Picture prompt: Eat your oats, honey

A blinding oat-splatter

Oat splatter

Honey, strawberries, pumpkin seeds, raisins, and underneath that wheatgerm, flaxseed, oat bran, oats.

“What’s not to like?” asked Ira, eyeing her husband, hands on hips, “I added full-cream milk, too, it’s creamier. ”

“Nothing,” said her husband, his words as still as the way he slept, straight, like a corpse, unmoving all night, after they had gone at it for a bit, most nights, or had an argument, which was each night.

“So? Sit down and eat it then. You know you have to look after your heart, now that we’re planning a baby. All this is good for your heart.”

“Yes,” he replied, and sat down, fork in hand.

She watched him as he mixed up the contents of the bowl, reducing the gold of the honey and raisins and the ruby-red of the strawberries into brown-white goo. As his fork paused to pick a bite and lift it to his mouth, Ira saw the goo rising by itself, like an exploding mudslide, splattering his face, blinding him.

“Come back early today, honey,” she dropped a kiss on her husband’s head as he struggled through his breakfast. “I have a feeling things will work tonight.”

Picture Prompt: The Waiting Game

More doodles based on picture prompts.


Sula's blood splatter and gecko tapes

The Game

Be prepared to receive a message, shrieks Sula, and in response everyone falls asleep, or pretends to.

But they are not ignoring her, and she is no despot on television singing her own glory. They are a bunch of erstwhile school-friends dispersed across the lands like the seeds from a Jacaranda, gathered in Sula’s home for a repeat of the endless childhood pretend games played in the not-so-shiny Singapore of yesteryears, the precursors of the video-games their children are so fond of now.

Sula has done all the hard work. She floated the idea of the reunion in the first place, how nice it would be for all of them to run around her maze of a house one last time before it got razed to the ground to make way for a 30-storey condominium, she said, how exciting to be able to become a crocodile, and swim in the muddy waters, snap off an unwary arm or leg, tread like only a giant can across an entire metropolis, increasing in size with each human crushed on the way,  climb out of a canyon on gecko legs, all those things they did as students when their allowance did not let them buy movie tickets or go to theme parks. She devised the game, arranged the rules, the writing, the dates, costumes, curtains, weapons.

They all agreed because they loved it all those years ago when it was Sula’s turn to host. The rooms in her home could be different countries, her swimming pool a boiling ocean full of enormous tentacled monsters, her bulldog often served as the king of the animal world, and obediently snoozed on the cushion allocated to him in the centre of the courtyard while gangly arms fought with plastic scimitars for the possession of his kingdom.

And now she commands them all to rise, and receive the gift, ye scoundrels and no-goods, and blasphemous tartans!

But the game is to ambush Sula with lasers when she lets fall her veils of protection, and none of the eight middle-aged men or women move.

In that moment before pandemonium would break loose, before they would all gang up on their alleged leader, beat her to pulp and blood spatter, they shed their pounds, years, their make-ups and their branded, Versace, Armani clothes, their collections of Barolo wine and limited edition Tourbillon watches, and become geeky kids who snort at fancy cars and spit out old wine, reaching for cans of coke instead.

Sula can keep her veil on for only so long, and her attackers wait, stifling giggles and snorts, guns at the ready, for the game to begin.

Walking by the river: Picture prompt

Walking by the river

More morning speed-writing, and another picture I came across.

He walked out that morning, planning never to come back, wearing his trusty old jacket, boots, holding his walking stick in his arthritic right hand. His old bones weighed too much on his children and he wanted a quiet place to curl up and die, like a tired bear who has slept through countless winters, raided many honeycombs in summer, hunted, feasted and danced under the moon; and now, too tired to carry on, wants a place to lie under his own fur, lay his head on a smooth stone and never wake up again.

He walked down the riverbank with a purposeful stride, as if he knew where this stone would be. Though he longed to hear their chatter, the birds held their quiet before sunrise, and the slow river made no sound as it ambled its way towards the sea. The mosquitoes that buzzed around him every day on his walks had disappeared.

He missed his hound, his hunting companion of many years whom he’d buried in the backyard the month before, wondered if his kids would find him and bring him back to lay beside that old black rascal, alert for a partridge in his dotage, in the very last week of  his life.

He raised his nose in imitation of his hound and tried to sniff the lightening, starlit air, but caught only the fish-like stench of the river. No flowers bloomed this early in spring. He stepped off the beaten path through the woods, and heard twigs crackle under his boots. He took out the hip flask that had ridden in his pocket the last two decades, unscrewed it and took a swig.

He thrashed his way towards the bank and flung the walking stick as far as he could into the river. In the dull light, he watched it float lazily away near the middle. He stumbled on, determined to walk till he either fell down or found his stone.

Writing Prompt: Singaporean Houses

Singapore houses

Singaporean housing

Morning writing again, and another picture prompt. I had fun the last half an hour free-writing like crazy, and though the piece may be full of holes (world-building and so on) I like that I can come up with something set in the future.

Inside a Singapore home, you will find mirrors. Not small bathroom mirrors, or lean strips at the dressing table, but big fly-away ones that perhaps took ten men to carry up eighteen floors into the little apartment, because, of course, they would not fit inside the lift. Some things have not changed in the last few decades: Singaporeans’ belief in feng-shui, which does not allow partitioned mirrors, their need for making their apartments look bigger, and their vanity.

At Sentosa (a man-made beach on reclaimed land, Singapore must be emptying beaches and deserts all over the world to make it a Guiness record holder in terms of size), you would find crazy glass houses full of mirrors that some strange ang moh man like me would buy (an ang moh is a man with red hair, a pretty racist chinese term for a white, if you ask me, and they call me racist if I call them chinkies back home) but those homes are ridiculous, a large wave might fluff them away.

Nothing is large in Singapore, though, if you get my drift, hearts are small, as are the homes, even the people, okay, I’ll stop right there. Big brother might be listening in. Though I have nothing to be afraid of, not as if they would let me stay here as long as I want, I’m not from China or India, (the right ethnic make-up for Singapore, sweaty Asians). But I have skills, yessir, I have skills. That is all we Americans are left with, skills, because all the factories went to China a long time back, and all the jobs got outsourced to India, even healthcare. We’re a nation of consultants now,  we get paid for giving advice. A country of shrinks, they call us, but we’ll make our comeback yet.

When I was born, they were scared the world would blow in two years, 2012, they called it, made movies about it, full of doom and destruction. My parents almost got rid of me, so short a life, they said, and so expensive. (My grandma told me all this in a splatter of a story, as revenge against my mother who threw her out to stay in the out-house.)

So, my company built this place in Sentosa. Well, not so much built it as flown it in, using one of those big American crafts. We’re not going to space any more, (no money for research, because the mlitary needs all of it, we’re into four differnt wars in the Gulf  now) so those disc-shaped things that have been UFOs for almost a century, went public two years ago. They rent themselves out, offering trips in “spaceships”, and the less glam ones work at lifting heavy stuff.  Houses, for example, and even entire resorts, like the one you see below.

My company bought that rock, built a foundation on top of it, and then flew in the building to fit the foundation, easy-peasy. It is a good place to keep people like you from the past, sort of isolated, wouldn’t you say? That cable-car thing is well-guarded, and is for contingency-use only. None of you are rock-climbers, we make sure of that when we bring you in–China and a few big American companies are keeping this project afloat as they need more people, and with birth-rates falling all over (the Chinese forgot the art of sex and giving birth during the one-child regimes of your time, and the children were mostly males, and American women just refused slavery), where else can they go, other than the past, and swipe off a few ‘right-looking’ people no one would miss? They’re looking into changing a few things at a higher level, but they can’t stay there long enough. Not yet.

So, welcome to paradise. Apart from all the facilities, which are naturally top-notch, you’ll find a good supply of likable women, and we believe that the natural process brings better results than artificial insemination. Make friends with the women, and ah, get on with it, if you know what I mean, yeah? You’re a hearty 20-year old from 1960’s New York City, and we find your type knows your job well.

Well, here we are. Enjoy your time at the resort. Why am I telling you all this? Maybe I talk too much. Maybe it is part of my job. You’ll find out soon enough, won’t you?

Take care, and goodbye.

Picture prompt: Rosso’s Story

Picture prompt writing: Rosso's story

Rosso's story

My morning writing has shifted to mid-day, because of all the non-writerly things I have to do these days. Today I picked up a random picture as a prompt, and here’s what I wrote in 5 minutes of timed writing:

He held me up by the ears, my father, just as if I were a giant rabbit at an auction, a rabbit as big as the pig he named me after, Rosso.

But that is not the story.

The story is also not, for example, that my father loved the sound of Italian names, and named his biggest, fattest pig, Rosso, or red, in Italian.

It is also not that my ears grew longer with each hanging, and I grew to be a big, fat, pink man with long pointy ears that drooped when I was afraid. Which was whenever my father was in the room.

The story is that I talked back at my father today, and he a strong man still at sixty, lifted my twenty-eight year old body, that weighed 200 pounds, up by the ears, clear off the floor. He then stamped at me and said Sush! just the way he had done all my life, Sush! he said , go and bury your nose in whatever book it came out of, you fat pig! But today I figured I am as big as him and must be as strong and why can’t I Sush him back?

Which is just what I did. I sushed him and Sushed him, and I felt happy that I was as big as he was, no, bigger, and in the end I sushed him well.

He’s on the floor now, very quiet. Rosso the pig is no longer around, but his offspring flourish in my father’s backyard. I will take him to them.

And that, my friends, is the story.

3rd Blogiversary…Buon Compleanno…

Daily (W)rite is 3 years old

Daily (W)rite is 3 years old

Can’t believe it has been 3 years….I post here only every now and then, but somehow this blog has survived all the neglect.

Thanks to this blog I’ve met some wonderful people, and that has more than repaid the sporadic effort I’ve put in.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has commented on here, I love the coloured little box that tells me I have a comment!

It IS nice to go back and read my old posts, and comments by readers, and I hope I can carry this blog another year.


Oscar and Lucinda

Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

Just read this in Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey, and couldn’t help sharing it:

“He bent over his son and kissed the air above his forehead and then walked in tiptoe in that slightly exaggerated and silly way that men like Theophilus, normally gruff and bustling about their business adopt as a sort of dance to celebrate their most tender feelings.”

This kind of brief, but intensely effective characterisation belongs in a short story,  but I’m not complaining Peter Carey put it in a novel. I love Peter Carey, and can see why he won the Booker.

On with the reading. But first, dinner.

See you on the other side, world, once I’ve finished with Oscar and Lucinda!