Sibling rivalry

He was always the centre of attention at home. No one cared about me, the outcast—not even mum liked my drawings. All because I wasn’t autistic like he was.


This is my entry for day 22 of the Writers Victoria Flash Fiction competition. Today’s prompt: centre.

Swapped

Crowds cheered as the swimmer who’d nearly died in a freak accident, resurfaced. His crippled brother watched, mesmerised. The ever-ignored twin finally had the spotlight he deserved.


My entry for day 20 of the Writers Victoria Flash Fiction competition. Today’s prompt: spotlight.

Renewed

I have to go.

There’s no reason—
or one to stay for.

There’s no sense—
or sensibility anymore.

There’s no pride—
only prejudice reigns.

There’s no soul—
so bodies a wander.

There’s no air—
except mechanised oxygen.

I have to go—
for beach breathes life
into my suffocation.

Silence

Silence, when it came over, was noisy. Ringing in my ears, clacking unceremoniously, making itself known as if I’d somehow, god forbid, miss its entrance. As if it’s so easy to remain impervious to the raging, galloping rush of nothingness as it tumbled its way into my bare room. It pressed itself on me, pushing my face from both sides, trying to squish out whatever remained of my pale tear-dried cheeks. Compressing them as though they were a petty jpeg image of something larger, more significant than they seem.

Silence, when it came over, was unkind. Grabbing my ears by the edge, it pulled, tugging hard to make sure I strained. Fresh tears drained. It waited for the drops to drip, just long enough for them to solidify before forcing my eyes to renew the flow. Invading my comfort, it pulled the wind out of my lungs, extracting all joys, twisting, as it went, words that rumbled deep within my belly, croaked in angst, and crouched in agony.

Silence, when it came over, was swift. In one flawless motion, she swerved out of the road, and my world blackened. Cars don’t make good presents.

The woman who knitted

woman knitting

“Oh, it’s just nice to get away from all the noise at home. You know?” Her eyebrows had curved up while her fingers paused in mid air. I’d nodded politely even though I couldn’t possibly fathom why someone would go to the library every day just so they can knit. 

I’d just started working in the library when I met her for the first time. The curious stares never perturbed her, and neither did the incessant shuffling of feet.

People came and went. Since only a handful of them regularly spent time reading, the knitting lady soon became an icon you couldn’t miss.

In the following years, I spent occasions wondering what drove her away from home and into the library. I mean, I’d go when I wanted a book. Or to work or to attend a meeting. Theories constantly whirled my head—perhaps her neighbours were loud and rowdy, I mused turning on my cassette player at home one night. Or maybe her husband was a messy gardener leaving dirt marks all around the house to annoy her. Or perhaps, I wondered remembering my own grandparents, her grandkids were a pain in the ass and a torment to the ears.

But I never asked her.

“I should’ve,” I wrote in my diary the night after her funeral.

It wasn’t people that’d driven her way from home. It was lack there of.


Photo credit: Imani on Unsplash.