The Listener

He promises his dying wife that he will bring their daughter back home. Their daughter has been happy in the city, away from their hometown, because there she has a job, her own apartment, and once her father suspected that she started drinking with boys, he knew he’d have to take matters into his own hands.

Once he reaches his daughter’s home they start arguing. She doesn’t want to go back to their hometown and get married, she’s only 23! She doesn’t want to be a housewife for the rest of her life. She wants more work experience and she wants a Master’s degree. Her father tells her that she’s already been away from home for two years and that’s more than enough. She tells him to get out of her house because it’s her life and she’ll do what she wants.

That’s when he starts hitting her. He puts his hand over her mouth so nobody can hear her screams. He keeps hitting her until she stops breathing. Why couldn’t she just listen to him?

He secretly carries her body back to their hometown.

When he gets home his wife asks him, “Is she here? Bring her to me.”

The father carries the dead daughter and places her on a chair near her mother.

The dying mother’s eyesight is very weak so she can’t actually see that her daughter is dead.

The mother scolds her daughter, “Why didn’t you come earlier? Everyone has been asking when you will come back and get married and have children! Everyone is judging us as parents! You are so ungrateful after everything we’ve done for you! You just never listen!”

But the dead daughter doesn’t reply… obviously. This further enrages the mother.

The father watches his wife berate their daughter.

His wife doesn’t have much time left. He plans to bury both mother and daughter together.


Writer: Rohan

Transformation & Transformer


He comes home early in the morning.

“Where were you last night?” She asks.

“Work.” He collapses on the sofa.

“You reek of alcohol.”

“Client meeting. You know how it is.”

“Next time tell me if you’re going out with your whore so I don’t waste time making dinner for you.”

He tries to apologize but she runs into the bedroom and locks the door. She starts crying and prays for a better husband. She hates living in this new country with her husband. She misses her home, her parents, her friends, and all the adorable stuffed animals in her bedroom.

Her husband knocks on the bedroom door for five straight minutes, but she won’t open it. He gives up and goes back to the living room and turns on the TV. Suddenly he starts to feel nauseous. It’s probably the alcohol, he just needs some rest. But then he notices a little more hair on his arms than usual.

A few minutes later his clothes start feeling very tight. He takes off his clothes and cries out in alarm. There is long hair on his legs, stomach, chest. His back starts feeling itchy and he feels hair over there too.

What the hell is going on? He rushes to the bathroom and sees hair all over his face! And his face looks different… it looks like… a bear?

A few minutes later he screams in agony as the transformation is complete. His wife emerges from her bedroom and gasps in shock.

Her former husband is now a giant cuddly teddy bear. Looks like her prayers were answered.


The next story is related to the previous one but both are separate standalone stories.



I’ve been stuck in the body of a giant teddy bear for two years. My wife told the police I went missing after she did this to me. Or should I say my ex-wife since she remarried two months after my ‘disappearance’.

Yes, I cheated on her but how the hell is this a reasonable punishment? I never wanted to marry her in the first place. She never wanted to marry me. Our parents forced us and neither of us had the backbone to say no. And now I don’t even have a physical backbone because I’m a goddamn teddy bear.

Oh, and you’ll never believe who she married. Her best friend. That’s right, the guy she had friend-zoned since her school days. The guy who listened to her complain about being married to someone like me. Her parents weren’t very happy with the decision because he isn’t rich.

Me being a giant teddy was very entertaining for her at first. She’d play with me and hug me while sleeping at night. Then she started getting sloppy. She’d drop food crumbs on me while eating. Once she even spilt piping hot coffee on me, which I’m pretty sure was on purpose. But worst of all she’d let her bratty nephews play with me and they would hit me and throw me around all day.

Sometimes I wish I had lost my consciousness along with my body. Maybe it would’ve been better if I’d died during the transformation. But maybe there’s hope. Maybe I can undo this transformation and get my life back. I haven’t figured out how to talk yet but slowly I have gained control over my furry limbs.

It wasn’t easy, for the first several months I was completely paralyzed. It took a few more months to even learn how to move my paw, several more to learn how to walk and move around, and much longer to learn how to grab objects. Of course, I couldn’t do this in plain view, so I mastered my body by night.

And now I have snuck out of my ex-wife’s bedroom to go to the dining room. I take a seat on the dining table. I can’t use a laptop, my paws are too big. I can’t hold a normal pen either, so I am using one of those giant novelty pencils to write a letter to a trusted friend. I want him to know what’s happened to me, maybe he can help.

I stare at the blank sheet of paper. Will my friend even believe what I am about to write? It won’t even be in my handwriting because I am not human anymore. It’s such a ridiculous story. How the hell do I convincingly explain what has happened to me? Suddenly I slip off the chair and fall down. I guess I’m not completely used to my stuffed body.

And then I hear a dog growl. Oh no. Slipping off the chair made too much noise. My ex-wife bought a dog last week. The dog is moving closer to me. He looks angry. He growls a little louder. I hold the giant pencil like a sword, ready to defend myself, but my paws are shaking.

Calm down doggy. Calm down. But the dog starts barking. Oh crap. Why tonight of all nights? The dog pounces on me! I try to swing the pencil at him, but I am too slow, the dog bites my arm off and is using its claws and teeth to destroy my furry body.

Now I am completely in pieces. Maybe I can be sewn back together? Assuming my ex-wife doesn’t throw me out. I certainly wouldn’t keep a teddy that walks around at night.

Will I ever be normal again?



The next morning my ex finds me in the living room. She immediately figures out what happened. She pets her dog lovingly and throws my remains in the fireplace. I’m dying but at least I won’t have to be a teddy bear anymore.



Writer: Rohan

Kilo Killer Kamp

She went from a size 6 to a size 9 in less than a year because she eats while sleep-walking. It’s crazy to think that while she’s sleeping, she raids the fridge like some kind of savage barbarian.

In this country obesity isn’t seen as something beyond your control. If you’re fat, society will see you as a degenerate that is too lazy to be fit. It’s as simple as that and anyone overweight for their height and weight will be fined $100 per kilogram every month until they lose weight.

She’s 5 kilos overweight and has had to pay $500 per month for the last several months. If she gains another 5, she’ll be required to pay a fortune to lose weight at Kilo Killer Kamp (a brutal fitness boot camp). If she can’t afford to pay the monthly obesity fine, she’ll be deported. If she gains another 5 kilos and can’t afford Kilo Killer Kamp, she’ll be deported!

She grabs her skipping rope from her closet and starts skipping. While she’s skipping, she knocks over a lamp. She chides herself for carelessly destroying her mother’s gift but continues skipping. 15 minutes later she’s ready to collapse but she’s determined to keep going. She must become a size 6 again.

Soon her roommate Archie comes home. As usual, he opens her bedroom door without knocking.

“Instead of skipping why not run to the grocery store and buy some food?” He says. “I’m starving and you ate all my spaghetti and chips last night!”

“There’s too much pollution outside!” She tosses the skipping rope aside.

“I don’t care. You ate all my food.” Archie says.

“It’s a medical condition okay! I can’t control it.”

“If you were the Big Bad Wolf, you would’ve not only eaten the pigs, but their houses as well!”

“Stop being mean.” She says. “Now listen, you have to help me. I need a favor.”

“Not again. ” He groans.

“Please, I have a boyfriend now! He doesn’t say anything, but I know he’d be happier if I were slimmer!”

“Seriously? You have a boyfriend? He actually asked you out… in your condition?” Archie stares at her thighs.

“Yes, you asshole! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!”

“Only a blind eye could find you beautiful.”

“Will you please stop being you and just help?”

“Fine. What do you want?” He asks.

Archie is an annoying dickhead, but he can be a nice guy. Last month he paid her monthly obesity fine because her current job doesn’t pay very well.

“A treadmill.” She replies.

“Are you serious?”

“It’s for a good cause. I’ll pay you back… one day.”

Archie narrows his eyebrows, “Fine. You can use my credit card.”

“Thank you.”

“Wait, I have an idea about your sleep-eating.”


“Why not put a lock outside your door?” Archie suggests. “When you go to bed at night, I’ll lock it. Then you won’t be able to get out of your room. Call me when you wake up in the morning and I’ll unlock it.”

“Okay! It should work.”

She then decides to do some online research on the food she’s eaten in the past year, especially this new brand of bread called Breader. She discovers that people eating Breader are also eating in their sleep. Breader is one of the few bread brands available in the country, ever since the government banned many other brands for “health” reasons. Breader’s market share is growing every month.

Does the government want a portion of the population to gain weight knowing full well that Kilo Killer Kamps are unaffordable for most people? Does the government want an excuse to deport some of its own citizens?

The country is overpopulated so that would make sense. Most overweight people are deported because Kilo Killer Kamps are unaffordable… Kilo Killer Kamps are government-owned… Breader is also owned by the government… She smells the foul stink of conspiracy.

She throws her bread in the trash.

Two months later after skipping every day and running on the treadmill, she loses 10 kilos and drops to a size 5. She doesn’t sleep-eat anymore. In fact, she doesn’t even get up in her sleep. She looks and feels better.

Archie now finds her attractive. He tries to ask her out but she tells him that she’d rather go to Kilo Killer Kamp.

She starts applying for jobs in other countries because there’s no way she plans to stay here for the rest of her life. Hopefully her boyfriend will come with her.


Writer: Rohan


First love. First hand-holding. First kiss. Arnav and Ashna just saw a movie and now they’re kissing in the back of a cab. The road is quiet and peaceful, a pleasant change from the daytime chaos.

A few minutes later they stop kissing because three men are staring at them from ahead. The men are sitting on the back of a pick-up truck.

The truck slowly comes to a stop. The taxi has to stop too, it’s a narrow one-way road.

The men hop off. Arnav immediately steps out of the taxi, grabs Ashna and pulls her out with him, and tells her to RUN.

“What about you?” She cries.

“I’ll be fine. Just GO!”

Ashna runs. The cabbie gets out and runs too.

The men try to chase Ashna but Arnav jumps in between.

20 years later Ashna is telling this story to her husband, a different man.

“The horrible things they did to him because he let me get away…” She sobs. “I should’ve stayed to help him.”


Writer: Rohan


She’s pretty tolerant of her boyfriend flirting with other girls because he’s proven time and again that he only has eyes for her. The only thing that bothers her is when women continue to flirt with him after he tells them that he has a girlfriend.

He doesn’t mind if she flirts with other guys either. When they go out they compete to see who can get more numbers.

Tonight he’s gotten more numbers so she needs to catch up.

She starts chatting up a random guy but doesn’t notice when he slips something in her drink.


Writer: Rohan


He lost friends when he needed them the most. They stopped wishing him happy birthday, they rarely texted, and when they did meet him once in a long while, it was only as a last resort, if all their other plans got cancelled. And they rarely hung out with him for more than half an hour before leaving, often not even bothering to give an explanation for their sudden departure. The bond he shared with his best friend was as strong as steel, but now it’s thinner than his hair.

Perhaps his hair loss is driving people away? The more hair he loses, the uglier he looks. No, that can’t be it. You don’t have to be good looking to have friends, do you? The one good thing to have come out of his hair loss is that he’s started working out every night. Soon he’ll have zero hair and a bald look is easier to pull off if you’re fit. And at least he won’t have to bother getting a haircut anymore, but then again it’s nice to get out of the house for any reason and be surrounded by people. It’s been months since he stepped outside.

One day his best friend calls him asking for money. It’s been over a year since they last spoke. His best friend is getting buried alive in student debt. Should he write a cheque to his friend? He’s been saving money for a while, he wants to buy a new home in a quieter neighborhood. In the end he decides to give the money to his friend the money. What will he do with a bigger home? He has no one to share it with.

Knock Knock

This used to be a serial killer’s home. It’s been abandoned ever since he died 100 years ago but I decided to sneak in through the kitchen window.

They say the killer cut off little pieces of his victims right here in the kitchen and ate those pieces while he tortured them. He targeted mean rich kids, starting with the ones who bullied him when he was in high school. Those bullies made his life hell – They beat him, mocked him, stole from him, they even sodomized him.

But he got even with every single one of them. But he didn’t stop there. He kept going until he killed himself in the living room while watching TV, which is where I am right now. They say he was watching the weather when he shot himself. When the weatherman said it was going to snow again, he pulled the trigger.

I go upstairs to his bedroom. He actually had a pretty normal family life – Two kids, a dog, a lovely wife. Naturally they all moved out when they found out that he’d killed over 50 people. His first kill was after the birth of his first child. He was very involved in his kids’ school, he made sure his kids didn’t go through what he did.

I look out the bedroom window. Being here makes me feel a little guilty. I never bullied anyone, but I did watch a kid get bullied every day at school and did nothing to stop it. It was a long time ago and I wonder how that kid turned out. Should I have stood up for him? I stayed out of it because I thought I would’ve gotten bullied too.

I’m about to leave the bedroom when I notice that the bedroom door is shut. Strange, I don’t remember shutting it when I came in. I try to open it, but it’s locked. Okay. I think I’m going to panic now. After some effort I manage to open the bedroom window. But I’m on the second floor and it’s a long way down. There is a tree that I might be able to jump to and then I could climb down it.

And now I can hear knocks on the bedroom door. Great. That’s just great. I have no intention of staying to find out what’s behind that door. I prepare to jump out the window. I carefully get on the window ledge and bend my knees. I jump and reach for the tree branch.

Oh no, I missed it by a few inches. I’m falling.

And that’s when I wake up.

It takes me a few seconds to realize that it was all bad dream. I’m not falling. I’m under my blanket, safe and sound.

I take off my blanket and slowly realize that I’m not in my bedroom. I’m in the serial killer’s bedroom.


Writer: Rohan Parekh

50 Word Story: Temptation

His neighbor sent him leftover cake from last night’s party.

But he must lose weight this year. He must take drastic measures to avoid sugar.

He glares at the vile pink box, containing the fatal treat.

He opens the box. He unzips his pants. He pees on the pineapple cake.


Writer: Rohan


Part 1

Nobody knows who killed the girl next door. It certainly wasn’t me, I had a crush on her for years. Of course I never told her how I felt, I was too shy back then. All the boys in the neighborhood liked her. She had a bright smile, wore cute dresses, and always went several miles out of her way to help people. I just can’t imagine anyone splitting her head with an axe.

Her brother was a soldier and by the time he came home from the war, Lucy had hit puberty and was attracting a lot of attention. Whenever Lucy attracted the wrong kind of attention, her brother would intervene. This one guy followed her home for weeks until her brother broke his legs. He handled a lot of guys that made trouble for her. But there were so many guys, so maybe one of them got to her.

Lucy had a jealous friend named Stacey. But every time Stacey liked a boy, that boy would always end up liking Lucy. Lucy tried to set Stacey up with other boys, but it never worked out. As time went on, Stacey grew bitter. One day Stacey hit Lucy with a car. Lucy was cycling around the neighborhood and Stacey was just learning how to drive. Stacey claimed it was an accident. A week later Lucy was murdered.

You could argue that I killed Lucy because I was the last one to see her. Her parents weren’t home, and she was helping me with my homework. After she finished tutoring me, I left her house. About 30 seconds after leaving I heard Lucy scream, so I rushed back to her house. When I saw her body, I called the cops.

The murder weapon, a giant axe which was left at the crime scene, was far too heavy for me to lift. There were no signs of breaking and entering, so nobody knows when or how the murderer got into the house.

Even though it’s been 10 years since Lucy died, sometimes I see her in my dreams, especially if I’ve had a bad day at work.

In my dreams she tells me to never give up.


Final Part

Sometimes when you screw up because you don’t listen to your mother, you’ll have to listen to her say, “I told you so.” Well, I really should’ve listened to mine when she told me not to talk to strangers. But sometimes I did talk to people when I was bored on the long bus ride to school. I remember talking to a middle-aged man 10 years ago before Lucy’s death.

The conversation started out normally, I talked about my favorite subjects at school and he told me what he missed about his schooldays. We both agreed that the food at the school cafeteria could be a lot better. But then things got uncomfortable. He started ranting about how much he hated blonds and how his father had left his mother for a blond woman when he was very young. His mother died of a broken heart a year after his father left.

While I felt sorry for him and his mother, I had to open my big mouth and tell him that not all blonds are bad. I told him about my beautiful blond friend named Lucy who was one of the kindest people I’d ever met. I told him about how she volunteered at the local animal shelter and how she read to the blind on weekends. But the man simply smiled and told me that I was too young to understand.

Why am I thinking about this encounter now? Because I just saw that man on the news a few minutes ago. He’s a serial killer nicknamed the ‘Blond Butcher’ and he’s killed one blond person a year for the last 10 years. Every year on his mother’s birthday he’d kill a blond person. A dead blonde was the best birthday gift for his mom.

He killed 10 blondes before getting caught. His first victim was Lucy. Aside from her, the other victims were kidnapped, murdered, dismembered, and hidden.

If I hadn’t told him about Lucy, then she would still be alive.

They say the Blond Butcher will get the death penalty. I certainly hope so.


Writer: Rohan


Part 1

Her older brother made her drop out of school so that she could do more chores.

“What’s the point of going to school if you don’t get good marks?” He asks.

“Because you don’t let me study! I spend all my time cooking and cleaning!”

He slaps her. He hits her every time she answers back, which is basically every time she takes a breath because she can’t resist provoking him. She wishes he was kind like her father. She wishes her parents were still around.

One day she goes to his bedroom and asks him if she can get a tattoo.

“Tattoos are for loose women.” He says while combing his hair. He’s getting ready for a date.

“Plus, I can’t afford it.” He adds.

She’s tempted to ask if he can at least afford a better haircut, but she can’t afford another beating. She’s been limping for the past two days.

Months later her friend gets her a tattoo as a birthday present. The tattoo is a small boomerang on her right arm.

Her brother fumes when he sees the tattoo at the dinner table.

“You just don’t learn, do you?” Her brother says.

“But you didn’t have to pay for it! It was a present!” She says.

“My birthday gift to you will be purity – something you are clearly lacking.”

Her brother grabs a fork and stabs her right where the tattoo is.


Final Part

It’s the week before her brother’s wedding. She wishes she was old enough to move out because his fiancée is as cruel as him. She doesn’t know how she’ll live with two tyrants.

Her brother comes home late at night after a night out with his friends. It was his bachelor party. She opens the door to let him in. He smells like sweat and alcohol. She tries not to vomit.

“Why didn’t you take the keys with you?” She asks sleepily.

“Shut up.” He pushes her out of the way and starts going up the stairs to his bedroom.

But he trips on the stairs and falls down. He cries out in pain. He tries to get up but he’s unable to move.

“Help me up!” He yells. “I think I broke my back!”

She looks at him curiously. He’s never been so powerless before.

Then she looks at the boomerang on her right arm. It hardly looks like a boomerang anymore, thanks to the scar he gave her.

She goes to the kitchen and grabs two forks. She returns to her brother.

“What goes around comes around.” She whispers and stabs him in the eyes.


Writer: Rohan