Tag Archives: barren


Back home my small garden in Peshawar resembles an arid place. Most plants have disappeared. The potted plants have dwindled. My bonsai tree (which I had made from a seed), and had been with me for the last twenty years wasn’t there where I last saw it. Most plants were missing along with their pots.

I tried not to feel it — the dismay, the hurt more strongly. It wasn’t any use. Even my lawn mower had been left to the weather’s vagaries. Rust covered it’s parts. My tenants had asked me to leave it with them, and promised they would look after it, but who keep promises? I expect very few.



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Into the Sandstorm

Daily prompt: Sudden Downpour
It was sunny when you left home, so you didn’t take an umbrella. An hour later, you’re caught in a torrential downpour. You run into the first store you can find — it happens to be a dark, slightly shabby antique store, full of artifacts, books and dust. The shop ancient proprietor walks out of the back room to greet you. Tell us what happens next!


I look with dismay at the short, ugly man who has suddenly materialized in front of me. I feel at a loss for words. He mistakes me for someone he must have been expecting.

Now who in right mind would enter his shop, unless that person did have any business with him?

He beckoned me towards the books section. “Come”, he said when he noticed I wasn’t following him. I took hesitant steps in his direction. He searched for a few seconds, then took out a dusty volume from a shelf. There were layers of dust on it. I coughed, and choked on the dust, as he shook the book to dissipate the dust. It enveloped, and clung to me.

He held the book out, and thrust it into my unwilling hands. I was opening it when his shout startled me, “Noooooooo….. You take it home.”

It was like telling me to leave. I picked my way through the artifacts, and was out in the rain again. I pushed the book inside my coat to save it from the rain. A taxi cruised to a stop beside me. I gratefully opened the door, and gave directions to the driver for home.

Once I reached home, I went into the kitchen. I draped my coat on a chair, and sat down to open the book. Some strange power made me do it, as if it was in a great hurry.

The first page was empty. I turned the page. There was a picture of a hot sun shinning on a barren desert. Right in front of my eyes a sandstorm started. I was whooshed into the picture. The grains of sand hit me, and I was blinded. I couldn’t see anything.

As if from faraway I could hear my bewildered father saying, “Now where is she? I saw her going to the kitchen.”

Into the Sandstorm