100-word story

Upon hearing the word ‘terminal’, Papa flew in from India accompanied with a gift. Removed from its packages of silken shawls lay a small wooden puppet, a kathputli. It’s limp, slim form resembled a young child. On its head, it wore a turban with eyes as wide as dinner plates. The dress, a kurta, a mirage of iridescent scarlet streaks.

Uncontained excitement, lifted my son from his blood soiled hospital pillow. Despite his wavering legs, he danced and twirled freely, held up by puppet strings of his own, blindly unaware that a pair of abhorred shears dangled above his head.


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