Chapter 1: Dinner and shadow.

I was all alone at home. The street is rather busy tonight. Different groups of people are walking on the street and there are more cars than any normal days. Of course, it is Saturday night. There is a night market at the end of the street.

As usual, mum and dad have gone out to work. Their working hours are dictated by their prospective clients or clients. This is how life is when you are in the sales and service industry.

I do enjoy the serenity at home albeit streams of people walking up and down the street. Quiet and alone always give me the illusionary power as a master of the house and no one could disturb or stop me from doing what I want to do.

And what’s more tonight is Sat night. My favourite TV show will be shown in about 5 minutes. I still have enough time to prepare my dinner so that I could enjoy my favourite food whilst catching my favourite show. I know it is pathetic but that is how I like it.

So without wasting another second, I quickly fill one-third of a small pot with water. I turn on the gas to high heat, as I don’t really have a lot of time. Swiftly I swing my body around to the fridge and take out the “choy sum” a Chinese leaves vegetable, an egg, and a packet of my favourite instant noodle, Cintan mee curry. I moved my hands quickly to wash and cut few stalks of the vegetable and waited impatiently in front of the pot. From afar, I heard the music of my favourite TV show.

“Gosh, I am a bit too late! Argh.. bad timing! ” I open the cover of the pot and it is still not boiling yet. Just some steam. I put the cover back, while alternating between my legs and at the same time all ear up to the music from the TV.

Soon enough, the music ended and my first instinct was to rush to the living room to catch the beginning. I thought to myself that once Horatio and his team goes back to their office, I will rush back to cook my dinner. I just can’t miss the opening as that is always where a lot of clues may appear and not noted by the detectives. There were a few episodes that I noticed the clue and Horatio and his team has to go back to the scene again. So I definitely don’t want to miss any leads or clues.

Now I am not all glued to the TV set, I did glance over to then kitchen and assure myself where I am standing now have a good view of the pot. And I make a quick mental note to look slightly up the pot to notice any steam coming out from the pot. Nope!

Great, without wasting a second, I turn to the TV again.

“Oh what a gruesome killing tonight. But hey, hang on.. what’s that on the floor!?” I thought to myself. I wanted to have a better look, and so I moved over to the sofa facing the TV.

“Oh before I forget… Ok, I still have a good view of the pot. And nope, it is still not boiling!”

“How could you miss that clue?? It is staring into your face! Oh come on, …..what’s that??!!”

Suddenly I felt my senses came back to reality.

“That can’t be real! Should I turn my head or not?”

“Let’s have a quick look again! But it moves too fast for me!”

“Right Eleanor. Braved up and see what’s that”. I tilted my head slightly but careful not to have a big movement in case that alerted it. But I can’t see anything at all. !Maybe it is just some illusion.”

“Oh goodness.. there’s a little baby underneath the …. ”

Oh no.. what could it be?? My heart starts to race….

“Ok. Stay calm. Take a deep breath! I know it is the seventh month of the Chinese calendar but it is not the 14th today.. can’t be the “eeekkK” …. Oh.. but some say that the hell door opens on the first day of this month, and … they can be anywhere…. ”

“No … don’t scare yourself, you little gutless prick… think… think… what should you do?”

My heart is still pounding hard and fast on my chest.

“Ok, take a deep breath. Right…. let’s see. There’s a baseball bat behind the shoes cabinet. Go and grab it.”

“So if it is the… “eeekkk”… what use of that?? .. arggh.. don’t think too much,… just go and grab it!”

I slowly raise my body up from the sofa, and slowly, almost tip-toeing, walking towards the shoes cabinet. I don’t know why I felt compelling to tip-toe but whatever it is, it must have gone inside the kitchen now.

My heart is beating quicker every step I tip-toed and I am dead sure if I have had the heart beat reading now, it would have shoot up to over 150 beats per second. Ok, that is a bit exaggerating. But I feel as if my heart is going to jump out from my mouth, slightly nauseated.

Soon I am at the shoes cabinet and I quickly grab the bat. My legs started to feel like jelly yet when I tried to lift one by one up to walk towards the kitchen, they are so heavy as if tons of metal chained to them.

“Will it still be in the kitchen? Do I walk fast enough? But why is the distance to the kitchen is so far tonight. The house can’t be that big. Maybe I just walk too slow. I need to quicken my pace, .. but if I walked too fast, I might alert it, whatever that “shadow” is.”

Whilst I was debating in my head, I found myself at the entrance of the kitchen. I peeked through the little window to the kitchen. I couldn’t see anyone but I know I have to get in as there are some blind spots through the window.

Although I have an average built frame, I have attended some kick boxing and body combat classes in my local gym. I am sure my practices of upper cut or leg kicks would be useful. Hopefully “it” doesn’t have any other weapon and I could react quickly than it does. In any case, I don’t have any more choice except to march forward.

Or if “it” is an “eeekkk…”.. well I guess I just have to shout some mantra… and oh.. take out the kuan yin pendant hanging from my neck… that should do… “ohm mani padme hum.. ohm mani padme hum… ”

“Take a deep breath and go in the kitchen” I instructed myself and slowly my left leg stepped into the kitchen followed by my right leg. I walked another few steps and looked around, raising up the bat, getting ready to lash at whatever I could see, continuing mumbling the mantra.

“Where could it have gone to? The windows and door are still shut and there is nowhere to go….. except ….
…THE STORE ROOM!!”.

I glanced over to the left and turned my body and I walked slowly to the store room.

“It can’t be in the store room, the lock is untouched …. unless….. OHM MANI PADME HUM.. OHM MANI PADME HUM.” I chanted loudly as I realised the lock remained on the door.

As my eyes were frantically scanning the kitchen, all of sudden, something else caught my eyes.

“Oh goodness…. shite! shite!…! THE PPPOOOTTTT!! Oh dear..mum is going to be so angry!!”

I have completely forgotten about the pot! It has now dried up and from outside of the pot, the bottom has burnt till it is all red-orange colour. Quickly I turned off the gas and I let it cool down. Now I wouldn’t want to risk my hands to get burned.

I didn’t realise I have watched the show for more than 5 minutes. I was so into it that I have lost “consciousness” of my surroundings. I didn’t realise the burning smell now that it slowly crept up to my sense. It is just unbelievable. Mum has always scolded me whenever I am watching TV, I just don’t care about what is happening around me. I always thought mum just likes to nag for the sake of nagging.

“THE SHADOW!” I have completely forgotten about the shadow. I quickly gather my composure and assess every corner. It can’t be going anywhere without my notice.

“Well if it is “eeekkk…” it is a good “eeekk”…. Or it may have been my guardian angel, trying to alert me of the pot. Whatever it is, thank goodness for the shadow! Or else I could have burnt down the house or worst, kill myself in the flame.”

-End of chapter 1 .. to be continued-

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Categories: Fiction, Romance, Short Story | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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