Sharon X Wong

Writer of words. Builder of worlds.

Summer at Hotel Fulcrum, Part 4: Decluttering

This is the fourth part of my fortnightly serial. If you missed Part 3, you can read it here.

Part 4: Decluttering

Hela was waiting by the front desk when Janet showed up for her shift the next day.

“You again? When do I meet the rest of the staff?” Janet winced. “I mean, sorry.” Think before you open your damn mouth.

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Unexpected Waters

I can now say that I’ve seen water in a salt lake. It’s an unusual sight, especially as you can’t really venture onto a dry salt lake because there are a whole bunch of grasses, or reeds. Large unwelcoming vegetation. But a few weeks ago, I decided to go for a walk on a fine day that had followed several rainy days, and to my surprise, found the path flooded.

A path by a salt lake that actually looks like a lake (the path, not the lake)

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Summer at Hotel Fulcrum, Part 3: Anchor

This is the third part of my fortnightly serial. If you missed Part 2, you can read it here.

Part 3: Anchor

Janet slumped against the wall, eyes fixed on the gaping hole had replaced most of the lobby floor. She was vaguely aware of people crammed against the other walls, but she could not look away from the bottomless depth at her feet. “What the hell is going on?”

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Stars and Night: A Poem

This poem is an attempt to use the same structure/rhyming scheme as Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice.

Can we place trust in distant stars
When it is night?
When past regrets deal out their scars
When times of darkness come to pass
Will blackness truly blind our sight?
Or will hope, fearless, pierce the dark
And shine through tiny points of light?
Could just one spark
Light up the night?

Summer at Hotel Fulcrum, Part 2: First Shift

This is the second part of my fortnightly serial. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.

Part 2: First Shift

Hotel Fulcrum was a square brick building, four stories high, roof tiled in white. No balconies — no view. No valet attendant, just a square car park, almost empty. On the other side of the car park was a petrol station. Nothing special. Nothing out of the ordinary.

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The Dream Builders

Okay. This is an exercise in imagination. A thought exercise. Just go with me for a minute, and imagine this is all true.

In fact, I want you to imagine that everything is true. Everything you ever thought of, every story you ever read, every lie you ever told. All true, all real. Not here, of course. This world is a very strict, rules based world where not everything is possible. But out there, somewhere, in some other dimension that we can’t quite reach, it all exists. And here’s the thing: it all exists because we believe in it. In fact, we don’t even have to believe in it! Just imagine it. That daydream you had about the perfect life, the perfect job, your dream house, your dream man or woman? All there, somewhere. Just out of reach.

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Summer at Hotel Fulcrum, Part 1: Interview

This is Part 1 of my new fortnightly serial. Stick around to find out what happens next!

Part 1: Interview

“So,” said Janet Ling, “I guess those are the skills I could use to work here at Hotel Fulcrum.” She coughed. “I do have a variety of them.”

“I see,” said her interviewer, Mr. James L. Smith, Hotel Manager. (The glossy black name-plaque with the gold scrolling was difficult to ignore.) He examined the resume that lay on the mahogany desk before him.

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Hell on Earth

Hell was full. It had taken all the souls it could possibly take, filled every space. But every day, every hour, the souls kept on coming in. 

“A place must be found for them,” said the Devil. 

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Reality Phase (It’s gonna rain)

Preamble

This is was partly inspired by the Matrix and every Matrix-like story, but mostly it was inspired by Steve Reich’s first experiment with phasing, It’s Gonna Rain. I actually like phasing as a technique and enjoy later works like Piano Phase and Violin Phase. On the other hand, the first part of It’s Gonna Rain (The phrase ‘It’s gonna rain’, on repeat, slightly out of sync, for about eight minutes) is akin to being punched in the head repeatedly for eight minutes. I started out trying to replicate this in prose form but fortunately, I don’t think I succeeded.

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Howl’s Moving Castle and John Donne’s ‘Song’

Note: this post contains spoilers for the novel Howl’s Moving Castle, which by the way is vastly different from the movie adaptation. If you’ve only seen the movie, reading this will probably confuse you.

Diana Wynne Jones was a genius.
If I were to explain all the ways her genius comes through her writing, I’d be here all day. But I’m going to focus on one thing — her use of the poem Song (by John Donne) in her novel Howl’s Moving Castle.

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