This edition of WEP Writing Challenge is a prompt fiction based on “Life is Beautiful”
As usual, I’ve used characters from my writing universe: from upcoming literary thriller, THE BLUE MONSOON. These snippets of prompt-fiction show aspects of the story only hinted at in the novel. When you read the book, you’ll recognize the characters, and the voices will (hopefully) blend into the tapestry of the book.
——–So here’s my WEP entry, a prompt fiction flash piece I’ll feature only here on this site.—-
Damyanti Biswas © 2023
TAGLINE: In a halo of the senses
WORD COUNT: 325 words, FCA
You’re married to your solitude, you think, and then she walks in. You tell yourself she’s passing by, just like the rest of them, but she pauses. Walks to you, sits down. It’s just a class you’re taking together. Computer classes. The class is in an upstairs room. Humid Mumbai air weighs the afternoon down. Outside, mating pigeons coo on the eaves. Sweat trickles down your temples but you pay it no mind.
In the one hour your teacher drones on, you know she’s better than you. Than the teacher too. By miles. You wonder why she’s there at all. While leaving, she smiles and you know you’re done for. You wonder no more.
Months later, you’re carrying her groceries. Listening to her mother. Being the man of the house, only you’re not the man of the house. You tell yourself you’ll get out of it. Take her with you. You watch the smiles that bloom on her face each time you enter a room. Life is beautiful when she smiles, your body suspended in a halo of the senses, like a psychedelic acid hit.
Days pass and soon you’re like a cat up a tree. It seemed like a good idea to climb up, but now you don’t know your way down. You stay quiet, watching. Waiting for her to help you down.
You do her bidding. Her family’s. And soon you know no other life. You’re doing much worse than bringing in the groceries. You don’t know how to stop when she smiles at you.
At night, you whisper to yourself —it is only your hands doing those things you cannot name, not your heart. It is as if your house is on fire, your room, your bed, but even as your sheets burn and you know the flames will kiss you the way she never has, you watch her flick her flyaway hair, and that thought crosses your mind again: life is beautiful.
Do you read or write prompt-based fiction? Have you ever participated in the WEP? What do you think of this character? Would you like to read his story?
My lit crime novel THE BLUE BAR is on a cool AMAZON MONTHLY DEAL this month. Snap it up while it’s a steal. Its sequel, THE BLUE MONSOON 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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