evening house

Evening traffic was a slow moving metallic sludge, flowing both ways between KL and PJ. Dark cars inched slowly beneath low hanging dark purple sky. I was falling asleep behind the wheel and the remnants of the coffee in the green and white tumbler proved too inadequate to keep me conscious. The road ahead was the same as the road behind: a single stretch of cars driven by sleepy strangers. The deepening grey of the day was lighted up one by one as drivers flicked on their on their headlights. I did the same as I reached the junction that led to a slip road leading towards a row of bungalow houses sitting in between thick, heavy trees. It wasn’t even a choice, I needed to get off the road or crash into someone. I applied the indicator light to the left and swerved into the road, before going up the rise to the narrow entrance of the compound of a brown colored house. There were three parked cars nestled in the front porch. The cars looked familiar, but I couldn’t place where I had seen them, or who the owners were. I managed to squeeze in my car on the last fourth spot and stepped out. The rain’s consistency surprised me. How was it possible for the volume of raindrops to remain the same for the past three hours? It was neither a downpour, nor a drizzle. Somewhere in between where the skin of the exposed person gets drenched within 15 seconds of being out in the open. I ducked instinctively and made for the main entrance. The glass sliding door was slightly ajar, as if someone knew I was coming and had it open just for me. “You’re late,” a deep female voice sounded. “I’m sorry. Traffic was horrendous,” I answered. In the gloom of the living room I could make out the slim built of an attractive woman with sad eyes sitting in on red wing chair. She stood up and reached for me. I caught her hands and kissed them. She smiled.

“It’s dark in here,” I said.

“You know how he is. He can’t stand the light. Says it makes him dizzy.”

“I need to lie down and take a nap. Otherwise I’m liable to fall asleep behind the wheel and end up smashing some other car. Is there a room available for me?” I asked.

“You know there is,” she said. She reached out for my hand then pulled me up the stairs to a narrow corridor, where she stopped halfway. “The last room on the left,” she said, “you can use that.” I nodded at her then walked to the room and opened the door. It was a cozy room with a small lighted table lamp on a side table by the bed. I took off my shoes, my socks and then my jacket before laying down on the quilt. I shut my eyes and stretched my legs and arm. it was like landing on a cloud. I ignored the sounds of someone crying in the next room, and swiftly fell asleep.

I woke up several hours later to the sharp smell of fried onions. It took me a full minute to remember where I was. Evening House. I was at the Evening House. I dug out my mobile phone from my pocket and checked the time, it was almost midnight. I sat up in surprise.

“You’re awake,” she said. I turned to the voice and saw her sitting on the chair beside the bed. “You slept like a baby.”

“You mean I cried, tossed and turned, and made sucking noises?” I said with a smile.

“Something like that,” she said.

“I smell food. I’m hungry. Does that make sense?” I asked.

“Supper’s almost ready. Wash up and join us downstairs,” she said. She stood, reached down to squeeze my toe then quietly left the room.

I slipped off the bed, and walked to the window to see the world outside. The row of cars were still there, inching slowly in the dark. Who were these people? I wondered. Where were they going? I did as advised and washed up, feeling well rested, stronger but very hungry. Maybe it was one of those special supper nights? I could be so lucky, I thought.

And lucky I was. It was indeed special supper night. The others were seated around the table holding their fork and knifes looking up in surprise at me as I walked down the stairs to the dining room.

“You’re up early,” someone said. I smiled at him and nodded.

“I’m hungry,” I said. They nodded back at me in silence. The kitchen door swung open and she walked in holding a huge tray with a large silver dome.

“Starters,” she said. Everyone at the table banged on the table in a good nature way, making it a more celebrating outbursts than anger. I sat down beside a thin woman with large bosoms and smiled at her. She beamed up at me and banged the tbale even louder. As suddenly as they had started banging the table, they stopped immediately when the silver dome was removed. They stared in wonderment at the huge, roasted turkey that glistened with oil and green herbs.

“Please keep some space for the main meal, okay?” she said. Everyone looked at her, nodded, then started attacking the turkey. I joined in and came away with three large pieces of the white meat. I was starving so I pushed in the pieces in my mouth. The others dropped their cutlery and just grabbed pieces of turkey with their hands and started ripping it apart. They too were hungry like me, apparently. Everything was gone in five minutes. She appeared shortly from the kitchen, her head poking out from the kitchen door and said, “Are you ready for the main meal?” I joined in the jovial shouts of yes and yes damn it!

“Okay, you look ready!” she shouted back. Then walked out from the kitchen holding a leash attached to the neck of a teen-age boy. His mouth was stuffed with a piece of potato and his eyes were sewn up tight. Both his hands were tied at wrists in front of him. His whole body was covered in oil and green herbs.

“Yay!” everyone shouted. I shouted too, but my voice was drowned out by the others.

“Make room on the table!” she shouted. The woman beside me stood up and shoved the remains of the turkey and the tray it was in aside with both her arms. The others pushed their plates, glasses and cutlery aside in similar fashion, causing the whole room to resonate with the sounds of smashing glass and clanging silver.

“Grab his arms and legs please,” she said, shouting above the noise. Four people took a limb each laid the teen-age boy on his back on the table, then proceeded to tie the limbs with thick ropes already positioned at each of the table legs.

“I want his cheeks!” the woman beside me screamed, “I have dibs on his cheeks!”

Another guest shouted, “I want both his palms!”

Pretty soon the whole room started to place their dibs on specific body parts. I was happy with any pieces but I had a thing for the softness of the tongue. It was chewy and it had bite.

“Everyone, please,” she said, “let’s not be savages. We’re all civilized here.”


It was the morning after the job, and Jacob was feeling lost. It was more a feeling of hollow emptiness with a base emotion of guilt and restlessness than anything else. He was feeling as if the universe had overlooked him and he was walking quietly along a huge empty floor in semi-darkness with no horizon in sight and nothing to do. I’m too old for all this shit, he thought. He was supposed to be on leave now, to relax and take it easy. His doctor had repeatedly told him to not take his job too seriously. But could he really? He bet his doctor would shit his doctor pants if he knew what he did to pay the bills. Yes it was glamorous, and yes it had its’ share of excitement and thrills. And yes, it did cause him stress. But it was worth it because the pay was exceptionally good. It was a balance between work and play that had to be looked after, the doctor had told him. And he agreed with the man one hundred percent.

Mr. Billings was not expecting his demise the other night. Jacobs stood in the large patch of deep grey shadow of the living room, and announced his presence by releasing a deep, raspy cough. It was totally unintentional as the phlegm proved too itchy to swallow. “Would you like a moment to reflect?” Jacobs had asked. Billings spun around towards the sound of his voice and gasped in surprise. “Okay, maybe not,” Jacobs said. He leveled the Walter PKK attached with the tubular silencer and pumped five bullets into Billings; three in the face and two in the chest, one for each nipple. Billings crumpled to the floor in a messy heap of twisted arms and legs, blood pumping out through the bullet holes like an overturned jug of red rose syrup. Jacobs stood over the body for a moment and quietly exited the double story bungalow through the kitchen door. The money came into his account two hours later, followed by a smiley face sms’d to him on his smartphone.

Now this; this feeling of dissatisfaction and something else. Guilt? Fear? Horror? He decided it was guilt. He stood up and stretched his sinuous body, his bones popping like mini fireworks. “I’m good,” he said finally, rolling his both his shoulders and punching the air. “I’m good,” he said again. He went on to have a hot shower and a breakfast of scrambled eggs and toasts washed down with hot black coffee. Whilst picking at his food he swiped his iPad to read through the local and international news. None of them mattered to him. Until a small article literally blinked at him from the corner of The Daily Earth Online. It was a last minute news update and it had a blurred snapshot of him leaving Biling’s house. He double tapped the column and waited with bated breath as the information bloomed in front of him. It was a full bodied shot of him in his black shirt and blue jeans stepping halfway out of the kitchen door. He was looking down, so all that appeared was the streaks of white and silver in his thick black hair. The headlines read: Pedophile Murdered. Below the photo was the line: Suspect seen exiting the scene of the crime. Jacob took a sip of his coffee, then started reading the article. For the briefest of moments, he felt the encroaching blackness of mental suffocation. Who took his picture? Why was the job reported so quickly? What’s going to happen next? He gave the screen one last glance then gulped down the remaining coffee. He looked around and assessed the time needed to clear out. It was part of his SOP to be able vacate his residence within 10 minutes. It took him 5. He gripped his overnight duffel bag, took the lift down to the lobby then slipped into the stream of pedestrians hurriedly walking down the broadwalk of the hotel. He had three destinations to choose from: safe-house 1, 2 and 3. He chose safe-house number 2. This meant that he had to take a specific route to get there. A myriad of pathways spread throughout the city along several public transportation. He was tempted to take his black Carmen Ghia, but he decided against it. Losing himself in the mix of strangers was the best.

It took him three hours of roadwork, subway trains and buses before finally arriving at his destination. It was an old, lived-in house in the middle of the suburbs with a footpath that led to the back of a busy train station, a multiple options along the freeways. Jacobs had made it a point to be present at all his safe houses by getting to know the neighbors under different monikers. At this particular location he was a consultant on horse breeding, which meant that he was traveling for most parts of the year. The people living there knew him as a soft spoken gentlemen who was friendly but slightly reserved. As he approached his house, Jacobs tried to recall the person he was supposed to be. He vaguely remembered the outline of the personality.

Too Many Teeth

Dr. Kay tried to recall in detail the expression of the child who told him that his step-dad had too many teeth in his mouth. He jotted it down and had it dictated on his recording machine; but he failed to remember how the boy looked like when he revealed the dark secret that was disturbing his 8 year old mind.

He looked resigned and terribly worried. Which was not an easy thing to achieve when you’re that young. He had seen similar expressions over the years as a psychiatrist, from men and women, but never on a child.

Too many teeth? What did that really mean.

The subsequent session Dr. Kay had taken the extra effort to seek out the young boy’s step dad as the man walked in through the door with the wife. Dr. Kay was surprised to meet a medium built man with a slightly timid stance; smiling broadly and nodding. Did he have too many teeth in his mouth? Dr. Kay could not ascertain as the man had his mouth clamped shut. It was the wife and mother who did all of the talking.

So Dr. Kay asked the boy what was the worst thing a person with too many teeth could do. The answer took him by surprise and sent a single shot of chill down his back.

They eat people faster with more teeth.

Why? Dr. Kay had asked.

Because the flesh can be easily chewed.

Midnight @ Mickey Dees

It was a crisp and dry night; the tires of the heavy car ate the road in one continuous swoosh. The whispering wind seeping through the partially open window systematically pulled, shaped and destroyed the curling smoke of the cigarette hanging from the mouth of the driver. He was miles away, deep in the dark caverns of his distracted thoughts. His passenger, a beautiful young woman with thick perfect hair looked out the window and wondered for a moment if this was how the future would be for her; an endless ride through silent streets headed for nowhere in particular.

They stopped for food at a 24 hour Mickey Dees, finding the perfect parking lot right alongside the retro-built restaurant. Scores of other cars parked alongside the out roads suggested a quick-jump-in-dash-out attitude of midnight eaters.

She wanted the chocolate sundae, and the man just wanted coffee. She needed energy and he needed the bitterness. The found a booth and settled down. All around them sat seasoned night crawlers already waist deep in the business of existing murmuring to each other and peering into screens as their fingers tittered over the lighted keyboards and keypads. Did they just walk into an aquarium of future people taking a breather from the high speed pace of conveyor-belt life? She wondered.

A small commotion from the kitchen behind the counter made the man turn around. One of the workers was backed up against the coffee machine as three of his co-workers cornered him, trespassing his personal space. One of them had a finger brought up against the terrified worker’s face. It wasn’t speech which the man heard from where he sat, it was noise; deep guttural sounds interspaced with vicious hissing. Two of the co-workers grabbed the frightened waiter and pulled him to the back of the kitchen.

“Did you see that?” the girl asked her man.
The man just nodded, focusing on the other workers behind the counter. One of them, he noticed, was wiping his mouth with the back of his hand leaving a streak of what looked like blood.
“What happened?” she asked. The man shrugged, he gave the counter staff one last look and turned around.
“Finish your ice cream and lets go,” he said.
“You haven’t finished your coffee,” she said.
He frowned at her.
“Why?” she asked. He waited until she finished her sundae, then gulped down his coffee and stood up. The girl had wanted to stay on, as the 3 hours drive had made her sleepy and she had a thing against sleeping in moving cars. The Mickey Dees stop was to revive her mind and prepare her for the remaining drive.
“We have to leave now,” he said. The other people at the restaurant seemed oblivious; bent over their own personal thing. As the man was about to leave his booth he heard a shout from the counter, this was followed by scuffling as the previously cornered waiter was trying to jump over the counter, but failing as his co-workers grabbed him before both his legs could swing over. They pulled him down to the floor and started to kick him viciously.

The man stood still a moment, and then grabbed the girl. As they were hurrying towards the door, one of the waiters leapt over the counter and bounded to the door, blocking the man and stopping him from walking out the door.
The waiter shook his head, and snarled. The man saw what he was expecting to see, two rows of sharp teeth inside the mouth of the waiter. The girl screamed. The man reached into the side pocket of his cargo pants and whipped out a foot long extendable metal stick and swiped the waiter’s face with it in one deft move. He quickly inserted it back into his side pocket and shoved the badly bleeding waiter out of his way. He pushed the door open and pulled the girl. There were shouts behind him and the distinct sound of hurried footfalls behind him. His objective was clear and direct: get into the car, lock the doors and get the hell out of there.

News of the massacre reached global trending for both Twitter and Facebook several hours later. Witnesses accounts were varied and too broken to resemble actual reporting that made sense. Key words kept emerging; dark figure with long hair and sharp claws attacking the midnight Mickey Dees crew and some customers, and the blood, lots of it covering up almost half the floor space of the restaurant. That was the mystery there, as there was no body to suggest someone was actually killed or died from the loss of such a lot of blood.

The man released a long sigh. He was tired. The girl beside him, despite her thoughts on the matter, was fast asleep. Her beautiful face framed by her beautiful hair as it shifted and changed with the temperaments of the night wind coming in through the window. The thin single streak of blood running down the side of her mouth was the only indication of what she was. The man stepped on the accelerator and pushed on ahead into the night. Feeding time was for another 8 hours. And he was getting hungry himself.


Yes (what happened after Ghostgirl)

 Andrea had wanted the signature chocolate from Starbucks; that’s how it all started. Honestly, there was nothing at all before this, absolutely zero reason for everything to come crashing down around me like a soiled house of cards.


It all began with me stretching out on a Saturday morning alternating between consciousness and unconsciousness on the bed whilst admiring her body as she did her yoga movements. She had both her legs stretched out behind her and in front of her as she arched her back, gently letting the tip of her fingers on the right hand touch the back of her left thigh. What made her all the more enticing was that she was wearing a very small tank top, and a very short pair of running shorts. I wanted to launch myself off from the bed and persuade her to pleasure me, but the previous night’s 2 hour nap kept me in a vicious hold of fatigue. So all I could do was observe and admire. She knew what I was doing and she deliberately started to sweat; long trails of sweat sliding down her back, between her cleavage and all over her forehead. Her short spiky hair glistened tantalizingly with sweat.


“This is not for you,” she said, without looking at me.

“Yeah, I know. Funny why you should be doing it right beside the bed, on the floor though,” I said.

“Its too hot and bright downstairs. Anyway, the neighbor’s kid likes to stare.”

“Pokey likes to stare at you?” I asked.

“Pokey is 14, of course he likes to stare at me,” she answered, “he’s a boy-man.”

I considered this for a moment.

“I remember my 14th year fondly,” I said.

“Yes, I remember. You told me.”

“At that age, the magic secret was masturbation.”

“Yes, I remember that too. You told me.”

I sat up.

Andrea was now on her stomach, both hands pushing the floor as her back arched backwards, the folds of her inner tights exposed.

“You’re asking for trouble, you know that, don’t you?” I asked her.

“You need to get me the signature chocolate darling. I’ve been needing one for the past three days. Three days ago you said you’d get me one. I still don’t see it.”

I stood up, the blanket falling off my back, exposing my shirtlessness and my long boxer shorts.

“You have? Strange. I don’t remember,” I said.

“Go now, and you may be in time for my mid-air leg split. You like that, as I recall,” she said, finally turning around to face me.

“I like what comes after that, honey.”

“Yes. I have four more movements before I get there. So go now, and you may make it on time.”

I quickly slipped on my jeans, grabbed a tee shirt, my wallet and phone and hurried downstairs.


By the time I reached home the sunny disposition of the house was replaced by a dull grey atmosphere of impending rain. The brightness of the last half hour was sucked away somewhere. I raced upstairs with the signature chocolate in my hand and burst into the room. Andrea was not there. Instead there was Pokey.

It was awkward but I had to ask, “Where’s my wife?”

“She’s gone out to get the chocolate,” he said, sitting innocently on the bed with a book in his hand.

“I was supposed to get that,” I said.

“You were? I suppose she didn’t trust you,” he said. He continued staring at me, his large eyes looking me up and down.

“What are you doing here?” I asked.

“Your wife asked me to.”

“For what?”

“To let you know about the chocolate,” he said.

“She couldn’t call me?”

Pokey shrugged, and pulled out a mobile phone from underneath one of the pillows on the bed.

“Out of battery,” he said.

“Please leave,” I said.

“But she told me to wait.”

“Now,” I said.

He stood up, looking annoyed.

“She’s not going to like it,” he said.

“Downstairs and out the door, now,” I said. He stormed out, and dropped the book he was holding loudly on the floor; it was a copy of my first book.

“She won’t like it,” he repeated.


Andrea returned later in the evening, the signature chocolate was by then cold and irrelevant. She looked distracted.

“Where the hell were you?” I asked.

“Did you get my signature chocolate?” she said.

“Where were you?”

“Somewhere,” she said. “Oh darling, you got my chocolate!”

“Pokey was here. In our room. Why?” I demanded.

The distracted Andrea appeared not to have heard me.

“You know who I met just now?” She asked, looking into space, smiling. “Ice Balls.”

It took a moment for me to register the name. Mr. Iglooetta. The dickhead who stole my wife, killed a friend and spent some time being the punching bag of bipolar Filipino house helper. That Ice Balls.

“He said I looked good,” she said, now smiling shy but still staring into space.

“Pokey was in our room Andrea,” I said, “why?”

She snapped out from her brief reverie and finally focused on me.

“He was? How did he get in?”

“I was hoping you could answer that, seeing that you were still around when I left the house to get your signature chocolate drink. You made me rush like mad, and then you disappeared.”

Andrea giggled, “Sorry,” she said.

“You’re acting weird,” I said.

“Am I? Must be the heat.”

And then I noticed that she was wearing the same short, short running shorts and the very tiny tank top.

“You were outside wearing that?” I asked.

“I guess so,” she said, still smiling, “I  guess that’s why he said I looked good enough to eat.”

“Who? Mr. Icicle Dick?”

“Hmmm. Yes.”

My phone rang suddenly. I answered it and was surprised to hear a man’s voice asking for Andrea.

“That must be Anton,” she said, reaching to grab the phone from me.

“Who?” I asked.

“Ice Balls” she whispered.

Before she could grab the phone I pulled out of her reach and asked him what he wanted to from my wife.

“Catching up on old times, you don’t mind do you?” his silky smooth voice slipping through the phone, giving my ear a liquid gold shower.

“Fuck. Off,” I said, then pressed the red button.

Andrea shrieked and made a grab for my phone.

“What was that?” she asked, looking terribly upset.

“His real name is Anton?” I asked.

“I was waiting for that call, now you’ve done it.”

“Done what?”

Andrea ignored me and stormed out the room. From another room she shouted “I was waiting for that call!” Then the door slammed.

That was the beginning of the end for me and Andrea. I tried the door but it was locked.

“Andrea, what is this? Why are you so angry at me for not allowing you to talk to that bastard. Don’t you remember what he did to Toni? He killed her. Shot her in the head. But before that, he stole my wife. Now she’s a porn star in Taipeh. He’s a dickhead Andrea. Everyone know’s that. Please let me in.”

“No!” she shouted.

“You’ll have to come out sooner or later, theres no toilet in there. and I know you need to use the toilet. You always do when you come home.”

That was when I heard the window smash. I kicked the door down just in time to see Andrea slipping out into the night from the 2nd floor of our house.


The news reached me three days later. My neighbor, Pokey’s overweight mom, came over with a written note. It was in in her bad hand writing that I read of Andrea’s plan to join Anton.

“This is like, the second time huh?” she asked.

“Yes it is.”

Pokey was standing behind his mother, looking at me. He was smiling.

“You don’t really know how to keep your women, do you?” she asked.

 I thanked her and told her to go home.

“Now,”  I added, shooing the both of them from my porch.


This time around ghost girl was not around to call and give me supernatural advise. She was dead. She had been dead for 2 years now, killed in a car accident. It was on the same day she told me my work in progress, my life, was complete and that I should be really happy. And then she left the café where we had coffee, stepped out to cross the street and kablam, she was hit by a speeding bus. It was unfortunate I had to witness her body being smashed into four large identifiable pieces.


I had traded my old beetle with a new pick up truck, choosing the same black color of my previous car just to maintain some level of consistency. It was the first thing I bought when I cashed in my first million dollar cheque. It was a good day that day. Both me and Andrea had picked it up from the show room, driven it to a secluded place only we knew and had sweaty sex for three hours. We came home barely alive, but deliriously happy. That was three years ago.

And now this. What is this? I had no idea.


 I sat in my truck and contemplated my next move. I had no next move. I had no idea what to do or where to go. Working alone in the comfort of my study did not afford me many friends or contacts with advice on what to do when your wife runs off. The situation worsened when an asshole was involved, as assholes tend to fuck things up in so many ways. So I did what any reasonable man would do, I started trailing the areas where my wife normally goes; our neighborhood where she jogs, the shopping areas where she does the groceries, and the eating places where we eat. It took me most parts of the afternoon to make several rounds of her haunting places but as I knew deep down, it yielded a big fat zero. But I wasn’t ready to go home yet. I had to know.

It was 2am when her call came through, she sounded tired, but happy.

“You don’t have to look for me, honey,” she said.

“You’re back home?” I asked.


“Stay there, I’m coming home now. Don’t move!” I shouted.

“Wait,” she said, “I’m not at our home, I’m at home with Anton.”

I was driving aimlessly when her call came through, and I braked suddenly when she blurted out that sentence. Two seconds later my pick-up truck shook as a driver behind me crashed into my vehicle.

“What? I don’t understand,” I said, understanding perfectly what she was telling me.

“Its really not that complicated,” she said, her voice sounding sane and clear.

“Don’t I have a say in this?” I asked.

A sharp rapping on my window broke the flow of conversation.

“What?” I turned to the window.

It was a fat man in a tight tee shirt pointing to my face and then to the back of my car. I lowered the window.

“Please, hang on a second, please,” I told him.

The man actually did.

“Listen,” I shouted over the phone, “you can’t do this to me, its not fair.”

“It is to me, it is to me. Goodbye.” She hung up the phone, and switched it off. I tried calling her but it was useless. I sat there a moment until I noticed the fat man waiting for me outside the car.

“Okay to talk now?” he asked.


His name was Mokhtar and he was on his way to pick up his daughter from the KL bus terminal when I suddenly stopped the car in front of him, causing him to smash into me. He didn’t want any trouble, and neither did I so we traded numbers; mobile and identification with both of us testing and sighting the others’, then we were on our way; him to pick his teen-age daughter coming home for the holidays, and me to an empty house.

I reached home, parked the car, got into the house, locked the door behind me and started stripping off my clothes piece by piece. By the time I reached my room I was naked, but I was not alone. I switched on the lights. She screamed first, I jumped and almost fell backwards down the stairs but I didn’t, instead I instinctively covered by genitals with both hands and shouted, “What the hell are you doing here?”


Some things happen for a reason and sometimes, you just don’t get the reason yet; it only makes sense much later.


Andrea was completely lost to me. How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found? Where do you start? Since I work from home, or from anywhere I place my butt and power up my Mac, I had the pain of eating up blocks of daylight hours fretting over the loss of my wife, taking apart permutations piece by piece. Was it my fault that led her to want to be with the asshole? Was I to blame? Could it be her? Him? Both of them? Were they seeing each other much earlier than day zero? And if so, what kind of magic was Ice Balls applying to make her leave me?


When the both of us screamed that night in unison, part of me wanted to punch her in the face, and part of me wanted to pee right there. She was the living, breathing and screaming version of Toni. That’s right, Toni the Japanese lady who had half her head blown off by Mr. Ice Balls himself, in his state of near death. It was her younger sister Ame. I screamed out in fright that night because there was another person in the house, in the dark and also because for one brief moment I thought it was the ghost of Toni wanting revenge because she believed I was part of the reason she was dead.


Ame had her own story to tell. So after I put on my clothes, we settled down at the kitchen table with a pot of black coffee two mugs and an open packet of Oreos. When news of Toni’s death reached Japan, her father flew into a rage and threatened to make it an international incident, drawing in powerful political figures into the fray to basically kick Malaysia’s ass for allowing a Japanese citizen living in the country to be murdered. He came close to making that happen but stopped short when he suffered a stroke and died shortly after. Ame’s mother was too stunned to do anything and Ame was too lazy to take up her father’s fight. Only when it was learned that Toni had left a sizeable estate in Malaysia was she compelled to make the trip to see things for herself. She needed the money for a physical reconstruction; essentially to widen her otherwise lovely doe eyes, and to enlarge her slightly less-than a handful pair of perky breasts. She was very animated and completely not shy. In other words, she was exactly like Toni. At some points during her tale, her facial expression drew a chill from me, as I briefly believed it was Toni that was in front of me and not her sister. They looked the same, but they were not. Where Toni was a sturdy, voluptuous woman, Ame was tall and lanky; where Tony was handsome, Ame was incredibly beautiful. But both women were very attractive. As I sat there I found myself concentrating on her chubby lips, her darting eyes and the way she kept sweeping several strands of hair from her face to behind her left ear. She noticed me looking at that way and blushed.

“And now you’ve lost Andrea, your wife,” she said.

I nodded.

“Must feel terrible to have it happen twice,” she added.

I shrugged.

She sighed, and then looked around at the kitchen.

“I like this kitchen, its very cozy,” she said.

“It is. Its my favorite room in the house,” I said.  Then it occurred to me. “How did you get in the house? I had the alarm on.”

She smiled broadly, and then shifted her head to the left.

“Ah, my ever friendly neighbor,” I said.

Ame smiled and giggled. “They must annoy the hell out of you.”

“You got that right.”

She sighed, then stood up.

“I must be going,” she said.

“You’re staying at a hotel?”

“I will be staying at a hotel. Haven’t decided which one yet,” she said.

“Stay here instead,” I said, “there’s a spare room with a toilet, and theres a TV in there as well.”

She shrugged, raised her eyebrows and pursed her lips.

“You don’t mind?”

“Not a little bit. Where’s your bag?” I asked.

“I came like this. No bag nothing.”

That night, for the first time in 3 days since Andrea left, my head was occupied. As I lay on my large bed beneath the twirling blades of the ceiling fan, thoughts of Andrea clashed repeatedly against Ame. Why, I wondered. Without thinking, I grabbed my mobile and dialed Andrea’s number. Somewhere in the dead of night, it rang.


“Andrea,” I said, suddenly afraid.

“Who is this?”

“Please come home Andrea,” I said, “please come home.”

“Who is this?”

“Andrea it’s me.”

She paused a moment.

“I’m with Anton now, as I should be. Now go sleep with that whore Ame. I know you’ve been wanting to all night.”

I yelped and sat up straight in bed. It was 5am in the morning and the mobile phone lay cold on the dressing table across from the bed. It looked dead.

I couldn’t sleep so I got off the bed and wandered downstairs to the kitchen. Ame was reading a book at the table, her face hidden by it.

“Hey, you’re not asleep,” I said.

Ame slowly put the book down and revealed her face. For the second time that morning I yelped. It was Toni with half her face blown off. But I could still make out her broad grin.

“You thought it was Ame huh?” She said.

I yelped again and backed out of the kitchen slowly, my eyes on the horrific face as it followed me. Her one eye was squinting, a result of the gunshot.

“Is that the way to treat an old friend? Come on!” she said. She was being very realistic about it, I could tell from her voice.

“But you’re dead,” I said.

“I guess,” she said. “But that don’t mean I can’t come visiting. Especially old friends who are about to join me anyways.” She smiled so broadly that her remaining eyeball popped out from the socket and dropped on the kitchen table with a soft thud.

“Oops!” she said.

And I didn’t wake up.

Toni grabbed her runaway eyeball and popped it back into the socket.

“I thought you’d understand, you know, you being a writer and all that,” she said.

I stood there, not sure of what to say. I was scared yes, but I was also fascinated. She was my friend, when she was alive, and there was sexual tension between the two of us, and right now, her long solid legs looked fantastic coming out from a pair of ridiculously short pair of running shorts. And it didn’t help matters that her large breasts were barely contained by the small half tank top.

“Take it easy tiger, you’re growing a banana there,” she said.

“Oh,” I said, noticing my erection.

“You are one sick person, you know that? Sit down and lets talk. You don’t have to look at the remains of my face okay?”

That sounded very Toni-like; reasonable, convincing and reassuring.

“So how’s things with you? Not good huh? Andrea going off with the prince of ice. Yeah, don’t look surprised. I know stuff. Anyway, Ame’s been telling me stuff. Oh, hi Ame.”

I spun around to see Ame standing by the kitchen door smiling sleepily at her dead sister. She was in her underwear and my long white tee shirt I keep in the guest room.

“Hey Toni,” Ame said.

“Is there coffee?” she asked me.

“You know about this?” I asked.

“Toni? Yeah. How did you think I know where you lived.”

“This is one hell of a realistic dream,” I said.

Toni looked at Ame and shook her head.

“It’s not a dream, okay? Here, touch this,” Ame said, grabbing my hand placing it on her cheek. It was incredibly soft and cold.

“I don’t think you can really feel that in a dream, can you?” she asked.

“I guess not,” I said.

“Good. I’d like to make a pot of coffee if that’s all right with you,” she said.

“Of course. Please, I need some too,” I said.

Toni looked at both Ame and me and nodded, “Now that’s what I want to see.”

We spent that morning catching up on stuff. I related to them what happened after Toni was shot in the head, and Toni recounted her time in the morgue and the attendant who shat himself when she stood up to tell him she was okay. We laughed at that one. Toni had to control her laughter to avoid having pieces of her rotting face fall off. I suggested bandages, but she said it itched like mother’s titties to have her face covered up so like it or not I had to stare at the decaying face throughout the morning. Ame was perfectly normal with the sister’s face, in fact she looked bored at some point.

“I’m going back to sleep,” Ame said, after yawning widely.

“Yeah? So am I,” I said. I was dead sleepy.

“Let’s cuddle,” Ame said, “we’re friends now.”

I looked at Toni, her half-gone face smiled.

“I have no issues with you guys nodding off in the state of embrace. Just don’t do each other. At least not yet.”

I looked at Ame, and she shrugged. She took my hand and led me to the guest room and slipped beneath the covers. I joined her and spooned her from behind. We were unconscious within a matter of minutes. My brief inclination towards arousal was dampened by sheer fatigue. I wasn’t too sure about her as the last thing I remembered was her wriggling in my embrace trying to find the perfect hold.

The rain fell heavy that morning, shutting out the noise from the confused state of my mind.

I woke up much, much later in the day. The rain had stopped and the sun was a golden strip which laid across the floor. Ame was snoring gently, curled up with her head on my arm. I slowly moved my arm and sat up. Was this what I wanted? Was this the substitute for Andrea who was with another man right that moment? I wasn’t sure. I was tempted to go back to bed and snuggle up to Ame and see where that took us, but I felt compelled to step outside the house and see if the world was still there.

It was. The evening world was bright and cleansed; a breath of fresh air and the sweet distinct smell of pine trees. Andrea was standing at the foot of the porch, staring at me with a sad look on her face. She walked slowly up the porch and into my arms. We said nothing for a few minutes.

Ame appeared at the doorway, her underwear revealed as she stretched out to express a yawn.

“That’s Andrea?” Ame asked.

Both Andrea and me turned to her. I nodded. Andrea disengaged herself from me and turned stone cold.

“Who is that?” she asked. She had a strange expression on her face.

“Toni’s sister, Ame,” I said. I was curious to see how this little episode would expand.

 “I leave you for two days and you’re sleeping with another woman,” she said.

Ame walked over to Andrea and said, “Oh, we’re not sexing each other. We’re not. I just came last night. I’m sleeping over. You’re Andrea right?”

I never expected Andrea to be the type to hit people, but her arm shot out and she decked Ame in the face. Ame dropped to the ground. I grabbed her before impact and held her up.

“Okay, hold her,” Andrea said, readying for another hit. I held out my hand.

“That’s enough Andrea. How the fuck do you come back here and get fucking angry at me for sleeping with another person when you disappear on me like that?” I said. I was calm when I delivered those questions.

Andrea stood back and a look of utter confusion played across her face.

“I missed you, baby,” she said finally, her face melting into a smile. “I missed you.” I believed her for the briefest of moments. Until her smile turned into a snarl. She grabbed my neck with both hands and throttled me, before angling her head to take a chunk out of my neck. This time Ame decked her, and it was powerful because Andrea was knocked out cold. At that time I heard car tires screech and looked up to see a small Myvi speeding away up the street. I could only manage to catch a glimpse of a perfectly groomed head. Mr. Ice Balls.

We laid Andrea on the sofa in the living room and tried to revive her by gently slapping her face and sprinkling ice water on her face. She was out.

“Its not the punch that did her,” Toni said. She emerged from behind the sofa and I almost peed in my pants.

“What the hell were you doing there?” I asked.

“I just appeared here, okay? I wasn’t hiding here. There’s a difference,” Toni said.

Ame who was sitting beside Andrea looked up at her sister and asked, “Then why is she like this?”

“She’s not in control of herself, obviously,” she said.

“I don’t understand,” I said.

“I didn’t think you would,” Toni said. “She’s possessed. The thing that’s inside her is under the control of someone.”

“Anton?” I said.

“Who?” Ame and Toni asked at the same time.

“Mr. Ice Balls,” I said.

“Yes, Mr. Ice Balls,” Toni said.

The three of us were quiet.

“That makes him a complete asshole, doesn’t it?” Ame said.

“Yes it does,” I said.

“So what can we do?” Ame asked.

“Toni, don’t you know how to deal with situations like this? You know, considering, you know, your condition,” I said.

Toni looked at me with her good eye and smiled, “Just because I’m a walking dead person, you think I know?”

“No,” I said, “its because you deal with this stuff when you were alive. Remember the witch in the jungle? Remember her? Me and Andrea driving all the way there to find out stuff for you.”

“Oh yeah, I forgot about that,” Toni said coyly.

And then Andrea coughed. It was a small cough at first, then it became louder and more powerful. At the end of 2 minutes she was whopping it out, her chest rattling with each explosion. Blood was coming out from her throat; she couldn’t stop coughing. I held her close, embracing her hard to stop the coughing. Her coughing subsided but in its place she had started to giggle. It was a tiny giggle at first; deep throaty, then it heightened, one pitch to another. By the time she was wailing and laughing out loud both Ame and Toni had scampered halfway across the living room to the dining area. I sat there and clung on to Andrea as hard as I could. In my terrified state I was also very angry; angry with the asshole son of a bitch who did this to her. I was mad as hell. Finally the laughter slowed down and she had stopped shivering and shaking. She slumped against my damp shoulder and released a long sigh.

“Surprise,” Andrea whispered. She rose a few inches above the sofa and looked down on me with a vicious smile; her lips pulled back and her eyes wide open.

“Surprise!” she screamed, as she rose right up to the ceiling, near the spinning blades of the fan.

“They are coming,” Andrea, shouted, “they are coming for you. Andrea is no more,” she said, as she floated out the door and zipped up skywards into the night. That was the last I saw of her.

 “I wasn’t expecting that,” I said weakly.

“No shit,” Toni said, slowly getting up and letting go of Ame. “Powerful stuff.”

Ame stood up and said, “Holy shitty Toledo in a frying pan. How the hell do you explain that?”

Toni looked at me, then at her sister. “That’s nothing. If the horde is coming your way, then the best you can do is run and hide.”

“You think?” I said.


The following day we crept around the neighborhood trying to cover up Toni with a hoodie so that her good side of the face was more visible than the bad half. Ame was still clad in the tee shirt and underwear and was making me aroused at the wrong times; at the petrol kiosk, when I leaned out to pay at a toll booth, and when we had lunch at a mamak joint by the side walk. She kept tugging at the tee to cover her legs but it only drew attention to her very long legs.

“You know Ame,” Toni said, “its really not helping.”


“You tugging at the tee shirt. Every male species here is looking at your legs,” Toni said drily. Her face was fully covered up the hoodie, and as a result she was also the a point of interest from the other mamak stall patron.

“Its so hot here,” Ame said to Toni, then to me, “and you.”

“What?” I said.

“Just you.”

 “I’m hot?”

“No, not you. I meant you must be hot too. The weather.”

“Lets just go back, okay? We can’t avoid going back.”

We drove back in silence, both sisters sitting at the back, looking out the window. Ame lowered the window and snuck a smoke.

“I don’t mind, really,” I said.

Ame shook her head and chucked the cigarette out the window.

“You’re not helping, you know that? I’m trying to quit,” she said.

We reached home and cautiously walked up the driveway to the front door. Toni was behind me and Ame was behind her. They weren’t helping me calm my nerves, but I was glad they were there with me. I unlocked the door, and pushed it open. The inside of my house was a directly expression of the outside of the house, only dirtier. A huge uprooted tree was placed upside down in the middle of the living room, and surrounding it were pieces of what looked like animal flesh and blood; I could make out an eyeball, two hoofs and a piece of snout. The smell was unbearable.

“Fuck,” Toni whispered.

“Fuckfuckfuck,” Ame echoed.

“I really wasn’t expecting this, you know?” I said. I was stunned, but beneath my shock I could feel the slow but steady rise of anger.

“I’m going to kill him,” I said quietly.

Toni pulled back her hoodie and stood in front of me, putting her face in my face.

“You think?” she said.

“I don’t care what happens, after,” I said, “I just want to strangle him and watch his eyeballs pop from his skull. Then I’m going to punch a hole in his sternum with a fork. And with the same fork I’m going to rip open his balls.”

“Very nice,” Toni said.

Ame closed her mouth with one hand and with the other hand pointed to the dark corner of the living room. Andrea was on her knees looking up at us with unusually large eyes, one hand digging in the belly of a dog’s carcass, and the other hand feeding her face with the entrails of the dead dog. Her mouth was hanging open, thick ropes of mucus and blood hung from her bloody lips; her mouth chewing loudly.

“Hello darling,” she said, her voice a raspy, air-sucking sound.

“Hello Andrea,” I said.

“I see you’ve brought your Japanese whores. Hello Toni. I see you’re well. And not all dead.”

Toni raised her hand and waved a little.

“You must be Ame. You have a vicious punch for someone so sexy. It’s just not fair.” Andrea started to choke on the dog meat, and then she threw up. Gush of green vomit poured out from her screaming mouth, creating a sizeable pool of thick gunk on the marble floor. After a while she stopped puking, her shoulders were still shivering from the explosion. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.

“Oops,” she said and giggled.

“You’re not going to fly away, again are you?” I asked.

“Maybe,” she said.

“I wish you wouldn’t. Its not natural.”

Andrea scuttled over to us suddenly, causing both Toni and Ame to shriek and tumble over each other to get away from her. I realized that Andrea was wearing the same short shorts and the small tank top. Her skin was filthy.

“Anton did this to you, didn’t he?” I asked.

She nodded, smiling. “He fucked me good and dirty.”

“I’m sure he did,” I said.

“I’m his whore now,” she said, standing up finally.

“I’m sure you are,” I said.

She tilted her head and peered into my face, closing in.

“You shouldn’t judge us. Its true love. Me and Anton. Oh hi Anton,” she said.

I spun around; I caught a glimpsed of his perfect smile, which was shortly eclipsed by his large fist. I dropped and my face smacked the cold floor. Before I passed out I heard both Ame and Toni gasp.


The darkness was never-ending. I was sucked to the floor but I could the dimension of nothingness expand all around me, making me smaller by the second. It was dizzying; to get small so fast; I could even hear the whistling air zipping past.

“Baby, wake up,” she whispered.

I was tied to the single beam in the middle of the living room with both my hands behind me.

Andrea whispered in my ear, “Anton is going to kill you he’s going to slit your throat and let the blood pour out. You’ll die from rapid blood loss.”

I could see Toni sprawled face down on the floor several feet from me. Ame was nowhere to be seen.

“Where’s Ame?” I said.

Andrea bit into my earlobe and tore off a piece.

“Anton’s schooling her on how to be whore.”

I didn’t scream out, I held it all in and shut my eyes. My hands were not that tightly bound. All I needed was half an inch of slack; that was enough. I struggled like mad but there wasn’t enough slack to make it work. Andrea laughed out loud, that little piece of my ear fell out from her mouth and landed with small plop on the floor.

“Its too late. He’s done her. She’s his now. She’s like me now.”

Ame crossed in front of me to get to Toni and knelt beside her sister. She was sobbing as she pulled up Toni from her facedown position. Anton had obliterated the remaining half of Toni’s head. It was pulpy mess of hair and smashed skull; no eyeball, no nose, no mouth. Ame cried out loud with her head hanging back, crying to the world.
















Living in Our Cars – non-fiction sarcasm

 By the look of things, it seems that we have no choice but to move on with the times and start making arrangements to live in our cars. We can start with establishing our favorite color schemes, the type of curtains we need and of course, the pillows and blankets of our choice. I would recommend that the driver and passenger seat upfront be joined in the centre so that the driver and lean sides to rest his weary head, whilst the passengers at the back can either stretch sides or, flatten the back seats to collapse on the trunk at the back so that legs can be stretched there. As for food storage and entertainment, once again we can use the trunk space for a small refrigerator and the ceiling of the car to place the television screen, as both passengers and driven and lie back and watch the latest DVD.

If all goes well, family members or friends with own separate cars can arrange to meet at a certain place and ‘join’ respective vehicles / homes together to create a small community. The only difference from traditional communities is that this particular community will be mobile and may break up, expand or re-establish on the basis of space availability, busy work schedule and the fickleness of traffic lights.

The world is turning into one huge parking lot so why not start making plans now. In my car trunk I have a suitcase with the following items: a white shirt, a pair of black pants, some underwear, 2 bars of soap, a beach towel, several paperback edition of a modern classics (Da Vinci Code, Stupid White Men, and the Life of Pi), some money, a tooth brush, tooth paste (small), shampoo, tee-shirts, jeans, 2 pairs of black socks and 2 pairs of gym socks, a pair of shorts, a tank top and a comb. I’m already making plans to add in 8 bottles of mineral water, three packs of batteries, several cheap mobile phones, several pre-paid top-ups and some chocolates. I’m getting prepared for all eventualities. How will the future really look like with the current heavy traffic and the endless deadlines and meetings we all have to attend no matter what: miles and miles of bumper to bumper highway traffic jams which will evolve to become “linking cities”, linking one city to another non-stop. Public transport will in turn, be used as public hospitals and public recreation centres. There will expert trainers, training the linking cities citizen on how to walk and run on the slippery roofs of cars, how to forage for food (public transport will also be used a supermarkets) and how to take hot showers from the back of a static petrol tank.

And it will be wonderful.

Welcome to the future. 


Daylight was a thin orange line along the distant horizon pushing hard against the pressing weight of the departing night. The potent chill of yesterday’s sleep made me draw warmth from the thin blanket, a futile effort.  Paula was deep in slumber; her tired body curled up protecting herself instinctively.

I knew they were coming even before I heard the rumble of their pick-up truck. They weren’t too worried about being careful, that showed misplaced confidence.

Three crept up the steps and the fourth stayed in the truck with the engine running. It was going to be an easy job, they figured. I kept an eye on sleeping Paula and tightened my grip on the only weapon available to me in that tiny room; a pair of scissors.

Blood scares people; pain kicks in shortly after; that’s a fact. When he poked his head through the door, I reached out and clipped off his left ear, it fell to the floor with a ‘plop’. It took him the whole of three seconds to realize what he’d lost. He grabbed the bloody stump where his ear was, felt the open softness of where his ear used to be and brought up something liquid to his nose to sniff, confirmed by the dim light of the landing what it was he was looking at was blood. That three seconds was sufficient for me shift from one side of the door to the other, where I kicked the door sharply against the side of his face. The axe fell from his hand with a loud thump. Paula turned in her sleep. I picked up the axe, raised my leg, placed my foot against his mid-section and kicked him back against his other two accomplices, at the same time pulling the door shut behind me. Paula did not need to see the subsequent carnage.

All three tumbled down the stairs like choreographed cartoon characters. Their stunned faces briefly made available to me by the small light bulb above us. The axe in my right hand came down between the eyes of intruder number one, and the scissors in my left hand punctured the neck of intruder number two. As for number three who was struggling beneath both his friends I lent my whole weight on his head snapping his neck as my foot bore down over the ledge of the third step.

The first blue of the morning was expanding over the horizon as I crept alongside the truck to the side of the getaway driver. He was sitting there, looking at the door where his three friends have failed to emerge from. I knocked on the window with the axe, slightly gleaming with the blood of his friend. He jumped and turned around, staring at me with impossibly large eyes. They seemed ready to pop out from his skull.

“Get out,” I said, holding up the axe.

Incredibly enough, he did. If it was me, I’d probably drive off, make a u-turn and run him down. But he wasn’t me. As he stepped out of the truck, I shouldered the door hard and caught both his legs at the sheen with a loud crunch. He screamed. I rammed the door again, and again then opened the door to let him fall out to the ground, the white of his eyes more visible than the black.

“Who sent you?” I asked him.

He gasped, grabbing hold of both his damaged legs. I dropped the axe on his face, cutting his screaming face diagonally. I didn’t need to find out either way.

By the time Paula woke up all three bodies were taken care of. I had piled them up at the back of the pick-up truck, drove it to the bridge, and then unloaded them one by one into the dark, deep waters below.

“Hungry?” I asked her, as she stretched her head from under the blankets. She nodded.

“Eggs on toast maybe?” I asked. She nodded, and smiled.

“Coffee,” she croaked. I smiled.

“Coming right up baby.”

She came down to the kitchen in my old Dark Castle Comic Con 2008 tee shirt, the large size covering her down to mid thigh. She sat at the table and took a sip of the coffee and smiled.

“Nice,” she said.

“You haven’t brushed your teeth, I know,” I said, “but I still love you.”

Outside the world was in full swing; the young raging sun lighting up the ground and the strong blue sky above cupping the world in an endless shade of forever. We drove over to the lake around lunchtime, carrying with us a small cassette player and two bottles of ice-cold ice lemon tea. We were looking for a big shady tree to settle down under and make love. It was our special day. And we had been planning for it for weeks. Paula found a good spot to lay the blanket; it was beneath a big old acorn tree, full of dark green leaves and strong sturdy branches.

“Who were those men this morning?” she asked me, as she settled down in my arms.

“Business associates. Ex.”


“I thought you were asleep.”

“I was at first, and then …”

“Lets not,” I said.

“I’m not so light and fragile as you think I am, baby,” she said, turning around so that she could fix her beautiful eyes on mine.

“I have certain capabilities too, you know,” she continued.

“I’m sure you do,” I said, “but for now, it’s me that’s taking care of you.”

She stared at me for the longest time.

“You know I love you, and I won’t let anyone hurt you,” she said finally.

“I know baby,” I said.

I woke up suddenly. The searing pain shooting up both my legs jolted me into consciousness. I was in a sitting position, both my arms locked down on the armrest. My feet seemed stuck to the floor. I peered over edge of the seat to see two large nails pounded in.

“If you’re wondering what happened to your slut wife, we raped, killed then burned her. We kept a trophy though, just to let you know we don’t fuck around.” The bald fat man I recognized from my previous past was naked from the waist up, his sloping man tits shivered as he hoisted Paula’s head and held it in front of my face.

“She died screaming. Pity. She was a good fuck.” This remark by baldy caused the other two men in the small room to chuckle.

“Tino here took her from behind. You shoulda heard her scream,” he continued. I shook my head, trying to keep my head clear. My mouth was gagged, but I was screaming.

“Goto here did the cutting.” As if on cue, a hirsute man with a scar running from the left side of his face to the bottom right of his mouth raised his hand and nodded, smiling broadly.

“Me, I don’t really like violence. Especially violence to women. No, not me. Not my style,” sloping man tits said.

“I’m old school that way. I shoot people in the head. Neat, clean, fast. I don’t like to linger over death.”

He grabbed my hair and pulled my head back.

“But you, for you, I’m a changed man. I’m going to enjoy causing you pain.” He turned around and reached out his hand, a crow bar was placed in it.

“I’m going to take out your teeth one by one. How’s that for starters? Then I’m gong to rip your tongue out with my bare hands. And then I’m going to work on the ears.  Snip –snip.” He pulled aside the gag and jammed the crowbar in my mouth, taking with it two of my front teeth.

“Not very handsome now are we?” he asked. He stepped back, and backhanded me across the face with his closed fist.

“Go it,” he told the other men. They took turns snapping my head left to right, back to front with their gloved fists. By the time they were through, my head was a pulpy mess.

“You don’t have kids, do you?” he asked.

“Looks like you won’t be having any, that’s for sure.”

It was the same pair of scissors I had used on his men. He held it in front of my eyes, snapping it open and close.

“Guys, remove his pants please,” he said, keeping his eyes on me.

My soaking pants were pulled down to my ankles.

“His boxers too,” he said. They came off.

“Keep your eyes on the scissors, will you?” he said.

I kept my eyes on the blades. Watched it glimmer briefly against the darker sun outside.  How many hours was I out? Four? Five hours maybe? Last memory I had was a sudden chill followed by a shadow as Paula and me and fell asleep beneath the tree.

“This will hurt. Castration. Will hurt like a bitch from hell.”

It was really happening.

He smiled.

There was a cough. Fatty baldy looked up.

Tito looked around.

Goto looked puzzled, then screamed as Paula’s head he was holding coughed again. He dropped it to the floor and stumbled backwards and tripped over his feet.

“Let him go,” Paula whispered, her head resting to a stop on the stump.

“Holy shit!” baldy screamed.

“Let him go,” Paula repeated.

Tito, backed up to the door, opened it and ran. Goto did the same, leaving just the three of us in the small room.

“Baby?” I said.

“I love you,” Paula said, her face a mask of sadness.

“Holy shit! You’re talking to her!” Fatty man said.

“Let him go,” she said.

Baldy was quick to recover.

“Or what? What can you do? Bite me?”

“Look behind you,” she said.

Baldy spun around, and screamed as the burnt, headless body of my wife limped towards him, dragging along a damaged foot that was twisted backwards. Her blackened body was caked in crusted blood, but her fingers were still intact and strong looking, stretched out in front of her; the stump of her neck gurgling with blood.

“Kill,” Paula whispered. The burnt body lunged at fatso. He screamed and released a stream of hot piss down his pants as he struggled to get away. The strong and very capable hands dug into fatty’s folds of fat around his neck, puncturing it deep with the sharp and red nails. Light blood streamed from his neck.

“Let him go,” Paula said, her eyes never leaving her body.

The hands released the fat man briefly.

“Now,” Paula said. Fatty-bald shook violently as he untied me.

“Now do the feet,” Paula said. The nails were dug out and my hands were released from the bindings. That was enough for me. I grabbed the nails from his trembling hands, gripped them and thumped them into his unbelieving eyes, slamming them home with the base of my hand. Rivers of blood flowed from his sockets; he screamed.

It was easy looking for Tito and Goto. They were hiding in the backseat of the pickup truck. I took man tit’s gun and put two in each of their heads at the nape of the neck.

Paula smiled before the remainder of her life fizzled out. She looked sad, her body lay slump on the ground unmoving. I was crying as I carried her head in my hands. The energy that kept her going was quickly dissipating, like the hissing air escaping an opened balloon. I cried and cried, bringing my face to hers, as she smiled her last smile and slipped away.







Mr. Bolero

Mr. Bolero caught sight of Miss Beverly Kum one late afternoon in the shade of the Hilton as she was trying to negotiate the heavy traffic on foot with a stream of never-ending cars. It was a battle of will and a curious mix of sheer courage and irresponsible craziness as she darted past cars, slowed them down with an upturned hand and stalked past the blaring horns. It was also starting to rain and the elements were against her from the word go; the wind, whipping her dark dress around her slender but incredible legs, and the rain, forcing her to cover her head with her hands as it pelted her relentlessly.  But she made it across and successfully hailed a taxi. Mr. Bolero watched Miss Beverly Kum from the rain-speckled window of Starbucks with interest and memorized the number plate of the taxi she slid into; expertly pecking at the Apple’s lighted keyboard, engaging the system with an inquiry on the taxi owner, his passenger and the GPS lockdown of the vehicle’s destination. He smiled. Made it just in time, didn’t you? Mr. Bolero thought.

He found her out and proceeded to communicate with her. A simple text message, “Are you free for coffee?” he asked. Miss Beverly Kum replied, “Yes. But you better be either rich, or hung like a horse.” Mr. Bolero chuckled and sent, “Yes to both.” Her non-response meant that she agreed.

It was the next day; the late afternoon sun caught the dust motes in its golden rectangle as it swirled madly when Miss Beverly Kum walked through the door. Her entrance briefly raised the heads of the patrons who were otherwise deeply engaged with their own glowing screen. She found Mr. Bolero sitting in the shadows smiling patiently at her as he stirred his coffee.

“Miss Kum,” he said, “you’re right on time.”

Beverly Kum lowered herself gently on the seat in front of Mr. Bolero and said, “Mr. Bolero, you’re early.”

“I’ve ordered ahead for you, I hope you don’t mind,” he said.

“I’ll let you know when I see it,” he said.

“Okay,” he said.

“You know, you look exactly like how I’d imagine you’d look,” she said.

He took a sip of his coffee, placed it carefully on the saucer and shrugged.

“Really, now. I’m glad to know you have a mental, visual opinion of myself.  And that you deduced it correctly from those few words I sent you. Either that or you’re just saying it to please me because you see me as a potential client.”

Beverly Kum picked up her purse, opened it and took out a compact mirror. She studied her face, adjusted her eyebrows and returned her gaze to Mr. Bolero.

“Client is such a strong word, Mr. Bolero,” she said. “I prefer to use “good friends” instead.”

Mr. Bolero chuckled but said nothing. His smiling eyes followed her eyes.

“What do you do, Mr. Bolero?” she asked, breaking free from his heavy stare.

“I made a machine that’s currently making me a lot of money. I don’t work but I travel a fair bit. Not unlike you, I’d imagine. You look the seasoned traveler yourself, which is quite unusual seeing that you’re still very young.”

“Age has nothing to do with it, Mr. Bolero. You should know that. You made your first million at 14.”

Mr. Bolero smiled broadly, “So you did do some homework on me. I’m flattered.”

“You’re not the only with system engagement on the net, sir.”

Mr. Bolero looked at her and sighed. He removed his fedora and placed on the armrest; his hair a shock of grey and black, matching his thick moustache.

“You’re very handsome,” Miss Beverly Kum said.

“You’re very beautiful,” Mr. Bolero countered.

The food came and to her surprise, it was exactly what she wanted. They ate, spoke and explored each other’s stories out, checking for untruths. Moments passed and the end of the meal both man and woman were locked down to the level of familiarity, which bordered on professionalism and friendship; it was as if they had known each other very well in a previous life and were reacquainting themselves.

“Lets take a walk,” Mr. Bolero suggested.

“It’s getting late, I’d rather not,” Miss Beverly Kum said.

“Before you leave, tell me your real name. Please.”

Miss Beverly Kum stood up and smiled down at Mr. Bolero.

“Maybe the next time, sir. And I expect you to tell me your real name too.” She walked out the door, leaving in her wake several turned heads and gaping mouths. Mr. Bolero leaned back and placed the fedora back on his head.


It was late at night when Mr. Bolero’s phone purred and glowed. It was a message from Miss Beverly Kum, “Can we meet tomorrow?” Mr. Bolero answered, “Lets make it tonight.” They met at a small coffee shop straddled atop a highway; it was 215am and the only other patrons at the fluorescent-lighted establishment were a young couple with a sleeping baby. They looked tired but relieved possibly after battling it out with the small child.

Mr. Bolero smiled when Miss Beverly Kum entered the shop. She smiled when she saw him and immediately sat down in front of him, grabbing his hands.

“I can’t stop thinking about you,” Miss Beverly Kum said.

“Me neither,” Mr. Bolero answered.

“Let me take you to my place, I have this incredible urge.”


Mr. Bolero left his car at the shop and went with Miss Beverly Kum in her small but expensive red car. Mood music was gently playing in the car as they reached raced across the highway. Mr. Bolero observed Miss Beverly Kum closely; the steady and confident style of driving.  They made it to her apartment in silence, Miss Beverly Kum revealing her nothingness beneath the plastic raincoat she wore. Mr. Bolero whistled in surprise. His hand was clutching and unclutching the small balisong in his right pocket.

“Please, sit,” Miss Beverly Kum said, motioning him to her small living room. It was a neat ensemble of thick leather jobs and a clear glass construction, which carried small pieces of animals carved out of ivory. Somewhere in the group was a worn out Mickey Mouse.

“I’m going to clean up,” Miss Beverly Kum said, “don’t go anywhere.”

Mr. Bolero smiled and sat down, stretching out his legs. He picked up the Mickey Mouse and pocketed it. Miss Beverly Kum appeared shortly after wearing a short housedress, and smelling of scented orange. Mr. Bolero stood up, and reached into his right pocket. Miss Beverly Kum reached behind her and grabbed the handle of the machete, which was held in place by the thin belt around her waist.

“Hello soul mate,” Miss Beverly Kum whispered in Mr. Bolero’s ear. The balisong was expertly swished open and placed razor side along the nape of her neck and the machete was pointed up straight beneath his throat. Both of them giggled.

“I stole your Mickey Mouse,” Mr. Bolero said.

“I had your car stolen just now,” Miss Beverly Kum said.

“Nice,” he said.

“Yes, very,” she answered.


The police kicked the door down after half an hour of knocking. The immediate neighbors had called them to attend to the strange knocking sounds, which lasted for several hours and ended with a scream. It sounded unnatural and very unsettling.


The police found them in the bedroom, covered in blood but resting perfectly in each other’s arms. Both had a gentle smile on their faces; both clutched at their weapons of choice. It was a joint murder with both murderers and victims checking each other out. Mr. Bolero had his throat slashed, and Miss Beverly Kum had a balisong lodged in her sternum.

“How the hell do I write this out?” thought the investigating officer.







i can only see you at night – a different version

“I can only see you at night,” she said, “does it matter?”
“Not to me, no.”
“I’m glad. I don’t think I can stand not seeing you at all.”
“It doesn’t give us much time, though.”
She pulled back and looked up at me.
“Its enough for me.”
I stood up and brushed off the dust from my pants. Outside the wind was picking up and I could smell the coming rain. We were safe here. The building was secured even though it was abandoned. No one ever checks old buildings, they just wait for it to crumble and fall.
“I don’t mind this,” she said, looking around her, “if this is all we have, then this is all we have. I’m okay.”
I walked over to the window and peered out. From the 12th floor at 2 in the morning, the sleeping world outside was nothing more than miniature toys left behind by tired children. Cars sweep by occasionally, lighting the streets below making brief tunnels into the night. In those tunnels I know is the way home.
“Lets run away,” she said.
“Where to?”
“Lets get in your car, and just drive.”
“For how long?”
“I don’t know. I don’t even care. We can have the days to ourselves, and not just the nights.”
I turned from the window and stared down at her. She looked so small sitting on the floor with her back against the wall, looking up at me from behind her willowy hair. It broke my heart to see her so thin.
“I can see you’re sad,” she said.
“I’m not,” I said.
“Come here.”
I sat down beside her and she grabbed my arm with both hands and leaned her head on my shoulder.
“It doesn’t have to be sad. This.”
I shrugged.
“It’s the 3 in the morning universal questions which makes us so lonely and afraid; and guilty. As long as we have time together, we don’t have to think about the questions.”
The wind picked up and it started to rattle the window frames, seeping through the aluminum cracks.
“It’s going to rain tonight, can you feel it?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said, smiling, “it’s going to be lovely. I love the rain at night. Its like we’re in a different place, a private place.”
I leaned back against the wall and closed my eyes.

The next morning I woke up and found myself alone on the floor, curled up and sweating. The morning rays pinned me down, making it difficult for me to open my eyes against its glare. I sat up painfully then stood up. The traffic below was noisy and in the din I heard the chatter of helicopter blades. I walked all the down through the emergency exit to my car parked in the basement. No one saw me exit the building, except maybe for the odd rat or two.

Work was a series of meetings and the drone of office chatter. I was anxious to get back home, shower, change then meet her again.

“You smell nice,” she said. I was standing in the dark when she walked into the room. She was smoking.
“You picked it up again,” I said.
“Yes I did. To pass the time. Waiting for the time to meet you. You know I do nothing all day except wait to see you.” She skipped a little right up to me and smiled broadly.
“I got us a little present,” she said. I pointed to the corner of the room. It was a comforter.
“It’s going to rain tonight, and I think we should snuggle up, don’t you?”
I couldn’t agree more. I took the cigarette from her fingers and took a long drag, blowing out a long cylinder of smoke.
“I want to talk to you first, before anything, okay?” I said. “This is just so that I can keep track of where I am, and that I can still tell the difference between things. Okay?”
She nodded; eyes wide open.
“You’re dead,” I said, “but I know I’m not crazy.”
She smiled, her ash white face lit up as she looked up at me.
“Am I scary?” she asked, “Do you find me creepy because of that?”
I shook my head.
She smiled, relieved.
“I can do this, look,” she said, as she twirled around the room on one foot, her red skirt spanning out around her. When she twirls her outstretched arms lengthen and she sings a ancient melancholic melody, her back arcing almost touching the floor. She twirls and twirls and twirls; the spectacle both exhilarates and overwhelms me, because beauty in terror is an amazing thing to behold.
I caught her as she fell into my arms.
“You promised me,” she said, out of breath.
“Yes I did.” I gently laid her down on the comforter. Streaks of sweat ran down her face, breaking its perfect whiteness. She was beautiful.

That night the torrential storm almost cracked the window, and I swear I felt the building sway. As the wind howled, and the rain pounded the earth, we snuggled up and told each other stories. Hers was a vivid account of her death; mine was a day to day account of my life. Both of us knew she preferred my story to hers because it was connected to a life that thrummed with blood; full and strong. Hers was a weaker shade of existence overlapping with shadows.

We keep looking for buildings that are abandoned so that we can continue to tell each other stories. But abandoned buildings don’t remain abandoned, or standing for long. But there are many to choose from, acres of concrete stronghold, unexplored, left alone and empty. We are always spoilt for choice, always. And the stories continue.


i can only see you at night – the first version

“I can only see you at night, you know, because of all that’s happened” she said, looking at me with her eyes, barely visible from behind her hair.

“Does it matter anymore?” I asked, focusing only on the street ahead.

“It doesn’t, not really. Not anymore, anyway.”

Shadows shifted across her face as I drove deeper into the night; the deep thrum of the engine changing in tone as I changed gears and stepped on the gas. We were driving aimlessly, but I drove as if I had a destination in mind. I hadn’t. It was all for her; the need to keep us in the air, to float in between time. She lowered the window allowing the night’s breeze to finger her dark hair, the scent of her body mixing with the air from outside. The smell of rain locked down with her. I had to remember that.

“I was looking for you the other day,” she said. “I called your office but someone told me you were out for the day.”

“Why didn’t you call my mobile?”

“I wanted to and I was about to, but I changed my mind at the last minute.”

“I was alone yesterday, there was not reason for you not to,” I said.

“I guess, but I didn’t know you were alone. You never tell me anything.”

I shrugged. I was still unsure on whether I should look at her. She wanted me to, I could tell by the way her slim shoulders leaned forward, expectant.

“You smell nice,” I said finally. This took her by surprised. She sat back a moment before looking at me.

“I just woke up, and I came straight from sleep,” she said. A smile was about to emerge, I could tell.

“I like the smell,” I said, “I’ve always liked that smell.”

She smiled, but kept quiet.