#Writing101 Pulses of Fear

Today’s Writing 101 Prompt: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.

Today’s Twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.


When people see needles, they may imagine why they trigger anxiety and uneasiness in someone else. But they don’t know the whole story.

I was twelve going on thirteen. A lonely lil’ boy in a big city. A newcomer to a strange land. It was imperative and customary for the authorities to conduct health checkups for every new batch taken in.

The Raffles Medical Clinic was a great brown building with grand, ceiling-high glass doors that betrayed the acrid odor of disinfectants and pervasive chemicals within. I belonged to a group that was scheduled to the ten o’ clock inspection, but I was unfortunately acquainted with none.

The waiting time seemed to stretch from morning to noon, noon to night. I had witnessed the medical campaigns replay itself for an eternity and I exhausted every form of reading material: the plaques, the pamphlets, the directories. Thus, I looked to the nurse with scorn as she finally approached me.

“Tan Chuan Ming,” she confirmed. I nodded in response.

“Follow me. I need to take a blood sample,” she instructed. I followed silently.

I remember neither the room, nor its contents, but the memory of what transpired within haunts me til this day. At the age of twelve, I had naught fear of a foreign shaft of steel entering my skin. It could be attributed to the ineptitude of that female sadist in white, or the pale sallow quality of my skin, or even technical faults, but I never had the same courage to face a needle after that day.

She pierced the skin. I daren’t look, for I was not interested in matter pertaining to blood. But she announced a result, warning me of an upcoming prick, for the blood drawn was meager and insufficient. Thus, I was punctured once more. Alas, the halfwit excuse for a nurse has managed the impossible! She missed the vein! My memory may have become unreliable over the years, but it was to my horror that she drew a oily, yellow liquid that had suspiciously resembled blubber.

(The vein in my neck is pulsing as I write. This is my equivalent of shivering in fear: I pulse in fear. *laughs*)

The process became unbearable, my emotions were a turmoil of fear, anger, hatred and panic, and my cognitive faculties were in no state to keep track of the numbers. The instruments of torture alternated its host, it begun on my right hand, then my left, and right again..

I left that room and that medical center literally unscathed, but I pulse with fear whenever the horrific anamnesis resurfaces.

#Writing101 Pulses of Fear

The House I Lived In

Today’s Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old?

It was common for their neighbors to hear them have altercations. But attempts to help have not been returned kindly. Denial were all that met their ears when the neighbors acted out of concern. The doorstep was guarded by a grate, and what lies between had not changed for the past 12 years: an ordinary shoe rack, a red welcome mat and the umbrella stand.

It could be described as a perverse blessing for what lay behind the door to remain behind the door, for their neighbors to be fortunate to be spared from the family’s troubles. This was not a happy family. A temperamental father, a heartless mother were the ingredients to the unpleasant brew I call my family.

The front door opened to the living-cum-dining room. It was a rectangular room of warmth brightly lit by natural light, with a cozy ring of sofas with the TV on the side. The dining table was at the side nearer to the front door, and people who dined there had the unhealthy privilege of being able to watch TV while dining. Behind the TV was the corridor. It led to three rooms along the side and the final one at the end. One kitchen, one storage room, and lastly two bedrooms.

The bedrooms were awkward and their purpose were confused. Two people slept in the smaller one: the mom and her son. The father slept alone. He tried to repair the situation but

“It was the snores!” she exclaims, then she would retort, “I’m taking care of Fred!”

But it was the ultimatum that was never dropped; the key to unlock the marriage that was not twisted: “I don’t love you anymore.” But it was the truth. Here was where I lived when I was 12.

The House I Lived In

#Writing101 My Awkwardest Post Yet

The best conversations happen late at night. And no, I’m not talking about the cheesy stuff that become the money maker shots for mainstream rom-coms. I’m talking about all other conversations where we speak in English but all meaning is lost because we are so exhausted that we just speak nonsense and somehow keep the conversation going.

Today’s Prompt: Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation.

Ralph: Cyrus do you know what’s a potato?

Cyrus: Yeah, it’s the thing that ate your mom. (Sorry if this seems rude, my friends and I have warped senses of humor.)

Ralph: Noooo potatoes are our friends. They’re actually food of the gods.

Cyrus: Really? Then what’s ambrosia?

Ralph: Ambrosia is-

Cyrus: Oh wait, ambrosia is a drink, so that means ambrosia is the drink of the gods.

Ralph: Yeah….

Cyrus: But wait, then what’s nectar?

Ralph: Isn’t nectar the bee juice thingy?

Cyrus: Really? I thought it was something of the gods too. Medicine or something.

(If you’ve read Percy Jackson, you might get it. Just might)

Ralph: *mocking Cyrus* Yeah, it’s medicine or something of the gods or something. 

Cyrus: Very funny.

Ralph: No.

Cyrus: What?

Ralph: It’s not funny.

Cyrus: Yeah.

Ralph: It’s hilarious! *burst out laughing*

Cyrus: …..

Ralph: *still laughing*

Cyrus: Screw you.

Ralph: *still laughing*

Cyrus: *takes out cell phone and turns on the LED light at Ralph*

(recall this conversation took place at night right before they were about to sleep.)





Ralph: *throws pillow across the room* GO AWAY!

Cyrus: *shuts off light, still chuckling*

Ralph: Mmm…. I’m hungry.

Cyrus: Want to eat more light?

Ralph: NO!!!!!!!!!!

Cyrus: But you said you were hungry!!!

Ralph: Nobody gets full from eating light!


Ralph: NO!!!!!!!!!

Cyrus and Ralph then proceeded to the kitchen to get some proper food and did not fall asleep for another two hours. They failed to wake up to Cyrus’s alarm clock the following day and were both late for school. They skipped classes instead and went to eat a hearty meal of baked potato. The End.

Midnight hunger pangs are the worst, aren’t they?

#Writing101 My Awkwardest Post Yet

#Writing101 I Had Weird Tastebuds

Today’s Prompt: Tell us something about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.


I used to be a very weird child. All because I love my veggies.

For me right, the best meal is the one with three type of veggies. From where I’m from, a typical meal consists of rice and three sides, usually one meat, one veggie and one egg. But my mom knew I liked veggies so she would cook three veggies instead. Sometimes she would cook some egg too.

(Noticed the awkward ‘right’? Well, that’s a habit of mine when I speak colloquially. It sounds much better spoken than when it’s written down. Oh well.)

Got this one time, my primary school form teacher asked me something. I forgotten what, but I replied, “I’m a vegetarian.” Then she sort of freaked out and her expression became very very shocked. Her eyes became big. Then she said,” Ha!? So young vegetarian ah!? Cannot one eh! Eh, you still growing up, you need your nutrients, your proteins, your everything! You have to eat meat one!”

(Brilliant grammar here eh? Haha!! I’m kidding, pardon me. I know the grammar is horrible.)

Of course, I didn’t really know what a vegetarian is, last time. I just thought a vegetarian don’t like meat. So I say I’m a vegetarian. I didn’t think the teacher will react like that.

Okay, everything above was me trying to imagine how I would actually phrase the sentence when talking aloud, then penning it down here. Yep, folks, that’s how I talk.

It’s my voice. I’m Asian and that’s how we roll. Or rather, itsliddat! (it’s like that)

#Writing101 I Had Weird Tastebuds

#Writing101 Yusof, Elayne and Granny

Today’s Prompt: A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.


I was talking to Elayne in the park.

“I don’t think my therapy helped. I need a new therapist. And her customers are just whacked. I was waiting for my appointment when this mad gypsy woman came out of her office, grabbed my hand, and started spouting nonsense!” I whined, while unconsciously waving my hands wildly in the air in audacious exaggerated movements, my face resembling one of Jack Sparrow’s finer scowls.

Elayne gently held my hand and lowered them. “Why? What did she say?”

“She was crazy, I tell you, craaaaaazy! She talked about doom and Armageddon coming. She saw the devil… death approaching… *shrugs* All that psycho stuff! She probably just wants to sell some fancy ass voodoo protection charm to me.”

“Did she?”

“Did she what?”

“Sell anything to you?”

“Of course not! I won’t buy any of that crap anyway! She’s crazy and needs help.”


Yusof was one of my worst patients. I have tried everything. Nothing worked. Recently, I concluded that he has finally lost his sanity.

He barged into my office an hour ago and sat down, catching me by surprise as he was not due for another two days. Then he began telling his tale, accompanying it with his signature erratic hand gestures. He looks like he is trying to draw an enormous cow in the air. I decided to take him outside. Fresh air might help, they said.

I wholly regret my decision. Public is not where I want to be seen with a madman. Now, he was yapping on about his delusions, claiming some gypsy woman had tried to predict his future.

“Heh, I can tell his future too. Easy. A lifetime in the asylum,” I thought.

Finally, he finished his tale and stopped under a tree, next to an occupied bench.

“Same time next week, Yusof?” I still had to ensure a guaranteed inflow of customers in order to pay the bills.

Yusof was not paying attention. His eyes were round as saucers and looking at something else. Following his gaze, I saw an elderly woman knitting on the bench.

Yusof began to shudder. I was terrified. “Yusof! Wh- what- are you okay!?”

His convulsions were getting violent. He fell on his knees and elbows. He began whimpering.

Apart from feeling panic rushing up my throat, I was also feeling a tad embarrassed. I frequent this park and knew the regulars. I must not be seen like this!

“Yusof, come on get up!!!!

“That r- r- red sweater,” he stuttered while his mind recalled the gypsy’s warning. “I’m going to dieeeee!”

Great. I am certain the whole park heard him wailing. I looked around at the watchful passers-by and grinned sheepishly. I had myself a small audience. Brilliant. I could only imagine how weird this would seem to them. A grown man crying on the ground on this wonderful afternoon. Oh, somebody help me!


I hate myself. Screw that. I abhor my very being. I never seem to get anything right! My own grandchildren hate me. I make them cry, my son said.

It’s my face! It has a natural scowl and there’s nothing I can do about it. 

That morning, I made an impulse decision. I’ll knit something for my grandchildren. A peace offering, of sorts. As noon rolled by, the weather became unbearable in the house, and so I left for the nearby park with my knitting kit and my trusty cane.

I knitted, and purled, and weaved, and tried hard to let the knitting take my mind off my unhappiness.

No bad thoughts! I deserve happiness! I’m in my golden happy years!

That was when I felt a man’s gaze upon me. Looking up, I saw Yusof, and Yusof saw me. I was afraid. Staring contests were never my best game. And strangers should not be staring at me. But primarily it was the fear of the prospect of a staring contest. I was about to look away but not before he broke down into tears while he watched me.

And just like that, my will was broken.

Forget it. The whole darn world hates me and my scowl.

Morals of the story:

Don’t call others crazy. You may be crazier.

What happens in the office, stays in the office.

Don’t please everyone. Someone will still find reason to hate your guts, or scowl, in this case.



#Writing101 Yusof, Elayne and Granny

My Imagination Getting the Best of Me

A beautiful, bright and sunny morning… No, why should I lie to myself- The morning was atrocious. The sunlight was blinding and I could feel the sweat plastering my hair to my forehead and neck. I was also fairly certain convinced that I had chosen the wrong shirt to wear, and everyone could see the butterfly outline on my back that my sweat had imprinted on me. Did I also mention the morning was hot? Well, I want to emphasize it again. With this sweltering heat, hell would seem like Antarctica in comparison.

Worst part of it all, was that all the sweating was done in a car, with the air conditioning at full blast. Hell, I told you, hell would seem like Antarctica in comparison. I hope the sweat on the car seat would not create an odor. Come to think of it.. odor is caused by germs, which are killed by heat; the germs would never survive the hot sun. Guess there is an upside to living in hell after all, eh?


Moments later, I was in Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, ordering a LARGE BLACK FOREST ICE-BLEND. I don’t even know what it is. I just wanted something LARGE and ICED.

After I placed my order, I sat alone on an overstuffed piece of upholstery, praising the wonderful air-conditioning of the shop. I felt at ease, but mentally, my mind was stressed.

cue: long chain of uninterrupted thoughts

I definitely had to get someone to service my car’s air-conditioning. I wonder if they could clean the seats too. And while at that, must they clean every seat or could they clean just the driver seat? I hardly have passengers anyway… Oh, wait I do. I picked-up my sweaty basketball mates once.

Gosh, the back seat must be crawling with germs!!! Funny how I didn’t smell anything.

Is the sun still hot? *glances out the window* Yep, it’s still hot.

Shiiiit, I parked under the shade. That means the sun would not kill the germs at all. The germs are laughing at me now.

*malicious giggling* Frederick! *more malicious laughter* Frederick! It sounds so real! I’m losing my mind!!


Oh wait, it’s just the barista telling me that my ice-blend is ready.

There weren’t any adverbs, were there?

My Imagination Getting the Best of Me

#Writing101 Ernie & Malcolm

Today’s Prompt: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.


Optimist vs Pessimist?

Ernie: Hey, do you think you’ll ever become a writer?

Malcolm: Nah, writing is just my hobby. It’ll never become a career.

Ernie: But you’re a really good writer, I like the stories you write. I thought Red’s Revenge was cool!

Malcolm: Red’s Revenge? It’s not even an original story. I just made it up after thinking about Red Riding Hood for a bit.

Ernie: Yeah, but still it’s kinda cool.

Malcolm: *shakes head* Nah, I probably unconsciously copied it off some CSI Miami episode that I watched ages ago.

Ernie: You’re such a pessimist, man.

Malcolm: No, it’s truth. I don’t want to become a writer anyway. Too much risk and no guarantee. You write books after books, not sure which one will become a bestseller. And when something you write finally sells, you’re probably too old to enjoy the money and fame anyway. I’d rather be an accountant.

Ernie: But you’ve got great talent…

Malcolm: Yeah, maybe I’ll use that talent to write down my tales as an accountant

Ernie: What do you mean?

Malcolm: Err… I don’t know what I’m talking about either.

Ernie: *awkward silence*

Malcolm: *awkward silence*

#Writing101 Ernie & Malcolm