Fireflies - 1

Friday, May 22, 2009

It was the storm of the decade. The sky almost as dark as the devil’s soul, lit up every few seconds in brutal shapes made by the deafening, blinding lightening. It wasn’t even 3 o’clock in the evening but the sun was totally drowned and the very air looked inky. The desert lived up to its name. Rushing water washing away the sandy soil, leaving the proud rocks naked and vulnerable. It could have been a scene from before the start of the civilization if it wasn’t for the long silky stretch of asphalt. The rain lashed down as if trying to annihilate and destroy its ugly artificial presence with nature’s fury.

There was not a soul in sight, just a dark hued Mercedes looking radiant instead of blending in the grayscale picture. The man sitting behind the steering wheel had absolutely no expression on his face. His eyes were wide open, vacant. He had loosened the black tie and opened the top two buttons of his pristine white shirt. The ancient scar around his neck looking almost beautiful.

He would have been safe even in the frightening storm, but he had the door open with his right leg out of the car, resting on the road, mocking and teasing death. The flat desert provided a breathtaking view. If he could take his eyes off the non-existing face, he would have been able to see the earth being hammered by Thor himself. His breathing was shallow, labored - his heartbeats louder than the thunders. There was a time when he would have enjoyed the madness around him, but right now, nothing mattered. He could feel the life draining from his soul, but death was far away..... there was no salvation for him...

----- to be continued ----

My Friend John (Quackster) wrote an amazing poem based on this chapter. Have a look. Click Here

© 2009 by Chhaya. All rights reserved
PS: the image is googled

This is the first draft of the first few paragraphs of my new story. Feel free to comment. Suggest a name for the story if you can.. I will be taking it off to another blog and placing a direct link on this one. Seems like a good idea?


Pete May 22, 2009 at 1:56 PM  

Hi Chhaya

Good, heavy, stuff. Really want to know what's happening next. Could call it "Death in the Desert".

One thing. Best to get continuity with the level of ligt. If the sky is inky it sounds very dark not gray. Rocks and the "radiant" car could not be seen in a dark desert without artificial light.

So I think it would work if someone is investigating the scene with a torch or headlights (or at least its implied).

Or perhaps just say lightening flashes are providing the light, revealing the drama.

Otherwise its gripping.


Pete :)

Chhaya May 22, 2009 at 2:06 PM  


thnx for reading :)
the thing about India and dark sky is... the sun shines so bright that even when the sky is covered with real storm clouds.. it cant be pitch black. i have seen my share of storms but it was never too dark... this is why i used the word "almost". My own car (though not a Mercedes) is gray and looks almost luminous when the sky darkens. i used that reference here.

this scene here is a still image.. just the beginning of a full length story :) .. i like painting pictures with words..
PS: just to clarify .. in India we have right hand drive vehicles.

John May 22, 2009 at 2:29 PM  

Hey Chaya, you start out with a good hook. I think you should take out the "storm of the decade" however. It is a bit of a cliche. If you can somehow revise the first sentence, I think it will be stronger. The rest of the paragraph is outstanding

I don't know what to call for a title, but if it is "Death in the Desert", it would be cool in my mind if you replay the events from the beginning the led him to this ending. Just my suggestion. You are the artist.

Yeah, sorry about not writing poems fast enough. I'm quite particular in that I want to write when I have some sort of emotion or inspiration. Plus, being unemployed, I'm concentrating on finding work and staying a live =)

Chhaya May 22, 2009 at 2:39 PM  

@Quackster -
IF you think "It was the storm of the decade" is a cliche.. then i succeeded.. bcz that is exactly why i used that line. it is _supposed_ to be a cliche :D

thnx so much for reading.. "Death in the Desert" will not fit perfectly as this scene is somewhere in the middle of the story.. but u never know. My characters dont listen to me once i sketch them. he may actually manage to die here :-/

About ur poems.. i understand what you are saying. u cant write just for the sake of it. there must be a stimulus..

wanna try and capture this scene in a poem?? feel free :)

Pete May 22, 2009 at 6:13 PM  

Thanks for the explanations Chhaya.

I get the drift that a major aim in you seeking comments is to confirm in your own mind that you are going in the right direction.

Your responses are much more articulate, structured and serious than most bloggers - a good thing.

I'm glad to know you too :)


Chhaya May 22, 2009 at 6:41 PM  

@Pete.. yes, this is why i write here. As you must have guessed, i dont write for a living.. i dont claim to be a good writer, but i like to tell stories.. i love to read people's minds.. each character in my stories or poems is inspired by someone i have met..or a mix of a few ..

what i think - There is nothing called fiction in this world, only disguised wishes

thnx a lot for the kind words

Maya May 23, 2009 at 11:23 AM  

i m sure u r a great story teller,

to me the start seemed more hollywoodish, mercedes also in some context helped to form a foreign environ feeling, some india specific reference wud hv helped localise it

i think the story is going to be quiet dark,

Chhaya May 23, 2009 at 12:49 PM  

@Maya.. Mercs are very common in india yaar....

the story.. or at least THIS part of the story is set in rajasthan... wait for more.

and the non-very-indian-or-local feel is deliberate as more than 50% of my readers are non-indians :)

thnx for the comment.. and yes, the story is going to be dark

Whats In A Name May 23, 2009 at 2:21 PM  

Hey, Looks like you have shifted jobs from writing Poetry to Stories????
Where are the Poems Man??????
Waise this one looks like a good beginning though....

abhishek May 23, 2009 at 7:58 PM  

Nice start to the story...can't comment on the title until the whole story comes to the forefront...nice build up of atmosphere.

John May 24, 2009 at 3:35 AM  

Hey Chhaya thanks for letting me use your story as inspiration of a poem. You should check it out =)

vvk May 25, 2009 at 12:21 AM  

And the storyteller began reciting his forgotten story in his raspy voice as the wall clock hammered twelve...hehe.kidding.Be sure to finish it completely...will follow through :P
As of now, story gud hai! Very dramatic start...

My suggestion for the title---"The Guy Who did not sell his Merc- and is glad about it!!" ~Lolz~

I cant suggest u an appropriate title until you do atlease a couple more sequel posts. Gud work.

Chhaya May 25, 2009 at 1:45 PM  

@Whats in Name - I have been writing poems ya.. DO read Faith :)

and yeah.. i m finding it really difficult to comment on ur blog :(

Chhaya May 25, 2009 at 1:47 PM  

@Quackster - Amazing poem my friend. i have added the link to it on my post

@vvk - lol

Whats In A Name May 25, 2009 at 2:01 PM  

Hey... thanks for poining out that!!!!!
Have made the changes at mah place now....
Just read Faith!!!!!!

It is amazzing!!!

John May 26, 2009 at 10:37 PM  

Thanks for the link! Glad you liked it.

Outsider May 29, 2009 at 7:07 PM  

Hey Chhaya, we are good and you? Thanks for asking :)

We had so few time to post things in the web but now we will try to do it again ehe


Rachana May 31, 2009 at 1:56 AM  

Hey Chhaya,

Sorry for the late response, just too busy chasing some needs rather than wants :). Nonetheless I have kept myself up to date with your updates ;) but will not be able to comment on them as kinda lost my thought process for the moment. Will b back. Tk cr.

Amal Bose June 1, 2009 at 8:35 AM  

this is my first time here and really loved this post..
beautifully expressed..
will be returning soon..
take care.. :-)

John June 13, 2009 at 1:32 PM  

Still awaiting the next section. I'm sure it'll be great! =)

InkTank June 21, 2009 at 7:36 PM  

a dark beginning chhaya, i could almost visualise this dark sky, more since we have settled in pune, dark skies during monsoon are so common, and i also know that a mercedes would look that much extra radiant in grim, heavy skies. its the magnificence of the mercedes too, not just the darkness of the sky! and the best phrase i liked is the sky turning inky.....hehehe, i am there right in your first para of the new story, whatta privilege:) good beginning chhaya, shows the signs of things to come, i liked the first para best, not cos of 'inky' even otherwise, a very strong beginning! gud luck with the story....

k. sao July 2, 2009 at 12:58 PM  

hey... k. sao here... its been some time, huh...
anyhow, interesting story you've got going here... i'd like to know what happens next! good luck writing... keep me posted w/ this

D.Dasgupta July 24, 2009 at 8:34 PM  

Dear Chhaya:

Once again I was back to Wuthering Heights, but that is immaterial. I am not sure where you are headed. How dark will it be or will you solve a problem?

The justaposition of the rain and the desert held my attention and I am still wondering. Was that intentional? I am trying to figure out the purpose. There must be one. I am waiting.


Deep Da

itsyvitsy August 16, 2009 at 7:01 PM  


A gripping beginning to a promising story. This story is going on two ways - either a thriller or a tragedy. This is more of a prologue than the first chapter of more to come by.

The metaphors, similes only elevate the happenings in the story; I can guarantee I visualized every bit of what has been narrated as I soaked in the prologue one word at a time. I am sure as hell that at the end of this, the story would definitely have enough meat to be a best-seller (Amen!).

It seems you haven't given it a continuation yet, and it's been ages since this post came. But it doesn't matter to me as I was enlightened only today and wish the continuation comes soon.

I would dare to suggest the name "Desert Rains" to this story, and the name is not to be taken literally. I am sure you can find hidden meanings in almost anything.


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