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Z for Zipping through the streets: atozchallenge

By 30/04/2012July 21st, 2017Uncategorized
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. 

Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page in case you’d like to be heard by this community. If you liked this post, you can have biweekly posts delivered to your inbox: click the SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL button.


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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  • Courtney says:

    Very cool!

  • DJ says:

    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.

  • Damyanti says:

    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!

  • 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.

  • sulekkha says:

    The wild beast and the woman came to an understanding in your story, it felt natural and not fiction. Your storytelling technique is amazing, loved reading your posts all this month.

    My final post on Z

  • Damyanti says:

    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.

  • MJ says:

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

  • Oooh what an ending to the month! Loved it!

  • Guilie says:

    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!

  • 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. 🙂

  • J.C. Martin says:

    Oh to look into a tiger's eyes. Great end to your A to Z Challenge!

  • Anna Smith says:

    Oh this was cute, and that picture is stunning 🙂

  • michelle says:

    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!

  • 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!

  • Nice way to end the challenge. It's been fun reading your flash fiction. 🙂

  • Von L Cid says:

    Thanks Damyanti! I really enjoyed,reading your stories. thanks for the great reads

  • Tara Tyler says:

    crazy ending of the safari thru the alphabet =)

  • Your story made me smile. Lovely.
    Congrats for making it to the end of the challenge.

  • Great way to end the challenge.

  • Things you just don't expect to encounter!

  • Nice way to end the challenge…left me with a smile. Well done, as usual!! Glad I helped in a little way…

  • Libby says:

    I love the ending best! Two strangers with no axe to grind, and one is a tiger. Really really nice.

  • rch says:

    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.

  • It's always a good thing when man and beast come together. Great A-Z posts! Thanks for all the work you did for us.

  • Angela Brown says:

    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.

  • 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!!

  • Nice a subtle tone. Very powerful. Congrats on the A-Z challenge. You made it!
    – Maurice Mitchell
    The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
    @thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

  • Congrats on making it all the way through Damyanti! Your stories have been amazing.

  • Loved the tone of this, Damyanti, and the thought that a human being and an animal of the wild appears to have found common ground.