Category Archives: a to z challenge

L for Less words, more work

Literally, each of the five people with superpowers in the room felt a tingling sensation in their right arm, but this time it wasn’t painful. 

Lights in Beth’s house suddenly dimmed except the one at the dining table where they all gathered. 

Leading the group was The Voice that reminded Dev of his favourite childhood movie Mr. India in which the protagonist could decide to become invisible and only his voice could be heard. 

Let us know everything about you first, who or what exactly are you and why do you keep disappearing?,” Dev had had enough instructions from The Voice over the past few years and he thought with his new team’s support he could finally persuade it to tell them everything. 

Less words and more work would get us somewhere child. I will tell you about myself when the time is right,” there was no way The Voice took instructions from the youngsters. 

Lurking around was The Command, the evil force that everyone had just sensed, so listening to The Voice made more sense. 

Luckily for Beth, The Voice began with clarifying certain things: Some hereditary traits can skip a generation and neither of the two powers could affect a child below seven years of age. 

Little Grace was just four years old but Keith was going to turn seven in three months; Beth looked worried as The Voice had mentioned him. 

Let me help you explore the full potential of your powers, especially Beth, since I haven’t trained her yet. Tomorrow, I will tell you where to come and we shall train every night. We have until September 1 to prepare,” The Voice was very clear with its instructions. 

Letting a voice train her for superpowers which she wasn’t completely aware of yet – Beth wondered if all this was really happening and then something occurred to her. 

Last day of their training was to coincide with Keith’s seventh birthday so she asked The Voice if he too was to get some superpowers, since he was mentioned earlier. 

Long pause ensued after which they heard The Voice say, “The Command intends to have Keith under its control, it is waiting for him to turn seven!”

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 L (I have managed to do the same from B to K posts)! This is my 12th 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 ➡ JKLM ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Y ➡ Z

K for Knock of The Voice

Keen to understand what that transparent elongated bubble like thing was, Beth looked at others and noticed that Evelyn was sweating profusely, Holly and Dev were holding hands and Tim was having an anxiety attack.

Kids their age should be busy partying or studying, but instead, they had to defeat an unknown force that they were clearly not prepared to fight against; Beth realised why she, almost double their age, was part of this – they needed guidance, direction and motivation.

Keep faith, we will figure out something together. I know I am new to all this and I still don’t know what I am capable of, but I am with you all through,” Beth, a mother herself, couldn’t let those youngsters feel helpless and alone.

Kindness was Beth’s best quality, something that people often took advantage of, but she realised that she should help out these youngsters and keep her fears about her daughter’s safety to herself.

Kia, Beth’s new car parked just outside her house suddenly moved, as if someone very strong pushed it, and since everyone was still keeping an eye on the window, they all noticed it.

Know this Beth, The Voice has arrived and it can talk to us all at the same time,” Dev informed her.

Knocking the door, The Voice was finally heard two minutes later which felt like eternity to everyone in the room.

Knocking, well, that’s new,” Beth taunted The Voice, “So I understand that sound travels much slower than light, but six years to arrive, doesn’t that sound too slow?”

Keith is not exactly your son, right Beth?” everyone suddenly looked shocked as The Voice spoke at once, right into each person’s ears.

Keith is my ex-husband’s son, he’s like my son, why do you mention him?” Beth trembled, she had been thinking about Grace all this while but how did Keith fit the scene?

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 K (I have managed to do the same from B to J posts)! This is my 11th post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.

I’ll be posting daily except Sundays all through the month. Stay tuned. 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

J for June had begun, the clock struck midnight

Just sprinkle some water on her face,” Daphne suggested as everyone tried to help Beth regain consciousness.

Just like that, Beth’s world had turned topsy turvy.

Just like that, her little daughter who had just started developing interest in superheroes was probably one herself.
Just like that, her separation from her husband, her break ups, her troubled childhood… everything felt so much better than the situation she was currently in.

Just four years old, Grace is just four years old! What does she understand? How can she face all this superpower stuff. She is a little child, how do I protect her?” Beth could not stop crying and worrying as she regained consciousness.

Juggling with all possible solutions, Beth got an idea, “Holly, you had said that you can travel into people’s memories and change a decision they made in the past, right? Please travel back in my head to the time I decided to take that solo trip to Europe and make me not do that. That way everything will change – I won’t go to that restaurant, I won’t hear The Voice, I won’t take that turbulent plane… I would be out of all this and Grace would be safe!”

Jittering until a few moments ago, Beth looked at Holly with hope until she was explained that changing everything in the past also meant that she never met her ex-husband, never married him and never gave birth to a child – it meant that Grace never existed.

Jesus knows that I would do anything to reverse all this, I can’t imagine a child in this terrible situation. But since your child was born after you got the superpowers, I don’t know what to do,” Holly felt bad that she could not be of help.

Just then, a devastated Beth sensed something move outside her window, like a transparent elongated bubble that made everything behind it look blurry.

Joining her shocked stance were all the others, except Daphne, who kept staring at the window.

June had begun as the clock struck midnight.

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 J, it was my toughest post until now(I have managed to do the same from B to I posts)! This is my tenth post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.

I’ll be posting daily except Sundays all through the month. Stay tuned. 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

I for I Spy – A fun game for kids, a challenge for superheroes

Instead of having an argument with her, Beth was now teaming up with Daphne and the four young superheroes, not knowing exactly what each one was capable of.

Iron Man was her favourite and she would never miss any Marvel or DC movie but little did she know that she might be a superhero herself; she wondered if the filmmakers actually encountered some real-life superheroes, and if these movies were actually based on true stories.

I want to know everything – What are your superpowers? Is The Command around and has any of you ‘heard’ it, and what about The Voice? Why doesn’t it contact me now? Do I really have a superpower? How do I know how to use it?” Beth obviously had too many questions.

It was a lot to discuss over a few cups of coffee, so Beth invited them over to her place.

Ideally, she would not have invited a set of complete strangers to her house, but nothing was ideal in this case and since her daughter Grace was at her ex-husband Rohit’s farmhouse for three days, she was ready to take a chance.

Impressed was an understatement, Beth could not believe how these twenty-somethings were absolutely fearless, brave and willing to risk their lives to save the world.

Imagine playing I Spy – be completely aware of your surroundings and you can sense when The Command is around you. It cannot take form as such, but you can feel something move!” Dev roughly explained how she could ‘spot’ the evil power.

I Spy was the game Beth and Grace played together almost daily and almost everywhere:
I spy with my little eyes something round and green,” Beth would say and Grace would spy all around the room to finally spot a green bead in the centre of the dreamcatcher.
I spy with my little eyes something red with wheels,” Grace would always point at vehicles and trees while looking out of the window whenever Beth drove and she would always pretend as if she couldn’t spot it as she was driving!

It had only laughter and fun associated with it until that moment.

I don’t want to spy with my eyes something that I can’t see, something that I can’t hear yet, something powerful that would command me to do what I don’t want to do, damn but I will have to fight it – Beth was scared.

Imagination is a power we all underestimate and it was somehow the source of all the amazing things each of these four superheroes could do.

I can get into people’s head, travel into their memories and change a decision they made in the past. It could be as small as skipping a meal to as big as a career choice. It changes a lot in their lives and everything that’s connected, but it can get really messy at so many levels,” Holly explained her power.

If I really focus on my imagination, I can eat anything, any size – from a bullet to a lightning bolt,” Tim sounded excited until everyone joked how he could fart after that!

I can change the form and size of things and animals, but I haven’t been able to change the complete form of anything yet,” Dev was very unsure about using his powers as it could be really damaging if not done correctly.

I can sing to make anyone go into deep sleep,” Evelyn sounded a little embarrassed about her superpower as she continued, “That probably explains why the kids in my singing class yawned when I sang!”

It was amazing how the youngsters retained their sense of humour given the challenges they were about to face.

Introductions to their powers were thus done and Beth was told that The Voice planned to take her through her capabilities the next day.

Innocent youngsters in their early twenties are overloaded with so much responsibility and risk, Beth thought as she expressed concern about their safety and the fear their parents might be facing.

It was at this moment that Daphne somehow gathered the courage to share something that no one could manage to speak about – Beth was the only one to have a child after getting the powers so there was a chance that her four-year-old daughter might have genetically inherited some superpower and perhaps even attracted the interest of The Voice and The Command.

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 I, the letter of the day (I have managed to do the same from B to H posts)! This is my ninth post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.

I’ll be posting daily except Sundays all through the month. Stay tuned. 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

F for Fifty Nine Seconds

Frightened to the core, Beth slowly removed her hands from her ears; the turbulence didn’t shake her but the unknown voice that only she could hear made her panic.

Focus Beth and listen to me, this is not the time to panic, you can save this plane in exactly fifty nine seconds,” the commanding voice instructed her.

Fine, tell me what to do,” Beth had no idea how these words came out of her mouth as her co-passengers glanced at her and then ignored her as they were panicking too.

Focus on the tip of the airplane wings that you can see from the window, just start counting till fifty nine as you try to lift the tilted wings with your gaze, blink if you want but don’t look elsewhere or you’ll have to start again. Focus on making the plane parallel to the ground,” there was a strange convincing power in that voice.

Fear gripped her as she could hear that invisible person or thing speaking right into her ears, but she thought that there was no harm in trying as all she had to do was gaze, and so she did.

Figuring out what that voice was and what was happening to her was crucial, but then she had to be alive for that and so she decided to pay attention to the voice; she could get the answers later.

Fifty nine seconds later, suddenly, the plane was stable with no turbulence whatsoever and people were relaxed, all but one person.

Fabulous, so maybe I did it, now tell me what I want to know,” Beth didn’t care that she probably saved all the passengers and the crew, all she wanted was answers.

Fasten your seatbelts dear passengers, we will land shortly, and we apologize for the turbulence,” the pilot announced after a few minutes.

Flight attendants, fellow passengers, cranky kids… Beth could hear all voices but the one she wanted to.

Frustrated, she headed home and tried finding that voice but in vain until she finally dozed off muttering, “Please talk to me, I am going crazy.”

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

I’ll be posting daily except Sundays all through the month. Stay tuned. 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

A for Answer my question please, or maybe just be naughty

Mom: Would you like to have your food now?
Kid: (no response)
Mom: Please reply if you would like to have food now or after 10 minutes.
Kid: (no response, continues doing whatever the kid was doing)
Mom: I am asking you something.
Kid: (no response, looks elsewhere)
Mom: Will you please tell me if you are hungry now?
Kid: (no response, big time ignore)
Mom: WOW, look at this chocolate!
Kid: (instant response) Chocolate, where? I want it!

I recently came across the term – threenager. Have you heard this term? Well, my daughter is three years old and I might be using this word a lot I guess 😉 When you Google it, you will find various definitions. So I am not going to bore you with all those versions. Basically, it’s like a teenager phase but the much younger version!

My kid is not very naughty, in fact, she falls under the category where moms tell me that you are lucky that she’s not naughty. She recently started going to daycare for two hours and going out to play, and has discovered the power of certain terms and actions. I am actually glad that she is finally being like a child as she has only been around us grown-ups for really long. See, due to the pandemic, she was mostly indoors for two years (such a terrible thing for all kids that age, right?).

Kids this age in 2022 are actually in a very different phase than those who reached this milestone in the pre-Covid era. These kids have mostly been at home without any exposure to playgroups, preschools, parks, birthday parties and more importantly spending lots of time with kids their age. I am writing from India, so maybe the situation is different in other places, but we went through huge number of Covid cases and never-ending lockdowns. So these kids are suddenly coming out of their home cocoon and I feel really bad that they missed the gradual transition i.e. exposure to the real outdoor world in a way we had.

I, a first-time-mom, am learning new things every single day. More importantly, I am learning how to deal with 3-year-old stuff-that-needs-dealing-with in a very nice-momly way. It is obvious that, just like them, even the parents are not prepared for the sudden change. My daughter has just discovered the power of NO and the power of IGNORING 🙂 As much as I know that we have been lucky in this area as she was indoors for a weirdly long period, and as much as I am glad that she’s now enjoying her childhood the way she should, I do get irritated if I do not get answer to the same question when asked in 10 different ways. Come on, I am a human too and new to this behaviour 😉 It’s really fun when I look back at these incidents and talk or write about it, but it is sometimes really very difficult in that moment.

So, just like kids are now getting used to the normal times, we too need to be quick in adapting. It is like a jumpstart after a two-year gap. A one-year-old child would ideally start gradually mingling with the outside world and discover new things, one day at a time, while you would gradually grow up to parenting and teaching the rights and wrongs accordingly. But due to the coronavirus related delays, these kids are getting all that exposure suddenly and we are often left overwhelmed. So, while I too don’t have it all together at all times, I would like to say to think about the following when you are getting exhausted / irritated with the sudden behavioral changes:
1. Remember, it’s a sudden transition for them and they are exploring what happens when they behave in a certain manner.
2. You might have told the kid that certain things / words / behaviour are not right for kids, but they just found that the other kids do that. So they might be confused.
3. They are all too excited / not very comfortable to come across so many new people / kids suddenly, give them the time.
4. Kids are kids. They will be naughty, throw tantrums at times, not respond how you expect them to, say NO more often than you can imagine, etc. It’s okay. Try not to lose it in their presence.
5. C’mon, they were deprived of the normal childhood complete with all fun, naughtiness, falls from slides, playgroups, parks, zoos, etc. for a really long time. You have actually been lucky to spend so much time with them, right?

Anyway, here’s hoping that covid disappears soon and we stay sane and our kids stay a little naughty and very happy forever!

Taking this moment to pray for the kids in Ukraine and their parents. I can’t even imagine what they must be going through, their daily struggles, fears and challenges. We all know that the news cannot show the real picture and we can’t even watch what they are living through. May there be peace and love and normal times soon.

This is my first post for the letter A as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2022. I’ll be posting daily except Sundays all through the month. Stay tuned.

Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:

A ➡ BC ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Y ➡ Z

My April Theme Reveal – A To Z Challenge

I used to take up this blogging challenge when I was much younger and when I wasn’t a mom 🙂 This year, two friends, Deepa and Aparna, asked me if I would be participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge in 2022. Without much thought, I answered in affirmative. I know that unless I commit to something and tell about it to someone, I might just not do it.  Especially, with the new challenges on motherhood (not complaining, I love it but you know it makes one really busy) and the existing ones of Fibromyalgia.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2022

So here I am – committed to complete the challenge in 2022. I am saying this because, just like a dialogue in a Salman Khan (Bollywood actor) movie, ek baar jo maine commitment kar di, toh phir main khudki bhi nahi sunti… meaning – once I commit something, I don’t back out whatever happens. I might get delayed, I might feel like giving up, but I will definitely finish the task just perfectly 🙂

Well, like some of my friends taking up the #AToZChallenge, I haven’t been able to chart out the entire  month’s plan. But the theme will definitely be around Motherhood/Parenting. It won’t be all gyaan (like this post LOL) but will cover various things revolving around my life as a mother who loves to have fun with her child but also faces several emotional and physical challenges. The posts will be more or less like this:

Fun posts, incidents, jokes made by us, etc.
DIY – Art, crafts, etc.
Cool activities
Easy and healthy recipes
Parenting, challenges, learnings, etc.
Motivation
Fiction / Short Stories
Being a parent
Comic stuff
Instagramming as a mom
And some more (I need to still think)

I would love if you comment with some post prompts related to this theme. If I use your prompt (something not already listed above), I will definitely give you a mention with a link to your blog and also a shoutout on my social media pages (Instagram and Facebook) where I will be promoting all my posts.

Looking forward to your comments and post recommendations!

Happy Blogging!
PS – If you are participating too, drop me a comment about your theme and let’s check out / follow each other’s blogs.