Saturday, September 25, 2010

Receipt Stories

"With receipt stories anyone has a chance to be a published author. If you have a short story, a poem or even a haiku to share, please send it to us. As long it's no longer than 100 words long, you're welcome to contribute as many as you can write..."

"After you've submitted your entry, it will be uploaded and posted on the receipt stories website for everyone to read. If your story grabs our attention, we'll print it out on our BookXcess receipts for all our customers to read. You'll win a prize as a token of our appreciation, and claim bragging rights for being an official receipt stories published author!"

(Read more in today's The Star, Weekender Page 7 & 8, or visit their site at

Enough said. World, here I come!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Atlis Disease

I have Atlis disease.

When I first found out that I had it, I was shocked. Devastated.

In just that short instant, my life turned completely upside-down.

I had to wake up every morning with this realisation that my organs were degenerating. My systems were shutting down. My body was dying.

It was hard to imagine, but my life could end at any moment. Every new morning was a gift, as I never knew whether I would be able to climb into bed that night.

From that point on, every day mattered. I couldn't bear to watch any of my limited time slip away.

I wrote down all my dreams, and my fears that were holding me back.

I listed down all the dear friends I stopped keeping in touch with.

I recalled all the things I wished I could do with my loved ones.

I cut out pictures of all the places I always wanted to go to.

I learned to sing, dance, paint and cook.

I laughed louder.

I loved harder.

I lived fuller.

Funny thing is, I'm still alive and well today. All without the need for medicines or therapy. I like to call it my personal miracle.

I haven't beaten the disease yet, though. And I hope I never will.

You see, this Atlis Disease I have actually stands for Awareness That Life Is Short.

Once I diagnosed myself with it, there was no turning back. My one life meant everything, and I had to make it count.

You don't need a real disease to realise that you're dying. You are.

Have you contracted Atlis Disease yet?

Friday, September 03, 2010

Will You Marry Me?

In case you haven't noticed, I've recently sorted out the old stories in my blog according to genres. Loads of gems included, even those old 'So You Think You Know' series and Cendol Stories. Quite amusing to see how I used to preface every non-long story posting with 'Writer's Block', and the dreadful lack of paragraphing. Having said all that though, my sheer volume of genius still amazes me.

Which brings us to today's story. I noticed that I have a surprisingly low amount of stories under the 'Romance' category - extremely unbecoming for a sentimental sop such as myself. This is my desperate attempt at increasing my Romance numbers, complete with sweet-as-candy chic lit-style cover. Prepare to be swept away.

"Will you marry me?"

She felt her cheeks flush red.

There he knelt in all earnestness, diamond ring in one hand and bouquet of red roses in another. How very old-fashioned. And sweet.

It was pretty much how she had always imagined it to be. Just more... for lack of a better word, embarrassing. Out of the corner of her eyes she could sense people looking and gushing. One side of her wanted to slowly savour the moment. Another wished to just quickly get it over and done with.



In no time they were walking down the aisle, reciting their vows in church. He lifted her veil and kissed her, and all their friends and family clapped.

Gosh, I can't believe it's been so fast. We're actually married.

Married life brought with it all the bliss and aches of living together. Sometimes they yelled at each other, but every time they kissed and made up. She was a carefree and whimsical soul; his was a meticulous mind. It seemed a recipe for disaster, but they always found common ground to share a part of each others' lives. She loved cheering him up with little thoughtful surprises, while he always made her feel really special on those big days.

Then came their first child.

How quickly their lives turned! Now the attention was no longer on caring for each other - everything went to the child. Over time problems started to surface. She complained that he was never there for their child. He was annoyed at her seeming obsession over the child.

"We never spend time together any more." he grumbled. "Like we once did."

"You're blaming me!" she retorted indignantly. "When was the last time you changed his diaper?"

Things became worse as his business suffered. As much as they both hated it, they found themselves constantly bickering over bills and spending habits. She found herself making one too many compromises, each layering her heart with more bitterness. Many a night she slept in silent tears, torn between the duties of a supportive wife and doting mother.

It frustrated him even more to see her like this. He felt angry at her for not trusting him enough to share her feelings, and angry at himself for being unable to make her happy. The more they tried to talk things through, the thicker the walls between them grew. Eventually they learned not to talk about it, preferring to revolve their conversations around the child.

Without warning, the years crept by and the child was moving out to college. They bade him goodbye without a single tear, though their hearts silently sank. He had been very much the centre of everything for almost two decades. It hurt deeply watching the meaning of their lives slip away.

It was strange speaking to each other again without the child. For the first time in years, they were forced to look into each others' eyes and talk about themselves.

It wasn't easy to reopen old wounds. And it wasn't necessary, they decided. Holding hands, they took a stroll down the beach where they first met and sat dreamily before a glorious sunset.

He held her chin up and smiled. "We've known each other for 26 years."

She rested on his shoulder. "Yeah."

"Remember when I proposed to you at the chalet grill? I wonder if that place is still around."

"Mm hmm."

"You were blushing!"

"Of course I was, silly," she giggled. "Everyone was looking at us."

"Did you...expect it then?"

She paused, unsure. "Actually...I kind of guessed."

"I knew it!" he laughed. "But come to think of it, it's better you guessed. Otherwise you might've given the wrong answer."

She stroked a loose hair on his forehead and smiled. "I would never."

He returned her smile. "You'll always be that same silly girl I knelt before that day."


"Will you marry me?"

She jolted back to reality. He was still on his knees waiting for her answer.


The other diners clapped and cheered wildly.

It was the beginning of a beautiful love story.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Cacat Parking

I attended a funeral last night. Suddenly it reminded me of Ju Liang. I guess becoming numb to death and funerals is another part of growing up. In the first 20 years of my life, I never attended any significant funerals. Then came my ex-boss. Then Ju Liang. Then my grandmas. Somehow, funerals always have a way of drawing me closer to God. =)

Anyway, enjoy the following story which I thought of at... the Mid Valley car park.

2.25pm, Mid Valley Megamall car park

"June, text Ida to tell her we'll be 15 minutes late." Stan made an umpteenth turn into Zone C, patience wearing thin.


Suddenly a Kancil cut into his lane from left.

"HOI! BODOH!" he slammed on his horn. "MAU MAMPUS KAH?"

Ignorant and now ahead of Stan in the queue for parking, the Kancil driver starting yapping on his phone.

"These moron Malaysian drivers. Brainless pigs."

June pursed her lips and thumbed through the documents again. She knew it best to remain silent when he was in one of his moods. Well, at least Ida was one of the nicer clients who understood how hard it was to get parking at Mid Valley during lunchtime. They had a nasty Chinaman client who once made to a big fuss to their boss when they showed up 10 minutes late for an appointment.

Finally the cars started moving again. Stan stuck his neck out to seek any vacant parking spots, though it made no sense. If there were any vacant spots, one of the many cars in front would have taken it already.

He turned up the air conditioning. He always did this when he was in a hurry.

June glanced nervously at the car clock. 2.35pm already. Even worse, Ida had replied: "Ok. Im already there. C u."

She was probably waiting there in boredom, twiddling with her Blackberry. Wondering why they were never on time.


Amazing! So they didn't need to be that late after all.

In one smooth flick, Stan signaled left and turned in.

Only to discover a huge yellow painting on the floor.

It was a disabled parking space.

Stan cursed till no end. June just sighed and continued to observe the clock's blinking seconds.


3.45pm, Mid Valley Megamall car park

"Remember to get that contact report done and send it to her by today. She didn't seem too pleased." Stan reversed his car out, to the delight of a waiting car behind.


"Now I'm late for my next appointment with Mr. Ho." he fastened his seat belt. "What a screwed up day."

As he sped towards the exit, they passed another section of disabled parking spaces.

"Just look at that," he shook his head in anger. "6 good parking spaces turned into 4 cacat spaces."

"If they had the sense to allocate more spaces for normal parking, we wouldn't need to have these stupid jams and parking queues. Instead, they keep wasting space on these stupid cacat parking. Which are empty almost all the time."

"Well, disabled people can't come out often. That's why they're usually empty." June interjected.

"Exactly. Since they stay home most of the time, the cacat spaces should only be open at certain times. Like weekends for example. So it doesn't interfere with us working people."

"But many disabled people work too."

"Surely it's easier for them to take public transport. Some more, they have the government to support them what. Who supports us?"

"It's all the Malaysian mentality lah. Just because some NGO makes noise about cacat rights then they will give in to it. If 10 NGOs make noise, then they need to run 10 different campaigns. How to progress like that? Everything also must accommodate everyone."

"Eventhough it's just a small thing like parking, it reflects our whole country's mentality. Wasting resources on unimporta-"

Stan was so engrossed in his speech that he didn't see the oncoming trailer as they exited the car park.

Crash! It rammed straight into him from the driver's side, paralysing him waist down.