She, a micro story


She did not know what hit her. One moment she was in the dumps, disappointed with life and who she had become; the next she was awakened to life’s possibilities, her dreams no longer a distant past but a possible future.


If she knew the road ahead, she might have been less thrilled… then again perhaps not. She had made a right turn without realising, chosen a fork on the road without being asked to… but then she had been asleep, dead to herself so how would she have known. Which made it all the more miraculous, incredible in its simplicity and bounty.


She would never understand how it had come to pass but it did. Simple words, always words that meant so much. Her longing grew each day as they were all she had on this path… just that and even so, more than she had thought herself deserving or needing. Before, rarely a thought for herself but of the needs of others; and at times resenting yet persisting with the duties that made her who she was, without which she had believed rendered her nothing. She knows now she is more, those words arrive daily of the mundane, the unique, the humorous, of everything – to comfort, to support, to hold – filling her days with meaning and purpose.


She has walked this path longer than she thought she could, inspired by the goodness she felt, the strength she desired, the vulnerability she respected, the peace she yearned – this uplifting journey she hopes to remain. And on the low ebb days, those fears of rejection and abandonment still arise. She had lost her faith a little, tempered her trust of others; she might even have told herself she would be better alone. But she is healing on this path; and though confident she can be all that she wants on her own, she knows it’s manifold better and greater here on this road.


She is reminded of her needs and desires, those she had met for others, those she will now embrace for herself. For she craves attention too; care and kind gestures a balm. Now she loves again, she trusts; she has faith again. She will truly be free, she will have it all… perhaps. No matter, the journey is enough, more than she hoped. And all because of the enticing words that beckoned in the beginning, and the many many words that have followed across space and time… words, his.


~ FlorenceT


© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

A woman reborn



The final thing the old woman said was this.

“You are a creative soul. The time is ripe for you to grasp what is written in the stars. If you stay, it will kill you. And no matter what you do, you will always have enough.”

She could not believe the words. Her life has not been dull. She has done much and achieved a great many things. She has made a life as the patron of many charitable works, most of which supported art programs for the underprivileged, the disenfranchised. She had hosted many events which were the talk of the banking industry, in which her husband is a major player. She had raised three beautiful, well-behaved children who are also citizens of the world, knowledgeable and compassionate. This is for her the ultimate success.

As she stumbled over the cobbled stones and headed to ‘Antoine’s’ where her family must be waiting by now, mixed emotions assailed her. Has she made a success of her life? What’s the meaning of ‘success’? Has she hidden behind the façade of duty and care all this time? Or is it…

“Mum, over here.”

“Hi sweetheart, sorry I was daydreaming. Did you have a good time?” she asked as she looked expectantly at the other two faces staring at her.


“Mum, you look, um, kinda I don’t know, different..?”

“Oh, must be the brisk walk I took…”

“No, it isn’t that, I…”

“No matter, guys. Mum looks like she has had an interesting time. Now, let’s order. I’m famished.”

Something dislodged within her. She sat down and picked up her menu, wondering how familiar yet alien these people at the table are to her. It’s like she was seeing them for the first time, through unfiltered lens.

Do I even know them? Do they know me? The real me. She stilled at the realisation of what she has said, in her head. Taking a deep breath, her fingers gripped the menu tighter as she tried to reconcile the sensation emerging from the pit of her belly.

“Darling, you ok?”

She turned to the man she has been married to for close to 26 years, and smiled.

“Yes, I am. I think I finally am.”


How many of us are privileged to be reminded of soul desires?

How many of us are willing to step out from the life we have to a life we could have?

How many of us are prepared to let go and grasp each new moment?


This is a continuation of a short story I wrote last week, and is in response to #WritersQuoteWednesdayWritingChallenge . This week’s theme is ‘rebirth’.  Join in! 🙂

~ FlorenceT

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

The spirit beckons?



She meandered through the cobbled-stone streets of the old city. Thoughts swirled in her mind, as she wondered about this … and that. Of what-ifs? And how-coulds? And but-whys? Her heart beating a little faster each time she encountered the new, the mysterious, the different… and then she saw her.

She had crossed this square before, and this was the first she had seen the old woman with dread locks hanging loose over her shoulders. She seemed to hold court, sitting on her fold-able nylon chair. Something about her demeanor, the piercing grey of her eyes and toothless smile…irresistible.

Feet which seemed to take on a life of their own carried her to the chair across from the old woman. She sat down, as if compelled. Not knowing what to expect, she smiled.

‘Take, hold and rub if you wish until you feel one which calls to you.’

She nodded, her hands tentatively reached over. Odd sensations ran through her as she caressed each deck. Her mind could not comprehend but she sensed the difference of sensations. Till she finds… comfort… familiarity… in the final deck. She shuffled the cards and handed them over, noticing for the first time the look of alarm and curiosity on the old woman’s face.

‘You have not picked the easiest deck, my child. This deck has many shadows in them, you know what I mean?’

As she shook her head, the old woman continued, ‘this tarot deck is the darkest of the four. Are you prepared?’

Still trying to digest the old woman’s words, she nodded.

The old woman spread ten tarot cards out in a triangle.

And her adventure began.


In the French Quarter of New Orleans, on St Ann St next to Jackson Square, artists and psychics share space – all seeking to express their imagination, creativity and intuition, while seeking some connection with the sea of humanity that passes by.

Don’t we all?

This is in response to #WritersQuoteWednesdayWritingChallenge – this week’s theme is ‘adventure’. Join in! 🙂

~ FlorenceT

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

A first time


There is always a first time for everything. And this will be mine…for this. I do not know what came over me, but once I had it, I could not not go through with it. It was a bit of a dare and maybe with an element of a joke. Now, I am not so sure.

The vision of being stopped halts my step. Ahead of me is the barrier, its sentries looking fierce and entirely unfriendly. Maybe it is just my guilty conscience.

This is my second time visiting here, the first shortly after a terrorism threat to the country. Security was tight then, everyone was suspicious of everyone. But why are they looking grim… suspicious now?

Oh get over this. You are fine, you will be fine. It’s a minor thing, they wouldn’t care.

Each step closer to the barrier, the louder my heart beats. Oh, it is not illegal… or are they? Despite the liberalism portrayed on the big screen, America is more conservative than at face value. What if they are illegal unless a license is required…? It’s for personal use, pleasure and entertainment, they won’t … will they?

The officer smiles and beckons for me to approach. He seems friendly, not irritable or impatient. Even as I breathe a sigh of relief, another thought crosses my mind… Damn, they have time … increases the likelihood of being stopped.

I just need to brazen this out, come what may.

Smiling in reply, I walk casually to the counter, my hand clutching my luggage. ‘Good morning’, I said.

‘Good morning m’am. First time to America?’

I quickly replied in the negative, hoping this will be over soon. Looking behind me, the queue has grown significantly and getting restless. If there is a God…please.

‘‘M’am, if you could open your luggage.’

My heart sank. ‘Um…sure.’

Maybe if he saw how neatly everything is packed…

His hands reached into my luggage, somewhat carefully lifting the folded shirts then skirts then pants, moving aside my lingerie…

I groan inside… or maybe not, as he turns to look me in the eye.

I try to smile but I suspect it came out more as a … grimace?

‘M’am, are you alright?’

‘Ah, yes…it’s just I had packed my things so carefully… you know, tidy.’

His eyes narrow, as he continues with his inspection. Each movement deeper into my luggage …

Will he ask me to open the box? To take it out… I move to put myself between the officer and the passengers waiting in line behind me, to shield my luggage and the inevitable.

No longer under any illusion, I hold out my hand for the palm-sized box he found. ‘If you will, open the box and take out its contents’.

And as I slowly pull it out, his eyes gleam and his face breaks into a wide grin.


This is my response to Ronovan’s Friday Fiction prompt. Comments welcomed. 🙂

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

The room within


Connecting three dots… so bear with me.

1. Late last night, a friend thought I might enjoy Sue Vincent’s writing prompt revolving around this picture…in less than 100 words. At the time I was inspired to write of a cosy space, filled with what I love… books.  But it was late then…


2. But this morning, I was struck by this sense of our humanity as I sat in my car waiting for the light to go green, watching the sea of people crossing, each unique and yet the same as we go about our daily life, making a living, caring, loving, bearing loss, feeling anxious, being grateful, experiencing pain…

3. As I sat sipping my morning coffee, I was reminded of one of my all time favourite songs “All of Me” by John Legend while reading Erika Kind’s ‘Song of the Day’ post.

And thus inspired, here is what I think lies behind the door:

Beyond the door lies a space which beckons and welcomes, lit by the warm glow of a smouldering hearth. And stepping into this room with its low whitewashed ceiling, it compels an exhale of air releasing the tension and anxiety of the day. Stretching from the floor of polished rocks to the ceiling and spanning the walls, books gently and haphazardly compete for space on shelves of polished timber.

At the center sits a sofa of dark leather, aged by constant use, its texture softened by loving. A pale sheepskin rug lay before it. Here you find the room’s only occupants. They share this library and experience great comfort, exhilaration and joy from its contents, as much as from each other. Always acknowledging their unique human need to connect and to separate, to be individuals and to be one. No matter the disappointments, the loss, the grandeur and thrill of beyond, they know they are home to each other.

Alright, I am a romantic too… at times…when I have time to be. Interesting thought…having time to be romantic…?

– FlorenceT


© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

She was and is


woman and sea

She was beautiful, but she never knew it. She attracted the attention of the boys at school, but she never saw it. She was flattered, praised and propositioned, but she never heard them. The boys made fun of her for the perceived rejection of them. The men who desired her felt utterly lost at their ineffectual attempts to possess. Some called her ‘cold’, ‘frigid’ and much worse. They could not understand how this sensual beauty was totally oblivious to the effect she had on them. Many merely wanted to be by her side, basking in the glow that was her.

The women could not decide if she was a friend or an arch-rival. And because she was always civil, kind and inclusive, there was hardly anything to be held against her. Perhaps this fueled the green-eyed monster, raising its ugly head in the guise of curiosity and advice, proffered to help her be a ‘better person’. She waved them off with a grin and a knowing in her eyes.

She has a way of making everyone whom she came in contact feel unique and worthy. Her light self-deprecating laughs fill others with giddy happiness. Her calm comforts. She is a natural being without artifice, a born people-person who lives on her own terms, a private person who has no impetus to justify her self.

That is when she meets him. The unassuming man loved by many yet at times dismissed. His good-natured acceptance is a balm to all the ‘advice’ she’d ever received. In his presence, she is able to peer over the wall of her carefree, confident, unaffected persona. In his eyes, she sees what he sees, the ‘her’ within – all her longings, her desires, her needs long suppressed. She knows then in his embrace, she would finally pull down her defences and show her vulnerable self.

One day he would recall their first meeting, his hesitation and her appeal for him to stay:

Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.

One day she would realise that in his presence, she is at her strongest and most courageous.


This is written for RonovanWrite’s Friday Fiction Challenge. A line from one of my all time favourite movies, Dirty Dancing.


– FlorenceT


© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Another night and here we are again…


bed hands

Another night and here we are again.

Waking next to him, my hand in his, I don’t move for fear of breaking the moment. The scent of his skin fills my lungs, so familiar as if we have known each other a lifetime, perhaps we have for many lifetimes. I am home. His lips on my cheek… comfort, love…passion, all mesh into one. This moment is beyond what I have imagined. This is what memories are made of. He feathers kisses on my forehead…I hold back a smile. Ernest. Keeping my eyes closed as I relish his attempts to wake me. It is tempting to open my eyes, to see him once again, to begin this glorious day…with him. But… that would be one day less of him. Don’t think of that now. I do not know what to feel. Tomorrow will happen no matter… enjoy now. Tears? Do not cry. Don’t go there now.

His touch lingers, a pause to his kisses making their way down my back. His arms enfold me, squeezing me tight as I curl into him. I need to know it’s alright, that it will work out. He knows. He knows me. Perhaps he is crying too. There is no need to explain this bittersweet feeling. Joy, contentment, loss…

His very being…such gentleness. His forehead on my temple, his hands slowly memorize the terrain of my body, reaching deep within. He has been doing this for the past few days, perhaps that is what I sense. Those delicate fingers trailing, tracing… constantly studying me. While I, I replay moments of our days, a sense of desperation I can’t shed, to imprint them in my mind… the ache in my heart growing as the day approaches. Trying to hold back the march of time…

Enough of these maudlin thoughts. Live now. Turning, I open my eyes to the look of immeasurable love. “You know I worship you. I love you very much.”

Stolen moments are still moments to be lived. We hold on forever.



This is a part of Friday Fiction with RonovanWrites Prompt Challenge. The prompt for this week is “[u]se the first line of one of your favorite song and begin your story with that line.”

So here are the song and lyrics:

Another night and here we are again
All our faults laid out ahead
Let it out, then let it right back in
All those voices in your head

And we both know everything, but we can’t learn to leave
So I’ll tell you what you need

First thing: we make you feel better
Next stop: we pull it all together
I’ll keep you warm like a sweater
Take my hand, hold on forever
Just fall apart if you need to
I’m here and I won’t leave you now
Don’t look down
Hold on forever

Lay down all your troubles end to end
They could reach up to the stars
So many roads, you don’t know where you’ve been
But you still know who you are

And if I seem preoccupied, I’m wondering what to do
So here’s my recipe for you


And we both know everything, but we can’t learn to leave
So I’ll tell you what you need


– FlorenceT

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.


Cycle of Life


wolf howl

Annie felt the cold ground momentarily. Pain shot through her, its heat seared as she struggled to keep her calm. She knew it was to be expected but nothing, nothing prepared her for the reality of this. Joyous, she was not feeling it at all. There were times through this ordeal where she could hardly feel her limbs, and she thought she heard the sound of the wolf howl. Who should she believe?

The wise man had said it was a sign of goodness in the world but… but the Grandmam warned of its ill omen. Grandmam was no shaman but she had been for the women of the village for so long that a patina of respectability and wisdom surrounded her, elevating her as the Woman who must not be taken lightly. Grandmam was not one of Annie’s blood relations, she was merely the woman who had raised Annie since 5 moons after her birth. Annie’s mother had gone to meet the great goddess and her father had been unable or maybe unwilling to care for Annie. No matter, Grandmam was as close to a blood relation that Annie had.

And this woman was now lifting a smoking bowl over her… to ward off the evil that would besiege her otherwise. It was a belief of the tribe that a smoking bowl of burnt pomelo skin and coal be hung over a woman on such an occasion. The way Annie was feeling then, it did not seem to her that it had done any good. Annie did not trust that it would do her any favour soon.

There it was again, the wolf howl. A cold shiver ran down Annie’s spine even as another shot of pain hit her from her lower body straight up and Annie swore it hit her mind. No one had told her this would happen, no one. For a brief moment, Annie felt her ire rose against the women in the tribe, and more against Elim. He had left her to this, this unimaginable terror. And in the dead of night. Candles were lit, bouncing light from the two people in the room… shadows moving and whispering in the dim room. Neither one was him. How could he? And where was he?

Annie found herself drifting off to happy times, that was what spring had brought. The village blossomed as the flowers of the field; smiles and laughter of a certain carefree nature. Their village was not abundant but Annie knew they managed to have enough, enough to see them through the cold period. Spring was also a time of creation… Annie smiled at where her thoughts took her, then grimaced as the pain became more unbearable. How much worse could it get?

Gusts of wind slammed against the tent. And probably snow too, Annie thought. The silence of the world outside the flapping of the cowhide walls, the cold seeping into Annie’s bones. The wolf howl gave Annie an unusual sensation, a certain foreboding.

Annie wanted to believe in the wise man, but who was she kidding… The Reverent One did not like being contradicted though he had no qualifying feature to advise to-be mothers like her. What did he know about women and childbirth?

Annie wanted Elim. He always calmed her, but tonight of all nights, he was absent from her side when she most needed him. She understood he was needed on the night hunt. The village’s food store must be filled to see them through the even colder months to come, so their warriors were sent out to do the villagers’ bidding.

Goodness or ill omen, Annie tried to stop herself from thinking about it just as another searing pain tore through her body. In the haze, she heard Grandmam’s voice telling her it was all over, the baby was born and that it was a strong boy. A boy who resembled his father. Annie smiled or tried to. This was good, another warrior for the village. Elim was a handsome man, the man whom she had fought to win over. They had been happy. Annie knew the cold must have gotten worse as numbness spread through her body. The layers of pelt and fur, laid on top of the cow hide used to insulate her from the cold, was gradually losing its effect. At least the pain was gone. A distant voice asked if she would like to feed her baby. She tried to answer, but the voice drifted away leaving her to the cold as her eyes remained closed, as her soul rose to meet her love.

And in that instant in a forest somewhere north, Elim closed his eyes against the night sky, the cold a warm blanket to his weary body.


 This is a part of Friday Fiction with RonovanWrites Prompt Challenge. The prompt for this week is “[T]ake a moment in your life of which you would celebrate and use that as inspiration…” AND “[U]se the same experience for a story in one of the following Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller.”

Mine was birthing and the story went where it did…  Oh, constructive feedback is most welcomed.

– FlorenceT

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Time lost



He tries looking beyond the crowd, to the source of the haunting voice. It has appeared from nowhere …and he just has to see. If only the throbbing would stop…

His head is ready to explode… and the pressure behind his eyes… what a sweet song. Who is she? A feeling of dread … of curiosity… of…, oh he can’t think, trying to focus. On the voice.

His chest constricts, a twisting sensation. Gasping for air, he chokes on the smoke assaulting his throat… Taking another gulp, hoping for some soothing, some comfort… Awful… yeah, he has left his drink for too long. Tepid beer…

Lifting his arm, he tries again to usher the crowd aside… his hand connecting with the nicotine-filled air and drops to his side. That voice…if only he remembers but…

Swivelling back on the barstool, he raises his hand , lifting his index finger…red, he decides as his eyes connect with the bottles lining the wall behind the bartender. His mind drifts to bodies swaying gently, the sensations of her dress brushing against him, her hands in his hair…his heart fills full; she was smiling, her eyes shining with love for him, her beauty was unsurpassed, he would tell anyone this…now…but…

Mhmm, damn thirsty, he thinks as he downs it in one long swill… nice red. Crimson spreads across his striped shirt. He does not notice. Craning his neck to catch a glimpse of her. He is not leaving without seeing who she is… no, he can’t leave his friends.

Oh, where are they? They must be up front, where she is… yes, he remembers…they used to dance to her songs. He must say hello, she’ll remember them…she must. He jumps off the barstool, his forehead meeting the floor in one graceless fall. His world darkens.

Ticks and tocks of essential time, sink the spirits lower than wine.


This is in response to a weekly fiction writing prompt hosted by RonovanFriday Fiction with RonovanWrites.  Join in for some writing fun!

– FlorenceT


© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

At last



And he never did after the many plans, fantasies I now know, that we made.

The meeting at the bar in the hotel where I would stay with the excitement of young lovers, restrained familiarity. The coming upon each other on our favourite beach, somewhere where he as I would love to sit and listen to the waves rolling in. The anticipation of the airport first encounter when he would exit the arrival hall and into my arms, or more I into his.

There will be no sitting on the deck of our beach home, at peace in each other’s company. No back rubs in the afternoon after a weary day of writing. Those meals we had savoured in our minds, the diverse flavours which our adventurous selves had vowed to experiment. Those carefree mornings, though few but complete with sensuous lovemaking and a bagel and coffee to follow.

To have the children visit on special occasions, bringing laughter and joy while we secretly looked forward to being on our own at night, if only so we could sing their praises of how they are faring in their world. To be comforted by how contented we are in ours.

So many dreams that will never come to pass.

Here they all are… my people here for me. I watch them making their way over, despite the dis-ease of being here, their love I still can feel. My boy holding himself so tightly… “It is alright, breathe”. I used to say to him. Wish I could now. It is indeed a beautiful gathering… everything organised to the finest detail. If this is how she copes, then I won’t complain. “Mum loved these purple hues.” There you are, regal no matter the circumstance. Losing one’s mother is not easy. I know.

If only they could see me… finally free from the ties that had bound me to them. If only they knew how important these ties were yet how restrictive they had been, how much sacrifice they had demanded of me. I had made them all. Perhaps they feel it now. Ah, but what use is that to me now. And …

Oh, who is that… almost hidden behind the casuarina… looks like him… but it cannot be … but how… It is him. He made it after all this time, well I guess better late than never. Ironic after such indeterminate silence … I wonder if he will make his presence known, his identity … us. What will my people say?

That is no longer my concern. Time to go.

Is he waving at me? No… yes, he sees me but how… Oh dear man, is that why you never said goodbye.

“Oh my love…at last.”


My flash fiction challenge with RonovanWrites. Somewhat morbid…well, I sat down to write with the challenge of “Write about a family gathering” and this is what turned up.

– FlorenceT

© 2015 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.