Note: Been busy all week writing assignment for Professional Writing 2: Writing Across Fields. Pro Writing 1 entry can be found here. Apart from writing things like press release and such, the last part of the assignment is a freeform 1000-word write-whatever-the-hell-you-want deal. So I did a short story. Not really happy with it because to keep it to around 1000 words, I had to edit out a lot of elements that flesh out these characters' online relationship with each other.
Friends to the End
Drained and bone-weary, Abu fell onto a large, dusty rock in the middle of the near-empty city. Several heartbeats later Chong came upon him. It took Chong only two seconds to identify him.
“Abu?” he said. Panicked, Abu sat up quickly, his arm reaching for his backpack. Chong interjected quickly with his arms in front of him and palms outwards, “Hey! It's me. It's Chong!”
“Chong?” Abu muttered incredulously. He squinted at the newcomer and was transfixed for some time. Neither moved for the duration. “You're the last person I thought I would meet out here.”
“My goodness,” said Chong, unable to hide a big grin but still holding up his hands. “All those years on the chatting on the internet, and never meeting until now. Until today.”
Abu gestured for his friend to sit. Both men let the tension ebb out of their bodies. They sat in silence for a moment. Then Abu said, “I'd offer you some pajeri nenas or some kopi tarik, but I'm all out.”
Chong guffawed loudly, startling Abu who said sarcastically, “I can't believe that for a small guy, you sure have big lungs.”
“I can't believe you remembered my favourite food,” sniggered Chong. He reached for his backpack. Abu tensed for a second. He withdrew some packets. He tossed one at Abu. “It's no pajeri nenas, but it's serviceable.”
Abu tore into MRE pack filled with a preserved ginger chicken meal. After finishing, Chong offered him his canteen to drink. When Abu was done, Chong asked him, “How do you feel?”
Note: This short story is slightly edited from a 1500 word assignment for Professional Writing 1: Core Competency submitted on July 14. I thought it would be prudent not to throw around too many (or too funky) posthuman science fiction concepts in this story, just in case the tutor would be unable grok it.
Faith Jinnouchi drew her Ruger-Miroku Egocapture pistol from her overcoat pocket. She casted her Ego Enforcement Department ID across the local network to all the other patrons of the café. Her words rang like a bell across the café. “Somerville Olafsson. Your Ego ID has been confirmed to be false. You are under arrest for being an Altered Ego under New Amsterdam's EED Regulations Ten-Seventy.”
The Egocapture pistol's smartlink had confirmed this criminal act. So Faith fired at the distressed Olafsson. Transferring an Ego from one shell to another takes hours of scanning a neural scanning, slowly transferring exabytes of data from the old brain to the new. Criminals, however, were not given the luxury of time.
by Khairul Hisham
Note: This essay is slightly edited from a 1000 word assignment for Professional Writing 1: Core Competency submitted last Sunday June 30. The story is a composite of several experiences I had as a teenager. Not sure if the right people as mentioned were present for the bulk of this story. If you're reading this and you were there but I didn't mention you, let me know. Not you, Ming Fang. You pipe down.
The cerulean sky had not the slightest taint of cloud above us as we dismounted our bicycles upon our arrival at Teluk Batik beach. I don't recall whose idea it was but it was the consensus among the four of us that we would walk the trail over the hills to Teluk Rubiah beach and then headed back to Teluk Batik by way of the shore. Ming Fang adjusted his glasses and excitedly said, “It would just be us walking over rocks between stretches of isolated beaches between here are there. It shouldn't take more than an hour.”
“Sounds like a good idea,” I said, and as usual I was always up for good ideas.
And so Tsing, Woon Seong, Yu Hoe, Khoots, Ming Fang and I began our journey, leaving the bustling weekend holiday activity of Teluk Batik and its visitors behind us.
We had hiked to Teluk Rubiah before. Shoulder to shoulder, we travelled to the southern inland corner of the beach where the gravel road turned into a red dirt path that led into and over the hills.
It was show and tell time at school, so little Ayumu Kasuga brought her pet that she found washed ashore along Osaka bay. She could not really recall how she came to have it, or how she brought it home... or even how she got it to school for show and tell, but there it was like a shadow upon a shadow deep from a lingering nightmare. When it was her turn she began to speak. She was somewhat aware that she spoke in a tongue both beautiful and ugly to hear but she thought nothing of it. Some of the sounds she made did not seem possible to have vocalised by a human but she also thought nothing of this.
But her voice carried, and everyone who heard it came - even ones who were too far away to listen. Soon her class was filled with students from other classes, other teachers, random folk that had decided to visit the school for one reason or another. Even the headmaster arrived as she began her closing speech. Her pet stirred lazily as she finished. A standing ovation roared from the classroom, growing louder.
The longer they clapped elatedly, the more blood flowed from their ears, their nostrils, their eyes. Her pet reached out with its arms and embraced everybody as it turned dark outside at noon. A single thunderclap crashed, preceded by a sickly green lightning. Everyone raised their head and sang as their mouths bubbled with blood!
The next day, Ayumu Kasuga was transferred to Tokyo for no reason at all where she lived happily ever after.
Happy new year and such!
Click here for a bigger image at DeviantArt.
It was small. It was grey, with a side of tan. It might have had lice. And it squeaked.
It was also the most vicious creature Sam had the displeasure of encountering. Within the space of three days of hunting the tiny rodent, Sam had been bitten twice, fell off a ladder once, hit his head on something hard and painful at least six times, and (although he wasn't sure of this) peed on by the mouse once.
It was a dark and stormy night. But of course it was quite late in the afternoon. Additionally the sun was shining favorably upon the land. Therefore the first sentence of this paragraph was wrong.