Holi

(100-word flash fiction)

It is Holi. The neighbourhood youth are gathering logs and twigs for the bonfire.

She takes her wedding sari out and weeps into it. Endless pain after years of abuse comes pouring out, soaking the red silk into a dull-blood burgundy.

The lit bonfire is steadily growing.

She takes the mangal-sutra off her neck and tucks it into the soggy sari.

The fire is a roaring beast, flicking tongues of pure flame.

She walks to the bonfire and tosses the sari into it.

Elsewhere, her husband, quite by accident, trips on a naked, high-voltage wire and fries to death.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The festival of Holi begins on the night before when a bonfire is lit and people perform rituals in front of it. The name comes from the mythological story in which the demoness Holika is burnt to death by Lord Vishnu and symbolises the triumph of good over evil. It takes place at the end of winter and a deeper meaning suggests getting rid of all internal, unwanted garbage (the diseased, decaying and dead) in us, so that we can welcome the oncoming spring purged and fresh. Holi – or the festival of colours begins the next morning with the smearing of colour on each other in a friendly, playful, and relaxed atmosphere. The many hues of colour signify the new, emerging colours of spring. It is also harvest season and the time to meet and rejoice, end past conflicts and mend broken relationships.

The mangal-sutra (literally meaning blessed thread) is tied around the bride’s neck by the groom during the wedding.  A Hindu married woman wears it until she dies or becomes a widow.

It’s Wednesday night and time for the weekly Friday Fictioneers fix. Thanks Rochelle for being such a champ and hosting it every week and for faithfully reading ALL our stories 🙂

Photo prompt –

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

NaPoWriMo 9 – A fragment of a dream

For day 9, a sweet, sad poem on a dream I saw the other day –

 

A terse dream this was,
broken, anguished, blurred,
of which a fragment remains
in my memory, embedded.

A wayward bullet strikes
at lightning speed your chest,
passing through it spears,
calmly, through my breast.

Locked in a gaze we stand,
as love flows out the wounds.
Caught tight in death’s hand
as the dream softly fades.

On waking, for long I ponder;
did our souls our bodies flee
at the same moment, together?
Did they merge to become free?

Did pain set our insides afire?
Is sorrow the bullet that incinerates,
torching our ignorance, our desire,
and into freedom thus liberates?

~~~

Too young to wed

(100 word flash fiction)

Saida’s husband has flopped to his side after heaving his 54-year old heavy, sweaty body on her 14-year one. Through her tears, she can see the moon outside the window emerge from behind clouds.

Fat-belly moon. Like her own growing belly. Wanderer of the skies. It reminds her of freedom. Of her short-lived school days.  Of her once fiery desire to be a teacher.

Yes! Fire could be her deliverer.

She tiptoes across the room to the kitchen. Thick, dark clouds are rapidly obscuring the moon. In the fading light, she finds the kerosene, douses herself and lights a match.

~~~

Can’t say I wrote this story. I only paraphrased a real-life story (or bits from lots of them). Watch the full feature on this National Geographic Live feature called ‘Too young to Wed” by Photographer Stephanie Sinclair and writer Cynthia Gorney. Heart-breaking stuff!

As always, writing for the lovely Rochelle’s photo prompt and joining in the Friday Fictioneers party is a pleasure.

PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods

PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods

Secrets of life – haiku

despair chews
at the edges of my mind
wanted : angel

~~~

a lone dewdrop
scintillating with sunlight
rapturous me

~~~

people come and go
with various kinds of baggage
railway station life

~~~

if life had wings
broken and bent they would be
but soaring still

~~~

drowned in the din
of humdrum daily life
soul waits

~~~

so many secrets
mined deep from earth-life
precious I hope

~~~

Carpe Diem prompt – Secrets of Life

3 o’clock

 

3 o’clock
empty cafe
just me staring at a guy
staring into space

his thoughts crackle
into the summer air
nervous
hopeless
jobless
debts mounting
coffee going cold
no cash for a bun

while pastries shine
behind the glass
beckoning

I think of Jean Valjean
and his stolen loaf

and hope floats in
on a stray sunbeam

maybe just maybe
this man will meet
his Bishop

(written for the Bentlily prompt – go to a cafe and write about a person there)

 

The bleating sheep

the river flows placid
clattering over the pebbles
as cicadas tone down
their fervid cadences
and quieten for the night

on a tiny patch of farm
across the road
a sheep bleats into the night
I worry about it,
is it thirsty? is it hurt?

it strikes me as odd
that I worry about a sheep
while in parts of the world
people die of hunger
and children get robbed
of their souls
bit by bit day after day
by abuse

I keel over with helplessness
by the enormity of it all

“answer me, you answer me”
I beseech an unseen God
“surely there must be a reason”

‘you tell me’ he retorts right back
“why human beings are so intent
on hurting one another.
why do they lock up the love
that is their real nature
and embrace fear, you tell me”

I keel over in defeat
silenced into submission
by the stark truth of it

“maybe your creation is flawed
maybe you wired us all wrong”
I use a rallying point

“maybe you prefer to be blind
else why would you court darkness
when you are in reality
nothing but pure beings of light”

“so how do we begin to see?”

“stop thinking and just be
realise who you are really”

I am floored by the simplicity of it

The sheep has stopped bleating
the cicadas are quiet
a resplendent full moon
admires its shimmering image
on the singing rippling water