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Two Short Fictions
by Kushal Poddar






The couple conceptualizes the beings of another couple in the spacious blinded window facing theirs. 'The neighbors must be watching us', he says. 'Yes!' She says.

Their hairs wave along the length of their arms. They disrobe and think of the other couple watching them through their colonial blinds. Then they feel their shadows talking about them and water staring through every bead at them while they lave their skin.

They close their window, and through the blinds of their own they observe the couple on the other side. They keep watching. Sundays are the best. Warm cats asleep on the cornice, the cups of tea cooling down.

Sometimes they wish the other window opens up to show the inside.

One Monday, the third one of the month, right before the moon rises, as the couple stands near their window and peeps through the blinds the other window opens. And

there stands a couple much like themselves- the girl looks like the boy here and the boy there fashions after the boy. The couple here can think of anything else but to open their own window. The moment they do so they are in the other couple's room much like theirs.







The app-cab driver waits outside the inn with an eye on the watch, old fashioned, fastened to his thinning wrist. He knows it is silly, albeit he thinks his arms are wooden – in monsoon they swell and come winter they shrivel.

The stranger he will ferry to the airport urged him to wait below as she ran upstairs, past the hotel’s lobby, past the rickety bellhop, to make love with a stranger she met, because this is a strange city.

Yonder, from the sea return the fishermen with the booty of silver fish. Gills open and shut, shut and open. The fish breathe in and breathe out for the last time as the stranger sprawls wide and lets the other stranger enter into her. The linens are white, and they are surrounded by blue walls – narrow, because everything in this town is narrow except the tourists. They are wide and liberal. They arrive from every sphere and every stratum of life in every possible form.

When she comes down the app-cab driver takes his stranger to the airport. The journey was silent although he keeps his radio on, and the music is light. He keeps thinking about the fish – gills opening and shutting, breathing in and out.

At the gate of the ‘Departure’ he collects his fare and calls his wife, “What’s for the dinner, sweetie?”

She says, “Fish.”




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