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neon flicker. lightning strike. fluorescent spark.

the walls are pink. the tiles are cold. while

you sit

the clothes spin–spin–spin

behind the round glass door

Speed Queen washing machine

creak rumble thump

you scramble

on your knees

slipping over tiles cold–cold–cold


put your hands on the machine

bent, rusted, and battered

look through the soap, the suds, the sopping wet clothes

tumbling ’round and round

see the little girl swimming

in her old shirt


smiling. Happy


creak rumble thump

you lost her again.


[1] Ligáya (From Tagalog) n. happiness; joy. /liˈɡaja/, [lɪˈɣa.jɐ] , (find her don’t give up she’s out there somewhere).

Caroline Hung is a SFF writer of mixed Filipino and Taiwanese descent. She is well on her way to literary obscurity, but will not give up on her search for Ligaya. Her stories deal with folklore and robots, strange creatures, stranger women, wuxia IN SPACE (!) and oodles of existential dread.
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