taking-flight

Taking Flight

In the middle of that seemingly endless road — his jeans tattered, shoes worn out and shirt drenched in sweat — Hope stopped and let out a heavy sigh. His knees have given up on him as they fell to the ground. All energy seemed to have left him as he let his back uncomfortably touch the ground. He raised his right hand to reach for the red sky as the sun started to set. He turned his head sideways and gazed at his flat tire, and then chuckled. Surprisingly, he found himself smiling despite the dawning of weariness and nightfall. Hope found it funny that he can manage a smile and a chuckle in the midst of this sticky situation. He simply didn’t care.

As the sky turned into a deep blue, Hope stood up and sat on the trunk of his car. He stared upon the vastness of the heavens, then a chuckle broke the silence of the night. Funny how the stars suddenly become abundant when he already stopped trying to hunt for them. Life really has a funny way of playing tricks on you. Minutes passed, and as if Life hasn’t played enough tricks on him, clouds hugged each other and cried over the wide empty highway where Hope sat still. As the drops of rain trickled down his face, he felt relieved that he need not hide his own tears which started welling up in his eyes. The rain, he thought, was a blessing in disguise.

By the sound of an approaching car, Hope opened his eyes and greeted the morning sun with a yawn. He woke up feeling new and fresh. It was unusual for this to happen. Maybe he needs to cry himself to sleep more often, he thought to himself jokingly. As Hope unmounted his car, he felt a little spark of excitement as the once empty highway was now bustling with cars. A few stopped to check on him and offer him help. This time, however, he did not refuse. Amity pulled Hope’s car along as they travelled to the next city so that he can have it fixed — while also trying to replenish all the energy he exhausted.

It was amazing, Hope thought, to have another person help him. During his ride with Amity he felt differently — something vastly distinct compared to what he felt during his joyride with Bliss — but a wonderful feeling nonetheless. While in the city, he began his plans for recovery starting from his body all drained of energy until his clothes all worn out and battered. After his moment of relaxation he found a place to get his car fixed. As he waited, he stayed a few more days to explore the city.

Hope had witnessed a series of sunrises and sunsets as he explored the city and experienced all its wonders. After wandering around with no certain destination, he finally decided that it is time to leave. He grabbed his keys, started his engine and stepped on the gas pedal. As he was driving a few meters out of the city boundary, he heard some faint engine sounds from behind. In a matter of seconds he found himself driving along with Amity.

As they drove forward to the limits of the never-ending road, they have experienced a lot of amazing things Hope never thought he would be able to do. They have shared with each other stories about their journeys and made new memories along the way. One fine day, while taking a break from their long drive, Amity told Hope some plans of going somewhere far away that the only way to get there is by travelling through the sky. Amity invited him to come if he wanted. Hope suddenly felt like his mind jumped off a cliff, free falling. The idea sounds exhilirating and fun, but something was holding him back. There was fear in his heart — the fear of stepping out of his comfort zone and going wherever the winds or waves may take him. After that crossroad incident he has become too afraid to trust once again. Hope is afraid of being left alone once more.

Hope’s worried expression slowly vanished as he saw the smiling face of Amity. It was as bright as the sun shining from the sky enveloping his heart in a warm embrace. His lips curved upward without him knowing. Suddenly it hit him, it is time to leave the past behind and start a new journey. The uncertainty of what’s beyond may be scary, but Hope has decided to go for a free fall so he can unfurl his wings and learn how to fly.

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Flat Tire

Side by side on a wide almost empty highway, Hope and Bliss drove together once more. Their engines started awkwardly upon leaving the crossroad where they met, but now they drive slowly but more comfortably with each other.

Fate passed them by so fast causing turmoil on their joyride. Hope suddenly stopped bewildered as if he got into a crash. Bliss stopped and helped him get to the shoulder. They found out that Hope got a flat tire. It made Hope sad because he just recently used his spare tire. Now he cannot go on. Bliss started her engines and zoomed out of sight. Hope thought that maybe she has gone to look for help. He stayed there in the wide empty highway waiting for her to come back.

Minutes turned to hours and hours turned to days. He has been endlessly counting the stars at night and dreaming of rain during the day. One time he cried out her name but she never answered, not even a soul was in sight. A few more days passed, someone drove by and saw Hope listening to his stereo trying to look cool under the heat of the midday sun. Prudence stepped out of his car and asked if he was in any trouble. Hope responded that he was just waiting for someone to come back, he did not need any help. Prudence kept him company for a while and talked about their adventures from the past. But the time for him to leave had come, and so Hope was alone once more.

He has witnessed many sunsets and sunrises as he waited for Bliss’s return. Seldom, he sees cars passing him by, some stop to offer him help but he turns them down and they leave him be.

One night, as Hope was again counting the stars in an empty night sky, a familiar engine sound filled the emptiness of the highway. He looked around and saw a big car pulling up the shoulder near his car. Storge came down and, unlike everyone else who saw Hope, asked what he was doing and if she can join in. Hope told her he was trying to hunt for stars. Storge thought it would be fun to do something weird for a change — seeing that the night sky was empty as if the stars were intentionally hiding — and insisted she join in the fun. Hope thought it was okay and so they gazed upon the empty sky and tried their hardest to look for stars.

Storge started to tell Hope of stories about crossroads and other places she had been to. He thought she was retelling his own story because of the similarities they have. After Storge’s story, he told her about his. Silence has dawned upon them after Hope has said his piece. Storge stood up and went to her car. Hope asked where she was off to. All she said to him was that maybe their stories are similar, but there might also be a chance that their endings would be different. Hope looked at her as she smiled softly and then zoomed out of sight.

The sun is peeking through the horizon, it is about to wake. Hope stared balnkly at his flat tire as he tried to absorb the words Storge left. Slowly, he paced toward his car and touched the trunk cover. He took a deep breath then started pushing his car forward. He pushed harder and harder and a while later his car started moving forward.

No more time for counting stars in an empty night sky. No more voice to call out for Bliss to return. Hope was empty and lost, he was all dried up. As the last words of Storge sank deeper and deeper to his mind and slowly dripped to his heart, he began to feel numb. Now, all his mind could ever think of is to push the car forward to wherever he may find help all on his own.

Heartbeat Of A Tin Man

Tin Man

Tin Woodman a.k.a. Tin Man

There he was, rusty and hollow. His body made of tin. Alone, chopping wood like he always does. Suddenly, he felt an ache by his knees. He picked up his oil can and poured on them. He can walk nimbly once again.

With his hands tightly gripped on his axe, he chopped and chopped and chopped more wood. For he knows not what exhaustion is, something his tin body can easily shrug off. He can work round the clock stopping only to pour oil on his rusting joints. Alas he might never get tired, but he could never stay nimble forever.

Once he knew a servant girl who he had not seen for a long time. In his faint memory of her, he knew there was something he had for her. His mind does not remember what it was. He only knows how to chop wood, but it cannot be that. No one, not even a tireless Tin Man, would want to chop a sweet young lady like her. He thought hard, as hard as his mind can. There was something he had for her a long time ago. He admired her.

Click.

He heard a strange hollow sound. But then silence. His mind returned to the idea he remembered earlier. Admiration. He admired someone long ago. How one admires another person, he is mostly uncertain. For this Tin Man had no heart.

Click-cluck.

There it was once more. That hollow clicking sound he cannot seem to find wherever it was coming from. He took his oil can and poured heavily on all his joints. Maybe he’s getting more rusty and creaky resulting to these hallucinations. Or maybe not. Because again, there was nothing but silence.

Once more he reminisced that beautiful lady he knew way back when. He remembered the way her lips curved upward which made her face brighten up like the crescent moon at night. Maybe that was what admiration is. The way someone’s face seem to bright up the darkness with just one smile. He was unaware that while drowning in his deep thoughts his lips began to curl upward, too.

Click-cluck. Click-cluck.

He took hold of his oil can and poured on his joints once more. Funny how thinking about what admiration was has made him creaky somewhere he can’t determine. As the black oil gushed down the nozzle of his oil can he remembered the deep black eyes of that wonderful lady he once knew. The way she looked at him — that only time she truly looked at him — felt like they were in a world where no one else existed. Suddenly, there was fluid flowing out of the Tin Man’s eyes rolling down his cheeks, but he never noticed.

Click-cluck-click-cluck.

He was surprised of what he found. His lips were smiling though his eyes were welling up with tears. He found himself in an unfamiliar scenario, something that would endlessly boggle a Tin Man’s mind. Maybe he had poured too much oil that they’re flowing out of his eyes, he thought. But now, that hollow clicking sound did not stop. It kept going and going, faster and faster. He leaned to the left and then to the right, trying to listen where it was coming from. The sound has become more intense, he thought, that his hollow body seems to vibrate because of it. His joints, creaking but nimble, shuddered as the sound grew not louder but stronger.

The Tin Man gasped and jumped in surprise. That sound, that hollow clicking sound growing stronger in each passing moment, was coming from inside him. Inside his hollow metal torso, the sound began escalating. His mind could not find peace because of this unfamiliarity. He was doing his routinary job as usual but this never happened before. The one thing that differs this time was the thought of that young lady and of…of…admiration.

His world seemed to stop. He seemed to have comprehended the situation now. Yes he became a Tin Man, but he never lost his heart.

Suddenly, he found himself running towards the place where he first met her leaving his axe and oil can behind, not worried of being consumed fully by rust. This time he knew, his newly resurrected heart will keep him nimble until he reached her. Soon, he will find bliss.

Crossroad

Hope and Bliss drove together on a wide highway. An exhilarating joyride no one can ever erase from their memories. Hope has always longed for belongingness and he found it in Bliss. She stayed with him for a long ride and made Hope the happiest person in the world.

But they came to a triple fork on the road, two narrow strips of land and one wide enough for two yet filled with uncertain dangers. As in life, decisions have to be made and their naive minds — or maybe just Hope’s — have lead them to part ways. Although a promise has been made, since then it felt like the journey has ended.

As Hope traveled along the road alone he has driven to many other places. He took a left on a one-way street and went down a steep slope. Turned around and around in U-turns and paid a good sum for toll fees. Throughout his journey he has traveled along different roads with different people, but most of the time alone. However, things changed all so suddenly with one fateful encounter.

Bliss was there parked in the middle of the crossroad all alone. When Hope saw her his heart sank. He felt a spark but it was faint, full of uncertainty like the way she smiled upon seeing him. While slowly turning to a halt, he battled the feeling in order to keep himself from exploding. Yes the spark was weak, but it was enough to rekindle that old flame. All over his body, he shook as if he was running down a steep slope with the speed of a hundred and twenty. Finally he looked at her once again and said ‘hi’. Awkwardness filled the empty space between them. They stood there, staring at each other, not minding all the other cars driving by.

A memory flashed in Hope’s mind. The pact they made before the parting of their ways. He wondered, is this it or is this mere coincidence? They promised to drive together again when their paths cross and when both are alone. This was that very scenario but something seemed to be holding them back. What it was exactly, no one knows. But Hope was filled with joy. The spark has become a tongue of fire inside his heart. He looked at her eyes trying to figure out what was inside her mind. He wished he knew.

The trip was long and vicious but it was all worth it for it has given them both an opportunity to grow. Now that they have bumped into each other, Hope wonders if the promise once made will come true or not.

Our First Night

It was the first time I saw you. Your long black hair shining amidst the darkness of the night. As it seems, the moon has grown a liking to you, like you were under a spotlight and the whole park was your stage. When you walk, it seems as if you were gliding through the clearing and the fallen leaves dance as you pass them by. My heart thudded rhythmically with every step you took. Flowers woke up from their slumber when your fingers touch their petals. The crickets played a serenade only you can make them do as if they were under a spell. Everything was simply beautiful.

You suddenly stopped and everything fell silent. Your cute little chuckle broke this silence and it melted my heart. I can feel that you were smiling even though you were not facing me yet. I choked when I was about to say something, your laugh grew louder and prettier. Listening to you when you laugh felt like I was having a music therapy. Every part of me was soothed by the mere sound of your voice. I started laughing with you, I already forgot the words I was about to say.

There was nothing else in my mind in that moment but the longing to see your face. You began walking towards the moon again. I started to follow you but for some weird reason I can’t seem to reach you. I started to run, almost tripping on a tree root, which made you stop. I saw the balls of your feet moving, you were turning to face me…finally.

If only I did not wake up, I would have seen your face. The face of that girl who makes wonderful music from her laugh. Now I am left with only this wonderful memory of spending a walk with you one night in my life without ever knowing who you are.

A Random Anecdote

First of all, this is just a very random anecdote which never happened in real life. Maybe some people would be able to relate or might actually think I am telling their story, but this is a work of fiction so it is purely coincidental if the names of the characters or the plot are existing in the real world. Secondly, I am not a literary artist and I’m not claiming to be a professional. So if you find this work to be something that might have been a homework of a fifth grader, I’m sorry to disappoint you. This is a very random product when I randomly clicked on the Notepad icon on my computer and started typing random words and phrases. Enjoy reading! 🙂
— — — — —

He touched me.

That’s what I wanted to say to my mom who is currently staring down at me while I sit on this stool beside the bar in our kitchen. But I’m afraid to tell her. I know she’s mad at me, I can feel it in her glare. But the man was scary. That man makes me more afraid than her piercing glare. I don’t even know how to tell her how it all began.

I was trying to shift my weight on the stool when mom suddenly grabbed my shoulders and looked at my now sullen face. Her eyes do not feel like sharp knives piercing through me anymore. They are more like crystals now, shimmering in the dark because of the tears welling up. I looked at her and I felt more at ease. I took a deep breath and tried muttering some words. My voice was shaking.

“Just tell me how this happened, Alex. I’m not really mad. I was just worried for you. You could’ve been hurt you know?” said my mom.

I felt both end of my lips twitch drawing a crooked smile on my face.

“He… I…” I couldn’t find the courage neither the words to say things as accurate as possible.

“Alex, look at me.” Her voice sounded more stern. My fist clenched and I felt my body stiffen. Slowly, I raised my head and looked at her eyes which have gone back to their piercing-knives mode. I swallowed hard and kept my eyes on hers. “You know I hate it when you lie. Sweetie, just tell me the truth.”

“I’m scared,” I breathed out the words as if I’m sharing a secret to an ant. She knelt in front of me and leaned forward.

“What was that, honey?”

“I said I’m scared, mom!” I shouted, or more like I exploded. The shocked look on her face made me think I have offended her in the vilest way possible. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for losing it…for losing it to him. He was scary, mom. I felt scared. Whenever he looks at me, it gave me chills. I don’t know why my heart raced when he started walking towards me. He… I… He…” I broke down.

“What, Alex? He did what?” She sounded worried, so worried it broke my heart. I never wanted to make her feel this worried about me. “Just tell me the truth, my baby boy. How did it begin?”

“He touched me.” I finally said it. I then realized my sobbing stopped and I’m finally looking at my mom with a straight face. I saw here eyes widen a bit, as if expecting me to reveal the world’s greatest secrets to her. “He touched me here, then my body shook. I was totally scared.”

“So you’re telling me it’s all his fault?” She stood up her arms crossed in front of her, one eyebrow higher than the other. Once again, her glare pierced through me like a stick forced through a marshmallow. I saw her jaw tighten. Now she’s really mad. “Young man, didn’t I just tell you how I hate it very much when you lie?”

“No! It’s not a lie! It was his fault.” I jumped down from the stool and grabbed the end of my mom’s blouse in an attempt to convince her.

“Alex, if you’re just going to blame your older brother with all of this again…” She cut herself off with a deep sigh. My knees now started to shake. I realized how much I’m afraid of my mom more than my older brother.

“I… He really was the culprit!” I tried once more to convince her, but to no avail.

“Alex, no! Stop blaming Matt when everything you do goes wrong. You have to learn to grow up and take responsibility for your actions. I can’t believe you! You lie just to save you own butt and point fingers at other people? This is not a good attitude, Alex. Your brother touched you? And that’s it? I’m not buying that story, Alex.”

“But, mom.” She stormed out of the kitchen. I hate my brother for all of this. He makes my relationship with mom difficult. She won’t even believe me when I tell the truth.

I don’t know why my brother is such a bully. He keeps doing things that make me look bad. I did it once to him, but now mom thinks I’m the one who always does mischievous things. Now I’m looking at the very root of all this, the empty pack of Skittles in my bag which lies on top of the bar. I know it was my brother who took it from the top shelf and ate it. How could I have done it? It’s too high for me. My mom was furious because I could have fallen if I stood on a high chair in an attempt to get that little devil. But it wasn’t me. It was him. Then why was it in my bag, she asked? Well, I remember earlier today when we were walking home from school. I felt it, my brother’s touch. He touched me on my shoulder and whispered something to me from behind. I thought I heard my bag’s zipper open and close but I wasn’t so sure. Now I know that he slipped it in my bag when he whispered to me, “You are in big trouble, mister.” Then he scurried away laughing his evil laugh.

I hate my brother for doing this to me. I will avenge myself. Just you wait, Matt. Just you wait.