Creative Writings Flash Fiction

The Hollow Days


Arnold had been musing for thirty days. He had lost someone who was very precious in his life. She always woke him up every morning. She always cooked his favorite dish. She was always by his side. He stared at the dewy window of his office. He mourned the fate that befell him. He wondered why this disaster could happen to him. Lately, he had been daydreaming more often and sometimes he cried without realizing it. He endured the hollow days patiently and resiliently.

“Mom, why did you leave me so quickly? I still want to spend time with you,” Arnold said in his heart. Yeah, he lost his mother. Her mother passed away in a car accident when she went to London a month ago. He remembered when he heard his mother had passed away. He was very shocked and didn’t believe it. He knew it from his uncle. After the accident, her mother was taken to the hospital by an ambulance. Unfortunately, she had passed away when he arrived at the hospital.

One day after his mother’s death, his mother was cremated at a crematorium in Nottingham, Arnold’s hometown. Arnold sobbed during the cremation process of his mother. He had never felt so sad like this before. He saw his mother for the last time when they were at home. At that time, his mother advised him to become a successful person. She also told him that if she passed away, Arnold should stay focused on his life goals.

Since then, Arnold lived with his father and sister. His father and sister consoled him so that he won’t be sad. However, it didn’t affect Arnold. He remained sad. It was the first time he had to live without his mother. Everything that was on his mind was his mother. He imagined his mother seeing him when he became successful. He regretted not having had the chance to make his mother happy. If he could rewind time, he would have done his best for his mother.

One day, Arnold met Rachel, a new employee at his office. Arnold and she quickly became friends. Rachel was a friendly woman. Arnold told Rachel about his mother and she understood what Arnold had experienced. She tried to comfort him. When lunchtime arrived, she invited him to the cafeteria. Arnold agreed so they went to the cafeteria together.

“I understand what you have experienced, Arnold,” Rachel said to Arnold.

“Thank you for listening to my story,” Arnold answered her.

“You’re welcome Arnold, but you shouldn’t be sad all the time, you have to be strong,” Rachel replied.

“I’m trying, but it’s so hard. Can you tell me what I should do?” Arnold asked.

“You can do your hobby, spend time with your family and friends, and stay physically active. You also need to focus on work so you can achieve your dream. Your mother would be happy seeing you successful,” Rachel said.

“You’re right. From now on, I will focus on work and do anything that makes me happy. Being sad all the time is useless. I deserved to be happy,” Arnold replied.

Since then, they have been getting closer. Arnold promised that he would make his mother happy. He believed that if he worked diligently and tried his best, his mother would be proud of him.


Author: Steven Yulyanto/214214022

Editor: Yohana Satvika Wahyuveda, Ruth Tirza Arina (QC)

Illustrator: Ajeng Suci Hati


Creative Writings Flash Fiction

Once More


Once, someone told me that the stars above our heads are the souls of those who lived before us. I looked up at the sky, from this field all by myself. In this place, the night is eternal, and I am its guardian.

“They are beautiful. When will my time finally come? It’s been a thousand years,” I let out the weight in my heart with no one to hear them. I was once the same as those stars above; yes, I was a soul myself. I received a gift, but these days, I like to call it a curse—a curse that bound me to this place to put the souls into the sky. 

“Speak of the devil, here comes one.” A little spark starts to grow from the ground, and I quickly pick it up with my hands.

“Hello there, Little one. Let’s see which place you belong to.” I lift my hand to the sky, turning it pitch black. Slowly, a pair of stars starts to glow. I nod my head and slowly lift the little spark closer to them.

“There you go, Little bud. May someday you’ll get the chance to come back to the world.” After the little spark turns into a star, everything becomes normal, and once again I find myself alone in this field. Nothing much I can do here, since everything always goes in a circle. Suddenly, a voice echoes, and I know exactly who it is.

“It’s been a thousand years, hm?”

“Greetings to the lord,” I greet the voice with sarcasm. Yes, this is the voice of the one who gave me this curse a thousand years ago.

“Don’t be like that, Young boy. This place chose you back then, and there’s nothing much I can do except reduce the time for you.”

“Yes. Thanks to you, now I can’t rest like them or even come back to the world!” I try to hold back my emotions, I can feel my voice almost cracking.

“…I’m sorry. I didn’t know you felt like that this whole time… But hey,  you can finally be free right now.”

” If this is another one of your tricks I promise I w-“

“It’s not. I speak the truth. I’m here to lift your bounds from this field and say thank you for doing a great job for everything, dear guardian. Now, just close your eyes and let your soul rest here under the sky you always guide. Good night, young guardian.”

It’s all pitch black to me, but I feel the weight lift from my heart and my body becomes lighter.

“So this is the peace they always feel.”

“May you never remember this painful truth and live your life happily… This time, I’ll be your guardian, my dear… Your light will always shine the brightest I see every night.”




“Hah?!” I awake startled from my slumber. I took in my surroundings and find nothing strange or peculiar. I rise from my bed and feel like I’m missing something or someone so important. 

“I can’t remember my dream, but I feel like I need to remember something about it. ” I try to recall my memory but still can’t remember anything. I don’t know since when but tears start streaming from my eyes.

“E-Eh? Why am I… crying?” I ask myself and try to reach for some tissues to wipe my tears, but my hand nudges a book beside the tissue box.

“How clumsy.” I try to pick up the book, but I’m too stunned to even move my hand. On its open page, I can clearly read the writing from wet ink.

Live your life to the fullest, former guardian. Don’t let the past haunt you anymore, someday we will meet again in the future. Until the other time.

“Thank you for the opportunity. Someday, I will revisit you. I may not remember how you look and what’s your name right now, but I hope you will remind me, maybe in my dream or one day when we meet again.” I close the book with a smile. I can’t change my past or predict the future, but I will face the world in front of me with pride and joy. Until someday I reunite with my last place to rest, beside her, once again.


Author: Maria Nathea/224214019

Editor: Nanda Pratama Putera Tomasila, Vonna Meisya Saputra (QC)

Illustrator: Angelita Dayang Diva


Flash Fiction

The Puddle? 

There is an infamous folktale right here where I live. People believe that when a storm appears, it will leave behind something far more sinister than just water and the grazing wind. Rumours say that something resides within the storm, and when the time comes, it will hunt down anything unfortunate enough to be its feast.

As time flies, people thought that this story is some sort of mumbo-jumbo that parents made so their children wouldn’t go out to play during a storm.

But I should have listened to those stories because the consequences are real.

It was a rainy day when it happened. Me and my brother watched as the storm poured down the road, the slashing wind, the freezing air. To be honest, my brother and I enjoyed it. We were looking forward to playing after the storm because, usually, puddles would fill up since there are lots of potholes in the road.

Me and my brother would usually jump in these puddles. Though it seems childish, if it makes my little brother happy, it will make me happy too. The storm seems to slow down as I look at my younger brother.

He eagerly jumps and says, “Brother, brother, when will the rain stop?” I looked at him and gave him a gentle smile.

As the storm fades, the cloud seems to stay, the sky dark as the night, and the wind chills through our bones. My younger brother looked at me. He seemed determined to jump in one of the puddles. I simply couldn’t refuse. But before we left the house, My mother told me something. “Boys, be careful. It’s still dark. Remember, only a quick play and we’ll have dinner.”

My brother and I nodded and simply headed out to the road to search for a puddle.


As we run through the streets, it seems that we can’t find more puddles. I looked at the sky as it gets darker. I told my brother, “We should go home. Maybe the puddles will stay until tomorrow.”

A frown etched itself upon my brother’s face as tears fall from his eyes.

I felt bad, so I decided to search for one in a forest near our house. Fortunately, we managed to find one, but something seems odd. My heart screams for us not to approach it, but my brother gleefully runs through the forest floor with joy in his eyes.


As I walked slowly, I could see him jumping normally, but as I got closer, my brother immediately stopped. He said, “Brother, something’s pulling me….” I thought it was a joke, but just in case, I tried pulling him out of the puddle.

As I pulled him back, I felt like something was pulling back. My brother started crying, and I assured him I would get him out. And then, in the blink of an eye, my brother was dragged into the puddle. I tried jumping in, but the puddle is as shallow as it was before.

“̸̞̂I̸̥͠ ̵̰̑W̶̥̊A̸͈̿S̶͎̈́ ̷̱̇C̴͔̿Ǫ̷́N̴̡̛F̸̃͜Ǔ̵̧S̷̨͑E̵͎͝D̶̙͂,̴̼͒ ̴̮͝W̸̻̓H̷̡̋Ȁ̴͕T̸̞̈́ ̵̊ͅS̶̳͑Ȟ̸̲O̶̻͘Ǘ̴̫L̴͔̓D̵̳̔ ̶̦̽Ȋ̶͓ ̶̮͂D̴̤͂O̷̘̒?̶̡̐”̸̙͌

I scream, “Brother!” I can hear his faint voice screaming, “HELP ME!!!”

But I can’t do anything. My mind was blank. My only thought was to run home.

I ran and ran until I lost my breath, tears falling from my eyes as I screamed for my parents. My father saw me on the ground. He quickly sprinted towards me and asked what happened. I said, “The puddle! Brother! H-he…!” For the first time in my life, I see fear in my father’s eyes.

My mother, who was approaching me, seemed to be trembling, and both of my parents froze.

Father simply said, “It has returned.”

My father picked me up, and both of them ran to the house, locking the windows and doors. They told me to hide in their room. My father carried a cross and simply told me and my mother to pray for him.

Though the night seemed long, it finally ended.

My father and my mother cried. They knew they had lost their youngest one. They weren’t mad at me. It wasn’t my fault, they said.

My father told me, “Never wander into that forest and never approach those puddles.”

If only I knew what to do, he would still be here.

The feeling of guilt haunts me, yet a desire for vengeance starts to grow within me.

“̶̼̍̐I̶̱̱͇̐̉ ̸̘͈͉̍̂W̴͔̏̈̔I̸̬̔̅̚L̸͉̱̺͆͘͝L̷̈̈͜ ̶̛͈͔͌̚G̷̬̐̽̏E̷̹̜̩̓T̴͈͎͋͌͝ ̵̃͜͜͝T̶̠̟̅̚͜Ḧ̶̫́Ė̷̛̺͇͔ ̵͔̮͙̉̊T̴̢͓̿̄̓ͅH̵͕͆̈́͜I̴͉̖̼͑N̴̫̔̈͊G̵͙͗ ̷͖̫̀̔T̵̮̅̚H̶̘̑͆͠A̷͇̪̾͗͋T̴̮̻̃ ̶̙͍̉̓͊T̴̤̮̿Õ̵̡͎͊̃Ọ̸̎͗̈́Ķ̶̹̹̆ ̶̳͉̠̏͛͂M̵̰̰͐̈̽Ÿ̸͉̥͝͝ ̶̟̯̉̇̇͜B̵͈̻͒̈́̌R̵͔͖̳̂̾O̵̡̺̩͆T̴̨̺̣̾Ḫ̵͆E̶̳̣̱̽̈́̎R̴̰͙̀̈́͌ ̵̺͙̄Ȧ̸̡̜̬W̵̗̗̪̿̈́͘À̶̻Ỹ̷̪̝͓́.̴͕̈”̴̫̈́


Author: Putu Beryl Putra W

Editor: Nanda Pratama Putera Tomasila & Vonna Meisya Saputra (QC)

Illustrator: Angelita Dayang Diva

Creative Writings Flash Fiction



April 24, 2023. 12 p.m.

“Be back before 8 p.m.,” her dad said with the I’ll-kill-you-if-you-don’t tone without giving me a look in the eyes.

“Okay, Sir,” I agreed in acquiescence.

I rolled my eyes as soon as I turned to the front door. It had been a year since I last met her. How could he expect ten hours to be enough to redeem all the dates we had missed?

We walked out, and I gave her the helmet. She put them on with a frown and silence spoken all over her lips. I was going to ask her if there was something wrong until I saw her dad still staring from afar. That was when I knew the answer: we should escape as soon as possible.

4.15 p.m.

“Are you okay?” that was the third time I asked her.

“I’m fine,” and that was the third time she gave me the same answer. ‘I’m fine’, but her fingers keep peeling the too-short-nails. Ten minutes ago, I said ‘STOP’ as she went too far, opening a tissue on her frontline skin, and triggering a little blood out, yet it now seemed like she forgot that the scars were even there in the first place.

I could give you some of my guesses: a) Immature parents issue, so she had to be the one keeping the family together again, b) Money issues and her family were doing the best job at wasting them, c) She was overthinking her future plans and losing her memory about how strong and amazing she could be.

Four years of relationship made me notice the patterns. Of course, there were other possibilities, which was the reason why I did not want to assume. Pushing her to talk would possibly push her to push me away, too.

I kept staring at her in concern instead for the next few seconds, hoping the stars I blinked would send her enough bravery to speak. Instead, she looked away. She lifted her head and searched for the stars above, then realized that even the sky refused to give her enlightenment. 

I lifted my head and stared at the darkness as well. There used to be two stars shining bright a year ago at this hour, I remembered. That night we said “See you soon” to each other.

7.30 p.m.

I couldn’t do this anymore. This whole day, our only day of the encounter before she would go back to college in Jakarta tomorrow was filled with me waiting for answers that never came. I had told her my stories, which she once said she always wanted to hear directly, but she kept repelling them with worries. I was pretty sure she did not even remember the names of friends I mentioned.

For the last attempt, I asked, “Are you okay?” 

… silence.

“I wish we had more time to talk.” She smiled weakly, looking down. 

“Okay,” I agreed in acquiescence. 

“I am feeling anxious, but I’m not sure why,” she confessed.

7.58 p.m.

I thought she was going to elaborate more, but that was it. 

I was willing to stay, negotiate with time, and not care about dying for a bit, yet her uneasy hands said no. She was full of new contradictions I couldn’t recognize, and we already ran out of time to decode them.

“You are worried about the curfew, aren’t you?” I stated the obvious least she could answer.

She nodded in acquiescence, seemingly exhausted and lost in her hidden questions.

“Alright, let’s get you home.” I grabbed the motorbike key on the table.

8.27 p.m.

“Are you okay?” 

It was not me who asked that. 

We were a kilometer away from her house. The night air was getting colder as the motorbike rode uphill. We entered the dark and long village road. I couldn’t do this anymore. 

I confessed, “You know what?! I don’t care. I am tired of pleasing everyone’s feelings. I am pissed. I am pissed at your dad. I mean, we used to go out until ten, and it was totally fine! I bet he did not know that because he was always away from you, at work, always busy.

Meanwhile, he only gives us one day to spend together before you return to Jakarta tomorrow. He did not even look me in the eyes earlier! It annoyed me so bad.”

I adjusted the rearview mirror so I could see her reaction. Stunned, but I had not finished yet.

“If we just have more time, maybe we can figure out what is happening and discuss this together, but you have been silent for the whole day! Our only day. I can guess that it is probably a family issue, a big one. And it pissed me off. So much! That you have to go through all this hassle while I can’t even do much to help you.”

My heartbeat rushed. I exhaled as if I had just run a thousand miles of a marathon, panting. I did not realize that I had been gripping the gas pedal like I wanted to crush it.

The rearview mirror shook violently after the last speed bump, and then it suddenly went steady. Her home was a hundred meters away now, and I could see her face more clearly under the street light.

The stars were lit in her eyes. Her smile now pictured an exhaling relief as if she had been waiting for the words to be spoken for her. 

The answer was my acquiescence all along.


Author: Agnes Seraphine

Editor: Sitti Aminah Intan Utami, Vonna Meisya Saputra (QC)

Illustrator: Angelita Dayang Diva

Creative Writings Flash Fiction

She Needs a Photograph for a Funeral


Here lays Thomas Henry Herrick.

His memories shall live among us.


It had been months since Mr. Herrick passed after a sudden heart attack. No one ever seemed to expect it. He had never even seemed sick even before the heart attack. Neither his acquaintances nor even his wife was aware of the disease. It had been speculated that Mr. Herrick himself had never experienced any inconvenience regarding the symptom.

Mrs. Herrick was now a widow. She was in her late middle age. She lived up there in a big gothic-style mansion on the top of the hill, isolated from the whole neighborhood. She was never a social type, but it wasn’t because of her arrogance. Instead, she was a shy person.

Her late husband was a wealthy merchant in this town. She and her husband had been married for about 30 years but never gifted with a child. It was a pretty solid marriage for a loveless, arranged one. The wide age gap between the two of them said a lot about their distant relationship. Still, Mrs. Herrick’s collections of elegant petticoats proved she was very well provided by her husband.

The only time they were seen as a married couple was at several formal gatherings. Even though people rarely saw them together except for an important formal gathering in this town, strangely, no one had ever seen them two in a quarrel. It was perhaps due to Mrs. Herrick’s calm and shy nature as opposed to Mr. Herrick’s talkativeness. 

Since there was never a child on the list of the successor, so, when Mr. Herrick passed a month ago, the inheritance went to Mrs. Herrick, making her the wealthiest woman in town. A big mansion under her name, where she lived with just her maid, was all hers. People envied her possession but never wished to be in her position–a widow.

People didn’t expect Mrs. Herrick to have such a hard time dealing with her husband’s demise. So it had been a talk for months here and there that, surprisingly, some people spotted her still wearing a black veil. Some even heard that on some occasions, she even shed her tears. She was mourning. Some said she was even preparing for her own death; not as in suicide, but in how she deals with organizing things about her death. The maid she lived with once gossiped about Mrs. Herrick’s rambling about the meaning of life. The maid didn’t think it much, but something was definitely messing with Mrs. Herrick’s mind.

On the other hand, some people thought it was just some baseless rumor. So did I, given the fact that Mrs. Herrick had never come to town ever since the funeral. In fact, she rarely came to town, even before her husband passed. But it was until that night that I saw her knocking on the front door of my mortuary.

I vividly remembered that it had been raining hard that day. I saw her there, standing nervously. Her chignon bun was messy, her dress was soaking, and her footwear was covered in mud and dirt. She mumbled words to me very softly as I opened the door for her, but the sound of the rain washed her voice away.

I let her into my office. I rushed her to the couch, gave her a towel to dry her hair, served her a cup of hot tea, and lit up the fireplace to warm her body.

“What’s the matter, Mrs. Herrick? What can I do for you?”

“Here’s the thing, Mr. Price, I need a photograph for a funeral. Can you arrange that for me?”

“Well, Mrs. Herrick, actually, a mortuary doesn’t provide for a funeral’s photograph, but let me see what I can do. I suppose I can manage to find a photograph. After all, this is your request. A good neighbor should help each other in need.”

Mrs. Herrick looked at me with hopeful eyes. Then I remembered her husband’s passing and a rumor about her mourning. Silly me to give her hope for a photograph of her husband. Poor Mrs. Herrick, she was looking for a completion for her husband. At the funeral, there was no photograph of his husband, and he was a busy man. Perhaps it was the reason he had no time to have a picture. Now Mrs. Herrick was making an impossible request to find one for his husband. Now I got it why those rumors exist. She was indeed in grief.

“But pardon me, Mrs. Herrick, since Mr. Herrick is no longer with us, surely a photograph cannot be taken.” Maybe Mrs. Herrick thought that photograph worked like painting. “But worry no more, I can find a man to paint a portrait. Mr. Herrick was a well-known gentleman. May God rest his soul, sure that it won’t be difficult to find an artist who knew the man.”

“No, no, no, Mr. Price, the photograph is not for Mr. Herrick. The photograph is for me.”

“Oh! So you want a photograph of you to keep in your mansion, Mrs. Herrick?” I then chuckled, “May I suggest you ask for a photograph at a photo studio, there you may get a lively photo instead of a gloomy funeral face, I assure you.”

“But I need it for a funeral, Mr. Price. My funeral.”

I didn’t know how to respond. I couldn’t tell whether she was dying or just being suicidal.

She spoke up to break the considerable amount of time of awkward silence. “I know this may seem rather peculiar, but I have my reason.”

“Calm, Mrs. Herrick, no judgment here,” I calmed her down when she started to become very anxious.

“You know my husband, he passed,” she was weirdly hesitant to even mention the word passed. “It was so sudden. No one expected such a thing to happen. So I just thought that perhaps I just want to be prepared, do you understand Mr. Price, you know, in case my time has come.”

“You know, you worry too much, Mrs. Herrick, but you’re my customer. I supposed I will see what I can do.”

“Thank you, Mr. Price.”


After a while of warming herself up, she walked out of my office to head home. But by the time she walked past the cemetery beside the mortuary, she walked back to me and said, “One more thing, Mr. Price, I would like to buy a burial lot for me.”

I gave her an attentive smile to agree to her request.




In less than a week, she managed to get the photograph she had been requested. Since that day, I never saw her anymore. It was about a month later, a day after I finished deciding where her burial spot would be, I saw an obituary about her death. It was strange, indeed, that her burial lot was available just in time when she needed it.

As for the cause of her death, there was nothing strange. It was a natural cause. Her maid said she went to sleep  and just never woke up. Poor woman. Some said that she was dead because of her grief, but her grief wasn’t coming from being left by Mr. Herrick, whom she didn’t love. She grieved the fact that death was coming closer to anyone without warning. She grieved the loss of life. She didn’t miss Mr. Herrick. She just missed Mr. Herrick being alive.

In her tomb, there was a similar epitaph to her husband. It was written:


Here lies Edith Jean Herrick.

Her memories shall live among us.




Author: Valentina Pascalia

Editor: Sitti Aminah Intan Utami, Vonna Meisya Saputra (QC)

Illustrator: Betsy Agoha

Creative Writings Flash Fiction



Long ago, the village of Itami lived in tranquility, they were striving for resources and calmness. One fateful day, it all changed after a demon lord took hold of the village.




The once calm village was heading towards total annihilation. The demon lord Babel had concluded that this place would become the gate that would connect hell to heaven. Before he could commit such atrocities, a heroic trio that bore three titles appeared: the Swordsman of Thunder, the Mage of Light, and the Knight of Hope. Together, they managed to overwhelm Babel and his underlings.


Babel was pummeled by the blade of the Knight of Hope. He was at death’s door, but he managed to put a malevolent curse on the Knight of Hope.

“Though your blade pierced me, your future descendant shall become me, Babel, the demon of Triad.”

The Knight of Hope showed no remark and struck Babel down, returning him to hell, the place where he truly belonged.

The trio that saved Itami village were crowned heroes. After the celebration, the Knight of Hope gathered his two comrades.

“Though we have won, faith might bring calamity in the future,” the Knight of Hope said.

The two heroes are confused, “The demon is banished; you do not need to be so wary,” the Mage of Light said.

The Knight of Hope wanted to prevent the worst, so he handed a sword called the Garpunisher to the Swordsman of Thunder and said, “If my descendant becomes one with darkness, please end his suffering from the eternal purgatory.“

Though this seemed unlikely to both of them, the Mage of Light, the Swordsman of Thunder, and the Knight of Hope made an oath.

“If evil shall return, we shall uphold it and return the darkness to the pit of purgatory,” the three of them said.

Years passed. As the years went by, Itami village progressed a lot. The once small village was now a town still called Itami, and the third generation of the heroes of the past had taken the mantle of their ancestors; Yuki, the Mage of Light, Eiji, the Swordsman of Thunder, and Shun, the Knight of Hope.


Together, they protected the town and banished the evil that roamed out there.

The heroes’ names only grew with time: Yuki was known as the mage who defended the village by herself, fending off ogres; Eiji, who single-handedly slaughtered multiple monsters in a siege that was done by bandits; and Shun, the knight, who was deemed the kindest and most modest for being charitable to those who needed it.

Though for Shun, some people didn’t trust him since they feared that one day, he would become the incarnation of Babel.

Eiji and Yuki usually got upset when they heard someone bluntly commenting this to Shun, but Shun reassured them that he didn’t care about those comments.

Even though they faced hardships, they kept on protecting the village.

A dragon once attacked the town of Itami, but it was no match for the strength of the heroes. They won with ease, and the people around them cheered for their victory.

“Thank you, great heroes.”

“You guys are the best.”

Though there were many who praised them, there was one person who was causing a scene.

“One of them is not a saviour; the heroes are going to get manipulated by the cursed one,” one of the villagers who looked agitated said.

Only true cowards blame and misinform others,” Eiji said.

As Eiji headed towards the man who berated his friend, Shun blocked him. “It’s not worth it. Let that man be. He himself is only a poor fellow.”

Yuki tried to console Shun by patting his head and saying, “I’m sorry that this had to happen to you.”

Shun didn’t seem to care anymore. For him, this was a stigma that he had to carry. Even though he was kind to others, there were bound to be people who hated him.

One day, those who despised Shun made a plan to remove him from the heroes’ ranks and wreak havoc on his life. As the day started, townsfolk screamed for help.

“Please, someone help me, my daughter.”

Yuki heard the cries for help and dashed onwards.

“What seems to be the problem, Ma’am?”

When she looked at the girl, she was petrified. That girl had been lacerated by something; the wound was deep, and blood was gushing out. Yuki used all of her strength to heal the poor girl, but it seemed that it was too late.

The girl closed her eyes as she smiled for the last time. The mother broke down in tears. Yuki couldn’t do anything; a tear dropped from her eye. Eiji, who saw what was happening, sprinted there and carried the corpse of the girl. After that whole ordeal, the two heroes questioned the mother of the daughter who had just passed, and she only said:

“A vile beast took her away from me.”


The villagers were alarmed because of the news, but this was according to their plan. Those who hated Shun started to spread misinformation about the Knight of Hope. It all went from a rumour to gossips; all their topics were the same.

“Did you know that the Knight of Hope is the descendant of the triad demon Babel?”

“That demon knight must be behind this murder.”

Lots of villagers believed this, forgetting all of his kindness, and they protested.

“There are only two heroes in this town; we don’t need a demon.”

“Go away, demon; you only bring calamity if you stay,” the villagers said.

As Shun’s friend, Eiji couldn’t accept this. “There is no concrete evidence that the Knight of Hope committed such a vile thing,” Eiji said.

While Eiji was holding the townsfolk who rioted, Yuki was searching for Shun, but it seemed that the fire kept burning. 

One of the townsfolk got more provocative.

“It’s too late, everyone! The demon has already got into the mind of our heroes!”

When Eiji was trying to make a statement, Yuki found Shu in his room, tears coming from his eyes.

“Maybe I am a demon. Maybe I don’t belong here,” Shun said.

Yuki walked towards Shun; she tried to comfort him, “It’s okay, Shun, it’s not your fault. I believe you.” However, Shun could hear the riot that was going on outside, so he decided that the best option was to step out. Yuki forbad him from walking out as he could get hurt, but he didn;t care. He didn’t want the people he cared about to get dragged into this.

As he stepped outside, the townsfolk were getting crazier; they started throwing trash at him, calling him names like demon, Babel, and bringer of calamity. Eiji tried shielding Shun, but it didn’t seem to help.


 And one word from the town would change everything.

“Useless hero, you were never even once a hero; you are just manipulating us; you’ve done nothing to help us,” the townsfolk said.

The townsfolk started to chant, “Demon! Demon! Demon! Demon!”

Something inside Shun snapped. He didn’t care anymore. He didn’t care that he would lose his title as a hero, as he was becoming one with him. An unknown voice whispered in Shun’s head, “Finish them; those who disrespect you shall suffer.”

Shun stepped out, and as he approached, all the townsfolk backed off, except the person who insulted him.

What are you going to do? Kill me?” the man laughed while taunting Shun.

Shun simply whispered, “Enjoy your pathetic existence in hell!”

Shun drew his sword and impaled the man. The townsfolk screamed in fear. They all ran and scattered. Shun laughed, saying, “If you want a demon, congratulations. You just made one.” Eiji’s attempt to stop Shun from killing another innocent was promptly stopped.

“Shun, snap out of it! This isn’t you!” As he wielded his sword to block his attack, Shun simply replied, “They wanted this. Now, they shall have it!”

Eiji was forced to fight Shun to prevent him from committing the worst. Yuki, who saw this, tried to interfere. She used her magic to create a barrier so Shun couldn’t do anything, but it was simply broken by a mere slash from his blade.

Shun ignored Eiji and slashed through five people who previously mocked him. His eyes were no longer shining, only as black as the dark abyss.

Shun only said this: “If you want to live, don’t stop me.”  Shun dashed away and continued his onslaught.

The only thing Eiji and Yuki could do now was to evacuate the townsfolk to a safer place. They contemplated this since their friend, someone for whom they cared, had become something else. 

Eiji advised Yuki that they had to strike down Shun with the legendary weapon that their ancestor had given them. Yuki seemed hesitant since she didn’t want to kill him. Both of them argued over whether they should let Shun live or put him down. Eiji argued, “This is a task that our ancestors gave to us. This is far more important than anything else.”

Yuki, still feeling conflicted, could only agree for the sake of the people of this town.

Though people think Shun completely had lost it, he killed those people in complete sanity; he couldn’t take the mockery anymore, so he became what people feared the most: a demon. Shun chose to separate himself from the town and his friends. He believed this was the only way he could keep them safe without dragging the ones he cherishes.

He knew that the only way this pain would fade was by getting rid of himself.

As Shun approached the cliff, he felt emptier. No one was stopping him. No one really cared. As he stepped closer to the peak, he could feel that it would all end. And this pain would all fade.

As he stepped closer to the edge, he could hear a scream coming from behind. “Shun, don’t do it! It’s not worth it!” As he turned around, he was shocked by the sight of his two friends. They tried convincing him not to jump. “You did nothing wrong; you were being controlled; we can prove your innocence,” Yuki said.Shun looked at them and only said, “It was me.” Both of them were confused. As he stepped closer to them, he explained, “There was no demon in my mind. The one who killed those innocent people was me.”


He cried, “Even though he didn’t manipulate me, I killed them with my own hand”.

His two friends were horrified to learn this truth. They stood frozen by this fact. They didn’t want to believe that their friend killed those innocent people by his own volition.

Shun looked at his friends who were frozen; he looked closely at Eiji; he realized he was carrying the Garpunisher; he faintly said, “Maybe this was fate.” He slowly got closer to both of them as he pointed at the Garpunisher,“Eiji, you know what must be done; this is the only way you two can get your lives back.”

Eiji was hesitant; he didn’t want to kill him. Yuki begged Shun to return with them. But for Shun, there was no turning back, so he decided to do something that they wouldn’t think about. Shun snatched the blade and pointed it at his stomach. His friends tried to prevent the worst from happening, but it was all too late.

“Goodbye, my friends. I will always cherish the memories that we made.” As he said his last parting, he impaled himself and fell down the cliff.

As he fell, he closed his eyes and let faith take him away, saying, “At least I saved their lives from mockery.”

Eiji and Yuki both broke down in tears at the pain of losing a friend, a comrade, someone that they truly cherished.





As Shun opened his eyes, he found himself in a void of nothingness.

A deity-like figure stood there, watching him. There were no words, but he felt that his faith would be judged.



Author: Putu Beryl Putra Widyadhana

Editor: Nanda Pratama Putera Tomasila, Vonna Meisya Saputra (QC)

Illustrator: Ajeng Suci Hati


Creative Writings Flash Fiction

Sungu and His Given Tasks Part. 2

Why are you still reading this? You should go away!

I’ll remind you again that this story has nothing to do with lovey-dovey romance. There is no “cute couples” stuff here. If you want those butterfly-flattering feelings for yourself, I’d suggest you check the REAL romance stories out there.

This story is about the suffering of a man in love. It tackles the thin line between love and obsession; how obsession could corrupt you and change you into your most atrocious self.

At the very least, if you are adamant about reading about the miserable life of Sungu, you must be prepared for the worst.


It was a mistake for Sungu to accept the tasks given by the grandest and most mighty deities, the Father of the Skies and Mother Earth.

Mother Earth snapped her fingers, and in a blink of an eye, Sungu’s feet were embedded deep in the wet mud of Embun Cadas Lake. Embun Cadas Lake is a day’s worth of walking from the small temple, Sungu mused. The water rippled, caressing his feet gently. He could see the full moon’s reflection on the water’s surface.

“Your first task is to catch us a purple catfish that has a shark’s heart in its stomach,” Father of The Skies informed.

Purple catfish were rare to find in a lake during this season, and even more with a shark’s heart in its belly. The adult purple catfish size could be as big as Sungu, so catching one could be quite challenging. 

This is your only chance to win over her heart, you need to man up, Sungu mused. As Mangga Ranum’s sweet smile occupied his mind, he told himself that he would do anything to make Mangga Ranum fall for him.

He asked, “How much time do I have?”

“As long as you need it to be,” Mother Earth spoke, “You only need to remember this: if you win, we shall grant your wish, but if you lose, you can say goodbye to your love forever.”

A bolt of lightning suddenly struck down, enveloping the mighty deities. For a split second, a blinding burst of light swallowed the whole area. It almost made Sungu blind as he was too late to close his eyes. 

Sungu blinked away the white stars in his eyes. In the daytime, Embun Cadas Lake was a mesmerizing sight; a vast clear blue-green water, high trees surrounded the area and a clear view of Jengger Mountain’s crater. 

But that beauty became a haunting one in the middle of the night. As far as the eyes could see, there were no colours to be found and no chittering sounds from animals to be heard. Darkness surrounded the area. Sungu sat down on a nearby rock and took a deep breath. He began to wait.

Sungu waited for two weeks. During those two weeks, he refused to leave the rock where he sat. He only waved to the locals, who usually bathed or washed their clothes at the lake. Sungu would respectfully turn his body around whenever there was a woman bathed. Once, a group of men came to the lake to fish together. One of them sat down beside Sungu. Sungu didn’t mind the company, though he kept everything vague about himself when the man asked personal questions.

“Just waiting for a fish to catch,” Sungu briefly answered.

He only ate if he felt the hunger started to get worse. He didn’t want to faint when he had an important task to do, though he only ate raw fish because preparing and setting a bonfire to roast the fish would be a hassle.

After two weeks and a half of waiting and battling every purple catfishes he could find, on the first day of the fourth week, the purple catfish he had tried to kill all day finally had a shark’s heart in its stomach.

“Well done, dear child! Well done!” the Father of The Skies clapped his hands.

Sungu was wrecked. His shirt was long gone after a purple catfish tore it down with its sharp teeth. Droplets of water were streaming down from his hair to his torso. The skin where he got slapped by the purple catfish’s fin bloomed with redness. He winced as he lifted his right hand to show the shark’s heart to the deities.

Mother Earth cooed, “The first task wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Sungu could only answer with a smile, but he was sure it came out like a grimace instead.

“We will keep the shark’s heart, my dear boy,” the Father of The Skies added. Once Sungu placed the shark’s heart onto the Father of The Skies’ hand, a burst of cloud began to swirl around the shark’s heart, and in a second, it vanished from Sungu’s vision.

The Father of The Skies then clapped his hands. A gust of wind knocked Sungu down, and suddenly he was in a different place. The smell of incense clouded his sense of smell. He could hear the loud grumble of Jengger Mountain from a distance. He was in Nyi Ketan Ireng’s temple.

Mother Earth walked gracefully to Sungu and sang-song, “It is time for you to do the second task, my dear. This time, you need to get one black orchid, but not just your usual black orchid, oh no! We want you to get the holy black orchid from this temple’s altar.”

Holy spirits, they must be kidding right now, Sungu muttered to himself. The holy black orchid was a sacred symbol of Nyi Ketan Ireng. There were black orchids in every corner of the temple. The locals believed it was a bad omen to pluck black orchids, either the ones from the temple or out there in the wilderness. 

“Just like before, the time is yours to do what you need to do. We will wait until you finish the task,” the Father of The Skies boomed, and with that, they were both gone.

Compared to the first task, the second task was much easier. Sungu could simply pluck off one orchid, and he’d be done with the second task. But all of a sudden, he couldn’t move his legs. He felt his armpits get damp because of how much he sweated. An uneasy feeling crawled inside him, eating away at his heart.

Sungu may not be the most religious person in his village, but he still has morals. This task required him to steal a holy symbol from a religious place. His mind was racing to get one black orchid and run away from the temple as fast as he could. But his heart said otherwise; he could skip the second task and tell the truth to Mother Earth and the Father of The Skies that he could not do the task because it was against his morals.

But then again, what was the point of doing the first task if he was already giving up on the second one?

Sungu sighed. His eyes roamed around the temple. The day when his eyes caught the Mangga Ranum’s beauty for the very first time was in this sacred place. His mind could already imagine a life with Mangga Ranum; how she would fit well in his arms, how lovely her thick dark hair and smooth tan skin contrasted with the white sheet of his bed.

Mangga Ranum was the reason why he was here. The thought of him winning Mangga Ranum’s heart got Sungu pumped up with excitement. 

Sungu made up his mind. He walked to the altar with no hesitation. At the altar, stood an ancient big vase with complicated, intricate patterns. The vase was the home of a black orchid that Nyi Ketan Ireng planted many years ago. Sungu touched the soil in the ancient vase and whistled in awe. He heard that the ancient vase’s soil was forever in good condition, whether during the warm or cold seasons, but he had yet to try to prove it himself. He rarely had the motivation to go to the temple’s weekly prayer, let alone to pray at the altar with the shaman.

The black orchid’s petals were soft to the touch. Sungu took a deep breath. He grabbed the stem tightly. On the count of three, he pulled out the black orchid from its place with all of his strength.

As Sungu walked away from the temple, he didn’t notice as the soil in the ancient vase had become moldy and dried out. The incense couldn’t hide the rotten smell that was starting to spread. One by one, all of the black orchids at the temple began to wither. In no time, the temple’s floor was covered by the black orchids’ petals.

It was a bad omen, indeed.

To be continued…



Author: Kenar Syalaisha Kanayana

Editor: Nanda Pratama Putera Tomasila, Vonna Meisya Saputra (QC)

Illustrator: Kenar Syalaisha Kanayana


Creative Writings Flash Fiction

Me, My Roses, and a Holly Berry Flower

I love to grow a garden of roses. Every day, I take great care of it. Watering, fertilizing, and checking; never miss a day. Sometimes, when the mood is right, I make a bouquet, seeing my roses intertwined as one, dressed with the sheer reflective piece of cloth, and all being tied up with the reddest ribbon I have, but my favorite part is giving it to someone as special as those bouquets. Seeing them smile as wide as a crescent moon is touching to me.

As days passed, the roses in my garden started overflowing, and I decided just to give them out. Since making a bouquet take a long time, giving them stalk by stalk is what I do. I am handing them as if they are flyers with how crowded the town is. It’s a piece of cake to get the numbers down, but I didn’t expect that it would also bring me down as I see my stalk of roses scatter. Some are thrown away, some are in the trash can as I see them peeking, and some are on the ground being stepped on, showing their wilt. The quick change from a smile to an upside-down smile is very clear to see. 

Since I have some roses left, I give them to someone special who will always smile when I give them flowers. With my last bit of energy, I knock on the door and smile, ready to give them the last flowers. Except this time, they don’t and reject it. “I’m sorry, I just got tired of roses, besides, I already have a bunch of bouquets that you always give me. I have nowhere to put them.” I’ve heard rejection before, but this feels like a bush of thorns laces scars all over the outer of my heart. As I say, “Oh… well, it’s okay. I- maybe I went overboard with it,” I leave holding a rose, and its thorns prick me because I forgot to cut the thorns on this rose, and I think to myself, “Wow, everybody must’ve hated me today, even my own rose.” While I hold my head, hang it low, and sit on one of the benches on the sidewalk, I trace my path. 

A moment later, a girl approaches me, giving me a holly berry flower, and says: “Hey, trade this with one of your roses.” It makes me jolt out of shock because other than the fact that she suddenly appears, no one has ever given me a flower before. A piece of flower I receive makes my frown fade into thin air. She adds, “Loving isn’t always about giving, don’t forget that you also need to receive it as well. Only then can you say that love is mutual.” 

Hearing that gives me an idea. I start to assemble a bouquet with the holly berry flower she gave me and tie it up with the rest of my leftover roses. Seeing a different shade of red makes me wonder if I could grow another flower. So I ask her if she got another one of those holly berry flowers. She said, “Of course.” And I replied with “Thank you.” I run to my garden and start planting the flower.

Long story short, I’ve expanded my garden with multiple kinds of flowers. Every flower you can name is yet to be still there, but I will always look forward to trading flowers with someone and discovering each story behind the flowers they’ve given. As for me, I will always look back at my rose and remember the very first time I knew what love meant, and instead of just giving, I will never forget to receive some love too.


Author: Gregorius Beryl S.S.

Editor: Sitti Aminah Intan Utami, Vonna Meisya Saputra (QC)

Illustrator: Kenar Syalaisha Kanayana

Creative Writings Flash Fiction

Memory Lantern

It had been 19 days since Papa passed away. I remembered how he wanted me to drive a car and said that if I could, it would be given to me. Then here I was. The vehicle had changed ownership to be mine. Why did it feel so empty?

I was often angry with him because he kept pushing me to learn to drive. On his last day, I had not had a chance to say sorry and goodbye. Why was time running so fast? Why did it not allow me to admit my mistakes? 

I stared at the car blankly. Every time I saw this car, it always reminded me of him. This car was his favorite. Regret attacked me repeatedly like lightning strikes. I went into the house and ventured to look inside Papa’s gallery. People said that a photo or video brought memories, so I wondered what kind of memories Papa always kept for himself.

The moment I opened the gallery, I could see many of our family’s photos. My photo that I didn’t even know he took, and his beloved car—the photos he took look very pretty and natural. I tried to close my eyes to strengthen myself from crying. The second I closed my eyes, the memories played, and I returned to the beginning.  

The moments we walked with our dogs every Sunday, the moments we played badminton every afternoon, the moments we had family trips together, the moment when we celebrated my seventeenth birthday. Until when he was lying weak in the hospital, and the moment when I hadn’t got a chance to say goodbye. The afterimage that keeps popping in my head makes me dizzy.

I felt like I was going to drown in my grief, but I quickly stilled myself. I had to say my final goodbye to Papa. Then I remembered the Japanese custom of flying lanterns in honor of the departed. Some people said it was called memory lanterns. It let you whispered something to someone you lost, and the lantern would carry the message to them in the sky.  

Mama noticed what I was doing and asked what the lantern was for, to which I simply smiled and stated it was my final goodbye to Papa. She just smiled and waited for me to finish what I had started. Here’s my letter:

Hi, Pa! It’s me, Leah. How’s it going up there? Is it no longer hurting you? Are you still just as powerful as you used to be? I really miss you. Really. I was composing this letter specifically for you today. I hope you receive this letter. I apologize, Pa, because the last time I was annoyed with you about little matters. I’m sorry you didn’t see me at my best, and I’m sorry I never said: “I love you.” Why is it so difficult for me to say it to you if it is only eight letters? Maybe I was arrogant about it. Sorry for not saying it earlier, but I want to say it now. Thank you for being on my side. Thank you for every memory we’ve been through together. I’m sorry I missed out on my final goodbye. I am also very grateful because you made my life more meaningful. Thank you for guiding me all this time. Oh, and also, I wanted to tell you I now have a driver’s license! Isn’t it better up there? I know you can see me from there. Now is my time to let you go and say goodbye. Goodbye, Pa. See you in another life. I love you. –Leah.

I flew the lantern in my backyard at night. I could see it moving upward. I stared at it until it vanished. I drew a deep breath after it was gone. I smiled and rushed into the house, looking for Mama. I hugged her. “I love you,” I told Mama, both of us teary-eyed.


Author: Erica Rafaella

Editor: Desca Geovani Kristi, Ruth Tirza Arina (QC)

Illustrator: Angelita Dayang Diva

Creative Writings Flash Fiction


“Let’s break up, Haru,” he said.

I did not even flinch because I knew this was the end.

“I think our relationship doesn’t work.”

I took some time to see right in his eyes. There was no regret when he said that. He meant it.

“You know, you’re just too kind for me. I don’t deserve you.”

I was still looking into his eyes. Did he not know? I saw through his lies.

“Okay,” I finally said.

“Okay? Is that the best you can say?”

“What did you expect? Begging you for a hug?”

“Forget it.” Then he left me. Amid blooming flowers, under the clear sky, the cherry blossoms bloomed beautifully. Some fell in the wind and hit me. On the 7th of March, my relationship ended. I thought I was supposed to be sad. But why did I feel so numb? Maybe because I knew it would end like this? Because he was continually seeing another girl? 

The street looked so beautiful. Cherry blossom trees filled the streets with pink. People were taking pictures with their beloved ones. Some with their partners, some with their families, and here I am. I inhaled deeply and closed my eyes. The moment I closed my eyes, my memory began.

It was in winter. One year ago, he confessed his feelings to me, and I did the same. I still remembered how happy we were at the beginning of our relationship. We laughed, spent our time together, watched movies, and laughed over a simple matte, but I didn’t know since when I always prioritized him above myself.

I grew my hair because he liked it even though I did not. I always waited for him to text me, I canceled my plans with friends just to see him, and I set the alarm for midnight to ensure he texted me when he got home. I bought him what he wanted. I didn’t even have time for myself. I always begged forgiveness for a mistake that he should have apologized for. I gave the best of everything just for him.

For almost one month, I felt that he had changed. He never texted me first and never asked how my day was. He always said he was freaking busy, so he could not reach me; we fought all day long, but I was always the one apologizing. Ultimately, I found him having an affair with his coworker. When did I become so foolish? 

I realized how stupid it was to sacrifice myself for someone who didn’t deserve it. I realized that I was losing myself in a relationship. So, that was the end. The wind hit me. I opened my eyes and saw what a beautiful sight this was. 

Now I knew why I felt numb when he dumped me. That’s right, something about love. I had to love myself first before I could love anyone else. It was time for me to take a better step. I took one step, and at first, it felt weird. I was scared about how my life would go without someone grabbing my hand.

Again, I took another step, and this was the right path. I felt free and relieved now. I could feel myself slowly returning. No regrets. I walked with relief, heading home while imagining spending time with myself, my family, and the friends I had left behind. Being in a relationship wasn’t for me. You know, in life, some things were just not meant to be. 


Writer: Erica Rafaella

Editor: Desca Geovani Kristi, Ruth Tirza Arina (QC)

Illustrator: Kenar Syalaisha Kanayana