Hole in The Wall

This is a six sentence story using the word prompt: Shelter. It’s fun to write to Denise’s weekly prompt. If you are interested in participating, link is: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/87522/posts/3780967561

Tourists from all over the world come to this place to sightsee the old ruin and the ancient city as well as experience one of the richest cultures. The modern city is built on the wealth generated from the tourism and hospitality industries. This place never sleeps and is filled with alluring activities all year round.

He climbs over the old city gate with his makeshift sleeping bag and settles in a hole of his choice for the night in the old city wall. It doesn’t take long for him to drift off, feeling cosy in his shelter, with the celebratory music vibrating from the modern city through to the old city walls. He lives in the gap of the ancient ghosts and the modern slaves.

Storm Express

This is written as a Six Sentence Story based on Denise’s word prompt- Express

It was close to midnight. We decided to drive to the beach to experience the ocean under the moonlight.

We swam far and deep out of the ocean, exhilarated, shrieking with excitement between waves. The waves built bigger and stronger tossing us to a dangerous new high.

Then came the indigo storm, running towards us like an express train, forcing us to swim for our life. When it hit the shore in such great force, we were spat out like wreckage, exhausted and intertwined, looking like a cluster of seaweeds.

2021 Review in Blessings

January – the blessing of friends and friendship
Our friends, the Mafrici family were selling their family home to downsize. We got to spend the last New Year’s eve at their house. Our children had a ball in singing Karaoke and dancing. My son is quite a shy person, watching him sing and dance without being self conscious was such joy.

February – the blessing of work commute
Sydney opened up from the lockdown in February. We were able to return to work in the office environment 3 days a week and work from home 2 days a week. I enjoyed the long commute train ride to and from work where I did most of my blog post writing. Watching and observing people going about their daily life gave me a lot of writing material and inspiration.

March – the blessing of art
One of my clients is a painter artist. She invited me to an art exhibition for emerging artists where a painting of hers was on display. We got to spend time together to view and appreciate other artists’ work. I had learned a lot from the exhibition about the history and political background of each piece of art. I had never been a fan of politics or history until I understood them through art.

April – the blessing of diversity
We went to a 50th birthday party in Canberra. It was a South Pacific island style party. The children of the birthday man performed a traditional Samoan dance to honour their father. They wore colourful outfit and danced to exotic music which gave such a celebratory atmosphere.

May – the blessing of family
Autumn is my favourite season. I take a drive to Mount Wilson to see the autumn leaves every year. This year my family went with me. There was a storm damage on the road so part of the road was blocked and caused heavy traffic. We decided to quit the trip and turn around. But that didn’t ruin the day for us. We stopped by an orchard to get some figs and apples as well as visited a lookout to have a lovely family photo taken.

June – the blessing of fellowship
I have been in a women’s connect group for over ten years. We do a yearly women’s retreat. This year we went to St Benedict’s Monastery. Its serene surrounding gave us such peace and harmony with our creator. We did a labyrinth walk and shared our spiritual insights with each other by the fire. Our testimony encouraged and strengthened one another to keep living in victory .

July – the blessing of prayer
In late June, Sydney started its 2nd long lockdown due to the covid-19 case number spiked. We worked from home full time again. Only essential outings were allowed. I was able to stay connected via online platforms. I joined a few regular online prayer groups. One of them was our church morning devotion group at 8am for 15 minutes. I got to share our common love for Jesus with other brothers and sisters.
Another one of the prayer groups was the Global Harvest Monday prayer. Christians all over the world joined online to pray for our different country’s key events. We prayed about the Covid-19, the war, the government rulers, the election and more.
The most intimate prayer group was the three sister prayer group. One of us is in missionary work in Cambodia, so we gathered to pray for Australia and Cambodia as well as our personal needs.
All these three prayer groups helped me through the second lockdown. And I believe our prayer have changed the course of history.

August – the blessing of rain
We had above average rainfall in August which supported above average yield prospects in most eastern Australian growing regions.

September- the blessing of fathers
Australians celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday of September. Traditionally I treat my Dad to an authentic Cantonese cuisine to celebrate. This year we were in lockdown, so we ordered home delivery Cantonese food for dinner. I must admit he was equally happy.

October – the blessing of social media detox
In October, I deleted a few social media platforms to give myself more healthy head space. It worked wonders. In the process I had to sacrifice some really great contents like poetry and art accounts. However the benefit outweighed the loss overall.
Facebook
Instagram
Messenger
Twitter

November – the blessing of patience
Our apartment was flooded in March, but the repair didn’t start till late November. We lived between Airbnbs for 24 days until the repair was completed. We worked from home in the chaos of repairs all through that time because the low cost Airbnbs we slept in didn’t have Wifi or appropriate desk space. I also ‘fought’ my way through with real estate agent, strata manager and the owner. I applied politeness, passive aggression as well as outright aggressive threats. In the end the repair was done just in time for Christmas which was a relieve and of significance. So I thanked God for His gift of patience.

December – the blessing of Christ Jesus
It has been a very testing year. I am exhausted by the end of the race physically and mentally. All things happened and still happening are very big deals in ways of testing of faith. Nonetheless,they will never be any bigger deal than the birth of our saviour Christ Jesus. God so loved us and He gave us His beloved Son. If there is only one truth that matters in my life, this is it.

Banyan

The banyan trees watch generations like the gods in the temple. The incense and burnt offerings keep them worship worthy.

They take me back to my childhood when I followed my great grandmother into the temple and kneeled next to her. I mimicked her by bowing down. Our foreheads were touching the ground. I heard her pleading with the gods to take off twenty years of her own life and give it to my sick aunty. I cried. Silently, I asked the gods to be generous to give both my aunty and my great grandmother a long life.

I know my prayer was answered by God. My great grandmother lived to ninty-seven with very little health complaint. My aunty is in her sixties. The banyan trees were my witness.

God hears our desperate cry even in a temple filled with idols that he hates.

Different Sound

Six Sentence Story word prompt – Junk

The city became so unbearable, she finally moved to the suburb where greenery filled her eyes.
She woke up to some pleasing sound, different from the noise of the city traffic or people’s small talk. It’s the sound of competition and harmony interchanging among the trees.
She lit a cigarette but felt offensive to smoke it. She felt the same with takeaway meals.
Living only with the company of birds made her realise there were so much junk in her life that she better lived without.

Scars We Don’t See

Thank you to MasticadoresIndia for publishing one of my short stories Original post here

Morning ma’am what can I offer you today? I paused, you looked familiar. I recognised the scar across your forehead and the missing front tooth when you squeezed out a smile.

You don’t recognise me? Cindy! My name is Cindy. The Neighbourhood Centre found us a unit and I scrubbed up.

Oh Cin! O-M-G! I couldn’t recognise you. You… you look good Cin. It daunted on me that you were the homeless lady hung around my cafe with two kids, a boy and a girl.

Let me make you a coffee. What would you like? My shout to celebrate, you got a home now. That’s a big deal.

Oh no Patricia, thanks for the offer. I won’t take up your time. Just wanna see do you need a helper in the kitchen? Like unloading deliveries, washing dishes, taking the trash out? I, ah, I can’t do the front house duties cos my tooth… My kids are going to school now just around the corner. They can walk to school by themselves. I got free time to work, and I can do with some money to get some stuff for the unit.

Uhm, look Cin, I don’t really need any helper cos my older boy is doing the kitchen hand stuff. But he got into uni, it’s starting soon. How about you come in tomorrow at noon to do a work trial, and I’ll cut him a bit slack. I’m sure he’d be happy to hang out with his mates.

Oh, sure sure…thank you sooo much. I’ll be here before twelve tomorrow. You’re an angel Patricia. You cupped your hands to your face and almost shouting.

That’s alright Cin…and call me Trish. Patricia is just a bit troubling…you know, I laughed and winked.

Ok, ok Trish, boss lady! You chuckled with your hand covering your mouth to hide the missing tooth.

You came almost half an hour before midday in the same white shirt and black pants you wore yesterday. The cafe was quite busy with almost all tables needed clearing from the mid-morning rush. You had dived straight in taking empty plates, cups and cutleries to the kitchen and came back with an apron on to spray and wipe down the tables. You kept your head down avoiding eye contact with the customers leaving the cafe. You worked pretty swiftly, and I was thankful that you turned up early.

First day of work trial, you did good, only with a moment or two spacing out. I attributed it to that you had been out of work for a long time, it might take some time to readjust. I asked you to come back the next day but not promising a job. Being a small business owner and a single mother, I had learned to put my little family first and not making promises that I couldn’t keep.

That day was the third day of the work trial. In reality, I needed someone who can do the front and the back of the cafe. But I knew what this job would mean to you as a mother, and to your finance. I was contemplating to offer you 11am to 2pm shifts on weekdays. That would cover some food prep and cleaning up for the lunch rush which would free up me and the two girls for customer service and the till. I was going to tell you at the end of the day.

Then that happened. I saw you spacing out in the middle of slicing mushrooms, then you were pacing around the kitchen while the chef had to stop in the middle of cooking some sauce to ask if you were ok. It took you a while to snap back into reality. You walked back to the bench and kept slicing mushrooms. I was taken by what I saw. Call it a woman’s instinct, I knew something was wrong with you neurologically.

I took you outside to have some fresh air. I wasn’t going to give you some lame excuse for not offering you a job. I told you straight about my concerns. I figured I owed you that decency. You opened up to me and told me drugs and alcohol abuse damaged your brain. Even you had been drug and alcohol free for a while, but the damage was done from teenage years and it’s irrevocable.

I hugged you and cried. The scar you carried on your forehead, or the missing tooth were just damages people saw, the damage inside was a lot more profound.

God’s Plan

Six Sentence Story word prompt – Blanket https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/87522/posts/3666307828

The day the Premier passed the bill which granted him with unprecedented power, the people who fought for their freedom felt downtrodden and devastated. The political climate cast a blanket of dark cloud over the state. Everyday ordinary people fell ill of foreseeing tyranny days.

There was a group of people went up to the highest place of the city and wept bitterly to their God. The mountain shook, and soon after, a hail storm broke out. They fled to seek refuge under some banana plantation.

When all was passed, they heard of the news that their Premier was struck dead by a ginormous hailstone while giving a celebratory speech at a press conference outside the parliament house.

70s Wedding Blues

I remember the day of your wedding. Pear blossoms paved the way from your bedroom to the village gate. The red of your wedding gown was the only symbol of happiness in a time when the entire village barely survived the famine.

The groom didn’t come with any pig nor buffalo as dowry. You were married out to reduce a mouth need feeding.

The rusty tractor took the newlyweds away disappearing deeper into the mountains and left a trail of mud from the spring rain wrestling with the firecrackers. The elders said your marriage started of a rough path already.

Keepsake

Six Sentence Story word prompt – Keepsake

There was a poet living in poverty. His only possession was his words.

He was secretly in love with the shoemaker's daughter. So, everyday he wrote a love poem and whispered to her as a keepsake.

She was born tender eyed and was not married even way passed childbearing age. But all the days of her life, she was happy especially when she saw how beauty she was in the mirror.

Goodbye Mum! Hi Mum!

I couldn’t find much family photos with Mum in it, to put into the slide show for her celebration service. There were plenty photos of me with Dad and other family members.

That summed up how I felt about Mum. She wasn’t in my life that much. It was Dad took me to school on my first day, and she managed to miss almost all my significant firsts.

I held such belief until the day of her funeral. A relative of ours gave me a hug when she arrived at the service. She said to me with teary eyes, ‘I am gonna miss your mother, she had always been there for everyone and made herself invisible.’

Throughout the service, I heard Mum’s friends and family members telling stories of their fond memories of Mum. In their minds, Mum was this selfless woman who always shyed away from the crowd, just like the photos. She ran around to snap memories and hid behind the camera.

It daunted on me that she did the same with me. She worked hard and provided for our family and barely took any credit for that. I would prefer her to be a mummy bear to nurture me, instead, she was a lone eagle. I realised how much she had shielded me. I was just too frighten to look up to her when she soared with me above the storm of life.