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by Izrahmae Suico (The Philippines)

November 2021

Write the World Review

Audio: "Four," read by Izrahmae Suico

A falling star taught her how to wish, but a falling star apple trunk taught her something else. What that is, she still doesn't know, even now. It can only be felt.

It was a windy day, with the sober smell of threatening rain. It was also the season of the star apples. The trees’ double-faced leaves flap in all directions, turning and resisting and letting. And what else turns in the season of the star apple, you ask? It was the girl, turning four.

She had with her a younger cousin, who followed her wherever she went. And it was fun sitting on a makeshift bench alongside the flowerless bougainvillea, eating star apples and sugary star breads.

Her uncle, the cousin’s father, was far across the front yard’s outhouse when the wind caused the hovering trees to break a fat trunk. It cackled first, like a fighter’s knuckles readying for a fracas, before falling sideways towards the girls.

The younger cousin quickly hopped off the bench and was carried by her father to safety. She, on the other hand, struggled to wear her slippers. And the trunk dropped.

She wouldn’t tell you it hurt, because it didn’t. It was mesmerizing, in fact, to look up and have the sky’s sullen light vanish as a firm shadow instantaneously covered the spectrum of her sight. If only somebody else could see how the leaves trailed behind; it must have been a real falling star.

And would anyone believe she saw it in slow motion—the way the trunk broke into two before her, and how she saw slivers of light in the gaps between the cluster of leaves that followed? The ground caught her, too, although softly. She would later know it was because a bed of leaves formed at her back as she descended. She stayed unmoving for a while, awake and unusually comfortable. Her uncle nudged the leaves away, lifted her, and brought her inside the house.

“Por dios, por santo!” Her grandmother mumbled over and over, feeling every body part before shaking her granddaughter’s shoulders and finally kissing her forehead.

“Por dios, por santo!”

As it turned out, she only got a long slash on her right thigh. Nothing else hurt, until her grandmother wiped it with a warm cloth. There, she cried.

Izrahmae Suico, age 17, is a senior high school student from Bohol, Philippines. Growing up with her grandparents, her earliest memories consist of kid parties and rural life. This piece is an account of one of her experiences as a child.

#Childhood          #Family          #Memory

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Tom Lofft

9/24/22, 2:13 PM

Was this inspired by flights over Iceland?


9/24/22, 10:04 AM

Amazing. I love it.


9/23/22, 7:34 AM

This is just so good!!!! "The air has been poisoned' I love how you describe things! Congrats :))


9/23/22, 7:32 AM

Love the message! The way you prompt the readers to rethink over 'is anything free' is so effective and the ending is...gorgeous.


9/23/22, 7:30 AM

Gosh, Antara...this is really beautiful! I love your use of language, and the anecdotes were so effective!! Congrats so much :))

Nidhi Kamalapurkar

9/22/22, 9:30 PM

I love it! Especially the part where you say if humans can control the world, they can control themselves too!
Keep up the brilliant writing!


9/22/22, 5:22 PM

Poignant and so beautifully written!


9/22/22, 5:19 PM

I love the flow, this is gorgeously written! Great piece!


9/22/22, 5:17 PM

Life really is all about the little things and you wrote about them in a beautiful way!


9/22/22, 5:16 PM

This is a lovely piece, Keren-Happuch! It provokes such a magical and dreamy feeling.


9/19/22, 5:47 PM

Oh my god, the part about changing the mindset given the pre-existing beliefs drilled in by those around us... Even we often hesitate to have these conversations at times amongst friends as this topic is seldom more than a subject of twss jokes. You put it into words brilliantly!

Avisha M

9/17/22, 6:46 PM

this was thought-provoking! I particularly enjoyed how you connected existentialism to the topic. it provides a different perspective.