Untitled (Flash Fiction)

"Did you say something?"

In my dream, I had been running across a long, desolate road that led to a hill. In the dark, I could only see the silhouette- a black curve across a grey canvas. Every now and then, I came across someone I knew standing by the roadside, and stopped. We talked. I listened. I got bored.

Ending conversations was difficult for me, and as hard as I tried, they just wouldnt notice. I exaggerated my yawns, stretched my arms, blinked ever so slowly, but they just wouldn't take a hint: My publisher wouldn't stop blaming readers for not buying contemporary Indian fiction, my friend kept describing to me the structural divisions in her company, Lucky kept talking about his plans to set up an investment company, and she couldn't talk about anything but the weather.

I was desparate to run. It might have been a long distance away, but I had to reach the foot of the hill. I knew there's a bed at the foot of the hill that I could lie on and go to sleep.

"Did you say something?"
Light from the lamp-post outside did nothing to hide the grimace on my face. Then, I smiled.
"No, sweetie. What happened?"
"There was some noise. I thought you were saying something."

As I flopped on to my back, I saw the glimpse of wrought iron bed in front of the silhouette of a hill. My eyes must have been bloodshot. Her small hands gripped my arm as she placed her face near my shoulder.

"It must have been the dogs, outside. Don't you think it's much cooler tonight? Last night was warmer, wasn't it?"

*

I never did see her again after that night. five days of her and her insomnia had been bad for my health.

END

I think I messed up the tenses. Have another three stories in mind. I haven't written in a while, so am afraid to write. Have a few blog posts pending as well.

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5 Comments:
Blogger Finch, Scout said...

fear?
i'll hit you now. really.

agreed, it's a little cluttered.
but it's got amazing potential.

TAP AWAY!

October 03, 2005 1:09 PM  
Blogger Nikhil Pahwa said...

I suppose you wouldn't have expected me to say 'hit me baby, one more time'. Yes?

October 04, 2005 8:09 AM  
Blogger harneet said...

man, your sense of humour is going.. actually, it HAS gone down the drain...

October 04, 2005 11:40 AM  
Blogger flitterbug said...

Web counters always make me want to confess. All right, I admit, I've been reading your blog!

Followed here from a comment you left on Keya's blog - should've known you'd have a blog of your own. Or four. :)

This (Untitled) was fun to read - are you planning to expand it? I'd like to know more about her! I also wonder how you classify this: would you call it a 'short story'? A prose poem? A 'vignette'?

The label doesn't matter to the piece itself, of course - I'm just curious about the effect you were going for.

Also, how is my city? I do miss her.
-K / 'Lusus' (of the ol' FLS gang)

October 04, 2005 11:52 PM  
Blogger Nikhil Pahwa said...

Hi Lussu. 'sup?

I'm trying to write myself into form. All my writing, if you're interested, is at http://mixedbag.blogspot.com/2004_07_01_mixedbag_archive.html . You might like this rather odd story I wrote, called 'Release'.

I wasn't going for any effect with the untitled story. I just thought up a line (the last one) and worked backwards. I'd call this a quickie, but the technical term is 'flash fiction'.

I'm not aware of when you were in Delhi last, but the Metro's up and running. Traffic's still a bitch and it's difficult avoiding hitting everything. So far, I've missed everything. We've had several concerts this year. I've been for 14 of them. There's another one at the British Council on Sunday. Other than that, the city is the same. Almost forgot to mention the weather - there's a slight nip in the air. Clear, cloudless skies.

How're things with you?

October 07, 2005 10:59 AM  

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