Balcony

Tanya’s mother is yelling again so she puts on her headphones and listens to her favourite song. She goes to the balcony, Mother follows and continues to yell.

When Tanya reaches the balcony she feasts her eyes on one of the greenest views in the city.

“Why can’t you be more like your sisters?” Mother yells. “They want to go into law and medicine! Not something ridiculous like singing!”

After Mother finishes yelling, Tanya sings a new song that she wrote last night. She’s been singing on the balcony her whole life.

She frowns when Mother returns to the balcony.

“You’re getting married.” Mother says.

“Excuse me?”

“The wedding is next month.”

“Is this a joke? I’m the youngest!”

“Your sisters will get married after they finish their studies. But since you’re not planning on studying, you may as well get married.”

Tanya can’t believe what she’s hearing. Mother has always given her a hard time but this is going too far.

“Fuck no.” Tanya says. “I’m not marrying anyone. In fact, I’m leaving home.”

Mother grabs her before she can move and slaps her.

“You’re not going anywhere.” Mother says.

Tanya slaps Mother back and they both start fighting.

Tanya is getting thrashed so she pushes Mother a little too hard. Mother stumbles backwards and falls off the balcony.

Tanya gasps, unable to believe what she has done.

But deep down she has to admit that Mother’s screams are music to her ears.

Tanya continues singing on the balcony.

 

Writer: Rohan Parekh

Break

Every night the boy next door climbs up Ashley’s long hair to reach her balcony. They share soft kisses under the stars. His sweet words and dashing good looks make her fall in love with him.

She pours her heart out to him. She tells him how wishes her parents would let her out of the house and how she wants to explore the world. He promises that one day he will marry her and take her on grand adventures.

But one night her lover doesn’t show up. As Ashley waits on her balcony, she wonders where he could be. But then she sees him climbing up another woman’s hair! When he gets to the top he starts kissing this other woman. Ashley is heartbroken.

The next night her lover calls for her, “My dear Ashley! Let down your hair so I may see you!”

Ashley lets down her hair. He starts climbing up her hair. When he’s close to the top, she cuts off her hair with a large knife.

He screams as he falls all the way down. He breaks every bone when he hits the ground.

“A fair price.” Ashley whispers to herself. “For breaking my heart.”

 

Writer: Rohan Parekh

Six Star Service

My wife and I are checking into a quiet little motel surrounded by nature. We can’t see much because the sun set an hour ago and it’s already quite dark.

“Let me be honest.” The motel manager says. “Our guests have seen ghosts wandering about.”

“Oh my.” My wife says. “Should we leave?”

“But nothing dangerous has happened.” The manager quickly says. “Nobody has gotten hurt.”

“It’ll be fine.” I say. “Just give us the room key.”

I really need this break from the city. I’m sick of the traffic, the pollution, and sitting in a goddamn office for 13 hours a day. I can’t remember the last time I was home on the weekend.

The manager gives us the room key. My wife and I take the elevator to the 5th floor.

After entering the room — which has an incredible view — I collapse in bed, not bothering to even glance at the bright stars. There is also a full moon tonight but my eyes are already shut.

Even though we’re in a beautiful place that looks breathtaking in the day, what I am most looking forward to is sleep. Tonight I want a good night’s sleep and tomorrow a good day’s sleep would be perfectly fine too.

My wife comes to bed after freshening up in the bathroom. She slides her hand down my pyjamas. After a few minutes she gives up because I can’t get it up. She switches off the light and kisses me goodnight.

She doesn’t say anything but I know she’s disappointed. I feel guilty because we haven’t had sex in a really long time. But we’re here for a week so there is plenty of time for sex.

Work has been so stressful this year. I just need some rest before I can think about anything else.

I shut my eyes and feel grateful that the pillow and bed are so comfortable.

But then my wife starts moaning. I have never heard her sound so sexually aroused.

“Oh god!” She says. “I didn’t know you could do that!”

That’s strange… I’m not doing anything. But my wife thinks I’m doing something to her.

That means there is a ghost in bed.

But I don’t want to ruin the moment for my wife. Let her enjoy herself.

I fall asleep while my wife is moans in ecstasy.

 

Writer: Rohan Parekh

Reincarnate

After her 10th lap in the swimming pool a small boy gets in water. The little boy looks exactly like her college boyfriend did when he was a child. The boy’s diving attempts are such adorable fails. Her college boyfriend died in a motorcycle accident.

An hour later she is feeding the boy in her kitchen. The boy is wearing her college boyfriend’s old biker jacket. The jacket is too big for the boy but one day he’ll grow into it.

“When will my parents get here?” The boy asks.

“Soon.” She gives the boy more cake.

She has no plans to let go of him any time soon.

Many years later she and the boy are shopping in the mall. Well he isn’t a boy anymore, he’s almost a man. He looks exactly like her old college boyfriend.

They run into one of her work friends.

“How your son has grown!” Says her work friend.

Her ‘son’ smiles nervously. She smiles. She’s trained him well.

 

Writer: Rohan Parekh

Trade Off

When I was growing up, I never imagined I’d make a living by kidnapping kids for ransom. But here we are. I was running the rat-race for years and years until I realized there’s a better way.

But this latest kid is different. He didn’t even put up a fight when I snatched him near his school.

“Don’t worry kid.” I say. “Just think of this as a little vacation.”

It’s not like I’m keeping these kids in cages. I’ve put them in clean spacious rooms with TV, books, toys, and good wholesome food three times a day.

“You’ll be home before you know it.” I say.

He doesn’t reply. He’s hardly said anything since I took him.

“I don’t want to go home.” The boy says.

“Why not?” I ask.

The boy takes off his shirt and shows me the scars on his back.

Damn this kid for waking up my conscience. If I give the boy back to his parents, they’ll keep beating him.

“Well, there goes my ransom.” I sigh. “Listen kid, do you wanna live somewhere else?”

He immediately agrees.

I have a feeling he’ll like the orphanage I grew up in. It’s a good place, after all I turned out alright.

 

Writer: Rohan Parekh

Assorted Cupcakes

Mary is worried about her roommate Jane, whom she’s known for years. Jane has been through a lot lately – a break-up, the death of a parent, and her boss fired her. She’s coped with her losses by binge-eating. Mary feels especially guilty about Jane’s break-up.

“Jane, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something.” Mary says one day.

“Yes?” Jane reluctantly looks up from a plate full of assorted cupcakes.

“I know you’ve been through a lot. And I’m a little worried about you.”

“Why? What’s wrong with me?” Jane asks.

“Well,” Mary says tentatively. “You’ve gained a lot of weight and it’s not good for your health.”

Jane loses her temper. She says she is proud of her ‘curvy’ figure and that there is nothing unhealthy about her lifestyle. She gets up from the dining table, grabs her plate full of cupcakes, and goes to the bedroom and slams the door shut.

The next day when Jane wakes up with bits of cake stuck to her hair, she realizes she was unreasonable. Mary is right, she needs to regain control of her life.

The first thing she does is buy a plane ticket to Italy, she always wanted to live there and learn how to make yummy Italian dishes.

A year later she returns home and meets her old friend Mary.

“My god!” Mary says. “Look at you! You look phenomenal!”

Jane talks about her experience living in a small town in Italy and walking every day in the countryside, which helped her lose all that extra weight.

“I wish I was brave enough to just pack my bags and live somewhere else.” Mary says. “I’ve always wanted to explore Japan.”

“You should.” Jane says. “I’m so glad I did it. I don’t think I’ll get a chance to do something like this again.”

The reunion between old friends is going very well until Mary says, “By the way… I hope you’re not upset but I’m dating Chad. We started talking a few months after you left and…”

Chad is Jane’s ex. He dumped her the day after her father died.

“Oh.” Jane says. “Of course, I understand. I’m happy for both of you.”

Mary talks about how great Chad is, how much he has changed, and all Jane can think of is how she suspected Chad of cheating on her and how bad a liar Mary is. It’s obvious that Mary was the girl Chad was seeing while he was in a relationship with Jane.

A few weeks later Mary calls Jane and tells her that Chad dumped her!

“I can’t believe it!” Mary sobs. “I thought he was the one! He said he found someone else that he is more compatible with!”

“I’m so sorry.” Jane replies. “I’m coming right over.”

Before Jane goes over to Mary’s house – they don’t live together anymore – Jane stops by at a bakery.

“Wow!” The baker says. “What a transformation!”

Jane blushes. The baker had only seen Jane in the worst phase of her life, the ‘curvy’ phase.

Jane buys some assorted cupcakes and goes to Mary’s house.

Mary devours the cupcakes.

From then on Jane visits Mary regularly, always bringing some sweet or the other.

A year later Mary grows to astronomical proportions. Jane smiles as Mary’s weight has contributed to high blood pressure, diabetes, knee problems, breathing issues, and a whole set of assorted ailments.

A few months later Mary drops dead from a heart attack and Jane fake cries at the funeral.

 

Writer: Rohan Parekh

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

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.”

“What?

“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

50 Word Story: The Wait

She’s been waiting since middle school for him to notice her.

Now she’s in college and he has his arm around her as they’re watching something on TV.

In a few moments they share their first kiss.

It’s amazing until the pimple next to his lip pops in her mouth.

 

Writer: Rohan

Rush

He’s driving to his ex-girlfriend’s place. He’s well over the speed limit but he’s too excited to slow down.

It’s been several years since they last spoke, but she texted him yesterday and as they sent flirty messages to each other, she hinted that she wanted to hook up with him. She even mentioned that she wanted him to “meet someone special ;)” Maybe she’s finally going to fulfil his fantasy of having a threesome?

Hopefully with her cousin. He always had a feeling that her cousin had a crush on him.

He reaches her place, jumps out of his car, and runs to her front door. He rings the doorbell, something he hasn’t done in a very long time, because he used to have a key to her home.

A little girl opens the door, “Hi dad!”

 

Writer: Rohan