Monday Motivations

So, tomorrow welcomes November to 2016. That means bonfire night is lurking round the corner so my writing prompt is for you to write a poem/piece of prose up to 300 words on the following theme:


Your piece doesn’t have to be about November 5th; you can interpret the theme as you see fit. 

Last week’s writing prompt was to write a story/poem of any length, with the following words in it somewhere: 

Dreams, stuck and van

A lot of you found it a challenge too far, but here’s Rajiv Chopra and another slice of his wonderful Mary Jane series:

The two Hobbits found themselves stuck at the back of a rickety van. This is the price that had to be paid for being small in structure. That is all that the four could afford at the time, even though The Spider claimed that this was the best way to move. A rickety van provided them with the necessary subterfuge.

They tried to sleep, but the van’s bumpy progress kept interrupting their lascivious dreams of Mary Jane. They had, anyway, been in a long slumber since the Third Age had passed into the Fourth; and sometimes the memory of the old days merged with images of the present. Disgruntled, they opened their eyes and thought, ‘the story has finally shifted back to us’. Miffed they were, thinking that there had been too much focus on the other players in this sordid little saga.

“But, the storyteller must be fair to all, must give proportionate weightage to all,” a voice spoke in their ear.

“Who is that?” asked Frodo sharply.

“Who am I? I am the storyteller. I am the weaver of tales. No, I am not in your story, but just stopped by to see how you are doing, and heard your complaint. No, I am not in your story, but I felt that I must interject, lest you Hobbits rail on about being mistreated. Ah, my friends, but I must introduce myself. Call me…. Call me…. Call me Loki. Yes, call me Loki, if you may” I said with a smile, and sat down between them, rubbing my hands. “My, this space is cramped,” I said, as I sat amongst them. “Now, what may I do for you?”

“Give us more space in this story,” demanded Frodo. “Yes, and stop making us seem like nostalgic little wimps’, said Sam. “We did fight dragons after all.”

“Yes, yes, yes, my Little Lords,” I said sweetly, all the time wishing they had bought a more spacious van. “I shall do what I can. And, now I shall be off…” What had that wizard said, about never underestimating a Hobbit? Damned wizards!

“Hey little Hobbits,” shouted Spidey from the front. “Talking into the air, are you?”

“We are talking to Loki,” said Sam proudly.

“Crazy little Hobbits. Sometimes they talk of Dark Lords, and sometimes they talk of Norse Gods. Crazy, crazy, crazy.”

The two men sat in the front, shaking their heads. An uneasy truce prevailed between them. The Spider quite fancied himself in his role as crime buster. Yet, there he was, sitting in a van with The Joker – he, who had been an arch criminal.

“Yes,” mused the Spider. “The Joker is a has been. Once this is over, I will bust him, and once again, I will be King of My Yard. I just need this little adventure to be over, and I will once again be the top crook buster!”

United for now, in their common chase for the two women, a question remained unanswered – one that would eventually beg to be answered – is, did they actually want the women back? If not, then what were they chasing? A mirage?

In the meanwhile, the two Hobbits sat in the back of the van, grumbling under their breath. The disdain with which the two companions has treated them had united them again, but for what purpose? The Ring had been disposed of. Mary Jane had gone. To what purpose then?

The Grand Picture would be revealed in due course. The van rattled on along the misty highway, threatening to break apart at any minute. Yet, there was steady progress.
Over them, unknown to them yet, a bat like shadow was slowly starting to appear above the horizon behind them.

Now, a few weeks back, I set the following writing prompt:

You have 150 words in which to write a story with the following line in it somewhere:

This was a matter of life or death.

Neel Anil Panicker today sent in the following super piece:

There was nothing to see. Almost. His eyes roughly made out the ever darkening silhouette of a sky that looked any moment it would crash into ‘Killer’ Shanks.

‘Killer’ because the Valley had swallowed over a 100 lives. And the year had just begun!

Behind the steering wheel, Rags’ mind lay moored in blank mode.

Despite the cold outside, he found himself sweating.

His turned to his left. Ashima lay curled up, her hands clasping his thighs, totally lost to sleep.

The medicines were at work.

Rags checked his watch. Twenty minutes to two. Time was ticking away.

‘We need to start the operation at two. Otherwise…’

The doctor’s words rammed into his skull.

He turned on the ignition. He had to go. There was no other option.

This was a matter of life and death.

Left or right? He took the left hoping it to be right.





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29 Responses to Monday Motivations

  1. Thanks Esther for your glowing remarks. Coming from you it means a lot.

  2. EDC Writing says:

    You lit the fuse
    It would be rude
    To be a hissing squib
    As Catherine wheel’s
    Her fire sparks fly
    He captures each
    As words

  3. Jason Moody says:

    A flash and a bang
    Children scream, rockets cry
    The vast inky darkness
    Becomes kaleidoscope Sky

  4. Helen says:

    Here is my poem Esther:

    fireworks shower
    knots of fear – terrified dogs
    cry out, quiver, shake.

    Also I hope you received my Discovery comp entries sent by e-mail today.

  5. Rajiv says:

    Here you are!

    The night was young, and the fireworks were starting to go off. “Damn us Americans”, thought The Bat, “And, damn Alfred, and his British customs. Why do we have to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day?. I can set off enough fireworks if I want to.”
    “Sir, are you aware that some believe that Guy Fawkes Day is actually an arrogation of a much older, Celtic Pagan festival called Samhain? Festivals, sir, pass on and transmogrify into new forms, even though the roots remain the same. It is a pity, sir, that we forget the roots, while seeking out new forms, and bless the Gods of modern day television. Alas, sir, Guy Fawkes Day will be taken over by that American abomination called Halloween. Samhain is forgotten, and so will Guy Fawkes Day. Which is why, sir, we must preserve what tradition we can.”
    Alfred’s smiling and unctuous face peered at The Batman and Poison Ivy from above a tray filled with whisky and ice, as the two prepared for a quiet, fireworks filled evening at home.
    Indeed, the fireworks were magnificent. Not so far away, The Band of Black and Red stopped their rickety little van, to gaze up at the sky, as the black ink of night was temporarily blotted away by flashes of light.
    “Coo, I do love a good show, do I”, said Frodo to Sam.
    “Do you remember The Wizard?”, asked Sam, as he remembered the nights of celebration in the Shire just before the passing of The Third Age.
    The nostalgia that was filling their hearts was rudely shattered by the Joker screaming, ”Damn The Bat”, as a bat like display of fireworks suddenly filled the sky.
    “Yeah”, snarled The Spider. “Damn that Bat.”
    “We have competition”, he said.
    They looked grimly upwards at the sky.

  6. Thanks Esther for the lovely prompt.
    Here’s my contribution;
    By Neel Anil Panicker
    Tonight’s the night when it may all go up in flames. My dreams, my desires, my love, even my soul. I am in the garden, looking out at the wondrous skies, illuminated with the sounds and lights of a million projectiles.
    It’s the festival of lights, the triumph of good over evil. For me too it’s an upheaval__of not just this night but for all nights to come.
    Inside, on the cot, lies in wait Aslam.
    He is my husband’s brother. Tonight I am to marry him.
    “Aren’t you ready yet,? The maulvi is due to arrive any time soon”
    That’s Fatima, my mother-in-law. Her sound bite, more declarative than interrogative.
    She may be pushing the wrong end of seventies, but neither her tongue nor her hands have lost any of their razor sharp speed.
    An imprint of her stout legs on my sallow cheek is proof of her prowess.
    Boom, boom…bang, bang!.
    The decibels levels been up like this, always. This being a border village precipitates matters.
    Rockets, shellings, mortars __ I am used to these deafening sounds__ all par for the course.
    Out there, beyond the garden, around those fields, among the bushes, hides Sailesh, my lover.
    In my womb, I hold his baby__our child.
    My eyes scan the dark.
    A strobe of light circles the magnolia flowers to my left.
    It’s my cue.
    I step out, careful not to trip in the dark, gingerly holding onto the ends of my bridal dress.
    I don’t look back, I simply move on__to my new life, to freedom.
    I am leaving behind still-born memories of my ‘husband of one night’ before he was called to war, never to return (missing, presumed dead, absconding__ I just don’t care!).
    Suddenly all around me bombs explode, rockets blaze up the sky.
    Lost in the gun shots that follow are the crazed shrieks of my mother-in-law, soon to be ex.
    The fireworks have just begun.

  7. Pingback: neelwrites/shortfiction/300wordstories/01/fireworks/01/11/2016 | neelwritesblog

  8. DrEMiller says:

    Reblogged this on Write of Passage and commented:
    It’s Tuesday and I didn’t re-blog this yesterday. But it is never too late for a Monday Motivation opportunity.
    Thank you, Esther, for another wonderful motivator!

  9. Pingback: November Fifth (poem) | Simplicity Lane

  10. Steve says:

    I posted my response, ‘November Fifth’, on Simplicity Lane.

  11. Pingback: An Absence of Fireworks #microfiction #shortstory | TanGental

  12. Pingback: Ester Newton’s Monday Motivations – Fireworks. | Planet Simon

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