Original Works

Puteri & The Frog [12 Genre Months]

Once upon a time, there lived a princess in a white-bricked, two-storey house, complete with a shaded front porch and a tiddly garden. She had light brown eyes, thin lips, and a sprinkle of freckles—a reflection of innocence on her small, youthful face, framed by her short dark brown locks from her mixed heritage. She was like every other child, except for her name—her mother called her Puteri.

Puteri’s favourite past-time was an evening in the neighbourhood park—a gathering ground for the city-dwelling children to be one with Mother Nature. Every Friday, Puteri would bring her golden ball to the field, adjacent to a lotus pond, to toss, kick, and bounce. As she wasn’t very fond of the playground’s swings and slides, Puteri preferred her more solitude activity away from the other children. But on one fateful evening, to her dismay, her golden ball went bouncing into the still water.

“Do you need a hand?” a voice asked.

Puteri hadn’t noticed anyone else around—jumping startled at the sudden intrusion of her quiet playtime. Looking up from where her golden ball had disappeared into, she saw the owner of the voice—he stood across the pond with wide curious eyes, as though he’d never seen a girl before.

“Yes,” Puteri replied. “Can you retrieve my ball for me?”

“If I do so, will you be my friend?” he asked.

“Why do you need a friend?” Puteri frowned. She didn’t understand why friends were important—she enjoyed her own company and that alone was enough.

“I don’t like playing by myself,” he said.

“I do,” Puteri stated. “But if you don’t like playing by yourself, why don’t you go and make friends?”

“No one will play with me.”

“I see.” Puteri had no interest in being the strange creature’s friend, but she didn’t want to wade through the dark water either. So, for the sake of her beloved golden ball, she said, “I’ll be your friend if you retrieve my ball.”

“You will?” He beamed.

“Yes.” Puteri nodded and pointed to where her ball had sunken. “It’s somewhere over there.”

“At your service, princess,” he replied, promptly entering the pond.

The still water wasn’t as deep as Puteri had imagined—her imagination often wilder than her dreams. Once she was handed her golden ball, Puteri said, “Thank you.” Not waiting for a response, she promptly turned on her heel—ready to break her promise.

“Wait,” he said. “Aren’t you going to play with me?”

“Maybe next week,” Puteri hastily replied, before running home.

Puteri hoped to never see the frog again—his big round eyes, Cheshire-like grin, and stubby frame were perhaps the reasons why he had no friends. Alas, when the next Friday rolled around, there he was again.

“Hi,” he said, with a wide smile. “Do you want to play?”

“I-”

“You promised,” he said.

“I didn’t promise anything. I said, maybe,” Puteri stated.

“But you said you’ll be my friend,” he insisted. “We can toss your ball, and if it falls into the pond again, I’ll get it for you.”

Puteri hesitated. Then seeing how his excitement began to turn into disappointment—the mien of a broken heart—she said, “Fine. One game. Just one game.”

“Thank you,” he said. “We don’t have to talk if you don’t want to.”

Puteri nodded and tossed him her golden ball. For a while, the two played without a word—the golden ball bouncing back and forth, while the shouts and laughter of the other children filled the silence. It was a bizarre game but Puteri slowly came to enjoy his company—simply having someone to toss the ball to brought comfort. And it was then that Puteri entertained the idea of keeping a friend—to have someone who truly wanted her around. Alas, before she could ask her first friend for his name, the clouds began to grumble.

“Puteri,” her handmaid called. “It’s going to rain. Let’s go home.”

“I have to go,” Puteri stated, just as her golden ball bounced into her arms.

“Next week?” he prompted

“Sure,” Puteri replied with a smile.

“Let’s go, Puteri,” her handmaid repeated, reaching for Puteri’s hand. “Who are you talking to?”

“My friend,” Puteri said.

“Your friend?” her handmaid asked, bewildered as she glanced around. “Where?”

Puteri pointed to the pond where he sat poised on a floating lotus leaf, bearing the same curious gaze as though he’d never seen a woman before.

“The frog?” her handmaid asked.

“Yes. He’s my friend.”

Her handmaid chuckled. “Frogs make good friends,” her handmaid said. “Come now.”

“Is mummy coming home for dinner?” Puteri asked. Her mother often encouraged her to make friends—it would excite her to learn that Puteri had actually made one.

“Not tonight, dear,” her handmaid said.

“And daddy?”

Her handmaid gave her hand a gentle squeeze. “Maybe next week. Your mommy and daddy are very busy people.”

“I know.”

“You’ll have dinner with me tonight and we can talk all about your new friend, all right?”

Puteri nodded. She would rather have dinner with her friend, but she doubted her parents would let her bring him home. Though, would they notice if she did? They were rarely around. The only thing that was of them was the golden ball. And that itself was merely a reminder of their existence. At the very least, it made her… a friend.


12 Genre Months © 2019 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for the list of stories in this writing challenge.)

Fan Fiction (Shorts)

Snow’s Princess

This year was the start of a new kind of fear. And it was not the fear he was used to feeling.

Ever so often, Coriolanus would come face to face with his mortal enemy, the fear of losing. But every time the elections came around, he tramples on the very account of fear with his power statements accompanied by the cheers and applause from the people of Panem.

But this year, this was the least of his problems. He was the vice president of Panem, and he had nothing else to fear but the reaping.

The reaping, for those who lived in The Capitol, was a celebration, as the Hunger Games was commonly addressed to as an extreme sport of glory. Coriolanus grew up with that idea in mind. And when he was a boy, he always longed to be chosen for the games. Unfortunately for him, he was never chosen.

And though this year’s reaping may seem no different to many people, but it was different for him. Because this year, his princess comes of age. His princess was now old enough to have her name placed in the reaping.

Oh, to think he would be a proud father to have his daughter be chosen, you are wrong.

You see, Coriolanus’ daughter was special. She was a small, frail, petite girl, who had to live most of her life in her bedroom, inhaling from an oxygen tank. The moment she came into his world was the moment her lungs started failing. And as much as he wanted a strong beautiful baby, he was presented with a dying child, who had miraculously managed to live up to the age of 12.

Over all these years, Coriolanus became the protective father. Constantly paying for a chance of a real life for his daughter. But no matter what he did, there was barely any hope of her leaving her room.

This year, she might be forced to.

How on earth was his daughter going to survive the games when she could barely breath?

Coriolanus pleaded for the President’s exception on his daughter, but the no exception rule was hammered into his head, nearly jeopardizing his status.

“No exceptions! Do you see me pulling my son’s name out of the reaping?” the President said.

“But sir, my daughter can’t even leave her room.”

“Then she would be better off dead, wouldn’t she?”

With that, Coriolanus had to bear the streaming tears and demands of his wife in which he could never meet.

“You’re just going to let her die?”

“No exceptions! We do not have a choice!”

The both of them had to accept the rules sooner or later.

Still, the dilemma remains. If his princess is called to be a tribute, what would he do?

With his head throbbing, there he stood on the platform, next to the President. It was a late afternoon and the crowd that had filled the stadium were already cheering.

Coriolanus watched closely as the President dug his hand into a bowl of glass balls. The deafening sound of the crowd made it harder for him to concentrate as the President pulled out a ball and handed it to him.

As he stared blankly into the ball and the digital name hovering inside, Coriolanus slowly read, “Jasmine…”

The crowd went silent as they waited for him to continue.

“Jasmine Snow.”

It was a long and painful moment of silence. There were murmurs from the crowd, as nobody knew how to react.

“Ah, brilliant! That would be interesting!” the President so cold-heartedly spoke.

“Wouldn’t it be now Coriolanus?” The President turned to him, signalling him to respond.

“Yes, indeed. I am a proud father,” Coriolanus lied.

With distinct pain in his voice, the crowd’s oblivion led to an eruption of cheers.

Yes, the people loved him for his bravery at sacrificing his child. But he didn’t love himself.

When he came home that night, Coriolanus sat by his sleeping daughter’s bed side, weeping and begging for forgiveness.

What kind of a father was he?

As he held on to her small hand, Coriolanus’ only wish was for a chance to take her place, but that was impossible. It was then that her eyelids fluttered, and her lips began to softly mutter.

“What is it princess?”

“Daddy…”

“Yes princess?” Coriolanus fought back the tears as he leaned closer.

“I’ll make you proud.”

Her words penetrated his heart like a stake to his soul.

“I know princess. Rest now,” Coriolanus choked on his drying throat.

His worst fear had won. He now knew what he had to do.

Once his daughter had fallen back to sleep, Coriolanus headed to his office to retrieve from his safe a metal box, in which he kept a collection of untraceable poisons.

Picking up a green bottle, Coriolanus filled a syringe and hurried back to his daughter’s side.

As he watched the heart rate monitor beep, careful not to have his eyes fall on his innocent, precious daughter, he slowly injected the poison into her system.The beeping monitor finally met its end after a few seconds. It was that easy. But bearing the crushing pain in his chest wasn’t.

She was gone. Her pain was gone. So were her worries and troubles. He was her father. And as much as it was killing him inside, he had to do what he had to do. He had to save her. And he did.