Week #50: The Antique Perfume Bottle

There it is. Gathering dust. Looking more and more antique as the days pass. There was a time I frequently brought it out, let the fragrance arise together with incense to the Throneroom. Now, I rarely bring it out. In corporate or big celebrations, perhaps. But regularly? No, it feels to painful to do so. Maybe because it’s too spent out. Maybe because I’ve grown too accustomed to the smell. Maybe because —

I’ve too many excuses. I should get it out. Fill up the vial once again. Fill it with my tears and my cries. Wipe the dust off with my hair. And let the fragrance arise.

Once again.


* * *

And so ends the 50-week-though-not-really-50-week Writing Challenge. How should I push myself in writing this 2015, I wonder? Well, one thing I am sure of – it is going to be a wonderful writing year. ;)


Weeks #48&49: A Mystery

“He was unconscious when I found him.”

“Huh? Come again?”

“Oh, sorry. There’s a piece of paper stuck in the drawer. I was just reading it out.”

“‘He was unconscious when I found him,’ huh. Go on. It sounds intriguing. Like something out of a mystery novel.”

“Actually, it does look like it’s part of one. Look. It’s a draft. A page from a manuscript, maybe.”

“Let me see. Ahh, yes. The strikeouts. The proofreader marks. That one’s a draft, alright.”

“Do you think it ever got published?”

“Who knows?”

“So maybe the person who owned these drawers was an author.”

“That’s one possibility.”

“How exciting! Hey, do you think we can track him or her down?”

“Hold it there. Don’t get carried away or else we might be the ones stuck in the mystery.”

“Hmmm. Maybe I should start writing my own draft, too.”

“Now that’s a thought to ponder.”


Weeks #46&47: The Portal

He hadn’t seen anything like it in his 20 years of teaching. The class inventor had outdone himself again. With his exceptional knowledge of time and space continuum, the student had managed to create a time travelling medium. One simply had to sprinkle a special solution on a printed photograph. The photo acted as a portal – anyone could transport to the time and date the photo was taken, but the person could only stay for 30 minutes in that point of history.

His sister wanted to try the time portal out. “There’s someone I wish to spend 30 minutes with,” she explained.

“Pacifico said it’s still in its testing stages, sis.”

“Pacifico is a genius. I know the thing works.”

They sprinkled the boy’s solution over a photo she printed from files she kept in her old Nokia N73. “Are you ready?”


Pale laboratory walls vanished and the girl found herself surrounded by rose bushes and butterflies. The air was cool, just as it was in the north. She was exactly where the photograph was taken. At a garden in Cameron Highlands.

There she was. Stuck in a pose, smiling. The woman was wearing sunglasses. She wouldn’t know if the smile ever reached her eyes. “Teh?”

“Oh hey! Are you enjoying the trip so far?”

“Yeah. I’m taking lots of pictures.”

“Take some more! Here, I’ll take one of you.”

She wanted to tell her so many things but she just stood there and smiled at her mentor. Gosh, she missed here.

“Take a photo of me eating the grass!”

“What??? If you say so, teh.”

30 minutes. That’s all she had. It was a good five years between the present and the date in that photo. She decided to just live in it and not make any changes, lest the fluttering of the butterfly wings bring great storms in the years ahead.

“Sis, are you okay?”

It was over. The teacher looked at his sister and saw that the corners of her eyes were more than a little moist.

“I’m okay. Tell Pacifico I said ‘thanks'”.


Weeks #44&45: Four Times a Matchmaker

LTTF Elevator. Capacity: 10 people. Current occupants: 9. One hipster joe in a flannel tee, two newbie corporate janes, one big shot ceo on his cell, a shy wallflower blending in with the elevator walls, two hunky swimmers fresh from a chlorine bath, a petite lady fiddling with her iPhone 6, and me, the resident lady in black. There’s space for one more, but the swimmers’ gym bags keep anyone else from squeezing in.

The elevator goes down. Down. Down. And down. From level 143 to the lower ground floor. No one presses any other buttons in between.

Level 127. Hipster Joe and Corporate Jane 1 seem to be making eyes at each other. Hmm. Interesting. What happens if I give the two a little nudge?

Level 101. Corporate Jane 2 seems bummed that her bestie has left her for some man. She tries to discreetly glance around. Aha. Swimmer Dude 1. He looks interested. A slight push, maybe?

Level 83. Mr. CEO has finally let go of his phone. Ms. iPhone 6 has used up all her batteries. Good. Disconnect to connect, they say.

Level 59. Swimmer Dude 2 has been sneaking glances at Ms. Wallflower for quite some time. There’s a word for that in my language. Torpe. Come on, bro. Just talk to her already.

Level 40. 31. 25. Ahh, love is in the air. The pairs are making small talk inside the claustrophobia-inducing space. I hope you get each others’ numbers. We’ll reach LG soon.

The door finally opens. The couples throw furtive smiles at one another. I hustle, pushing my way out. There he is.

“Hey, love. Guess what happened just now? I was four times a matchmaker. Pretty cool, huh?”

He gives me a peck on the cheek and adds in a wink. “Pretty cool.”