Category Archives: Stories by Me

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

H for Heroes of The Voice and Halwa Recipe

Hugging Grace goodbye, Beth thanked Rohit for agreeing to spend the long weekend with their daughter.

He always looked forward to take Grace to his farmhouse where his parents stayed as he barely got to spend time with her on weekdays; the father daughter duo loved playing catch, petting animals and gardening together.

Hi, Daphne here, please check my mails and call me, please,” Beth received a WhatsApp message from an unknown number as soon as Rohit and Grace left, and immediately regretted reading it.

How could Daphne have her new number, Beth wondered and finally checked her mails that kept saying the same thing: The Voice needs you, we all need you, please get in touch, we have arrived in Mumbai!

Her life was just getting normal and she now felt that everything was going to change soon as suddenly, after six years, she felt that weird pain in her right arm again.

HELP! She screamed and cried as this time the pain was unbearable and for much longer than the previous episodes.

Her entire body felt like it was on fire and at the same time on an ice slab; she knew she had to meet Daphne even though she had disappeared when she needed her the most.

High Time Cafe, Andheri Link Road, 5 pm today, Beth replied, though until ten minutes ago she had absolutely no intention of meeting her.

Hoping that she would meet just Daphne and her daughter Evelyn at the cafe and get some answers, Beth was surprised to see three more youngsters along with them.

Heading towards them, Beth felt strange; she was all set to be rude with Daphne, but that wasn’t possible in the presence of these youngsters.

Half-an-hour later, Beth was overwhelmed with the overload of information and in complete disbelief as she learnt that she might, well, still have superpowers.

Holly, Dev, Tim and Evelyn, all in their early twenties, had experienced the same pain in the past, had heard The Voice and were instrumental in making that turbulent plane steady – something that until that moment Beth felt she had done singlehandedly.

Heroes, we all are superheroes Beth, believe it or not! The Voice will speak to you soon but if The Command tries to make you do anything, just don’t do it… it is the dark power, very dark, very evil and it is coming for you,” Dev spoke with such conviction that Beth got goosebumps.

Halwa recipe, quick please… Keith wants to eat it now and he is throwing tantrums,” Beth read the message from Rohit; she had completely forgotten that his six-year-old son from his previous girlfriend wanted to eat the halwa she always sent for him.

Heat half a cup of ghee, add a pinch of green cardamom powder, add one cup fine semolina and roast on low flame. When almost pinkish brown, add some raisins, 1.5 cups of water, half cup jagggery powder, keep stirring until it all comes together. Add a tablespoon of ghee, mix well and you’ll know when it’s done.

Having sent the halwa recipe, Beth looked at all those hopeful youngsters, complete strangers, who had travelled all the way to Mumbai from different parts of the world to help her with ‘something big that was about to happen’.

Hide, run, escape – her mind said to her but then she saw tears in Daphne’s eyes.

Hell yes, I am in, tell me what to do!” Beth couldn’t let these youngsters fight alone.

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 H, the letter of the day (I have managed to do the same from B to G 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 ➡ FGH ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Y ➡ Z

E for End it now!

Eager to get answers, Beth agreed to give her hair sample for DNA analysis to a complete stranger.

Email IDs were exchanged, Daphne promised to stay in touch and soon the final boarding announcement was made.

Even though Beth loved window seats, she had a lot to think about and for the first time ever, instead of gazing at the clouds, she closed her eyes and thought about her conversation with Daphne.

Evelyn, Daphne’s eighteen-year-old daughter, had experienced the same pain in the arm for the first time almost two years ago, incidentally at the same restaurant where Beth had experienced the sting.

Easy girl,” Chef Jean had said to her, “there’s no scorpion here, it’s all in your mind!”

Embarrassed about her screaming as the entire restaurant noticed and her friends mocked her, she told about the sting to her mom.

Either she is being dramatic or she just wants my attention, Daphne had thought earlier; however, her world shook later as she witnessed a few weird incidents.

Everything what Daphne told Beth felt like a fantasy movie script to her, she sensed exaggeration but somewhere deep inside she believed her.

Exactly half an hour after taking off, Beth’s plane ran into severe turbulance – a significant rattling noise was heard in the fuselage and the passengers were told to fasten their seat belts.

Even after ten minutes, the plane was shaking terribly and people started panicking and praying while the kids started crying.

End it Beth, you can end it now!” a voice commanded her like a loud sound from headphones, but she wasn’t wearing any.

———-
The story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence of the story with E, the letter of the day (I have managed to do the same from B to D posts)! This is my fifth post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts that start with the letters A & B (B is when this story begins), C and D (list below).

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

D for Discover a secret or live with the suspense

Darling, maybe you are just overthinking. Jean might be busy. He will call you back, don’t worry,” Cassie tried to convince Beth over the phone.

Do you think that I should visit him and explain that I didn’t overreact, that I really felt the worst sting ever? Cassie, trust me it was something else, my entire body felt like it was on fire and at the same time on an ice slab. It was the strangest sting, most painful… ever! I am telling you, something doesn’t seem right. Maybe I am becoming a spider-woman or something!” Beth had not lost her sense of humour though she was extremely stressed and scared.

Days passed, Beth never saw or heard from Jean again but she did complete her solo Europe trip while ensuring that she didn’t develop a liking for anyone.

Did she enjoy her trip? She sure did as she soaked in the romantic aura of France, the beauty of the Swiss Alps and the scenic Eurail journeys to Milan and Venice.

During her stay in all those lovely cities, she never felt that weird pain again, until the very last day when she was at the security check of the airport.

Damn, damn, damn… it’s killing me… help, help me” she screamed holding her right arm and cried in pain just as she collected her handbag after the security screening; poor choice of words at the airport.

Daphne, the security manager, rushed to Beth but something made her tell the staff that everything was fine.

Dear, that was just a cramp, right? My cousin gets it all the time with the heavy luggage and all. Let me help you reach the boarding gate,” Daphne said holding Beth’s arm and whispered to her to agree and move ahead.

Don’t worry, I have seen this happen before, with others as well. I saw you at Chef Jean’s restaurant the other day. It was you, wasn’t it?,” Daphne said as she got Beth seated at a cafe near the boarding gate.

Dealing with that torturous pain was one thing, it disappeared in a couple of minutes, but what this seemingly kind stranger told Beth scared her.

Discovering that someone acknowledged her weird pain, however, did put Beth at ease and she wondered if she could get some answers.

Dressed in the security uniform, brown-eyed Daphne did appear trustworthy and Beth decided to use the thirty minutes before boarding to understand what was happening to her.

Daphne laid a condition that she would share what she knew only if Beth agreed to give her hair sample for a DNA analysis; the clock was ticking and Beth had to decide immediately.

Discover the secret or live with the suspense? Beth chose the obvious.

———-
The story continues tomorrow in the next post. This is my fourth post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts that start with the letters A & B (B is when this story begins) and C.

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

C for Challenges, all sorts of them!

Challenge, you say? Of course, I’ll take it up.”

Carefree as she had become, Beth started loving the idea of taking up challenges; both that she took up willingly and the ones that life threw at her.

Challenges, after all, are part of our life cycle. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we grow and learn with them right from the moment we are born. It’s a challenge at every stage, small or big, but it sure is. Just look at each of these moments in our life cycle, that was a challenge, especially when we did it for the first time:

  • Planning to conceive a child or becoming a parent (either you are a parent or your parents are, right?)
  • Giving birth or adopting or choosing not to have a child. And all the situations around each of these scenarios.
  • The first steps, the first ride, the first time going to school, making friends, losing some.
  • Education and sports, winning some, losing some, but moving ahead.
  • The stressful and sometimes traumatic situations of our lives, going through them, rising above them, sooner or later.
  • Career, career changes, business – profits and losses.
  • Losing our loved ones or losing out on love, and taking up the challenge to get over with it as life has so much more to offer.
  • Ageing, illnesses and fighting to live till the very end.

Cassie, her best friend from school, once gave her the idea of going on a solo Europe trip!

Can I actually do it, solo travel is so challenging!” said Beth but Cassie knew that she would definitely go!

Cautiously, Beth gave in her papers after working in the same organization for four years, and decided to take a 2-month-break from her career for her dream Europe vacation followed by some more relaxed rime for herself.

Career break was never her plan, but then it was such a bold thing to do, so she did.

Calculations were done, bank accounts were cleared (except leaving some 200 dollars in savings), bookings were made, bags were packed, dreams were hugged and Beth took the flight to Paris… a solo trip sounded so exciting!

Croissants, baguettes, macarons, chocolates, ratatouille, crepes and coffee… Paris is a paradise for foodies and Beth sure did not mind putting on some weight while relishing the delicious treats!

Clearly, she was happy, genuinely happy within a week of her trip.

Chef Jean, who she had started liking, was thanking her for appreciating his cooking skills, when she suddenly felt that terrible sting on her right arm.

Confused after screaming a lot, she could not believe that nothing bit or hit her, even when the chef and many others in the restaurant tried to assure her that nothing happened.

Can’t you see I am in pain, look at my arm, it’s like the worst sting ever,” she cried and looked at her arm that appeared just fine – no mark, no redness, no swelling, and suddenly no pain.

What happens next? Just wait for the next post, that will start with the letter D. Did you notice that I started each sentence of this post with the letter C! Glad I could do that after the previous post of the letter B.

———-
This is my third post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous post thats start with the letter A & B (B is when the story begins; A is not a part of this story but I guess most of you will relate).

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

B for Bite-sized fun

Beth, long before being a mother, was an ordinary girl, an introvert in the first half of her life.
Brilliant and curious just about everything, she was quite talkative around the people she was most comfortable with.
But because of the childhood she had, she was never confident around everyone, like all her classmates, neighbours and relatives.
By the time she was a teenager, she knew one thing for sure – if she shared her problems with anyone, sooner or later, that person wasn’t in her life anymore; either the person happened to change cities, find new friends or well, just didn’t meet her again.
Bottling up all her feelings gradually became the way of her life.
Being funny and appearing happy is what she slowly realized was how people would like her.
Boy she loved to be liked!
By the time she was in her twenties, she had many friends, more than you can imagine.
But obviously, who doesn’t want to be friends with the happiness factor in your college and office!
Being liked made her temporarily happy and she mastered the art of masking her sorrow with jokes and smiles; so much so that when she was in the outside world, she didn’t even think about the sadness that popped up the moment she was alone.
Bougainvillea flowers, butterflies, bright moon and stars, brushes and paints, books, burgers… She started finding bite-sized fun in little things around her when she was not with her friends and when she started feeling low.
But does makeshift happiness last for long?

What happens next? Well, even I don’t know as I am writing as it comes to me. The next post, that will start with the letter C, might be the continuation of this B letter post. Did you notice that I started each sentence of this story with the letter B. The idea just occurred to me while writing and I am patting my back for being able to do it just fine. Did I manage to do it just fine? Please tell me.

This post is part of my participation in this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous post that starts with the letter A (it is not a part of this story but I guess most of you will relate).

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