Category: Kreative Kues

The joys of marketing


Padma Gurumurthy called her husband as she pushed her way through the unusually dense crowds outside the historic red-stone fort. She was delighted at the size of the crowd when she arrived an hour or so earlier, but hoped that it would have dispersed by now. The sound of all the chattering was near-deafening, and as she passed through various groups her nose told her that not every cigarette being smoked was loaded with tobacco. It may have been diluted by the pervasive aroma of assorted spices and condiments, but the unmistakable bouquet of ganja fought through heroically and threatened to intoxicate all who passed by.

“Can you hear me okay, Sanjay?” she shouted at her phone, suppressing a giggle.


“Sanjay. Sanjay!”

Padma picked up some faint sound but couldn’t make out what her husband said, if indeed it was him speaking – she had no way of telling.

“I can barely hear you Sanjay – can you shout?”

She just about heard her husband say something about volume.

“Hang on.”

Padma looked at her handset and, with a wry smile, turned off her phone’s silent mode.

“Okay,” she said with a chuckle, “I’ve turned up the volume. Try again.”

“Can you hear me now?” he asked.

“That’s better. Listen, Sanjay. You may have to feed the kids and put them to bed tonight.”

“Why? You should be here to do that. The children expect their mother to feed them and prepare them for bedtime.”

“I hoped to be back in time, but can’t you hear the noise in the background? The place is crowded. I don’t know when I’ll be able to get through the crowd to my car, never mind getting out of the area and onto the main road.”

“When will you be home?”

“I just told you – I don’t know. Agra Fort is always busy, of course, but I have never seen it this bad. Has there been anything on the TV news about it?”

“I saw something but the volume was turned down while I was talking on the phone.”

“Did you see anything about how long it will last?”


“That’s no good! I need to know if I can get home tonight. I want to see you and my children. And anyway, I’m feeling somewhat peckish. I may need to stop for some food.”

“It may be only around the fort. Perhaps the back streets will be better, no? And you can eat when you get home.”

“That is there, Sanjay; it may be better where I parked the car. I will call you back when I find the car.”

“What do you mean, find the car? Don’t you know where it is?”

“Of course I do. That was just an expression.”

“An expression of what?”

“I will call you back. If you hear anything, call me, okay?”


Padma let go of the laugh she’d been holding back throughout the conversation.


The relatively short walk from the fort to where Padma had parked her car took almost twenty minutes to cover. The crowd hadn’t thinned as she had hoped, and it looked as though it would be some considerable time before she’d be able to get away. For some reason, her hunger had dissipated and she no longer thought any of this to be in the least funny. She called home again.

“What’s it like?” Sanjay asked.

“It’s just as bad,” she replied, “I don’t know how I’ll get through.”

“Listen to me, Padma. In the car, you can push your way through.”

“I can’t do that! I could hurt someone.”

“Use your horn, for goodness’ sake, woman. They’ll move if they think the alternative is to be run down.”

“Oh, sure. I can see tomorrow’s headlines now.”

“What do you mean?”

Author ploughs through crowd after book signing. That’ll help my writing career, won’t it?”

This was written in response to Kreative Kue 202 published on this site recently. As I am currently having issues with internet connectivity, there will be no further Kreative Kues until after my return from the Christmas break.

Kreative Kue 202

Kreative Kue 201 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

John W Howell is the author of the John Cannon trilogy of My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice and Circumstances of Childhood, co-author of The Contract, and blogs at Fiction Favorites.

The Wait by John W. Howell © 2018

“What the heck is he doing?”

“Let me adjust my scope. Ah yes. He is eating.”

“Eating? What is he eating?”

“Looks like sunflower seeds.”

“God in heaven.  I hope he doesn’t plan to sit there and eat a bag of sunflower seeds.”

“I think that is exactly what he is going to do.”

“You don’t think he is connected to Mendoza do you?”

“I think that is some schlub who is on holiday. His license plate is from the Avignon area.”

“He could be a mule you know.”

“I don’t think so. What mule have you ever seen in a van munching sunflower seeds?”

“There is always a first time.”

“Man I hope this guy moves on.”

“Yeah, I hear you.”

“He’s got about fifteen minutes until Mendoza shows up then all hell will break loose.”

“You think Mendoza would take him out?”

“In a heartbeat.”

“Anyway to warn him?”

“I don’t think we can get down there and then back up here in time. I think he’ll just have to take his chances.”

“He’s alone right?”

“Looks that way.”

“Well, I guess all we can do is pray.”

“Maybe I can take out Mendoza before he has a chance to hurt that old man.”

“Sounds like a long shot but then that’s what you are good at doing.”

“What a nice thing to say. Thanks.”

“Well, it’s true.”

“Still nice to hear. Oh, wait. The old guy is getting into his van.”

“Come on old man. Start it up and get the hell out of here.”

“He going.”

“Thank heavens.”


“Mendoza, you hear me?”

“Yeah old man I do.”

“I was at the rendezvous and no sign of the feds.”

“Excellent. You stay a while.”

“I did. Even had some sunflower seeds.”

“You look pitiful?”

“The most pitiful. If there had been anyone waiting for you, they would have come to warn me. I think the area is safe.”

“Thanks, old man. When I get back, I’ll be sure to reward you handsomely.”

“No need my boy. Your safety is reward enough. After all, you are my number one son. See you later.”

And this from Kristian, who blogs regularly at Tales from the mind of Kristian.

Target Acquired

Right, Target Acquired.” The sound of clicking guns didn’t carry beyond the abandoned rooftop.

Wait, She doesn’t look like the criminal type.”

She may not look it, but she’s dangerous!

What did she do?

She doesn’t use her indicators when driving.”

“Fire when ready!”

Meanwhile, my effort was:

Looking down

“What do you think, Boss? Are you ready for her?”

“Bring me the book, and open it to her profile page.”


“Let me see… good enough life; brought up four kids, mostly on her own—”

“That’s no mean feat, and they turned out alright, didn’t they?”

“Mostly, it seems.”

“Anything negative?”

“You looking for excuses to send her downstairs?”

“No, of course not. But you know what he’s like. If we overlook something – even by accident…”

“Nothing I can see. Active; sporty – loved skiing before her hip gave out; helped out at church functions; taught little kids—”

“What about that business with that bloke? Went on for a long time.”

“Do you want me to revisit the relationship you had with that prostitute?

“Must you always bring that up? How many times do I have to tell you – nothing happened!”

“So you say, lad. So you say. But I’ll keep bringing that up as long as you keep harping on about people being less than perfect in their relationships. For your sake! People have emotions. People form relationships. Most work out but some don’t. If even you couldn’t get it right every time, how can you expect them to?”

“Okay, okay. Let’s take it as read that the relationship isn’t an issue. What you’re saying, then is that she’s okay to come home.”

“Yes I am. The next question is the one you asked first. Am I ready for her? Or, to put it another way, is she ready to come home?”

“And are her loved ones down there ready for her to come home?”

“One thing at a time. What is her life like now?”

“Mostly happy, I think. Certainly she is today. She’s on holiday, being looked after by her eldest.”

“So why is she on her own in that car park?”

“The youngsters have climbed a steep hill to look at a viaduct or something.”

“That’s nice.”

“Yeah. They’ll be back down soon, then they’re talking about having lunch in the town at the bottom of the hill.”

“So, for the time being, she’s okay. No pain?”

“Some, but it’s managed and she’s coping with it”

“Great. So we’ll hold off for a while. But keep a close eye on her, okay?”

“I’ll put my best man on it. He knows what to look out for.”

“Good. I hate this business. I want to call her, like I want to call everyone, before life becomes intolerable. Trouble is, they’ve got the technologies now to keep the poor sods going long after they should be gone. “

“This one’s not there yet, though, surely.”

“No. She should be good for a few years yet, but please – have your man keep an eye on her. Don’t let her suffer.”

“Then pick a good time; right?”

“There’s no such thing as a good time; you know that. Especially not for her loved ones.”

“What about the job she was sent down to do?”

“We can’t mention that whilst she’s still there. If downstairs catches on she’s one of ours…well, you know him and his obstacles.”

“Indeed. We’ll talk about it when she’s back?”

“Nope. She won’t know.”

“So how do we measure success?”

“The human race hasn’t wiped itself out yet, has it?”

“But how long can we keep running interference operations to prevent total self-annihilation?”

“As long as it takes, lad. As long as it takes.”

img_1652aOn to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next Monday.

Kreative Kue 201

Kreative Kue 200 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

I am grateful to John, Anjali and Kristian for making this a bumper week.

John W Howell is the author of the John Cannon trilogy of My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice and Circumstances of Childhood, co-author of The Contract, and blogs at Fiction Favorites.

The Mistake by John W. Howell © 2018

“So who do you have on your list?”

“Looks like an old man named Tasker.”

“Anyone else?”

“Nope. He’s the last one today.”

“Man, Thank the Creator. I’m totally worn out.”

“Me too. We have been at it for thirty days straight without a break.”

“Well, that’s how the collection business goes sometimes. Too bad those other guys got to have a vacation this week. It has made it especially tough on you and me.”

“I’ll second that. What’s say we do this one and then stop for a couple of drinks?”

“You are talking my language. Okay, we are over the guy right now.”

“You being the bombardier, just give me the word and I’ll cut loose.”

“Steady. The guy is out in a field. Another three feet. Steady. Okay, now. Hit the beam.”

“Beam’s away. The guy should be here any second.”

“I hear him in the transport receptacle. Man, he is a noisy one.”

“Let me check it out on the observation screen. Uh-oh-oh.”

“What do you mean, ‘oh-oh?”‘

“If that is the old man Tasker he sure doesn’t look his age.”

“Let me look I have the facial recognition tool. Lucifer H. Beelzebub. We collected the right guy at the wrong time.”

“What do we do now?”

“I don’t know. I never had this problem before.”

“Are we in trouble?”

“For collecting someone who according to my tablet is not due for another seventy Earth years? You tell me.”

“Crap. We need to do something quick. Can’t we dump him?”

“No once collected, always collected.”

“We’ll just have to beg forgiveness.”

“Beg who, Tasker?”

“Naw. He knows nothing. We’ll have to beg the Creator.”

“No way. The last time I was meeting with the Creator I almost pooped my robes.”

“You don’t poop.”

“That’s what I wanted to do. I said almost. Besides you were the guy responsible for aiming. How did this happen?”

“I had my tablet open to the wrong year. Ever since that last download, this stupid thing reverts to a different year when you are sure you have set it right.”

“You better report that to IT. It may be the only way to save our butts.”

“Good plan. I feel better already.”

“What about Tasker? I wonder how he feels?”

“To be in heaven? I’m sure we can sell the advantages. Maybe we can tell him he was lucky we snatched him while he was in grace. Prevented a trip to the other place.”

“You well know he was in grace right up to the last minute or he would not have been on our list.”

“He doesn’t.”

“You want to lie to him?”

“You know, I think I have Post Collection Stress Disorder. I gotta ask for some time off.”

“Good luck with that. We will be lucky to see a vacation day in the next hundred Earth years.”

Anjali Sharma’s blog, Positive Side of the Coin, is one of the most positive and uplifting blogs I have encountered. I am grateful to Anjali for her response to this week’s Kreatuive Kue:

Life is like a Rainbow 🌈

Let’s make this life-like rainbow, full of beautiful experience.

If I burn in sun and get wet in rain, then only I will experience a rainbow in my life.

Take failures as learning and success as motivation to move on. Its failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.

As life is itself like a rainbow. You need both the sun and rain to make colour appear. Don’t give up on yourself just yet, your most amazing life is still ahead of you and become best version of yourself like rainbow.

Thank you for reading ❤️

And this from Kristian, who blogs regularly at Tales from the mind of Kristian.

More precious than Gold

A Rainbow had shown them the target as It shone on the hollow old tree.

“Come on,” said Jake to Tom “Let’s see if it’s true about finding gold at the end of a rainbow.”

They dug for hours.

It provided their Mother with something more precious than gold. A bit of peace and quiet.

Meanwhile, my effort was:

Not a crock of gold

“What is this thing called, Love?”

“Are we playing that game again?”

“What game?”

“You give me the first line of a song and I have to answer it with the start of another song.”


“What then?”

“I want to know what this thing is called.”

“What thing?”

“That coloured thing coming out of the tree, Dumbo. What thing do you think I mean?”

“I don’t know. It would probably be easier if I could read your mind.”

“Yeah – what a tale my thoughts could tell.”

“Okay, we’ll do it your way. Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue.”

“Why are there so many songs about rainbows?”

“Maybe it’s because…”

“Gotcha! You aren’t a Londoner.”

“That’s not what I was going to say. Maybe it’s because the colours of the rainbow will show the world to you.”

“Oh, very good. So you think I’m an ignorant savage and you’ve been so many places?”

“Is it true that at the end of a rainbow, you’ll find a pot of gold?”

“You’re not looking forward and you’re not looking back.”

“You’re right. We are going nowhere fast. It’s a rainbow.”

“What’s a rainbow?”

“Do you want a short answer or a proper one?”

“Yeah. I know your proper ones. Give me a short one.”

“What’s wrong with my proper answers?”

“They’re okay last thing at night; help me go to sleep, they do. Look. I don’t need detailed, scientific information. I just want to know what a rainbow is, how it’s formed and what it’s for.”

“And you want that in a couple of short, pithy sentences.”

“Of course.”

“Okay. What is it? It’s an arch of colours visible in the sky. How is it formed? It’s caused by the refraction and dispersion of the sun’s light by rain or other water droplets in the atmosphere.”

“See? It’s easy.”

“So now you know and understand it?”

“I didn’t say that, did I? But I don’t want you to tell me what refraction and dispersion are, either. So what’s it for?”

“Does it have to have a purpose?”

“Everything has to have a purpose, otherwise why’s it there?”

“Duh! It just is?”

“Don’t buy that. Nothing just happens.”

“Okay. Some people believe that there was once a great flood that was sent by God. When he stopped it, he put that bow in the sky as a sign that he’d never do it again.”

“So there haven’t been any floods since?”

“Of course there have. But not one covering the whole planet.”

“The whole planet? Is there even enough water for that?”

“Who knows? We’re talking about ancient beliefs that are based on stories that may, in some cases, be more illustrative than fact-based.”

“Best not get into religion, though, eh?”

“No. Best not.”

“So why don’t we have rainbows? Is it because we have a don’t have the same god?”

“Take a look around. How many suns can you see?”

“Oh! Where’s the other one?”

“That’s the thing. This world only has one—”

“Which is why everything only casts one shadow?”


“Thank Vrag for that. I thought I’d lost one of mine.”

“Come on, my lovely. Time to fly.”

On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries, with links to your own blog or web site, next Monday.

I am away from home now until about 9th January. I should have WIFi and/or 4G available for most of the time, so as long as my ancient laptop holds out, Kreative Kues should continue almost as normal.

In the meantime (and in case I end up unable to keep going) I’d like to wish all my followers and readers the very best for Christmas and 2019.