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
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.

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!

Hue and Me

Ever had a feeling of being inside a painting? And not the dull ones. No, not those. I mean like the ones that have a lot of colour and vibrant hues. You know, the ones like Leonid Afremov makes. Yup, those types. Well, if you haven’t felt something like that, you haven’t seen fall in its true glory.

Everywhere you look, there are shades of orange, red and yellow, lined across. You can walk down the street and the wind would blow across your face. Not the harsh kind which makes you mad, but the slow soothing type. Almost like the wind is trying to lull you into a deep slumber.

Occasionally, you step on the dried leaves that are fallen on the ground. Just to hear them crunch under your feet… isn’t it almost divine? And as you lift your feet, the crumpled pieces of the leaf float away into the air, as if you have freed them from their captivity.

The smell of hot beverages being made coming out of almost all the houses that you pass. It’s simply intoxicating.

It doesn’t get better than that, does it? Well, for me, it does.

I walk over to a tree in the park, where I know she would be there; waiting for me under the tree, like she always did. I don’t walk up to her directly. No, I don’t want to rush and miss the sight. I just look at her for a while.
She sits there reading her book; absolutely clueless that the person she has been waiting for, is standing behind her. She even has two cups of coffee. I can almost smell the contents – Pumpkin Latte. Of course, it’s that. She wouldn’t miss a chance to get that, ever.

As I keep watching, a stray broken leaf  lands on her flowing, black hair. I guess, even the leaf couldn’t resist touching something as perfect. She brushes it off gently. I could almost feel the pain the leaf might have experienced, but sometimes things aren’t meant to be – the leaf would have to learn that.

I walk up to her and as she sensed me approach, she turned around with a smile. A smile which could, indeed, make even the colourful season seem dull. I sit next to her and look at the cup.

‘What is it?’ I knew perfectly well what the answer would be but I had to ask.

‘Pumpkin Latte,’ she had a wicked smile on her face.

‘You know I don’t like it, right?’ I say. ‘It tastes weird.’

‘Well, you know that I am going to make you drink it anyway, right?’ she says. ‘Even if it tastes weird.’

I sigh and gently slip my hand into hers. With the other one, I grab my cup and take a huge sip.
She knew that I wouldn’t say no to her. I knew that as well. It’s not that I wouldn’t. There was something about her that made sure I couldn’t, and it wasn’t just because it was going to be the last fall we would experience together.


Inspired by a post on fall I read in the blog  – thebrunetteinthepinkscarf

The Jump

In response to Blogging University’s Writing 101 Daily Task: A story in a single image

I stood there on the ledge and looked down again. How many times had I stood there before? – I had lost count of it all, I believe.

The street looked busy as ever. Cars rushed past not giving a care in the world about a man standing on the ledge of an overhead bridge. I never could tell if they did not see or they chose not to.

The street light in a distance flickered. It was doing that a lot for the past few days. It would flicker for a while and then all at once turn off. It did come back to life an hour later but till then it would leave the area beneath in darkness. Although, the street could never be in complete darkness with all the light coming from the oncoming traffic and overhanging billboard sign.

Nobody ever stopped and wondered why the light was off. They just accepted it was. People were always in a hurry, and it’s not that they are to be blamed for it. Had I been in there place, I doubt I would have noticed it as well. I don’t have any right judge any of them.

The city never sleeps – it’s said. And the more I look at it from the top of the ledge, the more I believe it to be true. The windows in the buildings lit up with people in their home going about their daily activities, probably getting ready for bed – something which I believe I would not be experiencing.

I looked down again. It was quite high. Falling from here meant certain death but I don’t think I was scared of that. I could feel a slight tingle in my head. It was time to jump – I had to do it.

I stood up straight on the ledge and took a deep breath. Even with my body completely covered, I could feel the cold wind blow. For some reason I could tell it would rain in a few hours. The tingling sensation was getting stronger. I had to jump. No matter how good the view seemed, I had to take the leap.

And when the tingle got just a little stronger, I jumped.

I jumped and folded my fingers in a way I had done so many times, that the action was now involuntary. A string of web shot out of my hand and stuck itself to a building. I quickly grabbed hold of it and swung down just inches above the cars. It was always a thrilling experience, no matter how many times I did it.

My spider sense had been bothering me for quite a while and I knew I had to go and save the city, but nobody said I can’t have a little fun while doing it.

Break In

In response to Blogging University’s Writing 101 Daily Task: One-word Inspiration

Prompt: Home

It was almost close to one o’ clock in the night. There would be no better time to strike.

Fred checked again if every light in the house was still off and nodded his head – it was.

He observed both sides of the street carefully to make sure there was nobody watching, especially the neighbors.
If any of the neighbors saw him, there would be no point him managing to sneak into the house at all.

All clear. He took a deep breath. There was just one more thing he had to look out for.
According to his calculation the car belonging to city watch should pass by any minute. Only once they are out of sight, would he move to implement his plan.

Fred waited a bit further down the streets, in the cover of shadows. Every breath he exhaled formed a wisp of smoke as it froze in front of him. He rubbed his hands to generate a little heat and put them in his pocket. The worst part of waiting was probably the cold which would onset in the wee hours.

It did not take long for the city watch car to appear in the horizon. Within a minute, it passed in front of the house Fred was aiming to break into and then passed him, without much of a second glance, as it continued down the street. There was no way he would have been visible in the shroud of darkness but even if he was, they did not seem to care about his presence.

As soon as the car was gone, he scampered to the front door and turned the handle softly. It was locked—obviously—but he had to check. If it had been open, half his work would have been done. He looked around the yard for places where the key would generally be hidden.

Not under the door mat. Not under on the ledge above the door. Not taped under the mailbox. There it is!

He finally found it in a very suspicious piece of granite which clearly did not belong with the rest of the stones in the garden.

Fred smiled. Sometimes, things are too easy.

He unlocked the door and carefully stepped inside. He made sure not to make any noise as he tip-toed to the kitchen. All the wait had made him thirsty, he needed to drink some water before he proceeded upstairs.

But, as soon as he stepped in the kitchen he realized that he had committed a grievous mistake. The moment he stepped in, the lights came on and the owner of the house could be visibly seen seated near the dining table.

Fred froze in his tracks. He had been caught red handed. There was no other way out of it now except to apologize and accept his mistake.

He looked down on the ground. ‘Sorry, mom’ he said. ‘It got late at the party.’