Project 52: Write Every Week For A Year – Week 8

WEEK – 8

Prompt for week : 22nd September – 27th September

Exercise: In 500 words or less, create the first scene of a story, novel, or creative non-fiction essay. Let fire play a significant part in that opening, and show its effect on the characters.

Your scene will be an opening; make sure it will leave readers anxious to know what happens next in your creation.

Hope to read some good scenes. ūüôā

Here is my take on the prompt…

Diwali ‚Äď Festival of lights

Amul regained consciousness and looked around. She was being loaded into the ambulance. She saw her mother weeping, stuffing her mouth with the pallu of her sari.

Amul closed her eyes and tried to think of what happened. Fleeting flashes appeared… sweets… fire… crackers… diwali… boy with green eyes… gate… rockets… Sami jumping clapping…

¬†Oh! diwali ‚Äď the festival of lights. There are¬†celebrations, grandeur, diyas on the compound wall and firecrackers. The rockets are¬†her favorite.

Slowly a steady image of their living room burning emerged.

Did I do that?

She heard her mother’s sobs amidst her father’s consolations.

“She’ll be fine,” he said.

“I warned them not to play with firecrackers without us around‚Ķ She never listens,” she said.

So, it is my fault, thought Amul.

Amul began to look for a way out of her responsibility for the damage and her injuries.

“Everything was fine until yesterday night. Today everything is destroyed,” mom sniffed between¬†her snivels.

Yeah, I remember going to bed thinking about November, my favorite. Both diwali and my birthday are in the same month.

Another  memory-flash.

In the afternoon, mom spread the firecrackers on a mat to dry. They had to be rid of their moisture to burn well.

Amul was parading the circumference of the mat with her hands clasped behind.

Samurai tagging behind asked, “Di, are the crackers dry? Can we burn some right now?”

“No not until tonight. You want a caning from mom?”

“Di, Mom only says things but never canes.”

Her brother’s reasoning gave her confidence. Her imagination took flight.

She said, “Okay we’ll burn some rockets, but don’t tell mom.”

“Mother promise,” he said pinching skin on his neck. Close to the guava tree, they arranged the paraphernalia for the launch,.

She took three rockets, placed them in the large empty coke-bottle and lit the rockets all at once. Sami jumped, clapping with excitement.

Then all she remembered was rockets flying upwards and taking a 180 degree plunge and heading toward the pile of clothes in the living room. The clothes on the couch caught fire.

Amul heard a roaring, aberrant laugh and looked around.

She saw a boy with green eyes at the gate. He laughed and the fire picked up strength. Louder the laugh, mightier the fire. The room was ablaze in minutes.

She remembered the awkward gimmick his eyes performed. It made the rockets change direction.

Who is he? Why did he do that? Should I tell mom? Will she believe?

                                                                                         ***

(497 words)

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4 Responses to Project 52: Write Every Week For A Year – Week 8

  1. meeraji says:

    The Anniversary

    She only recognized four lines from the two-day-long chanting. But she had heard it over and over, in movies and on TV, and watched it live, so she knew it by heart. ‚ÄúMangalyam Thanthunena mama jeevana he tuna….‚ÄĚ

    That was a few minutes ago, and now, she was married. She sure didn’t feel different.

    As Mala Durairaj (oh, wait, she was Mala Rajesh now, wasn’t she) looked to her left, she saw that her newly minted husband did look handsome, what with the light from the fire reflecting off his face and all. She idly wondered whether she should take up photography after getting married. And then, she realized all eyes were on her. The priest had said something that she had missed. She was supposed to do something. Rajesh looked at her with a smile on his lips. ‚ÄúIndha. Take this water and sprinkle it on your head,‚ÄĚ he whispered loudly and she complied. Already, she left like a team.

    And then, it happened. The heat that first nurtures, then purifies, and eventually destroys.

    It took but a second. An aunty calling out to her, her turning, and something catching fire. She turning around to see flames licking Rajesh’s smart angavastram, before making its way to his body. Rajesh’s hands extending towards her, and then touching her. She shaking off his touch and running away.

    The ashes. The media. The stench. The funerals. The tears. The discussions. The pity. And her desperate need to just be. Deaf to the sounds. Deaf to her heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A Bed time story | Bee After You

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