Eating Humble Chapati

This piece is part of  my “Rejected Stories” collection. Click here to learn more.


‘That’s not a chapati,’ Rai said to her mother, rolling her eyes. Now an expert, of course, after thirty days ‘watching’ her best friend in Zambia make them for her family. Rai had the technique down pat—not through practice, but still.

This is how you make it.’

She mixed attar flour, water and some olive oil. She kneaded the dough, formed a ball the size of her fist then rolled it until it was millimetres thin. She heated the pan with a dribble of oil.

‘What?’ 

The imperfect brown circle lay flat on the black non-stick surface, defiant—not the soft balloon she expected. Droplets of sweat trickled down Rai’s forehead.

She consciously smoothed away her frown, forced a smile as she cut off a small piece with the spatula.

‘Ugh!’ She gagged from the ghastly taste and looked up at the heavens, completely perplexed.

I’m 24 years old, she thought, her shoulders slumped. The kitchen just doesn’t like me.

The next day, her mother greeted her with bursts of laughter, saying, ‘I was wondering what happened to the 250 grams of garlic powder I just bought.’


This was originally created in 2018.

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Augmented

This piece is part of  my “Rejected Stories” collection. Click here to learn more.


Knock knock!

Tanner and Cody turned to Mum between bites of freshly buttered toast.

“You know we don’t answer the door when Dad’s not home,” she said in a hushed tone. Her messy red curls bounced as she motioned for them to finish their food. “You’re still not dressed for school.”

The knocking grew louder, insistent.

But Mum picked up Justin from the floor. She sat next to them at their small square table. Ran her thin fingers through Tanner’s sandy-blond hair. Fed Justin his bottle.

The knocking became a deafening bang, like a round of bullets.

Mum let out a nervous breath. “Now, don’t you move until you finish your breakfast!” she said firmly. Balancing Justin on her hips, she headed to the living room.

Tanner grabbed another piece of toast. The salty butter tickled his tongue, the sensations warming his stomach.

“No!”

Continue reading “Augmented”

Blue

This piece is part of  my “Rejected Stories” collection. Click here to learn more.


Blue. Deep, bottomless, all-consuming blue—the colour of her eyes. The ocean called her into its cold-warm embrace.

Abbey shaded her eyes from the scalding rays. She glanced around, eyes alert. Beads of sweat rolled down her forehead. Her heart galloped to an erratic rhythm.

Crap. A couple approached. Look busy.

She stared at the dirt, scanning the area with fascination—pretending.

“Hey there, are you okay?”

Abbey looked up with reluctance but wore her brightest smile. “Yeah, fine.”

The woman looked around. “Your parents close?”

Abbey fought the urge to roll her eyes. She was eleven, for God’s sake, almost in high school. Not that she would be going to high school. But still.

Avoiding the woman’s concerned gaze, she nodded. “In the toilet.”

The woman looked between her partner and Abbey. “It’s quite deserted here, so be careful, okay?”

“I come here all the time.” Abbey picked up a trumpet-shaped seashell, the colour of milk that had gone off. “Tonnes of these good ones.”

“Oh…” 

A few uncertain steps onward. But damn it—they lingered.

Eyes back on the ground, picking up more odd shapes—pretending.

Continue reading “Blue”

Darkness

This piece is part of my “Rejected Stories” collection. Click here to learn more.


“Edward Thompson, you, as well as a few others, have been chosen for the expedition to Mars.”

“Come on, man! This is a once in a life time chance! I’d kill to be in your shoes! Think of the fame and fortune!”

“Eddie, no matter what happens, remember that Susie and I will always love you and cherish all the times we’ve spent together.”

The voices of the past rang through my head, reminding me that there was no turning back. It was now or never. All the people back on Earth were counting on me to do my country proud. I wasn’t about to let them down.

There was utter silence as I made that first step. I then stood, paralysed, looking at the foreign land before me. 

After a moment of recollecting myself, I grinned and cried out childishly, “YEAH!” A cheer rose from my speakers.

“Congratulations, Thompson!” came the proud voice of my contact. “You are officially the first man to step on Mars!”

Pride swept through me as I waved my country’s flag. I was so absorbed in my thoughts that I did not notice the leech-like creature gnaw its way through my suit. Suddenly, I felt overcome by an unknown force, an evil force. My body started shaking violently and my head felt as if it wanted to burst. Every muscle in my body screamed for mercy, as the creature possessed me. “argh!” I cried out in agony, battling with it, surrendering to it in the end. The darkness that was buried within me then surfaced. I was a soul trapped in scum. 

“Hey, what’s going on? Is everything okay?” asked my worried contact. 

“Eddie!” my wife called immediately after. “What’s happening? Are you okay?”

“Yes,” answered a voice that was not my own, “everything’s just fine.”

Continue reading “Darkness”