What are the 5 characteristics of a short story? They are true masters at combining the five key elements that go into every great short story: character, setting, conflict, plot and theme. The basic steps of a plot are: conflict begins, things go right, things go WRONG, final victory (or defeat), and wrap-up. The right-wrong steps can repeat. A novel can have several conflicts, but a short story should have only one. While we selected these stories out of a huge pile of submissions, some pieces stood out and clearly deserve a seperate mention due to their excellence: 1. Wine and Blood 2. I hope you never know 3. Pigeon 4. The Money Order 5. Eclectic Shorts 6. Enough 7. Irene 8. The Beginning of the End 9. Love in the Line of Fire 10. The Last Blink 11. An Adopted Dream 12. Zombie Train 13. Was She? 14. Platonic Love 15. paanch patthar Some of the stories that we compiled were simply selected on the basis of the themes chosen by their respective authors.A theme is something important the story tries to tell us-something that might help us in our own lives. Not every story has a theme, but it's best if it does. While some others were selected due toi the authors' style of writing. The strongest stories have well-developed themes, engaging plots, suitable structure, memorable characters, well-chosen settings, and attractive style. Now you might argue that good writers often break rules-but they know they're doing it! So our biggest recommendation for aspiring writers is to read more, write often but most importantly self-edit ruthlessly. Owing to the fact that we as a team aim to provide a platform for new a nd aspiring writers across borders, we named this volume -Blooming Tales. And now without further ado, we present blooming tales from our very talented writers.
Sagarika (Aarthi Sampath, Chennai ,Tamilnadu)
Silence consumed Sarika. She wasn't like this before, she's like symphony; her friends would tease her, but not anymore. She's watching the sea and waves rolling and roaring like her soul deafening with questions, gazing beyond the horizon.
Thinking about her college days, spending her weekend with friends going restaurant, modeling, learning new languages and their cultures felt euphoric. And her beloved Sagar, little brown, little taller than her, handsome and very soft spoken, whom she met through common friend more kind of dating. Slowly their friendship grew, she fell in love with him; she was his muse. He was thriving to be an author of bestseller that he's planning to release soon, while she was successful in her modeling career. Sagar was happy to help her during the day, and the nights he spent working on his manuscript. Most weekends they spend time alone.
Sarika was full of life when she's with Sagar: they walked the lonely streets, fingers intertwined; she would sing for him, he would play the ukulele, watching her sing and dance. Slowly their love grew. She told her parents about him and they accepted her decision; Sagar's parents were also happy for their boy getting married.
As their cultures and language differed, they chose for a simple wedding. Sagar took her to his home. It's a small place far from the city-his home, overlooking a lake and surrounded by trees, was not so big but ideal for spending a weekend.
She was happy to visit his place as and spent the night with him. He took her to a small tour around the house and the lake where watching the sunset thrilled her. They kissed under sunset sky, as the cosmos witnessed yet another love story.
"Sarika, Sarika" someone shook her shoulder brought her to present. It's Rishi, Sarika's husband and Sagar's friend. When Sarika saw him she broke down; tears flowed blurring her eyes. It was the same twilight she witnessed, but there's no Sagar by her side. She felt lonely. Even though she's married, her heart still longs for Sagar. Rishi consoled Sarika and drove her home; the same home where Sagar lived and the past flashed before her eyes-the same date two years back. That night Sagar cooked for her, and both stayed awake and spend the whole night in his terrace sipping hot chai, with cool conversation about their life, and of starting family; about the fairytale wedding at a beach, with the sound of waves and under a blue sky, where he wanted tie knot with her, and about the places they wanted to travel. She asked him about the manuscript his working, but he denied to show that he told it's a wedding gift. He then told her about having babies. Sagar loved babies; he wanted to have a baby girl just like Sarika, he even named the unborn child-formed by joining his and her name-Sagarika. Sarika saw the aching desires in those eyes when he spelled the name, and suddenly "Sagarika," he called from the terrace loud and clear. They both laughed, he held her hands kissed her palm. He was laughing the whole time, never letting hand go off his grip. "Your name is kind of euphoric," Sagar told her. Sarika was too shy to look at his eyes. "This love is overwhelming," Sarika whispered in his ears, and she found solace in his embrace as he wrapped his arms around her, and she lay on his chest.
Next morning, he made breakfast for her; she was watching him cook, and gently wrapped her hands from behind and kissed him. "Couldn't ask for more," she whispered. Her voice cracked, breaking like someone is pulling her from him "Sagar, Sagar" she screamed which was followed by loud thunder that woke her up from the past. Rishi, who was sleeping beside her, woke up too and placing his hands on her shoulder, shook her. "What happened?" Rishi asked. She rested her head on his shoulder and started to cry, while Rishi consoled her and told her to sleep as it was past midnight.
But she could never sleep, her mind and soul unwinding past, searching for what went wrong between them. Though she was able to accept rishi in her life, she couldn't give herself to Rishi.
Her mind couldn't accept her as a husband. She's like the old soul full of nostalgia of Sagar's love; she couldn't let go of Sagar as his touch was still wrapped around her skin, infused in her bones, every heartbeat, and smile reminded her of him.
She whispered in his ears "couldn't ask for more." He turned to look at her and his palm holding her face tracing her dimples, "Sarika," he whispered in her ears, "let's marry now" and he kissed her lips. But she stopped with hands and smiled. Too shy to look at him, she buried her face into his chest for a while; reluctant to leave this moment, he hugged her tightly.
But they were interrupted when Sarika's phone beeped. "Got to go" she said, and he kissed her forehead.
He drove her to the city; the day was too busy for Sarika and Sagar. He told her that he would meet in the evening and take her home.
Few weeks later Rishi married Sarika.
The same beach where she and Sagar had planned.
The wedding night was not the one she expected. Rishi was waiting for her when she entered their bedroom. He smiled and touched her. But Sarika started yelling at him and pushed Rishi away. She cried not to touch her and sat in the corner of the room crying. "Leave me alone, Rishi please," she begged.
And he told her not to cry, wiped her tears, told her it's okay, and told her to sleep. And he was beside her the whole night
Rishi woke up as the sun filtered through the curtains. He saw his wife Sarika sleeping beside him; he pulled himself closer and gently stroked her hair. He watched her sleep. "Sarika," he whispered in her ears, and saw tears rolling down her cheeks. He wiped her tears, his eyes moistened too.
His phone beeped, he opened and saw a new message.
The message read:
"Sagar is serious, come soon."
Rishi read the messafe and couldn't bear this news. He started crying with a strange heaviness in his chest. He watched his wife still sleeping, got dressed and left a note for her:
"Will be back by evening".
He then walked out of his house, closed the door and locked it.
By the time he reached the hospital, Sagar's parents were waiting. Rishi broke down when he saw Sagar's dad, and hugged him. Sagar's father consoled him
Rishi entered ICU for one last time. He wanted to speak, but Sagar was unconscious, and the doctors were waiting to pull the plug. Rishi held Sagar's hand; his chin trembling, tears falling uncontrollably and shoulders heaved as he sobbed, and tears from Sagar's eyes kept falling.
Rishi whispered in his ears, "Sagar, I will take care of your Sarika."
The moment he told those words, Sagar opened his eyes but there was no life in them.
The monitor left long beep, and then stopped.
Same time in his house, Sarika screamed, "Sagar, don't leave me."
Then she was awakened by some voice calling her name. But there was no one around. She read Rishi message. Her heart was beating out of chest.
She closed her eyes, but she couldn't sleep. So, she got up, opened the wardrobe, searched and found Sagar's favorite saree-the one he had gifted her. She wore that Saree and went to open the door but it was locked. She searched everywhere and found the key. She stepped out and drove to the city. She drove to the cafe where she first met Sagar through Rishi. It was not love at first sight but it was something beyond life, her soul connection. She ordered Sagar's favorite hazelnut coffee. She slowly sipped it thinking about him. Her eyes welled up with tears. She got up, paid for the coffee, walked out of cafe onto the pavement. She did a little window shopping and while watching the bookstore, she suddenly stopped as the book named "Sagarika" kept on display caught her eyes. She went into the bookstore and asked for the book. She was restless to read. Someone at store handed over the book, and she saw the title and the author name "Sagar".
She was confused, asked them about the book. They told the book was released two days back. She bought the book and drove straight home.
Sagar dropped her went to work. While driving he lost control and hit the median, and fell far away from his vehicle. People around saw him and rushed him to the hospital. The doctor told Sagar's parents that he broke his spine, that his hands and legs won't work like before; he can speak but chest down nothing would function, its Quadriplegic.
When the doctors spoke to Sagar,he cried for Sarika. The thought that he could never be with his beloved Sarika killed his desires; he cried for their unborn girl. He asked for his phone to hear Sarika's voice one last time. But as he lost his phone, so he told his parents to call Rishi. Rishi came to see him that evening and all discussed the situation. Sagar told Rishi and his parents, not to tell Sarika, for she can't see him like this; neither could he just leave her, so he asked Rishi to talk to Sarika's parents tell them that Sagar is not willing to see their daughter or marry her, that his going to marry someone else. Sagar was afraid that if Sarika knows about the accident, she will sacrifice her life, and Sagar doesn't want her to end up with him. Then he remembered to check his finger for the ring....