Nervous Student

Written by: Imbesat Z. Meer

Inshirah watched as twice Mustafa passed by his chair (which were designated by role number) and had to finally ask the bored invigilator for assistance. She winced as he then tripped his way into the chair and quickly righted himself, yelping in pain when he banged his knee against the mucus-coloured table.

She could see him swallowing thickly, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down, as he alternated between scratching the green table top, tapping his black crescent nails against the hard surface, and wiping his hands on his scruffy pants. Green veins were popping out over pale sweaty skin.

With twenty minutes still left before the start of the paper, Inshirah was getting very irritated with Mustafa’s constant fidgeting. He could hardly sit still. You’d think someone had put itching powder in his underwear. He tapped his feet against the leg of his chair and the click as he bit his nails to the quick, was like a nail being hammered into her brain. Tick, tick, tick. She winced each time she heard the snap.

She was not the only one who was annoyed by Mustafa’s pre-exam jitters. Her exasperation at his annoying actions had given her a headache. His leg was almost a blur as it vibrated in time with his nails tapping against the table, as his eyes darted about the room and he tugged at his askew tie.

With five minutes left till 9, everyone was openly glaring at Mustafa including the not-so-bored-now-as-he-was-angry invigilator, because Mustafa had taken to smacking and licking his lips. He’d lick them, and then smack them, and then grind his teeth, all the while clicking tapping his nails aginst the table top and kicking his table leg. Lick, smack, grrrrrinnddd, click click, tap tap, and repeat.

When the clock struck 9, Inshirah was least surprised that Mustafa made a strangled gurgle right before he slithered like boneless mass onto the floor, a limp body passed out due to stress.

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She was Beautiful

Written by: Nikita Fernandes

She walked through the hallway her ombre colored hair caught almost everyone’s attention. It lay back in bouncy thick curls from her delicate ears and fell loosely over her shoulders. Her eyes were a piercing sharp shade of brown framed by long landes and eyebrows perfects arched. Her nose was upright and her lips; the red of blood. Her skin was the color of freshly roasted almonds she had a soft face with rounded cheek bones and a few freckles on either side which looked like peaches and cream when she blushed, she bit back a breathtaking simile – she was beautiful.
She wore a simple pearly white lace dress with a gold braided belt buckled round the waist. She held a brightly colored diary whose rims were studded with beads and small diamond shaped mirrors; in her arms and held on to it as if her entire world was within those pages. She looked around nervously in search of her of that unknown lady who had handed her that diary and disappeared into the midst. She had to return it.

The beggar on the road cursed at me when I refused to give him money.

Written by: Rebal Khan

Red lights blinked and I stopped my car at the traffic signal. At once a gang of beggars appeared and demanded money from the car owners. The passengers who would normally ride away at the sight of beggars were now bound by the law to face them.

In the distance I saw a young man about twenty years old, maybe younger. He had shaggy black hair, brown sun tanned face and betel stained teeth. A patched red scarf was wrapped around his neck and he had outgrown his black shalwar kamiz. He stumbled towards my car with his head shifting sides on each step. He clutched some money in his left hand.

Tuck, tuck, tuck! He knocked on the car window. “Go away, don’t touch my car.” I growled and turned my head to ignore him.

“Give me money, I need to buy food.” He pleaded and the acrid stench of chewed betel filled my car.

Written by: Saad Shahzad

“Spare change sahib?” I heard the call from my right. Locating its source, I kept moving on. “Sahib, I am hungry. Any change would do!” the beggar insisted. This time I blessed him with a proper look.

Covered with dirt from top to bottom, he was a frail old man with a wrinkled face, with gray streaks of hair and a smell that reminded me of cow dung during the eid season. He had small beady eyes that were black like inside of a black Mamba’s mouth and his mouth consisted of only half a dozen tooth – which were all broken and yellow like liquor. Moreover, his ears protruded from the side of his head like the bell towers of a church, giving his face a comical look. Glancing down, I saw he was wearing rags with gaping holes in them which revealed his filthy skin underneath. I couldn’t bear the sight of him anymore.
“Get away from me!” I told him as I quickened my pace. This broke an invisible barrier, for a stream of profanities escaped his mouth directed at me and my family. Not even bothering to give a second glance, I moved on thinking that he must be pretty desperate.

I took twenty rupees from my wallet with one hand on the nose and said “Take this and go away!”

“Thisss!” He made a surprised hiss sound and demanded, “Mooore!” This time with ‘more’ part like a cows moo.

The traffic signal shifted from red to yellow and then to green. I turned the car key and closed the window saying, “You are young and fit, get a job.”

As the car picked speed, the beggar yelled, “Wait for God’s sake, help me!” Betel juice sprayed from his lips, staining my mirror red. “You will die, go to hell!” He shouted at the top of his voice with a shaking fist in the air, as i furthered away from him.

-Ishaq Ibrahim

The boat capsized.

I struggled to pull my feet free from it, but they were stuck. I was running out of breath.

It was too late, my lungs gave up and water rushed through my nostrils.

Blackout.

After getting discharged from the hospital, I promised myself I would never use the rowing boat alone.

-Ramsha Ahmed

Lucy didn’t believe in fairy tales until Ben came along.

She once told her psychiatrist that the day he proposed was the best day of her life until he disappeared.

She waited but in vain. She ended her life. The doctors told her sister some schizophrenics do take drastic steps when their hallucinations disappeared.