Thursday, October 11, 2007

The 24-hour challenge - 3

I was bowled over by neha's brilliant short. This neha is apparently not the hugely-talented nehavish as I'd assumed. Who then?

Today's theme is 'cough syrup'. The time now is 13.40 GMT and you have until the same time tomorrow to come up with a story. Keep it short and post it in the comment box. Keep them coming!

21 comments:

Aravind said...

His eyes were bloodshot, clearly, he had been crying sitting crouched over in the corner of the bed facing the wall. He jumped when the kid touched his back, and only then realized what he was holding in his hand. Sure enough, she wanted to know what it was. “Cough syrup,” he said. “Are you ill?”. “Yes, I am going to take this and lie down and go to sleep. Can you do something for me? Can you take care of your mother,” he was breathing heavily, heaving, trying hard not to cry in front of the child. “Sure! You go sleep.”. He couldn’t bring himself to reply, he couldn’t bring himself to say anything. There was nothing he could say that would explain what he was going to do, or why he was doing it. He only hoped that someday, she would understand, and would find it in her heart to forgive him for abandoning her…

Neha said...

hey, thank you! not sure why it didn't link you back to my page ...

Sriranchani said...

Why am i not able to run faster , so that i can reach home soon. There was a tap on my shoulder, i turned behind to see him staring at me, "er... ahem.. something's spread on your skirt " . oh God , how did he notice this and what do i tell him to cover up the happening. " that.. actually.. was a Red colored sweet cough syrup which spilt on my skirt",

Phew! that sounded perfect..."oh alrite , hurry up to the laundry" ..

Alien said...

There was silence as he crouched and prayed except for the crickets that kept up their song. Twenty four dead and counting. He had to get the word back, had to tell them what he had seen, "Steel, fountains of blood and rotting corpses.... all of it"..."Only if I can make it out", he thought. A bark to the left, shouts, rustling leaves. They were looking. He pressed his lips together trying to hold it down, but nature had its way.. "Cough"... like a gun shot and he heard them come. He was thrown off the ground as a bullet slammed into his throat.. and as he drowned in his warm blood, he smiled... "Cough Syrup?"

Rupa said...

"Have you taken the cough syrup ?"
The packing was almost done. Along the pickle bottles and the prayer book, I placed the red little bottle of cough syrup. But I did not tell her, if any time I got a cough there, I would want her warm embrace more than the syrup.
Probably, she knew it too. Else, she wouldn't have taken it off to make space for the photo frame.

Teela said...

'Hick...', 'Hick...', 'I really love Cough syrup... in fact i luuuurve cough syrup, true true ok, i love cough syrup, I just licked that whole bottle dry, gumpbletelee...' 'and', 'and', 'Mamma thinks am a good boy that am sitting at home today, without going out to play, to study for my exams.. huhahaha!'

Jeeves said...

In the last forty years of marriage, this remained a mystery for him. Pattu mami always feigned that she had terrible cold. She was glad he had not heard of surrogate alcohol and treaded to the nearest medical store, coughing.

the 5-yr old said...

It all started with the cough syrup. All she wanted was a good night’s sleep. Away from the world she lived in, trying to forget people and drift away to the dreamland. ‘If you don’t dream, you will never have a dream come true.’ So she got used to 2 spoonfuls of the sweet liquid every night. She cannot recall the exact moment when the cough syrup failed to fulfill her and now she is forced to admit to a group of strangers meeting at an unknown location, ‘I am S and I am an alcoholic.’

The Kid said...

When I was tiny, for 12 years, I coughed incessantly every night during the monsoon months. The doctor had no idea what was causing it, and so experimented with many drugs for over a decade. He diagnosed me with lung TB, acute laryngitis... among the 10 or so other ailments he could think of. Every brand of cough syrup was tried too, ayurvedic, Asthalin, Deriphillin... and the list was unending but nothing worked. I understood that I had to live with the cough, but never understood why all cough syrups had that particular chemical factory stench.

It has been 9 years since I grew out of my coughing syndrome. Last week I happened to try some cherry syrup for the first time in my life, I could not breathe because it had the same chemical factory stench.

PS: This is my real life story.

Falstaff said...

He stood at the street corner, half hidden beneath the fire escape, Velvet Underground playing in his headphones. His contact was late. He could feel the phlegm building in his throat, the itch starting in his larynx. If he didn't get here soon things would turn desperate. What was keeping him anyway? Could he have got arrested or something? He hoped not.

Waiting for the Man to show, he daydreamed about Amsterdam, where, he was told, cough syrup was legal. You could walk into a pharmacy and buy it! He wondered what that felt like.

Anonymous said...

As her mother was no more, the house had to be put up for sale. She was cleaning it up. The cough syrup in the corner of the shelf was still there. It had always been there. First for her, then the younger brother and then for their kids. Finally mother needed it too.

She had already given all of mother's cloths to the maid. Furnitures were sold off too. She emptied the bottle and kept it in the hand bag. She hoped her husband wouldn't see that. He sure would find it silly.

~Padmini

Guruprasad said...

Ammani wanted a story with "cough syrup" as theme. So i started wrecking my brain...
should I write about "irumal thatha" of "Ethir neechal"? Nah...KB is a tad old for the blog gen.
Should I try something based on alcoholism, with "cough syrup" as euphemism...nope, many stories have come up already...
ok, why not develop on this idea? i will spoof some other blogger's writing style, and introduce "cough syrup"...say why not like "Nilu"? -oh no I want to write about "cough", not "puke"!
Should I spoof Dubukku? oops... i dont have tamil font installed, and moreover, tamil fonts come as "dabba, dabba" anyway.
Perhaps like "ammani"? lemme give it a shot...
---------------
I remember seeing you on those rain-filled days when you used to look at me and insist "you are coughing, a lot. Right after our DD's 9'o' clock news, you have been coughing. I cant see you struggling so much. Why dont you let me give you some cogh syrup? Why should you have so much pidivatham?". You instinctively knew you had my consent. Even otherwise you could easily make out based on my little nod and a slight smile. You would go in the rain, with your umbrella to our Menon Uncle's drug shop and get me benadryl. I would drink with a twinkle in my eye. After 35 years, Today, I coughed a little. And you said "Oh damn have you started again. Cant I have somepeaceful sleep?" That Benadryl bottle still has a little dried syrup near its cap. I look at it.
----------------------
hmmm...feeble attempt!...Ammani wont even publish this.
What else? Originality is elusive, spoofing is not working out...plagiarism always works...ok ammani, there you go...my entry for "cough syrup"
---------------------
The owner of a drug store walks in to find a guy leaning heavily against a wall. The owner asks the clerk, "What's with that guy over there by the wall?"
The clerk says, "Well, he came in here this morning to get something for his cough. I couldn't find the cough syrup, so I gave him an entire bottle of laxative."

The owner says, "You idiot! You can't treat a cough with laxatives!"

The clerk says, "Oh yeah? Look at him, he's afraid to cough!"
---------------
Amen to cough syrup!

Neha said...

He started coughing one day, and just didn’t stop. At first they thought it was the cold, damp weather, and by the time they realised it was something serious, he had passed. That was eighty-four years ago. If he were here today, they would have celebrated their ninety-first birthday. Instead she is alone; with only a faded black and white picture, from when they were five, and a bottle of cough syrup, in which he left his smell.

Deepika Patil said...

“Gulp this down or you will die,” he pleads.

Continuing with the appalling coughing bout, she says, “Bottled cough syrups don’t do any good. Only a cough-syrup sachet will heal me.”

“Tell me, which one? I will get it for you right now,” he says anxiously.

“Nivaran ’90! But you will find this only in my hometown and not elsewhere,” she says.

He drops the spoon, holding the bottled cough syrup, from his hand.

Aliskandar said...

It was funny, you know? All the sticky blue circles interlaced in a pattern across the dirty little coffee table and the afternoon sun making everything dance in the air. I don't know, it was fun this kind of alchemy we did back then, rooting around our mother's cupboards and supermarket shelves, digging up all the dross of the medicine chest and combining it just right, turning our minds into liquid gold so delicate and fine you could eat it. You could watch it register the flight of a sparrow across the window, buzzing like the low hum of the TV next door and, turning to each other, laugh.

ammani said...

The devil of a father! He couldn't spare them even on his death bed. What on earth was 'CHUGRY SOUP'? Some weird herbal stuff that they were supposed hunt down for him? Did he want it to be his last meal? Couldn't he have just asked for it then? Why leave such indecipherable messages by the bed side?

But then, their father had always been like this. When they were 3 and 4, he would take them on his bike, some 10-15 miles away from home, give them a bottle of water, a banana each and a map with landmarks marked in crosses. He'd expect them to find their way back. He thought it'd build their character. They never took a shine to it though. All those treasure hunts he carefully devised for their birthdays so they may search for their gifts. All those cryptic clues they had to solve before they could have dessert. None of those ever caught their fancy. But today was the last straw. As they stared down at the crumpled piece of paper with the ten letters written in their father's precise handwriting, they wondered yet again, why he didn't ask them for a bowl of soup. But to be fair to the old man, he had been racked with furious cough the past few days.

radhika said...

the medical rep. waited outside the doctor's clinic - his last appointment for the day. his fingers numb with the weight of his bag, he took a deep breath when the assistant finally sent him in.

"sir - this is the best that has been made so far for infant's cough - codeine, ammonium chloride, phenylephedrine - and all in the safe, precise amounts...trust me sir. here is a sample bottle for you - i am sure you will call me for more stock."

the doctor packed up, ready to go home. he saw the bottle lying on the table, threw it in his bag with the rest of his stuff.

at home, his 10-month-old looked weak and tired. he was ill with a fever and cough since the past two weeks, his mother, exhausted with worry.

he went up to her, the bottle in is hand.

"keep it with the rest of the bottles...in the shelf"

she looked at the bottle..."this one's for infants?" she asked expectantly, her face suddenly lit up by the hope...it felt like ages when her son last laughed.

"no, give him the usual."

disappointed, she went over to the table, rubbed the vayambu, the gopichandani gulika, a piece of lavang, and coaxed her son into having the paste, with a drop of honey to sweeten it.

??! said...

She sniffed at the concoction, then put a little on her tongue.

Ah. The taste of four-day rains. Knee-deep wading, open gutters, dripping clothes, and makkai-butta.

She watched the sand swirl around.

It was so long since she had had the right kind of cough.

Guruprasad said...

Ammani, so you had the anagram made of, and then thought of a story around it? Brilliant...me and my spoof!
All this sitting in the same desk withot getting up from my chair for the past fe hours is only inducing more heat and more dry cough...let me drink some water and come back...thats the best cough syrup I have ever had!

Sriranchani said...

ammani,
your blog page is smelling of medicines and chemicals.. please anounce the result and the next challenge topic.

Anonymous said...

First it was an aromatic "curry", then pungent "socks", third in line for challenge is chemical smelly "cough syrup"...what next? Plesant smelling "scent" - wondered aloud the F5-manical blogger!