In Conclusion

This is the end of this particular blog of creative written work—shorts, stories, and poems. The blog was supposed to continuously run for 52 weeks, excluding the first and the last (this) post. It was supposed to end two weeks ago, however, due to a family emergency, I had to push the 52nd story, and consequently this one by a week.

But hey, I was still able to do it every week for 51 weeks, which meant there was a brief period of peace and harmony around me, unlike 2020 and most of 2021. And for that, I am really grateful to everyone who made it possible.

So, what’s next?

I truly don’t know. I have some incomplete literary works, which for some reason or the other, I was never able to revisit. Perhaps I could give them some finishing touches and try to post them at an irregular pace. However, I will become busier than usual, so I really mean it when I say try.

To everyone who read my work, liked, and enjoyed them, you have my gratitude.

 

A Jot of Luck

There once was a little boy. He was a notorious boy who always caused trouble to everyone around him. He always scampered around restlessly. He constantly broke all the little and big things in his house, annoying his family. One day, he was shown pictures of the midnight sky and the twinkling stars decorating it. That night, he went outside his house and looked at the sky. It was quite high. He wanted to reach for the stars and pluck them out of the dark night’s fabric and keep them inside his bedroom. He stretched his hand to grab the moon. He couldn’t. He tried to clasp the twinkling stars between his palms. He couldn’t. He went to bed that night pondering a stratagem. The following evening, surrounded by his family, he stood atop a wooden stool. As he looked above to reach for the stars, the boy blanked out and collapsed. When he became conscious, he wasn’t the same. He started growing quiet as time passed. He quietly observed all the little changes happening around him. He observed the wonderful things. He observed the horrible things. He observed the capricious things. He even quietly observed those things that could only be described as adequately mediocre. Such was the world to him.

As he grew up, he continued to observe the world—contemplating, imitating, understanding—wondering why it pretended to be functional when it was broken into unfixable fragments. Things expected to operate in a particular fashion always had flaws that made them to malfunction. Ideas profound and brave, when applied, always ruptured in the most invulnerable positions. While he kept these thoughts obscure, the world observed him back—manipulating, persecuting, tempting—trying to convert him into a puppet they had all become, unaware of the strings orchestrating their minds and bodies. Ironically, he remained triumphant in every aspiration, with barely any effort, even when he could scarcely find any logic to the world’s affairs, even when the world capitalized on every resource freely extractable from him, even when he never wished to be the center of the world’s attention.

One fine day, as a young adult, he stopped functioning: yet, still examining, still emulating, still apprehending. The world saw him become the puppet they wanted him to be. For a while, they observed him, finally broken, inoperable in his old ways. This satisfactory ramification of the outstretched choreography gave them all the content feelings they so desired. They exploited him no more, they intimidated him no more, they cajoled him no more, for they had finally created a new puppet manufactured from old existing parts, after all this time, and it would dance to their cacophonous refrain. He was left all alone.

Little did they know that the now fully adult man, who continued to keep mostly to himself, was still observing them. He had turned into a master of mimicry, easily able to reflect the sound bombarding onto his person and psyche into crystal clear echoes. Under this pretense, he behaved like the puppet the world wanted him to be. While his true self was fully capable of pulling the strings of the puppeteer world to bend it to his will.

As the world continued to wrest his string, unknowingly, they were being devised into an unexpected shift, which in-turn was causing them to control these strings. The world seemed to collapse under its own weight, while he seemed to rise above it all. The world seemed to spin a web of never-ending lies, while he never seemed to be caught in one. The world spiraled down into madness, while he remained around whorls of flowers. Subsequently, the world fell into a downward trajectory, while he remained on the top, inconspicuous to their inattentive minds. Now, the world was permanently changed without its own awareness, thinking it was always on this path of reaching the paradise, assuming this new reality was always true. At this juncture, everything had changed, the world was not what it was before. When the time arrived, the world built many tall towers to reach outside, while he himself was in a place he finally wished to be. Unbeknownst to his once forgotten ambition, he was finally among the celestial starlight. The world would never be the same, and neither would he.

As the door to the celestial expanse opened, he was asked a question, “How, even against every odd, were you able to reach the holy grail?”

“I was lucky.”

“Surely, it couldn’t be mere luck with all the pitfalls and shortcomings? Surely, there must be something more to it than that? Surely, there must be a logical reasoning to explain it all?”

He smiled while saying, “Luck is what you make of it.”

You’ve ever been called lucky? All the time? By everyone?

Preferred Spirit

You reach your shadow self for safety with blind trust.
You remain free of worry and protected 
from all the vile and erratic chaos.
While hundreds and thousands collapse from fatigue,
wings of hope and vitality will cover you from iniquity.
All the dangerous ailments vanish from its warmth.
Meanwhile, the virulent world barely survives.
Violent swarms cause all and sundry a despair,
yet you remain stalwart, enveloped in an unwavering veil.

From the dark, treacherous beasts and venomous vipers
may attempt to covertly strike you.
But you will trample them with an unbeknown might.
When you hear that voice call you from the inside,
Know you will be saved by the one you call—
a spectre, a resolve, a shadow of your true self.
A mysterious power will reveal itself from within,
Notions of valor and tranquility will navigate you forward,
And thence from your thoughts, the ghosts wane out of existence.

Ghosts of the past can only haunt if they are allowed…

An Earthling’s Philosophy

A mix of elemental awe in a stormy thunder,
A generational swim in the ocean’s welter,
A crawling out of the water onto the damp sands,
A move forward ruminating the green grasslands,
A survival by trailing the shadows to progress,
A thought of coalition to exist without distress,
A fiery resolution as a sharp tool hones,
A novel imagination expressed on stones,
A union of mind and body of the interconnected,
A rebirth of something newly assimilated,
A vanishing of those that never debated,
A settlement of various similar kinds escalated,
A novel way to look forward to the future credence,
A stinted evolution unfolding through difference,
A forgotten reason of natural grace,
A distained view without any embrace,
A progress created with pugnacious intent,
A final peace made through pieces unkempt,
A survival of true senses with ideal determination,
A race against all odds, converges to one solution.

What is the philosophy of being human?

Forgotten Thorns, Ashes, & More…

Ðæshwœrþ, mine village, situated amidst ðe þick rainforest, depended on a merchant cæravan for resources & commodities from greater townships. One midsummer e’en, ðe traders, who were always on timeþ, didn’t arrive æt ðe local inn, where ðey regularly rested. Ƿhile ðe innkeeper did privy ðis to ðe village, most of us associated ðe delay wiþal ðe þunderstorm of ðe previous niȝt. Ðe following noon, I received tidings of bændits attacking ðe defenseless cargo cærriers, killing everyone in ðe cæravan, looting everyþing.

Anon, we did knoweþ of ðese hiȝwæymen ðæt caused troubleþ along ðe road to our village. But ðis wast ðe first timeþ ðey did doþ someþing ætrocious. Ðe cæpital city hæd sent royal protectors to keep watcheþ on several outposts. One of ðe local hunters, a good cousin of mine, returned from ðe wild hunt wiþal tidings worse þæn what I hæd hoped. Ðe þree neiȝbouring outposts hæd been ransacked & ðe guards maimed. Ƿhile ðe local physician treated ðeir wounds wiþal ðe little supplies she hæd, most of ðem didn’t survive ðe niȝt.

After several such incidents, a decree wast passed by ðe queen ðæt nay merchants would trævel along ðe paþ to our village & its neiȝbours until ðis menace wast mænaged. I wast disheartened. Mine people needed ðe medicines & supplies to lead a normal life. I decided to investigate & end ðis murderous larceny before mine village, a hidden diamond in ðe middle of ðe jungle, became a husk of emptiness.

Æs I stepped outside ðe village gates, wiþal armor borrowed from ðe dead guards, I wast surprised to seeþ ðe innkeeper, ðe hunter, & ðe physician showing interest in stopping ðis mayhem. Ƿhile we gæþered æt ðe inn to prepareþ, ðe innkeeper wast kind enouȝ to s’rve us food & some delicious tea—a dark flavorful kind ðæt I hæd ne’r tasted before. I anon hædst ðe en’rgy to slæyeþ a drægon!

It took us very little timeþ to find ðe bændits’ hideout. Ðese pilfering pillagers seemed to hæst a næsty hæbit of þrowing aroint vital supplies. Once we tackle ðe þieves, we could gæðer ðe discarded goods for our village.

Ƿhat a siȝt wast ðis fortress from ðe outside. How did ðe bændits build ðis tower? ðe inside, however, wast a mess, wiþal plundered items scættered likeþ ðe leaves on an autumn day. Disæster struck when we did manœuvre into ðe hideout. Ðe innkeeper gæðered a mound of incense, burned it & þrew it at ðe raiders. One by one, ðey fell likeþ flies, inhaling its sweet fragrance. Ðe hunter dæbbed his blow darts & ærrows in a violet solution. Each ærrow ðæt nicked its quarry, each dart ðæt pricked its target, caused ðe fœ to faint. Ðe physician wast equally cautious. Ƿhen a fœ wast debilitated, she fed ðem a spoonful of white dust, tranquilizing ðem to a slumber. I did what I could to incapacitate ðem wiþal a swift strike to ðe back of ðeir head wiþal mine trusty pæn. After surviving several æmbushes, mine squad & I finally defeated ðem all.

Ƿe returned triumphant, wiþout causing severe dæmage to ðe enemies. Ðe villagers helped us bring ðese outlaws to our village where ðey were incarcerated until ðe queen sent her guards to æpprehend ðem.

Mine cater-cousins & I were honoured æs chæmpions of ðe village. Ƿe were showered wiþal gifts from ðe villagers & rewards from ðe queen. Ðæshwœrþ became a new lændmark of our kingdom, where people from near & far came to visit ðe slovenly fortress & meet ðe herœs who stopped a treacherous þreat.

Is is possible to read this?

Caught Between Two Lies

At the colossal gate to the utopia remained sentinel a shimmering jet-eyed Sphinx.  When Zafaraxia reached it, she was posed with questions as dated as a salpinx.

The Sphinx first spoke, with a simple convoke, “Come hither, little child, answer my riddles three. If you fail to answer me, then I shall ruin thee.”

Zafaraxia first harked, and then she remarked, “I would happily do all that which is evolvable, but what if you pose me paradoxes unsolvable?”

Said the Sphinx upping its chin, revealing its teeth through a lustrous grin, “One lie is my flaw, I shall let you through. If I lie twice, I shall ever serve you.”

“Oh, sparkling Sphinx, the gatekeeper of the city. Have you wondered for once, if I could be more than witty?” questioned Zafaraxia, in a state of ataraxia.

Since it didn’t wish to be extorted, the Sphinx arrogantly retorted, “Would it serve me a purpose if I answer your question? Would you rather I plague you? Was that your suggestion?”

After a short pause, Zafaraxia replied, “No.”

The Sphinx purred merrily, saying, “Let’s go!”

“Should one tolerate intolerance if intolerance eliminates tolerance?”

“I haven’t an answer to this question without showing my temperance.”

“Would an unstoppable force move an immovable object?”

“I haven’t an answer to this question without a real subject.”

“Could a being of omnipotence create something to make itself impotent?”

“I haven’t an answer to this question without something reliably idempotent.”

Eyes gleaming with an endorse, the Sphinx pounced. Without a shed of remorse, it clearly pronounced, “You failed to answer my questions with grace. Too bad for you, you have lost this race!”

Zafaraxia looked into the Sphinx’s dark eyes, making sure its errors it finally realized. For everyone to hear on the ground and in the skies, pointing its mistakes, she lucidly vocalized, “You asked me three questions without true supplies, with no more than one word, I answered inscape. Now you realize you’re caught between two lies, how I do wonder could you truly escape?”

Would you consider paradoxes not having solutions a paradox itself?

Blue Dot

Questions I ask when my mind is unpredictable:
Where else could we imagine the unreasonable?
Where else could we create the unbelievable?
Where else could we touch the unfathomable?
Where else could we realize the unfeasible?

Oceans of coruscating brine in the day, seas of fluorescent water at night,
Icy breath flowing down slower than molasses, bitter-sweet treacle of joy,
Creatures from beyond this world, ersatz beasts of mutated manipulations,
Majestic woods shading the earth, trees bearing with bountiful allocations.

Where else could we imagine the unreasonable?

Twisted paths to traverse the mountains, stairs of mettle to climb them,
Countries of flowers unto the horizon, fields of mortar touching the skies,
Bridges to join the shores yonder, tunnels reaching the fire and brimstone,
People flying in the empyrean, diving Pelagian machines boring claystone.

Where else could we create the unbelievable?

While the gravity of the situation constantly keeps the feet to the ground,
A magnetic attraction always delivers that which is desired when thought,
Melodies in the mind emerge into waves of unexpected, picturesque days,
Paradoxically, veristic life blooms in the most extreme, in mysterious ways.

Where else could we touch the unfathomable?

Extreme propulsion to escape the reach, triumphantly catching the stars,
An open visor by the glass pane of aptitude, pirouetting around to unify,
Ratiocination remains victorious, even when facts are made to blemish,
Senselessly daring in such a way that even the tiniest faith will vanquish!

Where else could we realize the unfeasible?

Questions I ask when my mind is unpredictable:
Where else could we imagine the unreasonable?
Where else could we create the unbelievable?
Where else could we touch the unfathomable?
Where else could we realize the unfeasible?

I think again, clearing my mind’s patchy blot,
Now nowhere else, but on a pale blue dot…

Interestingly, the original name of this site was “A Blue Dot”.

An Eventful Anomaly

The final container was loaded. The palletizers were withdrawn from the cargo bay. The movers made their way out. The flight had been prepped for departure—all systems optimal. Once it took off the mile-long runway, the plane ascended into the clear blue skies.

The pilot completed his formal conversation with the ground control and allowed George to take his place during cruise. The plane was flying smoothly until the halfway mark to the destination was reached.

A minor turbulence surrounded the craft. Since it was a cargo carrier, a greater tolerance to such conditions was more or less expected, especially since there were only 2 souls on board. Both the pilot and his co-pilot were seasoned and knew the plane would hold amid this minor air pocket. There wasn’t a need to contact the ground control at this juncture, definitely no reason for any unnecessary maydays on a March Monday. However, the protocol dictated they contact the air traffic control.

It was indeed the right call, even though the turbulence cleared in no time. The bright blue skies of this spring day were always a sight for sore eyes. With nearly the time to lower their altitude, the control was taken away from the autopilot.

When the clearance for landing was requested, the ground control denied for a while, but eventually allowed the plane to land. The pilot with his years of experience landed the plane so smoothly, not a single bump was felt. The co-pilot congratulated this feat, as usual.

There was, however, an unpleasant surprise. Military personnel had surrounded them, and the two pilots were taken into custody. Even when the plane was missing for an entire month, the blackbox showed the flight duration as the exact 7.2 hours as expected. A minor turbulence was recorded, and the communication between the pilot and the appropriate station certainly took place. The Air crash investigators could not find any fault in the craft. In fact, it was as good as new.

After several days of investigation, the two were released. They had done nothing wrong. As a matter of fact, the pilot had done an exceptional job of handling the situation. As newspapers flocked the investigators and the pilots, no conclusion could be drawn.

This situation was simply deemed to be a remarkable phenomenon that the two survived. The pilots went on to lead their regular lives. As time passed, the masses forgot about this unusual incident.

Wait… Why does this feel like a déjà vu…?

Internal Energy

While they stuff your baggage with heavy stones, you keep on moving.
Dragging with you the ponderous effort, assuming you will not make it.
You look up at the gray cloudy sky, breathing heavily as you’re stopping.
Sharp pain in your back, throbbing in your chest, won’t stop until you sit.

You wonder what choices from past brought you to this future so trivial,
Wanting to return to those wonderful times, you try to rest on a boulder.
Why not throw away some of these stones, you think; a wish to be jovial.
As your pain curtails you wonder again if you’ll always be their beholder.

Then you look behind once, and look forward next; it was remarkable!
Brave spirited thoughts rally you—on your feet—ignited, blazing neon.
After all this time, the path glistened afresh, closer than ever, walkable.
Even if turned upside down, with that image in your head, you press on.

There is always enough energy on the inside to feel reinvigorated.

Monsters and Mercenaries V

Many years had passed. The tactician directed the children towards the lengthy corridor of trophies and memorabilia from the past. She was telling stories of the time when radioactive samples created monsters, and mercenaries were the ones to stop them.

“I don’t believe all that happened,” declared a child. “There are so many holes in this story’s plot.”

“What stopped the strange entity?” questioned a peevish little boy.

“Yeah, it seemed like an impossible task!” claimed a blimpish girl.

The tactician replied, “Hope—a tiny fragment of hope that humanity would always do what is right when the time comes.”

Then a priggish boy curiously inquired, “So the brave mercenary leader sacrificed his life for ours?”

“Oi! I’m still here,” said a man entering the hallway. The children surrounded him with praises and laughter. “Easy now, I only have one arm.”

“How did you survive?” asked a sheepish girl fiddling with her fingers.

“What put the monster entity to its end?” questioned a peckish boy munching on a hefty candy bar.

“It was suffering, because it had lost a part of it,” claimed the tactician, “So he did what he had to do.”

“I returned the fragment to it, instead of the poison. It calmed down, but the unbearable heat did…” He looked at his armless left sleeve. “You know… this…”

“But weren’t there more than one of those pieces?” asked an owlish girl.

“After the first fragment was returned, it calmed down, allowing our scientists to recover the others and make it whole. And because of that kindness, the entity now helps us power our world,” said the tactician, looking through the window at a colossal structure enclosed in a polyhedral setup.

“So, you helped it after all!” exclaimed the very first child.

 “Yup! Let’s say, I gave it a hand,” replied the mercenary chuckling.

This may be the slowest flash fiction ever!