Daily Archives: August 27, 2021

The Guest By Shamel Mujtaba


There are some places that are known for their landscapes, beautiful greenery and lush gardens. Some are better known for their bustling cities and monumental skyscrapers. Others have a vivid and exciting history behind the glorious historical structures that they alone exclusively possess.

But New Turkey was famous for none of these – it was an adorable little farming town somewhere in the vast unpredictable Texas – and it had been established as the most popular tourist destination for a very specific type of tourist. A type of tourist who was local and yet appeared for only a short amount of time only to disappear as soon as it did, letting everyone – even those outside the town – knowing that it  had been there. It had the sort of presence like one of those hooligan motorcycle gangs. Those who roared in on those thunderous motorcycles while everyone looked at them and scowled, and the owners of bars and other properties quaked in their boots praying that they had insurance for the fight that did not yet happen.

The would burst in, with their fake teeth, queer necklaces and oversized punching rings, make noise with horrendous laughter, break a few dishes and more teeth that could not be spared, then leave shocking amounts of destruction for those who didn’t lose either. It’s like they had a vendetta against the town itself – a town that did nothing to them.

But the terrible visitor was not a motorcycle gang – in truth it is much worse than a drunk gang of cave-man like ruffians.

The visitor was more like a bully – like that mean kid who steals the scarves of littler kids every snowy day and uses it to whip them. But there’s no snow in Texas, is there? Maybe they’re more like those bullies who would steal your lunch money and push you over, steal your basketball and push you over, tear up your books and push you over, or just push you over for no reason at all. Or perhaps because it was fun to toss your tiny being around like a ragdoll.

The visitor does do that to everyone – but it’s not an angry bully with mental issues – if only it were.

Fortunately, the town was not completely defenseless and utterly hopeless against the invader. Even in     Texas, they somehow had their own gypsy to predict when their doom would arrive. Every time it was thought to, she would rush out of her hut and scream, “It’s over, the end is near! Kiss your children, hold those you love dear near! Pray your home does not implode, that it’s somehow survives! Because it is nearly here!”

It was the same anthem of doom every time. The calm and serene streets would immediately wake up and begin to thrown all those upon then in all directions as if they were parasites on its being. The fleas would scatter and dive to anyone’s house and invade everyone’s privacy for their own survival.

Many efforts would be in vain – as in moments the dreaded visitor would say hello. It would be like it was being propelled by the eagle in Norse myths. The one with the great big wings that held responsibility for the winds. Except to conjure up this visitor, it needed a few steroids.

Yes, indeed the destructive power this regular visitor would bring cannot be conjured by anything alive – so what is it exactly.

New Turkey was famous for its bewildering and absolutely overpowering tornadoes that had no constructive purposes in their lives.


The Gypsy By Shamel Mujtaba


I knocked on the door of the fortune-tellers hut. I had waited a long time to come here – many good and great things have been told about this fortune teller, he was never wrong, and always brought good fortune to the lucky individual who discovered him. Barely able to contain my overwhelming excitement I hammered at the rickety door. The building absolutely fulfilled my expectations – it seemed mysterious, yet had a warm air of comfort around it.

No answer.

I frowned and hammered the door again.

And again, no answer.

The cycle repeated at least three times before I got one.

“Ok!” an annoyed voice called out, “I’m coming…” finishing the sentence with a curse word I am not comfortable with writing.

I heard some shuffling, a bang, more shuffling and some moaning before the mysterious door opened to reveal the gypsy. He was six feet tall, had unwashed hair that threw itself in all directions, sleepy eyes that were open and closed at the same time, wore a long dirty mickey-mouse bathrobe and a pair of fluffy bunny slippers – had he just got out of bed? It was four in the afternoon!

“Huh, Wadya want?”

“I come seeking help from the great fortune teller who resides here.”

“He got a name?

“Umm, I was not told but …”

“Cant help ya bye” the drunkard began to close the door on me, but given my predicament I was desperate, so I stopped it with my foot, “please.” I said as I handed him a roll of money. He glared at it curiously and then at me. His hand shot out and snatched the roll out of mine – the slammed the door shut. “And my fortune!” No answer. Not again. The door opened suddenly and he stood there with a bottle of – something. “Ya comin comin, hiccup” ,he said, beckoning me in with a limp wrist, Who says hiccup as they hiccup? He waddled inside, and I reluctantly followed.

We walked through what should have been his living room, there was an old TV that you would see at your grandmother’s covered in socks parallel to a couch that took it upon itself to replace the bed, the wardrobe and the dining table – it was covered in pillows, bed sheets, unwashed clothes and open pizza boxes with half eaten pizzas.

The floor was no different to be honest. We passed into a small corridor with windy – and rather foreboding – greasy curtains. I sincerely hoped I was not about to get mugged by a drunk.

The room we entered was as messy as the first, with an added bonus of cobwebs and dust. In its center was a lopsided round table with a stool on one end and a rickety rocking chair on the other – in its center was a lonely crystal ball.

The drunk crashed down on the rocking chair – remaining still on the absolute edge of falling over on the crescent of the rocking chair. For him it was just a chair. I stood blankly on the opposite side –waiting for something remotely mystical to take place.

“Well?” the drunkard spat, and with a limp wave of his hand he beckoned me to sit.

Not knowing what else to do, I complied.

He began waving and limply throwing his right hand over the crystal ball in a way that the community of gypsies would find despicable.

“what I see, what I see, you’re here to *Yawn* see yer future, you are suffering, but you get a raise and fall in love and get rich then the reckoning comes – yadda, yadda – all of that standard stuff.”

He then moved his arm to the right – stretching it to reach a worn out hat that was just as tired as he was. The threw the hat over his head and eyes and mumbled, “You can leave now.” Then he fell asleep. In literally one second!

I just sat on the decaying stool in shock – did I just waste a month of my life to reach a silly drunkard who gave me a prediction as accurate as a three year old would (if not less)?

Thinking that it was pointless to argue, I got up and began my way out of the room in disappointment. Suddenly I heard a voice behind me, “And Adam!”

I turned around, confused as I had never told the gypsy my name, the sleepy drunk looked me right in the eye and said, “Good luck.” Before lowering his hat and resuming his nap.

Q – Describe a peaceful place. By Shamel Mujtaba


Q. Describe a peaceful place.

Ans. The blades of the grassy meadow were softer than the finest silk. The singing of young birds was so well orchestrated that they may have been led by the professional ear of the greatest conductor. The wind breeze provided a cool and relaxing feel as it kissed your cheeks. The trees rustled gently in this very breeze, and the long, green grass formed a slow, melodic wave as it carried the wind, gently touching and tickling your body as you lay in the heavenly bed. The sun shone down upon you, with the exact brightness and warmth it should have. The scene was so incredibly serene and peaceful it could not be real – such a place was the perfect example of a peaceful scene that existed in everyone’s mind.

But, what you call peaceful I call boring.

A peaceful place like the one above would allow your mind to flow freely, and hence fall prey to all the stresses and worries of today. And if your mind is not at peace how could you be?

You need something to keep you busy.

Something with more than one colour.

Something that requires utmost participation of the mind, yet not enough to make it a burden.

Fortunately for you, I have just the thing.

Let me show you.

I held my large and foreboding heavy assault rifle in my hands, and yet – I did not feel worry for myself despite its warning of what was to come next.

It’s a feeling I simply cannot explain.

Interrupting my moment with the rifle, a horrifyingly huge alien foe landed in front of me. He held a large gun – the one and only grenade-launcher. This was no ordinary grenade launcher. I boasted a thick and thirsty curved blade at its rear, specially made foe slicing and dicing an unlucky enemy.  The horrible brute of an enemy stared right into my soul with piercing yellow eyes and murderous intent. I could hear him smacking his leathery lips as he dreamt of the taste of my feeble human flesh in his toothed-chasm of a mouth as the long white hair on his reptilian skin stood erect as his adrenaline flowed through his muscle. He was ready to pounce and tear me to shreds.

But for some reason I did not feel scared. For some reason I was looking forward to his attack, because was ready for him.

He charged at me, bending down so as to hit me headfirst. Considering his boulder of a head this would have been very painful. But I was too good for him. I shrugged and confidently leapt to the side as he charged past me and formed a crater in the opposite wall with a bang. I raised my trusty helper and shouted, “Say hello to my little friend!” and let it rip. The loud, repetitive ‘ratatatatat’ of the rifle was one of the most soothing melodies I have ever heard.

He halted – and the mammoth opponent started shaking as if he were a rag doll with a vibrator inside of him. His torso violently shook side-to-side and his limp arms followed in suit – wagging faster than the tail of an exited puppy. His head rolled and spun and jerked here and there, like he was a teeny-tiny Einstein-bobblehead on the dashboard of a helicopter that was spiraling out of control. His jaw opened and wobbled unnaturally, allowing his surprisingly long tongue to fly out and slap both of his cheeks in turns. His legs merely vibrated in their places, no more active than the atoms of the hardest solid.

His dance must have been the most comical thing I have ever seen.

Finally – the never ending 64 bullet clip on my rifle ended. The award winning dance ended and he stopped wobbling. He just stood there, tongue hanging out of his incredibly wide open mouth. His shoulders dropped and his eyes rolled to the top of his head. His head slowly bent

Downwards and he dropped to his knees with a bang – then fell on his belly with a louder bang. Interestingly, drool still dripped from his mouth despite being dead. Was this because his forked tongue still stuck out a record-breaking 5-inches?

Ignoring that mystery I calmly betrayed my assault rifle for his mean, bladed grenade-launcher. I held it like a flamethrower and departed as if I had just finished a Yoga or Tai-Chi session. I strolled to a large nearby metal door. It looked like it was embedded into the hundred-meter thick concrete wall it pierced. A small crushed and sparking control panel uselessly laid into the wall besides it – Its guts spilt all over the floor. Exposed wires cracked and hissed like undead witches, convinced that I had no way across without aiding them first. Their taunts were just as significant as a flea breathing.


No point in wasting brain cells here.

Taking advantage of the super cool and nearly indestructible sky-blue combat armor I wore, I simply kicked it open. The feeble toothpick of the door flew open with a characteristic metal-to-metal clang. It tore parts of the wall besides it, creating a mystical off-whit fog. It landed and wobbled like a fifty-cent coin.

The wires immediately stopped crackling in shock.

I leapt forward out of the ghost mist and proclaimed, “Here’s Johnny!”

Cute little alien foes jumped in shock as I appeared. They appeared to be wearing futuristic glowing gas-masks, with little light slits in the eye region. Their arms were too long for their tiny inverted-cone bodies. Their hands had large gloves that made them bigger than their oval heads. Their tiny brown frog-legs were barely able to support their disproportionate body. To top all this they wore an incredibly large, unimaginative cone-shaped backpack that somehow did not set them off-balance.

The difference between them and my previous foe was that these pigeons were terrified of the spinx cat that stood before them. I was going to exploit their fear like a professional businessman.


They immediately jumped and ran faster than the hyper-active particles of a gas, screaming and crying on the floor like new-borns. They bounced off walls and each other in perfect projectile motion. I sighed. Turning on, “The Voices of Spring Waltz.” In my helmet, I sent them flying in every direction in spot-on harmony with the music.

And to me, where their limp, confused bodies formed trails of fire as they bounced around like over-cooked popcorn while screaming like hundreds of whistling tea-pots – was indeed a very peaceful place.

I love my Xbox.

Q. Describe your favourite time of the year. By Abdullah Chatta


What is truly a peaceful place? Is it a stereotypical utopia where there is an absence of worries? Is it the existence of solely unruffled and continuous emotions of joy and glee? Is it justified to confine something as illimitable as peace to something as limited and finite as a “happy perception”? In fact, a peaceful place is a place whose sole existence is capable of channeling your perturbations away from your already perplexed and agitated brain, it is a place whose mere mention can dilate your pitch black, abysmal pupils with every possible variety of merriment – making your senses apathetic towards sensations like feeling the sweat drops accumulated on your overworked sweat pores, creepily growing in volume every passing moment. It is a place that compels you to see the world through rose colored specs.

As you lay your head down, its equivalent of drowning into the silkiest clouds that are said to be present at the gates of heaven, its equivalent of feeling those long forgotten ounces of worth being transformed into catalysts that drive your hopeless, unworthy self to feel praiseworthy and commendable, it is equivalent of the most mellow and euphonious voice telling you, “It’s going to be ok.”

As her fingers that have been preyed upon by old age, and her nails being chipped away by time, brush past your flaky and bristly hair while conserving their amicable and cordial feeling, its equivalent of making your disheveled appearance metamorphosize into the most elegant sensation that you would feel that day, its equivalent of having your matted tangled hair being straightened in the most silkiest of manners, almost that you wouldn’t be able to feel it if you didn’t pay close attention, its equivalent of having nostalgia run between every strand of your hair shouting like a child saying, “Feels like the good old days.”

As you feel her hand resting softly on your face, it’s the most wholesome and empowering sensation that surges through your cheek, rather through your whole body, as it continues to flow through every vein and artery at the speed of light, and continues to do so even after your spirit starts radiating positive energy. Her hand acts as an absorbent material that sucks out all your troubles like the vacuum of space. Her presence shields you against any sort of culmination of negativity, any sort of tangible or intangible dangers, or any sort of irregularity that may put you at harm. Even with closed eyes, ironically you feel the safest you ever could.

As she is calmly positioned on the leathery, velvet cushioned sofa, your head, anchored on her lap, your eyes shut so tightly that prevent even a spec of a photon from entering your vision, you could sense every strand of hair on your body, that had been charged with static electricity, going to sleep as they return back to their relaxed form. You could feel positivity penetrating through every single skin pore on your body, patiently waiting to fill you up with it so that you surge with every sensation associated with happiness and comfort.

As you reluctantly open your eyes, you see hair that is wizened and straw like, so dry that they seem fossilized, nonetheless giving an impression of scintillating wires that are carrying electricity of the highest voltages. You realise how her gait should be wonky with arthritic joints and her eyesight failing faster than your school grades, you realise how her facial skin should no longer have a connection to the skull underneath, and you realise how her litheness and articulate speech are what get to you – an echo of youth in someone so old. Sometimes you want to pull away the mask of age to see the person inside, the girl she was all those years ago, until you realise that you don’t have to if because if you listen to her words and pay attention to her smile, to her eyes, she’s still in there as much as she ever was.

As you shift your head closer to her chest, you notice how her heart beats stubbornly within her pigeon chest, how her skin is so fragile it ruptures on anything more than the softest of touches. You realise open eyes are not focused but move randomly, white, obscured with cataracts so completely that I cannot tell her eye colour. Her hair is wispy over a scalp that shows signs of pressure sores, pink from constant contact with pillow or chair.

As you drift further and further into this temporary utopia, your hunger for this feeling becomes incomputable and inestimable with every passing fraction of a second. Like a young child who refuses to let go of their most prized toy, you refuse to ever leave this place, like a conqueror who has taken over every desired dynasty, and like a predator who refuses to share his victory over his prey with anyone else, as a son you refuse to leave the lap of your mother.

The Pilots By Shamel Mujtaba


The pilots of the mighty hawk fighting squadron had just returned home from a death-defying mission. They were, of course, successful. “Aced it” was the group’s motto, and it was well-placed too. The rock star pilots stepped off their jets with their college’s blast cool superhero music behind them. Although the superman theme song was completely out of…everything, it was still used. Unfortunately the group of heroes did not realize that not every soundtrack suited slow motion walking. In all the glory and clapping one of the pilots failed to notice a small jumbo pack of peanuts that was the cause of him to be falling down in slow motion. His face changed from a sense of achievement to surprise to shock to a feeling of regret fullness… all in slow motion. The Audience now began to gasp in slow motion. The other pilot superstars began to frown then glance to the floor-they all began hopping to avoid tripping over an invisible pack of jumbo shrimps. All in slow-motion. First one leg slowly raised itself then the other launched the torso and arms into the air. Unfortunately they were pilots and not acrobats. Their heavy suits unbalanced them and the all began failed back and front-flips. Fortunately the ground broke their fall, unfortunately the pilot suit was surprisingly elastic.

Now the superheroes were bouncing lumps of regret rather than striding figures of glory.                                                                                

No one could have killed the superman theme better than them that day.

The Talk of the Century By Shamel Mujtaba


Four friends meet in the garage where they hang out.

Jason: Okay boys! Here’s the plan! Dave! You need to be ready with the weird rickshaw-cycle thingy when you get my signal!

Dave: Easier than peasy.

Jason: Andy! You stall the driver so he comes late for the entire day.

Andy: I got my tyre puncturing kit ready and my ultra-annoying mask on!

Jason: Bob! What do you do?

Bob: I, uhh, well…

Jason: YOU finally confess to Lily! No stammering! Just recite the script I wrote and you’ll be fine.

Bob: Do I have to do this?

Dave: Every time you talk – no look at her – your legs start getting all jelly and you start stammering like your tongue got stung by a bee!

Andy: It is, the saddest thing…

Jason: (With horrified face) It makes me want to cry-every time. (Suddenly angry) And I never cry!

Bob: (Annoyed) Ok, I get the point!

Jason: Then let’s go! Operation ‘get Bob to finally confess to lily after time immortal’-is-a-go!

(Now outside, Lily’s driver has been stalled by Dave and Bob has to try to talk to her. Jason and Andy are on comms)

Jason: Ok, just play it cool okay. Don’t blow this.

Bob: (Gulps nervously, then walks over to lily) Heeeeey Girl…

Lily: (confused) Umm… Hi?

Andy: here we go again.

Jason: What the heck was that! Stick to the script you-

Bob: (Cuts him off) what’s ‘cookin?

Lily: (Very confused) Umm…

Bob: (Trying too hard to sound ‘cool’) Cool, cool, cool.

Lily: (Immeasurably confused) Okay?

Bob: So, uhh, what’s cooking?

Lily: You just said that…

Bob: Cool, Cool, Cool.

Lily: Are you feeling okay?

Bob: Yeah, yeah, I’m awesome right?

Lily: Umm, I guess so?

Jason: (Furious) What are you doing?

Bob: (whispers) Shut up Jason.

Lily: (Raises an eyebrow)

Bob: Umm… my, err, subconscious- uhh, was bugging me?

Lily: (Raises both eyebrows in disbelief)
(Lily’s driver now shows up in her car to pick her up from school. Lily speed walks towards the car and turns back to bob)

Lily: Bob?

Bob: ‘Sup, girl.

Lily: Consider getting-(hesitates) professional help.

Bob: Cool, Cool.

Lily: (frowns and gets in the car without saying goodbye)

Jason: Dave! You were supposed to stall!

Dave: (now also on comms) and bob was supposed to be remotely confident – or something – But not that!

Andy: So I guess no romantic rickshaw-cycle ride then?

Jason: (Face slaps over comms) Great work team.

All for One and One for Nothing By Shamel Mujtaba


This was it. The moment of truth. The moment I had been waiting for. Waiting that lasted days, days to weeks, weeks to months and months to years. It was a torturous nightmare. But now the wait was finally over.

Its time.

Being out-of-practice was no longer an excuse. I had failed once already, a lifetime ago, and I could not fail again. My comrades were depending on me. Our group’s motto was, ‘No victory without sacrifice.’ Considering where we were, and what we were doing, it could be nothing else.

And once again I found myself in the same position I was in before. All eyes turned to me. Then they all turned away. My enemy had realized that I was still the same pathetic fool he had crushed once before. He stepped forward with malicious and evil eyes.  

This was like the final scene in America’s got talent, and Simon Cowell was expecting to do something never-before-seen that was impossible.

This was like the final round of master chef, and Gordon Ramsey was definitely eyeing me evilly whilst preparing his best insults yet.

This was like the final duel of Buzz light-year, and Zurg was preparing his auto-cannon to blow his plastic nemesis to smithereens.

No, it was much worse than all of these.

I have no time to ponder on fictional situations, this was very real – and very dangerous.

I had the deciding shot, between victory and defeat. My comrades managed to expose the last healing crystal the dragon possessed, and after this was destroyed he was doomed to die. The crystal was mounted high above our heads on an inaccessible tower of darkness that pierced the black heavens. My comrades had fallen distracting the beast from me so that I could seize my second chance at victory. I could not let them die in vain.

I released my arrow, and everything stopped. The sound of my anxious heart beating drowned the dragon’s cries of fear as the arrow heroically flew to his demise. It glided up, arched downwards and eagerly descended to the vulnerable crystal. I could almost hear the dragon dying.

Then darkness.

What happened?

“I told you to come for dinner twelve times!”

“No! I was almost done!”
My apathetic mother glared at me with unforgiving eyes. “Every time you turn that stupid game on you become deaf and blind to your surroundings. This is why I took this stupid game away the first time!”

“No! I was going to kill the Ender dragon! My friends were depending on me to!”

“Well you have successfully killed the mood of the table by not showing up.” And the true demon departed.

This could not be happening. My own mother had pulled the plug from my life-support. The desolate power plug to the computer lay down like an abandoned puppy. I fell off the couch onto my knees and raised my hand to the heavens. “Why God why? What did I ever do to you?” I shouted.


I hung my head. All my insufferable waiting was for nothing.

Once Upon a Time by Shamel Mujtaba


Once upon a time, a group of weird friends were just chilling one day, playing videogames and eating pizza. That’s not important. Whats important is what happened after.

It all started when one of the friends threw a towel on the other. The other got up in a heap of exhaggerated fury and demanded an apology as if he was in a movie. The thrower simply responded with an over-casual, “No way José. (hozzay)”. The other’s mouth swelled up to an impossibly huge size, he shook his head right and left while waving his arms in such a way that they appeared to be caterpillars flying around as one end was attached to a moving plant. Then he pulled out a little stick and spat some gibberish. Instantly a green light burst from it and sent the thrower flying diagonally upwards as if he was pulled up by an invisible jet. He also made a sound that sounded like a retching-cough hybrid.

Another one of the friends leaped off the couch doing a cartwheel, pulling out the big-daddy of all Nerf guns from nowhere. It was a miracle he was even able to lift the orange monstrosity – it must have been half his own body weight. He began waving his tongue around making some strange noise that sounded like : “Ayayaaa”. He then began to fire the weapon that looked remarkably like a hot dog. The little harmless sponge pellets burst out, impaling the other and sending blood flying everyplace imaginable. The recoil must have been too great, because the attacker gasped as he slowly veered upwards as he was crushed under the tremendous recoil and weight of his own weapon.

Another friend immediately dumped his remote controller, threw on a lopsided  metallic red and yellow  Mexican El Macho wrestling mask and jumped for the wizard, while shouting, “Joooooooohn Ceeeeeeenaaaaaa!”. The wrestler belly-dived the wizard, flattening him like a pancake. That made the most iconic splat sound  imaginable. After successfully flattening the wizard, he did some strange body flexes, that were completely inappropriate as he lacked any form of muscles whatsoever. He was a flexing water-balloon – doing the ‘bolt’ pose like he just won the Olympics for the tenth year in a row.

Of course he was deemed unworthy of this stance. We was impaled by a blue light saber only half a second later by another ‘friend’. “You were the chosen one!” He shouted to the el macho-john cena hybrid, who was now a grilled el macho-john cena hybrid. The wrestler fell to his knees and whispered, “john cenaaa.” Then recreated the same splat sound heard earlier with his face and belly

At that moment the attacker with the Nerf gun somehow recovered, wisely replacing his oversized nerf cannon with a set of more manageable weapons. Spinning the two smaller nerf revolvers like a cowboy from the old west on either hand – who was wearing a tee shirt and jeans – he threatened the jedi. “Now you die boy”. He must have been spinning the revolvers far too uncontrollably. One flew gracefully above his head – doing hundreds of backflips before landing on the fake cowboys head. And so the indestrucable cowboy was knocked unconscious by a bright orange half-kilo toy gun with lethal potential. The Jedi stood there uselessly the entire time in speculation of the amazing failure of the professional under-dog.

The jedi stood there in the wake of the destruction that was initiated by a towel. Ignoring all the dead bodies, he simply skipped over to the torn and burnt couch and resumed his strictly non-violent  videogame.

Raider of the Lost Bookshelf by Shamel Mujtaba


He could not believe his ears. He could not believe that this was actually happening. No, it should not be, it was a sheer impossibility. But then again, it was. “If you don’t cook dinner today, I’m calling my mother here!” his wife had shouted to him after hearing him complain about her cooking. The words hit him like torrential downpour, but not of delicate water, no, of violent bullets.

Because he didn’t know how to cook.

All of a sudden he found himself rummaging in every bookshelf, crack and crevice in his house. His bookworm of a wife must have a cookbook stashed somewhere, right? If it was, It was hidden devilishly well. “where is it-where is it-Where is it” repeated rapidly in his head, and he began to lick his lips maliciously whenever he thought it was near. But it never was. He needed a new plan.

“Call the FBI, call the avengers!” were his best ones so far.

He needed a newer plan.

He now found himself digging for clues for the forsaken cookbook in his wife’s diary.

This just got personal.

“Its not here!” he told himself, ”just some garbage  on the possible location of a three-hundred year old time-capsule, well  I don’t need possibles!” Then there it was.

“I decided to put my one-and-only cookbook on the old bookshelf in the basement, to scare him away.”

This was followed by a colon and a close-bracket.

“Oh I don’t think so, Missy!” ,He whispered to himself.

He found himself gliding downstairs past his confused wife and opening the basement door with his head in excitement. And lo! There it was. Lying majestically on the top shelf of the rickety bookshelf, the dusty torn cookbook lied, waiting to be discovered by the adventurous traveler in seek of fortune. But how to reach it?

In his desperate state, he neglected the need of a flashlight and climbed the decaying bookshelf, despite it making more than enough sounds and groans of despair.

“Yes!”, he exclaimed when he finally reached the summit of Everest, and shook the battered book in triumph, resulting in its remaining cover falling.

Then the bookshelf fell on him. Just like Indiana jones and raiders of the lost ark.

He ran upstairs in a dusty injured heap. He was running out of time. Best of all, he could hear “The Final Countdown!” playing in his head over and over again.

After hitting several walls face-first, popping his nose open like a soda-can, he finally reached his safehouse-the kitchen. “At last, salvation!” he shouted to himself. Then he opened the French cookbook.

“Oh no…”

Q – Write a story entitled ‘What a strange day!’ By Shamel Mujtaba


Dorothy had just finished her work and was going home from her office. She was an accountant who had a rather bad habit of staying late in the office, when everyone else had left. Since the office actually ended at 3pm, she left sometime at five or six for home. She packed her bags and prepared for the half-a-mile walk ahead of her. Boarding the elevator, she began her descent to the ground floor, then began the long walk home.

As she walked on the streets she noticed some rather queer sights and instances.

She looked in a dark, menacing alleyway. There stood two figures, and one was holding a gun to the other.

“Gimme all yer Tacos!”

“I don’t have any Tacos!”

“Gimme dem Tacos or I’ll blow all dem crisps outa yer brain!”

“I don’t have any crisps! But I have yogurt. Do you want some?”

“No! I need ‘em Tacos!”

“I don’t – Oh excuse me.” He picked up his phone that was ringing the Macerena. “Yea Mum? Oh no ya I got eggs too! Oh no! Is little Timmy stuck in the well again? Oh no! I’m coming!”, He then looked at his assailant, “Little Timmy’s stuck in the well again, so I gotta go – Bye!” He then skipped away.

The other blubbered some nonsense then threw down his pistol, “It ain’t no fun mugging chaps here no more man!” 

He then stomped into the darkness, muttering something about how hard Tacos were to find These days.

“Hmm…”, Dorothy thought thoughtfully.

Then she noticed a stout vendor screaming as he tried to sell some toilet seats.

“50% off! Good quality! Branded! Easy on your sensitive touchie! Comes with a supersoft toilet roll free!” The dwarf looked at a man who was about to pass. “Hello Sir! Are you in Dire need of a High-Quality toilet seat? Well – “

“Not interested and dont need it!” The passerby interrupted. The vendor looked at the man’s behind as he passed. “I think you really do mate.” 

The passerby turned into a fuming tornado of fury and charged at the Vendor, waving his arms so incredibly randomly it was astonishing how he didn’t poke his own eye out. Then he entered an intense slapping competition with the vendor. 

Crack! Crack! Crack! Crack!

“Buy your dream toilet now!” The vendor shouted to a confused passerby mid-slap.


“Hmmm…” Dorothy thought thoughtfully.

It was impossible to not notice the ancient vehicle speeding down the street at rather phenomenal speeds. The car looked just like Lizzie from Cars, and It appeared as if Lizzie now had McQueen’s engine. What was even more queer was what the people who had boarded the perilous vehicle were doing. 

“Newspaper!”, a man hanging out of the vehicle shouted as he threw a newspaper. The thing was he was throwing hundreds of newspapers in every direction with no particular pattern. 

“Newspaper! Newspaper! Newspaper!”

One of these landed right on Dorothy’s unexpecting face. The title read,”Ne w pape  

Cop e s  run ou  of  Ink! Wil  t ere  e Cons q ences  ?”

The joyriders had made It apparent that they were over-wage paperboys, as the company they worked for did not have any shortage of fuel. Or engine parts for that matter. As they zigzagged down the street nuts and bolts flew here and there from the sputtering engine, as it gasped and wheezed for rest. The engine’s protest did not stop the joyriders as they took extra joy in being chased by three modern police cars, sirens wailing. “Stop in the name of the law.” was repeated on a loudspeaker continuously. This was responded to by a, “Newspaper!” and one such article on the windshield of a police interceptor with a bang.

“Hmmmm…” Dorothy thought thoughtfully.

As two passer-bys strided passed her she could easily hear what they were saying. In their attempt to be heard by each other during the intense car chase, they were in fact-shouting. 

“What are the facts, Detective?”

“So far we know that Leslie told Mindy told Sarah told Daphnie told Dora that Velma signalled Alex who Sarah told Michelle who sent a letter to Leslie to un-friend Emma, Who had earlier told Sarah to ignore Mindy in order to do the same.”

“A most queer situation.”

“It gets better Watson, So I contacted Emma who gave me her letter, after investigating that I found out that it was actually forged by Alex who wanted Emma to be friendless because Emma’s Father’s Uncle’s Grandson’s Daughter’s Son’s Cousin actually dated Mindy!”

“What! So this must mean That Alex told Velma that Emma told Sarah that she was jealous of Mindy?”

“Precisely Watson. This can only mean one thing : That Mindy told Dora told Dorothy told Leslie told Sarah that Alex blackmailed Mindy to pretend to take Sarah seriously so Mindy would feel more alone.”

“Excuse me, But no one told me anything.” Dorothy interrupted.

The detective jumped with surprise and hit a nearby lamppost headfirst. He lost his consciousness then and there. 

“Thank you so much! I owe you a huge debt!” The other said, shaking Dorothy’s hand rigorously. He then turned heels and sprinted away from the stunned detective. Dorothy was left startled. She began counting on her fingers, attempting to keep up with the information.

“Hmmmmm…” Dorothy thought thoughtfully.

Then She noticed the Third vendor of the day. Except this one was far more successful than his peers. Guess what he was selling? 

On his rather small and insignificant cart, oversized letters presented, “Bob’s Quality Tacos” Eager eaters lined up for one reason alone, “First Taco free!” The Vendor called out. Now the eager eaters turned into a raging mob. They surrounded the little cart as if they were invading a foreign castle, all shouting what dressings they wanted their Tacos to have. 

It was not long before this mob in fact carried the little cart across the street in the same way they would carry a stage-diving rockstar. The cart turned, did several backflips and bobbed up and down. The confused vendor rode his cart-surfboard hybrid in a desperate attempt not to get thrown over. He may have succeeded as well. Until a Taco crazy person dive-bombed the cart from several stories up a neighboring highrise, knocking the vendor into the sea of hands. This figure’s battle cry echoed throughout the town and shook the foundations of every building there. “TAAACOOO!” 

He landed with a bang, knocking the vendor off and crushing the little cart into a pancake. “Awwww.” the crowd moaned. They let the cart drop with a clang and dispersed. Only the dive bomber remained. He held up a rather deformed Taco like it was an Olympic trophy. “Finally!” He shouted, “I got one of em Tacos!” 

His victory was short-lived however. Just as the Taco descended to his open mouth, an eagle dive bombed the Taco, clawing at it and carrying it into the sun.

“No! Not again!”

“Hmmmmmm…” Dorothy thought thoughtfully.

Finally Dorothy found herself in the countryside. Her home was getting closer. Perhaps now her normal life will resume?

Not so fast Dorothy.

As she walked, she saw a cow on the side of the road. The cow looked right at her, and said,”Meow.”

Dorothy frowned. She decided it was better to let the meowing cow be.

Then she heard a voice that was all too familiar.”Newspaper!” 

This time Dorothy ducked just in time as a newspaper flew over her head. The ancient little car sputtered and gasped past, just managing to move a few meters away before it decided it had had enough. Just as it stopped a spotlight shone on it. This was that of a police helicopter. An army of police cars halted behind lizzie and a group of SWAT trucks blocked its path ahead. A tank drove over the grassy meadow on either side of the car. Swat teams exited their trucks with riot gear and large guns, pointed directly at the little car.”Step out of the vehicle or we will use aggressive action.”  a commanding voice boomed over a megaphone. The police cars sirens blared red-and-blue, wailing deafeningly.

Dorothy wisely ran around the confusion, leaving the SWAT and police forces behind.

“Isn’t that a tad bit much?” she thought to herself.

But her thoughts were interrupted by a shout.

“I’m coming Timmy!”, The man who could have been mugged shouted as he bolted towards a nearby well. Without wasting a second he leaped in.

“I’m here Timmy!”

“No!” A voice from the adjacent well chimed in. “I was in the other well!”

“Oh no!”

“Now we’re both stuck!”

“Help!” They both screamed in unison.

“I really need to change towns.” Dorothy said to herself.

Finally! She had arrived at her destination. The weirdness was over! Now all she had to do was-

And a truly ruined taco dropped right in front of her. She looked down at it and frowned, then looked up to see a rather unhappy eagle who had lost his lunch before eating it. She quickly shot a look behind her to see if the taco crazy mugger was charging at her. Fortunately no one was there. 

Dorothy didn’t trust that that would remain the same for long and leaped over the desolate taco and into her house, slamming the door shut. Not too long after she heard a voice from outside. “Finally! I got me taco back!”

Dorothy put her bag down and slumped on her couch.

“Wow!” She thought to herself. “What a strange day!”