UBC31: Done and done!

When I started the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I was quite sure I would give up before I reached the end (and I almost did a couple of times). Posting everyday seemed an impossible task and truth be told there were several days when I couldn’t think of anything to write and thought it would be easier to just skip a day. But, some how, I got myself to sit at my laptop and today, look! I’ve got UBC31 in my post title!

Through this challenge I’ve discovered some really talented bloggers (Shashank, Vinodini, Tina and Chailtali come to mind immediately). I may not have read all their contributions this month but every time I did, I’ve been glad my cursor stopped at their name.

To quote the husband, my “blog seems fuller. It looks better now”. It gives me so much happiness to see 100+ published posts. I know for most people that happens within the first six months of blogging but for me, it’s taken almost three years to get here. Posting regularly requires a lot of discipline and until this challenge I honestly thought I had none. Now I know different and like a cricketer who risks it all once he has crossed a century, I feel the need to see my score grow and grow! 🙂

Blogging everyday has also improved my viewership in a way that I never expected. So, I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to come to my blog and read, comment and like my posts. You’ve encouraged me and helped me complete this challenge. Thanks to you, I am thinking of creating a page for my blog on social media because I finally feel like people will enjoy reading what I write!

Congrats to everyone who has completed this challenge. I hope to see you back at my blog. I know I will keep visiting yours! At the risk of sounding like Dora the Explorer, I’m going to sing, “We did it! We did it!” and urge you to join in with me! 😀

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For the last time this July:
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So quickly it ends…

Today is Day 7 and the end of the Write Tribe Festival of Words. When I signed up to do this, I was really enthusiastic. But, as the 1st of September drew nearer and nearer, I began to get very apprehensive about being able to complete this challenge. I’m thrilled I made it to the finish line and as I cross it, here’s what I want to say:

Being a part of this festival has been absolutely wonderful because everyday for the past one week I’ve had the chance to read some absolutely great posts..more than usual anyway! I looked forward to what each new day would bring me and thanks to some delightful posts, I have learnt a lot of new interesting things too. 🙂

I had more visitors to my blog than I’ve ever had before in one week and it was wonderful to see comments on my otherwise usually lonely pages. The challenge was to get myself to write everyday but, I’m so glad I was able to…I managed to get a little discipline into my writing regime and I hope I can carry it forward…It was such a good exercise to rack my brain into thinking of new things to talk about everyday…and I had such a fabulous fun time doing it.

Finally, I’d like to say thank you! Thank you to all of you who took the time to visit my blog everyday and leave a comment and thank you Corinne for providing a platform like this for me to get a chance to read some brilliant posts and add my little contribution everyday.

-xoxo

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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013.

Write Tribe

The holiday

Maroo! That’s where she finally decided to go. The brochure promised plenty of things to do, including dune bashing which was something she had always wanted to try. Plus, and most importantly, it was cheap. For the longest time she had wanted to travel but never had enough money to go anywhere…well, she had some money but, everywhere she wanted to go cost too much money and she had almost given up hope until today, when that flame was renewed. Nita needed a break and had made up her mind, she was going on a summer vacation!!

Those first few days of her week long holiday were magic. She spent hours on the pristine beaches swimming and surfing and just lying on the sand till it was time to go back to her hotel room. She explored the town on foot and was amazed at how big malls housing all the big foreign brands existed parallel to old vendors with nothing but baskets to hold their wares. There were luxurious cars and ancient bicycles all moving on the same roads and even the people were a strange contrast of the ancient and the modern with the children dressed in Europe’s’ finest while the older folk work traditional outfits. It was turning out to be the holiday of her dreams. She saved the best for last and booked an overnight safari trip just a couple of days before she had to return to her dreary old life.

Nita’s first glimpse of the desert took her breath away. A never ending majestic expanse of golden sand constantly changing position and place in the hot desert winds. Sand that was so hot during the day, it could burn your feet through your shoes and sand that was so cold at night, you could freeze to death if you weren’t protected. It was beautiful in a terrible sort of way but she wished she didn’t have to leave. Away in the distance, marring her perfect view was a concrete structure. It seemed strange to have a facility out there, in literally the middle of no-where and Nita felt her curiosity piqued.

“What’s that?” she asked her local guide who was like everything else in the city a mix of the old and the new in his colourful headgear, traditional clothes and Ray-Ban sunglasses.

“Oh, Ms. Nita,” he replied, “It’s science facility of government. Not many activity there now.”

“Science facility? What kind of work did they do?”

“I is not too sure Ms. Nita. Animals were taken there one time I think. Before many years. Now, I think all is quiet…”

Nita gazed out into the distance and wondered what experiments took place in that stone monument in the middle of the sand. She didn’t think it looked abandoned but then, the guide should know. She imagined it bustling with activity with scientists and labs and those poor animals….she was lost in her slightly dark reverie when a fellow traveler tugged at her arm and pointed at the line of dune buggies a little in the distance. She grinned and ran towards the desert vehicles along with all the others in her little party spending the next few hours riding the dunes having the most fun of her life before returning to the tent for a local feast.

Nita collapsed in the tent so glad she had come on this trip hardly believing that her time in the sun was almost over. She weren’t sure when she fell asleep but suddenly, Nita woke up to something that sounded like an old bomb-siren. She bolted out of her tent, blinking in the near pitch darkness and looked around her. The sound seemed to be coming from the abandoned science facility where there was a beacon shining out in the darkness and what looked like a hell of a lot of activity. She could see dark figures moving on the walls of the building with something that looked like blow torches. She couldn’t understand it and while she was trying to make sense of what she saw, she was joined by others who had woken up because of the noise.

“Mamma what’s that?” little Amy asked pointing to something in the sand.

Nita and the others looked to where Amy was pointing and sure enough, there was something moving in the cool desert sand. As it got closer, there was a strange rustling and clicking noise that seemed to be emerging from the wave coming towards them. But no one knew what it meant. The guide who had gone back to the main tent to bring out a torch walked towards the sea of darkness and disappeared over a dune. Suddenly, they heard him scream.

RUN!!!! Giant scorpions!!! Giant scorpions!!!!”

No one reacted at first, they just thought he was using the wrong words as he often did, English not being his native tongue. But the terror on his face as he got closer to them was enough to strike fear in them all. Nita looked at the dune behind him and there following him was a sea of scorpions the size of small dogs coming towards them at a terrifying pace. Suddenly everyone was screaming. Everyone was running.

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When she opened her eyes, at first she didn’t know what it was that woke her, but in no time, she felt like her skin was on fire. It was as if someone had doused her in kerosene and set her alight. She was in so much pain, even the restraints they had placed on her couldn’t hold her down and the nurses had to rush in. All she wanted was it to stop. They gave her a shot to sedate her and just before she passed out again, she turned to the beds next to her and saw a  long long line of others who seemed to be suffering the same fate….

Someone had turned on the news and that woke her up again. Everyone was watching with looks of horror on their faces. All over the city, scorpions of monstrous proportions were running amok and authorities were doing their best to capture and destroy the beasts. Thousands had been stung and only the very young or the very old had died, the rest were suffering in hospitals in different parts of the city. It appeared that the military scientists in the facility had been conducting experiments on these creatures to unleash them on the enemy….the sting of these scorpions wouldn’t kill you instantly, just render you insane with pain. They needed a cure…but, the scientists were far from providing one. The authorities were calling it a military-scientific experiment gone awry…that’s when she fell into restless slumber again…

She had wanted adventure….

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Another Chuck Wendig challenge. Hope you liked it!

Her Parcel

The box had been delivered to her that afternoon and lay temptingly on her table. It wasn’t her birthday and she was beyond your regular curious to know what the big square carton contained. No matter what she did, the parcel kept drawing her gaze. When she pushed it gently, small things seemed to move inside, rattling and rustling as they brushed against each other in the confines of their paper prison. She ran her fingers on the outside, thrilling to the touch of the silky smoothness of the ribbon, eyes closed in concentration trying to figure out what treasures it held using only the power of her mind. Strangely, there was no return address so she wasn’t able to tell who it was from.

She had called him on the phone as soon as it came to ask if she could rip open the packaging and examine the contents. But he wasn’t even half as excited as she was. He asked her irrelevant questions about the box and then said no. A firm, absolute NO. She almost begged him to reconsider but he was not to be swayed.

He said that the box was too heavy for her to move. She had pushed it a little. It was a feather-weight box!

He said that she wasn’t as strong as she thought. She didn’t think so.

He said when he came home he would help her open the package. She wasn’t two years old!

He said that she could get injured. Opening a box?

He said the contents could be dangerous. Honestly? Who would want to hurt her?

He said that she should wait. For him to open her box??

He said she should keep herself occupied. When there was a package that had come for her?

He said he would be back soon. He bloody well should be, she thought.

He made her promise to wait. She agreed. Meekly. The sheer injustice!

He said. She did. Some days she got so angry with how he controlled everything she did. But most days, she was so tired that she was glad he had the reins to her life.

She sighed as she accepted that maybe he was right. Perhaps she wasn’t all that strong, some days she felt too weak to walk the short distance from her bed to the bathroom and he had to help her. But, today was a good day! She had even had breakfast on her own…and then napped till the doorbell rang and forced her out of bed…sigh…

She walked to the full length mirror that hung on her bedroom door and studied the woman staring back at her. She remembered how in the beginning, she loved looking at that mirror, watching as almost everyday the fat seemed to melt off her body. She had flirted naughtily with imaginary men and then ended things by flashing her wedding ring. She had never looked that good. She thought. But now, with that figure, she could have been a super model. She thought. She was tall and pencil thin. Just what the agencies wanted. She thought. Then. But, the weight loss didn’t stop. She couldn’t bear to look at herself anymore and asked him to take down the mirror. He had. Since the treatment began, she had become almost skeletal and lost all her hair. Her beautiful raven coloured hair. She had loved the way it made her look. But, it just fell off in bunches until one day he said she should shave it off because he thought she looked beautiful anyway. That’s when she asked him to put the mirror back up again.

Today, she was just as thin as ever and even though the frequency of her sessions had reduced, she hadn’t regained any weight. She was still skinny. But, that was alright she thought. What saddened her most was that there wasn’t even the slightest hint of fuzz on her head. It didn’t look like her hair was making a coming back. She missed her long hair. She turned away from the mirror and wished she hadn’t looked at it at all. Was she vain? Probably…but, any woman who said she didn’t care about the way she looked was a liar she thought.

She looked out the window and noticed the sky had turned a beautiful red. He would be back any minute. When she heard the key turn in the lock, she rushed to the door, scarcely giving him a peck on the cheek before pulling him towards her box. He laughed as he sat with her to open up her package. He pulled out a small box containing some fancy looking pens. There was a roll of handmade paper. A box containing little bits and bobs for her artwork. As he kept pulling out little things that she loved, she realized that the package was probably from him and grew more and more happy. Finally, she pushed the box a little and it felt empty so she sat back to examine her loot. What a haul! She was delighted. But, it wasn’t over. He put his hand in the box one last time and pulled out something long and black. She looked at it confused, before her eyes widened, registering what it was.

There in the light of the setting sun, she ran to the mirror, the one she had begun to loathe and put on the wig. She looked at herself and smiled. She looked beautiful again. She thought. She was the luckiest woman in the world. She thought. Who else would know what little things made her so happy? Who else would have thought of a wig?

She asked him why. He told her that he wanted her to feel beautiful again, even though he had never thought she was anything else. She looked at him with happy tears in her eyes.

He said he would do anything to see her smile like that. She said that she loved him.

Maybe she really was the luckiest woman in the world. She thought…no…she knew.

(This was part of a Flash Fiction challenge using five randomly generated words which were, figure, dusk, flirt, mobile phone and wig)