Posted in Life and After

The Stranger

Author’s note: The First line of the story was suggested by Webb Blogs

Why is everyone being so loud, and why is this stranger claiming to be my husband? My head hurts like there is a stampede inside it. I can’t recall where I was last night or what I did but I certainly couldn’t have married a stranger overnight!

If only Priscila was here to provide me an alibi. She had promised to meet me at my home last evening. She had something to celebrate and wanted to give me the news in person. But she never showed up. I was bored and lonely. So I decided…

This is where I came up blank. I just can’t remember what I decided or what I did after that. It shouldn’t be too difficult. I am not on drugs and I didn’t have alcohol. I also don’t have a life and have lived vicariously through Priscila since forever. Ideally, I would have had dinner and slept the night off. Only, I am not in my bed. And the owner of the bed, and the house it is in, says that we dated for six months and married a couple of days back in a small ceremony in front of the minister!

How can I date and marry someone and then forget about him?

May be he’s lying. He shows me some pretty convincing pictures of the ceremony with me as the bride. But photos can be fake. Or worse, what if he slipped something in my drink last night? An LSD? That can explain the loss of memory and the headache.

He looks genuinely confused, which unsettles me, but he can be a good actor, “I don’t understand. You were fine with our marriage until last night. You even went out to share the news with a friend! Have I done something wrong?” His eyes are honest. He doesn’t seem like a guy who would gaslight a woman but, then, what do I know? I barely met him five minutes back when I woke up in his bed.

Why isn’t Priscila picking up her phone? Is she alright? It isn’t like her to not show up. Already at the end of my nerves, I throw my phone down on the bed facing upwards.

His brows are crunched in confusion, “Honey, why are you calling yourself?”

“No, I am calling my best friend. She’ll help me figure it all out. She always does when I am not able to make sense of something.”

“Darling, the number is yours…”

“No, it n…” I look closely and beneath the name Priscila, is my own phone number. My stomach drops out of the bottom. “I must have messed up the contacts when I changed my phone. Maybe that’s why I am not able to get through to her. I’ll check the recent calls. She called me last evening.” Hastily, I scroll through the recent calls. I have several incoming calls from Priscila but all of them have my number.

The stranger looks at me with a guarded expression that I hate. Even though he is most certainly not my husband as he claims to be, I want him to know I am not insane. I hated when sometimes people assumed that about me; makes me feel like killing someone. I feel anger rising already, “I don’t understand. I swear Priscila called me last evening. She was so excited about something that she wanted to share. But she never turned up!”

“So you have a best friend named Priscilla too?”

I grit my teeth and my confusion comes out harsh, “What do you mean? Do you know a Priscila as well?”

He slowly stands up and inches towards the door as if I am a wild animal that might attack him. He clearly thinks I am a deranged lunatic. The gesture raises something wild within me. I am too hurt and too livid, and I begin to black out…

Posted in Life and After

Trudging Along


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.

Even Papa…

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

Posted in Life and After

The Dinner

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

Posted in Life and After

Seeker Finder

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…

He: What?

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?

He: Whatever…

Posted in Life and After

Forever and After

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

Posted in Life and After

The Hoax

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

Posted in Life and After

Family Honour

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.

Posted in Life and After


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!

Posted in Life and After


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!

Posted in Life and After

Tiny Story: The Hairy Tale

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…

Posted in Life and After

Tiny Story: Heaven

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?

Posted in Life and After

Tiny Story: The Visitors

Year 2115

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.

Posted in Life and After

Tiny Story: The Dark Alley

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.

Posted in Life and After

Tiny Story: Cast Away

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.

Posted in Life and After

Tiny Story: The Ring

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.

Posted in Life and After

Tiny Story: The Lord of Flies

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!

Posted in Life and After

Tiny Story: Reliving the Moment

“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.”