Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Siren's Night

I don't know what hit me, really. I was home, in my pyjamas all ready for bed, when I got the texts. One from the dearest asking me to meet him there, another from the roomie saying that his friend was dying to meet me.

What was I thinking?!?! YOLO, the road less taken, being spontaneous?

I had this feeling of anticipation at the start when I agreed to head out, the thrill of meeting this mysterious, handsome stranger I'm being set up with, but that was quickly killed by the taxi driver who hit on me. To be perfectly honest, it made me fear for my safety. Thank goodness I had my phone with me so that I could check on Google Maps to ensure that he was indeed taking me in the right direction.

When I finally arrived at my destination, I had no idea what to do. It was a new venue that I hadn't been before, and everyone I knew was already inside. Forced to wait in line outside, with my phone on flight mode to conserve battery, I was left with no weapons. I had no one to talk to, no screen to bury my face in, and sobriety to keep me well aware of my surroundings.

Just get me inside, I thought, wanting to get the night started and over with.

After probably a good three quarters of an hour since I got in the cab, I was finally in! But I had to navigate through yet another obstacle- locating them. I was lost even though it was a tiny venue- I did not see any familiar faces, and to top it all off, the stares I was getting made me feel like a food item on a menu.

When I finally spotted my roomie, I immediately gestured to the cloak room. Now that I knew where I'm going, I needed a few minutes' breather. I sauntered back to the table, telling myself that I could do this.

He is stunning.

Those eyes, the beautiful smile, the strong, taut arms.

I smiled. I didn't know what else to say. I turned to the dearest. And smiled again. Seeing him smile back did little to calm me down. Despite everything, why do I feel like the stranger had no interest in me whatsoever? What happened to 'dying to meet me'?

I resigned to the fact that the roomie was probably joking and cursed myself for looking like a desperate hoe. Next time, I will have to be more careful.

I got around to chatting with the stranger. He seemed nice, though a little disinterested. What is going on here? Who is the other stranger clinging to the dearest like an elastic band? Why did the roomie ask me out?

Despite wanting answers, I knew I wasn't getting any that night. It was crowded, the music was loud, and I was late. The dynamics of the group was already established and I was merely a newcomer who has to learn the ways and fit in.

Hell no!

I was indignant as I thought of that. I am no pushover. I will NOT be taken for granted. Leaving the stranger alone, I started chatting to the roomie instead. Perhaps it was this act of reciprocal lack of interest that sparked his curiosity. I was asked to head to bar with roomie. The three of us walked off, with me in the middle.

It took forever for him to get his drinks. By that time, the roomie had disappeared, and I had made the choice to stick to someone familiar rather than wander off looking for people. I've done that once tonight, I wasn't going to again. If roomie and the others wanted to know where I am, they can call me.

Left alone, the not-so-mysterious stranger turned to me. "I hear you've a bit of a reputation," he said, smirking.

"What?" I said, fixing him with what I hoped was a knowing but not-giving-anything-away smile.

"I've heard things about you."

It dawned on me that while he was a complete stranger to me, I wasn't to him- he already had a preconceived notion about who I am. There was only one way to deal with this. If he thinks of me that way, it's better to close myself off and be the seducer that he thinks I am. I gave him the flirtiest, most confident smile I could muster.

"And yet you're still here," the siren said.

The man shrugged, his intentions starting to show. "You're very cute," he said.

"So what are you gonna do about it?" the siren said, laughing.

The stranger moved slowly, first grabbing the siren's hair, then moved his hand to the back of the head, pulling the siren closer to him. Finally, he went in for the kiss.

Looks like this night is a success after all, the siren thought while kissing the stranger back.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Oops!

"Is he staring at me?"

She was in one of those fast food drive-thru outlets, waiting for her cheeseburger to be delivered to her when she felt slightly uneasy.

She looked up from her phone and realised someone looking at her. 

A guy. 

An Eurasian guy. 

Okay....

What's going on? Why would a stranger pay any attention to her? She has to be imagining things. 

She turned her attention back to her phone. Just before she refreshed her Facebook page, she surrendered. She couldn't resist.

She casually glanced at his face. Blue eyes, sharp features, blonde. Not bad. Not bad at all. And all that gorgeousness were all still directed at her. She began to feel hot and it was not the Malaysian heat to be blamed. 

She gulped. 

He was obviously staring at her. But why?

He can't be one of those creeps that eye out women's handbags to snatch them at the first opportunity they can get right?

Nah, of course not. 

She was tempted to Google "Why is guy staring at me from afar!?" when she smirked. 

He obviously fancied her. 

"Drats!" she thought almost immediately. 

She didn't imagine meeting the man of her dreams this way. 

She thought she'd meet him in a Starbucks outlet and they'd laugh at how they both loved cinnamon on their caramel macchiato and secretly know they were meant for each other when they find out that they both live and breathe the same indie band or that author that only people with refined taste appreciate... people like them. And she'd seal the deal by being successful enough in her career by then to be wearing that expensive but oh so glamorous fire engine red dress she saw in Pavillion the other day.

But it was not meant to be. Today she was wearing flip flops and was in her oldest pair of denim shorts and in a T-shirt that screamed "GENTING HIGHLANDS THEME PARK". She wasn't even sure if she had combed her hair before leaving the house.

She buried her face in her hands. This is a disaster. 

She looked up. He was still staring at her unblinkingly. She gave him a little smile and looked away. 

Maybe it wasn't all that bad. She might not have a grown-up sophisticated story to tell at their wedding of how they met but she would have one that would put Disney to shame. It would be about a story of a guy who didn't know what he was in for when he entered into a fast food outlet in a foreign country when he spotted the girl of his dreams in the sea of better dressed people. It will be said that he noticed her glowing with confidence to leave the house in simple clothes and his poor heart stopped at how she pulled off the messy hair look so effortlessly. He will tell her (jealous and unmarried) friends about how he just knew from her eyes that she was kind and from her smile that she was everything he wanted in a girl, and more. Then they will toast with champagne in their glasses and everlasting love in their hearts and ride a stallion into the sunset and live happily ever after.

She nodded. She could live with that story.

She checked if her future husband was still paying attention to her. He was. 

So the future is set. But how is she going to get things to move along? It was difficult for her to resist spreading wedding invitations on Twitter but she was not so unwise as to be so impulsive. No, she would obviously have to have some form of conversation with the guy before he would get on a bended knee right? 
 
She was getting impatient. Why isn't he coming over and trying to impress her with a charming one-liner yet? She already had an arsenal of witty responses waiting to be unleashed!

She slapped her forehead. Of course. The guy is Eurasian. He's probably not so old-fashioned. He was obviously waiting for her to make the first move. 

Ah! Maybe this was a test! Maybe he was waiting for her to walk up to him. It was his way of seeing if she was a modern lady that would not be hindered by the conservative restraints of society. Oh how exciting!

Just as she was about to get up to prove herself, her future husband walked towards her table. 

Ah..... he's a gentleman after all. She KNEW he couldn't have expected her to make the first move. Chivalry is not dead after all and all that good stuff! 

"Excuse me, ma'am," he said with a weird accent. 

Okay, so he doesn't sound as good as he looks but she knows a good speaking coach that could fix him in no time. 

"Yes?" she smiled prettily. 

"Are you.....her?"

What? Okay, that has to be the worst pick up line she has ever heard. 

"Her". The not-so-boyfriend-material-anymore guy repeated himself while pointing at a poster behind her. 

She turned around and lo and behold there she was, blown up on a massive poster of the fast food company. 

"Oh...." she realised. That was why she was in the fast food outlet in the first place. Alongside with a small some of money for smiling at the camera while pretending to eat the unhealthy fast food of the company, she was given vouchers to use at any of that fast food company's outlets. 

"Yes, yes that's....me". 

"I knew it!" he exclaimed triumphantly. 

And just like that, he walked away from her, without looking back. 


Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Living Walker

Hey everyone! Sorry it has been such a long time since our last update. This story is one that I've had in my head for awhile now, and although is written as a short story here, I do think that it is something I would like to explore more. It just seems like a very fun and fast paced story that requires a lot of writing that I have not done before, so I think that it would be cool to go back and look at them in more detail. I definitely had a lot of fun writing it, but let me know what you think! 
-J

__________________________________________________

I really, really hate messes. But unfortunately when you’re working as a waiter in a dingy old restaurant, that comes with the job a lot. Tonight was just another night, spent clearing dishes and wiping stains off tables that disgusting customers leave behind. Why do they even do that, I will never know.

My life wasn’t so purposeless and routine all the time. It actually used to be pretty fun when I was growing up. Then I fell in with a different crowd, got shipped off to this godforsaken place all alone, with no friends, no money, and with no future. That’s my life. The work at the diner pays for my rent that also keeps the water flowing and the heater working in the apartment that I live in alone. Without it, I would be one of those homeless people living under train overpasses and deserted areas of the city.

Grumbling a little under my breath, I quickly sprayed the usual chemicals on the last table and hurriedly wiped it off. I was eager to get home. After all, what was the point of staying here more than I need to? It’s not like they’re paying me enough to afford any much more. Once that was done I strode into the back, grabbed my bag, and walked out. Another hard day’s work completed.

--

Darryl knew that something was wrong pretty quickly. As a Walker he has been blessed with greatly improved senses. But that was also a worry- he could tell that his pursuer was quiet. Very quiet, unlike most people- which makes them even more dangerous. Taking a deep breath, he got ready for the fight. He slowed his footsteps to allow time for his pursuer to catch up, then when they were in range, he turned back and at the same time, swung his feet in a perfect kick.

What happened next surprised Darryl- the person under the hoodie easily dodged and with a swift punch, had Darryl lying on the ground. Not about to be outdone, Darryl flew to his feet and immediately prepared himself. This time his attacker made the first move, with a strong front kick that was so quick and powerful he barely managed to block it, taking a few steps back. Before he could gather himself his attacker threw something at him.

Screaming as the blade hit his abdomen, Darryl could only watch as his attacker then landed punch after punch so hard that he could no longer stand. When that happened he was grabbed by the collar and pushed against the wall.

‘Who are you?’ Darryl moaned. ‘What do you want?’

Laughter ensued.

‘You don’t know? I was sent here to kill you,’ Darryl’s attacker replied as he pulled the knife out from Darryl’s abdomen and stabbed Darryl in the chest. Another piercing cry filled the night.

‘Why?’ Darryl asked weakly.

‘Because you are a Walker,’ the hooded figure replied. ‘And I will kill every last one of you’.

It all became clear to Darryl now. He knew who sent this man. His last thought before the knife was brought to his throat was that he hoped the two had hidden themselves well.

--

It’s been an old habit of mine not to listen to music while I’m walking home at night. It sounds like a very paranoid thing to do, but I do know that many bad things happen because people weren’t aware of their surroundings.

I was almost home when this man jumped out of nowhere in front of me. By then my instincts had kicked into overdrive. I saw that he had a shiny knife- I wasn’t about to die like that. Quickly, I swung my bag at him, but he dodged. Damn, he’s fast, I thought. By the time I had finished that thought he already had me in a choke hold.

Struggling, I knew my time was running out. But I had one last trick up my sleeve.

‘Ow!’

And with that kick to the crotch, I got up, grabbed my bags, and ran for my life. But not before I heard the words ‘darn Walker’ come from the man’s mouth.

I don’t know how he found me, or what this man wants from me, but I do know one thing- my past is coming back to haunt me, and it could very well cost me my life.


Time to pack up and leave.  

Saturday, 9 March 2013

The troubled mind



Heyo mayo everybody-o!

I am in the midst of exams.

That should explain my absence and the inspiration behind this story. Enjoy. 

With my backpack slung on one shoulder and a ring folder in one hand, I was getting ready to leave the library when I saw James.

“Hey James!” I whispered as loudly as I could.

He waved and gestured for us to talk outside.

I nodded and smiled. I had been looking forward to talking to James. I just watched the YouTube video he shared with me last night and was eager to tell him what I thought of it.

He finally emerged and with not even a hello, or how are you, he said “How did you find the Chemistry paper?”

My smile ran away from my face. For a second, I felt the living daylights sucked out of me once again. I clenched my folder even tighter and released a soft sigh.

Chemistry. The Chemistry paper. That DARN CHEMISTRY PAPER.

“Um…..” I began. “It was…..”

“Unbelievably easy right?!  I can’t believe they’d set the standard SO LOW this year! I mean I expected it to be much worse, honestly!”

I smiled weakly.

“Actually…”

“And it was so easy that even EMILY thought it was a piece of cake! I mean, that girl sleeps in class!”

“Um, James? I, uh, need to um, go. I’ll catch you some time this week?”

“You alright, Susan?”

“Yeah, yeah. It’s just that… I forgot I needed to do something”.

I said a hurried bye and headed the opposite direction of where James was heading. I didn’t know where I was going. I just wanted to be anywhere that was not beside James.

Sigh.

I can’t even think about Chemistry or look at my Chemistry lecturer without feeling my heart pump a little faster, shoulders hanging a little lower or my spirit feeling a little dampened.

It was bad.

It was so, so bad.

It’s not like I didn’t work for it. In fact, before the paper, I felt so ready. I did all the preparation I could. I stayed up late for many nights trying to memorise everything and I did. In fact, I spent so many nights studying that it felt like it was just last night I was downing Red Bull desperately trying to memorise just one more thing before I called it a night because it might just make the difference in grade. I really wanted to do well in it. I was desperate to, in fact, because Chemistry is my favourite subject. I worked so hard for it. I have pages and pages of practice exercise to prove it. Colour pens that I’ve exhausted to show my hours of labour. Mountains of notes to show how I took this seriously.

Suddenly, my phone rang. I snapped out of my day-dream and realised I didn’t know where I was because I was so lost in thought. James’ name flashed across the screen. I gulped and pressed the red button on my phone. Why, James. Why?!

When the exam came, I just…. I don’t know. I had forgotten things that I knew even before my first day in Chemistry class. For some reason, the hours just flew by so quickly and I was only halfway through my paper when the invigilator said that we only had 15 minutes left. After that, I experienced the worst 15 minutes of my life. After the exam, I just picked up my bag, avoided all eye contact and went home to  bawl my eyes out  watch TV . I was so sure I was going to fail and unless you've been in this situation before, you wouldn't know how infuriating and depressing the whole situation is. If only I could turn back time.

Speaking of time, it was only then I realised how dark it was getting. I then realised just how alien this place was to me. Where was I? James tried calling me again. I ignored it. I needed to find my bearings. The streets were so unfamiliar and I had no idea where I was. I wiped a tear on my face and made sure I boarded a bus that would bring me home.

It’s so unfair. I worked so hard for it. I know my Chemistry textbook inside and out. Ask James. Ask my lecturers. Ask my classmates. Ask the Paul the janitor or Emily the kind canteen lady. They’d tell you how dedicated I am to my work. I work harder than anyone else and now I’m the only one that found the paper hard? Sigh.  I just wish all that effort wasn't so wasted, ya know?

I eventually reached home. I took off my boots, removed my coat and dropped my bag on the floor. It was frustrating that all my effort didn’t show itself on its paper. I don’t know what went wrong. Why did I do so badly? Did I not pay enough attention in class? Am I not smart enough to call myself a Chemistry student? Did I not prepare hard enough to get through the questions quickly enough? Suddenly I wasn't sure why I thought I did badly for the exam. What ACTUALLY happened? All I felt was the familiar frustration build up in me again. Maybe my anger was blinding my memory. 

My phone rang. This was the third time James was calling me. My frustration rose again as I thought that I wouldn’t be in this emotional turmoil if James simply didn’t bring up the whole Chemistry paper. GAH! I threw my phone on the sofa. The ringing stopped immediately.

I sat myself down on the sofa. It was only then did I realise just how exhausted I was roaming aimlessly around town and wrestling with this emotional turmoil. I began to relax a little and eventually fell asleep.

“RING! RING! RING!”

URGH.

I woke up from my sleep. It was James. For the first time I felt bad for ignoring his calls. Maybe I should answer his call now. But must be midnight now, so what business does he have calling me at this hour?

“Hello?”

“Susan? Susan? Hello?”

I suddenly woke up. The sun was blinding and my neck was aching. It was....day time? What happened? Where am I?

“SUSAN WAKE UP!!!”

“Huh?”

 “Susan, please get up! You have only 15 minutes left!”

“What?”

I sat up straight immediately. Around me were rows and rows of tables. Everyone was frantically scribbling on their papers, papers were viciously flipped, there was a strange sense of silent tension around me. A bearded man at the front of the room was shaking his head at me. Mr Patrick James, my lecturer was beside me with a bewildered look on his face.

As I slowly came to my sense, I looked down on my table and saw in large, bold, capitalized letters:

CHEMISTRY FINAL YEAR EXAM.


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Obsession, Part Two


Tuesday, May 10, 1978

Maxwell was an artist! Today I found an old comic that he drew by himself. How I knew this, I’m not sure. There was no name or anything proclaiming that he drew it, but I just had a feeling that he was the man behind it all. It was a fine piece of art, and I stopped my research and began reading it.

I’m sure that if Maxwell survived, he would have gone on to become a great artist.

--

What are the odds that Maxwell’s comic was still there? I mean, it survived all these years of abandonment and the changing of tenants! Intrigued, I started reading it too.

It tells the story of a young boy who moved into a new home with his family, and started becoming obsessed with a family heirloom until it consumed him.

‘My name is Michael. My life was never meant to be a story. Until I read the atlas. That darn atlas. At first, I thought it was a gift. Now I really see that it is a curse. A curse that I hope ends with me.’

--

Thursday, May 31, 1978

Is it odd that I somehow feel that the comic is now mine? I feel like I am its owner now. It’s quite unbelievable, but that’s how I feel. Maxwell is an amazing artist. I feel everything that Michael feels. I see everything that Michael sees. I know everything. It’s as if I was being sucked into the comic itself. It really is spectacular.

--

I was on my way home that day when I felt like getting a cup of coffee. Stopping at a local diner, I ordered my favourite cup of cappuccino to bring home, but not before telling the waitress to take care not to spill the next order, which of course she did. How I knew this, I do not know. But it feels awesome! When I got home, I started reading Jack’s journal to see if this ever happened to him.

--

Thursday, June 7, 1978

This is exhilarating. I have never felt so amazing in my life. It was just like what Maxwell said. First, I started seeing things. I saw how time passes by. I saw patterns in human behaviour. I see everything. Today, I told Colin to go to his locker to get his spare clothes so that he would not get wet. Nobody believed me until a car passed by and the puddle of water nearby splashed into Colin as a result a few hours later.

Michael must have felt this way too. I don’t know how to explain it, but it is exciting- it’s as if I inherited Michael’s psychic powers somehow. Suddenly, everything has become clearer, sharper. As time passed by, I began to expect and predict events. I could tell when Dad would be back from his work, I could tell when Mum would announce that supper’s ready. I could tell when a car would pass by the road outside the estate. I feel truly invincible.

--

I went for a boxing class today, and it was amazingly fun. I knew exactly where my opponent was going to attack and could defend myself against her. After my lesson, the instructor told me that I’m a natural at this.

Life in this small town really is turning out well. I think I might find a way to document this experience. Maybe I should record videos everyday? There’s no point in uploading them online, but it would be nice to have a collection of my memories somewhere.

On my way home, I was too absorbed in my thoughts to warn the girl to not let her cellphone ruin her life. I should have paid more attention; I could’ve prevented the car from ramming into her.

--

Friday, October 13, 1978

Something is not right. My head is getting flooded with things and patterns. It feels like it’s exploding. In the past few months I’ve witnessed too many accidents and events that I could have prevented that I fear I am slowly losing my mind. I’m starting to lose my focus in smaller things- I can barely pay any attention in school, I can barely eat. All I can think about is everything that’s going on in my head.

I found some journals that belonged to Stanley Beck, Maxwell’s father. According to it, Maxwell had started getting disoriented and started hallucinating. His lack of awareness and ability to care for himself wasted him and caused him to contract a weird disease. Apparently, he had then infected the entire family one night.

What this means, I do not know. All I know is that if this doesn’t stop, I’ll have to put an end to it myself. I already know where I can find the quarry. That would be a fitting place.

--

‘Oh shit’, was all I could say as I shut Jack’s journal. 



-----------

And that's the conclusion! With this story I was really pushing myself trying to write this exactly as I had imagined it- trouble is I had envisioned certain parts of the story only and so had to fill in the blanks and so this really pushed my creativity and writing skills. Hope you enjoyed it! 

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Obsession, Part One


Hey everyone! This week I decided to write a story without using prompts. Midway through writing it however I realised that it was too long for our standard entries so I shall be splitting this story into two parts. This is the first part- hope you enjoy. Please read & review!

---

I never imagined that my life would change so abruptly. I thought my life was going nowhere- I was stuck in a place where I was constantly shunned, where I had no friends, and no company at all. I kept being told that things would get better, but nothing seemed to be changing- I really thought that that was it. I was going to be stuck in a depressing life.

But that all changed when my parents surprisingly bought a new home in the countryside and forced us to uproot our entire life to settle into a new place. It was easy for me of course, but I could tell that it was stressful for Mum and Dad. It definitely wasn’t easy for them having to change jobs and everything, but I was grateful that they were still willing to do this for me.

It was a huge estate that Dad had bought with his hard earned money. It was a small town where everybody knew everyone, so I was quite nervous about not fitting in- but that all went away when I met my friends. Plus, there was all this greenery and space for me to roam around during the day, so I could also occupy my time exploring my wonderful new home.

I had a great time, and my life could not have been better. Every day there was a new place to explore. One day, I decided to silence my fears and went into the basement which had always creeped me out. It must have been from the stories I’ve read and movies I’ve watched, but I was not going to let this irrational fear take over me.

I’ve never understood the purpose of basements. If you had such a huge estate you could easily build a shed to store your belongings. But upon entering this basement, I started to see why. This wasn’t just a basement to store tools; it was where the previous tenants had kept their precious belongings.

How long have this been here? I wondered as I leafed through all their belongings. All I knew about them was what Dad had told me- that a family used to live here, until their son died in an accident and they decided to leave town and move elsewhere. The house was abandoned for many years, until now. Beyond that, I knew nothing.

My attention was brought back to my surroundings when I spotted a diary. Blowing the dust off the cover I saw that it belonged to a Jack Coleman. I flipped to the first page. After a few pages I gasped. This was the boy who died!

Saturday, January 15, 1978

I can’t believe Papa and Mama moved us here. I hate that Papa got the job offer. Why does he need to bring all of us here anyway? I have no friends here, and everyone seems to already know each other in school. Just today I thought I had a friend in Colin, but he was clearly not interested. What else can I do? Just spend my time here I guess. Every day I run around this estate, exploring every nook and cranny. But one very interesting idea came to me today. I want to research and understand the previous family who lived here, and why they left. After all, what else is there for me to do?

‘Honey, time for supper!’ my Mum yelled, which brought me back to reality.

--

That night, I spent the entire night reading Jack’s diary.

Monday, April 5, 1978

I found it! I have been at the library almost daily trying to find records of who used to live in our estate. I now know that it is called the Beck Estate, after the Beck family. The entire family died here, but I could not find any information on that. Tomorrow, I will search for more. But I wonder what would cause an entire family’s death. I hope it isn’t a murder, that would be awfully bone chilling and I would have some sleepless nights for sure.

I can now proudly tell others that Stanley Beck used to be the owner of this house, with his wife Maria, and his kids Nicholas, Isabella and Maxwell. Not much is written about the family; it appears that they were quite reclusive. All I know so far is that Mr Beck was in the farming business, and that this huge estate used to be a corn farm. 

From old school records, I have also gathered that Maxwell was quite the scholar. He may be the youngest, but he is definitely the brightest. He’s won everything from the local math competition to the spelling bee contest. I think I would have gotten along with him well.

My next research target would be the basement. I have always feared the basement a little, but I think it is now time to finally venture there. It says that the family kept their most prized possessions there, and I overheard Father saying that he might want to clear it out soon.

I wonder where this obsession with the Becks would lead.

--

I could not believe myself. I had stumbled upon something historical and monumental! This is amazing. I found that I could not stop reading Jack’s journal. The more I read, the more I understood. Maxwell had died of some disease that was common back then, but he had also infected the whole family. It was quite a sad tale- an entire family perishing just like that.

The more I read, the more absorbed I became. What happened to Jack and his family? Did he die of some disease too? I wonder where this obsession with the Colemans would lead…

--

(to be continued)