in transit


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.


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: Create a 6 -Word Story

Photo credit: ©

sailing through pages for hidden treasures

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Inspiration Call: Tell the story behind this picture in just 6 words. A Six Word story is a challenge for each writer to come up with a short story within six words.

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

Prompt: Inspiration Call: Create a 6 -Word Story


XxL3HMZ9Ywgj72pIQZQLuQZRBTr68OTE2WBG7e41 (2)


The Best-Laid Schemes

Not all hot air balloons fly.

Some drift and others float. Ours died and the pilot, together with his crew, is desperately resuscitating it. The envelope rises and falls to the rhythm of our bored breathes as the crew members blow, ironically, cold air into it with the fan before they turn on the propane burners. Another crew member is circling the balloon like a patrol soldier – not knowing what to look for but pretending to look busy to avoid a scolding from his commanding officer.

The weather looks good; the prognosis does not.

“Oh, how can this happen?” my wife cries and stamps her feet. “We should be up there hours ago, enjoying the sight!”

“M’am, I’m sorry but we are trying our best -” the pilot starts.

“Well, your best is not enough! Try harder!” my wife yells back.

I shake my head in resignation. I could have told him it is pointless to explain; she is used to getting her way.

She turns to me. “This is so unfair!”

I nod. It is very unfair indeed, God. I was looking forward to going up there in the balloon and pushing her off.

(196 words)

I have no idea where this story comes from. I started with the sentence “Not all hot air balloons fly.” without an idea what I want to write next. I thought about going all philosophical but decided against it halfway. Before I knew it, this darkly humorous story completed itself in front of me and I wondered “Why not?”

I would have probably made a very good murderer if people leave me alone long enough…

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below,

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is a weekly writing challenge designed for both the flash fiction newbie and the more experienced writer. It is the desire of this challenge to allow writers the opportunity to clear the cobwebs from a more tedious and involved project. Becoming a part of a new and growing writer’s community might be just what the doctor ordered to rejuvenate your writing juices.

The challenge for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner will open early Wednesday morning.

Allow the prompt to take you anywhere you want to go! (Limit your stories to 200 words.)

The Six Easy Guidelines

  1. A photo prompt topic is to be used as your ‘muse’. They will arrive promptly at midnight each Wednesday morning.
  2. Include the photo prompt and its credits with your story on your blog.
  3. All stories are to be crafted and honed to under 200 words in length.
  4. Each flash fiction piece should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. No serial stories. It is harder to stay abreast of a serial story. (Please keep content PG-13.)
  5. Once you have your post complete, create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. If that is not an option for you, add your post’s link in the comments section.


Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt!

Char Kway Teow (Singapore food delight) | Image from  Wikimedia Commons

He has had a strong desire for some Singaporean fare for a long time, especially for char kway teow – ooh, that sweet and savoury flat noodles made from rice and stir-fried with fish cakes, eggs, vegetables, bean sprouts, sauteed pork, prawns and cockles.

Working overseas for so many years, he misses that fragrance.

And keeping in contact with his friends on Facebook is not helping either, since they are all foodies.

He raises an eyebrow when he sees an email coming in and his heart skips a beat – it is a common knowledge that the company has not fared well for a long time.

Notice of termination.

Oh well, it is a good time as any to return to Singapore for a plate of char kway teow.

In spirit of Singapore’s National Day (9 August, by the way, which is a long holiday I’ve been looking forward to forever), I decided to demonstrate my love for my country. And what is better than showcasing one of our favourite food in Singapore?

I always feel that writing about Singapore is difficult because not many people abroad really know who we are and our mangled use of language does not really help. The only thing most people know about Singapore is probably when Donald Trump accused us of stealing jobs from Americans. Or that we are always ready to whip anyone who commits a crime since the Michael Fay incident and the German vandalism ( Andreas Von Knorre and Elton Hinz) incidents.

But let me steer clear from governmental politics and introduce something that unifies many people – food. We share many similarities with Malaysia and Indonesia, although the culinary sense varies and sometimes, even from state to state with Malaysia or Indonesia.

But char kway teow is so mangled, just like our use of language, that I truly believe an authentic dish of char kway teow can never be found anywhere else.

Do not ask me about Singapore noodles. I have absolutely no idea which bright spark came up with that. Or how it made into Robert Galbraith’s (JK Rowling) novels. Twice. *roll eyes*

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Rules of the hop:
Write 6 Sentences. No more. No less.
Use the current week’s prompt word.
Come back here on Thursday, link your post…
Spread the word and put in a good one to your fellow writers 🙂


Prompt: Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt!


Photo Credits: Tien | ArtScience Museum (Singapore, 2019)

Reviving Break

“You do know what he means, right? How can you remain so calm?” he raged.

We were standing at the pond outside the Museum, after a long shift. His anger matched the relentless heat of the sun. Meanwhile, tourists milled around, as they always did, considering if the exhibitions worth their money. The Museum had placed a price to art and its customers were judging if the price was right.

Oh, the irony.

“Well, say something!”

I blinked. I had long tuned out his rant and was spacing out during our smoking break.

“What’s there to say?” I answered with a question.

“Oh come on, that was completely unfair and dirty handed!” he declared fervently.

“Do you know that lotus flowers are considered pure because they are born from the muddy waters? Despite the surrounding ugliness, a lotus flower still blooms to its most beautiful, opening its petals one by one in the day. After three days, the lotus flower dies. Then, another lotus flower will bloom and this lasts throughout the summer, when the sun is harsh,” I replied. “So what if it is unfair? It will be over eventually. What he says will not dirty me unless I sink to his level.”

“How can you be so Zen?” he shook his head. “Aren’t you at least angry?”

“Oh, I was. But that’s what the break is for. To clear my head for a long journey,” I smiled. “Thanks for complaining on my behalf though, fellow lotus. Or would you prefer I call you ‘Po’ from ‘Kung Fu Panda’? Too Teletubbies?”

He could not help himself but laughed as we walked back into the Museum.

(276 words)

I’m always fascinated about lotus flowers ever since I learnt the story of wisdom in Buddhism. And the saying, “A break is necessary for a long journey” is from a Mandarin adage, which I shamelessly plagiarised. Hey, it’s my heritage! 🙂

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.


Every Thursday, I will pick up a “prompt word” to be acted upon by y’all. You are free to go wild with your imagination and interpret the “prompt” in any way that you like – photo, prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, quotes, articles or drawing/painting – whatever works for you!
In short, it’s all about you being the BOSS and choosing the best way possible to express and depict your understanding of the prompt and go berserk!



1 Do not forget to tag/create a “ping-back!” If ping-backs are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below so that everyone can enjoy your entry.
2 You are free to decipher the prompt as per your cognition. No rules, no boundaries!
3 Since we are aiming at catalyzing fun, you get a weeks time to participate. No rush!
4 Be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will be amazed at their brilliant creativity!


Scintillating Saturday Share #12

vibrant life rides vibrantly

“Life Is Like Riding a Bicycle. To Keep Your Balance You Must Keep Moving” – Albert Einstein

I saw the prompt from Tre (A Cornered Gurl) and this quote immediately came to my mind. Oftentimes, I’m so preoccupied by whatever matters that vex me I lost sight of what I’m supposed to be doing – simply keeping the balance between my inner world and my environment, as cliche as it sounds.

It’s nice, then, to have this reaffirmation every now and then.

PS: I’ve been doing Scintillating Saturday Share for quite a while now, but I just don’t know why it never occurred me to do standalone piece like I do for other prompts. My mind is weird. *shrugs*

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Now, it’s your turn. This’ll be our “Scintillating Saturday Share #12” You can respond to this post, reblog and respond, or create a standalone post of your own, but please ping or tag this post so that I’ll know to read and respond to yours.

Using up to 7 words, tell me what this photo sparks in you.

Care to get creative with me for this scintillating Saturday share?

Prompt: Scintillating Saturday Share #12

Weekend Writing Prompt #104 – Meander

grey car traveling on swerving highway under green and orange sky

Photo by Sebastian Sørensen on

Over the Next Hilltop

Joel has a routine; breakfast, work, lunch, work, home, dinner, sleep, repeat. Even the food, the routes and the work are routine. But driving to work that day, he suddenly decided to go down a road he meant to explore. Meandering ever since, he has never stopped.

(47 words)

I love and loathe routines; love because it gives a structure but loathe because there is no change. On some days, in the words of Sheila from Santa Clarita Diet (which is a great TV programme, by the way), “I want to shake shit up”. Then real life beckons and I’m back to the routine again.

PS: the name “Joel” comes from the same programme too.

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 #104 – Meander


Inspiration Call: Tanka Tuesday


Photo credit: ©

Uncharted Waters

unexplored ocean
tossing wildly around me
as i navigate

thunder roars; lightning flashes
i’m not intimidated

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Inspiration Call: Tanka Tuesday

A Tanka is a Japanese poem and similar to a Haiku, however it has seven lines. Tankas are nature, seasons, love, and other emotions.  Line one has a five syllable count, line two is seven syllables, line three is five syllables, line four is seven syllables, and line five seven syllables. In total it has thirty one syllables.  It uses simile, metaphor, and personification.

The pattern for Tanka is the following:

Line 1: 5 syllables

Line 2: 7 syllables

Line 3: 5 syllables

Line 4: 7 syllables

Line 5: 7 syllables

Writing tip from: Writing Tips – Exploring The Writer’s Path

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

Prompt: Inspiration Call: Tanka Tuesday

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #11


Photo by Ekrulila from Pexels

The Holy Knight’s Quest

He unfurled the map but no sooner had he absentmindedly let go to scratch his nose did the map rolled up again.

Annoyed, he took a dragon-summoning flute and an angelic feather bracelet to use as paperweights, keeping the blasted map flat on his bench. Highly unorthodox, not to mention very flippant, to use such mighty weapons as paperweights; the High Priestess of Unicorn would have frowned disapprovingly. But the flute and the bracelet were closest things at hand.

Absentmindedly scratching his nose in bliss, he studied the map again, refusing to give up.

Instead of the usual  cardinal directions of Heart’s Desire, Mind’s Distraction, Heart’s Hatred and Mind’s Centre, the map’s cardinal directions were North, East, South and West. If that did not compound matters, the distances most certainly would.

What on Shangri-La was kilometres? Why could the map not use the standard Flying Griffin Steps?

This Holy Call was certainly the most arduous task he was ever commanded to perform, finding the mystical place revelled as Earth in search of the Green Mermaid of Coffee, the legendary Starbucks.

He should have volunteered to put down the Eternal Phoenix rebellion in blazing Heart’s Hatred of Shangri-La instead.

(198 words)

I have always wanted to try my hand at fantasy, both the creation of a fantastic world and a story. Quite a humorous story and I had quite a laugh as I edited the story. Personally, I enjoyed writing and reading it.

And of course, COFFEE! Though not necessary Starbucks, but that is the single most iconic symbol when it comes to coffee. Plus there are mermaids involved. Enough said.

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Welcome to “Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.” Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenge bloggers to write a relatively short flash fiction piece inspired by the photo. While there are no definitive style or word limits, I suggest trying to keep your posts to under 300 words.

I want to sincerely thank everyone who has participated in these challenges so far. Your posts have been very creative. I hope this week’s image will also generate some great posts as well.

If this picture inspires you and you wish to participate, please write your post, use the tag #FFFC, and link back to this post.

Prompt: Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #11

Inspiration Call: Micropoetry Monday


Photo credit: ©

Title: Journey

Casting a backward glance,
I leave the clouds behind
with its empty promises
of beautiful blue skies
and journey onwards
to my destination –


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