Tag Archives: original stories

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

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

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

G for Ghosts of the past

Before I proceed with the story, I would like to thank Aparna Nayak for helping me weave the gluten part in the story. This point onwards, the story has some parenting / motherhood angles so will also cater to the main theme of this blog – Mom and Ideas. I hope you enjoy reading.

Go to sleep now Grace, we can finish the painting tomorrow,” Beth told her four-year-old daughter again.

Gone were the days of being insanely adventurous, going on a solo trips, trying some super powers… all Beth needed now was a peaceful nap.

Grace’s gluten intolerance was not making things any easier and Beth spent any free time researching about it so that Grace could enjoy food like all other kids.

Gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye, finds its way in the junk food that kids love – pizzas, breads, cakes, etc.  wherein extra gluten is added in form of powder to increase the strength, rise, shelf life, and texture of the baked goods, which are not good for their health.

Google would tell her everything except where she could find a treasure of gluten-free foods for kids.

Getting your little ones to eat is like climbing the Everest, but when Gluten sensitivity comes into picture, it’s a whole new challenge!

Grace finally fell asleep as Beth added some gluten-free items to her online shopping cart and decided to check her mail before calling it a day.

Gmail showed her 20 notifications of which three emails were from Daphne – someone who had disappeared when Beth needed her the most.

Getting no replies from her and The Voice despite several desperate attempts had left Beth disturbed for many months after the flight incident six years ago.

Gradually, she had stopped thinking about it and a year later she fell in love with Rohit, an Indian entrepreneur, married him and moved to India.

Grace was born a year later and the couple separated after her second birthday; there was no drama, they realised that they were just not compatible and decided to raise their daughter together in Mumbai.

Going forward, her focus would just be her daughter, Beth had decided unaware that six years after the incident the ghosts of her past would come knocking at her door.

God knows why she is contacting me after so many years, should I read the mails or just delete them, Beth was confused.

———-
Thanking Aparna for the inputs on gluten! She is also participating in the A to Z challenge with wonderful posts that you can read here.

This story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence of this part of the story with G, the letter of the day (I have managed to do the same from B to F 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 ➡ FG ➡ H ➡ 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

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