Thursday, February 22, 2007


A lone figure walked through the silent night, his tired figure weakly outlined by the setting moon. He had a long day - the particle accelerator’s data loggers had refused all attempts to get them working. The physicists gave him quiet hints, the Centre Director was practically glaring at him, the technicians were less than cooperative, his assistant was an enthusiastic but useless post-doctorate newbie, and his team-mate was on Chinese New Year holiday.

Damn computers.

How he longed for the past, when the world lived in a rush of petrol-induced flamboyance. It was not just the petrol and the cars. It was the entire lifestyle. Distance was never an issue – the private automobile could zip through enormous distances in a matter of minutes, and the aeroplane was on a completely different level.

To him, the past would mean being able to visit home every year. Petroleum allowed people to fly, cheaply. The one thing he missed more than anything else in the world was his family. To a great extent, telecommunication technology alleviated his alienation, but technology could never invoke the intense peace that a child sitting contentedly in your lap would stir.

That child was also in the past; she would be in her 30s now.

As he continued walking, his shadow and the past were indistinguishable. He was out of the tiny city centre, and the landscape gradually opened to reveal vast tracts of urban farmland interrupted with clusters of dim lights.

Suddenly, four robbers leap out from the side of the path. They overcome him and take all his belongings. They then strip him naked and tie him to a tree before fleeing the scene, laughing.

The next morning, a passer-by freed him from the tree. He thanked the kind soul, and began to savagely beat a calf that was sleeping on the grass nearby.

The shocked passer-by tried to stop him, but he was unstoppable in his anger. Kick after kick landed on the helpless calf, and he kept screaming obscenities at the poor animal. "All night, I was telling you, I am not your mother. I am not your mother!"


Feedback please.

Did the ending spoil a potentially interesting short story?



Blogger 小李飞刀 said...

The writing style did changed quite abruptly at the "Suddenly, four robbers..." So experienced slight dissonance there.

The ending is damm funny.

4:53 am, February 23, 2007  
Blogger D said...


I'm a bit confused by the ending actually.

I really liked the second part i.e. from "How he longed...." to the part about the child.

But i do feel the first para i mean it explains the details you want to convey but feel that some of the explanation like a bit too much. Feels not very natural and not very smooth. E.g. "the useless post doctorate newbie" feels like you're squeezing too much in.

Anyway like i said, i like the second part cos i can FEEL it. Not sure whether i make sense, maybe i don't. hehe.

8:23 am, February 23, 2007  
Anonymous 陈雨薇 said...

As he wallowed in his sorrow he grew oblivious to the four approaching strangers. Suddenly, two of 'em grabbed him by the neck from behind and another 2 came right over to strip search him. He was unable to free himself because the act of searching kinda tickled him. By the time they were done and gone, he was tied to a tree.. away from the dim light. All he could do was to wait.

Next day, he awoke to the impending sunlight and to his exhilaration he saw a passer by. After lots of screeching and screaming, the astounded jogger ran towards the poor naked man to rescue him from such cruel brutality.

"What the hell happened to you? Are you OK? Oh My God!" said the jogger as he freed the victim.

"Now it's no time for this... stand back," answered the raging engineer.

Without warning he began to savagely beat a calf that was sleeping on the grass nearby.

"What the..? Stop it man! Jesus Christ, what the hell are you doing?!" yelled the confused passer-by.

Engulfed by the blinding rage he could not hear him. Kick after kick landed on the helpless calf, and he kept screaming obscenities at the poor animal. "All night, I was telling you, I am not your mother. I am not your mother!"

9:45 am, February 23, 2007  
Blogger sour milk said...

The first half I've to say it's really well written, you laid out a very fine scene of your emo-pathological settings. But you gave a twist to it in the end so it's all fictional. Heheheehehehe.

I picked up where your trail left off at "Suddenly, 4 robbers..." Sorry if I altered your context without permission. But I hope you like mine too. LOL.

10:09 am, February 23, 2007  
Anonymous ah pek said...

I don't have such creativity. All I can deduce is that guy went bonkers after been exposed for a whole night.
maybe he got raped by a bull?

12:46 pm, February 23, 2007  
Blogger Lao Chen said...

Mr Lee:
Yeah, the disonnance came a bit too early. Should flesh it out with a bit of wuxia scenes...

Thanks for the feedback. I'll look at that long sentence. BTW, that wierd ending was intended as a joke :(

Heh, I am contemplating making that lame ending a bit more solid.


More like a calf...

9:15 pm, February 23, 2007  
Blogger Dr. Tan said...

Yeah I got it in a flash. Many of my friends didn't actually catch it until I explained it to them.

9:21 pm, February 23, 2007  
Blogger sour milk said...

dude, i got it okay. white stuff, I know.

2:09 am, February 24, 2007  
Blogger Lao Chen said...

Oops, thousand apologies. I misread your comment.

8:17 am, February 24, 2007  
Anonymous jean` said...

u wrote that ah? haha.. was wondering why u emailed it ;p

3:42 pm, February 24, 2007  
Blogger sabrina said...

I thought the story was really great. You have such a great style of writing...very captivating.

The ending was, however, confusing ;p

4:45 pm, February 24, 2007  
Blogger Lao Chen said...

Sorry, did not intend to send it to you since you have access to this page.

I promise not to make such glaring mistake(s) again.

8:42 pm, February 24, 2007  
Anonymous politikus said...

you've been tagged :)

1:16 pm, February 25, 2007  
Blogger Glaring Notebook said...

MAN! If I didn't read that it was a punchline, it would totally undermine the brilliance.

1:14 am, February 26, 2007  

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