Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Agong Speaks

In light of the recent hoo-ha surrounding him, the Magically-Appearing Agong sits down with Twisted Tales' Bobo to speak candidly about life after RM1.JPG and other stuff.

Bobo: First off Your Majesty, thank you...

Agong: Ugh. None of that crap, please. Just call me Agong. Or Gong for short.

B: Um...never mind, we'll just stick to Agong. So anyway, thank you so much for taking time out of your packed schedule to do this interview today.

A: My pleasure.

B: When we last saw you, you were transforming people into money notes as part of a worldwide scheme to balance out the greed of humanity. So, what have you been up to since RM1.JPG ended in January?

A: Nothing.

B: Nothing?

A: Nothing at all of significance. That's what you get for being a joke.

B: Which brings us to our next topic. In recent weeks, many readers and even Mokkies himself have poked fun at you in the just-concluded Murder In 5sc1. Your thoughts on this?

A: I don't blame the readers for it. They were just following Mokkies' lead. I see it as a cheap publicity stunt for extra mileage on his new story.

B: How do you deal with these negative remarks?

A: I don't. They just sink deep into me and fade away. Kind of like how you digest food and, you know. Life goes on. I spend lots of time with my family. They make me feel more appreciated.

B: At this juncture, how is your relationship with Mokkies?

A: I'll admit, I'm not the biggest fan of his work. However, we do still talk. In fact, he called me up a couple of weeks ago asking if I was keen to be a part of Murder In 5sc1.

B: You are not serious.

A: I am.

B: And you told him?

A: A flat out no. I mean, the script was fine, but I just didn't see how I could contribute to it.

B: Looking back, I think most readers will agree that you made the right call. Now, going back to your break-out hit - RM1.JPG. Started out strongly, loads of interest generated, but ended with mixed reviews. Do you feel your character was used correctly in that story?

A: I'll put it this way - I had very different expectations for my character than what actually turned out.

B: How so?

A: When Mokkies first pitched the script to me, I assumed that my character would play a larger part in the whole story, starting even from Chapter 1. There was supposed to be an entire back story building up to my appearance in the end. All of which never happened, taking away substantial continuity and logic from the ending. And if you ask me, that was what the story ultimately failed to deliver - continuity and logic. It just wasn't something any reader above the age of 12 could believe.

B: Who do you think should take the blame for this?

A: My only responsibility was to tell him what I thought. Ultimately, he's the main man. Whatever he says goes. It's his blog. I can't be blamed for him using the same format for every story, and expecting it to pay off without proper planning and structuring.

B: Would you be keen to work with Mokkies again anytime in the future?

A: I'm all for it if the right script comes along. My passion is in becoming a great character, not being a part of backstage politics. Having said that, I am also considering deals from other authors. I mean, Twisted Tales will always be my home, but sometimes when the time comes it comes.

B: Who are some of the authors you dream of working with?

A: I'm a huge fan of J.K. Rowling. Does she write any more?

B: Sure does. Just not Harry Potter stuff.

A: I bet I could be her next best-selling series. Agong and the Sorcerer's Stone - nice ring to it, don't you think?

B: Excellent. Lastly, any upcoming gigs you would like to share with our readers?

A: I'm planning a reunion with the other characters of RM1.JPG sometime next month. But, not like our readers will remember who the other characters are anyway. We'll just party away and catch up like grumpy old men.

B: Well, you could always invite the cast of Murder In 5sc1 to liven things up.

A: Phooey. Those kids can kiss my butt. If I had one.

B: Ah well, that concludes our delightful interview. Once again, thank you for your time.

A: You know how sometimes weird files mysteriously appear in your pendrive, and nobody has any clue how they got there?

B: Nobody cares.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Murder In 5sc1 (Conclusion)

It's here, it's here, IT'S HERE!

Eight days since the murders started, we now come to the end of it all. Grab your front row seats, we're gonna get up close and personal with the Murderer.

To make things even more exciting, today's finale will be presented in special Black Text to prevent spoilers. You know what to do - highlight the text, scroll down and gasp in horror. If you haven't read the first 4 parts yet, hello, go do so now!

Enough talk. Someone's getting blood-thirsty.

This is it.

Murder In 5sc1 (Conclusion)

Sathia fell first to the ground with a sickening thud.

Dead from a direct headshot.

Philip stared next at Kim, who was bleeding profusely from her stomach where a bullet had gone in. She gazed back at him in confused shock and pain.

"Wh-why did you..." she collapsed to the floor, wheezing as the life seeped out of her.

"No!" Philip cried out. "It wasn't me! I swear!"

Kim's eyes fixed back at him glassily. She wasn't sure what to believe. Did Sathia shoot her before killing herself? Or was Philip lying to her?

There was no strength left to think. She was slowly slipping into unconsciousness.

"Kim..." Philip knelt beside her, tears welling in his eyes. "Don't die..."

"She will die. And then you."

Philip felt the blood in his veins run cold.

"I planned it all, Philip. Hope you liked it."

Now everything made sense to him. The note in Boon's pocket. The lights going out. The gunshots.

The body lying near the teacher's desk.

"I'm the killer." Cassandra got up, dusted her skirt and peeled off the bloodied slit at her neck.

"Made this at home with starch and food colouring." she gestured at it. "It's easy."

The sheer detail of her scheme ran through his mind like a sadistic film reel. She had much earlier convinced Boon to help her rig the fuse and door. Then she came to class before any of them, put on the makeup and created an elaborate murder scene. In the midst of the chaos and darkness, she was able to shoot Vivian without any of them noticing. Boon had obviously been poisoned earlier in the morning. Then finally, the rest were shot while a pre-hidden smoke device was activated. All while he was keeping an eye on the rest of his classmates.

"I loved you, Philip." she smiled and slid another pistol out of her pocket. "But you only paid attention to girls like Sathia and Kim."

"I did everything to make you notice me. I became a prefect. I tried to call you before your birthday."

"I hope I finally got your attention, Philip."

His feet buckled, making him tumble to the floor paralysed.

"I'll kill her first." she pointed the gun at Kim.

Bang! A second bullet finished off the already-unconscious Kim.

"Th...the police will be h-here soon. They'll a-arrest you."

"Sorry dear, dead men tell no tales. They'll only hear my side of the story."

She turned the gun to him.

"I love you."



2 Weeks Later

"Some part of me actually blames myself for all that happened." Cassandra testified calmly before a packed courtroom. "I never imagined that he was trying to get my attention all along. He was the class monitor, the popular guy, always surrounded by girls. I was the quiet one. We were from different worlds."

"If I had known his feelings for me, I would never have started dating Khee Boon. I imagine the jealousy he must have felt when he found out. It must have been hard on his ego too. The popular guy losing out to the class nerd."

She paused, trying not to let her voice break up.

"It was my fault. I should have been aware of the signs. Especially the way he suddenly brought soup for Boon that morning. It was poison. He was a genius. He purposely chose a day forecast with thunderstorms, and rigged the fuse to trip easily. The guns and smoke device...all hidden in the room beforehand."

"M-my classmates," Tears began rolling down her cheeks. "He murdered them one by one in cold blood. Then he turned to me and asked whether I loved him. I...I lied and said yes."

She cried, unable to continue.

"Cassandra, look at me. Tell us what happened next."

She breathed in deeply.

"He shot himself in the head."

A deathly silence filled the room.

"I don't know why. I should be dead."


3 Months Later



"A note. From that new girl...what's her name again."


"Oh, yeah. Weirdo."

"That's not very nice."

"Haha. Who cares? Sorry anyway, but I accidentally took a peek. She's asking you for a movie."

"Uh oh."

"Think she's got the hots for you, man."

"Yikes. How am I gonna turn her down?"

"Just tell her no. What's she gonna do - murder you?"


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Murder In 5sc1 (Part 4)

I had a thought that day. What if I die before this story is completed? Then nobody will ever know the shocking end I have in store. Perhaps they'll get someone to ghost-write (pun in your face!) the ending for me. And maybe that guy will just assume I was planning to do a triple-swerve by REALLY making the magically-appearing Agong your Murderer of The Day.


I better get writing quick.

Murder In 5sc1 (Part 4)

The group shuffled cautiously towards the windows at the far end of the class, never once taking their eyes off each other. One of them was the killer, and they all knew it.

"Oh my," Sathia peered out at the relentless rain. "We're so gonna get wet."

"Looks dangerous. Someone could slip and fall."

Philip shushed them. "Here's the plan. I'll throw a chair at the window to break it, so you guys stand back to avoid getting hurt. Then we form a straight line by holding hands to exit through it. There's some space along the ledge which we can use to get to the main balcony. Once we get there, we'll re-form the circle and wait for the police together."

"Another thing." he added. "Everyone's hands must be holding someone else's when we're moving in a line. One hand holding the person in front, one hand behind. The first and the last person must hold with both hands. This way, we can be sure the killer's hands are occupied."

"Agreed." Kim nodded, prompting the rest to follow suit.

"Good. We can outsmart the killer. I promise there will be no more killings."

Another streak of lightning flashed across the sky, drawing a low rumbling of thunder. Ten minutes had passed since the first phone call to the police. Whoever this killer was, he was running out of time.

"Everyone, stand back." Philip readied himself with the chair. "On the count of three."


Kim and Sathia placed their hands over their ears.


"Hey, wait!" Gary shouted. "What's that?"

He pointed to the teacher's desk, where a big cloud of gas was rapidly spreading to the rest of the classroom.

"What the..."

"Cover your noses and mouths, quick!" yelled Philip. "That gas might be poisonous!"

Quickly the rest followed his orders, inadvertently breaking the circle. The gas was filling up the room at a frightening speed. They could barely see each other anymore.

"Philip!" A muffled voice called out. "Break the window!"

Fumbling, he felt for the chair and grabbed it. In one swift motion, he held his breath, lifted the chair and flung it at the window with all his might.


As quickly as it had enveloped the room, the gas escaped through the gaping window. In less than a minute, it had almost completely drained away.

Slowly two other standing figures came into Philip's focus.


And Sathia.

Where were the rest?

"PHILIP!" Kim shrieked. "SHE'S THE KILLER!"

Horrified, Philip observed a small pistol in Sathia's hands. It was then he realised that the rest of their classmates were lying on the floor.

With bullet holes through their heads.

"It-it was you." Philip turned to Sathia, trembling. "You killed them."


Two ear-splitting gunshots rang in the air, hitting their intended targets.

To be concluded.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Murder In 5sc1 (Part 3)

As you may be able to guess from the speed of updates, I'm seriously hyped up for this story. Just a few things to clarify before we move on:

a) This is only going to be a 5-parter. Because anything beyond that SUCKS.
b) It won't end as a dream.
c) It won't end as someone's imagination.
d) It won't end as a movie or drama being acted out.
e) It won't end with them being a part of some dubious 'scientific experiment'.
f) The murderer will not be some alien / monster / evil spirit that hunts school kids BECAUSE IT CAN.
g) Brilliant idea, but I, the writer, am not the murderer. That's too twisted even for Twisted Tales standards.
h) And for the last time, there will be no magically-appearing Agongs.

Okay, cool? Glad to get that off my chest.

Murder In 5sc1 (Part 3)

"Sh-she's dead." Kim hugged Nora, sobbing uncontrollably.

An air of disbelief lingered as they gathered around Vivian's body. A steady stream of blood trickled from the side of her head where the bullet entered. Frozen in eternity, her face betrayed a total oblivion to the fact that she was no longer alive. One would almost expect her to get up, walk out of the door and go home with her Mom.

Grimly Philip turned them away from the scene. "Guys," he spoke, almost choking on tears. "Did anyone see where the shot came from?"

Most of them shook their heads in between weeps.

" was too dark. And the gun was silenced." Boon grimaced. "Could have come from anywhere."

"This proves just one thing. Someone here has a gun."

The sobs died down momentarily. Everyone shot uneasy glances at each other.

"We're going to have to search everyone."

"You're crazy." Gary retorted.

"Oh, shut up Gary!" Kim yelled at him. "Just do as he says before we all die!"

"Thank you, Kim." said Philip. "Guys, I'll search you. Then you can search me too. Kim, you do the same for the girls."

Reluctantly everyone divided themselves and lined up.


"You first, Boon. Pockets."

Boon turned his pockets inside-out. To his own surprise probably, a tiny slip of paper fell out. Very quickly he picked it up and slipped it back inside.

"Wait...what was that?"

"Oh, it's, erm, nothing."

"Show me."

"It's...hey, I don't feel so well."

"I don't care. Show me the paper NOW."

Boon scrunched his face and handed Philip the paper. It was some sort of passed note.

heyyy, dont forget to show me the fuse box later kayss. =)

"Fuse box?" Philip frowned. "Boon, who is this from?"

"I-I-I..." he started making funny sounds in his throat.

"TELL ME NOW! Who passed you this note?"

Boon tried to say something, but no words came out. His breathing became laboured as he fell and started twitching violently like a dog with rabies.

"Kim! Kim!" Philip called out in horror. "Something's wrong with him!"

She glanced around, shocked herself at the situation. Boon was vomiting massive amounts of blood and thrashing around in desperation, trying to shake off an intensely searing pain from within.

"Someone get an ambulance!"

"The phone! Where is it?"

"Calling, calling!" Philip fumbled it out from his pocket and punched the numbers.

"GAHHH!" Boon clawed repeatedly at his stomach till it became bloodied. "H-H-Hel..."

Another gush of thick red liquid spurted from his mouth.

"Hello? Hello? Why isn't it getting through?!" Philip checked the phone anxiously.

Each passing second felt like an eternity. Through the corner of his eyes, Philip could see Boon's movements reducing to occasional spasms. He wasn't going to last long.

"Hello? Ambulans? Ada kes emergency kat sini. SMK Taman Bakti, Off Jalan Klang Lama."

Boon coughed up a final choke of blood before his head hit the floor awkwardly.

"Cepat ya. Cepat. Kawan saya sakit kuat."

Hanging up, he feared the worst.

"Philip," Kim cried. "He's dead."


"This is crazy man!" Eddy shouted. "FREAKING CRAZY! Where is this killer?"

"Shut up," Philip held up the note. "Boon was in on it too. He helped the killer blow the fuse box. Who was he close to?"

Gary shook his head. "No one, man. The guy was a loner."

Philip studied the note again. "It looks like a girl's handwriting. Anyone can recognise it?"

They passed it round for inspection, but to no avail. The virtual absence of light certainly didn't help things.

"If Boon helped the killer, why was he killed too?" Sathia asked.

"I don't know." Philip shrugged. "Let's analyse. First, Cassandra was killed. We don't know why. Then Mr. Bala, though that was probably intended for the first person who opened the door. Next was Vivian. Then Boon. Perhaps the killer had no more use for him, and didn't want Boon to reveal his identity."

"So...does this mean that Cassandra and Vivian were part of the plan too?"

"Maybe. But Boon's death was different. He was poisoned beforehand. He was in contact with the killer. The others could be random murders."

"No way. There's nothing random about this killer. Just look at how well he planned everything! The lights going out, the door, the gun, the poison..."

"You know what," Gary took in a deep breath. "We should all leave before the killer strikes again. He's somewhere here, and he's got a gun. Anyone of us could be next."

"But remember what happened to Mr. Bala when he tried to open the door? I'm not going first, man."

"Yeah, we could just wait here. The police will be arriving soon anyway."

"Police my foot. We wait here, we die. Comprehendo?"

"Guys, guys, guys," Philip silenced them. "Listen. We're going to leave, but not through the door. It's obviously rigged. We'll go by the windows."

"In this weather? And from the third floor? Are you mad?!"

"Not as mad as you'll be when someone else dies." he glared. "Now, I need everyone to stick together. Everyone. We'll all be facing each other, since we can't trust anyone. Is that clear?"

All nodded.

"To the windows, then. Circle facing inwards. Do not break it."

To be continued.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Murder In 5sc1 (Part 2)

No time for self-indulgent rambling now. On with the killings!

Murder In 5sc1 (Part 2)

"Hey! Does anyone know our school address?"

"Obviously not. Just tell them the name of our school, smarty."

"Ah...OK, nama dia SMK Taman Bakti. Kat Taman Bakti, dekat Jalan Klang Lama."

Philip was calling the police with Vivian's phone while the rest remained glued in silence.

"Ya. Ya. Betul. Dekat bangunan Telekom. OK. Bye"

He hung up, glancing nervously at the other students who were now huddled in a circle.

"So? What did they say?"

"They'll be here in 15 minutes."

Everyone nodded blankly.

"Meanwhile," Philip added. "We need to talk."

He raised his voice as the rain continued to grow louder. "The killer is definitely still here among us. Nobody left the class after Mr. Bala was killed. And judging by the method of murder, it was the same person who killed Cassandra."

"Who would want to kill Cassandra?" Lina wept.

"He would." Gary the class joker snickered and pointed at Philip. "She had a crush on him."

"Please. No time for jokes."

"Guys," Boon cut in seriously. "Let's go through the details. Is there anyone else in school today?"

"Nope. This week's our class' turn for that Saturday extra class thing, remember?"

"Then," he stared upwards. "We all came into class together. And Cassandra was already there dead. So, whoever killed her must have slipped back out to join us."

"YOU!" Kim suddenly turned to Sathia. "You went somewhere before we came to class!"

"Eh, hello. I was in the toilet lah."

Kim fidgeted away from her, unconvinced.

"And anyway, why the heck would I want to kill her?"

"Because...she was always pestering you to let her join the prefects' committee. And you held her back."

"WHAT!" Sathia's eyes bulged in anger. "Rubbish! Who told you that?"

"She did. She said you were always sucking up to the teachers."

"Well, she can go to hell for all I care. I did all I could for that ungrateful girl. It's not my fault nobody likes her in the first place. But I swear, I DID NOT KILL HER. I have no reason to."

"All right, chill. I was just saying."

"In fact," Sathia was becoming increasingly agitated. "I recall you once got mad at her for spoiling Philip's surprise party."

"EXCUSE ME!" Kim shouted in her face. "Everyone was mad at her. We spent a whole week planning the surprise."

"Oooooh, we. I think you were the only one who really cared enough to scold her till she cried."

"Girls, PLEASE!" Philip interrupted. "This isn't the time."

"Okay, okay." Sathia rolled her eyes. "Behave yourself, girl."

Kim looked like she was about to punch someone's head off. Most likely Sathia's.

"I've had enough of this!" Vivian stood up without warning. "I'm asking my Mom to fetch me home now."

"No, no, I don't think that's a good idea." Philip tried to get her to sit back down. "The police might need us to explain stuff."

"Are you kidding me? I have to go shopping with my Mom later."

"Look, our teacher and classmate are dead. And all you can think about is shopping?!"

"I don't care. This is just too weird."

She pushed her way past the other students to the front of the class. As she headed for the door, she suddenly stopped, felt her pockets and turned around.

Everything happened so quickly next.

"Philip," her lips opened.

"My phone."

Swoosh! A bullet ran through her skull, killing her instantly.

To be continued.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Murder In 5sc1 (Part 1)

Ah yes, hope I got your attention. Just when you thought my stories were becoming a wee bit predictable.

Murder in 5sc1 (pronounced '5 Science 1' for those who really must ask) was a silly little story I wrote back when I prizes for guessing. What started off as a joke in between periods eventually become a dramatic 5-parter-complete-with-epilogue riddled with cliches and inside jokes which some of my classmates read and claimed to enjoy.

Now 8 years older and wiser, I shall courageously attempt to refresh this old-school tale minus the kiddy insider jokes. It's gonna be darker and more sinister than most of my recent works, but still a thrill of a ride as always. To make things more exciting, this time I've actually thought of the ending before I start and will sneak in bits and pieces of it as we go. No magically-appearing Agongs here okay.

So buckle your pinafores and tuck in your shirts's time for Murder In 5sc1.

Murder In 5sc1 (Part 1)

The wailing sirens blared incessantly, a sweet symphony of relief to her. Finally!

Two sturdy officers stepped down from the first patrol car.

"Cik, kami menerima panggilan kecemasan dari sini. Apa kejadiannya?"

"Dia...dia...bunuh mereka semua. Classmate saya."

"Okay, bertenang cik. Kami akan menyiasat dan mengambil langkah-langkah yang diperlukan."

He turned to another approaching colleague. "Razif, kau jaga dia dulu. Ini kes pembunuhan."


25 Minutes Ago

Click. Click. Click.

Everyone stared in speechless horror as the lights flickered on to reveal Cassandra sprawled under the desks.

As the title of the story suggests, a crude slit ran across her neck, releasing an outpouring of dark blood that seeped into her light blue prefect's uniform.

She was, for all intents and purposes, dead.

"Dah...dah mati, cikgu."

No one said a single word. Outside, the rain started pouring violently, delivering what the grey skies had been threatening all afternoon.

"W-we should check her first." Nora whimpered. "Maybe she's not dead yet."

"Let me check." Kim stepped forward. "I'm a qualified first aider."

"No. Hands off." Eddy held her back. "Don't you dare touch her. This is a police case."

"Did anyone call the police yet?"

"Is the killer still around?"

"Teacher, I want to go home now!"

"EVERYONE QUIET!" Mr. Bala boomed. "I'm going to get the police."

He gingerly stepped over Cassandra's body, clearly trembling himself. In the back, a few girls huddled and started crying. Philip, ever the class monitor, was trying his best to remain composed while doing a head count.

"That's strange." Mr. Bala repeatedly twisted the door handle. "Why is it lock-"

BOOM! A deafening bolt of lightning simultaneously cut him off mid-sentence and blew out the lights. Hysteria ensued as the girls started screaming in the near-darkness of the now full-blown thunderstorm.

"Stay calm! STAY CALM!" Philip's voice rang out. To very little effect.

"What happened to the lights?"

"Fuse tripped." Boon the class geek studied the wiring sternly. "And the fuse box is outside."

"Mr. Bala!" Sathia called. "Where are you?"

The sky had become dark very quickly, making it hard to see. Philip strained his eyes at the door, but could make nothing out. Mr. Bala wasn't standing there like he was before the lightning flash.

"It's too dark."

"Here, I have a handphone! Use the light." Vivian pushed her Sony Ericsson W518a into Philip's face.

"What the...why are you bringing a handphone to school?"

"Hey! Do you want to look for Mr. Bala, or not?"

"Hmph." He took the phone and repeatedly pressed the middle button to keep the light on as he inched towards the door.

"Mr. Bala? Mr. Bala...are you there?"

A lump steadily grew in his throat. This can't be good. Why isn't he answering?

"Philip...where are you? Did you find him?" some girl asked.


Like ships to a beacon, a dozen pair of eyes trailed the solitary light of the handphone across the room. Slowly it went around the teacher's desk, over Cassandra's body, past the blackboard...

Plonk. Philip clumsily tripped over something, dropping the handphone and making Vivian shriek in the process.

"You IDIOT! My phone!"

"What?!" Philip shot back crossly. "It was an accident, okay?"

To his surprise, she started screaming. Not out of anger, though.

It was a scream of utter terror.

His eyes followed where her finger pointed, and before he knew it, he was screaming and scrambling like a madman too.

There, lying in a pool of fresh blood, was Mr. Bala with his throat slit open.

To be continued.

Monday, April 12, 2010

In The Hospital

A poem inspired by my 3 stays in the hospital in the past 2 months.

In the hospital,
Strange people sit around me.
They cough, they moan.
They wheeze, they groan.
They find it difficult to pee.

In the hospital,
Everyone has a defect.
Some have bandages, some cannot walk well.
Some are in pain, why I cannot tell.
One way or another, everyone's imperfect.

In the hospital,
It's okay to look terrible.
No one checks their breath or combs their hair.
Every morning, any clothes are okay to wear.
Only the nurses need stay presentable.

In the hospital,
You're allowed to be a brat.
Push a button, summon a nurse.
Smile for Milo, ask for breakfast.
Don't forget soap, hot water and stuff like that.

In the hospital,
Nobody's ever in a hurry.
Days are spent waiting for meals,
Doctors, nurses, thermometers and pills.
Then dinner, and a self-told bedtime story.

In the hospital,
You don't have to smile.
Who cares about being friendly and sociable?
It's fine to remain in your little world.
And embrace your inner emo child.

In the hospital,
There's something new about every morning.
Hope abounds in every corner,
Of going home and getting better.
You look and realise that suffering is fleeting.

In the hospital,
Bad things make everything else good.

Sometimes I wish,
The world could be more like the hospital.