Here are my two short stories/flash fiction with the same title ‘Building Up & Building Down’, for the weekly challenge Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy. They were inspired by the below photo-prompt provided by Ellespeth’s Friend.
“Superb! A marvel!!”
“Agree. It’s too beautiful!! But what did he do in the end? Build a grand Taj Mahal for his wife and then…then…cut off the hands of loyal laborers who built it?”
“Of course it’s just a myth! Emperor Shah Jahan wouldn’t have been so cruel”, Ravi argued. “Anyway modern builders are no better!”
“And how’s that?”, Sheena raised her eyebrows in her usual argumentative mood.
“Even if, for a while we forget about illegal occupation of lands by builders, we can’t overlook the buildings that collapse due to bad structure and poor quality material used. The destitute inmates lose their life and meager resources. It’s all gain for builders and their families”
“Some truth in your rant. Last month a high rise building in my neighborhood came crumbling down on workers who were still inside”
“And don’t forget how some ambitious builders aspire to be rulers, quite like old time emperors. Entering politics is a shortest route to assert power while their manipulative ways continue”
“Hey Ravi! You sound angry. How about enjoying Taj Mahal while we are at it!”
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
How are you supposed to feel if your colleague makes you laugh during busy working hours, esp. when you all are hanging in the air with your hands covered in concrete while, like some acrobat, you struggle to balance your feet?
But he always did that. For some reason, he could not work quietly. Either singing aloud or humming funny songs that kept us workers entertained. His hilarious jokes were often side splitting.
The contractor tried to control these distractions. But then, he was not always around.
Being a newbie in the industry, I personally feared losing my balance. And so, the other day when I was in the middle of gut-busting giggles and laughter, I decided to step down the ladder. While I sat and sipped tea to regain my calm, I heard a sound.
Thud! It was he who fell down from such height that he’s now hospitalised. Once his fracture is healed, I wonder if he’ll become too serious a worker. We’ll miss his jokes for sure.
© 2015 Alka Girdhar