Short Story: Birthday Weekend

Nine candles burned happily on the cake, matching the happy smile on the birthday girl’s face.

He cleared his throat to get everyone’s attention.

“To celebrate your birthday, I declare today a public holiday. And not just today, I declare it a long weekend!”

His daughter giggled. “Daaaad, it’s Easter. It’s already a holiday.”

“See? The whole world’s celebrating your birthday.”

That got another giggle out of her.

“So, birthday girl. How shall we spend your special weekend?” he asked.

“Movie marathon!”

“Sure. Let’s choose the movies after cake.”

“Yay!”

The birthday girl beamed, untroubled by the fact that the egg hunt birthday bonanza they had originally planned for her and her friends had to be cancelled due to the country-wide lockdown they were under.

His daughter was making the best out of the circumstance they were in. They would make sure they gave her a birthday to remember.

~End~

Genre: slice of life

 

Short Story: Lime Crackers

Genre: general
Prompt: Three things challenge – cracker, shoe, chewing gum

 

The rain rolled off the roof to bounce off her exposed leg, held in place by the grill her foot had slipped through, shoe and all. Her dress, which had started the night in gentle cream, was now all shades of grey and brown with pops of colour from candy wrappers and chewing gum caught in its folds.

This was not how she expected her birthday party to go.

What now? She had nothing on her to contact anyone for help. In any case, she wasn’t keen on returning to the hostile environment her party had become. She had thought that her birthday would be enough for everyone to put their grievances aside for one night. Obviously, she had been too optimistic.

“Are you alright?” A couple stopped beside her.

“My leg’s stuck,” she said.

The man set his shopping bags aside and crouched by the grill. “You mind if I touch you? Only your leg to get you out.”

“That’s fine.”

“Is there anything else we can help you with?” the woman asked as the man freed her leg.

She looked at the couple, who in just a few moments had been kinder to her than her own family and friends had been the whole day.

She burst into tears.

“What’s wrong?”

In bits and pieces, she shared about her disastrous birthday, of her family and friends’ feuds, and her naive hope that she was good enough to erase years of bitterness.

The couple listened to her. At the end of it, they rummaged through their bags and pulled out a small box.

“We don’t have cake, but we have lime crackers. Limited edition. Tomorrow’s the last day. Have some.”

And so she celebrated her birthday with two strangers, who gave her the special birthday she had hoped for before sending her safely home.

They still kept in touch after that. The couple’s home became a sanctuary for her when her own home felt like a war zone. Right now, all she could do was receive their care, but surely, one day, they would need help, and she would do everything in her power to help them as they had helped her.

~End~

I Am Blessed

Not long ago, I celebrated my birthday with a party, and it was a day of warm, fuzzy feelings.

I am blessed to have family and friends willing to take the time to help make the party happen.

I am blessed to have friends willing to take the time to celebrate me.

I am blessed to have friends who care and know me enough to give me gifts I would actually love to use.

I’m recording this here because it’s easy to feel blessed and loved now while the memory is fresh, but there will be darker days in the future. Days when I think:

No one cares about me.

God has forgotten me.

When that happens, I can look back to this and remember that I am so loved, by people and by God.

If you have moments like this, I encourage you to write them down, because it’s easy to forget the good times when you need them most.

Drabble: Celebration for Two

Written in response to the prompt ‘pretend‘.

Genre: family, angst, heatwarming

 

~Celebration for Two~

She spread the embroidered cloth she made from the scraps she collected over the months. He poured the juice he made from the berries he foraged from the forest.

It wasn’t the wine (the blood they shared in their veins) and lace (the threads of fate that bound their lives together) they usually celebrated the special day with, but it was good enough for them to pretend they were still a part of the community they were exiled from.

They raised their drinks.

“Happy birthday, sister.”

“Happy birthday, brother.”

~End~

 

Read more about the siblings in Together in Exile and Home is Here.

Birthdays

Most people have them once a year. Some have multiple birthdays due to various reasons. Some lose their birthday (because they changed their identity, lost their memory, other reasons), so have to make up another one. Why?

Because, birthdays are one of the special days when you can reasonably expect the people around you to treat you like you’re royalty. Sort of. For kids, this means large celebrations with balloons and games and classmates they might never see again after the year; celebrations for teens and young adults range from elaborate celebrations to a fun day out with a few close friends; older people tend to have smaller celebrations, usually within the family, but there’re always exceptions to that.

In other words, special treatment on birthdays, usually.

But if you really think about it, x number of years ago, we didn’t do much but survive, which we’re supposed to do anyway. Mothers did most of the hard work during our birth. So when we’re celebrating birthdays, we should also be celebrating mothers because without them we wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t be here without our father either, but our father didn’t go through hours of labour to get us.

So maybe, during your next birthday, give your parents a hug or something, since without them, you wouldn’t be celebrating anything.