I went home for a shower because I didn’t bring any clothes with me.
Along the way, I kept an eye out for any Hags that might be after me.
There were none.
Maybe because I was in the car. Maybe I was going too fast.
I don’t know.
I have always been very aware of my surroundings. Now with my eyes seeing things I was not supposed to see, I could feel my senses peak when I focus on them.
It’s a matter of getting used to it.
Like a new pair of spectacles, the first few days would give you a surreal dizziness.
After a while, you get use to it. You learn to live with it. I could instantly make out who’s on my side of the world, and who is not.
There are plenty of them around. Spirits. Not exactly a crowd, but plenty.
They minded their own business, and so did it. Sometimes we made eye contact, sometimes we don’t.
It’s beginning to feel a lot more normal after a few days.
Just like when you walk along the streets, you pass by hundreds of people a day. Most of whom you don’t even pay attention to.
I took a quick shower and I packed a bag for the car. That way, anytime I needed to run, to shower, or to change, I’m always ready.
I grabbed a quick lunch and made my way back to Kristin’s place.
In my hurry to get over and start learning about this new world, I accidentally scratched myself while opening the car door.
I saw a thin sliver of blood start to appear on the back of my hand.
Immediately I look around, trying to see if there’s any glutton who would swarm me and start sucking my blood.
None came. It’s just a small scratch.
Upon arrival, I could see the queues forming again. People approaching Kristin and her father for help. Mostly old aunties around the neighbourhood.
Kirstin : Joel … help to manage the queue…
Joel : huh… ? what do I do… ?
Kristin : Just stop the aunties from going at each other’s throat and don’t let anyone cut queue….
Joel : I was under the impression that you only see one client a day… why do they keep coming…. ?
Kristin : for paying customers…. We see one a day… the rest…. Like these older folks…. We try to accommodate as much as possible…. Sometimes they just want reassurance…. A piece of mind…it’s the least we can do….
Joel : how do you communicate with the dead…. ? is there like a number to call or…internet messaging… ?
Kristin : It’s actually very simple…. We just work with ermm…. Some administrative staff from over there… who…. In our terms… we call.. moonlighting….
Joel : Ahhh… I see…and.. what’s in it for them…. ?
Kristin : They too… have families still living in our world…. We help by sending them stuff every now and then…. Think of us like a money changer….. you go to a different country… you use your currency to exchange for theirs…. Same goes here….
There is never a lack of admin staff from over there, who would want to send messages and things to their living relatives in ours. It’s a win win situation.
Joel : Can I ask for 4D numbers…. ? or Toto… ?
Kristin : Don’t make me smack you…..
Joel : hahaha….
It’s interesting to see how Kristin and his father work. I came to understand that the trance, the dance and the drawing of talisman and all it’s just a show. It’s something that the people can relate with over the years.
Even if you don’t need to do that in order to communicate with the other world, they expect to see you do it.
You don’t really need to keep tossing the piece of dough into the air to make pizza but it still gets done.
It gives people watching a feeling that they are getting their time and money worth.
There are the usual questions you would expect from the people in the queue for their loved ones.
Are they cold ?
Are they hungry ?
Do they have enough money to use ?
What do they lack ?
Kristin : The paying customer for the day is a rich developer…. He’s coming at 6pm….
Joel : Oh… ok….what does he want… ?
Kristin : he wants to ask his wife’s permission to remarry….
Joel : you’re shitting me…
Kristin : Nope….it’s only respectful….
12th October 2018
It’s been a really long day for me and having woke up so early in the morning, I could feel the fatigue creeping in. The excitement however, kept me awake.
The developer came alone, he dressed simply in berms and slippers and he was wearing a pair of shades. Only upon entering the house and removing his shades did I realise who I was looking at.
He’s one of the top 5 developers in the country, a billionaire player in the industry.
He gave Kristin his late wife’s name and birth characters. Fong looked at the characters and put it on the table, sliding it to his right where a admin staff from the other world is looking.
I watched the ghostly figure tap into his mobile phone like he was sending a text to his friends.
Fong started his trance, his legs shaking and bouncing off the floor while chanting stuff I don’t understand. He burnt talisman, rotate it around a lighted candle, threw the ashes into a cup of tea.
All these I observed, were just to buy time.
Time for the admin staff to locate the developer’s wife.
Another admin staff appeared and beside him, was the woman in question. The developer’s wife.
She looked surprised to see her husband in the room.
Fong : she’s here….
Developer : How do I know if this is real… or you are just a scammer…
Fong : Why would you come…. If my reputation in your eyes is that of a scammer… ?
The developer hesitated for a moment and asked Fong where did he and his wife had their first date.
The wife immediately told Fong and he relayed the message.
Fong : the old national library…..it’s no longer around….
Upon hearing that, I could see the expression on the client’s face change. His eyes started to tear up and his lips were trembling.
Overwhelmed by emotions, the man started to cry and Fong offered him a napkin.
The wife looked on and she too started crying. She wanted to touch her husband but the admin staff stopped her, telling her that it’s impossible.
Fong : We don’t have the luxury of time…. you need to ask right now…
In between tears and sobs, the man asked his wife for permission to marry another woman that had come into his life after she left.
He even brought a picture.
I would have expected it to be a sweet young thing. Maybe a hot babe from another country. Some eye candy perhaps but I was wrong.
It was a plain looking lady who looked to be about the same age as the developer.
Developer : She has been taking care of me and the kids… after you’re gone…..her name is Mary….she’s sick too… and I want to take care of her… just like how I took care of you dear….
Unable to control his emotion any longer, he burst out crying.
The wife touched her nose and wiped her tears. She bent down and whispered to Fong her reply. She took her time and Fong started talking as the wife relayed her message.
Fong : I’m going to repeat exactly what she says…. So listen carefully…I’m only saying it once….
The developer with his expensive gold watch struggled to control his emotion as he looked at Fong with his eyes red and snot running down his nose.
Fong : Bee ah….thank you for loving me the way you do all these years…..
Upon hearing Fong utter the nickname only his deceased wife calls him by, the developer lost it. He bit only the back of his wrist as he struggled to look at Fong.
Kristin turned away and I could tell she too was on the verge of losing it.
Fong : …. Do you remember our first trip together….. ? the promise we made each other…. ? what I said to you on the swing by the lake in Thailand ?
Joel : oh fuck….
I turned away and I saw Kylie hugging her knees by a couch on the corner, she too was overwhelmed by emotions. I could feel the waterworks coming too for me as I clenched my fist and looked away.
Fong : I feel upon my skin the tenderness of your touch….
The developer collapsed from the stool onto the ground and he was balancing himself on his knees. Kristin immediately went over to help him as he started crying like a baby.
Fong : and I long for the warmth of your embrace….
I found myself choking and I realised I was looking for a way out. Someplace for me to go, someplace for me to escape so I don’t need to listen to this.
Fong : I care not about fortune and fame…..
The developer’s body looked like it could no longer support the weight of his own head and he was leaning heavily against the table leg and Kristin as he sobbed while looking at Fong.
Fong : In sickness and in health, I will be by your side…. Till death do us part….
I watched the wife move away slowly from Fong as she gave her husband her blessing between him and his new partner.
Fong : I will never forget the time we spend together, I will always remember your love for me…and please love Mary…… in the same manner you love me Bee….
Fong pulled a napkin and he too, fought a losing battle against such touching words by the client’s wife.
The wife gave Fong a bow, thanking him for passing the message before disappearing with the admin staff.
Fong : she’s gone…
Kristin made a cup of tea for the developer and it took him about 15 minutes to calm down.
When he did, he was at a lost for words.
He pulled out a red packet he prepared earlier for Fong but then he stuffed it back into his pocket.
Developer : I’m sorry…. what I have inside is not enough … please give me your bank account number….
Fong smiled and before he can shake his head, I saw Kristin beaming with a wide smile and cutting in front of the developer and her dad.
Kristin : Of course….
She pulled out a card I suspect she prepared for situations like this.
The developer took a look, and snapped a photo of it before sending it to whoever is handling his finances.
Developer : Thank you…. I meant it from the bottom of my heart… this means a lot to me….. I cannot put a tangible value on this…..but I gave what I think you deserve…. I hope it’s enough….
Fong : It’s the thought that counts….
The developer got up, took a deep breath and put on his shade as he gave me a nod before leaving the flat.
A few seconds later, I saw Kristin fiddling with her phone before jumping up and down in the living room.
Kristin : YES !!!! hiak.. hiak.. hiak… hiak…. !! I’m not cooking today…. We’ll buy something back … hahaha….
Joel : Just curious….how much did he give…. ?
Kristin gave me a mischievous look before turning away.
Kristin : Not telling…go wash the tea cup and we’re going to get dinner…. Hurry.. hurry….ahhahaha…..
Kristin and I walked to the coffee shop near her place and she ordered up a feat from the Tze Char store.
A steam fish, 2 types of vegetables, Yam ring, cereal prawns and Shrimp paste chicken and a double boiled old cucumber soup.
Joel : Can we finish so much… ?
Kristin : I’m treating ok….just eat… hahah
Joel : so…
I gave her a nudge on her arm, trying to appear casual as I probe the amount the guy gave her.
Joel : Got …. $888 ?
Kristin shook her head, her finger gesturing up towards the ceiling, an indication that it’s a lot more.
Joel : $1388 ? $1688 ?
Her finger continued gesturing up and the smile on her face appears to get wider.
Joel : No way…. $3388… ?
Kristin shook her head.
Kristin : It’s 5 figures Joel …
Joel : WAHHHH!!! What the fuck !!
Kristin : I have to stress though… we don’t do it for the money…. But…. This is Singapore ok…. Everything is expensive… we need to eat too… hahaha…
While waiting for the food to be ready, I saw her surfing Chanel’s website on her mobile phone gleefully while asking me which one do I think look better.
Joel : You’re unbelievable….
We brought the food back to her place and instead of using the disposable cutleries the shop gave, Fong and Kristin insisted on using their own chopsticks.
Kristin : Here…. Hold this….
I held the chopstick and I could see the father and daughter looking at my fingers.
Fong nodded and mumbled under his breath;
Fong : Not bad…. Not bad….
I looked at the pair of chopsticks in my hand, wondering what Fong meant.
We started to eat and Fong told me to start using chopsticks for my meals.
Joel : Why… ?
Kristin : Part of your training….always use your chopsticks…. It doesn’t matter if you walking into a Italian restaurant for pasta… use chopsticks….
Joel : What… ? ! that’s ridiculous…. !
Fong : …. the strength of your fingers and how flexible they are…. determines how well you can manipulate the elements….you might think you already know how to use the chopsticks….but I assure you… there is a lot you still don’t know…. using chopsticks is about balance and control, both of which are critical when you start moulding the energy in your hands.
I picked up a chunk of vegetables and put it into my bowl.
Joel : well… it’s a pair of chopsticks…
Fong : tell me more about it….as much as you can…
As we chewed on the delicious meal, I looked at the pair of normal looking chopsticks in my hand and I tried to think of ways to describe it like I’m doing some oral exam back in school.
Joel : It’s ermm… white…. Err.. there’s not pictures on it…. It looks a bit old…. And oh my god… are these food stains… Kristin you never wash properly ahh.. ?
From the look on her face, I was pretty sure she would have smite me with her palms again if she was not deshelling the prawns.
Fong laughed and nodded.
Fong : Not wrong…. Not wrong…. But not right either….
Holding the pair of chopsticks up in front of me, Fong started to describe the cutlery we don’t even look twice when we use them in a manner I’ve never imagined possible.
The length of the chopsticks is 7 inch 6 points, in Chinese, it’s 七寸六分. It represents our 7 emotions and 6 desires, commonly know as 七情六欲.
The 7 emotions are namely, Anger, Contempt, Fear, Disgust, Happiness, Sadness & surprise.
The 6 desires, Lust, Vanity, Dignity, Pleasant sound, Good life/death, sensual pleasures.
Fong : the 6 desires represents what we all seek in life… as humans…
Chopsticks comes in pairs. You can only use them in pairs. It represents a balance between the Yin and the Yang.
Fong : The 5 fingers you use to grip it, represents the 5 elements…there are 2 sides to the chopsticks…. 1 is round… 1 is square….
It stands for the all encompassing sky above us and the flatness of the ground upon which we stand.
We hold the chopsticks in the middle, together, we form , 天，地，人，, Heaven, earth & human, a balance that has been documented since the beginning of time.
This is not the first jaw drop moment Fong as let me experienced and I doubt it would be the last.
I could not tear my eyes away from him as he went on.
Fong : You use too much strength… you can’t open up the chopsticks… you use too little strength…. You can’t grip anything… control your strength… and master your balance….
Putting the pair of chopsticks down, Fong held his thumb, index finger and middle finger horizontally above the table.
I dropped my chopsticks as I watch bits of food scrapes, the oats from the cereal prawn, and even grains of rice get sucked up into the air, spinning in the small ball of energy perfectly balanced at the tip of Fong’s finger.
Joel : No way….
The sphere of energy kept spinning and eventually slowed down before all the scrapes of food dropped into Fong’s bowl.
Fong smiled and I too, held up my fingers in the same manner as he did.
Before I could even try anything, Kristin snapped at me.
Kristin : I will…… kill you… if you splash gravy…. Or soup all over the place…
Joel : where do I practise then… ??!!
Kristin : In the toilet you dick. !!… not at the dinner table… !
Fong laughed and so did i.
Looking at my fingers as I hold the chopsticks in hand, I straightened them and when I concentrate, I felt something.
A very very slight tingle.
Needless to say the first thing I did upon reaching home, i shut myself in the bathroom with a tub of water.
I belong to the water element so this should work if I concentrate hard enough.
I sat on the toilet bowl and place the tub on my lap.
I tried to imagine I was holding onto a pair of imaginary chopsticks on my right hand as I suspended it over the tub of water.
Slowing down my breathing, I did my best to concentrate in the quiet toilet.
For a full 30 minutes, nothing.
The only thing that is happening in the toilet is the few flying ants that are constantly hitting themselves against the light.
Joel : fuck….
I dipped my fingers into the water, trying to pretending I was stirring noodles. Then I swirled it to create a whirl pool.
Then I splashed it onto the floor like I was a kid playing with water.
Joel : Pew… pew … pew !!! ji ba boom !! hahaha….
I chuckled and laughed at myself in the toilet. This is ridiculous.
Sitting on the toilet for so long, the feeling of taking a dump hit me.
Joel : ARghhhh !!!…
Just when I made a mental note to increase my fruit and vegetables intake, I felt a slight pain in my ass as I squeezed the shit out. In a hurry to get it over and done with, I took a deep breath, and forced it all out at once.
Joel : aRGHHHH!!!
That feeling. That split second when you felt your rectum relax and a freight train load of excrement leaves your body while you stopped breathing, I felt another tingle in my fingers.
Just before I finish depositing my bodily waste, I hovered my fingers above the tub of water in my lap and I felt it.
I was darn sure it was not me shaking the tub when it happened.
Even if I were, there’s no way water would react in that manner.
I felt a small bubble of water leave the surface of the bigger pool, attaching itself to my fingers and then falling back again.
I felt it.
What happens when you dip your fingers in water ? They get wet. It’s simple logic.
I rubbed my thumb, index finger and middle finger together, the 3 fingers that just felt the bubble of water.
Totally dry and yet I felt the water.
I tried to recreate that feeling as I forced myself to take a dump again but I was not successful. There’s nothing left inside my body.
I thought of opening the fridge and stuffing myself with food and then wait 2 hours before trying again but was reminded of the 5am date I have with Kristin the next day.
Well, at least there’s progress.
After my shower, I opened up a beer and poured come peanuts onto a dish. For the first time ever in my life, I ate the nuts with a pair of chopsticks.
It sounds easy but it’s not. I’ve been using chopsticks my whole life but I don’t remember a time I needed to control the precise amount of strength to grip something.
Noodles ? I just stabbed my chopsticks into them , pull up a bunch and in they go to my mouth.
Vegetables ? Who they hell pick up just one single leaf of the Kangkong or Chye Sim. Of course you stab it and pick up a bunch.
Fish ? Rip a chunk off
Meat ? they’re already sliced or diced in such a manner that it makes picking them up and eating easy.
Fong suggested buying nuts and snacks of different sizes, mix them all up and practice. Peanuts that comes coated with a layer of crispy shell topped with seaweed is his top recommendation.
It’s round, smooth and goes really well with beer too.
While snacking and enjoying my beer, I tried to google on the net about people like us. Surely there are some documentation, or maybe home made videos, or some leaked footages of people messing around.
After 30 minutes of going through rubbish videos, I gave up and went to bed.
13th October 2018
I picked Kristin up from her place and we made our way to Bedok stadium.
I was excited to share with her what I managed to accomplished the night before in the toilet.
She gave me a look of disgust.
Kristin : No Joel… no… don’t do that….that’s not the feeling you should be gunning for….
Joel : It’s not… ?
Kristin : It’s not…. you’re going end up shitting your pants if you keep searching for that feeling and I’m telling you for your own good….
Joel : How so… ?
Kristin : You’re a water user… can you imagine if you have a massive diarrhoea …. Watery kind….
Joel : ewwww….
Kristin : You’re either going to get shit all over yourself…. Or everyone around you….
I laughed as I reversed my car into the parking lot.
We did a bit of warmup and Kristin asked me how fast can I run 2.4km.
Joel : ERmmm..it’s been a while… 11mins… ? 10 ish… ?
The sprint, she explained, is not only to build up my stamina, it’s also to help me search for a feeling. A special feeling she cannot describe.
She gestured with her head towards the track and I could hear the beeping on her Baby G watch as she set up the timer.
I got onto the track and I started to run.
Kristin stopped the timer after 6 rounds and showed it to me.
Joel : What… ! 11.30….
Kristin : Quite far away from your…. 10 ish…
Joel : I wasn’t trying hard though…
Kristin rolled her eyes and we started to walk around the track as a cool down.
My breathing barely returned to normal when Kristin made me run again.
Kristin : Go again…
Joel : You’re shitting me….
Kristin : You want to learn or not… ?
Alternating my eyes between her slim figure and the white sports bra she was wearing that day, I went back onto the track.
I heard the beep of the watch and off I went again.
I tried harder this time round and came back with a timing of 12.30
Panting and gasping for air, I could see that condensing look on Kristin’s face.
Joel : You…. You … you try….
She rolled her eyes and she lowered herself to speak with me because I was on my butt and fighting the temptation to lie down flat on the grass.
Kristin : Watch this…. Officer Joel… hahah
She handed me her watch and I saw she already started her timer.
Kristin took off and when she finished her first round. She clocked only 1min 10 seconds.
Joel : Bloody hell….
It would not be wrong to say she run like the wind, or rather, as light footed as the wind.
Kristin finished 6 rounds at 8 minutes flat and she didn’t stop right there, she went for an additional round to cool down.
When she came back to me, I handed her the watch back and added.
Joel : remind me again…. how does bruising my ego help me learn ??
Kristin’s body was sparkling. Small droplets of her perspiration on her body looked like little diamonds and I could almost taste them.
I was hit with a very sick thought.
Maybe when I finally learn how to manipulate water, I can pull droplets of her perspiration from her body into my mouth.
I quickly looked away from Kristin’s body and blinked a few times to wipe such a sick thought out of my head.
Kristin : You need to go again Joel…
Joel : Again …! ??
The 3rd attempt, I finished at 14 minutes. I was tired, my body felt drained.
Kristin : getting worse Joel…. Getting worse…
Joel : it’s my 3rd attempt….!
Kristin : You lack motivation…
Joel : No shit…
Kristin : I’ll buy you breakfast if you can hit 12 minutes on your 4th attempt….
12 is doable, but I’ve already done more than 7km.
Kristin : all you can eat…
Joel : You should have offered this before I attempted the 1st one.
She countered that she needed to know how fast I can go, if not there’s no point in this being a challenge.
Joel : I don’t know… I’m not exactly hungry right now….
I don’t know what is wrong with my but I just can’t tear my eyes away from Kristin’s body. Especially her breast. My eyes just kept going there instead of looking at her when I talk.
I’m sure she noticed that too and she was trying to ignore it.
Joel : What exactly do I need to feel….? Exhausted… ? only when I’m drained then I can use my magic ???
My eyes took on a life of it’s own as they started to roam down Kristin’s slim waist, down to her black FBTs, to the tapered hemline of that pair of running shorts, then down to her hairless legs.
Kristin : I’ll flash you my breast if you can clock 11.30…
My head jerked up so fast to look at Kristin that I thought I pulled neck muscle.
My eyes widened as I stuttered and gave an awkward laugh.
Joel : what…what.. ? ah…. Ahha…what… ?ahaha…. who…. Who do you think I am….. do I strike you as that kind of man… ?
I tried to laugh it off but there’s no way to hide the fact that I was interested in that offer. I’m not proud of it but she did offer it to me.
Kristin’s expression remained unchanged and she started to reset the timer on her watch.
Joel : Wait.. wait…. Wait… wait…..i…. need to catch my breath….
Kristin : No… go…now…
I heard the beep and my body deliberated with calling this a joke right there and then or just fucking go with it.
I decided to fuck it and I started running.
I ran with everything I could, I felt it was slow but with each round, Kristin read out the timing to me.
Finishing my 5th round, Kristin called out 10 mins flat. I did the sum in my head within a split second and I opened up my legs. I felt the burn sear through my muscles as I started to sprint with everything I’ve got.
It’s only a flash of her breast I know, but perhaps it would help keep my eyes off them all the time. At least I would know what lies beneath those sexy sports bra of hers.
I could see Kristin running towards me.
200m to go, Kristin joined me in the final leg.
She ran along side me and told me I have 40 seconds.
Kristin : 40 seconds Joel…. You have 40 seconds … this is my one and only offer…..!
She tried to show me the watch but with all the movements, it’s impossible to see anything. I just ran, I ran with everything I could.
Coming up to the last 100m sprint, my eyes focused on the end point. I could hear the wind in my ears and I could see Kristin sprinting beside me, she still had it in her to countdown the last few seconds as we literally felw along the track.
I was motivated by Kristin’s challenge, while she, was motivated by being able to show me what it is I was really searching for.
I could make it. Just a few steps more.
Kristin called out at the 5 second mark, and I felt a sudden rush of fuel being injected into my body as I arched my body forward.
Joel : aRGHHHH!!!!!
The final shout sent me hurling past the finish line and I heard that familiar beep of Kristin’s watch stop the timer.
Turning around immediately, Kristin gave me a smile and a thumbs up as euphoria coursed through my body and I felt the hair on the back of my neck stood on it’s end before goosebumps rippled from my head to my toes.
I felt that tingle again, that familiar tingle at the tip of my fingers, and the went numb for a couple of seconds as if I was holding onto something.
Something like a ball of electricity.
I panted and instead of staring at Kristin’s body , I looked at my fingers. They were twitching on their own. Like metal detectors beeping away after finding something hidden below the ground.
Kristin came over and called out excitedly.
Kristin : You felt it… ? !!! did you feel it… ?!!!
I looked up at her from my fingers as I nodded.
Joel : yes…
Kristin : YES !!!
She pumped her fist excitedly in the air as I looked at my fingers again.
Kristin : Remember that feeling…. It’s all in your brain…. Feel it… control it… and release it…. You will be able to do what we do… !
I wiped perspiration from my face and body with my fingers, and the twitching and buzzing feeling remained. I watched in sheer amazement as the moisture on the tip of my fingers dried up at breakneck speed. It’s as if someone was holding a dryer directed at them.
I was excited of course, and even more so when I remembered Kristin’s offer.
Joel : So…. I did it…. Are you going to flash me now or in the car… ?
Kristin laughed and showed me the watch.
It’s not reading 11.30. It’s readying 13.30.
A good 2 minutes over the challenge she gave me.
Joel : What the fuck….
Kristin : I probably would have just slapped you if you met the timing anyway… hahah…. Tsk… tsk… tsk…. Men are all motivated by the same thing…. Shame on you Officer Joel… hahah
Kristin gestured to me that it’s time to make a move now that I know what I was searching for in terms of feeling.
Making our way to the car after another drink of water at the cooler, Kristin told me I have to keep running everyday to build up my stamina.
Kristin : you should aim for a under 4 hour timing for a full marathon… that should give you enough strength and stamina to hold up in a fight if you ever get into one….
Joel : You mean…. With a Hag… ?
Kristin : Hag… gluttons…. Gingerbread men… or even others like us….
Joel : oh….
Kristin : I’ve going to text you a routine…. Keep to it…. You should see some improvement in a month or so…. Meantime… keep practising in the toilet… and don’t do it when you are shitting…
29th October 2018
My routine over the next few weeks is quite simple.
Twice a day, I run.
5am in the morning, and 9pm in the evening.
It’s more of a jog at 9pm to work off the dinner.
I would head over to Kristin’s place 3-4 times a week. Sometimes I would help with their so call rituals, to manage the queue, sometimes it’s just for a meals.
I like listening to the stories Fong tells.
I managed to form a pretty good picture of the fraternity of magic users in the country. The different clans.
It’s inevitable that some are at odds with one and other but everyone pretty much keeps to their own business.
The most active of the lot in Singapore are the Fang family. Fire users.
Fong : Think of them like the unofficial ….. police…. That connects the 2 world……
Fong says that Kristin and him don’t actively go out and hunt for Hags, corrupted Gluttons and the likes. The Fang family however, aside from being successful bankers, does it regularly.
It’s like a sport for them.
Fong : Just like some countries out there like to wage war so their soldiers can practise ….. the Fang family does it too….
Joel : Sounds pretty aggressive….
Fong : you can say that…. But they still keep out of the public’s eye most of the time…..
I’ve learned that there are annual clan meetings just so everyone can meet up and raise any concerns they might have. The clans also moved on with the times, there’s even a whatsapp group chat although nobody really says anything.
There are also entrance exams so to speak for young practitioners of magic.
It’s not so that you can receive a certificate or something.
It’s more of helping you match with a suitable mentor of your element, someone who can help you master and control your skills.
Something that I would need to go through eventually if I was serious about going down this route.
It’s mind blowing to realise such a world exists right along side ours. There’s still so many things I have yet to learn.
There are shops operated by fellow magic users that serves as a place to heal.
There are places to hide.
And yes, even places where you can buy weapons like you are playing a fucking RPG game like diablo.
Why do we even need weapons you ask ?
Fong : Think of them like antiques….some people collect them….you cannot make anymore of them now…. no one knows how to do it anymore… so it’s all a legacy of the past….
Joel : So there’s like a dragon sabre…. Or a lightning sword …. Is that it… ?
Fong : You watch too much shows…. The weapons are all made during turbulent times…. They are all concealed as everyday items…. Umbrellas, watch… or even a scarf….
Joel : Woah…. Do you have any… ? can I see them ??
Fong : We don’t…. It’s very expensive…. The Fang family holds most of them in private collection…. .. they can afford them….
Joel : I see… I see….
I’ve never been more excited to wake up everyday.
There is always something new to learn and I looked forward to talk to Kristin and her father.
If I didn’t know better, I would think I have been brainwashed to join a cult or something.
My practise in the toilet is starting to yield result. I could now hold a small ball of water in between my fingers.
Like the size of a cherry.
The biggest I got was to the size of a Kiwi but only for a couple of seconds.
Like every other night after my 9pm jog, I would sit in the toilet for a while, playing with the tub of water.
That night was no different.
I was squishing the tiny ball of water in my palms when I heard some commotion outside my place.
It’s pretty loud, I can hear it even in my toilet.
I wrapped a towel around myself and went out to take a look.
I can hear people outside my flat along the corridor.
Looking through the peephole, I saw 4 men looking up and down the corridor. They’re fit, well built and they look like debt collectors who are about to harass some debtors.
I was about to reach for my staff ID when I realised my boss Yip has taken it.
The 4 men disappeared down the other end and I decided to leave them be.
Walking back to the toilet, I slipped on the wet footprints I left on the tiled floor on my way out.
No I didn’t fall flat.
I managed to grab onto a old book shelf to steady myself as my legs split apart.
Joel : Woshhh…!
Righting myself up. I realised I had cut my left palm on the edges of the shelf.
I could see fresh blood oozing out from the 5cm long cut. It’s not deep, but enough to draw blood.
I walked carefully to the sink and ran my hand under the tap for a while.
Then I felt something.
Something felt off.
Not just behind my neck, but all over my body.
The water streaking down onto my wound bent away from my cut.
Something felt off.
I immediately looked around my kitchen and I saw it.
My heart started beating faster as I realised I was fucked. I’m dead.
A head was staring at me, one that is slowly emerging from the floor I was stepping on.
A bald head.
As that head slowly emerged and showed itself, I swallowed a gulp of saliva and tried to look for a way out of this.
A bald head, with an eerie smile.
This cannot be happening to me.
My phone. It was in the living room. There’s no way of getting to it without passing by that strange figure that is appearing just a few metres away from me.
It’s small but there’s no doubt about what it is.
It’s like a toddler.
I saw the outstretched hands in the same manner that Fong described.
I shut off the tap and I looked at the kitchen knife that is within reaching distance.
I don’t know if it will work against the GBM in front of me but I don’t have a choice. I don’t even know how to defend myself.
The GBM looked at me with that eerie smile on it’s face.
It started to come towards me like a toddler learning how to walk.
The footsteps are unsteady. It’s wobbling.
Joel : No… no… no… stay back.. stay back….. ..I ….I can do magic !!
I turned on the tap and started to splash water at that thing.
Nothing happened and it just continued wobbling towards me like a toddler looking for a hug.
I backed up till the end of the kitchen and there was nothing I can do.
Joel : Fuck…
I put my arms up in a defensive position to over my head and neck as I tightened my body into a small ball. I’ll wait for it to strike first before I find a chance to escape.
I was shaking as I watched it wobble closer and closer.
Then it stopped.
It was just staring at me.
An uncomfortable stare.
I waved at it trying to see if it’s alive when I noticed it’s large round eyes staring at the cut on my palm.
Joel : no way…
The 2 of us just looked at each other for a good 30 seconds before I turned up my palm.
I squeezed my wound, sending fresh blood to the surface.
The GBM looked at me as I slowly extended my hand.
It gave me a wider smile before I felt this weird sensation as it put it’s mouth to my hand and started to feed.
Joel : fuck… oh fuck… I’m fucked….
The first thought that went though my head was that I’m going to die. It’s going to suck me dry or something.
Barely 1 minute in, I heard the men shouting again. The men along the corridor. They were gathered outside my door, I can hear them, so can the GBM toddler.
It stopped feeding, looked at me, put a finger to it’s lips and it disappeared.
It just vanished.
I realised I was shaking.
It finally dawned on me why those men are here.
They’re hunting that GBM toddler. The same one I just fed.
I heard the knocking on my door.
I went to answer it with the towel still wrapped around my waist.
Joel : Yes.. ?
Strange man : Hi… erm… we’re looking for…. Your neighbour staying down at that unit….
He’s lying. I can see it in his eyes.
He was looking into my house while coming up with that lie.
Joel : err… I don’t know him well…. I’m at work whole day usually… .
Strange man : I see…. ermmm… ok….
His eyes scanned the interior of my place before looking at me.
Strange man : ok… thank you…. Sorry to disturb your shower…
I shut the door and remained there.
I can hear them talking outside.
“ try the other units… it must be inside one of these…. I can feel it…”
“ Maybe it went downstairs… “
“ Split up “
“ maybe we should go… it’s just a baby… what if it’s mum or dad is here ? “
“ Then we’re royally fucked…”
“ Impossible… I can only feel one of them… there isn’t another “
“ let’s go … try another floor “
The footsteps trailed off and I remained leaning against the door.
I saw the head popped up again from the floor of my living room.
It gave me a wave as if thanking me for helping it hide and then it disappeared.
I jumped when my phone rang.
It was Kristin.
Joel : Hello….
Kristin : You sleeping… ?
Joel : Not yet…. What’s up….
Kristin told me that her dad just got an alert. One that was released nationwide among the fraternity. A wild GMB has been spotted.
Joel : Oh….
Kristin : the Fang family is out in full force tonight…word is they are roping in the Eng family, the Earth users too….
Joel : I see….
Kristin : You ok… ?
Joel : yeah… yeah.. I’m fine…. Just curious.. what should I do… if… I mean if I see the GBM… ?
Kristin : hahah.. highly unlikely… but if you do see it…. Best advise I can give you… you run… haha… goodnight Joel…
Joel : Goodnight…
The sighting of a GBM in the country is big news within the fraternity. It’s comparable to the peak of the pokemon craze when someone sights a rare pokemon.
I never saw that GBM again that evening and when I went over to Kristin’s place the next day, the severity of what is going on finally hit me.
They stopped seeing clients for a week, giving the excuse that Fong is not feeling well.
The usually quiet whatsapp group is on fire.
I could see Fong frowning as he scrolled through the messages.
Joel : So… what exactly is going on…. ?
Fong : The sighting of a GBM….by the Fang family…. They first saw it in Yishun…. And they have been tracking it’s move down to the east…it’s a young one according to them, hasn’t fully matured….. they can try to catch it….
Joel : What’s going to happen ??
Fong : The Fang family have the most resources….they will continue to track it’s presence….and if needed, all the families might need to work together to contain this threat…..
Joel : I… I think you better start teaching me some skills I can use to defend myself or something….
Kristin laughed as she found my comment amusing.
Kristin : We already did…. Your running got a lot better isn’t it… ? hahah
I ignored her comments and I topped up Fong’s tea before asking him to tell me more about the Ginger Breadman.
Fong : First the smell…..
Joel : Ginger… ?
I don’t recall smelling any of that scent from the night before.
Fong : An adult GBM gives out a strong scent of ginger…. The stronger the scent… the more powerful they are…..which in essence, it’s a good thing…. It gives us early warning….
Joel : The scent…any… indication what is it’s effective warning radius… ??
Fong : The most powerful GBM ever recorded registered a scent radius of almost 200m…..this was many years ago….but on average…. 50m give and take….
Joel : 50m….
Fong : It’s still enough distance to give you a head start…… they are not slow…. Not like the hags… but we can still outrun them…….The young ones however…. Their ginger scent is not yet developed…..
It’s like a survival mechanism according to Fong. Makes it harder for them to be track, and gives them a better chance at survival.
As weird as it sounded, it makes perfect sense. This is just nature doing its thing.
Joel : How…. How powerful are they… ? what are their abilities… ?
Kristin joined us at the table with a teacup and poured herself a serving of tea.
Kristin : Why the sudden interest in GBM… ? you scared ah… ? hahaha…. I have space in the living room…. By that corner… rent you for $500 a month… hiak hiak hiak…! And I can have Kylie watch over you for an additional $100…. Hahah
I say Kylie appear upon hearing her name for a couple of seconds before she shrugged her shoulder and disappeared
I ignored Kristin’s jibe and looked towards Fong for the answer.
Fong : Their bodies….their limbs… they function in the same manner like that of a jellyfish… that is the closest description we can use …..
Joel : They sting.. ?
Fong gestured to his own torso, reminding me of the scars he showed me not too long ago.
Fong : You can’t see it… but their touch….can sting and cut you deep….which pretty much meant hand to hand combat is out unless you are really good at controlling your element….
Joel : How so… ?
Eager to be part of the conversation, Kristin filled in for her dad.
Kristin : You cover your fist…. With a layer of your element…. That shields your naked flesh from the GBM’s sting….
In a blatant attempt to show off her skills, Kristin held up a fist, concentrated for half a second before I felt strong breeze radiating from her clenched fingers. Like someone holding a hairdryer set to it’s lowest setting minus the sound.
Kristin : it’s easy to cloak your body with your element… the hard part is doing it fast enough for hand to hand combat….. it drains your stamina fast if you cloak your whole body…. And can you imagine trying to reach where the GBM is going to strike, which hand or limb you are going to use to block and cloaking that spot half a second before the hit…. ? … it’s madness…. Impossible….
Fong nodded in agreement.
Fong : GBM has a permanent cloak of energy around them….which functions as the base level of protection…..to sting, to cut or to kill with …. If they want to….
Joel : I see….
Fong : Then they can control the elements as well….some can do 1… some can do 2… the most powerful one can control Fire, water and Wind….It’s really hard to defeat…..
Joel : Wow…. And they just run wild….? Can anyone from the other side take care of them… ? the officers… ? or whoever… ?
Fong : I don’t know…. no one has offered their help so far if there is any….
I sipped my tea and tried to process the information I just learnt. Looks like the best option is still to run.
And the fucking dumbass from the night before actually tried to feed it.
I blinked a couple of times to shake myself out of my daze and continued my line of question like I was interrogating a suspect.
I can’t help it.
I have to know. I have to find out more.
Joel : The GBM the Fang family is looking for…. The young one…. does it mean it’s parents is nearby… ?
Fong : No one knows really how they reproduce…. But they are in essence, a corrupted ball of energy…. Even in their toddler state, they are extremely powerful….. much more powerful than a Hag… or a glutton so the theory is that there’s no way a normal sphere of energy can be corrupted to such a level that it spawns off a young GBM….
Kristin : Which is why…. it’s commonly believed that new GBM are new spawns…. Of their parents…an offshoot….perhaps excess energy they shed…. But no one has been able to study them in depth….and most of our understanding about them dates back to the 1950s…
Joel : I see…. I see…. and so… the Fang family…. They want to capture this…. Young GBM…..so they can study it….?
Kristin : I won’t be surprise if they want to keep it for themselves…
Fong : girl ah….
I could see Fong giving his daughter a chiding look.
Kristin : What… ? you know how they are like….power hungry….
Fong : If we can understand it… it will help us all…..
Kristin : They’ll probably try to keep it as a pet or some shit…. Use it to make more money….
Fong ignored his daughter as I topped up his cup with the last serving of tea.
I brought the whole pot to the kitchen to top it up with more hot water.
As I waited for the slow stream of near boiling water to fill up the pot, I could feel a slight throbbing in my palm. The same palm where I suffered a cut. The one the GBM fed from.
My left hand could feel the stream of hot water as it falls.
There is this ticklish sensation like someone is trying to write on your palm and it’s the strongest at the spot where I had the cut.
Before I knew it, I drew a ball of hot water over to my left hand.
I could see the steam rising off it, I could feel the heat radiating towards my skin.
Joel : fuck…
My eyes widened and the ball of water lasted only for 2 seconds before it broke up. I managed to pull my hand away but I still got scalded. On my fingers.
Joel : arhghhh!!
Kristin and Fong looked at me and I told them I’m fine.
Joel : Sorry… was err… dreaming ….
I brought the teapot back to the table and we continued our conversation.
Fong looked at his phone and added that everyone is very concerned about the GBM.
Fong : People are worried….
I asked if anyone has thought of keeping a GBM in the same manner you keep a glutton.
Joel : You know… so you can summon them for help when you need them….
Kristin laughed while Fong stroke his chin as he got lost in his own thoughts for a couple of second.
Fong : Mhhhhhhmmmm…. Interesting theory….
Kristin : hahahah…. You very funny you know….
Fong : The last time I saw one… it was trying to kill me….and ….. offering it my blood seemed to be nowhere near my mind….hahah…
I looked at the father and daughter laughing and I didn’t find it amusing.
Joel : I mean…. What if…why nobody tried ?? .. it’s worth a shot isn’t it… ?
Fong : Well if anyone tried… I’m pretty sure they are dead….no one has lived to tell the tale….. it’s big man…. I mean… getting a GBM on your side… it’s bragging rights that I think even I would not be able to resist… hahaha…
Kristin : I think that are only 2 kinds of people who would do such a dumb thing….
Putting up her first finger, Kristin first suggested the Fang family.
Kristin : They are rich enough, crazy enough, and they have the resources to try shit like this….doesn’t hurt to have 1 or 2 of their own guys killed… they’re big…
Fong : Girl ah!!..
Ignoring her father’s chide, Kristin put up the 2nd finger.
Kristin : The 2nd type is probably a mentally retarded dick…..
I looked away, knowing full well which category I belong to.
Fong : Anyway…. Joel … you’ve been practising…. How are things coming along… ?
Joel : ERmm.. not too bad….i can feel it… I can control small amounts of it….
Fong wanted to see the progress I made so far with my element. We went to the bathroom and I filled a tub with water.
Standing far back so they don’t get wet, Kristin and Fong looked at me squatting over a tub of water.
A funny scene no matter how you look at it.
It took a shorter time than I expected and I lifted a ball of water the size of a plum up, balancing it precariously on the tip of my thumb, index and middle finger.
Fong : good… good… hold it… hold it….
Fong asked me to focus and slowly open my palm.
I did as he told me and I watched the ball of water slowly settle down into the centre of my right hand for 3 seconds before splashing all over.
Fong : you are right handed.. what about the left hand…
I shook my head as I have not been practising with my left but then I remembered what happened earlier with the hot water.
I tried with my left and I could feel the same ticklish sensation on my palm.
What followed was a violent swirl of water in the tub.
It happened so suddenly that it gave Fong and Kristin a scare.
The tub wobbled and stood up suddenly as I gave myself a shock.
I drew the tub of water into a sphere on my left palm. It’s big.
It’s like the size of a basketball.
Joel : oh…. Ohhh…. Ohhh…. Ohh…. What do I do….. what do I do…!!
Kristin : what…..the fuck….
Fong seemed surprised as well as he stared at me jumping around in the toilet.
The ball of water is unstable. It’s starting to wobble, feeling like a basketball you were spinning on your hand about to go out of it’s spin axis.
Joel : What do I do…!!???
Fong’s eyes widened in horror suddenly. By the time I realised he has saw or rather anticipated something before I knew what it was, it was too late.
Too late for me at least.
Fong clasped his palms together and I felt a whoosh of air get sucked away from the space around me just before the ball of water I was struggling to balance exploded.
I was thrown backwards against the tiled wall while I saw the water curved around the protective barrier Fong barely managed to put up around him and his daughter.
By the time I registered the pain in my buttocks and head, I realised I had toppled all the pails and basket in the toilet. Including the one holding all of Kristin’s worn lingerie.
Joel : oh fuck…. I’m so sorry… I’m so sorry…. aghhh…
I started picking up bras and g-strings from the floor and even my thigh, putting them back into the basket, I looked at Kristin and Fong who were not looking at me.
I was expecting Kristin to start cursing me when I noticed their eyes were not looking at me.
They were looking at my left hand.
On the tiled floor beside my left hand, the water is disappearing in a radial pattern.
It’s like it’s being evaporated off at high speed but there were no steam or anything.
It’s just disappearing.
I took my hand up and although my body was drenched from the initial splash, I could feel the water drying up.
My clothes, my skin. It’s disappearing fast.
Joel : I’m getting dry….haha… not too bad eh… I don’t need to keep wetting my clothes when I practise then… hahahah….
Fong : Girl….
Kristin knew what her dad expected of her as I watched her clasped her hand together in the same manner when she dealt with the Hag.
Fong did it too.
Fong : come out of the bathroom Joel… now….
Unsure of what is going on, I quickly stepped out when I felt as if an invisible force pulled me towards the father and daughter duo.
The pots, pans and utensils, basically everything around us were pushed back as Kristin put up a protective shield around the 3 of us .
Fong enveloped the toilet with his shield and I could see the pressure the energy is having on everything in the bathroom. Some of the tiles are starting to crack.
Fong : no way…. Too concentrated….we need to burn it….
Joel : Burn what.. ??
Before I could understand what is happening, Fong asked me to reach into his pocket.
Fong : Take out the box of matches….
I did as I was told and Fong asked me to light one.
I watched the flame lick the matchstick and Fong gave that match it’s own bubble of air before sending it towards the one he created around the toilet.
Fong : girl… ready….
My jaws dropped an inch when I watch the match float into the bathroom and upon releasing his hold on the match, the entire bathroom exploded into an orange flame of fire.
I could feel the vibration but not the heat.
Fong had it all within his energy sphere of air.
Joel : What the fuck…..!
If Fong didn’t contain it with his magic, I have no doubts that explosion would have blown a hole in the bathroom, sending tiles and concrete down to the estate below.
The firefighters would be activated. Hell, maybe even the army would be given an explosion of this nature. They probably think someone is trying to make their own bomb at home.
By the time I could regain my composure to speak, I was looking at the charred remains of a toilet I was in just moments ago.
Joel : What…. What was that… ? I thought the water all…. Evapourated….
Fong : What is the chemical formula of water Joel..….
Joel : H2O….why…
Kristin jabbed me in my ribs as she looked at her burnt lingerie and clothes.
Kristin : You split them up into it’s molecular content….you twat….we could feel the change….the change in the concentration of oxygen and hydrogen in the air….
Joel : What…. But…how…. ?
Fong : Why is your left hand so much stronger than your right…. ?
I swallowed a gulp of saliva as I considered how much to say.
Thankfully Kristin saved me from answering that question with her scream.
Kristin : aGHHH!!!… I’m sending you an invoice for the clothes you ruin !!!!! AGHHHH!!!
I apologised again for the mess I caused and I went about helping to clean up the charred toilet.
I was about to put a half burnt bra with it’s padding exposed into the trash bag when I paused.
I thought I smelled something.
No I’m not sniffing Kristin’s bra or panty.
I thought I caught the faintest whiff of a familiar vegetable.
It was there for a second, and then it was gone
It’s going to cost a couple of thousand to fix up the toilet.
I scraped the broken and cracked tiles from the wall while Kristin tapped away with a calculator while looking over her basket of ruined clothes.
Kristin : oooohhh…. I hope you have some spare savings stashed away…. It’s going to cost you a bomb….hiak hiak hiak…..
I ignored Kristin as I threw a half burned bra cup into her basket.
The ticking sensation never left my palm. My left palm.
It’s still there. When I go too near the water pipes, I could feel it.
I could feel the pressure.
Like they were begging to be pulled out of the copper pipes.
I quickly moved away. Until I learn how to control it properly, I should not be doing things like that again.
It’s not hard to put 2 and 2 together.
The stark difference in my ability to manipulate water between my both hands is because of the ginger breadman.
Or rather, the toddler GBM.
It fed off my hand, and perhaps, somehow or the other, amplified the effects.
Kristin kept droning on in the background but I shut her out, catching only snippets of what she is saying.
“Lululemon Tights…. Sports bra…..tops from Zara….” And so on.
She had a delirious look on her face as she kept tapping into the calculator, determined to milk me dry of my pay cheque.
My phone rang and it was Yip.
He’s left me alone for a few weeks to recuperate and aside from a couple of messages to make sure I was still alive, he made no mention of work to me.
Ming’s usual phone calls and nonstop messaging stopped too, no doubt under the orders of my boss.
Joel : Helloe…. ?
Yip : so how….? Learnt your lesson already… ?
I felt my felt skip a beat as I blurted out.
Joel : What lesson… ?
How did he know I was taking magic lessons form Fong and Kristin ?
Before I could let panic overtake my mind, Yip cursed at me over the phone.
Yip : what lesson….?? Bloody hell ….. you still high on pain killers is it…?
It was then I suddenly remembered him forcing me to go on leave, extending the period when I tried to bargain it shorter.
Joel : Oh.. no.. no… nothing… nothing….
Yip :So you ready to come back to work… ?
Joel : What… ? so fast… I thought I still have a week more… or 2…. Come to think of it… I was hoping I can just clear my leave all at once….ermmm… for last year….
Yip : woah….. I was expecting you to beg me to allow you back…. But you are doing the complete opposite….
I told my boss that I’ve had time to rethink my priorities in life. Work is important, but my well being should not be neglected as well.
It must have sounded too zen like for his liking.
Yip : …you…. Taking some new…. Zen … and meditation lesson is it…
Joel : Me… no… nothing of the sort… ahah…
Yip : You sound different Joel…. You ok…
Joel : I’m fine… really… i…ermm…. I guess I just sort of grew used to the idea of….ermm… resting at home… doing my own stuff….. I guess…. It’s been so long since I started working…. It’s the first time I felt properly rested…with a long break like this …
Yip was quiet for a while before saying that he will give me another 2 weeks, on the condition that I start guiding Ming every now and then.
Yip : Work is piling up…. Ming is struggling… and I’ve been getting requests from schools for our handsome Officer Joel to start giving his anti scam talks again….
I hung up and by the time I went back to the kitchen, Kristin was tabulating up the cost for the shampoo and body wash. I looked at the figure on the calculator and I almost fainted.
Joel : You got to be shitting me…!
Kristin : no…. I haven even got the contractor to quote on the renovation work for the toilet…
Fong came into the kitchen with his phone held far away from his eyes as he scrolled through the messages.
He commented that the Fang family is out in full force that day.
Fong : They could feel the GBM around the Pasir Ris estate….
Kristin : Oh…. Horrrrrr….. Joel… you die… you die… isn’t that where you stay… hahahah…..
I felt goosebumps appearing around my body as I looked at Kristin chuckling away.
Fong : Don’t scare him la Girl…. Haiyah….
Kristin : for $500 bucks… I will send Kylie over….protect you while you sleep….
Joel : I’m not…. sure I’m comfortable with that….
Kristin : for $1000 I can consider going over too… you know… personal body guard….hahah
Fong chided Kristin, commenting that there is nothing she can do even if she is there.
Fong : You’re not strong enough to deal with a GBM…. Not even a toddler one…
She rolled her eyes at her dad like the way a rebellious teenager would when she refused to communicate with adults.
Fong : Anyway Joel… just don’t wander around…and remember….. You see anything out of the ordinary…. Just run…..
Joel : Ok….
Fong asked me to the living room and I apologised for the bathroom.
Joel : I’ll pay for the renovation….
Fong : don’t worry about it…
Kristin : What you mean don’t worry about it… that’s MY bathroom !!
Fong asked to look at my left palm and he noticed the wound from the night before.
Joel : I slipped and fell last night….
Fong : There is a severe imbalance…. In the amount of energy you are wielding….between both hands… this usually don’t happen…..
Fong explained that when people practice, they do it first with their master hand. Once they get their basics right, it makes it easier for them to replicate that training on the other hand.
Fong : You need both hands in order to execute complex moulds of energy…..
Joel : You can’t do it with just one hand… ?
Fong : You can…. But it takes years and years of practise… and besides.. if you can do it with 2 hands…. Just use 2……only you lose one of your limbs…
Joel : Ok….
Fong : Anyway…. The imbalance is going to cause some problems in your everyday life…. especially so when you have yet to learn how to control it properly…..
Thankfully this is a fairly common problem for many beginners. Just that the imbalance in my case is literally on the opposite end of the spectrum.
Fong : you need a bracelet…. One that will help regulate and control the energy in your left hand….sort of…. Ermmm.. balance it up a bit….
Joel : Ok…. Ok… where do I buy it…. ?
Fong : We’ll have to ask around a few shops….. Girl ah… can you take Joel to the shops…. And see if they have any bracelets…..
Kristin : but I was going to go do my nails later…
Fong : Then after your nails…
Kristin : What about my facial… ? it’s not often we get to have a few days off….
Fong : Then after your facial….
Kristin : I wanted to meet my friends for coffee….
I alternated my eyes between the 2 and I raised up my hand, telling Kristin I get the message.
Joel : Ok… ok… when…. You are free… … after you are done…. With your…. Stuf…..can you please bring me to the shops…
Kristin smiled and crossed her legs before replying.
Kristin : Of course….
I went back to my flat in Pasir Ris and I started practising in the toilet again. Right hand only by the way.
Come night fall, I started pacing around the house trying to see if I can get a whiff of the Ginger smell.
I kept pacing up and down till 1am in the morning.
The GBM didn’t come back. Neither did the men from the Fang family.
Maybe it went to another estate.
I don’t know what got into me that night.
There is this edgy feeling in my body.
Several times a night, I woke up covered in cold sweat when I thought I smell ginger.
31st October 2018
Kristin gave me a call just when I stepped out of the shower. She asked if I’m free to go shop.
Joel : Ok… of course…
I picked her up at Bedok and asked her where do we go.
Joel : Where is the shop ?
Kristin : Go to Orchard first…. Takashimaya…
Joel : You’re shitting me…. Taka sells magic stuff… ??
Kristin : no…. I need to shop…. And you will be paying…. For all the stuff you damaged….
I knew this was coming but I never expected Kristin to be so thick skinned.
She was not joking when she say she is going shopping.
She spent the afternoon trying out dresses, work tops and pants and high heels.
Joel : You don’t work in an office what… why would you need clothes like this… ??
She gave me an irritated look but continued shopping anyway.
By 6pm, I was starving and only after repeated reminders that it is dinner time, did Kristin finally relented.
Kristin : What you want to eat… ?
Joel : anything… the foodcourt or something….
Kristin : Are you crazy…? We came all the way to town to eat in a foodcourt… ?
She started sprouting a list of reason why we should go something special.
A nice café, a restaurant.
Kristin : I’m talking wine…. Dessert and cakes after the main meal….nice soothing music…I’m giving you a chance to take me out for dinner Joel… !!
I looked at the 2 bags of shopping in my hands and one I was carrying on my shoulder.
Joel : I look like some…. Robert you suckered into paying for your shopping… and now you want to extort me for dinner….
Kristin reached into her purse and pulled out a silver bracelet.
Dangling it in front of me like a cat owner teasing her pet, she dropped it back into her purse.
Joel : Is that what I think it is… ? !! the bracelet your dad is talking about… ?
Kristin : yeap…
Joel : How much is it… I’ll pay you…
Kristin : After dinner Joel…after dinner…. Hahahaha….
We ended up in one of the restaurant in Dempsey hill.
I told Kristin I was hoping to visit the shop with her, so I can see what is it like.
Kristin : we asked around…. And only 1 shop has stock for the bracelet….. and this particular owner isn’t exactly friendly…. He only allowed my dad to go in by the way….
Joel : Why… ?
Kristin : aiyah… you know la…sometimes… old people… weird habits….
Over a steak dinner, I started asking about the magic imbued into the bracelet or anything else.
Joel : These are really old stuff right…. But the bracelet you showed me looked pretty modern….
Kristin nodded in between munches of her meat.
These artifacts date back decades, if not centuries. Back then, some were imbued into everyday item such as a chain, an armour, or an amulet. Most are common items such as rings, bracelets, necklace.
Kristin : so say a forearm brace….for a man….it’s big…. Too big and too weird for anyone to wear around in modern society…. So it’s melted down…. And reforged….into many smaller items….
Joel : I see…
The artifact can take on a new shape and appearance but it retains it’s original properties.
A walking stick, can be remade into a dozen rings or pendants.
Clothes, or cloak, the fabric can also be reused, or sewn in between newer modern day fabric.
Kristin : The options are limitless…. As long as you have the money….
Joel : how much did the bracelet cost… ?
Kristin : $8000….
Joel : WHAT !! that little thing cost 8k… ??
Kristin : what do you expect…. ? why do you think only the bankers can afford to keep the most of these items… ?
Joel : Ouch…
Kristin : It’s an investment… don’t worry… you can sell it next time when you don’t need it….
While waiting for dessert to be served, I excused myself to the washroom.
The washroom of the restaurant is open concept and faced a thick forested area. Without air conditioning, I could smell the mosquito repellent that is scattered about on the narrow grass patch that separated the forest from the edge of the restaurant.
While soaping my hands at the wash basin, I looked towards the forested area barely 20 metres away.
I could see the lone figure of a male spirit wandering around a tree.
He’s just walking around aimlessly.
Further away, I saw another 2 female standing back to back, facing opposite directions doing absolutely nothing.
Things like this hardly fazes me anymore.
Just when I finished rinsing the soap off my hands, I saw the male spirit being dragged into the forest.
A pair of long hands was dragging in him.
The man was struggling, trying to break free.
He looked at me. Eye contact was made.
And then he was gone.
Water stopped coming out of the tap and I deliberated about my next move.
I mean, there’s nothing much I can do.
I could go grab Kristin but she would probably asked me to ignore it.
I left the bathroom and I barely took 2 steps towards the restaurant when I turned back. I stepped over a low fence and I walked towards the spot when I saw that spirit got grabbed.
I cant help it.
It’s just me.
I can’t stand seeing someone that needs help and not doing anything.
I could hardly see anything as the light from the restaurant barely penetrated into the thick vegetation.
I whipped out my phone and I took a step in.
I could hear see some commotion further up front, maybe another 10 metres in.
Brushing aside branches and twigs that were in my face, I came to a small clearing.
Joel : oh fuck…
The light from my phone hit onto the Hag that was feeding on the spirit of the man I saw earlier. The man looked like a crumpled piece of paper. The Hag already has his entire arm in her mouth and it appears to be rapidly chewing towards his crumpled up face.
It’s disgusting. Imagine having your body crumpled up and squeezed small enough to fit in the mouth of a old lady. It sounds impossible but I was looking at it with my own eyes.
The spirit’s humanly shape slowly gets deformed and crumpled as the Hag consumed it.
The Hag saw me and she stopped chewing.
I could feel the food in my stomach churn.
It’s a really sick sight to behold.
I heard a slurp.
Like someone slurping up a thick ramen broth or something.
The Hag slurped hard and the crumpled form of the man disappeared further into her mouth, leaving only the torso and legs outside.
I took a step back.
I guess it’s too late for me to offer any kind of help, not that i can offer any.
I heard a louder and more urgent slurp. Whatever’s left of the man slid into her Hag’s mouth in a grotesque manner.
I should be running but I find myself transfixed by what I was seeing.
I got another mind fuck when I saw the Hag smile at me, revealing a neat row of teeth.
Not only did she smiled at me.
She got up from her sitting position on her makeshift cart.
I saw her arms relaxed and it became jelly like, reaching to the forest floor.
I was about to turn and bolt when I heard my name.
Hag : Joel…….
I turned in horror.
The Hag knew my name ?
Joel : … what the….
She charged towards me and I dropped my phone when I grabbed her rubbery limbs. It felt like I was holding an angry squid in my palms.
Joel : ARGNHH!!! Fuck off !!..
I kicked her back but her long hands held onto me.
She was clinging onto me and trying to bite me.
I punched her a couple of times on her face and it felt like I was hitting rubber.
Using my body as leverage, I turned and backed myself into the Hag before throwing her over my shoulder and onto the ground.
Using the small window I bought myself , I ran towards the opening where I came in. I barely got 2 steps when I felt someone throw themselves against me.
A 2nd Hag that appeared out of nowhere.
I had my left hand under her neck, trying to get her mouth away from me while I punched her a couple of times.
Joel : ARGHHH!!!..
Her hands clasped around my neck and as I reared my head back, I could see the Hag I threw on the ground getting up.
My view of her was upside down and she started crawling towards me like a spider going after a pinned down prey.
Just when I thought it’s all over, I smell something.
Ginger. It’s getting stronger.
The hag straddling me was pulled back with such force that she literally flew into the trees.
The one crawling towards me leapt up and she pounced onto me.
Hag : aGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
My eardrums almost erupted when the Hag screamed into my face at point blank range.
No, she’s not trying to scare me before she eat me.
She was in pain. Her own flesh felt sizzled as she held onto me.
There was a fuzzy feeling in my body as I watched the Hag struggle to get away from me but she can’t. Her body and limbs looked like it has been stuck to my skin.
The ginger smell. It’s so strong.
It’s coming from me.
I heard another louder slurp. Like a hungry man finishing up the last of his ramen and the Hag disappeared.
I looked down to my stomach only to be greeted by a sickening sight.
The head of the GBM.
It turned towards me, smiled once before disappearing inside my body.
Joel : oh ….fuck no….. no… no…. no…..
If I did not relieve myself earlier, I would have just done it in my pants right there and then.
The GBM toddler is not hiding in the east.
It’s hiding inside me…
I backed away from the clearing and I broke into a run back to the restaurant.
I muttered under my breath as I ran straight into the toilet.
Joel : fuck… fuck… fuck…..fuck….
I looked at myself in the mirror and I started to wash up, rubbing off the sand, the dried mud stains from my body and my clothes.
The ginger smell is gone.
Not even a trace of it remains.
All I could smell was the scent of the bathroom.
My heart was still racing.
I’m really dead this time round. That thing is inside my body and nobody knows shit about it.
What if it suddenly decides to suck all my blood dry at the same time ?
I rubbed on a small mud stain on my top, it came off easily.
Thankfully I was wearing black and the ground was pretty dry. The soil stains on my jeans is barely noticeable too after a good wipe.
Joel : Ok… calm down….Joel… calm down….
I took a deep breath and looked at my stomach.
I have to try to communicate with it.
Joel : Come out…. I know you can hear me… come out….!….
The door to the toilet opened and I turned way from the sink, heading to a urinal.
I unzipped myself and pretended to pee when I saw the head of the GBM appear for a second before disappearing.
Joel : Come out… please… please…. Come out…. Come out…!! Argnnhhhh….
I squeezed my muscles and tightened my core, as if it would help squeeze that thing out of me.
Joel : arghhhh..a rhghhh!!! Come out… out… arhghhh
I forgot for a moment I was not alone in the toilet and that the others could not see what I was seeing.
I looked up in horror to see the 2 other men in the bathroom staring at me with their eyes wide opened.
One of them was a older man in his fifties using a urinal 1 spot away from me.
The other, a lot younger.
The older man gave me a knowing and sympathetic look as he finished peeing.
I zipped up my pants and went to the sink, visibly embarrassed by what just happened.
The old man washed and dry his hands before coming over to me.
Old man : Young man…. Calm down…. men… usually gets some prostate problems as they get older… you are still young… see a doctor…
Joel : what….. i….
The younger man had a look on his face that just screamed ‘
‘ I feel sorry for you bro ‘
I exhaled and cursed out loud in the toilet.
Joel : FUCK!!…
I went back to the restaurant and luck would have it that the 2 gentlemen that was in the toilet with me earlier was seated 2 tables away.
They looked at me and then at Kristin before I saw that sympathetic look again.
Oh god. I wished there was a hole for me to crawl into.
Kristin : what’s wrong with you… you ok ?? tummy ache.. ?
Joel : err… yeah…. … stomachache…
Kristin : you looked like you had a massive diarrhoea …. Is it the food… ?
I shook my head as I ate the chocolate cake on my plate.
Kristin pulled out her phone to read her messages.
Kristin : wow… it’s really running all over the place….
Joel : What is running all over the place… ?
Kristin showed me the message her dad forwarded to her.
The GBM was detected in town area.
Kristin : I think it must be lost….or it got sick of loitering around the east side of the island….. but it’s unusual for them to travel such long distance… not within such a short span of a few days…..
I nodded as I stuffed a larger chunk of cake into my mouth.
Kristin : Maybe it knows it’s being hunted……Town is practically the Fang family’s neighbourhood……they’ll get it if it’s here….. Anyway… the chocolate mud cake is really nice right…!!! Hahah …
I asked Kristin how does the Fang family track the GBM.
Joel : Do they have sensors all over the place or what… ?? how is it possible for them to be able to detect the energy that the GBM is giving out… ?
I saw a flames licked a metre high behind a glass wall as the chef prepared the customer’s order on the skillet.
Kristin looked at the flames dancing for a couple of seconds before gesturing to that with her chin.
Joel : the fire… ?
Kristin : Yes…
Kristin used the salt shaker in the middle of the table as an example while putting other cutleries around it.
Kristin : Think of every open flame, every strong heat source in the country as a sensor….
Joel : No way…
Kristin explained that it works the same way with the other elements.
As long as you are in tune with your energy, you will be able to feel it, to read off it, to sense other energy off it.
It’s a massive effort that requires utmost concentration of a lot of people like us.
Kristin : This is Singapore bro…. everyone is busy trying to make a living…. How many can truly sit 10 people in a room, concentrating their magic while trying to sense what is going on around the island ?…
Joel : wow….
Kristin : only the Fang family can do it…
Joel : but… what if… what if there are no open flames… and we’re not near any restaurant…. Or…. Coffee shops… or people are sleeping at night… they don’t cook…. How do they track then… ?
Kristin : Temperature in the combustion chamber of a typical car engine can reach 2500 degrees…Fire users can detect and sense heat source as long as it’s in excess of 50 degrees… and they can train themselves to use that as a sensor…. The hotter it is, the easier it is for them, if the temperature is low…. It’s hard to work….
Joel : That practically means as long as there is a running car, a motorcycle… an open flame….. heavy industries….
Kristin : the whole CBD, town, as long as there are buildings…. Buildings with heavy ACMV system cooling down entire commercial towers…. They generate heat…. It’s like a blanket radar for the Fire users…
Joel : oh…
I could feel a churn in my stomach as the thought of being caught in a large radar net put the feeling of unease in my head.
Kristin : We can do that too…. I can do it with air…. And you can do it with water…. It’s all a matter of training…. And then finding people who would like to sit inside an office while channelling their energy to find and detect other energy….
Joel : They… they must be quite mad isn’t it.. to go this far… ?
Kristin : They are loaded… they are filthy rich Joel… with money and resources… you can groom the next generation… the family is richer than the richest family in Singapore…. But you will never find them on any forbes list…
I casually put in the question about how to hide from the Fangs then, if they can detect everything, but I can’t asked it in an obvious manner.
I needed it to be subtle. Something that can be applied across the board to anyone, not just the creature hiding inside my body.
Joel : So technically….the Fangs, can find any energy signal they are looking for…. As long as they can sense it…. Is that right… ?
Kristin : yeah….
Joel : Wow… no way for people to owe them money to hide then… ahhaha.. they should be loan sharks or something….
Kristin : it … doesn’t work that way… they detect energy…. Not GPS location like satellite…. Hahaha….
Joel : so say… if they want to find…. You and your dad… what do they search for….
Kristin shook her head smugly and waved her finger at me.
Kristin : it’s very hard to detect magic users like us…. Our energy signals blends in with the air, the water, the earth, the heat… around us…. Not impossible… but hard….. it’s like looking for hay in a haystack…..
Joel : water… ?
Kristin : the same…it’s not for pin point location… it’s ermm…ermm… how do I explain this….
Kristin looked away for a couple of minute and gave me an example.
She compared air users to chicken rice.
Kristin : you know the smell and taste of chicken rice…. But unless you eat from the same stall so frequently that the taste is ingrained inside your head…. It’s not easy to head into a hawker centre than has 10 chicken rice stall, do a blindfold test and be able to pick out which is the one you like….
Joel : oh…
And the same applies to other elements.
Joel : Ok… ok… I get it… I get it… so…. Assuming the GBM is a food or cuisine that is very rare… with a unique…. Ermmm… taste….
Kristin took a sip of her water and nodded.
Kristin : Like truffle… you don’t get truffle in a hawker centre…. So if you walk into one that has strong smell of it… I’m sure you can easily narrow it down ….same principle applies….
Joel : Oh….i see… but technically….ermm… I can hide the truffle inside a plate of chicken rice isn’t it…. ? and…. All the Fangs would smell when they go into the hawker centre… is chicken rice….
Kristin smiled and nodded.
Kristin : clever boy…. But then again…. Who would do such a thing… ?
Joel : I don’t know… an adventurous chef perhaps… ?
Ok. This is slowly starting to make sense.
The GBM is hiding inside me so it is safe from the Fangs and whoever that is hunting it.
This also explains the sudden spike in my ability to manipulate my element.
Now the next question would be how to get it out.
We finished our food and I asked for the bill.
As we walked towards my car, I was keeping my eye out for the other Hag that disappeared.
Kristin dug into her bag and handed me the bracelet she got for me.
Kristin : nah… try it on…
I put the bracelet on my left wrist. Kristin took a bottle of mineral water and she popped the cover.
Kristin : try it…
Joel : Here ??!!
Kristin : There’s nobody around…. Try it…
I focused on my left hand and I could feel the water calling out to me. I drew it all out of the bottle and it’s a lot easier to balance now.
Joel : it’s… it’s not as off balance anymore….
Kristin : good… try to think of something…. Mould it… like playdough…
Joel : Play dough… ?
Kristin : yeah… you got play playdough before… ?
Joel : What does that have to do with this… ?
Kristin : Mould it…. And you can shape it into anything…
I thought about the chocolate cake I just ate and the ball of water shifted it’s shape. After a bit of twisting and turning, it took the form of a triangle slice of cake.
An ugly one.
Just think of something a 4 year old toddler made with their grimy hands.
Kristin : Not bad… practise with this…. And you will be….
Kristin’s sentence was broken by the roar of a supercar engine.
Not just one.
Several super cars pulled into the quiet carpark.
A Lamborghini, a Mclaren, a Porsche pulled into the carpark one after another.
Kristin : oh wow….
I unlocked the car and I quickly got in and started the engine.
Joel : Get in…..
Kristin : what’s the hurry…. Oh… wow… wow.. I think I know who they are….
The colours of the super cars were in a combination of either red or orange.
And the men that alighted from them looked all too business like to be youngsters looking for a good night out.
Kristin : No shit… they are here… which means the GBM must be here somewhere….
Joel : Then we better go…
Kristin : good idea.
Kristin got in and I put the car into drive.
I stepped on the pedal, eager to get Kristin back to he place as fast as I could.
Kristin : Are you ok … ? you’re driving pretty fast…. You need to go to the toilet again…. ?
Joel : Me.. ? no… no… I’m fine….
Upon arriving at Kristin’s place, she asked that I help her bring her shopping up.
Fong was at the door waiting for his daughter when we arrive.
Kylie was pacing about beside him doing nothing as usual.
Fong : Girl ah…. Did you see my message… ?
Kristin : yeah… the GBM is in town area….? I think I saw the Fangs earlier….they gathered at near a restaurant we went to….
Fong : No… it’s not about that…
Fong told us that there were several Hags in the area as well. The Fangs were keeping track of each and everyone of them.
Kristin : Really … ?
Fong : And one of them just disappeared….
Kristin :What do you mean disappeared… ?
Fong : Consumed… they are pretty sure the GBM ate the Hag….
I swallowed a gulp of saliva I looked at the exchange between the father and daughter duo.
Kristin : Oh dear… what’s going to happen… ?
Fong : No one knows… it’s the first time for everyone…. But this is serious enough for them to call for a clan meeting next month….
Kristin : A clan meeting… we haven had one since 3 years ago when a rogue glutton and it’s owner started killing people…. !
Fong turned to me.
Fong : Joel…. Can you try to get a basic water shield up…. ?
Joel : What is a basic shield… ?
Fong : Imagine a bubble of energy…. One that surrounds and protect you…
Joel : oh… how do I do that… ?
Kristin : Mould it…. Playdough… remember…. ?
Fong : Do it in the toilet… you don’t need a lot of water…. Just a thin layer will do….Girl ah…. Teach him… get the shield up before the clan meeting….
I looked at Fong and quickly added.
Joel : Wait.. wait.. wait…. Am I going to the clan meeting… ? why.. ? I’m not in a clan…. I can’t be in a clan…..
As if allowing the GBM to feed on me and hide inside me is not enough, I’m not going to walk into a clan meeting where probably the entire Fang family will be out in full force.
If that happens, It doesn’t matter if it’s chicken rice, or chicken chop or wanton noodles, there’s no way I can hide that truffle inside me from them up close.
Fong : but you need to be there… you’re a water user…and if you want to be good at what you do… you need someone to guide you….
Joel : But you guys are guiding me….
Fong : we can only teach you the basics….you need a water user…someone experienced….. so they can teach you how to harness your potential…. While the basics of controlling and moulding the element is the same…. There are unique skills that only users of each elements can learn….
I could feel my heart beating faster.
Kristin : The water elders will be there for sure… and if you can show them that you mastered the basics… they will be more willing to take you in…..
Joel : But… but….
Fong : Relax Joel… it’s just a informal demonstration….. it’s held everytime the clan gathers….
Joel : but the clan is gathering for the GBM isn’t it… ?
Fong : they are… but since everyone is going to be there…. Might as well hold the initiation for the newbies at the same time isn’t it….
Kristin : Are you ok Joel… you look worried…..
Joel : Me…? no way… I’m not worried…
Kristin : Something feels off… your usual confident streak is missing I think….
Joel : you’re over thinking….. it’s late… I better go….
Kristin : ok… but we’re starting to work on the shield tomorrow yeah……
I nodded as I walked over to the lift.
Kristin folded her arms and I could see that suspicious look on her face. She could tell something is off about me.
I waited for the lift door to close and just when the lift car started to descend, Kylie appeared beside me.
Joel : aeGHH!!
Kylie chuckled and covered her mouth, looking a little shy.
She has never talked to me before.
Joel : what … what are you doing here… ?
Kylie : My sister asked me to follow you to the car….keep you safe….
Joel : Oh… that’s… very nice of her….
My heart started beating faster as Kylie stared at me.
Kylie : are you ok Joel….? Your heart is beating really fast….
I looked at her in surprise.
Joel : me… ? I’m ok…. why would you say that…. ? Is my heart beating really fast… ?
Kylie : I can feel the pulse of the energy….
We walked towards my car and I could see Kylie looking at me, waiting for a reply.
Kylie : Are you… hiding something from us Joel… ? do you need help… ?
Kylie touched me and her hand jerked back as if she touched something hot.
Kylie : Ouch…what is that….
I started to panic as I looked at Kylie who was looking at her semi transparent hand.
Joel : What… ?
Kylie’s face came closer and I backed away.
Kylie : you feel like you are… burning Joel…
My mind raced for a suitable reply.
I can’t tell Kylie, nor Kristin, not even Fong.
I don’t want to put them in danger. Not until I can figure out what is going on.
No one knows shit about the GBM and now that it is inside me, I have the best shot of understanding it.
Kylie backed me into a column and something clicked in my head.
I had no choice.
Joel : Ok… you got me….i am hiding something…
Kylie stopped moving.
My heart started beating faster than ever.
Kylie : You’re nervous Joel…. I can feel it…
Joel : Yes… I am… and… I need your help….
Kylie : What is it…
Joel : I like your sister….but I think she don’t like me….
I blurted that out and I saw Kylie’s figure buzz and she went totally transparent for a while before she started running around the void deck in an excited manner.
Kylie : I KNEW IT !!!… that is why you are so nervous… !!!
I nodded my head eagerly, following up on the lie I just spun.
Joel : My heart was racing the whole night… I wanted to tell her.. but I could not find the courage to do it…. And….
Kylie kept nodding, indicating that she understood me.
Kylie : That stupid bimbo finally has someone that likes her !!! hahahahahah….
Kylie literally drifted and flew around me as I waited for her to calm down.
Joel : Now Kylie… I really need your help on this… can you keep this a secret….??
Kylie looked at me and asked why.
Joel : I’m still going to be learning from her… and…. And . I don’t want things to get awkward between us…. If you get what I mean….
Kylie : ahhhhh… I see… I see….hee.. hee…
Tapping her semi transparent chest, Kylie told me to leave it all to her.
Kylie : I’ll help you… hiak.. hiak… hiak…
Joel : err… no… no please don’t… give me some time… i…ermm.. I want to do it my way….
Kylie chuckled and nodded.
Kylie : I will tell you all her secrets….
My eyes widened as I nodded.
Joel : errmmm… ok…..
Kylie suddenly looked up towards the concrete slab as if she heard someone call out to her.
Kylie : Alright….i got to go…. Kristin is calling me….don’t worry…. Your secret is safe with me….
She shot vertically upwards towards the slab and disappeared.
I exhaled and quickly went to the car.
I started the engine and sped all the way home. I didn’t stop until I shut and bolted the door behind me, ran into the toilet, sat down on my toilet bowl and looked at my stomach.
Joel : Ok…. ok….
I took a deep breath and exhaled.
Joel : Please…. Come out……
And then I waited.
And I waited.
I saw the hand of the GBM reach out from my chest as it crawled out into the bathroom.
My body was shaking as I watch it crawl out like some phantom in a Japanese horror movie.
Joel : Bloody hell….
It stood up in front of me as it rose to it’s full height and it rendered me speechless.
It’s no longer a toddler.
It grew bigger.
The last time I saw it, it looked like a 4 year old kid.
Now, it’s looking as if it was ready to go to Primary school or something.
It looked at me with that same eerie smile.
Joel : I…. don’t suppose you speak English… ?
The GBM stared at me without a word.
Joel : 华语。。。会听吗？ ( do you understand mandarin )
Still no reaction.
Joel : err…. Adakah….anda….errr Bercakap… Bahasa Melayu… ??? ( do you speak Malay ?
I was contemplating grabbing a pen and paper to start drawing when it turned and walked out of the bathroom.
I opened the door and went after it.
Joel : Hey.. hey… wait….
The GBM went to the window in the kitchen and it levitated up a foot so it can look down towards the carpark.
I heard the roar of the super car engine again.
It’s the Mclaren from before.
Joel : oh shit.. they’re here…. You need to hide…..
I was racking my brain trying to think of how to get it to go back inside me when the GBM suddenly turned to me.
GBM : I think Kristin is really hot too…… good choice dude…
That came out of nowhere.
I just stared at that eerie figure of the GBM in front of me as he looked back down at the supercar with it’s idling engine in the carpark.
No it’s not the Fang family.
It’s a neighbour staying on the lower floor.
“ Kao pei la !! “ ( Shut the fuck up ! )
While the low rumble of the car’s engine might be music to some, doing it in the middle of a housing estate is sure to invite trouble.
The engine of the car stopped. Peace and quiet returned to the sleepy estate after I saw someone at the 3rd floor on the opposite block giving a finger to the car.
I watched a man and a woman leave the vehicle and instinctively I tried to grab the GBM’s arm only to feel as if I am grasping air. I can’t touch him at all.
Joel : You need to hide… they are here for you….
GBM : I know…they’ve been looking for me for a while….very persistent….
It stopped levitating and dropped back to the ground.
I followed it to the living room and it paused near the coffee table and it burped.
A loud burp.
GBM : I’m so full….ohhhh
It stretched it’s arms and exhaled.
Joel : did you hear what I just said… ? they’re coming for you… you need to hide….
GBM : It’s getting too tight inside you… I need to stretch….
I looked at the difference in size between the GBM and me before responding.
Joel : I’m like 3 times your size.. there’s more than enough space inside there…
GBM : It’s not playing jigsaw dude…I can’t hide under your skin…. I can only do it within the sphere of elemental energy inside you…. It’s tiny as fuck….
The kid sat on the sofa and showed me his pinky and putting his thumb onto it like showing me a gauge of a man’s dick.
GBM : I can’t squeeze inside anymore…. Not after such a full meal…
Joel : what…. ? and stop swearing…. What the hell.. you’re just a kid….
GBM : I may look like a kid dude…. I’m fucking 90 years old…
Joel : bullshit…. You don’t even look 9…
GBM : Oh fuck off….burpzzz…. oh my god I’m so full… it’s starting to bloat…. Oohhhh…
It laid down flat on the sofa, rubbing it’s tummy.
I looked at the GBM in greater detail.
It doesn’t have any clothes on, and it doesn’t appear to have any reproductive organs. The body looked just like a doll. The part where the reproductive organs should be is just bald, flat and smooth.
No detail at all.
The rest of his body looked like that of a human child.
As this age, with the semi-transparent hue to it’s appearance, I can’t tell if it’s a boy or a girl. I have so many questions but it looked like it was going to doze off like a elderly after a full meal.
It probably grew after eating the Hag.
I heard the arrival of another super car in the carpark below and I quickly ran over to the kitchen window.
Joel : shit… shit….
More of them are coming.
I went back to the living room.
Joel : What should I do… ? you’re just going to fucking lie there… ? they’re coming to get you….
GBM : burppzzz…. Ahhhh.. I’m so full….i’m so full….
Joel : Hey…!
At this rate the Fang’s will be knocking at my door soon.
The GBM don’t appear to pay any attention to me.
Ok. Think truffle and chicken rice.
Truffle and chicken rice.
I just need to hide the GBM in a cloak of water then.
I ran to the kitchen and turned on the tap. Using my left hand, I grabbed a ball of water and I did my best to try and mould the water into a large sphere.
In the end, it looked like a badly stretched Naan bread.
I kept expanding it as I estimated the size of the GBM.
It’s looking like a badly crumpled sanitary pad.
Balancing it cautiously on my left hand , I went to the living room to see the GBM sleeping with it’s mouth slightly opened.
Joel : Ok…ermm..ermm.. now what…oh…oh…
Struggling to balance the water above my left hand, I wonder how do I get the GBM to enter the sad looking thing.
Then I was struck with another idea.
A blanket. A blanket might work.
I flattened the water and tried to stretch it out. I kept trying to visualise I’m a chef making roti prata. Stretching the water instead of the dough.
Then I moved it over the GBM.
I was trying to cover him with it when I lost control and dropped the water all over the sofa and the floor.
The GBM woke up with a scare.
GBM : What the fuck dude…. What is your problem ??
Joel : I’m trying to hide you…. You asshole..…
GBM : they can’t do shit to me even if they find me…. relax…
Joel : Well… they can do shit to me if they knew you are here with me….
The GBM grumbled and looked like he was going to turn back to sleep.
GBM : They’re too weak to be a…..
Before the GBM could finish, I heard the arrival of the 3rd supercar.
The roar of the engine as it turned into the carpark.
The GBM stopped talking and it looked like it was listening, or feeling for something.
GBM : Remove the bracelet Joel…
Joel : What…?
I did as I was told and the GBM leapt into the air and disappeared into my body once more.
I felt something in me.
Like someone squeezed me body, forcing me to inhale a gasp of air.
I walked over to the window and I peered down to the carpark. Several residents were also looking down. It’s unusual to see a gathering or supercars in a quiet housing estate like mine.
The people stepping out of the 3rd vehicle looked older. Probably in their fifties.
The GBM is wary of them.
I felt silly talking to myself but I had to see if I can try to communicate with it.
Joel : Hey… can you… hear me if i… talk to you like this… ?
There was no response.
I’m sure it can hear me. If not , it won’t know anything about Kristin.
Joel : ok…there’s 6 of them…. And they are spreading out around the estate….what should I do…. ?
Still no response.
I continued giving it a up to date commentary base on what I was seeing.
Joel : 2 are headed towards our block…. 1 young girl… and a older man….probably in his mid fifties….
Suddenly I felt a surge of energy inside me.
It’s a strange feeling.
The same sensation I felt when Kristin made me run the last 100m in a full sprint down the track. My pores opened up as Goosebumps rippled throughout my body.
Both my hands were feeling the ticklish sensation.
GBM : Pull the water from the living room you spilled….
Raising my left hand at the puddle of water, I could feel it racing towards me.
It stopped 5cm from my palm and a hundred other droplets started smashing into the puddle in the middle of the air like meteorites hitting the earth.
The puddle grew into a bigger ball and within seconds, I dried up the mess I created in the living room.
The GBM continued talking to me. I can’t see it, but I can hear it clearly. It’s like he was speaking right by my ears.
GBM : Use both hands….. compress it….imagine you are trying to squeeze a stressball….
I did as I was told and I could feel the sphere of water rotating angrily in the centre of my 2 hands. I squeezed it, and it pushed back at me.
Joel : I can’t… I can’t compress it anymore……
GBM : Relax your hand slowly…. It’s going to expand…. Think of it like elastics… you let go too fast too soon, it’s going to explode… control the expansion….
I did as I was told and I could feel it happening. The water sphere starts to get bigger rapidly.
GBM : too fast… too fast… slow down….
The GBM continued it’s impromptu lesson inside my body. It likened the controlled expansion to when you are driving along the road at 80km/h.
The fast you are travelling, the lesser the adjustment you need to make with the steering wheel to change direction. Just a slight nudge with the wheels constantly moving is enough to change lane.
As the sphere grew, I could see and feel the thickness of the water around me thin out.
I got it big enough to cover my entire body and my hand stopped moving. Aside from the slight tremble trying to hold the weird position, the sphere is pretty much stable.
GBM : ok… good…
I don’t believe this.
I did it. At one go no less. I honestly thought I did pretty good until the comments came.
You see, just like making a piece of prata, which is essentially putting a piece of flour on a pan, anyone can do it. The hard part is getting it to taste good.
GBM : It’s too thick… the barrier…. But it will have to do for now…. ideally you need to get it so thin that no one can see it….. water vapour is all around us…. You just need to get in tune with them to harness it…..
Then it started commenting about how I look.
GBM : You looked like you are trying to carry weights in the gym that you can’t lift… you need to practise more often… and just look at yourself in the mirror….. you looked like shit…
I admit I look bad.
My legs shoulder width apart with my toes pointing towards each other, my back slightly bent because I could feel the weight of the water sphere bearing down on me and my hands apart as if I was holding an invisible box.
Joel : I’m trying to protect you…. You piece of shit….don’t hide inside me then….
GBM : I never said you are not protecting me…. I’m just saying you look horrible doing it…. How are you going to get the girl’s attention ??… Think of how you look in front of Kristin…
I gave up trying to reason with the GBM and decided to concentrate on the barrier I put up.
It stopped talking too.
10 minutes in and I was drenched in perspiration.
It felt like I was doing planking and I was using all of my core muscles.
By the 20 minute mark, the floor may be dry from the water around me, but not from my perspiration.
Joel : Are…are they still there… ?
I barely managed to grunt out the sentence. It replied right away, it’s like it was also trying to sense if the danger is still around.
GBM : yes… you need to hold on for a while longer….
30 minutes in and I was totally drenched in my own perspiration. My legs were shaking.
GBM : Can you open your inner gate…. ?
Joel : what….wh…. what the fuck … is that… ?
GBM : Never mind….. they’re heading to their car…. Almost gone….
Joel : but….but….what happens if we stop this….and….and…. they could detect you right after they’re… they’re gone… ?
GBM : I’m absorbing your element…. I’ll be able to cloak myself with it after you stop….
It felt like years before I heard the engine of the super car start up in the carpark below.
They moved out immediately after that in case they invite the wrath of the residents again.
Joel : can…. Can I stop now….?…
The GBM appeared out from inside me and I felt a tremendous relief when it pulled what’s left of the horrible looking sphere of water away from me.
I sank to my knees, panting as if I just ran a marathon.
I looked at the GBM who without a so much as a blink, inflate the sphere to it’s optimum shape. To me, I felt like I was trying to inflate a balloon that would not inflate, to the GBM, it was as easy as an adult blowing into the elastic rubber.
GBM : you need to improve your stamina dude…. You’re too weak.
I was too tired to even reply it and I went to grab a drink of water. I think I drank almost a whole litre at a go.
The GBM went back to the sofa and he took the whole length of the sofa, making itself comfortable.
I dragged a chair and parked myself beside it.
Joel : Ok…. we need to talk….
GBM : what do you want… ?
Joel : Why are you inside my body… ?
GBM : I drank your blood…. It’s nice… I like it…
Joel : So have you been drinking my blood inside my body… ?
GBM : yeah…
Joel : You’re shitting me….
GBM : you have almost 5 litres of blood inside you…. I’m only taking a little….
Joel : What if I die… ? what if you sucked me dry when you are too hungry..? what if you decide to hit puberty or some shit…
GBM turned towards me as if I said something silly.
GBM : Why would I kill a hen that laid golden eggs…. ?? if you die… I can’t find blood I like…
Joel : What… is that what I am to you… ? a lunchbox… ?
GBM : don’t dramatize this please Joel… think of it like a symbiotic relationship….
Joel : I don’t see what I am getting out of this though…
GBM : I saved you from the Hag you ungrateful shit…
Joel : You mean you ate the hag….
GBM : isn’t that the same…. ? what’s the problem…. ??
The GBM turned away from me and I took a few deep breathes to calm myself down.
Talking to it is like dealing with teenagers hitting puberty. I could smell that rebellious streak a mile away and yet I kept walking into it’s trap.
The hard approach will not work. Try reasoning with a teen whose hormones are raging and you will know what I mean.
I don’t know how old is 90 relatively to the average life span of a GBM.
I decided a change of strategy and tactics are needed.
Joel : What’s your name….
I waited for that to sink it.
It’s me extending an olive branch.
I just don’t know if he’s going to take it.
The pause felt pretty long. I don’t know if it was ignoring me or it was thinking whether to talk to me.
It finally replied.
GBM : don’t have one… they call us ginger breadman…. Because of the way we smell….
I waited to see if it would turn towards me. It didn’t.
Joel : but you can’t be all called the same… you’re as unique as everyone of us…
Another long pause.
GBM : whatever… burpzzz…..
Joel : I don’t want keep call you ‘hey’ or ‘dude’ or ‘ oei ‘ if you are going to stay inside me……. I don’t want to call you ginger breadman either…
The GBM turned towards me and gave me a weird look.
GBM : are you high on something… ?
Joel : No…
We just looked at each other, neither one of us willing to back down and be the first one to look away.
Joel : I’ll call you Hector then…. If you have no objection….
I felt a sudden surge of energy as the sphere of water the GBM was maintaining expanded, bringing me into the fold.
My body felt something I could not describe.
It’s like it was healing.
My strained muscles felt as if a dozen hands were massaging me at the same time. There was a warmth inside my belly. They same feeling you get after warming up before a strenuous exercise.
The GBM and I just kept up the staring match as the sphere of water churned around us.
I could feel the thickness thinning out to the point it became vapour.
Just like what the GBM mentioned earlier.
The GBM finally broke the silence.
Hector : Hector it is then….
I looked at Hector and for a moment I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me but it was not. Hector is growing, right in front of me. I could see him getting a little bigger.
Joel : You’re… you’re growing…..
Hector : I’m still digesting… the Hag…. It leaves a bitter after taste on the tongue….
Hector : how did you come up with Hector… ? Did you think of the Trojan champions that fought against the Greeks… ?
I shook my head.
Joel : Nah….
Hector : Then… ?
Joel : Hag eater…. Hagter….Hector…. hahaha… hahahah…
The smile disappeared from it’s face and I felt myself get pushed back by a force field as I was sent smashing into the wall as I toppled displays of travel memorabilia onto the floor.
Still, I could not stop laughing.
And across from me, Hector started chuckling as well.
Hector : that’s a good one… ahahaha.. that’s a good one…. hahahaha
After the laughing subsided, I got about putting back the display stuff back onto the cupboard.
I turned to Hector and asked how did he come about.
Joel : Where do you come from…. Where do you first appear… ?
Hector : I’m an offshoot from the original host….a stray body of corrupted energy… and I just sort of peel away….
Joel : I assume this is pretty recent …. ?
Hector : I think so…. I can’t exactly remember much…. Just all of a sudden… I’m no longer attached to the host… and I’m on my own….
Joel : in Singapore ? …. The split happened in Singapore… ?
Hector : Yes…. I didn’t travel far…. Was wandering around for days before I came to this block of flats…..
Joel : This is weird… GBM hasn’t been seen in Singapore for a while…. Everyone thought they were all gone….
Hector : I guess you all are wrong then….
I asked Hector to fill in the timeline between the time he was still attached to the original GBM to the point he was detached.
Joel : Can you shed any light on that… ?
Hector : It happened very fast…. One moment I was attached, and the other moment I was out….i tried to look for my original host… but he was gone…. He vanished….
Joel : The Fang family could not detect you when you are inside me… any chance your original host is also hiding inside someone ?
Hector : I don’t know…. it’s possible… but my host is almost 200 years old…. It would take a powerful host to be able to accommodate him inside ….
Joel : what… ?
We talked for another 20 minutes before Hector could no longer keep his eyes open. His eyelids looked like they were going to close anytime.
I left him alone for a minute and the next time I turned around, he was gone.
No longer lying on the sofa.
He must have gone back inside me.
I went to bed shortly after.
I woke up at 5am the next day for my run.
As I got my heartrate up, I could hear Hector talking to me.
Hector : faster…. You need to go faster…. !
I ignored him and continue running at my own pace.
Hector : are you going to meet Kristin later… ?….. I like her…. she has very nice legs…..
I picked up my pace and entered a park.
Hector : I can smell Hags Joel…. Be careful….
My eyes immediately scanned the surroundings as I continued running.
Joel : are you sure… ?
Hector : There’s 2 of them…. Spread out….. both ends of the park…..
Joel : Ok… ok… we’re…. we’re in the middle….
Hector : don’t worry… they can’t touch you… not when I’m in here….
It was then I remembered what happened the night before.
Both to the Hag that tried to attack me and Kylie.
When they touched me, it’s like they grabbed onto a burning pan.
Joel : How… how….how ? ….
I panted as I head up a slope, barely completing my question but Hector knew what I wanted to ask.
Hector : GBM has an energy cloak….it protects us when we are out and about….. and in instances when I am inside a host…. I need to protect the host….
Joel : I….. I…… I see….
Hector probably read my thought about the next question and he answered me too.
Hector : If the host dies…. I die…. So it doesn’t matter which host I take…. A human… an animal…. The energy cloak will protect the host….
Joel : So… so … I’m bullet proof… ?
Hector : don’t be stupid….
Joel : I take that as a no… ?
Hector explained that the energy shield is effective to protect against other energy and elements.
In theory, it also can stop projectiles if the shield is strong enough.
Hector : A shield …. Opened with the 1st inner gate can stop most projectiles…..the question is how many it can stop before the shield collapse…. Everyone is different….. the strength on which the shield is build is different too…
I was reaching the end of the park and I quickened my pace.
Hector could probably sense my heightened anxiety.
He went quiet for a couple of seconds before saying the Hag is not moving.
Hector : to your 3 o’clock….. 350 metres away…. It’s sleeping….
I opened up my stride, making my way towards the main road.
Joel : ok…. ok… thanks….
I asked Hector about the inner gate.
Joel : What is that… ?
All magic users can tap into their elemental strength with their body. Just like you can sprint and weight lift to the point of damaging your own muscle tissues, opening the inner gate increases the amount of energy you harness, at the cost of damaging your own body.
Hector : The 1st gate is the most basic…. You need to master that at the very least…..
Joel : What … what can that do for me… ?
Hector : Say you want to do a shield…. Doing 1 without opening the inner gate, is like trying to cast a concrete beam without the reinforcement bars…. It’s not strong enough….
I reached the road and I slowed to a jog, trying to catch my breath.
Joel : A… a basic shield is not enough…. To protect me… ?
Hector : A basic shield can protect you from Hags… Gluttons….but not from GBM….
Joel : I see…
Hector : Even with the 1st gate opened…. Your shield will probably not last beyond a minute with a GBM, maybe much shorter if you meet a powerful one….
Joel : How many gates are there ??
Hector : a total of 4…. 1st gate of will, 2nd gate of pain, 3rd gate of blood, and 4th gate of death…..
I stopped jogging and walked over to a nearby staircase leading up to a gazebo.
I stretched my leg muscles and asked ;
Joel : What happens…. When you open all 4 gates… ?
Hector : you die….
Joel : What… ?
Hector : You don’t do shit like that… unless you are protecting something very dear to you….and for that matter…. As long as I’m inside you…. You won’t be able to open all 4 gates….
Joel : Why not.. ?
Hector : Because I don’t want to die you dimwit…. And I like the taste of your blood….
Joel : Oh screw you…
Hector : hahahah
Joel : You can get O+ blood all over the place….
Hector : nah… it doesn’t work like this…. If it does, I would have just walked into the blood bank… hahaha…
I did my cool down exercise and I felt really good.
I could feel my energy recovering fast. So much so I felt I could do another 5km without breaking a sweat.
Joel : the bracelet…. I need to wear the bracelet when I go over to Kristin later….
Hector : Don’t… it restricts the amount of space I have inside you… it’s uncomfortable….
Joel : Then how do I explain me not having the bracelet barely a day of receiving it… ? It cost a lot of money…. I paid for a lot of her shopping…
Hector : I can’t believe you are so dumb Joel…. The bracelet looks so ordinary… just go and buy another one that looks similar…. How closely do you think Kristin will look at that hand of yours….
Joel : Oh…. Ok…
As we made our way back to my place, I asked Hector is there are any tips for me to learn the basic shield fast.
Hector : Sorry… no shortcuts… you just have to learn how to manage your energy flow…
Joel : Without the bracelet….? Will I accidentally blow something up… ?
Hector : You won’t… the last time your energy was mixed with mine…. I was a little cranky … probably too hungry….
Joel : Aren’t you feeding off my blood ??
Hector : how much do you think I can take without killing you ?? of course I got to regulate my intake….. the Hag is delicious through…..
Joel : So I take it that you need to have a Hag every now and then so you won’t get cranky… ?
Hector : Hag…. Gluttons…. Whatever you can find eh… hahaha…
I took a shower before heading to the wet market. I looked around the sundries stalls and found a old uncle selling trinkets and bracelets.
I found one that is 90% similar to the one Kristin got for me and I paid $38 for it.
I put it on and went to have my breakfast.
As I ate, I looked around the vicinity.
Nothing out of the blue. Just your everyday spirits going about their own business.
Hector stopped talking even since I bought the bracelet. He must be sleeping again.
I went over to Kristin’s place at 11am.
Kylie appeared in the lift and gave me a shock.
Kylie : Morning Joel….hee.. hee….
Joel : Morning Kylie….
Kylie : My sis is having her menses today… so she is not in a very good mood….
My jaws dropped an inch as Kylie disappeared from view and I could hear Hector laughing out loud.
Joel : Shut up…. They can hear you…
Hector : No they can’t… only you can hear me hahahha…
Joel : Then stop talking…. I don’t want to look like a mand man talking to myself….
The lift arrived and I walked towards Kristin’s place.
The gate was opened and I knocked a couple of times before I entered.
Fong was at his altar lighting some incense and I saw Kristin sitting cross legged at the couch playing with her phone.
Kylie was right.
She’s not in a good mood at all.
Kristin : Why so late…. Are you ready… ?
Joel : Yeah… I’m ready….
We got into the car and we drove quietly towards an abandoned industrial estate in Bedok North Ave 4.
We parked along the road and Kristin led me along a side path before we went under a chicken wire fence.
I could see a few stray spirits wandering around but the scattered when they saw us approach.
Joel : Is this place safe… ?
Kristin : Why… ? too spooky for you… ?
We took the stairs to the 3rd floor.
The entire floor has been stripped. Only the bare concrete walls remained. Some of the windows had missing panels, I could see some tree branches entering the building from a corner.
Newspaper and cardboards were strewn all over the place. There is also the stench of rotten food from the plastic bags of trash that were piled in a corner.
Some homeless dudes must be using this place as a hideout or something.
It’s quite big, about the side of 2 basketball court side by side with the lift core in the centre.
I heard the crack of dried plastic as I stepped on some used syringes beside some white candles burnt down to it’s wick on the floor.
Kristin walked towards the bathroom and tried the tap.
No water came out.
She then went to the fire hosereel.
She turned the rusty and squeaky valve and a trickle of yellowish water started to pool on the floor.
Kristin : Ok…. we will practise here…..
Kristin clasped her hands together with her thumb, her index and middle finger sticking upright.
Joel : Is that sign suppose to help… ?
Kristin : It helps you regulate the amount of energy you are discharging so it’s easier to mould the element…. Imagine water coming out of a hose…. You want to increase the pressure …. What do you do…. ?
Joel : I cover the exit of the hose with my thumb, limiting the space the water is coming out from….
Kristin : yes… similar theory…
Kristin concentrated on her hand for a second before I felt the force of her wind energy whipping up around her.
I could feel push as I stepped back.
Dust, newspaper, and lighter objects get swept up into the air around Kristin.
Kristin : Grab that empty beer bottle over that Joel….
I looked at where Kristin was gesturing with her chin and I picked it up.
Kristin : Throw it hard at me….
I flung the glass bottle at Kristin and it bounced right off before it got close to her.
Joel : Woah….
Kristin stopped channeling her energy and everything the shield carried dropped back to the floor.
Kristin : Now you try…
I exhaled and tried to feel the water around the floor. I pulled it up off the ground and my hands adopted a similar pose to what Kristin was doing earlier.
She’s right, i could feel the water in between my palms and although it was still very hard for me to mould it into a shield, I could feel a slight improvement in control.
The water barely got bigger than a basketball before it broke.
Kristin : Just keep trying…. You’re on the right track…. Just keep expanding the ball of water… thin it out…..
I tried again but it kept bursting.
It’s like trying to blow a soap bubble. Too big, it will burst.
Kristin left me alone to practise as she walked around the abandoned floor.
I don’t know how much time has past. Probably an hour or so.
It’s in the middle of the day but the skies are getting dark.
Kristin : It’s going to rain Joel… I think a storm is coming….
Joel : Oh… should we go…. ?
Kristin : We probably should….. we don’t want to get caught in the thunderstorm before we get to your car….
Joel : Let’s go then…
Kristin walked on in front of me and I find myself looking at her body.
I swallowed a gulp of saliva as I looked at her tight figure hugging jeans.
My eyes was trying to see if I could make out the shape of the sanitary pad she was wearing. Kylie said she was having her menses, she must be wearing a pad right ?
Kristin pushed opened the door to the staircase and started walking down.
I slapped myself for entertaining such despicable thoughts. Why would I even think about something like that ?
Kristin was wearing a white spaghetti strap top and I could see the white bra straps running down her fair and smooth shoulders.
I was about to ask Kristin if she wanted to grab lunch at the round market at Tampines when she stopped walking halfway.
Joel : What’s wrong… ?
Kristin was 3 steps lower than me and I walked down to join her.
When I saw what she was looking at, I froze too.
Joel : Oh fuck….
At the bottom of the stairs on level 1, there’s not 1, but 2 Hags waiting for us.
That was not the end of our trouble it seems
On level 2, at the other end of the corridor there was another figure.
No, not a Hag.
It’s the figure of a man with it’s right arm twice as long as it’s left.
It was kneeling down and it looked at us with it’s mouth opened.
Joel : What… the … fuck is that…. ?
Kristin : It’s a glutton…..
Joel : Oh….
The Hags on the ground floor made eye contact with us and they abandoned their push carts.
Kristin : Back up… back up… back…. back….
Kristin immediately pulled out her phone and she sent her dad a voice message.
Kristin : Daddy …!…. we’re at the industrial site…. There’s a glutton and 2 Hags here….. we need help…..
As we made our way back up to 3rd floor, the rain came.
I could feel the splatter of rain as wind blew it into the exposed building.
Returning to the spot where I was training earlier, Kristin asked me to stand behind her.
Kristin : any chance you can get the shield up now Joel… ?
I could feel the rain all around me. Plenty of water but I don’t know how to harness it.
The Hags arrived first like zombies breaking through the door, their soft limbs made it hard for them to balance as their sharp shrieks reached out eardrums.
I saw the long hand first. It swept the Hags aside and pulled itself into the same floor.
When it rose to it’s full height, the glutton was almost 1.9m tall.
Kristin : stay behind me Joel ….!
She bit thumb and I could see it starting to bleed.
Sliding the blood across her left palm before clasping them both together, I felt a sudden surge of energy pull me closer to Kristin as a whirlwind of energy encircled the 2 of us.
The Hags charged at us but were stopped and repelled away by the shield.
The glutton, however swung his long arm like a bat at the air shield Kristin put up.
The shield did not break but it was hard enough to send Kristin and me flying to the side.
I felt as if we are in one of those transparent bubble at an amusement park.
The Hags charged at us but the glutton grabbed one of them and threw it aside with his long hand, it had no intention of sharing it’s meal. The other Hag was barely a metre away when a strong force of energy expelled her away, sending her rolling and tumbling into a corner of the building.
The glutton bared his teeth at us and I dove over to Kristin, covering her body with mine.
I felt a whoosh of wind like someone using a leaf blower right by my ears. It was fast.
Turning behind me, I saw Kylie. She appeared out of nowhere.
Her arms held onto that of the glutton with it screaming into her face.
Shoving the glutton back, Kylie turned to us.
Kylie : are you guys ok… ?
Kristin : right on time Sis…….
Kristin got up and stood beside her sister as the Hags and glutton got back up on their feet.
I watched Kylie looked up slightly as she took a deep breath, when she exhaled, the energy released from her was enough to sent me sliding across the ground for a full metre on a half squatting position.
Her hair fluttered in the air as I watched her fingernails lengthened into ethereal claws.
Kristin opened up her shield again and I could see her fist clenched tightly by her side as the cross winds conjured up by both sisters plastered her top tightly against her full and round breast.
Just when I thought we had a fighting chance, I heard Hector chuckle.
Hector : hahha.. oh boy…. What a day this is turning out to be…. Look behind you Joel…
I turned around and I saw the figure of a woman with extended arms and legs crawling onto the level we were on from outside the building. It looked like the human version of a spider. She was quiet, awfully quiet.
If not for Hector’s warning, we would not even realised it was there.
Joel : Bloody hell….
Kylie and Kristin were already engaged with the Hags and the glutton, leaving me alone to face that abomination that is looking at me from the ceiling.
It smiled at me, revealing a row of blackened teeth.
Joel : What should I do Hector.. ? …..Hector… ? Hector !!
Hector : what do you mean… ? run of course….. hahahah….