Weekly Discover Challenge: Practice Makes Perfect

In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Discover Challenge: Opening Line.


It was the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last.

Liza wanted it to be perfect. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anyone to guide her so she had to rely on information gleaned from movies she watched and books she read. She hoped it would be enough.

She combed her fingers through her long black hair, making sure it hung straight down. If only she could check if the middle parting in her hair was straight. In the movies she watched, the girl’s hair always had a perfect middle parting and their hair hung all the way to their waist. The bottom of Liza’s hair ended mid-way down her back. The girls in the movies she watched also always wore white, she looked down at what she had on and thought that the nightdress was perfect – white and shapeless.

Liza thought that perhaps for her first time, she could make the experience intimate so she hid in the closet in the upstairs bedroom and waited.

She heard the front door creak open and steps going up the stairs. Anytime now, Liza thought to herself. She was beyond excited. The door to the bedroom opened and she could hear the occupant in the room open and close the dresser drawers. Just a while more. From the gap underneath the closet, she saw that the light on the nightstand was switched on. Perfect, she’d forgotten about the importance of lighting but this was how it should be. There shouldn’t be too much light, just enough to cast shadows. Liza heard the bed covers being thrown back and the sound of a body sliding in between the sheets. She counted down Three, Two, One…

Liza crawled out of the closet, making sure her nails scrapped on the floorboards. CREEAAAK…CREEAAKK…She let out a guttural moan and approached the bed. CREEAAAK…CREEAAKK…Liza smelled the fear emanating from the occupant in the bed. Cool, she thought. And when her head cleared the top of the bed, she made eye contact with the occupant and crawled towards the woman. Perfect, Liza thought, a woman’s easy. The woman screamed and started crying and tried to get away from Liza.

“GET AWAY! GET AWAY!” The woman shouted at her. “GET AWAY FROM ME!” Liza was quick though and held on to the woman’s ankles until the woman fainted dead away. It all took less than 2 minutes.

Huh, thought Liza, how anti-climatic. Liza let go of the woman’s ankles and made herself comfortable beside the woman. Maybe the second time around would be better but all in all, Liza thought that her first haunting went almost perfect!

Daily Prompt: Deprive

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Deprive


She was deprived of thoughtful gestures.

Whether it’s an umbrella over her head when she crossed the street during a rainy day. Or a reminder to get something to eat when she worked through lunch. Or even a book given to her because the giver thought that it would be her kind of read. She once had all these but like so many things in life, took them for granted and only when she didn’t have them, she missed them.

At a bookstore with a friend, she was browsing through the aisles, a cup of coffee in her hand. Her friend, Teddy, asked if she was looking for any particular book. “Oh, just a romance book. I saw it here the other day. It was on offer and I’m out of books to read,” she replied. She’d expected Teddy to cringe when she mentioned “romance books” or to lecture her about females always wanting to read books with half-naked men on the cover. Instead, he asked “Who’s the author?”  “Um…you wouldn’t have heard of the author, I’m sure,” but she told him anyway.

She dismissed that exchange and continued hunting for the elusive book. After minutes, which seemed like hours, of looking for the book and not finding it, she was ready to go home sans book. She looked around for Teddy, who seemed to have disappeared too.

She wandered through the aisles trying to guess which she’d find him in – science fiction, horror, biographies…She eventually found him in the last aisle she looked – the romance aisle.

“What are you doing here? Looking for a book for your wife?” She teased.

“Nope, I’m helping you look for your book. I can’t find that author you wanted but what about this one?” Teddy held up a book by another romance author that she occasionally read but her thoughts were no longer about the romance book.

Her eyes widened with pleasant surprise. A thoughtful gesture! A THOUGHTFUL GESTURE! She didn’t expect it of him. She didn’t expect any that day. “Let’s go,” she told him “I’m buying you a drink!”

For that one small moment, she no longer felt deprived. And oh, what a lustrous feeling it was.


Daily Prompt: Voyage

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Voyage


Source: http://www.nasa.gov

Her limbs ached slightly but her heart ached more. Wasn’t time supposed to heal all wounds? When she caught him in yet another lie after another lie, she said she never wanted to see him again. She looked down at the blue planet below. She’d slept for five long years in the hibernation pod in the spacecraft. Maybe she over-reacted.

Weekly Discover Challenge: Through the Broken Door

In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Discover Challenge: The Story Behind a Door

A weathered, blue-painted wooden door in Kolkata, India.
Source: http://www.brettcolephotography.com 

I stood in front of the door, if you could call it that. It was made from pieces of planks haphazardly joined together by shorter pieces of wood nailed across the planks.  The door was probably blue once but it’s more brown now. There are iron handles halfway down the door and it was one of these I reached towards. I was afraid. Afraid that the entire structure would fall down on my head so I rested my left hand against the other side of the door and swung the door inwards.

Beyond the door, was an unexpected sight. To my delight, this poor excuse of a door was protecting, of all things, a playground.

Joy overwhelmed me and I ran to the slides (it was green), ran up the steps, sat down on the top and pushed off. WHEEE! I shrieked as I slid towards the bottom. I landed with a thud then quickly got up and rushed towards the swing set (they were red). I fit my bottom into the seat and pushed off into the sky.  When I swung back to the ground, I got ready to push off even harder and swung up even higher. WHEEE! I was on the swings for at least 10 minutes and my legs were getting tired.  I slowed the swing down and jumped off so that I could run towards the seesaw (yellow!). Being on the seesaw by oneself was not easy but I did it somehow. I sat down and pushed up then the seesaw jolted downwards then I pushed up again. I got bored after a while, seesawing is more fun with two people.

Then I saw the trampoline (a bright blue! Maybe the door was this blue once?). I ran to it with all my might and scrambled onto the trampoline.  I’d never been on one and as I jumped, I contorted myself into shapes in the air I wouldn’t have been able to do on solid ground.  I’m a bird!  I’m a plane! I’m a ballerina!  I did somersaults and splits!

Then mid-air I looked at my watch and saw that it was 8.29am and scrambled off as unlady-like as I scrambled on and ran past the green slide, the red swings and the yellow see saw towards the wooden door made of multi-planks.  I put my left hand up to hold the door as my right held on to the handle, swinging it inwards.  I walked out onto the street, along the brick walls and went to work.

Daily Prompt: Aimless

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Aimless


Tonight, she sought refuge, solace, comfort. She ended up in the old neighbourhood where she used to go to school.

She laughed. Not a real laugh, the brittle kind, as if she didn’t know if she was supposed to moan, groan, growl, snarl. Her subconscious truly had a sense of humour. She had not been to this neighbourhood in at least 5 years, maybe 10, though she thought of it often. Every day. And now, the day after her birthday, she somehow drove herself to this place, no map, no GPS, her only guide, an internal compass seeking the place of beginnings.

Then, she realised that the hostel she used to live in was not where it was supposed to be. Frantic, she drove around and around, wondering if perhaps she was not where she thought she was. After several minutes of aimless driving, passing landmarks, or what were left of landmarks, she accepted that she was not wrong. The building in which she slept, laughed, cried, existed for those few years, was no longer there.

In her parked car barely a hundred metres away, she gazed at the empty lot that used to be a hostel converted from a car park, a hostel that housed hopeful, eager students. She imagined once that sometime in the future, she’d bring her children there to show them where their mother used to live, those heady days, filled with books, friends, loves, food. The lot was filled with grass and who knows what else.

She drove away then, still seeking refuge, solace, comfort. She mourned the building, the first building she’s ever mourned.

A Guest Post for Me in the Middle

Ms. Mary Lou of Me in the Middle posted an invitation for guest bloggers to share their life stories – a time in your life where you thought you’d never make it through and you did.  A witness of the strength that you never thought you had.  An Arrival to a place of enlightenment, contentment and gratitude.  A message of hope to others.

After ruminating on this for a bit, I finally wrote a piece and sent it to her. It’s up today on her awesome blog. This is me, sharing just a little bit of my life story 🙂