Saturday, November 13, 2004

Prologue (1)

And he sat there, awoke from his sleep not too long ago. With dishevelled hair and a stubble of days old, he did not look out of place in a shanty town. He sat at his writing table, made of solid pinewood of centuries old, so old that that its colour had faded beyond imagination. One would imagine that pinewood is grey in colour if one has no idea. The room was in a terrible mess, even for one such as him. Spider webs hung from every corner of the room, sometimes moving gently in the breeze through the half opened windows. The shades were partially down, casting a deathly parlour over the already numbing atmosphere. Shadows played in the room, dancing around, taking an ethereal life of their own. Months of dust laid upon every surface of the room, on the shades, on the table, on every imaginable surface her eyes could ever lay upon. Chinese takeaway dinners from the road opposite lay strewn across the floor.

Originally, the room had blue wallpapers and a very happy atmosphere. But within days of her renting out this room to the current occupant, it seemed to have undergone a drastic change. Overnight, the room became a dreary place to enter. It was as if you were entering a morgue, or a funeral parlour. Like those things they have in Hong Kong. She had been there once purely for pleasure. She had always wanted to go there. In fact, she had wanted to travel around the globe. Her father always said she had a streak of wanderlust in her, but sadly her finances wouldn’t permit it. The room had a scary and spooky streak to it. She would have nightmares if she was ever forced to sleep in it.

“When did he started to have a craving for Chinese food?” she wondered. As she looked with askew eyes at his weird choice of sustenance thrown carelessly all over the floor. It was weird to see a Caucasian having Chinese food almost every day of his life for months. But at first glance, she couldn’t tell that he was Caucasian. He looked like a bit of everything. One part gypsy (yes, she had joined one of their traveling entourages before and despite what people said, she thoroughly enjoyed it), one part Spanish, one part Russian and many other parts goodness knows what. His ethnicity looked as confused as he was. And he didn’t even seem aware that she was standing at the doorway, her eyes almost boring 5mm holes into his head.
He seemed lost in his own world, a fountain pen in his hand, hanging in the air over blank parchment. It seemed as if he was thinking of something to write. More importantly, he looked like he was caught in the tendrils of time, stuck there for eternity. The pen hung over the blank parchment, the tip ever so close but yet not touching. The parchment was unlike any paper she seen before. She had no idea where he obtained his writing materials, but they looked ancient to her.

Ten minutes had past, and he was still unmoving. Not even batting his eyelids.

“He’s inhuman,” she thought. She regretted accepting his advance payments for six months. Now she would have to tolerate his outlandish behaviour for that long. With that, she turned her back on him and went back to concentrate her attention on more important household chores that were screaming for attention.


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