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Archive for the ‘Flash Fiction’ Category

I own an elephant since I was in highschool. It is big and disturbing. Sometimes I walk it in school, inside the classroom, inside the library, with my friends, with my family, with strangers but mostly I don’t. I always have to remind myself how big and disturbing it is.

I received the elephant on a car accident. It was raining and so I hardly saw the road. Before I knew it, I was running towards a car. I was badly injured. My left leg was almost ripped into half, all my fingers was gnarled, my broken ribcage implied I could no longer swim, my throat screamed its last scream. And the elephant, as a gift from the offender, would remind me of that dreadful accident. My parents were the least thankful.

Since the accident, my life changed dramatically. When somebody saw the elephant, they too would be reminded of that accident and gave me a pity look together with a reassuring smile. My family exempted me from any exhausting chores. Gone are the days of lifting the garbage bin or carrying the pale of water. The school gave me a special treatment. Its either I will be the first person to get the freshly cooked lunch or the last person to pass a test paper. One would think that was a blessing in disguise. The one, however, is not the injured. For the injured, the blessing can’t still compensate for the pain.

Today, I am walking my elephant. It would be odd in particular days but today is not a particular one. I will be having a presentation of my thesis for the next hour. I can’t talk without the elephant, I became dependent on it. It is worsed than a trauma, this phenemenon is untreatable. Unless, of course, if the heavens go crazy, then I’ll utter my dying wish.

When I enter the classroom, all is in place. My teacher, my technical devices and my classmates. I walk towards the center of the classroom as soon as my name is called. I flip through my note cards and begin my presentation. It is after fifteen minutes when I heard one of my classmates rustling over the back of the classroom and mimicking my voice. I am quite grateful for it. Usually, it takes them only three minutes before they start mocking me. At least now, I made my premise. My teacher didn’t flinch. As usual, he is showing his professionalism, just doing nothing. When my presentation is finish and after some phony bows, I immediately walk out from the classroom. I can’t bear the view anymore.

The scenery always happens when I’m with my elephant. One would have thought that I had gotten over it and people would have been tired teasing me. However, the one hasn’t realized how piercing every smirks and laughs I received. This kind of pain didn’t diminish over time.

There is, however, another reason why I am with my elephant. My book club is having a discussion about “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold and I am tasked to be a discussion leader. I review again my note cards and begin the discussion. I start with the objective questions working up to the intimate ones. They all listen intently to my words, as if missing one word would deprive them of a valuable information. All participated in the discussion, which I am happy for. When the discussion is over, almost all of the members pat my back and praise for the good work and worthwhile session. I smile and return back the favor.

My classmates loath my elephant but my book club appreciates it. That explains the old adage of “you can’t please everybody”. I’m just glad that there is somebody who appreciates elephants, my elephant.

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Our church is undergoing renovation and we need fund for the construction. Thus, the committee decided to hold an acrobatic show. That’s how I find myself sitting here on a plastic chair beside the walls of a gymnasium. I think I arrived just in time. The ticket says 7:30pm but it’s already eight and I’m not seeing any action. I drum my fingers out from boredom for the next one hour.

My first saliva is about to drop when the show finally started. I wipe it from the back of my hand and rub it in my pants. I know I doze off but I don’t want anyone having evidence. There is a cranky music and all the performers run through the center stage, each of them bowing as their names are mentioned. I am tempted to cover my ears, the music banging my ear drum like a stand-alone cymbal without a pattern of rhythm.

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One night I and my brother couldn’t sleep. It was already late at night but our eyes were wide open. We already tried different sleeping positions but still we ended up awake. Actually more awake. By the time the clock hit twelve, our stomach was already grumbling. We decided to eat but we considered two things. First our parents would be mad if they hear us lurking early at night and second our door creaks so loud that not only our parents could hear it but also our neighbours. If there was a candidate for best noise pollution, our door would win. It was a dead-end plan. Its either we could eat food and feel guilty that we did what we know was wrong, and that includes a series of scolding. Or we can have all consequences and can’t have a food at all.

I thought hard. Really hard. By the time the clock hits one, I had my decision. I will pretend to have a sickness and cough so hard. To be able for it to be realistic, I will open the door immediately and rush to the kitchen fast. My little brother will then follow me pretending he is concern. My parents may punish us but we have a perfect excuse. Perfect indeed.

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Every Saturday is market day and people are busy. As I was approaching, I saw many people in commotion. I figured they were in negotiation, they always were. But before that I saw a man, an old man. I used to know him back then in a tailoring shop. His figure hasn’t change, I whispered to myself. He still wears a plaster on his face. I once heard that his nose was wiped clean and so he had to cover it to prevent repugnance. His hands were gnarled. Even though I am at a distance, I clearly saw his wrinkled and loose skin. I can’t see his eyes I figured his eyelids were too heavy for him to lift. He had lesser hair than I last saw him. I guess he was going bald. He had no shoes but he wore socks. I guess it was better than nothing.

He was walking with the aid of metal for his support. I figured he was practicing. For every three step he took, he lifted the Zimmer frame and he stepped again for three times. As I look on his face, there was no smile. It only showed remorse. I paused and sat on my knees and said a short prayer.

I hope Lord that before the aged dies they may find contentment for their lives.

Then, I continued to walk. The people in the market were diminishing since it was already sunset. But still there were many people, as far as my fingers were concerned. There were fruits, vegetables and used clothes. After a bit of sightseeing, I was disappointed. I was hoping I could buy something to bring with me home. I decided to go home but taking a different route.

I was kicking rocks, slightly hoping I could get an award for doing it. But before I got the award, I saw a lady. She was in her forties. I remembered her back then because she sold different kinds of kakanin on our school when I was a little kid. She was wearing a long skirt and slightly tattered yellow kamiseta. She had her goods hanged in her right elbow while holding an umbrella. She laid the umbrella on her shoulder like a marching musketeer. Her left hand waved in the air, calling for costumers. I paused and stood on my ground. I bowed and prayed.

I hope Lord that you give success on the efforts of the people who have worked hard.

But this time, I didn’t just walked away. I ran towards her and decided to help her.

“Is there” I asked, panting, “any left?”

She smiled and answered, “Yes, there is”.

“How many,” I inquired while bending over my knees, catching my breath.

She opened the basket and mouthed numbers while counting. She finally said, “Three”

“I’ll take it.” I handed the money. As I received the goods, it felt good, like receiving an award, an outstanding award.

On the curb I saw some teenagers. They had grown up. Last time I saw them they were playing in dirt and chasing butterflies.  They were even taller than me now. I glanced on my left and I saw a boy. He was short haired, tanned brown and skinny. He had pimples. I remembered this boy. Then I said I prayer.

I hope Lord I’ll stay the same and if by chance I do change please make it for the better.

Then I walked home.

 

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The Cat

As I poke through my sheets, I figured I woke up too early. Anyhow, I willed myself to get up and prepare myself for a coffee. It took me awhile to walk properly, as if this was my first time walking. The kitchen isn’t too far. I tried to convince myself. The room was dark. It was silent silent. Silent enough to hear my own breath. I wasn’t afraid since I don’t believe in ghosts; I don’t watch horror movies or read horror novels, so there was not any scene in my mind that materialized. I was more excited than afraid. As I walked closer, I noticed the kitchenwares were all in the floor, with matching scraped bones. That was the time when my excitement melted; my fear was raised a hundred degrees.

Where is the knife, the knife. I panicked. I never accepted the fact that someone could get inside. I had a full proof security. I have barricaded my walls on the boundary with raz0r-sharp bottles. I am a good man. How could someone attempt to infiltrate my house? But I set aside the argument. I decided how should I dodge any gestures of stabs. I walked closer to light were the plates rested. I brought nothing, it seems I can’t hold anything when my hands were shaking. Then the shadow appeared on my side, eating gingerly on my last night’s meal. I walked but this time at ease and bended my back, so I could hide myself from the furnitures.

Only three more steps then I could see this man. Three more then I will know who dares to infiltrates my inner sanctum. I can hear him now another sound, apart from my breath, his teeth. I have reached the edge of the table and I know this is it. My heart pumped like it was gonna puke blood. I can now hear my heartbeat, louder than my breath, louder than his teeth. I walked one more step, this time it took me more time. I faced the felon, then I heard a meow.

 

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