Short Story | Fiction

The Broken Tree

“Mama, look— that tree is broken!” Eileen cried out, her innocent face lit in alarm. Dana smiled at her daughter. “No, it’s okay. Look: it still has leaves, so it’s still alive.”

“But trees are supposed to stand tall and strong!” Continue reading

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Short Story | Fiction

It Just Grows (On You)

David never understood plants. He liked flowers. He liked fruits. He liked trees and shrubs. But no matter how much he tried, they all died.

Some people kept a graveyard for beloved family pets on their backyard. David had his private cemetery of shame for his failed botanical attempts. It was there that Lily found him that afternoon; she was just one of those neighborhood kids, who just happened to visit Kristine the next-door-girl (literally), and chanced upon him burying his next victim from the kingdom of Flora as she happened to look out the neighbor’s window.

“Was that a pet?”

“No, just another flower.”

“Oh.” Continue reading

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Short Story | Fiction

Patience Doesn’t Count

It’s almost 4:00AM again. I still can’t sleep.

I checked my mobile notifications for the umpteenth time, hoping that somehow, your name would be there somewhere. Your name that hasn’t shown up for quite a while, except in random conversations with friends, when I’m lost in thought and my heart takes over, when I wake up crying from a vague dream that I knew was about you.

When will I see you again? Will we ever talk again?  Continue reading

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Short Story | Fiction

The Tribe of the Forgotten

The night was empty. Not a wind, not a chill; pale crescent glow bullied by greedy clouds— they’ve devoured even the twinkling lights both manmade and divine. These days, a curse seemed to have encroached on me, a lich draining all the joys that was supposed to be mine on evenings like this.

I watched the shadows lazily stretch and dance with each passing vehicle, headlights attacking me as I strolled the dark street. I just wanted to go home, take a bath, eat something cheap, and soak on the artificial happiness that is falsely promised by modern technology.

Something caught my attention as I approached the street corner. Whether it was intuition, or simply resonance, I glanced. I knew it before it made itself known: a kitten, weakly jumping out in innocent hope that I was kind, or kind enough. I wondered about that myself, wondered why I find more humanity in empathizing with a stray animal than noticing the filthy creature that was supposed to be human huddled among the pile of trash and junk.

I passed by without a word, without another glance.

The night was empty, and so was I. Continue reading

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Short Story | Fiction

When The Last Color Fades

“What color are you today?” our group leader, Greg, asked.

“Red, ‘coz I’m annoyed at someone,” Jessica started.

“I feel fresh and excited— so, I’m green!” Danica offered.

“I’m going for… violet. Or indigo. Because I’m bruised and hurting. Haha!” Jeremy shyly said. Danica patted him playfully on the shoulder.

I looked around at the room, unsure what to say. Afraid of what to reveal.

“Blue.”

“Blue?” Greg asked.

“Yeah.”

Silence. They prodded me with their coaxing looks. I sighed.

“Blue. Because… I like blue.”

Danica was about to protest, but Greg’s glance shut her up. Jessica looked irritated, as if cheated. And Jeremy— well, I just wanted to tell him No, we’re not the same. I’m not going emo or something. Go away.

The session ended, and I hurriedly went out of the room. The sky was clear. It was a beautiful day, with only wisps of cirrus clouds chasing each other above. I closed my eyes, feeling the warm sunlight permeating through my skin, and breathed the slightly-polluted city air.

And I thought to myself, I’m tired of blue.

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"Of Similarity, Symmetry and Sameness" Photo by: Jasmine Lei Robarios
Short Story | Fiction

Of Similarity, Symmetry, and Sameness

“We’d end up just hurting each other again.”

I cringed at her pointed words, not because of how unfair her insinuation was, but for why I knew how true it is.

How many times have I had this conversation: with her, with other people?

How many times has anyone, everyone, gone through this scene again?

“I know. But I love you just the same. I’d love you still anyway.”

She broke into tears. Just like before. But unlike before. Because I’ve seen her cry when she was sad. I’ve seen her cry when she was frustrated. I’ve seen her cry when she was angry. And I’ve seen her cry when she was so unbearably happy.

And I cried as well, because I didn’t know why she was. Continue reading

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"Even Mountains Learn To Cry" by Ron Patrocinio
Short Story | Fiction

Even Mountains Learn To Cry

The majestic roar of water, endless gallons of water carving through the land, filled the rocky ravine where we stood, blasted by the forceful mist produced by the incessant rage of the thundering falls.

“Where does all this water come from?” the child asked, as we carefully followed the guide. The big rock formations were slippery. I was clumsy. I watched over the kid, worried that he might fall or something. But I envied his youth: carefree, only concerned with getting from here to there, fear of injuries outweighed by the power of curiosity. And here I am, too concerned making sure I get home without a bandage or a crutch.

“From up there.” I grumpily said.

“But how did it get up there?” the child insisted.

“Geo physics.” I replied, hoping that would shut him up.

“How does giyo… geo six… bring the water up there?” he pointed upwards. The top of the falls was like a perpetual crashing of waves— except it never ebbed, never rested, never relented from pounding the world beneath it.

I sighed. “The water itself comes from the heart of the mountain; or rather, from underneath it. The pressure from underground continually pushes it upwards.”

The child was silent for a moment. Thank God. I quickly tried to catch my breath. I needed to go to the gym more often. Then, he asked again, “A mountain has a heart?”

This time, I paused. And with a grin, I replied: “Yup. And waterfalls are created because they can’t stop crying.”

He stared at me with innocent, curious, confused eyes.

“Liar.”

I laughed, and tickled him. He giggled, then we continued walking on the muddy path.

* * *

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