Peeling a Potato-Shaped YouI picked you up from a gutter in radioactive Russia. Somehow, you had fallen out of the body-bag you were carried in, and I nearly kicked you further into the muck. I heard your pleas though, begging for my hands to pick you up. They ate a hole in the fabric and sent you rolling before my feet. In normal circumstances, that would never happen, but there is nothing normal about a world covered in grief.Peeling a Potato-Shaped You4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
You were a real piece of work. It's got to be expected after all, in these parts, but you were still fascinating all the same. For instance, you were covered in that signature brown dirt. Most of the time, it was brushed neatly before you were zipped up. But you'd been out too long in the open and it showed. Reptilian shoots punched through your skin and waved like a many-armed grotesque plant. They looked like bleached coral that decided to grow out of your flesh rather than in the nutrient-rich sea. As I ran my fingers over your suppurating sores, I wondered why I picked up the sort of
Reverse Culture ShockFlying home was not flying home. Flying home meant grabbing the homing pigeon inside of me and twisting its imaginary magnet one hundred and eighty degrees to the north instead of southwards to Australia. The magnet still twitched stubbornly north even as the plane droned over Darwin, five hours before I finally reached home. Except it wasn't home. Sydney now looked as foreign as the glossy travel leaflets I grabbed from Singapore, its shine not quite matching the missing substance of my once childhood home.Reverse Culture Shock2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Thank you for choosing Singapore Airlines I hope you will enjoy your stay in Sydney, or a warm welcome home."
Winter air slapped me like a bucket of ice water as I emerged, searching for my parents and my sister. For eight years, their voices were tinny and masked by static on the occasional phone calls home. Today, they sounded as brittle as ever, Australian accents barely sheathing the chill emanating from them.
"Welcome home, sis," said my sister with an unusually bright v
LifeLife is quite simple,Life5 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
but we humans insist on
Education is a GunEducation is a gun. When you first pick it up, you may not be sure how to use it. You may not be aware of its potential. Heck, you might not even know what the point of it is.Education is a Gun4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
But gradually, you will learn. You will learn how to hold it and marvel its body, so mechanical yet so full of life. You will learn to load it, hearing the bullets of knowledge click past your ears. The noise will scare you at first, and doubt will assail your thoughts. Are you really good enough to wield it?
Eventually you learn to cock the gun. The readiness, the excitement that bubbles from the gun makes you smile. At last, you are in control. Your teacher then asks you to point at the target. A boy grins at you. You recoil; you can't shoot a child, surely. Then the child transforms. It becomes square-ish, box-like; it becomes a TV. Propaganda blares out from suited leaders, deluding hundreds of poor, illiterate people clinging to hope rather than fact.
Your teacher steps in and utters the word.
Moonlit NocturneThere was blood on my hands when I played the piano for you that day.Moonlit Nocturne4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It was the same street piano on the corner of the park that we used to play in, outracing the butterflies that gathered around the roses that grew there. We used to pretend we could fly like them, dancing from petal to petal, free from the world's cruelties. So happy. So naive.
A skid of a wheel had changed all that.
That day, your butterfly wings had been torn out of their sockets. They joined a long list that had been stuffed into jars over the centuries, to be ogled over by Death, the sadistic collector who never failed when it was our turn to submit. You were captured too early, too soon, but there was nothing I could do. I was on the piano, playing your nocturne, when you crossed the busy road. Blood sprayed, horns screamed and I turned to see you flung over a windscreen, unmoving.
There was a funeral, of course. There were tears, but none slid down my face that day.
I saved it for the piano.
You should have see
To My Future SelfTo my Future Self,To My Future Self1 year ago in Teen More Like This
Breathe. You must be thinking, seriously, my teen self is acting like an old fart of a teacher telling off overstressed kids, but seriously, breathe. Stop. Pause. Listen. It's your heart beating. It's telling you, I'm beating so damn hard, I might just kill you one day.
Okay, let's digest. There can only be two reasons for your heart to beat like that. One reason is because I wouldn't have changed- I would still be that overzealous, neurotic, depressed teenager with a penchant for word thieves, dream catchers and moment makers. The other reason would be just the opposite: it's beating with life, with purpose, with hope.
I hope you'll be that second person.
Because being that second person means being serenaded by Chopin in a boy's car, travelling down to Bondi Beach watching sculptures rear out of the sea and you're feeling like, maybe, love may finally find you at last. Being that second person means you just won't shut up talking to patrons
Little Things, Big ThingsListen:Little Things, Big Things4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
You didn't hear the alarm go off this morning and you're lying in bed, wanting to sleep forever. School's about to start in an hour and the only thing you move is a pyjama sleeve hanging over your bed.
Down the hallway, you hear the fridge open, your lunch coming out in pieces of bread and chicken. Those hands that carry them are ever so invisible to your eyes. You may as well blink and think a machine is doing all this for you, for all the care you had about the world.
When you finally get up, rubbing sleep from those eyes, a lunch box sits on the dining table, waiting for you.
The screaming begins.
Why don't you get up earlier and make lunch for yourself? Why don't you walk to school instead of me driving you up? What's wrong with you?"
It's early morning. The birds have already begun chirping and time ticks away on the grandfather clock. You have enough.
"Shut up! Just shut up! I'm tired of hearing this again and again. I wish you would just leave me alone and let you
List of Useful Writing BlogsDon't forget to fave the news article for this list here!List of Useful Writing Blogs3 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
08.02.2012 Oh look, shiny massive update of new writing blogs! Now including poetry and some other interesting bits and bobs, so scroll down and enjoy. I would have added more, but I would never have gotten any sleep at the rate I was going. Ahem. So I've been feeling the itch to post news articles on these writing blogs again, but I'm not sure whether there's enough interest for me to start doing them again. For anyone who's new to this list and what I used to do in the past, here's an example right here: http://julietcaesar.deviantart.com/journal/Useful-Writing-Blogs-1-The-Creative-Penn-214242246 When I used to do them, I actually caught the attention of some of these bloggers on Twitter who thanked me personally for featuring them on deviantART, which was equally surprising and humbling for me. But it's you guys I'm more concerned about. Would you be interested if
Falling LeavesJohnny took me to a new place today. He told me it was his little slice of Heaven, as though God had taken a knife and gouged out that slice for him, and for me to enjoy. I believed him then, even though he was only twelve and I was only thirteen. I think it was something to do with his eyes, the way they shone through to me, just like the frosty blue sky above.Falling Leaves5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I told myself it was a sister-like affection, but even affection had no boundaries.
The first thing I noticed was the fallen leaves carpeting the ground, and as we stepped on them they crackled and crunched. Johnny told me it had been snowing, and I laughed, because there was no hint of white in the auburn setting.
Leaves are like snowflakes, he argued, But they also look like golden cornflakes that we eat in the morning for breakfast everyday.
Sometimes I forget how childish he is.
He ran to a bench that was carved from wood, and I sat next to him, watching the green field beyond the l
Dear MeDear Little Rachel,Dear Me4 years ago in Letters More Like This
Yes, darling, you. You standing in the queue to get out of the airport, wrapped up as though it was minus 20 degrees Celsius outside when it was just 16 degrees. You there, aged eleven years old, your skin used to humidity and now cracking up like aging plaster in the blast of dry August air.
I know who you are. You brought me to life by your dreams, your bitter recollections of better days as you tried to defog the future, only to realise it was as misty as ever. I am who you are then, and you are who I am now. Call me a time traveller, talking to you and breaking a hundred physical laws but trust me, I'm just here to give you something.
Yeah, really, I hear you scoff. What have you learnt in the last five and a half years that you can tell me about? I mean, you're only about to turn seventeen. You're not even an adult. You're only an angst-ridden, bitchy, moody, internet-addicted teenager without one shred of philosophical decency. A teen advising
Lost FreedomThey say freedom is a beautiful word, a beautiful thing. When you dream without fear and live without oppression, all you need now is for your life to embrace it. Isn't it easy though, just to think the concept that dwells in the West and disintegrates in the East could be as powerful, as life-changing, as the word "love" itself?Lost Freedom4 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I beg to disagree, but then again, circumstances have dealt me a different hand.
I'm not saying that humans don't deserve to be free. I hate any repression to freedom. Human trafficking, for instance, makes me sick to the bone at the cruelty that humans can be so capable of. Being denied freedom of speech silences the hopes of future generations and reveals the cowardice ingrained in human psyche. But freedom, like love, has many different facets to it.
Freedom for me is the lightening of the soul, the inner peace within myself and with life, and the joy of knowing that burdens do not make me a shadow in the light. But for me, there is no freedom. There is onl
We are the Word ThievesWe writers are criminals.We are the Word Thieves4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
But we are the best kind of criminals.
We steal words.
We'll never be punished, for we are always needed. Whether through the speech of ever deceitful humans, or through the mute tongues of print and screen, we will always be there, working our many-pronged magic. Our swords are constantly out, skewering towards the alphabet with such regularity that the words stand proud, only to bow to our will, bleeding emotion to our clients.
For we are the Word Thieves, and the words are our quarry.
Even if the censors come and try to clamp us down, we'll disappear into the shadows and reveal our true beauty. It is here we show how we don't need a wave from a wand or a wish from the human mind to transform into our heart's desires, when all the answers can be written in a twist of a pen.
And when we transform, we rule Heaven and Earth.
We are the pirates that traverse the word-filled seas, setting sail with the wind and waves. Through storm and sun, our sail is splashed w
The Meaning of SilenceDear Diary,The Meaning of Silence5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
What is the meaning of silence? Ive been puzzling over that conundrum today. I bet you know the answer, Diary. Youve lived your life as a silent object, to be open at my will for my ink to sink into your pristine pages. You cannot speak to me as I speak to you, through the rhythmic strokes of my pen. But even then Im silent too, because my mouth is not moving to give sound to those words. So is silence the absence of sound?
According to Google definitions and Wikipedia, Im right. But the scientific explanation does not rest easy with me. It makes the whole concept sound dull when its mysterious, alluring magic is nullified by fact. Im sure theres more to silence. After all, I embraced it when I thought about this in the first place.
So I came up with my own version, and I now present it to you, Diary. It is the result of thinking and sifting through memories best forgotten. And for this reason, I wish to be nameless. For I am bu
To My Present SelfDear Rachel,To My Present Self3 years ago in Letters More Like This
Let's start with you, right now. The world can wait. While everyone is clanking away on their mental time machines, we can stay grounded in the present. The air is sweeter here, the ground firmer. Our voices louder. Take my hand. We'll be alright.
We can start with the Post-It Notes too, if you want. They've always been your lifebuoys.
It's all in your mind.
Those thoughts, those fears. Insignificance. Inferiority. Fate or destiny even though you're an avowed humanist. We know them well. Your unofficial big sister said it well. Part of being human is being uncertain. Keats said it well. He called it negative capability: "that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason." Two people, separated by centuries and continents. Even when we struggle to believe that we're unique, we can better ourselves than the lowest common denominator, we're the same. We still tussle with the unknown. We still
To a Giant Far Far AwayDear gentle giant,To a Giant Far Far Away3 years ago in Letters More Like This
The words are not easy to describe you. You do not deserve a character profile description, nor do you deserve a list of adjectives that hang loose without actions to match it. You deserve poetry written from the masters, the wise ones who know the importance of words and how to wield them, the likes of which you have joined and continued to produce with a beauty that astounds me every time. Alas, I am no master. My words will pale before yours, little trinkets that only reveal my vulnerability in commanding the English language. I use them as a word thief would, with brutal honesty; words that will glow with every beat of my heart rather than the elegant truth you regale. But perhaps, dear giant, that is all I need. It is enough, I feel, to tell you this much: you have changed my life, for the better.
Like the Big Friendly Giant, you hold me in your hand and whisper gentle words that soothe me in times of despair. Those hands are tender, brushing a
The ListenerIt's funny how we choose to walk the path opposite to the one Life offers us. We choose to endure the hard times when we could easily pull the plug. We choose to hurt ourselves so much the only way out seems to be kicking the bucket, and yet we swing and miss deliberately. Personally, it confounds me. What are people scared of? The glaring nothing that is death, for those who don't believe in the afterlife? To me, the answer is pretty damn simple: just do it, because you won't be frightened about it when you're dead.The Listener3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Mind you, that doesn't mean I'm encouraging suicide or anything. I might be, I could be, but you can interpret almost anything weird nowadays. Partly the reason why I keep my mouth shut. The other part's because it's more interesting to listen; it's amazing what sort of shit comes out of people's mouths if someone stopped to just listen. I make it my job really. I'd spend hours in a park listening to mother griping and days in the local McDonald's listening to f
Dear You (Or, Alternatively, Me)Dear You (Or, Alternatively, Me) –Dear You (Or, Alternatively, Me)1 year ago in Teen More Like This
I worry about you sometimes.
I worry about how you are doing: who you are spending your time frolicking with, whether or not you have finally kissed someone, if you still get nervous easily. I worry about my friends in your time – are they still our friends? Or have you finally let them all go, or pushed them away, or left like we always dreamed of?
Sometimes I lay in bed in the late hours of the night, dreaming of your life. Do you remember? Do you remember staring at the dark ceiling so long it began turning red, tossing and turning, hoping and dreading what is to come? I wonder if the things I have done effect you as we have always worried they would; if they have broken you.
You see, the truth is – and I am certain you remember this about me – I fear you. I fear you like a lightning rod fears a thunderstorm. Do you remember why I fear you so? You do, don't you? Just as I shrink away from the possibility of becoming you, so you shrink
The Non-SmokerIsn't it strange how you can see a person everyday and feel like you haven't known them in years? You know, you see them at school, acting normal when they're not, or you see them on the football field picking the daisies and running away from you as though a rabid dog was on their tail. You would think I should be the one being scared, because dogs chase me more than girls, but the girl I'm thinking about thought differently. A shame though, because she thought I was actually interesting.The Non-Smoker3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Maybe I should start at the beginning.
Amy's her name. Amy Bradshaw, cheerleader, obsessed with miniskirts. She had another obsession.
Every morning at the bus stop, she pretended to read Ray Bradbury but I knew she was looking at me. Or what's left of me, anyway. Tom Harvey, nerd, obsessed with cigarettes. Except I don't smoke them. What started out as an art project became an all-consuming passion to turn every person into a chain-smoker at Salisbury High. It was a money-spinner and a psychology ex