Seats in a waiting room

What’s Up Doc?

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.

Kindergarten Classroom

The Escalator

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.

  • trick
  • memory
  • aboard
  • tiger
  • pretend
  • carrot
  • appliance
  • cage
  • rings
  • crow
  • filthy
  • explode
Traffic Jam Rearview

Road Rage Recital

Inspired by Daily Post’s Daily Prompt:
Honk

Time had simply ceased,
the air was completely still.
It was as if everyone had
simply taken a sleeping pill.

People had probably
just accepted their fate;
till eternity and beyond,
would they have to wait.

For only the devil himself
could devise such a plot
that humans be trapped
in heated metal to rot.

The sole purpose of cars
is to make the journey fast
but given the current pace
one could have amassed

Enough courage and will
to walk there on foot.
Was that not how God
intended that we should?

Maybe that is what one
should do when stuck:
Just abandon their car,
to get out of the muck.

Half tempted, half impatient,
I was ready to leave
when the traffic light flickered
giving me some relief.

I sighed and smiled.
My anger was gone.
Cause when the light changes,
I would step quickly on

The gas pedal and scurry
my way out of here;
beyond the horizon,
I planned to disappear.

But my mood was not meant
to be all calm and serene.
For just as the light turned
from red, to yellow, to green,

A driver behind me
sounded the car horn,
and at that instant
my anger was reborn.

Maybe the road is not
a place for a quiet soul.
It really is very tiring,
and it takes a huge toll.

Annoyance is provided
by the traffic in which you dwell
Or by the impatient drivers
who could all just go to hell!

Bar Picture

It’s been a while

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

 

Broadway

We stood there in awe, or at least, I know I did.

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.

Laughter of an Audience: A Guide to Stand-up Comedy

You put in on the stove –
some water in a cup.
With some wit or a joke,
you light the fire up.

It’s never a burst of vapour
escaping all at once.
The first few moments is
just the water heating up.

And then slowly you see
the water is moving.
The bubbles come up
to the fire that’s grooving.

You can see the bubbles.
They have already risen up
and are bursting on the surface
of your now boiling cup.

The steam rises up
with a sound of cackle.
The problem never was
that tough to tackle.

Up.
The time is over.
Do not overheat.
Or the contents of the cup
will quickly deplete.

Subway

Jack really didn’t need to lean forward and look into the tunnel to see the train crawl in. The lights on its head had lit up the tunnel long time ago.

The subway was a funny place to be in especially during the rush hour. Jack could see so many different types of people commute.
Some were the regulars who looked like they always took the same coach to work or school.
Most looked like they had been on the tube before but were very conscious of their surrounding, making it obvious that they didn’t use the public transport regularly.
He could even spot a few people who were probably using the station or the whole system of subway for the first time. They kept double checking everything, or asked people around to make sure they were on the right track.

It was people like these that Jack really found interesting.

Sure enough, as soon as he entered the train, he could see one guy standing in the middle of the aisle looking around, constantly staring at the destination map above the gate to check where the train had reached. Jack slowly approached him.

The trick was not jump right in but to play it safe and cool. Understand the flow of the whole system. Be a part of the environment so that you are not treated as a predator. And then when people least expect anything to happen, you jump right into it.

He silently went up to his prey and grabbed the free handle bar hanging overhead. He looked around to see if he could see any seat empty, but it was a false pretense. Jack did not want sit down; he wanted to be as close to the unsuspecting passenger as he could.

As the train moved in a constant speed, Jack slowly switched hands to grab the handle bar with the other hand; bringing his, now, free hand next to the back of pocket of his victim. He measured his speed. It had to be sudden and not be felt. He waited for the train to reach the next station and as soon he felt the train come to a halt, he braced himself to time everything perfectly. When the train decelerated the most, Jack put his hand inside the man’s pocket and removed the wallet and, as casually as one would, slipped it into his own taking out his handkerchief instead.

Jack proceed to get off the station and wait again for another unsuspecting passenger.

Late Night Journal

12.30 am

It is very late and in most cases a person should be asleep at this time, unless their work involves them to stay awake at these ungodly hours or if they believe they are energetic enough to party this late. Either way, my reason is neither.

I am awake because it seems like some weird sort of insomnia has held my body as a paralytic host. It’s not like I don’t feel sleepy but every time I lay down on my bed and try to go to sleep I cannot manage the simple enough task.

At those moments, I do what most people in that situation do; twist and turn on the little piece of cotton filled fluff I call a mattress and make myself believe that probably changing the angle of curvature of my legs or arms would make my body comfortable enough to enter into a voluntarily induced, vulnerable state of temporary coma which we so casually call sleep.

I believe writing about it might make me tired enough to fall in that deep slumber. Who knows maybe it works; maybe it doesn’t.


1.25 am

I twisted and turned a little more and then decided to watch an episode of Two and Half Men. Maybe the boring jokes that the show has resorted to after kicking out Charlie Sheen would lull me to sleep.

No progress. Oh! The jokes were boring, don’t get me wrong; but I still cannot fall asleep.

Maybe if I listen to some soothing music. That could help.


1.58 am

Bad move listening to soothing music.

Why does soothing music always have water flowing through it? Now I have to get out of the comfort of my bed and go to the toilet across the hall. This sucks! No more soothing music when I come back.

On second though, maybe I don’t need to go.

Okay, I do. It’s just that I am so comfortably tucked in my bed that it all seems like a huge task. My body really wants to torment me today.


2.22 am

So, I was at the washroom when I realized that I can try out that Bloody Mary thing people keep talking about.

Apparently, if you say “Bloody Mary” in your bathroom mirror five times between midnight and 4 am, some demon is supposed to attack you or something.

Well, I am still writing this, so you can be sure that nothing like that has happened. Bunch of fools who in believe in that, I swear.

This gives me a great idea. Maybe I can read some stories in Creepy Pasta. That would probably scare me to sleep.


3.05 am

Alright, it was a bad move to read Creepypasta.

There is some utterly crazy stuff out there. Don’t look at it.

Although, there was this one piece which warned me not to read if it was night time. Who cares? I survived Bloody Mary, I could survive that.

It was a long post but here is what it said in the beggining

If you are reading this, please make sure it is day time. I am warning you. This is not one of those internet stories you read and forget. I am very serious.

If you read this at night, things of inexplicable nature will happen to you. Especially the incantation at the end of the story.

Yes, I am talking to you. The stranger reading this at 3.00 am in the night.

I will agree the 3 am thing really got to me, but they could easily have tracked the time in my region from my IP address. A clever move nonetheless. (I have left the incantation out for the weak-hearted people out there)


3.15 am

Still no sign of sleep but things are getting a little weird. My room suddenly became cold. It’s very weird. The thermostat still shows ambient temperature. Maybe the whole sleep deprived state is making me ill. I have to check it out.


3.18 am

I am fine. No need to worry but I still feel cold.

And I really feel like slitting my wrist open right now.

Whoa! Where did that come from? I guess, it must be the late night, sleep deprived state of mine. I will let it be. Would be humorous when I read it later.


3.23 am

I just noticed that cold breeze seems to be coming from behind me.

Like someone is breathing down my neck. It is making goosebumps rise. It’s not funny anymore. I look at myself in the mirror right beside my work table. I can see that I am really tired. Probably if I just go—

I BLINKED! I mean, my reflection. I just saw it blink. This is not a joke. I just saw my reflection blink at me! I don’t know what is wrong. I have to check it out.


3.26 am

Alright. I am not sure what is happening anymore.

I am not dreaming this shit up! As I kept looking at my reflection, it started to move towards me. I swear it was moving when I was standing still. I thought it would—I would—step out of the mirror any moment.

I punched the mirror and it has shattered into pieces. There is blood flowing down my hand but I am compelled to write this.

Now, all I have to do is pick up a piece of glass and slit my wrist.

No! No! I didn’t mean to write that. I can’t even remove it now. I tried but I keep writing it again.

I am forcing myself to stop now and bandage my hand.


3.51 am

This is probably the last update before I go to sleep.

I have patched up my hand and am writing this on my phone since I dare not go to my work desk anymore. My keyboard is all bloody. Will have to clean it up in the morning

Before that I am going to make him take that glass and cut himself just like I did 30 years ago. This man is going to suffer and if you are reading this, you are going to suffer as well!!

I don’t know what is happening. I can feel a strange force driving me to do stuff.

Carcera Kocutt Dusphile

I hope you didn’t read that!

That was the incantation from the story.

Please, if you have read it. Hide Now! I am serious. Whatever it is, is already going to make me kill myself. Please save yourself.

I don’t want to die. Please, send help at this address as quickly as you can. This is my address.

171 North Qdfvc cbvbn mvb


4.00 am

He is dead. And you are next!