Gone Lawn
a journal of word-things
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Gone Lawn 53
wolf moon, 2024

Featured artwork, Within Grasp, by Jacelyn Yap

new works

Ada Pelonia

The Curse of Time

A plethora of tulips greet the faded gray clouds, the rumbles of thunder a telltale sign of imminent mizzle threatening a shift of morning breeze to somber tears at breakneck speed. A vista of hued petals in its lavender and rosy shades turns a person’s mood into an upbeat state, says a listicle from two days ago’s cursory search of ‘places to spend time after attending your best friend’s funeral.’ Still, grief subsists, settling in the trenches of my being. It refuses to stand by and fills my waking days with years of memories from childhood to the cusp of adulthood that I firmly corked tight to prevent any spillage as the days pass. But I think of my mother and try to recall the sound of forced cheer in her brittle voice when I played with the bougainvillea in the hospital garden, and nothing comes up except a static buzz. Dread grips my throat, a rush of panic lancing through me. I squeeze my eyes shut, thinking of my best friend, and try weaving every thread of memory I have with her in my mind: the cadence of her laugh, her crisp shrill during our Saturday movie marathon nights, but I can already herald the yarn of memories gradually unspooling from my grasp until there’s nothing but the deafening reverb of pristine, white noise.

Like a Prayer on My Lips

The clock ticks at 2 a.m., my signal that it's time to go. I flick the blanket off my feet and traipse toward the kitchen on tiptoes before rummaging through the pantry and stuffing my mouth with chips, cookies, and leftover roasted chicken in the fridge to balance the perfect sweet-then-salty mix. A proverbial Filipino superstition says overeating in the wee hours of the night before sleeping is ominous because you'd get bangungot and die in your sleep. I sigh, my eyes shifting toward the knives in a rack by the countertop, their sharp sheen like a tempting, scantily clad sultress. But I drown out the cacophony of cries urging for blood with every swig of milk straight from its carton until my belly swells and the undulating waves in the pit of my stomach ease into pacific wavelets. I trudge back to the bedroom door and crawl under the blanket, the bulge of my stomach straining against the garter of my pajama pants, in hopes that my sleep paralysis demon will sit by my bed for the taking instead of my sister kneeling on the carpet to feel my wrist pulsate.

Ada Pelonia (she/her) is a journalism graduate of the University of Santo Tomas. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in HAD, Eunoia Review, BRUISER and Variety Pack where her flash fiction "Prom Date" was nominated for Best Microfiction 2021. More of her work can be found at adapelonia.weebly.com