Saturday, November 17, 2007

Flash Fiction From High Schoolers

Thanks to Vin Simbulan, who asked the students in his two classes at Xavier to try their hand at writing a short story about this image by Andrew Drilon (from PGS2's Image Inspiration), I have two pieces of flash fiction here. Vin held a mini-contest in his class, and after judging, these two pieces won. The writers of these two pieces got a free copy of PGS for their efforts (the second and third placers got copies, too). Hope you enjoy reading their work!

Gone Cuckoo
by Benjamin Ilagan (3rd year high school)


Swing. Swing. Swing.

"Hey, you."

Swing. Swing. Swing.

"Wake up."

Swing. Swing. Swi-"WAKE UP."

I opened my eyes. Closed them again. No was this was real. Nooo way. Not happe-"OPEN YOUR EYES."

Slowly, reluctantly, I opened my eyes. The impossibility was still there: tarnished gold bars and a crap-stained floor. Trays full of birdseed and water completed the scene. It was my bird, Eunice's, cage. Any other time, this would have been normal, but two things convinced me this was a dream.

First, I was inside the cage. Immediately, there was something wrong. There was no way I could have fit in there. Sure, I was small for my age, but Eunice was a parakeet. Im. Po. Si. Bull.

As if that weren't bad enough, another anomaly was staring me in the face. Literally.

Yellow feathers, a white beak and a pair of beady black eyes looked at me. Holy crap.

"Figured out where you are yet?" my parakeet asked me.

Yeah, I had a pretty good idea of where I was; crouching on the piece of wood that swung from the top of my cage. But there was no way it could be real.

Eunice hit the side of the cage with her wing, rattling it. "Well?" she said.

I gulped and opened my mouth, but no words came out. Instead, I started to sing.

Doomed as a Pet
by Vito Borromeo (2nd year high school)

She was a pet.

In a place filled with black figures and other blurry statutes, she sat alongside its other plaything, a beloved white bird, a flerret. Only she had a duty of her own; she was to take care of the bird, lest she be devoured slowly like the others. How she found out of this duty was not a pretty sight. At front sight, the massive figure simply shook the cage, signaling her to do something. She tried to entertain it, but it did not respond coolly. Thankfully, the bird had made a sound, somehow telling her what needed to be done. She figured the rest on her own. A good thing too; the monster nearly ran out of patience.

Strangely, she had already forgotten her name. ‘J..Jane, was it?’ She was not sure anymore, for she did not know whether it was daybreak or nightfall. Everything was simply black and quiet. The monster would appear occasionally, the creek of the seemingly humongous doorway soft and eerie. It moved quickly, considering its structure. It did not speak, it never really did. It simply stared, the dark crimson eyes seeing to it that its bird was still happy with its current caretaker. For some reason still unknown to her, it made a routine of taking out a large parchment and a quill and just writing something. She had tried to see what the monster had written down many a time; the closest thing she could see was marks used for counting. She did not even want to think of what that could be for. Just as quickly as the monster would come, it would disappear into the apparent nighttime, its eyes still meeting hers until it finally vanishes.

She was just another girl in her twenties, an innocent young lady who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was during one of those moonless nights, when the monster had appeared to her, whilst she slept. By the time she woke up, she had found herself in a cage, with a bird and ink bottle in sight. Now, even her dreams abandoned her, and she could barely sleep, not while the bird was not taken care of yet. She would stroke its feathers and feed it whatever she could find. And even if the bird was already sleeping, she still feared that it may come back at any second, ready to crush her skull with its bare hands, seeing her as a lazy caretaker. She longed for someone to save her, but realized that only she could save herself. The real question was not who was to save who; the real question was how was she to save herself. The odds were obviously stacked against her; she had no easy escape, if any at all.

She decided to search her surroundings. The cage bars itself was as hard as diamond, at least to her weak body. She checked the bottom of the cage. On the floor of the cage, she saw a message, barely visible to her much distorted vision. The message had been in dark red, something like old blood. It read messily,


Up upon this very message was a small opening through the bars, not enough for her to get through, but bigger than all other spaces. The bars themselves seemed crooked, as if something had happened at this very spot. Why was the message there when the gap between the nearby bars were still too thin for even her, who was figuring an anorexic body by this time?

And then it hit her, ‘Someone must have been found by the monster! A previous caretaker who had hoped to get out alive..’ The monster must have seen the opening and closed it back with its bare hands. Even she, already suffering a fate she couldn’t have ever dreamed of, could not imagine what had happened to that poor soul. It seemed as if there really was no way to get out of this horrid place. Maybe she was really just relying on false hope. Maybe she was destined to die. In the midst of these melancholy thoughts, she had heard a voice,

I can help you..

The last voice she had heard was her own weeping, the night the monster had snatched her life away, seemingly decades ago. No one else was in the room. She searched with her eyes everything from the bottom of the cage to the outside paintings, yet she could not see anything. Suddenly, seemingly by extinct, she turns beside her, and sees once more this pure, white flerret...


Blogger Vin said...

Thanks for posting this and for sponsoring the contest in the first place! :)

3:23 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

Thanks too, Vin. Hope we can do this again with your new set of students.

5:47 PM  

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