Short Story

Chapter 3: Dream??

Continue from Chapter 2: Let’s ask the God!

 


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“Where am I? How did I get here? This must be a dream. Right let’s see around. This seems like a kitchen here. So dark in here. But .. hmm looks like someone has left the gas on. 

It feels so surreal in this dream but everything seems to be in orderly. I mean I can see everything quite clearly, every bits and bobs in the kitchen, despite the darkness. Thanks to the light from the living room. And of course, the fire from the gas stove. Whoever left it there is rather impatient. That is definitely the maximum power you could get on the stove. Let’s forget about it and explore the living room…. 

Yet, the fire… it is burning in rage. Let’s have a look what is in the pot. 

Ah well, just some water .. but really..at this rate, I am sure the pot will burn rather soon… 

Oh.. wow… I haven’t even finished my thought, the water in the pot vanished in the air! Poof! Just like that! What the heck.. oh yes, of course, this is a dream! You moron! anything can happen!”

I turned my attention to the living room, and saw a girl sitting in the living room. She seemed engrossed in whatever she is doing.
“Let’s have a snoop and see what she’s up to.

Ah.. really CSI! Duh…

Hang on, do I smell something?? The pot! I better turn the fire off.

I ran to the kitchen but I can’t touch anything! Am I being silly? This is just a dream and I supposed if it burns, I will wake up. But I can feel the heat and smell the burnt. I better alert her about the pot! 

“Hey you, stop watching CSI. Your pot of water, hey…”

“Oh my goodness, she can’t hear me. She can’t see me. What should I do??”

I ran frantically up and down the stairs and everywhere in the house… and suddenly.. 

“Ah great! You see me… come… the pot!! ” 

She still can’t hear me. Right, but seems like she can feel my presence by the speed and wind I create. Whatever it is, I just have to keep running. 

To the pot!! 

In a flash I ran to the kitchen, right to the front of the stove. 

“Damn idiot, I am over here, not the store room!” 

Oh well, ok, I better run over to the store room and back to the stove to attract her attention. 

Ah finally! She’s getting it! Yes, the stove!! Turn the gas off! 

“Phew … thank goodness. She could have burnt us both down.. well in the dream.. huh…” 

Oh wow…. why am I floating, I am not touching the floor … I am flYING .. …. HELP!!!!!!”

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Continue to Chapter 4: TBP

 

 

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Chapter 2: Let’s ask the God!

-continue from Chapter 1: Dinner and Shadow
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“Are you sure?”

“No, I am not .. and that is why I feel,… a bit mystical about it. I don’t know whether I have hallucinated or really a guardian angel or .. you know Dee… it’s the 7th month in Chinese Calendar.”

“What does that mean?” asked Deanne, my best friend.

I don’t blame her. She is not Chinese, so it would be difficult for her to understand what that means. I am all prepared to explain to her, but it is quite tricky to do so in the 7th month.

“Well, it is Chinese Halloween. Of course, 10 times spookier as it is not about having everyone to dress up or trick or treat. But really, we believe the gates of hell open every year the whole 7th month of the Chinese calendar. Well you know how we celebrate Chinese New Year sometimes in Jan and sometimes in Feb?”

“Yes. You explained to me before that the Chinese calendar is different to the Julian calendar. It changes in accordance to the lunar and solar instead.”

“That’s right Dee. Spirits and …. erm… ghost… wander around to visit their family, relatives and friends. But these are the good ones, some say the evil ones are released too.”

“But you aren’t going to believe that was a ghost spirit in your house on Sat, are you?”

“Well… I am not sure Dee… I hope not. Or else, I will have bad luck for 3 years!”

“You are SO superstitious, El, you know. Let’s go.. we have to get back to class.”

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I can’t quite concentrate the whole day although I pretended nothing ever happened. I tried to clean the pot as much as I could after the incident last night, leaving little or no trace of the burnt pot. I tried few methods, from boiling vinegar and scraping the burnt marks inside the pot to using metal sponge to remove it. I think I managed to remove about 70% to 80% of it. Luckily I have “burnt” the pot quite a lot and so I should let it remains now. Otherwise it will create suspicion. My mum didn’t ask me anything about the pot, so I guess, I have done it all right.

Whilst my mind is wandering ….

“Let’s go to Thean Di temple to consult a medium. My cousin told me she went asked about her love life few years ago and she claimed the reading is rather accurate.”

Although Dee is not a Chinese, entirely, her cousin is married to a Chinese girl.

“You told your cousin??”

“No, … well I didn’t tell him it’s you.”

“But Dee, who else could it be? I am sure Aidan knew it’s me!”

“Well, doesn’t matter El. What matters now is, you don’t look very settling after the incident.”

“I’m ok, Dee, I just feel.. still… intrigued. You know me.”

“Yes, that is why I told Ching Yau, as you know I don’t really have that many close Chinese friends.”

“Sorry, Dee.”

“Now listen. She told me that she consulted the medium when she was younger and eerie enough, she claimed the readings have always been so accurate. Just go and try, and see what the medium has to say.”

“Ehmm… I’m not sure Dee…. I don’t really believe this kind of thing. Well, not entirely. You know, there are so many money sucking mediums who just try to squeeze every penny you have. Besides I don’t have money to do the consultation.”

“Well not if Ching Yau can recommend someone she consulted before. Don’t worry I’ll ask her how much we need to expect to pay and you can decide… !”

“Well… ok!”

Dee seemed more excited than I am now. I can’t believe she is the one who asked me to consult a medium.

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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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Happily Ever After? (Fiction)

“I don’t love you any more, do I, love?”
“No, love”, she replies, nonchalantly.

There was a brief pause and silence.

“Where am I, love?”
“We are at the hospital, Roy”.
“What are we doing here?” asked Roy again.
“We are here to see doctor. You had an accident few months ago, and now we need to come back for your follow-up.”

I stood and observed the conversation between this couple. When Roy was admitted to the hospital few months ago in an accident, his head was all bloody. He was conscious and kept on insisting that he had to get home to his wife. It was his wife’s birthday. He has planned a surprise for her birthday. But the paramedics knew too well that his condition wasn’t good. Roy didn’t realise the jelly-like on his hair had caused much alarmed to the paramedics.

Well it was still a surprise, except it wasn’t a pleasant one. His wife was all tears when she was at the hospital. Her frail body was supported by her friends who were summoned by Roy a day before for her surprise birthday party. Typical. She could barely speak nor stand when she was attempting to listen attentively to what the doctor had to say to her.

The doctors shook their head and told her to prepare for the worst. Roy was unconscious now despite all the best efforts of the doctors to stitch him back. He looked lifeless on the bed. Eve cried uncontrollably but composed. Perhaps her frail body was too weak, she eventually passed out from the cries. Her friends had to take her and let her rest on the chair.

I could not do much except to observe from afar. My tears were rolling down too without my realisation. They are the most loving couple I have ever known in my life. How could one of them be gone, forever? That is not true. The God is testing them, again. Roy does not look like one who has such a short life. That is not Roy on the life supporting machine now.

Roy and Eve had gone through a lot to be together. Roy’s mother is a superstitious person. She disliked Eve for no reasons, as far as I am concerned. All I could guess was she must be some kind of control freak. She dislikes any girls who go out with her sons. It wasn’t just Eve her mother “attacked”. Roy’s brother, Sam, had the same predicament. She “attacked” Roy’s sister-in-law, then Sam’s girlfriend too.

Eve had gone through tremendous mental torture from her. Every evening at almost the same time she will be going home from work, his mother would drive to her apartment to stalk her. She always get a tip off from either Sam or Roy’s sister, Manny. This always set her in fear and she would then have to stay longer in the office, until she got the “clearance” from Roy.

There was a time, Roy’s mom would come knock on every door in her apartment as she didn’t know which unit she lived in. She knelt before the security guards and pretended to cry begging them to let her in. That was one fateful night that Eve couldn’t escape this torment. She found her unit eventually, and she too knelt before Eve begging her to let go of her son. Eve could see her crocodile tears and also begged her to go. It was the most embarrassing moment in her life. It was as if Eve was having an affair with a married man and now his wife came to beg her to let her husband go. Obviously that wasn’t the case.

There was another incident whereby his mother waited for Roy at Eve’s apartment. The moment she saw Roy came out from the apartment, she went berserk. In one hand, she was holding a lighter and another was a bottle of liquid. Roy didn’t know what it was until she pour on her very own son. Roy smelt petrol and immediately backed-off when he saw his very own mother tried to lit up the lighter. She was screaming and shouting something, which Eve couldn’t hear clearly from afar. She was so afraid but before she could do anything, the security guards came to the rescue and threw Roy’s mom out from the compound. Roy was furious rather than scared.

After that incident, Roy decided to move out of his own house and found a place far away from his mom. He took Eve with him as he knew his mom wouldn’t let Eve go. And so they moved to another country, to where they are now. They got married and as the fairy tales go, happily ever after.

Or do they?

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