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Snippets from My Writing Universe: Cirque du Taudis

Reading online has been a habit for a while, ever since I started writing short stories and flash fiction. You need to read the magazines you submit to.

With the years, some of my work has been published in magazines, and today, I’m sharing one of them with you:

Cirque du Taudis: New Delhi (it placed in a competition at the Strands Magazine)

The dust-colored feathers, the plastic halo, the ragged wings wavering in the night breeze. She wears them as if they grow on her, not jammed up by her mother last minute, pinned together with clips and staples that pinch at the softness of her underarm, the curve of her buttocks. They scratch at her shoulder bones, her collar, from which her neck rises like a turtle’s from its shell.

Sakhi waits at the alley to jump into the halogen-lit stage made of piled-up cardboard, gaudy carpets sent in to the neighborhood dry-cleaners, shiny pieces of stars scavenged from piles of discarded Christmas lights. The air carries the smell of drains mingled with incense from the Shiva temple. The blue-painted, tigerskin-clad Lord made of stone watches the play put up in His honor. Sakhi wrinkles her nose against the sweet reek of cannabis her younger brother has lit up to celebrate the Lord. She holds her legs against the urge to pee. The breeze under her torn beaded skirt is clawing, cold.

Read the rest of the story, here.

Sakhi became a part of my first novel You Beneath Your Skin. For my upcoming novel, The Blue Bar, I send out One-shot gazettes, with tiny snippets of flash fiction. Each of them expands the universe, and I’ll be sending the next edition soon.

Here’s a tiny snippet from the last edition of the One-Shot Gazette:

Tukaram’s long face with thick lips looked more at ease with a frown most days, but today wasn’t one of them.
Today, his wife had near-twisted his hand off his wrist, but he didn’t care. The baby was a girl.
He’d wanted a tiny little girl of his own, to protect, cherish, to lavish all his love and his Police Constable salary on. Incredibly, she was here, loud and imperious, her cries filling the ward, setting the other infants wailing.
Watching her from outside the ward, he held tears in his eyes, hand on heart. His mother-in-law patted his shoulder in sympathy, mistaking his joy for sorrow.

Read the rest of the story here. You can receive more such stories in your inbox by subscribing to the one-shot gazette.

I enjoy writing these snippets just as much as I love reading bits and pieces of fiction online. Reading online is a great break during commutes, or running errands.

What about you? Do you do any of your reading online? Have you read any of the snippets above? Do you read or write snippets set in a particular writing universe

My lit crime novel, The Blue Bar will be out soon with Thomas & Mercer. It is already available for preorders. Add it to Goodreads or pre-order it to make my day.
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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

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