Friday Fictioneers: The Beanstalk & a Principled Mother

parkedWhen Jack woke up, a beanstalk had sprouted next to his window. Jack felt queasy just looking at it reaching the sky. He was afraid of heights. “We’ll climb up together!” declared his younger sister Jill, who always had adventure on her mind.

At the top, was a castle with a large table on which sat a golden harp. It played the sweetest music ever. “Mom has taught us never to steal, but wouldn’t she be happy to see this harp?” said Jack.

So they climbed down with the harp. When their mother saw it, she made them climb back and return it.

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A Story About Flip-Flops

Time for another Odd Trio prompt: write a post about any topic you want, in whatever form or genre, but make sure it features a slice of cake, a pair of flip-flops, and someone old and wise.

flip flopsNatasha’s favorite place was the beach. She loved walking barefoot on the wet sand and feeling the wind in her hair. Most of all, she loved watching the sunset. When she got married, she and her husband bought a house on the beach and Natasha’s ultimate dream was realized.

Some years passed and Natasha had two beautiful daughters, Maryam and Sara just 2 years apart. When Maryam was turning 5, Natasha had a party and called all her family and close friends. Her mother-in-law flew in from Pakistan for the party. Natasha baked a beautiful Disney Princess birthday cake. When it was time to cut the cake, everyone gathered around. The candles were blown and the party sung Happy Birthday. Natasha was just cutting the first slice of cake when her younger daughter, Sara who didn’t like it when she was not the center of attention, decided to do something about it. She took off her flip flops and flung them in the air towards the table.

They landed in the cake. There was a stunned silence and everyone stared at the pair of flip flops sticking out of the cake.

Natasha’s mother-in-law was the first to break the silence.

“Oh-ho Natasha, your cake is a big flop!”

Friday Fictioneers: Handy Work

Before I post my story, I would like to request my fellow Fictioneers to please participate in my poll which I posted on my one year WordPress anniversary. To participate please click here.

And now for the story:

view-from-the-planeHadia dreamt of becoming a successful businesswoman one day. But when she got married it was as if someone had clipped her wings. Her day was spent trying to please her mother-in-law and cook and clean.

One day she met a woman who said she could embroider but couldn’t find any work. Hadia at once employed her and some others to work with her. She gave them designs to make, and then sold the handicrafts at 3 times the cost in the city. Every month she would buy her mother-in-law a gift, help out with the running costs and pocket the rest.

She couldn’t be happier.


Pakistani embroidery. Photo Credits: Wikipedia

This story has been written for the Friday Fictioneers. For details see the link below:

Weekly Writing Challenge: Fatal Twist

red rose

Photo Credits: Public Domain Images

It was the 10th anniversary of their wedding. It seemed like yesterday that Steve had taken Maria to their favorite park and presented her with a red rose and a diamond ring. It was the happiest moment in his life that she had agreed to be his wife. How time had flown by. Their son Mike, was now nearly 5 years old and asked questions that they couldn’t answer without consulting the internet.

Steve and Maria wanted to have a special celebration and booked a flight to Paris for the weekend. The Eiffel tower at night had a special romantic allure for them. They left their son with Steve’s parents with promises to bring something special for him from Paris.

Somehow neither the River Seine nor the Louvre lived up to their reputation. Even the Eiffel tower seemed ordinary and they were stuck in queues for hours to go up to the view point. Maria kept wondering whether Mike was eating his food properly and Steve kept cursing himself for forgetting his French every time they needed directions. Even the food was mediocre.

On the second day it started raining and the couple spent their day at the hotel. Maria was worried that their flight might be delayed but when they checked online there were no delays. They boarded the airplane with the pilot warning them of turbulence due to thunderstorms during the flight. The plane crashed soon after it took off. Steve and Maria breathed their last holding on to each other. From their belongings a tiny replica of the Eiffel tower was recovered. It had been the special present for Mike.

Some days later, as Mike visited the graves of his parents with his grandfather, holding the tiny Eiffel tower, he prayed with all his might. He prayed for God to look after them and he prayed he would never forget them.

The Bradbury noun list technique:

Our nouns. Choose at least five nouns from the following list and integrate them into your new piece: The balloon. The squirrel. The river. The clown car. The thunderstorm. The Peking duck. The airplane. The mouse. The red rose. The French pastry. The wedding. The tombstone. The camper van. The bee. The caltrops.

Friday Fictioneers: Life Decisions

chopsticksAhsan was at a fork in the road moment in his life where he had to decide whether to stay with his parents and continue his “job” fixing punctured tyres or try and get an education.

He had been “stealing” a few rupees from his salary to buy school books. He had taught himself to read and learnt some basic maths but now he needed to go to a formal school.

He stuffed his books and a few clothes in a bag and stood up decisively. He had no idea where he would go, but somehow he felt he would find a way.

This 100-word story has been written for Friday Fictioneers. For details see the link below:

Friday Fictioneers: The Scholar

copyright-adam-ickesSince Faiza was a child, it had been rammed down her throat that she would never amount to anything. Firstly, because she was a girl and secondly, that despite being a girl, she didn’t have the looks.

So Faiza employed all her faculties towards her studies. She completed her Bachelors privately and then started applying for scholarships abroad.

It was only when a television crew came to interview Faiza that the family realized how wrong they had been about her. Faiza was the first person from their village ever to be accepted at Harvard with a full scholarship.


This story has been written for Friday Fictioneers. For details see the link below:

Friday Fictioneers: Extra Flavor

claire-fuller-3Jamal was the only brother of 5 sisters and when he came home on the weekend from his hostel, his mother would serve him a meal fit for a king.

Sara, the youngest of the 5 sisters would help her mother prepare the meat curries, even though she knew she would only get to eat the vegetables (which her brother didn’t like) with bread. One day she had had enough. She mixed two heaped spoons of her mother’s laxative in the curry.

Since then, nobody could understand why Jamal had a stomach upset every time he came home for the weekend.

Friday Fictioneers: God’s Will

old-wallpaper-mary-shipmanThe 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, Pakistan wiped away hundreds of villages and killed thousands.

Many children were attending school that fateful morning when the earth shook and the walls caved in on them. On the 4th day there was little hope left for any survivors, but miraculously a group of children were rescued unharmed from the debris of their school. When asked by the rescue workers how they had survived, they answered that their teacher had been bringing water for them.

The rescue workers looked at each other. They had pulled out the body of the school teacher on the first day.

Friday Fictioneers: Sea Adventures

teds-viewEveryone expected James to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a dentist. Grudgingly, James gave up his dream of joining the Navy, went through Dentistry College instead and graduated with top honors.

He took up a room next to the sea and set up his clinic. Whenever he had the time, he would look out the window and yearn for adventures on the sea. Finally at 40 he had made enough money to retire.

He bought his yacht and began planning his first adventure. After all there was much time to make up.

Friday Fictioneers: Closed Minds

As he felt himself fall, several scenes flashed before him; his days of residency in the U.S., night duties, struggles, his three sons and his wife, his appointment letter as a Professor of Cardiology, his return to his homeland for voluntary service at the local hospital and then that flash of the gun.

A voice spoke to him in his head, “You came to open their hearts, but you couldn’t open their minds.”

Now he stood near an archway and he faced the light and as far as he could see there was beauty and tranquillity.

A U.S. cardiologist was shot dead in a targeted killing in Pakistan on 26th May, 2014. He belonged to a minority sect that has long been persecuted in the country.

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