FICTION: Changing Our Stars

Changing Our Stars - Person looking up at stars

This is an assignment for a writing course, and I figured I’d use it as an excuse to post. Enjoy.

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Clara strode through her neighbourhood, street lamps so far apart she spent a bulk of her walk in darkness. Purple clouds blotted the stars, threatening to swallow her whole too.

It wasn’t the best idea, being out at night, but she had to get out of her cramped room; a cramped room that her boyfriend was currently sharing with some skank from God-knows-where. It took all her willpower not to clock him in the head—and that bitch too.

Would I really have done it, though?

Confrontation wasn’t really her strongest suit. She couldn’t understand why. It was something that had always held her back in life. Even buying a fifth of vodka earlier was a chore, what with the cashier spewing lurid remarks while counting her change.

She took another swig of vodka. Just what are you afraid of, Clara?

She could very well take care of herself. She hadn’t needed to test the effectiveness of her brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu, and she was the head of her debate club, so what was it about confrontation that she didn’t like?

People would just dump work on her desk and expect her to do it for them, and her first course of action was always to be amicable—to keep people happy at her expense.

Is this all I’ll ever be in life?

As if in reply, the clouds moved to cover the moon. Even the universe had given up on her.

Suddenly, a shout rose amidst some catcalls. “Hey, woman!”

Clara ignored the voice and fished her jeans for her pocket knife. She wished she had worn her yoga pants, because running in stiff denim wasn’t exactly the best.

“Yeah, you, with the rack and that nice ass! C’mere a minute!”

Footsteps trailed behind her, and Clara tightened her grip around her knife. She didn’t know how near the scumbags were, but she felt someone’s breath on her neck as the culprit whispered: “What’s a sweet little blonde like you doing at—”

She hadn’t wanted to throw him, but muscle memory took over. The asshole had passed out the moment his face crunched against the tarmac. She turned around to see a bewildered pair of eyes staring back at her.

Clara took another swig off her bottle and drew her knife, a sudden rush of violent thoughts racing through her mind. All those years of pent-up anger sent her into a silent rage. She set down her bottle and stared her attacker straight in the eye.

“I’m ready to turn this into a murder scene if you are.”

The other guy slowly backed away, then turned around into a sprint.

And just like that, the clouds began to part, and world seemed to turn just a little brighter for a moment.

NON FICTION: Introverts Have No Place In This World

Woman standing alone

Photo: Ivan Karasev

“I suspect more damage has been done to my sanity in jail, in months; than years, decades, in the woods.” —Christopher Knight

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The first time I heard about Christopher Knight, I thought I had found my spirit animal. He’s the last true hermit who ran away into the woods, just so he could be alone.

He braved harsh winters and survived in the wilderness for 27 years, before he was finally caught for trespassing and burglary.

I had mixed feelings about his arrest, because on one hand, he did steal people’s belongings, but on the other hand, there’s only so much food and gas you can find in the wild.

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NON FICTION: That Time I Signed Up For A Cage Fight

Woman fighter in ring

Photo: Dios Darius

Much like religion and politics, I’ve found some topics to evoke a certain passion in people. There’s the “Is it rude not to reply on WhatsApp,” and the “Should you wash your jeans,” but my favourite questions has to be: “Is it okay to dine alone?”

Of course, whenever I broach this topic, the conversation naturally steers to other social activities, and I enjoy watching people’s faces slowly fade from amusement to horror.

Would I watch a movie alone? Yes.

Travel alone? Done it, love it!

Visit a mall? Attend a dance workshop? Skateboard in the park?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

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NON FICTION: This Is How You Drown Your Sorrows

buddha-sign-pic

“When we free ourselves of desire, we will know serenity and freedom.” -Gautama Buddha

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It’s that time of the year again, where I’ve realised I haven’t updated the blog in months, where I come up with a sorry excuse of a topic to make up for it, and where I wonder if writing is really what I want to be doing in life.

There are only so many times I can write about procrastination, and that kinda sucks, seeing as to how little I have to write about anymore.

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FICTION: Reading Between The Lines

Man alone in office building

Photo: Brandon Holmes

Life was easy as a subtitler. The job wasn’t demanding. You sat in a comfortable office, and the only person who ever bother you was your supervisor, and that’s only to make sure you’re making deadlines.

The labour’s a piece of cake too. You ran a video through a subtitling software and correct the transcriptions made by the computer. That’s it.

Of course, things would’ve been much worse without the software. While the computer’s ability to decipher words might be horrendous, at least I didn’t have to manually insert the timestamps, which would’ve made my work three times harder.

Everything was fine, until ‘the awakening’ happened. If I had to pinpoint an exact time, it’d have to be when the software produced a particularly hilarious sentence.

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NON FICTION: You’re Different, It’s Okay

Woman playing piano

I tend to watch the days pass without doing anything, out of nothing but the sheer desire to not do anything. Public holidays would come and go, and it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for me to come out of long weekends achieving fuck all.

Friends have recommended I schedule a mental checkup, but I think I’m more lazy than depressed. After seeing some of the things people go through, I’d say I’m pretty mentally sound, as far as I’m concerned.

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FICTION: Adventures In An Introvert’s Mind

fighting

It was a cloudy day, and Caleb kept to the shadows as he crossed the street. He didn’t want to be seen, though he knew that avoiding contact was inevitable. It had been getting harder since—What was thatWas that shadow there earl—

A searing pain tore through Caleb’s back. He let his damn guard down again. Instinctively, he tightened his grip around his duffel bag as he started to move.

Caleb leapt aside, the hints of a second strike whooshing past his ear. He didn’t turn to face his attacker. He just sprinted as fast as his legs would take him.

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