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​Short Story - First Word - Mehreen Ahmed

First Word

By: Mehreen Ahmed

People say that the wheel of fortune revolves in two directions. That it slips backwards and sometimes moves forwards. After about three decades, old Brown’s fate was about to change today. And it happened mysteriously enough. There was no logic as to why or how things occurred; they just did, without any rhyme or reason. Circumstance lent itself favourably, leading to his success on this fateful foggy winter of 1875.

A sound of fury distracted them; none other but the wind lashed across. The horses swerved a bit off course, but Brown’s young apprentice Peter handled it skilfully. Brown took his wallet out of his shirt pocket and looked at a picture. This was the picture of a little girl in a polka dot frock. He put his wallet away.

Peter had been here before. They were on their way to the Carpenter abode. After about an hour’s ride, they could see their house. It sat on a vast land which was now in view. Their cart drew closer to the house; the horse trotted gently down the gravel path and stopped under the porch, at a pull of Peter’s reins. With a sigh, they looked at one another. Peter and Brown disembarked.

Someone flung the front door open. Lydia and Jim Carpenter, came out and greet ed them, but not Rose. Slow trepidation pumped in as their heart-rates went up.

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Short Story - La Ville-Lumiere - Mehreen Ahmed

By: Mehreen Ahmed

The city’s spirit is aptly sensed, by none, other than Gil, in Midnight in Paris. La Ville-Lumiere or “the city of light,” as Paris sometimes is called, is full of cultural sophistication and sensuous get up; something it owes largely to fashion, the glamour glitz and a tradition of fine arts. A city decorated with gardens and a regal past, as well as a place where kings and queens have lived, ruled, and fought bloody revolutions. Just as the Tuileries and the Chateaus symbolize the splendor of the royal heritage, the huge endowment, the French revolution, marks a turning point in history, as documented in Dickens’, The Tale of two cities and Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Of course, we already know about the much needed French history; how the mighty rulers perished under the guillotine. However, it is quite a different feeling to visit those sites in the flesh. These streets have taken me back to the past; I see though a porthole of my mind’s eye, the passing chain of events; the artists, writers and the poets mingling, having coffee together and discussing topics, both enlightening and eternal; Edith Piaf, Flaubert and Maupassant; I almost see Flaubert writing Madam Bovery. Those very words, as he crafts them patiently, into the delicate artistry of writing:

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Short Story - The Sudden Makeover - Mehreen Ahmed

y: Mehreen Ahmed

Once, there lived three friends, Una, Ulle and Ursula. While they were all outgoing, Una was a bit shy, Usha was not and Ursula, the happy medium, perfectly poised between the two. Ulle’s vivacity sometimes angered Una to the hilt. One day, they went out to have coffee and as they were looking for a place to sit down, Una said haltingly as always that she wanted to sit at the far end of the room. This enraged Ulle.

“You’re really awkward, you know!” She said. “And why can’t we sit in the middle?”

“Because, I’m embarrassed.”

“Who do you think would look at you?”

“May be no-one!”

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Short Story - Macchiato - Mehreen Ahmed

By: Mehreen Ahmed

Meaka woke up with a cold sweat. By the clock sitting next to her on the bedside table, it was three in the morning. She lay there in the dark, cold and sleepless thinking of getting out of bed. But somehow she could not. Her limbs would not give an inch and yet her brain kept saying otherwise. It felt as though it was racing — and racing it was like crazy.

In the semi-darkness she looked across the room — an empty chair. Her gaze fixed on it almost asking it for a solution but this overwhelming inertia was hard to knock off. Restlessness seized her when she finally got out of bed. It was four`0’ clock. Just a few hours from now, she was meeting a friend for coffee. Quietly slipping into her sandals she grabbed her dressing gown, opened the door softly and went into the living room closing the door behind her. She turned one of the blinds poles to look through the narrow blade slits. The dark sky over the horizon had only just started to glow. Meaka waited for the sun. It steadily came up spreading some of that hue across the sky. She was going to have breakfast with Riana soon. A strange sort of pleasure possessed her at the thought. Last week’s coffee meeting was such an eye-opener; none of Riana’s stories moved her so much, as did this one.

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Short Story - The Black Coat - Mehreen Ahmed

By: Mehreen Ahmed

One black wintry night, Piccolo -Xavier bumped into someone while crossing the road. Once he was across, the person on the receiving end was not visible anymore. It seemed that in the Parisian dark alley, it had just melted into darkness. When he peered further, he saw a black coat disappearing around the corner. Piccolo-Xavier started to run; however, the more he ran, further the person moved away. Breathing heavily he stopped to rest when his gaze shifted towards a shiny object that seemed to appear on an uneven asphalt footpath. As he stooped to pick it up, the lead was gone.

It was a locket with a broken clasp. He opened it to see what was inside. In the insufficient street lamp, he saw that it was a picture of a girl. This object could be of sentimental value, Piccolo-Xavier thought. But the black coat was long gone and there was no way he could return it to the owner.

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