Pixie

The Surprise|Guest post

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  Pixie and I share a very strange friendship. We are rather close, discuss everything (and everyone ...yes, beware!) under the sun (especially fellow bloggers/writers) and also leave no stone unturned trying to tease  and get one up on each other. "What's strange about that?" I hear you ask. Here's the thing. Pixie and I have never met. And we have never ever spoken. Probably because I'm not much of a phone person. But more on than later. Yes, we know almost everything that is there to know about each other and our families. Then why do I use the name Pixie, I hear you ask. Because Pixie, just like her pseudo-name, has a streak of mischievousness and just like the folklore, she is someone who is very fond of dancing. She writes with a passion that is so rare these days amongst lot of us writer-folks and her blog represents her space and her thoughts on anything and everything.  

You can find more about her, here : http://mytakeoneverything9.wordpress.com/

If I had to describe our friendship with the help of a YouTube video, this would be it:

http://youtu.be/UBMNP6x3PA4

And on that joyful note, here's a short fiction post that she wrote for me. Read it. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. And Pixie, Thank you !

 

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Helen smiled as she read the quote inscribed on the first page of her best-friend Aaron’s novel. It felt good to see her words imprinted in ink, that too on a book that had already sold over a million copies. She glanced at the clock on the wall. She needed to leave now, if she was to arrange everything for the party that was being thrown for Aaron. For a first-time author, the book was an unprecedented success and Helen was thrilled for him. Together with his wife Elise, Helen had planned the whole party and had even managed to keep it a secret from Aaron.

The bakers had confirmed the delivery of the cake to the apartment. Helen had personally picked out the design and had decided that it was going to be shaped in the form of an open book with an inscription from the book. It was even to have the pages marked. As Helen ran around her apartment trying to get the decorations ready, she thought about the story that Aaron had written. It was about a mysterious shape-shifter, a man who was a creature of the night and protector of the city. The protagonist Adam Roock, was a normal man by day. But as night slipped in, Adam changed into different forms to help the people and Police of the city of New York. Whilst Helen loved the story, she couldn’t help but smile at the resemblance to the famed Harry Potter series. But since it had appealed to everyone from kids to teenagers to even adults, the publisher and editor had already started to pressurise Aaron to write a sequel. Being a stickler for details, Helen had decided that only Aaron’s favorite food was to be served. She’d taken the pains to ensure that all the families and their kids had RSVP’d  and had even set up a bar for the adults and a juice counter for the younger kids. The food included bite-sized calzones with marinara sauce as a dip, potato wedges with a white cheese and chilli sauce and generous helpings of portioned garlic bread and tomato soup. In addition, knowing Elise’s fondness for Indian food, Helen had also arranged for some spicy deep-fried Cauliflower florets (known as Chilli Gobis) along with vegetarian kebabs with the cocktails. They’d decided that Helen’s 13th floor apartment would be perfect for the party since it was spacious and most of her modern décor furniture could be rearranged to accommodate the guests. Though she’d mentioned that the party would commence at 6:30pm, guests had already started trickling in by 6pm. Helen fervently hoped that Aaron and Elise would be able to make it at least by 7pm.

*******

Across town, Elise stared at Aaron with a look of worry etched on her face. This was one party they couldn’t afford to miss. But Aaron was reluctant. “Couldn’t you have just postponed it? The timing of this whole supposed surprise party sucks!” he said straightening his bow. Elise nodded and said, “I know Aaron. I know. But, Jim’s babysitter said she was free only tonight and you know how hard it is to get someone on such short notice. Please act surprised and we will try to leave early.” She walked over to him, kissed him lightly and said, “You look very handsome in a tux, Mr. Bestselling author!” The tension left Aaron’s shoulders and he smiled at his gorgeous wife wondering how he had gotten so lucky with her.

As soon as Aaron and Elise walked in to Helen’s apartment, the party started. Though he’d known about it, Aaron was genuinely surprised because he hadn’t expected it to be on such a grand scale. Extremely touched by Helen’s sweet gesture, he thanked her for the lovely party. He signed a few books and even posed for a picture with an over-enthusiastic 15 year old and her parents. After the initial chitter-chatter, Aaron slowly pulled away into a corner. He wanted to be happy. The success of his book meant everything to him, but tonight just wasn’t the right time to celebrate. He watched as some of the young couples danced around. There was even a book-reading session set up for the young adults in one of the guest-bedrooms. “Helen has surpassed herself.” he thought fondly as he saw her bring the beautiful cake into the room. Amidst a lot of laughter and festivity, Aaron cut the beautiful cake. It was whisked away by Helen to be cut into neat pieces and served to everyone. He loved the food and the drinks but didn’t eat much. He could feel his insides twitch and struggle. He checked the watch constantly dreading that it might be too late to leave.

As the clock hit 10:30pm, Elise signalled to a beaming Helen and pulled her closer. With a smile on her face, she said “It’s time for us to leave darling. Please make our excuses to the rest of the gang. Aaron needs to be home soon. Jim will need his feed too.”  Though her face dropped, Helen nodded sombrely. She hugged Elise and said, “Call me if you need anything.”  Mouthing a thank you, Elise and Aaron quietly left the apartment. It was close to midnight when they reached home. As he always did, Aaron went into little Jim’s nursery and kissed him. As he watched Jim sleep soundly, he knew a time would come when Jim had to know the truth. But, for now, he felt blessed for little Jim and his cute innocence.

Aaron walked over to Elise and gave her a tight hug. He slowly walked out of the house and shut the door gently behind him. As he turned a dark street corner, he noticed that they had a full moon. As the clock on the church tower struck midnight, Aaron felt himself transform. He came from a family of shape-shifters. For centuries, their secret had been guarded. If History was to be believed, they had started off as killers, unsure of their powers and frightened of the changes. But, since his great-grandfather’s reign, they had done only good to their communities. The Police often kept quiet as there was no way to explain the strange occurrences. So they did the best they could; they took credit for the exceptionally low crime-rate and accepted the accolades that were bestowed on them. The gift was passed on through generations to only the first child in the family, when they turned 13. Little Jim still had plenty time before he came to know or even understood the huge responsibility his forefathers had passed on. The leaves on the trees rustled as the cool night breeze passed through them. As Aaron took the shape of a moving shadow and slunk away into the darkness quietly to play the saviour once again, he thought fondly about the quote that Helen had inscribed in the first page of his book.

The quill moves  The soul struggles The story stays The plot moves Characters get involved Reality shifts Fiction becomes the truth....

[This post is written for the Project 365 program at We Post Daily aimed at posting at least once a day, based on the prompts provided. The prompt for today was  "Plan the ultimate celebration for the person you’re closest to, and tell us about it. Where is it? Who’s there? What’s served? What happens? "]

Four Seasons - A Guest post for Pixie

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Strange as it may sound, Pixie and I bonded over a conversation that started on a rather crazy note. Needless to say, we both saw the reason behind the “craziness” and bonded over our love for food, writing, Bangalore, Mysore, reading and most of all, Enid Blyton. Pixie, just like her pseudo-name, has a streak of mischievousness and just like the folklore, she is someone who is very fond of dancing. She writes with a passion that is so rare these days amongst lot of us writer-folks and her blog represents her space and her thoughts on anything and everything. When she’d originally asked me to write her a guest post, I was apprehensive. I mostly write fiction and humor posts, which are based on the principle of generalisation. Though she didn’t impose, I knew she wanted something that was simpler and purer, sort direct from the heart, so to speak. I spent weeks trying to come up with ideas, and when I saw this prompt, I knew this was something that I could write on. And of course would fit the style of her blog. And with that note, I’m going to jump right in. divider I grew up in a magical Arabian desert land where it was summer, pretty much all year long. Now, before some of you go “Wow!” and “You’re so lucky!”, let me tell you this. It’s not as fun as you’d imagine it to be. Yes, we had seasons too, but it wasn’t the typical Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter that you would so often read about in those lovely books. Oh no! It was more like “Warm, Warmer, Warmest and Hell", particularly during the months of July and August, when the average temperature was often just shy of 50 degrees celsius. But then again, I suppose I shouldn’t really complain about the heat so much. After all, the only time that I was exposed to the sun was during my weekly P.E. class and when I tried to fit in a game or two of basketball after school hours and before my tuitions. Like they say in those MasterCard advert, “everywhere else, there was air-conditioning”. But even so, I’ve always complained about summer. Particularly because my threshold for heat is minimal. There are plenty of things I’m appreciative about. Sweat running down my face and down the my back and into my underwear, is not one of them. For me, the only things that’ve always been synonymous with summer have been those two-month holidays (which were promptly reduced to one month ones when I started 9th standard) and of course, the mind-numbing heat.

Read the rest of the post here on Pixie's blog : Click here

Please do leave comments either on her blog, or back here.

[This post is written for the Project 365 program at We Post Daily aimed at posting at least once a day, based on the prompts provided. The prompt for today was “For many of us, winter is blooming into spring, or fall hardening into winter. Which season do you most look forward to?"  ]

 

Fairy Dust

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Pixie lay on the bed with her eyes wide open. There was still an hour to go for the clock to toll midnight and the portal would only be open for exactly five minutes. She sighed. She hadn’t decided what she was going to do. She got off the bed and slowly walked up to the closed window. Outside, the predicted blizzard was furiously turning everything a shade of white. She pulled the stool from the dressing table towards the window, smiling as she sat down. It had only been seven days, yet it felt like she’d been here for ages. She lovingly gazed at the new bag that she’d purchased yesterday. She hadn’t gone there to purchase anything. Curiosity had gotten the better of her and she’d fallen for that attractive young man’s charms, and ended up buying the bag. Google Image search

The memory of her arrival here was still clear as day in her mind. She’d opened her eyes, and here she was, in the exact same room. She’d panicked, just as anyone would have , in her situation. And she tried to do what she normally would have done. She had tried to fly. But apart from a wiggle of her shoulder blades, nothing had happened. She’d looked around for her wand, and was unable to locate it.  She'd observed herself on the reflective surface that the humans called a mirror, and was shocked at what she saw. Her appearance had changed quite drastically and her previously sandy blonde hair was now longer and a deep brown colour. Not quite about her next step, she’d peered out of the window and had seen an old man trudging along on a white pathway, being led by some strange four legged creature, which she thought was rather adorable. Feeling a bit chilly, she’d opened the cupboard and put on a jacket that she’d found, which strangely enough, fit quite well. As she’d walked out of the room, she’d been greeted by an elderly lady who had referred to her as “Diana” and had enquired if she would require breakfast. With a smile and a nod of the head, Pixie quickly exited the house where a blast of chilly air hit her face hard.  Pixie shivered and walked out onto the white path. With each step she took, she heard a “scrunching” sound. She looked back and found that she’d left tracks all the way from the front door to the main pathway. Curious, she knelt down and tried to grab hold of the strange white material that lined the pathway. The more she tried to grab hold of it, the more it disappeared off, leaving her hand wet and cold in the process. “What is this?” she asked one of the kids who passed by. The kid gave her a fleeting smirk and said “Are you crazy? That’s snow!”  And thus commenced her journey of discovery.

Over the next few days, Pixie discovered a whole lot of new things. She discovered that the bundle of paper that she’d found on the dresser was called money and that it could be exchanged for different kinds of products. She stumbled upon this intoxicating drink that the humans called coffee, which could be consumed both hot or cold. She discovered that humans liked to go into tall and wide buildings, that were known as malls, and that everything that they required were available in these malls, from food to that giant screen with moving images that they called the movies. All in exchange for this money. She discovered that humans liked to dress up and could spend large amounts of this money in buying clothes and accessories. Back home, she’d always been content with the six pairs of identical dresses that she’d been given. She even discovered that, just like her, humans too could fly. Except that they had to use a machine known as an aeroplane and that they had to purchase something known as a ticket to get on the plane.  But not all discoveries had been pleasant. Like when she’d discovered that her stomach hurt immensely from eating street food that had been too spicy. Or that not everyone had this money that seemed to be constantly in demand.  And that this wad of money had no magical powers and once it was gone, it did not replenish itself magically like the food or clothes she had back home.

Image : Google Search

After a number of days of observing, Pixie decided that it was high time that she try out some of these new experiences and comforts that the humans seemed to be fond of. She decided to visit one of the biggest malls within her vicinity. She’d heard that they had much bigger malls with many more shops in a city called New York, about an hour’s flight away from where she was. But now that her wings had disappeared, Pixie wasn’t too keen on trying to hitch a ride on one of those large machines. As far as she could see, it’s wings were un-moving, unlike hers which furiously moved up and down when she flew. And that worried her. She spent the whole day at the mall, constantly hopping from shop to shop, not quite sure what she was looking for or what she wanted, only stopping to eat some divine frosted goodies, which the humans called “Fairy cup cakes”. Though the name had seemed rather strange to Pixie, she was intrigued since everyone seemed to be buying them. And she was pleasantly surprised. It had to be the most wonderful dish she had ever eaten. Even her mother’s specially rich Butter Bakes did not come close.

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Clutching hold of a large paper bag filled with dozens of these fairy cup cakes, she had continued to roam the mall. Finally at a fancy store, with an unpronounceable name, she’d found a few things that she thought were rather interesting. Shelling away almost half the notes from the wad of money that she had, she walked out of the store, her hands barely able to contain the five large bags that were now stuffed with a  variety of rainbow coloured clothes and 2 pairs of diamond encrusted shoes. Though the names of the shoes had baffled her, the pleasant and chubby lady at the store had authoritatively stated that Manolo Blanik and  Christian Louboutins were amongst the brands that celebrities endorsed. Though she did not quite understand the meaning of the word “celebrities”, she decided to indulge anyway. Especially since she saw a beautiful, angel-like lady purchase a pair from one of the above mentioned brands. It was on the way back, that she’d stumbled into the store with the bag. She had been so smitten with the bag and the fact that she could put all kinds of objects into it, instead of carrying each of them separately. Once she was back in her new room, she unpacked everything and neatly arranged the shoes on the dresser next to the bag. That was yesterday.

Now, looking at the shiny new bag and the glittering shoes on the dresser, instead of feeling happy and content, Pixie felt slightly sad. She was going to miss all of this when she went back. Though she’d been sent to Earth as punishment, she’d discovered a completely new world, much different to her own and filled with lots of exciting stuff. She still had plenty of things to discover and wasn’t sure that she was ready to go back. And that’s when the thought hit her. Maybe she could just not go through the portal. Maybe she’d just wait for the portal to close and then see what happened. She silently expressed a big thank you to the great Lord Fairy for giving her the sense to not have spent all the money. If she was going to continue here as a mortal, she would need plenty of money. Maybe she could go to one of those places that the humans called a bank, and ask them for some money. After all, the “bank” nearest to where she stayed had always put up a sign that said “Need money? Come in and talk to us!”. Yes, that’s what she would do. She would stay back and then go to this bank to ask for more money.

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Pixie was confused. She hadn’t expected anyone to come through the portal, least of all the Fairy God Mother. “Do you know why you were sent to Earth?” asked the Fairy God Mother, her loud voice making the window panes rattle. “I was sent because I was mischievous and caused a lot of trouble back in Fairy Land” replied Pixie meekly. “Yes. And we sent you to Earth, in the hope that when you found yourself all alone and in an unknown environment, you might try to be more responsible. But as I can see, nothing has changed. You are still the same!”

 “Maybe some more time here on Earth can help teach me be responsible” continued Pixie with sly smile on her face. “No!” screamed the Fairy God Mother. “You are coming back with me. This very instant. Your lessons from Earth have no value in Fairy Land. All you have learnt is how to spend money.” And with that the Fairy God Mother grabbed hold of Pixie’s arm and pulled her towards the vortex, which had suddenly reappeared. Though Pixie tried to resist, she knew it was going to be a losing battle. The Fairy God Mother was a behemoth of a woman and extremely strong too. As she was being pulled towards the vortex, Pixie’s eyes fell on the dresser, where all her earthly goodies were kept. As she passed the dresser, Pixie grabbed hold of the strap of her new hand bag with one hand and the straps of her new diamond encrusted heels with the other. “There’s no way I’m leaving those here!” she thought as she fell back into the dark, swirling vortex back to Fairy Land.


No prompt has ever left me in such a befuddled state as this one has. Not because I didn't know what I would do with $10,000. Oh, that I do. But, here's the thing. And as a writer, I'm in a constant battle with myself, to write something different every single time.  Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. And after playing with a number of different scenarios, I ended up with this final take on Pixie and her "earthly exile". .

[This post is written for the Project 365 program at We Post Daily aimed at posting at least once a day, based on the prompts provided. The prompt for today was "You wake up tomorrow morning to find all your plans have been cancelled for the next seven days and $10,000 on your dresser. Tell us about your week..”]