All’s well that ends well

My first work day started with a virtual trip to Australia. For one, at the train station I was surrounded by people pulling their trolley luggage around. Then I sat next to a couple on the train, who had just returned from a three week holiday to Australia. We exchanged travel stories and I was reminded of the wonderful things we had done on our trip in 2010.

 

Things even got better. Since I was too early, I decided to buy buns for breakfast at a supermarket close to the company. Strangely the single open cashier had a long queue of people with full shopping carts. After seeing that I had only one item, the lady standing in front of me in the queue let me overtake her. The same thing happened again and again and I was in front of the line in no time at all. Everyone has super friendly to me today.

 

I ended yesterday with terrible backaches and a nagging fear I would oversleep. After taking a bath and a pain killer, I went to bed feeling extremely tired. However my nagging fear did not leave me alone and I dreamt that I had overslept. I woke up all nervous and looked at the alarm clock. The time was 4:48 am – way too early for me to wake up. But I couldn’t fall asleep again being all revved up as I was. I took my time getting ready and before I knew it, it was time to leave the apartment and I had to skip my breakfast. 😦 Not a healthy way to start a working day. However given how the day proceeded, I have to admit I couldn’t have had a better first working day.

 

All’s well that ends well. Looking forward to work tomorrow. (Wow! Did I just say that?)

The first day

Do you remember your first day in kindergarten? I do not have memories of my own of this day but my mother has told me hers. I am the eldest child and as a result my mother was apprehensive when the day came for her to leave me for the very first time in foreign care. Kindergarten in Singapore is not a playgroup but rather a pre-school. Children learn how to read and write in Kindergarten. I even attended Mandarin lessons as a second language. Unfortunately I was not allowed to continue it in primary school.

Where was I? Oh yes, kindergarten! My mother put me in my uniform, packed my school bag and walked me to the kindergarten. As we approached the building, she saw children freaking out to varying degrees. Some were hanging onto their family members refusing to enter the classroom. Others were crying their hearts out. Some even ran away and were caught and carried back to the classroom. My mom couldn’t bear the thought of seeing me crying. (Actually she admitted that she felt like crying herself.) However I surprised her by taking my school bag from her hands at the entrance and entered the classroom willingly. She still couldn’t bear leaving me alone and peeked through the window to see how I was coping. She said that when I saw that I waved at her; waved at her to go away that is. 🙂

Tomorrow I have another first day ahead of me. On the one hand, I am really excited and looking forward to starting a new job in a new company. I will pack my back tonight, pick out the clothes to wear tomorrow and check out the train schedule. Things I imagine little Irene might have done the day before she went to kindergarten for the first time too; except for checking for the train schedule. J

But there is a part of me that is feeling apprehensive, and afraid. So many ‘What Ifs’ fleet through my mind. I wonder if little Irene was afraid that day too? Did her joy to learn outweigh her fear being left alone, being with strangers or to fail? Maybe I am thinking too much about it. After all my instinct says that it was the right decision to take on this job and that it is exactly the kind of work I enjoyed.

What are your experiences on your first day at a new job?

Forget him not

This flash fiction is inspired by the following photo prompt. the challenge is hosted by Madison Woods.

I welcome constructive criticism that’s why I am posting these pieces on a blog. 🙂 Thanks in advance.

Wordcount: 100

A barbwire fence separates me from the spot, where he took his last breath. I see the emergency crew laying him on a stretcher. They try in vain to get his heart pumping again. But his body had slammed into the steering wheel with a tremendous impact. The damage was too much for his young body to bear. Why didn’t he buckle his seatbelt? Why did he drive drunk? Why didn’t his friends stop him?

Now I stand beside the road and brave the elements to serve as a warning against the senseless loss of life. Don’t drink and drive!

Flash Fiction Faction – Abandoned

This week’s Flash Fiction Faction by Quill Shiv has the prompt:

Truly the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me. –Anonymous

I made use of one of the plot ideas, I posted today for another challenge. Hope you enjoy reading it. As usual I am open to constructive criticisms.

Edit: Based on the feedback I have received from two readers, I have edited the tenses used in the original version.
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Pat throws a single red rose onto the shiny coffin, lying in its earthy grave. She wills her eyes to stay dry. A hand strokes her back; as gently as Jack had done 50 years ago.

That time she had been crying; mourning the death of her pet rabbit. A funeral was held in her parents’ garden. Jack, the neighbour’s son, had attended the ceremony. He had stroked her back – seeking to soothe her pain and hoping that she would stop sobbing. He could never bear to see her in tears. As a child, she had used it to her benefit many a time. Her reward had always been something sweet to eat.

It took another 3 years and a few broken hearts before their relationship crossed the platonic line. Pat has a clear memory of the day it happened.

She was at a classmate’s 18th birthday party. Unfortunately her ex-boyfriend was present too because his new girlfriend was the birthday girl’s best friend. She would have stayed at home had she known that earlier. But she wouldn’t give her ex the satisfaction of seeing her scamper from his presence. Biting the straw in her glass of unidentifiable sickly sweet concoction, she mentally went through different ways to get her revenge.

“If looks can kill, I sure am glad not to be on the receiving end of that glare. Who is the condemned soul?”

“Jack! What are you doing here? I didn’t know you were back in town.”

“Semester holidays started yesterday. My buddy, Steve, lives here. He wanted to greet his little sis before we head to my parent’s place for a Lord of the Rings DVD marathon. You haven’t answered my question.”

Pat contemplated lying for a second. But Jack would know, if she was telling the truth or not. There were times, she was certain he had the ability to read her mind. When it came to Jack, she was an open book.

“I was thinking of ways to get my revenge against Michael.”

“And Michael is who?”

Pat told him her story. She had been going out with Michael for 6 months, when she found out that he was cheating on her. He had laughed, when she had confronted him with it. He had accused her of being conservative. According to him, she should loosen up because open relationships are common. They both looked over to Michael after she finished her tale.

“He doesn’t look that happy, if you ask me.”

“See that blonde over there, the one flirting with the guy in the football jacket? That is his girlfriend.”

“You want to kick a man, while he is lying on the ground? You are mean. So what is your revenge plan?”

“Do you want the bloody version or…”

“Let’s hear a PG version.”

“I could make him jealous by making out with my boyfriend. Remind him of what he is missing.”

“How predictable! Where is this boyfriend of yours?”

“There is a catch in this scenario. I don’t have one. Unless…”

“Unless what?”

Suddenly Pat felt shy, as she was reminded of the numerous teenage fantasies she had involving Jack. It was during a phase when she had been terribly infatuated with Jack. Her crush had faded after he moved away to attend university. But she felt it return full force as she looked into his honey brown eyes. All at once blood was rushing to her head, her heart was pounding in her ears, and butterflies were wrecking havoc in her stomach. She quickly lowered her eyes but not before Jack noticed what was going through her mind.

“Oh!… I’m fine with it. But you got to make the first move.”

Michael was nowhere in her thoughts as she leaned in towards Jack. Pat wanted to squeeze in all her past fantasies into that one moment, lest there wouldn’t be a second time. Their faces were almost touching – she could smell the minty scent of his chewing gum. She closed her eyes and let instinct take over.

“Granny? We need to go now.”

Pat opens her eyes. The happy bubble  burst, exposing her to her ultimate fear. She is single again after 45 years of marriage! Her egoistic wish has been to be the first to die because she couldn’t bear the thought of a life without Jack. But the cancer has destroyed her hope.
She is afraid of being alone. Her children have their own families and soon they would go back to their own lives. What can an old woman like her do with the rest of her life?

A single tear threatens to roll down her cheek. Pat sniffs into her handkerchief and dabbs at her eye. She prays Jack is happy wherever he was. There would be enough time to be afraid of the future after the ceremony.

The Quantified Self

A blast from the past.

366 Degree

Have you heard the terms “Quantified Self” or “Self-tracking” before? I have to admit that I have heard them for the first time last week. A radio talk show host was kind of against the idea of self-tracking. She saw this leading to others knowing about her personal data like when and how often she has gone to the toilet that day and what she ate for breakfast, etc. I find her stance on this topic absurd. After all self-tracking does not necessarily mean, you have to publish your personal data to the world but you can if you want to. It is like just because there is the functionality to upload photographs on Facebook you do not have to upload photos of you dancing on a table with a bottle of vodka in your hand but you can if you want to. I guess it depends on how extroverted…

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Writing Challenge: Plots

This is a writing exercise initiated by Chris. Here is the link to the original post. The task is to come up with many plot ideas for a given topic.

Pat always knew this day would come.

  1. Patricia is a tennis player. She comes from a family of professional tennis players. She and her elder sister have been training together since they were children. Due to their age difference, they have always competed in different divisions. Pat is finally old enough to compete in the adult league and has to play against her sister in the final round. She knows her sister is a bad loser. Would the outcome of the game change the relationship between the sisters forever?
  2. Pat is a teenager and has a huge crush on the boy living next door. She has been spying on him when he was in his room, which was opposite hers. One day he catches her watching him. A few days later he waits next to her locker at school. Was he going to make a scene and embarrass her in front of the whole school?
  3. Pat, short for Patrick, was expecting his parents to arrive at his apartment. They knew he was sharing the 3 room apartment with a male friend. What they did not know, was that the relationship was not platonic. They would notice that there is only one bedroom and the other is a home office. He wonders how best to break the news to them. Before or after a tour of the apartment?
  4. Pat knew that one day one of them would die, leaving the other alone for the first time in 50 years. She always hoped that she would die first. It was an egoistic wish but she couldn’t imagine a life without her husband; they have been together since they were teenagers. However her husband was diagnosed with cancer. He passes away and after the funeral, she wonders what she is to do with the rest of her life.
  5. Pat’s husband has been missing for 20 years. They were on holidays in Italy and one day he simply disappeared. Pat moved to Italy in order to look for him, hoping that she would find him one day. After 10 years, she had filed a legal case, requesting her husband to be legally declared dead. Another 10 years have passed and her husband has been legally declared dead. However it doesn’t bring her the closure she had hoped it would. She returns to the place her husband was last seen for one last time.

An invitation to tea

Here is Julia’s 100 word challenge for this week.

The prompt this week is ….‘What was the rabbit late for,’ wondered Alice…..

Wordcount 108 including the prompt.

Hope you enjoy my interpretation. I welcome your feedback.

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Alice focused on reading the rabbit’s thoughts.

I am late.

“What was the rabbit late for,” wondered Alice.

She followed the rabbit into the forest. The dense tree crowns hid the sun, causing Alice to shiver in the cool summer day. Soon she saw a cottage with the front door open and followed the rabbit in.

“Ah! Just in time for tea,” said an old man. He was alone but the table was set for two.

The rabbit laid itself on the table. The man poised a knife over its neck and asked, “Rabbit blood fine with you?”

Alice sat up in bed. It was only a dream!

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #36

Are you up to the challenge?

Julia's Place

Important Appeal from one of your readers!

I don’t know if there’s any way to post a message that everyone can see but for all the blogspot people, it’s very hard for those of us who aren’t members of blogspot to ever get to post a comment. If the word matching is turned on, it never thinks you’ve matched and sometimes when it’s not the comment just hangs up while it blinks back and forth to the word matching but never posts… I note from comments that I’m not alone. Definitely helps when people turn off the word match but maybe blogspot needs a heads up?

Hope you can help!

Now for this week’s prompt. As you know I like to be topical so I’m thinking Easter. However, I’m thinking a little outside the box! The prompt is quite simple but the trick this week is to prepare for NEXT week!

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