In 2019, I challenged myself in a rather unique way. I told myself I'd write stories behind shopping bills, using the whitespace efficiently. I wrote close to 300 stories in the entire year. Some of them are good, some were meh. The personal challenge improved my perspective to write instant short stories in a way better way.
The image above is all the collection on this day, May 19, last year.
Here's a sneak peak of few of them.
She turned around to the whispers she heard. When there’s none seen, she continued to read. The narrator is in her head and now see him a few feet away. She engrossed herself in the book while the narrator came close and brushed her hair. A sharp object hit her neck, let her bleed, and she fainted into reality.
He entered the art gallery and a sequence of paintings started to talk to him. The set of 7 paintings showed a person doing all 7 sins. He quickly felt embarrassed of himself. The another set showing the death of a person dying by an accident felt weirdly connected to him. He realised it’s him in the art, and it’s his art. Or rather his own death. A lady walked in to buy “7 sins” and the art of death followed her.
“I feel haunted,” she whispered to him in the bright mid-day. He was perplexed and reassured she’s safe. The warmth of his hug made her feel safe, when the wheels sped up. The driver was cheerful with his old music and great views of valleys and peaks around. When they were lost in trance of love and music, a sudden gush of wind joined their journey. The driver attempted to take a pit stop and let wind go. The wind stayed with, took them along down to a beautiful valley killing all of them. She felt much safer, at home now.
The lights dim as the night fell upon. Shadows faded into darkness and his eyes were wide open. Under the sky of billion stars, all that shines were his eyes staring steadily at me. We’ve had out beautiful moments of eye contact, my nerves sent me pulses of love. I looked up to stars to question myself, looking at a distant star to twinkle in sync with me. I looked back for his eyes, as my hormones failed to resist. His beautiful green eyes are still there. I whispered myself to go closer. In a blink, he’s closer to me and his eyes are only a nose distant. And he turned around, revealing his another set of blue eyes. I was in despair, shock and he was gone away or deep inside me. Am I me anymore?
“Solitude is a dressed term for loneliness. You’re alone and you lie to yourself it’s a conscious choice,” sad inner voice while he’s slurping his drink on his private island.
“If truth hurts, and a mask of lie gives comfort and freedom, why not lie to self?,” said his other voice.
It was awfully dark and quiet in there. Down the road, I found myself walking in blood spread across. I turned on my lights and she was clearly visible with her knife. My lips are sealed in fear, I didn’t breathe for a moment. She was seemingly stabbing a human. I was trying my way out and I see the human she’s stabbing is me.
He was on table for two, ordered food and beer for two but he was alone all the time. I went up to him to ask why beer for an empty seat, he said “you’re not looking close enough. Come to this other dimension. You shall see a shadow shallow enough to create depth in you.. and you’ll see the other person.” I turned around and the beer glass is empty.
His shadows are shallow enough to create depth in her. She wake up to see sunrise and never slept. He slept in her lap, and his blood never let him wake up.
He kissed me a good night, left to myself. I was facing the clock like every other night. The silent sweeping seconds hand, was wiping away the life of my time.
When he wishes sweet dreams, I think to myself “isn’t that the only way for me to have sweet time.”
I didn’t know what to dream until I was told what to dream. The clock is unusually slow when my eyes are about to be shut. I suddenly hear a thud sound and wake from my nightmare.
“Hey dad, hope you’ll shed a tear when I’m gone, despite society telling you not to. I’m tired of living and it’s no fault of yours, dad. You’ve raised me to be a good human, I tried my best and it’s over now. They say death is like falling asleep. I hope I won’t carry my nightmares there, ” the note flashed in his nightmare and he woke up.
He ran away from his emotions and hid in his closet of illusions, His happy place, this closet, made him feel happy. Other emotions found their way and reached him. He broke the illusion and came out of closet, only to realise he’s chasing emotions.
I was flying in a park nearby and noticed a bird caged and hung to a tree. I went to her, looked around and thought to myself out loud, “How great is your life! You don’t have to hunt for food, you’re safe from vultures and predators. Wonderful life, mate!” “At the cost of what? My wings forgot how to fly, and I enslaved myself to this so-called luxury. Now, I don’t know if I’m living a life or breathing it,” she chirped. I chose freedom.
“Death, they say, requires courage. A lot of it. The process of dying is slow. You first accept you’re dying. Your life flashes in your eyes, you could see the choices you made and not made. I need your help. I want you to help me kill you. Your bravery of death outranks my courage to kill you. So, I want your help. I’ve got this gun and I don’t know how to shoot. May be I could use this baseball bat or a pillow. How do you want to die?”
“Hey, you can’t be afraid. You’re dying. Show some courage. The pain goes after a while and you die. I’ve to live with this for the rest of my life. Help me kill you and help me live myself.”
I shouldn’t have any trails of love. When it’s over, we don’t want to go back to memories. She put a finger on my mouth, “I know no love is eternal and it all comes to an end. I don’t want to think about it.” What if we can make it eternal?
We’re born on same day, lived together so far, let’s die together so none of us have to go through trails.
She said, “You’re dead and I’m alive. Our live is eternal, dear..”
Looking at constellations possibly several billion years old, he winked at the thought of having his past in dots and wanting to move back and forth.
Past is dark without his brightest moments and future is dark with his brightest choices. He whispered to himself, “Can I got back?” And heard himself say “Can you go ahead?”
She started unboxing her birthday gifts before dawn. Amidst the beautiful letters, her new shows, fairy lights, she found a box of chocolates about to melt. She opened and gulped a few quickly. The dawn was her dusk and she never saw sunrise again.
The queer couple walked past him while he was sitting alone on his park bench for hours, like his any other day. He was awfully quiet and seemed completely upset. One of the queer noticed his puzzled face and decided to ask what’s the matter. They walked close and see him talking to a tree. He looked at their worried faces, and said, “Oh, nothing to worry. I’m wondering if I can kill a tree with my words.”
“I’ve this skill to kill people with words. Hurt them to death. And I don’t have anyone today.”
“How happy are you with yourself? They say self love is the utmost form of love and you should love everything you do. How many lovely moments do you spend with self?”, asked myself in the mirror. I hear my voice back, “Self love is a lie we tell ourselves to heal from loneliness and our inability to love others. It’s an extreme form of egoism. We’re not alone to love only self.”
“You’re alone, dear.”
“Dad, you made me your shadow. I followed your footsteps, tried to be you. And now it’s almost sunset and as you see, I’m ahead of you drifting into darkness. I’d want you there. I’m afraid, I’ll walk alone in the darkness and see a world you never showed me,” said her note.
“Let me swim through your eyes and see the world you see. I’ve loved you earlier and shall love you after your death,” he wrote on a note. It never reached her, and she lived alone.
“You live only once is a lie we tell ourselves while planning our career, life term policies and future. We actually live every moment of it and we desire it to last long. The truth we don’t want to accept is we die only once.”
“Oh, trust me you don’t die only once. It’s survival, death and life in circles,” the wind spoke when he was about to jump from the top of hill.
“Your voice echoes in my head, i’ve slowly started to hate it. Why do you do this to me?”, he heard a loud whisper from the wine cellar.
He stepped down, and drained all the bottles except for champagne with his name and a friend’s sign. “You can’t quit on me,” said echo.
His feet were cold when he stood up on the mountain overseeing a blue ocean of clouds and distant lights. In what seemed like forever, the lights went out and the sun rose to it’s glory. Basking in its beauty, his trauma ran away while he still stood ip to the sun. Sunrise healed him.
“I had a dream. A bad one. I was killing my mother in it. I strangled her and watched her struggle till her last breath,” she came running to her friend.
“Calm down, it’s just a dream you had. Please take a breath,” she said in his unusually calm voice.
Once her face relaxed, she smiled and said “It wasn’t a dream. I killed her for us.”
In an unpleasant turn of events, he found himself trapped in her hall of emotions. The hall was silent until her eerie laugh.
He found her incomplete suicide note. It’s as if the words flew away after her ‘agony’. He put an end to the note in her spite.
“The unconditional trust you’ve put in me over the years has been commendable. I hope I’ve lived it up to your expectations. The time has come and I must leave. Hope you’ll do great things ahead.. ,” said her teenage soul on her 21st birthday, leaving her in the world of adultery alone.
Looking at the constellations possibly several billion years old, he winked at the thought of having past in dots and desire to move back and forth. Past is dark with his brightest moments, and future is dark with his brightest choices. He whispered to himself, “can I go back?” And heard himself whisper, “can you go ahead?”
Her silence was noisy. Her dead eyes stared at him firmly with an anger. He’s scared of her, despite her lifeless body lying around.
He imagined his courage to kill her would bring joy. Her death avenged his life until he’s no longer alive.
“The art of loving is inadvertently expensive. It does come with a price, a few compromises, few transitions but it’s all worth it. At the end of the day and the dawn, it helps you sleep in peace.”
“So is the art of revenge, dear.”
There’s never enough silence. No matter how much I try not to speak, not to think, there’s just never enough silence.
I hear the waves rushing through my ears, I see the sound of rain and smell the voice of death. I did my best to silence it all, yet I’m alive.
I saw him bleed to death. He begged me, pleaded me to let him die once and forever. How could I? After all, I want him to suffer. I want him smile with sadness, shed some tears of joy. I wish I could let him die, but he’s an essential part of me. He’s my emotion.