Lotus

Denise’s Six Sentence Story word prompt – Detour

“The Lotus Award goes to Sage Holmes, CEO of the Detour House Women’s foundation.” Her eyes well up in a room full of standing ovation. She is wearing a white dress to receive this life time contribution award among a group of passionate servants who are just like her, spend their lives tirelessly fighting for women’s safety and providing a roof over their heads.

Thirty three years ago, she was one of those women, without a voice, drug addicted and worked in a brothel where she hardly saw any sunlight. There was this Salvation Army woman, chubby and always brought freshly baked cookies to have a cup of tea and a chat with the girls. Her smile was bright and her hugs were warm; she was hope and their only connection to the normality of the outside world.

“I am grateful for this acknowledgement, and I owe it to that Salvation Army woman who baked us cookies and always reminded us by saying ‘ God made you girls like Lotus, living in mud but as pure as snow.’ Thank you!”

Hindrance

I heard that you had been back to visit the old town where we grew up and shared our first secret. It has been years since I counted the seasons the pear blossoms covered the laneway to our sweet youth. You always picked the snow white blossoms out of my hair, and I always searched your soul from your dark eyes. Time was a forever concept back then. We were never hurried to grow up while we glued to each other. The Southern biting cold was our excuse to be skin close and breath mingled. I still remember the sweet green apple taste in your mouth.

I haven’t been back for years, probably since the day of your wedding. All I remember was my world came to an end that day. I can’t remember how I managed to sweep up my broken heart and keep going, how I made it to the city, how I started to be a different version of me who is a stranger to me till this day. People say love hurts. Perhaps I didn’t experience the hurt because love died.

The train is coming in eleven minutes. I need to get on this train to make it to grandma’s funeral. For the first eighteen years of my life, grandma was my rock and my shelter. I failed to visit her all these twenty years, and missed the chance to say goodbye. For that, I hate you. I hate your careless decision and it rob me of the ability to keep loving. This hurts. It really hurts. It hurts so much that I have to step out of my own body to avoid the pain.

The clock on the platform is counting down. I see a grown woman sitting alone sobbing. Her face is contorted by grief or pain which I can’t differentiate. She looks so small and helpless. The door opens. I get on the train and sit by the window, keep watching her. Soon she is fading into only a smudge. I wonder what is stopping her to board this train, and why she is so sad.

Gone Too Soon

It’s a sunny morning! April realised when she stepped out the door for her usual morning walk down the bakery for coffee and cornetto. She dropped her rain jacket by the door and launched herself into the warm glow.

After her routine walk, she decided to venture further to the local nursery, maybe, to get a little plant, or just to inhale the prime of spring. Once she entered the nursery, she hesitated. It was busier than she imagined in such early hour of the day. She suddenly grew self conscious over her unwashed face, messy bed hair, and without underwears beneath the white t-shirt and grey lounge pants. She folded her arms across her breasts to create some safety.

Soon she was distracted by the multi colour tulips and grape hyacinths. She reached out her hand to touch the ferns and manoeuvered the pot to read the label – Northern Lady Fern. Right at that moment, her fingers felt the moist and warmth which drew her to an innocent chocolate face of a puppy. Her heart melted instantly and she lowered herself to the level of this delicious ball of cuteness. “Hey, little one! What’s your name? Awwww…you know you are cute, don’t you?”

“Honey!” A magnetic voice startled her. She followed the voice and looked up, there stood a man in tan cargo pants and a navy polo shirt. He was wearing a grin decorated with scruffy beard, just passed the threshold of the five o’clock shadow. Immediately she was embarrassed imagining how he would see her – squatting down in a mess next to the puppy and could not take her hand away from its affection. “Her name is Honey.” He must have seen the complex expression on her face, so gone on to clarify. “And she has your eyes…honey brown.”

“Oh, ok.” She got up avoiding eye contact with him, walked almost in a fleeting speed to hide herself in the tall palms and citrus trees. She felt so bad that she ‘abandoned’ the cutest puppy, but she felt even worst about keeping that interaction going in her indecent outfit.

It had been ages, she finally felt safe to slowly move out from the tall plants toward the nursery exit. Just when she eased up her nerves and started to breathe more steadily. That nerve wrecking voice came out of nowhere, “April’s gone too soon.” He stood in front of her like a pine tree, with the puppy sitting obediently next to him on a leash. “What?” That’s all she could manage to mutter. ‘How does he know my name?’ She was puzzled. “Ahhh…I said April has gone too soon. It’s first of May today already. See, the citrus trees have grown a lot…” His magnetic voice trailed her all the way through the exit door.

‘Don’t look back April, it’s been a cluster of embarrassment. Mother, you are right again. Never go out without dressing appropriately because you’ll never know who you’ll meet.’

On My Mind

I long to be far away with my thoughts on a long stretched highway between tall pines breaking apart into yellow and ultramarine blue in my mind’s eye. I appreciate beauty in its primary form. I don’t ever feel that I fall short of my own shadow when light is all there is to tell a different story.

I didn’t want to let go of my father’s old Ford Thunderbird, because I still get excited about each time my long scarf flies through the sunroof, the accidental freedom, the sensation of unexpected wonder, and the unbidden joy.

I’d like to hold on to these long drives all the way to the top of the lookout, where your name always echoes deep in the Blue Mountains. The pine needles snow down in yellow and ultramarine blue flakes. When they land on the bottom of the mountain range, sometimes they pool into tranquil green, and sometimes sorrowful hazel.

An Old Friend

A six sentence story prompt – Term Hosted by Girlie on the Edge


An old friend came to haunt me last night in my restlessness.
He laughed that sarcastic laugh and his words pierced my facade “You are not happy, aren’t you? Even you have the world, you are still unhappy. You are incapable of being happy.”

It’s true my friend. I have come to terms with it. I am just a miserable woman who can’t seem to be content and satisfied with what she has.

There was once a door I kept open to let the liar and accuser in, he became an old friend who is unwilling to leave without destruction, and I have been accustomed to that friendship.

Share A Story

I have read Benjamin’s recent post of sharing a video of his ducks. Link here for the post and video.

I want to share my story of a duck experience. A little bit of background may help. I grew up in southern China. I spent summer and winter school holidays at my grandpa’s farm where they had chickens and geese. And my experience with them were positive.

Now I live in the state of New South Wales in Australia. We have ducks here.

Well, I went into a golf course nearby to snap a photo to send to my grandmother in the nursing home in China. I was not a member of the golf club, the only way to get in was to pretend to making enquiry of joining. So I did that. I took the below photo after I walked out of the enquiry office and got to one of the greens which was empty. I tried to snap a few photos and select the best one to send to my grandma. Then I spotted the ducks, I thought they would make an excellent background. There I tried to fit them into the photos.

The next thing I knew was that they were chasing me and trying to drive me off the green. At the very moment, I also heard a man announcing from the overhead speaker “Visitor in the checkered shirt please make your way off the green immediately!”

I look quite relaxing in the photo which is a proof that I am often cool calm and collected in stressful situations. 😀

Cassa at Asquith Golf Course being chased by ducks

Books

Denise’s six Sentence Story word prompt – Book

Books is a safe place to hide. The avalanches of emotions expressed in everybody’s but my story.

I got the whole world in my reading room. It is vast enough, so I burn my suitcase into ashes. Who cares if I don’t set foot out of this door again.

Books hold me hostage to the freedom I always hope to find in them.

Alive

This is written based on the Living Poetry Music prompt

She was numb and dead inside. The forced rest in the asylum hadn’t helped. Although with sedatives, the night terrors stopped, but she increasingly disassociated with her surroundings. The most frightening was that she couldn’t feel the warmth of the sun.

In a night like any other night, she was woken up by an owl. She responded to the owl’s calling, escaped the night guard’s watch. In her night gown and bare foot, she followed the line of the tall pencil pines, passed the mossy garden door. It was in late autumn, but she felt no cold.

When she was deep into the bush, the moon was high and bright, but the lake was dark and dead. She saw the owl on the tree branch watching her. The owl made another call. This time, she followed the sound and looked over to the lake again. She saw flecks of silver, then a fish jumping high above the water, then a few fish followed.

Her heart leaped and started thumping. She turned to the owl and it was gone. Instead, there were two possums chasing each other on the branch, the tree leaves, making rattling sounds. She laid on the ground covered with dry leaves, they crackled like popcorn.

She heard the earth breathing steadily underneath her. She kept watching the possums and smiled at the moon every now and then. She hadn’t felt so alive for a very long time.

Falling Apart

Six Sentence Story word prompt – Rambunctious


Their ten year old boy is dying of leukaemia. He is looking sick and pale.

They decided to put aside their differences and take him to sunny Noosa for a family holiday. It is a huge commitment because they have been living complete separate lives since their divorce five years ago.

The weather has been lovely until they arrive at the beach villa where overlooking the stormy ocean. Not sure if it’s the exhausting long drive and emotions, or the contrast between the rambunctious waves and their departing child, they broke down and sob uncontrollably, together.

Tiger Lily

a short story by Cassa and Joe, language contributor Carlos

The humid Colombia heat wakes her up from the drug induced slumber. Her sundress is lifted by the Caribbean Sea breeze, revealing her bronzed legs.

Drifting higher, the breeze exposes bruises, signs of the kind of “love” she receives from the one who keeps her there. But she has become strong and hardened like clay in the hot sun. 

She calls out to her pet leopard, “véngase pa´acá mi parcerito, véngase conmigo”. It pounces on her playfully, causing her to let out a string of laughter like the wind chime. “vayámonos a nadar, ¿OK?”

She slips out of her dress and runs toward the sea with her best friend, the leopard named “Congo”. 

He frees up his hand from the cigar and claps watching his gorgeous, prized prey bouncing off towards the sea with her reward, Congo, for being such a good girl. He makes loads of connections with other drug lords simply by having her in his arms.

He can’t bear it any longer seeing her soft body in the ocean water. He makes his way down with that bullying grin on his face while unbuttoning his chino shorts. He can’t wait to pin her down in the salty water and make her submit to his authority.

She hates being his captive. But then again, he is the only love she ever knew since she was twelve. Even the first to take her flower which is why he named her Tiger Lily, after his favourite flower, exotic and wild. She will happily be his until her youth runs out, if he doesn’t make her spend endless nights entertaining his business partners. Those monsters, they are into some sexual deviants that leave scars on her body and soul. 

Already strongly erect, and struts like a rooster approaching her. Once he reaches her, he grabs the back of her head and violently pushes her down to his crotch under the saltwater. The more she struggles to breath and fight back, the more his urge gets satisfied. In his twisted mind, he recalls her angelic face when he first laid eyes on her, her body was just starting to develop. Now, she is like a leech to him. He feeds her food, alcohol and drugs. She will do anything to keep herself fed and alive. He wants to think that she is a treasure because her divine body brings business to his kingdom. But the image of her being a sex slave in the orgy infuriates him. How could an angel become such a dirty slut? His anger wilts him instantly. He pulls her up and throws her into the sea as far as his rage allows. He spits into the water while he stumbles back to shore, hissing and cussing.

Tiger Lily feels a sense of great relief that he turns his back. She is so used to his violent outburst; she doesn’t think much of it. She knows how to keep herself alive. And now it is the perfect opportunity. She swims further out towards the rocks with Congo leading the way. They did many practice swims at night on this route, so without much effort, they arrived at a small shore just behind the rocks which is the only spot invisible to their surveillance. She rises from the sea like a mermaid, her skin is glistening. “mi bebé”, she throws herself to her lover’s broad chest and kisses him passionately. Congo is sitting next to the pair and keeping a watch. He reluctantly pulls her away and puts a t-shirt over her, then rushes them to jump on the speed boat. He accelerates to the highest speed disappearing into the island where they will board a cruise to Costa Rica. 

At nightfall, Tiger Lily, her lover and Congo arrive at the secluded bungalow he arranged for her escape. Excited and exhausted, he fixes some fresh meat for Congo so it settles on the deck overlooking San Andrés. Now he is all hers. She sits at the low end of the steps leading to the beach, chin to her knees tug underneath his oversized white t-shirt, her chestnut hair swept to the side. He walks over to her with a glass of chilled fresh coconut juice, kisses land gently on her burned skin where the t-shirt doesn’t cover. “siéntese conmigo mami” She links her arm with his and rests her head on his shoulder without another word. They hold such silence in absolute harmony until the stars blanket the sable sky. “vayámonos a descansar un poco mi hermosa sirena, estaremos en casa pronto.” He scoops her up in his strong arms and carries her back into the bungalow. She loops her arms around his neck and stares deep into his emerald eyes.”usted es mi consentido.”