He twirled around in his bed, having trouble falling asleep. He is huffing, almost as if his lungs had closed down from terrible flu.
Suddenly, he is pulled from his slumber. His chest appears to be more receptive to receiving air, but his breathing remains irregular. A loud squeaking sound caused by a door that slides across the oak floor compels him to stand up.
He moves towards the direction in which the noise comes from. He stares intently at the door. The noise came directly from a window which, because it was wide open, blew the door open back and forth timidly. Friction between the sill of the door and the floor causes an unbearable and irritating squeaking sound. The sound seemed to agitate him. He walked toward it in an attempt to shut the door.
He approaches the door to close it, but as he does, he notices a familiar figure that he can recognize from a mile away. The figure sits in a ladder-style office chair. It was the wind that caused the squeaking sound of the door as it penetrated the open window.
A curtain blows over the desk of the man seated behind it. It slips back now and then when the wind changes direction. The figure in the chair before him lays out his work in front of him. The light of the lamp on his desk juxtaposes the reflection of light on his face. Half of his face is covered in shadow and the other is visible in the light.
His eyesight allows him to see his face clearly.
His twelve-year-old body quivers, as his father is in front of him. In one hand, he has a class of scots, and in the other a revolver. As a result of the distortion and conflict inside his head, the knuckles on his dad's hands are extremely white.
“Dad?” he mumbled.
He has this burning urge to ask: “dad what are you doing?”
His lips parted, but a puff of air escaped his mouth without any words coming out.
Frightened to the core, he can barely control his impulse to want to burst out in tears. He clenches his small hands into fists. His nails dig into his palms. The sight he saw before horrified him. Knowing too well what the implication of a person holding a gun means.
His dad acknowledged his presence instantly.
As he gazes at his son that stands in front of him, his demeanour instantly changes. Both of them locked eyes. He tries to keep it together.
“Son!” he exclaimed with a quiver in his voice.
His son is close to being on the verge of tears.
“Hey, you surprised me there for a second," he says in a dejected, yet surprising tone. A nervous giggle escapes his mouth as he says that.
“Listen, all is well, do not worry, okay” he reassures his son. His son tries to hold back any tears that try to escape his eyes. He stands at the door of his father’s study...motionless. Not knowing what to do, he always has his eyes fixed on his dad.
He manages to nod his head, affirming that he understood when his father said all would be well. He has a burning urge to just run and throw his arms around his dad and forever tighten his grip around him. He appears to be stuck in his tracks. Unable to move, let alone place one foot in front of the other.
His chest repeatedly bumps against his rib cage. He feels a tight knot in his stomach and a ball curling up in his throat.
The air seems nearly impossible to swallow in the space that he and his father occupy.
"Get back to bed son” his father instructed.
"Everything will be fine, I assure you - I won't do anything stupid." He seems unsteady. It is not much of a consolation. Nevertheless, he trusted his father enough. He knows that he has always been an honourable man. A rare specimen who always keeps his word.
Before he turns to leave, heading to his room, a small smile appears on his dad's face. To show his trust in his father, he attempts to force a reciprocal gesture.
He scraped together the courage and turned to head back to his room.
As he does so he hears his father exclaiming his name…faintly. He can barely hear his name. It is left up in the air echoing through the hallway as he approaches his room once again.
He seems oblivious to the utterance of his name. The name doesn't matter that much to him, he thinks to himself, so he will give himself a completely different name.
A name that will forever appear to keep the lines about his true self forever blurred.
Note: This is a present-day event, i.e. (start of odd-numbered chapters time span event: 1,3,5, etc.)The sudden vibration of my phone under my pillow caused a droning thump in my head. Therefore, I was woken up prematurely as a result. I am so annoyed right now. I am totally perturbed. Who could be calling this early in the morning? Well, whatever it may be, you can forget that I will indulge him, or her, or them. Lazily I tucked my left hand under the pillow. Even with my eyes, half closed, I still scanned the screen. After having pulled my phone from underneath my pillow, I instinctively felt the need to click the reject call button. My wits are rattled as I recognise the number and name that flashes on the caller ID. I dare not reject a call from her. I will never hear the end of it. The call took me by surprise at this hour of the morning. The call came from Isabella, my girl. A curvy smile stretched across my face. I hastily slide my index finger over to the accept call butto
Note: This is a past-day event, i.e. a 'flashback' (start of even-numbered chapters time span events: 2,4,6, etc.)It is the day before the last school year. As opposed to having previously been dropped at Blackwood with a limousine, my mum has opted to take me around this time. Yeah, I know what you're thinking - the supposed top guy at his school is going to be dropped off by mummy. Frankly, I preferred it as well.I never seem to get to spend as much time with either of my parents anymore. I suppose after Daniel’s death, none of us seems to have any agency to live life with a sense of gratification. I help my mother put the last suitcase in the trunk. She finalises a couple of things with our security chief and head house help, before getting into the car.The length of the pathway on this estate feels as if it could be a highway by itself, so unnecessary is its length. We finally approach the gate at the far south end wing. About five hundred miles from the estate we crossed the p
Note: This is a present-day event, i.e. (continuation of odd-numbered chapters time span event: 1,3,5, etc.)I firmly gripped the half-burned note in my hand, staring for quite a while at the continuous flashing of the wording on Gregory’s smartwatch. I notice that his running shoes are missing. Then he must probably still be running. I am very much aware that he is fanatical about it. He could run for hours on end in the morning. Sometimes even in the afternoon. Interestingly, he is known to be punctual. So, for the time I have come to know him, he has never been late. It concerns me somehow. Did something happen to him? I try not to ponder too much on the matter. But like a blown-up ball that bounces back when you try to push it down underwater, it keeps popping up in my head.After a while, I subconsciously shrugged my shoulders. Knowingly so with the surety that he might return at some point. Perhaps even with a good tale to tell. Who the heck knows?I decide to leave Greg’s room,
Note: This is a past-day event, i.e. a 'flashback' (continuation of even-numbered chapters time span events: 2,4,6, etc.)The first day of my last school year has been rolling like a long boring flick. Some of the other guys are up quite early already. For once I feel like just sleeping a bit longer for a while. I was not provided that leisure. Bill came knocking on my door and woke me.“Come on Erik, surely the student president should be setting an example for the other guys,” he says sarcastically.“I was not the one who elected myself into office. I shall choose to sleep if I wish,” I answered him sleepy“Oh, thee high and mighty,” giggled Bill. “President, vice president, of the student council. You bunch were likely business transactions, were you not? Contesting to see whose dad could give the school’s budget the best financial boost? Not to speak of those badges on your blazers that were pinned on your chest, is the bloody quotation you will be wearing throughout the year.”“F
Note: This is a present-day event, (continuation of odd-numbered chapters time span evennts: 1,3,5, etc.)It is Friday morning, the day after Greg’s disappearance. The television in the hangout blurs in the hangout. Something about Avian influenza that caused two deaths in England is being broadcast. I am bewildered about the fact as to how the Avian flu has its origin in Hong Kong but had spread rapidly toward the West: The Middle East, Italy, Frans, and England. Even parts of North Africa have been affected, and case there has been detected as well.Gradually the sound of the television fades as the voices in the hostel hallway amplify. It appears as if it is the voices of teachers. Some of the seniors gather in small groups in the hallway.“What the heck is going on?” I ask one of the guys that are in reach.“Gregory has not yet returned,” he said.“Mr Steward, along with a couple of other teachers are in his room.”“Sorry guys,” I say as I forcefully try to get through the crowd t
Note: This is a past-day event, i.e. a 'flashback' (continuation of even-numbered chapters time span events: 2,4,6, etc.)On the quad between the five hostels, there is another water drainage pipe that runs along. It is this iron lid which Cedrick now removes. The metallic sound reverberates through the night. By the windows of the hostels, the rest of the guys stand and look on. They know exactly what is going on, they too went through this.I notice Gregory standing somewhere between all the other guys, while we wait for the eighth graders on the other side. While it appears that he might be standing amongst us, he seems at the same time distant. Arms folded. His eyes intently fixed on the dark hole in the ground.Shadows stretch long dark stripes over the paving. Voices banging against the buildings.We wait, breaths held until... the first pale fingers were folding over the edge of the manhole. Cedrick held out his hand, took hold of the eighth grader’s, and pulled him out. The yo
Note: This is a present-day event, (continuation of odd-numbered chapters time span events: 1,3,5, etc.)By Saturday morning, the news had spread like a flu epidemic to the lower grades. Everyone tries to get information out of the seniors, but because they don't really say anything, the guys make up their own stories. I am on duty in the Basquiat dining hall. Just wander around there listlessly, wishing the bunch would now eat and walk their free-range eggs and other organic food."They got him, guys. For Gregory." an excited voice behind me. I turned around quickly. "Hung from a tree. His tongue so out -" I grabbed the grade-eight guy by the shoulder. Hard. "Where do you hear?" "By Jones," he says, quietly startled. "Who's Jones?"He pointed with his finger. I felt anger take over my body. It's so bad that for a moment I just had to pause and breathe. Calm down. "Tell Jones I will pull his tongue out if he spreads such rubbish again."I walked outside and sat down on the staircase i
Note: This is a past event, i.e. a ‘flashback’ (continuation of even-numbered chapter time span: 2,4,6, etc.)'“What? Are you crazy?" I asked. "Where would I have tried to hack by now?" Gregory Smiled timidly. "Close the door behind you. The Realm of Cyberspace awaits..."Dark words, choking with excitement. Realm. Just the sound of it makes me want to get goosebumps. As if it's Daniel announcing "Hey, bro, we're going to try a new extreme sport. What do you say, are you in?"Gregory turned back to his laptop. "Let me show you. I've been trying to hack this one," he says. "It's a travel agent's website. I ran a show to check for CGI weaknesses and-""Wait, CGI... like the shows they use to make special effects for movies?"Gregory shook his head. "No, it's something else. This CGI is "Common Gateway Interface." It just refers to the way apps on a web server talk to a surfer’s browser.""Why are you doing this?""I'm looking for a place to come in. You can see the company on the other