Waves Without Sounds

When things come crashing on the shores of the mind.

Category: Prose

The Farce in the House of Phillips (Part One)

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In the world of metaphors, there lives a young man named Richard Young who has seen at least eighteen summers. His parents made sure he had everything necessary to grow into a fine, well-educated gentleman. He has impeccable manners, is eloquent, virtuous and witty, but fairly impatient. Despite this, for some cruel reason, fate has cursed our young man to never be taken seriously by his elders. And so, Richard now wishes to prove himself to the world.

Now, Richard lives in the House of Phillips. It is a poorly-maintained estate, the owners of which allow wealthier nobles to grab whatever they could from the would-have-been beautiful house with imaginary recompense. This puts the House of Phillips in debt and poverty, and its inhabitants in misery save for the head family. The staff are used to this oppressive hierarchy. Their misery has reduced their perception so much, that they could only follow their masters’ lead. This kind of blind following is what makes them valuable servants however, and the House of Phillips would send its people to other nobles so they could earn money for the estate. It was in the midst of this system that Richard was born. His parents were part of the servants sent to serve wealthier nobles, thus his more refined upbringing as compared to the other servants of the House of Phillips.

Also living in the House of Phillips is a slave named Masa. Masa is as miserable as the rest of the blokes in the lower crust of the House’s hierarchy. Being a slave, Masa is not paid for labor, and is the most frequently and severely abused of all. Despite her masters’ maltreatment, Masa serves the estate with the utmost loyalty and the hardest of work. She was born a slave to the House of Phillips, has served the estate all her life, and perhaps, never dared know any better beyond her masters’ orders.

To be continued…

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When the Bird Has Flown Away 1

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I love Marie. I love her as a tree would love the bird who perches on his barren branches and sings to him through the harshest of winters. There is nothing else that I wish for but to protect and provide for Marie. Without her vibrance, I am reduced to a creature only waiting to whither away.

She is the bride I have always dreamed of on our wedding day. Marie was just ethereal. She was a wisp walking towards me; an ocean surf about to crash onto my waiting shore. In my eyes, my bride approached me as a nymph clothed in luminous garb. The train of her gown that trailed behind her was starlight at her heels; the veil that fell over her darling face, a cascade of diamond dust. As she ambled towards me with modest steps, I cannot help but allow my eyes to settle on the plunge of her dress upon her chest. It bared the skin at the center of her bosom, almost betraying the modesty of the occasion. Ah, how I longed to hold her then! How I longed to reach out, tear her veil away from her pretty face, and seal our union with a brief but loving kiss.

I balled my fists and stretched out my palms in an attempt to strain myself. I reached up to straighten my silk tie and cleared my throat.

“Gosh, she’s exquisite,” I whispered to my brother who stood right beside me.

“Couldn’t keep your hands to yourself, eh?” He asked with a chuckle.

I grinned at the truth of his statement. “You know me too well, Sean.”

My brother leaned in and whispered close to my ear, “behave yourself.”

I let out a laugh and somehow felt more relaxed than I was a while ago.

The wedding ceremony was carried out as how it should be. I felt like I was in a daze back then. I could only remember the whiteness of Marie’s veil and the softness of her lips. It was in that wedding that I came to fully appreciate Marie’s grace. I was nothing more than an elated sack of flesh as she held my hand and guided me through the myriad of well-wishers.

Arriving at the reception, we were burdened by the duty to chat with everybody. Being the awkward person that I am, I was grateful to have Marie with me. We talked with her friends, my friends, our friends, and the friends of our friends. Of course, we also had to immerse ourselves with the family. We were showered with congratulations and praise. I must have said nothing but ‘thank you’ to most of them while my wife expertly kept the conversations going.

“You must be exhausted now.” Marie said as I sat down on a chair and pulled her down to sit beside me.

“I am, but I’m with you so it’s fine,” I replied with a smile.

She returned the smile and looked around. “I didn’t see Beatrice in the church.”

“Beatrice?” I asked. “Oh, the wedding planner. Yeah, I didn’t see her too.”

Marie sighed and placed her head on my shoulder. “I’m tired, James, but I’m also very happy.”

I placed my arm around her shoulders and held her closer to me. “I feel the same way too, love.”

We sat in silence for a while until a tall blonde woman came walking briskly towards us.

“Beatrice!” My wife and I shouted enthusiastically.

We were about to stand up to greet her, but she motioned for us to stay seated; much like a queen telling her subjects to not bother bowing to her. “No no. You two sit there. I know how exhausting this can be.”

“We missed you at the church!” Marie said, almost in a groan.

“Listen, I’m so sorry about that. My daughter wasn’t feeling well this morning.” Beatrice explained with a pleading tone.

“Oh my god, is she okay now?” My wife asked with utter worry.

“Yes, she’s quite lively now. So it’s fine. Nothing to worry about. I’m terribly sorry I missed the wedding though.”

I smiled at her in sympathy. “It’s okay, Beatrice. We understand.”

Marie nodded. “Yeah, glad to know she’s okay now.” My wife stood up to hug Beatrice and I rose to my feet too.

It was only then that I noticed a man who stood a few meters behind Beatrice. He was watching us with a small smile on his thin lips.

“Oh, this is Alex.” She motioned for the man to come nearer and he obliged with a regal stride. “Alex, this is Marie and James.”

Alex smiled and exchanged a faire la bise with Marie before firmly shaking my hand. “I’m honored to see my work on such a marvelous bride.” He said in a velvety baritone which I immediately grew jealous of.

I glanced a blush on my wife’s cheek as she looked at Alex. “Oh, um, thank you. It’s quite lovely.”

I saw Alex’s golden eyes settle on the neckline of Marie’s gown for a second. He noticed that I was examining him and smiled apologetically.

Beatrice, having read the short exchange between us, cleared her throat. “Alex designed your gown, Marie. None of the designers I knew could come up with what we had in mind. Good thing I ran into Alex during our high school reunion. Even then, he has been coming up with gorgeous designs.”

Alex laughed. It was a deep, gurgling laugh full of life and mirth which could draw anyone to listen. “Oh dear, you flatter me too much, Trissy.”

“So, Alex, how long have you been a wedding designer?” I asked, offering a curt smile.

Alex grinned, making his prominent cheekbones practically glow. “A week.” He replied with a chuckle.

“Alex is not a designer at all,” Beatrice explained. “Which is a waste, because he’s obviously brilliant.” She said, motioning at Marie’s gown.

“So what do you do then?” Marie asked, her eyes full of wonder while looking at the grinning man.

My throat constricted with jealousy. However, I must admit I cannot blame Marie. Alex looked like a prince right out of a fantasy book. He had a smooth, oval face with high cheekbones and narrow, slightly aquiline nose. Beneath his thick exotic brows were piercing amber eyes that shone gold when struck by sunlight. His neck-length hair was dyed blue black and he sported a pitch-black goatee which perfectly accentuated his olive skin. He can sweep a woman off her feet with a tiny smile. An awkwardly rugged excuse for a prop maker would stand no chance against the realization of romantic fiction.

Alex chuckled again. “I crack heads open and poke squishy brains.”

Beatrice gave him a deadpan look as if to chastise him for the morbid joke. “He’s a neurosurgeon,” she explained, turning to us.

“Oh, come on, Trissy! You’re no fun. It sounds so boring that way.” Grinning, Alex slightly bumped his shoulder against his friend’s and it sent Marie laughing.

It must have been my demons fueling the flames of my jealousy, but I could not even remember the last time I heard her laugh that way. It was as if Alex whispered the funniest joke directly into her ear.

I cleared my throat and lowered my head. “I gotta use the toilet. Excuse me,” was all I could say before turning around and rushing away. I did not even wait for them to reply. I just had to be alone.

I almost jogged while clutching my chest tight. A huge invisible hand has gotten hold of my lungs and was squeezing my heart between them. I felt like throwing up. I was so jealous of Alex and the attention that my bride generously showered upon him. I was jealous of his laughter. I was jealous of his voice. I was jealous of his proud posture and his regal stride. I was jealous of his thin-lipped smile and captivating cheekbones.

In the washroom, I turned the faucet and cupped my hands beneath it to feel the ice-cold water beat my palms. As I leaned forward to splash my face with water, I heard the doorknob turn. I did not pay attention to it and proceeded to soak my face. When I straightened up to grab the tissue paper, I saw another man staring at me through the mirror.

“Hey,” he said. “Congratulations.” But his tone was not congratulating me at all. It was flat and devoid of emotion.

“Adrian,” I said. My hands grew cold as I fumbled for the tissue, which Adrian handed to me. “I-I didn’t see you earlier. I thought you wouldn’t come.”

Adrian smirked and stepped closer to me. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world.” He placed a hand on my shoulder.

Looking back to that encounter, I know I should have shrugged his hand off of my shoulder–but I couldn’t. I let his familiar touch stay until I finished drying my face. Still holding the damp paper in one hand, I turned around to face him.

Adrian was still as quick and fluid in his actions as I remembered him. He removed his hand from my shoulder and placed it on my cheek. Before I knew it, our tongues were enmeshed within our adjoined mouths. His knee was rubbing at my crotch while his other hand had slid into my tuxedo jacket and was feeling my chest through the fabric of my shirt.

I grunted into our kiss and absently threw the tissue paper into the sink. I reached behind him and grabbed his buttocks through his pants, pushing him closer to me.

The sound of rustling fabric filled the washroom as our clothed bodies scraped against each other. I felt ecstatic. It was college all over again; a late Friday night in our dorm room; we have had too much to drink and too much body heat to share. Adrian is my first homosexual experience. No other emotions bound us except for lust. Marie knows her as my college buddy and nothing more than that.

I could not remember whose belt was being undone at the time. All I can recall is that my head was tipped back as Adrian peppered my throat with kisses when, amid the tinkling of a belt buckle, the doorknob turned again.

Adrian stopped, petrified, and looked at me. Another mistake we carried with us from college–no one locked the door. Nevertheless, it swung open, and we stood there frozen. Our hands remained where they shouldn’t be, buttons far from buttonholes and our bodies still pressed together.

“James, we were missing you so–” Alex’s baritone trailed off. He pursed his thin lips and his amber eyes widened.

There were three grown men inside the room and none of us knew what to say or do.

The silence seemed to have lasted for a lifetime until Alex cleared his throat. “I, uh, I’ll be with Trissy and your wife. We-we’ll be, um, we’ve been waiting for you, so…” he just waved his hand awkwardly and turned aside. I knew he wanted to shrink right there because I felt the same way too.

“Y-yeah, yeah. Of course.” I replied, pushing Adrian away fro me and forcing a cough. “I’ll, uh, be with you in a minute.”

“Hmm,” was all Alex could say. He gave me a curt nod without looking me in the eye and left the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

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Author’s Note: It has been months since I last wrote a story. I’m kinda rusty in this department, and I must admit I am more comfortable with poetry. I know I still need a lot of improvement in writing, specially in writing short stories, so criticisms are very much welcome. And yes, it does not end here.

Letter Story #1: To A Silly Man

The stories I write are told from a first-person POV most of the time, so I thought why not tell stories through a more personal POV? Like letters. I think letters–not the technical ones–can be more intimate than full-blown narratives. I took a shot and here we go! The first letter of Letter Stories. Hey, maybe someday I’d do an entire correspondence if I ever feel like it!


To A Silly Man

Hey you!

Yes, you, man. You who grins all the time although your teeth have braces, your cheeks must hurt so bad. Can I ask you something? Please stop laughing about all the damn little things and the lamest jokes I tell. And when will you learn not to take two lanes while driving that compact car? You’re in your 30s, please grow up and don’t laugh at the collision of two vehicles, especially when it leaves a dent on the one you are riding. For the love of all that is holy, will you please refrain from spending too much on food? And asking everybody else to join you, ME especially.

You know what, my family thinks you’re gay, and silly, and sheltered, and childish. But you know what? I don’t care. I think you’re adorable. You stopped going to the gym and let that belly bulge, and I think that makes you cuddly. When you smile at your one-year-old niece, it also makes me smile. I know for sure you have a gentle heart because you sounded so sad when you saw a dog looting a garbage bag.

You’re cute, and I like you, but I will never say that to your face because I’m a teenager who’s 13 years younger than you and we do the brofist/fistbump as greetings and goodbyes. Perhaps, you’re just a family friend and I’m just the cousin of your colleague.

I don’t want you to read this.

Sincerely,
Bro

PS: I know you’re straight.


A PS from the author: Please let me know what you think about Letter Stories!

Papa Is Dead

The semester had ended a week ago for me. I’m currently on vacation, but so is my brain. I can’t think of anything to put here, so I’ll just post a short story I  wrote more than a year ago. I wrote this in an attempt to rid my mind of the phrase that kept on repeating itself at the time, “Papa is dead”. It was because an uncle of mine passed away. I used to call him ‘Papa’ and he never called me anything but ‘Baby’ ever since I can remember– and he always treated me so.

The story I wrote here is not his, mine or that of anyone I know. It’s just something I wove around the phrase which is the title. I hope you enjoy.


Papa Is Dead

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Kev goes to bed before ten without being told. Daddy’s voice does not get louder at night. I go outside all by myself. The house is in perfect order. Papa is dead, and our home does not seem to exist anymore.

Papa is dead. I wonder why it seems difficult for my family to grasp that fact. Kev, without being told, brushes his teeth and takes a bath regularly. Daddy, all alone, would raise his glass and smile at the air when he drinks his whiskey. It seems I am the only one who has broken out of Papa’s routines. I go outside all by myself when night has fallen and everybody else is asleep. Papa used to call me back. Nobody calls me back now.

How many months has it been, anyway? Six? No, how foolish of me! It has been ten months. I remember the night Daddy walked into the house while Kev and I watched TV. He walked his usual walk into the house, but he stopped and paused behind the couch where my brother and I sat. Daddy hugged us both and whispered, “Papa is dead”. None of us cried back then. Kev and I sat still, staring blankly at the TV screen. Both of us waited to believe Daddy’s words, I think we’re still waiting until now. If you ask me, I doubt Daddy believes himself either. Nobody in my family believes Papa is dead. After that, Daddy kissed our cheeks and left for his room, their room, Daddy and Papa’s room. We could not believe it either. Daddy rarely hugs and kisses us. Then Daddy joined us again in front of the TV, he sat between Kev and me. I noticed he did not change out of his office clothes. Then I saw mist gather on Daddy’s glasses. Maybe I was not meant to see that mist because he took off his glasses and pressed his wrists against his eyes. Daddy cried, I knew it, he cried because Papa is dead.

funeralI am Papa’s only child. I was the only one allowed in his funeral. Daddy and Kev did not go. Instead, Daddy took Kev to the amusement park. My mother was there. I never liked her. She never liked me either, but Papa’s family likes her and I have no idea why. Daddy does not do drugs. Daddy does not go out with other people. Daddy does not beat me or Kev. My mother does all that, that’s why I do not like her. I knew the tears she shed were fake. There was no warmth in her embrace. Just because she was a girl and ‘straight’, Papa’s family likes her.

I saw Papa’s coffin being lowered into the ground. Perhaps, it is the reason why I am the only one in our family who accepted Papa’s death. Or have I? Maybe I go outside every night to see if someone calls me, to try if I could hear Papa call me back. I know Kev does what he has because he thinks he can hear Papa. I know Daddy smiles and tips his glass because he thinks he can see Papa. Then why can’t I sense him? Why can’t I hear Papa call me back? Why wasn’t he blocking the door when I sneaked outside tonight? It was only me who was allowed to go to his funeral. It was only me who his siblings allowed to see him at the hospital. Then why is it only me who doesn’t sense him now? Is it because I saw the mist on Daddy’s glasses? Is it because I listened to them in bed at night? What have I done? I feel abandoned.

Do I need to hear Papa’s voice calling me back in order to return? Kev doesn’t need reminders to do what he has because Papa always reminded him. Daddy doesn’t need someone else to drink with because Papa was always with him. Papa always called me back. Maybe I am the one who can’t accept his death, after all. I’m so stupid. Do I need him to call me back? No, I guess not, but I can already hear him. I must be going back now.

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