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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Sun shot its powerful rays down on to the Earth, baking the asphalt pavement dry. Sam and I were happily strolling down the park connector while recalling our childhood memories. Being sixteen did not mean that we had to be at home listening to the radio while playing a computer game. We were just as contented taking our usual afternoon walk.

As we were heading towards the pavilion, a deafening shriek was heard. At first, I thought it was a just a fire drill nearby but I soon realised that the banshee-like scream did not belong to a rusty old alarm but a helpless human. My eyes scanned the area to find the person that yelled.

Suddenly, I saw a young boy being beaten up by some unruly teenagers. Being a “scaredy-cat”, Sam immediately took to his heels and ran off. I ran nearer to the fight and watched the whole horrific scene unfold. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine happy thoughts but it did not work.

In an instant, I sprung out of hiding and taunted the teenagers. Boy was I growing bold! I curled my fists into balls of iron and gave one of the teenagers a blow to his head. He did not even flinch!

I stepped back and realised that my “heroic” behaviour was going to get me into trouble. The lump in my throat grew bigger by the seconds. I swallowed my fear and took to my heels. It was no use. My nimble and weak legs would not make any difference even if I were to sprint. The teenagers were hot on my heels.

“Help!” I screamed at the top of my lungs as I took my last breath. I fell to the floor and braced myself for a big beating. A foot was on my chest. One of the teenagers stepped on me while the others kicked and punched me. Hurling vulgarities and insults, the group of teenagers backed off when they saw a crowd forming around them. A quadragenarian suddenly pulled out his phone and threatened to call the police if they did not let me go. Afraid, I got up and ran as fast as I could to a pavilion to rest. Moments later, a young boy and his mother entered the resting area and looked at me. The boy handed me a box of cakes and stepped back.

Confused, I stared at the boy and tried to return it. Then, the mother looked at me, said a gentle word of thanks and walked off happily with her son.

Suddenly, the pain of my bruises disappeared. A feeling of warmth filled my heart. I realised that by running away, the teenagers changed their target and pounded on me. My little act of “un-knowing” self-sacrifice had turned into an unforgettable memory, for in the eyes of the boy’s mother, I was a hero, an angel in disguise.

2:30 AM

Jonathan Lin
Sunday, August 2, 2009

It was a chilly night as wind rushed at my face. My father and I had returned from the nearby supermart with our groceries. I gazed at the starry sky as we ambled into the block of our HDB flat.

Suddenly, at the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a man pushing an elderly man into the lift forcefully. As I looked closer, I recognised the elderly man as our neighbour Mr Teo! I stood there dumbfounded and shocked, not knowing what to do next but my father, who apparently had also witnessed everything, grabbed my hand and darted for the stairs. Although our groceries were not much, it was still heavy and slowed us down. We continued climbing, checking each floor if the lift had stopped there. All of a sudden, at level five, the robber shot out from nowhere and knocked into my father. They both fell in opposite directions with a loud thud, followed by the sound of all the groceries spilling onto the floor ending up in a mess. No sooner had I helped my father up to his feet than the robber took to his heels.

“Follow him! I will call the police!” yelled dad.

I did not need to be told twice. Without a moment of hesitation, I threw the groceries onto the floor and gave chase.

The robber ran down the stairs three steps at a time while I could only manage two. As I ran, thoughts whizzed through my mind. I felt mad and frustrated at the man for preying on Mr Teo. Mr Teo had always helped us in many ways and we were on good terms with him. I burst forth and ran with all my might, eyes on the man who was running as fast as his legs could carry him. Soon, we reached the ground floor and my legs were hitting soft grass instead of concrete ground.

Although it was dark, my eyes could make out a faint burly figure because of the streetlights.
Then all of a sudden, the figure dropped and disappeared into a deep, dark abyss in front of me. I was going too fast to realise it was a drain. Too fast that I could not stop myself in time as I tripped and was pushed by my own body weight into the drain. I landed on the robber and rolled over as he groaned weakly before lying motionless. I later concluded he was unconscious.

It seemed like eternity before the glorious light of the torches of a few policemen shone on us. My injuries were not as bad as I imagined. After all, I landed on the robber and he broke my fall. The man however, suffered severe injuries, breaking a few bones here and there and was brought to the hospital immediately. I breathed a sigh of relief as the sight of my dad and Mr Teo waiting for me at the HDB block reached my eyes.

After that, Mr Teo thanked us profusely. The robber after all, did not get any money but broken bones and a hospital treatment fee to pay. When he collided against my father, the wallet he had snatched from Mr Teo earlier on was knocked out of his hand. My father and I then collected our groceries from the fifth floor and limped back towards our apartment.

5:53 PM

Lokkesh July 2009

“So how was school today son?”my father asked me with a rough voice.

“Err.....ff..f..fine Dad I stammered obviously hiding something. Soon my father asked question after question until I spilled the beans of being scolded by my teacher. My father was fetching me back from school and we had just entered our lift lobby. Sweat trickled down my soft tender cheeks from both the scorching heat and fear of my father’s unthinkable punishment. He was already boiling and I knew it was not the heat. Then, I saw my friendly neighbour, Mr Chan, whose always smiling face vanished the moment he saw a man approach him expressionless. He was tall and scrawny but his cold eyes told me he was not to be messed with.

He started a conversation with Mr Chan, now with cold sweat pouring down his face and worry swallowing his smile, but I could not make out the words.

A high pitched sound announced the arrival of a lift, its metallic doors sliding open welcoming people. The man pushed Mr Chan into the lift, not caring about the feeble man’s age. He too went in and the doors slid shut. I looked at the floor number, going up all the way to the twelfth floor, above the lift doors curious of what was going on. Another lift door opened and before I could move, my father was already walking into it, still holding my hand, and he pressed the same floor number. Now I realised where I got my sense of adventure from.

“Mr Chan looked worried. I’m gonna’ check on him. You just stay outside and don’t go anywhere ,” he said stepping out of the lift and walking towards Mr Chan’s house. After about ten minutes, which seemed like eternity, I got impatient waiting for my father. I went into the house, making no noise, just in case. No one was in the living room. Had they just disappeared? I saw two doors ajar with noises coming from inside. Quiet as a mouse, yet alert, I peered into one of the rooms in horror. My eyes grew big, jaw dropped and the colour was drained out of me. The same man held a knife at Mr Chan who was busy dialling some numbers on a safe box. I stealthily moved to the next room and saw another man holding a knife at Mrs Chan and my father who were both gagged and tied up. My heart raced as I darted to the nearest phone. I picked it up and called the policed. A man picked up but I was too scared to say anything. Just when I found my voice, I was slammed from behind.

I yelled in pain. Without looking at my attacker, I darted to the kitchen. I grabbed a pan and swung it round whacking the man’s head. He fell to the ground unconscious, scarlet red blood oozing from his head. I ran to the phone noticing the other man about to drive a knife into my father. I sprinted and gave him blinding kick to his ribcage, knocking the wind out of him and sending him scrawling on the ground but my childish kick was no match for his well built body. He immediately sprang up, his knife coming for my stomach. I dodged it and grabbed a perfume bottle on a dressing table and threw it at his eye. The bottle broke, the content stinging his eye. He stumbled out the door slashing his knife into me. I yelled and fell to the floor crying. The knife had dug quite deeply into my flesh. The pain was unbearable and I screamed uncontrollably. The room was spinning. The man, still holding his eye, came at me, fuming. With all the strength I had left, I pushed a heavy cupboard down to the floor, blocking the doorway but which got me badly injured too. The last thing I heard was a loud “Wham!” before I blacked out.

I awoke in the hospital, bandaged, but nothing really hurt except my knife wound. I sat up, with great effort, as I heard Mr Chan thanking me profusely. It seemed he had owed money to that man but had not paid back . Other neighbours had heard the shouting and came and hit the man on the head, calling the police and ambulance. Now Mr Chan learnt never to borrow money knowing he would not be able to pay back. It was a good thing my curiosity got the better of me or my father and Mr and Mrs Chan would have been killed. My mother’s words flashed through my mind, “Never beg, borrow nor steal!”.

5:52 PM