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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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Flash Fiction

Rose Among the Ghosts

restaurant

He stared through the dissipating smoke, fascinated how this woman evolved from a wilted rose to a flower in full bloom. She loves silence now —

though there’s never a quiet time when you’re with ghosts.

“What?” Ariella asks.

“What?” He echoes, smiling.

“That look,” she rolled her eyes. “You’re laughing at me.”

“Why? You asked for peace and we left you for three days,” he shrugs, teasing her with a poker face. “Admit it. You missed us.”

Ariella’s eyes widen but her mouth curved to a smile. “Pretend you don’t see me, Gustav.”

“You’re the one who’s pretending, my rose.”

Word Count: 100


Written for Friday Fictioneers, a weekly writing challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields where a photo is used as a prompt for a hundred-word piece of fiction. The photo prompt this week is a courtesy of Dale Rogerson.

Last week’s prompt, I was inspired by Ali and wrote a prequel to his story. This time, I’ve decided to continue being a literary parasite (if the word exist) and take inspiration from another writer. This one is inspired by J.A. Prentice’s flash fiction titled An End to Solitude. I’m normally a scardey cat when it comes to ghosts and not-like-ours but I love how he twisted his story and gave it a lighter angle. 🙂

Head over here to join the prompt!

Beginnings

“Was I?”

I look at him hoping to see mischief in those Houdini eyes. Perhaps ten years have blurred my memory. It wasn’t I who followed a stranger to that bookstore along Rue de la Bûcherie. What was it called? Ah, Shakespeare and Company.

I did not go out of my way pretending to eye those weather-beaten shelves, fingering book spines, thinking of a way to start a conversation.

“James Joyce lies buried in the cellar” was your desperate did-you-know. I can’t believe how I fell for that—

How I fell for you.

Paris is indeed full of exotic swindlers.

Word Count: 100


Written for Friday Fictioneers, a weekly writing challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields where a photo is used as a prompt for a hundred-word piece of fiction. The photo prompt this week is a courtesy of C.E. Ayr.

It has been a while since I’ve written for Friday Fictioneers and I am happy to be back this week. This one is inspired by Ali’s micro story titled Endings. As I have said (am I’m sure I’m not the only one), it’s rare to see him write about love and heartbreak. My hopeless romantic muse got thrilled and so here’s a prequel to his tale.. 😉

Head over here to join the prompt!

 

Empty

The moment I heard that the streets of Divisoria have been cleared of sidewalk vendors, I flew to Manila to witness the momentous sight. This once busy section, riddled with various bazaars and people, has finally been stripped off its chaos.

As I stride aimlessly on one of its thoroughfares, I couldn’t help but sigh. It feels different. Everything is new to the eyes. Who would have thought we were walking on square blocks of concrete before?

“It’s so empty,” I voiced out.

“So are our stomachs,” the man from behind replied. He is Renato, a vendor for 45 years.

Word Count: 100


It has been a while since I’ve written for Friday Fictioneers and I am happy to be back for this week’s prompt.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly writing challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields where a photo is used as a prompt for a hundred-word piece of fiction. The photo prompt this week is a courtesy of Rochelle herself. 🙂

This one is inspired by the ongoing road clearing operations in the Philippines. Last July, the Department of the Interior and Local Government gave local executives 60 days to reclaim public roads from private use and to clear streets of obstruction. While this project scheme comes with good reasons and intentions, it could not be denied that the street vendors, whose lives relied on their meager earnings, were greatly affected. When the stretch of roads have all been emptied, what happens to those who strive to make ends meet. Is change truly for all? Here’s a photo of the real Divisoria.

Credits: Philstar

Up for a challenge? Join the fun here:

Pink Froggie

What Happiness Looked Like

“What is happiness, Grandma?” four-year old Jenny beamed, her eyes filled with curiosity and wonder.

It’s year 2090. The unlikely symbiosis between humans and computers over the years lead to the creation of Hyperworld. Technology evolved in ways nobody believed was possible to begin with. Man, like God, has come to defy the natural law. And there is no need for such thing nowadays.

With little Jenny on my lap, I described what happiness looked like. Happiness came in different forms but always with leaves. They whispered day and night. Their color changed with seasons. Winds carried gay trills of song. They used to make the world alive.

“Does happiness still exists, Grandma?” she asked.

My wrinkled hands brushed the faded photograph. It’s an awkward picture of me walking amid what people in bygone years used to call trees.

“I hope it does, angel. I truly hope it does.”

Word count: 150


I remember the first time I joined Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, a writing prompt hosted by PJ where we were challenged to weave a piece of fiction using 150 (+/- 25 words). It lead me to a (virtual) path treaded by the likes of Rosema, Jade, Mandi, Jessie, Davy D, Millie and Ali. Back then, we had all the energy and time create our own fictional worlds and let other writers in. Fast-forward to 2019, we found ourselves caught in buzz of the real. Some of us still writes (cheers!) while others hope to get back at writing (no, you don’t stop). Of the six flash fiction writing prompts I used to join in, only three are left active: Sunday Photo Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Practical Practitioner and Friday Fictioneers.

Anybody doing these prompts?

Pretender

It’s 9:52. The night is young yet the house is full. People are coming in and out of the front door. On a dim corner, behind the gate, a man is throwing up.

“I need a drink,” he thought of storming in but stopped at the sight a familiar face.

Five years— she never changed. Laughing with her head back, he guesses her black shirt still carries a statement. Like “Down With Big Brother” or “Go Queer”.

“Don’t,” the word came late and before he knew it, he was walking towards the one who got away. The dice is rolled. Fuck what ifs and the mutilated could-have-beens.

“On the worst-case scenario, at least I can act as drunk fool.”


Took this photo on a poetry night at a local coffee shop here in Cebu. The place was filled with too many hopeless romantics that night.

Their blanket is the sky

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Their blanket is the sky.

He listens to their  voices, whispering and laughing as they play with the shadows beneath the waxing moon. A girl, about four, stretches her hands. Her thumbs interlock to form a butterfly’s body, her fingers extend to form its wings. Arms high in the thin air, the shadow begins to flap. She is Haya and her brother, Alan, joins the fun.

“Yanam,” he shouts from a distance and the two dancing butterflies stopped. Colored mats cover the pavement. Linen bed sheets create a makeshift room in the dim space that is now a home. The children race towards their father, laugh as if they haven’t jumped over dead bodies during the day. As if they weren’t chased away and reduced to sleeping in the streets.

Their blanket is the sky.

In a parallel universe the night is undoubtedly romantic. In another world the moon and the stars are poetic. But this is reality. The asphalt still smell of blood. Life is still a ticking bomb. And his wife is still dead.

His lips curved into a weak smile at the thought of his wife. For the first time he was glad she picked their children’s names. Haya means “life” and Alan means “rock.” The woman must have seen it coming.

“Yanam,” he repeats and they all went to sleep.


For the months that I haven’t been blogging, I find myself immersed in the world news. Most specifically with the pains and pathos of Africa and the Middle East. What these people are going through is painful in its reality. It is disheartening in its truth.

I wrote this piece few weeks ago, inspired by an article about Syrian civilians fleeing Deraa. I was half-hearted then but decided now that I should go ahead and post it. Just as Banksy tries to make a voice with his art, this is my attempt with words.

Image source: Favim

The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place
A Realistic Fiction

Her favorite author once wrote, “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” This day, she believes, happens to be one of those awful tests. And she is on the edge of failing.

Maya always strives to be a better person— to be a better version of herself at least. She wants to learn kindness and patience, and give humanity a chance. But one glance at the corner, a woman snickers at an old homeless man. Apathetic of his shaking empty hands. On a bus ride home, men talk about war and how this world is better off without Syria. Unthinking that those people, too, are victims. And to add to her outburst, someone just carelessly wrote all over the sketch she’s been working on for days!

With all the patience she could muster and all the kindness she could hold, Maya took a deep breath and hike to her hiding place. “Now this is what peace looks like.”

Word Count: 175


Here is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt. This week’s photo prompt is provided by Pamela S. Canepa. Thanks PJ for hosting another fun prompt. ❤

It’s been a month of hiatus and glad to be back (hopefully for good this time). So… someone just carelessly wrote all over the sketch that I’ve been working on in the office and I badly need a peaceful place like this. Sigh. How could some people be inconsiderate?

Enjoy more stories here:

Unceasing

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Unceasing
A Realistic Fiction

A piano sits in the empty room where Amy used to play with her heart poured in every key, her fingers tapping to the tune of Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, and Debussy. But one accident and, in the blink of an eye, those days were gone.

“Do you know the first thing I did after I find out I have ALS?” A voice came from behind and she turned to find her mother’s weak smile. “I started swimming. I lived my life doing the thing I love the most. I swum rivers, beaches, and pools until this disease finally took away my strength. That morning, I felt like I died a thousand times and all those years of fight were pointless.””

Her mother paused, catching her breath. “But there are things that even death cannot take.” She walked slowly towards Amy, with eyes brimming with tears. “Love. My love for water never ceased… And so should your love for music, my child.”

Word Count: 162


Here is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt. This week’s photo prompt was taken from a hidden paradise near our place. It was not until last year that the locals discovered how beautiful this river was.

P.S. My deepest condolences to PJ and her family. You have my prayers and love. Please take care and stay strong PJ. ❤

Enjoy more stories here:

Not Again!

Not Again!

I am back at Pemberly—again. This time, I am playing the piano with Lady Catherine de Bourgh watching from behind. I cringe to the shadow of her majesty. Her regal grace is creeping on my spine like a snake.

Wait… what am I doing here in the first place?

As if to answer my query, Mr. Darcy came barging into the hall with his eyes fixed on Lady Catherine. “Your highness, I am baffled and enraged”, his voice raised. “Why do you have to take her here?”

“My nephew, you astonished me.” Lady Catherine, with all her arrogance and flair, walked towards Mr. Darcy. “I expected to find a more reasonable woman. But heaven and earth! Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?”

“Leave me and my choice be, please!” He retorted and snatched me out of the mansion.

“Ria…” Mr. Darcy stopped, his breaths catching up to mine.

“Riaaaaa!” a loud voice came out of nowhere, “RIA. Wake up!” mom yelled, shaking my senses.

“MOM! Not again!” I wailed

“What again?!”

Word Count: 175


Here is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt. This week’s photo prompt by Louise of The Storyteller’s Abode which surprisingly reminds me of my favorite classic, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It was January 2016 when I first wrote the fiction, Daydreams, which fantasizes Fitzwilliam Darcy and I believe it’s about time that I write a follow-up. Sorry Lizzie!

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is a weekly writing challenge where a photo is used as a prompt for a piece of fiction using 150 (+/- 25 words). Thanks for another fun prompt, PJ! 😀

Enjoy more stories here:

 

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