Notion Press Malaysia Short Story Contest 2017

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My Sunshine
Published on 09-13-2017 11:19 PM

"You are my sunshine, 

My only sunshine, 

You make me happy, 

When skies are grey..." 

It was indeed a grey day that day. Oh, the sun was out and the birds are chirping and people ar...Learn More"You are my sunshine,  My only sunshine,  You make me happy,  When skies are grey..."  It was indeed a grey day that day. Oh, the sun was out and the birds are chirping and people are bustling about minding their own business.  I meant, my life was grey.  I'm colour-blind, if you're still confused. I've lived my life in a grey wasteland, where everything is depressing. People always tell me that this flower is a very beautiful shade of red or that baby's eyes are a twinkling blue.  I'd love it if I could see in colour, even if it's just for one day.  And that fateful day came.  I saw him when I was being pushed down for not moving fast enough at the traffic light junction. He noticed me falling to the ground and held out his hand, helping me up.  There was something about him that attracted my interest. The way his lips curled at the edges into a small smile as he introduced himself, the way his eyes sparkled with so mich warmth and tenderness as he helped me pick my fallen things up.  'I'm Alex.'  'I'm Alex, too!' I exclaimed excitedly.  He laughs, this deep husky laugh that sent tingles down my spine. His hand, still on mine, radiates warmth that makes me feel.... ...safe.  'Well then, Alexandra,' he emphasized on the last part of my name, 'shall we go and get some coffee? It's the least I can do aftee you nearly got trampled on.' 'Coffee sounds nice,' I grinned.  And that's how I met my sunshine.  ~~~~~~~~~ But wait.  Did you actually think my story is over? Oh, my dear sweet child, a story is never over. Not really. There will always be a sequel that can turn it into a trilogy or even a series if you are lucky.  Anyway, this is my sequel. I hope you like it.  ~~~~~~~~~ I gave Alex my number before we parted ways that day. And he asked me out that weekend.  And now we're here, nearly a year later. Enjoying each other's company, driving each other up the wall. You know, the usual couple-y things people do.  I asked him if my colour-blindness bothered him. I mean, it could get pretty annoying for some people if they ask you to get the yellow mug and you have no freaking clue which one is the yellow mug.  But my dear sweet Alex is very patient, carefully labelling each of the mugs in our apartment with their colours.  'So that you'll know which is which,' he explained to me when I asked him what he was doing.  'I love you so much,' I said, pulling him in for a kiss.  'And I love you.' I guess you could say we were pretty happy. My parents were over the moon when I first brought Alex back home to meet them. My dad thought it was hilarious that we have the same name.  Mum pulled me aside as we were preparing for dinner that night. She was making sure I was really and truly happy with him.  'Are you sure?' she asked.  'Yes, Mum. Stop worrying about me. You're going to get more grey hairs and wrinkles,' I reassured her, feeling rather exasperated.  She wrings her hands, the way she does when she is anxious about something. 'I don't want you getting disappointed again.' 'Don't worry, Mum. I won't,' I hugged her. 'He's a good guy.' I glanced at him chatting up my dad. 'And I think he might want to pop the question,' I winked at her. 'Found the receipt.' 'Well, let's hope that's soon,' she chuckles.  ~~~~~~~~~~ In all my dreams, dear You seem to leave me,  When I awake my poor heart in pains ~~~~~~~~~~ I didn't mean to do it.  I swear. I swear to God. I swear.  It was a very sunny day that day, but to me it was just another dreary, grey day.  Alex came home that afternoon smelling like fresh grass and sunshine. His eyes light up when he saw me lounging on the sofa in the living room and his lips curled into that favourite smile of mine, with his dimples peeking shyly.  'I have something for you,' he said excitedly.  'Me too,' I replied, my heart beating like crazy. This is it, I thought.  'Can I go first?' he asked giddily.  'Sure.' He dug into his pocket and pulled out a tiny velvet box and my heart beats even quicker.  'Alexandra Collins,' he says softly, 'will you be my wife?' he asked, his eyes hopeful.  He opened the box and revealed a beautiful ring with glinting stones embedded on it. 'I.. I can't.' His face fell. 'What? Why?' 'Because of this,' I pull out the surgical scalpel I had under my sleeves.  ~~~~~~~~~~ So when you come back And make me happy,  I'll forgive you, dear  I'll take all the blame.  ~~~~~~~~~~ 'Alexandra!' Mum gasped as she stepped into the house.  'I'm sorry, Mum. I tried, I really tried but I just -' 'Oh my goodness,' she whispered as she knelt next to Alex. 'What have you done?' 'I just.. I just wanted to know. What it felt like,' I sobbed. 'I loved him, Mum. I really, really did!' 'Alexandra, we've been through this. You can't keep doing this, sweetie,' she said, wiping away the tears that were freefalling down her face.  'I know! I know I promised to stop but I just... I just couldn't. The temptation was just....' I stared at her helplessly.  She pursed her lips, shaking her head disapprovingly.  'Mum, please...' Silence.  'This will be the last time, sweetie. You'll have to face the consequences yourself after this,' she sighs. 'Come on. The usual.' I got to my feet quickly, gently turning Alex over. 'I'm sorry. I love you,' I whisper to him. I quickly took the tiny velvet box out of his clenched fists and, out of curiosity, slid the ring onto my finger.  It was beautiful. The red rubies glinted in the sunlight, blinding me for a minute.  My heart felt heavy by just looking at it. Oh, if only.  'What are you doing? Hurry!'  I quickly slid the ring off, stuffed it into its box and pocketed it before turning my attention to Alex. 'I will always love you,' I said, planting a kiss, our final kiss, on his still warm lips.  Slowly and gently, I slid his eyelids close over his eye sockets.  ~~~~~~~~~~~ You never know dear, How much I love you.  Please don't take my sunshine away ~~~~~~~~~~~~ I waited for the lights to change.  The sun was shining, the skies were a clear blue, people were walking around minding their own business. Everyone had their own destination.  Then lights changed green.  And I smiled. ... Read more

By Aminah Nadhirah in
Reader Points: 460
Editor Points: 0
Rank: 59
Views: 1555
The Blue Box
Published on 09-13-2017 09:15 PM

Sometimes, it is compulsory to kill your curiosity, and let me tell you why. So I am...Learn MoreSometimes, it is compulsory to kill your curiosity, and let me tell you why. So I am now, sitting here, in this weird little box, waiting for someone, anyone, in order to get out of this. There he comes, a guy with purple shirt, talking to Mr. Claude. I was new to this town, when I first got here was 2 weeks ago, and there had been barely anything happening for the past 10 days, I just sat here and wait. 2 weeks ago, when I first arrived, I had to find a house rental and find a job, it was already afternoon when I got the key from Mr. Claude, he was the landlord. We contacted each other long time ago and he told me he had been waiting for me for a long time. “Here’s your key, sir.” said Mr. Claude. “Oh thanks, see you later.” I replied. “No problem, if you have any questions about the house, just call me.” “Alright thanks.”  and I left. By the time I arrived at the house was already sunset, 6:30 PM. The new house was not so big, it was old but looked beautiful. Indeed, it was old from the inside too, there were dust everywhere, no wonder why the landlord would rent it to me with an extremely cheap price. But at least they have furnitures, bathtubs, beds and everything. Certainly no one had been living here for a long time. I went upstairs, found a room that i would like to live in, it was the one facing the forest. The reason I chose this room is that it is the only room that I could live it, there were 5 rooms in total, 2 had a smell of rotten cheese with rotten meat, and another had a broken bed and door, the other had no bathroom, and this one is fine with no smell, comfy bed and a nice bathroom. The only problem was that there would be no sunlight shining into the room, it was beside a forest, facing south so the only light source would be the light bulbs. I checked the room, it was pretty nice, there is even a dressing table beside the bed, the strange thing is, it was not dusty, as though someone had been cleaning this everyday. I didn’t think any further, there was a drawer, I opened it and found a blue box, the color of mystery. With a engraved pattern of eyes on the back. There was a note beside it, saying “Never open this…” I ignored it, what would be so dangerous about this? It isn’t gonna eat me or something right? I found a key under the note, and picked it up, inserted it inside slowly. I could hear the springs inside the box turning, one degree by one degree, the mechanism was working to open the box. With a sound of click, the lid swung open, there was another note, and I had no idea what it means. “The worse has yet to come.” I could feel icy wind brushing against my cheeks as I read these, couldn’t recognize if the wind was imaginary or real, I threw the note away and closed the box, it couldn’t be locked again. I put the box back into where it was, and closed the drawer. Think that this must be some jokes the landlord did on me, so I should take it as a joke. I went downstairs, and grabbed a sandwich from my backpack, ate it quickly and lied down on my bed, after about 20 minutes of finding a comfortable position for dreaming, and began an uneasy sleep. I had my first dream in this town, in this house, in this room, about a man with a knife running towards me from far away, and I couldn’t move, I was tied to a tree. He runned slower as he approaches, until he walks, and we were face to face, i couldn’t see what he looked like, he probably had no face or whatever. Suddenly he tilted his head and stabbed me on my heart, that’s when I woke up, finding myself sweating like crazy. I lied back down, telling myself that it was just a nightmare, and went back sleep. The next morning I woke up, I was right, the sun would never shine into my room by any chance, it was dark all the time if the lights weren’t on. I went out for a job, Mr. Claude told me that there is a supermarket near my house that needs a cashier, I went there, they accepted me right away. I worked there for the rest of my day, earned 9 dollars, which I spent 2 dollars on my dinner. I would get a free lunch and breakfast from them, so that’s pretty cool. I got back home, noticing the box went was right over the dinner table, the pattern of eyes on the back of the box was staring directly across the room, watching the door and watching me, I felt angry that the landlord would play this kind of jokes on me. I put the box back to the drawer and moved into the room without the bathroom, which I would not have to set an alarm on to wake me up, the sun will, and I don’t have to live in the room with the weird box. That night, I had the same dream, of someone walking to me with knife, this time, he helds something on his other hand, a little box, the exact one as the one in my house. And he did the same thing, ran and walked and stopped, tilted his head and stabbed me with his knife. Again, I woke up sweating like crazy and found that something is wrong. MY HAND WAS BLEEDING. There was a 2 inch wound on the back of my hand. I got the box out of the drawer and put it in my jacket pocket, got on my bike and rode to the lake, in the middle of the night, threw it as far as I can and got back to my house, think that everything would be fine now and got back to sleep. I had a dream later, of that man getting out from the lake and walking slowly towards a house, slow enough to let a turtle win a race with him... The sun woke me up later, and I got to work. I couldn’t concentrate with whatever I was doing. I tried to call Mr. Claude and no one answered, after a tiring day, I got back and sat on the sofa, reading a book that would distract me from thinking about the box, and I had one quick glance towards the dining room and found the box, on the dining table, again, the eyes on it were staring at my direction, it had been watching me for the whole time. This was getting stranger and stranger. How is it possible to cut yourself when you are sleeping, how is it possible for a box with no life to move around the house, and why am I kept on dreaming these stuff that would not possibly be a simple coincidence? With these thoughts, I decided to stay awake this night, and see what would happen, and who would come to cut my hand. It was dark and nothing happened in the first 3 hours, I was sitting quietly in the other room, and as soon as the clock strikes 12, there was a breathing noise in the room that the box was bing kept. At first I thought it was mine, but later, I knew it wasn’t me, someone else is in this house. I was scared and a shadow appeared at the door, staring at me with a knife in his hand. My soul almost jumped out of my skin and I ran downstairs, he didn’t follow. I tried to turn the handle of the front door until I found out that the handle is broken. I was trapped, there he came, with the knife, I screamed and everything blacked out. It felt like as though I have the ability to fly or stuff, for a second or so I was floating and I realized that my actual body was underneath me. Which means I was probably dead, I wouldn’t take control of my real body and my floating body, it just started flying by itself, while my real body, lied in a pool of fresh blood. As though there were some kind of forces pulling me up, I just flew upstairs towards the room and I had no control of it, and into the drawer, through the keyhole and into the box, and everything blacked out again… It was like a dream but in real life, the whole process made me sick, wanted to puke but nothing came, I was in the darkness. Then I understood everything. As soon I was inside that cute mysterious box, I had a kind of supernatural power to see whatever the landlord sees. I saw him talking to people, introducing them to their houses, but nothing else. The landlord came a week after the black shadow attacked me, and collected the only money that I had and I watched him, I thought he was going to call the police that I was being killed, but he didn’t, he didn’t even show any surprise on his face when he saw me in a pool of dried blood. He just pulled me outside and buried it, cleared the blood and left. At that afternoon, I heard something, something that woke me up, that woke the desire to live, to kill, and woke my true beast inside me. I knew it would come after all. “Here’s your key, sir...” ... Read more

By Steve Xiang in
Reader Points: 30
Editor Points: 0
Rank: 227
Views: 2057
Reasons Why (Or Lack Thereof)
Published on 09-13-2017 08:25 PM
Let me start off by saying that this is not, in any way, a Creepypasta (one of those fake horror stories that inhabit the internet in hoards of titles and websites). Rather, the premise of this story is quite simple, my tenth grade family vacation. Back in the summer of '06, my parents decided to take our group of four on a family vacation. Now, we weren't rich, but we earned well en...Learn MoreLet me start off by saying that this is not, in any way, a Creepypasta (one of those fake horror stories that inhabit the internet in hoards of titles and websites). Rather, the premise of this story is quite simple, my tenth grade family vacation. Back in the summer of '06, my parents decided to take our group of four on a family vacation. Now, we weren't rich, but we earned well enough for a one-paycheck family to get by with some splurges along the way. Our destination of choice was Malaysia, a small country located south of Thailand in South East Asia; Dad had been to Malaysia way back in his uni days with a few of his friends and our late Uncle Roger, and he figured that we ought to head down there as well. Weird things were happening all over the world, people disappearing from every nook and cranny of the globe; from notable politicians to your average Joe. Dad figured that we could all use a break from the stress of it all and planned out the trip for us to all take our minds off it. Mom, who had always been more of a home-body than anyone that I knew, was rather reluctant to make the trip, but all it took was some convincing from her son to get her strapped to the economy class seat flying us to Asia. Surprisingly, it was my brother, Anthony (the hippiest, hippy to ever hippy), that ended up convincing her to come along. Though not quite as introverted as our mother, Ant had never been the type to take on new and exciting adventures quite as quickly as Dad and I, but he seemed pumped for the trip. That was how I found my self on an east-bound plane, squashed between my seat-gripping mother and my brother, decked out in the brightest orange jumper that ever existed, who couldn't seem to look away from the window. The takeoff seemed normal enough (well, about as normal as someone who's only ever been on two flights can say) and everything seemed to be business as usual on the flight. Until it wasn't. The first sign that I should have noticed was that the com-link that the pilot gives their announcements on was strangely silent. Not a single peep from the pilot the entire takeoff into cruising, but I only had so much flying experience to call from, so I wouldn't really have been able to call it out of the norm just then. Mom and Dad didn't seem to notice too much either, seeing as they'd had their headphones in since the moment we took off, catching up on the latest season of HIMYM. Ant had yet to look away from the window, though at some point I just assumed that he had fallen asleep (I didn't really bother to check, seeing as he enforced some good ol' traditional older brother abuse everytime I disturbed him in general). Ant had always been a bit odd, anyways, he believed in the kind of things Dean and Sam fought in Supernatural. So accepting the weirdness of the day as some form delusion, I turned on an episode of Transformers on the in-built screen. And then watched as it skipped though the episode to a scene of Optimus Prime crashing into the ground, but right before his robotic body made impact with the ground, the screen froze. And then it replayed, then again, and again, and again until I finally broke out of my what-the-heck mode to restart the screen. Airplane TVs malfunctioned all the time, so I didn't find it immediately suspicious, but boy did I when I opened up Star Wars to the same result; almost-boom goes the X-wing. The sound was all messed up too, the video giving off the kind of mangled, scratchy noise old tapes do when you hit rewind; it the very definition of cringe-inducing. So with a heavy sigh, I let my set of cheap, plane headphones fall around my neck as I turned off the screen. It was then that I noticed something else; the entire plane was silent. Goose bumps erupted across my arms as the eerie silence seemed to settle in. The contrast between the scratchy noise that had invaded my ears only seconds earlier was obvious. Naturally, I did the thing that any sane person would do; I nudged my brother so that he could revel in the weirdness of the moment along with me. Of course, he's an older brother, meaning he is not going to respond to such a rude nudge. I mean, how dare I nudge my elder? Blasphemy, truly. So I nudged him again. And again. And finally- "For god's sake, Roger.What?" Informing my brother of the silence of the aircraft seemed to snap him out of some sort of trance, even as his eyes kept snapping back to the window. But it seemed like it was the particular words that I used that gave him the same hair-raising sensation. "it's like the entire plane just- stopped, making noise, I mean" It was with that sentence that made something click on Ant's mind, and as he instructed me to look out the window, I realised just why. We had gotten seats just a little bit behind the wings, meaning we had the luxurious view of the back of one of the engines. At first, I couldn't see what exactly it was he was trying to show me; sure the engine blades seemed to be moving really fast, they almost looked like they weren't even moving- And that was when I wished we had stayed home. The plane wasn't moving. The plane wasn't moving. The plane wasn't moving! To say that I had been terrified was an understatement; I turned immediately to my mother, gripping her arm and calling out in a way that reminded me (even with my post-pubescent deep voice) of a child screaming "Mommy!", only to realise that she wasn't moving either. I didn't have to look at Dad long to realize that he had met the same fate; some weird, frozen form of themselves. At the time, I didn't have enough calm, sensibility left in me to try and deduce what had happened; even now I find myself lost as to the cause of the seemingly time-forzen inhabitants of the plane. Had the pilot been frozen the entire time? Is that why I hadn't heard anything over the com? Ant was convinced that it was caused by Gabriel, the Supernatural incarnation of the Archangel who could manipulate time using Chronokinesis. There were reasons that I usually left my brother to himself. My first instinct upon realising that Ant and I were the only ones who were "awake", was to get up and try to see if any others were awake. The answer to that was a solid no. The pilot's door was locked, the passengers were frozen, the flight attendants weren't moving. And upon returning to my seat, Ant wasn't moving. I can't pinpoint the exact moment I knew I would be frozen soon enough too. I can't exactly describe what it felt like. When you read stories about heroes and missions, they always know why things are happening to them. I didn't know what was happening to me then. And as I froze up, sat next to my brother with my eyes squeezed shut, I realised that no one ever would know.... Read more
By Amanpreet Kaur in
Reader Points: 0
Editor Points: 0
Rank: 311
Views: 12
The Storm Twins
Published on 09-12-2017 11:56 PM

"A storm is coming," a weather reporter announced on a TV in display. My walking faltered as I inhaled steadily. I glanced up to the dark clouds above and felt the cool winter breeze. The voices of the crowd around me toned down as the thoughts rage in my mind. "Storms are beautiful... Just like you..." I murmured as I exhaled. I kept walking. -----------------------...Learn More"A storm is coming," a weather reporter announced on a TV in display. My walking faltered as I inhaled steadily. I glanced up to the dark clouds above and felt the cool winter breeze. The voices of the crowd around me toned down as the thoughts rage in my mind. "Storms are beautiful... Just like you..." I murmured as I exhaled. I kept walking. ---------------------------------------"Hey, wanna play?"I looked up to see a boy of my age with ebony black hair. I looked around the nursery to see if he was talking to someone else. Apparently not. As I was about to answer, another boy popped up right from behind him. A carbon copy. That was my first time meeting twins, gave me quite a shock. Oddly enough, they smelled sterile, like a hospital room. "I'm Ashton," declared the second boy. "And I'm Ashley," continued the first. "We're the Storm twins," they then said in sync with each other. Probably because they've practiced numerous times. My eyes darted between the two, my mouth agape like a fish. I wasn't sure what to say; never really talked much. "Here," Ashley said as he gave me a toy scalpel. "What's your name?" he continued. "Tate..." I finally replied and came to my senses. "Okay then Tate. Let's play." Ashton exclaimed and pulled me to their table. That was the start of my friendship with those two. --------------------------------------- As the years went by, the three of us got into so much mischief. From putting frogs into neighbours' teapots to scaring passersbyers with ghost costumes. Yet they continue to amaze me with their intelligence and craftiness. Their innocent demeanor contradict their ingenious schemes. Their intellect from the plots transferred to their studies as well. Me? I wasn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. Ashton and Ashley were almost every teacher's favorite student as they excelled in every class they took. Lots of the other kids envied them; but if anyone tried to bully one of them or myself, the three of us would make sure they'd pay. Jokes were abundant. I'd tease them for smelling clean all the time, I won't deny that. But if anyone else did, I'd punch the living lights out of them. I didn't mind that I lagged a bit in my studies, as long as I had my two best friends, everything seemed manageable. But as life goes, like a wheel it turns. Happy times don't last, darkness must arise. We've left the past, high school days arrived. Maybe it was the stress or the peer pressure, I could never guess. Those two boys sunk. As twins, one must have felt the other's depression. Thus the bleak cloud above them widened. Their charming smiles and wacky ideas became scarce. I'd never thought I'd see the day they'd actually talk back to teachers for asking them a question. They were gloomy, and it spread to me too. I tried helping, I swear I did, but somehow helping by teaching them didn't work. Motivation didn't stick. Even bribery couldn't get them to score. It was as if I had lost my sunshine. They remained forlorn. At some point, they got into an argument with their parents due to their declining grades. They spent the whole week at my house, sulking in the living room and telling me they were hopeless. That's when I put my foot down and said: "You guys should be doing what you love instead of all this nonsense that you hate." Their parents' passed away the next week. I thought that this was the end, that they'll never rise up from this. But miraculously, they not only survived, but thrived. They told me that they'd want to make them proud. It was the least they could do. Thus they worked harder than ever. They dragged me along most of the time. Always saying: "Take this as a thank you for helping us, we're gonna get out of here with a bang. Meaning honours roll bang that is." Being forced to tag along wasn't all that pleasant, but I was just happy they improved. They'd reek of hospital rooms again, but I didn't care. My two best friends were optimistic as if it never happened. Bright, cheerful vibes emitted from them. We'd spent most of our time in the local library, studying or on the computer, researching. I had to give double the effort to keep up with them though. Before long it was our final exam. We were full of anxiety and stress. Yet it was over in no time. We graduated and we did leave with full of pride. Our performace was exemplary, and we got into our desired courses. Time flew fast and without realizing it we already had to leave home and start a new adventure again. In university (we got into the same one), things didn't change. Even though we were in different major courses; Ashley in Psychology, Ashton in Medical, and me in Veterinary, we still remained close. When we did have classes together, our minors, they'd even wait for me at the girls dormitory. That usually creates a fuss as the girls would try to flirt with them. They'd smile and reply nicely like the gentlemen they were. Couldn't say I wasn't jealous, slightly protective too. "Wouldn't want anyone to steal you guys away," I'd giggle in response when they'd question my protectiveness. It was a breeze, balancing studies and other stuff wasn't all bad. Classes went smoothly, peers were okay and the professors were chill. We'd still get to go to frat parties and hangout. Exam weeks were always dull with everyone down in the dumps. It was fun. Living and loving life. Around the 5th semester, Ashley suprised us with the announcement that he was getting married. I mean surprised as in dropped a total bomb on Ashton and I without a hint or warning. We volleyed him questions. Asking who the girl was, when they met, why'd he kept it a secret, what was his plans. We didn't get answers. Instead he told us to remain calm and he'd introduce his fiancé the following week. We just had to be patient. But that never happened. Ashley went missing. When he didn't come home for 3 days. Ashton got worried and filed a missing person report. The main culprit as suspected by the police was the fiancé. But since we knew nothing of her, we had no leads. Friends and mutuals were brought into questioning yet none of them could give the answers that could conceive a trail. We put up flyers and mentioned it in the newspaper. We even conducted search parties. It was all hopeless. Ashley Storm was nonexistent. This put a tremendous stress on Ashton to the point that he even pushed me away. He missed Ashley, I understood that. He felt half empty and that nearly killed him. The lesser are unaware that curses are sometimes disguised as blessings. A month after his disappearance, Ashley was in their living room, healthy and perfectly fine. Reading calmly and evidently unscratch. Ashton was estatic, his twin and only family was back. I missed seeing him smile. But, something was slightly 'off'. He wouldn't tell anyone where he'd been. Police, hired counselors, friends even Ashton himself couldn't make him say anything. "Please, tell me what happened. I need to know. You have no idea how much I tried to find you. Please let me have closure over this." I heard Ashton say this countless of times to him. Yet Ashley would only smile and reassured his brother that he was fine, all safe and sound. Nothing could budge the wall he had created. After many futile attempts, we gave up. If Ashley wanted to keep it a secret then fine. We let him have his own way. Unsurprisingly, his fiancé never showed up. Thus we could only conclude that she had fled. We continued life as normal. However, the aftermath was subtle yet noticeable. He'd flich if anyone got too close, tensed if anyone talked in harsh whispers and would breathe heavily during flashes of lighting. He relished in the comfort of his twin's embrace. A broken man trying to fix the broken pieces of himself. Time passed and everything went smoothly. The incident years ago no more than a dicomfort in the back of our minds. The three of us finally received our bachelor's degree and graduated first class in our respective fields. As fickle as opportunity gets, each of us were lucky enough to be offered stable jobs. Ashton became a brain surgeon for a private company, Ashley wound up at a mental hospital as a sought out psychologist, while I ended up as the general veterinarian for the national zoo. Everything did work out for the three of us. Looking at where we are now and where we started. It was enough. Hard work and determination, it all payed off. After the tons of sufferings, we felt as if nothing could ruin it. What could go wrong? It was as unfortunate as it was absurd for what happened. Ashley would never have figured that the treatment and environment there could affect him. Maybe some patient's ramblings or a treatment carried out got to him. One unlucky day, as he walked down one of the many hallways, he dropped to his knees and started screaming. No one could calm him down. He repeatedly kept shrieking a combination of "Get her off me! It hurts! Please! I'll marry you! Ashton! Please help me!" Ashley was put into the very asylum he worked at. Talking to his hallucinations, usually his 'patients'. Always boasting that 'he thanked god for his success at beating the witch'. His twin visited him every weekend, comforting and coaxing Ashley out of his little world. Ashton was heartbroken but he didn't show it anywhere in public. He told me countless of times that he should have forced Ashley to tell him where his fiancé was. Saying he'd love to tear that witch apart. Even in the tide of events he still climbed fast up in his field due to his incredible talents. He worked hard in hopes to distract himself from his brother's suffering. Soon enough he was promoted. He invited me as his 'plus one' to his promotion party. He smiled, but his eyes were empty. Just like all those years ago. He simply gave a speech then resumed the night dining. After everyone left, he invited me somewhere.We went to his parents' grave. It was cold as the autumn wind sent chills deep into our bones. Only the stars lit up the night and we were the only ones there. A surreal silence filled the gap between us. "Do you remember when they died?" he asked suddenly. "Yes… You two stayed at my house… Argument. They died that weekend…," I replied softly."Mhmm…" There was a pause before he continued. "Did you know? That you could inject a syringe full of air into the bloodstream and it would mimic a heart attack?" he asked and turned to me. I couldn't answer. My heart was beating rapidly. "Him and I would usually use Hydrogen Peroxide to clean up the blood… Sterile smelling...," he continued. He cupped my face with his cold fingers and stared into my very soul. "Electroshock wasn't it?.." he whispered, "I loved you you know, beautiful little witch..." I smashed my handbag onto his skull. The glass figurine I wanted to give him shattered upon impact. He slumped down and passed out. ---------------------------------------I keep walking, the sounds of the crowd around me still faded out. He'll wake up and save his brother. Then they'll find me. Ain't the world messed up? Having 2 psychopaths, smart ones at that hunting you down. They were beautiful. Just like storms are. "The Storm twins... Ashton and Ashley," their names rolled off my tongue with ease yet I taste blood with every syllable. Storms are always named after people and I'll make sure I'll be ready when this one arrives.... Read more

By Ayesha Zahra in
Reader Points: 670
Editor Points: 0
Rank: 37
Views: 2063
Stop Him
Published on 09-12-2017 09:50 PM
The door creaked open as I pushed it slightly, the sound of the door opening echoed throughout the labyrinth. All of a sudden, the door closed and locked itself, leaving me stuck in here.  I could hardly remember how I had gotten into this situation set aside the fact that I entered the museum and somehow found myself in a musty, dark corridor with multiple exits. All of a sudden, a deaf...Learn MoreThe door creaked open as I pushed it slightly, the sound of the door opening echoed throughout the labyrinth. All of a sudden, the door closed and locked itself, leaving me stuck in here.  I could hardly remember how I had gotten into this situation set aside the fact that I entered the museum and somehow found myself in a musty, dark corridor with multiple exits. All of a sudden, a deafening roar rang throughout the area that I was in. My heartbeat increased as I ran away from the source of the noise only to trip on an object and therefore falling face first on the cold ground.I scowled and grumbled as I lifted myself up from the ground but was taken aback by awe when Iooked at what had tripped me. It was a long sword, its shaft glimmering in the dim light. Its hilt had a golden shine to it and an intricate pattern was engraved onto it. A strange yet non-hostile aura radiated from it, sending a chill down my spine. The strange thing was that it felt as if it belonged to me. Now, I know thats what a thief would say but im serious. It seemed familiar yet not. I wielded it with my right hand and I was amazed by how light it felt. It was like I had an instant connection with the sword. When I held it, I felt power surging through my veins, it made me feel invincible. I was soon shaken out of my daze when a second roar resounded. This time, it sounded closer than when it did before and my instincts told me to run in the opposite direction. I followed my instincts as I knew that although I had a weapon, it was illogical to get into unnecessary brawls. I ran as fast as I could, taking a few turns here and there, trying to avoid dead ends. Before I knew it, I was out of breath. I was sweating through my clothes quite literally. I suddenly noticed a door at the end after taking another turn. I walked towards it, hoping that it was the exit. I have been here long enough and I wanted to go back to enjoying my vacation. I pushed open the door only to be blinded by the light on the other side. I squinted, trying to get my eyes to adjust to the brightness. What I saw in front of me was shocking. It was a small village bustling with people. Well not really people. It was bustling with strange beings that were definitely not human. Every one of them looked more different than the other. One was cradling her head in her arms while another had more eyes than you could count. I was amazed by the diversity of these creatures. It seemed as if they were all united by one common trait. They were all monsters. The village looked like your typical village with houses and little shop houses. I walked to a shop house that had the word "qį§þřœ" written on it. When I entered it turned out to be a bistro which was filled with some of the villagers. I went to the counter and sat down before examining the area. I noticed a particular man sitting beside me. He noticed my stare and grinned at me before raising his bottle which contained a red liquid in it. "Hello there, are you new in this town? Its rare that we have visitors." He took a sip from the bottle as I nodded.  "Whats your name?" He asked. "Bam. The 45th Bam." I replied, not giving much of a thought to it. After all he would have found out sooner or later.  " Whats your's then?" I asked the skeleton before me. "Sybil." He said, sounding more annoyed than before. "Do you want to look around this town? I'm guessing that you don't have any relatives or people that you know here. I'll show you around." Sybil said and got off the chair and walked towards the exit with the bottle in his hand. He and I went around the village and before I knew it, we were entering a dense forest. Sybil grinned at me and grabbed my wrist without warning. "Tell me what you are doing here outsider or you will be gone before you know it. You do realize that your death is wanted throughout the entire universe right? They're paying a lot of chromosomes for your elimination. And yet you dare walk the streets as if you owned them." I let out a dark chuckle. "I was hoping for a quick vacation before I got back to work but this is too much," I took a step closer to him, our chests touching each other. "And you dare threaten me while im having a holiday? I didn't know that you would stoop this low." I whispered into his ear. He distanced himself from me and smiled. " What can I say, you are the one trying to do sick experiments on people. I will destroy you at the slightest chance I get. You are the reason why my family is dead,"  He held up his hand to reveal a fireball nestled in his palm."And now you will pay for it." I smirked, feeling confident. "Well I hope you do win. I am called the Untouchable One for a reason."  My words alone was enough to set him off as he ran towards me with superhuman speed, but yet he wasn't fast enough to knock me down. "Its rude to attack while others are talking, you know. You have used up your turn. Its mine now. My vision turned red as I allowed the dark side of me take over.  I sat on the ground with no injury at all. I got up and dusted the specks off my pants while looking around. Satisfied with my work, I walked away from the forest which was stained in red and had a familiar metallic scent to it. I gathered a few of the remains that laid on the floor and put it into my backpack. This vacation is off to a good start. I smirked, ready to find my next victim. ... Read more
By Desree Bong Ee Yen in
Reader Points: 90
Editor Points: 0
Rank: 168
Views: 210
Choices
Published on 09-12-2017 11:00 AM

It is a cold night, as I stood at the balcony of my lonely penthouse in the middle of town. Tears flowed down my face as events of these couple of weeks have been occupying my mind and perhaps the people around me. The wind was cool blowing on to my face. Maybe if I went over the ledge, this pain inside me would end, a small voice said inside of me. Below was the dar...Learn MoreIt is a cold night, as I stood at the balcony of my lonely penthouse in the middle of town. Tears flowed down my face as events of these couple of weeks have been occupying my mind and perhaps the people around me. The wind was cool blowing on to my face. Maybe if I went over the ledge, this pain inside me would end, a small voice said inside of me. Below was the darkness of the forest, looking like an abysmal chasm of no return. I sighed. I loved him, with all my heart. I sacrificed my whole life to be with him. That one man in my life. The man that catches the eye of the media all the time. Handsome, tall, successful and charismatic man whom I had spent most my life with. We were blessed with perhaps the best things in life - money, fame, travel - everything we could have asked besides children. It was initially by choice but then I had an accident and my ovaries were damaged and thus child bearing was out of the option. Initially, he was okay, but then he started to become violent and abusive. His personality changed. He went out drinking a lot with his buddies and I was left at home alone. I knew about the other younger women he was frequenting. In my despair , I suffered in silence. I lock myself away in my home, refusing to face the society.  We knew each other since we were teenagers. My family was broken with my dad being missing for most of it, and my poor mother having to raise up two children on her own. She worked hard to feed me and my sister, to allow us to study and make a future for ourselves. However, a twist of fate, my sister died in an accident, when she was walking home from school. A car swerved whilst trying to avoid a motorcycle and had hit her instead. She died on the spot. It was devastating. My mother went into severe depression after the incident. I had to wait tables just to keep food on the table. That was went I met him. A young, charming guy from a  good family. He was perhaps my only friend at that time. Time passed and he studied abroad. I completed school and completed work. My mother died a few years later and I was then left in the care of my aunt. But living in a congested flat was far from ideal. I was happy. At least I had a roof over my head. The turn of fate, one fine day, as I was walking in the city on the way to work, I bumped into him. He was surprised to see me, he was very happy. Despite the social differences, he still was the same. We ended up spending so much time with each other, that finally one day he confessed that he loved me a lot and wanted me to stay with him forever. So we got married in a simple ceremony with mostly his family and friends. I only had my aunt, but even she did not want to attend since she did not want to embarrass herself among the glitter and glamour. His mother was a beautiful woman and she groomed me to be the lady I am today. I was very happy initially, longing for a love of a mother that I have missed, but unfortunately she never really accepted me as her daughter-in-law. In short, she hated me. To her standard, I was ugly. But being the regal woman that she is, she did not show it in front of her son. In fact, she was really nice to me in front of him, that he would not believe his mother was abusing me silently behind. She controlled everything in the house from what I wear to how I stand and what I eat. Although her words were painful, I took everything as a learning process, because I must be a good wife to my man. Showing a good front in public was one of the things I was required to do. As of behind the scenes, she would make me eat on the floor away from the table worst than a servant girl, but it was alright. At least I was still fed. So from a simple life, to a more refine. I was groomed from a girl to a lady. Although we married young, my mother-in-law refused us to have children yet, quoting that her son has more to achieve in life, and that we should wait until after 30s to bear children. She also refused to be a grandmother too early. After my 32nd birthday, I was excited because now we could plan to have children. However one fated night, as we were returning from a party, our car lost control, hit a curb and turned upside down. The airbags flew open and I was knocked unconscious. When I woke up, I was in the hospital. One leg was in cast and my abdomen hurt so bad. The doctors later told us that my ovaries were damaged and there was no chance of me having any children in the future. My heart sank. I always wanted a child of my own. My husband was supportive initially but after awhile he started to change. My mother-in-law was more than happy to call me barren. After I had recovered from the surgery and my leg was better, we decided to move to our own apartment since his younger sister just gave birth and his mother wanted the house to herself to care for the new family. I was relieved. At least my own space. We moved to a penthouse in the middle of town with one balcony facing an old forest. The greenery was welcoming as it  drowns out the hustle bustle of the city. The few couple of months was beautiful until he made a new friend Dave. Dave was outgoing and fun, loved to drink and smoke, and personally I think he was into recreational drugs but my husband denied it. Things were fine until they started hanging out a lot, and I was missing more and more of my man. We started to fight. He started to change. He became more abusive in his words, to a certain point, it started to sound a lot like his mother.  My life was turning into a living hell until I could’t careless whether he came home or not. I loved my solitude and my space. I spent my lonely hours reading from the internet ideas, and books. I didn’t have any friends as I preferred to just stay alone. He was becoming more and more hot tempered, I assume it was from all the drinking and the late nights. Sometimes we would fight, he would hit me. I’d have a bruise on my thigh or arm from the assault. I kept my silence. This world was given to me by him, how can I complain? One fine night, he came back late, drunk. He woke me up from my sleep. I tried to calm him down but he pushed me aside. “You useless wretch,” he screamed. “Barren bitch!!” . For some funny reason that night, I suddenly felt extreme rage for him. I was tired of the verbal and physical abuse. I fought back. He was surprised. We were in heated argument,he punched my eye, it dazed me for a bit. My face hurt and I pushed him back. He took a vase to smash it into my head and I was thinking, dear God if I died today when suddenly, he let out a cry. The vase dropped. He clutched his chest. His face was red and he had trouble breathing. I panicked. He went still. It took me a few minutes to collect myself and reached for the phone and dialled the emergency number and the security downstairs. My house was a mess with broken glass everywhere. Me with a blue eye and my night gown torn. The security came up and saw him lifeless, then the ambulance arrived, the police. I was in a daze. It happened so fast.  He died that night. The autopsy report said that he had a heart attack. In the midst of us fighting. It was tragic. I was traumatised. But in a few seconds, it could have been me on the coroner’s bed not him. My mother-in-law was not happy. She accused me of murder. The police investigated the case, and thus ruled out death by natural causes despite the unnatural incident. I spent a night in the hospital, treated for my injuries. A night in the police station being interrogated whilst waiting for the autopsy result. The media had a field day, and the story was published on the first page. I was called the black widow, murderess, gold digger. You name it. The worst part was his will. He and left everything he owned to me as the sole recipient. It caused more anger with his family.  I was stressed, I was depressed. Everywhere I go people recognised me as being the rich heiress of the untimely death. I was harassed. I was alone. I finally decided to lock myself up in my suite away from everyone else. With only the cleaning lady and the grocery delivery boy sending stuff that I ordered. My eyes were swollen from crying. I have been crying for a few weeks now. I stood on my balcony with the cool air blowing to my face. The ledge seemed very inviting as I looked down into the abysmal chasm of darkness below. In the distance, the giant neon signboard of Visit Korea captured my eye. I took a deep breath. Maybe I should just end it, here and now. I wrote a letter to our lawyer to instruct him what to do with the fortune. I left a huge chunk to my aunt who I have not seen in a very long time. I stood on the ledge. The wind was blowing into my face. It was a calming breeze. A cold night. I felt with my bare foot the emptiness below. Tears welled up. How can I continue my life when everyone recognises my past? The words of my mother-in-law lingered in my mind. “You will never find your happiness, you will be better of dead.” Saying my last prayer of goodbye, suddenly a thought struck my mind. I took a deep breath.                                                                  __________________ It has been ten years since I stepped foot into this city. It was raining as I was staring at the crowd in the cemetery. Nobody knew me, nobody recognised me. But I was there to pay my last respects to that one woman who despite all her torture, groomed me to whom I am today. In my sadness and devastation, her words made me want to prove her wrong. So I stepped back from the ledge. Called up my lawyer, and made the necessary arrangements. I flew to Korea and spent a month there, paid the best surgeons to work on my face. From that ugly typical flat faced Asian I was, I was granted a beautiful nose, and a smaller jaw. I had changed my whole look, redid my passport and personal ID and became a new person. Money from my late husband was enough to buy me a completely new life which I chose to move to Europe and lived there with a new partner. Looking back, I smiled. I am happy now. More than ever. Yes, I may have lost my face, but that is a small price to pay for a new life. ... Read more

By Maryati in
Reader Points: 110
Editor Points: 0
Rank: 154
Views: 533
Justice?
Published on 09-11-2017 07:22 PM

The smell of black bitter coffee and slightly burnt toast brings me to a state of joy,...Learn More The smell of black bitter coffee and slightly burnt toast brings me to a state of joy, yet in seconds after clicking the TV, the news bombards me with a 43 years old woman who abused a 13 years old boy to death. I felt my eyes went a few shades darker and my heart twitch into disgust, my mind filled with rage. Flashcards of past memories pops up along with the smell of cold metal that reminds me of why I'm A cop? No, it was too controversial. A lawyer? No no, it was too dishonest. A politician? Never, too corrupt. “Instead, I’m here, a doctor in a Psychiatric Hospital filled with criminals, to help them the best I can,” I say this looking straight into his broken puppy eyes, you could almost feel sympathy for him as he says in a desperate tone “And you can help me right? I’m a good boy, I don’t want to hurt anybody, I’m just sick,” he repeats the last line to himself over and over again as if he was trying to convince himself that he was innocent. Pity, such a pity. I thought to myself that this boy could still be in denial despite being day 226 since he killed his entire family. The atmosphere was a mix of anxious feelings from both of us - the boy and I. I walked to his windows, shutting out the only source of light, with the sounds of heels from my brown shoes tapping against the floor tiles. “Yes, you’re just sick and I’m going to do my best to help,” I gently smiled at him as he turns to face me but before he could say another word, my hands grasps his throat thightly, his nails digging into my flesh with much struggle as he tries to scream,his feet made inchoherent noises until he was truly dead. It was really incredible to see his eyes go from hope to acceptance within seconds to his death, as if he understood what I had to do to cure him. “You’re okay now. You’re not going to hurt anyone anymore. I’ve cured you, finally” I reassured him as he died. I reassured him and I, that we did the right choice. Exactly why, we need to stay strong, these choices are hard but we couldn’t cure the boy, that was the only choice. We made a good choice.   Shut up, SHUT UP, we made the right the choice. We've cured him. I thought to myself, trying to get my conscience to listen to me as I sense my walking pace increase with each passing second “Doctor! DOCTOR” Miss Mary, one of the nurses called me “Yes?” noticing her face plastered with guilt? Worry? Was she on to me? “Your hand...it’s um shaking really badly. Are you okay?” I look down to my hands and indeed they’re shaking , immediately I insert them into the pockets of my coat “Yes, of course I’m okay, if you’ll excuse me-” before I could finish my sentence she cut me off, my hands are still shaking as the thought that she may be the nurse that stops me from helping “Doctor, maybe you should take the day off,” she says sweetly “I’m perfectly fine, I just need my morning coffee,” my posture remained calm “Doctor-” she tried to persuade me again, by then I couldn’t hear her properly instead the atmosphere got thicker, tick-tock sounds from my watch feels much louder and- “MARY, I’m fine.” I snapped, she took a step back, speechless “I’m sorry, I just haven’t had my morning coffee. Gotta have that caffeine, you know?” I let out a small chuckle in hopes to diffuse the tension in the air I didn’t bother to get a response out of Miss Mary, I decided to freshen up in the bathroom. I look into the mirror, and notice droplets of water falling down as I remind myself you’re doing justice. Don’t back out now, you’ve gotten too far, you’ve cured too many people already, you’re doing Justice. I regain my posture, took a deep breath and open the door to my next patient “Hello, Donnie. Can we talk today?” I asked as I looked at the man who is strap to his chair He didn’t reply “It says in your flies, you killed your neighbours,” I looked at him expressionless and ask “Why?” He seems reluctant to answer at first but then he rocked himself back and forth while fidgeting “they told me to, the voices. I tried few medication but they keep coming back...” before he continued, he looked up to meet my eyes “I didn’t want to hurt them, they made me,” he started to sob uncontrollably I was speechless for a moment, because he reminds me of my father, he too did not want to hurt them but he did. I could still play the memory like it happened during lunch time ‘DAD, DAD, WHERE ARE YOU! Mom she’s...dead,’ I stared at my mom’s dead corpse, her blue eyes still wide opened, she still looked beautiful despite having a hole in a head with blood dripping down to her chin. I took the phone and proceeded to dial 911, my hands were fidgeting badly as I continued to dial and called my dad out. Eventually, he finally did come but he had a gun pointing at me, he was even crying, his hand was fidgeting badly as he said ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I needed to do it, or else they would not leave me alone’ 10 years old me didn’t cry or say anything instead I hugged my mom tightly. I shut my eyes, the tick-tock from my mom’s watch was getting louder and- BANG “Why did you leave the kid alive?” I ask, questioning his motives His tears still dripping as he replies to me“I don’t know, I guess I couldn’t pull the trigger,” “Did you leave the kid because you couldn’t face the injustice you’ve done?” I stand up placing my face closer to his “Huh?” “That kid you left, you did it because you thought it was 'Justice' didn’t you? Killing a kid was just too much injustice is it?” I felt myself getting more aggressive, grasping my hands lightly to his neck as I continue “That kid you left, you should have killed him, instead you LEFT HIM TRAUMATIZED seeing both his parents died,” I felt my hands squeezing his neck tighter, my eyes went darker, the room felt colder “Admit it, the only reason you kept the kid alive was because YOU couldn’t handle THE GUILT, so instead you thought it was better justice to leave a kid behind,” I felt him struggling and it makes me smile, squeezing harder with my hands “You’re the worst kind of monster, Da-” “THE POLICE! LET GO OF HIM!” within seconds I was surrounded by the police, fortunately, they were too late, he was already dead. I stood there admiring my Justice. “PLACE YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR, IF YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE WE WILL SHOOT!” So I did, I placed my hands in the air, they cuffed me and two scruffy looking policemen grabbed me by the arm, on the way out, I met her again. Miss Mary stops me in my tracks and asks me with a straight face “Why did you kill them?” I look at my surroundings, distracted by the blinking dim lights and said “You mean, why did I kill murderers?” She said to me in a disgusted tone “You say it like it was easy,” Without hesitation I reply coolly “It was easy. It was Justice.” She immediately spat out the next few words in a pity tone “You’re a Psychopath” My eyes tensed up as I stare right through her skulls, I could feel her getting anxious as her fingers fidget “There’s a STRONG difference between a Psychopath and I. I still have my sanity to think for myself” With that I left with the Police. The cell I’m in reminds me much of the rooms in the Psychiatric Hospital, just much more duller. There’s only 1 table and 2 chairs in here, with cameras in every corners of the room. Before my thoughts could go any further, the detective walked in, her body posture tenses as she says “Hello, I’m Detective Rosaline. I’m very curious to know, why?” She sits on the chair crossing her legs observing my movements I raise my cuffed up hands to her and say, “The same reason I’m cuffed and you’re not. Justice” “Killing 8 patients of yours in that Psychiatric Hospital is, Justice?” she leans forward “You mean, killing 8 incurable murderers is not Justice?”   “They’re mentally ill, they’re sick, how could you say that’s Justice?” She says it with a mix tone of anger and pity “Easy. They’ve hurt people.” “Thus, you hurt them back? That just sounds like revenge,” the Detective says sounding really appalled by my words “Justice is just a nicer way of saying revenge,” these words that came out of my mouth made me appalled too Detective Rosaline nods her head and stood up behind the chair “Well, I think we’re done and you’re going  to be ‘very happy’ knowing where we’re sending you.” For the next few days, I stayed in my cell waiting for the transfer. Despite not being able to continue my job at the Psychiatric Hospital, I find myself still smiling as I laid on the stale bed looking up into a bubble. A bubble of ideas? A memory? As if, this new environment that doesn’t have quiet hallways with dim light or cold metal and polished floor tiles made me feel less restricted. At times, I even find myself laughing hysterically at the idea, that maybe I’ll straggle a con artist to death, maybe I will hold a murderer’s neck tightly until I hear that coarse voice crying in pain or maybe I’ll even use plastic fork to gauge some serial killer’s eyes out. The thought of doing these...Justice...made me feel like I’ve hit a milestone in my goal. But wouldn't the desire to choke someone to death an unjustifiable act? However, if these people are hurting others and all they get is time in prison, that doesn’t sound like Justice. Yet, me hurting them sounds like revenge or is it? Is it really revenge that I do this because of my Dad? Or maybe I was right Justice is just a nicer way of saying revenge my thoughts were hungry for more clarity, more answers that I hope to achieve when I arrive there The first time I stepped into my new playground, I smiled. I was smiling even more during lunch until a gang of convicts came, the next few minutes the atmosphere felt thicker, tick-tock sounded the clock and steadily it grew louder. My fork was covered in blood, I licked the blood off the tip of my fork and “ladies and gentlemen that was the exact moment I realised my crave for... Justice was just the beginning” I say, as I stabbed my fork right through the eyes of sinners. ... Read more

By Nephi Shaine William in
Reader Points: 180
Editor Points: 0
Rank: 122
Views: 678
Invidious
Published on 09-10-2017 05:06 PM

I thought he liked me. I thought we had a meaningful relationship. But I was wrong. He's just like all the other men out there. He only wants to be seen with a pretty face and a beautiful body. I was disappo...Learn MoreI thought he liked me. I thought we had a meaningful relationship. But I was wrong. He's just like all the other men out there. He only wants to be seen with a pretty face and a beautiful body. I was disappointed. After months of a beautiful professional relationship, he made me believe that he likes me more than just a vendor; that we were friends. Sometimes, a little more than just friends. I remember; we clicked the very moment we met. Our ideas matched, we were in sync; we even completed each other's sentences All those unnecessary dinners after meeting, the quiet stares, the surprise visits, and gifts; all made me believe we had something more. I thought I have finally met someone who managed to see the real me underneath this unattractive face & body. But I was wrong. He chose her over me. For months now, I have been the one working closely with him, where else she wasn't even interested to call him for courtesy sake. Those sleepless nights, just to complete the preparations, for his events. I went through it all, not her. But just one meeting with her, I could see the change in him. He is no more the Mr. Jay I knew. He hasn't called me even once in this 7 days. No more surprise visits to my desk, no more gifts. I could still feel the quiet stare from a distance, but when I turn to look at him, he wouldn't be looking at me. He was gradually forgetting me. I was promoted a day after I returned to Malaysia; no more in charge of executing the events. I am now the brain behind the ideas, not part of the muscle anymore. I got to meet him more often in the office but others got to meet him during the execution phase of the project, which was longer. That made me even more jealous. I wanted to inject myself into the execution team, in the name of being a team player. That way, I met him more but eventually, I couldn't do it after realizing that it is not the same anymore. He began to ignore me. I could sense the laughter that follows whenever I leave the team behind after the ignorance.  Us, the team of 7, we were always close, like a tiny battalion, sworn to our loyal sisterhood. Tania was the Commanding Officer of the team. Sani was like the Major, me the Captain and the rest were the Privates. We managed events which were rated top-notch in the country. Event management was nothing less than a war; an organized chaos, worse than a ticking time bomb at times. We constantly had clients who breathed down our necks, with various unreasonable requests and instructions and illogical budgets. And yet, we always managed to win the battles.  A few months ago, I was sent to Mumbai to assess and prepare for the rest of team to expand our wings to the rest of the Asian countries. Being the aggressive, ambitious girl, I managed to impress many and secure some good contracts which made my team and my company very happy. I was stationed at Mumbai temporarily, rest of the team flying in and out only during events. I wasn't happy though as I had no friends, only professional associates, and affiliates. I wasn't convinced that I could find a reliable, trustworthy friend until I met him. Mr. Jay. After meeting him, my lonely life in Mumbai changed. He took good care of me. He always ensured that I was comfortable, and I had all the help I needed to complete my projects. My team joined every now and then when they were needed. My proximity with him urged us to spend more time and I genuinely thought he enjoyed spending time with me. I even told my team sisters about the way he makes me feel. They teased me; told me not to fly kites too high as he is a very good-looking man and I wasn't up to his level. Those were their exact words.  7 events later, we became closer, spending more time. I did not tell him how I felt, neither did he. But his actions were loud; I believed he liked me. One day, he decided to expand his company’s portfolio regionally. As he helped me a lot in Mumbai, I decided to return the favour and helped him to make the necessary arrangements back in Malaysia. It was when he came to Malaysia that it all changed. He met Tania. Tania was one of the prettiest women even I have met. She could make any man turn with her feminine giggles, beautifully-drawn face, and a perfect body. I have never envied her before but now, her beauty irks me. Her warm welcome and her charm worked its way into Mr. Jay. It was obvious.                 The man I met in Mumbai transformed drastically in Malaysia. My team mates teased me about it. I felt humiliated every time I heard a giggle. I felt them mocking me when I was not around. I wanted to ask him why he changed but I didn’t want to annoy him. Along with him, I could sense myself changing. I started faking my smile when I was around people. When I’m all by myself, my smile turned into a frown. I can hardly recognize myself when I look at me in the mirror. Something was not right with me. The very same people whom I saw as my team sisters, now seemed like enemies. The man whom I blushed looking at, now makes me mad. A voice in my head constantly whispered horrible things to me, demeaning me. I turned bitter. I couldn’t focus at work so I decided to take a break. I was given a long break as I have been away from Malaysia for months now. I stayed home and binged on snacks and movies. But no matter what I did, the voice never stopped whispering; Eventually, became louder and soon multiplied. I tried to divert my mind but I couldn’t. Why does all this affect me so much? It never bothered before not to get any attention from any man. What has changed now? 4 days later, I received a message. I thought it was from him, a small ray of hope. But it wasn't. It was Tania. She messaged to ask if I was doing alright. Her fake concern irked me even more. I ignored. In fact, I ignored all messages. Finally, after 7 days of silence, I managed to get his attention. He messaged me to ask if I was free that night. I continued the silent treatment. Faded voices; some telling me to let it go and move on, some telling me to teach them all a lesson that they will not forget. The whispers became loud to a point that I knew I need help. Maybe I became a little too obsessed, and not being able to express it was just making me even more miserable. My phone flooded with calls and messages which went unanswered. I guess it worried them all that Sani appeared on my doorstep that evening. But I didn’t let her in. I told her I wasn’t in the mood and I wasn’t feeling well. She was adamant that I had to let her in. She was horrified to see me messy, along with the house. She started nagging me and cleaning the hall, annoying me more. That’s when she asked me if I have forgotten that today is the soft launch of Mr. Jay’s JV initiative with our company. I totally forgot about it. She shook her head and told me to go get ready. I didn’t want to. I have no mood to face any of them yet. Somehow, she managed to persuade me. I sighed but I secretly wanted to see him. I showered and got dressed in a simple black dress. On the way to the event, Sani told me today will be a big day for Tania as something special will happen during the event; something that they planned along with Mr. Jay. I asked her repeatedly about it but Sani just giggled and said it’s a secret. I had too many questions in my head and the whispers in my head became noisier as they started coming up with theories. One of it was Mr. Jay proposing to Tania. If that happened, I don’t know what I would even do. When I arrived at the event spot, my team and Mr. Jay greeted me. Everyone seemed concerned but to me, it seemed like fake concern. I didn’t entertain them much. Mr. Jay, however, went an extra mile and sat with me, engaging in silly talks. I entertained him a little. His dimpled cheek, perfect smile and strong voice, silenced the voice in my head for a while. Our CEO walked in, prompting Mr. Jay to excuse himself and greet him. After a while, Mr. Jay and our CEO walked away, triggering my curiosity. I decided to follow. They went to the side of the hall and were discussing something seriously. I couldn’t hear their conversation clearly but I saw Mr. Jay showing a ring to the CEO. I was right! Mr. Jay is proposing to Tania tonight. I became furious. Once again, the voices mocked me for my stupidity. Why did I even bother attending the event? Now, I have to see my dream man asking another woman to enter his life. I couldn’t stand there anymore, I just walked out. I reached the lobby area and saw the exit door; I walked straight to it but was stopped by Tania. She smiled and asked me where I was heading to as the event is about to start. I told her off, to let me go. Her smile changed and she was taken aback but that didn’t stop her, she continued to follow me and ask if I was ok and what made me mad. She told me to calm down but my sharp, cold stare stopped her from holding my arm. This was the first time I have reacted that way to her. I’ve always been polite and sweet to her. She was cautioned by my reaction and left. I walked out through that door to an open space with no sight of humans, just some empty folded tables & chairs. I started kicking and bashing the things there when I heard Mr. Jay & Tania’s voice from the other side of the door. He pushed the door with force and ran to me, stopping me from kicking the chairs. He held me tight but I fought him off me. He yelled at me to stop behaving like a mad woman and asked what caused this. How dare he? I looked at both and all I could think of was their betrayal. I thought Tania loved me like a sister, I was wrong. Mr. Jay tried to calm me down by sweet-talking but it didn’t work. He raised his voice. I told them to leave me alone. I got on his nerves so he told me to control myself and walk back in once I am done being a drama queen. Those words made my blood boil. He held Tania’s hand and pulled her back into the building through the very same door. I couldn’t take it anymore. The voices took over my mind and limbs. Tears flowed and suddenly, I felt like my skull was hit with a huge log. My tears stopped. I am no more me. The animal in me craved for blood. I walked back into the hall, straight to the kitchen area. The caterers knew me well so they did not stop me. My eyes spotted the sharp knife on the counter. I took it and walked into the hall. Everyone in the hall were too busy to even notice me. My eyes searched for them and found them near the table facing the stage. Tania, Sani, Mr. Jay, the CEO and the rest of the team were there. Tania looked worried, Mr. Jay & the CEO consoling her, obviously. And he called me the drama queen. Tania smiled to them and said something to Sani. Sani walked towards the podium. She addressed everyone present and said that the moment everyone was waiting for has arrived. The lights were off and the LED monitor on the stage went vibrant with a short 2-minute show reel. I stood by the side door and observed everyone.  Once it was done, Sani invited the CEO and Mr. Jay to stage. First, a short speech by the CEO and next Mr. Jay. He thanked everyone from the company for helping him out. Not once did he mention my name, fuelling my anger more. As the launch proceeded, I saw my team signalling to each other. This was supposed to be my surprise but now I will surprise them all. Mr. Jay requested Tania to get on the stage, I walked towards her. The voices became clear, unanimously telling me to end her. I have denied the voices for so long, but tonight, I surrender. As my knife reached her throat, I could hear screams in the hall. Mr. Jay & our CEO ran towards us, petrified but they were too late. One slit and I felt her warm blood flowing on my hand. The voices in my head congratulated me. I dropped the knife and saw Tania fall to the ground, convulsing. Blood flowed out her throat and she looked at me, lost. My smile scared everyone. I was pinned down and Mr. Jay screamed at me. I saw our CEO hugging Tania and crying as her last breath left her. He was crying like a mad man. Something wasn’t right. I stayed pinned until the cops came. Mr. Jay slapped me and told me that he made mistake of loving someone like me. He told me to look at the CEO and Tania, look at what I have done and asked why I did it. But I couldn’t say a word. Mr. Jay loved me? So, the ring? Only then, I realised. Our CEO loved Tania and wanted to propose to her tonight. Mr. Jay was passing the ring to him, probably one that he helped buy or safekeep for whatever reason. Mr. Jay was about to announce about it, but my jealousy clouded me. By the time I realised it all, it was too late. All I could do was scream as I was dragged away by the police and paramedics ran towards her lifeless body with the hope they could bring her back.   ... Read more

By Pa Arul Malar in
Reader Points: 120
Editor Points: 0
Rank: 150
Views: 316
The Theatre of Dreams
Published on 09-10-2017 03:47 PM

 “I don’t want to do this anymore, please.”

 

“Bao, think about the money we can make. Your fiancé just bought a half million condominium, you need to finance your seaside-themed wedding and remember that honeymoon in Paris.”

 

“W...Learn More “I don’t want to do this anymore, please.”   “Bao, think about the money we can make. Your fiancé just bought a half million condominium, you need to finance your seaside-themed wedding and remember that honeymoon in Paris.”   “We should stop doing this. These are innocent lives. We can work more overtime back at our hospital.”   “No way! Those extra shifts were a misery. One assignment here can generate more than enough income to cover all our monthly commitments. Everyone needs the money, Bao. My mother requires haemodialysis. Henderson has to treat his HIV. You cannot be so selfish.”   “Listen to your senior. Let me remind you, we had a deal. I have to compensate 3 million ringgit to Eric’s family because they wanted to sue me for negligence after Eric almost died when I removed his appendix. Hence, if you guys have taken enough delight in my embarrassment, I suggest we stop all this drama and prepare for the case. Henderson should be here with the client in an hour,” Andrew interrupted.   “Nicole, anaesthesia checklist, now! We are running late,” exclaimed an animated, plump 6-foot anaesthetist from the next room.   “I’m sorry Nicole but this will be my last.”   “We will discuss later, alright? Cheer up, girl,” said Nicole as she tucked her wavy brown shoulder length hair behind her right ear. Then, she hurriedly put on her makeup, blue contact lenses and straightened her dress to portray the sexy curvatures of her hips before preparing the medications.     Meanwhile, Bao stared blankly at her own reflection while securing her long black hair into a bun. She was so engrossed in a raging battle with her conscience that she forgot to apply some foundation to conceal those freckles on her cheeks.   Suddenly, a recognisable voice with a tinge of imitated British accent was heard, “Bapak, Ibu, welcome to our little theatre where our dream is to help people who dream of achieving optimum health.” “The last time I visited Penang was back in 2010. It’s amazing how things have changed in seven years.”   “Hopefully for the good, Ibu. There are two Chinese staff nurses on duty. This is Bao, my junior and over here we have Dr. Jesvinder Singh, our jolly anaesthetist.”   While Bao wheeled the patient into the observation room, the bald-headed and lanky surgeon introduced himself to the Indonesian couple. After Andrew explained regarding the operation and the risks involved, Ibu responded, “We came here because no doctors in Aceh dared to risk an operation on my son. They told me there is no cure for liver cancer. Your country is blessed with such advanced healthcare system. We know his chances are slim but what are we supposed to do? Sit and watch him die?”   Henderson offered them a box of tissue as tears were streaming down their wrinkled cheeks. As they signed the consent form, Ibu said gloomily, “Alhamdulillah, his life is in God’s hands. We will not blame you, doc, if anything goes wrong.”   After Nicole completed the necessary documents and collected a deposit of RM50k, Bao assisted the patient to lie down on the operating table. “I’m sorry, Ira Siburian. Please forgive me.”   “It’s okay, nurse. You’re just doing your job.”   Bao quickly inserted a peripheral venous catheter into the patient’s vein and connected the Normal Saline drip. While Nicole was unwrapping the sterile surgical set, Bao attached the cardiac monitor leads on the patient’s chest and administered oxygen.   “Administer Etomidate 10mg and Scoline 50mg intravenously. Then, help me with the intubation.”   After Jesvinder secured the breathing tube in the patient’s trachea and ensured the ventilator’s settings were adjusted correctly, Bao began recording the events of the procedure. “Blood pressure 130/80 mmHg, pulse rate 82 per minute and oxygen saturation 99%. The patient is ready, Mr. Andrew.”   While donning a pair of sterile gloves, Andrew asked, “Has the patient been properly sedated?”   “He is intubated, my dear specialist surgeon,” replied Jesvinder, rolling his eyes.   “Alright, 40-year-old male, heavy smoker and drinker, diagnosed with Hepatocellular Carcinoma. The Harvester wants a pair of kidneys. As usual, Nicole and Henderson will make the delivery.”   Andrew’s hands quivered as he made a vertical incision from the end of the breastbone to the bottom of the navel using a scalpel blade. “Before you guys continue to torture him, I think he deserves some painkiller,” said Jesvinder as he injected Tramadol 100mg intravenously. After cutting through the subcutaneous tissue, peritoneum and a small part of the liver, Andrew extracted both kidneys. Nicole placed the kidneys into a sterile container filled with cool Normal Saline. As Nicole rushed out of the theatre, a sense of impending doom infiltrated the spine of the patient’s parents.   “How’s the operation, nurse?”   “Ira Siburian is in critical condition. Just when a segment of his liver was being pierced, it started bleeding profusely. We are trying to stop it but he might not make it.”   Ibu leaned over and cried on Bapak’s shoulder as Nicole dashed back into the theatre. “I’ve informed them. It’s time to finish him.”   “Disconnect the ventilator and let him suffocate.”   They waited for fifteen minutes but the patient was still gasping for air. “He still has spontaneous breathing. It’s already 11am. You should break the news to them.”   “How long will you guys need to deliver the kidneys to Frozen Section?”   “An hour.”   Andrew removed his surgical mask and confronted Ira’s parents, “I’m sorry to inform you that your son had passed away due to massive uncontrolled bleeding from his liver. His blood pressure would not pick up despite three bottles of fluids, blood transfusion and medications. We’ve tried our best.”   Ibu beat her chest and wailed, “My dear son, forgive us. We couldn’t give you a better life.”   “Can we see our son?”   “Sure, please follow me. The rhythm present on the monitor is due to the medications’ effect and if we stop the life support, he will stop breathing.”   Bapak kissed Ira’s forehead and asked, “Can we bring our son back to Aceh?”   “The flight authorities forbid us to transport a dead body in a commercial flight. A special flight will cost a fortune. Therefore, we will report that the patient is very ill, still alive, but the family is requesting for a transfer back to their homeland. If you agree, we will proceed.”   The both of them sobbingly agreed. Henderson and Nicole explained that they were going to settle some documentation at the airline company. Subsequently, Henderson returned to the reception area and said, “We need an additional RM10k for the flight and ground transportation. Ira needs nine seats to be converted into a place spacious enough to lay him down and two trips of private ambulance services. I have bargained the cheapest rate for you, Bapak. Initially, the staff at Seriwedjayo Airlines wouldn’t entertain me but I begged them.”   “Thank you so much. No problem, Mr.Henderson. We have a little cash left.”   Meanwhile, Nicole entered the theatre by sneaking in through the back door. “2 kilos of Meth and 2 kilos of ecstasy,” uttered Nicole.   “That’s all? What else did the Agent say?”   “30k per kidney. The transaction will be done by today. That’s the best deal I could negotiate, Mr. Andrew.”   “Flight?”   “5pm.”   “We’d better hurry. Remember the Emergency Response Bag and your passports,” said Jesvinder.           They quickly stuffed the two packages inside Ira’s abdominal cavity. Andrew electro-cauterized the vessels that were still oozing out blood and stitched up the incision wound. Just after covering the patient with a gown, the ambulance arrived. While Andrew was completing the forms provided by the airline, the patient was transferred onto the ambulance stretcher together with the portable ventilator, oxygen tank and cardiac monitoring.   “Good luck,” whispered Jesvinder.   After settling the payment, Bapak thanked Andrew for all his efforts. “I would like to apologize again. My two nurses and Henderson will accompany Ira back to Aceh.”   While watching the ambulance leave hastily with its siren wailing and Ira’s parents tailing behind in a taxi, Andrew said, “Can you withdraw the money from the account later? I’m getting sick of these paperwork.”   On arrival, while Henderson assisted Ira’s parents to check in their bags, the others waited in the ambulance. “My bladder’s going to burst. Monitor the patient closely.”   “Henderson, here, RM 500. A token of our appreciation for going through all the trouble. Distribute it among yourselves.”   As Nicole was approaching the ambulance, she eavesdropped on their conversation and witnessed Henderson receive the love gift with overflowing joy.   An airport official, a representative from Seriwedjayo Airlines and two auxiliary policemen were assigned to escort them through the immigration process. Before exiting the ambulance, Nicole said, “Stay calm and look innocent.”   After their boarding passes were verified and passports were stamped at the immigration counter, they arrived at the security screening area. All of their personal belongings were scanned as they passed between the metal detectors. “The passageway is too narrow for the stretcher to go through.”   “It’s okay. Over here, the patient can use the lane without the metal detectors,” said one of the security enforcers.   Bao breathed a sigh of relief while trying to wipe that bewildered expression off her face as she realized the degree of simplicity the level of security was. “Hold on a second,” another senior officer exclaimed. Her portrayal of confidence was slightly smeared when they asked, “Is he still alive? What are you guys transporting?”   “You can see from the heart rhythm, sir. He’s still alive. We are accompanying an ill patient back to his country,” answered Nicole.   “Has the doctor filled up the forms?”   After ensuring it was not a case of communicable disease, the senior officer allowed them to travel.   The ambulance team welcomed them as Ira was transferred onto the stretcher after being carried on a canvas all the way from the back of the airplane. Since Ira’s parents had to wait for their luggage, Henderson suggested, “We will bring Ira back first. Anyway, only six people are permitted in the ambulance due to insurance coverage purposes.”   Once in the ambulance, Nicole removed the stitches and exposed Ira’s abdominal cavity. Suddenly, Ira coughed and fresh blood began gushing out from his abdomen, spilling onto the canvas. “He’s in pain. Can we stop this? Please,” said Bao.   Nicole ignored her petrified compassion and complained, “Andrew did a lousy job. The arteries are not ligated properly. Henderson, take some gauze and put excessive pressure on it. I’ll put him out of his misery with an ampoule of Potassium Chloride.”   “What if a post-mortem was carried out?”   "I doubt the parents would request for it since we explained that he died during the operation. Even if they did, I’m pretty sure the health authorities would just conclude that he died of liver cancer. He’s just another ordinary citizen.”        Within five minutes of administration, the patient stopped breathing and asystole was shown on the cardiac monitoring. Nicole dug out the two packages, wiped off the bloodstains and hid them in an empty compartment.   “15 minutes more.”   The mess was starting to annoy Nicole but she managed to stitch up the wound. They cleaned up Ira with some alcohol wipes and changed his gown. When they reached Ira’s three storeyed house, they laid him down in the hall as requested by the family. After the breathing tube, medications and monitoring devices were removed, they excused themselves to allow the family members to mourn.   While the ambulance was sending them to a hotel, Nicole said, “What a day! No red packets this round?”   “No, no tips from them. Probably, they ran out of cash,” said Henderson with a chuckle.   Upon reaching the hotel, Nicole instructed her colleagues to proceed with the check-in procedure while she took care of some unfinished business. Before handing over the two packages, Nicole asked, “Secret code?”   “She sells seashells by the seashore; written by?”   “Mary Anning.”   “We will transfer RM10k into the same account after we have verified the items. Send our regards to Andrew. I’ll deliver your medical equipment to the airport tomorrow.”   “Hey, any free samples?”   “Here, feed your cravings. Take it as a compliment from us,” said the driver as he gave Nicole a few packets.   While the receptionist was distributing their room keys, Nicole said, “Guys, you left your bags in the ambulance.”   “Oh dear. Thanks. I can’t wait for a hot shower to wash away all these uncivilized bacteria,” said Henderson.        “Yay, our rooms are on the same floor. I’m starving. Can we just go for dinner first?”   Ten minutes after returning from dinner, Nicole heard some commotion along the hallway and realized that some policemen were raiding the hotel. “Why are my friends being handcuffed?!”   “Search her room,” ordered the Inspector.   “Marijuana, sir, marijuana.”   “Andrew betrayed us. Who else knows our location? I have no marijuana. They framed us! Help me, Nicole!”     Nicole was later released as the Inspector confirmed she had no possession of marijuana. Meanwhile, at the police station, the Inspector interrogated, “5g of marijuana. That’s enough to put you behind bars for five years. Who’s your boss?”   Henderson begged, “I am innocent. There must be another way to solve this. I’ll do anything you say.”   “Anything? Even if it blemishes your purity?”   The next day, at the airport, Nicole took back her medical equipment from the ambulance driver, shook hands and parted ways. Upon landing in Penang, she was greeted by a familiar face, “Hey, darling. I hope everything went smoothly. Where’s Henderson?”   “Last minute changes; he got caught too. Henderson deserved it, that promiscuous cheater!”   “Well, less men more share.”   “But I feel bad for Bao.”   “Her elimination was compulsory. You know the unwritten rules. No one quits.”   “Andrew?”   “He will be charged for organ trafficking. I recorded our conversations in the theatre. Don’t worry, I filtered yours out.”   “You managed to smuggle past the customs?”   “Yeah. They didn’t even bother to check when I told them I was a doctor. The ambulance driver told me one packet of heroin is in the Emergency Response Bag and the other is in the portable ventilator. They should just pay everything through bank transfer. It’s very risky during the return trip.”   “The demand for heroin is higher here. We can profit three times. Anyway, let me take the bag and pass the package directly to the Agent. He’s waiting near the departure area. You wait for me here. Once I’m done, I will pick you up.”   After five minutes, Nicole said over the phone, “Jesvinder, you forgot the ventilator.”   “That’s for you.”   Before Nicole could comprehend that stench of betrayal, cops surrounded her and she was arrested for drug trafficking.   Six months passed, the warden announced, “252, visitor!”   Nicole’s perplexed expression failed to disguise the awkwardness of the moment when she saw who was behind the glass partition.   “Pick up the phone,” his lips read.   “Hello, Henderson.” ... Read more

By Irwin Choo in
Reader Points: 1610
Editor Points: 0
Rank: 12
Views: 3619
The Theatre of Dreams
Published on 09-10-2017 03:41 PM

 “I don’t want to do this anymore, please.”

 

“Bao, think about the money we can make. Your fiancé just bought a half million condominium, you need to finance your seaside-themed wedding and remember that honeymoon in Paris.”

 

“W...Learn More “I don’t want to do this anymore, please.”   “Bao, think about the money we can make. Your fiancé just bought a half million condominium, you need to finance your seaside-themed wedding and remember that honeymoon in Paris.”   “We should stop doing this. These are innocent lives. We can work more overtime back at our hospital.”   “No way! Those extra shifts were a misery. One assignment here can generate more than enough income to cover all our monthly commitments. Everyone needs the money, Bao. My mother requires haemodialysis. Henderson has to treat his HIV. You cannot be so selfish.”   “Listen to your senior. Let me remind you, we had a deal. I have to compensate 3 million ringgit to Eric’s family because they wanted to sue me for negligence after Eric almost died when I removed his appendix. Hence, if you guys have taken enough delight in my embarrassment, I suggest we stop all this drama and prepare for the case. Henderson should be here with the client in an hour,” Andrew interrupted.   “Nicole, anaesthesia checklist, now! We are running late,” exclaimed an animated, plump 6-foot anaesthetist from the next room.   “I’m sorry Nicole but this will be my last.”   “We will discuss later, alright? Cheer up, girl,” said Nicole as she tucked her wavy brown shoulder length hair behind her right ear. Then, she hurriedly put on her makeup, blue contact lenses and straightened her dress to portray the sexy curvatures of her hips before preparing the medications.     Meanwhile, Bao stared blankly at her own reflection while securing her long black hair into a bun. She was so engrossed in a raging battle with her conscience that she forgot to apply some foundation to conceal those freckles on her cheeks.   Suddenly, a recognisable voice with a tinge of imitated British accent was heard, “Bapak, Ibu, welcome to our little theatre where our dream is to help people who dream of achieving optimum health.” “The last time I visited Penang was back in 2010. It’s amazing how things have changed in seven years.”   “Hopefully for the good, Ibu. There are two Chinese staff nurses on duty. This is Bao, my junior and over here we have Dr. Jesvinder Singh, our jolly anaesthetist.”   While Bao wheeled the patient into the observation room, the bald-headed and lanky surgeon introduced himself to the Indonesian couple. After Andrew explained regarding the operation and the risks involved, Ibu responded, “We came here because no doctors in Aceh dared to risk an operation on my son. They told me there is no cure for liver cancer. Your country is blessed with such advanced healthcare system. We know his chances are slim but what are we supposed to do? Sit and watch him die?”   Henderson offered them a box of tissue as tears were streaming down their wrinkled cheeks. As they signed the consent form, Ibu said gloomily, “Alhamdulillah, his life is in God’s hands. We will not blame you, doc, if anything goes wrong.”   After Nicole completed the necessary documents and collected a deposit of RM50k, Bao assisted the patient to lie down on the operating table. “I’m sorry, Ira Siburian. Please forgive me.”   “It’s okay, nurse. You’re just doing your job.”   Bao quickly inserted a peripheral venous catheter into the patient’s vein and connected the Normal Saline drip. While Nicole was unwrapping the sterile surgical set, Bao attached the cardiac monitor leads on the patient’s chest and administered oxygen.   “Administer Etomidate 10mg and Scoline 50mg intravenously. Then, help me with the intubation.”   After Jesvinder secured the breathing tube in the patient’s trachea and ensured the ventilator’s settings were adjusted correctly, Bao began recording the events of the procedure. “Blood pressure 130/80 mmHg, pulse rate 82 per minute and oxygen saturation 99%. The patient is ready, Mr. Andrew.”   While donning a pair of sterile gloves, Andrew asked, “Has the patient been properly sedated?”   “He is intubated, my dear specialist surgeon,” replied Jesvinder, rolling his eyes.   “Alright, 40-year-old male, heavy smoker and drinker, diagnosed with Hepatocellular Carcinoma. The Harvester wants a pair of kidneys. As usual, Nicole and Henderson will make the delivery.”   Andrew’s hands quivered as he made a vertical incision from the end of the breastbone to the bottom of the navel using a scalpel blade. “Before you guys continue to torture him, I think he deserves some painkiller,” said Jesvinder as he injected Tramadol 100mg intravenously. After cutting through the subcutaneous tissue, peritoneum and a small part of the liver, Andrew extracted both kidneys. Nicole placed the kidneys into a sterile container filled with cool Normal Saline. As Nicole rushed out of the theatre, a sense of impending doom infiltrated the spine of the patient’s parents.   “How’s the operation, nurse?”   “Ira Siburian is in critical condition. Just when a segment of his liver was being pierced, it started bleeding profusely. We are trying to stop it but he might not make it.”   Ibu leaned over and cried on Bapak’s shoulder as Nicole dashed back into the theatre. “I’ve informed them. It’s time to finish him.”   “Disconnect the ventilator and let him suffocate.”   They waited for fifteen minutes but the patient was still gasping for air. “He still has spontaneous breathing. It’s already 11am. You should break the news to them.”   “How long will you guys need to deliver the kidneys to Frozen Section?”   “An hour.”   Andrew removed his surgical mask and confronted Ira’s parents, “I’m sorry to inform you that your son had passed away due to massive uncontrolled bleeding from his liver. His blood pressure would not pick up despite three bottles of fluids, blood transfusion and medications. We’ve tried our best.”   Ibu beat her chest and wailed, “My dear son, forgive us. We couldn’t give you a better life.”   “Can we see our son?”   “Sure, please follow me. The rhythm present on the monitor is due to the medications’ effect and if we stop the life support, he will stop breathing.”   Bapak kissed Ira’s forehead and asked, “Can we bring our son back to Aceh?”   “The flight authorities forbid us to transport a dead body in a commercial flight. A special flight will cost a fortune. Therefore, we will report that the patient is very ill, still alive, but the family is requesting for a transfer back to their homeland. If you agree, we will proceed.”   The both of them sobbingly agreed. Henderson and Nicole explained that they were going to settle some documentation at the airline company. Subsequently, Henderson returned to the reception area and said, “We need an additional RM10k for the flight and ground transportation. Ira needs nine seats to be converted into a place spacious enough to lay him down and two trips of private ambulance services. I have bargained the cheapest rate for you, Bapak. Initially, the staff at Seriwedjayo Airlines wouldn’t entertain me but I begged them.”   “Thank you so much. No problem, Mr.Henderson. We have a little cash left.”   Meanwhile, Nicole entered the theatre by sneaking in through the back door. “2 kilos of Meth and 2 kilos of ecstasy,” uttered Nicole.   “That’s all? What else did the Agent say?”   “30k per kidney. The transaction will be done by today. That’s the best deal I could negotiate, Mr. Andrew.”   “Flight?”   “5pm.”   “We’d better hurry. Remember the Emergency Response Bag and your passports,” said Jesvinder.           They quickly stuffed the two packages inside Ira’s abdominal cavity. Andrew electro-cauterized the vessels that were still oozing out blood and stitched up the incision wound. Just after covering the patient with a gown, the ambulance arrived. While Andrew was completing the forms provided by the airline, the patient was transferred onto the ambulance stretcher together with the portable ventilator, oxygen tank and cardiac monitoring.   “Good luck,” whispered Jesvinder.   After settling the payment, Bapak thanked Andrew for all his efforts. “I would like to apologize again. My two nurses and Henderson will accompany Ira back to Aceh.”   While watching the ambulance leave hastily with its siren wailing and Ira’s parents tailing behind in a taxi, Andrew said, “Can you withdraw the money from the account later? I’m getting sick of these paperwork.”   On arrival, while Henderson assisted Ira’s parents to check in their bags, the others waited in the ambulance. “My bladder’s going to burst. Monitor the patient closely.”   “Henderson, here, RM 500. A token of our appreciation for going through all the trouble. Distribute it among yourselves.”   As Nicole was approaching the ambulance, she eavesdropped on their conversation and witnessed Henderson receive the love gift with overflowing joy.   An airport official, a representative from Seriwedjayo Airlines and two auxiliary policemen were assigned to escort them through the immigration process. Before exiting the ambulance, Nicole said, “Stay calm and look innocent.”   After their boarding passes were verified and passports were stamped at the immigration counter, they arrived at the security screening area. All of their personal belongings were scanned as they passed between the metal detectors. “The passageway is too narrow for the stretcher to go through.”   “It’s okay. Over here, the patient can use the lane without the metal detectors,” said one of the security enforcers.   Bao breathed a sigh of relief while trying to wipe that bewildered expression off her face as she realized the degree of simplicity the level of security was. “Hold on a second,” another senior officer exclaimed. Her portrayal of confidence was slightly smeared when they asked, “Is he still alive? What are you guys transporting?”   “You can see from the heart rhythm, sir. He’s still alive. We are accompanying an ill patient back to his country,” answered Nicole.   “Has the doctor filled up the forms?”   After ensuring it was not a case of communicable disease, the senior officer allowed them to travel.   The ambulance team welcomed them as Ira was transferred onto the stretcher after being carried on a canvas all the way from the back of the airplane. Since Ira’s parents had to wait for their luggage, Henderson suggested, “We will bring Ira back first. Anyway, only six people are permitted in the ambulance due to insurance coverage purposes.”   Once in the ambulance, Nicole removed the stitches and exposed Ira’s abdominal cavity. Suddenly, Ira coughed and fresh blood began gushing out from his abdomen, spilling onto the canvas. “He’s in pain. Can we stop this? Please,” said Bao.   Nicole ignored her petrified compassion and complained, “Andrew did a lousy job. The arteries are not ligated properly. Henderson, take some gauze and put excessive pressure on it. I’ll put him out of his misery with an ampoule of Potassium Chloride.”   “What if a post-mortem was carried out?”   "I doubt the parents would request for it since we explained that he died during the operation. Even if they did, I’m pretty sure the health authorities would just conclude that he died of liver cancer. He’s just another ordinary citizen.”        Within five minutes of administration, the patient stopped breathing and asystole was shown on the cardiac monitoring. Nicole dug out the two packages, wiped off the bloodstains and hid them in an empty compartment.   “15 minutes more.”   The mess was starting to annoy Nicole but she managed to stitch up the wound. They cleaned up Ira with some alcohol wipes and changed his gown. When they reached Ira’s three storeyed house, they laid him down in the hall as requested by the family. After the breathing tube, medications and monitoring devices were removed, they excused themselves to allow the family members to mourn.   While the ambulance was sending them to a hotel, Nicole said, “What a day! No red packets this round?”   “No, no tips from them. Probably, they ran out of cash,” said Henderson with a chuckle.   Upon reaching the hotel, Nicole instructed her colleagues to proceed with the check-in procedure while she took care of some unfinished business. Before handing over the two packages, Nicole asked, “Secret code?”   “She sells seashells by the seashore; written by?”   “Mary Anning.”   “We will transfer RM10k into the same account after we have verified the items. Send our regards to Andrew. I’ll deliver your medical equipment to the airport tomorrow.”   “Hey, any free samples?”   “Here, feed your cravings. Take it as a compliment from us,” said the driver as he gave Nicole a few packets.   While the receptionist was distributing their room keys, Nicole said, “Guys, you left your bags in the ambulance.”   “Oh dear. Thanks. I can’t wait for a hot shower to wash away all these uncivilized bacteria,” said Henderson.        “Yay, our rooms are on the same floor. I’m starving. Can we just go for dinner first?”   Ten minutes after returning from dinner, Nicole heard some commotion along the hallway and realized that some policemen were raiding the hotel. “Why are my friends being handcuffed?!”   “Search her room,” ordered the Inspector.   “Marijuana, sir, marijuana.”   “Andrew betrayed us. Who else knows our location? I have no marijuana. They framed us! Help me, Nicole!”     Nicole was later released as the Inspector confirmed she had no possession of marijuana. Meanwhile, at the police station, the Inspector interrogated, “5g of marijuana. That’s enough to put you behind bars for five years. Who’s your boss?”   Henderson begged, “I am innocent. There must be another way to solve this. I’ll do anything you say.”   “Anything? Even if it blemishes your purity?”   The next day, at the airport, Nicole took back her medical equipment from the ambulance driver, shook hands and parted ways. Upon landing in Penang, she was greeted by a familiar face, “Hey, darling. I hope everything went smoothly. Where’s Henderson?”   “Last minute changes; he got caught too. Henderson deserved it, that promiscuous cheater!”   “Well, less men more share.”   “But I feel bad for Bao.”   “Her elimination was compulsory. You know the unwritten rules. No one quits.”   “Andrew?”   “He will be charged for organ trafficking. I recorded our conversations in the theatre. Don’t worry, I filtered yours out.”   “You managed to smuggle past the customs?”   “Yeah. They didn’t even bother to check when I told them I was a doctor. The ambulance driver told me one packet of heroin is in the Emergency Response Bag and the other is in the portable ventilator. They should just pay everything through bank transfer. It’s very risky during the return trip.”   “The demand for heroin is higher here. We can profit three times. Anyway, let me take the bag and pass the package directly to the Agent. He’s waiting near the departure area. You wait for me here. Once I’m done, I will pick you up.”   After five minutes, Nicole said over the phone, “Jesvinder, you forgot the ventilator.”   “That’s for you.”   Before Nicole could comprehend that stench of betrayal, cops surrounded her and she was arrested for drug trafficking.   Six months passed, the warden announced, “252, visitor!”   Nicole’s perplexed expression failed to disguise the awkwardness of the moment when she saw who was behind the glass partition.   “Pick up the phone,” his lips read.   “Hello, Henderson.” ... Read more

By bla in
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You matter
Published on 09-10-2017 12:32 AM

You matter

By: Elyashraf Chapter 1  You're home alone, and this time it'll go farther than ever before. before it was just a cut here, a bruise there. this time, you know it is going to end.   you head for the bathroom with a large kitchen knife. you grab a towe...Learn MoreYou matter By: Elyashraf Chapter 1  You're home alone, and this time it'll go farther than ever before. before it was just a cut here, a bruise there. this time, you know it is going to end.   you head for the bathroom with a large kitchen knife. you grab a towel and put it on the floor in front of the tub, even though you know that you won't come back out the tub. you leave your black t-shirt and dark skinny jeans on, as you lay in the hot water. Once it gets close to the top, you shut the water off. You know your life is going to end tonight, there is no going back. Tonight your suffering ends. Your heart hurts. Your head hurts, your scars hurt You feel like your suffocating. You put your arms against your leg and place the large, cool, calming blade against the bottom of your Palm. Vertical, it'll work like a charm. You think. You dig it into your hand, cringing. You drag it down your arm about 3 inches.      As the blood leaks into The water, turning it pink, you smile, tears staining your cheeks. Gripping the knife as tight as you can with your left hand, you do the same to your right arm. And the water turns pink, you sink down into the water. Your blonde hair flows around in the water, as your breath your holding runs out. You open your mouth and the water fills your lungs. In a matter of seconds your vision goes black, and you know there's no going back. You're gone, dead, passed. Your elder brother comes home from school. He's always been the families rock, the support. He never cries, never breaks, never let's anyone feel sad. But he didn't know you were sad, you tricked everyone into thinking you were actually happy. You even tricked yourself              He knocks on the door, and you don't respond. Finally he decides to open the door, and he sees you. He falls to his knees and grabs your hand. He calls your name. Pleading for you to wake up. Tears stream down his face as he realizes that you're dead, you are never coming back. He wants to call 911 but can't find the strength to stand up and leave you. He tricks himself into thinking that he can wake you up. Finally your younger sister comes home and finds you and your brother. She screams And runs for the phone. She calls 911 and then your parents. Your parents break down crying as they pull you out of the tub. They know that you're dead, gone, they can never see their little girl again. Your father will never walk you down the isle, he will never call you his little angel ever again. Your mother will never give you advice ever again, she will never be able to take you shopping, or braid your hair ever again, because you're gone and she can't do anything about it but cry. ....................................................... Chapter 2 2 weeks later.       Your brother gets home from school, it was his first day back, and it was horrible. Him being popular, and you being not so much, all of his friends had awful things to say about you. He beat up 3 kids, and threatened many more. When he gets home he decides to hang himself. He can't take his baby sister, the one he helped raise, the one he grew up with being gone. Soon enough he is hanging by the ceiling fan and your parents devastated again. He barely eaten the whole two Weeks you were gone, making him light and pale.              Your father calls the police, as your mother pulls your body down, cradling his head, and chanting prayers. After they've taken him, your mother cries into your fathers chest as tears roll down your fathers cheeks.             "Why are my two babies gone? Why did they do this?" She questions. Your father doesn't have an answer. Two children in a matter of 2 weeks. Your mum stops speaking, and ends up getting fired from her job.Your father walks through his day like a zombie, no feeling, no hope. Your younger sister ends up living with your grandparents, and has gone mute from the trauma.                   That girl that knocked your books out of your hands without apologizing or helping you pick them up, she cries everyday and can barely make it through school because she feels like she could have helped you.                 That boy you told that you liked him and he said he didn't feel the same, throws himself around And hits himself, scattering bruises across his skin.That girl that used to be your best friend, cries herself to sleep every single night.               Your class teacher quit, he was so devastated that he didn't notice you were sad that he refuses to teach ever again.             All because you thought you were not important. Because you thought no one cared, you thought you were Alone but in reality you weren't alone.  10 years later.         Its been 10 Years and your parents have gone back to their jobs, but still cries at night. Your sister is now 19 and lived with your gandparents until she went off to college. She carries a picture of you, everywhere she goes and your brother. She missed you and your brother. She needs you both, your parents needed you, your best friend needed  Your parents still walk around- lifeless.         You couldn't see all the people that cared. All the people that wanted you alive, wanted you around. You affected people around you, you thought it wouldn't matter, that those around you wouldn't notice your absence. But they noticed, they cared. They still notice, and they still care. They'll always care. .................. So just don't take your life thinking that you are not wanted. YOU ARE WANTED. YOU ARE CARED ABOUT and will always be cared about. Whoever has thought about killing themselves please read this and rethink about it. ... Read more

By Elyashraf in
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Whatever you sow, so shall you reap
Published on 09-09-2017 04:09 PM

Crescia lived in a city called Zaqrat where people were impoverished and competitive for food. Thus, Crescia herself was no different f...Learn MoreCrescia lived in a city called Zaqrat where people were impoverished and competitive for food. Thus, Crescia herself was no different from these people. She would do anything just to acquire some food for herself; steal, lie, murder - you name it. Zaqrat - a city of dirt, disease and strife. It was the stench that got to you. The smell of decay that encompassed all of Zaqrat. Every single thing and almost every single member of the populace was falling apart at the seams. Buildings were practically pieces of rubble, haphazardly assembled to have even the slightest semblance of safety. Any plant life was either wilting or made of obnoxiously green plastic. The people who lived in Zaqrat were nothing but vermin with quickly decomposing morals. Garbage and the occasional corpse were littered about the streets. Zaqrat, the Rotting City. Many people, mostly outsiders, have likened Zaqrat to Hell — eternal damnation with no chance of reprieve. Sometimes, the locals would laugh upon hearing this. Then, they would drink and smoke and gamble and drown in whatever vices they had. A meager and ultimately failed attempt to distract themselves. Other times, they would briefly fall silent before laughing again. For people to think Zaqrat was already as insufferable as everlasting torment was a hoot. They knew better and were just a little thankful that Zaqrat wasn't anywhere near actual Hell. If there was one thing a local of Zaqrat was, it sure wasn't naive. They took everything with a grain of salt. Never fully trusting others, never giving any reasons to be fully trusted. They were painfully aware of their unfortunate reality. Yet, they were content to continue with their days. Just— Living? Breathing? Existing? —Decaying; content to eventually deteriorate and be reduced to nothing. Just another to add to the dense aroma of decay that constantly surrounded Zaqrat. It was absolutely disgusting, to be perfectly honest. Yet, it was difficult to think of any other place as home.   It was five o'clock in the morning when Crescia woke up with the sound of her growling stomach. The sky was still dark and there was no sign of the sun rising yet. She looked at her only companion, a cat, in the abandoned building she was taking shelter. Crescia stroked it gently and the cat nuzzled against her hand. She bade farewell to the cat and left the building to search for some food. Zaqrat wasn't the best place to look for love, trust and care, especially among people. However, most residents in Zaqrat would keep pets, if they could find one that wasn't being devoured by fleas and other predators. After all, it is human nature to desire companionship with another being, whether they are human or not. As she made her way around the city, corruption was evident in every corner and crevice of Zaqrat. Merchants were setting up their stalls selling overpriced food, if they could even be labelled as food. Some people were fighting against each other in their struggle to acquire those food; threatening those merchants in groups or stealing when they turned their backs. The sounds of an ongoing violent battle between rival gangs from the night before could still be heard in the distance. Trudging down a back alley in search of discarded leftover food, she saw a stray dog gnawing on the carcass of another dog; and another dog chomping on a human arm. She disregarded the scene and walked on to the end of the alley which opened to a wide street. The street was blanketed by thousands of people rioting against the government, chanting, "The nation's government is rich; but the people are dying from hunger." "Foolish imbeciles," Crescia muttered under her breath as she passed by the crowd. 'They're not getting anywhere by only shouting their opinions everywhere,' she cogitated. With her hands in her pockets and hood covering her face, she headed towards a nearby market. As a skilled pickpocket, she managed to steal a piece of chicken and stale bread from unwary vendors. She could not blame them for selling their goods overpriced though. Everyone was trying to survive and compete against one another for a living. She devoured the piece of roasted chicken and bagel; yet her stomach was aching for more sustenance. Crescia moved on, searching for another area to find more food. She would become too suspicious if she were to remain in the same place. As she was plodding along another back alley, she saw a corpulent man in silk and satin finery walking by; and he glanced contemptuously at her. She glared at him with the same degree of contempt and snarled, "Why did you give me that look?" The man stopped walking and turned towards her. Spitting out a blob of saliva, he sneered arrogantly, "Because you poor people dress in scruffy rags, stink like decaying fish and you're all skin and bones. Such an eyesore." Crescia became furious gnashed her teeth. "Don't you dare use that tone on us, you fat lump of worm! At least we're not insolent like you!" she retorted. "Why, did you I make you angry? Oh no, I've made someone angry. Should I ask my father's servants to shut her up or should I run away?" he mocked sarcastically. Crescia could swear he meant to ridicule her entire existence, along with Zaqrat and its people; as if he thought Zaqrat and its residents like her should just be eradicated.  As sudden as lightning, Crescia pull out a fragment of broken glass from her right pocket and stabbed his left eye. Blood squirted out as he screamed out in pain and astonishment.  "That should teach you a lesson," she growled.  Blinded by rage and bloodlust, she yanked the sharp fragmented glass from his eye and plunged it deep into his heart, showing no sign of mercy. The man wailed distraughtly and begged her to stop. "Please, no! I beg you. Stop! It hurts! No! I don't want to die! I did not deserve this!" he cried out to her as she relentlessly stabbed him in her frenzy of revenge. By the time she stopped stabbing him, he was drawing his final breath. "So, this is what they mean by whatever you sow, so shall you reap, huh? " he moaned with bated breath before submitting himself to his inevitable death, and finally closing his eyes which were, by then, drenched with tears and blood. His body was covered with open wounds, bleeding profusely and no medical help would be able to save him in time, especially in a city like Zaqrat.  Crescia stared at him with expressionless glassy eyes. "It's a dog-eat-dog world after all," she muttered and left the bleeding corpse on the pebbly ground. As she left, she kept mumbling his last words to herself, wondering if the same thing would happen to herself as well. "Whatever you sow, so shall you reap." "Whatever you sow, so shall you reap."... Read more

By Cheryl in
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Chase - The Chamber
Published on 09-08-2017 11:12 PM
Just like every other day, Chase watched his parents going off to work as he got ready for school. His grandfather had constantly remarked at the majestic beauty of Earth but Chase and his grandfather could never meet eye t...Learn More Just like every other day, Chase watched his parents going off to work as he got ready for school. His grandfather had constantly remarked at the majestic beauty of Earth but Chase and his grandfather could never meet eye to eye. His grandfather had said the Earth was green but no matter how hard Chase looked, all he saw was cracked earth and mud-caked dust. It was either he was colour blind, or his grandfather was. Chase strolled through town, oblivious of his surroundings. All around him, he could see people from all walks of life walking past. It felt as if he was drowning in a sea of people. Soon, in a few years, people would not be able to have babies because overpopulation was slowly killing the planet. In a few more years and Chase would be like his parents ~ waking up, going to work, working, coming home from work, eating and then sleeping. The monotonous routine every adult was going through, like a robot programmed without a mind of its own. He heard that in some other countries, people had entertainment. They got to watch television, read leisurely on a sandy beach, or even hang out with friends casually, with a beer or two. But as what Chase was taught in school, this would lead nowhere. Fun and joy would bring nothing but pleasure, which wasn't allowed. Where Chase came from, there were three classes consisted of Discipline, where you had to sit still and fold a box repeatedly. Then, there was Studies, where you learnt about things you needed to know for your chosen occupation in the future. You would get an occupation according to your IQ level which was tested by a machine. That crept Chase out, knowing that a machine knew more about you that you yourself do. These two knowledge was all people needed to be able to work. Well, that was what everyone was told. But, other than those two classes, there was also one more, which was only for those buffed athletes. Strength. Sadly, because of Chase's skinny bony body, he was never included in. After a few hours, Chase was finally on his way back home. As he passed by an open air factory, he saw men working inside. A particular man caught his attention as he was bare chested and his back was covered in scars, which, gave Chase goosebumps just by looking at the weirdly shaped wounds. The man must have gone through some hard time in his earlier years, thought Chase. Suddenly, the bare chest man tripped while pushing a trolley of crates. Chase guessed the trolleys were probably filled with metal, considering the fact that the man was heavily wheezing as he worked. Then, as he laid sprawling on the ground, the man was kicked to the corner and another man took his place. Leaving him no choice, the wounded man had to crawl out of the factory, knowing that he had lost his job. The horrible sight was normal for Chase. It wasn't at all surprising because those who were too weak would get eliminated. Such was the rule of survival. Hurriedly, he walked away from the scene. Chase was walking casually when out of nowhere, a watch fell onto his feet. It had been years since he saw the time teller. It had always amazed him at how precise and portable the watch was. Sadly, it was banned a few years ago because the watch distracted people and it gave people an unneeded knowledge of hope and anticipation. He remembered a story his grandfather had told him. About the time when there was love in the world. People had work like in the present but they had something else. Something called fun. Chase remembered when his grandfather told him that he had always had a great time with his wife. They would always have dinner together. Chase was also told that his mother was a very joyful person, but she changed as time passed. The loving warm world they lived in had changed. It was no longer about family and community. Chase suddenly felt something, a nostalgic feeling was boiling inside of him. When he was young, his parents had never had time for him. Chase and his parents started to get distant. It was the same for many families of his generation. He felt like something was not right. People weren't supposed to live like now. People were supposed to love each other and care for one another. With only adrenaline as his guide, he ran back to the factory. His lungs were crying for air due to the fact that it had been a long time since he had run. He had just have to turn the corner and he would be at the factory. Hopefully the bare chest man was fine and not badly hurt because the kick the other man gave him looked devastatingly hard. As vicinity of the factory came closer, Chase was almost within the compound of the factory when someone grabbed him by his arm. He ignored it and tried to pull away but the grip was strong and firm. Not matter how hard he pulled, he didn't have a chance. Chase didn't even bother looking towards the man because he knew exactly what was going on. He had broken the rules. Unless he was in the strength class, he was not supposed to run in public areas. It was counted as having fun. And it sure wasn't fun that made Chase run. "May I see your identity card?" the officer demanded. "I know I am not supposed to run if I am not in the strength class, I am sorry, " Chase tried, "Please, I don't want to go to the chamber." "Save your breathe. I have been watching you for a while. You are the catch of the day for me. Plead your case at the chamber," said the uniformed officer with his full faced helmet on. Chase cursed. He should not have allowed his emotion to get the better of him and it had made him break the law. Now he had to face the music. He was about to pull out his identity card when he realized something. The man wasn't an officer. Chase wasn't read out his rights. This man was not using the standard operating protocol an officer should use before arresting a non-strength. And no self respecting officer would hide in a corner stalking like a mouse eyeing its cheese. "Who is he?" Chase wondered. Not wanting to know more, all kinds of thoughts ran through his mind, trying desperately to find a way to escape. With all his might, Chase pulled away and ran from the man, only to bump into another officer. Without question, the second officer grabbed him and hauled him towards a police car. Chase may not be strong but he wasn't about to give up without a fight. He swiftly grabbed the second officer's baton which was left unguarded and swung it at him with full force, knocking him out cold. Chase immediately dropped the baton and prepared to flee but the first officer caught up with him and tried to choke Chase. This time, it was not going to be easy for Chase as the officer knew how dangerous and wily he was. Chase's vision blurred as his lungs cried for air. Something caught his eye. He saw a glint of silver hanging from the fallen officer's neck. He immediately recognised the cross. Realisation struck him when he found out the identity of the fallen officer. It was his father. His father was trying to get him to safety, Now, Chase's life hung in a precarious balance, unknowing if his father would regain consciousness in time. He looked at his father earnestly, willing him to wake up. Before long, Chase's vision faded out. His mind was left blanked. His vision in total darkness............ Read more
By Woo Der Yuan in
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Two Bodies in One
Published on 09-08-2017 01:33 PM

“Aren’t you glad to see me?” He caressed his mother’s cheeks, watching the salty tears falling gracefully onto her cheekbones while eyes of true terror were entrenched permanently on his guardian’s cheeks. Her lips tre...Learn More“Aren’t you glad to see me?” He caressed his mother’s cheeks, watching the salty tears falling gracefully onto her cheekbones while eyes of true terror were entrenched permanently on his guardian’s cheeks. Her lips trembled attempting to attain words to speak in response to this daunting scene before her. “Why should I?”     At the sweet tender age of five, in a kindergarten filled with children from a potpourri of backgrounds, different as light is to day – of different religions and ethnic compositions; a group of children ranging from Chinese, Indians, Malays and Eurasians were teasing one another and amongst them stood their leader – a doll-like person with pressed inky jet black hair, captivating features spread on a heart-shaped face, wearing a sundress with dirt and mud clinging to it and a joyful mien on her face. It had never occurred to her that having a different perspective of life could be the outcome of many obstacles in future; it being reluctantly placing one’s self into the depths of unknown.      Mailina was under no circumstances allowing herself to get bitten and bruised as she continued venturing out and discovering herself in a society bound by unnecessary rules in how one was to behave and where sufferable people bombarded her with questions that she herself did not know the answers to. Although a minor, Mailina was drawn to the sleazy world of drugs and sex and she set herself out to test the extremes of what society frowned upon – crime and obscenity!      Drugs, sex, and smoking – she was lured by the excitement that this world gave her existence and the adrenalin that flowed through her every time she participated in socially unacceptable behaviour, made her feel thrilled with no sense of remorse.  Sadly, she never bothered about the little voice within her that incriminated and admonished her.    It may seem such a norm that teenagers are encompassed by these wrongdoings but society backboned these preposterous acts in Eastern countries. Mailina was ignorant on how to go about concealing her tracks and as her parents discovered their daughter in a night club with several other men, the idea of her escaping into the wilderness of naiveté had vanished.    “We brought you up into a fine young lady and this is how you present yourself in front of others? Why are you even my daughter, Mailina? I did not feed and raise you for this purpose!”      Her mother was in tears; with distraught as thoughts of her daughter seeking sexual pleasures with strange men crossed her mind. Never did she have the idea of sending her daughter to a reintegration centre, but if that was the price they needed to pay in order to save their daughter, so be it! ~   At some point in August, Mailina was left in a world where only the craziest could survive as not a single person was vouched sane living in an environment with wacky Arvaa bashing his already demented head against the wall multiple times and stirring other patients from their peaceful siesta. The initial day she arrived at the inferno, she sashayed in with an inimitable appearance from her tacky clothes down to her mud-spattered combat boots and an atrocious hairstyle that looked like it was from the 90’s.    Not all of us are blessed with lady luck after all, thought the raven haired girl as she stared out of the glossy glass window of her tiny and compact room; silently wishing the days in this depressing and upsetting edifice would succumb to an end. She was twirling a tiny object around her fingers, feeling it hit her flesh and enjoyed the touch of coldness it brought to her warm and heated body.     “Mailina darling, Dr. Ling is here for you,” announced the staff that was all too cheerful and the teen probed if she should be the one to be confined in this asylum.      A woman stood before her, in an egg-white gown, her chestnut golden hair pulled into a sleek ponytail, her slit sharp eyes framed by a pair of round rimmed glasses as she sneered at Mailina who was certainly ecstatic to see her again. It was a consistent uniform procedure to encounter her psychiatrist ever since she was admitted in the rehabilitation centre in her hometown.      Her parents had abandoned her; her friends left her to fend for herself and all there was left was the everlasting thrust she hoped to reconcile with the customary standards of her life. Dr.Ling could be assumed to be a sympathetic and compassionate psychiatrist but do not be hoodwinked – once the lights were lowered, the room came to an eerie silence and there was a vouched and distasteful feeling in the pit of Malina’s stomach, Dr. Ling Kei Yang was a beast in the dark; extracting true terror from the tormented screams of her ill-fated patients.     “I’ve been wondering if you would ever return for me,” Mailina snickered at the irascible shrink whilst watching her prepare for Mailina’s tenth or even twelfth attempt in creating history by discovering a cure for an illness that affected Dr. Ling’s being. Attempting a disastrous plan was bound to lead to a chasm of success or failure unless in Dr. Ling’s case – a complete and utter flop.    The malignant therapist will never foresee the pros and cons on the utmost belief that a simpleton like Mailina could aid her in unearthing the illness of her grandmother. Evidently so the old woman from the east had been a voodoo expert and the gods of the unspoken had placed a curse on the wretched witch combining her odious physique with the souls of the departed and non-existent.    “Just a simple flick of this baby and we return ourselves to step one and possibly drown yourself with a new friend,” Dr. Ling chortled while grasping tightly the perfectly sharp piston, containing a cloudy fluid which seemed to be the antidote for her grandmother’s dissociative identity disorder. Mailina was abused from the handlings of her psychiatrist and though it may seem she would be unresponsive or simply ‘not caring at all’ (her own words exactly) towards her tactics but when Dr.Ling came for a visit, her wretched and tantalised heart would skip a beat and ragged breathing would surface.      Injecting the fluid into Mailina’s physique, she felt the liquid flow through her red-blue veins and the effects of the horrendous fluid had started. Her eyes shut down unconsciously and her limbs trembled with every ounce she had, foam escaped from her pure cherry lips and the strands of hair on her arms and legs had risen as if she had been electrocuted. A hint of glee was unknowingly seen on Dr. Ling as her subject yielded to her dark rooted treatment that would arise her grandmother’s ailment in Mailina and rapidly jotted the excellent outcomes of her current lab rat. ~     “Darling wake up,” Mailina felt a slight shove from her left shoulder and slowly fluttered her eyes open to glance at who was interrupting her slumber. Peeping between the sheets, Dr. Ling plonked down beside her with a Cheshire grin planted on her face.     “What do you want?” she croaked as her throat dried up from the tiresome rest she had the night before, with the attacks happening frequently. “Are you feeling better?” retorted the psychiatrist as she was not bothered by her patient’s wellbeing and only cared about the results.      The teenage girl easily sat in a criss-cross position to await her doctor with the news. “He visited twice last night wanting to control my body saying how he needed to complete his task,” she explained whilst adding flair to her ramblings using hand gestures, emphasising the ludicrousness of her illness that made her have another personality in her body.    “That’s good, that’s good…” murmured Dr.Ling before continuing, “just inform me about his thoughts and how he communicates with you alright - I need to know his exact movements!”      A day filled with unexpected twists was to unravel upon Mailina with a newcomer intruding into her life and by no means offering a pleasing break to her. In the area where dinner was served, a posse of patients were scattered around as if like a flea market with people rooted to the ground whilst keeping a hawk’s eye on the people if ever one goes mad.      The gloomy female was situated in the middle of the room, glancing at the amalgam varying from Hakim who was stacking cups neatly as if he was joining Speed Stacks while Krishna was undergoing anxiety attacks habitually.      “Is she alright?”        “Why is she sitting like a man? She seemed pretty weird over the last few days, perhaps wacky Arvaa had gotten to her.”      Whispers were heard across the room as the group were oblivious to the gushing atmosphere. It brought concern as Mailina had her legs plonked on the four legged piece, leaning backwards in a relaxed state as she whistled at every legged brunette or black head that strolled past her. She felt, at no time bizarre throughout her stay in the building but unknowingly today, it appeared as if she was an entirely new person.        The youngster stood up and sauntered towards the exit of the cafeteria, snapping her fingers in a rhythmic tune as she observed her surroundings in the building. Out of the blue, she witnessed the lights go off and sirens starting to blare throughout the entire construction. It was her time to shine as Mailina quickened her pace as that was the signal for her to escape.     Running to the entrance, she saw that it was completely vacant except for the sleazy security guard who was always napping or ravenously eating powdered doughnuts – in this case, it was the former.  Mailina released a breath at the sight of the man and tip-toed to the doors ensuring that she did not create any noise that could awaken the man. Once her feet touched the pebbled road outside the asylum, she considered herself a freed victim.    A task in hand was to be fulfilled and it should be accomplished tonight.     Striding the roads in urban centre, Mailina knew the streets as if they were implanted at the back of her head. She treaded towards the direction of her humble abode which housed her guardians who had neglected her and him for seventeen years of their lives. A two levelled house was in her view presenting a perfect home for the family. Green earthy plants were placed along the sidewalk with an attached tyre-like swing hanging on the humongous tree beside the house and glass tinted windows so clear that you could examine your own reflection in them.     Mailina walked up the steps to where her house was positioned and knocked on the majestic mahogany egress awaiting the arrival of her mother. The door creaked open and slowly, barring the feet of a woman in clad socks, dressed in an overnight gown, her lifeless grey curls were compiled into a high sock bun. The old woman opening the door was dumbfounded to see her daughter standing before her.     “Hello, mother,” said the daughter of the household whilst standing tranquil against the railing of the egress.     “Mailina, what are you doing here at the wee hours of the morning?” she choked on her words in disbelief, that her offspring was right there, in front of her very eyes.      Mailina was taken aback at the abrupt of calling her by that name, “Mailina- what are you talking about?” A sudden recognition played in her mind and continued, “I almost forgot that I was using her body but mother, don’t you remember me?”    Her mother was perplexed as she was unsure on what she just heard. Her daughter stated that she was not her child although she had similar attributes. “What gibberish are you sprouting? I do not understand what you are trying to tell me.”    “It’s me, your son, Justin.” He accentuated on who he was, “You had abandoned me when the doctor told you that I would not survive but guess what- I defied the odds and here I am today, standing in front of you. A shocker isn’t it?”    “What have you done to my daughter?” gasped the traumatised woman as she lost sense in her legs and collapsed in a heap. ‘Justin’ went approximately closer to her in terms of him enabling to see the clear specks of his mother’s features.    “You had the decision to conceive us both and kill yourself but you did not- you left me to rot whilst saving my twin but luckily I dominated her body to see you again,” articulated Justin in the body of his twin sister who had a frenzied smile on her face and it brought chills to her mother whose eyes were ajar at the sight of the deranged child before her.     “I do not know who you are but I want you to leave immediately!” Mailina’s mother demanded, showing a brave face to demolish the alarming state she was in as she leaned on her elbows with her legs dangling at the doorsteps of her home.    “Surely you should know that I cannot leave without finishing my task,” he cackled as he swiftly entered the house and sauntered towards the stairs, climbing up to his sister’s room. Opening the door, he peered in to have a glance at his sibling’s room and was surprised to find it undisturbed with her objects placed neatly on her computer desk and four poster bed. He settled on the divan, hearing the creaky noises produced from his weight.     The mother stood at the doorway taking a glance at her daughter who was at the moment, a different person and it being Mailina’s twin brother whom she had sacrificed to save herself. It seemed that karma had returned for her with the devil’s claws reaching out to clamp her. With all these thoughts attacking her at once, she had not noticed the female figure rising from the bed and proceeding in her direction. Mailina grabbed her mother’s face and cradled it between her tepid palms, forcing her to gaze upon her child.  “Aren’t you glad to see me?” He caressed his mother’s cheeks, watching the salty tears falling gracefully onto her cheekbones while eyes of true terror were entrenched permanently on his guardian’s cheeks. Her lips trembled attempting to attain words to speak in response to this daunting scene before her. “Why should I?” 2429 words ... Read more

By Jowena Locke in
Reader Points: 1740
Editor Points: 0
Rank: 10
Views: 4138
Who is the KILLER?
Published on 09-07-2017 01:49 AM

     Maria was enjoying the sound of birds chirping and she felt chilly breeze swept away her hair which was covering her right eye. "Wow, you woke up early today!". Ina broke the silence in a sarcastic tone. Maria just gave a dead smile and went into the apartment. She saw Maya was preparing breakfast for everyone. Maria went closer and asked, ...Learn More     Maria was enjoying the sound of birds chirping and she felt chilly breeze swept away her hair which was covering her right eye. "Wow, you woke up early today!". Ina broke the silence in a sarcastic tone. Maria just gave a dead smile and went into the apartment. She saw Maya was preparing breakfast for everyone. Maria went closer and asked, " Hmm, it smells good, what's on the menu today chef Maya? " in a British accent. " Oh my darling Maria, I cooked fried noodles and some salad, would you like to join us for breakfast darling?. Maya replied her question with another question. Both of them giggled and saw their friend getting out of the room one by one with their tired faces. This was the usual situation which will happen in their apartment every morning. The girls will have breakfast and will be going to class together.      This is the life of Maria and five of her friends, Maya, Ina, Lisa, May Lin, and Neetha. They were students at the nearby private university. Since May Lin's father was a successful and renowned entrepreneur, he bought a house for her daughter at the 12th-floor of the apartment. They all lived there to pursue their studies. Maria and Maya are best friends, they were never apart from one another. Ina is known for her rude behavior in the gang and May Lin always boasts about herself and her wealth in front of her friends. This made Lisa and Neetha get irritated with them. They often stick with Maria and Maya wherever they go.        One morning, when the girls were having breakfast together, There was a knock at the door.  Lisa and Ina raced to the door to get it. They both were shocked to see a man in a security guard suit. His crooked face was emotionless, almost fully bald, chapped lips and wide eyes looking at them. Lisa's eyes popped out to see him and spontaneously asked, "Who are you?". "I'm the new security guard for this block". He replied with his gravelly voice, he turned back and disappeared. "Maybe that guy is just rude like you, Ina." Lisa chuckled. "Oh, just shut up Lisa," Ina replied with a raucous voice and unpleasant look. There was silence after that. They all finished their breakfast and got in May Lin's black Toyota Avanza and went to the university. On the way to University Maria noticed Lisa was whispering something to Maya and they both were laughing.      After their class, They all went to a shopping mall nearby their apartment and university. May Lin was driving the car and she was complaining about the traffic jam and the roads. She also crowned herself as the best driver, Lisa and Neetha look at her with disgust look and showed funny faces to Maya. After the window shopping was done, they went for dinner, Maya spent some money on Neetha's meal as she forgot to ask her parents for her pocket money for the week. They went to their apartment to call off the day.     Several days past, they also were visited by the same security guard on a particular morning. He came to their door and insisted them to open the door. Maria answered the door that morning. He only looked at the ceiling of the house, turned back and went to the lift. He looked back at Maria and went into the lift. Maria felt something was fishy, she asked Maya to follow her to the lobby. They went to lobby, the went to the reception counter and enquired about the new security guard. "Mr. Raj, What happened to Mr. Ali? Where is he? Why this creepy new security dude is alway showing up at our apartment door?". They shot many questions as possible to the apartment staff. "Girls, patience! Mr. Ali passed away a week ago. Mr. Rashid is the new security guard for our block.  He is from a rural area so he got culture shock when he came to this city, he is not creepy." Mr. Raj explained. They both went back the apartment after knowing the truth. Maya realized Maria's attitude was changing day by day    Maya realized Maria's attitude was changing day by day. Maria's studies got worse, she will by finding maximum time to spend time with Maya. She will always stare when Maya did something and talk to someone else. Maria will always ask what they were talking to Maya.  On a cold chilly nite, Maya was talking with Neetha on the dining table. Maria went closer to them and pulled Maya's arm. "What do you want?,you're hurting me." Maya shouted at Maria. "Let's go to bed, I'm sleepy," Maria said it in a flat voice tone. "But, I'm talking to Neetha, she is having some problem with her boyfriend, I'll join you later.' Maya said to Maria and continued her conversation with Neetha. Neetha burst into tears and hugged Maya. Seconds later, Maria came out the room and looked at them. Maya understood, she said good nite to Neetha and went into the room and slept.       The next morning, Maya heard a loud scream from the second room of the apartment, which was Neetha and Lisa's room. She knew it was Lisa and Maria's voice. She rushed to see what had happened. She stood still, she froze like a statue. It was Neetha. Her body was laying on the floor. Her neck was bleeding, her body was cold. Maya saw Neetha's lips turned blue. Ina immediately called the police, May Lin and Lisa can't control their feelings and cried while hugging Neetha's body. The police arrived in 10 minutes and examined the body, they took the body to the nearby hospital with the hospital ambulance. Maya was in the ambulance while, others followed the ambulance by car. The waited for the forensic report. Lisa was taken to the police station for further inquiries. In the police station, Lisa made a report about when and how she encountered Neetha's body. Lisa told the officer that she went for a jog at 5.30 in the morning when her friends were sleeping. when she came back to the apartment at 6.30 a.m, she found out that Neetha was no more and was killed brutally.    Back at the hospital, the forensic Report stated that Neetha was killed around 6.00 to 6.15 a.m. There was a slit on her neck and a scar on her arm. Her body was sent to her hometown for the last rituals and they all went to her funeral. Days passed,  ... Read more

By Rina azman in
Reader Points: 10
Editor Points: 0
Rank: 283
Views: 29