syllable

December 2016 Drabble Advent Calendar: 2/25

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Advent Drabble 2: Morning

This fic drabble is a gift for: An anonymous entrant


“Are you awake?” Angela asks, softly, gently, syllables in sleepy Swiss German spread between silk-smooth kisses to Lena’s skin. Lena’s German is passable, if far from functional - Angela can trust her to know what this phrase means, or at least her just-drifted-from-dreaming mind is certain she can.

Lena is naked, sprawled in the pearly duvet; a reckless angel tangled in her own wings. Her chest rises and falls with comforting lightness.

“Are you awake?” Angela whispers again, skimming her lips lovingly across a breastbone she’s memorized the shape of from so many x-rays, so many surgeries. Lena’s breathing doesn’t change, although her face twitches - a shadow delicately flickering along her cheek, exposing the secret movement of muscle below skin.

Angela slides her fingers below a draped corner of duvet and draws a pattern of lazily demanding hunger along Lena’s inner thigh.

“Are you… awake…?” She murmurs, right up against Lena’s ear, the tips of her teeth on sensitive cartilage. Lena breathes out hard, shaky. She blinks eyes gummy with sleep.

“Good morning,” Lena says, bewildered, aroused, barely free of slumber.

“Good morning,” Angela answers, fingertips flickering higher, flowing around the outline of course curly hair, following the trail of them up to Lena’s navel and then back down again. She waits for approval before she does more, not because it’s a power game of any sort, but because as much as she burns for Lena right now the sleeping cannot consent.

Lena’s eyes flicker shut again briefly, and she inhales a sharp note at the touch.

“What’s on your mind then, I wonder?” she purrs, the invading croak of having just woken up sending the remark into the realm of the rather masculine growl.

“I wonder,” Angela says, leaning in and touching their noses together. Lena smiles and tilts her chin to kiss her. A morning kiss, full of potential, infused with the warmth of a shared bed, the knowing and familiarity of an evening side by side.

The fire in Angela’s skin might have settled quietly into something gentler, given that direction from Lena’s response. Instead, she found it suddenly stoked, the blunt tips of Lena’s nails forging a line of prickling heat from her hip to her knee, knee to hip, hip to back, encouraging her as they kiss.

Their hungry, staggered exhales mingle together between the increasing fervor of their kissing. Hands instigate, flowing over the landscape of body, touching soothingly, relentlessly, impishly. The question of Lena’s interest in such activity answered, Angela at last rolls on top of her, presses her thigh between her legs, and pins her wrists above her head.

Lena smirks up at her breathily, looking for all the world like roughly but cleverly sculpted marble, the raw promise of a genius at work, only just begun. Like a pond of ducks at the break of dawn, neither tame nor wild, neither day nor night.

She arches against Angela, pressing their bodies together, and Angela loses the words for her, but fails to lose the feeling. As they make sweaty love, she thinks, repeatedly, how lucky I am, to be here.

the bee movie except every bee is replaced with we are number one but every one is replaced with the mine song but every mine is replaced with the nutshack theme but every nut is replaced with a johnny test episode but every whip sound effect is replaced with the spongebob theme but every spongebob is replaced with the mlp theme but every pony is replaced with a yandere simulator lets-play but every time the word senpai or yandere is mentioned its replaced with a kuledud3 video and every scream or breezy doing the cute voice is replaced with joels reaction to grand dad but every grand dad is replaced with the icarly theme and every syllable causes the pitch to change

2

I need a name for this lady.

I’m thinking something single-syllable. She’s no-nonsense, calm and bewitching, but at her heart she’s endlessly playful and supernaturally patient. She’s like that neighborhood cat you’ve always wanted to pet but has always been out of reach, keenly observing the world from rooftops or tree limbs, until one day, you happen to waggle a leaf on the end of a stick just the right way and suddenly she’s chasing it through the grass like a kitten. When she tires herself out, she rubs her shoulder on your leg and purrs quietly before slinking away into a topiary. Later, she’s watching you from the top of a fence, a twinkle in her eye. You’ve made a friend.

She’s like that I guess.

lady on tv to a ghost: whats your name?

recording: *scratching noises that somewhat sounds like two syllables”

lady on tv: Milton! he said he name was milton!!!

Study Abroad

I remember the days
I walked down Newland Avenue
or sat in Pearson Park, a little
Hyde Park or Kensington,
in the North of England –
surrounded by a sea of people
with different hair, and skin colour
from mine. I remember walking
into a salon in an obscure town
in Belgium, dyeing my hair red
for thirty-five euros, a high price to pay
just to be less conspicuous than I was
and watching the red seep onto the
floor of the bathtub like blood
for two weeks. My hair wept,
as if mourning the loss of something
it never knew.


And while in class, I struggled,
pretended to understand the teacher’s
rapid fire discourse on the film
we just watched, heavy laden
with British accents. Was this really
the same language I grew up with, the
first language of my nation state?
The words, slurred and implicated
with inside jokes and cynicism
I could not grasp. I found myself
translating, breaking down
words into the stutter
of syllables, crisp efficient tongue
I was used to. I worked
frantically, trying to slow down
time like a broken record player
By the time I had something to offer them
my classmates turned in surprise
at my voice, foreign quiet sound they
had not heard in a year. “Singapore?
Is that a part of China-a?” “Are you from
Hong Kong?”
Soon, I was too tired
to be indignant.


Grocery shopping was the worst. I was
nameless, invisible. Surrounded by
bright smiles and niceties –
my country sure had a hell lot to learn
in their happiness department.
Every cashier I met – the checkouts
at Tesco, behind the rows of muffins
and croissants at Marks and Spencer
– the same perpetual summer,
hearts in eternal bloom (as if to make up
for the eternal grey skies) -
“Hi ya! How’s it going?” “See ya!”
Though I was sure I would
never see them again.
Drowning in their bright
red smiles and mascara eyes,
I missed, suddenly,
the grumpy unsmiling aunties
wearing long-sighted glasses and
floral uniforms at the counters
of NTUC FairPrice.


On my first school trip – to Amsterdam –
surrounded by international students
mostly from America, chatty and
eager for the parties and pub crawls
in the red light district. The first night
we spent the time shopping for souvenirs
in the tourist district, whilst I waited
outside, taking pictures of casinos,
fascinated, until the owner scolded me
and asked me to leave if I wasn’t here
to gamble. Why the heck was I even in
Amsterdam?
I did not know.
Everyone was supposed to go
if you were cool, that’s what
they tried to tell us. Deep in my heart,
I have never wanted to be cool.
When the night fell and my companions
wanted to discover the place where
you could see naked ladies
walking around canvassing
for business, I opted out,
feigning sickness, and felt like a
pathetic loser in my room.

The next day, I took a bus out to a
remote town on the outskirts
famous for the windmills and tulips
that Holland was always known for
(other than the weed brownies
of course). But it was empty,
grey, and desolate. It was
three degrees Celsius in winter.
There were no grass, no leaves,
much less the postcard tulips
I was looking for. But there was a
certain beauty in winter,
I tried to
convince myself and marvel at
everything as I walked around, alone,
taking self-timed pictures discreetly,
waiting till there was no one around
to watch. My Singaporean friends
liked all my pictures on Facebook,
told me how envious they were of me.
Europe! What a beautiful place!
I thought the same, and tried to
keep thinking that way. It was
beautiful in a lonely way. Even sitting
on the steps at the river in Ghent,
watching people watch me on the
opposite bank, I missed the sun
setting on Clarke Quay, the heart
to heart conversations between
me and my best friend.


In the house I stayed in, with
a German and two Americans,
one eating healthy rye bread
and the others pizzas and fries,
while I asked if they would like
some Singaporean fried bee hoon
they politely declined, while my father
asked me excitedly on Skype:
“Did you cook my bee hoon for
your ang moh friends?”
Their worried faces, shining eyes –
they were always worrying for me
But I hated them to worry, and so I
started weaving my lies – “Yes they
really loved it, Pa, and we have a food
party every day in this house, just like
you’d hoped for. And Ma, the weather
is just fine, I brought enough winter clothes.
I did not tell them that the people here
did not even know what a “Long Johns”
was, they looked sleek and beautiful
with black stockings and high heels.


That night my house mates all wanted
to go to the cool club all the uni students
loved, I could not say no. I spent forty
minutes fretting and being nervous
in my room, messaging my friends
who were studying abroad in
other parts of the world, “Should I go?
Clubbing’s not my thing.” While the
rest of the gang played drinking games
and got high in the kitchen. I went,
in the name of “once in a lifetime”,
completely sober and unable to dance.


When he said “Hi” in my ears, I turned
around, shocked, staring in disbelief
at the blonde-haired guy staring at me
with his olive green eyes. Was someone
talking to me when I was just standing
by the sidelines, not even something
to fondle on the dance floor, the way
the entire dark room blasting funk rock
was a massive makeout playground.
I watched my reserved American
house mate turn into a different girl
on the dance floor. And now, was this
green-eyed boy saying something to me?
I couldn’t hear. Art history major. University.
Theatre. Shakespeare.
He wanted
my phone number to invite me to the
school play he was acting in. Without
thinking I gave it to him. Until today
I still don’t understand why I was so brave
or reckless. Was there nothing to fear
just because I was
studying abroad?


Fortunately he was not a rapist
or liar. I fell in love, or thought I
fell in love, when we picked seashells
at the beach, watching the waves
roll up like the foam on a
cappuccino cup. I talked and
talked, I could not stop, it was as if
my months of silence had reached
its expiry date. It was strange
because he said he fell in love
with my voracity, my gregarious
nature, and little did he know
I spent days and nights avoiding
the kitchen in my house because
I dreaded making small talk
about the English weather, and
answering questions about classes
that I didn’t really participate in.


I moved out of my house and
found a cheap and crumbly apartment
outside. We ate expired vegetables
because we were both broke or rather,
money was something we constantly
fought about. Not for a moment did I
even stop to question myself, how
could I abandon my room in a brick
house along Cranbook Avenue, worth
three thousand pounds a semester
and subject myself to sleeping on the
floor and showering in a bathroom
filled with mould? When I look back now
I see two strangers making a black hole
out of love.


When it all ended I flew back to
my land of chopsticks and curry puffs,
carrying with me the memory of
the olive eyed blonde haired guy
proposing to me with a marshmallow
by a campfire on a mountaintop
looking out to sea.


And suddenly, everything seemed absurd.
I grew up and was destined
to stay in a place where marriage
was an application process of
registration and built-to-order
housing flats. For practical reasons,
money and finances had to be planned
meticulously three years before
the wedding. The proposal came after,
a customary act of romance that
the bride was waiting for. And I laughed,
thinking of the way the Englishman who
proposed to me, spent his money without
saving, relied on student welfare cheques
to get through his year. I laughed in
bitterness, picking up the chopsticks I
haven’t used for a year, and picked
expertly, at rice in a blue porcelain bowl.

random fact ;)

The longest one syllable word in the English language is “screeched”.

 

External image


With 9 letters, screeched ties with scratched, scrounged, scrunched, stretched, and the plural nouns straights and strengths for longest one-syllable word. There are longer one-syllable words that are not included in the Oxford English Dictionary. Weighing in at 12 letters is “schtroumpfed”. What does it mean? It’s French for “smurfed”. Smurfs tend to say “smurf” and “smurfed” in every sentence. The French Smurfs, “Les Schtroumpfs”, would say words like “schtroumpf” and “schtroumpfed”.