Revisiting Ashenden

During World War-I, British Intelligence sent W Somerset Maugham (He later got the Nobel Prize for Literature) to run a spy ring in Switzerland. Based on his experiences as a spy Maugham published a set of short stories in his novel Ashenden. I narrate here a small incident that Maugham did not include in his famous novel.
Prompt  ….

Photo prompt provided by Louise with The Storyteller’s Abode. Thank you Louise!
Ashenden received an invitation to a weekly concert organized by an anglicized German family and was ordered by R to attend it. The order was followed by a letter that contained detailed instructions.
Ashenden reached the concert and occupied a sofa-chair near the pianist and his helper who appeared to be his daughter but in fact was an orphan adopted by the lady of the house who liked to sing and was fond of the applause that followed.
The pianist fumbled during the concert and all the music-sheets fell to the floor. The pianist was at his wits end and his helper thinking it was her fault ran in to the house to hide her tears.
Ashenden collected the sheets and placed them on the sheet-holder. The guests were busy voicing their opinions and nobody noticed that Ashenden had pocketed the original sheets and replaced them with another set. He had no knowledge if the task had anything to do with the ongoing war.
Words <175
More than a decade after the war ended, R told him that his efforts had saved a compromised British agent and his family from certain death.

Thank you Priceless Joy

 

Thakur’s venture

Prompt  ….

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Thakur owned many hundred acres of land, both side of the fence. The people outside the fence lived as they had for last many centuries. They did what the Thakur ordered. They just knew that those who lived behind the fence were a different breed. They arrived and departed in large cars or the helicopter at odd times … but it had nothing to do with them.

 Behind the fence the white, yellow, brown and black men in white coats worked with unidentified gadgets to develop bio-nano-chips for combating diseases. Those in the know labeled it as the bio-Manhattan project.

Words ~ 100
Thakur ~ Landlord
1

Thanks for the prompt Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. SHALOM.

 

Troubadours today

Prompt  ….

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Sunayana MoiPensieve. Thank you.
Rhetoric, music and poetical fiction best describe the art of troubadours and buskers. It was a way of life for some till last century.  There are few who still practice this art for the love of it or for livelihood.
The busker in front of the metro station between the transport and film museum was playing to an empty pavement. The lady walking out took in the scene and saw the lone man shooting the video of the artist’s performance.  She smiled to herself and walked on thinking – another one looking for a break into the whirlwind lifestyle of nightclubs and limousines.
Words ~ 1o5

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Naturally magical

Ted, Julian, Fred, Taru  and Fiona  collected at Mr Jhingaroo’s new residence in Kyoto for a tete-a-tete with their old mentor on magic. They wanted to know more of time.

Prompt  ….

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast

Women are naturally aware of time through their physical bodies. It is called as metaformic consciousness. This power makes them superior to men. That is why they are better at real magic. Mr J explained to Ted, who had recently been humiliated by Fiona at a magical contest.

Taru and Fiona smiled.

So what did men do? Ted asked.

The men turned to sun and the world beyond to find their magic. They started with sun-worship and endeavored to measure it objectively.

Did it help? Fiona inquired.

Not really, for women are naturally magical. Unfortunately this difference is politically exploited.

Words <100
1

    Thanks for the prompt Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. SHALOM.

 

The devil’s haunt

Prompt  ….

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Tim Livingston with the blog, The ForesterArtist. Thank you Tim.
I believe in God, Demons and Devil as the good, bad and ugly aspects of human nature. I and a few friends were discussing the psychological and neurological basis of religious belief. It is a fiercely debated subject in diverse disciplines. Many believe that contemporary psychological theories consider religious belief and behavior as a complex neural-phenomena that manifested in humans along with social cognition.
Slowly the discussion tailed off in to semantics.
Dom – Where does God live?
Friend#1 – In the wide cosmos beyond this planet.
Dom – …. Where does the devil live?
Friend#2 – On this planet!
Dom – Where on this Earth?
Friend#2 – He is fairly ubiquitous.
Dom – That may be true but he specifically haunts the steering wheels. As soon as a human lays his hands on the steering wheel – he gets the surge of power that infuses a sense of being all- powerful.
Friend#1 – Explain?
Dom – Review road traffic accident statistics, harsh traffic and licensing rules and examine the newspaper-archives for road-rage crimes – all your doubts shall soon dispel.
Words <175

Thank you Priceless Joy

 

Hopper-culture

Prompt  ….

PHOTO PROMPT © Shaktiki Sharma

PHOTO PROMPT © Shaktiki Sharma

The average human is either a hopper or an ant by instinct. The hopper-types are colorful and hedonistic by nature and enjoy life to the hilt; and die young. The ant-types work hard live prudently and live long. A grasshopper is therefore, the symbol of good luck all over the world.

A hopper has an average life span of just one year as compared to common black ant – that may live up to 15 years. No wonder the feisty hopper-type is the hero of short stories by Aesop, Maugham, and Chekhov.

Do nt deride hopper-culture, it may resolve much of strife today.

Words ~ 101
1

Thanks for the prompt Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. SHALOM.

 

He came back

Prompt  ….

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Mike Vore. Thank you Mike.

The general was addicted to billiards. Some believed him responsible for the loss of a minor skirmish, where his country lost a few miles permanently to the invaders along with many soldiers as he failed to give proper orders being too busy winning another game. The canons were shot both on the table and on the border. He was dishonorably discharged but continued to enjoy his addiction till his last day.

His family continued to suffer even after his death as the balls continued to click in the billiard room each night. There were shouts of applause, curses and loud arguments.  Finally the billiard table was dismantled and stored and an elaborate exorcism was pronounced in the billiard-room.

2017

Richard flunked in all subjects. His parents investigated and found him to be addicted to digital-pool. He was inseparable from his android phone.

‘Has the General come back as Richard,’ wondered the General’s grandson.

Words  ~ 153

 

Thank you Priceless Joy