In Context

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“A little context goes a long way.”

_ J. M. Barrie,

The Founder of Secret Literary Society (SLitS).

Written on the pale wall, the slogan greeted her on the first day of her job. She was standing in a dimly lit, narrow reception area. It was desperately in want of a receptionist as there were no visible directions about where she was supposed to go. She gathered her teal patterned muffler and covered her face as a protective response against her nerves, which were threatening to overcome her resolve for a yearning for the signature hustle and bustle of a London evening filled her. But there was only the mild noise filtering from the bar above to keep her company. Previous day’s events ran before her eyes like that of a play she had watched repeatedly.

She was clutching a letter in her hands that congratulated her on securing a position. A position which she had never applied for. But it incited her interest many degrees more than the prospect of engaging with an unknown family and educating their children. A tedious but also the only other means of earning for her. Curiosity coupled with the greed of being called the 1st woman to be selected for the work of such a unique nature motivated her. She looked at the letter again for reassurance. .

The SLitS Headquarters,

October 16th, 18____,

Ms. ______,

As per our previous correspondence, we offer you the said position. Consider this letter your official appointment. Please take note that you, under no circumstances, are to show this to anyone. If you want to decline, then burn the letters and speak no word about them. However, if you were to accept, then we request your presence at The SLitS Headquarter (basement of The 1888 Bar) today at sharp 20:00.

May the Power of Words shine over you!

Director,

Secret Literary Society.

(SLitS).

She ventured forward and after a few minutes located a spiral staircase leading deep into the building.


 

A year later

She was standing in the lavish garden of a grand mansion that she was to enter in due course. The paper in her gloved hands read,

“Story-telling is not mere escapism. It is more real than reality; truer than the truth.”

Chilling air cut through despite her heavy corset, abundantly ruffled bustle skirt, and a copious amount of hosiery. Her ample bosom peeked out of the sensuous V-neck of her bodice, which was tighter than the pursed lips of her mother, when she lost her temper. A Gainsborough hat covered her curls, except for a few strands that were let loose purposefully. While her figure was plump in all the right places, her face — if not flattered with hair — heavily inclined towards corpulence.

She looked about her anxiously. It had taken her more than the standard 3 days to avail the invitation to this ball. She had almost lost hope, except in her line of work, one did not have the luxury of giving up. She sighed and threw back her shoulders before she entered the royal venue with a lady-like gait she had been practicing for a month.

Blood-red carpet covered the floor of the gigantic hall. Draping the 7 feet tall windows, the satin curtains in a shade of deep burgundy shielded the room from the gloomy weather outside. Within a few moments, she had detected her target and was moving towards him but was hindered by her hostess. As guided by her mentor at the SLitS headquarter, she fended off the emergency by cutting her off mid-dialogue without appearing curt or disregarding in the least.

She noticed that the night was advancing fast. Soon the mad chaos of colliding bodies in the jolly ritual called dance will ensue. It would be impossible to get hold of her target then. She decided that it was time to make her move. But —

“A woman of exceptional beauty in a room full of prospective grooms, interested not in even one of them only falls short in terms of suspicion to a handsome bachelor, with a large income and handsome disposition yet who was not pursued by a string of women,” said a velvety, almost intoxicating voice.

She stopped dead in her tracks. Her eyes closed in a gesture of frustration, not unlike someone who was caught in the midst of performing an illegal deed. With great difficulty, she brought herself to face the watchful eyes under the drooping upper lids of this man of extraordinary eminence.

He was towering her 5 ft. 4” figure by a good 8 inches. Devoid of his wide-brimmed hat, sporting a tuft of curled hair neatly separated in a straight middle parting, and dressed in a silk frock coat of indescribable brown hue, he looked a character from the 17th century.

“Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde,” she curtsied and offered him her hand.

His Grecian features transformed utterly as he boomed with laughter and kissed her outstretched hand.

“It is odd you presented your left … ” He lost consciousness mid-sentence. Her backup had caught him and transferred him into another room before he had completed his fall.

By the time, Wilde came to his senses, a crucial piece of information had been exchanged between the 9th Marquees of Queens-berry and a charming lady who was never again seen in the same circle. It was an information that could char the name of a certain Lord Alfred Douglas for debauchery of inconceivable nature.


 

May 25th, 1895

“A few years and his work would have bestowed upon him success and popularity,” she told a mysterious man in black, “Why did we do this to him?”

“I may not have foreseen the level of injustice they perpetrated on him,” said the man but without even a shred of remorse in his voice. “Nonetheless” he added, “Our actions have only made him immortal.”

“Because that is our job,” she retorted, “We kill wordsmiths to immortalize them.”

The man had had enough. “His work is larger than his life and our sins,” he told the girl he had recruited a few years ago, “Besides,” he said adjusting his bowler hat on his head, “He isn’t dead, yet.”


 

A strange woman visited the most controversial prisoner of his time. What a scandal! thought everyone at the prison.

The powers that be had wanted to keep the whole affair a secret; thus, it was on every tongue like the other secrets of the literary world. Why was every great writer afflicted with misfortune? Why was there always a back-story about the best of storytellers? These were more than mere coincidences. Spicing up the lives of great writers was the job for which our protagonist had been hired!

“Why have you come here, dear lady?” questioned a prisoner whose glory and dignity had been drowned in a gong that still echoed “Shame!” “Shame!”

A veil covered the face of the woman in black, but he knew who she was. He looked down at the gloved hand more lethal than the most venomous serpent living in the depths of the African jungles.

“Apologizing will not absolve me or undo my deed,” she said in a sepulchral tone, “I want you to remember who you are irrespective of what happens in this dreadful place.”

She offered him her hand again. This time it was the right one.


 

De Profundis,” wrote the queer prisoner on a sheet of paper that night.

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Originally Published on Medium 

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Hidden – In Plain Sight!

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I

My lips are colorless and parchred,
But the drink I need is scarce.
And thus I march,
In the desert, that is our love!
I wait for the Oasis
To hit me up.

II

Oh my towering ignorance!
For the Voice I seek
Is found in the silence

Tell Me a Story

Helloooo peeps!

Do you remember a few days (actually weeks) ago, I promised on delivering a story every week? Yeah so after missing a week or two, yours truly is here for the simple purpose of telling you a story

Here is this week’s entry from my side:

The Chicken Piece 

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“Saab! This is the finest, the juiciest item, I have here,” the shop-keeper was advertising a product to a handsome gentleman.

I threw a shy glance in the said customer’s direction. With an immaculate garb, that must have taken him a few hours to assemble, the youth gave the airs of an elitist dandy. The scornful look, he had fixed on the carefully skinned poultry, only strengthened my apprehensions.

“Under normal conditions, I won’t be here, buying meat,” he was saying, “I have employees for such jobs.” What a snot! I thought.

“Today is a special occasion though so I will inspect the poultry myself, which judging by this lousy flesh you are offering me is not up to the mark,” he continued, “This has gone soft. I want it to be tender but firm.” Impossible expectations, I thought.

The butcher looked disappointed. He was hoping to get rid of that chicken today. It was not a fresh product, and he needed to sell it ASAP. Yet, that didn’t stop him from showing better stock to this young man. He couldn’t afford to lose a customer of his stature over a rancid hen.

The arrogant buyer selected the healthiest bird from the livestock that was cooped up inside various cages, which stood over one another.

He handed over his pick to the storekeeper and said, “I take this reluctantly. It is not up to my standard but then I am very hard to please!” He smiled. The effect it had on his features was singularly grotesque. Good looks, despite their legendary powers can’t cover the flaws originating from an unpleasant disposition, I thought.

Meanwhile, the chicken-seller sealed the fate of the fat hen with a swift yet powerful blow. Then he said, “Saab, don’t mind my asking but what is the important event?”

The abhorrent smile deepened as he answered, “A girl and her parents are coming to our place. You know, a marriage proposal. She might be the one although I doubt that very much. Standards!” He winked at the butcher, received his now neatly bagged meat, paid, and left in a hurry.

The shop-keeper pocketed the money greedily. He proceeded to hang the naked bird that nobody wanted on a wire. He had to display it; he was desperate!

I gazed after the fading figure of the self-indulgent buyer. I had played the role of the chicken in the society for too long. I knew, by experience that he will choose his wife, the way he had bought his meat. A woman or a chicken, at the end of the day, is nothing more than a piece of flesh!

Read what Midu has to say!

Let me know how do you like it in the comment section. =) 

 

Tea Strength, Birthdays, and other Depressions

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When I was a kid, my dear mother ensured I stayed away from tea. I guess, feeding milk to their children is an inherent trait in mammalian mothers, which does not go away even when the child’s suckling days are over. Like any other good mom, she force fed me a glass of milk. Being a thankless turd, what I had on my plate never satisfied me. I made faces. “It smells,” I used to complain.

Besides worrying about my health, my poor Mama cared for my happiness. Thus, she added flavor to my essential dose of lactose. Terms such as Ovaltine, Cocoa Milk, Milo, Chocolate and Vanilla Milk entered my vocabulary and the ingredients holding these names, my body. I surrendered to my dairy-laden fate but still coveted my mother’s chai.

Then I grew up a little, and she allowed me a few drops- the ones I got for dunking my rusks in her precious tea. These scarce droplets transformed into a Doodh Patti, which after passing through various dilutions turned into my first cup of a strong tea. I was 14.

It only got worse after that. With every passing birthday, the tea granules increased while the whitening agent decreased. The concentration was according to my energy requirements.

It continued that way until I hit the quarter-century plateau. After that all went downhill — three cups of strong tea a day reduced to two moderate ones. I was growing soft!

Tea, my magical potion, gave me strength. I needed the strength to fight off the obstacles that came in the way of my dreams but at 25, I found out I had none! When you lose your aspirations, the extra stimulation doesn’t do you much good. It only fuels your depression.

There was no point in consuming an exuberant amount of tea, only to lay awake at night, resting against a pillow made from the wool of anxiety, under the blanket of melancholy. As a kid, I watched a lot of Popeye-The Sailor Man. It made me wonder had Olive died, would he still eat his Spinach to defeat Brutus. I don’t think he would and I am Popeye with no Olive in my life. Brutus hit me and I couldn’t care less.

Today is May 8th, my birthday. A long time ago, this day used to awaken dancing butterflies in my stomach. Now, the butterflies are dying so silently that I don’t even feel the urge to mourn for them. I’d rather drink my diluted tea. It won’t stimulate; just sustain. Indifference has prevailed!

Unmade for Each other

“Most people aren’t really bad, you know”, she told him.

“If that is so, they don’t do a very good job of showing their true intentions”, said he.

“Why do you have to be so bitter all the time”, she was saying. He, however, was busy observing her. Her small lips were moving in circles as if her sentences had words with lots of Os in them. Her fake accent made her words come out all rounded. How he had hated the pretentious accents that were so common in his days! Yet, he couldn’t find it in himself to even slightly dislike hers. He ended up focusing on her lips. The one thing he knew he shouldn’t have done.

Do I want to kiss them? He reflected. Out of love, he added hastily to his incomplete thought. He’d kiss them out of lust any time. That he knew very well.

“So?” she asked.

“I don’t care”, he said and he didn’t. She wanted to know what had hurt him so bad. The old story he had repeated so many times before people who had shown even the slightest of interest in him and his miseries but who like him had never really cared.

She didn’t insist though, which was odd. He was actually expecting her to show more interest than she had or perhaps that was what he secretly wished for. You don’t care he told himself again, and she shouldn’t either.

Both of them were now boarding their separate trains of thoughts. But soon they were interrupted. “A moment of peace inside your head”, he told her, “is too much to ask you know”. She smiled.

They turned around to find the source of the disturbance. A group of hooligans was standing a few feet away from them. They were shouting obscenities, most of which, were directed at him.

He looked at her. She was observing him.

When he did not stir and made it clear that he was not going to respond in any way, she rebuked him.

“Why don’t you respond to them?”

“I am out of credit”, He told her.

“What do you mean?”, she almost shouted, “They are standing right in front of you. What do you need credit for to retaliate against their insults?”

“I have nothing to my credit. A nobody like me has nothing to say to the people who have a lot to say about my character without even knowing me” was his reply.

She looked disappointed. “You are a loser”, she told him and stood up.

She is not very beautiful, he thought. Drawn to her full height and she was still a small awkward figure that leaned heavily towards chubbiness. Shoulder length, rough brown hair, a too prominent nose, and a pair of ordinary eyes always in need of some kohl to avoid looking dead. Ah but those lips, he thought. She was wearing a lilac T-shirt with grey trousers. Her brown leather handbag with the long strap was dangling from her right hand. It took him a few minutes to realize what she was about to do.

He had thought she was walking away from him because he had upset her but she was going over to the villains who were still insulting him.

“Woohooo”, one of them shouted, “So the pimp has sent his girl to defend him.”

He was on his feet now taking long strides to prevent any harm before it would be too late.

By the time, he reached there, it was already too late.

“That is all you got? In a fight, you guys would last even less than you’d do in bed”, she scoffed, “And with your tiny excuses of dicks, that would be what? Microseconds?”

“You bitch”, one of them screamed.

“This bitchy pimp’s girlfriend has more balls than all of you combined”, she retorted coolly, “So scram.”

To his utter disbelief, they did!

At that moment, it hit both of them. She is too strong of a person for a coward like me, he thought. What was I even thinking, she thought, fancying myself in love with a loser like him.

Walking their separate ways, they both decided to live happily ever after.

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XYZ

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X ways to find this
Y tips to get that
Z things you need and want!
This is where I dwell,
Where everyone
Wants, wants, and needs.

I am no different either.
Have I ever claimed otherwise?
X ways to be happy
Y tips to find contentment
Z rules to lead a life of glory
I often try to find!

He had seemed different though.
Alas!
Only from afar.
His browsing history revealed,
The shallowness
Of the man
of my dreams.
X ways to appear intelligent
Y books you must read
Z tips to leave a lasting first impression
Oh the depression
What a pain in the back
Pathetic pseudo intellectual!

Want want need!
ZzzzZzzz
Sleep!!!
Nom nom eat!
Oh the never ending greed.
I, me, mine
The disease of pride.
Inglorious vainglory,
Vainglorious in glory.

I made a vow
To live in this world
That is driven by desire,
A crumbling edifice
Of materialism,
surrealism.
What a schism!

The need
To rhyme
will stay with me
And so would
The itch
To stitch
A song
Of needs and wants.

I made a vow
Didn’t I tell you already?
I will stay with you,
And you with me
Oh my dear needs and wants!

X needs Wants
Y wants Needs
Z has wants and needs

Lets pluck the plants
And water the weeds

Wants breeds Needs
Needs breeds Wants

I want and need
Till death do us apart

Patient # 102

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I was walking. It was a huge crowd — lots and lots of people. Most of them were adults — people in their 30’s and 40’s, you know. There were a few children as well — hopping along the crowd. They were too few, though, but it did not matter. Children only matter if they are going to grow up and this group here was not destined to be adults — lucky bastards!

The majority of these adults were women with a dozen or so males following them like slaves follow their masters. I think the only reason these males were kept alive was for mating so they could produce the children who would never grow to become adults.

She was there too — the love of my life, walking in the front row. She was their leader, being the most beautiful woman in the crowd. I, on the other hand, was stuck in the last row — among the ugliest men. I was not ugly, though. However, being handsome was not an advantage for me because I was made impotent. I was useless. Why were they keeping me alive? Perhaps she has told them to do it. Did she love me? But that was impossible. She was the reason behind my castration!


He was still bleeding when they found him. The gruesome weapon in his hands was shining with crimson blood. He was sitting on the toilet seat. The rescuers could see a severely mutilated reproductive organ but there was no acknowledgement of pain in his brown eyes. They were empty — he was a vegetable!


A doctor and a patient’s family were deep in discussion. Patient #102 was their main concern.

“I think some event has triggered his otherwise inactive gene, which is responsible for creating a chemical imbalance in his mind”, the doctor was saying, “Are you 100% sure he had never had any traumatic experience of being sexually assaulted?”

“Never”, said the father, his voice betraying a shade of hurting pride.

“I am not sure”, intervened his wife.

She looked around. Everybody was staring at her now. Her eyes were brimming with tears of pain and hurt.

He is so young — only 18, she thought and a sob skipped her.

“I…I think it has something to do with Katrina”, she was shaking all over her body as she said this. Her son had been staying at the house of his recently widowed aunt. They had sent him to comfort her and her little daughter and help them around, as they were new in town.

“You mean to say”, her husband’s paternal love was transforming into intense anger as he said, “She did something to him to…”

He failed to complete the sentence.


On the dark curtain of his mind, the same film was being played on repeat. He was the star of this movie — the hero and the villain.

He was standing in a dimly lit room — naked, ready to commit the felony again. The beauty standing in front of him — scared out of her wits, was not his aunt. It was his angelic cousin — the love of his life!

Then something happened!

She exposed his villainy. The penalty was to suffer from insufferable madness. He was to stay stuck in one horrific moment for the rest of his life.

 

Originally published on Medium

The Confessions of a Celestial Being

This story is written as part of a writing challenge–WRINGO (writing BINGO), which is proposed and played by my office friends. There is a grid with different genres for each grid. Every week, we are assigned a genre that is decided by a dice-roll. I will be  sharing my stories here. 

Genre for this week is Romance. 

I loved her–the Earth, I mean.

One fine moment in space, I told her so!

Now you may think that it was a very hasty decision on my part but that is not the truth. I had observed her for several centuries before deciding that she was indeed the one. It was a very calculated decision and not an emotional one at all for she had life (something that is rather extinct up here). Emotions got involved, but later–when she rejected me.

Somehow, it had made me want her even more. Perhaps, it had always been the reason. For you see, I was very attractive, I still am, actually. Nobody up here in the Universe had ever been able to ‘resist’ my charms.

Earth, on the other hand, had never been bothered by my worldly or perhaps otherworldly beauty. It seemed as if she was made from some other matter, which rendered her immune to my gigantic force of attraction. God knows, she was different. (This is where I sigh and fail to stop thinking about her).

Anyways, so without wasting any time in sending her the positive radiations to be caught and responded by her love RADAR, I decided to sneak right up on her, as per my custom. She refused to even face me. I still remember every single detail of that agonising encounter.

“Let me engulf you with all your splendour, Madame”, I had said in the loftiest tone I could manage amidst all the noise and chaos the particles (foreign, indigenous, and hybrids) of my body were making. They were jiggling up and down, cheering me, ready to welcome another member to the family. I felt confident despite the disorientation in my shape and size.

But, something unexpected happened. Mother Earth responded to my sincerest confession in the most unbelievable manner, that isshe DIDN’T. The most attractive entity in the Universe made her a proposal and she didn’t even pretend to acknowledge. Now let me make something clear to you all here. I am not an ordinary phenomenon. Thousands of maiden galaxies would have sacrificed their carefully crafted sensual symmetries for me but Ms. Earth was an arrogant bitch!

So it all happened and then came the emotions—anger at being rejected, hope that she was playing the ‘hard to get’ game, and finally a doomed feeling of emptiness. The cycle kept going on and I learned that only the first confession is hard to make. Later, you just start enjoying the derogatory behaviour of your beloved. Happened with me too and I started to look for reasons to ‘trigger’ her. I would not let go a single chance to shake her to her core. Yes, I can do that, I have mysterious powers. Interestingly enough, her inhabitants-lovers (what a whore, right?), haters (you can’t possibly have any fun without those), and children (illegitimate *shudders*) trembled at my every touch. What is even funnier is that they thought I was God. Just mess a bit with them, and these earthlings would readily start worshipping you. Now I am not God, not even close but who could possibly deny that degree of attention? God, perhaps!

This game was fascinating enough to keep me going. I almost stopped worshipping her but then one day she just decided to walk up to me. I thought that my opportunity has just arrived and I was all set to ‘grab’ it when she opened that mouth of hers, which turned out to be bigger than her other assets.

“I don’t even like you, hole.” Her hateful tone was forceful enough to destroy the whole Universe.

I, however, engulfed it, thanks to my very accepting nature and said, “Why do I repel you so when I have the most appealing existence in the whole cosmos?” “Also”, I added hastily, “I am well-connected.”

She ignored my last remark. “My people”, she began pointing towards her chest. Two gigantic mountains distracted me and I could no more concentrate on what she was saying. She sensed my perverseness and shuffled to cover her generous heap with some greenery and cleared her throat. “The thing is you are dark and my have enough of that already. With you by my side, the future will be darker.”

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Source: Safely Endangered Comics

She allowed that to sink in before continuing, “By the way, I am dating Moon for now and I occasionally flirt with the stars as well but you know who my real target is, right?”

“You will burn”, I tried to say but couldn’t. After all, who would have listened to a BLACK HOLE?

The End

Important: To read other writers’ take on the genre, visit https://medium.com/@logicowringo. You won’t be disappointed!!! Happy Reading =)

What Color Are You?

 

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I was black

The darkest shade

Or so I thought

 

For one day I saw

an image flowing

In the dark river

The form and shape

Was indeed mine

But very very white

My eyes hurt

It was all too fine

So from then on

I was to be fair

I roamed around

Completely bare

 

I was light

Things passed through me

I remained unaffected

Or so i fancied

For one day I found

A number of things

Stuck inside

my beautiful wings;

“Controlled urges,

Pathetic emotions,

Impossible desires”

My anger surges.

 

I was neither black

Nor pearly white.

Perhaps grey?

I though with hope.

“At least one color

I would be

Even if its

a mixture of two”

 

Everyone I knew

Was Afterall

Some varying shade of grey.

 

I chance a look

Grey grey grey

I pray

 

What is this I see?

Not black, not white

Nor any shade of grey.

 

My white is white

My black is black

No grey no red

Nor any color

 

I am a mosaic

Of black and white.

 

What color I show

When where and how?

I do not know

I do not know.

Wither Away!

 

“Pressure makes things grow more”c7d314cd05de08c71c1733036643353f-2.jpg

 

Is a ridiculous myth!

That’s a terrible bore.

The flower could have

Lasted a little longer,

had the tools Blasted

the warmonger.

Instead, they played

Filthy games

With the hues and shades,

of the colorless petals.

c7d314cd05de08c71c1733036643353f-1The pressure to bloom

In fifty seconds.

Was on the bud.

For ready was

the suit of the groom.

And the flower on the lapels

was to be

the exact shade of Canadian Maples.

It was of course too much to take.

And as the huge cake

They took to bake

Something ugly happened.c7d314cd05de08c71c1733036643353f-3.jpg

The man blamed,

the half opened flower

because it died

before the ceremony

of the marriage.

But none could know

How had it cried!

In the solitude of night,

Before his eternal flight.