First Journey


First Journey

Oh! It’s all so scary. Save me God! Please. I can’t bear this ordeal. 
I am happy where I am. Why do they want to take me out?

Now they’re pulling my head with something. It hurts badly. Please let go!

They think they should help me. That I’m stuck inside, drenched in fluids and darkness all around me.

No!! I don’t ever feel sad in here. Never did. That’s my small home. Only mine. My mom’s womb. I feel very safe here. I get food. I feel warm and hugged.   

I again feel like crying. I fear so much. Where are they taking me? Such bright light! Strange sounds I can very faintly hear! What would it be like on the other end? Help me God! Don’t take me away from my mom! I will die. 

©Alka 2016

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Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers that is hosted by Priceless Joy, and inspired by this week’s above photo prompt.

It/he/she will not die, as that is what we call ‘life’.
Is this piece a bit exaggerated? Probably 🙂  Who knows what birthing bubs feel! May be some discomfort as their senses are not fully developed yet.

Pampering Whimpering



Pampering Whimpering

Ted! Where are you?”

Here mom! A last minute brush up for the party” Ted raised his tone as he replied from the lounge room.

I’ve been looking for you all over the place”. Mom’s face had somewhat mixed expressions as she entered the room. “What? Are you buckling up her sandals?” 

“Tiara’s dress is too tight…not easy for her to bend down. We’re already late, mom!”

“But why are you late? Don’t you think she takes a bit long to dress up for a simple party!”

Not a simple party mom! It’s my office party and I want her to look good”

“But you cooked the lunch too. Was Tiara away somewhere?”

“Mom! She was away for hair-styling!”

“Oh well! You could’ve told me. I had cooked ample food in my tiny kitchen. You never come over. Like you did when you were younger” Mom said as she began to walk towards her room

But mom, what would Tiara have eaten on coming back from the hairdo?”

“I know, she doesn’t relish my simple food”

“Mom! Be happy. We’ll come back late tonight”

The pair walked away arm in arm, laughing. Mom sighed. When she was young, Ted’s father had never been so caring. She often wondered where Ted got it from – this knack of wife pampering.

In fact, Ted did have his dad as a role model. For he did all that his dad did not do; albeit he got carried away and did that a bit too much.

© 2016 Alka Girdhar

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For:  Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy

It was already Saturday when I checked this week’s prompt picture for FFfAW. Recently I had decided not to write any more stories for a while. But this prompt did the trick…again.

Mooing Colours – flash fiction


Mooing Colours
– two stories

Story 1:

It so happened that a graffiti artist lost his way into a remote village farm. The farm was lush and lovely, and so were the two robust farm cows.

Given his usual reckless creative urges, and given that he had not earned a penny since long, the artist offered to decorate the animals.

The farmer was thrilled. Usually he adorned his beloved pair with bells, flowers and colorful mats. Now this would be something modern. He was thrilled at this thought but still had doubts.

“Hope it will wash off?”

“Of course it will!”, the artist ensured him.

The cows were soon painted in multiple hues in all possible shapes. And thus over time, the bovine duo became the talk of the small town. Oblivious to their changed appearance, they went around grazing, only to be greeted by over-awed villagers. The farmer loved his popularity. He made sure he showed the beautiful pair around. Even the rich landowners seemed envious of him now, or so he thought.

Then something strange happened. The cow pair gave birth to a calf with skin as multi-coloured as can be. People come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the little miracle.

One day the farmer decided he has had enough. He missed his original cows with their whitish-brown skin that would pulsate under his soft touch. But the colours refused to rub off.

In sheer desperation he hunted for the artist. Only he could help. But the artist had vanished into the same thin air where he came from. That’s because artists, like magicians, can create anything out of space and time, but they themselves are not defined by space or time. Only by their free will.

One day, when he had given up all hope, the farmer came back home to see his cows in their original mooing colors – dull, brown,coarse. Earthy and down-to-earth as he himself was. And he was happy again.

© 2016 Alka Girdhar

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Written for weekly Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers by Priceless Joy. This week’s photo prompt is provided by S. Writings. Thank you S. Writings!

After publishing the above piece, I was still in a mood to write magical colorful stories and so here’s another spontaneous one.

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Story 2:

“Come sweeties! My Shona! My Lillie! “ Mrs Smith’s voice was full of emotions as she patted the colorful cows.

“Look at you. You sound as if they’re your daughters Shona and Lillie” I teased her

“But they are my daughters”, Mrs Smith said with an emphasis on the word ‘are’


Making sure no one was listening, Mrs Smith explained “Yesterday both sisters went to a fancy dress party wearing bright colorful gowns. My naughty girls ended up having a tiff with a guy dressed up like a magician”

“Aww! And then…?” my mouth and eyes all wide open in wonderment.

“He wasn’t just dressed up fancy. He was a real magician. Turned them into…” Mrs Smith hesitated using the word ‘cow’ while continuing to feed them spinach that she just bought from the Woolies.

“That’s too bad! But how did they come here…to these shopping center lawns?” I said looking around. I was sorry for Mrs Smith but also amused at the unfolding of her story.

“I had no space to keep them in my flat. Moreover here they can munch grass.”  Mrs Smith explained, with her eyes glued to the ground. She was hiding her pain.

“Ohh!” I giggled while I felt sad.  The occasion was serious but I just couldn’t help it.

Seeing me laughing, she broke down “The crooked guy wants an apology from my girls”

“Well, if it is that simple. Why don’t you apologize on their behalf” I tried helping her, this time in a serious tone.

“Yeaah I suppose so. That’s what mothers are for. I want my daughters back”

As we walked away from the girls, we heard them cry in their mooing sound. As if telling us to not go.

“Honey! I’ll be back soon. Will send your dad with his ute”

Mrs Smith was hopeful but I had doubts they could become humans again. In fact, I was doubtful if they were indeed her daughters or some real cows. But you never know.

© 2016 Alka Girdhar

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Hope you enjoyed my short stories. Do let me know


Her Photo Studio – a flash fiction


Her Photo Studio – short story

In this era of selfies, my 90 year old Nanna refuses to be clicked by some ‘weird little box’. That’s what she calls my rather big smartphone, the biggest I ever had.

But if I needed her photograph for her passport, what could I do? I had to approach her for a picture.

Once inside her room, where she spends most of her time, I told her to get ready for the picture. She eyed my ‘little box’ strangely and got up. Soon she stepped out of her dressing-room wearing her lovely cream jacquard suit with satiny rims, and dainty heels. I knew she was in her special mood. I had last seen her wearing this attire on her 50th wedding anniversary. Soon after that grandpa had passed away.

She told me she wants to go out for getting her photograph clicked. Her enthusiasm was catchy. I agreed, picked up my mobile phone and drove her to her favorite park. I assumed that’s where she wants her picture taken, but she instructed with her hand, “Not here. There!!”.

Soon we reached a shop front. While she stood waiting, I walked up to a quaint door and checked the rusty board. It was a photographer’s shop all right. She had not brought me to a wrong place. Only that the board said:

“Closed since 1990”

The studio-type photography businesses could probably not survive the technical boom.

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My story in response to: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Photo prompt by Uday

With Confident Steps…



With Confident Steps

Mom tells me fondly how, when I was little, I used to ascend the long stair-case that reached our home terrace.

“Barely ten months old, you would crawl up the stairs…all on your hands and knees with amazing speed. Half-way through, you would look back to check if mom was looking or not!”

Mom also tells that she was always scared, and she tried to stop me as I climbed but I would increase my speed while enjoying her chase.

Now too I have already climbed up a few steps, mom! This time, I’m not going to look back! For me, it is this path or no path!!  I know my goals. I know where I am going. I can already see some light beyond the horizon.

As I climb more stairs, you’ll be proud of me mom!  Once I reach the top, once I become a renowned ******, I’ll look back and wave at you…

©2016 Alka

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That was my flash fiction/micro-story for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.
The prompt photo was by Louise of The Storyteller’s Abode.

Ever curious and enthusiastic babies grow up to have their own unique dreams, and they need to be given a chance. You can fill in the asterisks above 🙂 as per your unique child’s interests.

Burnt to Drill – a flash fiction



Burnt (it) to Drill (away)


Grrrr swisshshssh grrrrrrrr shhhhh

The shrill swishy sound sent shivers down my spine as I lay stiff on the stretched chair, my eyes squinting from the glary light peeping inside the dark glasses that the doc made me wear.

Grrr Grrrrrrrrrrr…

It was sheer relief every time the jarring drill stopped and I got a chance to sit upright to spit out a mouthful in a little basin.

Each time I did that, my eyes opened wide and my mouth left agog at the sight of an overpowering painting on the facing wall – a flaming red guitar that seemed enigmatic in the focused light of the surgery.

This happened a million times before the doctor finally showed me all that he took out from my mouth.

I looked at the guitar one last time and came out towards the reception.

“Can I ask you something, doc?  Why that picture in your surgery?” I asked hesitatingly

“Oh! That? That was my dream thrill, this is my daily drill”, his voice sounded excited while the laughter was shallow.

“Aww!  May be you can still pursue it in your free time” I suggested,  while hoping I understood his poetic statement.

Hah! A doc with a free time? Maybe one day”

I came out thinking. Next week I’ve my entrance exam for medical college. I’m sure I too do not love medicine.

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My last minute story for the weekly challenge Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy.  The picture prompt from pixabay.


Building Up & Down

Here are my two short stories/flash fiction with the same title ‘Building Up & Building Down’, for the weekly challenge Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy. They were inspired by the below photo-prompt provided by Ellespeth’s Friend.


Story 1

“Superb! A marvel!!”

“Agree. It’s too beautiful!! But what did he do in the end? Build a grand Taj Mahal for his wife and then…then…cut off the hands of loyal laborers who built it?”

“Of course it’s just a myth! Emperor Shah Jahan wouldn’t have been so cruel”, Ravi argued. “Anyway modern builders are no better!”

“And how’s that?”, Sheena raised her eyebrows in her usual argumentative mood.

“Even if, for a while we forget about illegal occupation of lands by builders, we can’t overlook the buildings that collapse due to bad structure and poor quality material used. The destitute inmates lose their life and meager resources. It’s all gain for builders and their families”

“Some truth in your rant. Last month a high rise building in my neighborhood came crumbling down on workers who were still inside”

“And don’t forget how some ambitious builders aspire to be rulers, quite like old time emperors. Entering politics is a shortest route to assert power while their manipulative ways continue”

“Hey Ravi! You sound angry. How about enjoying Taj Mahal while we are at it!”

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Story 2

How are you supposed to feel if your colleague makes you laugh during busy working hours, esp. when you all are hanging in the air with your hands covered in concrete while, like some acrobat, you struggle to balance your feet?

But he always did that. For some reason, he could not work quietly. Either singing aloud or humming funny songs that kept us workers entertained. His hilarious jokes were often side splitting.

The contractor tried to control these distractions. But then, he was not always around.

Being a newbie in the industry, I personally feared losing my balance. And so, the other day when I was in the middle of gut-busting giggles and laughter, I decided to step down the ladder. While I sat and sipped tea to regain my calm, I heard a sound.

Thud! It was he who fell down from such height that he’s now hospitalised. Once his fracture is healed, I wonder if he’ll become too serious a worker. We’ll miss his jokes for sure.


© 2015 Alka Girdhar

Cry Baby – a flash fiction

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Cry Baby

My first day at my new university so far away from my homeland and here I am, already full of mixed emotions. Her letter added to my commotion.

I open the paper with tremulous hands.

“Missing you! When will you come back?”   

Crying for me. This girl has nothing better to do. It’s not that I don’t like her. But liking was not enough. We were kids no more who give and take without selfishness.

Ambition, success, power, money – her rich parents were looking for all these in a guy who would keep their only daughter happy.

I had almost shouted at her “I have no money. And mind it! Money doesn’t grow on trees!!

She listened dumbly with tearful eyes. Always crying. Silly girl!

That’s the last I saw of her before I crossed seas, to find my worth in a new country. To prove myself to the world.

Here she writes again. Cry baby!

I can’t do anything about her”, I hear my agitated voice while drops of water streaming from my eyes drench the paper-shreds that I slowly set free, to let them float on river water. Parting ways, each shred carves its own path.

© 2016 Alka 

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Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, hosted by Priceless Joy.
Picture prompt by TJ Paris

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Finally Home – a flash fiction



Empty Nest

I paused abruptly on reaching the red bench. Something is amiss. Today again the bench is empty.

Every day, on my way to office I happen to pass by this bench. Each day I see him sitting there. Matted hair hanging on his shoulders like unwashed dreadlocks. Clothes that have not been washed for long. But how can he? He has no home. Dazed and lost, humming to himself, at times he would be playing some sad melody on his guitar while people would put coins in front of him.  

The bench looks sad and deserted. I look around. Would anyone know his whereabouts? No use asking these strangers, for they’re all passers-by using this park as a passage to their destination. For him, it was home.  

I see a young guy walk towards the bench, place a bouquet, say some prayer and walk away.

Of course this had to happen! Day after day, beaten by cold weather at night, he could bear it no more. I felt a lump in my throat. The first thing I’ll do on reaching home is donate to some institute for the homeless.  

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My above story is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, a weekly story writing challenge held by Priceless Joy. 
Photo prompt for this week was provided by Ady.

I do know “Empty Nest” is not an appropriate title for this story but somehow it’s the first word that came into my mind after writing. Words like ‘vagabond’, ‘vagrant’ and ‘wandering’ are too cliched`.  How about ‘A Vagabond’s Refuge’?

Modern Love Story (a short story)


A Modern Love Story

She liked him for all right reasons. Who wouldn’t want to marry this charismatic son of a steel magnate. But how to know him?  That was the problem.

When a mysterious woman miraculously invited her to one of his parties, she quickly availed it.

Looking her best was the next challenge. Her exquisite satin red gown came from a designer thrift-shop. She borrowed a pseudo-Chanel clutch from her friend and diamante stilettos from her newly wedded cousin.

All went well. Being a good dancer she impressed the rich hunk, who was anyway dandy very easy to impress. But the vibrant party was in full swing when she got too carried away. Due to her fascination for all things expensive, she couldn’t resist fine wine that was offered to one and all for free. She overdid it, and that did the job. She forgot the invitation lady’s warning; that she must get back before midnight or else her party-wear will change into her everyday apparel.

Now. Two minutes to go before midnight, before her gown turns into ripped jeans and a tee, and her heels become flip-flops… while her pseudo-Chanel purse hangs like a canvas school bag that she was wearing while still at her home, before the party.

How can she go back home so quickly? She can’t. Intoxicated that she is, she’ll have to take a bus back home next morning.

Cinderella had better sense than this gal from a modern fairy-tale.


First written for: FFfAW  a weekly story challenge.