Three Line Tales 252

Welcome to Week 252 of Three Line Tales. photo by Linus Sandvide via Unsplash You’ll find full guidelines on the TLT page – here’s the tl;dr: Write …

Three Line Tales 252

He crossed the ominous ruins before his courage would fail him – the barrier that divided what was real and what was not.

Taking a deep breath, he raised the torch to see the ancient message intended for his eyes – the message that drove him to travel miles to this wayward land.

He blinked and understood, at that moment, his Doom.


brushwork of authors

painting a picture of reading

booksㅤ — ㅤgiant canvases

ㅤupon which i paint
ㅤmy imagination

ㅤ ㅤ ㅤㅤ colourful palettesㅤof
 ㅤ ㅤㅤd y n a m i cㅤcharacters

ㅤblending into
ㅤflawless chiaroscuro

ofㅤf i c t i o n a lㅤt r u t h s

I intend for it to be read in this manner:

Originally published on 17 November 2020 in Intimately Intricate

How are you?

what is left unsaid

survive another day
in battles of wits
and jungle minefields

I’m fine.
racing the same marathon
with rugged gait
on a broken treadmill

Thank you.
I remain civil
for weaponised words

And you?

Originally published on 16 November 2020 in A Cornered Gurl

I am a Firekeeper

But when the fuel runs low

Tien’s Photo Archives

I huddle over the embers, wishing for it to grow even just a little.

But the embers remain the same.

It first began as a spark and I fed it with whatever I had. It took a while but the spark finally caught fire and grew to a small flame.

Tending to fires is a tricky and tiring job — there are too many factors to consider. The cold wind blows erratically and infrequently, threatening to snuff out the flame. And it rains at times too, sometimes a downpour, other times a shower.

keep the flames roaring
within the plains of your heart — 
it never dies out

My fire diminished to embers but I have managed to keep it burning. The worst part is, across this featureless vast plain, I must keep the fire burning alone. No one can help me. And it does not help when I can see roaring flames of other firekeepers.

My embers are pitiable next to the majesty of their flames.

But they have nothing to do with me. Of course, my flames are mine alone. Such is the mentality of a firekeeper, gazing at the success of other firekeepers.

Should I give up?

My embers are not dead — they are barely alive though. Embers is a curious phenomenon. Fan it too hard and it extinguishes; too light and it only glows brighter. So for a while, I did nothing as I regarded it.

I even left it alone.

In the end, I return — the hypnotic allure of the embers ensnares me again. I poke at it and the embers crack.

even a spark can
create gigantic flames when
it’s given a chance

For the moment, I will continue to tend to my embers.

Originally published on 13 November 2020 in The Junction

calluses on my heart

what do people see?

Tien (2020)

wearing my heart on the sleeve
exposed for all to see
healthy expressions leave
me with vulnerabilities

again, again and again
calluses on my heart shriek
of countless societal skirmishes
from repeated pressure
and constant friction

i thought them repelling
and peel the unseemly

only to discover
underneath the toughened skin
is nothing but
naked pink flesh
that bleeds easily

so i leave them alone
and wear the toughened skin

these calluses on my heart

Originally published on 2 November 2020 in Weeds & Wildflowers

The Last Musician

Onophrian Fountain, Dubrovnik | Tien (2018)

He rests the rebec on his knee. It is that moment — the moment when the crowd has thinned and the next group of tourists has not arrived yet. The brief window of break when his time belongs to him and his thoughts begin to wander.

He had a dream. Once.

It is difficult to believe but once upon a time, he was young. I am young, he tells himself. But once upon a time, when he was younger, he had a dream. He wanted to bring the music of his village into the world. The gentle song of the river, of the grassland and of the trees; the world is more interested in the harsh sounds of the metal, of the rock and of the electric.

“He rests the rebec on his knee.”

He had a dream. And once upon a time, he naively thought the world owed it to him to listen to his music. The simple songs of his village’s river, of his village’s grassland and of his village’s trees. He felt he was entitled to the success. But the baffling sounds of the metal, of the rock and of the electric prevail.

He prevailed too — not in a manner he is proud of, but he prevailed. Forty years, he has been singing the meaningful songs of his village to tourists who listen. Forty years, he has been singing the meaningful songs of his village to tourists who do not listen. And forty years, he has been singing the meaningful songs of his village meaninglessly.

“The gentle song of the river, of the grassland and of the trees; the world is more interested in the harsh sounds of the metal, of the rock and of the electric.”

As his rebec techniques improve, his rebec playing becomes hollow.

“Look Ma!” a child points excitedly. “What a funny violin!”

“Shh, don’t point. That’s rude,” the mother pulls her child away and they hurry off to rejoin their tour group.

I am still young, he reminds himself. Both the village and the world are far away, with him straddling in between. He is the last musician of his village to the world, the only one who still remembers the songs of his village.

“Forty years, he has been singing the meaningful songs of his village meaninglessly.”

He resumes his playing.

Originally published on 5 October 2020 in A Cornered Gurl


Tien (2020)

i dance in colours

painting rainbows to life

the way children would

for their precious colouring book

let me experience

let me experiment

let me express

the spectrum for a full life

an equivalent exchange

gladly accepted

i will be a silly sage

i will be a wise fool

i will be a peter pan to soar

in the rainbow of life

for i dance in colours

the way children would

Originally published on 2 October 2020 in Weeds & Wildflowers

Saturday Six Word Story Prompt (6WSP) #63 – November 7, 2020 — My Random Ramblings

Welcome to Week #63 of the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt. Click here to read the guidelines for the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt series. Prompt for Week #63 (Nov 7, 2020 – Nov 13, 2020) Stars Click here for the 6WSP image. I will do a roundup post each Friday. So please be sure […]

Saturday Six Word Story Prompt (6WSP) #63 – November 7, 2020 — My Random Ramblings

shooting stars got charged for murder…