Paul lit a cigarette from the pack in his shirt pocket before flicking the match through the narrow gap of the car window. Outside, the last few coral rays of evening sunlight were being slowly engulfed by the brooding clouds of a late spring storm. He aggressively shifted the Corvair into fourth gear and exhaled a puff of light blue smoke through the crack in the window.
“Okay Paul, we’re out of there. I think you can relax now. And for god’s sake, roll that window down more.” In the passenger seat beside him, Maria was theatrically waving her hand in front of her face with a disgusted look. Even though she was only half serious, she still hated the cigarettes. After spending an entire afternoon with his parents though, she knew there was no way Paul was going to wait until they made it back home.
“There amid the blue flowers, fair as the flowers themselves, sat the lady of my dreams. Her eyes, black as midnight, dreamt on as she held the petals close to her heart. Her long hair and shimmery wings ruffled in the wind, thrumming my heart strings.
And, in that moment, I fell in love with the fairy.”
I’m sure, the quill had lost its potency, or may be it’s the fancy ink I had purchased at the Witch’s Supplies store. They had guaranteed that anything written with the quill and ink will be accepted for publication without fail. But I should have known better–these readymade spells wear off after a few readings, and I, myself, had reread the manuscript at least four times.
Was that why it had felt rather bland in the last reading?
Now the entire thing has returned from the publisher and I had to pay for the return Owl as well. And to think, I had spent three months writing the entire thing with hands.
Once Paa hears of it, I’ll never hear the end of it. Over and over, he had offered me his spell-operated typewriter with the secret homemade Publication ink–the one he had used for all of his 18 published books. But I had been too proud to accept the favour. And now he’s busy writing his 19th, so typewriter is busy.
May be I’ll beg him for his secret ink recipe…anything for the elusive Booker Prize…
We’ve been getting too many knocks on the windows during lockdown. This series is dedicated to these neighbours.
Ever met those black coats who gather in huge numbers to discuss important matters, dissent on everything, protest for everything, speak all at once for hours, and then go away without discussing anything worthwhile? The sharp eyes, the curt manner, the voice that doesn’t accept ‘No’ for an answer…
Ever so often, they campaign for a cause. They knock on the door, squawk a curt greeting and cry “Vote, vote, vote” and hurry away before I can understand anything.
Not sure if they expect a reply. My voice won’t carry that far anyway.
Author’s note: I always believed Myna as uninteresting until I moved to Baghpat. For the first time, I noted the subtle differences between the various myna breeds that frequent the area. I don’t have decent shots of all types but here are a few.
The world was on fire, but no one felt the burning heat, except she, who walked alone on snow–barefoot, her clothes frayed from her last struggle not unlike her soul–waiting patiently for revenge, until they bring back another, as she knew they would.