Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul


Flash Fiction

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?

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

42 Wallaby Way, Sydney


It was Sunday afternoon when Kyle gave in to his daughter’s insistent demand. Kristel, his fair-skinned, auburn-haired, ball of cuteness eight years old, had been babbling about a place ever since she watched Finding Nemo.

“P Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney! P Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney! P Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney!” she chanted from the backseat.

“Yes, sweetheart. Almost there.” Kyle smiled through the rear-view mirror.

“Just keep swimming, Daddy!” Her round eyes widened in excitement, her little teeth as white as pearl in full show. She’s a splitting image of his wife, Lyla. If only you were here, my love, he thought.

Minutes later, they pulled up near the harbor. Seagulls hovered in the sky, gliding with the sea breeze. Kyle looked around and found the dentist’s office. “Come on, sweetheart. There’s Mr. Sherman.”

Kristel dashed to the glass door, slid it open without a word. Inside was a stunned Latino who gave her a quick smile. “Hello there little angel! Can I help you?”

“Is Nemo here, Mr. Sherman?” she asked, moving towards the aquarium.

“Oh, the clownfish? I’m afraid he must have escaped through the drainage, angel.”

Instead of frowning Kristel grinned, “YAY! Nemo’s free!”

Word Count: 200

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction’s prompt.

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly writing challenge hosted by Alastair Forbes where a photo is used as a prompt for a piece of fiction using around 200 words. The piece doesn’t have to center around exactly what the photo is, it can be just used as a basis for a story. Thank you, Al!

Read more stories here:




I am Guillermo Fransisco, commanding general of the Philippine Army’s 21st division, a patriot, a family man and a drifter soul— in layman’s term, a ghost.

For seventy-four years, I’ve guarded the forts of Corregidor, watched how the remnants of our battle slowly faded through time. This place, which once served as the battleground for freedom, is now considered a heritage site. Heritage. A term for the riches of the past passed from one generation to the other. I’ve heard all the stories from the tour guides but theirs were mere versions. Nobody lived to tell how the Fall of Bataan felt like.

Or if they lived, nobody dared to remember.

In response to this week’s Friday Fictioneers 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 is a courtesy of J Hardy Carroll. Thank you!

I have always had an affinity to old places and heritage sites. When I saw the photo prompt, it took me instantly to the battles of Bataan and Corregidor. This story is inspired by one of the Philippines’ unforgettable event, The Fall of Bataan. Seventy-four years ago, on April 9, 1942, eighty thousand Filipino and American prisoners of war were forced to walk their Death March.

Read more stories here:

Almost There


The rising sun hung above her head and casted a shadow over the verdant greens.

“Hello, shadow, my old friend.” Bree mused, snapping a photo of her dark reflection on the ground.

It has been nine months since she started a healthy-living life. Bree dropped the junk foods, the oily and sweet treats, and even renounced cheese (the root word of her name and her most favorite thing in the world). Her journey was agonizing and almost unbearable. On some nights, in the comfort of her pillows, she condemns the world for screaming how slim is better. Since when did that define a woman’s worth, anyway?

But Bree knew better. She lived a healthy life not to join the pageantry of vanity or to impress anyone but because she owed this to herself. She worked out, running four miles on weekdays, increasing her mileage each week, not to be better than anybody else but to be a better version of herself.

As she stared at her shadow, she couldn’t help but grin. Nine months ago, she was the size of a whale shark. Her outline was a shame. But now, she has lost over 200 pounds. “Almost there,” Bree mumbled.

 Word Count: 200

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction’s prompt.

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly writing challenge hosted by Alastair Forbes where a photo is used as a prompt for a piece of fiction using around 200 words. The piece doesn’t have to center around exactly what the photo is, it can be just used as a basis for a story. Thank you, Al!

The Neighborhood

© pixabay

The sun rose beautifully in the southern skies. Surprisingly, this town turned out to be a gorgeous and quite place. The sound of rustling leaves played a lovely symphony to her ears and the flickering sunlight brought warmth to her skin. With eyes closed, she breathed the cool, crisp air.

“Are you new here, child?” a voice called as she walked down the empty street.

Gigi turned to see a silver-haired grandma with an unmistakable beauty despite her age. She motioned to her, smiling, but stopped at the sight of her house.

Astounding doesn’t quite describe it.

No. Grandma’s abode was a little place of heaven on earth. Its brick wall was festooned with the splendor of autumn leaves in burgundy red and vivid tangerines. Its door painted with fresh cyan was a charming contrast to the vibrant façade, too.

“Goodness! Your house is beyond splendid, ma’am!” She exclaimed in awe.

Grandma gave a wide smile, her eyes glistened in delight. “Thank you! Credits go to my husband, dear. Welcome to the neighborhood. I’m Lora.”

Word Count: 175

Here is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt. Thank you PJ for another fun prompt. ❤❤❤

Enjoy more stories here:

Sunrise & Sunsets


“Stop saying, ‘It’s just the circle of life’, because life has always been more than a mere series of events that ends at the point at which it began.”

Malcolm stared confusedly, his girlfriend’s sermon stirring chaos to his mind. “English, please?”

Dana rolled her eyes, faking frustration, and leaned her head onto his shoulder. “What I’m saying is, life may be a cycle but it does not repeat itself precisely. The sun goes up and down but each day is different.”

“Just as the waves kiss the shores but each kiss is unique.” He added.

She smiled, knowing exactly where this trick would lead. “You’re not getting a kiss if that’s what you’re thinking.”

Malcolm jerked and he’s suddenly one bended knee in front of her. “Not even chance? Not—

“No.” She interfered, enjoying his exaggerated puppy eyes.

—even when I tell you the sun rises and sets knowing how much I love you but each day I love you a little more? He continued, taking out a ring from his pocket.

“Oh no!” She gasped.

“Oh yes…” He held out the gold band engraved with her name. “Dana, will you watch all sunrise and sunset with me forever?

Word Count: 200

Written for Roger Shipp’s flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction For the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit goes to Pixabay.

This week’s prompt is: “Stop saying ‘It’s just the circle of life’…” 

Enjoy more stories here:






He woke up breathless, beads of sweat running down his forehead— another nightmare. The very same nightmare whenever he hears a special song, when March comes around, or when he sees a little boy.

Grudgingly, he sat down and gulped last night’s wine. Tears ran down his face and his body rocked with sobs that filled the air. He motioned to the window, sunrays piercing through the blinds of his 53rd floor apartment.

“I’M SORRY!” his scream sounded like a plea.

Twenty-five years ago, he slid open this ill-fated glass and let the four-years old, Conor, plunge to his death.

Word Count: 100 Continue reading “Nightmares”

Art of Expression


I was once your six-year-old, messy-hair, oversized-shirt, make-believe artist back in Mrs. Grelina’s class.

“Live your dreams.” Our teacher used to say and we’d come to her class dressed as the person we would soon become. One classmate brought with her a toy stethoscope and the other wore polished suit like a business tycoon. Meanwhile, I was the quite boy acting strange and weird because that’s what I thought artists should be like—peculiar.

I remember one day, Mrs. Grelina asked me why I dreamed to be an artist. With a pencil tucked behind my ears, I told her that I wanted to impress everyone. She warmly smiled and said, “That’s a good start. But soon you will realize that art craves to express rather than impress.”

Thirty years later, I stood beside my pride during the Splash of Extraordinary Art competition. A rival artist came and gave a mocking remark. “You’ll never impress the judges with those cows, pal.”

“Maybe. But I bet they’ll never forget these for a long time.” I gladly replied.

Word Count: 175

Here is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt. Thank you S for the photo and PJ for another fun prompt. ❤❤❤

I found myself writing another story about Mrs. Grelina and her class. I hope you don’t mind. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Enjoy more stories here:



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