We are very pleased to present here the very first story from Sunday Writers’ Club member Thomas C. Kim from South Korea.

Writing inspired by a SWC creative writing prompt.

The Gate

by Thomas C. Kim

It was a summer when I first came to Burggarten in Vienna. It was an absolutely unplanned trip. Sometimes, I hit bottom. Very rare. But it happens. That was then. I wanted to run away from my daily routine because I hated to be in it. I was exhausted and sucked into the bench in the wooded greenery. The bench put me into a sound nap. When I woke up, I felt refreshed, and for a moment, it freed me from the negative stuffing that filled in my head. After then, things got worked out. It was like magic. It wasn’t absolutely my plan. But it’s worked out anyway, so I could live with it. The bench was literally the magic gate.

After a decade, I revisited Burggarten in Vienna. I was tired of things around me. Day after day, I launched a missile in a business meeting, and my strategy was brutally sabotaged by other’s torpedoes


Lots of F words wrangling in my head. A pretty close mental and physical situation, like a decade ago, reminds me of a premature exodus to Austria. I really wanted to have a sound sleep I had on the bench. I had a gut feeling that things might work out after the nap once more. Without reading the messages I got from my colleagues and mother after I send an unprecedented LOA (leave of absence) to all, I set sail to Vienna. I remembered I was mumbling like the following in the cabin toilet.

‘No doubt. 100% sure. I can totally vouch for my plan. I don’t know what it is. But it’s worked out before, so it will be worked out. Nothing to lose.’

There were so many things to lose but anyway. When I saw the message that my credit limit is shy after the disorganized travel expense popped up, I treat it like a ticket price to the magic gate. I presumed I have a right to use magic again, and the things should be worked out. I rolled my eyes to spot the bench when I got to Burggarten. Thank Goodness, it was still there. It looked a little bit old. But who cares. I sat on the bench and closed my eyes. For the moment, I almost felt like I fell asleep, but I didn’t. Actually, I was really tired and sleepy because of jetlag. Maybe I was too tired? The harder I tried to sleep, the clearer my nerves were. I have no single clue about why I suddenly couldn’t open the gate connected to the bench. Why now? Why me?

Far from a sweet nap, I got so hungry. That’s all. The magic didn’t work on me anymore. It was a shame. Maybe my spirit was more tainted than before. I came back to the hotel with red eyes, and I seriously thought about what the role of rest in my life is. I thought my life was divided by work and rest. The work refuels my bank account for me to sit back and relax. The rest recharged me back to work. So the role of the work is making money, then the role of rest is to restore me to work. Because I can’t live without money? Yeah, it is the most important part of what we do well to remain proper and impeccable. If someone talks to me that you can live without money, then I will say,

‘Get real.’

Ok, fair enough. Money is crucial in my life, understood. Then I will ask a question.

‘How much money do you need to remain proper and impeccable?’

Now, we need to define the status of proper and impeccable. To me, it is quite abstract and has a different meaning to each one of us. From the money standpoint, I can’t find a clue about the role of rest at all. For the record, it is much easier for me to disregard the rest part and focus on the work only. But sometimes, we search every single receipt to win a prize. From the rest standpoint, there is nothing much. Through the rest, cells are regenerated, so an aging process is slow down. It also makes creative thinking more probable by organizing memories. It heals heartache by blunting the edge of the mind that is out of reach. Who am I? Lifetime engineer geek.

Via the rest, the body and mind are cured and growing well since those are treated in a way it’s supposed to be. So, is resting time more important than working time? Really? I couldn’t convince myself, so I went to the lake to cool off.


Passing by Grundlsee, there is a little pathway to a snug lake called Toplitzsee. I heard that a grill fish restaurant serves delicious homemade meals there, so I’m walking there like a happy child. Yeah, I often fail to hide my desire in front of delicious food. Mom used to say,

‘Seems like you live to eat.’

She knew me well. It’s a truly awesome experience to have a delicious meal by accident. The way to the place with the hasty mind is like a short trip on a long journey. It is small happiness in life.

There is a little fluttering in my heart when I visit a restaurant that I have a crush on. A smile comes up when I feel the loving care of the chef in my mouth. It makes my mind comfortable, and my body gets healthy. I can live well accordingly. It is the most important thing in life, I guess. The rest is a pursuit of life. It helps us to keep our unstained innocen

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