Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Let's Play Solitaire

Solitaire, Solitaire
Let's play Solitaire the whole day long
And pretend nothing can go wrong

Solitaire, Solitaire
Of preening Queens and grinning Jacks
Frowning Kings set red a'black
The sixes and sevens and nines and tens
Lining up in an elaborate masterplan

Ah! Solitaire
A red here, a black there
Fill up the spaces with the aces
Float about with no reason or rhyme
Deal again if you're wrong first time

Yes! I made it, the final card
Bouncing spades, dancing hearts
Whisker away the world, nary a care
Ah! Solitaire

Sigh...I think the world needs to play more Solitaire.

"Oi! Very free ah, playing Solitaire? No need to do work?"

Writer's Note: And Merry Belated Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Aku Sebatang Pensel: The Epilogue-ing

"Is he...dead?"

"Think so."

"Truly, wooly, googley, fully dead?"

"Looks like it."

A teetering breeze picked up the wood shavings and scattered them across the floor, past the giant Basket Of Wasted Paper, out to the sidewalk where humans would uneventfully trample them into nothingness.

"All right," Mr. Blackpen murmured. "Let's pray that's the last we ever see of him."

A collective paper-clip nod ensued.

"Pity there's nothing left." A heavily Cellophane-taped Scissors growled. "Would've liked nothing more than snipping his squealing head off."

"Now, now," Liquid Paper chided. "You should really learn to erase the mistakes of the past."

"Bah. Coming from you, I wouldn't be surprised."

Sharpener was an inconsolable mess. Not even Tissue Paper could dry her tears. "I am sorry, Pencil. I really, really did not want to do it a second time."

"Don't be so hard on yourself," Thirty Seeam bent over to pat her. "After all, he asked you to do it himself. In case he survived the first sharpening, remember?"

She nodded, pausing to blow her nose. "What happened to his best friend? That Pakistani eraser."

Uneasy glances darted around. At last Mr. Blackpen spoke.

"He was never right since Pencil died. We tried telling him that Pencil had become Little Pencil, but he wouldn't listen, and kept drawing him closer to his past. Eventually..."

"He had to die." Scissors said bluntly, resulting in one pun too many.

"I understand."

No one said anything for a couple of minutes. One by one, the stationeries slunk away, back to their comfy little worlds where pencils were meant for writing as erasers were not.

Thirty Seeam and Mr. Blackpen gazed at each other with a hint of regret, trailing behind the muted crowd. Snorting, Scissors shook his head, fuming inside that Pencil was being painted a victim.

Sobbing softly by the depressed evening rays, Sharpener choked out some lingering graphite residue and unfolded Little Pencil's final note:

To the Little Pencils of the world:

Seek truth. Fight the good fight. Eventually the truth might suck like a broken nib. But I found it anyway.

And for that, my end shall now be so much more meaningful. I have done the most a pencil could dream of doing.

My darling Miss Sharpener, who gave me the greatest joy and sadness of my short life...thank you. By the time you read this, I am only but sawdust. Take my story. Tell it to the world. You don't need a pencil. For I have heard of the magical things those human machines can do. You know, the ones they sit and stare at all day long, bouncing fingers off them. Yes. Tell my story there. To all the Little Pencils out there.

Ah...such peace I've never known. Till we meet again, farewell.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

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

1 day short of 3 weeks, and here we ride again! Sorry for leaving y'all high and dry...

Was caught up in the annual dizzy-ness of VBS (Vacation Bible School), and I just realised this is the first year I'm truly getting involved in helping out. As opposed to conveniently 'dropping by' for lunch, snigger snigger.

And what sheer joy it was! There's something about kids that brings out the...erm, kid in all of us. Wait, that doesn't make much sense...

Also got the chance to help Inter class out in their Graduation Day presentation. Tough work it was, as midway through we realised we might've given the kids more than they could chew. But they puffed up their chests, went ahead, and gave us one heck of a musical drama! We'll have to let time tell, but I'm guessing it'll be one for the VBS-ages.

In classic appreciation speech style, it would've never been possible without the help of some extremely talented scriptwriters, directors, composers and chereographers. You know who you are, wink wink.

Now. Let's. Get. Back. To. More. Pressing. Issues.

Final part of Aku Sebatang Pensel, and Little Pencil's life hangs perilously in the balance. Am now realising what a bone-headed decision it was to write the story in both BM and English. It was supposed to actually be a play on those classic "Aku Sebuah (Inanimate Object)" Karangans, but eventually the plot didn't need the gimmick.

We'll likely be looking at a Part 6-cum-epilogue as well, to tie things up. But ENOUGH! It's not always about meeeee. On with the story!

Aku Sebatang Pensel: The (Supposed) Grand Finale

Little Pencil stirred. Was he dead?

Apparently not, according to the cold cement floor.

He stood himself up. Scissors lay a foot away from him, a mashed-up mess; the fall must've hurt him more than it did Little Pencil.

None of the other stationery were in sight. Some leap that was.

Little Pencil rolled himself along the floor, mostly in a daze. Some part of him wished he hadn't survived the fall.

There was nothing left now for him to do. Sure, there was the whole discovering-the-true-identity-of-his-father business, but he no longer wanted to do anything. No sir, he was happy to just curl up and die.

Maybe not curl up, for he was straight as a pencil could be, but something to that effect.

So time passed...


He didn't know how long he lay there. Weeks, maybe. Days, probably. A very very long time, definitely.

"Finally I have found you."

Little Pencil squinted from the glare. Was he imagining things?

A round mirror-fronted sharpener stood over him, real as real could be.

"I am the final one. There shall be no need for others. All you seek to know, I know."

Little Pencil's graphite heart skipped a beat. He had no idea who this sharpener was, or where he came from, but he sensed answers coming.

"You have done well, my child. All your efforts shall not be in vain. Come, come beside me." she patted the floor.

He obeyed, mesmerised by this angel. Here she appeared from nowhere, promising rest for his wearied soul, peace for his troubled mind, some semblance of sanity in a land turned topsy-turvy mad.

"I heard the rest. They were wrong. Your father is not a murderer. He was a mere tool. Look at this."

She passed him a moth-eaten clipping from those humongous sheets humans read every morning. Trembling, he read:

17th Dec - Police have yet to ascertain the motives behind the apparent suicide of K. Sundimaniam, 47 yesterday.

Sundimaniam was found dead in his house yesterday with 24 stab wounds all over his body. The wounds were believed to be self-inflicted with a small, sharp object.

The police have not ruled out foul play, including Sundimaniam's alleged involvement with a ritualistic cult.

"Sundi was a deeply religious man." says a neighbour who wishes to be identified only as Choo. "He enjoyed talking about gods, deities and other spiritual beings."

"He visited my stationery shop just before he died." says another neighbour, Kee. "If I had known this was going to happen, I would not have let him leave."

The article ended abruptly. Little Pencil gawked at Sharpener in total disbelief.

"My father was the small, sharp object."

Sharpener nodded solemnly.

"So...this was what made the others call my father a murderer."

"You are right. But you must see, he was never at all an evil soul. I knew him myself."

"Then you must tell me," Little Pencil sniffed back a tear. "Is he still alive? If he is, where is he?"

"Yes, he is still alive. As long as you live, so does he. For he lives within you."

"Don't give me that philosophical crap! WHERE IS HE?"

Sharpener sighed. Walked to him. And sighed again, longer this time.

"After your father escaped the crime scene, he came back deeply stained. The others knew what he had done, and alienated him. In the end, heartbroken and out of hope, he came to me."

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

Little Pencil tried to swallow, but came unstuck. "It-it...doesn't...make...sense."

Suddenly he remembered. Everything became all so clear, so in-his-face that had he not gone limp, he could've kicked himself for not seeing the truth much earlier. The same way one feels after searching high and low for the car keys in his hands. Multiplied by a thousand.

"Finally you remember." Sharpener smiled sadly.


"Little Pencil...you are your father."