Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The Salesman

I met him at a popular London hotel, where I was at for a business meeting. He sat across the lounge, a head full of dark, curly hair and looking immaculate in a dark blue three-piece suit. Despite his dressing nothing in his behaviour suggested a businessman, for there was an air of languor about him—from the way he allowed the winged chair to take all his weight, leaving only his crossed legs to dangle loosely, to the indifferent manner in which his eyes roved across the room, carelessly flitting from one observation to another.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

My Windows Login Screen Is Scaring Me

I know, I know. I never should have upgraded from Windows 7 to 10.
But hey, hindsight is 20/20, okay?

Monday, 13 March 2017

Breakdown

All my life I’ve hated physical exertion of any sort, so I considered it life’s way of giving me the one-finger salute when I found out that the lift at my new apartment broke down frequently enough to make me wonder if the building super and my mom were colluding to get me to exercise.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Perspicacity

I don’t know where to start. I guess it doesn’t matter, really. Writing it all down won’t change my mind. But letting someone out there know, it just seems so important you know?
My parents always thought I was a perceptive child. In a way, I was, but just not the way they imagined.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

The Counsellor

If there was one thing Calvin absolutely loathed about his life, it was school—his schoolmates, in particular. It is a sad fact of life that teenagers can be exceedingly cruel to one another, especially to those who are different. And there was no one more different than Calvin.

The Play

We were all a bundle of nerves.

Mrs Wren bustled here and there to make sure everything was OK. She tinkered with the props, went through the lines with the actors and actresses one last time and made sure nothing was out of place.


The rest of us huddled in our own little groups, fidgeting nervously. There was an unspoken prayer on everyone’s lips.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Melody

I’d known Melody since we were eight. Even at that tender age she was always quick to announce to the world at large her one true passion—music. Her mother was a violinist of international fame, a late bloomer who started shining only in her late twenties—a rarity in a field teeming with child prodigies.

I heard Mrs Wong play once, when I was ten. It was at the Carnegie Hall in New York, and she had kindly given me a ticket to join Melody in the audience. It was the very first time I remember being moved to tears. Every note, every strain hit me in places I never knew existed, drawing out each trembling strand of emotion into rivulets down my cheeks.


Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Death's Deputy

It could very well have been you that I saw on the bus that day. You looked up and saw me staring, and you blushed. I looked away.

And I told Death, No.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

The Statue

The dealer was effusive in his praise for the artwork. It was just so life-like, he gushed. It wouldn’t be cheap, he admitted, but it was well worth every penny the artist was asking for it.

I knew the drill. Let the dealer do the talking. Don’t ask about the price until you’ve seen the piece.

Don led me down the gallery, his stubby legs practically dancing with excitement. He was very bad at hiding his emotions when he smelt a potential sale in the offing. I’d asked him to join me and my poker buddies for our weekly game countless times, but he’d always politely declined. Perhaps I needed to work on my poker face as well.


With a flourish befitting a maestro, he flung aside the cloth covering.


The Teacher

Mr Lane was our Math teacher in high school. He didn’t stand out in any way, and his lessons weren’t particularly interesting. He was just—always there. Always there in his usual button-down shirt and pants, earnest in his hope to interest us in algebra and isosceles triangles and whatnot. Seldom was he successful though.

But we all knew he was a kind man. Mel went to him when she found out, at fifteen, that she was pregnant. She didn’t want to have an abortion, so he helped to arrange for the baby to be put up for adoption after it was born. He helped out Brandon when his deadbeat dad just upped and left him without a word, letting him stay at his place for a while until the county found him foster parents in our town.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

The Carnival of Lights

It has been years since I left my hometown, and I don't think I'll ever return.

I do miss the timeless idyll of the country, the sultry, gently undulating hills and the cool, quiet sanctuary of the woods. I can still picture the night sky in my mind's eye—the endless black canvas speckled with glittering stars, so vivid and clear they seemed within easy reach of your hand. Even now, the remembrance of the lonesome, poignant howls that would sometimes emerge at night from within the darkened grove stirs within me a deep desire to return.

But I have sworn never to step foot within that cursed town again. Not after what happened.


Saturday, 4 February 2017

My First-Ever Encounter with Ghosts Was on Everest

I'd be the first to admit that in my youth I was a travel junkie. I've been to more places than I can recall, and truth be told, looking back it seems most places are awfully alike. I mean, yes, there are certain landmarks and sights that will stick in your mind long after you have left it behind, but those are few and far between.

Mount Everest, though, is something out of this world. Now, I'm no mountaineer, nor am I some inveterate adrenaline junkie. In fact, it may well be the only mountain I've ever climbed (I didn't reach the summit though). My first (and, I'm pretty sure, last) serious climbing expedition more or less came about through sheer chance.