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.


I Write Her Weekly Haiku/Senryu Challenge #37

silent king

washing his grey face
with tears from the great ocean,
he waits patiently

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   

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 9/21/19
  • 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 #37

Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt!

person standing near door jamb

Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on


I refuse the refuse you threw in my way.

I am not interested.

Your attempts to antagonise me for your sadistic purposes will not work.

I am my own man.

And I will not fall.

Not now, not today, not ever.

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!

Kira’s Sunday Scribbles

By Kira for Sunday Scribbles

It picked up yet another one who was to be born and measured his worth before deciding where to place him. It had been doing this for a very long time now – so long that It had forgotten whether this was a pleasure or a pain. Or whether this was pointless.

Some called It “The Creator”, some “Gaia”, others “They” and until recently, “God”. It never felt the need for such distinction or identity though- It knew who It was and that was enough.

But at that moment, It was wondering if what it were doing worth anything; half the time, It did not even know what It was doing, only that It was supposed to do what It was doing. And everyone did not seem to thank It. Some were even bemoaning and grudging It for their circumstances.

But what was It supposed to do? They had their own purposes, just as It did.

It was Life.

(159 words)

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Welcome to Kira’s weekly inspirational art piece.

Let the whole picture tell you a story, or dive into the small intricate details to make one up! Write a poem, a fiction piece or come up with a picture or drawing of your own, that you feel relates to it.

Feel free to copy Kira’s drawing, to add it to your own post!

Anything goes, there are no rules. But don’t forget to link us to your post with a pingback. Not sure how to do that? See how to create pingbacks here.

Prompt: Kira’s Sunday Scribbles

Inspiration Call: Create a 6 -Word Story


Photo credit: ©

reflecting upon fragments, dreaming of whole

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.

#WritingPrompt #WritersChallenge #InspirationCall #CreativeTalentsUnleashed

Get Creative at

Prompt: Inspiration Call: Create a 6 -Word Story

Weekend Writing Prompt #118 – Song

person playing guitar

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on

Swan Song

The funeral was long over and they were the only ones left.

“I’ve always wanted to let him hear this song. I thought, for once, he could see my cool side. But all he saw were my embarrassing moments.”

His mother hugged him as they stared at the gravestone, the evening sun beating its last rays at them. Then she noticed his trembling and looked at him.

“Dear, I think it’s raining. Let’s go home,” she said gently.

He wiped his face. “Yea, I felt the rain.”

They walked away, leaving the song sheet atop the gravestone in the clear evening sky.

(102 words)

How do you compact everything you want to say, every emotion you want to portray without saying much? The mother’s innate understanding and compassion, the son’s obstinacy and the tension in the family, only to be released all at the end? And once again, THE WORD LIMIT

Well, that’s something I’m trying to figure out and I wonder how this turns out.

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 #118 – Song


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!


Weekend Writing Prompt #115 – Judge

Magistrate in court..jpg

Magistrate in Court | PICRYL

Ruler in My Heart

The old judge remained calm at the young judge’s accusation. He smiled.

The young judge reminded him of his own brazen youthful days. Beckoning the young judge over, he held a quill and drew a line on the papyrus.

“Is this line straight?” he asked.

“Well, I don’t have a ruler, so there’s no way of knowing,” the young judge retorted.

“But I’ve drawn it to the best of my ability and believed it to be straight,” the old judge replied kindly.

The young judge’s eyes widened when he understood the old judge’s wise words.

(95 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 #115 – Judge

Love. War.

Recipe for Love


Image from Flickr | Photo Credits: vacivity

Thank you, everyone, for coming here today. For being here for me and my family, and of course, for Maddison, Maddy to our friends and colleagues. Or Mad-dog to those who knew her wild and adventurous side.

I don’t have any more wonderful things to say about my wife. Indeed, many of you have done that just now, sharing beautiful stories. Slices of her life. Pieces of her.

No, instead, I have something different to say today. Things about our marriage which are not beautiful, nor wonderful. Some of you might even be, how should I say, surprised?

Ten years ago, Maddy and I graduated from the same university and we got married. But our fights started even before we got married. And since then, we have never stopped quarrelling.

In fact, you can even say it became worse. Enough to last until we are fifty. Strangely, we fought over food the most. Probably because we are both terrible cooks. And neither of us wanted to cook.

Darling, is there anything you want for dinner, she would ask. I’m fine with what you want, I would reply.

As we figured out how to work in the kitchen, shouts and screams were common. As was the smoke alarm. There were days when we ended up having only burnt instant spaghetti for dinner. At 11 o’clock.

But as her battle with her cancer continued, to the point where she could only lie in bed, these fights were the only thing still meaningful in our lives. The only thing that was still normal in our house.

Darling, is there anything you want for dinner, I would ask. I’m fine with what you want, she would reply.

But things were different. Shouts and screams were no longer common. Neither was the smoke alarm. And I would end up feeding her instant spaghetti, the only dish we learnt how to make.

Funny how these are the things I remember about Maddy. But in the end, it is these little things that made up our lives.

So what if we have enough quarrels to last until we’re fifty? That dream is never going to come true. How I wish I can hear them again. Even just for one more time.

Originally published in LitUp

This piece is difficult to write because so many things came to mind. How do I get the words down without losing the emotions? This story has been sitting around for almost 3 months now and have gone through many rounds of edit. I can no longer figure out what works and what does not. Is it too melodramatic? Does it lack the impact of the message? Is the theme strong and clear enough?

I decided to submit and crossed my fingers that the editor is willing to. The editor, DiAmaya Dawn (talented lady of many crafts, by the way) of LitUp was kind enough to accept and publish it. So what you are reading is the final product, which I hope is a touching message from a spouse.

April 25: Flash Fiction Challenge


Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Life of a Teacher

Exhaustion saunters into the vaults of my mind and finds a comfortable place to rest.

Life of a teacher invites both joy and frustration; joy at students’ progress and frustration at the school administration.

The ambivalent feeling occurs when I help students to graduate from both school and immaturity into adulthood. But as the students flourish in the real world, I get upset because of the amount of responsibility dumped onto me.

“You are a good teacher. Competent teachers do more work.”

Time gets upset and moves out of the way as exhaustion takes up residency.

I am tired.

(99 words)

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

April 25, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes exhaustion. Who is exhausted and why? Can you make art of exhaustion? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by April 30, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Prompt: April 25: Flash Fiction Challenge