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  • Hi Peggy,
    Thank you for your lovely comments and the encouragement! I am glad that the sensory details triggered your imagination. I am not much for gore but this particular story kind of needed it. So thrilled that you liked it so much. Thank you for the read! Be safe. ❤️

  • Hi Peggy,
    That was heart-wrenching! My heart went out to Allie and you captured all of it so well with all those details about the torrential rain, the baby at her breast. These lines just broke my heart – “Beneath her sodden coat, the baby mews in equal misery.” Your characters are so real, one can almost visualise every expression and emote l…[Read more]

  • Hi June,
    It is a pleasure to hear from you! I am thrilled to know that you liked how the story shaped up. I wrote it on the spur of the moment so, I am glad you liked the treatment of it. So, this is a modern-day rendition of Underworld and this recruit has been hired to the department where people get an icy-punishment for their sins. It’s his…[Read more]

  • Hi Hyle,
    How have you been? It is great to have you back. I missed your amazing stories. I am glad that my dark little tale agreed with you. I don’t have much talent as a horror writer, but I thought this prompt might lend itself to a theme like this. I am glad that line agreed with you. I was trying to portray the misery felt by the suffering…[Read more]

  • Hi Catherine,
    Thank you for dropping by and your wonderful comments! Yes, that is a little gruesome. 😅 But trust me, less than the visuals I got on the net where they have depicted punishments for various sins in hell. The way I see it the recruit must had some kind of past that made the recruiters reach out to him. Maybe, that’s what settled him…[Read more]

  • Hi Catherine,
    This is the third time I am reposting my comment for your story. My page seems to be having some issues. I don’t understand why it’s not showing. But going with my initial thoughts, I really loved the merging of SciFi and YA genres here. Sirius seems to be a compelling character. This feels like a part of a larger piece, yes? If so,…[Read more]

  • Hi Fizza,
    Thank you for your lovely comments and the read! To make someone find hell compelling enough was a challenge for me. So really appreciate your comments. 🙂🙏 Thanks again! Be safe.

  • Hi Susan,
    Thank you for your amazing comments and the read! I am glad that the story, the ghastly atmosphere agreed with you.

  • Hi Seyi,
    I am ok…thank you for asking. Hope you are doing well? Thank you for explaining that part. I got it now. A very well-written story indeed!

  • Hi Seyi,
    That was powerful writing and the visuals were just nerve-wracking! I particularly loved this line – “Shuddering at the sunbursts of blood spatter that encrusted the walls, I counted about a dozen figures of indeterminate state of mind crowded in the far corner.” To create so much of synesthesia in such few words is a rare talent. I was a…[Read more]

  • Hi Fizza,
    That was… peaceful. 🙂 I love how you imagine your Area 52. I wish the earth was just as beautiful and calm like the place you have sketched with your words. I felt at the beginning that the mother’s gone. But the end made me gasp. Great writing as always! Thank you for sharing!

  • Hi June,
    A comic piece…not something I am used to seeing from you. I liked the flow of the story and the narrative. I was wondering, when you mention at the beginning that when the wife wanted something, there wasn’t any point arguing about it…it kind of hinted towards a sort of conflict of interest. Would have loved to know more about that.…[Read more]

  • Hi Ana,
    Your stories are such all-immersive experiences and once we start, there’s no stopping! I loved this freaky little piece. This was full of intrigue, mystery and the end made me ponder, what was the grandma exactly? Loved it! Thank you for sharing!

  • Hi Ana,
    It’s great to hear from you! Thank you for such awesome comments! I had a feeling that the’ naked belly on ice’ might resonate with you. Yes, unfortunately due to the stringent word limit, it had to be ended. Thank you for the read! Be safe. ❤️

  • Hi Megan,
    Thank you so much for such lovely comments and the read! I am glad my dark little tale struck a chord with you. Thanks for your input, I have similar feelings about the word ‘hell’. Be safe. 🙂

  • Hi Susan,
    That was so intriguing! I liked your idea and the way you have treated it. I don’t know if you intended this to be a comedy, but it came across as something of a dark humour. I was a little confused when the radio talk got into the narrative, in my humble opinion, it altered the flow of the story a little. But the end was awesome. Who…[Read more]

  • Hi Megan,
    That was such a refreshing take on the prompt. I like the concept and your narration. Loneliness makes us go through strange things. Great writing! Thank you for sharing!

  • The Recruit by Amrita Sarkar

    #

    “That’s Area 100/3. We have nicknamed it– Furnace,” Ms. Chitra Gupta winked at me. “Now let’s proceed to Area 52, that’s what you are here for.”

    She whistled as she strode ahea […]

    • Ooh, how lovely, gruesome and dark. My only tiny note, and this could be personal, is I would have left out mentioning hell. Otherwise, it’s a great first day on the job!

      • Hi Megan,
        Thank you so much for such lovely comments and the read! I am glad my dark little tale struck a chord with you. Thanks for your input, I have similar feelings about the word ‘hell’. Be safe. 🙂

    • Wow, so cool… It felt way too short, I want more of this! The naked belly-against-ice will stick with me, what an image… I love reading your darker pieces. The ending wraps it up perfectly, no need for more. Love it!

      • Hi Ana,
        It’s great to hear from you! Thank you for such awesome comments! I had a feeling that the’ naked belly on ice’ might resonate with you. Yes, unfortunately due to the stringent word limit, it had to be ended. Thank you for the read! Be safe. ❤️

    • Hi Amrita. It’s no mean feat to describe something so ghastly in entirely reasonable terms as though it were an everyday tour of ‘the office’. Phew! Very atmospheric, well done.

      • Hi Susan,
        Thank you for your amazing comments and the read! I am glad that the story, the ghastly atmosphere agreed with you.

    • Oh wow, what a gruesome story and perfect depiction of hell. It works quite efficiently, it seem. 😉 I thoroughly enjoyed the imagery you have created in this short, vivid piece. What a brilliantly written story it is! Great work. Thank you for sharing.

      • Hi Fizza,
        Thank you for your lovely comments and the read! To make someone find hell compelling enough was a challenge for me. So really appreciate your comments. 🙂🙏 Thanks again! Be safe.

    • So much gore! You got some dark humour in there too! I enjoyed the job spec. Funny how the MC finds it all horrific but does nothing to escape or distance himself, he gets more and more accustomed to it all as the story progresses.

      • Hi Catherine,
        Thank you for dropping by and your wonderful comments! Yes, that is a little gruesome. 😅 But trust me, less than the visuals I got on the net where they have depicted punishments for various sins in hell. The way I see it the recruit must had some kind of past that made the recruiters reach out to him. Maybe, that’s what settled him down towards the end. 🙂 Be safe.

    • Hi Amrita!
      Long time, no see! 🙂 I haven’t participated in my 12 short stories in a while, but I may try again next month. I just wanted to read what everyone was writing.

      This was dark and delicious! I’m a fan of horror, so I really enjoyed this. I also love the fact you used something other than aliens to write your Area 52 story.
      The flow is nice and you’re very good with descriptions. One of my favorites being ‘An excruciating fusion of yells, screams, and howls involving different vocal ranges pierced my ears as we toured around the office.’
      Your character’s internals were properly horrified as they wondered what they got themselves into. And it seems very appropriate that they didn’t speak much as they were shown around.
      And I adore Ms. Chitra Gupta. She seemed like she was a lot of fun to write!
      Great story!!!

      • Hi Hyle,
        How have you been? It is great to have you back. I missed your amazing stories. I am glad that my dark little tale agreed with you. I don’t have much talent as a horror writer, but I thought this prompt might lend itself to a theme like this. I am glad that line agreed with you. I was trying to portray the misery felt by the suffering souls without getting too graphic.
        Chitra Gupta – well, in Hindu mythology, Chitragupta is like an assistant to the god of underworld, Yama. He keeps an account of every human’s birth, deeds and death. Traditionally, he is a depicted as a man. But I changed the gender just to break that norm. I am glad you liked her. Thank you once again. Be safe. ❤️

    • What a glorious piece of gory story-telling! I love the little subtleties that you include – ‘your department is cooler than the rest of the office’, and ‘made my blood freeze.’ I have to wonder what this new recruit’s job entails. Very unusual take on the prompt. Well done!

      • Hi June,
        It is a pleasure to hear from you! I am thrilled to know that you liked how the story shaped up. I wrote it on the spur of the moment so, I am glad you liked the treatment of it. So, this is a modern-day rendition of Underworld and this recruit has been hired to the department where people get an icy-punishment for their sins. It’s his first day at jobs and shocks. Thank you for your lovely words and the read! Be safe. 🙂

    • This was freaking good, Amrita! So much imagination went into this, the sensory descriptions were excellent. I especially liked this line: They must have paid the artist really well because one could literally hear the grinding, pulling, and burning of human flesh just by looking at his drawings. 
      It’s specific enough to let the reader draw their own images in their mind, which is what I find so compelling about this story. Great work, Amrita.

      • Hi Peggy,
        Thank you for your lovely comments and the encouragement! I am glad that the sensory details triggered your imagination. I am not much for gore but this particular story kind of needed it. So thrilled that you liked it so much. Thank you for the read! Be safe. ❤️

    • Hi Amrita,
      I picked up on the Hindu Mythological references to Chitragupta and Mr. Y as in (Lord Yama)-so Chitragupta as the god of “justice” who keeps track of the doings of earth forms in a “book of deeds” and then refers them to the Lord Yama in the underworld. So a modernized myth form that was incredibly well done. I agree that you didn’t need to say hell because the readers have figured it out by now.
      What is the significance of 100/3? Something infinite as in infinite burning?
      I liked this description: “My hand felt like a minnow in his shark-like grip.”
      An excellent story, your dark stories are really well done.

      • Hi Sudha,
        It is a pleasure to hear from you! Thank you for such amazing comments! Yes, you are bang on right about the mythology bit. Yes, I guess the word ‘hell’ could have been left out. Somewhere, Hindu mythology has this group of dare I say, lesser known, but interesting God’s, who can make for fruitful storytelling in the modern world. I had tried it earlier with Shani, or Saturn, in the first story of the year, Feed. I think these characters hold much more promise than the big three. I am thrilled that you loved the ‘shark-minnow’ line. Thank you for dropping by! Be safe. ❤️

      • Oh, and sorry, I forgot replying to the 100/3 reference. So punishments in some sections of Hell are similar with slight variations. So, I was thinking on the lines of 100, 100/1, 100/2…and so on.

    • Hi Amrita,
      Gosh, what a dark piece, but very well written. I had to smile though when you wrote about people naked with their bellies on dry ice, followed by the comment that it made the narrator’s blood freeze – good sentence. I’m so glad I’ve read this late afternoon. It’s the stuff of nightmares:-) Thanks for an interesting read.

      • Hi Maria,
        Thank you for such lovely comments and the read! Yes, it’s the part of hell where people have to bear inhuman, freezing temperatures. I am glad that the image of naked people lying over dry ice on their bellies brought the pain of it across. My intention was to shock and I am thankful that it came through. Thank you again! Be safe. 🙂

    • Jane replied 3 weeks ago

      Hi Amrita, really well done. Quite different from your usual stories:) I enjoyed it. The descriptions were awesome and made me feel like I was there. I loved how relaxed and matter of fact Ms. Gupta was, as though this was all very normal. I agree that perhaps you could remove the word hell, as it is good to leave a little more to the reader’s imagination here:)

      A couple of small things:
      They hadn’t mentioned in the ad that this was some sort of a vigilante cum henchmen unit. – Don’t think it needs the a – was some sort of vigilante cum henchmen unit.
      Adam, the new in-charge of Area 52,” Ms. Gupta introduced me. I find this sentence doesn’t read easily maybe you could put ‘in-charge’ like this or in italics to make it stand out or use a different term, just to make it read a bit clearer:)

      Awesome work, thanks for sharing.

    • Jan replied 3 weeks ago

      Hi Amrita,
      Wow what a story! It was funny when I discovered why her office was “cooler” than the rest of the building! I loved what you have done here integrating elements of mythology which work really well.
      As to 100/3, I thought since 100/3 = 33.3 which is a multiple of 66.6 – a well know number associated with someone who might have a luxurious office somewhere near Mr Y’s office 😉
      Beautiful writing in a very intense and engaging manner – thank you for sharing!

      • Hey Amrita, this was one delicious dark tale. I thought you did an excellent job creating an atmosphere. My only critique is after that terrific build up your story ends – with no pay off for the reader. It’s like part of the story got lopped off and we are missing the conclusion. Other than that two thumbs up for creating a suspenseful tale. 👍👍

      • Hi Jan,
        Thank you for dropping by and your wonderful comments! I never thought of 100/3 like that. Actually, about that number – there are many sins that have similar kind of punishments with a little variation. So, I thought there could be a 100, 100/1, 100/2…and so on. 🙂 But your theory brings a whole new perspective. Thank you for that! I am glad you enjoyed it! Be safe. 🙂

    • Hey Amrita, this was one delicious dark tale. I thought you did an excellent job creating atmosphere and tension. My only critique is after that terrific build up your story ends – with no pay off for the reader. It’s like part of the story got lopped off and we are missing the conclusion. Other than that two thumbs up for creating a suspenseful tale. 👍👍

    • Hi Jane,
      Thank you for your thoughtful comments and the read! Your tiny inputs make me more aware about my writing. Really appreciate that. Yes, the word ‘hell’ will have to go, I agree to that. Will look into all the edits. I am glad that the visuals agreed with you. Thank you once again! Be safe. ❤️

    • Hi Charles,
      Thank you for your wonderful comments and the read! I am glad that you liked the atmosphere and the story agreed with you. I am sorry about how you feel about the end. How did you expect it to end?

    • Hi Amrita – your imaginative take on this prompt: fantastic. Now I’m stuck with the difficult question: What must one do to enter hell as the section manager of area 52? Must you be very bad or just a little bit bad?

      • Hi HM,
        Thank you for dropping by and the wonderful comments! I left that open to the reader’s imagination. But yes, getting recruited against such a job profile might require some special qualifications, if you get my drift. 😉 Glad to know you liked it. Be safe.

    • Hey Amrita and well done with this. I had a suspicion you had another level going on here and was at the point of searching ‘Ms. Chitra Gupta’. SM’s comments and your response clued me in and I am duly impressed. Pity I do not know much Hindu mythology but this could be a great intro. The descriptions are suitably painful to read and though I did wonder about the reason your main character got sent to this place and his / her fate afterwards, I can understand the impact of the word count. A ‘fun’ read (if you know what I mean. Best regards, Seyi

      • Hi Seyi,
        How are you doing? Thank you for such encouraging comments! Your words always lift me. Yes, Chitragupta is an actual character in Hindu mythology. He is like a keeper of records, someone knows when every human is born, his death, his life history…his rights and wrongs. He informs the God of Underworld, Yama, what the human has done. And then Yama decides what fate should be assigned to that soul. Basically, the underworld is a Hindu version of hell (it’s obvious, I know 😅). I left the background of the MC open for the readers’ interpretation. But I think a person must have had a dubious past to be considered for a position in hell. 🙂 Thank you for the read! Be safe.

    • Now, that’s a retelling I enjoy. You’ve got a setting for another short series. 😉 Engaging and enjoyable (even if it makes me sound like a sadist).

  • Hi Peggy,
    Please develop it. It will be a heart-wrenching read…I mean that in a good way.

  • Thank a ton, Ana! More power to your pen! Keep the oil burning. Be safe. 🙂

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Amrita Sarkar

@amrita_sarkar

active 1 day, 22 hours ago
Short Story balance: 2
Poetry balance: 1
WTC balance: 1