The Secret Garden

(About 1000 words)

“You sure you’ll be okay, honey?”

Danny looked up from his copy of The Secret Garden. Again. He smiled and nodded. Again.

“Come on, Winnie! The market closes in an hour and a half!” His dad called from the other room.

“Coming!” She looked at her son. They’d be back in an hour or so, sure, but this was the first time they were leaving him alone. She had every right to be worried.

“There’s some leftover meatloaf in the microwave if you get hungry,” she said for the twentieth time, “and remember—”

“Don’t let in strangers, don’t go out into the backyard, and if Doormat barks, only check from the balcony. I remember, mom.”

Winnie smiled. Her little boy was growing up fast. It seemed like yesterday that she was teaching him to say his name.

Meanwhile, John came in. “Winnie, let’s go.

“I was coming, just—”

“Danny’s a big boy now.” He went in and ruffled his son’s hair. “Almost eight, am I right?”

“Yes, daddy.” He smiled.

“You be good, Dan.”

“I will.”

Danny saw them off and bolted the door. Their deep blue Chevy screeched away and finally, for the first time ever, he was alone.

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Marked Difference

(About 1000 words)

“Uber for Mark?” the handsome middle-aged passenger peeked through the front window. The driver took one look at him and almost fainted.

“You’re… you’re Mark Romero, right? Agent Mark Romero?”

Romero sighed. It had been fun at first, but now it was starting to get seriously annoying. Damn that Tina for convincing him to get on TV.

“That’s the one.”

If the driver could’ve jumped, he would have.

“Omigod, sir, big fan, sir, big fan—”

“Thanks, now, I need to—”

“The way you busted that coke ring, sir, saw it on TV sir, heroic, absolutely fantastic.”

“Yes, thank you, flattered; now listen to me—what’s your name?”

“Kevin, sir, at your service.” The man actually saluted.

“Look, Kevin, I have my nephew’s wedding to get to, now, and Juárez’s nearly three hours away. I’m running an hour late already, so I’ll make you a deal– you step on it, and I’ll tell you about that cocaine ring on the way. How does that sound?”

Kevin took a second to take the panicked man’s information in. “Very good, sir, very good. Hop in.”

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Breaking and Entering

(600 words, approx)

“Looked.”

“What?”

Yuto peered at the sign hung inside the window. “It is written ‘looked’.”

Cynthia shook her head. “It says ‘locked’, not ‘looked’. Besides, we don’t need a sign to know that, do we?” She went back to picking the lock. He was a foreign exchange student, here till next September, but still getting used to the English language.

Yuto frowned. “I think this, what we do, is wrong.”

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Platypus

‘Say the word and there is light, say the word and dead bones rise…’

Nick turned it off. What a load of crap. This was the exclusive, yet-unreleased music Ralph was going on about?

He took his earphones out. Why was he listening to it again? He’d already listened to it once, been appalled by it, and was now replaying it. Gabe, Mike, Ralph- they’d all be proud of him if they knew what he was listening to, but Nick didn’t want them to be proud. All he wanted… he let go of that thought. He’d been over it multiple times. It was clear they weren’t going to listen to him.

Nevertheless, he walked over to where Big G was tinkering with his toolbox. Not to try and tell him- not now, anyway- but to get something to do. He was bored, and he couldn’t listen to the crappy music on Ralph’s Walkman anymore.

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First contact

Mel has met a person on the internet who claims to be from the planet Hagfar orbiting Centaurus Lambda in the Carina-Sagittarius arm of the Milky Way galaxy. She’s been chatting with him for a while, and he is tired of trying to convince her of his alien-ness. Finally, she decides to stop bothering about it, because even if he’s trying to prank her, he’s a nice person to talk to, as she’s learnt in the last twenty minutes. 

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Killing the Creator (part 14)

Click here to read the previous parts.

A steady breeze rustled the leaves of the trees in Nehru Park and made the clothes hanging out on the railings of the houses surrounding it flutter ghostily. The Park was deserted, the time being 2 A.M., except for three people who were standing in a triangle near the henna bushes.

A tall bespectacled girl with tangled brown hair stood at one end, her usually alert grey eyes heavy and tired. But she still stood upright, never slouching.

“I gave everything for this.” She locked eyes with the denimmed boy at the apex of the triangle. “You have to.”

Before he had a chance to reply, however, the short girl with a long black ponytail at the other end addressed him.

“I know you’re not a bad person,” she said, her soft brown eyes pleading. “What we had was not all fake, you know. We laughed at your name, remember?” She was trying to be strong and not let them see her cry. “I beat you at badminton.” She smiled sorrowfully.

The tall girl was starting to say something, but the boy didn’t hear it. A loud ringing filled his ears and-

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Killing the Creator (part 13)

Click here to read the previous parts.

After hours in the local cyber cafe, I finally knew enough to tackle the midnight man and find out Rennie’s location. Or, at least I hoped I did.

The process of befriending the Creator was, of course, still going on simultaneously. She seemed to be a nice person for the most part, except for the part where she’d killed my parents as a means of ‘character development’. And the part where she’d basically messed up ‘Grey Earth’ for her ‘dystopian YA sci-fi fantasy’, as she put it. It seemed absurd to me that an innocent-looking girl could be the monster at the end of the book, quite literally.

I’d also checked into a room at Hotel Parth Paradise (as I’d told the Creator) after all, since I had to stay somewhere.

I’d sold a couple more gold coins at a jewellery store and bought a hydraulic press from an online shopping website. I’d stocked up on salt, bought silver knives and learnt the number sequence from the Korean elevator ritual by heart. With luck, my plan would work.

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Killing the Creator (part 12)

Click here to read the previous parts.

Five hours and hot buttery parathas at a local eatery had calmed me down enough to know that I was essentially directionless at the time. I had no course of action at all before me, but I had plenty of time to chart one.

I was in no mood to try to kill the Creator without any of our poisonous arsenals. I’d even left the potassium chloride with Al, I recalled- when I’d thrown the container in his face. Good times.

Al had lectured me on not caring about Rennie’s sacrifice. About making her sacrifice meaningful. Well, I thought, why let her sacrifice herself anyway? She did it to right our messed-up world, but why her? Why should she have to do it? Wasn’t it the responsibility of those snobby ‘leaders’ of The Society which was created to fight the mutants and keep everyone safe?

So, I decided to bring her back from wherever she was. I contemplated my next move. There was only one person in the universe who could bring her back. The Creator. Continue reading

Killing the Creator (part 11)

Hello, people. My exams are over and I’m back. Feel free to scream with joy and shed tears of happiness. *Senses you staring at the screen incredulously* I’ll come back when you’ve composed yourself.

Meanwhile, you can read the previous parts if you haven’t yet, or if you have, move on to this one. Continue reading