Tuesday, January 31
Shadow

Literary

Harvest the Grapes of Berlin

Harvest the Grapes of Berlin

Literary
by FRANZ ZOE STOELZL T. BAROÑA Editor’s Note: This piece is one of the works in a nine-part series in line with the Dapitan 2023 theme Panopticon. All works are written by The Flame‘s Literary staffers. RATS SCUFFLED from the crevices that graced the surface of the earth, the ground trembled beneath the grinding steel tracks of Soviet tanks, and bullets tattered in all four cardinal directions—wheezing past the German's crippled ears. Aircrafts and artillery continued to govern what was once the proud skies and soil of Berlin. The Germans were denied of their own will—so much that Fritz had to carry his son Finn into an abandoned house, begging him to silence his voice from the cries he could not restrain for God's sake. When Finn had settled, he was lost in his thoughts. H...
Yggdrasil

Yggdrasil

Literary
by CZERIZHA KAIZEL S. ADZUARA Editor’s Note: This piece is one of the works in a nine-part series in line with the Dapitan 2023 theme Panopticon. All works are written by The Flame's Literary staffers. In Norse mythology, a colossal tree binds the nine realms. Its branches are bridges to the rest of the cosmos. Yggdrasil is the center of the Norse universe. During a family dinner, I watched my younger sister flinch at an unsolicited remark from a relative. I knew she would cry alone later by the sudden shrug of her shoulders. She was trying to regain her composure, and I was there observing. The clash of utensils against the porcelain plates clouded her distress. A non-expressive household sows vigilant eyes and ears. It bears hushed young lips. You have to be cautious to r...
The sorter of letters

The sorter of letters

Literary, Liyab
by FRANZ ZOE STOELZL T. BAROÑA ANDENG SORTED countless mails since the first ascent of dawn. It was only fair for her to evoke a sense of weariness. At 7 in the evening, she departed from the Post Office and wandered along the entangled paths of Liwasang Bonifacio. Lampposts and lanterns contrasted the dullness of the plaza and accentuated the street vendors, beggars, and commuters who took refuge under the shades of ancient Narra trees. Unknowingly, Andeng stumbled upon an elderly lady sleeping beside a pedestal. A cup underneath her caught the attention of the young sorter of letters, prompting Andeng to open her purse and kneel down. "Nay, ito ho," Andeng muttered.  At first, she hesitated to place coins and pandesal into the cup. They may not be enough.  Suddenly,...
Nocebo: No cure but belief and madness

Nocebo: No cure but belief and madness

Literary
by VON ZYRON P. ALIMORONG  WHEN ONE is on the brink of being ruined, the most instinctive thing to do is to cling to some sort of belief—going so far as to give all her faith to something she does not usually believe in. But faith can only do so much.  In Lorcan Finnegan’s 2022 psychological thriller Nocebo, fashion designer Christine (Eva Green) suffers from an unknown illness with no known cure.  Initially, she experiences having vivid hallucinations. Eventually, other symptoms start manifesting: tremors, difficulty in breathing, body pains, and memory lapses—ultimately affecting her work and her family. Enter Chai Fonacier’s character, Diana, who arrives at Christine’s home one day, much to the homeowner’s surprise. Diana claims she was hired as their maid but Christi...
As the midnight dandelion blooms

As the midnight dandelion blooms

Literary, Liyab
by VON ZYRON P. ALIMORONG IN THE days leading up to New Year, Barbara’s parents would often talk about a strange firework that only appears once every 23 years. Its beauty can hypnotize anyone, they say, and leave them breathless. Its origin is unknown. Many had tried to look for the source, but it seemed to magically appear in the sky without any sign—other than a distant sound of a banshee scream. She had not seen it herself.  When she sat there on the swing atop a hill overlooking her hometown, all she had were her parents’ stories. She’d heard how its beauty would eat up the sky, like a green dandelion bursting out of nowhere. She knew how it granted wishes, including her mother’s. “Can we see it, please?” Her mother pursed her lips and smiled. “We would love to but ...
Deafening excitement

Deafening excitement

Literary, Liyab
by NICOLE DG. SAMSON  EVERYONE RAN around me, carrying plates of food and drinks. I had no appetite. Though the sofa was comfortable to sit on, it was hard to ignore the loud engines of motorcycles dragging pots and pans on the road or the kids with their plastic trumpets.  My sister sat beside me. She laid my head on her lap as she ate a slice of pizza on her flimsy paper plate. Her free hand scratched my scalp in an attempt to comfort me. On normal days, it worked, but those days were not deafening. “Seven! Six! Five!” My parents yelled from outside the house. My sister stood and left me on the sofa, joining the rest of the family. I stared at her paper plate with a slice of unfinished pizza. I wondered if filling my stomach would help alleviate the fear. “Four! Three!...
QCShorts 2022: The worlds inside every individual

QCShorts 2022: The worlds inside every individual

Literary
by FRANCIS MIGUELL S. STA. ROSA LIES IN every person is their own universe with a lot of stories to tell. Beneath them are the social issues of great importance and important history worthy to be retold. On its 10th anniversary, QCinema International Film Festival highlights several masterpieces from QCShorts that tell big stories from different worlds of society. Luzonensis Osteoporosis Glenn Barit’s Luzonensis Osteoporosis provides an outlook on Filipino society’s evolution and search for safety. Homo Luzonensis is an ancient human species discovered in Callao Cave in 2007.  The short film shows the life of a hominid, who served as the namesake of the film. As he goes through his journey in the woods, he encounters numerous dangers, coercing him to flee the area and migrat...
Burnouts and shunt wires

Burnouts and shunt wires

Literary, Liyab
by FRANCIS MIGUELL S. STA. ROSA HE STUMBLED as he journeyed to the España side, decorating the floor with his reading materials. Tired even of getting mad, he let out a big sigh and picked up the papers—and himself.  “Okay, slower now.” Christmas colors dictated the movement of the vehicles along the road, going slower as days went by. The commute time from the school to his house increased by half. The cold breeze caressed him every day, coercing him to rest.   However, the tasks knew no god. The past few months seemed insurmountable, and fragments of the enemy remain. The spirit of the season undeniably manifested itself in the surroundings, but he just could not fathom thinking about it—yet. “Kung iisipin mo, ‘di naman dati ganito,” said Ebe through his earphones. Hea...
The assemblage of yellow hues

The assemblage of yellow hues

Literary, Liyab
by HJADOEYA CALICA Under the flowing energy of the sun, Particles of perspiration by my flesh, Found its way to the knitted threads.   The queue of hasting feet,  The urging buttons of electricity, The cadre's arms away from its body— I was caught in the arrow without end.   As I penetrate the golden gate, The space of knowledge was unveiled.   Someone clasped me in their arms, Yet the pouring individuals divided us.   The lights in our heads flicker— Our radar could not rake our sector.   Right and left, Above the sea of heads, I seek their breaths, Harmonizing them with my steps.   On the brink of the falling chest, An accompanying crate heaved me.   Dawn to the gloom, ...
Sorry na, Bunso: The ugly truths of familial relationships

Sorry na, Bunso: The ugly truths of familial relationships

Literary
by HJADOEYA V. CALICA and MARIA ALTHEA V. JAVIER SUPERIORITY IN a household often yields barriers to the propagation of openness and healthy relationships.  Combined with their desires to be heard, the parties involved tend to push each other away, causing familial bonds to break into pieces and lose stability. Under the Parapanaginip Productions, Sorry na, Bunso, with its lightweight narrative, walked the audience through the constricting walls of dystopian plots towards the evocative avenue of compelling presentations. The play was directed by Chloei Fornea and written by the timely narrations of Hanashbelle Delos Reyes and Kirsten Jasmin. In their debut performance, Chelsea Derla, Isabelle Calzado, and Vathan Felicen gave life to three main characters on their journey in ad...