Z for Zipping through the streets: atozchallenge

tiger on the road

Today, the last day of the challenge, I’ll be using a story-starter sent by Donna B. McNicol who has encouraged me throughout the challenge. I began with her prompt for A, and am ending with her prompt for Z.

The photograph is courtesy Vikram Tandon, ace photographer, and kind friend who’s allowed me the use of his work.

I hope everyone enjoyed the challenge as much as I did, participants and non, and I hope to come back again to the challenge next April.

Zipping through the streets, Ariel headed towards the highway exit, when she spotted it–a goddamned tiger ambling across the grass towards the road, its tawny coat glowing in the morning light, its amber eyes staring right at her.

She hadn’t slept much the night before, both kids had colds and kept coughing and waking. But this took hallucination to a whole new level. Shaking herself, she gripped the steering wheel harder. Nothing in her life as a single mother of two boys under eight, and a bank proof operator frequently harried by her boss, had prepared her for a tiger in front of her car. Particularly one which had settled itself on its haunches right at the mouth of the exit, yawning, completely unaware that it had no business outside a zoo in a Texan suburb.

Much later, she would back out, gather her nerves, and call 911. After a soul-numbing day at the office where she would tell no one about her morning, she would pick the kids from daycare, head home, and then, tuning in to her local station as she set dinner, watch her tiger being tranquilized by animal control. It would always remain ‘her’ tiger in her stories to her kids.

But at that moment when her palms tingled and she wondered if she should honk, those bright eyes looked at her so silent yet so full of conversation, she did not. She pulled up instead, and stared right back– just two folks with no axe to grind, meeting up on a quiet morning.

A to Z Stories of Life and Death
If you liked this story you might like some of the stories I wrote for my A to Z last year.

As co-host, I would like to end with the following reminder to A-Z participants:

Blogging from A to Z Challenge Reflections Posts of 2012 will start on Monday May 7th.  The Linky list will go up on that day so you can enter the link for that post on the list.

You can tell us what you thought were the highlights of your April Challenge, what you learned, what changes you might make next time, or what surprised you most.   Let us know about special bloggers you met in your A to Z journey or about a post or posts that especially moved or impressed you.  There are no limits as to what your Challenge experience might have been so tell us in your best way how you felt about the April A to Z Challenge of 2012. 

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I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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Add Yours
  1. DJ

    Wonderful story as always 🙂

    I m hooked up to the tiger in the pic. It exactly looks like you described it, quiet and full of conversation. To me, it even looks smiling and offering a handshake, or rather a paw-shake.

  2. Damyanti

    Sulekka, I'm glad you enjoyed the stories.

    Clarissa, thank you for taking the time to read the A-Z stories I compiled in the book last year, and I'm awed that I managed to inspire you 🙂

    I don't know if I'm going to do something with the stories this year–I'm not sure they're worth it…I guess I'll have to take time away from them and read them again before I decide!

  3. Clarissa Draper

    I bought and read the twenty-six stories you created last year. Are you going to be publishing the same this year? You're the reason I wrote short stories for my A-Z post this year.

  4. Damyanti

    Thanks to all of you for all your kind comments.

    The challenge was a roller-coaster ride for me, because I was helping host it, had just two posts pre-scheduled, was traveling in between, and my challenge theme was fiction—inspired by prompts from bloggers. 🙂

    But it was the comments that kept me going—I knew my work was not as good as it was made out to be, but the fact that you folks bothered to stop by and comment at all, made me pull myself together and write the next post!

    Hope to see you all on this blog from time to time, till we begin the challenge again next year.

  5. MJ

    Love it! Congratulations on completing A to Z and thanks for visiting my blog during the month!

  6. Guilie

    Love it, Damyanti! "eyes so quiet yet so full of conversation"… What a fantastic way of describing tiger eyes–brought them alive in a flash for me. Excellent capture of a moment, weird but unique.

    Congratulations on another beautiful series for the A-Z challenge, and thank you for drafting me to it 🙂 I've had a blast this month!

  7. Archna Sharma

    I hope she enjoyed a sense of freedom in her moment with him(assuming the tiger's a 'he'; I think their hearts are the same.

    I've really enjoyed your space, your stories are like a wave. I look forward to reading more of your work. 🙂

  8. michelle

    Man and beast meet each other halfway… wonderful concept and a great ending to this journey through the alphabet!
    I really enjoyed your FF posts!

  9. wordsfromsonobe

    A thoughtful last post. I've really liked all your posts – they all seem a bit twisty and unconventional 🙂 And thanks for dropping by occasionally with words of encouragement!

    I actually cannot wait for next year!

  10. rch

    Another one leaving me craving more, great writing! Thanks, you're the only host that took the time to visit my neck of the woods, I will be back.

  11. Angela Brown

    Another great story…and I'm feeling where the main character for this story is coming from all too well…though I have yet to have the "tiger" experience.

  12. Laura Marcella

    Hi, Damyanti! I enjoyed this story. There's so much more going on than is said! Well done.

    Congrats to you and the entire hosting team!!! You all did an awesome job. It's been another super fun Blogging Challenge!

    Have a wonderful week and happy A to Z!!