Gone are the days
When it was so easy
So reckless, so careless
So young and so free

When happiness meant
Gumamela-sprinkled mud pies
Baked under the sun
Surrounded by a twig fort
Easily undone

When sadness meant
Getting lost at the grocery
Tugging at people’s shirts
Looking up
Only to find a strange face

When I tried to catch up
To playmates
Instead of deadlines

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I lie there
Staring at the ceiling
Trying so hard to pace my heartbeat with the tick of the clock
Yearning for “the sick treatment”.

It’s the treatment one gets
Especially when you are a kid
When another person would pull the blanket up for you
Spoon you with some soup
Or make you some milk.

I’m not sick.
However, I wonder…

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“How lovely would it be
If that would be me,”
Spark. Smolder.
Pleading animal, piercing dagger
Sear. Burst.
Crimson hands, bated breaths
Empty room, empty soul

Alas, a dying ember.

Words by: Cherry Rose Guillermo Copyright © 2017 Petrichors and Metaphors


Coming Home

Three hours left.
I could picture the scene on my window transform from dull gray to glowing green. I could witness faded images of skyscrapers turn into a portrait of trees.
Two hours.
A chilly breeze blows on my face. I hear the rustle of grass. I bathed on the sun’s warmth.
One hour.
I want to hear them – my family’s laughter. Just a bit longer and I’ll finally see them smile, kiss my cheek, and hug me tight – welcoming me home. These are the only things I long for as I patiently wait for the bus ride to end.

Words by: thaleeya Copyright © 2017 Petrichors and Metaphors

Author’s Note: This is a 100-word story submission to Reader’s Digest Asia from a long time ago. Just a background story, the idea was inspired by the author’s situation wherein she studies in a city and comes home in the province only at the holidays.