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Writing Prompt Fiction in the #BlueMonsoon Universe: Life is Beautiful #WEPFF

Do you read or write prompt-based fiction? Have you ever participated in the WEP? What do you think of this character?

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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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.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • jlennidorner says:

    I really enjoyed Blue Bar. So I imagine the next book will be equally great. Looks like it, based on this story.
    Proof of Existence, book two in my dark urban fantasy series, is out this month. I hope you’ll check it out.
    And please don’t miss the amazing giveaway on my blog. Act fast and enter now!

    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Reference& Speculative Fiction Author, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, and Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks so much for the read and review. Will be picking up Proof of Existence!

  • Kalpana says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this tiny extract from your up and coming book and am very curious about this character. Very skilfully written.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks for reading and reviewing The Blue Bar, Kalpana, and I’m thrilled this one made you curious!

  • Beth Camp says:

    What a different take on the prompt! I’m drawn into the character and wonder what will happen next. Will he be able to act upon his emotions, his thoughts, his deep longing for a relationship with this woman who has entranced him? I’m ready to turn the page!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Beth! I’m glad the character and voice are intriguing enough for you to want to turn the page.

  • I enjoyed this. I’m wondering about the paragraph at the end. The rest was so clear and vivid. The end felt like a metaphor, or a murder suicide by fire but I sort of doubt that. A lot of rich imagery. Glad I got to read it.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      The end is both though I can’t reveal more :). Thanks so much for reading, Jamie, and hope to see you stop by often.

  • Pam says:

    Great writing, D, and also one of my fav movies!

  • Shilpa Gupte says:

    Is this character from your new book? Such a sad life he lives! 🙁

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yes, a very tiny character in The blue Monsoon! Thanks for your read and review of The Blue Bar, and I hope the sequel satisfies 🙂

  • Nilanjana Bose says:

    Intriguing excerpt. Is the MC a man, or a woman? “Being the man of the house, only you’re not the man of the house.” Great hook! It’s always a pleasure to read your writing. Thanks.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks Nilanjana–you always say the kindest things! This person is not the MC at all, only a tiny supporting role.

  • DutchIl says:

    Thanks for sharing!!.. looking forward to the new book…wishing you much success and a dream come true!.. 🙂

    Hope all is well in your part of the universe and until we meet again…
    May the dreams you hold dearest
    Be those which come true
    May the kindness you spread
    Keep returning to you
    (Irish Saying)

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – it feels almost like a Hitchcock film … it certainly could be filmed like that … ‘life is beautiful’ – hers not so much. Creative writing for sure … I wouldn’t watch the film that’s for sure. Congratulations – so so sad – well done – an interesting WEP – Hilary

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks for always reading, Hilary. This was a super-quick writing exercise, so I’m glad it worked for you.

  • Denise Covey says:

    Damyanti, a wonderful introduction to characters from your upcoming book. A moving snippet. A tale of lethal love is an apt description. Incredibly sad.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Denise. The cast of the characters is the same as The Blue Bar, but this one is a new supporting role in The Blue Monsoon.

  • My heart aches for him, and for all others snared and controlled by obsession. This is an incredibly powerful snippet.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Sue. I quick-wrote this because I wanted to restart the blog after my time slaving on copyedits. Glad it worked for you!

  • Sonia Dogra says:

    Lethal love! Stunning piece of writing, Damyanti. Makes me curious about your characters.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks Sonia. This character has a small role in THE BLUE MONSOON, so it was satisfying to give him a voice. I set a timer for a 10 minutes and then tweaked it. Glad it resonated!

  • Terveen Gill says:

    This is an intriguing, dark, and beautiful piece of writing. What we will convince ourselves of… 🙂

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Terveen. Yes, sometimes we convince ourselves of the damnedest things.

  • cleemckenzie says:

    Ahh. What a beautifully satisfying piece of writing, Damyanti.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Lee. As you can probably tell, I knocked it out last minute and got it in the list under the wire!

  • Jemi Fraser says:

    Wow – I didn’t expect that turn! Lost to the power of a smile. Nicely done!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Jemi. You’re always such a wonderfully supportive reader.

  • Olga Godim says:

    A tragic life is unfolding in this short snippet. I hope the hero could get out of it, but I’m afraid he can’t. Very powerful.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Olga. I wanted to write about obsession–in some ways The Blue Monsoon is a novel of obsessions.

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