This is a work of fiction

A war has been going on for the longest time. A fight that most of us would not see, hear or understand. Take a deep breath and come into a world where science cannot explain everything you see and experience.

Magic is a free to read piece of work. There are no sexual scenes but there are teases and scenes of flirting. I would like to dedicate this piece to everyone who are fighting battles of their own in the current climate. Battles where sometimes no one else would understand except yourself.

And may this world offer a short escapade from the stress of everyday life with the pandemic looming over us.

Regular updates from July.

Please refer to countdown widget on main page for update schedule

Do you believe in Magic ?

Well I don’t.

It’s not real.

Magic is just an illusion, a sleight of hand, petty tricks or in some cases, a complex piece of engineering feat. All of it designed with one specific purpose in mind.

To trick you.

Disappearing cards, changing coins to coffee, mind reading, teleportation.

None of these are real.

Some magicians are twins, maybe triplets. Some of them have an entire team of camera crew and engineers working behind the scenes just to setup the perfect scene to take your breath away, or in some cases, your money.

Magic, is easily used by scammers. It’s easily manipulated.

I hate magic because it caused the death of my parents.

My mum fell for a magic stone scam and it wiped out almost all her savings within a week. The blow was too much to her and she fell ill.

In desperation, my dad consulted not only doctors, but also mediums, priests, and all manners of the occult to try and save my mother but they all failed.

They failed because they have only one thing on their mind.


They are just there to trick my family one more time, squeeze us one more time. To deplete our meagre savings even further.

My mum’s passing hit my dad so hard and he too fell ill.

I was only in secondary school then.

In order not to be a burden to me, he committed suicide on the last day of my ‘O’ level paper.

He killed himself so I could get the insurance payout from an old policy.

It ripped my life apart.

At 16, not many can claim they know what they want to do in life but I can.

Everyday hence forth I studied harder than ever, worked part time after class and I graduated at the top of my class before joining the Police force.

I had one dedicated and focused goal in mind.

To get the scammers, the magicians, the crooks and thieves that tore my family apart. I don’t care if they are the big fish or the small lizards scamming school kids.

I will get them all.

Looking at the audience sitting in front of me, I changed the slides of my presentation and no, I did not tell them my sob story. They will not understand, nor would they care.

It’s just a public education talk I give every month to share the common scams in place and I’m coming to the end of it.

Joel : imagine for a moment…. Say… 100 years ago….. you walk towards a building….. the door suddenly opened without you touching it…..then a gust of cold wind hit you….

I paused and waited for that to sink in.

Joel : What would your great- grandparents say… ?

The teenagers and young adults looked on intently as I baited them with a longer pause.

Joel : Wah…. Got ghost ah….. better fuck off…. !

Laughter rang out and I waited for it to subside before going on.

Joel : Now…. imagine today…. You walk towards a building …. The door don’t open….. and if it did….. you don’t feel the cold blast of air con in Singapore’s humid weather……. What would you say….

I could hear the laughs even before I finished my sentence.

Joel : Wah…. Bloody hell…. This shopping mall no aircon ah….. Better fuck off….

Some of the audience started clapping and I saw my boss nod his head at the back of the hall. He had grown used to me using the ‘F’ word in public talks even though I’m a civil servant.

In this day and age, sometimes, your choice of language is key to be able to connect with your audience, and I want the audience to remember me.

Not because of vanity or fame. I want them to remember to always seek for help if they suspect they are being scammed. I can’t save everyone from being scammed, but everyone I save counts.

Joel : You see… automatic sliding door….. strong air con… these are things… that are powered by technology…. Hydraulics… sensors…and so on…. But just less than half a century ago…. These would have been magic…..

I added another sentence after a short pause.

Joel : And it would have been magical to someone who has never seen it… or experience it before….  

I looked at the teenagers in the first row who hung onto my every word.

Joel : there is always an explanation for whatever is happening….. and I believe as educated youngsters, you should choose science over the occult, the supernatural or magic ….. because…. Mark my words… there is always a scientific explanation ….

I finished up my talk with a summary of common scams that are still getting new victims everyday because no one believe it will happen to them.

Joel : Now… before we end the talk…..

Holding up my fingers, I wanted to refresh what are the common scams going on in the country right now.

Joel : Sex for credit scams….. remember… ? a hot babe you are talking to online offers you sex for money…… and before the transaction is done… you need to ‘proof’ you are sincere……and she asks you to get some prepaid credits from a AXS machine……

I raised my voice a little to catch everyone’s attention.

Joel : It’s a scam !!! ….. the sex trade is a cash only industry…. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise…. Cash…. Only…. No prepayment…. Ok ??

Everyone nodded and I quickly carried on.

My boss was signalling for me to wrap it up.

Joel : DHL scam…. Or Fedex or whatever parcel forwarding service…. Shop online right… ?? buy funny funny things right… ? sex toy… dildo… or whatever….

The audience laughed and I reassured them that as long as it’s not firearms or drug related stuff, we don’t care.

Joel : Even if you buy a 8 inch dildo for whatever reason…. Furry handcuffs…. We don’t care… ok… so if anyone tells you that you have a package….. you need to pay money to ‘settle’ because it contains illegal item…. Ignore them… hang up…. It’s a scam….

Changing the slide to my contact details I urged those who have yet to take a photo to quickly get it.

Joel : My contact details… my email…. Ok ??  if anyone calls you…. Tell you he is 369…. 248…. 1357 or whatever 18, 24 or 36 gang….. and he’s coming for you because you don’t want to pay him money to complete the scam… what should you do…. ??? who should you look for….. ??

“ Joel~~~~~~ “ “ Uncle Joel ~~~~ “ “ Officer Joel ~~~ “

The crowd drone out my name and I nodded in a satisfied manner.

Joel : Good….look guys… it’s not easy making money…..

The crowd grew quiet and they can sense the mood getting a little serious.

Joel : And when you do… you should spend it on the ones you love…. On yourself… on your family…. And not let the scammers take them away from you… ?

Several guys gave me the thumbs up and I rotated my wrist like a conductor wrapping up his performance. The audience got up and made their way to the exit while I waited up front in case someone wants to talk.

Sometimes you get a lone kid coming up for advice, or just want to ask you about something.  

A scrawny teenager waited for the hall to be cleared before approaching me.

Teen : Hi Officer Joel …

Joel : hi there…. What can I do for you…. ?

Teen : i….i ….

Joel  : Chill bro… it’s off the record….no matter what it is… I’m sure I can help….

Teen : I think I’m a victim for a sex for credit scam…. I have been buying Alipay and Apple pay credits for a whole week….

Joel : Ok… don’t worry…. My colleague here will take you to lodge a report…. And you block the numbers…. Ignore calls…. Ignore messages and their threats…..

Teen : But… but they claim to be able to find me…. to expose me trying to pay for sex online….

I lowered my voice a notch and looked at Joel while speaking.

Joel : Bro… you’re above 18 right….

He nodded.

Joel : It is not illegal…. To pay for sex as long as the girl is above 18…..these scammers are mostly located overseas…. Malaysia….Indonesia… even China…. There’s no way they can come get you…’s bullshit….

Teen : but… but they ask me to go to a 7-11…. They know there’s a AXS machine nearby and they can see what shops are near me too….. it’s like they can see me….

Joel : Ever heard of google street view… ?

The teen looked lost for a minute and I told him I have helped dozens of victims just like him.

Joel : 1st… just stop paying them… and they will move on to other victim….okay… ? and so far…. None of the people I’ve help have had their details leaked…. Or have been approached by thugs…. Look around you…. This is Singapore…. There’s a bloody camera every 3 steps…

The kid nodded and gestured to one of my guys in the team to bring him to the station to lodge a report.

Joel : Ray….can you help take him to lodge a report…..thanks man….

After the room was cleared my boss, Yip came over to me.

Yip : don’t get too used to the ‘F’ word Joel….. sooner or later… someone is going to lodge a complain…

Joel : you came here just to nag at me…. ?

Yip : yeah…. And to buy you lunch…..

Joel : that’s nice….what do you want…. ?

Yip : Help me write a speech…. For the retreat next week….. I got arrowed to do the opening….

Joel : I knew it…. There’s no free lunch in this world… haha

Yip : I could always order you to do it….

I put my arms around the pudgy man that I have come to love as a fatherly figure.

Joel : Laoban~~~~ ( Boss ) …. Don’t be so petty la… hahah…. Come come…. I know of a good restaurant….

Yip : Coffee shop….. no restaurant… I have 2 kids going to university next year….

I chuckled and I grabbed a quick lunch with Yip at a coffee shop in Hougang.

Over a meal of chicken rice and double boiled soup, he told me there’s been a marked increased in religious scams lately.

Yip : There’s a lot of complains….

Joel : about those mediums again…. ?

Yip : Yeah… the usual la… fake mediums…. Goes into a trance… then ask the followers to donate money…. Sometimes going into the thousands….

Joel : Do you believe in these… ? Mediums… ?

Yip nodded and dunk a chunk of chicken into the chilli dip.

Yip : I do… I do… I’ve seen them at work back in the old days…. Amazing shit man……

Joel : You got to be shitting me…. it’s a scam through and through….

Yip laughed.

Joel : You don’t expect me to believe you can what… get a god to possess you…. Then…help solve the problems of your followers….. ?

Yip : Well.. to each his own…. And I shit you not… I’m seen my old neighbour…. A uneducated bloke speak Channel News Asia standard kind of English when he could not even order a Filet O Fish….

Joel : hahahha… that is funny….

Yip  : Who knows… maybe one day you will experience stuff you don’t understand….

Joel : I believe in science….

Yip fiddled his phone and sent me an address.

Yip : Ok… here’s an address I want you to check out…..

Joel : This one of those scammers… ?

Yip shrugged his shoulders.

Yip : this one is tricky…

Yip explained that the complains that come are pretty much the same. Scammed of money, sometimes scammed of their body, also known as molest or rape, but this complain is different.

Someone made a report about this particular house because he could not get a queue number for almost 6 months.

Yip : He kept trying to get a queue number to see this medium… who supposedly sees only 1 client a day…..

Joel : Wow….

Yip : So this guy is damm frustrated… he goes to the MP, complains… make noise…. Say it’s unfair… and the medium is operating illegally in his HDB flat and all….

Joel : What an asshole…

Yip laughed and sipped his coffee.

Yip : Well.. you know politicians…. People make noise, we have to check it out…

It’s not an official report, but Yip wanted me to find out more.

Joel : I’ll go over after lunch..

Yip : Take Ming with you…. Just in case….

Joel : what… you don’t think I can handle a few scammers….

Yip shook his head and sigh.

Yip  : you know what Joel…. One day… your arrogance  is going to get the better of you…..

I laughed and told him I’ll manage it fine on my own.

Joel : I have yet to see  or experience anything that fazes me….I’ll be ok…

Yip : yeah… you’re the only weird fuck that can sit through an autopsy and still eat organ soup for lunch….

I laughed and parted ways with Yip at the carpark.

I checked the address and looked at google map.

It’s a residential flat located in Bedok South.

Upon arrival, I could spot that unit in question right away.

It’s a corner unit located on the 3rd floor and there’s a Taoist flag hanging out the window.

It’s 2.30pm in the afternoon but the insides looked dark with eerie glows of red and green light.

I made my way up and I was shocked to see a line of people outside the house.

I thought they only see 1 client a day.

A row of 5 stools lined the common corridor and the aunties sitting on the stool turned and look at me.

Auntie 1 : full already… today all full…. No more….

Auntie 2 : you don’t cut queue ah…. Don’t cut queue…!

Auntie 3 : I wait very long already….young man… you better come back another day….

They seemed agitated that someone they’ve never seen is here

I showed my identification and they quiet down immediately before turning and whispering to themselves.

I walked up to the gate and there was a strong scent of incense smell. I knocked and waited.

Joel : Hello… ? anyone there….

I was expecting an old man, perhaps dressed in taoist garbs to open the gate but I was wrong.

I froze for a couple of seconds when I saw the beautiful lady behind the gate.

I looked at her in the eye and we are of the same height. She has a beautiful body, shapely and firm. Clad in black leggings and a sports bra, she looked like she’s about to head out to the gym .

She must be.

I saw the socks she was holding in her left hand and the pair of shoes she has already set out near the door.

I didn’t expect myself to stammer but looking at her in that big round eyes, I felt as if I was trying to chat up a girl that is clearly out of my league.

Joel : h….hi… Hi

Girl : Yes ?? there’s a queue and we are full for the next 6 months….

She folded her arms and she looked hostile. She looked as if she has dealt with her share of queue cutting clients with that cold ice queen look.

I showed my ID and she softened her stance.

Kristin : Hi Im Kristin…..what can I do for you…..err….

She turned her head to take a closer look at my identification.

Kristin : officer…. Joel….

Joel : we received a complain…

Kristin  : about ?

I’m not going to say it’s about some sour chap not getting a queue number so I lied.

Joel : I can’t say…. I just want to understand more about….. what is it you do here….. do you mind… if I … come in… and ask you a few questions… ?

Kristin considered my request before opening the gate.

She didn’t seem hesitant to let me in. I’ve seen guys bolting from the gate and trying to jump out back even though we’re several floors up.

Kristin eyed me suspiciously and she kept her arms folded as if she was guarding herself from me.

Joel : Thank you….

When I step in, I could see a large altar filled with figurines of different deities.

There’s flags, candles incense and even a radio playing some chants in the background.

Seated in the medium chair with his back facing me is an old man while beside hhim , there’s a elderly women in tears as she begged to know if her son is doing ok in the afterlife.

Kristin : We’re just helping people here….we didn’t break any law….

Joel : I see…. and how exactly are you helping the people… ?  

Kristin looked at her watch, obviously irritated I’m taking up her time, probably making her late for her pilates class or something.

I was about to speak again when Kristin asked me to keep quiet.

Kristin : please….wait until after the client is done… then I’ll answer your question….

She walked over to the sofa and sat down. Kristin crossed her legs in a sexy manner and I had to quickly look away even though she was not doing it for me.

She’s pretty, well, everything  a hot girl does is pretty.

I wonder how it would be like putting her in hadncuffs.

I meant this in the most professional way in case you get the wrong idea.

This is a good chance for me to check out the place and what exactly is it they are doing.

The interior is simply furnished, a corner 4 Room unit about 98 SQM. They don’t build flats like these anymore. It’s spacious with a large living and dining area, although the customised altar took up most of the space.

I parked myself at the opposite corner where Kristin is sitting, it offered me a diagonal view into the opened rooms.

I caught a glimpse of what I assumed would be Kristin’s room, or perhaps her sister if she had one.

It’s definitely a girl’s room.

The door is closed by the way. Yes, I could see Kristin’s room even though the door is closed not because I have special powers or anything. She had a glass door.

A clear glass door.

This is peculiar.

Who would used a clear glass door instead of a solid one for the bedroom.

I could see the bright afternoon sun filtering into the room, lighting up softtoys and what looked like a comfortable poster bed.

Plenty of spots to anchor a handcuff to.

Bloody hell.

I looked away and tried to clear my head.

I have to stop associating Kristin with handcuffs.

A sudden slam of palms on the table redirected my attention towards the medium.

I watched the medium shake his head, bounced his leg on the floor before his entire body start to shake.

Medium : bluerurueruree.e.. eblueueruurere….

Joel : oh god…

I mumbled softly under my breath as I look as him stand up and down, do his little dance before sitting back down calmly.

Medium : your son… is doing ok…. In the underworld…. But he’s feeling very cold…. You need to burn more clothes for him…..

I rolled my eyes and I folded my arms. I turned and I could see Kristin glaring at me. She must have caught the eyeroll.

The medium continued to say some reassuring words to the old lady, telling her that everyone’s lifespan has been decided at birth. His time is up and he needs to go.

Medium : don’t worry… this is a passage of life…. he will go on to lead a new and better one….. he wants you to be strong….take care of your health…. Can you do that for him… ?

Elderly lady : Ok… I can… sobzz.. I will…. I will…

I don’t believe this.

How can people actually fall for this ?

The medium groaned and suddenly he is back to his normal self.

The lady quickly pulled out a red packet and handed it to the medium.

Elderly lady : for the gods ok… for the gods… thank you… thank you so much…

Medium : ok… no problem.. no problem….

I could not resist looking at Kristin and from the expression on her face, I could tell she read my mind.

That this is bullshit.

I mean come on.

This ?

Really ?

The medium turned and noticed for the first time I am there and he turned to Kristin to see if she could shed some light.

Kristin : Pa… this is… Officer Joel…. He has some questions for us….

The medium removed his robe and shook my hand.

Fong : Call me Fong…. What can I do for you…. ?

Joel : hi Mr Fong… someone lodge a complain…. And I’m just here to find out more about what is it you do….

Fong : I see… well … you are here… you saw what we do… we help people…

Joel : You mean … scam people…. ?

Fong was calm and he did not seem affected by what I said, however, I could not say the same about Kristin.

Kristin : Hey ! YA !… who are you to say we are scamming people…. !

Joel : talking to the dead…. ? and taking that old woman’s money…. ? if this is not a scam… I don’t know what it is….

Kristin : Did we ask her for money… ? did you see us ask her for money… ?

I kept quiet and I could see Fong asking his daughter to calm down.

Kristin : She gave us a red packet… out of her own free will isn’t it… ? she did say it’s for the gods….

Joel : So what do you do with the money…. ?

Kristin : hey… hey… key I know where this is going….

Fong : ok…ok… calm down…. girl… ah girl… calm down….

It’s been a while since I last met a feisty girl like Kristin. I have to admit, she’s attractive.

Fong : The money is for the gods…. We don’t keep them….

Joel : May I know what currency the gods use… ? do they use a regular money changer or ??

Fong laughed and Kristin gently nudged her father back and put herself in between us.

Kristin : Mr Joel…. I would be very careful about what you say next ok…. You disrespect something you don’t understand… you’re going to regret it….

I raised an eyebrow and I walked around the house.

Pointing to the deities, I added.

Joel : Introduce them to me…. come… do it…. Ask your god to come out and talk to me….

Kristin looked like she was about to strangle me but Fong held onto his daughter’s hand.

Joel : No… no one ??

I looked around the house as if expecting some supernatural beings to jump out.

Joel : What about ghost…. Or spirits… ? come come… show me…. I’ve always wanted to see a ghost… or vampire…. Zombie…. Whatever you can summon….

I spread my arms apart and waited for my challenge to be accepted.

Joel : No ?

I walked over to the altar and Kristin warned me not to touch anything.

Joel : why ? I will release a plague… or a monster… ? is that it…. ?

Kristin : you are one damm cocky fellow you know that… ?

Fong : Ah girl… enough… tell the neighbours I’ll see them tomorrow… today is not a good day….

I watched Kristin head to the entrance and moments later, there were groans of disappointment.

When she came back in, I could see she was hopping mad when I picked up a porcelain urn the size of a regular cup.

There’s a yellow talisman sticking over it.

Kristin : Don’t you dare open that…. ?

I shook it and it felt empty.

Kristin : YA !!!

Fong : Girl ah… don’t shout… Officer Joel… we’re really not scamming… we’re just helping people…. Mostly neighbours….

I picked up a bottle of what looked like eye drops but it’s transparent. I could see it’s filled and there’s some Taoist scribbles in red over it.

Joel : what is this…

Kristin : Put that down…

Joel : then tell me what it is…

Kristin hesitated before telling me something so ridiculous that I laughed.

Kristin : Those are my tears….

Joel : hahahaha…. Tears…

Kristin : yes… please put it down…. and I think you have outstayed your welcome…. So… please leave… now….

I nodded and gestured to the bottle.

Joel : Mind if I take this back to the lab… ? who knows what it might contain…

Kristin : You’re an asshole you know that…

Joel : Did you just insult me… ?

Kristin : Yeah… I did… that is a bottle of tears you prick….

Joel : with the way you are behaving, I think I better take this back to the lab…

Kristin : Get out of my house… there’s no need to test anything !!

Fong : Officer Joel… she’s telling the truth… those are nothing…

I held the bottle up against the light and my god, Kristin looked even prettier when she’s mad. I wonder if it’s appropriate for me to ask her out on a date.

Not that I stand much of a chance given the situation right now.

Joel : ok….nah…. take it back…

Kristintin grabbed it from me while giving me the death stare.

Without hesitating, she took the eye drop container to her eyes and put in 2 drops into each eye.

Kristintin : there !… satisfied… ??? here.. you try it…

Fong : Girl AH !!. what you doing !!

The unusually calm Fong lost his control upon hearing his daughter’s dare.

Kristin : haiyah…arghhhh….. . It’ll wear off…

Joel : What will wear off… ? ??

Fong : Nothing… nothing….she’s just joking… just joking….

Kristin : no I’m not… I dare you to do it….. go ahead….

I laughed and as much as I know it’s a stupid thing to do, I could not resist doing it. Especially with Kristin throwing it out as a dare to me.

It’s hard to resist a dare from a beautiful woman.

I took it and dropped 2 drops into each of my eye much to Fong’s horror.

Fong : NO!!!  fuck….!

I handed the bottle back to Kristin and wiped the tears that were rolling down my cheeks.

Fong turned and smacked his daughter a couple of times, adding to her irritation.

Kristin : What !!! PA!!.. he’s being such a prick…. !!

Fong : why did you ask him to do that for !!!

Kristin : To teach him a lesson of course.. ! hahaha…

I folded my arms and waited.

Joel : And now what… what will I see… ? come.. come… ask all your god, ghost, whatever nonsense out….

Kristin was smiling gleefully and I swore I saw her look over to the kitchen before giving her head a quick nod towards me.

It’s as if she was trying to communicate with someone.

Something, I don’t know.

Instinctively, I turned and I saw nothing.


Joel : hmmmm…. Ok… where… where ? what is it… ?

I turned back to Fong and Kristin and the expression on their face spoke volumes.

They were in shock.

Over the years of reading people, I could tell when the expression on people’s face were not in tune with what they are expecting.

They were expecting something to happen but it didn’t.

It didn’t happen and I don’t see shit.

Fong grabbed the bottle from his daughter and he did the same, dropping the supposedly container of tears from his daughter into his own eye.

Kristin stared at me as if she was looking at something peculiar. She waved her hands in front of my face and I shoved her hands away.

Joel : Ok… enough of this nonsense….

Kristin : how… ?

Joel : What how ?

Kristin turned to her father and Fong just gave her a shove with a look, telling her to shut up.

I interpret it as ‘ the game is over’ look.

Joel : please…. Stop whatever it is you are doing….it’s not cool taking money off old women….

I was expecting Kristin to snap back at me but she didn’t. She just kept staring at me in disbelief.

Looking at her, I offered her some advise.

Joel : I could see the degree hanging on your wall in the room…. Get a proper job…. Take care of your father…. He’s earned it….he raised you….

Kristin was at a lost for words while Fong just nodded in agreement, I could see he was eager for me to leave.

Joel : Word of advice…. Ms…. Kristin…

She looked at me and I could see she was unsatisfied. The look of someone losing an argument and feeling bitter about it.

Joel : stop scamming people…..

And I said it in a darn sarcastic manner that I was sure would irritate her.

I walked to the door and I changed my mind about asking Kristin out when I saw her gesturing into thin air.

I shook my head.

What a pity. She’s hot, and if we had met under different circumstances, I would ask her out, but if she is mentally unsound, no way.

No way.

I entered the lift and headed down to the ground floor. Time to head back to office and clear some paperwork.

I was about to walk out the lift when I suddenly felt a little disorientated. It’s like I just stepped off a roller coaster. Grabbing onto the handrail, I shook my head a little and blinked a few times.

Joel : Fuck… fuck… fuck !!

I knew it.


It must be.

I just got punk into dripping drugs into my own eye. I reached for my phone as I walked towards my car.

I’m going to give my colleague at the Narcotics bureau a call and ask them to start smashing some doors down.

On hindsight, what I did back then was pretty dumb.

Dropping an unknown substance into my own eye ?

I can’t believe I did it. What if it had been acid or some shit ?

I unlocked my car and I saw a old lady pushing a cartload of cardboard stacked almost as high as her passing from the front of my car. She walked with a bent and there are plenty of plastic bags hanging from the handle of the cart.

I waited for her to pass and I scrolled through my phone to find the number of my colleague.

I dialled the number and got out of the car to finish the call before I start driving.

Joel : Hello ….. Fauzi…. Eh bro…. Joel here ah…. Ehhhh how are you… haha… good  good … im good…. eh… I have something for you that you might be interested in…. I’m at Bedok South….

I was speaking halfway when I froze.

I stopped talking.

Fauzi : Joel …. Oei…. You there… you ok… ?

Joel : bro I call you back in a bit….

I walked to the front of my car and looked at the ground. It’s blood.

There’s a trail of blood leading right past my car.

I turned and I looked at the old lady pushing that trolley of cardboard.

That’s where the blood is coming from.

Joel : What the fuck….

I reached behind my back and touched my service revolver just to be sure it’s still there. The reassuring texture of the grip felt soothing in my hand as I followed the trail of blood.

It could be nothing. Perhaps a dead animal or perhaps fish, I don’t know, but I can’t just walk away.

That’s not me.

I looked at the block number in case I needed to call this in. I’m at block 70 and heading away towards the private housing estate.

The lady cut through a small path leading up to the estate of landed houses, Lucky Garden.

The trail of blood continued up the path. I saw her approaching 2 old houses tuck at the end. It looks old, unmaintained and the wild shrubs and weeds are taller than the gate itself.

It’s a stark contrast with the beautifully maintained houses further down.

The strip which the old lady is approaching had houses that looked like it was from a different era. Paint were peeling from the external walls and I could see patches of mould growing all over.

I saw the lady enter the compound of one of the houses and when I got closer, the smell.

The smell hit me immediately.

If you have been near a decomposing body before, you would surely know that smell. There’s nothing like it.

It stays in your head like a nightmare.

I whipped out my phone and I have to call this in but there were no signal.

Joel : You got to shitting me…

I pulled out my weapon and approached the house with my gun raised.

The trail of blood stopped at the cart which is now parked in the porch. What was once a grand entrance with landscaping and a pond is now in ruins. The pond to my left is now a stagnant pool of green algae with visible infestation of insects I could not even name.

A thick layer of dried leaves covered the floor and I could hardly see the old white tiles underneath.

The old lady is gone but her cart is still there.

Blood was still dripping from the cart as I got closer.

For a moment, I wondered if this is a hallucination.

One caused by the drug or whatever shit Kristin put in that eyedrop but the buzz of a mosquito by my ear and a quick smack of another on my arm reminded me this is not a dream.

I looked at the blood on my palm from the mosquito I just killed.

This is not a dream.

It’s too real to be a dream.

I saw movements in front of me and I trained my weapon at the old lady walking out.

She looked like any other old lady.

As she approached me, she suddenly stopped.

She stopped walking.

Joel : Hi Auntie…. I happen to see you walk by earlier and there is a lot of blood coming from your cart….. care to explain why…. ?

The old lady’s eyes met mine for the very first time and she looked happy.

Elated in fact.

She smiled at me, revealing a row of teeth that looked too straight, too white and too healthy to belong to someone who looked to be at least 80 years old.

She said only one thing.

Old Lady : You….. can see me….

I ignore her reply and gestured towards the cart.

Joel : What’s in there…. Why are there so much blood…. ??

She straightened her body to a point that she’s no longer bent over like a old woman.

Her back became as straight as mine and rising to her full height, she started to come towards me.

Joel : stop right there auntie… I don’t want to hurt you…. What is inside that cart…. ?

She smile again at me then without warning, started to shriek and charge towards me.

She’s mad. I have a gun pointed at her and she’s charging right at me.

I’m not going to shoot a 80 year old in the face.

She grabbed my hand and I was about to wrestle and break free but all I could do was scream in pain. She’s strong.

I used my weapon as a hammer and struck at her wrist twice but she held onto my forearm, trying to pull me close to her.

I could feel her fingernails digging into my flesh and I struck her on her head with my weapon.


I hit her hard, hard enough to perhaps kill an 80 year old but she was still smiling at me when I hit her.

My arm felt like it was going numb and despite my best effort, I could not shake her loose. She kept pulling me close and I kept her away with a combination of shoves, hits and my knee against her chest.

With a short and sharp grunt, I mustered all my strength and I struck her hard enough on her head to rip off a chunk of skin from her face.

Still she held on.

With my life in danger, I released the safety from my weapon and pointed it at her arm.

I was about to squeeze the trigger when she bit me.

She fucking bit me on my weapon bearing arm. With the muzzle pointing towards the residential estate down the road, I could not fire indiscriminately in case I hit someone.

I head butted her on her nose and I literally leapt off the floor with one foot targeted at her chest. Leveraging off the momentum, I kicked her back and felt her nails rip along my left forearm as we separated.

She fell backwards with a thud and I landed on my bottom.

I wanted to get back up but when I tried to push myself back up with my left arm, I collapsed onto the ground littered with dried leaves.

My left arm went numb.

Joel : What the fuck…. !!

I pointed my weapon at the old lady who got back up on her feel and she started sucking her fingers. Those same fingers that were stained with my blood.

Joel : fuck you….

I squeezed the trigger.

Nothing happened.

I clicked it a couple of times but it felt as if it was stuck. This is bullshit.

I can’t fire my weapon.

The old lady laughed and she sucked on her fingers as if she was enjoying the last bits of a tasty meal.

Old Lady : ahahhahahaha…. This must be my lucky day…. aHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

I could not believe my eyes as she literally flew towards me. She is still on the ground but only her toes were touching the floor and it’s as it she was being dragged towards me head first with her legs trailing behind.

I managed to get back on one knee and I balled up my fist.

I don’t care if this is a dream, a hallucination or just a fucking bad trip from the aftereffects of a drug.

If I need to go, I go down fighting.

My eyes met with that of the old lady and the glee in her expression was one of genuine joy. You can’t hide an emotion like that.

My fist connected with her face and it disorientated her for a wee second before her fingers closed around my neck.

I was about to headbutt her again when she screamed literally into my face and almost ruptured my eardrums.


Then she fell backwards and rolled over a couple of times.

Before I could figure out what is going one, she thrusted her fingers at me like she was firing a projectile.

Only when her fingers, yes, her actual fucking fingers penetrated my skin did I realised I was not dreaming. The pain is real.


I was drooling and trying to make sense of what is happening as I pulled out a middle finger and a thumb from my chest when I realised something.

She had no fingers left.

We all have 10 fingers, 2 ended in me.

Where is the other 8 ?

It was then I noticed the eyes of the old lady looking behind me.

I turned and I could not believe my eyes.

Joel : fuck no….

I saw behind me the father and daughter I just met earlier.

The scammers.

The medium cheating old lady of her money.

Fong stood behind her daughter who had her hands clasped together with only the index and middle finger left upright. The fingers the old lady sent at them stopped in midair.

Like how Neo in the matrix stopped the bullets, Kristin stopped the fucking fingers in midair.

Her eyes were closed.

When those large round beautiful eyes of hers opened, I felt as if there was a almighty push outwards from the centre of where she is standing.

I felt a force rip through my body and the immediate area around Kristin whipped into a whirlpool of dust and dried leaves, spreading outwards and knocking the old lady back towards the house.

I looked on in disbelief as Kristin’s hair fluttered as if she was standing in front of the beach facing the sea when in fact there was no breeze in the immediate area.

The old lady ran out of the house and her hands got longer to the point it touched the ground.

I backed away slowly as I tried to make sense of what is happening.

When I backed up till I was right beside Kristin, she looked down at me with a haughty smirk.

Kristin : word of advice ….Officer Joel ……

I looked at her in disbelief as she finished her sentence with a satisfied smile on her face.

Kristin : Run…

What the fuck…..

As much as I wanted to strangle Kristin for dissing at me, the idea of self-preservation is of higher priority. I need to figure this shit out.

I need to understand what is going on.

Logic and science. Everything has an explanation.

There must be one for what is happening in front of me.

As I cycled through my head for possible explanation, I could not decide which was more likely. I was hallucinating because I was given some drug against my will, or this is a fucking dream.

My senses all felt sharp and alive. I don’t think this is caused by a drug.

This is a bad dream. Must be.

One of those dreams that felt so real that you would jump awake in bed while drenched in perspiration.

The fingerless old lady’s hands looked like it’s muscles and joints have lost it’s elasticity. It’s like they were melting to the ground in a gooey state like cheese being stretched.

She flung and whipped it at Kristin and her Dad, just when I thought it was about to hit them, it curved.

It curved and wrapped around an invisible barrier of sort.

Something my eyes could not see but it’s right there.

As the hand retracted in a grotesque manner, much like a frog retracting it’s tongue, Kristin ran forward and the old lady jumped to kick her.

Like a boxer engaging her opponent, I watched in amazement as Kristin faced off with that grotesque creature with hardly a change in expression. Punches were thrown, kicks were blocked, and I saw the old lady tried to bite Kristin who avoided her teeth and pushed her jaw away.

When Kristin punched the old lady, it’s as if she was punching rubber and no pain was registered on her face. Sliding behind the creature, Kristin slid her arm from the back to the front.

She was trying to hold onto and restrain the old lady much like a cop trying to restrain a suspect.

Fong was not standing by idling as I thought he is.

He had formed some sort of weird diagram with his fingers and I could see dried leaves slowly trembling and dragging themselves towards him.

I muttered under my breath as I realised nothing in the textbooks I’ve been reading for the past 20 years could explain what is happening in front of my eyes.

Joel : …… you got to be shitting me….

I muttered under my breath as I watched leaves, twigs, dust and even fine grains of sand get sucked up into a sphere of concentrated energy under his hands.

There are no fancy colours or lights.

Just whatever that sphere is sucking off the ground.

They swirled in the air like they were suddenly confined into a snow globe of sort.

The swirling became faster and faster and my eyes could no longer follow what was caught into the swirling ball of energy as more dust and leaves were being swept into it.

Fong : Girl !! move…!!

Kristin, upon hearing her father’s signal, dove aside while I watched Fong charge forward and thrust that sphere of energy towards the old lady’s body.

The old lady tried to duck but it hit her, or rather, it touched her, grazing by the side of her waist.

As magically as it appeared, the ball of energy went away like someone snapped his finger and recalled it. The ball of sand, dust and leaves spilled onto the ground as if a child were just playing with them and mimicking a snow fight.

The old lady stopped moving and she started shivering and trembling violently where she stood.

No screams, no curses, nothing.

It’s like a silent horror movie.

She trembled and vibrated as Fong and Kristin stepped back and away .

Then the old lady is gone.

Poof. Like magic.

No, she didn’t burst into a mess of blood and rotten organs. She didn’t explode with a burst of light.

She dissipated.

She just fucking turned to dust and vanished.

No way. No fucking way.

I’m not buying this.

I’m not buying this.

No way. This is top notch Hollywood effects from a high end visual effects company.

It would have fit right into a movie, but I’m not at the cinema.

I’m not watching a show, and I could still feel the pain from the injuries I suffered.

I could feel my head spinning.

I’m going into shock. I’ve learnt about this before.

I lost blood, I experienced some trauma, I’ve seen shit I can’t explain, I’m going to pass out.

Just before my eyes closed, I saw Kristin and Fong standing over me as I struggled to breathe.

Fong : Now what… ? look what you have done…

Kristin : It’ll wear off after a couple of hours depending on his body….he’ll be fine….

Fong : so we just leave him here….

Kristin : of course… he’s such a dick…

Fong : Well… this wouldn’t have happened if he could not see the Hag….

Kristin : Well we took care of it… we don’t owe him anything…. Let’s go…

Kristin knelt down and pulled out a bottle of liquid from a small pouch. She grabbed my jaw roughly and squeezed them inside my mouth. It’s salty. It tasted like tears.

Kristin : It’ll just all be a nightmare to him….

Fong : I can hear sirens….he must have called someone….

Kristin : haha… they would probably throw him into a mental ward depending on how much he can remember…. Haha

Fong nudged his daughter in an irritated manner.

Fong : don’t ever do that again !… you know what your tears do… !

As they walked away, I felt Kristin kicked me in my ribs. It’s not a hard kick but a kick nevertheless. A deliberate one. It’s like she knew she’s going to walk away and can’t help getting a strike in.

I tried to call out to them but I can’t.

Then everything went black.

The next thing I knew, there were paramedics fussing over me and I saw my colleagues milling about. Then I saw Fauzi on the phone as he walked out from the house I followed the old lady to.

Fauzi : bro….!… what the fuck man !! are you ok… ?

He came over and I instinctively searched for my weapon.

Fauzi : It’s here… it’s here…. Everything’s in there… safety’s off…. Were you about to shoot…. ?

I panted for air as I tried to compose myself and organise my thoughts.

First thing first. I looked at my injuries, they were real.

I was in pain.

I can still remember the old lady, what Kristin and Fong called the Hag.

I remember everything.

Fauzi : Bro… bro… oei… you ok… ?

I nodded.

Joel : how… how did you get here…. ?

Fauzi : you called me…. said you have something for me but then you spoke halfway and hung up…… something felt off…. so I checked your location….. we were only 5 blocks away….

Joel : 5 blocks…. You were on a stakeout… ?

Fauzi : yeah… we’ve been following this crew of dealers for weeks…. And guess what we found inside this house… ?

I looked at the dilapidated house and I saw more officers going in.

Joel : What did you find… ?

Fauzi : The fucking honey pot bro… hahah… there’s 4 kg of heroin in there and almost a thousand pills…..

Joel : What….

Fauzi : how did you end up here…. ??

Joel : I was on the phone with you… when I ….

I hesitated for a bit as it hit me. If I told the whole truth, they might think I’m mad. I need to manage this until I can figure out what the fuck is going on.

Joel : I saw…. I saw this lady….. she looked like she’s hiding something….

Fauzi : And…. ?

Joel : I followed her here….. my car is still over at the carpark by the flats…..

Fauzi : You’re fucking lucky bro…. they could have killed you….

Joel : Did you get the guys…

Fauzi told me they got all 4 of them, but they denied there is a 5th or anyone else working with them.

Fauzi : Don’t worry, you’re probably ambushed……. I think whoever hit you…. they panicked…. My guys were saying you were hit by at least 2 guys… probably jumped you and stabbed you….. but you’ll live… hahaha… lucky bastard….

Joel : the house… what else is there in the house… ?

Fauzi : A old cart…. Filled with cardboard…. Other than that, nothing….

The paramedics lifted me up and into the ambulance. The next thing I knew, I was enroute to the hospital.

I kept replaying the sequence of what happened in my head.

I pinched myself and it hurt.

I have to figure this out.

I closed my eyes and tried to think as I was wheeled into the A&E department to get some stitches.

Dr Soon : Hi Joel…. I’m Dr Soon…. Let me take a look at you…

I opened my eyes and I jumped.

I fucking jumped in the trolley even though I was lying down.

My eyes stared wide apart and Dr Soon was taken aback.

Dr Soon  : woooahhh… chill man… it’s ok…. It’s ok… let me take a look at your hand….

2 nurses came over to help as I felt my heart rate increase in speed.

Nurse 1 : His blood pressure and heart rate is spiking Dr….

Nurse 2 : Sir… please calm down.. you are in the hospital….. we’re here to help you….

No, I was not taken aback by the staff trying to help me.

I’m not afraid of needles or stiches.

I was taken aback by how crowded the room I was in seemed to be.

There was someone else in the room.

People who had no business of being there.

I rubbed my eyes just to be sure I was not seeing things and I was not.

Joel : fuck me…..

Dr Soon : Joel… are you ok…. ?? what is wrong….

Joel : Nothing… nothing…. i….i was just a little confused…..

It took a minute or so before the nurse took another reading of my vitals.

Nurse 1 : Ok… blood pressure and heart rate is back to normal…..

After the staff cleaned and dressed up my wound, I remained seated.

I sat and I stared at the chair across me.

The doctor sat down in that chair and told me he will be right back.

Dr Soon : stay here… and chill for a bit… ok ? …

I nodded as I watched the doctor stand up, tracking his every move.

I’m not interested in the doctor.

I’m interested to understand how he can sit down on a chair that had another old man in it without affecting him.

Yes, there is someone else on that chair.

On that chair sat an old man dressed in hospital garb. Beside him stood another man in shirt and pants. He looked like your typical office worker and he carried a tablet.

2 of them waited in the same cubicle as me silently.

Under the bright lights, these 2 had no shadows. I checked several angles and on different objects. No shadows were cast.

They just waited in the same cubicle as me like I was invisible.

Aside from having no shadows, they were floating.

They were fucking floating 5cm off the ground but they were no bobbing around like Casher the friendly ghost or slimer from ghost buster.

It’s like their feet were planted on a different plane compared to me. They walk a different path.

A nurse came in and she walked right through the younger looking man carrying a tablet. She walked through him and reached for some files, her hand literally punching through his body.

Right through, as if he didn’t exist.

Initially only the old man was looking at me, but now, my eyes met with both of them.

They were both staring at me now.

Old man : that… that young man…. He can see us…..

Fuck he’s right. Not only see.

I can fucking hear them too.

Young man : It appears so…..

Right about then, an old lady came and she too walked a different plane from me , yes she’s floating too. She approached her husband who was waiting for her and they shared an embrace before holding hands.

The old lady is also dressed in hospital garb.

She cried and the old man consoled her.

Old man : don’t cry…. it’s time…. our kids are old enough to take care of themselves…..

Old lady : I’ll miss the grandkids…. Sobzz…

Old man : we have to let go eventually…. The kids are old enough… we brought them up well….

My jaw was down and I stopped breathing.

The old couple shuffled slowly away and I saw the old man gave me a smile.

I heard screams, cries and pleas from a few cubicle down.

Adult crying for their parents and cries from the grandchildren.

Someone had passed on.

My heartrate started to spike again as I looked at the gentleman holding a tablet.

He was still looking at me.

Then he did something that is totally out of this world.

He reached forward and touched my forehead before I felt his icy fingers graze my eyelids.

My eyes fluttered and I opened them again.

It felt like he was trying to help me, to recalibrate my eyes or some shit but when I opened my eyes, I was still looking at him.

Eye to eye.

He looked puzzled, intrigued, then worried.

He looked at his watch, pulled out his phone from his pocket and he snapped a photo of me.

Yeap, he fucking pointed his phone at me and took a picture before putting it away.

Then he too, disappeared.

He vanished into thin air.

I slapped myself immediately on the cheek and felt the sting of pain.

I looked at the drawn curtain separating me from the rest of the hospital.

I’m fucked.

I’m really fucked this time.

I started to talk to myself.

Joel : ok… Joel….time to find out …… how fucked you really are….

I stood up and held onto the chair’s arm for support.

I swung the curtain opened and when my eyes took in what was in front of me as I did a sweep from left to right, I could only mutter one word under my breath.

One word that no only summed up the situation I got myself into, it also confirmed my worse fear.

Joel  : fuck…


The first thing that hit me was the noise. The sound.

It’s like a jumbled up soundtrack.

There are people talking, whispering, shouting. Almost a dozen men in formal wear similar to the one that touched me were waiting around.

Some referred to their tablet, some stared in one particular direction, and I saw another wrestling a man with only 1 arm to the ground.

One thing for sure , I’m the only one that can see them.

The doctors, the nurses, other patients were walking right through them, some are even sharing the same seat.

Joel : holy shit….

As I stood in the midst of it all, it felt like I was watching some pirated VCD from back in the 90s.

There’s the occasional screeching sound that hurt my ear, then I saw people, or spirits, or ghost or whatever the fuck you call them jump.

Jump as in not physically jumping on the spot like a Chinese vampire with a talisman on his head.

Imagine you see someone walking towards you only to see him freeze in place for 2 seconds, then the next thing you realise is that he is already right in front of you.

That kind of pirated VCD video footage jump.

It’s like my senses were on fire, burning with information to process from this seemingly parallel world that exists on top of the only one I know.

Beside patients queuing up to see the doctor, I saw a toddler wobbling unsteadily into his mother’s arms. Both the mother and child were floating too, walking on a different plane.

Shortly after I saw a man being wheeled out on a chair. He was crying, he was broken. The healthcare staff were trying to calm him down. No he’s not dead but he might as well be.

Hearing his screams and cries told everyone present that the only thing that broke were not just his bones. He screamed and mourned for the lost of his wife and child in a car accident.

I watched in disbelief as the mother held tightly onto the child before being led away by the formal looking men.

Agents of death perhaps.

The noise grew in intensity. The decibels of the screams numbed my eardrums to the point of pain.

I walked briskly outside the door only to regret instantly.

There were more outside.

Under the sun, they looked like apparitions, their colours more faded and translucent when seen under indoor lighting.

Joel : fuck… fuck… fuck…. !

I saw an old lady walk right up to me and I jumped.

Joel : What do you want !!

Old lady : Young man… where is the taxi stand… ? ??

A healthcare staff appeared out of nowhere to help the old lady as I frantically looked at her feet.

Her old shoes planted firmly on the ground.

Someone touched me and I swung around, ready to throw a punch only to see my boss Yip rearing back in shock.

Joel : arghhhh!!!

Yip : what the fuck Joel… ?

I looked at Yip with my eyes wide opened only to realised I had both my arms up in a defensive position.

Yip  : what is wrong with you… ?

Joel : Nothing… nothing…. I’m ok… I’m ok….

I turned and looked around Yip.

The apparitions, the ghost, they entered and left the hospital in a relentless stream.

It’s like a highway and we are standing right in the middle of it.

They walked right through us. Many of them were talking, I could hear some of them asking for more time.

Some were openly cursing, some were crying. The amount of noise is worse than peak hour in the morning at a wet market.

Yip : Joel ….Joel !!!

I turned and came face to face with this really obese man. He was running towards me. He’s got to be at least 120 kg at least and he was charging towards me crying and shouting.

I backed away and as he rammed his body against mine, I thought I felt him rip through my body as I fell backwards onto the ground.

I felt my back hit the floor before my head bounced off the pavement.

My eyes were opened and I could see Yip shouting for help.

I saw the obese man being jumped upon by 4 others before all 5 of them disappeared into nothing .

A doctor and 2 nursing staff came out including a security officer.

There were all talking to me at the same time, asking if I was ok.

I can’t breathe.

Then I passed out.


When I woke, I was in a ward.

I was on a drip and Yip was there with my colleague Ming. The rookie that was just posted to work with me barely 2 months ago.

Ming : He’s awake… he’s awake….

Yip : Joel… what the hell… are you freaking out on me… ?

Ming : Sir… sir…. Are you ok… ? you recognise me or not… ? you want water… ?  you need anything…. Do you remember your name…

Yip : Diam la… ! (  Shut up ) …. Joel… oei… !

Joel : Yeah.. yeah… I’m here… I’m here….

I could feel a throbbing pain at the back of my head from where I hit when I fell.

Yip : What is going on… ? one moment I get a call you were stabbed when you wandered into something you shouldn’t have been a part of, and now, you are freaking out on me at the hospital…. Are you ok… ?

It took me a while to answer as my eyes drifted to the old lady standing at the corner of the ward.

She was looking for something.

Yip and Ming looked at the direction I was looking at before turning back to face me.

Yip : Ok… Joel… you’re going on leave…

Joel : What… ? hell no….i’m… I’m ok…

Yip : This is an order… you’re going on leave… give me your gun and your ID…

Joel : I have a shit load of things to get back to… I’m fine…

Yip : No…. I’ve had enough, HR has had enough … you didn’t even touch your leave from the year before….and HR has been buying back leave days for cash since the year you started work…. There are better ways to spend taxpayers money….

Joel : But….

Yip : Doctor gave you 2 weeks MC, and you are to go clear your leave from 2016…. That’s 10 days there…. And I demand you clear at least half of the 18 years you still have from 2017….

Joel : This is unreasonable..!

Yip : Yeah… too bad…. Because I’m the boss…

Ming : I wish I can go on leave too Joel…

Yip : Ming will cover your work as much as possible….

Joel : I’ll just take the MC, and be back after that….

Yip : Do you believe I get the doctor to extend your MC for another week….? No more bargaining…. This is final….you deserve a good rest…. Go travel… holiday… or something… get out of the country…. I don’t want to see you back in office or I will fucking shoot you myself….you hear me… !!

Joel : Yes Sir…~~

Yip : Ming…. Take over what you have to… and push back those talks that are not urgent….

Ming : Orh…

Yip took his leave first and left Ming alone with me.

Ming : Oei… Joel… you ok bo… ? you looked very pale… like you’ve seen a ghost…

Joel : I …. I’m ok I think….

Ming started updating me about the task I asked him to do earlier that week but I wasn’t paying attention. The old lady was still at the corner of my room searching for something.

She seemed to be mumbling to herself one moment then she tapped her head as if trying to jolt her memory.

Ming : and then…. Because the scammer used her sister’s bank account… we brought her sister in instead… who turned out to be innocent because ….. Joel.. are you listening… ?

Joel : Huh… yeah.. yeah….

The old lady was gone when I looked over again after talking to Ming.

Ming continued blabbering away for another 30 minutes before he finally stopped.

Ming : Anyway.. you have a good rest….anything just give me a call yeah….?

Joel : Thanks man…

Staying alone in the large ward, I was worried for a moment what would happen when night falls.

Will the ward be flooded by ghosts or spirits ?

Will they start fucking around with me now that I can see them ?

Thankfully nothing happened.

I ate my meals, I watched TV and I rest.

In fact, I had a pretty good sleep.

I woke up the next day and I told the doctor I want to be discharged. He tried to talk me out of it but I insist on discharging against advice.

Joel : I’m really ok… I would be able to rest better when I get home….

By the time I was done with the paperwork, collecting my meds, it was 2pm when I hopped onto a cab.

I’m still seeing shit. Ghostly apparitions but it didn’t faze me as much compared to the day before.

I got back home and the first thing I did was to look around my house.

Thankfully there were none in there.

I took a shower, grabbed a change of clothes and put on a pair of shades.

I left my home and looked out onto the streets with the shades on, wondering if the lens made any difference.

Joel : Fuck….

It didn’t.

Hailing a taxi, I made my way first to my car parked at the estate where I first met the Father daughter duo.

Checking that all is well with my ride, I could feel my blood boiling a little as I stormed my way up towards their place.

When the lift door opened, I could see a longer line of people queuing up to enter the house. I recognise several of the aunties I saw and they immediately shot me the dirty look and stare.

“ Don’t you dare cut queue !! “

“ Queue up like the rest of us ! “

“ Get a queue number !! “

These came from those that managed to get a seat among the stools. From another group who were left standing and looking visibly unhappy, they barked at those in queue as well.

“ so what if you have a number… so what if you have a queue….doesn’t mean you get to see the master !! “

“ You think you got queue confirm can see the master ?? … no fate also no use !! “

The 2 groups started bickering and I instinctively reached for my ID only to realised I don’t have them anymore.

The commotion got too loud and I saw Kristin appeared at the door to ask everyone to quiet down.

Like a teacher silencing the class, Kristin reminded everyone to respect the master.

She was barely done scolding the people in the queue when she saw me.

I could see her gasped and her eyes widened, locking gaze with mine.

She immediately recovered and looked away, trying to appear nonchalant.

I was about to walk right up to her when I saw all the dirty looks the angry aunties were throwing at me.

I exhaled and told myself to calm down.

I positioned myself at a corner, away from the gathering of people near the entrance into the flat.

Not because I want to be alone, or not because I’m trying to act cool leaning against a wall.

I chose not to block the corridor leading to the corner unit because there’s a constant stream of visitors entering and leaving the house.

Visitors that the aunties in the queue are not aware of.

I settled in for a long wait.

The duo is right in that house.

There’s nowhere else they can go.

And I’m not leaving until I get some answers.

I was prepared for a 1 to 2 hour wait but I never expected it to drag much longer.

It was 5pm when I finally could get a seat on one of the stools.

Even then, the queue moved at a snail’s pace.

Whenever Kristin came to the door, she avoided my eyes and pretended she never saw me.

My mind was filled with so many random thoughts as I moved down the stool one after another.


Dozens of questions piled one on top of the other.

There is literally a shit load od questions I have on my mind.

By the time the last auntie entered the house, it was 7pm.

I haven had anything to eat or drink since I left the hospital.

The last auntie left the house at 7.20pm and I got up.

Approaching the door, I saw Kristin give me a wide smile.

Kristin : Hi there…. I’m afraid we are closed… and if you don’t have a queue number… we can’t help you….

Joel : Cut that bullshit…. What did you do to my eyes… ? !!

Kristin kept up her innocent act and pretended as if she didn’t know what I was talking about.

Kristin : Oh dear…!.. you must have confused me with someone else….. have we met… ??

Her eyes blinked twice as she looked at me. I could not believe this.

Kristin casually swept a strand of hair behind her ear and waited for me to answer her.

Kristin : Are you…. Lost… ? do you need help…. ? hello ??!!

I was on the verge of blowing my top when I realised it’s not going to help. I exhaled and I looked right past Kristin for a couple of seconds before looking back at her.

Joel : Look… I’m sorry… I think we got off on the wrong foot…. But I’m seeing shit I can’t explain…. And I remember everything  !!!… I saw what you and your…

Before I could finish, Kristin dragged me into her house and shut the door behind her.

With the door closed, she pointed a threatening finger at me.

Kristin : What are you talking about…. You’re confused… you don’t know what you are talking about !!!…..

Joel : I know what I’m talking about… ??!… I’m seeing ghost… !!.. I can see them…!…. just like how I can see your friend whispering in your ears right now…. !!

I looked at the girl who is about the same height as Kristin because she walks on a different plane. 5cm higher.

She looked pleasant and sweet.

In fact, she had been eyeing me the moment we entered the house.

Fong came out from the room with a old tattered book in hand and looked at us.

The expression on Kristin’s face is a look I can’t describe.

She was shaking her head slowly at her dad, as if telling herself that this is not possible.

Kristin : No…. no…. this is not supposed to happen…. You’re not supposed to remember….

Joel : but I remember… I remember everything…. ! and I can see…. I can see them…..!! what the fuck did you do to me…!!!

Kristin : I didn’t do anything to you…. You are the one who dripped my tears into your own eyes…

Joel : I remember you kicking me when I was down…!

Kristin : We saved your life you dumb ass….!!

Fong shut his old book with a snapped and exhaled loudly before speaking.

Fong : Officer Joel….. please calm down….

Turning to Kristin, he told his daughter to prepare dinner.

Fong : We have guest here tonight…. Please…. Add an extra chopstick to the  dining table….

Fong didn’t even asked my opinion. He just assumed I am going to stay for dinner. I wanted to reject his offer, I’m just here for answers, not for free food, but I find myself unable to say no.

With his hands extended towards the dining table, Fong invited me to take a seat without saying a single word.

I too sighed as Kristin mumbled something under her breath before heading into the kitchen to prepare dinner.

I took a seat and turned to look at the ghostly apparition that seemed to be munching on something. She gave me a smile and a wave like a shy teenager waving to a guest from a distance away.

Fong : That’s Kristin’s sister….Kylie….. we lost her in a car accident…..

Joel : I…. I’m….. I’m sorry to hear that….

Fong put some tea leaves into a porcelain cup and filled it with hot water from a thermos flask.

Fong : Please… have some tea… dinner will be ready soon…..

I looked at Fong who eyed with me interest. He seemed to have as much questions for me as I have for him.

I took a sip of the tea and I was about to speak but Fong held up a hand at me.

Fong : No… not now… please… stay for dinner … and we’ll talk after….

I heard the sizzle of the wok in the kitchen and the fragrance of fried garlic stirred up my rumbling stomach.

Joel : ok….thank you….

Fong asked to look at my palms, then at my injuries.

Fong : are you feeling ok… ?

Joel : I think so…..

Fong : have you told anyone what you are seeing… ?

I shook my heard.

Joel : They would think I’m mad….

Fong : I imagine so… hahaha….what is your birth year… ?

Joel : 1983… why… ?

Fong asked for the month, the day and the timing I was born as well and I gave him the information.

I thought he was going to tap on his fingers, maybe pluck something out of the air but instead, he pulled out his smart phone. Putting on his glasses, he entered the information I just gave him before nodding his head.

Fong : water…. Your element is water…

Joel : what… ?

Fong : Nothing… nothing…..

Kristin came out from the kitchen and placed 2 dishes she prepared on the table and they smelled really good.

A dish of fried green vegetables and a dish of braised chicken.

Fong : My daughter is quite a good cook… you must try her cooking…. Hahaha…

Kristin came out again with 4 bowls of soup.

The table was set for 4.

Fong : Kylie can’t eat the food we eat… so… it’s more of a gesture….for the family to …. Eat together….

Joel : ermm..ok….

Kristin sat down at the table and I could see her making eyes and trying to understand what her father is trying to do inviting me for dinner.

Fong : Just eat first….come Joel… eat… eat….

Kristin eyed me like that classmate you always bicker with in school as she picked up the vegetables and put it into her own bowl. I was starving by then and I thought , just fuck it. Eat first.

The moment I tasted the chicken, my eyes widened in surprised. It’s actually good. Well marinated, tender, and the gravy is on point. I hate to exaggerate but it’s one of the nicest braised chicken and potatoes I’ve ever had.

The vegetables, although simply fried with garlic is moist and fresh. It’s crunchy to the bite and scooping a mouthful into my mouth felt like heaven. I must be really hungry.

I literally wolfed down the food and before I knew it, I was out of rice.

Kristin was staring at me by then with a weird expression on her face.

Kristin : Are you that hungry… ?

Joel : Yeah… and… it’s really nice…. I love the chicken….

I could see a brief flash of pride on Kristin’s face before it quickly disappeared, perhaps she was reminded of how unfriendly I was during our first meetup.

Fong : do you want more rice… ?

Joel : Ermm.. if it’s not too much to ask for….

Fong looked at his daughter and Kristin told me there was none left.

Kristin : I wasn’t expecting guest… I didn’t cook that much….

I felt embarrassed suddenly and I quickly add on that I’m ok.

Joel  : I think I’m done…. I’ll be full after the food has time to settle….

I finished every drop of the lotus root soup and I was literally licking the bowl for the last drop. The fragrance of the dried cuttlefish really enhanced the taste of that classic family style soup.

I placed my chopsticks down after I was done munching down the last piece of lotus root and that was when Fong too, was done with his dinner.

Fong : what do you want to know Officer Joel….

Joel : Please… just call me Joel….

Fong : Alright then… haha… what questions do you have…  ?

I looked at Kristin who was chewing something with the chopstick still half inserted in her mouth as she eyed me cautiously.

Joel : What…. What is happening to me…. why… why am I seeing things I cannot explain….. ghost.. why am I seeing ghosts… or… or what are they… what is the monster you killed….why are you shooting balls of energy from your hands….who are you guys… ?

Fong laughed.

Fong : One at a time…. one question at a time please….

Joel : I’m sorry… i… I just have so many question marks in my head…. So… am i… right to say… that I can see ghost….?

Fong nodded.

Fong : ghost…. Spirits….. monsters….souls…..people of different culture, different beliefs…. Call them different names….

Joel : so it’s true.. they are ghost ….

Fong : If you wish to call them that…. But the truth is… they are……a kind of energy….

Joel : Energy…. ?

Fong : How do plants get their energy… ? soil…? Photosynthesis with the help of the Sun….right… ?

I nodded.

Fong : And the animals… where do they get their energy…. ?

Joel : From the food they eat…

Fong : correct.. and what about humans….where do we get our energy… ?

Joel : the same way animals do….food…

Fong : yes…energy…. Cannot be created or destroyed…but it can be converted from one form to another…..when we pass on… .. the conversion takes place…. This is one of the simplest way I can explain what you are seeing….

In essence, the souls, ghost, or spirits, are but remnants of energy from our living self.

Joel : but….where….where do we go…. After we pass on… ? hell ? heaven… ? do those places exists ?

Fong : yes and no….

Fong orientated his body towards me and I could see him trying to think of the right words to use.

Fong : we live in a rule base…. Society… we are governed by law… and because of this… we have order….

I nodded to indicate I was following and for him to go on.

The afterlife, the spirits, the energy, follow a similar rule.

Fong : They too are governed by a set of laws….and because of that… there is order… in the afterlife ….

Fong stopped talking and waited for me to digest what he just said.

Joel : You say…. These are energy… why…. why can’t other people see them…? Why can’t scientist see them… ? they have millions of dollars of equipment…they have years of research… if these are energy…they should be detected….others should be able to see them….

Fong : Science cannot explain everything in this world… or rather…. Science… has not develop to the point where it can explain everything in this world…..

Joel : but….but…science can explain everything…. There must be an explanation…. There must be…..

Fong : Again… yes and no… Science is still developing… but not fast enough…and it might be hundreds of years later before anyone can offer an explanation or theory about what we see, or what we do…

I was a little stumped and when I recovered, I asked Fong about how he can magically summon up some ball of energy.

Joel : that… street fighter shit…. Sonic boom or Haduoken…..what is that… ?

Fong : There are 5 elements….. Earth, fire, water, air, space…. We are from the wind family…. And we can manipulate air, or wind….

Fong waited for that to sink in and again, I countered with the same statement.

Joel : Don’t make sense… how…? How does science explain this… ?

Fong : Science is not ready to explain this…..

Joel : Science can explain everything….

Fong : In time to come…. Yes… but not now….

I wanted to offer a counter perspective but I find myself unable to come up with anything.

Fong : What do you know about the god particle… ?

Joel : Higgs Boson… ?

Fong : We are all made up of particles…. So small that even the most powerful microscope cannot see them…  1896…. Man knew of just one particle…. The electron….today… we know of more than 200 elementary particles….the latest and one of the most famous one….the Higgs Boson….

Joel : what…. ?

Fong : there are 4 fundamental forces that govern everything in this universe…Gravity…… due to which planets go around the sun…… Electromagnetic force…….. which tells how the charges interact……weak force … responsible for the radioactive decay of the atoms….. and strong force…. The force that holds the proton inside the nucleus….

My jaws dropped 2 inches by then as I looked at Fong and at the amount of deities and figures sitting on the altar behind him. The man spewing physics shit in front of me felt like a different man altogether from the one I saw shaking his legs and his head in front of al altar filled with figurines.

Joel : You are shitting me…..

Fong : No… this is science….

 Joel : no shit….

Fong : Let me try to explain this with something simple… imagine walking on a road… you walk easily and don’t feel any resistant or drag…….. now …. Imagine walking in a pool of water………your legs interact with the water….you feel a drag that slows you down……this is exactly what happens in what we call the Higgs mechanism….

Joel : You’re fucking with me aren’t you…. ?

Fong didn’t look like he was kidding as he went on.

Kristin gave a condescending snort as she chuckled at her sister. It’s like she was openly saying ; ‘ haha, dumbass don’t know the shit he has gotten himself in “

Fong : The Higgs field are the water…. And the particles are the people walking in the pool………….the more the particle interacts with the field… the more drag it feels…. And the heavier it becomes….

My eyes were wide opened by then and I could safely say I was getting mindfucked because I don’t understand half the shit Fong is trying to say.

Fong : but you have to also understand that some particles do not interact with the field…..…for example….. photons…..

Kristin : Daddy…. Stop… he has no idea what you are talking about….

I turned to Kristin and rebuked her immediately.

Joel: not true…. i… I just need some time to digest it…. Please go on….

I felt like strangling Kristin when I saw her rolling her eyes at me.

Joel : yeah… the… the…I know… I know… the… the… field…Higgs field….

Fong laughed and he continued.

Fong : The quantum excitation of this Higgs field…. Is known as the Higgs Boson….

I nodded slowly as if I understood but I was just fucking lost.

Kristin started sniggering.

Kristin : Daddy… don’t bother….

I shot her an irritated look and reinforced my point.

Joel : hey.. digesting….. digesting…..

Fong : I’ll give you another simple example….

Fong took a glass of water from the kitchen and some ice cubes from the fridge.

He explained that the water in the glass is calm when he set it down on the table.

Fong : what happens when I do this… ?

He dropped the ice cubes into the water forcefully and the water splashes all over.

Fong : This force… is Higgs Boson….when the Higgs field gets excited by massive external energy… that splash of energy…. Is termed as Higgs Boson…

Joel : Hmmm…. I see….i see….

Kristin was outright laughing by then.

Kristin : Daddy….. hahah…

Joel : Hey… yah..!… digesting… digesting….

Fong chuckled.

Fong : It took scientist 50 years to discover this exotic particle….50 years….

I cut in at the moment as I finally understood what Fong was trying to say.

Joel : ok…. I get your point…. It took scientist 50 years to proof this…… errr…. This …particle ….. exists…. And it’s going to take them a lot longer…. Perhaps hundreds of years to discover and offer a scientific explanation of what we are seeing….. and what you can do…. ? am I right to say that… ?

Fong nodded with a smile.

Kristin : hahah… ok… he’s not that dumb…

Fong took a sip of the water with the ice cubes floating in it.

Fong : Let me simply it further for you…. Why… do babies drink milk….give me a scientific answer….

I thought about the question for a moment before replying.

Joel : They have no teeth… and their digestive system are not yet developed to process solid food…..

Fong : good…

Spreading his hands apart Fong added ;

Fong : The majority of people in this world… have yet to develop…their senses… or rather… their perception of this world has yet to mature….. to the point where we are at now…. to see, to understand, or to manipulate the elements…..

Kristin spoke in a low spooky voice like some villain in a Hollywood drama.

Kristin : they….. are ….. not….. worthy…. Hiak… hiak.. hiak….. hahaha

She burst out laughing as I shot her an irritated look.

Fong : you are special Joel….. I don’t know how… but unless you are related by blood to someone who can see and manipulate energy… it’s unlikely you can see what we see….

Joel : But Kristin’s tears…. I thought it…

Kristin : Hey… it was suppose to be temporarily… and you were supposed to forget everything…. I just don’t know why it didn’t work on you….

Fong offered another explanation.

Fong : Perhaps someone… had suppressed your talents right from the start….in order for you to lead a normal life….

I stared at Fong and I find myself totally speechless by then.

What is he trying to say ?

That my parents can do the same thing as he did ?

No way.

They were killed by scammers, driven to their death.

Fong : Your parents….Joel…. they…

Joel : They are dead…. They were scammed of their money…. And they died…. My dad committed suicide….

Fong exhaled and kept quiet for a while before looking at me in my eye.

Fong : How sure are you….. that it was scammers that drove them to their deaths….. and not something else…. ?

The 5 seconds of silence that followed was broken by Kristin’s dramatic vocal.

Kristin : Jeng…. Jeng…jeng.. jeng !!!!  ooooohhhhh~~~~

I looked at her in disbelief as Fong shook his head at his daughter, asking her to stop it.

Kristin  : hahahahah…..

I looked at Fong and asked with trembling lips.

Joel : You mean to say… i…. i….

Looking at my hands, I asked if I would be able to manipulate energy the same way as they did.

Fong : With the right training and guidance…. Why not… ?

They left me to my thoughts at the table as they cleared the dishes.

I could hear Kristin laughing in the kitchen, commenting that I’m too daft to understand what is going on.

After the dishes were done, Kristin served up fruits and Fong joined me at the table once more.

Joel : Fong…. Do you…..

Fong : hmmmm ?

Joel : Do you think…. You can help me…. understand…. And find out more…. about my parents…. ? and…. About myself… ? i…. I just want to understand more….

Fong smiled and he agreed.

Well, that was easy.

Fong : I can teach you the way…. But… I have already handed the title of the master to my daughter… so…. Technically…. I can only advice you… but the training…’s got to go through Kristin….

Joel  : You’re kidding….

Fong fanned himself with a old straw fan with missing weaves in the living room and replied me in a nonchalant manner.

Fong : I’m not…. it’s rules….

I turned and looked Kristin leaning against the kitchen cabinet and munching on an apple with a look of glee on her face. Something that tells me I’m in for a world of pain.

Kristin : Think carefully Officer Joel….hahaha….. How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go…. ?

Kylie appeared out of nowhere and whispered into her sister’s ears before disappearing. I don’t know what she said but it was enough to crack Kristin up.

Kristin  : hahhaa….hahahah…..

Amidst her laughter, Kristin gave me a mischievous wink.

Kristin : think carefully Officer Joel….. think carefully…..hahaha….

Fong shrugged his shoulders and continued fanning himself in the living room.

Fuck this.

Joel : Yes… I’ll do it…what do I have to do… ??

Kristin smiled.

A sinister one I must add.

Kristin : You can start by serving me tea… and calling me shifu…. Then cut your own hand….. drip the blood into the tea and drink it….

Joel : What !!

Kristin : hahahahahah….. Nah….. I’m just kidding…. Hahahah…

I could not believe how excited she seemed. It’s like she was getting ready dozens of ways to torture me.

Kristin : from now on… you will address me as Grandmaster Wind…!!!! Whahahahah…..

Joel  :Yes… Grandmother wind….

Kristin’s eyes widened for 2 seconds before she slowly nodded and rubbed her hands together.

Kristin : what…? Oh… oh… ohh…. I see….. I see….. this is going to be interesting Joel…..

Kristin cracked her knuckles and added ;

Kristin : ….. this is going to be so…… so…. Interesting…

Kristin walked over to me in a menacing manner and I could see Fong getting up and shaking his straw fan at her.

Fong : eh… eh… eh…. Girl ah…. No… no… stop…

I adopted a defensive position, presenting the left side of my body, ready to block Kristin’s attempt to hit me.

Her right hand raised up in an apparent attempt to smack me.

She’s open, an easy target to block and counter but I don’t want to hurt her.

I went for her wrist, intending to grab it before she strikes only to feel the full brunt of a slap.

Not on my face.

No on my arm.

On my entire body.

The table, chair and everything on it was sent hurling to my right as if a magical fist from the gods just smite me onto the ground.

I felt as if someone threw a basketball at my chest as I groaned and drooled all over the floor.

Yes I was drooling and blabbering like a toddler learning how to speak.

I was immobilised for a couple of seconds and when I could finally move, my mouth felt numb as if I just walked out of the dentist after extracting a tooth.

Joel : blarrr…. Blarrr…..belrghh… belrghh…

Kristin : That’s…… how hard a grandmother slap….Officer Joel….

Joel : blarerrr…. Belrghhh…

Fong : Girl ah… please la… you’re going to kill him before he learns anything….

Kristin : I doubt it…. He looks stubborn….. won’t die so easily….

Kristin threw a rag at me.

Kristin : Clean up your drool… that’s disgusting….

I pushed myself off the ground and looked at Kristin arranging the dishes onto the drying racks in sheer amazement.

I could feel the sensation returning to my tongue.

I looked at Fong in disbelief.

Joel : How… the hell did she do that… ?

Fong : well…. Ask her… ahaha…

I swallowed a gulp of saliva as I looked at Kristin. She started taking clothes out from the washing machine.

Here we are, inside a modest HDB flat, inhabited by this father and daughter duo, with fucking magical powers.

They should be living large, in a fucking castle surrounded by riches and shit but here they are.

One of them humming to a tune from the sixties while the other is doing laundry.

I walked into the kitchen and Kristin shot me an irritated look.

Kristin : dude… it’s late… come again tomorrow… I can’t teach you shit now….

She fling a top a little too hard in my face before drapping it over the old bamboo pole. A faded cloth peg went onto the pole, securing the top before she started on another.

After she filled up the bamboo pole, I reached for it, offering to help her bring it out of the window and onto the drying rack.

Joel : ok….Grandmaster wind…. Can… can we start tomorrow… ?

I placed the bamboo pole onto the notch and turned to look at Kristin pursing her lips before bursting out in laughter

Joel : What… ? I’m serious….

Kristin : say that again… I mean…. Call me….call me again…. Hahah

Kristin closed her eyes and put her hand by her ears like Hulk Hogan waiting a response from the crowd.

Joel : Grandmaster wind….

Kristin : whahhhahahahahah!!!

Kristin chuckled so hard that she cried.

Kristin : Nah…. I was just fucking with you… hahahah…. Hahaha…

Joel : what  !!~~…

Kristin : come…. Come back tomorrow… hahaha…hahah….

I looked at her in disbelief.

Kristin : Just call me Kristin…..Officer Joel…. Hahaha

I could not believe what she just did.

Joel : Just call me Joel then…. i…. I see you tomorrow…

Before I left the kitchen, Kristin called out to me.

Kristin : I start my day early ….. 5 am….don’t be late…. And dress for a run….

I went to Fong who waved at me with his straw fan.

Kylie walked out from the wall, appearing a little too close to me for comfort and I managed an awkward smile at her as she walked me to the gate.

I left the place and when I started the engine of my car, I sat in there for a good 10 minutes before mumbling to myself.

Joel : What did fuck did I just do… ?


12th October 2018



I looked at the wounds on my body in the mirror. They have all closed up properly.

It’s been a while since I woke up at such a unearthly hour.

After a quick wash up, I made the drive to Kristin’s place in Bedok South from my place in Pasir Ris.

I arrived at her door step at 4.45am.

Kylie was pacing up and down the corridor when I got there. She immediately went through the wall into what I assume is her room like a shy teenager suddenly seeing a visitor.

The gate is unlocked and I tapped softly at the door.

Joel : Hello… morning….

Kristin : Come in….

I removed my shoes and entered the house. Turning back to look at the gate, I realised there was no lock.

Joel : Don’t you… lock your gate… ?

Kristin : This is Singapore Joel…. There are people like you protecting us when we sleep isn’t it… ?

Joel : But still…. Basic security….

Kristin : you’re very naggy you know… coffee… ?

Joel : Yeah… sure… black… no sugar….thank you…

Kristin : Sorry… only 3 in 1… nah…

She pushed half a cup of coffee over to me and I could see she has already changed into her running attire.

I looked away, directing my eyes towards the interior of her house instead of that neon pink sports bra. I could see her abs as she pulled a pair of socks off the bamboo poles hanging on the kitchen ceiling.

She put the pair of socks on the table as she sat down, crossed her legs and proceeded to tie up her hair.

She is hot.

Kristin : Are you trying to avoid looking at me…. ?

I turned abruptly to see Kristin eyeing me with the hairband in between her lips. God those lips. My heart fluttered as I quickly looked away from her lips, but my eyes went to her breast, fuck and then it went to her FBT shorts that is riding up really high up her thighs before I finally made eye contact with her.

All these happened in less than 2 seconds and I knew I looked suspiciously like a pervert as Kristin finish tying her hair into a ponytail.

Joel : No… no… it’s just…

Kristin : It’s just what… ? you’ve never seen a girl in sports bra… ?

Joel : I have …. Come on…. I’m just being courteous…

Kristin : Courteous… ? hahaha…. You are very funny…. Haha… are you a virgin…. ?

Joel : I am not !!.

Kristin : Chill man…. Relax…. I’m just asking…. You look so uptight….

We sipped out coffee and I could see Kristin eyeing me in a curious manner.

Joel : What…  ?

Kristin : I’ve seen your youtube videos last night…. All your…. Crime prevention videos… ahhaha….. your…. No such thing as magic videos…

Joel : You have nothing better to do is it….

Kristin : You’re my 2nd student….. I want to get to know you better….

Joel  :Who’s the first… ?

Krisitn : Oh he died….

I choked on my coffee, spilling it on the table as I looked at Kristin to see if she is fucking with me.

She just continued sipping her coffee calmly.

Joel : He died… ? are you shitting me…. he died… ?? what did you do to him ??

Kristin : Nothing…. His time is up… he died…

Joel : Jesus…. How long was he your student before his time was up….

Krisitn : hmmm… about a week….

Joel : Are you sure you didn’t kill him… ?

Kristin : Nah…. I’m not that evil…

I took a rag from the kitchen and cleaned up my spill.

The 2 of us left the house at 5.15am and after some stretching, we started to run.

Kristin : Like everything we do… your stamina matters when trying to control the energy….

Joel : I’m in shape… don’t worry….

Kristin : We’ll see….

We ran at a comfortable pace towards East coast park. 20 minutes in and I could feel myself struggling to catch up to Kristin. Unlike me who is struggling to breathe, Kristin still has it inside her to explain to me about the world I am about to venture in.

Kristin : we call them spirits….and in the spiritual world… they operate on their own set of laws….

We ran past one of the formally dressed guy carrying a tablet as he waited by the side of the road across a petrol station. I turned and I saw him looking at me.

Kristin : The one we just passed, he’s an administrative staff….. he guides the deceased … towards the next stage of their life… there are many of them and they are always around…..

I swallowed a gulp of saliva as I ran pass the spirit of a lone old woman staring at a landed property from outside the gate.

Kristin : then there are the dead…. Who refuse to go into the afterlife….and these administrative staff, they will go after them…. Think of them like the auntie giving summon for your car….

Joel : You get fined ??  after you die ??

Kristin : haha…no… but… sort of a reminder that says, look, you’re dead… or rather, you’re different now… please follow these new set of rules….

Joel : I see….. I see…..are there criminals… or…or…evil spirits…. In the afterlife… ?

Kristin : Yes… plenty of them, different categories too… some are just mischievous….some just need to feed….the Hag you saw… she’s driven by hunger and her need to feed…. And then there are those that are just pure distilled essence of evil….

Joel : who… who…. Who deals with them… ?

Kristin : The administrative staff tries to, if they can’t then the afterlife police comes in….your colleagues so to speak…

Joel : you mean there is an afterlife police force… ? …. No shit…

Kristin : Well… it’s not exactly as well established… but…. I would say they get the job done….

Joel : and….and if they can’t  ? what happens then… ?

Kristin : There’s the reaper….

Joel : Reaper… ? as in the grim reaper… ?

Kristin : It’s just a title… but they look like regular folks… just more senior… much more powerful…. And they report to the head of the afterlife….

Joel : Who… who is that… ?

Kristin : I don’t know….never met him… or her….every country has their own leader…. The same goes in the afterlife…. Just much simpler…. No election… no politics…

I could feel my lungs burning by then as I wondered why can’t we do this over coffee or breakfast instead of a bloody run.

Joel : what…. What….what…. if… what about those…who don’t believe…. In… in…in… life after death….

Kristin : It doesn’t matter what they believe…. Once the energy, or the spirit…. leave this current shell of ours…. It turns into that…. And when you are once of them…. You abide by their laws….

I saw the lights turn red and before I could secretly rejoice at the idea of a quick break, Kristin checked to make sure the roads are clear before she continued running.

Joel : But…. Different religion….different….ways….

Kristin paused at a forked road, taking 2 seconds to decide which way she wants to go.

Kristin : when we die…. It’s all the same…. Our body decomposes…. Our spirit remains… thereafter…. You can continue to practise what you want to practise in the afterworld….

Joel : is…. Is there…. Is there such thing as…. As… reincarnation…. ? a new life.. ?

Kristin : Depends on how you see it…. Energy can be transform from one form to another….there’s a long queue for all the spirits that wants to live again as human….that’s assuming if you meet the criteria… you might end up as a bug or a sheep for all that matter…

Joel : what…. What is the criteria…. ?

Kristin  : I don’t know…hahah… come on… keep up…

I cleared my throat as I tried to force myself to appear as if I’m not dying of exhaustion. Kristin is picking up her pace now that we were deep within east coast park.

I could feel the sea breeze on my left as my legs felt the burn with each step I took.

Joel : Where is the afterworld… ?

Kristin : Imagine…. A world… exactly the same as ours… but just…. Older….

Joel : older… ?

Kristin : yeah… older… for example… say… look at that food centre over there….

Joel : yeah…

Kristin : There will be one like that in the afterworld, but just imagine the paintwork and everything else… looking old…

Joel : old…. Why… ?

Kristin : I don’t know…

We went round the lagoon by the food centre and I asked Kristin is there really 18 levels of hell.

Joel : The people who… who… committed grave sins…. Do… do… do they get punished… ?

Kristin : The law is fair…. If they paid for their crimes in this life… they won’t be judge in the other…. If they get away with it while they are alive… they pay for it when they are dead…..

Joel : No shit…

Kristin : Yeah… no shit…Karma always finds you….

Joel : Have you been there… ? I meant… I meant.. have you seen it…

Kristin nodded.

Joel : What is it like… ?

Kristin : Nasty…. Very nasty….don’t ever go there….

Joel : ermm.. ok… what about you… ? and your dad….?… what …. What….

I was struggling to speak by then as we started on the route back to Kristin’s place.

Kristin : What what ?

Joel : What is your…. Your role….? In this… this dual dimension… or … whatever you call it…

Kristin : We’re the bridge between the living and the dead…. In a way….and it’s inevitable…. That some spirits…. Like the Hag wants to cross back into the living….it doesn’t happen often…but when they cross over… it’s our responsibility to take care of them….

Joel : I…. I see….

I gave up another 10 minutes in and I slowed to a jog.

Kristin slowed down too, turning and jogging on the sport as she looked at me.

Kristin : You need to buck up Joel…. This won’t cut it…

Joel : Hey… i… I was just discharge from the… the.. hospital… a … a couple of days ago….

Kristin rolled her eyes and we settled into a slow walk back to her place.

Joel : What happened to the Hag… after you… you shoot it or something…

Kristin : She’s gone… the energy from my dad, converted her into the wind… she’s just harmless moving wind…

Joel : can you…. Do that to…. Normal spirits too ?

Kristin : yes…. The gun is but a weapon… it’s how you use it…

Joel : and yours…. Is wind….

Kristin nodded.

Kristin : And if my dad is right…. Your’s….. is water….

I asked if there are more people like us in Singapore.

She told me there are many of us. All of whom lead very private lives. It’s unthinkable what the scientists and military will do to people like us if this ever gets out. Then again, it’s really hard to proof either.

Kristin : The tears…. Of female wind practitioner helps remove any memory ordinary folks have of us and what they see…..It’s valuable….and that’s how we make our money….

Joel : So you cry often… ?

Kristin gave me an irritated look which pretty much told me not to go down tht road.

Kristin : It also helps ordinary folks see…. what they can’t see….. for a while…. As for you…..

Kristin told me that it appears as if someone deliberately blocked my ability since I was young. Most likely my parents.

Kristin : The tears of male water practitioner blocks the ability too see the energy around us…. So I assume your father is the one that block it….

Joel : Why would he do that… ?

Kristin : No idea…. Let’s be practical Joel…. Look at this capitalist world we live in…. you think there’s room for magic…? For stuff like this… ? it’s all about GDP….investment….growth….infrastructure….we belong to a bygone era….

We walked quietly for a bit before I resumed my questions

Joel : What about the other…. Elements… ?

Kristin : The Earth family is in construction….for obvious reasons…. In fact, the major contractors in the country are related by blood….. with many of them able to manipulate earth… but please ah…. Don’t think along the line of using this to build a building…. that’s madness….it’s more to do with their affinity with earth works….

Joel : I see… what about fire… ?

Kristin : Fire are bankers and investors… they’re more aggressive and they can get violent at times…but they have toned down a lot over the years… everyone just wants peace and prosperity now….The fire family is also the richest….

Joel : Wind… is it just you and your dad… ?

Kristin nodded with a bitter smile.

Kristin : In Singapore… yes….Wind family is the smallest around the world…. We have always been the quietest of the lot….being carefree….that’s how we like our life…. we don’t need a lot, we don’t want a lot…. We just want to be happy….

We got out of the park and Kristin gestured towards the petrol station.

Kristin : let’s get a drink…

Joel : Space family… ?

Kristin : They’re gone…

Joel : Gone ? …

Kristin : Yeah… they’re extinct…. No one has been able to manipulate space for a while now…… the last record of anyone from the space family was way back during world war 2….. in Malaysia… and after that… poof… they’re gone….

Joel : what exactly does space do…?

Kristin : cool shit according to my dad…. When he was a little boy, the saw a space user pulled a boy out of the water and hold back a flood in his old kampung… manipulating space… you can essentially manipulate all the other elements…

Joel : wow……. what about water… ?

We entered the convenient stall within the petrol kiosk and Kristin handed me a bottle of water. Pulling out a damp piece of $5 bill from some compartment within her shorts, she handed it to the cashier who was hesitating whether or not to accept it.

Kristin : The water family….they are one of the largest…. Water is all around…

Joel : oh….

Kristin : why.. you were expecting you to be the special one ?? hahahah

Kristin did an imaginary bracket in the air and mocked me in a childish manner.

Kristin  : Joel…. ‘ the one’ to save us all… ahhahaha…

Joel : Tsk… you’re very irritating you know…

Kristin : ahem…!… remember… you are talking to…..grandmaster wind….

I did a curtsy bow in front of Kristin and she laughed.

Kristin : The water family is big… but they are also lazy… and the art of manipulating water….  It’s not exactly passed down properly…. So even though there are a lot of people who can do it…. Not many know how to….many of their skills just gets lost over the years.

Kristin added that while she can teach me the basics of how to connect with my element and start manipulating it, to really go in depth, I would eventually need to find someone who is apt at manipulating water to teach me.

Joel : well… I’m ready….so hit me…. we can start anytime….

Kristin : water …. Is one of the most destructive elements to master….. first… you need to be able to feel it… it’s all around us… focus on it…feel it….it must resonate inside your body… give you a tingle in your spine….that’s the first step…..

Kristin drank from her bottle and looked at me from the corner of her eye as I stared at her.

The sun is just coming up and I could see her perspiration sparkling on her tone body. Beads of them rolled down, forming bigger beads. I was looking at the ones on her neck.

They rolled down towards her chest, gaining momentum as the streak down into her cleavage behind her pink sports bra.

I swallowed a gulp of saliva as I looked at her body glistening with her perspiration.

Yes. I can feel it.

I can feel the tingle.

But the fucking tingle is in my pants, not my spine.

Kristin smacked me on my head and grabbed a fistful of my hair while shaking me a couple of times.

Joel : OWww!!!..ohqwww!!! owww!!!…

Kristin : Spine Joel !.. Spine…!!

Kristin let me go and gave me a disgusted look as she looked at my running pants which could hardly hold my hardon.

Joel : Fuck…

I turned away, utterly embarrassed and I could feel my face flush red.

Kristin started walking and I caught up with her.

Joel : sorry about that….i….

Suddenly, Kristin grabbed my hand, my wrist actually.

No, she was not holding hands with me. She held me so I would stop walking forward.

We were about to cross a major junction and right opposite us, we saw 2 old woman. Each of them pushing a small makeshift cart of cardboards.

They were staring at us with no expression on their faces.

Joel : Are…..are they….are they who I think they are….

Kristin : Mmmmhh….

Cars past us by and I could see Kristin trying to decide what to do.

I turned behind me and I could not fucking believe it.

Another old woman, trotting along with a trolley filled with cans and cardboard boxing us in from the rear.

Standing alone in the triangle island in the middle of the junction, only a zebra crossing separated us from the one behind, and the 2 across the road.

A construction truck roared past us on the right, barely missing the green light in favour of the vehicles.

Joel : Do punches and kicks work…. ?

Kristin : They do…. But not every effective….

Joel : What would you recommend ?

Kristin : top of the list… run…

Joel : why are they all pushing trolleys and pretending to be old ladies collecting cardboards !!

Kristin : Theirs limbs are soft and weak…. They need the additional support of the trolley to move, they can sustain short burst of speed in order to hunt and feed but only for a few minutes….. and what they can’t finish, they bring with them….

Joel : that is sick….

Kristin : another reason why they do it is because who is the one person you pay the least attention to in this fast pace city…. The people who are literally invisible to everyone…..

I get what Kristin is driving at but I said nothing.

Joel : What should we do ?

Kristin : we can outrun them easily…. Just need to wait for a break in the cars on the road…. They’re damm slow most of the time….

Joel : I have a better idea…

Kristin : what… ?!

I thrust my hand out into the road as I saw a taxi turning out onto the main road from a carpark.

Dragging Kristin along with me, I hailed the taxi and we scrambled to get in.

That didn’t stop the old ladies from pushing their trolley towards us.

They moved pretty slow but it’s that determined look on their face that is eerie. It’s like they are fixated on you and trying to make their way towards you at all cost.

The slow trudge, the uneven step, every movement mimicked that of a frail and helpless elderly.

Taxi driver : Where you going ??

Joel : Bedok South…. Just go straight and turn left before the school…. …

I held my breath as the cab went straight for them, oblivious of their existence. They disappeared into a nothing the moment we went past them.

Both Kristin and I turned to look behind us before looking at each other.

Joel : They…

Kristin gave me a look, dropping an obvious hint not to say anything weird in the taxi.

The short ride cost us only $4 as we alighted at the road beside Kristin’s flat.

We picked up our pace towards her place and Kristin commented that something is wrong.

Kristin : They don’t come out and attack us like this… something is wrong….

Joel  : Are they upset you killed their friend…. ?

Kristin : no way…..

Joel : well I’ll be upset if my friend is killed….

Kristin : Joel …. Dude…. Hags work alone…. They compete for food….for stray spirits…. Weakened humans…. They don’t work together….

Joel : Oh…

We entered the lift and I asked if there’s any chance it was a coincidence.

Kristin : No…. no way… something feels off….

Entering Kristin’s place, she immediately told Fong about what happened to us at the junction.

Fong : impossible…. They don’t do that….

Kristin : I know it’s impossible but it happened….. they were coming right for us…

Fong said the same thing Kristin said earlier. That Hags work alone, they never hunt in a group. Hags are one of the most selfish creatures to ever emerge. They have been known to kill each other just for food.

Joel : where do Hags come from… ?

Fong : They wander both worlds, Something along the line of say a….. corrupted program…. Or in their case, a corrupted energy…. One that constantly seeks to increase their own energy…..which leads them to hunt for others ….

Joel : So they… eat people… ?

Fong stood up and looked around his own place, trying to find some objects he could use to explain the world in which Hags live to me.

The rules of the 2 worlds are clear. If you cannot see them, they can’t touch you. They can’t harm you, nor can they eat you.

Fong : in short, when you cannot see the Hag, she cannot see you…. You both don’t exists to each other…. Therefore, you can’t interact….

Joel : wait wait wait…. Most people cannot see them…. And those that do… like you guys… know they are Hags… so why do they bother concealing themselves… ? why not just be who there are….

Fong explained that there are a lot of people who can manipulate the elements, and they too can see these creatures. People like us are not as rare as what it appears to be.

In a modern society like ours, most parents choose to block their children’s ability.

Fong : sometimes they do so for life and many will never know how special they are…..sometimes the block gets broken…. Like in your case.. it’s because of Kristin’s tears…. There are also instances when the person goes through some life changing experiences….that triggers them to reconnect with their abilities….

Kristin added that there have been some incidents where the block goes off after the person grew old and sick.

Kristin : It usually happens to the elderly…. Or the really sick…. Maybe it’s the medication… the chemotherapy…. Maybe the MRI scan…. We don’t know….

I nodded slowly as I digested what I just learned.

It’s like going back to school and relearning what science is.

Fong : Hags often take on the energy of their victims, which makes them hard to identify by the officers and admin staff of the afterlife… like a virus in a way…

Joel : This is sick on so many levels….

Fong : Hags are a rare encounter…….and you can easily outrun them when you see them from afar….. just pray you don’t run into ginger breadman.  

I burst out laughing immediately, chuckling as I slapped my knee.

That is just absurd.

My laughter trailed off when I realised neither Kristin nor Fong found it funny.

I cleared my throat and composed myself before speaking again.

Joel : ok….ermmm… how many of …ermm.. these monsters are there… ?

I looked away immediately after speaking as the image of the small ginger breadman in Shrek popped into my head.

Fong : There are 3 main evil spirits or energy that we need to look out for…. Hags….. Gluttons….. and Gingerbread man..

Joel : I don’t suppose you have some pictures… or…. Some diagrams or anything I can refer to…. ?

I was trying really hard to hold back my laughter and I could see the obvious irritation on Kristin’s face.

Kristin rolled her eyes at me and went to take her shower. Before she entered the toilet she added sarcastically why not I request a PowerPoint presentation while I’m at it.

Fong ignored his daughter, and he looked more enthusiastic in terms of sharing his unique expertise.

Fong : No we don’t have drawings or pictures……Hags….like I said, are pretty rare….you don’t usually see them unless you are ready to be marked as a prey….you’ve seen a Hag… you know what they can do……so just be careful……. for a glutton…

Fong picked up a plastic bag from a supermarket chain containing some biscuits and snacks. Emptying them all onto the table, he explained that gluttons, like their name, eat everything.

Fong : They pop everything into their mouth…. And when it suits their taste… they eat it…

Fong threw a box of cookies and a bag of instant coffee into the plastic bag.

 Fong : if not… they spit it out….

Fong poured everything back onto the floor.

Fong : have you ever experienced something like…. you know darn sure you put something at this exact spot…. But the moment you turn around….and tried to go back for that item.. it disappears….

Joel : Yes….!!! Car keys… or just some small insignificant item… !! sometimes a pen… a ruler… !

Fong : right… and you keep looking for it… and you just can’t find it anywhere…. ?? hahah

Joel : Exactly…!! But it usually appears after a while or when I look again….

Fong shook the plastic bag in the air and exclaimed softly.

Fong : The glutton….

Joel : What… ? !

Fong : There are a lot of gluttons around…. Most of the time… they are harmless…. They go around putting things into their mouth….just to get a taste…and they end up spitting it back out….

My eyes widened excitedly at Fong as I shook my finger at him and continued his explanation for him.

Joel : I know !!… that point when the glutton popped my car keys… or whatever I am looking for into his mouth…. It disappears from my sight…. !!!

Fong smiled and nodded.

I could not believe how excited I was as I caught on to what he just told me.

Joel : And when he spat it back out…. It’s right where I missed it all along…. !!! this is incredible…. !!

Fong : Gluttons like these are pretty much harmless……most are wandering spirits that managed to escape the admin staff that is charged with rounding them up….

Joel : I see…. I see…

Fong : Without the admin staff to guide them in the afterlife, they don’t know the new rules… they don’t know how to function… and they are just pretty much lost souls…. Trying to satisfy their hunger…..

Joel : they don’t sound dangerous to me….

Fong : now Joel… you have to understand that all spirits…have a taste for blood… and it has to be fresh…. …. Healthy blood……So menstrual blood containing dead cells are not appealing…. Neither is a scrapped elbow or knee from a fall…and gluttons… like all spirits… love blood…. On a extreme level…

Joel : Define fresh please… sometimes when I … skipped the vegetables and fruits for a couple of days…… I poop hard and …. I bleed down there…..

Fong laughed and asked me if I would be interested to eat anything that has poop in it. I shook my head and he added.

Fong : there you go… poop blood is not fresh…ahahah….

Joel  : so what is fresh to them… ?

Fong : when say… you inflict harm on yourself…. When you cut yourself…fresh blood attracts gluttons….faster than others….

Joel : ok…. And….?

Fong : Any glutton who consumes enough blood…. Will soon gain a craving for it… it’s like an addiction….

Joel : No shit… a vampire…

Fong : It must be fresh… attempted suicide…. A cut wrist….an open vein….and if a glutton happens to be near you…. They will feed to their heart’s content….and for people who like to hurt themselves… they usually have gluttons surrounding them….

Joel : Ewwww…. Ok…

Fong : Now… while most gluttons are just after food….. or blood… they are usually harmless….. unless…..

Joel : Unless what… ?

Fong : Unless they are deliberately fed ….. by people like us…

Joel : No shit…

Fong nodded.

Fong : Gluttons amassed a lot of energy…. From their constant eating…. Blood may be their favourite… but it’s not their sole diet…. Think of them like this massive sponge that soaks up energy constantly…

Joel : I see…. and…. When people like you feed them… what happens… ?

Fong told me that some people would get the gluttons addicted to their blood and their energy.

Fong : And in their moment of need, they can summon these gluttons to their side…..

Joel : by cutting themselves… ?

Fong nodded.

Fong : By using their blood, these people can summon gluttons to them almost instantly…..

Joel : no shit….

I listened in awe as Fong laid out the reasons why would people do that.

Think of it like having this fucking massive battery of energy at your beck and call.

When you need it, it’s going to be right there for you and we’re not talking about charging your phone or your laptop.

Fong : some car accidents end up with the entire vehicle pancaked into a mess of metal…. And yet the driver walks away unharmed….. accidents where the victim would have died and yet they survived…. Some of them summoned the gluttons … who in turn… took the brunt of the hit for them….

Joel : This is deep man….

Fong : It’s not… some gluttons are very powerful energy….or spirits… those that you would want by your side if you made many enemies….

Joel : Well… I don’t think I want anything by my side that craves after my blood….

Fong : hahahah….

Joel : they don’t sound all that evil to me….

Fong’s expression grew serious and he told me that gluttons, can be sent against their owner’s enemies.

Fong : so technically. I can keep one…. feed it…. And send it after you….

Joel : To kill me… ?

Fong nodded.

Fong : the sponge absorbs what the owner feeds it….fresh blood infused with evil energies…. Yum yum… ..hahaha…

Joel : is there a statistics of how… many of you guys… are …evil… ? like a crime database or something… ?

Fong : Unfortunately… no… but don’t worry….you don’t look like the kind that will offend people…

I gave Fong a smile and my mind suddenly thought of all the people I’ve put in jail over the years. The scam syndicate I’ve broken up and all the scammer I put out of business.

Joel : erm… what about the last one…. the ginger breadman…

Fong unbuttoned his top and showed me a scar that looked like someone had attached a dozen razor blades into a glove and pressed it onto Fong’s right rib cage.

The scars sent shivers down my spine. Looking at it is unsettling, disturbing in fact.

Fong : I fought one when my wife was pregnant with Kristin….

Joel : What….

Fong : We barely managed to get away…. And my wife is a lot more powerful that I am….. she can manipulate air on both palms…. Separately…… hahaha… truly one of a kind…… think of if like you are playing table tennis with 2 opponents …… on separate tables… hahaha….….one on each side…

Fong remarked that he could only manage to concentrate his energy between 2 palms.

Fong : We call the ginger breadman because of it’s head….. it’s round… bald… and it smiles in an eerie manner……and that expression never changed…. It’s permanently stuck on it’s face… that weird smile…

Joel : why…. ?

Fong : Nobody knows why….. it always attacks with it’s hands outstretched….that’s why we call it the ginger breadman….

Joel : Where does he come from… ?

Fong : Nobody really knows… but like other corrupted energy… it grows powerful over time…. now ginger breadman feeds not only on blood… but also on other spirits…. Including gluttons…. And Hags….

Joel : what do we do if we see one of them…. ?

Fong : run… just start running… even the most experienced of us will choose to run…..

I looked at the spot where Fong’s scar is.

Fong told me he and his wife tried to fight it, but they were not it’s match. He was hurt and they only manged to get away because they were lucky.

Fong : We were saved by a Fire and Earth couple who happened to be nearby…..bought us all enough time to get away….

Joel : has anyone ever defeated a ginger breadman… ?

Fong nodded.

Fong : history books….. I don’t mean mainstream ones by the way….there have been 3 recorded defeats of ginger breadman since documentation began….

The first in Europe just after world war 2, it was by an entire clan of Fire users.

Joel : what…. An entire clan… ?

Fong nodded.

Fong : 12 of them…..

Joel : 12…. Jesus….

Fong : Next was in Thailand…. In 1984….. during a annual meet of all the clan leaders…..

Joel : woah…

Fong : Earth, Fire, Wind, Water….. a total of 31 men and women…. Fought the ginger breadman….. 3 died….

Joel : You got to be shitting me…..31…. and 3 died….

Fong : yeah….. my wife and I ….we were really really lucky…. On hindsight…. I think the one we met was just fucking around with us… if he was bent on getting us… we would surely be dead….

Joel : Why didn’t you run… ?

Fong : Eh hello… my wife is 7 months pregnant with Kristin…how fast can we run…. ??

Joel : Oh….

Fong : and the last recorded defeat of a Ginger breadman….is 1997…in Singapore….

Joel : wow….right here… ?

Fong : yeap…..

Joel : Please tell me it’s not at another one of the clan meeting…. Feels like it’s an invitation for trouble….

Fong : it’s not…… it was a deliberate hunt by a few families…. That particular ginger breadman has been wreaking havoc for a while…. A total of about 50 men and women went after it….

Kristin came out of the shower with the towel wrapped around her hair.

I could smell the soap fragrance coming from the toilet and I tried not to look at her top that had a few wet patches on it.

Kristin : you’re going to give him nightmares daddy…..

Kristin spoke without stopping, walking directly into her room.

Fong : I doubt it… hahha….

She emerged a few seconds later when I was still lost in my thoughts.

Kristin : He’s going to wake up screaming in the middle of his sleep…

Joel : Please la…. I’m a home team officer that has seen everything from gory crime scenes to witnessing an autopsy….i don’t think….

Before I could finish speaking, Kristin sat down at the table in front of me, pricked her index finger with the lancet she was holding and held it up by her side.

I watched in shock as the fresh drop of blood get bigger as she squeezed it and it disappeared.

I leaned back on the chair only to realise it had no backing and fell onto the floor when I saw Kylie, Kristin’s sister appearing and started sucking on her sister’s finger like she was drinking bubble tea.

Fong smiled as I stared with my mouth opened in horror.

Kristin gave me a cheeky smile with a raised eyebrow.

Kristin : be nice to me Joel…. Or you have no idea what I’m going to make Kylie do to you….hahah

Kylie took a few more sips from her sister’s finger before smiling shyly at me and then she disappeared into the kitchen.

Fong : Kylie is family…. Don’t worry…. She wont hurt you… she likes you…. Thinks you are cute….

Kristin  : yeah…. She drained the blood of the last guy she thought was cute by the way….ahahah..

Fong pushed the bag of snacks he used to talk to me earlier at his daughter, spilling it’s contents all over the place.

I was quiet for a brief moment as I ran through what I just learnt in my head.

This is mind blowing.

It’s like stepping into Harry potter’s world or something.

Fong : Don’t listen to Kristin… she’s full of nonsense…. anyway…. Hags appearing in a group….and coming after you all at the same time….. this is quite unusual….i’ll check with the others to see if they encountered anything weird….

Fong asked Kristin how was my stamina and she shook her head.

Kristin : He’s still too weak … he needs time to shape up….

Joel : You’re kidding….

Kristin : I’m not… you need time to shape up….

Joel : Can you start teaching me something now… ? concept….theory… anything….

Kristin : There’s no shortcut Joel…. You can’t run a marathon if you don’t train for it….

Joel : how much stamina do I need then… ? I need to run a full marathon to qualify… ? I could do a 4 hour flat…. Few years ago…

Fong : Girl ah… bring him to the stadium…. Try out the sprint….

Joel : I can sprint….not a problem…

Kristin : huh….so troublesome…. He’s not strong enough yet…

Fong : get him to try the sprint…he needs to feel it so he knows what he needs to achieve….

Kristin : okay….

Fong : in the meantime….Joel… Try to come over whenever you are free to join us for dinner…. We’ll fill you in on the history of people like us…. Don’t you need to go back to work by the way… ?

Joel : I’m put on leave for the next few weeks… so I’m pretty much free everyday…. Can I come for dinner everyday… ?

Kristin : wah you champion you know… you…. Very thick skin…

Joel : I’ll pay… tell you what… I’ll buy dinner tonight… how’s that… ? everything you have just told me… it’s mind blowing…. I mean it’s…. it’s incredible…i… I want to know more…. more about this world…. More about Hags…. Gluttons… ginger breadman and the clans… the families….the elements… everything !!!…

Kristin and her dad looked at me before sharing a look.

Kristin  : Aren’t you disturbed by what you just learnt… ? I mean… doesn’t it sound crazy to you….?? What about your science…?

I looked at Kristin’s finger, the one she just used to feed her sister barely moments ago.

Joel : Fuck the science…. Just give me the magic….