#TornadoGiveaway – Marijuana Diaries

Name of the Book : MARIJUANA DIARIES

Compiler : Paulami Duttagupta

Edited by : Nethra A.

Read some reviews:

1. Sundari Venkatraman

2. Nikita Jhanglani

3. Ruchi Singh

The Story:

Marijuana Diaries, an anthology on addiction and obsession, has 17 stories by new and established writers. As writers introspect and celebrate addictions of various forms, the pages of this diary fill up.
 
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About The Authors

 

Contributors: Gulzaar, Raghuvir Shekhawat, Deepali Junjappa, Meera Bharadwaj,Priyaa Trippayar Sahasranaman, Subha N Nivedita and Dr. Tahmina Khaleel Rochelle Potkar, Paulami DuttaGupta, Reshma Ranjan, Rubina Ramesh, Nehali Lalwani, Nethra Anjanappa, Janaki Nagaraj, Aparajita Dutta, Brindaa Lakshmi and Ahana Mukherjee.

About the Editor

Paulami DuttaGupta 
 

Born in Shillong, many moons ago, with schooling at Loreto Convent, and an English Honors from St. Edmunds College, Paulami Duttagupta started her career with All India Radio Shillong. She had written and also given her voice to a few shows there. Later she came down to Kolkata and got a post graduate degree in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University. She had also taken up a fancy to learning Spanish, but today confesses that she has forgotten most of it.

She has written for ‘The Times of India’ in the ‘Guwahati-Shillong plus Edition’ and also ‘The Shillong Times’. Television had always attracted her and was connected to the Bangla TV industry for about 6 years. She was associated with ETV- Bangla, Akash Bangla and Sony Aath in this period.

Having left her day job in 2012, Paulami took up full time writing. Her first novel, “Pinjar” released in early 2012.

Her second novel “Unplanned Destiny” released in 2014. She is also the screenplay writer of the national award winning Khasi film – “Ri Homeland of Uncertainty”.

“Ri” has been adapted into a novel and is releasing in Sepember’14.

She is currently working on her next project as movie script writer.

Apart from writing full length novels, she has written several short stories and articles. She has also contributed to the “Minds@work Anthology” and the “Family Matters International Anthology” in 2013.

Recently she has contributed to the “Learning and Creativity Anthology” , “Her Story Anthology”, and “Celebrating India – Love across Borders Anthology”.

When she is not writing or watching movies, Paulami is either reading biographies or classic pieces of literature. Cricket, food, cinema, books and music are an integral part of her life.

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#TornadoGiveaway – Social Potpourri – An Anthology II

Name of the Book : SOCIAL POTPOURRI: AN ANTHOLOGY II

Author: Sulekha Rawat & 16 others

Read some reviews:

1. Privy Trifles 

2. Arvind Passey 

3. Kriti Mukherjee

The Story:

Social Potpourri continues to promote new and talented authors by providing them a platform for showcasing their creativity. This is our second anthology of short stories and poems with contributions by some very fine writers in their own right. With Anthology II, we have brought yet another group of unnoticed yet brilliant writers to you. The hopes, aspirations, thoughts and emotions, of the writers of this anthology will move you beyond words. When you open this book and turn the pages, you will see their flights of imagination take wing.


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About The Authors

Ed. by Sulekha Rawat  and Kirti Mukherjee 

 
Sulekha is a dreamer, healer and writer; loves drinking strong and sweet tea, listening to music, watching movies, spending time with her family and friends, and pouring out her thoughts on the pages of her notebooks. She was born and brought-up in Mumbai and now lives in Delhi/NCR with her husband, Vikram Rawat, and now grown-up children, Shloka and Kartik. Sulekha also has a side-kick named Sparky, her 11 year old Dalmatian who listens to her read out her rough drafts and gives her suggestions for improving them with a shake of her adorable head.


Authors of the book- Social Potpourri – An Anthology II

 

 

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#TornadoGiveaway – Frozen Summer & Columbia

Name of the Book: FROZEN SUMMER AND COLUMBINA

Author: Geetha Madhuri & Cynthia Vincent

Read some reviews:

1. Mayura Ramesh

2. Shriya

3. Kumar

The Story:

Frozen Summer & Columbina is India’s First Ever Double Header book with 2 different stories that fall under the Genre – Psychological Thriller.
Frozen Summer Somewhere in the city of Hyderabad, a young software engineer leaves an interview with broken heart. On her way back home, news of the murder troubles her. The more she learns about the details, the more familiar they seem to her -dangerously familiar. Would she find answers to the several unanswered questions that concern her? Stakes are high, chips are down and curtain rises for an all-out game. Columbina World’s most cruel penitentiary – THE ALCATRAZ tells tales of notoriety bundled in the shape of men. Alcatraz holds a dark secret that will arise a few venoms and rekindle viscous forces. After a body is found in a trunk on the island, Martin Herd is hired to solve this unfathomable mystery. Finding the truth will pose a big question before him, Should the secret of the Alcatraz be left buried or should it be brought before the world?
Frozen Summer is a suspense thriller written by Geetha Madhuri (Author of The One and Only Purpose from Time’s Lost Atlas)
Columbina is a detective thriller written by Cynthia Vincent Daniel (An enthusiastic blogger who owns the blog – Whispers in the Wind)
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About The Authors 


 

Geetha Madhuri 
 
Author of the upcoming novella – “Frozen Summer” published as India’s First Ever Double Header – Frozen Summer & ColumbinaPreviously known for the short story “The One and Only Purpose” published in anthology, Time’s Lost Atlas.

An IT Employee by profession and writer by passion.

 

Cynthia Vincent

 

 
About Cynthia in her own words: In the first year of my teens, I had written a poem for my dad on Father’s day. I had written it on a white chart paper and stuck a photo of me and my dad alongside it. The poem was an instant hit.Ever since, I have loved writing. I feel it comes naturally to me. I can express my feeling better when I put them down in words. As a kid, my parents would take me and my brother for a holiday every year. Travelling fascinated me and on every travel I made it a point to pen down small notes about the travel.

During the first year of my life in the Hostel, I started blogging right here at Whispers in the Wind. Blogging gave me the confidence to write a full length novel (Psychological Thriller) which is slated for release on the 7th of February, 2015.

On my blog, you will find me writing Short Stories, Poetry, Travellogues and anything through which I can connect with my reader.

An Author, A positive thinker, Traveller and someone who believes in the power of Acceptance

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#TornadoGiveaway – Rudraksha – When Gods Came Calling

Name of the Book : RUDRAKSHA: WHEN GODS CAME CALLING

Editor: Sutapa Basu

Read a review:

Sundari Venkatraman
The Anthology:

Rudraksha: When Gods Came Calling is an attempt to bring together tales from across the vast length and breadth of India, a land that is steeped in mythology. It is about gods and goddesses, mythical creatures, ancient folklore and tales that abound in every village.
Some of these are oft-heard stories. Some have seldom gone around. Some are spoofs. Some are parodies. They walk the ancient India or sound the chimes of modern India. From the celestial love of Shiva-Parvati, to the raging avatar of Kalki, from myths and legends of Brahmaputra to the stories of the Mahabharata, Rudraksha has it all.
And there is more. Reading spoofs on present day icons provide high entertainment as do the satirical twists parodying modern issues; all through the perspective of mythology.
This mélange of mythological tales is sure to leave you spellbound with anticipation even as ancient sagas jump out of the pages through modern retelling. They bind the real world with surreal myths and bring to you an anthology that is unique and entertaining.
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About The Publisher 


 

Readomania 
 
India has traditionally been the land of storytellers and a lot of us have an inherent skill of creating good plots, good stories and good narrations. With a little encouragement and support, many more authors will be widely read and attain a place in the sun.This is the essence of Readomania—an initiative that nurtures emerging stars of the literary world. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Readomania is the talent hunt in fiction. It goes a step beyond by not just identifying the talent but also nurturing it and showcasing it to the world. In the process, we have created a powerhouse of content online.

Readomania is a publishing platform, with online and offline presence, for good writing; a place to share stories and poems; a place to explore your creative talent. The web platform is a unique place for people who love reading and writing. As authors, one can register, or login through social media sites and upload their work, which then gets reviewed. The review process includes copy and developmental editing, improving the plot, narration or word choices. If authors are promising but need aids in language enhancement or storytelling capabilities, we work with them to improve their work. This hand-holding and personalised attention is what makes us unique. We stand out in the crowd because we will walk the talk to make an author’s work readable. Finally the work is published on the site. Once published, people can read it for free, share it on social media, email it, rate it, vote for it and even leave their feedback.

This helps the author get critical feedback to improve their writing as well as encouragement to write more. We publish the best of the authors in our anthologies, projects and finally graduate them to the status of solo authors.

The site also has a lot in store for the reader. Since the content is edited and curated, readers get quality reads on a platter. The variety on Readomania is impressively vast; we have romance, emotions, thrills, travel, humour and drama. You will find stories that touch your heart, stories that inspire you, stories that make you laugh and stories that make you cry.

Accessing Readomania makes for a perfect break of fifteen minutes from your daily grind. Read a story and unwind. Take a break, read something nice, write something beautiful.

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#TornadoGiveaway is an initiative of The Book Club. Click on the icon to go to the event page of the Tornado .. Lots of fun awaits you 🙂

#TornadoGiveaway – LOVE – Lots Of Volatile Emotions – Edited by Faraaz Kazi

 

Name of the Book : LOVE: LOTS OF VOLATILE EMOTIONS

Author: Faraaz Kazi

Read a review:

Dipika Kumar

 

The Story :
From a man who lives in his past overhearing the whispers of the present to a woman who rescues dying souls through her blessed aura. From a little boy who must realise the truth of his life so that he can face the fears of the future to a pair of lovers who are reborn with little clue of what fate has in store for them. From a granddaughter who recollects the warm fuzzy days of her childhood to an old lady who still reminisces about the time she first fell in love. From a girl who must return to her roots to discover the reality of her true love to a stalker who tries to hide his worst secret, even from himself.
This promising anthology featuring modern Indian writing aims to capture love in all its raw forms and diverse states. For contrary to popular belief, love is just one word with many volatile emotions.
Join best-selling author, Faraaz Kazi in this journey through that one word that defines us all and one that we cannot define, as he unravels the mystery of love through a first of its kind work that features fourteen vivid stories that span across genres connected by that thing called LOVE.
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About The Author 


 

Faraaz Kazi 
 
The winner of the 2013 National Debut Youth Fiction Award and also the recipient of the YCOF National Excellence award in Creative Writing apart from being the first Indian author to win the coveted ‘Best Debut (Romance)’ title at the international Goodreads choice awards, Faraaz Kazi has been tagged as the ‘Nicholas Sparks of India’ by many and is rated amongst the top male romance writers in the country.A certified soft-skills trainer and a three-time post grad, Kazi is the Founder and CEO of DigiImprint Solutions, India’s first exclusive promotional agency for authors and artists that recently forayed into handling corporate brands. He also consults for a few public relations firms and publishing houses. Felicitated by numerous institutes, bodies and organizations alike, Kazi is a well-known name in the social media and literary fraternity. He is fondly referred to as ‘The Young Marketer’ and operates a revolutionary blog with the same name and writes for major media houses.

Kazi is a fellow member of the esteemed ‘Film Writers Association of India.’ Truly Madly Deeply, his debut mainstream romance novel is the only Indian book to have seven category nominations in the Goodreads annual readers’ choice awards and is also the only Indian book in the ‘Top 100 YA Global Fiction’ list. Kazi is a voracious reader and counts singing as his second love.

Stalk him @
 
 
Now for the Rafflecopter: Gather as many points as you want to. The more points you get, the more you have a chance to win it all. Show your love for books.. Tweet, Like and Spread the Word… Thank you for being a Reader… You keep the Authors motivated… This is our way of saying a Thank you 🙂 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#TornadoGiveaway  is an initiative of The Book Club. Click on the icon to go to the event page of the Tornado .. Lots of fun awaits you 🙂

 

Week1 – FirstPost – #GameOfBlogs by BlogAdda

Team Blog-o-holics’ first entry.

 

Walking on high heels can be a pain, thought Tara, as she stopped to adjust the straps of her wedges. She placed a hand on little Roohi’s shoulders for support as she struggled with them. Everything in place, they started walking, Tara almost dragging her 9 year old daughter. “Hurry up, Roohi, or we’ll be late for school.” Roohi, however, tried to walk at her slowest, hoping against hope that they’ll be so late that she could ultimately skip school. Who wants to go to school when you haven’t done the homework and were asked to get a note on your diary signed by your parents but didn’t, right? She hoped her class teacher would somehow ignore what she did on her friend’s back with colors yesterday. Her hopes were soon in vain as she saw the Convent building looming nearby.

Tara heaved a huge sigh of relief as she tightened the ribbons on Roohi’s two ponytails and packed her off at the school’s entrance. “Try not to be naughty today, Roohi!” she called after her daughter. She adjusted her large designer tote while watching Roohi disappear inside the building and then decided to walk the remaining distance to her office, which was nearby. She worked at Headlines Today and loved her job, especially since it offered her flexible hours and a fat cheque at the end of the month. It’d have been so easier if Shekhar also worked full time at some job, she thought. But 10 years ago she had taken the plunge knowing full well that Shekhar would be writing full-time. It meant irregular pay but she was glad he could stay at home and look after their daughter. You can’t trust the nannies these days. Look at all the news reports coming in where children were abused by their tutors & nannies.

As she walked immersed in her thoughts she started feeling a little uneasy. You know the feeling you get when someone watches you intently? She turned to look but nobody was around at this early hour. Except a morning walker wearing grey track pants and a black hoodie who was sitting on a stone bench, texting. Tara shrugged and dismissed the feeling. It must be the fight she had with Shekhar today. Or maybe the one she had had with the Autowallah. She must give credit to Shekhar though. Whenever they fought, he was always the first one to hug her and say sorry, his graphite eyes ever smiling through his thin golden specs. But the Autowallah! She felt her blood boil as she recalled their argument earlier. First of all he had the audacity to ask for 300 Rs. just to go a few km. And then when she had bargained, he had spit his paan right next to where she stood, as if the whole world was a giant spittoon! Poor chap will always remember the lecture he got this morning on manners, she thought. All this could’ve been avoided if only Shekhar had remembered to take the car to the mechanic for repairs. All these years and she still wasn’t used to living with a writer!

She felt the sensation again as if she was being watched. She increased her pace a little, her heels making a clack-clack sound on the cemented pavement. Her office was on the next block after the traffic signal. She could see the tall building with the hoardings but it would take 6-7 minutes to cover the distance on foot. Suddenly, she became aware of another sound matching her pace, not very distinct but certainly there. She stole a glance backwards and caught a glimpse of a tall, slim figure wearing a black hoodie. Was it the same man she saw earlier? Her heart leapt to her mouth and she could hear her blood pounding as sinister images formed in her head. She increased her pace as she noticed a chai-wallah opening his shop at a distance. Relief flooded her as she saw another person and decided to stop at the stall and ask for help if needed.

As she got near the shop, she felt the person behind her come closer every second, taking long strides. She felt as though she’d have a heart attack as the person overtook her, slightly grazing her shoulders, when she reached the shop. She stopped abruptly and heaved a sigh of relief. Really, wearing a hoodie isn’t a crime you know, she chastised herself on her childishness. The hoodie man must have been in a hurry.

She walked at a leisurely pace to her office and headed straight to the washroom to straighten her formal shirt and fix her lipstick. It wouldn’t do to appeared flushed in front of her colleagues. After she applied some gloss on her lips, she moved over to the window and opened it a little to get some fresh air in her system and calm her frazzled nerves.

Was that a flash of a black hoodie she saw around the corner?

 

Read the next installment to this story here.

 

***

Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.

The Missing Stair – A Flash Fiction

When anna saw the house for the first time, she was quite taken by it. She loved the oak wood paneling and the wooden floor. She liked how the Sun filtered through the massive stained glass window in the kitchen. The house had a certain ‘old world’ charm she was a sucker for. What she liked most, though, was how the house had an even number of windows, doors and rooms and how the number of tiles on the floor of each room was exactly the same – 128. The house seemed perfect for her, the material of her dreams, and she felt a connection with it. She didn’t think twice and purchased it, even if coughing up the down-payment was a little difficult.

Moving in was a different experience altogether. She hated how the ‘Movers and Packers’ guys had piled the cartons one over the other despite her instructions. She had labelled the cartons in detail explaining what-goes-where, but nothing was in it’s place. She felt worried and anxious and set about unpacking and keeping her things in their proper place. She started organizing the ground floor and stopped for rest only when the kitchen and living room were in perfect order. Then she took out the custom-made nameplate and ran her fingers over her name; ‘anna’ it read, with shiny gold letters on dark oak wood. She had rebuked the lady at the shop for spelling it with a capital ‘a’ the first time. “No symmetry there!” she had pointed out. After fixing the nameplate on the front door using an even number of nails, she carried a carton and went up the stairs to ‘fix’ the bedroom and study. She paused as she reached the top of the stairs. Wait! Did I count that right? She went back down to the bottom and shaking her head, she counted the stairs again as she came back up. 11. Disturbed, she decided to count once again and make sure there wasn’t any mistake. 11. How could it be? It’s supposed to be an even number just like the rest of the house. I suppose I should count it even number of times, she thought and went back down and counted the stairs again. Still 11. Feeling apprehensive, she put the carton down in the study and went back and sat on the topmost stair, deep in thought, trying to figure out a way to make the staircase ‘proper’.

She tried to divert her thoughts from the constant nagging in her brain to find a solution to the ‘staircase problem’. After a few minutes of contemplation, only two solutions occurred to her. Either she could build a stair to make it 12 or reduce one to make it 10. Destroying one stair seemed to be an easier (as well as an immediate) solution. For half an hour she sat thinking about whether a missing stair would look proper. Finally, she gave way to her even-numbered brain. She went downstairs to pick up a hatchet from her deceased father’s toolbox and then went up to the 5th stair. She started hacking away on the sixth, paying zero attention to her sweaty palms and heaving breath. Once finished, she looked at the end product with a critical eye and chipped away the jagged edges. She felt strange that she found her solace in something missing. Satisfied, she jumped up to the now-sixth stair, relieved that she could now pay attention to the rooms upstairs.

© Dola Basu Singh

Who’s There? – A stranger comes calling.

Anna bolted the front as well as the back door. She shut all the windows and drew the curtains, first the white lace ones and then the dark velvety ones too. Relieved, she turned on the TV and switched to the local news channel. The reporter on the channel was going on about the ‘stranger’ that invaded people’s homes during the night and carried children away. They still didn’t have any clue as to who it was and what was their motive since nobody got a call for ransom money. Anna couldn’t imagine why he (or was it a she?) would carry away the children if kidnapping for money wasn’t his motive? Was he killing the children? Or maybe mutilating them and putting them to work as beggars? Not all the people that had disappeared were children though. Some were teenagers and a couple of them were young adults.

Watching the news always made her nervous. Turning it off, Anna got up and went over to the door to make sure she had bolted it correctly. Then she checked all the windows. Very nasty business, this. What would people want of innocent little children? Shaking her head, she went over to the kitchen and put 2 cups of water to boil adding the instant noodles and the masala to it, not feeling well enough to make anything else. Then she took out a carton of juice when the doorbell rang. Brows furrowed, she looked at her watch. Who could it be at this time of the night? She finished pouring the juice and put the carton back in the refrigerator. She stirred the contents of the pot when the doorbell rang again. “COMING!” She took off her apron and flung it on the back of a dining chair and walked towards the door. She looked through the peephole but couldn’t see anyone. “Who’s there?” No answer. Her heart beating wildly, she managed a “Go away or I’ll call the police!” but couldn’t stop her voice from quivering towards the end. Still no answer. Must be the children from next door. Always up to some mischief or the other, she concluded.

She went back to the boiling pot, turned off the stove and poured the gooey syrupy noodles on a plate, sitting down to dinner. As she took the first sip of the juice the doorbell rang again. Anna gave a start and spilled some juice on her skirt. She pushed her chair aside and determined to give the neighbor’s children a piece of her mind, she walked over to the door and looked through the hole. Nobody. Without making any noise this time, she decided to wait there at the door and catch the person who rung the bell. Surely they will have to come off hiding to ring the bell again.

Anna slowed down her breathing and kept her eyes glued to the door. Patience, she reminded herself. She didn’t notice anything at first and after about two minutes when she was ready to give up, she saw an arm extend from the other side of the wall and ring the doorbell. That’s not a child. She felt her knees weaken and her throat dried up. She couldn’t get away from the peephole, she had to know more. Soon, she saw the arm again, rickety fingers drawn out, hesitating and then ringing the bell. She put her hands over her mouth to stop from screaming and tip-toed toward the phone, stealing a look backwards now and then. She dialed 100 and put the receiver near her ears. No sound. She punched the ‘off/on’ button on her phone several times and listened. No dial tone.

Shit, she cursed under the breath and put the receiver down but it made a horrible racket as it fell on the floor. SHIT!, She exclaimed again as she hurriedly picked the phone up and put it in it’s place. Anna ran to the dining table and picked up the cellphone. No signal. She moved to the farthest end of the kitchen and she saw a faint signal line appear on the screen. She dialed 100 and waited, fingers drumming on the kitchen counter. Pick up the damn phone, she muttered under her breath.

“Calling somebody?” She gasped when she heard the deep baritone just behind her and then felt a strong hand over her mouth, gagging her. “How?” she managed to ask.

“You didn’t check the back door, did you?”

She heard “You’ve reached the city police station. Who’s calling?” before she felt the blood gushing forth her slit neck.

***

764 words.

The Necklace

Ravi couldn’t believe his luck as he eyed the necklace lying under the rotten garbage. His eyes glistened with greed and he moved his tongue over his lower lip. He didn’t mind the putrid smell that invaded his nostrils. Neither did he mind the maggots swarming the bin and moving up his arms. He moved aside a few polythene bags and dove his hand deep into the bin to rescue the piece of jewelry. A grunt escaped his mouth with the effort but he smiled as his fingers hit the chain.

Siya will be so happy to see this. Bet she would even forgive me for forgetting our anniversary, he smirked.

Taking a tissue, he wiped the delicate golden chain carefully, all the while admiring the teardrop pendant. It was blood red in color and was sparkling like a ruby. He couldn’t help but think how it must have cost a fortune.

Pleased that his cleaning efforts gave very desirable results, he pocketed the necklace, walked up to the garbage truck and drove away, daydreaming about the expression on his wife’s face when she would see the necklace.

When he got home Siya was busy cooking dinner and didn’t pay him much mind until she felt him slide something on her neck. She touched the golden chain and exclaimed at the sparkling pendant.

“Oh my God! This must have cost a fortune! How did you afford this?”

“It looks beautiful on you”, Ravi sidestepped the question.

She smiled and nestled against his arms, feeling his strong muscles hold her close.

They forgot all about dinner and rushed to the bedroom.

As Ravi undressed he heard Siya curse loudly. Strange. She never curses, he thought.

“Honey, Please help me take this necklace off”, Siya called after him.

He went to the bathroom, wishing to take off more than just the necklace.

“Shoot! The clasp’s broken”, he exclaimed as he examined it.

“You have to take this off”, Siya panicked, “It is getting tighter by the moment!”

Ravi struggled with the clasp some more but finally gave up. He tried to pry the necklace off his wife’s neck but the chain that had looked delicate proved to be as strong as a vice.

“Quick”, Siya panted, out of breath. “Ï can’t breathe!”

Ravi realized that the chain was getting tighter and it was now cutting into his wife’s neck even though she was clutching it with both her hands. He joined in her efforts and sliding a finger under the chain, tried to break it. He had expected the chain to snap at this but it didn’t. Grunting, he applied a bit more pressure and suddenly yelped as the chain cut through his finger. Siya shrieked as she saw his finger fall to the ground and the blood spurted on her face and neck. Horrified, they saw the blood move towards the pendant and disappear as if the pendant was sucking it up.

Panicking, Siya doubled her efforts to break the chain even as her husband stood in a corner horrified at the sight. Her voice was sore with all the screaming and her breath came in pants. Blood started dripping from the cut on her neck. She fell to the ground with the effort as the cut now became deeper and blood started squirting from her neck. There was no mess though because the pendant drank it all up as it increased in size and shone more brightly.

Punishment

Bobby felt an elbow poking him on the side and heard his friend whisper, “Get up, Bobby! Mr. Jones is looking at you.”

It took huge will power to open his eyes and as soon as he did, he stared right into Mr. Jones’ eyes. Bobby squirmed, shifted in his seat muttering a ‘Sorry, Mr. Jones’ and looked down at his open book. History was his least favorite subject and add to it Mr. Jones’ boring drone of a voice. Of course, the tiredness due to last night’s party was no help either. Bobby felt his eyelids droop as he listened to the events leading to the Battle of Plassey.

“Get up, Bobby. Class is over. We have to go and make the project. ” He felt another poke at his ribs and grunted. “Get up!” He felt Sid shaking him. “Okay, okay I’m coming!” He shouted at Sid with his eyes still closed. Bobby heard Sid walk away showering the choicest expletives at him. I’ll get up in just a minute, he thought, as he allowed the quiet room envelop him into bliss.

A coughing fit woke him up. He cursed under his breath and reached for the water jug on his bedside table. Wait. There is no bedside table. Puzzled, he tried to get up but fell on the ground as he hit something. “Shit!”, he exclaimed as his eyes got accustomed to the dark. I am in the classroom,he thought.

He suddenly felt weak in the knees, and his heart seemed to jump out of his body. He ran to the front of the classroom, hitting the occasional bench now and then, and turned on the light switch. Nothing. He flipped the switch several times with the same result. He then ran to the door and turned the handle over and over again. Locked. He banged his fists on the door and shouted, “Help! Is anybody there? Please help me!” He kept on shouting and banging the door, sometimes with his fist, at other times with his feet. He started to cough again with all the shouting and grabbed the teacher’s table for support when he thought of the windows.

He walked over to them and opened the glass panes. A breath of fresh air entered the class and with it some light. He looked down at the grounds as a thought of escape came to his mind. Can I jump? No, It’ll probably be my death. He sighed and brushed that thought aside. He shouted again, several times in fact, for help. Maybe the gatekeeper or the gardener will hear me. How come the peon never saw me sleeping in the class, he wondered. He must have forgotten to look here. He cursed the wretched peon under his breath and concentrated on shouting for help. He didn’t see a light or hear any sound. Crying, he slid to the ground and sat sobbing for a long time. Mum, Dad. Please come looking for me, he prayed.

A sudden noise startled him, and he got up to his feet in a jiffy. He ran to the door and started shouting again. “Help! Please! Anybody there? I’m stuck in the History room.” He heard the shuffling of feet as somebody walked toward him. Relief washed over him as he heard the sound and banged the door again to let the person know where he was.

He heard a key turn in the lock and the door opened. Bobby blinked several times as the light from a heavy duty torch hit him in the eyes. Shielding his eyes with his hand, Bobby looked at his rescuer.

“Mr. Jones! I am so glad to see you! The fucking peon forgot to look in the class, and I was trapped here for ages. Thank God you’re here!”

“He often does that. Forgets to look in the classes, I mean,” the history teacher offered.

“He should be punished for that, don’t you think? I mean, what if I had died here?”

“Yeah. Maybe. Talking of punishments, Bobby, don’t you think you ought to be punished for sleeping in my class?” asked Mr. Jones as he revealed a butcher’s knife in his right hand.

“You must be joking, right?” Bobby panicked and began to back off from the teacher.

“No, I’m not”, said Mr. Jones as he struck with the knife.