Published My First Story

Hello everyone, I know, I have been out of writing spree for too long. It’s been more than a month, and I haven’t written any post here. But in my defense, I have been busy with personal stuff.

Firstly, I was traveling overseas. Being my first travel abroad, I took time off from writing and instead put my focus on engraving the vibe of the city. 

Then I was busy celebrating Diwali with my family after a long time. 

When I returned to the city, where I live currently, I was in chaos, cleaning up my home like a mad person. 

After I sorted out everything, I took the challenge of writing a short story for the PentoPublish2019 event by Amazon. 

A huge thank you to all the people who have helped me in the journey of writing my first published short story.

Honorable mentions: 

Prats, I can’t thank you enough, from sharing the first link of pentopublish2019 to asking me now and then about my writing status, I will always be indebted to you. 

Deepika, an already published author, gave me excellent feedback, I used a few of her pointers to improve the quality of my work. 

Sri, who is my soul sister and a fantastic writer, gave me the green signal and excellent suggestion, which I used in my final edition.

I also went to my brother, who gave me a good pep talk after reading my first draft, and to my dismay, it helped me a lot. 

Lastly, a huge thank you to my dear friend Gallimaufry, for reading my first three chapters and pushing me to complete it on time and suggesting various things when it came to designing the book cover. And bearing the frustrated me and helping in the final edit of the story. You are fabulous, and you know it. 

Here is what I realized while writing, every writer tells you that writing is easy, but its the editing after the first draft, which makes you mad. And you never understand this emotion until you work on your first edit. I was a little heartbroken after getting feedback on my first draft. In my head, I have written a brilliant piece that has no flaws. So I took a four-day break from writing and reading my story. When I went back to editing, I could see flaws in my writing and started editing it. I understood what everyone’s feedback and tried to apply the changes. But there were points about which I was very adamant; I didn’t change it even in the final story.

Here are the few suggestions, if you want to start writing :

  • Make a ritual when it comes to writing. I stuck to early morning writing with a cup of green tea, it helped.
  • I wrote every day at the same time; after two days, you realize your mind starts working at that particular.
  • Even if nothing comes to your mind, still keep staring at the page, after half an hour or so, something always comes up.
  • Last and foremost, write the story you would love to read. Don’t think about the audience when you are writing, write to unleash the unsaid words of your soul.

So here, I am sharing my short story with people who gave me honest feedback to date on my writing adventure. I hope you will once again share your honest feedback with me.  

Hazel : The untold short story of a ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances

Three ways

Sitting here, in dark,

I watch you,

Bathing in luminous pale light,

You glow,

With sheer whiteness,

Like a moon.

And I ponder,

The what ifs.

Will this proximity,

blur your innocence,

Or,

The purity of your heart,

will snuggle me.

Does my darkness,

Holds the power,

To engulf you.

Or is it other way round,

Where,

your light will seep in,

Filling the hollowness of my heart.

Will this,

Crossover jeopardize everything,

Turning your world upside down.

But what if,

The world looks glorious,

Upside down.

Or,

How about,

meeting in the middle,

Where your shine,

Sprinkled by my grayness,

As a silvery beauty.

What if,

The dark of my side,

Will open the chain,

Of your phosphorous glow.

Or,

Is it that,

Somewhere hidden beneath,

All the layers,

Of our worldly views,

there is us,

In all our nakedness,

Entwined,

Twin bodies,

With just,

one soul.

Building a simple,

Three way street.

Prologue : Wolf Moon

I often wonder what were you looking, when you found me.
Maybe what you say is right, that you weren’t looking, it was like I came in your way and stopped you from going forward without me.Or maybe what I say is true, that we were destined to meet, the way we met. I think my version looks more romantic, yeah bit fatalist, but who cares.

But somehow, this one quoted line doesn’t quench the writer inside me. I want to have a story that paints the town red like Romeo and Juliet’s, but they have a tragic ending. And I am not a big lover of sad endings. However, the hopeless romantic that you usually call me desires quite a lively end. And then there is this reader inside me who would crave a different version. I can’t write what I won’t like as a reader. That’s the only rule I go by when it comes to my writing.

So the best thing would be to have an open ending, showing the marks but not the ways and allowing each reader to have their imaginations run wild, making the story much more fulfilled.

We all hold so many stories inside us. Some we share with one or two people, some with a group and some with none. But there are only a few stories in our life that need to be out there, in the open for the world, to relish, to devour, and to lose themselves in its essence.

I feel our story is one such tale, simple for those who believe that we live only once, complicated for those who live for the world and multilayered for those who live multifaceted life.

So with a lot of trepidation’s, I let my story breathe its course, to find its path, and to reach its destination. May all my readers find a part of themselves in this story, may it touch something deeper within you, and may you find the one you are seeking, knowingly or unknowingly.

“Who could be so lucky? Who comes to a lake for water and sees the reflection of moon.”
― Rumi

PS: This is a prologue to the fiction I started writing a while back, you can check Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. I will come with Chapter 3 very soon.

The Room

Darkness loomed in the room, no lights, no candles, only the voice of swaying cypress trees from outside. Clanging windows, fluttering pages of an open book and an upturned basket full of fruits lying on the floor. The storm came, taking away the calmness of the place, and leaving behind the chaos that needed settlement.

She walked cautiously, calculating every move, touching and feeling objects to mark her way in the room. The lamp still stood intact in the leftmost corner, reminding her of the time when she read her last book under its luminous light. The dusty rug showcased the distance between the room and the human touch. The stack of diaries with blurred designs, the pen stand filled with colored pens but dried inks, talked about the years passed by in both their lives.

It was autumn when she went to bed, yesterday and when she woke up the season suddenly turned into summer. Somehow she has missed the winters altogether or maybe passed them in her dreams. How would you feel if you were snuggling in a small corner with hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, reading a spooky book one evening and somehow you dozed off, and when you woke up it was sunny and too warm to sit beside the fireplace? You were dreaming of entering into Narnia from the cupboard because that’s what the story told you all along, but you never get the chance to witness the war, you only see the green pastures and the lion standing up the hill.

Even though you witness the bright side at the end, but what about the journey? Isn’t the fun always lies in the journey, and not in the destination. And what about the learnings and the wild whirlwinds that would have made you much stronger as a person. You stand on another side of the storm unprepared for the stark new reality of your life.

Yet, this was her reality now. In the blink of an eye, the library has been invaded by nature, in her sleep. Now she had to make darkness her ally. Figure out the path and set the things back in order before the arrival of the next pumpkin-picking season.

As George Elliot said :

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the Earth seeking the successive autumns.”

Living with a dawdler

The blank paper looks at me asking, will I fill it with colors of my ink, today.

At times I see my books gawking, for the touch of my hand.


My running shoes smirk when I move them from one shelf to others, refraining their anger.


My coloring books peek through the piles of dust that have settled upon them over time, accusing me of neglect.


My wardrobe alarms me by letting the clothes fall on my face, tricking me into the web of the fixture.


My vanity box seeks my attention by opening itself every time I pass by.


My Camera is disappointed by my treatment and is ready to run away at the first exit.


My unread messages bubbling up to be tapped and replied, with an explanation.


The fruits on my table are dying and yet I profusely deny them the cure.


My phone balance cries as it desperately wriggles to get reduced to an accurate number.


My disheveled hair tries to push me to untangle them with the long untouched comb.


The chocolates in my fridge cabinet are waiting to get melted and dissolved in my taste.


My entangled thoughts want a release from the chaos, to float in the dust of the universe freely.


But I shun all of them,


And keep loitering around,


Sometimes in the visual word,


Other times in the dream world,


Often telling them,


To get accustomed,


With the life of a dawdler.

Escape

Have you ever felt that you are living someone else’s life all along and your real-life awaits you, someone where else. Reshma has this feeling in her heart from the time she came to realize her existence on this earth. Her life on the shore was a sleepwalk where she has moments of wakefulness when she meets city dwellers coming to the island from far away places to dwell in solitude and enjoy the loneliness of their soul. 

She couldn’t comprehend their need to isolate themselves. She, on the other hand, craved the madness of chaos and crowd. She has lived too long in the shadows of loneliness, and now her heart fluttered to fly high in the world of noises. But she had no idea how to break the chains that have bound her too long with the place she has called her home. Home is not always the place where you live, sometimes its the place you need to travel, to find the missing piece of your soul. 

On one bright Sunday morning, she was standing on the shore looking at the vastness of the ocean. And there arose a whirlwind in the middle of blueness, stirring her soul. It was like a wolf howling inside her chest, wild with the anticipation, of what lay ahead, beyond the horizon. The seizing typhoon brought the fishes to the shore, and they were wriggling in pain, their eyes had a fear of death that waited for them in no time. Yet, they were all trying to swim back in the water, not giving up the hope to have one more last chance at life. 

This struggle broke Reshama’s stupor and brought her to senses, and then she ran, like never before, not looking back at people calling her back, she kept running as if her life depended on this action, she ran breaking the roots tangling her to the place she called home, all along. 

No one knows what they might find across the border after all a border is just another wall of that side. But not crossing it just because everyone thinks you shouldn’t, is not the reason enough, to walk across the boundary line. 

I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floatin’ around accidental-like on a breeze. But I, I think maybe it’s both. – Forrest Gump. 

TAKEN or GIVEN

The limp body was lying in the pool of blood, waiting to be picked up from the floor by someone who will care enough. The blood wasn’t dark red, it was coral which made it feel like as if the coral reef was bleeding instead of a human body. People, as usual, started to gather around, most of them were there to witness what death looks like, for others, it was mere gossip that they would talk about on their dinner table. And then there are always a few curious ones, who want to know what exactly happened that led to this situation, but none of them cared enough to touch the body. They all assumed that nothing was left, that the light has gone out, and the only thing they could do is call the ambulance to pick up the body. Yes, now it was just a body, ready for burial in the graveyard or might be cremated, who knows, after all, no one came claiming it yet.

The spirit of the body was hovering over it, wondering what the commotion was all about. Why suddenly all these people were interested in her. People who wouldn’t even return her smile were now asking each other about her existence. How come, she became the talk of the town by one act of pursuit. Most of them were whispering, so she couldn’t decipher what exactly they thought had happened to her. The only thing that she kept wondering was why the so-called caring people, who would go mad about run over body of a dog on the road wouldn’t even dare to touch her body which still has few last breaths to take on this mortal world.

She chuckled at the synchronicity of the situation, no one cared enough when she was there, existing with her breaths, and no one cared enough now when she was ceasing to exist with her last breaths. The only thing they were determined to know was whether It was TAKEN or GIVEN?

PS : The story came from the Limerick that I wrote long time back for a challenge.

The Red Gift

There it was, in the open, lying, in front of his blue gate, on a golden box covered with a red silk cloth. A simple yellow stick note slipped under the box. The light from the full moon was making the box and its content glitter. All that was glittering wasn’t gold but was far more precious than everything he ever possessed.

He never knew there would come a day where something that he has chased for so long would be lying at his doorsteps, for his to keep, for a, forever. And now when it was so near, he was afraid to go near it. A surge of sudden fear uproared making him apprehensive, and he felt as if his mere touch would make it vanish away. The disquiet of the night led him to think that all that was happening wasn’t right. Somehow he was questioning himself again and again whether the bestowed gift wasn’t his to behold?

He knew that someone has given up everything to bring it up to him. Someone has crossed oceans and boundaries to serve it to him on a golden box. Someone has given up thyself, for thou were the Thee. The musings of his mind won’t settle down, and they were keeping him away from his long-cherished path.

The zephyr holding the fragrance of what lay in the wrapped cloth, tantalizing his senses, to look beyond his vision. His eyes fell on the stick note, with crabbed writing in red, saying,

“The gift is yours to behold, do what you think fitful.”

The words pierced his soul, subsiding every dilemma of his heart and mind. He sauntered towards the golden gift with the glistening eyes. With trepidation, he picked up the golden box, looking again at the scribbled words, touching them with his fingers and savoring them, giving delight to his soul. And then he unraveled the red cloth, holding the most precious gift of his lifetime, her HEART.

“In your light, I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.”  ―  Rumi

Fernweh

The yellow rain boots,
with layers of mud,
kept going,
in the marshes.
The pale pink dress,
drenched,
snugging to the body,
was moving.
Disheveled long hair,
swaying,
as darkness engulfed
all around,
with the bursting
of grey clouds.
Tired yet alive,
In pain but still moving,
to where,
who knows,
Running,
walking,
limping,
but still,
moving,
in the pursuit of happiness,
Clenching hope,
between her,
pruney fingers,
of,
new dawn.

Fernweh is German word, means an ache to get away and travel to a distant place, a feeling even stronger than wanderlust.It literally translates to “distance-sickness.”. While someone with wanderlust might sit at home and happily fantasize about all the places they might visit, someone with fernweh would feel a deeper sense of longing, a sort of homesickness but for foreign lands.

Where do the broken hearts go?

The rib-cage holding the hearts
from flying away,
In the shadows of darkness.
Otherwise,
where, do you think the broken hearts go?
Dipping in the sorrow,
of the ocean of shed tears,
dissolving the hidden pain.
Where else,
do you think the broken hearts go?
Numbing the emotions,
with sips of moonshine,
they sit on a vacant road.
Otherwise,
where, do you think the broken hearts go?
Sitting by the seaside,
looking into the vastness,
filling the holes
with the salty air.
Where else,
do you think the broken hearts go?
Scribbling on the blank pages,
with verses,
that tear apart.
Otherwise,
where, do you think the broken hearts go?
Strumming the chords,
pouring,
the aching heart,
into the world.
Where else,
do you think the broken hearts go?
Sometimes, they stumble,
and meet,
other broken hearts,
It’s here,
the first healing begins.
Otherwise,
where, do you think the broken hearts go?