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.


Saturday Six Word Story Prompt (6WSP) #17 – December 21, 2019

greyscale photography of woman

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

wiser after events; always too late

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Welcome to Week #17 of the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt. Click here to read the guidelines for the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt series.

Prompt for Week #17 (December 21, 2019 – December 27, 2019)


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) #17 – December 21, 2019

I Write Her Weekly Haiku/Senryu Challenge #41

unnamed (1)


Charlotte’s silent stares
keep dreams of Eden at bay –
her webbed dream-catcher

While I would not have screamed bloody murder at Charlotte, that is really a huge spider!

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 10/19/19
  • 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 #41

I Write Her Weekly Haiku/Senryu Challenge #29


corrosive waters
interrupted one track mind
breaking train of thoughts

– – – – –


coach rose from the depths
freighting haunted memories
ghostly horns echoed

I believe Susi really outdo herself this time with the image prompt. This really got my gears moving (pun? pun-ish?) and I came up with two senryuu. It sounds rough and the meters seem a little off, but I like it.

If you are interested, the prompt the 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 7/27/19
  • 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

Prompt: I Write Her Weekly Haiku/Senryu Challenge #29

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #32


A Message from Heaven

“Are you sure, Papa? Mama works here?”

He looked down at his four-year-old son. “Yes, Mama works here. She is just busy. Don’t forget she’s a superhero, always helping people,” he smiled.

“But when will she reply to my letters?” little Ben pouted. “It has been so long.”

“She’s working for God now, Ben. Of course it will take her longer to reply,” he swallowed a lump in his throat. “There are many people out there that needs her help, not just in the hospital.”

“OK, Papa. I always know Mama is a superhero,” Ben patted his father’s hand. Just like the past three months, Ben walked up to the letter box in front of the tower and put his letter in.

He paused.

“Papa! Papa! There’s a letter!” Ben cried excitedly. “It’s from Mama!”

He smiled sadly at Ben’s excitement.

He still did not know how to tell Ben.

(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)
If you tag it #CCC others should be able to find it by ‘Searching’ in the WP Reader (fingers crossed)

Prompt: Crimson’s Creative Challenge #32

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.

Am I Human?

Illustration by Michal Dziekan

I am cheerful.
I am jocular.
Only when I am
with people.

But on paper,
I don’t know
how not to be sad
how to show happiness

My previous happy event
seemed surreal,
my next happy event
is nowhere in sight.

I am simply
an empty vessel
with heavy heart.

And worse of all?
I don’t know
how to function
like a normal person.

But I know
how to curl up
like a baby,
or how familiar
that sinking feeling is
in my chest cavity.

So don’t talk to me,
don’t console me,
just walk along
to see what I see.

That’s all I ask for.