MALIYA | Ground Zero (An excerpt)

My head is aching. I don’t know what to think. What to do. Just trapped inside this unknown feeling of nothingness—if there’s such a thing. Like feeling nothing because you can’t label what it is, so maybe the word “nothing” will do. And nothing sounds like a fool. A zero. A beginning or the one before it begins. And there are no stages or rules here. It’s a zero. Nothing. And perhaps to feel nothing is a gift. To care less about what’s happening. To worry less than usual, than how i used to. To become less crazier, to come from a point of nothingness. A point where something should click in before it could begin. Like waiting for an AHA moment or maybe there’s no such thing, and it’s okay. Coz I’m at my zero. Wait, what the hell am i thinking?

“Is there something wrong? Are you okay? You haven’t touched your breakfast and you kept on drawing a circle with your finger over and over again,” Mother said, while giving me a look that I couldn’t label.

But I’m used to it. She usually throw me lines of sarcasm everytime i get lost in my thoughts. Oh yea there’s the label, it’s sarcasm. I didn’t answer. I responded with a faint sigh and three sudden blinks.

She just ignored it.

I got up from my chair to grab a glass and poured water in it. I watched the cold water flow freely ‘til it’s half-full. My throat just needs something to wake it up, i guess, and water is a good idea. I sipped and drank it faster than usual. I don’t wanna hear more lines from her, let alone a word. But the speed of my drinking isn’t too swift enough. She said something and my heart skipped a beat. Yes i heard it, but i pretended that I didn’t.

“I said we’re leaving. We’re leaving this house and your father. I can’t go on living like this with that lunatic. Did you hear me, Maliya?”

A deafening silence filled the dining room.

“Are you listening to me? Or you’re lost in your world again? I can’t do this anymore, i can’t… i have tried. Too many times. I have given him chances. But no, he hasn’t changed…”

She kept on delivering her lines like the lead star on a television series who plays the victim for the most part and doesn’t really learn. Lines I’ve heard a few months back, a year ago, and the years before that. For Christ’s sake I’m nearly eighteen.

Her voice is now becoming a distant emergency alarm that echoes, and i still feel nothing. I’m still holding the empty glass in my right hand but my throat still couldn’t find the ease it needs to speak.

I need more water.

I turned around to get more water. And from behind i suddenly heard her burst out in tears. She was holding it in but she lost and now having an outpour of pain.

Now it’s clicking in. From nothing to something. Ground zero to a breakthrough. Or more like a breakout. I’m now feeling it. The screams from my insides that no one else could hear. And i hate that about me. I feel too much and I’m too soft for her. I love her very much that i hate her for it.

I turned back around and put down the glass on the table and gently held the back of her head to rest her face against the surface between my chest and my belly while she sits there, helpless, full of agony.

She cried even harder. I still haven’t spoken a word. My shirt is covered with her tears and her arms around my body embraced me tighter. My mother needs me.

I need more water. Or maybe not.

“I’m going to drop out and find a job. So we can start all over. You, me and Diwata.” I said. My voice didn’t crackle. Now is the perfect time to save her. And i hope this time she has learned her lesson. Otherwise, i might go insane.

“No. You’re going to be a Lawyer, honey. You can’t drop out just like that.” Mother insisted as she released from her dramatic embrace and looked at me with a surprise on her wet face.

“You know i hate school, Ma. It’s always just tasks to finish and projects to accomplish, and I don’t even enjoy it. I’m almost eighteen and i can start working. I know someone who could help me find a job.” I replied, with a tone of i-dont-take-no-for-an-answer.

She looked at me, raised her right hand and warmed my cheeks with her palm. That look. It’s not sarcasm this time. That look is a look of trust. I hope she doesn’t change her mind.

Diwata, my eight-year-old sister suddenly came in and smiled at us while she rubs her eyes and said in her cute little voice, “I peed on my bed, Mama. I’m soooorrrryyy…”

My mother and I looked at each other and laughed. She got up from her chair and wiped some leftover tears from her face and carried Diwata like a baby. Well, she’s still our baby and her light is what i need to give me courage in this path I’m taking.

As they both have left the room, an excruciating pain started to kick in from my right wrist. A glow of yellow that sparkles made a cut from near my palm down the middle of my forearm. It cuts deep and it’s painful. There’s no blood but something magical is drawing its way to my body. Like a symbol of a mighty sword. A tattoo showing up once again. Out of nowhere. Clueless of its meaning. Victim of an otherwordly scene. While I haven’t deciphered the previous symbols, here i am yet again, left with more questions than answers.

Answers. I feel like i need to start looking for them.

To be continued…

Battle of the Psychos

img_3248-4

“This is what you want, ain’t it? F*ck me then fool me and then make me fall for you? Now if this is a game for you, let me play it real good with you. In this game, you be my Queen—but there’s no way I’ll be giving you to another King. No way out, no escape. Do you understand!?” threatened Ben, while he unzip his pants, still putting all his weight at her back.

Ash couldn’t move, she could feel the heat from his breath that made her face sweat even more, while she’s painfully pressed at the back of the door, disgraced and motionless. She tried to protest and escape from this nightmare, but the thoughts of her troubled past enfeebled her bones.

Ben had successfully and forcefully owned her from behind which has put Ash into a mental numbness. Ben kept on talking whilst he do her, but none of them meant to her. It’s been a while since the last time she felt something. At this very moment, she’s mentally numb but emotionally disturbed. Her past is now haunting her in every corner of her mind. Her brokenness has reached a level of total damage, all pieces have multiplied into micro mini versions of it that even time might not be enough to put them all back to its wholeness again.

Once he’s done, he vigorously flipped her body from her waist so he could look into her eyes. He held her face with both his hands, kept on telling her to “say something!”, but he heard no response from her.

All of a sudden, tears rolled down her face. Stunned, Ben stepped back and stood there staring at her like a statue. After a couple of minutes, he started apologising, like a person with bipolar disorder whose state instantly changes, back to being the nice guy that he was.

What is this guy, really?

Not a question of who, but a question of his true being. What is his true nature? Who’s the real Ben and when is he saying the truth? I couldn’t fathom his real identity…

Ah, I knew it! He’s a psycho! A real one and maybe, a dangerous kind. My tears aren’t worth falling for this a-hole! Ash thought whilst she wipes her tears off her face.

“I need to leave. Please let me go.” she begged, trying to hypnotise him with her fake puppy eyes to minimise the trouble, hoping that this guy would let her go. But this man’s level of obsession couldn’t be broken the soft way.

“No, you can’t leave. You’re my property now, don’t you understand?”

Crap. Then let me do it the hard way.

Back to her senses, she landed her fist to his nose as quick and as hard as she could. Ben lost his balance and fell onto the floor. He then touched his nose and saw the palm of his hands filled with his thick form of blood—it momentarily paralysed him until he realised that Ash has already ran away to escape.

*****************

This is a continuation from my Psychoweirdo series. Jump in and let me know your thoughts below 😉

Awakening the evil

img_3248-4“You’re crazy to think there’s love in between all of this. You’re completely out of your mind. It’s merely a sexual desire, don’t you see?”

Face still straight and emotionless, the Psychoweirdo uttered these words that has probably shattered Ben’s hope. She wasn’t lying, although she’s quite bothered with the way this guy treats her, she’s 100% sure it’s not love. How can someone know of something she hasn’t felt ever, neither received from anyone, nor is present even in her own self? Isn’t that ludicrous?

Ben stood up, opened the bottle of Scotch resting at the table and poured some in his glass. He walked slowly towards the window, in deep thought, but his eyes were lost in oblivion. He could feel the rage firing up inside him whilst he hears his alter-ego that poisons his head, telling him how much of a loser he is, presenting all his regrets at the core of his mind. Regret? Perhaps yes, he regrets that he left his family for this woman of magical charm–he was blind enough to see the scars concealed pretty well in her porcelain skin. And yes, crazy enough to think that this crazy woman will eventually fall for him. He drank all the scotch left in the glass he’s holding and firmly said,

“Ash, I am crazy about you and you’re mine!”

As he declared, Ash saw a flash of demonic fire burning in his eyes, which is not too foreign to her. She has seen this before, roughly around a decade ago, when his foster father raped her, multiple times before she was able to escape. All the unpleasant scenes she has buried in the micro deepest layer of her memory has emerged and evolved into a fresh huge monster that in that very second has made her ill, making her want to run away again forever.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about. We’re done. I’m leaving.” she hastily picked up her bag and almost made her way out when Ben grasped her by the wrist, shut the door and said, “I’m afraid that’s not gonna happen.”

With his strong built, he pushed his body towards hers, her right cheek pressed in the back of the door like what a policeman does when they catch a criminal. With both her hands in his possession, she could hardly move, it seems like the flashbacks from ten years ago weakened her knees, she’s nearly vulnerable and almost ready to yield.

“You’re hurting me! Let me go!” shouted Ash, as she tried to fight back the weight of Ben’s body that’s hindering her to run away.

Pain suddenly disrupted her brain. Not the physical one she currently feels (’cause that’s way more tolerable), but the pain from the darkest places she’s been in the past that she never wished to see again. After a few seconds, she smelled the stinky odour of the past that was too familiar to her senses, when the man behind her said them words that her father used to say…

“How about we play some games first?”

 

******

This is a continuation to The Psychoweirdo fiction series. For the previous parts, click on the links below.

A Psychoweirdo

The Psychoweirdo’s voice

The Psychoweirdo’s voice Part 2

Psychoweirdo is back!

The Psychoweirdo’s charm

Ash–as human, and a woman.

 

Lost Soul (Part 4)

 

 

lostsoul3

I heard another sound that made my heartbeat pound like a non-stop drum from a marching band. It’s no longer just a branch of tree falling but stones being thrown at my shack! I remained still and silent, my back leaning at the improvised door I made while i grasp my knife with both hands. If it’s the Ha La Lau, my plan, ever since I came here, was to jump over him and stab that creature in his eyes so he wouldn’t be able to see me as I run away and then just find a new place to build a new home. Living in this peculiar world for such a long time, I have learned how to survive and I will never let any ugly creature take my life away. No, never.

On the third sound that was louder than the first two, whether it’s a bigger stone or a stronger force I wasn’t really sure, I got more tensed. I’m 100% certain someone’s throwing it at my house and that I have to do something. With unending drops of sweat onto my neck up to my lap, I peeked through the small hole from where I sit and peered into the darkness. After a thorough search from the west side of my shack, where the stones were thrown at, I found nothing. Not until I saw a hand that released the fourth powerful strike—dang! it hit the bull’s eye! For some weird reasons, I was able to anticipate it would get through the hole so even before it could hit me, I moved back and rolled like an action star who successfully missed a gunshot.

Oh my God! I’m still fuck*n’ nervous but the thought of seeing a hand that resembles that of human’s, calmed my nerves a little bit. What if there’s another human being trapped in here just like me? But how sure I am that the hand who threw them stones was of a person’s? I walked silently like a frog to reach for the stone at the other end of my tiny house and I couldn’t help but to wonder why it doesn’t look like a stone. Ain’t a stone supposed to be black? This one looks like it was covered with white crumpled paper even from afar. When I reached it, I scrutinized it before touching it worried that there could be some magical spell and as I look closer to this stone as big as a baby’s fist, I saw some symbols from the paper covering it. I have this gut feeling that this is a positive message so I held it while I cover my face with my left hand, afraid that it could be a bomb but when I carried it and heard no explosion, I released a deep sigh of interim relief. I straightened out the crumpled white paper and this is how it looks like:

img_5474-1

I have no idea how he (if he’s a “he”, or if he’s actually a person) was able to wrap this symbolic piece of paper but all I know is I have to decipher it. It’s obviously not English but I know this means something of significance. What if this could be my ticket to go back to Earth? Anyhow, I have to find out first where this came from and who that mysterious messenger is.

Leaving the stone behind, I folded the paper and put it in my pocket. I gathered all the courage I have saved in this planet and armored myself with it as I walked outside to search for that messenger. I examined the dark surroundings and walked tiptoed, trying to make no sound and staying alert and attentive all the time. After a couple of minutes of search, a sweaty hand grabbed me by my arm it lifted me from one place to another, like a ball that has bounced from the surface of the earth. The force was too strong I thought he was a giant or a monster but the fact that the hand was sweaty indicates he’s human. And I was hell right. He was hugging me from behind, his right arm clamped in my waist while his left hand covered my mouth ’cause I couldn’t help but to scream femininely as I tripped over.

“Shhhh. The monsters will hear you and we’re dead” whispered the guy with a face I haven’t seen yet.

“Who are you? Are you human too? Are you trapped here as well?” I moved back and saw a shirtless man looking like a caveman with long brown hair same as Tarzan’s with a bizarrely long beard I can hardly see his face.

“I am, but hang on, let’s go to my hideout first before I answer all your questions. Did you bring the piece of paper from the stone?” asked the man, while he kept on looking around, perhaps checking if a Ha La Lau heard my scream.

“Yes, it’s with me.”

“Alright then, let’s go.”

***************************************************************

This is another contribution to a writing challenge my dear friend Bartek has created again to combine creative minds from around the world. So happy to be part of this and so thrilled to read the next parts. Please click on the link below so you can see how this story started. Please let us know if you’re challenged enough to do the next part through the comments. Maybe make a romantic twist? Or a magical one? It’s all up to you. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

Part 1 by Enni

Part 2 by Joker

Part 3 by Bartek

(Photo credit to the owner)

Ash—as human, and a woman.

img_3248-4

The sunlight kissed her cheeks at 7 in the morning as she was awoken by its strange heat brought by its reflection by the windowsill. With her slightly opened eyes she found herself lying in a foreign room, with an old-fashioned yet comfortable bed, with scents of old books all over, complimented by the artistic colors shouting at four walls, with pine trees waving at her as she faintly lift her head to peer at what’s behind them white curtains being swayed by the wind.

She couldn’t help but to smile albeit rather anxiously, with the thought that someone might see her. She then looked around and found no one else except for her bare and naked self. She stood up and walked tiptoed, worried that the floor made of purely wood might break, but the idea of it happening made her laugh at the back of her head. She held the other side of the white curtains and used it to cover her body, leaving only the sight of her face and a little bit of skin from her shoulders as she pressed it in between her armpits making it look like she’s wearing a white tube long dress. She leaned towards slowly and crumpled her eyes to take a clear look at the view—the pine trees stand firmly at the white sand that looked like it has swarovski and diamonds in it, as it shines brightly with the help of the sun. Birds are forming some sort of patterns in the bright blue sky, dancing and singing like theater actors that are well-rehearsed. Beyond them trees she could see the splash of big waves and the sound of it that in that moment, calms her soul.

A soul. Yes, she has a soul. However, it’s not quite visible using typical set of eyes, she reckons no one ever has seen it, as she has been keeping it at the depths of her skin. What everyone sees in her is nothing but evilness and wickedness—and she’s completely fine with it. That’s exactly what she’s born for, aint it? She didn’t want to share her secrets that lies underneath the words in her eyes and she hardly even thought of joining forces with a man on a deeper level. It was never part of the plan. But Ben digs effortlessly to get to know her and now she fears the idea of losing the battle.

It all started when Ben left everything for her, chose her, accepted her, understood her and met all her needs. He brought her in a Probinsya, for a holiday getaway, away from the chaos of Manila’s crazy traffic. Ben told her he bought a house by the beach and that he wanted her to see it but he didn’t tell her beforehand that they’re going to stay the night. She doesn’t want to sleep next to someone, in spite of her strong sexual attraction towards Ben, but she realized she had no choice. It was a long drive she was a little exhausted so she didn’t protest anymore. And there she found herself waking up to such an amazing view. The Psychoweirdo then closed her eyes and played the horror of the ugly possibility that lingers in her head, as the wind touches her face gently, heedless of the curtains that left her body open for everyone else to see. But again, no one’s there anyway.

A few seconds later Ben opened the door with a mussed hair and a full smile on his face, wearing only a cute dirty white apron and his blue checkered boxers while he carries a tray of Filipino food.

“Good morning, Beautiful. I cooked you breakfast.” he said as he stared at Ash’s naked body, looking like he’s memorizing her curves and perhaps enjoying the beauty of her breasts. Ash didn’t say nothing. She almost ignored him and nonchalantly reached for her dress and walked past through him to go to the restroom. She leaned her back against the door with her hands at her back, still holding the knob even after she locked it, not moving a muscle and just staring at the ceiling, with unwanted thoughts that bother her. No one has ever treated me like human, or even a woman except for him. She thought without blinking, her heart started to race like its going to explode. She couldn’t be vulnerable with anyone, that’s never going to happen. She’s scared with the idea of him looking at her like she has seen her soul, that she’s been hiding all along. She’s afraid that maybe he has seen it, even without her knowing it. Is that even possible?

*****************************************************

This is a continuation from my fiction series The Psychoweirdo. 🙂