Friday, November 17, 2006

Special October Feature, Though It's November: Aku Sebatang Pensel (Part 4 of 5)

Darn! It still made no sense. This was the final part of the story, and something in between was missing.

Pada malam itu...tamatlah riwayat aku sebagai sebatang pensel.
Translation: That life as a pencil ended.

Why would his father want to kill himself? What did he do that made him so...for lack of a better word, suicidal?

He rolled back and forth the sliding glass case to pass time. Stupid Pakistani eraser, dying at such a bad he was left with all the right questions, and none of the answers.

Suddenly a tall figure shadowed him. Thirty Seeam.

He smiled uneasily. "You better stop, kid. Let's get it done with quick."

Little Pencil backed away. "Get what done with quick?"

"Look behind you."

Little Pencil spun around to face Mr. Blackpen flanked by an assortment of colour pencils, pens, erasers, Liquid Paper, paintbrushes and what-nots. And that dreadful Scissors.

"The others and myself have talked it through," Mr. Blackpen stepped forward. "And we have decided that you're too dangerous to be kept alive."

"Too dangerous to be kept alive?! So you're going to kill me, I suppose?"

Scissors snipped devilishly. "Incisely."

A team of fancy paper clips swiftly surrounded Little Pencil to make sure he couldn't escape. Thirty Seeam stooped over and sighed. "I'm sorry it had to end this way. Really. Especially after what happened to you father."

"At least tell me why. I need to know."

"It's simple," Mr. Blackpen said grimly. "We're getting rid of you, because...there's a great chance you'll become like your father when you're older."

"And that would be...?"

"A murderer."

"What?! You're kidding, right?"

"A murderer." High Lighter nodded.

"A murderer!" The A4 papers chimed in.

"Your father is a murderer!"



"Son of a murderer!"

Little Pencil felt himself going dizzy. The rabid crowd kept heckling him, taunting him, swirling around till his eyes and ears hurt.

Scissors loomed over, and knocked him down with a quick swipe . "Time for your final cut." Its blades sliced through the air with a wicked gleam.

Little Pencil lay paralysed. This strange emotion starting swelling from his graphite core, something new. It wasn't fear; he felt that on his first day here. Neither was it sadness; that came when he heard about his father.

Akhirnya aku membuat keputusan. Aku akan mengasah diriku.
Translation: At last I made up my mind - I would sharpen myself.

He stared, and stared again at Scissor's metal blades. Suddenly he couldn't stop shaking. A sickening feeling of wanting to avenge his father rushed to his head. And the murderer - the true murderer - was standing right in front.

"I HATE YOU!" Little Pencil yelled. "GAHHHHH!"

Like a pencil possessed, he sprang up and tackled Scissors straight in the eye. The last thing he saw was Scissors' unblinking eyes, as they both plunged off the glass case.

"He's mad! He's MAD!" someone screamed.

"They're gonna die!"

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Special October Feature, Though It's November: Aku Sebatang Pensel (Part 3 of 5)

"Someone bought him last night. And now he's gone. Which part of that don't you understand?"

Little Pencil squinted at Thirty Seeam. Something didn't seem right here. The Pakistani eraser had disappeared, just like that.

"He was still around when the shop closed," he said. "Besides, why would anyone want to buy him, instead of the new erasers?"

"Maybe the shopkeeper took it for himself," Mr. Blackpen appeared. "Maybe it was some homesick Pakistani guy. And maybe you're asking too much."

Little Pencil glared fiercely and walked away. "If you're not going to give me answers, I'll find my own."


Little Pencil paced up and down, restless from the heat of the night. A dog outside was barking at the shophouse next door, which was strange because it had been abandoned for weeks.

He dragged himself up a ledge, eager to check things out.

Too dark to see. He tried going closer, when a scratchy voice caught his hears.


Abruptly he looked down and gasped in horror. Wedged between the wall and shelf was the Pakistani eraser, on his last legs. His body was almost severed in half.

"Eraser! Who did this to you?"

"T-they tried...tried to silence m-me. They c-cut me up."

"Here." He handed him another note. "'s the last one."

Little Pencil unfolded it and scanned through quickly. His father's handwriting, all right. But this one was in very bad shape to read.

"He...he was a good pencil...I-I knew matter what the others say...he never m-meant to do it."

"A-and...he's still alive. Find him! Then...I can"

He exhaled one final time. And died.


Sepejam mata, babak ngeri itu berulang. Terasa diriku kotor benar. Sungguhpun tidak berniat, hakikatnya aku yang telah melakukan. Sampai bilapun aku kena menanggung dosa.

Alat-alat tulis lain pun mula meminggirku. Pedih hatiku melihat mereka menyebar khabar angin dan melempar ejekan.

Akhirnya aku membuat keputusan. Aku akan mengasah diriku.

Ya, pasti itulah jalan penyelesaian. Tiada erti lagi aku terus berada di sini.

Pada malam itu...tamatlah riwayat aku sebagai sebatang pensel.

Translation: Each time I closed my eyes, the hideous scene replayed itself. I felt so dirty. Though it wasn't my intention, I was the the one who did it. I would bear this guilty truth all my life.

The other stationeries started to distance themselves. It pained me to see them tease and gossip about me.

At last I made up my mind - I would sharpen myself.

Yes. That had to be the only way out. It made no more sense for me to be here.

That life as a pencil ended.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Wah Veli Sked Ah

Just to share...something funny I found in last Friday's The Star.

Not like it was meant to be funny, but just...


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Little Furry Rainbow

He died beneath the mango tree he loved
Beside chirping sparrows, passing bikes
A gentle smile for his three favourite balls
The still of the morning air

He could not have asked for a moment more.

Tuesday morning, my dog died. We had it for almost two years.

I must say, it's the most personal death I've experienced. I'm blessed - and young, some might say - to have never attended a friend's or relative's funeral. It's funny how much this has affected me. I never imagined breaking down and crying twice.

The hardest part was breaking the news to my sister. She was the most emotionally attached to the dog. It was still alive - though unusually quiet like it had been for days - before she left for work. Soon after that, my mom watched its head droop down. By the time my dad came, it only had a few final breaths left in it.

"It's dead." She woke me up.

This feeling of death, of fear, of try to rationalise everything, but you can't. The dog lay cold, beneath the mango tree it always watched the neighbourhood from.

I touched it. Its belly no longer thudded with warmth. Cold. Hard.

I remembered the first time we had it. It was the ugliest dog you'd ever seen - skinny, scraggy, and unsure. When we took it for a walk, all the other dogs snapped their teeth at it.

But slowly, it won over our hearts, even my animal-disliking mom's. It never failed to bring a smile to our faces when we caught her or my dad talking to the dog.

And of course, none of our friends ever understood which part of the dog was appealing. For boy, did it bark at strangers. But it always stayed a family secret - behind that rabid, annoying mongrel was the gentlest and most heart-warming creature possible.

It's been a difficult couple of days. But everything's gonna be all right. Farewell - if I may quote my sister - to our "little furry rainbow".