She thought her mother was a vampire. It was my fault.
Housecleaning is not a benign activity. It’s hard to stay calm and centred when you’re vacuuming a floor, mopping with vigour, or scrubbing a shower. Those are inherently violent and aggressive activities.
Here we are four adults, or near-adults, crammed sardine-like into a two-bedroom apartment until we find an over-priced, under-sized house to buy. Living cheek by jowl with teenaged children is like living in a share-house with bears who forgot to hibernate through winter. I do not recommend it for long periods of time. My epithets for the children – Godzilla and the TeenWolf – have never been truer. Their appetites, their ability to generate landfills’ worth of garbage, and their Bollywood levels of melodrama leave me dizzy and gasping.
Crimson splatters line the walls, crime scene tape girds the door. Shattered glass, a single lily, and pristine white shagpile carpet grace the floors.
He lifts the needle, abruptly silencing the Shostakovitch piano concerto.
Tipping back his trilby, he scratches his head. Who still uses a record player?
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“Charlatan! Mountebank! Rogue!” Angry arrows of spittle punctuated each word. Like some fearsome avenging Statue of Liberty, the woman waved her bag held aloft at the roadside fortune teller.
Saudamini squinted at the cloudless sky, trying to divine its hidden messages.
“Bring in the clothes, Amini!” she called to her daughter-in-law.
“Why, Amma? The sun’s shining!” Amini’s voice floated thinly from the small, bare kitchen at the far end of the house.
“Rain is coming.” Saudamini rubbed at her aching knees.
The fire hissed and fizzled as the moisture in the kindling bubbled into vapour and the twigs caught alight.
Ramesh hadn’t expected to be making camp in the jungle’s damp undergrowth overnight. But then, he hadn’t expected his shot to knick the flank of the deer instead of felling it where it stood.