Friday Fictioneers: Whose Side Are You On?

copyright-erin-leary-2“How can you sit on the fence and not say anything?” Hina’s voice shook with anger as she faced her mother. “I deserve to go to university, I worked hard for it!”

Zahida continued with her embroidery not looking up at her distraught daughter.

“I will not marry that man, I want to study. I don’t even like him; I don’t like his face, why can’t Abba understand that?”

As her daughter stomped out of the room, Zahida put down her embroidery and wiped away a tear. History was repeating itself and she had not the strength to stop it.

(100 words)

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Friday Fictioneers: Being a Man

sheep-and-carI heard the blaring of the horn intermingled with the bleating of the goats. Bhai had arrived.

Our mother had put up an elaborate feast that I knew we could not afford and I had been helping her for days to decorate the house and have it ready. One look at Bhai told me that he already belonged to the city and his visit would be as uncomfortable as the suit he wore.

That was when I decided that it was up to me to look after the farm and my aging parents. It would be against tradition but there was no other choice.

*Bhai is elder brother in Urdu

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

Friday Fictioneers: The Wayward Trolley

copyright_bw_beachamMrs. Harrison lived near the grocery shop and couldn’t be bothered to bring her car and worry about parking when she came to shop.

So she would march straight past the “No trolleys beyond this point” sign and just leave her trolley outside her home.

Kumar was in charge of collecting any wayward trolleys in the surrounding areas. One day, while “helping” Mrs. Harrison with her groceries, he put something between the wheels. Half way, the wheels stopped spinning and Mrs. Harrison had no choice but to carry her heavy bags home.

The next time, she brought her car to the grocery shop.

P.S. In Dubai, we get help weighing the vegetables, bagging the groceries and sometimes even taking the trolley to the car and unloading. 🙂


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

Friday Fictioneers: Loadshedding

melting-wax-renee-heathAnother power shut down and this time even the battery-operated fan and light have run out. I light a candle and wait.

Drops of sweat form on my forehead, as I fan my son who is sleeping peacefully in his cot. The sounds of an argument come wafting through the open window from the house next door. They always fight when the lights go out. A mosquito buzzes in my ear announcing its intent.

As I watch the candle flame dance in the dark and the wax drip down the table, I dream of a better life for my son. Will it ever be possible?

Load shedding or the deliberate shut down of power for 12 to 18 hours per day is a regular feature of life in Pakistan.

Cinderella and the Designer Shoes

A 100 word story written for the Weekly Writing Challenge…

IMG-20130507-WA0000Mrs. Hussain’s favorite activity, even more than telling stories about her wonderful international trips to the ladies at the coffee parties, was shopping for designer shoes. Every few weeks, she would go out and spend her husband’s hard earned money on a new pair of expensive designer shoes. With great pride she would carefully place them in her cupboard ready to be worn on the next coffee party.

What Mrs. Hussain didn’t know was that in her absence, her maid who had the same shoe size as her, would wear the new shoes as she dusted and cleaned the house.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Flash fiction

Friday Fictioneers: The Maestro


Ashiq Hussain hangs out his shirt on the clothes line as he watches his grandson playing in the dirt next to a big pile of rubbish.

An all too familiar beat comes wafting out from the shanty next door. Ashiq strains to hear; somebody is listening to his brainchild “Dama dam mast qalandar” on the radio. He wonders about the city people who interviewed him and told him that he was a great maestro suffering an immense injustice.

“Oh well” he thinks, shaking himself out of his reverie, “I hope Ali beta can earn a few rupees today so we can have dinner before going to sleep.”

Ashiq Hussain, the man behind the melody “Dama dam mast qalandar” that has been sung by famous singers of the Indian subcontinent; today resides in a slum near Bhaati Gate, Lahore.

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

Friday Fictioneers: A New Life

monsters-dmmThe three brothers played hide and seek while their mother cooked for the guests. The littlest one hid in the car which had been mistakenly left unlocked after a grocery run. The elder two tired of looking for their brother and were soon engrossed elsewhere.

Nobody noticed the little boy locked in the car out in the sun for nearly an hour. He died clutching his Spiderman tightly in his hands.

A year after the tragedy, the family was blessed with a baby girl. “Is she an angel?” asked her older brothers when they saw her. “Yes”, replied their mother, “For me she is.”

This is a true story so I would request that comments be directed to the writing style, rather than on whom the blame should lie for the tragedy. Thank you.

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Friday Fictioneers: Great Expectations

dee-2The village was celebrating the return of their prodigy from abroad where he had spent the last 10 years finishing his medical training.

As Haris, now known as Harry, stepped off the bus, he was not alone. He had brought with him Andrea, his English wife to meet the family. His fiancé felt her heart sink as she watched the two make their way to the decorated village square.

Harry quickly put an end to any expectations the village or his family had of him. He had not come to open a hospital or to get married. This could never be his home now.

This 100 word story was written for the Friday Ficioneers. For details see the link below:

Friday Fictioneers: The Secret Actor

studio-lights-from-kentSince his childhood, Samir would play out stories he had read and immerse himself in the characters he found intriguing.

As he grew up, his parents drummed into him that he had to become a doctor. “Our society doesn’t accept actors and singers. We don’t want our only son to be an ‘adakar’”, they told him.

Samir went to medical school, but secretly attended acting classes at night. When he graduated, he presented his parents with his degree and invitations to a play he was acting in.

“I’ve become a doctor as you wished, now I’m going to work as an actor” he told his shocked parents.

*adakar is actor in Urdu

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


Friday Fictioneers: On Board


“Do I have you on board?”

In front of Dave sat his three children looking at him open mouthed. They had been making plans for their Easter holidays and Dave had just proposed that they spend these holidays at home and make the most of it as he couldn’t take time off.

Little Adam looked at his older sister and gave a cheeky smile showing his missing front teeth. Daddy always sounded funny when he spoke like that.

“Daddy you’re not the CEO here, you’re at home!”

Dave smiled. “Really, then who is?”

“Mummy!” replied all the children together.

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