Tag Archives: Sharmishtha Basu

The Charons

This is a true story, although it’s not mine. It is a story of betrayal, malice, and harassment. It’s a story of family poison and co-worker acid.

It is the story of the experiences of blogger and author Sharmishtha Basu, who has just released this book entitled the Charons. I asked her a few questions about the book and how she works as a writer.

David: Is this a true story?

Sharmishtha: It is more of a journal than a story. Everything that is written has happened, but in a lot more horrible way. I just don’t have the mental strength to bare my soul to everyone.

D: When did you first decide to write this story?

S: In 2001, after returning from hell. I decided I would share my experience to warn others in crystal clear words. In the next ten years my tormentors made that decision a resolution.

D: What was the hardest part about writing this book?

S: The pain. Reliving the memories of those ghoulish tortures and betrayals, memories of monstrosity that dwells inside human beings, it was such a shock for me, someone who believed in humanity so very much.

D: Do you have a set place and time when you write?

S: No. I sometimes discipline my muse but she breaks free.

D: Do you have any insights or words of inspirations for other writers?

S: If you believe you want to share your works, don’t let anyone stop you. Createspace and kindle are absolutely free sites, all you will need is friends who will give you the well needed publicity or you can go for paid services. If a publisher refuses your work, that does not makes it bad. Listen to your heart and friends.

The Charons is on sale now at Amazon.com or Createspace.


Alone on a Boat – The Final Chapter

Hi, everyone. Here is the 13th and final chapter in our continuing collaborative story, Alone on a Boat. It was put on hold for a few weeks since Sharmishtha had some unexpected, terrible flooding. If you’ve been following along, you can read all the chapters, including the previous one on her blog.

Or here’s the synopsis: Angelique is 20 years old and sailing solo around the world. Two men kidnap her in the Indian Ocean and bring her to an island where there is an ancient Indian temple. They get killed by monsters but she escapes and meets an old man, John, who brings her into the temple, which is full of treasure. Her father arrives the next morning because of a distress beacon she activated. He sees the treasure but before he can go in, Angelique is transported into the temple alone and confronts a naga woman. Because of Angelique’s honesty in not trying to take the treasure, she is rewarded with a nagmani, a naga’s third eye, that will take her back to the temple if she needs to go. Her and her father go back to the boat but he sneaks out at night to go find the treasure. She goes after him and finds him in an altered state, imagining he is at the temple and taking jewels, when he is only in the jungle.

Alone on a Boat – Part 13 (The final chapter)

By mid-morning, John and Angelique had gotten her father down to the shore. He came willingly enough, but often stopped to pluck imaginary gems out of the air and store them in his bag.

“Do you really think he will be okay?” Angelique asked.

“I hope so,” John said. “Get him far away from here and then see. It may take a while. I’m not sure; I’ve never seen this sort of thing before.”

“Thank you,” she said. “You saved my life. I’ll never forget you.” He smiled and held out his hand but she moved past it and gave him a hug.

“Come back sometime, if you can,” he said. “I will still be here, I’m sure.”

John helped her get her father onto the ship, then she brought him back to the shore. He stood waving as she pulled up the anchor and set the motor to bring them away from the island.

Her father was now lying on the bed, and was asleep when she checked on him. He continued to sleep all day and she checked several times to see if he was still breathing.

She made supper and went into the bedroom. “Dad, Dad, it’s time for supper.” She shook him gently, but there was no response. Was he in a coma? After a few minutes more, she went up on deck and ate supper by herself.

She had sailed solo for many days, but never had she felt more frightened and alone than at this moment, with her father unconscious inside. What if he never woke up? What could she do? What would her mother say?

The sun went down, extinguishing itself in the waters of the Indian Ocean. Angelique lay down and looked up at the millions of stars shining above her.

She looked down and saw that her shirt was glowing. She pulled out the nagmani. It was glowing with a reddish luminescence that grew brighter and then suddenly faded back to black.

There was a noise from the cabin and the door opened. Her father stood in the doorway.

“Are we on the open sea?” he asked. “Weren’t we on an island?”

“We were but we left,” Angelique said, going to him and giving him a hug. “You’ve been sleeping for hours.”

“I feel pretty tired. What happened? The last thing I remember I had taken a helicopter to come find you and I remember something about being on the boat.”

“Well, that’s passed now, Dad,” she said. “We’re heading for Jakarta; I can drop you off there, if you wish, or you can stay until Singapore.”

He nodded. “Either one is fine. I wonder what the name of that island was? I’d like to go back there sometime.”

A stab of apprehension went through Angelique. “I don’t know, Dad,” she said.

“Well, whatever. I’m so tired for some reason. I think I’ll go back to bed.” He went back in, closing the door.

Angelique leaned back and looked up at the night sky again. The stars seemed to be smiling down on her. She was happy now. She was ready for the next adventure.

Alone on a boat


Alone on a Boat – Part 11

Sorry this story is so late. Usually I post my chapters of this story on Mondays. However, this weekend was adventuring on a remote island (not unlike our heroine) and was unable to post it.

If you’re behind on the story, here’s all you need to know: Angelique is 20 years old and sailing solo around the world. Two men kidnap her in the Indian Ocean and bring her to an island where there is an ancient Indian temple. They get killed by monsters but she escapes and meets an old man, John, who brings her into the temple, which is full of treasure. Her father arrives the next morning because of a distress beacon she activated. He sees the treasure but before he can go in, Angelique is transported into the temple alone and confronts a naga woman. Because of Angelique’s honesty in not trying to take the treasure, she is rewarded with a nagmani, a naga’s third eye, that will take her back to the temple if she needs to go.

Sharmishtha has posted all the previous installments here.

Alone on a Boat – Part 11

Angelique slipped the nagmani medallion into her pocket. “Nothing much. Where did you guys just go?”

“Where did you go?” her father said. “Suddenly you disappeared and then a moment later you were back, blinking in the sunlight. This is the craziest place I’ve ever seen.”

He turned back towards the temple doors and Angelique saw that same look of entranced greed in his eyes.

“Let’s get back to the boat,” she said quickly. He turned towards her and after a moment of thought, nodded.

“Yeah, that’s probably best. I’ll send the helicopter back to Phuket once we find it and determine that everything is okay. Then, if it’s okay with you, I’d like to sail with you for a while. Just until we make it out of this area. You can drop me off in Singapore or Jakarta if you want. Is that okay?”

“I’d like that, Dad,” she said. He nodded and went to talk to the pilot.

As soon as he had gone, John stepped up next to her. “I see that you received a nagmani. You are truly favored, but guard it carefully. Do not let it out of your hands.” He threw a meaningful glance over at her father.

Angelique’s father came back and they said good-bye to John. He did not want to go down to the beach with them, but shook their hands and watched them climb aboard the helicopter. Angelique saw him quickly move back into the jungle as soon as they were airborne.

It did not take long to find the boat. It was anchored by itself in a small cove a few kilometers away. Angelique was a little wary about climbing down the swaying rope ladder to the boat below, but her father went first and held it steady at the bottom. Finally, when they had searched the boat and concluded that everything was safe and normal, her father waved the all-clear to the pilot and the helicopter flew off, disappearing over the crest of the island.

“Shall we take off right now?” Angelique said. “It’s still early morning; we can make it a long way today.”

“Let’s just take it easy today,” her father said. “You’ve been through a lot and it might be nice just to take a day here and relax. Go swimming if you want. It’ll give me a chance to look over the boat too and make sure those guys didn’t mess with anything. If they did, it’s better to find it here than out there on the open water.”

“I guess that’s true,” Angelique said. She did not want to spend another day at that island, but her father had a point. She relaxed and did some swimming while he tinkered with the engine and the various instruments. That evening, they had a fire on the beach and watched the stars from the deck of the ship.

Angelique woke up in the middle of the night in a panic. She had had a nightmare about things crawling over the side of the ship and into her bedroom. She had reached for the nagmani, but it had burned her hands.

Now, she sat in the dark, listening for her father’s breathing. He had taken the fold-down bunk on the side by the door.

She could hear nothing. After a few minutes, she turned on her penlight and shone it towards him. The bunk was empty.

She went out on deck. “Dad? Where are you?” There was no answer. She searched the whole ship, from bow to stern. He was not there. She was alone.

(to be continued on Friday on Sharmishtha Basu’s blog)

sailing alone


What would you do if you were “Alone on a Boat”?

Today the 10th installment of “Alone on a Boat” came out . It is a collaborative story between Sharmishtha Basu and myself. Please read the latest chapter (and all the previous ones) here at Sharmistha’s blog:

Our heroine, Angelique is quite a spunky girl. We know this because she’s 20 and sailing around the world by herself. I’m curious what you would have done in her situation.  Take my quiz, then find out how close you are to Angelique.

copyright Sharmishtha Basu

copyright Sharmishtha Basu

1. You are sailing your boat and see a man floating in the water, clinging to wreckage. Do you:

  1. Pick him up (I only pick up hitchhikers in the middle of the ocean)
  2. Throw at Coke bottle at his head as you sail by (Shipwrecked? Ain’t nobody got time for that)
  3. Call the police and hope they find him in time (I want to help, but not THAT much)
  4. Pick him up, then hold him for ransom (Money, money, money…)

2. You are kidnapped by two men who have you tied up in your bedroom. Do you:

  1. Take a nap (Getting kidnapped is tiring)
  2. Cry and act helpless (Yay, I’m a damsel in distress!)
  3. Get the distress beacon from the bedside table (I’m a Lara Croft wannabe)
  4. Tell them your father is rich and will ransom you (Money solves all problems)

3. Your kidnappers have taken you to a jungle temple and you’ve just seen them get eaten by a huge monster. Do you:

  1. Scream your lungs out, alerting the monster to your occasion.  (WWABGIAHMD: What Would A Blond Girl In A Horror Movie Do?)
  2. Take a nap. (Hey, that was a long hike through the jungle)
  3. Run away (Duh…)
  4. Grab the kidnapper’s fallen machete and go Bruce Willis on that monster (I’m sick of these **** monsters in this **** temple!)

4. You come across a strange man in the woods who says he’ll help you. Do you:

  1. Kill him. (Don’t mess around: I believe in Stranger Danger)
  2. Go with him. (You’re desperate. Gotta take the chance).
  3. Tie him up and leave him as monster bait (Better him than you)
  4. Ask him if he has a phone so you can call someone else (I need help, but I’m picky)

5. You find yourself in a temple filled with gold and gems. You’ve been warned that if you steal anything, you’ll be hunted down.

  1. Get your running shoes on, grab the biggest gem and and start sprinting. (High school gym class, don’t fail me now)
  2. Make a note of the temple’s coordinates to come back later with dynamite. (With Lara Croft AND Indiana Jones)
  3. Take a nap (Treasure makes you sleepy)
  4. Don’t take anything (Are you crazy? You saw the kidnappers get slaughtered)

 

Okay, tabulate your answers. Angelique’s actions were: 1, 3, 3, 2, 4. If you chose any of the other choices, you are most likely sociopathic, insanely greedy, or possibly narcoleptic.

If you haven’t read the story yet and want to catch up, click here.

jungle night

 

 

 

 

 


Alone on a Boat – Part 9

Part 9 of a collaborative story between myself and Sharmishtha Basu where the main character Angelique is neither on a boat nor alone. At least at the moment.

Here’s what has happened so far: Our heroine Angelique has been kidnapped and brought to a temple in the jungle by two men. They are going to sacrifice her to get through a door to steal a large diamond. However, a huge tentacled monster attacks them before they can. She runs away and finds other monsters, but comes across an old man named John who is Australian but now lives alone on the island. He takes her back to his cave for the night so they will be safe from any monsters or creatures that are around.

But then, a huge multi-headed snake, a naga, attacks in the night, and John has to take her through a secret tunnel into the temple of Lakshmi, where there is gold and gems everywhere, including a huge lotus made of diamonds. Gold nagas stand guard and John says they will attack anyone who tries to steal the treasure.

Sharmishtha has posted all the previous installments here.

Alone on a Boat – Part 9

Angelique lay down to sleep surrounded by millions of dollars worth of gold and gems, not to mention the priceless diamonds that formed the lotus blossom in front of the goddess Lakshmi’s idol.

She was glad when the flare burned out and darkness hid the unobtainable wealth from her. She had meant what she had said to John about not wanting to be rich, but still, now that it was all here in front of her, images of what she could do with such riches kept creeping into her mind.

“There are only about four hours until dawn,” John said out of the darkness. “I’ll keep watch until then.”

“I thought you said this was the safest place we could be—that no monsters could get in here.”

“That’s true,” he said, “but still.”

He is watching because of me, Angelique thought. In case I try to steal something. It gave her an odd feeling.

She woke up to see a long sliver of daylight slicing across the temple floor. John’s figure was silhouetted against it.

Angelique got to her feet and went over to him. “The men who kidnapped me were trying to get in here,” she said. “They seemed to think that only human sacrifice would let them get through this door.”

“Perhaps they were right,” John said, still looking out. “I don’t know how to get in through these doors. However, if you come in the way we did, it is easy to come out this way. The doors push open from the inside. They will not stay open, though. I once came out and left them open. They were shut tight when I returned.”

“What do we do now?” Angelique asked. “Are we safe from monsters now?”

“I don’t know. Yesterday I would have said yes—that they do not come out in the daylight, but then again, I would have said nothing could have found us in my cave. I will try to lead you down to the shore and then you can get away in your boat. I think we can get there in a few hours by a path I know.”

At that moment, the sound of a helicopter broke the morning stillness. It came into view a minute later, a civilian model with Thai markings on it. It landed in the clearing of the temple courtyard, the rotor whipping at the overhanging branches. As soon as it on the ground, the door opened and a muscular, tanned man in his 50s jumped out.

“Dad!” Angelique shouted and ran towards him. He hugged her tightly.

“Are you okay?” he shouted over the noise of the rotor. “I got your distress signal and rented a helicopter as soon as I could. Then we followed the GPS signal. Where’s the boat?”

“Down in a cove. How did you get here so fast?”

“I was in Phuket,” her father said. “Just a few hours away.”

“Were you following me?” she asked.

“Not following, just staying close. Just in case. What happened anyway?”

Angelique led him a little ways from the helicopter and explained everything that had happened, about the two men who had kidnapped her and brought her to the temple.

“How did you get away?” he asked.

She hesitated. “Something attacked them. A creature. Then I ran into John and he helped me.” She introduced John to her father and the two men shook hands.

John had been standing with his back against the temple door while she had been talking to her father, and she suddenly realized that he had been trying to push it closed. Before she could say anything, her father looked up at the temple.

“What is this place, anyway?” He took a step towards the door.

“Dad, don’t. Let’s just go.” It was no good. Her father seemed to have forgotten she was there. He took another step, looking around in amazement. He hadn’t seen the gold and jewels inside yet, but it was only a matter of another few steps.

“Dad, please. Let’s just get out of here. Back to the boat.”

She knew it was useless. Her father’s greatest fantasy was to be the real-life Indiana Jones. He took another step forward and she saw his eyes suddenly widen.

“Mother of Mary,” he said softly, and she knew it was too late.

(to be continued on Friday on Sharmishtha Basu’s blog)

lakshmi


What is it? – A Visual Prompt

This story comes from a picture and prompt from my friend Sharmishtha Basu. Here’s her take on the story, along with another friend’s. The part in italics is the original prompt.

He was lying flat on his back, watching the stars in the open sky.

How he loved these small escapades to the woods! Every necessity was packed in his backpack: a small tent in case it rained, a sleeping bag, and lots of mosquito repellant.

There was no sign of rain and a pleasant breeze was blowing, stirring the leaves of the trees and the grass on which he was lying.

The moon was peeking at him from behind scanty clouds. He fell asleep….

A strange flash of light woke him up, and at first he thought that the moon was coming down on him…

It was not the moon. The pale light grew and grew until it was as bright as the sun. He could not look away. It continued to grow until it the whole sky was glowing. Still it grew, impossibly large, filling the night with a pale brilliance. This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, he thought, but I think I’m going to die.

He felt himself getting lighter and to his amazement, he lifted off the ground. Rocks and twigs rose as well and there was a great rustling in the trees as the branches rose on their own, pulled towards the heavens. Gravity abandoned him and suddenly he was falling up into the sky. He fell faster and faster and the earth fell right behind him, straight up into that now-blinding light that filled the sky from horizon to horizon.

Crack!

Groxhhelin the Prosaic checked the screen of his Galacto-class Starhopper. “We hit another planet,” he said to his cousin, Bob the Normally Unpronounceable. “It cracked the headlight. There seems to be tons of planets in this area.”

“There were, at least,” Bob said. “Hey, pick up that star over there and throw it in the tank, would you? We’re going to need some more fuel if we’re going to make it back home.”

 


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