Genie In A Candle

Day 13 of Flash Fiction Month!

Today we were given a horror genre challenge. My personal challenge was to use the monster/creature trope, using a birthday candle, and lastly ending it on the “The End…Or Is It?” trope. 

Having nothing better to do after school was let out, Alexander, Paul and David sat in a dimly lit garage holding their breaths as Alexander held the striped birthday candle.

“Jimmy sold this to me for five bucks,” Alexander said. “If nothing happens, we go get my money back alright guys?”

“Sure,” Paul agreed. David answered with a nod. “And what exactly is supposed to happen?”

“He said a genie’s soul is trapped in this candle. And you know what genies do.”

“Yeah, I’ve seen Aladdin,” Paul nodded. “So now what? You supposed to rub the candle?”

“We light it.”

Alexander struck a match and lit the striped birthday candle. The three boys looked at each other for a second before the flame began to flicker. The flame moved from one side to the other and flickered from yellow to green to blue. It grew larger and large till it touched the ceiling.

“This is it, boys,” Alexander proclaimed, rubbing his hands.

The flame that was now well above their heads suddenly shrunk to the size of a fist and out of it came a voice that said: “What?”

Alexander cleared his throat. “Oh ye wise genie of the candle. I am your new mast—..”

“Now just who the hell do you think I am?” Out of the blue flame emerged a tiny round head that peered up at the boys. Two tiny arms emerged from either sides of its round bulbous blue body.

“You’re the genie of the candle right?” asked Paul.

“Genie?” The blue entity rested a hand on one hip while the other came up to point at the boy who spoke. “I am no genie. I am a monster from the deepest darkest depths of your innermost fears sent to eat you up.”

“So,” Alexander started, “you’re not a genie?”

He turned his gaze and his little pointed finger to Alexander. “Hell no,” he spat out a tiny spark of blue that hit the ground with a fizzle.

“So,” Alexander continued, “you’re not gonna grant my wish?”

“Your wish?” The blue entity looked incredulous. “No, I’m not gonna grant your wish. I ain’t a fuckin’ fluffy ass genie. Who do you think I am? I’m a spawn of the devil. I am Beelzebub and Behemoth combined. Some call me Asmodeus, some call me Azazel. I am Lucifer’s servant and I am here to eat your sou—..”

Alexander blew the striped birthday candle out and the blue entity vanished leaving behind a trail of smoke.

“What a waste,” Alexander said. “Come on boys. Let’s go teach Jimmy a lesson.”

Alexander snapped the striped birthday candle in two and threw it on the ground. He stomped off with Paul following closely behind.

David, who’d sat there quiet like a ghost the whole time, stared at the broken candle. He got up to leave but not before picking up the broken striped birthday candle, carefully placing it in his pant pocket. He smiled, gave his pocket a light pat and followed his friends.



I Want To Ride My Bike

I put my helmet on
And I tag along
On the scooter you bought
With the first pay you got

I cling onto the back handles
And I sweat like melted wax candles
While moving to the corner swerves
A current runs through my nerves

Then we get home finally
Dearest brother smiling so smugly
I lie awake at night
When my thoughts fill me with fright

Engine too hot it bursts
We skid off and crash
The flames engulf us to ash

Anxiety deadened
Distracted by a QUEEN song:
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike

Lost attention to the balance
Wonder how hell happened

We stop and a dastardly bird
Bestows upon us a turd
I shout, “This is absurd!”
Brother turns and laughs
Then crashes and splits into half

A collision course

Miscalculate the widths
Of cars-to-buses
Face turns up in a history of great crashes
Between the pole-mangled car
And the one that drove into a bar
Except we were pressed against car-to-bus
And life ended thus
A mix of blood, guts and pus

Become that urban myth
The one where “Come Sail Away”
Is to be recited all the way
And the mighty hand of Styx
Will bless you with the life gift
To avoid the first to the fifth

And now you’ve seen
Why at seventeen
I resolved that:
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike.

I’ve been thinking a lot about death ever since my big brother got a scooter…

That Styx reference, I swear, works. My brother picked me up yesterday from college and we made a series of complicated turns but I was singing “Come Sail Away” and it turns out I saved our asses with my perfect posture and distracted state of mind.



Rant Poetry #2 – Unachieved

Push, strain, clench
Until you achieve
Sweet interminable glory.
Your muscles tire
But your resolve
Should remain firm.
Legs become jello,
Toes dig in;
Untangle the knots.
I look around,
There’s locked doors
And I gaze
Jealously beyond them.
Dreams I could
Never dream of
Behind closed doors.
Tired of waiting
I am waiting,
Waiting for this
Thing inside me
To come out.
Now I sit,
With folded arms:
Please sweet Jesus,
Let me shit.

I didn’t mean to be crude at all, but it’s a very common thing we all face in our lifetime. The way I see it, if peace cannot exist without chaos, if everything is relative to its exact opposite, then why should we only talk about all the great things in life and not about the base as well? Like pooping.


The Family Duff

I recently discovered that I am a Duff. To be specific, I am my family’s Duff.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term “Duff”, you may look it up on Urban Dictionary or watch the 2015 movie The Duff in which a tomboyish Mae Whitman discovers she is the ‘Designated Ugly Fat Friend’ (note: the Duff does not necessarily have to be ugly or fat) in her – as you young’uns call it – squad.

Let’s take a moment now to acknowledge my absolute revulsion at the term ‘squad’.

This is what ‘squad’ makes me think of. Cheesy, 90s, super awkward high fives and a feeling that you’ll wear scrunchies and high-waisted jeans forever and ever.

Getting back to the matter at hand, this past Sunday afternoon, I got a text from one of my classmates that – word-for-word – said:

Esther. Your brother is so handsome. So hot!! (followed by some googly heart-shaped eyes)

I know that objectively speaking my brother is a good-looking chap. He’s quite tall, has unbelievably fair skin and his lips are like that of Angelina Jolie’s which is especially unfair because the girl in the family is meant to inherit such divine design. So parading him around on Convocation 2015, I was wary, as any possessive sister would be of their dear brother, of every single girl in our presence. So I laughed and laughed and told my brother about the text.

Then this morning, as my friend – the one in the epic cape picture – and I sat down during a free period, we discussed my brother and my mom whom she said were, “out of this world.” It didn’t hit me then, like when you think of the times you’ve said hello to people and they’ve looked you in the eye but all you receive is this palpable sense of distance and coldness and then you realize they don’t know you, because it was a thought that’s been circling my brain since I hit puberty. Cuz’ you know, puberty is that one point in your life when you’re quite literally beaten up by a million epiphanies.

My mom and brother are both fair skinned and completely fashionable. My mom has the ability to literally wear a potato sack and make it look good. I say literally because the dress she wore for my high school graduation looked, to me, exactly like a potato sack. And my brother can also literally wear whatever the hell he wants and still look good in it. It’s just some heaven sent gift that these two have.

High School Graduation 2011. Mom in a potato sack dress.

High School Graduation 2011. Mom in a potato sack dress.

Then there’s me and my dad.

We’ve both got fairly tan skin, we both bear our frames with awkwardness, and – I just realized now through a photo that my mom posted on Facebook – we both have the same awkward smile. You know when you give a half-hearted smile and it’s not genuine, not that our official smiles are awkward. I think mine is fabulous thank you.

And there’s the issue of conventional beauty. I heard it through the grapevine that some people think I should “dress up” more because my mother dresses up so well. The truth is, everyone has their own style. Even that person you’re snickering at who looks like a hobo has his/her own style. It’s called hobo chic. And of course, my tan skin. That’s just something I personally have to deal with as an Indian. Every time I see a fairness cream ad on TV I roll my eyes. Is it seriously that hard to just take a bath regularly? In my case, my tan skin is a choice. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Who the hell wants to look all pale and sickly?

This guy.

This guy.

This apparent divide between mom/brother and dad/me could be evidenced by our bloodtypes. My mom is B positive, my dad is A positive, I’m A positive and my brother is AB positive. Basically, my brother’s got the best of both worlds – that is, man-ish good looks from my father’s side and the height and frame from my mother’s – and I’m sat here with my father’s DNA. I am essentially my father’s daughter. We both hate social gatherings, we both would rather smile than contribute to a conversation/debate, we both LOVE The Walking Dead, and we’ve both got a knack for written words.

See, my dad and I are merely bordering their godliness

See, my dad and I are merely bordering their godliness

If I were to get into the whys and hows of my status as family Duff (dad doesn’t count because he’s jaded by his old age – LOL) there would be but one answer: divine intervention. It just was meant to be. No amount of plastic surgery can fix what is always going to be there. But that’s not the true point of being a Duff.

The moral of the movie The Duff was the acceptance and turning-up-to-eleven of one’s duff status. Yes you may be the ugly one, or the fat one, or the approachable one because your friends are too intimidatingly striking to approach, or whatever it is, but at the end of the day, it means that you’re that much more extraordinary because you’ve had to walk through life fighting for your position, discovering yourself not through someone else’s eyes or words but independently on your own.

I love my tan skin. It means that I go outside and I do things. It means I can exist forthwith without putting tons and tons of product on my skin. Hey ladies, the trick to getting rid of your “dark skin” is BATHING.

My awkwardness means I can enjoy myself without following social conventions.

Case in point.

Case in point.

And the spotlight being shoved at someone else means that I can take on a variety of things like singing, playing an instrument, drawing, writing, thinking. Yes, thinking.


So if you, hello you, ever feel like you don’t fit in, take that time to fit in to yourself. If society won’t let you occupy space in itself, fill up your own universe.

We are all universes waiting to be inhabited and nurtured.