James decides to do one last good deed before he meets his maker


James spat onto the ground before lighting up a cigarette.

Squatting by a drain in front of an alleyway, he crushed the empty cigarette box before throwing it into the drain. Taking a long drag of his fag, he looked up at one of the numerous police camera that dotted the alleyways of Geylang, Singapore’s red light district.

He gave the camera the middle finger as he stood up.

James adjusted his sling bag across his chest and started to walk with a swagger into the brightly lit alleyway. Both his forearms are covered with tattoo and you could hardly see the original flesh colour of right calf.

With multiple piercings in his ears and one in his eyebrow, James attracted the usual stares from onlookers wherever he goes.

He took another drag of the cigarette, cursing at the reduction in length over the years.

It cost only $2.20 for 10 sticks when he started smoking. 22 cents for a cigarette. Now, it’s almost 4 times as much and the amount of tobacco has been reduced as well.

4 police officers came into view as James continued his swag towards them.

He made eye contact with the 4 young officers who stared at him from afar.

As they walked passed each other, James openly challenged them.

“Kuar simi? (what are you staring at?) Never see handsome man before ah? Hahhaa” James sniggered as he continued walking.

The officers said nothing and went about their way.

Trouble makers like James are plenty in the neighbourhood and it’s not worth their time getting tangled with one with no good reason.

James got to his beat up car and snuffed out his cigarette.

He looked at the white envelope on the passenger seat bearing the logo of a hospital.

“Fuck you!” He cursed at the envelope as if it had feelings. “FUCK you!”

“Fuck you understand!” He gestured his middle finger, yellowish with cigarette stains towards the envelope, trying to provoke it to attack him if it could.

James sighed and leaned against his old car, his hand tapping his pocket for cigarettes only to realise he has ran out.

Barely 12 hours ago, his doctor just delivered him a piece of bad news.

His MRI scan revealed a brain tumor. Doctor told him there’s a chance of him just dropping dead given how severe the condition.  He needs to be admitted to the hospital immediately.

James refused.

He felt fine, how the fuck can he have something in his head?

But the scan doesn’t lie. It is what is it.

James looked down the quiet road and started to reflect on his life. He has always been the bad guy.

He did all the shit parents told their kids never to do.

He sold pirated VCDs, he sold pornography. He worked as a illegal debt collector, he joined gangs, he beat people up.

He stole stuff, he smuggled pills.

Perhaps one of the most bastard things he did was to rob a 70 year old lady of her gold necklace on the 1st day of Chinese new year.

James chuckled as he thought about Karma.

It sure is a bitch.

And Karma is hitting him now.

Getting into his car, James picked up a wallet he stole earlier that day in the hospital. He opened it and took out the money before stuffing it into his pocket.

If he is going to drop dead anytime, he might as well make the full use of what little time he has left.

Go out with a bang they say.

He was about to start the engine of his old Toyota when something caught his attention. He saw the gate of a house down the road being flung opened.

Two burly men held onto a struggling girl who could not be more than 10 years old.

“what the fuck…” He mumbled as he looked at the two man try to get her into their vehicle.

The girl’s scream shattered the silence of the red light district for a couple of seconds before she was slapped into submission by one of the man abducting her.

As they shove and hit the girl into the back seat, James remained unmoving, too shock to react.

He saw the head of the girl pop up in the rear windscreen and she made eye contact with James.

Those eyes pleaded for help.

The engine of the car fired up and the closed car doors shut out the desperate screams of the girl in the car.

James looked at the medical report in the passenger seat before looking at the tail light of the fast moving vehicle the girl is in.

He started the engine of his vehicle.

He could have looked the other way.

He could have gone and visit one of his favorite whorehouse where in a matter of minutes, he can have the lips of a beautiful woman wrapped around his cock but he didn’t.

James put his car into drive and went after the girl.

He’s been a bad guy his whole life.

Perhaps an appropriate ending to his shitty life would be to do one good deed.

Even if it’s the last one he will do.


8800 words

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