#FictionFriday: The Cure.

“No one must know about the cure, do you understand? No one.” She said it with so much conviction that I didn’t dare to go against her will, which is stupid looking back. I created the formula, I did all the trials and errors day in and day out until it became what she dubbed as The Cure. But, hindsight is always 20/20.

We walk calmly, as if we, no, as if I didn’t just discovered The Cure. Well, to be completely honest, she was walking calmly, I was trying to walk calmly. How do you go about your day as if you didn’t just discover the ultimate truth? There is no way we can ever go back to the way it was supposed to be.

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Where the hungry comes to feed.

“Welcome back Sir,” the strange woman said.

“You must be mistaken, I haven’t been here before,” I say in a confused tone.

“Sir, I never make mistakes,” she says sure of herself. “Come, please. Have a seat, and I’ll get you a cup of tea. No sugar and a lot of milk, right?”

“Yes, Ma’am. But how do you know?” I asked, again with a confused tone, borderline scared.

“Sir, I told you, I never make mistakes,” she says as she left me in what I assume the receiving room of the mansion.

“Your tea, Sir,” she says as she offered me a cup of tea brimming with milk. “I reckon you still don’t quite remember nor do you know what this place is?”

“It would be nice if you can tell me what this place actually is, Ma’am. Assuming you never do make any mistakes,” I say as cheeky as possible.

“Sir, this is where the hungry comes to feed, the angry comes to cool down, the defeated comes to practice, the helpless comes to train, the worried comes to be safe,” she says all the while looking directly into my eyes as she took a seat from me. “Now the question is, why are you here?”

“I don’t know,” I say, feeling unnerved by her intent gaze but not scared.

“Don’t be quick to say you don’t know. You always know. Everyone always know about something, they are sometime too lazy, too scared, too ignorant, or too angry to let themselves know about the things they thought they don’t know,” she says sure of herself, again. “So, let me ask you once again, why are you here?”

“I’m angry, but I feel helpless about the things that made me angry. I don’t feel defeated but I know if I fight for the things that made me angry, I will lose. It worries me,” I say it with as much conviction I can muster under her strong gaze as if she was judging me for something. “Did I give you the right answer?”

“There are no such thing as the right answers. Answers are just responses to questions. Come to the next room, you need to see something,” she took my cup as she motion me to follow her.

“And what exactly am I suppose to do here?” I asked, baffled that the room had one of those long sofa where a patient would lay down as they open up their innermost thoughts to their shrink, as the said shrink sat in an uncomfortable looking chair next to the patient. But what baffles me even more was the fact that there was a huge screen across from the long sofa and  a weird looking helmet-like device on the sofa. I sincerely hope that thing will not go on my head.

“If you’re wondering about the helmet, don’t worry, it’s there for decoration and to spook people off when they first entered this room,” she says as she motioned me to sit on the long sofa.

“I guess I’m now supposed to tell you about my problems?” I asked her, as I tried to make myself comfortable.

“Only of you want to. Remember Sir, this is where the hungry comes to feed, the angry comes to cool down, the defeated comes to practice, the helpless comes to train, the worried comes to be safe. Whatever you decides to do solely relies on your choice,” she sat on the sofa next to me, cross her legs, and clasped both her hand on top of her knee, as if waiting until I come to my senses.

But my senses never came. I kept to myself as I wait for the time to pass. I welcome the silence that envelopes us. It was comfortable. I haven’t quite felt like this in awhile.

“I still don’t quite understand why I am here, or what this place actually is, or what I am supposed to do or say to you, or to no one in particular. But, I like it here. I feel safe. It has been a long time since I feel safe. For quite some time, I felt like a part of me has gone missing and I’m always on the lookout for it. Do you mind if I come here again? Because lately I feel like I’ve been fearing for my life, like I am on a constant battle before someone seizes what is left of my true nature,” I sounded hopeful when I made the request.

“You are always welcome here, have a good rest now, Sir. The sun is up and surely you are not planning to go up in ashes now do you, Sir?”

 

 

#FictionFriday: The shop.

The first thing she noticed was the sky, how it turned to a lovely hue of blue but gradually turned into dark grey. Slowly the clouds are congregating, as if they have a meeting to attend high up in the sky. The next come the pitter patter of rain hitting her wind breaker. Slowly she brought out her green umbrella. Standing motionlessly under the rain, she can hear all the droplets of water clearly, she can feel the wind blowing, and most of all she can feel the thunder brewing high above the sky waiting patiently to unleash its sound and light.

Slowly the lights began to flicker, illuminating what once was a crowded street but now empty due to the falling rain. She walked slowly, trying to enjoy the splashing of rain around her, the smell of rain if there is one, the flashes of thunder and the quiet street. The slow walk might have something to do with her anxiety over where she was supposed to be fifteen minutes ago.

There was a shop at the end of the road, and they had a Christmas tree set up, complete with twinkling lights that serves its purpose as fake snow. A Christmas tree on a July? The shopkeeper must have gone mad, she thought to herself. For what other reasons could there be for a shop to set a up a Christmas tree five months before the actual Christmas? And yet she can’t help herself from stopping in front of the shop and just stare at the twinkling lights. She pull out her left hand from under the umbrella and felt the rain had wet her hands. She hoped that the water might have turned into snow soon. A foolish wish, she knew.

The door to the shop was open, she was startled, she lost her balance a bit, she thought she was going to fell on her backside, but a pair of bony hands shoot out and pull her up straight in time.

“Oh, dear me. Did I startled you, young Lady?”

The owner of the bony hands was a lady with an all black clothes, from her immaculate top hat to her pointy boots are black. She cannot decipher how old the lady was. She seemed ancient, but young at the same time too, if she were to judge by the strength of the bony hands that pull her up straight.

“Oh not really, I was just lost in thoughts from staring at your Christmas tree. It’s gorgeous,” she manage to say, “but, why a Christmas tree? Christmas is still quite far away.”

“Oh dear, this is not a Christmas tree. Surely you can see this is not even a pine tree. This, my dear, is the tree of wishes. Each sparkling lights you see here represent people’s deepest wish. When someone wishes for something, strongly wished for something, sometimes, we are alerted of it and we try to locate that person and help them grant their wish,” the Lady was speaking in such a soothing tone to her ears, “I would love to chat with you but I am needed somewhere else. Have a good day, dear.”

She stood there, slowly shaking her head as she watched the Lady walked purposefully followed a black cat. Oh, surely whatever this shop is, the owner and whoever works there have gone mad. Tree of wishes? Whatever happened to this world?

With that thoughts in mind, she drags herself slowly trying to locate her destination. The rain grew harder and she doesn’t feel like walking anymore. She saw a bench, she didn’t care about the wetness of it, she was going to sit on it because she doesn’t feel like walking anymore, and so she sat down.

“I think I’m supposed to find you, clearly you’re the only person wandering around in this deserted street. Everyone else has gone inside a building, either to keep themselves warm or just to keep themselves dry until the rain stop. So, tell me dear, are you the one I’m looking for?”

She was close to screaming when she heard it. She thought a cat was saying those things to her. There was a cat in front of her, looking at her with tilted head. The cat has the shiniest black fur she had ever seen. Strangely the fur doesn’t seem to be wet. Thankfully, she realised that it wasn’t the cat that was talking to her, it was the Lady from the shop with the Christmas tree. She was not going to call that tree of wishes, she is not mad, yet.

“I’m sorry, what?” Her question came out like a squeaky mouse if ever a squeaky mouse can talk.

As the Lady took up the seat next to her, she said, “Well, I did tell you about how we go out and try to help people when they have wishes to be granted. We’re like a genie but without the hassle of living in a bottle and wait until some poor soul rub their grimy hands on the bottle. I was told to find a girl who would be wandering around the street, I was told she would joining us in training. Since there’s no one here except for the both of us, and Jimmy the Cat here, I assume you’re the one that I need to found.”

“Again, I’m sorry, what?”

“Oh for goodness sake, mate. I don’t get paid enough to go around and be inspirational and shit and whatever. Look, Are you or are you not Emily Henderson? And do you or do you not wish to join the Fidelia Greenwod Witchcraft?”

“Oh yes. To both questions, I mean.”

“Well, let’s get a move on then. We were waiting for you. I’m a witch but it doesn’t mean my clothes can’t get wet and honestly, the water from this bench is seeping up my knickers already.”

 

Twisted lies we tell ourselves.

A/n: Not posted on Friday, I know, but I swear it was written on Friday. So it’s still FictionFriday, right? Yeah, it is.


“Where is she?”

“She said she’s on her way to Nan’s place.”

“What? Why?”

“Because Dad is picking her up.”

“And how does that explains anything?”

“I don’t know, mate. I hung up the moment I realised I was not going to have a proper conversation with her. I haven’t had breakfast to deal with confusing conversation this morning.”


What I would give to have my Saturday just lounging around, but here I am waiting for my brother at the ER. He was complaining of chest pain, he fears he might be having a heart attack, which is completely bogus if you ask me but then again heart failure thing runs in the family so there might be some truth into it somewhere.

We were told by our eldest brother that our Mum was to come and meet my younger brother and I at the hospital. I honestly don’t know what to do in a hospital. I’m fairly healthy most of the time, ergo I really am a complete utter trash right now. I really need a proper adult in dealing with the administrative things.

“You know, I just don’t get it. I’m sure Sean said something about Mum coming here after her lunch was done. Why is she going to Nan’s place?”

“Honestly, it’s like you don’t know Mum.”

“I mean I get that that Dad picked her up and he might want to go to Nan’s place, but can’t she just tell Dad that I’m in the ER? I’m sure Dad didn’t know about me being in the ER.”

“I’m pretty sure she didn’t even bother telling Dad about it. Probably she just went sulking about, which is just completely idiotic because how the hell Dad would have known that you’re in the ER. I didn’t call him or anything, neither does Sean, I’m sure.”

“You know, it’s not like I need her here. You’re doing fine so far, it’s just that she promised she was going to come. She can’t just bail out like that, and we wouldn’t even know had you not called her just now.”

“Again, it’s like you don’t know Mum.”

“Are you pissed that you have to be here and taking care of me? I mean, you could be excused if Mum is here.”

“Surprisingly, as much as I’d rather be at home and sipping on tea, I don’t mind being here. It’s just that I’m miffed because she’s not committing to her commitment to us. She made the commitment to come here before Dad told her they were going to Nan’s place. She could have either told that you’re in the ER or just straight up told Dad she promised to come here. I mean, we all know Dad’s priorities in life are a bit messed up. Pretty sure he would still go to Nan’s place whether or not you’re in the ER.”

“Forget it, I’m probably discharged soon anyway.”

“I’m just up to meeting her when she’s back from Nan’s place. She’s always pissed every time she came back from Nan’s place. She always does, you know. And then she gon’ be telling me about she’s pissed that Dad ruined her plan to come here by bringing her to Nan’s place. Like I said, pretty sure she didn’t even tell Dad she promised to meet us here. So, technically she brought it on herself now that she’s stuck at Nan’s place.”

“Why would she do that?”

“Because she has crazy ass need to have constant drama in her life. She needs to have something and/or someone to blame for things that didn’t go right.”

“Gosh, that’s.. twisted of her.”

“I think it runs in the family. Have you seen how dramatic Sean was last week when he proposed Kim?”


“Hi Mr Chavis, so how are you feeling right now? Still experiencing chest pain?”

“No, I think it has lessen after that tablet you gave me, Doc.”

“Alright, I’m going to write you some prescriptions and then you’ll be discharged. Is this your brother? I need you to wait in the waiting room for the prescription and the discharged papers.”

“Yeah, sure, so what’s wrong with my brother?”

“Oh it’s his gastric acid. Mr Chavis here haven’t been having proper meal at proper times. Sometimes when your gastric acid escalates rapidly, you either throw it up or it suppress your chest causing some chest pain and trouble breathing. Nothing to serious, but he would need to pay attention on his meal and to take enough rest.”


“See what I mean with it runs in the family? Heart attack, my arse. It’s your damn gastric acid, son.”

#FictionFriday: Broken people and their lack of sleep.

The world is full of broken people. Take me, for example. I can’t remember when I last enjoyed my sleep. Wait, I think I can. Wait, on second thought I don’t remember. My memories are broken. Things I’ve remembered have been altered one too many times, from lies I told myself or from things I refuse to comprehend. Either way, we are all broken. Damaged. Beyond the point of repair.

It’s been days since I’ve enjoyed my sleep. Sleep is for the weak, I said. Sleep is a privilege I do not have. The alarm was blasting, actually I’m not sure, all sounds seem to magnify when you close your eyes. It’s the thing that people said, when one sense is off, the other magnifies its ability. I fumbled around with my left hand, trying to locate where my phone was, intent on turning off the alarm and to see how long had passed since I last snooze the alarm.

Fifteen minutes have passed. Seemed like an hour. I weight my option, do I just skip work altogether knowing that I wouldn’t have anything better to do anyway, or try as I might so as not to be late at work, pretend that life has not been altered and moved from its axis? Best to just get a shower first. Thinking with a clean hair and body, not to mention minty fresh breath, seems like a condition I would rather be in than bleary eyed with horrible bed hair, that I am right now.

I stood in front of the mirror, trying to convince myself I look clean enough for today. But, who am I kidding? My hair might be wet, my face may looked fresh, but that dead look in my eyes screams, “I NEED MORE SLEEP!” I shrugged to no one in particular, except at my own reflection. I didn’t think much about what I’m doing, it was until I finished dressing myself up that I realised that it seems to be that I am going to work today. Oh, well, sleep is for the weak anyway, or so I seem to think.


The world is full of people haunted by their past, present, and future. What am I haunted with? Truth. I am haunted by the truth lurking behind my youthful mistakes. Youth feels like eons ago, but in all honesty it was merely five months ago. The truth is that obnoxious kid on a Halloween that constantly knocks on your door screaming, “trick or treat,” even though you’ve clearly screamed back, “go away!”

I tossed and turned in my sleep, or lack thereof. I closed and I opened my eyes, sighing at my lack of sleep. I stumbled in the dark for a cup of tea, hoping it’ll calm whatever raging storm inside me, and leave my body to sleep. I go in and out of white noise playlist, thinking it’ll bring me sleep, just like what they said on those health magazines. I chastised myself for my lack of self control as I fumbled for my phones and go through the repetitive routine of reading whatever it was on the internet. It’s easier to think that someone else half across the world is having a much more shitty day than you are.

I tried to feel sorry, but honestly, who cares about other people? I certainly don’t. I just want to go to sleep. But, sleep won’t come. And so, I repeat the spell and try to convince myself that sleep is only for the weak.


The world is full with the likes of you and me. Those who wander day in and day out, thinking of ways to survive another day without an ounce of sleep in them. You would think that after 35 years lurking about I would have figured out at what point does my life went wrong and figured out the best way to fix it, but of course who has the time to dissect each and every youthful mistakes one has commit in their lifetime? I certainly don’t.

The tick tock of the clock is echoing through the hollow walls of my home. My home? My house? What’s the difference? I’ll be damned if I know. I think I ought to sleep now, but as per usual my eyes refuse to close, my mind refuse to stop producing chain of thoughts, and this is quite new but now I feel like my back is protesting against this old creaking bed. Hmm, maybe I should get a new bed? Oh, well there goes another thought to occupy my mind.


Jakarta, 2 June 2017

Plodding along like an old cow.

fiction-friday

 

“Do you think we will ever be senile?”

It was to be a question he forever dread to ask, but he will end up asking it anyway. At the other end of the long table, she only sips her wine feigning innocence as if she hadn’t even heard the question asked out loud in the quiet room, echoing even a single intake of breath.

He slowly cuts his medium rare steak, patiently waiting for the answer to his question. Eventually the silent was too loud, and yes, he is aware of the oxymoron in that phrase but after years of living in too much silence, anything can be too loud, even the silence itself. He sighed and asked, “Are we already senile? Is this what is to become of us?”

Slowly she sips her wine once more and sighed, “Well what do you expect? It’s not like we are here with much other purposes. If you think there might be some sort of divine intervention telling us of our purpose here, then I think this is as close as we are ever going to get to being senile.”

“I don’t quite picture myself as turning senile. Not in this lifetime, at least. Probably some other life? Do you ever wonder about that?” Why he asked so many questions every time he’s having steak for dinner is subject to discussion for another time. It just is. He ate steak and he will have questions. Questions will be asked but only a few of those are answered.

“I don’t quite fancy myself with questions and pondering around, I’d rather just plods along. I’m feeling generous today, so I will be asking you a question. Ever wondered that maybe all there is to us here on earth is just to plodding along with the likes of us?” A smile has graced her face, although it looked more like an evil smirk rather than a genuine sweet smile.

A horror look struck his face. How dare she even utter that as a possibility? Plodding along? Surely there was more than plodding along for the likes of them. Surely they are of above the rest of the herds, right? “Oh dear, I am going to pretend I did not hear your question. That is just preposterous,” he said while wiping the sweat on his forehead, and he does not even sweat that much, this question really did bother him more than he would like to admit.

“Oh but why? You know what? Do finish your dinner and let’s go out. See for yourself if all of these are not plodding along according to you. Maybe we could even meet some of out types and then we will put my question to the test,” she challenged him. She knew what game she is playing right now, he would not be able to resist the temptation of challenge, regardless of whether or not he has a chance to win it.


The air is cold for a January. He thinks this must have been what the people were prattling on about when they are talking about global warming. But isn’t suppose to be warmer as opposed to colder? Oh, dear, he really must have turned senile.

“Oh there’s Clayton and Daisy. What could they possibly be doing outside on a cold January night like tonight? Plodding along, probably?” A twinkle of mischief was adorning her eyes as he was proposed the possibility to her question before.

“Surely Clayton and Daisy are too sophisticated for something called plodding along, just like we are. Now be polite and let’s greet them.” How does one perspire in a murderous cold night like tonight, he does not know. He would like to look for an answer to that, maybe tomorrow. He hopes that his library is stocked enough with books on topics such as sweat. In the back of his mind, he knows he’s sweating because maybe she might have been right about them just plodding along.Oh dear, how he hopes she is wrong on that one.

“Earl! Fay! Enjoying the cold weather, I presume?” Daisy, the ever sarcastic one was waving and motioning for them to join her and Clayton.

“Oh I’m just out trying to proof something to Earl. While Earl here is out for… I don’t know. Why are you out Earl? Don’t you have other things to do?” Another mischievous smile is gracing her face when she is hinting to him that they definitely don’t have other things to do but was just plodding along.

Earl, not willing to go down without a fight decides to just strike head on into their challenge. He thought might as well that Clayton and Daisy were also outside, it’ll made the challenge be determined sooner. “Clayton. Daisy. Without meaning to intrude on your time enjoying the fine cup of tea and coffee, I would like to propose to you a question,” he said as he pulled out the chair to sit down. “What do you think is the reason that we are here? Would you consider that all we’ve been doing up until now is just plodding along?”

“Well, what else do you call sitting around doing nothing? Lazying around? Probably, but it has a negative ring to it, don’t you think so, Daisy?” Clayton was the thinker type, he tends to overthink everything, but even Earl has to admit that Clayton is always the rational one among the four of them, so Earl quietly nod agreeing to Clayton while silently cursing Fay for being right.

“Ah ha! I saw you nodding Earl! So, I was right, right? We are plodding along. There are no other reasons for us being here but just to plod,” Fay screamed but quickly stops herself before she had drawn people’s attention. “Be that as it may, I don’t think it’s entirely bad to just plod, it’s quite comforting isn’t it?”

“Oh well, you may think that we’ve been plodding along these few years, but I certainly wasn’t plodding along only. Haven’t you noticed the change in the air? It’s telling me something, and I know it seems that I’m being sarcastic but it has to mean something. I just haven’t been able to put two and two together,” Daisy chimed in. Daisy was certainly the sarcastic one, but having been living for so many years with Clayton, Daisy is some sort of an intellectual herself, she’s very sensitive in the changing of things.

“Daisy has a theory. Well not so much as a theory but a hypothesis as to what’s brewing currently. Do tell them, Daisy,” Clayton went back to sipping his tea while encouraging Daisy to disclose her hypothesis when all of their phones rings all at the same time.


<To: All Daemon>

<Subject: Gather at the march>

<To all Daemon, as you all know, tomorrow there will be a long march in protest against the President. It is to be expected there will be hundreds, if not thousands, to show up. There is a speculation that the people involve in the march will come from all sorts of age, rage, economic background, religions and gender. It has been way too long since something as big as this has presented itself. I ask that each and everyone of you to stop whatever plans you have for tomorrow, and I ask that you all be present on the march. Try not to go in groups among yourselves and try to blend in with the crowd. Find the perfect loophole and choose a person best fit to your plans of destruction, and possess them. We are in need of havoc this year. Let us all start big. 

NB. I will know if one of you decides to bail. 


“Oh dear, I hate marches. This face and this body is not made for marches. It’ll be cold too tomorrow. Why can’t they wait until spring? Do we have to do this, Clayton? We’ve been avoiding things like these before,” Daisy looked hopeful to the prospect of trying to dodge the need to be in attendance on tomorrow’s march.

“Frankly speaking, I think we have to show up tomorrow. I’m not risking anything, the message says that they would know if one of us decides to bail. Besides, there are not many of us left, surely it will too easy for them to spot us if we bail again,” Clayton explained. Oh, how his own rationality irks Daisy most of the time.

“You know what I think, Earl? If you’re so adamant to proof that we are not plodding along, this is your chance. We’ve been plodding along for 700 years, I think it’s high time that we move our muscles a bit and wreak some havoc. After all, isn’t that what we demons are supposed to do? We possess people and we torment them. There, I think that’s our purpose.”


Jakarta, 27 January 2017

Fiction inspired by this prompt.