What if Saturday: Fly on the Wall

Another day, another Saturday. I head over to my refrigerator, stick my head inside, and make a quick inventory. There are three eggs, an apple, a box of orange juice, two onions with their shoots already peeking out, and a Tupperware half-filled with last night’s dinner. None of them look particularly appetizing but I grab the Tupperware, feel for the orange juice box, and try to juggle the Fuji apple in with the lot anyway.

It’s going to be a boring day. I really don’t have anything to do. You can call me a bum, but the truth is, that’s exactly what I am.

I set my refrigerator finds on top of my plastic dining table, you know, the kind they use in cheap sidewalk eateries. I sit on a chair made of the same material. One day, I’m going to get myself a wooden dining set. One day. Maybe next year. Or within three or six months, if I’m lucky. I have to get a job first. Which reminds me. I have to check on the status of my online applications.

I start munching on my apple while I wait for my four-year-old laptop to come to life. The thing’s a dinosaur but it’s good enough. Its WiFi device can pick up Joe’s unsecure connection from across the hall. Well, his connection isn’t really unsecure, but his password is far too easy to guess — “muning-muning”, the name of his pet cat spelled out twice. He doesn’t know I know. But hey — the workaholic’s barely around the house so guess I’m doing him a favour by at least consuming part of his postpaid data plan.

Let’s see. Graphic Designer for Company X. Pending. Illustrator for Company Y. Pending. Advertiser for Company Z. Under consideration. Ugh. It’s been under consideration for a week now. When are they going to call me for an interview? I need a job, ASAP. These bills aren’t going to pay themselves, you know.

“Maybe you should apply for a job as a writer. Didn’t you minor in that field in your undergrad?”

Huh? Strange. I seem to be hearing voices. Not voices, actually, like there’s a whole lot of them. I’m just hearing one. I seem to be hearing a squeaky, high-pitched voice, the kind they use for mouse voiceovers in the movies. I take a swig of my oj and hit refresh.

“Try to show them some of your Writing 100 creative output. Or that article you did for the newspaper once. The one you had to make for your Journalism 200 project. Hey, you could try contacting that newsroom again! They might still remember you, you know.”

That squeaky voice again. I look around. Nobody’s in the room with me. Nobody, save for a fly who looks dreadful, perched on the white-painted wall like that. It looks like a piece of booger, disgusting and out of place.

The fly suddenly decides to change its location and zips over to my Tupperware. I try to shoo it away. It stays there and fixes its gaze upon me. As if a fly could fix its gaze upon me.

“I’m not going anywhere you know. You look really pathetic, hitting refresh like that. I think you’re just not applying for the right job. I heard from the other flies in Flyville that — excuse me for the term — you are actually a really fly writer.”

“Are you actually talking to me?”

“Yes I am, honey. I’m talking to you. Consider me to be your Fairy Fly Mother and take my advice. Apply for a writing job. You know you’re a shoo in. Why are you pushing yourself into those other positions anyway?”

“Because I’m an awful writer.”

“Well if you’re an awful writer, then you’re a terrible graphic designer.”

“Hey! You haven’t even seen my works!”

“Oh, I have, I have. Fine, you’re designing is not too shabby. But you’re writing is so much better.”

“You’ve read my writing?”

“I peek inside your journal when you’re asleep.”

“What?! That’s private!”

“Yep. And if that’s how you write privately, imagine how you would write publicly.”

This is so crazy. Am I actually talking to a fly? A fly who calls itself a Fairy Fly Mother? Come on. Is there even such a thing as a Fairy Fly Mother?

“I’m going insane.” I voice out.

“Take my advice hon. There’s an opening over there. See — see that one, job result number three. Okay, clicky-clicky. Alright. Now whip up a cover letter. And dig up a writing sample from your files. You can do it. You can do it.”

I give in. It’s crazy enough that a fly is talking to me. Perhaps it would be crazier still if I land a job as a writer — something I’m running away from. But it’s a job I’d secretly love to do, to tell you the truth.

“Alright, Fairy Fly Mother, if you say so.”

Cover letter. I rest my fingers on my laptop’s keypad and start typing away.

via https://mariscribbles.com/2013/01/25/new-project-10-what-ifs/

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What if Saturday: Waking Up

My back hurts. I don’t know why, but it does. Great. What a way to start a Saturday.

I have to go to work even though it’s a weekend. Yeah, yeah. Bully for me. Which is why I must —

Get.

Up.

Even though my back seems to be experiencing hell. Better hurry, Joe. Better get up and smell yesterday morning’s coffee.

Ugh. I hate leftover coffee. I should brew up a new batch. That might somehow save me from this Saturday morning misery.

I raise my arms above my head, extending them gingerly, feeling the strain in my back once more. This is going to be tough. I try to push myself out of my mess of a bed.

My hands graze across something soft and warm. Huh? Muning, my five-year-old ginger tabby, usually curls up beside me at night, but the strange object — or is it a being? — lacks the familiar matted fur.

“Mrrrrmmm.” It grunts. What the — ?!

I fall out of my bed, landing with a loud thud, causing the grunter’s head to shoot up in panic.

“What? Where — where am I?” Her voice is a bit warbled and her sleepy eyes begin scanning the room in confusion. She’s a strange sight. She is sprawled on top of my tangled comforter, looking as if she had just fallen there. Wearing a wrinkled navy dress suit, a silk pearl blouse, and bright red stilettos; I observe. Odd pajama choice. I sometimes sleep with my street clothes on, but at least I remember to take my shoes off.

“You’re in Wonderland,” I answer wryly. “What on earth are you doing in my bed?”

She arches a pencil-thin eyebrow. “Who are you?”

“That’s a very good question. One that I would like to ask you, too.”

She makes an attempt to get up. “I have to get out of here. Inay will kill me if she finds out I spent the night at some stranger’s house.”

“Hold up, hold up. Nothing happened between us, Missy. I woke up and you were there beside me, like you fell out of a hole in the sky or something. No, I didn’t mean it that way. I just meant that you came out of nowhere.”

“Are you absolutely certain?”

“By the tail of my pet tabby. Where’s that girl, anyway?”

The orange cat comes bounding in. “Right on cue,” the strange girl remarks.

“Listen, Miss. I really don’t have time to solve this mystery. Right now, I have to get to work.”

“And I have to get home.”

She starts asking directions to some subdivision I’ve never heard of. “Huh? I don’t even know where that is.”

“Nevermind, I’ll find it myself. It was nice meeting you, uh…”

“Joe. Go on. Door’s straight ahead.”

She scrambles out, taking a daisy patterned purse with her. Muning jumps onto my chest, and I realize I’m still lying on the floor. I start feeling the darts of pain shoot up and down my back muscles again. Oh yeah. My back hurts. And I’m in dire need of coffee.

Funny how that stranger made me forget those for a second or two.

via https://mariscribbles.com/2013/01/25/new-project-10-what-ifs/

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What if Saturday: Wonderland

I should have known that I’d be the person most likely to fall down a rabbit hole. As a kid I would give lollipops out to strangers. I would give some out to Aling Nida, the frazzled lady who sold kikiam and fishball a skip and a leap past my elementary school. I would tuck strawberry flavoured ones into the back pockets of Kuya Ernesto, the jovial guard who stood watch over our subdivision’s wide iron gates. And I would carefully place chocolate and grape flavoured ones into the rusty tin cans the grubby street urchins held out to our car windows whenever our vehicle passed by the busy Bonifacio Street.

Inay would always scold me. She would raise her voice to ask me why on earth I would waste such precious candy. I would smile at her, saying that it just seemed like the nice thing to do. Ate Ella, who was ten years older than me, would usually come to my defence, asking Inay to forgive me because I was simply born naive and unsuspecting.

I don’t really think of myself as naive and unsuspecting. But I figure that’s what I must be, being under the predicament that I’m in now.

You see, I have never lost my lollipop-giving habit. A mere four hours ago — well, I think it was four hours, I can never be really sure — I saw an eight-or-nine-year-old boy wearing freshly pressed maroon waistcoat and fluffy white bunny ears zipping across my office’s half-empty parking lot. I had two extra sweets packed inside my daisy-patterned purse so I decided to chase him, thinking that he might have a younger sister donning similar ears, assuming that he and she might want the pieces of candy, too.

He was an energetic kid. I’d say he was quick as a rabbit, but that might be redundant because it was as if he was already a rabbit anyway.

I lost track of him, though I did try my hardest to run in my wobbly stilettos. But as I was about to give up and head back to the parking lot, I spotted a blur of white and maroon from a distance. I broke back into a run.

The next thing I knew, one of my heels snapped and I found myself whirling down a dark, humid, seemingly endless hole.

via https://mariscribbles.com/2013/01/25/new-project-10-what-ifs/

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New Project: 10 What If’s

While the question “What-If” sometimes creates anxiety and paranoia, it can also be a source of thrill, and in the story making, plot idea. If your “What-If” question is strong enough, it can render you a plot proposal.

The Daily Somersault

So. 2013. We’re already one month in. I do believe it’s timely to take on a new writing challenge, wouldn’t you agree?

If you’ve been following this month’s entries, you’ll notice that I’m trying to stick to a more or less predictable pattern. Scripture Scribbles, Thoughts-slash-Impressions, Post A Week prompt replies, an occasional DP Challenge — hey, you could start tuning in to my entries the way you stay tuned to your favourite TV shows! I shall try to write as much as I can and will give you the assurance that you can expect those regular posts like a regular series. At least for a certain season.

While I am starting to love writing on end on a regular basis, there’s still a different sense of accomplishment when you take on and finish a semi-time-bound challenge. What I mean is, things are always different when you have a goal in mind. Because I can post, post, post, post in this blog forever but where’s the accomplishment in that?

I’m not sure if I’m making any sense. But it’s much more fun running in race with a finish line at the end than it is to run on a treadmill without end, right?

On that note, let me introduce you to this new project of mine: 10 What If’s. I started playing around with the idea after reading the blogpost (see blockquote above) by Miss Daily Somersault

It might even make a good short story anthology if you readers deem it worthy enough. ;)

Well, let’s do this. Here are my 10 What If’s:

  1. What if you, like Alice, fell down a rabbit hole?
  2. What if you woke up next to a complete stranger?
  3. What if the fly on the wall suddenly started talking to you?
  4. What if you turned into a coffee cup?
  5. What if the person you are engaged to suddenly found out that he/she was dying?
  6. What if you were given a chance to talk to a prostitute?
  7. What if you were able to revisit any moment in your childhood and live it out again?
  8. What if you found yourself married to the President of the Philippines?
  9. What if the Internet suddenly came to a complete shutdown?
  10. What if you fell down the rabbit hole, but had to come back up again?

Let’s see if we can answer them in the weeks to come.

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