Call of duty

He was not supposed to leave. He had promised to be my side after his last call of duty. And he kept his word. It was an idyllic life, filled with music, books, food and long walks. I was happily busy, he was contentedly lazy, what else could one desire!

Then a phone call changed everything. I cried, I pleaded, I sulked but his set jaw told me his mind was made .
“I cannot refuse to go”, he said flatly. “You know what the situation is like. And once its over, I’ll be back.”
Through clenched teeth I asked, ” For how can I be sure?”
“I shall see again the world on the first of May”, he promised grimly, a steely glint in his eyes.

I live on tenterhooks, waiting anxiously for April to end.

Written for dVerse. Today’s host, Merril, says: Write a piece of flash fiction or other prose of up to or exactly 144 words, including the given line.

For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May”
–From “May Day” by Sara Teasdale

Tomorrow

She couldn’t believe what he was saying. Shaking her head, in an exasperated tone she said, “Tomorrow will bring nothing new. Talk what you please!”


“Of future spring and sun-warm’d sweet tomorrow don’t you wait as well!” he asked softly. “I will not speak of cabbages and kings!”


“I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I see today holding no hope” she replied tearfully.


Holding her tightly, he gently whispered, “The night is very dark and the winter has been long and harsh. We cannot help mourning the losses yet we cannot stop living. Despair as much as you will, things won’t remain the same forever. Just as spring will bring forth life to dormant nature, our life too will change. From the ruins of yesterday, a better tomorrow will surely rise.”


“You promise?” she asked through the haze or tears.
“I promise,” he smiled at her.

Written for dVerse prosery. Today’s host, Sanaa, says: This evening I would like you to write a Prose piece which includes the line:

“Talk what you please of future spring and sun-warm’d sweet tomorrow.” – from the poem A Daughter of Eve by Christina Rossetti.

Home

The lanes were familiar, the faces not. Time had not been kind to my hometown. The roads seemed bumpier and dustier, the markets crowded and disorderly.

Houses were in a state of disrepair; paint peeling off, gardens growing wild and laundry languishing on lines. In the hope of catching a glimpse of him, I wandered and I wandered.

Lonely as a cloud in a fierce sky, I scudded across the bylanes, shading my eyes. Regretting my foolhardy decision to return in the hope of a reunion.


Despondently, I trudge back to the railway-station, the burden of desolation heavier than my baggage.


As I sit forlornly on a lonely bench, waiting for my train, a familiar voice from the past calls me. I turn to find intense brown gazing at me. As I am engulfed in a tight bear hug, I know I am home.

Written for dVerse prosery. Today’s host, Lillian, says: The line I want you to include in your prose/flash fiction of 144 words or less, sans title, is “I wandered lonely as a cloud”.  Remember, you must use the line, word for word. The punctuation may be different….but the words must be there, ordered just as they were by Wordsworth, word for word.

Chand ka tukda*

There was much consternation in the family when he had said “yes” to her.


It was an arranged meeting set up by his maternal grandfather. Even though his parents were reluctant to go ahead with his ‘seeing’ the girl, as she was dark-complexioned, they couldn’t say no to his grandfather.


He had found her utterly charming, witty as well as feisty. He could easily see himself spending his life with her.


“But bhaiya**, why did you say yes? asked his younger sister curiously. “You know mom wants a chand ka tukda jaisi bahu!” ***


He laughed heartily and replied,”But choti****, she is chand ka tukda! When you look at her you realise, it is a moon wrapped up in brown paper.”

Looking at her bewildered expression, he winked conspiratorially, “You won’t understand, choti!” Then added, “Just wait till you meet her then you will know.”

Written for dVerse. Today’s host, Björn, says: I was so happy to host Prosery today which gives me the possibility to use the poem Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy.

The line I have selected from Valentine is:

It is a moon wrapped in brown paper

Write a piece of prose that incorporates the given set of words and they have to come in exactly the order given, but you may break it up with punctuation. The maximum number of words is 144.

* as beautiful as the moon

**elder brother

***daughter-in-law as beautiful and fair as the moon

****younger sister

(I am travelling to attend a wedding in the family. The connection is patchy. I will respond and read as soon as I reach. Please bear with me.)

Beyond books ( Prosery)

Looking at the young, fresh faces she felt a rush of enthusiasm. Teaching was not the occupation of her choice, but her love for literature and the challenge of teaching troubled teenagers had made it her vocation. In the quest to become a better teacher, she had become a learner again. She opened the book, glanced at their disinterested faces, then put it away.


“Come on, everyone! Let’s go out to the playground. And bring no book, for this one day we’ll give to idleness.”


They looked at her in surprise. One smart alec at the back remarked sotto voce, “I am sure she is quoting a poet or an author!” 


As the backbenchers sniggered, the young teacher’s mocking voice rose over the hubbub.


” Can you identify the poet?”


The class erupted in laughter. She was relieved to sense a thawing in their response.

Written for dVerse. Today’s host, Ingrid, says: Use the line “And bring no book, for this one day we’ll give to idleness.” from  Wordsworth’s ‘Lines Written at a small distance from my House…’ in a piece of Prosery. The rule is that Prosery should be no more than 144 words, excluding the title.