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#AtoZchallenge #flashfiction: R for Rather than give in to temptation

Mum says it is evil to steal.

Sure, the first time you try it, you go Gawd I can’t do this, but then you’ve picked it up and chucked it in your handbag, your fingers shoved into your pockets to keep them from trembling, blood singing in your ears as you wait for the alarms to squeal on you, and then you’re out, striding out into the daylight, and they tell you they’d cut the tags out for you and ask you how you feel, and you tell them you’re doing great, just awesome. You want to do it again.

#AtoZchallenge #flashfiction: P for Postponement is not an option

I sit on me front porch, thinkin’ Sunday morning thoughts, when they drive up, the two fat coppers.

Where’s Moses?, the taller of the two hook his finger on his belt, and don’t waste our time.

Only Moses I know, I tell them, parted the Red Sea.

No punchin’ the toadstool around me. Moses he turn me ‘to a fairy if I squeal. Better put out for coppers than Moses.

My nose bust next second, one long whine in me ears, blood on me mouth, warm ‘n icky. Usual stuff.

#AtoZchallenge #flashfiction: O for Only once did she stop and think..

She woke up to his pictures on Facebook. Not on her timeline, you understand, but a stranger’s, a woman she’d met at a party the night before, her latest Facebook friend.

He’d put on weight. Flecks of grey and white had touched his hair. His smile, though. His smile looked the same. Or did it?

Her fingers traced the screen. If only she could enter it, stand beside him, hold his arm as he smiled at the camera, lay her head on the suit that hugged his shoulders.

Could she once again be the reason he smiled, just like she once was on that spring morning when his fingers had combed her curls, played with her dinner clothes, taken them off, letting his fingers and hands and the sun warm her? They had danced and sung and chugged down wine all night. What day was that, the day after a friend’s wedding, or Fourth of July? That day when all seemed hazy, only them, their bodies, had a certain ripe solidity– too full, with too much of life. She could not remember.

#AtoZchallenge #flashfiction: Never in her life did she think..

The poppy fields of her lost summers, she wanted to see them bloom again.

Those red, black-hearted blossoms, nodding and dancing in the breeze, lying crushed under her as she moved with her husband, coloring the air in opium– she wanted them back, those fields where they had made her son.

She drove slowly in the dusk, her eyes on the distance, on the road below her with its moving stream of traffic. The lights, a river of cars, a slow-moving river of light, on a Friday evening, people going home or out of town for their weekends. Everyone had a right to joy, to life, as did Robbie, sitting beside her, tall and strong like his father. Eyes closed, he danced his head to the music from his earphones, lost to the world, unaware his father was alive and looked for him.

#AtoZchallenge #flashfiction: Lately he’d been feeling

Saturday nights like this, Don returned early, and tried not to get wasted. Martha didn’t like it. But today they’d filled his glass each time he’d drained it, and he could smell whiskey everywhere, on his sofa, his clothes, even his socks and shoes as he tugged them off. He felt, warm, fuzzy on the outside, but the booze hadn’t dulled the shrapnel of pain caught in his chest.

Not that he wanted to talk about it, but lately, he’d been feeling like a dinosaur at a fun fair– on display, paint chipped in places, no choice but to stay put.

Vikas Swarup’s Six Suspects

It is an ‘easy’ read once you make your peace with the quality of the prose, and if you are interested in the new, ‘shining’ India, you could do worse than read this book. Some of the voices are interesting, and a few facets of this country, especially the difference between the appearance and reality of its ‘progress’ have emerged rather well.