‘That’s plenty’

“Yes, sir. Thank you,sir. Could I just have one more?’

‘Do I look like I run a charity? Keep moving, you’re holding up the line.’

Rubbing his nose vigorously, blinking back tears, Oliver swallowed and tried again:

‘Please, sir. Just one more bill. I promise I’m good for it.’

The moneylenderΒ grunted, rolled his wealthy eyes and put another $50 bill in the cracked, outstretched hand.

‘Mind you pay it back next time!’

Oliver’s face creased in a smile of gratitude. He’d now be able to buy those medicines for mom.

Cancer and abundant poverty don’t mix.


Welcome to The Moving Quill!

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I’ve taken up the theme of

An Oxymoron rendered inΒ micro-fiction.

Each day’s titleΒ will have one half of the oxymoron while the second half will be revealed towards the end of the post.

Follow me as I unravel each tale in exactly 100 words.

Follow me on FacebookΒ or Twitter to keep track of my updates


Featured image courtesy: Balabanov Igor via Shutterstock

99 thoughts on “Abundant – #FlashFiction #AtoZChallenge

  1. I read this today…. such a powerful story and a harsh reality of our country….. makes me wonder what we do about it!

  2. Interestingly the oxymoron exists in your take on Oliver Twist too. While poverty is common , the legendary Oliver lived on hope and perhaps your protagonist lives on prayers and mercy of money lenders?

  3. You are so creative! Thats why I love your flash fiction. Touch choice for a theme and you executed the first one brilliantly!

  4. Heart touching. Immense depth in such short spread… Incredible… Fine piece… Pleasure to read.

  5. I am truly sorry to hear that. Nobody should have to go through this and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemies. I hope they find the funds they need for the treatment. Thank you for reading, Geraint.

  6. You’re very very kind, Shalini πŸ™‚ I don’t know if I would do a good job of that but how encouraging of you. Stay this way always.

  7. Thank you! I figured that’s the best way to keep the suspense and the twist hidden till the end. Oh you’re so sweet to have begun with mine πŸ™‚

  8. Oops! You’ve commented here already! πŸ˜€ Sorry I missed it. I saw two different names, Laliat and Mythsy and got confused. Thanks for the compliment!

  9. Such few words yet so much conveyed in depth. You have started the #AtoZChallenge by touching upon a sensitive subject. Love your theme of oxymorons coming in half and half. Very creative indeed. Look forward to reading your 26 gems.

  10. Mam, you should write a book; like a technical English book with these stories as examples. This is so good. I loved the story but most of all, I could learn something new and in a simple manner. Brilliant start to A to Z πŸ™‚

  11. Ah! How clever of you to put it so subtly and yet making the perfect impact!

    I’m in love with your theme and there is so much I know we all would be able to learn from you this!


  12. Like everyone else my first instinct was also Oliver Twist and the twist just made my heart break. Poverty and Cancer can never really mix.

  13. Great twist, albeit very sad. It’s easy to forget that this really is the reality for many. Not necessarily for cancer but the “abundant poverty”. πŸ˜•

  14. Aah! That broke my heart! Abundant poverty and cancer certainly dont mix. A fantastic twist and a great start to the challenge, Shailaja! πŸ™‚

  15. The “Please Sir” reminded me of the first charmer of Dickens ‘ Oliver Twist and voila! your protagonist had the same name…. Inspired by the same?? Abundant poverty! Lovely writing

  16. True… they just don’t mix.
    We never appreciate this, but we are so blessed that we can afford health care.

  17. Oliver Twist! One of my favorite books as a child. And it’s such a sad fact of life – poverty, abundant poverty, which makes it so hard to live, let alone deal with something as huge as cancer.

  18. Brilliant! The story had a bittersweet ending, and I am loving the format of revealing the oxymoron at the end of the post! It’s sort of like knowing that you’re getting a gift, then you unwrap it, and then see the gift in its entirety.

    P.S.: Yours is the first atoz post I’ve read this April ❀

  19. This was a classic Shailaja! My heart went out for Oliver. Glad that you decided to take up the challenge this time. πŸ™‚

  20. Our lives are full of Oxymorons and you have so brilliantly used the two words in your story.Now, I am intrigued I read more.More power to you πŸ™‚

  21. You touched a raw nerve there. You know during my fathers cancer days, someone told us this that it isnt cancer the disease that kills you, it is the cost of treatment which does it.

  22. That was a great story there. Even better was your idea of using oxymorons. Wow that will take you some real thinking- half at the beginning with the respective alphabet of the day and half at the end and 100 words exactly…. Great going

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