Category Archives: a to z challenge

A-Z Challenge, my superhero story and catching up

This is a quick one. So I completed the A-Z challenge in April! Thank you all for showing all the love to my posts and the superheroes story. With all the encouragement, I am keen to convert the story into a proper book/series with more details and interesting twists and turns.

Meanwhile, I am yet to catch up with all of your posts that I missed towards the end of the challenge. Certain unavoidable things, extra work and dental issues came up in the last week of April and I struggled to complete the A-Z challenge. But I definitely intend to read as much as possible, especially the ones who commented on my posts. My reflections post too is pending and I guess I missed the deadline. I just renewed my WordPress membership and I will catch up from 17th May. I will also list the blogs I loved during the challenge and the nice things people said in the next post. Gotta rush now but I owed it to you to let you know why I missed reading a few of your posts. See you around soon!

Z for Zzz and its connection with sleep

For those who were reading my fiction about One Minuters: I am glad to share that I ended the story (for now) in the previous post. Frankly, I wanted to treat myself with an easy post on Z. Coming up with so many Z words to start every sentence of the last chapter (as per my tough theme for the fiction) was difficult given that the chapter demanded pace 😊 This is my 26th and last post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge).
Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ XY ➡ Z

Zzz…

I am so tempted to end the Z post just like this! I think I have earned myself some Zs after the fiction that I ended yesterday with the Y post. We all participants have earned a break, right?

By the way, did you know how Zzz became synonymous with sleep?

Well, it used to be tough for comic book and comic strip artists to indicate sleep. So someone came up with the onomatopoeic representation of snoring by using Zzz. Though personally I feel that snoring sounds more like krhhhh rather than zzzzzzz 😜 As I write this, my 3-year-old is napping beside me and snoring like krhhhh krhhh! Funny coincidence, isn’t it?

Anyway, over the years, Zzz became so common that people started using the idiom “to catch some Zs” for saying “to get some sleep”.

That’s about it! Won’t make this last post of the month long as we all are clearly exhausted and deserve a relaxed Zzz-full weekend.

I am very thankful to my WhatsApp gal gang who kept motivating me and my family and friends who appreciated my work. Super thankful to the organisers of the annual A-Z challenge for all their hardwork and for keeping the spirit of blogging alive.

Stay tuned for more interesting posts on momandideas.com and who knows The One Minuters might surprise you again!

PS I am really keen to know what you think about my fiction (B to Y posts). So I would appreciate if you could drop your honest comments below. Should I extend the story with greater details and convert it into a book?

Y for Yearning for the end of The Command

You need to join The One Minuters now,” The Voice spoke into Beth’s ears.

You both catch up, I need to go out for a while,” Beth told Keith and Quincy.

Yoghurt – mango flavoured, X-Men comics and Ben-Ten stickers, I know you are going out to get those for me, right?,” Keith counted the things Beth had promised to get for him a few weeks ago.

Yes, of course! And the comics were not in the list!” Beth pretended to be normal though she was very worried.

Yet again, all the One Minuters assembled.

You see, Tim seems nervous now so I would need you to visit his memory a little while ago. Just let him decide to take a walk on the beach after passing through the X-amine frame so that he doesn’t hear that the lock was lodged in his duodenum,” A Minute assigned the task to Holly knowing that a worried Tim could be an ideal host for The Command.

Yesterday, I managed to scatter the particles of that key in the geostationary orbit, should I do the same with the lock? But how do I get it out of his system, won’t he bleed?” Beth asked A Minute.

Young woman, we can’t have the lock and the key in the same orbit. You might have to go farther in space and scattering the lock into a thousand pieces means there would require a lot of energy. It’s risky. We need another idea!” A Minute looked at the others.

Yeah, I’ve got one. Dev, could you convert that lock into the tiniest possible water drop and then transform it into water vapour? It’s already noon and quite hot, we can light a fire below the drop and take no chances! What do you say?” Evelyn was glad that she could do more than just making people fall asleep. 

Yes, I can do that. But how to get that lock out from Tim’s body?”

You know, I can gaze at the X mark made on him strongly enough so as to extract it but pulling it out would mean cuts and blood, we don’t have a surgeon amongst us,” Beth was worried about Tim.

You humans think too much. Leave it to me, I’ll heal Tim. Now hurry up with this brilliant plan before Tim feels the pressure to, you know, do the thing you do in the mornings to remove unnecessary things from your digestive system. We don’t want to reach that stage!” A Minute tried to be funny to make the One Minuters feel at ease.

Yuck!” they all uttered in unison after which A Minute stretched a second long enough for the team to complete the task while Evelyn ensured that Tim stayed deep asleep.

Yearning to put an end to The Command, the team gave its hundred percent: Beth gazed at the X mark on Tim’s skin, the lock popped out making a deep cut on his body, Dev focussed and transformed it into the tiniest possible droplet, then raised it high in the air, Holly had ignited a piece of wood to serve as torch that she held right under the droplet before it fell and in to time it transformed into water vapour and disappeared in the air!

Yes, we did it! We did it!” the One Minuters started jumping and hugging with joy until they realised that Tim must be bleeding.

You did it guys!” Tim joined them without any blood or injury mark on his body and they all looked at A Minute!

Young humans, don’t look surprised! What is that saying that you all have? A stitch in time saves nine! What do you think the Time is doing in that proverb! And by the way, it was originally – ’A stitch by time made everything fine’. Long story, I’ll tell you some other day!” A Minute started laughing and so did everyone else.

The story endsfor now! Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence (paragraph in case of long conversations) of this chapter of the story with the letter Y (I have managed to do the same from the B letter post)! This is my 25th post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.
Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ XY ➡ Z

Thank you for reading and encouraging me to write better and often!

X for Xylophone, Xerosis and X-amine

Xylophone musical toys can be really irritating when kids play them non-stop just making noise and not music.

eXcept for the morning after the victory over The Command when Keith’s noisy music made everyone feel better knowing that he was safe and just being a child.

X-Men are so cool Ma! Did you know there is an army of superheroes? I watched the movie with dad and mom, but mom forwarded some scenes. She said I am too small to watch so much fighting. I will be seven now, can I watch the full movie now?” Keith was too excited to share everything with Quincy; he had no previous memory of her as she had left when he was just two years old, but Beth and Rohit always spoke to him about how much she loved him and that one day she would be back.

X-Men are my favourite superheroes too! But your mom is right, you need to grow up a little bit to watch the entire movie. Ma and mom will always be in the same team you know, so don’t try to act smart and convince me to allow you to do something that she doesn’t allow!” Quincy was happy to lead a normal life again with Keith and the family.

X-Women… you two are X-Women teaming up against me! Maybe you were gone all these years doing superhero things! Are there more superheroes in your team? Tell me, tell me now!” Keith advanced towards Quincy posing as Wolverine while everyone around laughed.

eXcuse me! Maybe we are a huge team, but superheroes never reveal their secrets! Right Quincy?” Beth was glad that they were all together and Keith had no idea about all the real superhero stuff that happened over the past few days.

eXtra intake of the COASTED (Carrots, Oats, Almonds, Spinach, Turmeric, Eggs and Dates) diet in the morning had re-energised the One Minuters and everyone, except Beth, had left for a deserted beach before Keith woke up.

Xerosis curtis happens due to epidermal water loss and it is making Tim’s skin dry and flaky. Since he had swallowed the tiny bubble form of The Command when it was most powerful, it might be depriving him of body fluids. We have a special examination process, like your X-rays, to detect if The Command still exists in Tim’s body. If so, it needs to be extracted before it’s too late,” A Minute was concerned about Tim as his skin was changing rapidly.

X-amine, a glowing rectangular large frame-like structure appeared in front of them and Tim was asked to pass through it.

X-amine showed results instantly within its frame: a tiny translucent lock was blinking like a yellow light in Tim’s duodenum.

X was marked on the exact spot on Tim’s body as instructed by The Voice and it was decided to call Beth – they needed her gaze again!

The story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence (paragraph in case of long conversations) of this chapter of the story with the letter X but in 3 instances I used eX instead coz it has the same sound as X and there weren’t enough X words that fit my story (I have managed to do the same from the B letter post)! This is my 24th post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.
Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Z

W for Watch out!

With A Minute and The Voice gone, the One Minuters felt helpless as The Command was about to trap Keith in that bubble shaped box. 

When A Minute took Quincy to the happiest day of her life – the day when she became a mom, The Voice delivered Tim’s message about taking her to a dark area so that her shadow disappears. 

Wait, what?” A Minute was so busy keeping Quincy happy with her memories that she did not notice what was happening in the present. 

Without wasting a millisecond, she made Quincy travel to the night after Keith’s birth. 

When baby Keith was unable to sleep that night, Quincy had held him in her arms, switched off all the lights and had hummed some songs; she had continued humming for long even after the baby fell asleep as she felt truly happy and at peace. 

With Quincy in that absolutely happy moment in her past, and with no possibility of her shadow in the dark, The Command’s bubble over Keith started getting wobbly in the present. 

Whoa, it worked!” Holly pointed to show that the shadow had disappeared. 

Wise enough to not waste any time, Dev focussed and transformed the bubble and its lid part into a tiny lock and a key. 

While Tim swallowed the lock bit, Beth, who could move anything with her gaze and even borrow the powers of other One Minuters, had another idea for the key part. 

Who can question the power of a mother when it comes to the safety of her kid! 

Whoosh… suddenly the key was pushed in the direction of the sky, out of the earth’s atmosphere and into the geostationary orbit 35,785 kms (22,236 miles) above Earth’s Equator.

With the key shaped tiny bubble in the orbit, Beth used the power of Dev to transform it into a thousand scattered particles that would just stay in the orbit like debris. 

Watch out!” A Minute suddenly landed in the room with Quincy, “The Voice just told us that The Command is gone! We had to wait to return until we were certain that The Command was nowhere around else it would have taken Quincy and her shadow as hosts again.”

Wonderful… you all have been very brave and clever in handling The Command! You have lost too much energy and will fall unconscious soon. We have had Rohit prepare COASTED booster pouches for each of you, go get some super nutrition right away.” The Voice was proud of them. 

Woman, you can stop singing now, you must be exhausted ensuring that everyone in the vicinity is asleep,” A Minute finally told Evelyn what she had been waiting to hear! 

Wait… So is it all over? Is The Command gone for good? Are the kids safe now?” Evelyn, like all others, had too many questions.

Well, yes and no. Tim has consumed The Command’s lock bit at its peak phase, so we do need to examine him, but that can wait for a day. Please eat well and rest,” A Minute ended up stressing out the One Minuters instead of making them feel better. 

The story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence (paragraph in case of long conversations) of this chapter of the story with the letter W (I have managed to do the same from the B letter post)! This is my 23rd post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.
Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Z

V for Valour is not always enough

Vibrations resulting from The Command’s presence at the farmhouse were getting stronger but before the neighbours could notice anything, Evelyn used her superpower – She started singing to make everyone fall asleep. 

Vicious evil power, The Command, had taken the form of a large box-shaped bubble and was floating right above Keith who was deep asleep thanks to Evelyn; it clearly intended to trap Keith and carry him away.

Various attempts by Dev to make the bubble change its shape or size failed and after every attempt, Holly got into his head, travelled a few minutes into his past and made him try something else; this way, no time was practically wasted. 

Viewing everything closely and waiting for the bubble to get small so that he could swallow it, Tim noticed Quincy’s shadow, the current host for The Command, on the wall and got an idea. 

Voice, The Voice, are you around?” he cried. 

Vigilant, as always, The Voice confirmed his presence and asked how he could help. 

Virtually everything has been tried here but nothing is working because the shadow is still here. What if, while A Minute is time travelling with Quincy to all her happy memories, she picks the ones in which there is barely any light to cast her shadow? You know like at nights when she sang lullabies to Keith with the lights off or some other happy time when a shadow was not possible. Can you convey this message to A Minute? Maybe we can defeat The Command when the shadow disappears from here!”

Very brilliant idea, on my way,” The Voice was heard exclaiming after which they couldn’t hear him as he possibly left to find A Minute. 

Valiant One Minuters continued trying in vain and suddenly the box-shaped bubble opened its lid and started lifting Keith to lock him inside; it had grown stronger as it sensed them being worried and weak. 

The story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence (paragraph in case of long conversations) of this chapter of the story with the letter V (I have managed to do the same from the B letter post)! This is my 22nd post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.
Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Z

U for Unsafe at home

Underestimating anyone, especially an enemy, is never a good idea. 

Untrustworthy and evil, The Command had fooled the One Minuters into leaving Keith unsafe at home

Unexpectedly though, Quincy’s tears had flown onto the playground making a smiley face symbol as a cue. 

Until that moment, Beth had believed that keeping Keith happy at all times was the best way to save him as The Command fed on anxiety, fear and sorrow; but after seeing the smiley symbol she realised that her assumption was wrong. 

Utter mistake! We got it all wrong! As of now, Quincy is the host for The Command and it feeds on her fear and sorrow. It is not Keith who we need to keep happy all the time, it should be Quincy. If she is happy, content and relaxed, The Command just cannot survive, or at least it could become weak. But how do you make a mom feel happy when her kid’s life is in danger and an evil power is using her to do the worst?” Beth sounded confident, yet scared. 

Understood! I have an idea. Let’s trick The Command then. All of you go to the farmhouse and try to keep The Command and Quincy’s shadow away from Keith. Meanwhile, I will try to take Quincy back in time, to each of her happy moments. I won’t give her a break to think about all this and be upset even for a second. As of now, The Command is busy trying to use only the shadow and it won’t notice that Quincy is missing. If Quincy is happy for long, The Command will not be able to feed off her sorrow, let alone her shadow!” A Minute dropped everyone at the farmhouse and headed back to Quincy in a millisecond. 

The story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence (paragraph in case of long conversations) of this chapter of the story with the letter U (I have managed to do the same from the B letter post)! This is my 21st post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.
Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡Y Z

T for Tricks and Tears

The One Minuters reached the university within a minute and The Command’s presence was obvious with a huge bubble floating over the playground. 

Together, they repeated the act they had done earlier at the Andheri stadium – Dev made the bubble as small as a pea, Beth moved it towards Tim who swallowed it and everything was calm again.

This triumph over The Command somehow felt rather easy and while the rest assumed that it was due to their intensive training, Beth wasn’t so certain. 

Take a look around, there’s no damage as such. Everything is in its place as if The Command didn’t intend to cause destruction here,” Beth knew something was amiss. 

That’s when everyone started carefully looking around the playground. 

The halogen lights cast shadows of all the trees and poles around when suddenly Evelyn noticed a woman hiding in the distance. 

To everyone’s surprise, while everything around her had shadows on the ground, hers was missing! 

The Voice was prompt in reacting, “That must be Quincy working on the bubble effect while her separated shadow, under The Command’s influence, must be near Keith. The Command is now using two hosts – Quincy as one and her shadow as another. We must rush.”

They were clearly tricked into leaving Keith with only Rohit at home. 

Then, just as they were about to be transported back home by A Minute, they noticed something very strange. 

Tears, streams of them, rolled down Quincy’s eyes, flowed on to the playground forming some symbols, as if she was trying to communicate something. 

Time seemed to have halted temporarily when Beth’s phone rang. 

Told you it might come for Keith, rush home… Now,” Rohit had never sounded so scared. 

The story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence of this chapter of the story with the letter T (I have managed to do the same from the B letter post)! This is my 19th post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.
Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ ST ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Y ➡ Z

S for Shadow of a Mom

Slightly faint, but clearly a woman’s shadow was visible outside the window as Rohit and Beth rushed after hearing the wailing sound from Keith’s room.

Surprisingly, Keith was fast asleep and the wailing stopped.

Save my child please. Beth, only you can save him. The Command is coming for him. I shouldn’t have trusted it. It wants to leave my body and inhabit Keith’s nervous system, where it will influence his behaviour and make him do terrible things. Read all about parasites, you might figure out something. I must leave now,” Quincy had somehow managed to see her son and speak to Beth before disappearing yet again. 

Studies have proved that many parasites use more than one host organism and since they cannot survive without a host, they rely on their hosts themselves to facilitate transmission – Rohit discovered this fact after five minutes of using a search engine. 

Somehow, they had to figure out how The Command could be stopped from reaching Keith.

Suddenly, Beth remembered that The Voice had told them that the evil power fed on anxiety, fear and sorrow.

So if Keith stays happy all the time, maybe The Command couldn’t touch him. Let’s ensure that he doesn’t get upset about anything and stays relaxed at all times. Let’s even celebrate his birthday in advance, let him not even sense that there is a problem,” Beth had found a temporary solution.

Superb idea, let’s all try that. But have you ever come across a kid who is happy about everything all the time? It’s obvious for a child to get disappointed about something that might appear unimportant to us,” A Minute appeared in all her glory with a glowing neon arrow and it was even visible to Rohit.

Soon, The One Minuters arrived even though they were planning to come a couple of days later.

Seems like we need to rush to the University ground. Twitter is abuzz with tweets about weird vibrations in the local university campus. This time, let’s reach before the damage is done,” Dev was all charged up to stop The Command.

Stay here Beth, what if The Command comes for Keith while you are away?” Rohit was worried as he understood the gravity of the situation.

Sixty seconds, we will be back in just sixty seconds. I and The Voice will know if it comes here and we’ll be here in no time,” A Minute sounded confident.

Sadly enough, she had no idea that The Command could now be present at two places at the same time since it had separated Quincy’s shadow from her body and was using both as hosts simultaneously.

The story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence of this chapter of the story with the letter S (I have managed to do the same from the B letter post)! This is my 18th post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.
Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Y ➡ Z

R for Revelations

Realising that The Command was getting closer to her son Keith, Beth pulled herself together and decided to head to the farmhouse in Dapoli. 

Rest of the team was to join her in a couple of days while Daphne volunteered to stay back and look after Grace. 

Relax, I will come over too and stay with Grace. But who is Daphne? Why haven’t I heard of her before?” Cassie agreed to help even though she and Beth had not spoken in months.

Ratnagiri district’s coastal hill station Dapoli was a six-hour drive away but A Minute had an idea – she could shrink time for the One Minuters the way she could stretch it; Beth reached Dapoli in a minute.

Really? You left Grace back home with a stranger and Cassie? What was so important?” Rohit was not happy with Beth’s unannounced arrival but Keith was elated.

Revelations were long overdue and it was about time Rohit and Beth told each other everything they knew.

Right after Keith hit the bed, Beth told Rohit about her superpowers, the One Minuters, The Voice, A Minute and The Command.

Rohit was shocked to know that even Beth had powers and confessed that, on Grace’s second birthday, he had learnt about The Command who had a parasitic relationship with Quincy.

Relocation to a place away from the city was necessary to keep Beth and Grace safe just in case Keith did become The Command’s next target as hinted by Quincy.

Really, Quincy did everything possible, she is a loving mom. She sacrificed her family for the sake of her son’s life and let The Command take total control over her. She was promised that if she agreed to leave them, let her body be the host to The Command and follow its orders, Keith would not be touched and no one would be killed. It had earlier declared that it would use Keith as a host once he turned seven, but Quincy had convinced it to leave him alone,” Rohit had tears in his eyes.

Rohit, I have huge respect for you and Quincy. I can’t imagine what she might have endured. Having a superpower scares me but letting someone force you to do evil things… I wish I could help Quincy. The Command is not to be trusted, it is waiting for Keith’s seventh birthday. I am here now, I will not let it come near Keith,” Beth had to let Rohit know.

Right at that moment, they heard a wailing sound from Keith’s room and rushed to him.

The story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence of this chapter of the story with the letterR (I have managed to do the same from the B letter post)! This is my 18th post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.
Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Y ➡ Z

Q for Quincy’s disappearance and questions galore

Quitting was not an option anymore for the One Minuters as after the damage caused to the stadium, The Command had destroyed an under-construction flyover, a supermarket and a local bus stop. 

Questions regarding The Command were finally answered and the One Minuters were told that the evil power was like a parasite that fed on anxiety, fear and sorrow; it had never killed anyone though.

Qualifying perfectly as a host to it was little Keith, not just because it was easy to make a child believe in certain things but also because of the history.

Quelle histoire?” Evelyn popped the question in French as she had been preparing for her upcoming foreign language certification. 

Quicksand engulfing her would not have worried Beth as much as hearing The Voice say, “Well, you see, The Command had been using Keith’s mom Quincy as a host since she was seven years old!” 

Quietness can often be more disturbing than noise; everyone gave her space as a shocked Beth quietly tried to make sense of it all.

Questions, a lot of them, had to be answered by her ex-husband and Keith’s father Rohit – Did Quincy disappear because of The Command? Did Rohit know about the superpowers and the looming danger? Did he part ways with Beth to keep Grace away from all of this?

Quincy was always a mystery as Rohit never shared much about her except that she left them after Keith’s first birthday.

Quite maturely, while Beth was lost in her thoughts, the younger One Minuters were marking the places destroyed by The Command on a map and that’s when they noticed that the route created by those places led to the farmhouse mentioned by Beth – the one where Keith stayed. 

Thanking my AtoZ writing group of women who helped me sail through the Q post today – Afshan, Deepa, Ranjana, Jayashree, Renu, Hema and Aparna 😇

The story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence of this chapter of the story with the letter Q (I have managed to do the same from the B letter post)! This is my 17th post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.
Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ PQ ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Y ➡ Z

P for Pick your health before anything else

People tend to get so busy with the day-to-day stress in their lives that they ignore their health. 

Physical as well as mental health often take the backseat, especially the latter one.

Picking everything over one’s own health might temporarily work for the general population, but superheroes cannot afford to ignore it.

Part of your training includes ensuring that you have all enough strength and energy to fight a super enemy and recover quickly after the fights. So, while we train you every night, you must promise to include COASTED in your daily diet from now on,” A Minute explained the importance of the superfoods to the One Minuters.

C – Carrots: For bone health, vision, better immune system, blood pressure management and energy

O – Oats: For better heart health and a healthy gut; especially for Tim who would consume almost everything

A – Almonds: For bone health and brain, and relieving anxiety

S – Spinach: For bone health, vision, energy and anti-inflammatory properties

T – Turmeric: For better memory, pain relief and heart health    

E – Eggs: For strong muscles, vision, heart health, better memory and energy

D – Dates: For energy and anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-bleeding properties; necessary for the superheroes after fighting the evil superpowers.

Planning everything perfectly was A Minute’s forte and, for relieving stress, she suggested some relaxation techniques, getting proper sleep and Saturday fun sessions; she would have been a successful stand-up comedienne if she was a person.

Pay us for our efforts in training you by strictly following the relaxation techniques and a COASTED inclusive diet. Those who skip these will bear the brunt of whatever is approaching you. This is not a movie or a comic book, this is real,” The Voice sounded very serious.

Preparing for The Command’s inevitable approach was getting more real as Dev realised one thing, “True, all those superhero movies just show action, no one shows any superhero eating or resting, ever!”

Perhaps, you would want your kid Keith to eat these superfoods as well Beth. These are all, in any case, good for kids. After all, The Command is waiting to try and use him as a host. Keith must be strong both physically and mentally,” A Minute added.

The story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence of this chapter of the story with the letter P (I have managed to do the same from the B letter post)! This is my 16th post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.
Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Y ➡ Z

O for One Minuters

One Minuters – the name for the team of superheroes was agreed upon. 

Owing to the power of A Minute who could magically stretch a minute into hours, days and even months for them, the One Minuters could complete the toughest challenge within a minute. 

Over the next four weeks, they were trained to enhance their individual superpowers and work as a team. 

Of all the One Minuters, Beth had the ability to not only move anything with her gaze with a force and in the direction she desired, but she could also use the powers of the other four while they stayed in a paused mode. 

One month had passed and on July 1, just as they completed training, a strange thing happened. 

Out of nowhere, a stadium-sized bubble-like thing descended over the stadium.

Otherwise soft-spoken and calm, A Minute quickly ordered the One Minuters to hold hands and stand in a circle as it floated over their heads for a while and started rotating with an unimaginable force. 

Oddly enough, all the stadium seats got lifted up and started moving in circular motion, like things trapped in a whirlpool, and fell down together with such force that huge cracks were created on the ground. 

Okay, The Command has arrived and it knows that we are getting ready. Use your powers now,” The Voice ordered. 

Obeying the orders, Dev, who could change the form and size of things, focussed on making the bubble as small as a pea while Beth tried to move it towards Tim who could consume anything. 

One minute later, that actually felt like one hour to them, Tim swallowed a pea shaped bubble and everything was calm again. 

Obviously, the earthquake-resembling vibrations and damage awoke the security guards, but before they could spot the One Minuters, Evelyn used her superpower – she started singing to make them fall asleep. 

Oblivious to the fact that using their powers to this extent could deprive them of their energy, and that it’s not over yet, the One Minuters started cheering. 

Okay, that was brilliant, amazing teamwork! But unlike the movies, superheroes lose a lot of energy especially after their first encounter. Let’s get you all some real nutrition,” A Minute sounded proud and caring! 

The story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence of this chapter of the story with the letter O (I have managed to do the same from the B letter post)! This is my 135th post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.

Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Y ➡ Z

N for Newbie in the town

New day, new beginnings, the amateur superheroes were excited as their training was to begin that Saturday night. 

Normally, the Andheri roads were busy even at midnight, but on that night, all the roads leading to the stadium were surprisingly deserted and they all reached much before time. 

Naturally, they started getting to know each other better as they had come to terms with the fact that they will be fighting evil powers together. 

Name, we got to have a name for our team, you know like the Avengers, Fantastic Four, Justice League… Do you have any ideas?” Tim was most excited as his childhood dream of becoming a superhero was coming true. 

Not now Tim, let’s first see if we can trust The Voice. I mean, we can’t even see it, what if it’s just trying to manipulate us? What if The Voice is the force that’s actually evil?” Holly was being practical as always. 

Not generally the one to go off topic, Beth shared something that had been bothering her – how would they manage to train every single night and then go to work all day, and in her case, even take care of a kid; she couldn’t disappear every single night leaving her daughter alone! 

Now, we will just need one minute of your time to train daily and you won’t have to travel anymore. It’s 11.59 pm, let’s go inside,” The Voice was heard again as the stadium gates opened and the security guard in the cabin suddenly fell asleep. 

Nothing could surprise them anymore, or so they thought, until the five superheroes were introduced to a close friend of The Voice – A Minute. 

Neon dots, very tiny and hundreds of them, started emitting from each of their watches, the dots came together to form a one foot long glowing arrow, like the minute hand of a watch. 

Not to worry friends, I’ll just take a minute of your time, actually time is me, so um…my time… oh this is always so tough to explain. So basically, I am A Minute and I can stretch a minute of your time to many minutes, hours and days, and when you are done it will look like only a minute has passed. Confused? Well sometimes even I get confused,” A Minute spoke in a sweet voice of a woman. 

Next time when I say 59 seconds, don’t make fun of me. A Minute is the one who likes being funny, not me. The 60th second is used to make a minute, the 60th minute makes an hour, she can’t come until 59 numbers have passed, whether it is seconds or minutes.” The Voice was very clear this time. 

Now, let us tell you the name we picked for your team, I am sure you will love it,” A Minute had a very peppy voice and thankfully, she was visible! 

Newbie in the town really put everyone at ease and they couldn’t wait to hear their superhero team name!

The story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence of this chapter of the story with the letter M (I have managed to do the same from the letter B post)! This is my 14th post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.
Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Y ➡ Z

M for Memories make the mom strong

Milliseconds after telling Beth that The Command was waiting to have Keith under its control, The Voice suddenly disappeared or was rather inaudible.

Morning was just a few hours away, so Tim, Holly and Dev decided to leave while Daphne and Evelyn stayed back at Beth’s place to comfort her.

Much to Daphne’s surprise, Beth did not wish to talk and headed to her room after ensuring that they were comfortable in the guest bedroom.

Memories are mysterious things –  one never manages to forget the bad times that keep haunting forever, but when a life is at risk, the good memories gently arrive making one feel that life isn’t that bad.

Much of Beth’s night was spent reminiscing about the happy moments with Grace, Keith and Rohit.

Meeting Rohit, her ex-husband, five years ago was one of her fondest memories as they couldn’t take eyes off each other at a common friend’s wedding.

My God Cassie, he is the most amazing single dad! You should have seen how he takes care of his one-year-old baby Keith. You will see, I will marry him someday,” Beth had told her best friend the day she met Rohit; they married only after a few months.

Maternal instincts had kicked in the moment Beth had held Keith in her arms for the first time and they had bonded instantly.

Mom, I love you,” Keith used to tell her daily until Grace was born.

Mom, I love my baby sister the most. I love you and dad also… a little bit,” he was the most loving and caring brother to Grace. 

Maybe if she and Rohit had not separated she could have spent more time with Keith, Beth thought as she regretted managing to meet him only on weekends.

Married or not, we will always try to spend weekends with both the kids and be the best parents ever,” it was Rohit’s idea who still was her 2 a.m. friend.

Misfortune always seemed to find Beth, but this time it was about the safety of her kids and she decided to do everything possible and even impossible to keep them safe.

Might as well put our superpowers to good use, let’s give our hundred percent when The Voice trains us. I don’t know what exactly my superpower is but I will definitely not let that Command hurt my kid or anyone else’s. Daphne, don’t worry about Evelyn, I will take care of her,” Beth surprisingly sounded positive during the breakfast, much to Daphne and Evelyn’s relief.

Meet me at the Andheri stadium at 11.59 pm tonight, you will have no trouble entering,” both Beth and Evelyn heard The Voice speak into their ears.

Man, what is with The Voice and number 59? He always makes me count till 59!” Evelyn said.

Me too,” Beth replied and continued to narrate the turbulent plane incident; it was about time the superheroes knew more about each other.

The story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence of this chapter of the story with the letter M (I have managed to do the same from B to L posts)! This is my 13th post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.
Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ JKLM ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Y ➡ Z