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Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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World War II

Three days later

tied haired woman wearing top photo – Free Neck Image on Unsplash

I must carry on. Live this life, get up, pick the debris of your memories scattered on the floor. Breathe.

The world has not stopped revolving, I see. And my mom’s bacon and egg smell just the same. She lives with me now — for the mean time — using old age as an excuse to tiptoe into my room and check my chest for a heartbeat at night. Don’t laugh. Don’t make the funny face you always do whenever I tell you about my mother’s excessive paranoia. “I know!” I used to say, eyes rolling as I jump into your arms for comfort.

On the way to work, the old man on the street who once sold us matching rings smiles. I touch a finger which now feels bare. At two minutes past 11 o’clock in the morning, a Fat Man explodes over my life. There you are, laughing from a distance, with a woman whose hands are wrapped around your waist. I never thought the space you asked is meant for somebody else.

The sun shines with a blinding white flash in the sky. What a cruel twist of fate to see you two on the fall of Nagasaki. It’s only been three days.

“Are you crying, child?” the old man asks.

I wipe my mascara-stained tears, take a deep breath and walk away. “This is nothing. The people who experienced the black rain had it worse.”

MS

Two years ago, I wrote a Haibun titled Memories Sting. It was supposed to center on the tragedy of love but it somehow alluded to the ordeals of war. Revisiting my old blog posts reminded me of how I love weaving fiction with real history — of how comfortable it was to write Heritage and Some battles.

This story is my attempt to reconnect with the old me. It is also a commemoration of the Nagasaki bombing which marks its 75th year today.

Image via Unsplash

Memories Sting

beautiful, black, black and white and girl

I wake up with scattered thoughts of you. Memories tossed on my bedroom floor. I tiptoe as I reached for the remote control, aware of what could happen if I step on one of them. A headline flashes from the flat screen. Today the world remembers the 140,000 deaths of the Hiroshima bombing. I can already hear you laugh. You, in your black shirt with that big bold quote that says “Fuck Imperialism”. You like women who can’t spell capitalism and it’s exactly the reason why you held my hand. Because I hated the numbers.

Outside, the world is a limbo. Cars going to and fro in a dull locomotive pace. I remember you complaining how God is a lousy screenwriter. On how this universe has become lopsided because he has rounded animals and humans but fucked up with the food chain. Men killing animals. Men killing men. “What madness!” you used to yell.  God, I miss you and your opinions. Those random sarcasm that turn into a long eurhythmic condemnation.

I calculate my decision as I snug on my pillow. What are the odds of living if I get up on this bed? I remember hands wrapped around my waist, soft kisses on my nape. You gave a scientific inquiry on how long can hugs last. I got up because my answer still has not changed— infinite. Today the world remembers the 140,000 deaths of the Hiroshima bombing. I have never seen the Little Boy’s wrath. I have never washed my face with blood. I have never ran away from death. I have never fought my way to live. But those 140,000 men must have felt far more torment than this heartbreak. And so, with shame, I must carry on this fate.

the wind whispers woes
of the dead and the living—
how memories sting
MS


In response to dVerse’s Haibun Monday: Peace Memorial hosted by Frank J. Tassone and Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #206.

Image Source: Favim

Head over here to join the fun!

dverse

Heritage

jhardy

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:

Some battles

I am over you— or so I thought.

For the tears brimming from my eyes begged to disagree as I walked in the ruins of Corregidor, one step after another, while our tour guide, Mark, eagerly narrated the tragic history of its ruins. I should be sad for the thousands of souls who have suffered and died, fighting for their freedom against the Japanese troops. My heart should bleed for Bataan’s fall.

But no.

Instead, memory lane brought me to the footpath of our past. A battle that was only written in our history. A battle that I have never won. It was the time when we’re throwing curses at each other like they were mortars; each hit led to an explosion. We did all the talking but no one dared to liste—.

“Mika?” a voice stopped my reverie and I was back with the tour guide again. “Are you okay?” he continued.

Wiping the tears from my eyes, I nodded. “Yes. I was just thinking that someone should have raised the white flag.”

Word Count: 175


Here is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt. Thank you Louise for the photo and PJ for another fun prompt. :):) 🙂

P.S. For some strange reasons I kept thinking of WWII when I saw this photo. Philippines, of course, was not spared from the bloodshed. A few hours after Pearl Harbor, Japanese troops came and seize occupancy in the country that lasted for 3 years. Thousands of Filipino and Americans suffered and died during that time. On May 6, 1942, at the Battle of Corregidor, Japan roared with victory.

…and sorry for the love twist. I couldn’t help it! 😀

Enjoy more stories here:

 

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