His breath was getting shorter and shorter. The smoke was engulfing him, making it hard to breath. Coughing violently, he looked around, trying to see through the heavy black fog. But the toxic gases were stinging his eyes, making him unable to see anything.
"Mom!" he cried out. "Dad!"
But his cries were drowned by more explosions in the rooms above him. The orange flames soared through the night sky, swallowing everything in its way. The roof would fall on him any minute.
I must run! He thought wildly. His instincts told him to move, but his body was incapacitated by the poisonous gases. He could not move an inch as his knees wobbled.
"Mom! Dad!" he shouted but to no avail. No one could hear him amidst the flames. He fell to the ground, coughing out blood from his lungs.
"Someone…" he mumbled. "Please...save...us…"
He felt his energy being drained. It was impossible to move even a muscle. Is this the end? He thought. He did not want to die, not without apologizing to his parents. The last words he said to them, flashed before his eyes. "I hate you!" he had shouted at them moments before the fire broke out. "I don't wanna see either of you ever again!"
Now he regretted those words. Why did I say it? He lamented. Tears rolled down his cheeks. He was going to die there without meeting his parents.
His eyelids were getting heavier. He felt his consciousness slipping away and he fell on the floor with a thud. The ceiling was hanging dangerously above him; it will fall on him any instance.
As his senses were shutting down, he dimly recalled seeing a pair of feet coming his way. The figure bent down and looked straight in the eyes. It was saying something he could not hear.
All he remembered were a pair of amber eyes looking back at him as he finally fainted.
"Joonjae…" a singsong voice called out to him. Joonjae turned his head the other way and ignored the voice. He was too tired and wanted to sleep.
He felt a cold finger poke his back. Groaning in annoyance, he put a pillow over his head.
"Joonjae, wake up."
Someone gently shook him.
"Go away!" Joonjae mumbled in annoyance.
"But I'm hungry!" the voice said.
"You'll not die of hunger!" he snapped. "I wanna sleep."
He rolled over and went back to sleep.
"Fine," the voice said in a cool tone. "You leave me no choice."
Joonjae suddenly felt the cold fingers stroking his back. Jolting in shock he leapt up.
"What the hell?" he yelled. Sitting next to him was a petite, black haired girl looking at him expectantly.
"I'm hungry!" she said in a cheery tone. "I want beef ribs!"
"You woke me up for beef ribs?" he scowled. "You had beef ribs last night!"
"Well, I want them again," the girl insisted.
"Lee Chaerin, you're seriously getting on my nerves!"
"But I'm really hungry," Chaerin pouted. "Hubby."
She gave him a puppy dog expression. Joonjae rolled his eyes and pulled her cheek.
"Ow ow ow!" she cried in pain.
"Stop it with the innocent white lotus trick!" he scolded her.
"Alright alright!" the girl conceded, abandoning her cutesy tone. "Just gimme food and I'll shut up!"
Joonjae let go of her cheek.
"Ugh! Why do you have to be such a meanie?" she complained loudly.
"Deal with it," he said sarcastically as he picked up a towel and headed towards the bathroom.
"Hurry up hubby!" Chaerin exclaimed. "I'm really hungry!"
"You're not getting any beef!" he replied from the bathroom. "Eat some vegetables instead!"
"But I love beef!"
Chaerin pouted miserably and cursed her luck. Of all the guys I could have married, I had to end up with him, she thought sourly.
After a while, Joonjae came out of the bathroom, wearing only a towel. Despite her anger towards him, she could not help but admire the fine specimen.
With piercing green eyes and tall stature, Joonjae was what people called an elegant beauty. He had a calm and composed demeanor which would instantly soothe those around him. His hair was dyed blue. No matter how many times Chaerin asked him, he would not tell her which is his real hair color.
Just looking at him, gave her improper thoughts.
"Stop drooling over me," Joonjae said in annoyance.
"Can't help it," Chaerin sighed. "I'll appreciate anything that's beautiful."
"Pervert," he muttered under his breath.
"I prefer the term 'Connoisseur of Beauty,'" she beamed proudly.
"Which is basically a pervert," Joonjae shot back.
"Ugh! I don't care!" she shrugged. "I want food."
"Fine!" Joonjae said as he put on his shirt and pants. "Give me a minute."
Joonjae headed downstairs towards the kitchen. He opened the fridge and took out the beef curry they had the previous night. After heating it in the oven, he put some of it in a small bowl. He took another bowl and scooped some rice into it. Placing both the bowls on a tray, he headed towards a small room next to the dining area.
In the corner of the room, there was a small shrine. Decorated with small white candles, a few flowers were scattered on it. A bowl of uncooked rice lay on the wooden plaque while incense sticks were placed in front of a picture. There were two black stripes on the picture.
Joonjae placed the tray aside and cleaned up the shrine. He took out the dead flowers and ashes from the sticks and replaced them with new ones. Carefully dusting away the rise, he lit the new sticks and placed the food bowls in front of the picture.
Joonjae put his hands together and closed his eyes.
"In your remembrance, I offer you this small amount of food in the hopes that your soul is appeased, Lee Chaerin," he chanted. He looked up to see the picture of a lively, black haired girl with amber eyes.
A small label on the picture read: Lee Chaerin (1989-2009)
Joonjae put fresh flowers at the shrine and cleaned the dust off it. After tidying it up, he headed back upstairs.Upon entering the room, he saw Chaerin was happily gobbling up the rice and beef stew he offered at her shrine. The food materialised in front of her when he prayed."Happy?" he asked."Very!" she said with her mouthful.Despite his slight annoyance, he was amused at her antics. She was totally engrossed in her food, not paying attention to the small smile on his face."So what are we doing today?" she asked. "Catch more bad guys?""Dunno," he said as he sat down beside her."Aren't you going to work?" she questioned. "You didn't go yesterday!""I'll go today," he said, brushing off a rice grain from her cheek. "There's an important business I need to take care of.""I'm gonna be so b
The room was devoid of any light. The pungent smell of urine and feces was so overwhelming that it would make anyone feel nauseous. It was locked from the outside and there was no other way to exit the room. It was sealed shut; not even a fly can escape.In the corner was a bed for one person. It was unmade and unkempt, stained with blood and food. The walls were drawn with random scribbles of different colors. A new doodle was being designed on it by a man in his fifties.He was rigorously coloring the wall. His appearance was daunting. His beard was almost white and reached till his stomach. Strands of grey hair hung on his head as if they were being ripped every now and then. The eyes were bloodshot red, as if he had not slept for days."One plus one is two," he mumbled. "One plus one is two."He kept on repeating his gibberish as he drew on the wall. Suddenly, his pencil broke. He let out an ear
Chaerin was getting impatient and tapped her foot in annoyance as the long, white haired freak in front of her sat in a seance. She was in Country A and searched the country all day to find the guy. Finally, after she managed to track him and beat the crap out of him, she was let into his new place.She had been waiting for over an hour but the weirdo would not budge. Her patience was stretching thin and she wanted to strangle the man. Clearly, he was doing it deliberately."Hey you!" she voiced out. "Hurry it up! It's time for my drama!""Shh…" the man silenced her. He was in his fifties. His white hair reached up to his waist and he wore an outdated poncho with beads on it. His jeans were ripped and his hat was covering his eyes as well."Oh you harbinger of darkness," he mumbled. "Show yourself!"He shouted out the last words, startling Chaerin. He was looking so intent
Joonjae stopped in front of an old, rundown factory building. The building was quite ancient. The wall paint was peeling off and the once white building was now a dirty brown color. There were no workers around and the windows were boarded up.There was a broken door at the front and there was not a soul in sight. Small insects and animals scurried here and there, building their homes in the corners of the abandoned place.Stepping forward, Joonjae checked his watch. It was almost 1 PM in the afternoon. He took out his phone and checked the text again."1:30 PM," it said. He was half an hour early. Leaning against the car door, he waited patiently for someone to turn up.Finally, he saw a black minivan pulling up in front of the building. A short, stumpy man in his sixties stepped out. The old man walked towards Joonjae, carrying an envelope."Long time no see," the old man comme
After meeting with Sheng, Joonjae placed another call. Someone picked it up on the third ring."Meet me at the hideout," he ordered without saying any greeting."Ehhh? But I just fell asleep, boss!" a slow voice came from the receiver."Meet me there in half an hour," Joonjae said, ignoring the whining from the other end."So cruel, boss," the voice complained. "I demand a pay rise!""Just get there!" Joonjae snapped and hung up the phone. He was not keen on hiring this person but he was the best candidate for the job. No one else came close to the skills this person possessed.Joonjae sighed and revved up the engine. He pulled up and sped off.….Half an hour later, he parked the car in front of a modest apartment building. From the outside, it looked like an ordinary apartment building of six floors. An old,
(WARNING: THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS GRAPHIC VIOLENCE AND SOME DISTURBING ELEMENTS. PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN RISK)After an hour, Joonjae and Yoseob pulled up in front of The Institute of Mental Rehabilitation."Is this the place?" Joonjae asked."That's what the article mentioned," Yoseob replied. They were standing in front of a large, white building. The entrance was locked with a heavily padded iron gate and electric barb wires were placed all throughout the wall's perimeter."Let's talk to the guard," Joonjae pointed towards the gate. He walked forward, with Yoseob in tow.A pompous guard stood at the gate. He had a smug look on his face and he stared arrogantly at the approaching guests."We want to meet a patient here," Joonjae informed the heavily armed guard. It struck odd to him that a mental institution would arm guards with live rifles and
Her eyes were covered with heavy bandages. No doubt she really cooked them in a pot before killing her husband. Yet, it felt like she was watching them.Her dress was bloodied especially the lower area and it looked like she had not bathed in days. Her body had scars from self mutilation, some of which looked very fresh and picked on repeatedly. She looked anorexic and her appearance was gaunt, devoid of any life in it.She tore another one of the limbs from the bloody pulp in her hands and chewed on it."You know my name," Joonjae stated coolly.The woman let out a wheezing giggle, flashing her teeth which were marred with blood. She smacked her lips hungrily."You are Hwang Joonjae," she sneered. "Son of Hwang Jisun and Kim Jisoo. Twenty eight years old. Head of the country's most dangerous Mafia syndicate.""Things which you could read in any newspaper," J
It was a breezy night. A lone girl stood in the living room with her back to him. She looked ethereal. Her pearly skin was giving a soft glow in the dark, as if the moon descended on earth. He looked at her with love filled eyes but conflict in his heart. Slowly, he approached her."I'm home," he said softly. She turned to look at him with sorrowful eyes. She looked so unearthly yet in pain."Welcome back," she smiled sadly."Your eyes do not match your smile," he commented. "Something is troubling you.""Everything troubles me," she said in melancholy. She held his hand. "Are we doing the right thing?""What do you mean?""We...we should not be together," she said. "We belong to different worlds. Our lives should not be intertwined. Yet, here we are, married to each other. We shouldn't be together."He felt his heartstrings being pulled.