The lesser of two evils?

vegetable soup

He had shone his shoes to a sheen with the residue of polish, excited to be returning to school.

Some of his friends bragged about their holidays.

He quietly still savoured the taste of vegetable soup. It had been a while since he had eaten a decent meal.

He loved school, but it was not only because of what he learnt.

He dreamt about food.

He was the last to climb into the bus.

He was the first to be hauled out amidst those haunting screams.

The bus– barely recognisable on its side, smouldering after the fire.

Twenty lives taken!

 

 

Have books lost their shelf life?

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The other day I wandered into a local bookstore and was probably one of three customers in the store. Admittedly, it was during the day but that begged the question of how viable bookstores are these days.  Just like music stores, our bookstores are shrinking as a consequence of electronic media and every other competition for our attention. Many bloggers are aspiring writers. Do you hope to see your book on a shelf some day?

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As I paused at various book collections, I recalled how good it felt as a child, to lose myself in a library surrounded by the musty smell of well read books. I remembered the excitement of walking home with a stash of mysteries and love stories waiting to unfold as I curled up to read them in my favourite space.

In later years, it was the crisp smell and colourful covers of new books that caught my attention. I was also always fascinated by how the right book leapt out at me when I needed to find solutions to a problem. So it was a pleasant excursion for me to wonder through the aisles and allow myself to get caught up in the nostalgia of the great classics and some of my modern favourite authors.thumb_IMG_5957_1024

Yes, I did buy some books and yes I am loathe to part with my book collection, but I have made the switch to audiobooks and I read off my kindle much more than I read hard copies. I have bought into instant gratification and the convenience of buying a book with just a click of a button and having the choice of a multitude of books in one place.

Though I’ve tried to inculcate a reading culture in my family, the competition is tough with “Just google it” Is there still place for books on the shelf or will there come a day where bookstores will be no more? I’d love to know your views and experiences of what I perceive to be a losing battle to keep books on the shelf.thumb_IMG_5959_1024

Unbridled (100 word story)

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After they made love for the third time, he sobbed uncontrollably into her breasts. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she stroked his hair.

The first time had been a voracious consummation, driven by years of suppressed feelings.

Remnants of the explosion were tossed, tussled and tangled everywhere. No words, just unapologetic moans and whimpers.

The second time was lingering and exploratory, touching and tingling every sensation as they nibbled those words left unspoken for so long.

Then, their fingers found each other again in veneration and gratitude for this second chance. They swallowed tears of past regret.

Completely spent.

Rekindled (100 word story)

red shoes

Nothing had changed. Yet a whole new vista of dreams rolled out that changed everything.

As he settled in his seat, tuning out the whirring of jet engines that would take him home, he glimpsed a red shoe.

He remembered how they had argued playfully over her buying those red shoes. It wasn’t about the shoes really.

She had only worn them once in all these years.

Rather, it was about her spontaneity and daring, her exquisite taste for a flavour filled life.

Everything that he loved about her!

Closing his eyes, he savoured the anticipation of seeing her again.

A sense of knowing (100 word story)

hands touch

She knew exactly what he meant when he said that he felt grounded.

It was that sense of escape from the daily grind, from the onslaught of the noise in your head and the responsibilities that handcuffed you in claustrophobic spaces.

After all this time, like the little town, she was still his refuge, the one he thought of when he had thoughts to spare. She alone understood his unspoken words.

They were her words too.

Though miles apart, she felt his longing.

She understood how to make him smile again.

That little town, stood as proxy for her heart.

 

 

Wireless connection (100 word story)

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Lately, he had felt a growing restlessness, plagued by memories best left in tissue wrap in that special corner of his mind, that place of solace when the music ended, colluding with his empty whiskey glass.

So it surprised him to feel a sense of tranquility as he drove into the little town, nestled against the mountain with its neat tree lined  streets.

Suddenly, there she was, stepping out of the shadows – a figment of his imagination?

He had to share this moment with her, make her see what he saw.

She responded to his message immediately with: “I know!”

Bystanders (100 word story)

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Dr Martin Luther King Jnr

It started out as a  scuffle between two teenagers, but she recognised the menace in his eyes.

She felt uneasy as the tired women, unemployed men and unkempt children left their bored lives to gather around.

Then she spotted the gang and knew that this was no ordinary fight.

As they advanced with weapons, gripped with whitened knuckles, she saw that fatal blow to the boy’s head, sprung to his defence, covering his body with her own, feeling his life drain away.

They stood threateningly over her. They were not done with his lifeless body.

The crowd watched on.