The girl who was Phoenix


The Girl Who Was Phoenix

She woke up to find ash in her hair, her fingernails, all over her body. She coughed violently. In her lungs too, apparently.

She stood up, aware of aches and pains all over her body, and wearily scanned the small room around her. At least, what appeared to be the sooty remains of one. Somewhere far-off she could hear Life going on as always, random noises drifting in through the broken windows.

But around her everything was silent. This used to be her world, she realised. Now it was gone. Life did not reach here anymore –- everything in here was dead. Except…

She looked down and saw that, despite the wreckage around her, she was unscathed. She was alive. A Life.

Slowly a smile spread across her lips. As long as there is life, there is hope. And as long as there is hope, there is something to fight for, something worth being a-Life for.

She started to clamber over debris and destruction, trying to reach a large hole in the wall. She pushed obstacles out of her way, clawing at the rubble still obscuring her passage to freedom.

Finally she broke through into the blinding light, rising out of the ashes.

And as she started to walk towards the future, she laughed.

Because that’s who I am, she thought. The girl who was Phoenix.


Written 17 May 2010. Originally posted on

Drabble: “Lure”

Aheila’s Drabble Challenge is a weekly feature on Aheila’s blog. The aim: to write a 100-word story (a drabble) ± 5 words, based on her prompt. This week the word is “Lure”. Here’s my take:



The Venus flytrap opens her lips to release a sickly sweet perfume like a mating call. Not all will love it. But those who do will be lured into her clutches the way a witch charms her victims with unbreakable spells.

Shh, her quarry has arrived.

It stands at the entrance, hesitant and suspicious, yet tempted beyond reason. First one foot. Slowly another. Oh how intoxicating that smell! Delirium takes it forward in a rush of wild excitement.

The trap springs shut!

Inside her belly, surrounded by that sweet opium, it will die a slow death.

Hungry no more, she is content for now.

Drabble: “Race”

Aheila’s Drabble Challenge is a weekly feature on Aheila’s blog. The aim: to write a 100-word story ± 5 words (i.e. a drabble) based on her prompt. This week, the word is “Race”. Here’s my take.



I recoiled as the first blow fell. Then came the onslaught: fists raining down, feet kicking, boys jeering like a mob gone mad.

Taunting, hate-filled eyes challenged me to stop them. But I was helpless and they knew it.

Their vengeance spent, they reluctantly left. The iron grips around my arms fell away and I stumbled to the ground.

He just lied there, broken and bloody. Gingerly I touched my lover’s face. My skin against his—my dark chocolate against his white milk … now changed to red by gaping wounds.

I may be black, but my blood is red too.


Afterthought: I kept the style obscure because it just seemed to suite this piece, but in case some meaning was lost I’m giving an explanation below (if you didn’t get the meaning, let me know in the comments please!)

A girl is forced to watch a gang of racists beat up her lover. She is black, but the part that makes this violence so much worse, is that her lover is white. “My skin against his—my dark chocolate against his white milk…” But his blood is red, and that is the only colour that matters—on the inside they are the same colour.

Drabble: “Name”

Aheila’s Drabble Challenge is a weekly feature on Aheila’s blog. The aim: to write a 100-word story (± 5 words) reflecting your personal take on her prompt for that week. After reading Ryan’s masterful efforts, I was inspired! So here’s my take on the prompt “Name”.



He stood alone, a solitary figure on the bustling platform, untouched by the restless throng around him. She watched him discreetly, like she did every morning. He intrigued her beyond reason.

Suddenly the crowd surged towards the opening doors, pushing her off balance. Strong hands grabbed her shoulders and she found herself staring into a pair of dark, intense eyes. His eyes.

He gently pulled her upright, watching her closely. He didn’t let go.

“T-thanks,” she stammered. He blinked, then briskly turned and walked away.

She stared at the spot where he disappeared into the crowd. She still did not know his name.