I Can't Think

in The Ink Well6 months ago

This is my entry for this week's prompt: FOIL
The photo is from an editing app on my phone called 'Wonder.'

I tried to be brave for her. I swear I did..jpg

I couldn’t think straight. My mind felt like an empty space without the stars and the heavenly bodies. Only darkness reigned in my hollow brain until…

‘Is that a lump of foil?’

I ran towards the open window of my room to check if my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me.

After an hour or two of staring blankly at the blank page on my computer screen, something falling from the sky caught my peripheral vision. It glimmered under the light of the night queen in her full form. And that thing was huge!

Without a second thought, I jumped out of the window to the garden where the ‘foil-like thing landed. Fortunately, my room wasn’t on the second floor. If it was, I probably could’ve broken a limb or two.

The Bermuda grass carpeting the entire garden served as my trampoline—my guardian angel who caught me during my fall, unlike my crush who didn’t catch me when I fell in love with her. Such a silly thought about unreciprocated feelings.

Drawing a lungful of the humid air, I tiptoed to where the thing was, only to furrow my brows when I realized that the garden was empty, as empty as the state of my brain prior to crawling out of the house like some spider hero, or something.

Clicking my tongue, I took a step back to our house when a small, high-pitched voice called my name.


I looked back.

No one was there.

Not only my eyes but also my sense of hearing could've been laughing at me—if they were humans too—for they have tricked me again.

I kept walking to the entrance door. Mom would probably be disappointed in me for being outside at eleven in the evening.

Whatever! I had to come in.

I knocked.

No response.

I was certain that Dad could still be downstairs, watching his favorite sports.
I knocked again. Still nothing.

Crickets sang as if they were teasing me for being fooled by my own senses.

“Oh… Viktor!”

There it was again. The same voice I heard earlier, only this time it sounded like it was only a few steps away from me. At that moment, I was sure my eyes and ears were trash-talking to me because they had fooled me not only once, but twice!

My heart raced; it almost skipped out of my chest, could’ve grown feet, and could’ve scampered away. I combed my curly hair with my trembling hands while my eyes were watery with fear, thinking of a way to get inside before whatever was calling me could grab and drag me somewhere.

I rummaged for the keys which Mom would keep in one of her flower pots on the porch. I fumbled through the soft, muddy soil in the pot of the biggest sunflower, which was already asleep because the sun was traveling to the other side of the world.

I breathed a sigh of relief when my shaky fingers touched the hard, metallic thing, pulling it out, feeling triumphant, and wiping off the soil clinging to it. I don’t care if Mom would scold me for dirtying my white pajamas.

I inserted the key into the knob, and when it clicked, I quickly jumped into the house. But my jaw dropped when a different world greeted my eyes. I was NOT in my home!

Cotton candy trees bloomed, like proud soldiers guarding the entrance of the palace, and smiled at me on my way in. The sweet, fluffy canopy of what looked like Methuselah trees served as shelters for hummingbirds and other avian species with human faces—creepy. The pathway to the castle had been painted with the colors of the rainbow, along with secondary colors, blending in the all-silver-foil-y surrounding with its gates and walls.

“Where am I?”

“You’re in the Kingdom of Twees! Welcome home!” someone spoke.

I jumped when I saw a tiny human, as tall as a baseball bat, behind me. Her face was literally a diamond. I said she was a ‘her’ because she wore some makeup. There was a touch of turquoise on her lips with some hint of dandelion face powder on her cheeks. Her upper limbs were longer than her body; she was dragging them on the skittle-floored road.

“Where are my parents?”

“Oh! They’re being reprogrammed.”

“Reprogrammed? They’re not machines.”

“Aren’t they? Oh, I mean, they’re literally humans, just like you. But didn’t you wish for your mom to have a heart? Oh, I also remembered you wished for your father to have a brave heart, too. We can customize that for you. No extra charge.”

“They have those—”

“Twee. You can call me Twee. All of us here have the same name. Oh, by the way, do you want to see the development in your parents’ surgery?”


Twee giggled in response to my shock. She covered her lips with her tiny hand, the same way she did whenever she uttered the word, Oh.

“Follow me, Viktor.”


The kingdom of Twees was a magnificent land, with pedestrian lanes made of vibrant orange stones, like the literal fruit. The walls of most houses were emerald, thanks to the silvery-green edible seaweeds clinging to them. Buzzing bees were as huge as a baby’s fist and were busy pollinating the snapping flowers and Venus flytraps.

The kingdom is a combination of odd and unique styles, including its residents who looked like normal people but with weird faces-shapes and heights.

As Twee and I passed by some other Twees, I noticed some who were having an argument. Their faces would turn fiery red once they were mad or frustrated, but they would turn blue or green whenever they were chill and calm. Some of them even had distinct facial features, like the males grew beards of gummy worms while the children looked like Hershey’s kisses, but colorful.

“Here we are,” Twee said when we stood in front of a derelict building. It was the only unsightly feature of the land. The structure was already leaning to the side like the Tower of Pisa. Some debris had fallen to the muddy-slimy grounds.

“What’s that?” I asked. I couldn’t hide the disgust showing all over my face.

“Welcome to the Orgatory! This is the place where we fix organs. You can also purchase an extra of any organs you need in case you’ll be needing it.”

“That’s absurd! There’s no place like that.”

“Wanna see for yourself?” Twee said, but not in a sweet, jovial voice anymore. Her tone was deep like she was speaking from a cave. The colors in her face vanished in a blink and were replaced by the reflection of a bleak and cloudy sky lit by lightning. It seemed like doom was staring directly at me.

I was about to step back, but Twee foiled me and snapped her fingers. With that, I was brought to a gloomy place where gigantic machines lined up, which were operated by Twees whose faces were as ominous as the Twee I was with.

My eyes became aloof, trying not to make eye contact with anyone. I scanned the area with foggy and teary eyes, searching for where my parents could be. I needed to save them!

I desperately magnified my vision despite the darkness until I saw my mom on the table to my right, a few meters away from me. I rubbed my eyes to check if what I was seeing was real. There were five Twees standing beside her, and they were about to cut her chest open. There was also a tray of a still, beating heart.

They were indeed about to change my mom’s heart! I rushed to the table, not minding what might happen next.

“Mom! Wake up!”

Yes, I want my mom to have a heart because she wasn’t that expressive about how she really felt. Whenever she was sick, she wouldn’t tell us. Whenever she was sad, she would cry on her own. She would bottle her emotions and bear the pain because she didn’t want to worry us. I only want her to have a heart because I want her to live longer. I didn’t want the misery to devour her and take her away from us. My mother loved us. I always felt it, and I didn’t want her love to fade away once a new heart replaced her old one.

“Mom! Please! Wake up!”

I reached her bed in tears, shaking her awake. The sound of the echocardiogram brought me back to the reality I was trying to escape from. The straight line from the machine was bugging my sight, made more agonizing by the annoying, long warning tune of death.

My mom always had a weak heart, and the reason why I couldn’t think straight was because of the worry that my mom wouldn’t make it… and she didn’t.

Amidst the emotional turmoil I was in, I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was my dad.

“Son, let her go. She had endured so much in this life. Let her sail to the place where there’s no pain. The heart suffers what the brain induces. She had been having nightmares because of her condition, and those tormenting dreams didn’t spare her life. I tried to be brave for her. I swear I did.”

Our brains can bring us to distant places, sometimes in a wonderful or thrilling ride, especially when we want to escape the poignant, heart-wrenching reality.


Oh, how I wish I could invent such a rich landscape in my imagination as Viktor does in his attempt to escape his mother's inevitable death. Although, I thought those Twees seemed cute and interesting before they turned sinister and were planning to perform heart surgery! As always, your writing is beautiful and imaginative, @idlemind, and so enjoyable to read even when it is exploring a difficult topic.

Thank you! 😊
I really find the topic difficult, that's why it took me about two hours to finish this story today.



Haha my brain is losing its power

Your story takes us to a richly imagined other world, populated with Twees and cotton candy trees — all of which turn out to be an escape from reality for someone suffering the imminent loss of his mother. This is such an imaginative exploration of the state of consciousness a person can enter in the desperate need to evade the hardest truths.

Thank you for sharing your story in The Ink Well, @idlemind, and for reading and commenting on the work of other community members.

Thank you for appreciating my story. 😊

What a wonderful story. I couldn't really tell if the surgery was the best thing for Victor's mom. The twees were too eager to perform it. Seems they wanted it more. Thanks for sharing this story.

I appreciate that you spend time reading my story 😊.

Our brains have places to take us whenever we want to run away from the world, but most times it is only fleeting and we are brought back to reality.

Cotton candy trees bloomed, like proud soldiers guarding the entrance of the palace, and smiled at me on my way in. The sweet, fluffy canopy of what looked like Methuselah trees served as shelters for hummingbirds and other avian species with human faces—creepy.

That was incredible :)

I really enjoyed this story, and felt bad for him at the end. A powerful story, thanks so much for telling it :)

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Thank you for the compliment and appreciation. I just hope I could learn how to send pizza too. Having a hard time understanding everything. It's not as easy as writing.😅

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