Prose/Short Story: Goodbye Magazine By Hannah Williams

Prose/Short Story: Goodbye Magazine By Hannah Williams

****Trigger Warning: Contains themes of suicide****

We’ve been doing this for the past four years, ever since we read it in Goodbye magazine. It was the ‘7 Pacts You Should Make To Honour Your Friendship’ article which suggested that friends should allocate the time to see each other regularly. So, we decided that every last Saturday in the month will be used as our special time together.  We called it  ‘Operation Lienna’ inspired by the amalgamation of our names- Liam and Sienna. Liam organised mainly sports and cinema trips and I organised restaurant and open mic nights. I remember that one time we went to play Tennis and Liam was spotted by a scout but it turned out to be a scam. Oh, how I laughed at him. I mocked him till today which is bittersweet because he was so great at tennis and I always want to see him do well. But friendships are about banter and that’s why the two of us got on so well. We laugh at each other, with each other and for each other. If we didn’t have a sense of humour, where would this friendship be? I laugh away my pain and I know that Liam does the same. Until the day, I discovered that for one of us, our reality suggests otherwise.

Continue reading “Prose/Short Story: Goodbye Magazine By Hannah Williams”

Prose/Short Story: Too Late By Hannah Williams (Microfiction)

Prose/Short Story: Too Late By Hannah Williams (Microfiction)

When memories become distant, the mind strives to hold onto whatever remains. Yet, I was determined not to forget. Especially when I began to think and dream about her. I saw her frail, distant and almost elusive. But still, I was conflicted by the thought of how she could live a life without me. Why hasn’t she got in touch? Was I not important enough? Perhaps she was my dream and I was her reality. Or dare I say her nightmare? Being told about someone is different to actually meeting them. I appreciated the discussions of her but telling is far lesser than seeing. And I had to see. So I took a ten hour plane journey, five hour drive and  one boat ride later  to the other side of the town, we finally got there. Only to be greeted by her body sleeping in eternity. A journey made to to rekindle the union of maternity only to find out that somedays taking to long to get ready can be too late.  It became a moment that I had to leave in the hands of fate.

Prose/Short Story: Red Soil (Micro Fiction)

Prose/Short Story: Red Soil (Micro Fiction)




The footpath leading to the lake where she walked barefoot with the 
red soil discolouring her bronze skin. 
As the dust rises, she hopes to emerge as its daughter waiting to be 
uplifted by the wind. 
She looked back at her footsteps imprinted in the sand wondering 
if her ancestors had embossed their footprints too. 
A misbegotten music feeling alone and unloved wondering 
why she is different.
This is what nobody told her. 
Twelve years ago, under the winter moonlight, 
when the butterfly wings were clipped.
 The darkness hummed and its tune was conception. 
Nine months later, by the sugarcane flux, Kisse squatted over 
pushing to give birth.

Prose/Short Story: The Telling Gaze Of A Caged Bird

Prose/Short Story: The Telling Gaze Of A Caged Bird

Solitary is bitter to starving souls searching for freedom but freedom is what I have always dreamt of. A world where I can sing with the wind and join the chorus of flocking birds singing in the dawn. A life far greater than being a caged bird. I am having the serenity to accept the things I cannot say. I am hoping the Jones will do the same. They tell me too much. In this countryside manor by the lake, there are five caged birds and I’m just one of them. The other four share surnames and are species of the same.

Monday

At 7.45pm Mr. Jones sits in the library watching me in the corner of the room next to loud oak clock. I find solace in the corner as I’m shielded from his jokes whilst he sips on rum and coke. Infused with whisky breath and just when he runs out of punchlines, he confesses by proceeding to tell me his job is clinging on a prayer. Oil is just not as lucrative as it was. Volatility is the thief of riches. I couldn’t help but see, a man who nursed his wounds and numbed his soul with alcohol. He leaves at 9.30pm that Monday.

Tuesday

Mrs. Jones comes back from the local brunch at 2pm dressed in the polka dot dress and black stilettos. she rearranges the flowers in the room. Now all she ever does is decorate. She used to work in the city and now settles for a life in the countryside. I saw the fear in her eyes when she cleaned my cage. She told me caged birds are safe. Perhaps that’s why she never left because she felt safe here.

Wednesday

Thomas Jones came today in search of a law book. He is falling his Tort module. He practices daily on the same speech. How he doesn’t want to seem ungrateful nor cruel. He didn’t really want to go into law school. I saw the tears he holds back just on the fact that he cannot talk to his dad. Then he looks across the window and see his fort. How the adventures outside bought him joy.

Thursday

Kimberly Jones feeds me treats. She’s kind, patient and sweet. I like that she always acknowledges me. She reads to me her favourite books verbatim. I get on with her the most. I’ll never forget the day she sang to me and I couldn’t help but sing too. Melodies melting the metaphysical. Yet, she has no friend at school. She asked me not to tell anyone. So, I won’t tell you too much. If only she felt comfortable enough to open to her parent.

Friday

All hell broke loose and the Jones got scorched. Mr. Jones lost his job at 10.25am. He came to the library to cry. Mrs Jones sat next to him telling him it is an opportunity and a blessing in disguise. All he could comprehend was the house, the car and the lifestyle. He shouted. She cried. I stayed silent pretending to sleep but I was the caged bird that knew everything.

Prose/Short Story: Why She Left You

Prose/Short Story: Why She Left You


The lunar light shone bright on her under that icy winter moonlight. She felt the light. She felt it. It warmed her heart and seared away the sorrow. In that moment, she felt peace. The breeze blew her hair and the cold caressed her lips. The lips too stiff to speak up for herself.
She looked out the window wondering when you will come home and whose scent will you bring with you. Some days, you brought seasons, I could have sworn I smelt spring in you. The fresh scents of daffodils and tulips. An array of spring but it wasn’t my scent. You bought another woman’s essence into our matrimonial home.
You have been doing this for years. With the knowledge that she loved the player who was too immersed in playing games. You knew her courage was weak.
But tonight… tonight? Tonight she conversed with her heart and she knew what to do. She didn’t want to do it. She really didn’t. She didn’t want to leave. But she did. Although her courage and strength was dried up. In fact, it was drained. You drained her like spaghetti in a sieve. You took the life out of her. You took her time. You took her love. You took her identity. She lost herself all because she was trying to keep you.
So each night when you went out, she practised positive affirmations and built her worth. Although you tore her self-esteem, trampled it to the ground and used it as rags.
She learnt to wash it, iron it and sew the rag into a patchwork quilt. She did that on the night she left you.
She left because she realised she is only responsible for herself. She realised her happiness was not rooted in you.
She left because she realised there is a world of opportuniities for her to realise her potential and be who she always wanted to be.
She left because this choice will lead her to the discovery of her happiness.
Unhappiness ate her up inside. It then left a bitter ulcer in her stomach and she vomited the bile of venomousness.
Yet in the name of the sickness of love, she realised that she could be healed.
The victory in her leaving you had no closure. No notes, no letters and certainly no explanations.
She left you to search your conscience for in your hearts of hearts you knew.
You knew the reasons of why she left.
When Carmen left you.

 

Prose/Short Story: The Reflected Lamplight By Hannah Williams

Prose/Short Story: The Reflected Lamplight By Hannah Williams

The reflected lamplight shone on. It shone directly on me. It provided a simple illumination in this dark hour. In my deep darkness, I waded by the lamplight wondering how far humans have strayed from God’s light. Yet, I wondered if this light will illuminate my path home. It did. In fact, several reflected lamplights led me home. I walked following the light. Even though, you were told to stay away from the light. Eventually, I got home. I sat in the garden for an hour sipping my tea. It was warm, milky and heavenly – just how I like it. Then I reflected on my day.

Today was like any other day. I woke up half-hearted and demotivated but ready to endure every hour of the day. I went into work. I started on my mundane tasks first ensuring I prioritised the urgent from the fickle. I was always told I had a strong work ethic but no people skills. So I worked in silence whilst I heard the office oversharing their weekend antics. They smiled. They laughed. They grinned. The faces beamed like hyenas who saw the carcass of a kill. In the midst of their laughter, our boss decided it was time to kill the first prey. The prey was me. I was led to my slaughter. He talked for minutes about how I was hardworking. Then escalated it to how funding had been tight this year and how this was part and parcel of restructuring. I was crippled. I froze. Nothing came out of my mouth and nothing seeped into my ear. I was paralysed.

So, I packed up from my little corner of the office. I compressed thirteen years of my time in the office to thirteen minutes. I packed everything I owned in that office. I stuffed it in my bag. Then I handed in my ID. The clock croaked twice and it was 11am.

I headed over to the park and sat there for hours. A myriad of faces I saw. At twelve, I saw an old married couple feeding ducks and realised that love has never been so young. At one, I saw a mother playing with her child in the park and realised motherhood had never been so liberating. At two, I saw a businesswoman out to lunch and realise progression had never been so befitting. Amidst these beautiful lives, mine was crumbling like a house made on sand. Yet, none of these faces returned my smiles but perhaps it was because their lives was worthwhile.

Before I knew it, I began to cry. I cried not like a baby because that was too loud. I cried but not like crying an ocean because that was too dramatic. I cried like someone who was fighting an internal battle. This inner cry is soft, the tear roll gentle and the sobs leave you out of breath. I cried and not a person was in sight to witness my pain.

The hour became very dark. I had no one or nothing to comfort me. Even if there was a soul interested in my pain. I would not know the words in which I can use to express myself. The sun went down. The wind stopped whistling. The leaves stopped playing. They ceased- at least in my world. It became dark, bleak and obsolete.

I gave up hope. Till I saw the reflect light shine on. The common adage came to mind that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Even though my tunnel was deep, the street light coming on reminded me to stay positive. The ability to connect physical with emotional was what saved me on this very night- the reflected lamplight.

It shone directly on me.

Prose/Short Story: I Bought Death Instead of Beauty By Hannah Williams

Prose/Short Story: I Bought Death Instead of Beauty By Hannah Williams

Iknew society was absorbed with beauty and I learnt that from a young age. On this youthful summer day, I learnt one detrimental life lesson. I discovered the bias in beauty. I remember it so vividly. I was sitting in the playground and Amelia knocked the lunchbox from my hands. My food dropped and I was forced to do what you were told to do as a child- Always tell your teacher. I told Ms Sheer who proceeded to respond with ‘Amelia wouldn’t do that, she has the face of an angel’. It got me thinking what is the face of an angel? Is it thin lips? Is it wide eyes? Is it straight hair? Is it blonde hair? Is it a fair complexion? If it is, then Amelia indeed was an angel.

Year went on, I left this memory at the back of my mind and reminded myself to develop character. Amidst all of the character developing, I came to the realisation that ‘Nice people finish last’ and that was the revelation I had for most of my life.

So I did what any one in my position would do. I began to change myself. It started off with style and fashion. I began to look for inspirations within magazines. I looked between the sheets of glorified and airbrushed beauty. At the time, I didn’t realise it. I didn’t realise I was becoming immersed in the industry standards of beauty. I found myself wanting to become like the models. It was a desire to be thin and polished.

I went to the gym four times a week. I threw up 7 days a week. I was committed full time to be like the models in magazine and reminisced on being like the other beautiful angels I crossed paths with. Eventually, I became thin like the models. I was so ecstatic that I was the ideal body type.  Then, the industry changed the status quo. The thin image was out and curvy was in.

So I did what anyone in my position would do. I bought my body and that’s what brought me here. I became a newspaper tale of a woman who was filled with the desire of beauty. I was fuelled by societal pressure and past experiences.

Despite my efforts to hide this all, you could see it in my eyes… the twinkle that taught me that everything that glitters is gold. This solemn spark which could not be quenched. L just wanted to fit in. I wanted to be like others and it got out of hand. Diets and exercise escalated to unhealthy eating habits which birthed the reason for my surgery. The lack of money meant I bought death instead of beauty. I bought my death sentence all in the name of beauty. So God what do you think of me?