It was almost Christmas. I was pregnant with my first child. My dad was more excited than anyone. He had been asking for a grandchild since my wedding day two years prior. When you gonna give me a grandson? I see a fishing buddy in my future. When we finally did get pregnant, I wasn’t ready, but things don’t always happen when you’re ready. They happen when they are meant to.
Although my husband and I lived in Philadelphia where I was a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, classes were done and I had gone to New York to visit my family for the day. Trying to fit in visits to both my dad and my favorite great-aunt, I had decided it would be easier to cancel my lunch date with my dad (he worked in Brooklyn) to spend time with my 89-year-old great-aunt who lived a few blocks from my dad’s apartment. I figured I would surprise him when he got home from work.
When he got home, I was hiding in the kitchen while my stepmother went to the door. He came into the apartment, slowly, shuffling his feet. He said in a despondent voice, “She didn’t come. I told everyone in the office she was coming…”
In that fraction of a second, my heart broke for having hurt him. I hadn’t factored in the possibility of disappointment at my cancelling without saying I would see him later. As a mother now, I realize he had wanted to show off his beautiful baby, pregnant with her own, to his colleagues. I didn’t get it in the moment, though. I figured seeing me would be enough.
As he turned the corner to enter the kitchen, I jumped out and yelled “Surprise,” hoping that would suffice. I think he was thrilled. I tell myself his eyes lit up when he saw me. I can almost see them as well as his smile that only sometimes reached his eyes, but were always full of love.
I don’t remember what we talked about that evening. I wish I could remember the words. I know he rubbed my little belly a lot. He was so happy he was finally going to be a grandpa. I wish I could remember how tightly he held me when I kissed him goodbye and made my way home. I know it was a pleasant moment we shared. I just wish I had known it would be our last.
I was on bedrest within two weeks. Within two months, my dad was retired on disability at age 47 and hospitalized– his body finally succumbing to decades of alcoholism. Four months after that holiday visit, two days before my son entered the world, my father left it.
He never got to meet his fishing buddy.
We never got to say good bye.
A Word for Love
I sat down next to "Love" in an airport bar. I found it annoying when she leaned across me to plug in her phone, but I held my tongue. It is always best to hold your tongue when you meet someone in an airport. I mean they could be anyone, right? And besides, the banter is always the same. “Where are you going? Where have you been? Oh, I love it there! Did you go by the Park/Museum/Cathedral?” When she leaned in I noticed that she smelled of the same coconut, hotel shampoo that I had used that very morning. A crazy coincidence, huh? That "Love" would stay at the airport Hyatt Regency?
But of course, I did not know she was "Love" at the time. I mean, you seldom do know right away, do you? For God’s sake, who would guess that it was "Love" drinking a tall, amber ale sporting a perfect, television-commercial-worthy, frothing head at 7:10 am? Of course, that should have been my sign that this was indeed “Love,” but I am not that smart. It only made me thirsty.
I asked the bartender, a dark-haired, thick bodied, Mediterranean woman with an alluring birthmark between her cheek and lip, for one of whatever it was “Love” was drinking. Of course, I didn’t say “Love.” At least I don’t remember saying it, but it was early, and “Love” was attractive in a 1977 Sally Field kind of way, so I might have said “Love” unintentionally. She turned to face me when I ordered my beer, raising the possibility even higher that she could be “Love,” as her roundish, cutesy face now wore the most curious make-up; a Jokeresque smile painted in blondish foam across its upper lip. I even began to hope and suspect at that point that she might be “Love.” In fact it occurred to me that I should ask for her autograph, and possibly even her number, as neither my mother, nor my buddies back home would ever believe that I had found “Love,” or that I could have ensured the ability to find her again.
As will happen in an airport she drank her beer quickly, and I mine. She leaned across me again to retrieve her phone. This time I didn’t find it nearly so annoying when she leaned over me, as her free hand accidentally laid itself across the top of mine. I noticed that the hand didn’t wear a ring. “Excuse me,” she stated matter-of-factly. It was only airport curtesy, not the real thing, but I didn’t mind.
“Love” picked up her bags and started away, but then she stopped. She turned completely around to face me, a dejected look on that sweet face. “I had hoped you would at least say hello!” Then she disappeared into the moving river of bodies headed toward the “C” gates.
"Love" did not speak to me that day in the airport bar, only a beautiful woman, a stranger. She did not say what “Love” should have said, what “Love” could have said... not if she had wanted more from me, that is. I know that sometimes “Love” is over-rated and, in any event, I was unprepared for “Love” at that time in my life. I would move on fine without her. But on the plane ride home I remembered her frothy smile and her soft touch, and I wondered that “Love” had only wanted a little small talk from a stranger, only a “hello”. The memory of it sat heavy on my heart. Outside my window was the blue sky, and it made a blue flight all of the way home, a very blue flight knowing that the same blue sky carried “Love” toward someone else, someone somewhere who might simply say, “hello”.
No friends, lots of enemies; better. Better than nothing at all. Well, that’s just a bit description of my life. My miserable life.
Weird apperance, weird name, weird skills. Everything about me, all of them... Complete boredom and weirdest things.
Weird apperance; long curly hair, eyeglasses on my eyes with eyebags, always wearing black longsleeves and long skirts, always holding a book. Old fashioned as a witch, they said. Weird.
Weird name; I’m Eris Harrington. Sounds cool, right? Eris. Wanna know the meaning of that? Eris is the Goddess of chaos, strife and discord. She is the opposite of Harmonia according to Greek mythology. Okay, me? Goddess of war? Of distraction? Fine.
Weird skills; I don’t have superpowers. I’m not an Air bender nor a superhero. What do I have? I can see something and someone that others cannot see. Simplest explanation? I can see ghosts, spirits, and even other creatures. Seems familiar and simple? Here’s the weirdest and a bit terrifying part: whenever I see ghosts to anyone, they will surely die. I don’t know why, and I don’t know how to save or even warn those people without scaring them. I actually approached some of them before but it all ended up like I was a freak. And until now, I am a freak for everyone. Pretty fun, right?
Then a guy came. Unfortunately, he was a ghost. The first time we have met, I didn’t have any idea that he would change my whole life. But a big cloud of confusion came too when he entered my life: who’s next? Who will die?
#paranormal #horror #thriller #suspense #scifi #romance
Fall over my cliff
‘New’ murmurs to me,
leave the damp fog
of all you every knew.
Fall over my cliff
Sip the amber whisky,
ride on golden steed.
sink below horizon.
Fall over my cliff
The future lures you
with crooked fingers,
over the vista.
Fall over my cliff
Sojourn with me,
taste cutting edge,
seal the ancient
into zippered pocket.
Fall over my cliff
but you cannot,
I remember there being only one firefly in my backyard, but it was bigger than the others and blue, and seemed particularly rare in the eyes of eight-year-old me.
As I approached it, more began appearing in a line. But I knew that I could only catch one (given their size), and had no interest in following them at the time. So I did just that, with a mason jar my mum gave me. At the time, I didn't associate it with the Will-O-Whisps I learned about from bedtime stories, since all I was focusing on was getting a cool night-light.
As soon as I caught it, I could see that it was angry, bouncing around a glass prison. The other "fireflies" disappeared when it was trapped in the jar, so I shrugged and brought it inside.
I then punched holes in the jar's lid with a pair of scissors, set it in my room, and fell fast asleep.
I woke up the next day to something poking my face. It was that firefly, only now its light was gone and it was actually a blue-and-grey butterfly. No, a person with butterfly wings.
I sat up so fast that it, she, fell off my head. I caught her, wondering how she had escaped the jar in the first place. I looked to the jar on my nightstand. The lid appeared to have been burnt, thin metal peeling outward from the inside.
I looked back to the fae in my hand, and, as if on cue, she burst into back flames.
The blue fire didn't hurt, but I still panicked and let go of the not-firefly.
Instead of coming back to me, the fairy floated down to the floor, as if waiting for something.
"No, come back!" I mouthed. Instead, she slid under the closed door.
After about a minute of waiting, it occurred to me that I was supposed to follow her and stubbornly got out of bed.
It was so early in the morning that my parents were still asleep, as was the rooster that would wake everyone up. (So, maybe 5 am?)
In a nightgown and slippers, I carefully snuck to the backyard, where this Will-O-The-Wisp was moving to. She stopped by the entrance to the forest, and just like last night, a line of more Wisps formed.
I didn't think much of going into the woods alone, at the crack of dawn, pursuing
a group of sprites that could be ill-intentioned.
After what seemed like forever of moving deeper into the forest, I got to an unfamiliar clearing. The line of Wisps was shortening, and by the time I was at the center of the field, the last one had disappeared.
Now I was truly alone.
I began investigating the area, looking for anything that the fae might want me to see: fairy circles (portals to their world), gravestones (their past lives?), bronze figurines (symbols of old gods), etc. There were only trees, grass, the usual field things.
Disappointed, I found my way back home, just as the rooster called out by the farm.
That night, when I went back to the backyard for another night of firefly-catching, the Will-O-Wisp returned.
There were still no fireflies.
"What do ye want?" I demanded, knowing that they couldn't answer.
Just like before, a line of them appeared as I approached.
Maybe they will take me someplace different, I thought.
So, I followed again.
Only for them to take me on the same route.
To the same field.
Just when I was about to turn around and walk back, I saw it in the corner of my eye.
There were so many of them, more than enough to fill the new jar I brought.
Later, I would learn that Will-O-The-Wisps bring people to their greatest desires. Some got riches, others lovers, others lost family members.
For me at age eight, that had been fireflies.
Unfortunately, I never saw a Will-O-The-Wisp again after that.
Faith in Everything: Restored
Maybe we should fall multiple times just to stand firmly on the ground.
Maybe we should lose what’s important to us just to appreciate what we have.
Maybe we should experience the absence of something just to appreciate its presence.
But most importantly, maybe we should learn how to let go, move forward and accept what’s unchangeable.
When God is sending strong thunders to us, that doesn’t mean He is mad.
When God is rising the ocean for us, that doesn’t mean He is punishing us.
God is giving us challenges for us to be stronger, braver and smarter.
God always love us.
Those are the spirits of a strong fighter and faithful warrior.
#prose #faith #challenge
hi, jamie no one showed up saturday for the book club
I hated to send you that text because I knew how much the club meant to you.
Maybe it was me. When you host we have dozens. They hang on every word you say. With me they stare out the window and clear their throats.
So there was only this very attractive woman and I left sitting at the coffee shop and I walked over to her and asked her by any chance was she there for the book club and she said no, but I detected a great deal of sympathy in her voice so I asked her if she had ever read To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf and when she said yes, I said I was surprised since most people had never heard of that book and so then I asked her what did she think the boar’s skull symbolized and she said she didn’t remember that part of the book, so I explained it at length, giving appropriate citations from the text and this impressed her so much she was literally so speechless her jaw dropped when I asked for her email address so I could send her a paper I had written about Virginia Woolf while still doing undergraduate work. She must have appreciated the offer because she put her hand on her head and exclaimed “sweet mother of God.” Yes, I think it made a great impression and I may have recruited a new member for the club. Unfortunately, she looked at her phone, said she had just received a message that her grandmother was dying and she got up and literally ran out the door. She left her danish on her plate and so I finished it for her. Anyway, hope to see you at the next meeting.
A Writer’s Guide to Reader’s Heart, Mind and Soul
Once upon a time, there is an ordinary girl, living in an ordinary town, doing an ordinary routine: waking up, following the rules the whole day, and finally go to bed. It has been that way for about a decade. Then one day, she got tired of the same old cycle of her life. And so she broke the stigma, the rules, and everything that is in between. Did she became a rebel? A hideous beast? Did she became a cursed witch? No. She became a writer.
People always say that actions speak louder than words. Would you believe that I highly disagree about that? Who would have tell? With all honesty, words can cut deeper than any swords can do, yet words can also heal the deepest wounds that anyone can give you. Whenever you write, you can always turn “nothing” into “everything”. You can build your own magical world and your own thoughts are your magic spells. Using your words, you can destroy all your negativities, just as Zeus’ spear destroyed the whole world. Your pen is your mightiest sword more than King Arthur’s sword can ever do.
Are you writing to make people believe that magic do exist? Are you writing to manipulate people’s mind and drive them crazy? Are you writing to escape the bittersweet taste of life in reality? Whatever your purpose is, your goal must be TO EXPRESS RATHER THAN TO IMPRESS. Impressions only satisfy the reader’s eyes. Expressions will go straight to reader’s heart, mind and soul, and leave a mark as an inspiration. That’s the real essence of writing.
Another decade passed by and the rule breaker, the risk-taker, the soul searcher, is now a warrior who is battling different wars of life with her pen as her sword, and her papers as her tracks. Is she a rebel? No. She is a writer.
#fiction #flashfiction #spokenword
But the movies and the books
don’t tell you
that after heartbreak
there’s no closure,
and no escaping
They don’t tell you
that it doesn’t get better,
that he won’t come back,
that all your love
will be reduced to
blotted ink on
a faded love letter.
They don’t tell you
that massive chunks
of your soft heart
die after he leaves;
that the muscle strings
snap and tear and bleed
and don’t mend....
They don’t tell you that
you’ll spend an eternity
carrying the heaviness
of unworthiness and loss around,
and that your only happy memory now
is the glittery soft moonlight
and a cold breeze
bringing white snowflakes
streaming in through the window,
while you slow dance with him
as you both watch the stars fade
and the moonlight disappear.
Even the best romance novels
don’t tell you
that he’s your Sun,
but he’s also your eclipse...
plunging your world
into a darkness
that won’t lift,
into a void
that won’t ever fill up....
But I’ve always loved an eclipse,
and I can only stare, mesmerized
marvel at my own destruction and darkness
and feel grateful to him for
how exquisite it is....