55Friday: The “Enter Sandman”* Edition

grey day in sf.jpg

This Friday, after reading a few of your comments on my last post about Sir Ben, I was struck by how many of you fervently appreciated his work in The House of Sand and Fog. In fact, I was so affected by your opinions, I was inspired to put up (finally) a new edition of the 55Friday.

I love creating an open space for all mutineers to get creative and if you care to grace our thread with a perfect little gem of nanofiction, which spans just 55 words, I eagerly await reading what you’ve imagined.

If, however, you feel like doing something different, perhaps we can do a little “writing exercise” to clear away the cobwebs, since it’s been a wee while since we 55ed. Sometimes, when my English teacher wanted to stir things up, she’d write a sentence on the board and then one-by-one, we’d have a few minutes to add to whatever came before us. At the end of this process (there were only 12 students), she’d read our ad hoc story.

So, I found a sentence from The House of Sand and Fog, and if you’d like to, you may write one to come after. And then someone can follow you, and so on. Normally, I’d say “leave an ‘I got next’ comment” if you want the subsequent turn, so we don’t have two writers scribbling simultaneously, but I get the feeling that won’t be necessary. ;) If by some miracle you all like this, then you might want to start doing that, with the caveat that if it’s been more than 10 minutes, you lose your turn.

Alternatively, if reading all that exhausted you, you can use our THoSaF sentence as fodder for your 55-word flash fiction. Just let your mind meander so you can exercise your atrophied creativity, and write something. That’s the entire point. :)

Here’s your prompt:

My daughter, Soraya, was married on Saturday and I feel already there is a hole in my chest with her gone.

Ready, Betty?

::

*And no, the title of this post does not mean I have given up my life-long aversion to Metallica. Ugh.

45 thoughts on “55Friday: The “Enter Sandman”* Edition

  1. My daughter, Soraya, was married on Saturday and I feel already there is a hole in my chest with her gone.

    The only thing which brings me comfort is the memory of what the videographer said, “Eyes down. Don’t smile. Indian bride never smiles. You’ll ruin the bloody video.”

  2. The wedding was Saturday, but beyond Soraya’s face I could still see 4 hundred ladoos, 3 dozen aunties, 2 flower garlands and a baby elephant all keeping the hole in my chest company. Oh, and a coconut.

  3. When India reached the final of the World Cup for the first time, the city (and my die-hard cricket fan in-laws) went on a collective strike on June 25th – the original wedding date. However, the mini-crisis was averted as Suraya’s maternal uncle’s cousin knew of a wedding hall that was available the following weekend.

  4. However, the mini-crisis was averted as Suraya’s maternal uncle’s cousin knew of a wedding hall that was available the following weekend.

    He (Soraya’s maternal uncle’s cousin) was a famous agricultural scientist by day, and a cutlass-wielding pirate by night. He was also suffering from chronic sleep deprivation.

  5. My daughter, Soraya, was married on Saturday and I feel already there is a hole in my chest with her gone.

    It’s about time. I’ve missed the ache, the gaping chasm which reminds one that there is something for which no amount of pain is a sufficient price.

  6. It’s about time. I’ve missed the ache, the gaping chasm which reminds one that there is something for which no amount of pain is a sufficient price.

    That’s too good to delete, but just a reminder, you’re supposed to continue from the last sentence left, not the first. ;)

    This is where you have to pick up:

    He (Soraya’s maternal uncle’s cousin) was a famous agricultural scientist by day, and a cutlass-wielding pirate by night. He was also suffering from chronic sleep deprivation.
  7. In fact, this was a remarkable coincidence, for his research focused on ways to transplant rat genes coding for 3,4-mehtylenedeoxymethamphetamine receptors into ordinary corn, to create plant-animal chimeras which would also experience chronic sleep deprivation along with him.

  8. For his next phase of research, he planned to do repeat the process with dog genes, implanting them in corn to create genetically engineered corn dogs.

  9. But I digress. Soraya, who is the person uppermost in my thoughts right now, used to like corn dogs as a child.

  10. But I digress. Soraya, who is the person uppermost in my thoughts right now, used to like corn dogs as a child.

    In her youth, while tumbling through the daffodils, a frightening apparition rose from the dew–our dreams and aspirations for her, transformed into a foul ugly splatter of pornography and exploitation.

  11. In her youth, while tumbling through the daffodils, a frightening apparition rose from the dew–our dreams and aspirations for her, transformed into a foul ugly splatter of pornography and exploitation.

    That reminds me – Suraya’s mom had asked me to buy a splatter guard for the kitchen. Hmmm…was it 11″ or 13″?

  12. It was 13″ of course, unlucky 13, but the mnemonic also for the special steel (alloy A13B13C13Z) that the cutlass was made of. Now of course I have to tell you of the cutlass. For it was no ordinary cutlass. (Nor indeed, was Suraya’s maternal uncle’s cousin an ordinary pirate, but I get ahead of myself.) No, that nanoengineered cutlass was fine enough to sunder hydrogen bonds holding peptide monomers together, an operation that sometimes had the effect of simultaneously fusing them, for it operated on the uncertainty principle.

  13. “What is the uncertainty principle?”, you ask me. Well, I’m not sure. neither was Soraya

    She had the feeling it had something to do with Heidegger, but the memory of his name was as far from her mind as sleep was from her pirate relative; though had she known what the day would bring, she might have allowed her thoughts to linger a bit longer on such trivialities.

  14. Although, of course, the only reason she thought so was that the actual originator of the uncertainty principle was rumored to share with Heidegger a certain moral, er, uncertainty regarding the horrors of Nazism.

  15. Although, of course, the only reason she thought so was that the actual originator of the uncertainty principle was rumored to share with Heidegger a certain moral, er, uncertainty regarding the horrors of Nazism.

    Lost in this chain of thoughts, she failed to notice the worm-hole that opened up on the pavement and she stepped right into it, and disappeared before anyone could notice. What could have caused that worm-hole to manifest itself? Was it the result of Nehru and his Fabian socialist policies?

  16. Lost in this chain of thoughts, she failed to notice the worm-hole that opened up on the pavement and she stepped right into it, and disappeared before anyone could notice. What could have caused that worm-hole to manifest itself? Was it the result of Nehru and his Fabian socialist policies?

    Or was it a metaphor for the hole in my chest?

  17. Was the wormhole an actual incidence of pathetic fallacy? That oft rumored literary technique that had caused me to dissolve into titters so often in my long forgotten lectures?

  18. A 55:

    Before children, the heart is inert. It grows with a child, grows again with another so it needn’t be shared; more, it beats with another’s life, not only one’s own. She was the piece of my heart, in which lies now the abyss. My heart’s cavity, a black hole: a part of me has de-parted.

  19. Before children, the heart is inert. It grows with a child, grows again with another so it needn’t be shared; more, it beats with another’s life, not only one’s own. She was the piece of my heart, in which lies now the abyss. My heart’s cavity, a black hole: a part of me has de-parted.

    Which reminds me of the nagging cavity in my mouth. Sourya’s marriage preparations kept me so busy that I didn’t even get time to shop for myself properly. I should have bought a nicer sari. It seems Sourya’s mother-in-law had lots of time in her hands to shop, she wore such a pretty sari dammit.

  20. My daughter, Soraya, was married on Saturday and I feel already there is a hole in my chest with her gone.

    He leaned back in his chair. “Tell me, do you feel alone?”

    “Nothing is left. Nothing.”

    “But, your husband.”

    Soraya’s mother’s hands dropped in her lap. Her lower lip began to quiver.

    “I told you, nothing left.”

    The psychologist raised an emptied medicine bottle. “Is that why you swallowed these?”

    She began to weep, uncontrollably.

  21. The psychologist raised an emptied medicine bottle. “Is that why you swallowed these?”
    She began to weep, uncontrollably.

    She stiffened up and stared at the bottle,incredulously;

    ” Those?? Those are throat drops i usually keep in that air tight bottle.The bottle is pretty.”

    With that, she let go of all that she had held back.

  22. The psychologist looked at the pretty bottle.
    ‘Is this what my life has become? Pretty bottles for neurotic brides.’

  23. The psychologist looked at the pretty bottle. ‘Is this what my life has become? Pretty bottles for neurotic brides.’

    Rubbing his eyes, he thought about his own wife who lived on brown liquids from equally pretty bottles. Which one of these was a bigger fallacy? The truth behind the throat drops or the truth behind the scotch?

  24. I wanted to try the 55-flash fiction, but I did my own, I didn’t use your sentence. I hope I’m in the right spot. If not, sorry. Here we go:

    They filed past the body, one by one, stopping only to say a hurried goodbye.

    His beady eyes shone in the darkness, a look of surprise caught on his face. Someone whispered urgently, “Scatter!” Everyone ran for cover.

    After a while, they saw it was safe to come out again. The cat was gone.

  25. The cat had lingered for longer than it should have. It had the look of an animal possessed by demons, those who kill their own progeny. And now it was gone…

  26. This was because it was a cannibalistic chimerical cat, which had, in a manner of speaking, decohered, although it remained uncertain whether that simultaneously (and objectively) collapsed the observable part of its wavefunction as well.

  27. The decohered cat nevertheless left behind its grin, which had a nonvanishing vacuum expectation value – by means of which it was successfully recohered on an island in the Java Sea, as the chaotically cannibalistic chimerical cohering cloned cat(woman).

  28. “I did indeed see a cat, in a box. According to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle…”

    “What is the uncertainty principle?”

    I’m not sure. Anyway, Schroedinger’s prediction was that the cat could be either dead or alive, so it must be dead and alive.”

    “Did it have nine lives like other cats?”

    “Yes, but if it was radioactive, it would have 18 half-lives.”

  29. The decohered cat nevertheless left behind its grin, which had a nonvanishing vacuum expectation value – by means of which it was successfully recohered on an island in the Java Sea, as the chaotically cannibalistic chimerical cohering cloned cat(woman).

    Upon reaching the island, the felonious feline threw off it’s furry rainment, shook away the base, animal instincts and forsook the dry, impotent science of it’s birth. It was now the radiant woman–unfettered by scientific jargon and socially awkward chemical equations–the pinnacle of our human condition, dressed only in the sweat of her emancipation.

  30. “Papa…PAPA!!”

    Soraya was staring at me over a mound of bubble wrap. “I’m awake!”

    “Sure you are Papa. You only mumble about pirates, cats, and wormholes when you’re awake!”

    I rubbed my eyes. “I guess I dozed off. What did I miss?”

    Anjali smiled knowingly at me. After 30 years of hearing me yammer about god-knows-what in my sleep, nothing surprises her anymore. “Our beti is going to be liquored up for life. She got yet another four martini glasses from the Patels, Sonal’s parents.”

    I glowered at Soraya. “More? How many did you ask for?”

    She looked pleadingly at me. “Papa, you don’t understand. They were all so beautiful, and it really felt like maybe one day I’d need thirty.” Her voice dropped off at thirty, as if maybe I wouldn’t hear.

  31. (Sorry guys, I started writing that before chachaji posted. I figured after 5 hours if no one responded that no one was interested in continuing the cat story.)

  32. For muralimannered:

    “How was it?” Coot-tha ran over to Billee. Coot-tha looked like a well-dressed man in his thirties. In reality, he was a dog. Literally.

    “Ok, more pseudoscience, and my grin keeps staying stuck behind. We have to work on that. Also, wasn’t I supposed to come back as a little boy?”

    Coot-tha chuckled, and where his tail would normally be, wagged pressed blue trousers. “Everything is off today. Come, let’s go get this over with. You should probably put something on.”

  33. Upon reaching the island, the felonious feline threw off it’s furry rainment, shook away the base, animal instincts and forsook the dry, impotent science of it’s birth. It was now the radiant woman–unfettered by scientific jargon and socially awkward chemical equations–the pinnacle of our human condition, dressed only in the sweat of her emancipation.

    For she was about to meet the knight in shining armor she had long dreamt of. Unknown to her, however, her noble agricultural-scientist-pirate-relative was about to turn her into a marvelously aromatic chaotically active chimerical apsara (macaca).

  34. For she was about to meet the knight in shining armor she had long dreamt of. Unknown to her, however, her noble agricultural-scientist-pirate-relative was about to turn her into a marvelously aromatic chaotically active chimerical apsara (macaca).

    ‘Where do macacas come from?’

    ‘Beti, they are from MacacaStan.’

    ‘Do they lean left or right in their ideologies?’

    ‘Beti, if they lean either way, they would fall off the tree’.

  35. ‘Where do macacas come from?’

    ‘Beti, they are from MacacaStan.’

    ‘Do they lean left or right in their ideologies?’

    ‘Beti, if they lean either way, they would fall off the tree’.

    Lord of the Dings:

    You remind me of my second son Hardeep.Always a bit edgy:

    Link

  36. What, no resolution?!

    For she was about to meet the knight in shining armor she had long dreamt of. Unknown to her, however, her noble agricultural-scientist-pirate-relative was about to turn her into a marvelously aromatic chaotically active chimerical apsara (macaca).

    Which, as it turns out, was a fortuitous coincidence, as her new beau was none other than Ouroboros, whose hunger for some tail–any tail–tempted him with his own. His Kekulic dreams could finally be satisfied. An apsara for a Gandharava: how fitting! The gaping hole in my chest is now filled with clouds, with the ocean itself.

    I shall die happy, in my bed, surrounded by bottles of Aquafina perfused with bisphenol. Call this…My Chemical Romance.