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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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microstory

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

One day at a time, anxious person

We will never be enough.

For people who walk hand in hand with anxiety, it will always come as a surprise when someone tells us that we are the missing puzzle in his or her life. Everyday we spend precious seconds tiptoeing, walking on thin glass — afraid that one wrong move would break our hard-earned peace of mind. For us, it will always be a question of why. Why me? Why leave? Why stay? We keep a long list of why’s on our pockets so whenever we feel like we took a bad step and notice the slightest change, we know what to start asking. Why did his tone dropped a little lower? Why is she touching her ears? Why did it took him extra 2 seconds to answer?

People say that we should learn to trust others. But, truth is, they are not the problem. We can hand them all the trust we have, but we can never fully trust ourselves. We will never be a good enough reason for anything. Not smart enough. Not kind enough. Not talented enough. Not pretty enough. Sooner or later they will realize that we are the not the missing puzzle. We are the puzzle. And that is the hardest thing.

But keep going.
Keep breathing.

One day at a time, anxious person. 🌻
MS

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?

The Witching Hour

It’s 3 am.

I wake up to the monotonous sound of the fan. An unpleasant feeling starts to claw its way out of my chest and I begin to understand why they call this time of the day ‘the witching hour’.

Perhaps because here, in the quiet, we get to sit side by side with the unknown. That feeling of being sad, anxious, drained and lost for no apparent reason. Or maybe we simply just can’t pinpoint.

Many times I have put my heart out only to end up more dejected. You see, when you have all the reasons to be happy, people think you can’t feel otherwise. When you do, they ask you why. As if I am not as equally frustrated finding out the reason myself.

Somebody once told me that perhaps I’m being ungrateful. I have caring friends and family. A stable job. A pile of books. A passion in writing and exploring the outdoors. I have found love and life. So why would I not be okay?

I look to my left hoping that the bare wall knows the answer. It does not. An hour has passed yet there is still a clamor in my head. I want to go out for a long walk. But I fear they might burn me like they did to witches.

My Universe in Verse

According to current thinking, the observable universe is about 93 billion light years in diameter. I am no astronomy expert and the likes of Edwin Hubble would probably disagree when I say that there was a time when the universe molded itself into the right shape to fit just two people.

That day we hiked the trail to the peak expecting to find the place crowded with campers. But it was uncommonly empty. Right then my selfish side wished that no one would ever come. Coelho must have known that when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. Because no one did arrive. We had the billion-star accommodation all for ourselves.

I’ve always wondered what they meant when they said that the universe is infinite. Were they referring to the cosmic wonders from without or to those from within? That night we measured trajectories — not of falling comets but of falling hearts. At daybreak, I caught a momentary silhouette backlit by the rising sun. My sunset man. And what astronomers have not observed is this: sometimes all the mysteries of the universe is found in someone’s hand.

the wide universe
seized to be scientific—
poetic, it was

MS

 

 


In response to dVerse’s Haibun Monday: The Picnic hosted by Gina who challenges to share some picnic themed poems.

Here’s one of my favorite memories with one of my favorite people. The title is inspired by The Universe in Versean annual celebration of science through poetry hosted by Maria Popova at Pioneer Works and The Academy of American Poets

Head over here to join the prompt!

dverse

Trolled trolls

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how many mouths must be starved
or epitaphs must be carved
for these blinded trolls to see
past this fractured democracy
this populist and his isms
his ideology of acquiescence
make cage ‘round free birds
and voices unheard—

trolls you’re trolled,
can’t you see?
MS

 

 


In response to dVerse’s Quadrille hosted by Frank who challenges to put some TROLL with our poems today.

Here’s a short lament for the current state of the Philippines. Sigh.

Head over here to join the prompt!

dverse

Solitudine

“Make yourself happy—
not to validate people but
because you simply want to.”

I hope you learn to enjoy the company of yourself first. To not cringe at the thought of being alone. To have the best days of your life in solitary walks. In sunrises and silence. Moonlit nights or perhaps lazy afternoons.

I’m not talking about the I’m-fine-being-alone-I’d-rather-be-by-myself kind of solitude either. I heard you countless of times. Still, I keep seeing that sad look in your eyes. That feigned smile.

Solitude is beautiful and you need not degrade it. It is a choice, not a defense mechanism. So go on and do what you’ve been itching to do. Make yourself happy — not to validate people but because you simply want to. Gain so much that by the time solitude leaves you at bay, you have a lot to give away. To them. To him. To her.
MS

 

 

 

Perhaps love will find me one day

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“perhaps love will find me one day”

you’ll probably say there is an error in that syntax
that i should find love from within, not the other way around
but that is not the case — at least not for me

believe me, i have milked courage for all its worth
but every time insecurity enters my room,
i was never brave enough to meet its gaze

some days it comes with keys,
knowing exactly how to open my vulnerabilities
some days it comes with hammer,
forcing its way to let in my anxieties

everyday i wake up a survivor
but truth is i never left the scene of the crime

so if there is love to be found from within
it is buried deep in a mass grave—
along with the what-ifs
and the could-have-beens
MS


In response to dVerse’s OLN #238 hosted by Grace.

Perhaps love will find me one day — I once asked a friend if is she loves herself. This was her answer and I find it to be one of the saddest statement I have ever heard. </3

Head over here to join the prompt!

dverse

You know they lie

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You know they lie
When headline reads, ‘Cops say he fought back’
You know it’s an execution—
a purge, a shortcut
To what you call a ‘better world’
In between sips of coffee
You convince yourself
of the new normal
of the new ‘right’

MS


In response to dVerse’s Quadrille #74 hosted by Mish who challenges us to take the word “sip” beyond the obvious.

This one is inspired by a news article I read this morning. The Philippine government is still waging war on drugs. While this started with the right cause, it has veered into an unstoppable purge. And with the poor justice system in the country, the war has taken a toll on the poor. This one is for the dead who were summary executed and for living who shrug sympathy and justice away. These 44 words are not enough to save the country from further downfall, it needs the Filipino people to wake up and stand up against impunity.

Head over here to join the prompt!

dverse

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