They met the same way most authors write it: a beautified rendition of Wuthering Height without the ghoulish deaths or unlikeable characters. It was just her in her parents’ summer house, daintily unknowing of the luxury of picking flowers in the worriless days of childhood: ma and pa went off to their own business, so they weren’t there to deal with their daughter talking to the strange boy that just tumbled through the hedges following a stray ball.

“Hello there.”

He stared as he merely went to retrieve the ball, seemingly undisturbed by the fact that he was practically trespassing, “Sorry, my mate there threw too far. I’ll be on my way.”

Something made her call out, perhaps just the mind-numbing prim and properness of her housekeepers and tutors — she recently found out that those weren’t as common as she thought — made her want to risk finding any friendship, even in a stranger, “Hey, wait.”

“…What that?”

“…What’s your name?”

The boy turned to her with pure puzzlement, “Why do you care?”

“…I’m…just bored. Do I need a reason?”

“…’suppose you are right, name’s Sean. What are you called?”

“Antolia, Antolia Acquarine.”

“That sounds just like your house: stupidly fancy.”


“How do your folks keep the windows so so shiny anyway?”

“I mean…they…we clean it.”

“Where do you even find this time to do that?”

“That’s none of your business,” She might have pouted, turned around in that flounce of her hair way that she knew would earn an “awww” from her aunts or uncles, but only to be met with silence.

Then she heard the rustles of the hedge, and only turned in time to see the back of the boy disappearing into the branches.

“Hey, come back!”

For some push from her own stubbornness of not standing to be ignored and strange urge sent from the Creator Himself, she went after him, nearly tripped on her dress as she yelled some silly insult a child can conjure.


Sweet Remembrances

It’s unlike she was six, and Saph’s incessant worries about the prospects of her being home on her own would have frustrated more had Gabriel not just recently survive crippling incident. Still, she was mildly annoyed when she heard the sound a melody of a winding uncertainty, swaying in rich crescendos and somber audible subtleties. It sounded so familiar: Saphira must have played the symphony in one of her many attempts to educate her in “finers things in life.”

Once again, Vega ventured into the yard — it seems like that’s all that she ever get to do these days — and the melody grew louder, no longer muffled by the protection of the house. Unbeknownst to her, she was enchanted, and the world morphed with the rich notes into new senese. The grass beneath her sandals solidified, and before she thought she was sinking into the groaned a scene played before her. She couldn’t see the whole happening, but glimpses of pastel colors, sweet smells and maybe other happy laughter.

A taste, grew to a swirl of sugary happiness a language so universal: she was so disappointed when she first learned that the heavenly concoction was called simply, “ice cream.” And she was so tempted to complain, but by the time she discovered a chocolate chip she forgot her petty complaint.

Then a snap, a crisp, dry sound: she didn’t notice she was about to dive into the hedge between Solomon’s backyard and hers when a branch pricked and snapped her back to reality. She was startled by whatever charm that had her spellbound.


“Honestly, I am kind of sad that I didn’t get to die and come back to life — “

“ — I would apologize again if it doesn’t annoy you –”

“ — that would’ve been cool –”

“ — I didn’t really expect her to find us so soon –”

“ — but then again does that mean a crazy bitch might suddenly pretend to be romantically interested in me and then become obsessed with murdering me?”

“ — still too soon, Gabby dear.”

“ — but then, I already have Saph so I am safe from that. In conclusion, I should have died and then come back to life –”

“– I really don’t think that would’ve been a good alternative, sweetie –”

“ — I am sorry, Gabe — ”

“ — Shut the fuck up before I can think of a viable threat.”





“How the hell did you sneak a fucking owl into a fucking hospital?”

“Aw…it’s the annoying animal sidekick.”

“What was that, Gabriel?”

“Nothing much.”


“Now that we already expositionally complained about shit, maybe I should actually rest before I hear you apologize again.”

“…All logic aside, I think I kind of enjoy seeing my brother high on painkillers. Should I just apologize again just to see what he threatens me with.”

“Oh yeah, I remember! I saved our high school yearbook and your old wri –”

“Okay, I’m out.”



“Still, I’m just glad that you are fine.”

“Yeah…me, too.”

A Deal

“I think it’s only fair.”

“Your personal involvement is quite alarming.”

“I am not sure if I should be alarmed by a comment from a hypocrite.”

“Haha, lucky that you are here on one of my better centuries.”

“You are only proving my point.”

“Fair enough. But, you see, I merely follow whatever it is written, and it just so happen to be so.”

“I can immediately recount more than ten instances when you decided to…what did you say again? ‘Reinterpret’ the writing.”

“Shh…we agreed –”
“– Isn’t it only fair that I get my turn to…reinterpret the writing?”



“…You are probably going to make me regret it.”

“Not as much as you would when you deny me the right to salvage a single soul, and I consequently decide to let slip what I know of.”

“Are you blackmailing me?”

“No…I merely inform you of what may happen. A quite redundant act since you already know the future being supposedly omnipotent and everything.”

“Why did you even come to me?”

“I do respect your authority and enjoy being in your good grace.”

“Ha, sure.”

“Again, I assure you that I am quite responsible of my proteges. None of them have yet to destroy the world, while your proteges, on the other hand –”

“– Fine, fine, go before I change my mind.”

“Good century to you, my Lord.”

“Bah. Be gone.”

Silent Hallway

No one knew how to deal with the predicament. The woman merely messed up her ponytail in exponential exasperation each time she pulled at it, the brother waited for the sound of his own voice to fade from his mind though the moment and his account was forever etched in his mind.

The girl was there, watchful, respectful of the silent fellowship of sighs and heads bowing to inevitable guilt and worries.

The woman in the white robe came out, immediately startled by the razor glares of unrealistic expectations from the family against her throat lest she dared to utter a strain of bad news. She was spared, however, for the authors of such glares were no barbarians or strangers to pain.

It could have been worse, they imagined. The girl assessed to her mind for fear of shattering the gentle silence saving them from themselves. The woman clamped and unclamped her hands, stared at the white spot where her ring left a temporary indent. The brother looked through the earth and bid Lucifer good afternoon before they discussed the necessity of the Devil’s existence if the Creator is already so cruel.

It was a wound masquerading as a scar, and when it suddenly burst no one knew how to staunch agony. So they were all there, reimagining a nightmare, three patients in a hospital while the girl merely waited, prayed.

The Phone Call

The living room was holding its breath, its pristine order only upset by a splash of messy plants and color. The author of such vitality was enjoying a well-deserved nap and birds chirped with the same gust as any other cliche, sunny, spring morning.

Then a dull buzz accompanied by some default tones, several of them, actually; the crisis presents itself, the phone was not within arms-reach of the only current inhabitant of the house.

The woman did not seem very pleased when she marched into the living room, cladded in a hoodie she stole from a loved one, and a head of messy hair obscuring her half-opened eyes. She stared at what must have been the fourth call that must have finally roused her from her slumber, a frown of deep perturbation turned out to be the only cure to get rid of the sleep weighing down her eyes as she seemed to weigh the phone in her hand, count the seconds that passed with each measured pace while she waited for the voice on the other end.

Then a reply.

A cloud passed by and her features tied together further.

Time froze, no wait, the birds songs continued. It was the woman that froze, and only freed herself with a determined blink or two. A hand ran through her messy hair, and she did not seem to notice the knots in her hair. Then she muttered some affirmatives before setting the phone down and herself as well since her legs were unable to maintain the weight of whatever news she was given.

Then the living room was quiet again, though its pristine order now completely offset by the aura of distress. The birds chirped on, tone deaf, and she merely covered her ears, listened to her heartbeat calm to a steady drum before she got up, grabbed her keys and went off to attend to an unfurling nightmare.


There’s something amazing about how far a brush can reach: it’s only limited by how far one’s mind can reach. He’s never been one to disrupt the beauty of nature, but sometimes, just sometimes when he reminiscences past hurts and remembered how cruel the Creator is, he would raise a small rebellion and dictate the clouds and colors of the sky. Most of the time, the Creator turns a blind eye on that.

He used to conjure rain or stormy clouds, too, but apparently that was too much.

This afternoon, he was merely sipping coffee, sitting out in his backyard and watching the 50,000th sunset — there were probably more — of his life when he suddenly decided to paint again. He wasn’t feeling too upset, the macarons that he got as a housewarming gift were exquisite, and it was reassuring to know that the girl was fine.

Perhaps, he doesn’t always need to paint sunsets in childish protests. As he watched the clouds unfurled upon a bloom of purpled orange, he was pleased, for once.

He understand that his work often resonate with many lonesome travelers or students away from home or poets. But, perhaps if he changed the motivation behind his brush, it would be different. They would felt the difference.

He was uncertain if the spell of optimism was a power he was unable to lock away for the child. So, he decided to paint, until he was pleased with the layered painting, excited to show case it tomorrow afternoon.