short fiction

The Ballard Engine

The Ballard Engine

Right before the end, reality had become a bad sci-fi movie, the kind you watch at four in the morning, unable to sleep, unable to turn the T.V. off.

Forgetting by Devashish Makhija

Butterflies on Strings

The Maoists aren’t a ‘tribe’, though some of them might be tribals. The C.R.P.F. certainly isn’t. Which tribe hunts for a monthly salary?

The Helter Skelter Anthology of New Writing: Volume Four

Available Now: Helter Skelter’s First Print Edition

Vol. 4 of our New Writing anthology is our first print edition and features original writing handpicked by Janice Pariat, Nitoo Das, and Jerry Pinto. Get your copy now!

Chandrakala, illustration by Newman D'Silva

The Groom and the Dog

It was the summer before her final year of college when Vaidehi first saw Suresh Babu.

Dolls Are Like People; Illustration by Newman D'Silva

Dolls Are Like People

Her joints are stiff, but it’s nothing to worry about. It’s her natural condition.

The Hatter's Wife, illustration by Newman D'Silva

The Hatter’s Wife

Alice pressed her palm to the cool glass as her husband snipped away at the fabric that would form his fourth hat that week.

Invitation, illustration by Pooja Satish


Maybe it wasn’t her love that was strange. Maybe it was Grandpa’s.

The Last Butterfly, illustration by Ria Rajan

The Last Butterfly

When she sipped from the flowers, she would make sure that her wings were stretched out and displayed properly for him.

Illustration by Kruttika Susarla

The Girl in the Leopard-Skin Brassiere

You don’t know me but I have lived a lifetime with you.

Sexy, illustration by Osheen Siva


The man’s voice had reached where his hands couldn’t have.

Church Hill, illustration by Osheen Siva

Church Hill

Bright lights flash about her, and the city steeps in her lap for an unexpected reunion.

In Calcutta, illustration by Newman D'Silva

In Calcutta

What does her smile look like? Does she have crooked teeth like me? Do her eyes crinkle up when she smiles?