I walk in the woods, my eyes seeing red, literally. My anger is spilling out in waves. The swishing sound she leaves behind her makes me grit my teeth.
Why does she have to sound so graceful even now, while I crush the leaves under my feet?
Why could I never be like her? People stop to admire her when she enters a room while I move in her shadow, forever unnoticed and ignored.
Well, she isn’t pretty anymore with the glass pieces and blood on her face. I drag her in the ravine, finally at peace.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
The dinner was a quiet one as usual.
He never spoke much. That’s why she fell sideways looking for emotional support.
She purposely avoided thinking of it as an ‘affair’. It made her feel guilty.
Anyway, it wasn’t like she was sleeping with him. They just chatted about everyday things–daily struggles at home and office, poetry, paintings, children, dissatisfaction with family life…
Sometimes they spoke of love or lack thereof in their lives. The easy conversations made her wonder how it would have been if she had married him instead…
The thought made her uncomfortable. She was, after all, a respectable woman. She had honored her parent’s choice for 19 years. She won’t go back now. Her husband is a good man, just not who she wanted…
If only he would talk to her…
Ask her about her day…
Tell her about his own…
Remind her in some way she wasn’t just a piece of meat…
Her husband finished his dessert quietly and got up to watch television. Sighing, she cleared the table and went back to chat with him again.
Photo by Dilyara Garifullina on Unsplash
He (looking in her phone screen): Cool birds! Where did you find these rare birds to click their pics?
She: They throng our rooftop. The tree they sit on stands next door.
He: How is it possible? I have lived here for 10 years and never seen one.
She: Seeker Finder…
She: Ask the right Guru (religious teacher) and the answer might turn your life around. Though, it may cost you a thousand bucks stay at an Ashram (religious home-school).
He: What do you mean?
She: Ever read Hellen Keller’s Three Days to See?
Life is rather boring here, thanks to our ‘honorable’ prince.
First, he riled up the witch enough that she turned him into a Beast and the city to ruins. Then, rather than scoping out the nearby area for a kissable girl, he decided to mope around instead.
How did he expect her to find him? Did he have GPS installed, or a neon sign, “This way to the Cursed Prince”?
Does he even know about the existence of Online Dating? Men ‘meet’ sexy women out there all the time, make them fall in love, exchange virtual kisses! Who said the kiss had to be real?
But no, he had to wait for a century until this unfortunate woman walked in and fainted at his first sight! So much for true love!
Now he spends all the time hiding from her. He watches her from hiding spots behind the curtains and secretly follows her around like a lost pup.
Sigh! I wonder when that kiss is going to happen. After being lonely for a century, I am dying to watch some action—not that castles can die. We just sulk…for centuries…
Being immortal sucks.
Photo by Kevin Jackson @ Unsplash
It took her two hours to accept that he stood her up. For the first time in their two-year relationship, he hadn’t turned up.
As she sat at the empty table, she had to admit she wasn’t shocked. Ever since she gave him the ‘news’ of her ‘pregnancy’ over the phone, he sounded distant. Later when she called for a date, he was too busy, which was a first too. But she insisted to meet anyway, hoping to end the hoax-gone-wrong in-person. But now, he was MIA.
She cursed her best friend for suggesting such a joke. The idiot always had a thing against her man. But even she had hoped he might consider marriage. All it did was push him away instead.
Well, she’d just go to his apartment and tell him the truth. She’d apologize for upsetting him…
That’s when she realized the joke was on her…
The first tear rolled down…
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash
When parents arranged the marriage...
She: Please don’t make me marry him, I am in love with another.
Mother: Please understand my dear. It is a matter of our family’s honour.
When she returned after a few months of marriage…
She: Please don’t send me back. He drinks, beats and rapes me every night.
Mother: No! You must go back…for our family’s honour.
When she eloped with ‘another’…
Mother: I wish she was born dead. She dishonoured our family.
I was waiting in the old barn where we had spent our childhood plotting mischiefs. It had been twenty years!
But I knew she will come today. There was no where she would rather be and nothing could stop her now—Becoming ghost had its merits!
It was difficult to start a conversation while our families milled around us. We had only ten minutes to decide.
She took out her phone ‘replying an urgent text’. I received a message from an unknown number, “Let’s run away from them all!”
She was smiling!
I thought inviting my kids, and as a result my ex-wife, on a vacation with my fiancée would help in family bonding.
Now I babysit the kids while they are on their honeymoon.
For the record, he never asked me. And he was holding a sword when he cut my hair, tied them to the window and told me climb down. I couldn’t argue with him then. Would you?
I just got down the tower, still wobbly from the loss of half-my-bodyweight worth of hair, and am trying to walk straight on this uneven forest floor for the first time. And ‘what’s-his-name’ is already asking me to ride this… thing!
Never seen it before (living in a tower and all that) but it is…
Walks on both its hands and legs…
Doesn’t even wear clothes! Only a lock of hair covers its backside! Gross!
The nutcase tells me I must pat the ‘Orse'(?) to make it comfortable. I say, “No! I am still recovering from the loss of hair. I am not ready to lose a limb yet.”
Moreover, mother will be home any second now. If I can stall long enough, ‘what’s-his-name-again’ can turn into a delicious roast…
In front of their old rundown family farmhouse
9-year old son (incredulously): This is your ‘heaven’?
Father (in a conspiratorial tone): Did you ever jump over a fence, climb a tree, bathe in the river, play in a cave or own a real tree house?
Son (grinning ear-to-ear): When are we moving in?
A group of visiting monkeys peers inside the match-box sized houses.
Excited, a baby monkey cries out, “Look, Humans! Can I give them peanuts?” But his mother dissents and dishes out the standard ‘You mustn’t feed humans!’ lecture.
As usual, humans, glued to the widescreens (‘Game of Thrones season 104’ this time), stay blissfully unaware.
Past midnight, in a dark alley…
I am being followed. Too scared to look back, I know it in my gut…
I should have waited for the other dancers to wrap up but there were too many creeps in the bar tonight, and I wanted to be out before they finished their drinks. Now, I have to pay.
Suddenly, my stomach feels empty. I am nauseas and cold sweat trickles down my spine.
“Do I run?
Do I turn back and confront?
Do I have my pepper spray?
Isn’t there an all-night medical store round the next corner?”
Hope rises in my heart. May be, just may be…
Suddenly I hear the footsteps quicken behind me and I break into a run.
The old tree sat alone. He offered neither shade nor food anymore. Nobody cared to visit: birds nor squirrels.
When the storm uprooted him and his fruit-bearing progeny, nobody missed him nor mourned his loss.
She was a torn garment, not worth mending.
After her husband crossed, his family cast her away to her old home.
Her parents cast her away to the backyard storeroom.
And now, the river had cast away her empty shell to the shore.
-Hindu widows, traditionally, give up all pleasures in life: good food, good clothes, music and human company. Often, they are dumped in widow homes and take up begging to survive. Not allowed to remarry, a lot of them choose to die instead.
She knew nothing about the man she had just married, as was usual in her community, and her stomach was in knots.
For the last ritual, the Pandit asked the couple to put their hands in the milkpot to find a gold ring. “Whoever finds it first rules forever”, he said smiling.
They both frantically searched for the ring until the groom’s fingers found hers inside the pot. Electric hummed between them and, quietly, he slipped the ring in her hand.
The honey smelled wonderful; may be just a quick lick… I wondered whether I should dive in.
But “Mother”, “Sonny”and “Cuddlycums” were sitting right there at the table. And “Father” had a swatter by his side. It would be tempting fate.
Saddened by the thought, I prayed to the Lord for just a lick. All of a sudden, “Cuddlycums” had a tantrum and threw the honey bowl on the wall on which I was sitting.
Well, what can I say? He listens!
“In that magical moment, he helped me up from the stairs. When looked at me as he cradled me in his arms, I saw emotions in his eyes… Love? I was taken aback!
Sure I was flattered by the attention but I couldn’t see how things would ever work out between the two of us.
For one, he was a hulk and I petite, almost breakable. Moreover, she had taken away my twin. I don’t think a Prince would look good hobbling around in one shoe.”
“My mother’s kiss can cure all pain. I wonder why I don’t ask anymore.”
The Prince kissed the sleeping Princess anxiously over and over again. Nothing happened!
His Squire let out a breath of relief, and said meaningfully, “I told you, she needs True Love’s first kiss!”
“I just needed to try. If the world’s most beautiful woman can’t make me fall in love with her…”
“It’s alright. Nobody would know. We can report that the Princess was dead.”
“I would know,” he slumped down on the floor next to the bed in defeat.
The Squire, now anxious, reminded him the urgency of the situation, “Let’s get out before the dragon regains consciousness.”
“And go back where? To my parents? Who sent me on a quest to become Dragon fodder? They knew I could never marry her.”
(Hesitating) “Nobody needs to know we survived the quest… We can go away; buy a farm… I can help you run it. It will be a hard life though.”
“I don’t care about luxury. I will have you.”