The Perfect Costume (Story)

Mark tipped the valet and got behind the wheel of his Mercedes. As his car shot out of the porch and glided down the incline, he glanced at the digital clock. It was 6 AM. It would take him an hour to reach his destination, and then another hour to prepare himself for his day’s work. If he missed the peak rush hour of 8 to 9, his entire day would be wasted.


The dilapidated cottage was a portal into his parallel universe. He would pass through it every morning on his way to work, and return through it every evening – six days a week. He parked his Mercedes in the garage, and went up the steps that led into the living room. The living room connected to a small bedroom upstairs, one in which he had never once spent the night – a few afternoons may be, when business had been good in the mornings.

There he changed into his costume. He had about a dozen of these, each tailored to a particular locality and designed to appeal to a specific gentry, and each improved and enhanced over the years. He loved to Continue reading “The Perfect Costume (Story)”


A Mother’s Soul (Story)

He was her only son. Her only child.
It wasn’t any wonder then that she had always been a concerned mother, and she did what concerned mothers always do. She kept an eye on him. No, she wouldn’t want you to get her wrong. She didn’t smother him with her motherly love, nor did she harass him continually by demanding to know what he had been doing and why. She didn’t take the whole credit for it anyway, because her son, she believed, was a model child.
At least until three days ago. It was Christmas eve when she had first noticed something amiss in his behavior. He didn’t even look at all the Christmas decorations that she had so painstakingly done. The first thing she noticed about him was that his eyes were red and puffed. It was clear that he wasn’t getting enough sleep. Then she started noticing a few other things – he would lock himself into his room for hours, and then he would stagger out, make himself a pathetic sandwich, grab a coke, and return to his room.
At first, she thought that he was suffering from his first heartbreak, and that talking to him would help. So she had tried, but he had ignored her completely. Like she wasn’t there.
All her attempts to talk to him failed.
And then the party was the last straw.
Her son, who couldn’t be bothered to go to parties, had thrown one! Without telling her about it.
She was heartbroken. The boy who was her world had stopped talking to her, and now…
It was an odd gathering. She had expected only her son’s friends to be there. She wanted to talk to them – perhaps they could help her understand what was going on in his life, and help her deny or confirm her suspicions. But the guests were an odd assortment – their relatives, his friends, and even some of the neighbors.
Perhaps her son was growing up and learning the ways of the world.
Her chest filled with pride, when her son began speaking… Continue reading “A Mother’s Soul (Story)”

The Mist Maiden (Story)

For a fleeting moment, he saw her, and then there was just the mist that rose from the Nile and hovered over the calm surface of the water. She had disappeared. Just like that. Was she a wisp of memory rolled so thin by time that it had transformed into a shimmering film of nothingness? Or was she someone his tired imagination had conjured?
“No, she wasn’t a figment of your imagination,” said the old man who had once been a priest of Amun.
“A memory then?” he asked, anxious that the man might confirm it.
“No. She was something else,” replied his old hunchback companion whose eyes were nearly hidden under the lose folds of his lids, and who appeared to be as ancient as the necropolis at Saqqara.
“Then who?”
“She was a woman,” he answered.
“A real woman?” he queried, confused. “Where did she go?”
“She didn’t go anywhere,” replied the old man. “She is still there, on the bank of Nile.”
“But then, why can’t I see her anymore? Does she still live?”
The old man chortled. “Oh, she is. But you can’t, because you don’t.” Continue reading “The Mist Maiden (Story)”

Dante’s Second Circle of Hell and #MeToo (Story)

Devil sat with his accountant, his knit brows and balled fists clearly giving away his anxious state of mind.

“Why aren’t they enrolling anymore?” he hissed, his long tongue flicked out like a snake’s, to wet his parched lips.

He had been noticing a steady drop in the number of people who registered themselves for the lust workshops they would organize to tempt the future entrants.

These promotional activities were the hallmark of hell, quite the opposite of what heaven did – they screened people to provide or deny entry in heaven. It was easier for God as everyone wanted to get there anyway. Fortunately, being god-fearing and remaining forever righteous was a lot more difficult than giving in to temptations, or hell would have lost its significance a long time ago. Hell wasn’t a place that people would throng to get in, and this was why they had to run these temptation workshops 24×7, all 365 days a year. Continue reading “Dante’s Second Circle of Hell and #MeToo (Story)”

Be Careful What you Wish For – Cumaean Sibyl & Apollo (Story)

The boy was here again and today he had brought his friends along.

“Wait,” he held out a hand to stop his friends from rushing in and spoiling his show. The other kids stopped. They were agog with curiosity.

She knew why. They were here to witness the empty basket speak. It was a game that had gone on for almost three hundred years, and she, who knew everything, didn’t know when it would end. Oh…the games they played with her…they ravaged whatever remained of her pride. Her pride? Oh, how she hated her pride, for it was her pride that had brought her to this.

The boy approached the basket gingerly, ready to pull back if the basket sprung to life and pounced upon him. After all, If it could talk, it could attack too.

“What do you want?” he asked, like he expected the basket to answer. But he was right. Sibyl was bound to answer every question she was asked, and she was bound to answer it truthfully. So was her destiny for she was the prophetess and the seer. She was Sibyl.

“Death,” she croaked. Her voice was the only part of her that hadn’t aged. It still was the smooth, sweet voice of a seventeen-year-old. Continue reading “Be Careful What you Wish For – Cumaean Sibyl & Apollo (Story)”

The Siren & the Banshee (Story)

“You can’t,” said the hag.

She wore a dirty green robe with a hood that obscured her forehead and eyes. Her hooked nose with its bulbous tip overhung her cavernous mouth, shivering ever so slightly when she spoke.


“I can,” replied the young woman who unlike the hag wore nothing. Her skin glistened reflecting the golden rays of the evening sun. Her hair that shimmered with a light of its own, shed an ethereal glow upon her face, lighting up her sea green eyes and making the tint of her soft lush lips look richer. Her body was cast in alabaster and molded to perfection, but it moved with the fluidity of music, of water, of air… Continue reading “The Siren & the Banshee (Story)”

Cracked Mirrors and The Grim Reaper (Story)

The soft breeze of the night transformed itself into a gale and rushed ahead to open the windows of the house for her. Mirrors cracked, curtains bellowed, hitting a vase somewhere in the house and crashing it to the floor.

It’s odd that my calm and serene presence should be announced with such violence, she thought.

Inside the house, in his bedroom, he slept on his side of the bed, undisturbed by the violent storm that raged outside. The other side of the bed was empty. A wave of guilt washed over her. She had been here before and she was the reason why he slept alone.

He lay supine, alone and in peace. She stood next to his bed, Continue reading “Cracked Mirrors and The Grim Reaper (Story)”

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