Posted by: Autumn | November 24, 2008

Sky Full Of Butterflies

Yesterday was a sky full of butterflies for Clarissa.  Her girlfriend started a conversation with him when he passed by their workstations.  He stopped to answer and when Clarissa asked him a question, he looked at her directly and answered her seriously.  He told them that he had taken leave from work to study and sit for an examination next week.  Clarissa smiled.  The sky had opened and butterflies flew out to fill the space, each blotting the sky like tracing stencils.

He had answered her a couple more times and had looked directly at her eyes.  It was ground breaking because it was only two days ago, when he was speaking to her friends and she joined in the conversation with a question posed to him, he had answered her while looking at her friend as if she was the one who asked the question.  Poor Clarissa had wondered why the hell he did not seem to acknowledge her at all when they were among mutual friends.  They did smile and acknowledge each other when they bummed into each other in the office but at other times she felt invisible.

However, today was a disappointment.  The butterflies left and the sky closed up on her.  She came to know that he had started to correspondence via email with her other colleaques.  Included in the list was a young pretty girl who just joined the company, while she was not in the list.  Janice was of course a perfect match for him.  Clarissa knew that but it did not stop her from feeling slightly jealous. 

Perhaps, the feeling was more disappointment than jealousy.  Perhaps, it was a sense of hopelessness.  She had lost before to a younger girl and now she fantasied that history was repeating itself; she was walking towards a field of wild flowers and weeds, all much younger than her.  The lone sturdy tree that stood in the middle of the field was also younger than her.  She walked and walked but she never could reach that field.  There were no butterfiles in the sky.

Posted by: Autumn | November 12, 2008

A Candle in the Mist

Hide And Seek – Part IV



Telephone rang, keyboard dit dit ditting,

printer vomited paper after paper,

rain washed off footprints from the catwalk

and minds paused to re-assess the puzzle,

counting the sides to the polygon.

Gloom invaded the office like a virus

and people, hiding their cough, examined

the future like a specimen,

I wait like a candle in the mist

for the rain to stop and I can see

who will pass the light through the prism.


The rest of the series can be read here. 

Posted by: Autumn | November 11, 2008

Wow, An Online Award


David M of has given me a ‘BFF’ (Blog Friends Forever) award.  Thanks David!


The “BFF” award is passed on according to the following rules:

1. Only five people are allowed

2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog

3. One has to be someone new or recently new to your blog and live in another part of the world.

4. You must link back to whoever gave you the award.


I’m passing the award to:


1.  (back to you, David) David M of


(and since this blog is pretty new, I’m passing the award to friends who had left the most comments and who are all qualified to receive the award)


2.  Selma of

3.  Geraldine of

4.  Kayt of

5.  Lissa of



Gramps’s wrinkly fingers touched the arm of her trusty rocking chair affectionately.  Barry had made this for her seventieth birthday last year.  Now he was gone.  But at least, Victor was still with her and had helped made life a bit easier to bear.

As if in affirmation to her thoughts, the front door creaked open and a voice called out, “Gramps, I’m back!”.

“Victor, my dear, you’re back.”  She got up from her rocking chair and walked carefully with her walking stick towards him 

“Did you manage to buy the thread I wanted to mend your shoes with?” 

“Sure I did, Gramps,”  Gabriel smiled at her, “and more.”

He brought out a piece of candy from his pouch and handed it over to her.

“My sweety, you love me so much.  Thank you but you shouldn’t have spent money on this candy for me.”

Gabriel knew Gramps had a sweet tooth.  That was the least he could do to make her happy after the traumatic experience she had gone through.

Gramps gazed lovingly at her grandson as they sat down for dinner.  A lock of dark hair fell across his forehead as he bent his head over his plate. 

Life had been tough on him, on us.  It was hell losing Barry in the sea but Victor was taking it rather well.  Too small to lose another parent after losing his mother at birth.  Yes, he seemed so much emotionally stronger than I.  Without him, I would have wasted away in tears and sorrow.  God cannot be fair as life is never fair.

Her attention returned to Gabriel who was talking to her.  “Sorry, Victor, my mind wandered.  Please do tell me again about the kind fruit seller who gave you this apple.”

After tucking Gramps to bed later that night, Gabriel sat by his window.  The moon was full and bright.  The grass patch in the garden bathed in its light.  A cricket sang somewhere from the row of small bushes lining the stoned path leading to the door.  It sent his thoughts to his visit to the cove.  He smiled as he remembered Princess’s playful antics.

He noticed something fluttering at the extreme left of the garden, near the wooden fence he had helped Gramps mend two days ago.  It looked like some sort of a huge bug with long transparent wings.  A cool breeze brushed his face bringing memories of Princess’s voice with it, “I’ll get Eller and Elsie to get their people to work faster.  They’re already flying their wings off to reach more areas.  Then, we can soon be united again.” 

He let out a long sigh and spoke softly to the wind, “Winged creasures, please, please find Victor quick.”

Somewhere in a water lily pond, Elsie’s tiny ears twitched as if they had picked up Gabriel’s plea.  She and Eller were sitting on a leaf, resting their feet and wings after a tough day of seeking.  Elsie dipped her feet into the water to cool them.  She looked at Eller in silence, her eyes asking how the other troops were doing.

Somewhere in another part of the world, something ran across a rice field at lightning speed.  It dug into the muddy water and burrowed a tunnel to the shed at the end of the field.  It emerged from the floor board and its eyes scanned the room for movement.  Its ears tuned in to pick every sound within audible distance.  There was no one there except some mice peeping out from a crack in the wooden wall, nervously checking out the intruder.  It left as quicky as it came, to other areas to seek what the world was seeking now.

Posted by: Autumn | August 24, 2008

The Boy And The Mermaid (The Enchanted Quest – Part 1)

The rocks were sharp and biting on his feet as Gabriel gingerly made his way to the cove.  The cold wind stung his face like tiny bees.  The sky was darkening and soon the bewitching hour of twilight would possess this part of the world. 

He finally reached sandy ground and found a shady area to rest his feet while earnestly watching the sea all the while.  The water was calm and the breeze was warm.  The place was eerily quiet.  There was no bird chirping nor insect buzzing.  It was as if the place was holding its breath, waiting silently for something.

Soon soft splashes of water could be heard echoing in the air like the sound from a seashell.  Ripples and ripples of water rolled and glistened nearer and nearer to the shore. 

Gabriel got up excitedly and ran to the sea.  He waded through a shallow path and climbed up a rock to have a better view.  He could see tails bopping up and down as they swam towards the eastern coast.  As they swam further east, he lost sight of them.  The sea was calm again.  He held one hand over his eyes and squinted to see if he could still spot any one of them.

He pouted his lips, disappointed that they have all left so soon.  As he turned to go, he heard a giggle behind him.  He spun round quickly like a child playing hide-and-seek.  A splash of sea water hit his face and more giggles were heard.  A tail disappeared into the water. 

“Princess, I know it’s you.” Gabriel shouted.  “Show yourself!”  He stretched his 12 year old body fully to have a better view of the water surrounding the rock.

A head emerged from the water and a face as sweet as a plum beamed up at Gabriel.  She propped herself further up a small rock and brushed her golden hair with her hands, ignoring him.

Gabriel smiled at her.  “I know you won’t leave without saying hi to me.”  He sat down beside her.

Princess made a face at him.  “Don’t be so sure.”

“But do sing me a song,” she added with a sigh.  Gabriel noticed the melancholy tone in her voice.

He sang and she hummed along for a couple of minutes before she told him, she had to go.

“How’s Gramps?”

“She’s better.” Gabriel answered, his eyes looking towards the village where he stayed with Gramps.  “She’s not crying too much.  I wish they could find Victor soon.”

“I miss you,” he added softly.

Princess looked up at his dark brown eyes, so unlike the green ones she was used to.  Now, his hair was darker, almost black. 

“Your father and mother miss you too.  You must know that.  Should we tell them?”

“No!” Gabriel remarked.  “Please don’t say anything yet.  I know it’s bad of me to keep this from them but you know I’ve to do this.”

Princess let out another sigh.  “I’ll get Eller and Elsie to get their people to work faster.  They’re already flying their wings off to reach more areas.  Then, we can soon be united again.” 

They smiled at each other. 

“You better go before they suspect something.” Gabriel got up and waved her off.  “Goodbye and see you again next week.”

“Goodbye,” Princess whispered as she dived into the water quickly so that he would not see the tears in her eyes.  A flap of her tail pushed her far to the sea.

 search engine fiction

Posted by: Autumn | August 10, 2008

Wait For Me

The water rushed up to her nostrils as she beat wildly with her hands.  In her state of panic, she sucked more water in and choked.  The waves rose above her head and submerged her totally into the water again.  Grabbed by undercurrents, her legs were like two steel rods sinking deeper and deeper.

She struggled to hold her breath but her lungs ached for more air.  She was not sure if she had closed her eyes or that she had blacked out because she could only see darkness in front of her.  She could only feel the current, the water beating against her body, tossing her about like a toy.

Then, she felt someone grabbed her wrist.  She thought she heard her name.  Yes, it was a voice but it was very faint.  She wanted to answer but could not respond.  It felt like the time she was calling someone in her dream but the person did not hear her and she kept calling and calling, like the voice kept calling and calling for her.

Soon, someone was beside her and gave her a push.  The waves tried to stop her from reaching the surface but the push was strong enough to overcome the obstacles. 

Air!  She gasped hard and choked.  Her head was out of the water and the cold wind stung her face.

She saw Peter swimming up towards her.  She tried to smile at him.  For a moment, he was by her side and she reached out to touch him but a wave separated them.  She lost sight of him and both submerged into the water again.  Another wave brought her up.  She screamed for him when she could not see Peter. 

Then she saw him struggling to keep himself above the water at the exact spot where she was pulled down by the water earlier. 

“No,” she screamed, as she tried to swim towards him.  She saw him go down.

She screamed again and drank some water as waves hit her face.  Another one covered the sky above her and pushed her further away from Peter.  Weakly, she tried to swim towards him again as he struggled against the waves.  He started sinking again.

“Peter,” her heart called out to him, “wait for me.  Wait for me! Wait for me!”  She blacked out and sank.

Sitting in her rocking chair looking out towards the ocean, she remembered waking up on the beach and someone was pumping her chest to get her breathing again.  Tears streamed down her face then, and now, when she realised Peter was gone.  The water was supposed to be calm that day.  What went wrong?

Every fifteenth of the month, the day Peter lost his battle with the waves, she would sit in her rocking chair to watch the ocean that took him.  Each time she expected to see waves as hugh as those that separated them but each time the ocean was as calm as a cat stalking a bird. 

Peter did not wait for her then but she knows that one day she will join him.  Hopefully, that one day is soon.  “Wait for me, Peter,” she whisper, “wait for me.”

search engine fiction

Posted by: Autumn | July 31, 2008

You left me standing in the rain

I have this love-hate relationship with the rain. 

I love the melancholy yet peaceful sentiments I get from hearing the rain and watching it splatter here and there, on the sidewalks, on cars, against windows of houses waiting to be doused. 

I hate it when the rain brings a storm.  It can become so violent that it wracks my house’s alarm and disrupts the electricity supply.  I will have to sit sweating in the dark, without television, computer or air-conditioning, listening to the thunder pounding in my heart as my eyes get slashed with flits of lightning.

It wasn’t raining when I got the call.  In fact, it was a quiet night as I sat in front of my computer.  The only light in the room was from the screen of the monitor.  My mobile beeped and a stranger sent me some messages.  As if on cue, some dogs started barking a few houses away.  She told me she knows who I am and quoted a few things to prove her knowledge.  She proceeded to tell me who she is.  I read disbelievingly but my heart was starting to crack; I tried to call her bluff.  I told her I know who she is, someone staying near my house, someone who knows where I stay and what car I drive, someone playing a prank on me.  I told her I can hear the dogs barking.  But I know she was miles away, with him.

I forwarded the messages to him.  It was late so I did not expect a reply.  I did not sleep well that night although it was not raining and no sound of thunder disturbed my sleep.  Even before dawn, my feelings told me this was real, however improbable it might seem. 

The next morning as I was driving to work, I called him.  He said he did get the messages and was going to call me later.  I asked him if the messages were true.  He said yes he did sleep with her but only once so not all the things she said were truthful.  His admission was all I needed to believe what I should believe.  My intuition would tell me who was telling the truth and what was the truth.

It rained on and off the next few days, the next few weeks and the next few months.  It rained even harder when my mind had to turn away from him to focus on more important things happening in my life then.  My mother was seriously ill and passed away shortly after.  The rain helped wash away some remnants of him as I tried to save my mother’s.

“You left me standing in the rain”, echoed in my mind then, and sometimes now.

I hate being soaked in the rain but like to open my arms to embrace all the droplets.  I like to feel the beating of each drop of rain on my flesh despite the pain.  I like to smell the freshness of the air after rainfall.  I feel refreshed.  It’s strange, this love-hate relationship I keep with the rain. 

“Really,” I whispered as I wiped my face, “you left me standing in the rain.”


Posted by: Autumn | July 1, 2008

Family Superstitions

 Slice of Life Sunday – Week 15

The Chinese have many superstitions, so many that they can fill up a whole book.  But what I can write here is a molehill not a mountain.  Most of what I can recall at the moment are those that my mother used to influence belief in her children, generally out of love for their well being. 

Particularly striking are the dos and don’ts during the lunar new year (Chinese New Year).  We were not allowed to wear black during the first fifteen days because black is a mourning colour.  Actually, most dark colours such as dark blue or green would be avoided.  We had to wear bright coloured clothings instead.  Red is especially encouraged because it’s the colour of luck.

We were also not allowed to sweep the floor on the first day of Chinese New Year as we would be sweeping away good luck.  In fact, brooms were hidden from sight.  I remember thinking that the reason for this was probably just so no one accidentally grab the broom and do some sweeping, and not because a witch would come upon the house.   On the second day, the broom was brought out and sweeping begun from the front of the house to the back, to sweep in good luck. 

Anything to do with the dead was taboo to my mother.  She would not attend a funeral or go to anyone’s house whose family was in mourning.  The normal mourning period is usually 100 days.

Well, my mother is no longer around to see what her children are doing these days but we still follow the “good” superstitions such as wearing bright colours during the new year.  Prehaps, it’s more out of respect for her wishes rather than believing in the superstition ourselves, and just in case she’s watching us from somewhere.