Category Archives: Fiction

My attempt at ‘story telling’

Birdie

Here’s a lovely short story by ‘Jas’ (pen name) and a first guest blog on the Korner. Do read through and pass on your comments! Talent needs to be shared.
Thank you so much.
Kamal
xx

 

Bird

Birdie

A little boy found a bird lying on the snow during playtime at school “don’t be scared birdie. I’m gonna keep you warm”

He tenderly picked it up with both hands, cradling it in his striped green mittens, and carried it back to class. He kept it covered until he showed it to his teacher.

“What have you got there, Matt?” “A little birdie that got cold” he opened his palms to let her see. “The little birdie isn’t cold” she dropped her eyes, softening her gaze.

“But feel him Miss!” He brought his hands closer to her “he’s freezing! His mama did forget to put his mittens and scarf on this morning. My mama rememberered and that’s why I’m all warm”

“Matt, this little bird is dead. That’s why he’s cold” She knelt down so that she was at his eye level “when something is dead it goes cold”

Matt looked at his hands and a tear rolled down each of his cheeks. He took a deep breath and looked back at his teacher “can we bury him, Miss? In the real, when somebody dies they bury him… Birdie is dead so we must bury him”

She smiled at just how grown up a four year old really is “of course we can. Let’s get everyone together and go bury Birdie by the swings. Would you like to be the one to say a prayer for Birdie?”

“Yes please!” Matt looked please with being given the responsibility. “I like him by the swings. That way I can go see him every day during playtime”

All the children collected around the swings and watched Miss dig a little hole all the way through, into the soil, and then gently lower Birdie into it.

“Why can’t we bury him in the snow, Miss?” one of the children interrupted.

She stopped for a moment, to answer “because when the snow melts in spring, what will happen to Birdie? If we bury him in the soil, he will be safe when the snow melts”. She covered up Birdie’s grave “Matt, will you pray for Birdie?”Matt straightened up in preparation for his speech, and all the children and Miss bowed their heads “Dear Lord, I met Birdie today, but I think he was dead when he saw me. I hope Birdie can hear me because I am praying for him. Lord, we have buried Birdie next to the swings so that he is with us during playtime. Amen”

“Amen” the children chorused. “Thank you, Matt! That was lovely”

“Brrrrrrrrr!” “What happened, Mummy?” “My hands are freezing, Mattie. That’s all”

Matt burst into tears and collapsed on the floor at the sound of his mother’s words. She ran towards him, lifting him to her bosom while wiping away his tears, before asking “what’s the matter, sweetie? Mummy’s here”.

“Mu-mu-mu-muh-muhmmy’s ha-ands are are are dead” he managed between sobs and hiccups. “Oh honey! They’re not dead. They’re just cold”

Matt managed to hold back his tears and fill his lungs with fresh oxygen. “But… but Miss said that if something is cold it is dead” his eyes questioning.

She had to hold back a giggle while she kissed his hair “Mummy’s hands aren’t dead, Mattie. We’ll warm them up by the fire and they’ll be good as new”.

Matt smiled and hugged his mother as she carried him into the living room. He fell asleep snuggled up in her lap.

“Excuse me, Miss!” “Oh hello, Matt! How are you this morning?” “I’m okay! But Miss… we shouldn’t have buried Birdie yesterday” “Why is that?” “Because… because if we kept him by the fire he would warm up and be good as new!”

 

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Raindrops on the pane…

This is another attempt at fiction. It’s a short story and I do hope you like it. I’d really love to know what you think please, so do take some time out and let me know. I will really appreciate it.
Thank you.
~ Kamal Kaur

 

Raindrops on the pane…

With her left cheek pressed against the windowpane, her right hand rested on the window as the rain splattered. What a thunderstorm it was. It had suddenly started raining heavily and there was a lot of thunder and lightning giving her company as she watched the downpour from her warm room. As the drops trickled down the pane she allowed her forefinger to slowly trace the route of the drops. Her warm breath against the pane steamed up and she got momentarily distracted as she started writing Pete’s name in the clouds she was creating on the window.

Pete – just thinking about him made her sigh out aloud, creating yet another cloud on the window. She quickly ran two fingers across it in an erasing motion, mentally trying to erase his picture from her mind but it was too late. Everything she did ended up revolving around him. He was constantly in her thoughts and there was nothing she could do to keep him out. Even her dreams were not spared. Is this love or am I just obsessed with him, she’d often wonder.

She looked at her watch and again Pete came tumbling back to her thoughts. He had gifted her that watch and it had held a great sentimental value to him. She had been humbled at how he had parted with something so precious to him so easily. Eventually she did realize that materialism held no value in his eyes. It is here today and it could be gone tomorrow. Pete always believed in the present moment, living life to the fullest and only looking back in the past to the happiness and positivity. There was a lot one could learn from Pete by just being with him; he exuded a lot of positive vibes and always had an encouraging word for everyone.

The watch seemed to have stopped. Either that or she was looking at her watch a bit too often. Why wasn’t time moving forward? Why did everything have to come to a standstill? Why did she have to wait for so long? Yet another sigh escaped her, and this time an impatient one, clouding the windowpane again.

She stared hard at the watch urging its hands to move along faster, to come to the time she wanted it to be and then to suddenly stop right there, when the moment was perfect. Time should stand still, she thought, when I want it to. She didn’t sigh this time. She was getting bored of breathing onto the windowpane and got distracted with a sudden noise in the driveway.

She smiled to herself, ran to the mirror to check if she looked ok and went hurtling down the stairs trying to catch her unusually uneven breath and stood at the front door waiting to open the door and fling herself into his arms.

Pete was home.

Did I deny him the chance of playing God…?

This is an attempt at fiction, something I feel I’m not good at, at all. I’d love your constructive criticism on this effort as I would really like to branch out and try my hand at expanding on this genre.
Thanks
~ Kamal Kaur 

 

I hold a healthy disrespect for him. I don’t have to like him personally but I also don’t need to hate him. Perhaps what he does is authourative so I allow myself to keep that distance between us, and it works out well for the pair of us.

There has also been a huge financial barrier between us and neither tries to cross that line so when I got called by a figure of authority to review a project I had been working on it meant a change in my monthly bank balance, positively of course. This much-needed financial relief was going to ease a lot of problems and I had already started allotting the extra funds to future projects and past debts that needed clearing.

I knew it was my hard work and consistency that brought me to the level where I was and he did not really play a major role in my position. Also, always giving credit where it was due I was grateful for this chance of recognition as to me it always seemed like I was a minion in a sea of millions, just another person with no name, face or designation in this environment.

He called me and arranged a meeting in his swanky office and as I walked in after knocking on the door, he had his back towards me on his leather swivel chair and like a movie from the 70s I could see a plume of cigarette smoke rising from where he sat staring out of the huge window that boasted a panoramic view of the city. He dramatically turned around and I saw his perfectly white, straight teeth gleaming at me as he put out the offensive smelling cigarette in a crystal ashtray. My thoughts wandered towards his teeth thinking he must have an excellent dental hygienist to have perfect pearlies in his mouth despite being a smoker.

‘Have a seat,’ he prompts me and I sit down on the plush cushioned chair across his wide desk and my eye wanders to his console on his left side where I see pictures in frames of his perfect family. I grimace at that because I have seen him with a woman he shouldn’t be with in a rather intimate lip lock at what he probably thought was a discreet place. I make an effort to push down the bile that had started rising in my throat looking at all this hypocrisy. But then again, what did I know of his life that I was judging him so harshly? My experiences in life seemed to mar every meeting I had with this man. He reminded me of someone I chose to forget.

He picks up his expensive Mont Blanc pen and I’m filled with envy. I love Mont Blanc pens and have always desired to own an ink pen from their range. While he makes a note of something on the writing pad in front of him he asks me if I would like some tea or coffee and I politely decline.

Get the hell on with it, I think to myself.

Very dramatically, I thought, he opened a drawer from his desk and pulled out a sheaf of papers and placed it in front of me. I saw the company logo on top and a quick glance showed an attorney’s stamp and signature at the bottom.

‘What’s this?’ I ask him.

‘Have a look. You’re going to love this. I want you to know that I really pushed for this for you and you’re going to thank me for it.’  He smiles at me as though he was handing over a cheque of US $10 million.

I already knew what was written on the papers. The office grapevine had worked faster than him, once again proving to me his efficiency, or the lack of it. I sat there expressionlessly reading through the papers, which declared I had been awarded a bonus at work and was to benefit with immediate effect.

‘Thank you,’ I said and he looked taken aback. I knew very well what he was expecting. According to my rather loud and expressive personality he had thought I’d probably weep with gratitude and pledge my left kidney to him and forever be happy working at his beck and call just because he was the bearer of this good news.

Well tough shit, I thought to myself. The company accountant had already told me of the reflection of my efforts in the new pay-slip and the company grapevine had already let me know a fortnight earlier that I was being moved into the office next door to the office demi-god.

I denied him the chance to play God with me and he doesn’t let me forget it every time he walks past my cabin and throws a load of useless paperwork for me to handle. He emails me the stupidest of documents to check with a fine toothcomb and revert to him should there be any mistakes. He resents he doesn’t have the same authority he did on me and deep down I know he hates me for not being gracious enough and thanking him profusely for letting me know that my finances and prospects in my work environment had vastly improved.

It didn’t happen because of him. It happened because of Him…

 

 

 

 

Seen Through A Window

I’m not very good at fiction or short stories but have tried my hand at it a few times. This is something I did in September 2007 and thought I’d share it with you. Your constructive criticism is always most welcome. Let me know what you think of this short piece.
Thank you.
~Kamal

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

He’s sitting on his favourite armchair watching the television but I can clearly see he is blank. He is just staring at the box and he is contemplating. He has just been diagnosed with an illness; although it can be controlled it has a chance of turning for the worst. He is very scared and he is wallowing in self-pity. Tears are swimming in his eyes, threatening to spill over but he doesn’t let them. He feels in control when he doesn’t let himself cry. At least that is the one aspect of his life that he can control.

He reaches for the remote and presses the mute button. Silently he stands up and walks towards the window where I am standing and looking in. Of course, he doesn’t see me at all. With hands clasped behind his back he stares out of the window looking up at the sky watching the clouds gathering. Tears well up in his eyes again and he quickly controls any spillage. I know what he’s thinking about but on the other hand I haven’t got a clue what his thought process is leading to.

I want to embrace his pain. I want to take it all away from him but I know that he will never allow me that close to him. He has always maintained a certain distance from me and I don’t expect him to break any barriers right now to reach out to me. Even though I try not to have expectations I just can’t help feeling disappointed.

I reach out and touch him through the window. He thinks it’s a breeze and he lets out an involuntary shiver, reaches out to shut the window but it doesn’t slide. He gives up deflated and once again I know what he is thinking. Nothing else seems to be working in his life so why should a window?

With a final look up at the sky, as though looking for a star that could give him a glimmer of hope, he turns back to his armchair and sits heavily on it. He doesn’t bother reaching for the remote and doesn’t even make an effort to stare blankly at the television. His unfocused stare is settled on an unseen object and the tears begin to well up again but he manages to blink them away without shedding them.

Suddenly he shakes his head as though he is snapping himself out of his derailed trained of thought, smiles through pursed lips, reaches for the remote and turns the volume up.

Within minutes he is absorbed in the sit-com that’s being aired and starts grinning then laughing at the punchlines.

I give him one final look and once again feel that I am always ever left looking in but never part of anything at all.

I turn back into what I am – a mist that gets blown away by the wind and become the nobody that I am, while he carries on laughing at the comedy he is watching.

~ © Kamal Kaur
September 2007