Hola, readers! Now I know what you guys are probably thinking- that I’m becoming increasingly irresponsible and lazy with two delayed posts twice in a row. But I was busy preparing for my Pre-mid term exam yesterday, so you might have more delayed posts. But I’ll sincerely try my best to schedule posts beforehand, so that even when I don’t have time on Sunday, you guys don’t miss out on it.
So, now I’m starting a long story that’ll be narrated in parts, and naturally, this is the first one. No, don’t worry, it’s not as long as a novel. But it’s lengthier than the ones you might find in fortnightly magazines. It’s inspired by my visit to Bannerghatta National Park in Bengaluru, which was the first time I ever saw lions and tigers, after a host of failed outings in wildlife sanctuaries and parks. I hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
Before I start with the story, I must say it was a challenge in itself for me because my stories are never less than 1000 words long. I always get carried away while putting pen to paper and just go along with the flow. But seeing the abundance of flash fiction and 100-word stories on WordPress, not to mention their popularity, I decided to stretch those writing muscles and take the plunge in the sea of 100-word stories. Let’s hope my first lexiquintal (I made that word up myself; *pats herself on the back*) turns out well.
Ten-year-old Lin did not belong to a wealthy family. But that did not bother her. No one could understand how she could be happy with just two pairs of clothes and a very insufficient meal twice a day.
The secret was this: Lin didn’t need a reason to be happy. Although her mother had died giving birth to her, she had brought a little, if not much happiness in her father’s life. From a rundown hut in a dirty condition, he had upgraded to a small apartment in a considerably clean condition.
The secret was this: Lin didn’t need a reason to be happy
Although Lin was inherently cheerful, she had every reason to be happy that day. It was the Mooncake Festival, and she could already smell the aroma of delicious mooncake wafting in from the neighbouring houses as she adjusted her white cheongsam in the broken mirror. That cheongsam was the only luxurious item she possessed, handed down through generations. But it didn’t in the least bit look old or frayed. In fact, it was charming; printed with little blue flowers, bordered with blue velvet and embroidered with tiny fake pearls. Lin wore it only on festivals and her birthday.
She took in the sweet aroma once more. She could almost taste it if she concentrated hard enough.
Her fantasies were broken by her father’s voice calling her. “Lin! Come on; it’s worship time,” he called.
“Coming, Papa!” she called back and ran to the rooftop, where her father was laying out what little victuals they had on a three-legged wooden stool. Every year on the Mooncake Festival, he offered food to Chang’e, the moon goddess of immortality; he believed that she would bless them if he did so.
“Will Chang’e bless us this year, Papa?” Lin asked as she did every year.
“Surely, my dear. One day she will notice that moon-shaped birthmark on your left arm and shower us with gifts,” her father replied, the same response he gave every year. Chang’e never seemed to notice Lin’s birthmark, though. For the last decade, she had not given them an extra yuan, let alone a ‘shower of gifts’. But Yang Bohai was not willing to let go of his belief just yet. “Come on, now, kneel and close your eyes. Repeat after me- O Chang’e, queen of the moon, goddess of immortality!”
She repeated her father’s address to the goddess and waited for him to continue, although she knew the words by heart.
“Accept my humble offering and bestow your blessings on me.”
It is an irrefutable fact that all the world’s left hands are decidedly lazier than us right hands. After all, 90% of all humans are right-handed.We right hands are always at work, assisting our owners through their daily life, while those good-for-nothing left hands just hang there at the end of the left arm, sleeping all day. According to me, ambidextrous people are the best sort, because they have no dominant hand and both the hands have to work equally. Unfortunately, they make up a paltry 1 percent of the total human population.
Warning: Not for children under the age of 13.
April 27, 1990
“Don’t go anywhere, Ann. I’ll be right back,” the tall, tanned man with a mustache says to his chubby five-year-old daughter. The little girl nods obediently and sits on the park bench, her short legs dangling a foot off the ground. Her father, on his small girl’s request, goes to get an ice-cream for her from the ice-cream man.
“A double-strawberry cone, please,” he says to the pudgy vendor, remembering his daughter’s fondness for everything pink. Beaming, he returns to the bench where his daughter was sitting, the delicious-looking ice-cream with a cherry atop it held firmly in his rough hand.
The smile quickly turns upside-down. The ice-cream melts in the blazing sun, leaving a pink puddle near the man’s shoes.
The bench is empty.