February 13, 2006

On blots

As part of the Kala Ghoda Festival, Caferati held a flash fiction contest, inviting entries of no more than 300 words on the theme "black horse". You will find the prize-winning entries here. I'm especially pleased that second prize went to Annie Zaidi.

My first-ever attempt at something like this ended up, somewhat to my surprise, on the shortlist for the prizes. Here it is, for your reading pleasure or otherwise.

***

Blotted out

"I wanna know where you got the idea."

"For this stunt? From you! Remember the little pen?"

"Course I remember the little pen! What did you do with it?"

"Good thing about it was, it was so small that it fit neatly in my hand. So I held it like that across my desk, nib poking out just so, touching Pastakia's dress. Nice big blots!"

"Yeah, yeah. And who's getting flak for it? Me!"

"You? Why?"

"Because Mrs P's got a bee in her damned bonnet, she thinks only Parsi boys use fountain pens!"

"Well, Jumbo, I'm sorry! But what happened?"

"She called my mum and screamed, y'know? Called me 'ganda dikra'. And she went on about a horse, know anything about that?"

"A horse? Where'd that come from?"

"OK, let's do this. You spoiled her dress?"

"Ink-blotted it, yeah."

"You got a look at those blots, I mean a really close look?"

"Well, I suppose so ..."

"Any of them look like a horse? Rorshach and all that?"

"It's possible, I guess. But what're you getting at?"

"See, her daughter has equinophobia ..."

"Lemme guess, fear of horses?"

"... yeah, a bad case. When Mrs P got home that day, the daughter took one look at her and got a rash like you wouldn't believe. Vomited, had a fit."

"So the little girl got a rash. So I'm sorry. So what'm I supposed to do?"

"Little? That's got nothing to do with anything!"

"What d'you mean?"

"She fell backwards on the coffee table, smashed it. Grabbed the curtains for support, pulled them off, the rod flew through the air ...

"What're you saying? You mean ..."

"... yeah. That bizarre story you read in the paper. That was P's husband. Funeral's tomorrow."

2 comments:

Anirudh said...

I got to know of this just yesterday. A week late. Waaaaaaaaah!

Anirudh said...

I didn't like this story much. It's well-written and it ain't all that bad but...

By the way, you could mention the topic- I think it was Black Horse- on which you had to write.