S H O R T S T O R I E S
(2016) / Published in “The Spectatorial : Volume VII”
Who knew space was like being underwater? I stretched my hand out, feeling its atoms rush between my fingers, cool and slippery.
It was big and edge-less, surrounding me in its inky waves. The stars pulsed like jellyfish in the distance, my skin glowing with every one of their radiant heartbeats.
Who knew dead things floated in space?
(2016) / Published in “The UC Review : Spring 2018”
Numbers is the fourth book of the Bible and one that I butterfly under my thumb every time. I know that it was important at one point of history, but having to recreate those unit of measurements and years into some conceivable visual in my mind can be boring. My eyes glaze over figures in my textbook, stats mean nothing to me. Back in high school, during international business, we learned that charity NGO’s knew all of mankind experienced this sensation. So advertisers converted their cause into singular, personal stories from Khari, who became a mother the moment she was strong enough to carry her siblings to Li Wei, who starved as a child laborer in a factory to feed his family.
I think about that a lot now. When I sit on the subway, staring at a poster of an African girl, her eyes large and hollowed, paint tapered onto her forehead, I notice she’s not staring back at me, but somewhere behind me.
Garden dragons are the new garden gnomes. Sold by professional breeders, it has become a bursting, lively industry, taking the world by unprecedented storm. Ranging from the size of hamsters to Labradors, their interactive and yet decorative function are all the rage in horticultural circles. Christopher, however, was not in it for mainstream acclaim or to beautify his garden. He was in it to quench the lifelong void he had felt all his life. As the impending doom of meaningless kept him up all night, tossing in an ocean of Downy-scented sheets, his friends had recommended that he purchase a garden dragon.
I couldn’t tell if the echoes were coming from the train station or my mind. My forehead pulsed numbly, as I pressed it against the handle of the suitcase wedged between my legs. I shut my eyes, forcing myself to fill my lungs like water balloons and stretch them to their limit until I thought I could hear their squeaky surface rub against my ribcage. That calmed me down somehow.
I went through the motions of sipping my mango and kiwi drink. I had ordered it because it was our favourite flavours in one, but I swore never buy it again. I sucked the straw, the sour acid trailing down my throat and into my thudding heart.
The moment was coming.
(2013) / Published by the Poetry Institute of Canada / Winner of “young writers of canada: manuscript contest”
The businessman balanced the poppy-seed bagel on his thigh. In its skin-tight plastic it rocked like an upturned raft to the rhythm of the train heading towards his hometown, where his sister’s wedding would take place that weekend. He began to tear the wrapping off the bagel, while he watched with increasing impatience as the loading screen on his phone continued to pirouette. Cursing the train’s incapable wi-fi, he folded the plastic back, jammed the bagel in his pocket and got up.