Odd Thomas

Ahh! Finally showered and feeling human again. Time to relax in front of the TV in the living room. I should get my dinner and settle down to movies or something.

First, check that the front door is locked. The key’s not turning any further to the right – must be done alright then. But you never know, just make sure. Unlock, two turns left. Relock, two turns right. Check bolt. Try twisting the door handle. Once. Twice. Good.

Go to the kitchen, heat up dinner and set on a tray. Boil the ke—Wait, check the back door. Same locks, same procedure. Good. Boil the kettle, make tea, carry tray to the living room.

Hilarious movie. A tad lengthy, though. Glad it’s over. Check CNN. Trump as usual. BBC, Discovery, ITV. Watch highlights of the Paris Masters. Yawn. Getting bored here. I should clean my teeth and prepare for bed. But first, some water. I’m parched!

Into the kitchen. Drink water and wash dishes. Twist the back door handle. Locked. Turn off light and exit. Off to the bathroom. But darn it! What if I didn’t press down hard enough? That handle is somewhat stiff. Go back and check again. Locked. Okay, but it could be I’m wrong twice. Best try again. Locked. Good. Exit kitchen and go to the bathroom.

Try to ignore the number “3”. It’s an uneven quantity and is so damn odd. Incomplete. Strange. It’s wrong, and I have to make it right.

Back to the kitchen. Twist the back door handle for a fourth time. It’s locked. There! All is right now. Four times evenly. But not quite. Wait 5 seconds and redo the entire procedure, this time in quick succession. 1. 2. 3. 4 times. Right! Now, go clean your teeth. Shit, the front door’s not up to speed. Try those locks, then the bolt, then the handle. Once, twice, thrice, and a fourth time. Good.

But don’t leave out the sockets! Check that the sockets are off. Scan the room. All off, good. This near-sightedness, though. Touch them to make certain. Flick on, then off. One, two, three, four times. One more go, just to make sure – 1, 2, 3, 4. But that makes two rounds of four times each. 2 is even – worlds better than 3, but it still isn’t 4. Better go two more rounds to make it up. 1, 2, 3, 4 on-off flips of each switch, in quick succession. Then another 1, 2, 3, 4. Excellent. Now for these darn teeth.

Brush-floss-mouthwash. Gargle four times. Spit. Ahhh, very nice! Back to the living room. Sleep shouldn’t be far off now.

Graham Norton’s on – super! Half an episode should do it.

20 minutes in and all the guests are super boring grade C celebrities. Think I’m sleepy enough. Turn off TV. Switch off lights. Check front door (x4); check back door (x4). Now, into the bedroom. Shit. The episode isn’t ended. It’s a strange feeling. Incomplete. Odd. I have to right it, make it normal. Back to the TV. Finish the dreary episode. Will check doors only twice this time. Once, twice, front door. Once, twice, back. All secure.

Back to bed and under the covers. Cosy and warm, still I toss and turn. Within me, it’s reason vs. mania:

“2 means I double-checked. It’s safe. It’s secure.”—“But 2 is not 4. It’s half of 4.”
“2 is hardly odd; it’s very balanced and even.”—“It’s an extremely odd number to conclude with.”

Minutes have passed.


I fling the covers aside and get up.


Know Your Onions

Know your onions.

I thought I knew mine. Thought I’d gotten pretty good at “consistently irregularly writing down something on my blog for the world to see”. Then one day I realized it had somehow gotten away from me. I walked into my pantry and barely recognized said onions. Like my writing, they’d been neglected, forgotten, desperately searching for an exit. Continue reading “Know Your Onions”

Letter to a Powerful Man

Dear Mr. Power Company Guy,

I returned home this evening to learn that you had cut off power supply to my entire apartment block. You left a note citing various reasons for your action: one flat’s line was illegally routed, bypassing the electricity meter and consuming power for free; another flat had not recharged its units in two months. Most importantly, you detailed your company’s bank account where transfer of a specific amount was to be made—“fines”, you called it, for the breach discovered.
Continue reading “Letter to a Powerful Man”

A Literal Eclipse

News of the impending celestial manifestation reached me less than twelve hours before its occurrence. I didn’t have to brush it aside enviously as this time, it was accompanied by the information that most of Sub-Saharan Africa would see it as well! A quick scouting of Google confirmed this, and not even the fact that it would only be a partial solar eclipse, could eclipse my child-like excitement. What can I say? Life is somewhat dull at the moment.  Continue reading “A Literal Eclipse”


As I walked into the building, nostalgia flooded my senses. That baby blue paint! They’d maintained it all these years. Then the sight of the courtyard came threatening to undo me. Eons ago, this was a large, happy, sandy place students would run amok in while waiting to be picked up by their parents. Now, even empty, I see it is only a tiny space for mini-people. As everyone was in class, the halls were as I never witnessed them except during toilet breaks, “excuse card” in hand —quiet and empty.
Continue reading “Childhood”

The Spanner in My Gears

Like my mother, I’m in love with lists. I love making them, feel safe having them, and endlessly refer to them. So naturally, in a bid to improve myself as a writer, I made several lists documenting my entire process: what makes me tick, genres I’m interested in, what I hate about writing, things I have to work on, etc. Obviously, “challenges” was one of such lists. And in the spirit of having the courage to post the most seemingly-irrelevant, mundane or personal reads (this being personal, without a cloak of fiction), I thought to share this—My List of Writing Challenges—with everyone. Continue reading “The Spanner in My Gears”