Word High July prompt response: butterflies in one’s stomach


In response to Word High July Day 1 the snippet below is inspired by the Filipino word ‘kilig’ or ‘butterflies in one’s stomach’.

Image taken from Buzzfeed: “36 Of The Most Beautiful Words In The Philippine Language”. All credits goes to them.


Feet slipping on tile, Jo hurriedly shrugged his damp coat from his shoulders and kicked at his sodden trainers until they were tucked under the shoe rack in a tangle of dripping laces. The clock on the kitchen wall ticked the seconds closer to 1pm and he felt a wave of breathlessness roll through his gut; a tight, tingling sensation that crawled up his throat to meet his heart and flavour his mouth with the hot taste of copper.

“You made it then!” His father’s voice called from the living room. “And fetch me a ginger ale while you’re in there, I’m parched!”

Jo muttered one of his favourite expletives and snagged a can from the rack as he jogged through the doorway. The large flat screen that was his father’s favourite talking point was blaring twenty four hour news, updates rolling in outlined yellow like hornets filling the screen.

“Have you put the right channel on?” Jo asked and thrust the drink into his father’s waiting hands.

“Oh, well good afternoon to you too,” his father said. “And yes, of course I have. ‘T minus one minute’ and all, I think it’s running a bit late. These scientists, never a one of them stays to schedule.”

Dropping into the well-worn groove of his usual seat, Jo ignored his father’s babble and focused on the screen. A news presenter announced they were going live to SETI and on a podium thousands of miles away a woman stepped forwards. Jo’s heart skipped for a moment, stillness overtaking the flutter in his belly as she opened her mouth.

“Today, the SETI initiative in partnership with Breakthrough: Listen are excited to announce…”

7 thoughts on “Kilig

  1. Great piece! I love how you’re incorporating your own, overarching inspiration to the whole challenge; I think it’s a fantastic idea. As for this first piece, I thought it was great, I especially like the cliffhanger ending, really did leave me with butterflies!


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