in transit

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Photo credits: Tien | Incheon, South Korea (2020)

“Fabian, you have to accept the fact. This marriage is not going to work.”

His wife was beside him in the cafe, quiet all the while when he suddenly heard her say that.

If Fabian was surprised, he did not show it.

It was probably fatigue. After long hours of travelling, he was finally reunited with his wife in Kazakhstan. That had been a better part of one whole day, even with the time difference in mind. And now, they were on their way back to America, back home to that city where their romance first started. That was another half day gone.

Travelling was not the problem; the problem was Fabian did not sleep well whenever he travelled. He was lucky if he even got two hours of sleep. He must be hearing things.

He had to be.

Because it was a last-minute decision for him to travel to Kazakhstan, he could only do a transfer flight and he had six hours of layover in South Korea. It was too long for him, as well as his active mind, to rest but it was too short to take one of the free transit tours which Incheon Airport had to offer to revisit the city.

So instead, he chose to sit quietly and people-watched. He had ordered a dark chocolate cheesecake and a hazelnut latte - both her favourite - but they remained untouched.
And she suddenly dropped that bombshell on him.

Fabian did not look at her.

“Please.”

Again, her voice. He could not deny it anymore. He let a few moments passed before he cleared his throat and started speaking.

“Angela, did you remember our first honeymoon? It’s right here, in South Korea. Isn’t it ironic? We were so happy back then. But the airport has certainly changed a lot, hasn’t it? Remember this dark chocolate cheesecake and the hazelnut latte? They are from that same cafe you loved. Angela. Angel-in-us. Angel-in-us. Angela. The cafe that sounds almost like your name if we say it fast enough.”

Pausing in his soliloquy, he finally used the plastic fork to cut a small piece from the tip of the cheesecake that his wife loved so much and put it in his mouth. Most cheesecakes were sweet and creamy so he was pleasantly surprised by the slight savoury and toasted taste of the cheese. The bittersweet taste of the dark chocolate also complemented the cheese well.

It was easier to understand why his wife was so fond of it after he had tasted it himself.
“Since we’re here, shall we take our second honeymoon? And you have always wanted to visit Japan and her famous torii gates, as well as China and the Great Wall, don’t you?” he turned to look at Angela.

She still had that kind and understanding look on her face. Just the way he remembered.
“Let me go, Fabian.”

His vision started to mist and he blinked a few times as he licked his lips. There was still a slight aftertaste of the cheesecake. Instead of replying, he reached for the hazelnut latte and took a sip. The sharp nutty fragrance was not lost on him. Now he really understood why all these years, Angela had a special fondness of the dark chocolate cheesecake and hazelnut latte from Angel-in-us.

“We are already in transit, Angela. Just humour me and I’ll try my best to let you go,” Fabian said.

Then he turned to look at Angela’s ash urn again.

“I promise.”


Originally written for Weeds & Wildflowers on Medium.

I never had any intention of writing this flash fiction, especially the ending. This is originally a photo with the caption I came up with

even the most uncomfortable wait becomes bearable with simply joys

It sparked an interest in a fellow Medium writer, Dennett, and through her series of questions, this story was born. I must say, this is the most organic piece of writing I have ever come up with, starting from just some idle conversation into a snippet of life. Even the ending was surprising for me by the time I finished it, and the entire writing process took me about two hours, editing included.

It has certainly been a long time since I have done such a piece of creative writing.

Inspiration Call: Micropoetry Monday

Photo credit: © Pixabay.com

protective hands held on too long
the bird forgot the dreams of soaring

freely in the skies.

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Inspiration Call: Micropoetry Monday – use this picture as inspiration for a micro poem (a short poem with no particular rules).

Publishing opportunity details for this writing prompt can be found at Open Publishing Projects.

Prompt: Inspiration Call: Micropoetry Monday

Friday Fictioneers – 11 OCTOBER 2019

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Family Background

“How about this one?” he asked in broken Teochew.

His grandmother peered at it through her glasses. “Oh, that’s your grandfather. We were watching an opera,” she said as she handed it back to him.

“What’s the name?” he asked.

She told him but he would forget as soon as he heard it. His Teochew was at best elementary so talking to his grandmother was tedious at times, since she could only speak Teochew.

It was a long afternoon but he was determined to understand what happened in the past from grandmother before everything disappeared into the forgetful history.

(99 words)


This is really what I wished I had done before my grandmother passed. My grandfather was dead before I was born, so I never really knew him. My father’s generation could speak Mandarin, of course, but they were not in the habit of talking about our family history. Meanwhile, with my rudimentary command of our dialect, I was too embarrassed to talk to my grandmother because she spoke the purest form of Teochew while my Teochew is contaminated with all the rubbish slang and weird altered pronunciations derived from other languages – or so both my parents claimed.

Sadly, that chance is lost forever. I don’t think my parents will ever tell me what happened in the past – they wouldn’t even tell me how they met!

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Prompt: Friday Fictioneers – 11 OCTOBER 2019

Saturday Six Word Story Prompt (6WSP) #6 – October 5, 2019

man in black long sleeved shirt and woman in black dress

Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter on Pexels.com

when he noticed, she’s already left


If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Welcome to Week #6 of the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt. Click here to read the guidelines for the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt series.

Prompt for Week #6 (October 5, 2019 – October 11, 2019)

Loss

Click here for the 6WSP image.

I will do a roundup post each Friday. So please be sure to participate before time runs out!

I can’t wait to read your stories. 😀 I hope that you’ll be back for next week’s Six Word Story Prompt. 🙂

Have fun! Thank you for participating. Until next week, folks!

Prompt: Saturday Six Word Story Prompt (6WSP) #6 – October 5, 2019

I Write Her Weekly Haiku/Senryu Challenge #40

unnamed

gaia of the house

cosy little home
she balances on her back –
entire world to her


I must say, Susi’s challenges are really getting more challenging. It took me quite a while to get this down. Then the title of this senryuu is another challenge. All in all, I like this. Not my usual finesse, probably, but I still like it.

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

PLEASE follow them! I’d hate to not see your piece(s) represented in the recap the following week! Confused? Any questions – email me at sushibocks@gmail.com   

For more detailed information, read about this challenge here.

  • Create a standard three line 5/7/5 syllable count haiku/senryu
  • Deadline to submit for this week’s challenge will be 11:59pm 10/12/19
  • Up to 3 pieces permitted
  • Link your piece to this “IWH Haiku/Senryu Challenge” on your post
  • Always give photo credit if there is one
  • Complete entry form below

Prompt: I Write Her Weekly Haiku/Senryu Challenge #40

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #46

CCC#46

Mystery at the Bottom of the Path

“You’re lying,” Jack whispered back. “No way a dead body is down there.”

“Sure is! You can check it out if you don’t believe me,” Kenny whispered back again.

“Why should I go check? You said there is a dead body down there. You go,” Jack shot back.

“Fine, we’ll go together!”

Jack hesitated before nodding. “All right.”

Gingerly, the two boys went down the steps and Kenny guided Jack to the body.

“There! I wasn’t lying, was I?” Kenny looked triumphantly at Jack.

“Well, it doesn’t look- Argh!” Jack cried out. The lifeless hand had grabbed his ankle. Jack immediately kicked to loosen the grip and scrambled up the path, screaming.

Kenny chortled. “Coward,” he muttered. “And thanks, Gor!”

His elder brother, Gordon, got up and grinned. “That was more fun than I thought actually. But you still have to clean my room for a month as you promised!”

(150 words)


If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Here’s how it works:

Every Wednesday I post a photo (this week it’s that one above.)
You respond with something CREATIVE

Here are some suggestions:

  • An answering photo
  • A cartoon
  • A joke
  • A caption
  • An anecdote
  • A short story (flash fiction)
  • A poem
  • A newly minted proverb, adage or saying
  • An essay
  • A song—the lyrics or the performance

You have plenty of scope and only two criteria:

  • Your creative offering is indeed yours
  • Your writing is kept to 150 words or less

If you post a link in the comments section of this post I’ll be able to find it
If you include Crimson’s Creative Challenge as a heading, WP Search will find it (theory)
by ‘Searching’ in the WP Reader (fingers crossed)

Prompt: Crimson’s Creative Challenge #46

Weekend Writing Prompt #123 – Delicate

plant flower macro rose

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

He had been so busy being a policeman he never fully fulfill his duty as a father. To him, his daughter was still that little girl who could not punch properly.

Naturally, when they were confronted by a robber, he unconsciously wanted to move in front of his daughter.

His greatest mistake was to judge a flower by its petals. But he forgot that this rose had thorns. All his time as a policeman, he never pitied a robber so much after his daughter applied all the self defense moves he taught her when she was young.

This rose was not as delicate as it looked.

(106 words)


If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

The challenge is simple: each week you will be given an exact number of words you can use to write a poem or piece of prose.  You can use any format or style you like; go wherever your inspiration takes you.  The only rules are these:

  • your poem / prose must contain this week’s word.  The word does not have to count towards the exact word count total – it can be in the title, or the first letters of the lines of a poem can spell it out – you can be as creative as you want as long as it’s there somewhere.
  • the length of your poem / prose must match the number of words stated in this week’s challenge.  No more.  No less.

Prompt: Weekend Writing Prompt #123 – Delicate

Twittering Tales #154 – 17 September 2019

Ashes to ashes

His great grandfather bought the luggage as a sale item.

His grandfather treated it as a tool of escape.

His father, a memento and him, history.

Sadly, with his son, it was a piece of junk. And when he is gone, his grandson will treat it as a sale item in a garage sale.

Dust to dust.

(280 characters)


How many of us are guilty of treating a piece of family treasure as junk? I know I did when I was young. And now, I regretted not taking care of some of these hand-me-downs…

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

About the challenge: Each Tuesday I will provide a photo prompt. Your mission, if you choose to accept the challenge, is to tell a story in 280 characters or less. When you write your tale, be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale. This is important as I have noticed that some of the ping backs have not been working. If you would prefer to post your tale in the comments (some people have very specific blog themes but still want to participate), I am happy to post a link to your site when I post your tale in the Round Up.

Prompt: Twittering Tales #154 – 17 September 2019

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #44

CCC#44

Life of a Train Driver

Trains have been romantically linked to freedom and everyone was envious of his job. He was envious of his job too – it was exciting in the first few years, travelling to faraway towns and meeting new people.

Twenty years later, it was still exciting.

But no one was aware of the sacrifices – the long train journeys meant hours away from his family. His three children were fourteen, eleven and nine, but he had celebrated only two of the birthdays; he also never had the chance to celebrate his wife’s birthday or their wedding anniversaries.

So whenever the train pulled in at the station near his hometown, he got excited as the waving figures of his family at the platform got larger; their reunion only lasted a few minutes before he had to hop onto the train again.

That was also what made them cherish each other.

(148 words)


Long distance travel in the past definitely has a very different meaning from modern day travelling. And I have seen a documentary about how even in modern day context, driving a long distance train is still as tough because of the hours away from family and friends.

We only tend to see the romantic side of things, often unaware of the more practical side. Of the sacrifices and of the loneliness.

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Every Wednesday I post a photo (this week it’s that one above.)
You respond with something CREATIVE

Here are some suggestions:

  • An answering photo
  • A cartoon
  • A joke
  • A caption
  • An anecdote
  • A short story (flash fiction)
  • A poem
  • A newly minted proverb, adage or saying
  • An essay
  • A song—the lyrics or the performance

You have plenty of scope and only two criteria:

  • Your creative offering is indeed yours
  • Your writing is kept to 150 words or less

If you post a link in the comments section of this post I’ll be able to find it
If you include Crimson’s Creative Challenge as a heading, WP Search will find it (theory)
by ‘Searching’ in the WP Reader (fingers crossed)

Here’s wishing you inspirational explosions. And FUN.

Prompt: Crimson’s Creative Challenge #44

Inspiration Call: Talking Walls

Photo credit: © Pixabay.com

This house is not always derelict and the walls are not always dirty.

As unbelievable as it seems, this was once a beautiful home to a great family, a family which contributed to many aspects of human progress. Philosophy, fine arts, medicine, ethics, architecture, business, music, they had a hand in many of these fields. They amassed a fortune that transformed envious people into jealous demons.

Huge trees experience stronger winds.

Unjust accusations and false charges began. Even lies become truth when they are repeated long enough and confident enough. Unjust accusations become facts and false charges become crimes – the great family was brought low and the reward for their contributions was an unfair trial without their presence.

And here, in this room, was once a little girl who sat in her father’s lap, listening attentively to the great tales of their noble family while her mother combed her hair. She knew she should be afraid as the mob neared their house. They had armed themselves with pitchforks, shovels and various farming tools and were holding torches aloft.

All these are forgotten. But the walls remember.

The story of the little girl and her parents.


Just a little dark story.

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Inspiration Call: What story would the walls in this building tell if they could speak? Tell us the story.

Publishing opportunity details for this writing prompt can be found at Open Publishing Projects.

Prompt: Inspiration Call: Talking Walls