, they could have been sunbathing in a distant island as their kids built sand castle around them.
Karen sneezed as she picked up a filthy handkerchief from the back of her classroom: the eight one this month. It went right into the Lost and Found box, more out of ritual than with any hope of it being claimed.
It’s not like she had always planned to be crawling around in an unnecessary colourful classroom but even she could see her memory diminishing as the days progressed. On most days it did not affect her but sometimes things just went out of hand. Just that morning, she had forgotten what the colour of a carrot was. She just stood there staring at her kindergarten class like they had asked her to solve Einstein’s relativity theory.
‘Always think about your happy place,’ her mother’s advice rings in her head each time she experienced her lapses. It was easier said than done but she always tried her best. Karen could see a larger than life cage rise up in front of her. Completely devoid of any existence inside it, the structure lured the crowd into a deep lull. It was at that moment that her father would walk on the stage with a large black cloth, the darkness of which only a crow could compete with. He would request some audience member to step up and examine the cloth. Once that was done, he would ask them to tie him up the best they could, place him in an appliance that would render him immobile, cover him with the dark cloth, and lock the cage behind them. The audience would witness the cloth move for a while until it descended into a strange stillness. The trick was to make the audience wait but not so much that they begin to doubt you. Just as the first sign of impatience seeped in, the cloth would rise to reveal a glorious tiger in place of where the man had been laid down.
Karen smiled as she thought of the incident: her father would always walk from the back of the hall and step inside the cage with the ferocious beast as it roared all the strength that it could muster from its black and orange fur
‘Orange!’ Karen had exploded at the epiphany. ‘A carrot is orange in colour, kids.’
In response to an assignment: Write a scene of 250-350 words featuring a character with one concrete want and one weakness. Use these two features to drive the action of the plot. Set up the story where every other sentence is a rising action. To help you come up with rising actions, use one word from the following list of twelve words in each sentence that has a rising action.
What are people striving for in life? What is it that they ultimately want to achieve?
People offer various answers when you ask them these questions. Some claim they want fame, others want money, some want to be able to return to their blog after months of not writing in it and expect to get the same level of response that they once used to get (Is it so much to ask?)
But in the end, if you break it down, people are looking for control. To reach a state in life where they have power over what happens to them. Look back to anything being done around you and you will see that in some aspect or the other, it is true:
Why did Nelson Mandela suffer in jail? He wanted people of his country to have control over themselves
Why did Alexander Graham Bell invent the telephone? He wanted a degree of control over long distance communication
Why did Hitler commence a World War? He wanted control…. Er, you get the point
That brings us to the next thing. What if we give people that they want. Give money seekers a winning lottery ticket, give fame seekers Instagram followers, give meditators a quiet place to be. Does that solve the problem that each one of us is facing?
Because all the things that we are seeking are what we believe are means to give us power and control over what happens to us but that is not entirely true. So, once people achieve these things, they realise that there is more that they can have and start seeking out more control.
From what you have read so far, you probably think I am going to soon start talking about how we should not obsess of the materialistic things and live life in a void with no wants but that is akin to being empty inside.
In fact, I am here to stress the complete opposite.
People look at things which they believe give them control and follow it blindly. If you do that, Jack the Ripper had a better sense of purpose than you have.
The point is that we as human beings get in a comfort zone doing what we are doing and do not think why we are doing it. We abandon things that we really want to do just so that we get – at times – a false sense of control, which we ultimately realise is insufficient. Things change and over a course of time, we realise that there are things that we can’t have back. And ultimately when we look back at all our effort, even though we might have enjoyed what we did, we might come to realise that there were things that we abandoned that need not have been left untouched.
The Pursuit of Happiness is not fulfilled by just rushing ahead and not looking at either side. If it were so, it would be called Horse Derby of Happiness
Yes, it is important to get fame, money, glory, safety, etc. but it is also important to not lose sight of other things that you want to do along the way.
I always thought that whenever I need an idea to write something in my blog, I could always go to the Daily Post‘s Daily Prompt and get some inspiration but, alas, upon my return to WordPress, I found that they have stopped putting up Daily Prompts. Now I will have to dig into their archives and search for random words like Retrospective and think about writing something, all the while not even getting enough people directed to me from their page.
So, that brings me to the final part of this blog.
Was this entire post about me being sad of having not utilised the Daily Prompt to get more internet readers for my anonymous blog posts? Or was it an actual satire for what we fail to do in life?
I will let that be a cliff-hanger as you control what you choose to make of it.
But till next time, from one writer to another, WRITE ON!
Humans are cursed with the notion of self awareness. Through pages of history writers, painters, poets and scholars have dabbled with the notion of existence and, yet, here we are left as utterly confused as when we began. Millenniums of development and advancement of the mind that the Homo Sapien possess has not awarded any progress to the true understanding of our being. The notion of what life is remains as much as a mystery to Daniel Dennett as it was to Plato. Yet, here we are, each one of us, trying to understand what we are doing in this utterly confounded Universe as each moment passes by, ceasing to be.
But the curse does not terminate on attempting to understand the idea of existence. It propels itself, exploring the world beyond the being. If life elicits a conversation, death draws in a debate. The mere essence of ceasing to be leads one to ponder into depth of the human mind and fathom what might be beyond. It leads to a sense of wonderment to realize that the as many discussions there can be found about life, even greater discussions can be achieved by death: it’s complete opposite; or can they even be considered antonyms? Is not one an extension of other?
Alas, I deter from the true path I set onto tonight. The idea of committing an act considered heinous enough in itself, that people choose to shun even talking about it; avoid it at all costs. An idea that has plagued people’s mind since time immemorial. While the realms of the unknown have stopped some, it has craved others into its clutches. An act arising from the mere consequence of having a mind that can think.
Treading on the path of life, one unavoidably hits a roadblock. An inevitable response to the situation is to attempt to move beyond the road block. To take things head on, as they say; and that, probably, can be considered the right thing to do.
Then arises another situation, where you realise that the road you have been traveling on, is not a road at all. You were not even heading anywhere. One can be sure that they saw a road ahead of them; they even asked for directions along the way and, yet, the discovery of a non existence of the path leaves one in shambles. Efforts in vain, stranded in the middle of nowhere, the person has nothing else to do but to cease to be.
And that is precisely what I want to do tonight.
not a man,
but a Phoenix in its utmost glory.
For from the ashes of the burnt rises the belief to begin again.
Attempting to take one’s life resonates the idea of unable to live with the self. For all the glory that the minds in the history have disputed about the living and beyond, a certain fact remains. The self is not constant. If one is ready to go the extent of killing oneself, the person should commence and kill the idea that they have for themselves. Decimate the person that they hate so much, and become the new. When one cannot stand living the way they are, they should stop doing it and find a new way to live. For it is never that paths cease to exist, it is our inability to see the new ones.
True salvation cannot be achieved by ending the tread along the path that no longer remains. It is achieved from the ability to march till the end in the depths of the unknown. Walking up to death myself probably seems satisfying today, but it will never be as satisfying as seeing him smile as he greets me, bowing down at the end of whatever path I make after I kill myself.
He walked to the bar and sat down on the stool like he had many times before. It wasn’t unusual that he was doing it. It was just awkward to be doing it after so long.
The bartender turned and looked at him, a familiar face. He could have passed him on as one of the regulars but he did not. He walked up to the man and blurted out, ‘Oh! You’re alive? Thought you to be dead by now.’
‘Aren’t you supposed to ask what drink I would like?’ the man sniggered. He did not mean it in a snide way. Just a sarcastic speech pattern he had developed over the years. And if anyone would understand the remark’s jovial nature, it would be the man standing in front of him.
‘Yeah,’ the bartender said. ‘I normally would, but I just got my newest gin. Imported from Spain. The first one’s on me.’
‘Don’t risk it,’ the man said. ‘I might just have one shot and leave. Leaving you to have paid for my entire stay.’
‘Well, if that is how it would be, I will accept it; but the first one is on me,’ the bartender presented a glass: one part gin, three part Cola.
The man picked up the glass, raised it to toast the bartender and tipped it down his throat.
A strange burning sensation shot down his throat and into the belly. It was not a bad feeling; it never was. It always was a little tough in the start but it grew into him. The taste developed an aftermath of an emotional plethora which he had long since experienced. The taste was nice: a bitter sweet kind, just as he imagined it to be before he had arrived in the bar.
‘So, what do you say?’ the bartender smiled.
‘Reminds me of the old times,’ the man twirled the glass around. ‘Makes me want to return.’
‘Then why don’t you?’
‘I am not sure if I can.’
‘Do you mean your friends?’
‘No, I made most of them when I became a regular. If they are around here even now, I will find them again.’
‘Then what is it?’
‘Maybe it’s just because it has been so long that I don’t think I have it in me anymore.’
‘Well, I won’t force you if you don’t want to but it really was nice seeing you again.’
‘Well, let me pay you for the drink at least, lest I abandon the place again,’ the man took out his wallet.
The bartender shook his head. ‘It’s already done,’ he said. ‘I have charged it to myself. I will wait for you to return; and if you don’t, consider this as a treat from an old friend.’
The man smiled and put his wallet back in.
‘I can’t guarantee that I will see you again soon,’ the man got up and put on his hat. ‘But I do promise that I will definitely try.’
Inspired, among other things, by The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Dubious
For me it was a dream come true. For him, it was a job. He did not have even the slightest of clue how lucky he was. His first play and he was going to be on the Broadway stage. Albeit, we were just extras for two scenes but he could have been more enthusiastic.
‘So, this is it, then?’ he nodded at the building.
‘Yes, isn’t it marvelous?’ I said.
He nodded yet again.
I ignored his utter lack of respect. ‘Come, we will be late,’ I said rushing in.
‘We are half an hour early, what’s all the hurry about?’ he said.
I really don’t know why he ended up joining our theater group. He did not care about theater and as far as I know he hadn’t done it before. If he wanted money, he could have done anything else. If the director hadn’t asked me to “be his mentor” I would have left him on the street. Heck, I would have pushed him in front of one of the cars.
‘I want to see how things are set,’ I calmly said. ‘Let’s go.’
‘Haven’t you been in ten plays before? It’s going to be the same, I am guessing,’ he had the ability to make Broadway theater sound boring. What a snob.
‘Yeah, but this is different,’ I said and rushed to the door. I wanted avoid talking to him as much as possible.
It was relief when the director saw us enter and told us to go to our green rooms, which, thankfully, meant I would not be seeing him till after the play.
‘Break a leg,’ I wished him luck more out of habit than actual enthusiasm.
‘What? Why would you want that?’ he said.
I looked at him to see if he was joking. How could he not know about that?
‘Well, saying “good luck” jinxes the whole play. So, it’s customary to say “break a leg”,’ I hid my irritation behind a smile.
‘Oh, if that’s the case, I hope I break both my legs!’ he said.
‘Yeah, I wish you break both your legs too,’ I said and proceeded to the green room.