I write fiction in a number of formats including short stories, flash, micro-shorts, etc. I’m currently working on a novel-length work of fantasy set in an alternate reality Kuala Lumpur.

“Now or Never”, Visible Signs That Something Isn’t Right: Creative Responses to the Climate Crisis, It’s Freezing in LA (2023)

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            From the doorway of the house she’d chosen to die in, Siti watched the tiger lying by the pool.

            It wasn't young: silver threaded its coat, bright in the sun despite the cat’s overall worn appearance. She could see some places where the fur had thinned considerably. Thick calluses formed dark continents on its elbows, cracked like post-flood mud unevenly dried in unrelenting heat—what would they feel like if she got close enough to run her own roughened fingertips over them? Soft, like weathered leather, or tough, like old, overcooked beef?
            The thought of food sent a wave of hunger over her. How many days had it been since Wan Yop’s birthday?

“Orbiter in Love”, Sine Theta Magazine #19: HIGH NOON (May 2021)

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            In that brief span of chaos, Venus filled her sensors: the planet’s dreamy blues and craters picked out in gold across the surface. The persistent, dense warmth that radiated off its surface kissing the orbiter’s soft outer-metals.
            They said that Venus was a “sister planet” to Earth, her birthplace. What nonsense. Earth had its moments, but Venus was something else entirely. They have never seen the plains send up a perpetual lights show of magma and sparks; never found themselves breathless with wanting after witnessing the dawn blink slowly awake over the ridged shoulder of Ishtar Terra, or her sunsets sinking quiet below Aphrodite’s breast.


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Excuse me!?! This was my wedding!! Not a space for you to promote your weird cult!! When I said this to Jesus, he had the nerve to tell me that his “miracle wine” was better than anything we were serving. I was so angry and offended, I told them to leave but everyone kept whispering as if I was the crazy person.

“Hotel California”, Kill Your Darlings Magazine (April 2020)

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            I looked up then. Seema was looking at me—really looking at me, as if for the first time that entire night, and she’s not sure what she’s found. Her purple stained lips showed patches of maroon from where the colour clung to the cocktail glass. ‘Look, it’s like this lah,’ she said. ‘Will things be different? Yah, of course they will be! You’ll be married, and a Muslim. That’s just how it is. But we’ll still hang out.’
            Seema has never been that careful with other people’s feelings, but she has always been honest. She once told me that all girls are born with calculators for brains—always doing the mental tallying up of how much they are willing to lose for what can be gained. That night, I saw her carefully wipe the humour from her face, her calculator brain whirring away.
            Then she grinned and shrugged genially. ‘There’s like a million halal places in this city! I like chicken as much as I like beer—but no more porky bak kuh teh for you!’ She cackled. ‘Welcome to the Hotel California!’

© Copyright 2021. Samantha Cheh. All Rights Reserved.