THE INTELLIGENT SINGAPOREAN

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Daily Reads Oct 21 – Wee Shu-Min

Posted by inspir3d on October 21, 2006

Wee Shu Min

Temasek

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270 Responses to “Daily Reads Oct 21 – Wee Shu-Min”

  1. wbg said

    Eh…

    Isn’t Wei Kiat who runs The Wicked the same person who insulted Agagooga as an idiot “cute liitle bastard” who lacks “moral integrity”?

    http://gssq.blogspot.com/2006/03/author-of-wicked-has-requested-that-i.html

  2. elena said

    Goodness gracious me. I really hope those FC boys are ok. Can someone pls tell me whether they are ok? Please

  3. Deborah said

    The good ppl have all gone from singapore. This is a cruel place. A place that eats up people and spits them out.

    I wish, I can be like the brotherhood who have a big shiny space ship and can just get into it and blast off from this miserable rock.

    I am just a girl and I am not very educated either, but I am working hard at it by attending night classes.

    I want the brotherhood back! I dont want Harpyboy and darkboy to die. I want them to live so they can take us along with them in their big space ship to far away places, I have only dreamnt about.

    I promise to be good, not to complain. I just want to live my life instead of just watching it go by. That is not to much to ask. I feel sad, so sad that I cannot even begin to express how I really feel. I dont want to write anymore. I just want them back.

  4. inspir3d said

    they can return to using the common posts for their activities if they wish – i have decided a dedicated page is too much trouble.

  5. wbg said

    Low/middle-class write kpkb letter about life to the press.

    Elite gal slams low/middle-class’s kpkb letter.

    Other low/middle-class on net forum slams Elite gal’s kpkb response.

    Elite or non-elite, all kpkb birds of a feather.

  6. Deborah said

    http://www.fsstation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=235

    I fear it is too late. You dont know much about the boys do you. The crescent guards are their sworn enemies. I pray the man called darkness is well.

    All of us in Singapore will always pray for our home boys.

    Fight them boys and come back again, this is home.

  7. long time reader said

    hmm actually i didnt care much for their weird postings. i mean half the time they were on topic but half the time they were off topic- get them their own dedicated page or get them out i say. Let’s have some real intelligent discussions here rather than spaceships and rubbish. otherwise the more i have to scan for on-topic discussion, the less likely i’ll stay on.

  8. tammy said

    that’s why they have left singapore. I wish those boys well. I will miss them terribly especially the eye candy darkness.

  9. tammy said

    You should get them on a dedicated page.

  10. tammy said

    I feel for deborah. I think she speaks for most singaporean girls. As she said, we all want them to take us with them, but we fear, we may a bit to fat or less educated for them to even take an interest in us, but I hopeful one day, they will return again to singapore.

    Never forget boys this is home. Singapore is home. Remember always and never ever forget us

  11. long time reader said

    you see? once again, the quality of the discussion here has deteriorated and is no longer about the postings. in fact, not even sure these ladies commenting are real. probably the brotherhood playing their games again. sigh.

  12. […] Why so many bloggers are talking about Wee Shu Min, an 18 years old RJC girl? – you can find out more here. […]

  13. scholarboy said

    Pls dont give up hope ladies.

    Darkness will never abandon all of you.

    You need to keep the faith.

    Do you think it is so easy for them to kill the FC boys?

    Give me time, I shall look for them.

    They are running now, but they can always be counted to be there when we need them.

    Long live the brotherhood!

  14. scholarboy said

    long time reader is a crescent guard. He is out to destroy the brotherhood.

  15. long time reader said

    sigh. whatever.

  16. scholarboy said

    Sigh? Yr mother la. The crescent guard has been hunting them for years. Here I also sigh.

    The FC boyz may have some brainless wonders, but they are very good fighters.

    They have atomic monkey and Trajan, both of them are good fighters. Darkness is a sly commander.

    I have intercepted this message when they were supposed to be dead.

    http://www.haloscan.com/comments/diplomad/110702263869818388/?a=27024

    Didn’t I tell you, they are still alive, but they are running.

    So you ladies have no reason to despair.

    We will find them. We have been working the whole night and bring them back again.

  17. jessicarabbit said

    Brotherhood are behaving like a bunch of petulant infantiles. There is no doubt they can write very well, if the choose too. But what really drives me up the wall with these boys, is the way they appear only to disappear again. That to me is just plain stupid and inconsiderate.

    I dont know how you boys play your stupid spaceship games and guess what we dont care to know. Most of us are really sickened by this preoccupation with sci-fi. Have you read Sumiko Tan’s column today. Yes we are sending you a very clear message brotherhood, WE DONT CARE FOR YOUR SPACESHIP CRAP!

    In think the webmaster is rite. All of you should just shed this childish underground tag. Do you think we really believe you! You must all think we are pretty stupid.

    The brotherhood should just stay in one site and remain there. This way you do yourself and your readers good.

    This way when we log on, we know you boys are in one place. This way show us all you are all capable of commitment, not running here and there.

    This darkness thinks he so cool. He is just a very intelligent petulant spoilt brat. He winds us all up and then stands all of us up. He is just behaving like a selfish lover.

    I like the stuff the brotherhood writes. Only I think all of you should just be more considerate to your readers. Please stop running around and stay in one place. And stop fibbing. Otherwise we will ask Sumiko to blast all of you all one more time.

    We want real things, we want you to be like a mall, we want you to be there when we want to go shopping! Do write.

  18. long time reader said

    the brotherhood apparently have no respect for the blog owner nor its readers already present. they come in- say what they want where they want with no regard for the community already there. The moment someone says something on the contrary, instead of engaging in intelligent conversation, they start to talk about spaceships and other rubbish. That to me continues to make the blogosphere NOT the place for proper discussions. People who continue to encourage people such as the so-called brotherhood or fc boys or whatever ultimately discover its really the quality of discussion which will make the difference, not many many posts offtopic. Why have the FC boys gone from place to place? because sooner or later, the webmasters learn they bring nothing but trouble to the website.

  19. scholarboy said

    “because sooner or later, the webmasters learn they bring nothing but trouble to the website.”

    Au contraire.

    Everywhere we go readership goes up. Everywhere we go the site gets sold.

    Everywhere we go, we bring in a commercially viable business model.

    Why do you think all these women want us to “stay in one place?”

    Where they can find us “all the time” and every time?

    Why do you think they want us to “please stop running?

    Why I wonder, why? You are so intelligent perhaps you can give me an intelligent reply?

    Why do you think they continue to read darkness’s coffee stories and the post to such an extent they even end their post pleadingly with the words – “do write.”

    You dont know do you long time reader? Because you have never been in this position of being widely read before or having even such a thing as a dedicated following.

    Though you claim to represent the interest of the blogosphere,readers and the webmaster you cannot even provide us one reason (I am not even asking for two reasons) why the brotherhood doesnt have a right to exist in the way and form it has done so successfully all these years.

    Dont say I never gave you an opportunity to engage us contructively, but before you start your sanctimonious generalisation of how you want to impose your values on us – pls go and do your research about the brotherhood and perhaps some day, if you are diligent enough, people will want you not to “run around” also and “stay in one place.”

    Yes pls show you all your “quality of discussion.”

  20. scholarboy said

    “the brotherhood apparently have no respect for the blog owner” – A compact was made between darkness and Inspirid (the webmaster) – to move all brotherhood discussions to a dedicated page – I may not have a lot of admiration for the brainless wonders of FC boyz such as JDAM and KOHO, but darkness, Harphoon, Trajan and Atomic Monkey are different from the rest – in the history of the brotherhood, they have never broken their word – since the compact was made, the FC boys limited ALL their brotherhood discussions to a dedicated page. Show me one case, I am not even asking for two or three incidences, when the FC boys broke the terms and conditions of this agreement with the webmaster. Again you didn’t bother to do your homework did you? – I think not!

    I am challenging you to produce evidence to suggest the contrary.

    “they come in- say what they want where they want with no regard for the community already there.” – if they limit their brotherhood related activities in a dedicated page how they come in? Or is a matter of others coming in? Again I am challenging you

    “That to me continues to make the blogosphere NOT the place for proper discussions. People who continue to encourage people such as the so-called brotherhood or fc boys or whatever ultimately discover its really the quality of discussion which will make the difference,”

    If they limited their brotherhood discussion in a dedicated page can you tell me how it disrupts the rest of the blog?

    You speak as if you do not even know how a dedicate page works. Do you have any idea what a dedicate page is? You need to “come in” to their discussion, not the other way round! That is how it works, go and ask any 6 year old, he will tell you the same. So tell me how can they interrupt or disrupt a discussion?

    You speak as if the FC boyz have never ever posted anything that is serious in nature concerning politics, economics, sociology or technology.

    I do not think that represents the true picture of their stay in IS.

    Of course we will not know because the webmaster has effectively deleted ALL the contents of the dedicated page.

    But the FC boyz submitted every copy of their articles to the brotherhood press posted in the intelligent singaporean and we have even serialized copies of these
    “post” –do you want me to send you these serialized post for your perusal or would you like me to lay them out for everyone to see so that they may be the judge of what is considered “quality”? So again may I respectfully ask are you aware of those publications? Again I think not. Again you did not bother to do your research did you.

    Again I am challenging you produce evidence to suggest the contrary.

    Don’t say I never engaged you constructively Long time reader. Show me the evidence.

  21. long time reader said

    i am not a blogger. I am a reader. part of the 90% who support the bloggosphere by reading. if you really are about promoting readership then you would be painfully aware of the silent lurkers such as myself who find the situation so ridiculous that i have to take up writing to address it one last time before i leave this site.

    As inspired says- i only see one group- i dont bother to see who is who. all i know is that for every dissenting comment, the person will get all kinds of crap from the brotherhood.

    no amount of trying to counter my arguments with your words will explain what has already happened-
    1. meaningless comments
    2. webmaster inspired who seems to have been arm twisted to give you a space to begin with is exasperated apparently
    3. someone leaves a heh heh heh comment and trouble starts? when you guys leave so much junk comments elsewhere you cant handle junk comments on your own section?
    4. dont presume to know who i am, i may not have a blog but doesnt mean i dont have an loyal audience and a paying one at that. I wouldnt be surprised if one or a few of your so-called brotherhood has already been to one of my shows- if not the webmaster himself/herself(?)

    as for bothering to research. again, you presume too much but then again, all the evidence on this site is damning enough i think.

    Do what you want and chase me away, put me down if you will- i represent the silent lurker readers fed up with all this brotherhood crap. its totally not consistent with trying to have a place for intelligent discussion about singapore. I think Singapore ultimately deserves its ineffective blogosphere unfortunately- too many kids running around messing things up.

    So long inspired. it was good while it lasted. I’m sure, as i have said, that i’m just the tip of the iceberg of readership fed up with all these distractions that have hijacked your site. if i’m just one individual behaving unreasonably then i guess you have nothing to be bothered about. of course for every brother, a few fake sisters are created to help show that there is an increased readership. So in the end, where is your intelligent singaporean’s REAL audience and what are they focusing on? not the real content – but the crap such as what is happening right now on this very page.

    I write because i care or have cared about this place being overrun. but now i sigh because i’m tired of caring. Do what you want brotherhood. you win.

  22. long time reader said

    one last note- you guys should really consider populating a forum instead of someone’s blog. in a forum you can create your own threads and talk about things without deviating to all the spaceship crap. its the classic case of using the wrong tool for the job – use the forums, leave the blogs alone or if you must – CREATE your own site since you obviously are experts that enjoy great readership. why distress others by forcing your views? bye.

  23. scholarboy said

    Long time reader,

    When you are ready to revisit the points you raised and I challenged, please feel free to call me personally.

    I have already presented my points with supporting evidence to show conclusively ALL your spurious allegations concerning the FC boys are inaccurate and factually incorrect.

    You on the other hand have NOT even presented ONE example to support your long list of wild allegations.

    I never even asked for 10 or 5 or 2 examples, the burden of proof was weighted in your favor very much in the way a duelist waives his right and insist on fighting his opponent blind folded and with his table fork to illustrate how facile and base your case is.

    All you had to do was to produce evidence to support the mention of one incident –and even then you failed admirably to discharge this simple burden of proof.

    Instead all you have done is to continue again your litany of woes on why the world is flat and why we should not sail too far off the edge of the pizza – we lawyers have a saying, it is called res ipsa loquitur.

    So you must really excuse me if I choose not to exercise my prerogative to indulge further in such Tom foolery and I have definitely overestimated your reach.

    None the less, we wish you well. Another thing pls note, the FC boys are NOT the brotherhood.

    They should have clarified this point to the webmaster. They are only one of 31 families (coscas) which make up the brotherhood.

    Even then their numbers are not 100 as is often mentioned, they have less than 9 people in their team and only 3 are active at any one time.

    So please stop referring to them as the brotherhood, that is a gross misrepresentation.

    To Whom It May Concern.

    I am not part of the FC boy, I belong to the Interstellar Mercantile Guilds (another cosca) we are the lawyers of the brotherhood and our responsibility involves the preliminary discussion of business deals in the real world. I was summoned to come here by darkness provide assistance, but apparently all I see now is a no show and alot of confusion.

    I have since received new orders from my superiors to conduct a preliminary investigation on this entire matter.

    I shall remain till my report is duly complete.

    Please the readers (e.g jessicarabbit) of FC boys it is not that I do not want to engage you or choose to marginalize you by not replying – but I think, it is better for all of you to take the matter up personally with darkness and his crew.

    I cannot presume to answer on his behalf.

    Yours Trully,

    Scholarboy (callsign: Rapierman)

  24. scholarboy said

    Inspirid,

    I never disagreed with you or even your suggested solution concerning those chaps- neither have I ever condone the overeaction of those brainless wonders.

    I have really been quite candid and honest abt how I feel abt those idiots from day one and this was one of the reasons why darkness asked me to come here.

    He mentioned something about having to sit down with you to flesh out the plan for the next stage to remove those BW in a diplomatic way. (that is darkness way)

    Because he was sick and tired of coming here to stop everyone from suddenly panicking or leaving. It was a big drain on him, bc he is working on a top secret space project in Urumqi.

    Since the dedicated page is locked, I cannot even read it to form an opinion, but that is what he told me.

    Because they (FC boys) were planning to ramp up from 30% to the next stage.

    There’s alot of legal, money and tax issues that cannot be done in a virtual setting.

    They needed to know your strengths and weaknesses to plan further from the 30% stage.

    Or whether you needed any financial and legal assistance.

    They didnt know anything about you try to understand their position.

    We usually have a face to face with our web partners. It cannot be avoided bc if we aspire to work closely, we simply have to make so many little and big things work.

    I was supposed to represent the interest of the IMG, but as it turns out.

    I am really now as confused as you. I guess I can phone him up in the real world and just ask him, but the game isnt played like that.

    We have to play it within the ambit of the rules, I remain utterly confused.

  25. inspir3d said

    scholarboy, i was never aware of our arrangement being a ‘business’ arrangement. it is not the intention of IS to be a money seeking venture.

    i simply created the dedicated page to create some order on my website – because the brotherhood were running all over my posts and disrupting the conversations my regular readers were having.

    i thought the dedicated page was a good arrangement for a while, but i have realised that is not a good idea because it is not the job of IS to endorse any group, but to remain nonpartisan, as far as possible – i have received many critical messages from my readers that IS seems to be endorsing “The Brotherhood” – both by creating a dedicated page, and even more by censoring comments which the brotherhood deems to be offensive.

    if the Brotherhood wants me to act as cybernanny and police all comments which annoy them, i am afraid they are not respecting my goals and intentions – and i suppose it is better for them to find someplace else for their activities.

    i am willing to try to accommodate them. but so far each move seems to alienate my own readership. i have a feeling it is going to be tough to arrive at a compromise, so you should understand why i have elected to play safe and remove the dedicated page.

    the brotherhood so far has proven to be an explosive bunch – trying to accomodate them is a risky endeavour – i risk completely destroying the credibility of my site. so i am not going to take further steps until we have absolutely clear agreements on how things are going to operate.

    if you really want to continue, i suggest we take our discussions to neutral space on the internet out of the eyes of my readers.

  26. scholarboy said

    Inspirid,

    Pls understand my position, I cannot offer a comment on your post – what really transpired is between you and the FC boys – but let me assure you as a representative of the IMG.

    I was informed personally by darkness to see you along with Harphoon and Tomahawk in the real world.

    I am just being very honest with you. I have no proof to offer, but rest assured you have my word of honor on this.

    You need to understand their position when they ramp up from the 30% stage, they will need to give their sponsors a certain degree of guarantee that things will go to plan. I will come straight to the point money is involved, agreements have to be made and contracts have to be fulfilled.

    I know you did not start this as a money making enterprise, most of the sites the FC boys gate crash never did, if they did they wouldn’t have made money and we wouldn’t be interested – you just need to google in French to see the outcome, underground magazine, music, machimanime, forums, blogs etc the list goes on and on and on.

    But these are things they cannot post – my advice to you and your team and your readership is please give them a hearing – at least meet up with them for a real world meeting – talk to them, they the FC boys are not stupid and neither is the brotherhood, we have a network of professionals in virtually every field of expertise.

    I hope you keep you mind open my young friend, I hope you will possibilities and have faith in your hopes instead of your fears.

    Meanwhile the 130th of the brotherhood ( the equivalent of the commandos) has joined my cosca to search for darkness and his crew, we are working day and night to find them, but every time we reach there it is always, he is gone or they have left – I still need to find them.

    Yes, email to them is against the spirit of the underground.

    I know it sounds childish but the brotherhood prides itself as being a secret organization.

    My advice to you is to humor them and let them believe they are really a secret underground movement, no one of course ever believes them, but it makes everyone in the brotherhood terribly happy and drives our readers crazy though they will never admit it.

    Just humor them. Meanwhile I will try to find darkness, we will take it from there.

    Good nite.

    Your Trully

    Scholarboy

  27. long time reader said

    great. whats your phone number scholarman.

  28. long time reader said

    however, i’m not in the mood currently. like i said, too tired to deal with space guilds and stuff. more interested in reality. maybe one day when i’m in the mood, i will revisit this page and call you then. in the meantime. goodbye (i know i said this before,but have decided next week will no longer visit this page). I dont feel the need to justify every thing i say. what i say is from my perspective. what is teh relationship FC boys have to brotherhood. i dont understand and frankly i dont see why i have to- i’m here to get a good discussion on how to bring singapore’s blogosphere to the next level. I just dont see what you guys are doing as contributing to that. in advertising, its called perception of the audience. right or wrong, the perception is what counts. If we feel alienated, then we are. goodnite.

  29. long time reader said

    inspir3d- my 2 cents-
    A) i dont think intelligent singaporean should be a commercial venture (i know you already said this)
    B) something tells me its not good business sense to get into a business arrangement with those who mix real world with space guilds and space projects in urumqi within the same breath. know what i mean?
    However, this is your site and i wish you all the best.
    trekkie.

  30. darkness said

    Ladies,

    We will try to be a mall, we will. I promise you. Pls just be patient.

  31. darkness said

    I want you all to understand my life here in China has not been easy – I had to deal with crooked taxi drivers and politicians.

    However, despite this, I am trying to still myself to find time to still write to all of you.

    “We are drawn to the edges, to our own
    Parapets and sea-walls: finding our lives
    In some forked storm.

    Returning with our unimaginable gifts,
    Badged with salt and blood,
    We have forgotten how to walk.

    Thinking how much more we wanted
    When what we had was all there was;

    Looking too late to the ones we loved,
    We stretch out our hands as we fall.”

    This goes especially to all of you – I must return now to work on my space ship, but I promise to be a mall.

    I promise.

  32. SueMay said

    I would be naive, if I said; I expect the brotherhood to change. The problem with them is, they are too sure of their readers, but they should think again.

    Firstly many of us have changed through the yrs. We are no longer in our twenties and many of us are pushing into our early and mid thirties.

    Our goals and priorities have also changed. What used to exciting like searching for you boys, is now simply a hassle.

    I admit the idea of logging on one day and realizing they have suddenly disappeared again certainly had me and my girl friends in stitches once upon a time.

    But like I said, times have changed. These days when the brotherhood does it’s disappearing act, it just turns most of us off. For one it is very disruptive, just try to imagine watching a Korean serial with irregular reception and no sound, that will give you an impression of what I mean by disrupting and distracting.

    More seriously, it shows all of you are still immature and incapable of commitment.

    The world has changed Fight Club and how long do you think you can do this for? There are less and less forums these days.

    I know darkness will always say the brotherhood will not only survive and even thrive in exile. So we rout for those lost boys. After all who can blame them, they are just looking for a place called home. That may be true during the forum days, but in the age of the blog, what stops you all from settling down in one place? Why cant you all just like 99% of netizens and please don’t give us that worn out yarn of being a top secret under the skirt org.

    In the old days when they disappeared and reappeared again. We always forgave Bambie darkboy. Besides he always returns like a lost hungry puppy, so we can do nothing but to just let him in to our hearts again.

    But times have changed Bambie. I am not the girl, I used to be. For one I don’t ever allow others to treat me like dirt. I want a bit of respect. And all of you just have to learn to listen – shut up and just listen to your readers for once. You think power is in your hands, it isn’t it has always resided in your readers and we want you all to settle down in one place and simply do the things you do very well.

    It has been a very long time since Bambie wrote anything serious. Perhaps if he channeled his energy less to space toys and to serious writing, he could be more productive.

    Maybe I am just getting older and mellowing down or perhaps I am just getting wiser – or perhaps I just know ppl cannot keep running all the time – or maybe it just time for the brotherhood to listen to us for once.

    Stay in one place and settle down.

  33. darkness said

    “What is the furthest thing Sue May?

    It’s not the distance between where the Great Wall of China begins and ends.

    Neither is it the distance separating one star from another, though they may be billions of light years apart.

    Nor even the furthest galaxy from the very place whence it was once born in the beginning of time.

    The furthest place in the universe, if you must know, is when I Bambie darkboy am right here looking directly at you and you choose to turn your face away from me –
    that is the furthest place in this world, that is the furthest place in the universe, that is the place where neither time or space can ever bridge.

    To be so close, yet so very far away.”

    You see that door, I am walking right through it – no one will ever believe me, I never wanted it to be this way, but it is useless trying to explain this to my readers – all of you shouldn’t come here to hold a virgil any longer – mercantile guild cancel the meet with inspirid and his delegation.

    Chronicler record this in the book of ages – darkness is leaving blogoshpere.

    He is a heart broken man.

  34. Praetoria said

    This is Preatoria requesting for clarification.

    We do not understand the intentions of the father of the game.

    We have classified transmission as a 0998.

    We have not been able to establish a comsat to seek clarification, his com is rated as “off.”

    Requesting forward instructions from the IMG to proceed with meet.

    The RS Kembangain is on route to entropia space station and will magnetic dock at 0900 GMT today.

    We have issued a reply notice to the chronicler to appear at this site as per request by darkness.

    Request for confirmation sir for next course of action. Pls kindly revert for next course of action.

  35. scholarboy said

    Controller classify it as a 0998. There is no need to inform the chronicler.

    I will assume all responsibility for this incident.

    We will stick to the plan.

  36. muse said

    Hi all!

    Don’t bother with those good to boot selfish FC boys. Many of us met up this raya at the intercontinental to discuss the matter.

    I think many of us are quite sickened by this itchy back side running here and there nonsense.

    So really there is no two ways abt.

    Those boys just have to just learn the hard way. And “him” threatening to walk out is just another ploy. He is a smoothie that darkness bad boy, he knows what buttons to press. how to make us all feel guilty so that we may simply allow him to have his way with us.

    In the past, yes we gave in to him, but we are starting to realize he is just a selfish self serving ingraite.

    Those days are over. We have been getting shit service all these years. I have been coming here at least 10 times a day since they have done their runner act and till now there has not been a single press release by the brotherhood.

    As usual they are so insensitive and all of us have to keep guessing what their next move will be.

    Good to boot!

    There is another grp meeting up in Suntec at lunch in the convention area. I hope the brotherhood will send a press officer there to explain what is happening!

    Just remember you are just paid to play a tune and do your song and dance. Don’t be too big headed and start throwing childish tantrums!

  37. chronicler said

    Dear Valued Readers,

    We are supposed to be a ultra secretive underground movement.

    We don’t have a press officer.

    While you girls are camping here and rechecking this site for further developments from time to time.

    Perhaps we can channel you a source of entertainment to make your stay in IS a memorable and enjoyable five star experience, true to the spirit of the brotherhood.

    This can be arranged but pls give us sometime.

    Meanwhile I hope all of you will remain calm. All of you are coming across loud and clear.

    I am very sure darkness will take on board many of your points.

    Chronicler.

  38. chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 88930/2002

    Chapter 1

    “My mistress was the third wife of the old man who I served in the moment of my youth – she was the fairest of them all – like all women in the old man’s household, her place was set in ancient stone like the chair she occupied during her mah jong sessions with the rest of his other wife’s.

    This seat which faced the East, meant she was never the first to eat and always the last to leave the table and she was expected always to pour tea for the older mistresses and remain silent unless spoken too – this was the way politics was conducted in the household of the old man – whenever the old man visited, the older mistresses would be jealous of my mistress because he only had eyes for her – so both the first and second mistress would gossip behind her back and this saddened my mistress – as she could never seem to do or say any thing right, even when she tried so very hard to please them.

    In the afternoons, my mistress took long walks in the nearby park in Hampstead Heath, where I was expected to serve as her silent driver and body guard – I was always expected to stay seven paces behind her – seven paces was good, just enough room to roll, whip out my pistol and fire a shot – the old man was a triad boss in China town and had many enemies and I took my job seriously.

    One afternoon during her walks, she stopped and turn towards me, in that one moment, I was struck by her tragic beauty, her eyes, mouth and almond shaped face all conspiring with the dying light transformed her into the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.

    In the days that followed, I found myself imagining her wind sweep hair as she looked at me mournfully, the image clung to me like seaweed never ever once leaving me and even when I dedicated myself to study, there was just enough of her to torment me – eventually she confided to me her deepest and most intimate feelings which I swore never to tell another soul – and for the first time, I realize the depths of her sorrow.

    As time passed I came to relish the moment when we were together, the rustling of decaying leafs, the lingering aroma of her perfume, all these things I longed for but above all, I wished only to be with her – she always recounted to me the events of the day and I would listen to her, never once saying a word, except perhaps to nod my head to signify that I understood.

    On my 23rd birthday after successfully finishing the second of my degree in Imperial College, my mistress gave me a pair of matching jade cufflinks – she swore me to secrecy and though I said, I was not in a position to accept such a valuable gift, she thrust it into my hands with a gentle smile.

    Of all people, I had forgotten that which I had always reminded myself, I was my worst enemy and I accepted her gift.

    In return, I bought her a set of pearl earrings – though it cost nearly a month’s wages, I knew it would make her happy and that was all that really mattered, I survived on sandwiches and instant noodles that whole month, but the thought of giving her something she would wear from time to time was enough to fill the void in me and I was the happiest man who ever lived.

    That Chinese New Year, the old man celebrated with eighty eight tables – it had been a prosperous year and it was also his moment to show off his new bride to the whole of China town.

    And though she sat on the main table and I was so very far away – when she saw me wearing her cuff links, she lowered her eyes and smiled shyly – though this lasted only for a moment, she was very much like a cloud being carried away with the wind as she gently touched the pearl earrings I had given her.

    At age 23, I Huan Guan was like a sampan sailing into treacherous and uncharted waters.

    This is my true confession, tell no one.”

    Darkness 2002

  39. Praetoria said

    Sir,

    That is most unfortunate.

    We can arrange a meet in any city in the world.

    This sort of arrangement is not uncommon to the brotherhood.

    If you are not comfortable, perhaps you can suggest yr preferred format.

    We will definitely try our best to accomodate you.

    But Second life is out. We cannot guarantee the security there / besides it is an open platform.

    We don’t have a business relationship with the game masters there as we do in Entropia, where the brotherhood has a concession to operate a fleet of star cruisers.

    Perhaps you prefer to defer the appointment to a date when you next return to singapore?

    We are open to ANY format which best suits you.

    Please feel free to state your preferred mode of com –

    Don’t worry, we will use our influence with the FC boys to try to facilitate a meeting of minds. Leave that part to us.

    However, please note a rep of the mercantile guild will have to feature in all negotiations.

    Our rep will be scholarboy.

    We hope to hear from you.

    Meanwhile, I remain

    Yours most efficiently

    Praetoria.

  40. scholarboy said

    Inspirid,

    You have asked a question, this I think is our answer. Pls pay close attention to what darkness mentions in the 3rd protocal.

    I think this is the gist of what he envisions for IS.

    Interview by Kompf / Brotherhood Press 98897.2006

    Q:We have in the years seen the brotherhood emerge in various forms, first in Hong Kong then in European and American sites. Now it appears the brotherhood is finally returning to Singapore.
    What is the cause for this change in strategy?
    ————————————————————————————————-
    A:Firstly, I wish to take this opportunity to dispel a few myths and hopefully set the record straight – Yes, it is true, the brotherhood featured very prominently in those countries you mentioned.

    Only because the online community in EU and US during those times had a very mature underground movement and this allowed us an opportunity to grow our number of subscribers.
    Conversely around the same period, the Singaporean online community was still rigidly divided into forums and blogs – we felt rightly or wrongly, there was no point in trying to get people to buy into the idea of an underground movement – this doesn’t mean, we don’t care about Singapore as a market. All the facts suggested the timing was lousy.

    Central to the decision nexus was the need to consider resource allocation and return on energy.

    If you were me what would you have done, build a market from zero or expand the same energy to increase our subscribership, where I don’t even need to educate people about what being underground means.

    In countries like the US and EU, the underground already existed and most people recognized them as a feature of the online community.

    Here some bloggers still considered us as “trolls” (lol), that is how far Singapore is, in terms of understanding what it means to be underground.

    Having said that, we believe the time is right for us.

    The valuable experiences gained from having successfully collaborated with other underground and mainstream netizens in the West – gives us a competitive advantage in terms of organizational skills and the capacity to rapidly deploy our resources to establish ourselves as the premiere underground movement who is able to deliver an alternative in terms of both content, perspective and style to Singaporeans.

    Q:The brotherhood frequently comes across a pro-PAP. This has lead many to speculate whether, this is because the ranks of the brotherhood, typically comprise the elite of society and this why they in a better position to share the same aspirations as the party political elite. How true or false is this assertion? Or are we to believe the pro PAP position of the brotherhood is simply driven by other factors?
    ———————————————————————————————————
    I personally do not consider this an accurate or fair assessment of our posture.

    Though I can well understand the reasons for this misconception.
    Let me be very clear – the brotherhood does not support the PAP or any political party!

    There are compelling reasons why we cannot afford to adopt a partisan stance.

    Firstly, it doesn’t make any commercial sense to do so. What you need to understand is: the brotherhood does not set either our political orientation (not that we ever had one in the first place) or for that matter, the final form of it’s content.

    The final arbiter is always the customer. We are more market driven than you can possibly imagine. I am surprised you don’t know this yourself Kompf! (LOL)

    The facts are simply this: Most of our readers do not wish to read the regular diet of anti establishment content which are typically generated from Singapore based blogs. I am not for one moment suggesting these blogs do not have a loyal following. I am sure they do. Only our readers do not fall into this category.

    Most of them are fatigued, tired and simply want an alternative besides the staid end of the spectrum read provided by either the mainstream media or blogosphere – given there’s such a demand, right in the middle of the empty spectrum – that is where we have strategically plonked ourselves – but always remember, the decision to do so was a function of the sentiments of our readership and never a design of the brotherhood – we didn’t even feature in the equation – they made the decision with their mouse clickers!

    To understand this further, I need to share with you some of our market research on this area.
    The brotherhood refers to the advent of blogs as the period known as “the 1st protocol.” During the initial phases when blogging first appeared in the US and EU much of the content resembled what blogs in Singapore are presently regularly churning out today. I am sure you can concur with this observation Kompf and most cyber historians will probably register this as a veritable fact of life today.

    The 1st protocal period typifies the apparent democracy of today’s digital content presently in Singapore where a strong anti establishment strain characterized most blogs.
    Naturally, we knew this situation couldn’t last for very long based on our previous experience with forums in Hong Kong. Sooner or later, all social organisms move eventually from anarchy towards hierarchy (the laws of specialization proves surprisingly robust even to an abstraction like the Net), and whatever order emerges from the primordial chaos of the net will eventually be subject to the law of equilibrium (demand and supply).

    A state of equilibrium: in this case is what we call the period of the 2nd protocol -when blogs eventually differentiate themselves from other blogs by either specializing in one area or defining their own unique perspective to serve their respective niche markets.

    Implicit within this operating equation is the assumption, no one blog can offer a “one size fit all” product. The math of market forces will simply shape the undulating contour of what blogs have to be, if they are to survive, thrive and succeed in blogoshpere – they will simply have to offer a range of content through out the entire reader demand spectrum to service an increasing discerning market of readers. If they are to remain relevant, otherwise they will simply perish. Life is cruel Kompf.

    A derivative of this rationalization also means blogs during the 2nd protocol period will cease completely to be like the proto blogs during the 1st protocol primordial period – for one they would have gone through a period of intellectual sharpening and shaping and this simply means many of them would have started to define how they want to come across their readership. On the other side, readers in the 2nd protocol period have also started the process of defining what they typically want to read. Selective readership replaces mass consumption – readers will begins to sieve, filter and select what they want to read – it age of Fordism comes to a rapid end, where the mantra, “you can have any Ford providing it is black” comes to a rapid end. Again this is largely driven by market forces.

    This has yet to happen in Singapore, but we the brotherhood feel certain based on our own market survey – the time is ripe for us to consider leading the migration to the 2nd protocol – we want equity in this period of transition, because this is where we are best able to nurture a loyal band of readers. This is the time when we simply have to be here!

    Please understand: I am not in any way suggesting the days of anti establishment blogs are dead. The paradox of literature is: it’s self selecting. Anyone who can read is free to participate in this ongoing democratic process of shaping the eventual form of blogosphere.

    And as readers continue to suck up their respective preferred content, a certain percentage of them will inevitably, like marijuana smokers, get hooked on harder stuff – there by guaranteeing the survival of anti government blogs. Only one needs to recognize blogs do not exist mutually exclusively from their readers or vice versa. They are inter- dependent in more ways than I can possibly elaborate. But that is another topic that is best left to another forum.
    The brotherhood recognizes this and much of the content we offer today is based exactly on his technosocialogical development in blogosphere.

    Another factor that must emphasized is: the average age of our readers is around 32 yrs – most of them are professionals and contrary to popular misconception all our readers are not women. The split is roughly 50/50. Though I do admit, when it comes to the coffee, 4-bit and product led stories, the gender swing may be significantly higher.

    In short our readers simply don’t want to read government bashing comments –all our market feedback tells us, we have to move up to the level of the sophistication of the advent of the 2nd protocol period – we believe Singapore blogosphere is currently going through this exciting stage of transition and this is one reason why we have returned.

    For blogs to survive and thrive in the landscape of the 2nd protocol period, it’s not enough to “play second fiddle” or “follow the leader.” This is where we believe, we are years ahead of the competition – the brotherhood if you examine our content very carefully, typically sets it’s own agenda for discussion. We are not saying we do not or never comment on what the MSM presents, but our preferred content focus has always been first to develop our own content platform. This naturally means the level of creativity and innovation required is higher, but again as I have often said. We do not set the benchmark, it is our readers who demand it.

    The last thing they want to read is an echo of what they just read in the morning papers. There is a word for this, it’s called “boring.” Neither will the old anti establishment approach cut it either, most of our readers knows the government of the day is not perfect, but they don’t nearly think it is the big bad wolf which is so frequently depicted to be, and. All of them simply want content, they can’t get in the MSM.

    This I suspect is why there is a general misconception we are pro PAP per se. However, I would challenge you at this point to show me one example of how we have blatantly supported the government. If you can somehow manage to do this, I will of course retract everything I have said here –but as I have already taken the trouble and time to explain in the greatest possible detail – we can never adopt this policy, because as I have mentioned –the final arbiters who determine what we typically churn out is people like you – our readers.

    3- Throughout the history of the brotherhood. It has frequently used the two words, “growing businesses” -in the context of the brotherhood’s presence in the singaporean blogging scene – how do you aspire to grow? And what challenges do you see ahead?
    —————————————————————————————–
    How do we aspire to grow? Well let me be very clear, we cannot do it by ourselves.

    History has shown us it makes infinitely more sense from a return from investment and energy curve perspective to seek strategic alliances and leverage on the various options out there – I am of course talking about the prospects of collaborating with other bloggers.

    However having said that let me be crystal clear about our ultimate goal – it is to generate wealth – and this means whatever the nature of the collaboration, this must be firmly fixed as the linchpin and everything else radiates like spokes on a wheel out of it.

    Our experience with alliances has been mixed as you well know and the main cause of the problem is because either we or our partners fail to dove tail their respective values and goals to focus on one clear and achievable goal.

    I have not had the opportunity to discuss with Insprid in detail. Perhaps this platform can serve to highlight the salient points that must be seriously considered in such an enterprise.

    Firstly, there needs to a recognition, no one single blogger can ever provide a supermarket content providing they remain out of the metaphor the wheel. If people want to collaborate with the brotherhood they simply need to buy into the idea, neither they or the brotherhood forms the final content of what they propose to present to the consumer – we are simply one big happy family.

    What they can sensibly expect to be is simply individual spokes which collectively add up to make up a product.

    This naturally means, the person who constructs the wheel needs to make sure the fit is right. If you construct a wheel without a structured strategy, it will simply not turn!

    What is required here is a 360 degree perspective that very much resembles the form and shape of the MSM – the key word here is diversity – and this leads me to what I call the 3rd protocol. When blogs themselves do the very things the MSM are currently doing! The opportunity is heightened in a market like singapore bc the media is controlled. In the West there is no need to move up to the 3rd protocal, the demand simply isn’t there, but that cannot be said for a market like Singapore. We believe this is not only a market niche but an incredible business opportunity which probably only presents it’self once in a generation.

    This is of course is a paradigm shift and I am realistic enough to remain cautiously hopeful.

    All I can say at this point is the brotherhood continues to welcome any offer to collaborate and if it does so the goal is to migrate towards the 3rd protocol.

    Where we will offer everything the MSM currently offers and more.

    I cannot say for certain where the end of the road will be – but I do not expect it to differ from the logical outcome of all our previous collaborative programs, where eventually, we sell the site for a few million and split the money. That in a nutshell is where I see it all going.
    ————————————————————————————————
    – One controversial issue that has always dogged the brotherhood is tax evasion. What is the position of the brotherhood on this matter?

    No comment.

    Yours Respectfully
    Darkness

    PS: If this is reproduced in any other site without our permission. You know what our response will be!

  41. scholarboy said

    pls take yr time inspirid to chew on this –

    darkness has written extensively on the phenomenon he calls “the protocol” –

    there is a immense repository in the brotherhood press concerning this topic and if you wish further clarification on any specific area pls do not hesitate to call upon me –

    I shall work closely with chronicler’s office to try to get you up to speed on his vision.

  42. scholarboy said

    We aspire to be one big happy family. Remember this always. The brotherhood is never about “us” it is all about the “we.”

  43. inspir3d said

    Scholarboy,

    yes i have come across Darkness’ vision on the 3rd protocol.
    while i agree with the vision in principle, there is much room for its development.

    We will especially have to work out how the Brotherhood can be reconciled with the IS.

    Praetoria,

    I think i may still be able to arrange a meeting in Entropia this Sunday.
    If you are still open to a meeting i will send a representative in my place.
    He is my most trusted counsel on this issue.
    If this is acceptable, please let me know.

    I will let u know my representative’s identity once i receive your confirmation.

    Also, it would help if you could instruct on how to reach Bay 17.

    insp.

  44. Praetoria said

    Sir,

    Bay 17 only exist for the brotherhood, like I said. We have a relationship with the ppl in entropia and this naturally entails a special privileges.

    I am sorry but the RS Kembangan has changed it’s course due to your earlier cancellation and is journeying towards the Rilluewen system.

    We are no longer able to accomodate you in entropia.

    We will however accomodote you in other ways which you wish.

    Pls note I am the controller here. My role is to serve you, you can share with me what you wish – it is my role to make it happen.

    Meanwhile I remain,

    Your most efficiently

    Praetoria.

  45. Praetoria said

    Sir,

    Would u prefer a simple e-mail? – we can act as diplomats to influence the FC boys to use this format – they may not be happy, but the level headed ones such as Harphoon, Tomahawk, Trajan and atomic chimp will have no problem with this mode of com.

    Pls give us a e-mail acc we will contact you off line.

    Meanwhile pls take the time to consider brother darkness vision – the father of the game has written over 300 articles on this subject – some of which if you don’t mind me saying so is very insightful and interesting.

    Yours very respectfully

    Praetoria.

  46. killerpiranah said

    Chronicler,

    Can you pls provide us with a time table of the posting for the “the confessions of a singaporean gangster” (so we dont need to come here every hour to check. It is very irritating ya?) and a preview summary (so that we know what the story is all abt.). I also need to know how many parts there are, or is it a never ending story like “the adventures of darkness & Agnes.” Where r the coffee stories?

    I am glad to see things are gradually improving and you ppl are not brushing us aside like rubbish again.

    I just hope, things will not back slide again.

  47. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 889312002

    Chapter 2 “The Pearl Earrings”

    Spending an entire month’s wage on a pair of pearl earrings was bad enough – what could be worse than this, except perhaps to spend another month’s wage, on an identical pair of pearl earrings.

    That morning as I sat on the edge of my bed cupping my head, I wondered what could possibly be worse than even this.

    Except perhaps having no one to give this second pair of earrings too! I should have known better, but as I often said, I had forgotten that I was my greatest enemy. I really should have known better.

    Chinatown in London was a small village where everyone knew everyone, even those who did not know themselves were known by the others. The Jeweler who I purchased the first earrings from was a Shanghainese by the name of Mr. Kam who had a sparkling bald head like the many jade rings he often sold.

    He would often be seen gossiping in the many teahouses in China town. Just as tailors would often seek out the suits they once worked on or cobblers at the shoes they once labored over and derive a sense of pride from their workmanship. So it was very much the nature of Mr Kam the jeweler to always seek out the stones he sold to the tai tai’s in China town, and whenever he saw them, it was like a reunion between old friends and his eyes would beam in satisfaction and he would proudly say,

    “Aiyah, I know who gave you this, it came from my shop”.

    That evening during the Chinese New Year celebration, the earrings I have given my mistress, had caught the eye of this talkative jeweler who often spoke his mind. Though he could never really be sure, this man would often recount to others in the tea houses how those earrings he saw that night resembled the same design and size he had sold me a few weeks ago.

    When this reached the ears of some of the elders wifes, some of them began asking me who this lucky girl was. Others were even bolder, asking me whether they could take a peek at these earrings. Behind their smiling faces, I knew that as soon as their husbands would come to hear of this rumor they would not be smiling – it was a serious matter. I was swimming in treacherous waters and had I hesitated even for a moment to even clear my throat, it would have been my undoing, so. I pretended to be shy about the matter and even blushed, while secretly I worked furiously to cover my tracks.

    Fortunately that week, some of the work, I did for the old man took me far up North to Manchester and on one of those trips, I stopped over in a Jeweler shop owned by a Hakka and commissioned an identical set of pearl earrings. This time, I had chosen well, this man had a mouth as tight as an oyster and though it was never ever proven, rumor had it, he was once convicted for forgery, and. If anyone knew the importance of discretion, it would have been this man who dealt with counterfeits.

    He even furnished me with a back dated receipt he crumpled a few times to cover the earrings I had given my mistress, and. Though he spoke very little, when it was time to leave, this man said, it would be better if I left by the back door.

    That evening on my return to London, I was summoned by some of the elders in the Triad to dinner who expressed an interest to see my gift and to enquire for who this gift was supposed to be for.

    Though I was not a superstitious man that evening I visited the only temple in China town above a Pakistani provision shop and knelt before the wooden figurine of Kwang Kung. I prayed a soldiers prayer,

    “protect me from evil and should I have to fight my way out, give me the strength of ten men”.

    With these word, I tapped my breast pocket and the reassuring sound of the pearls rattling seemed almost to agree with my prayers – then I walking towards my appointment with death.

    I wondered what manner of creature I would prefer to be reincarnated as – would it be a monkey, goat, snake, buffalo, dog, turtle, cat, elephant, horse, tiger, leopard, dolphin, gold fish, parrot, lizard, eagle, crow, sparrow etc – I was 23 years of age and never ever before was I so aware, I was my greatest enemy.

    My name is Huan Guan and this is a true story, tell no one please.

    Darkness 2002

  48. Chronicler said

    Synopsis:

    The confessions of a Singaporean gangster better known as the 4 bit stories was written by darkness when he suddenly found himself unemployed in 2002.

    At it’s height the series enjoyed a circulation of over 30,000 subscribers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, France and Thailand.

    This 40 part mini series revolves around the trials and tribulations of a 23 year old, Yu Huan Guan, who once worked as a waiter in China town, London to finance his studies in Imperial College London.

    Soon his employers took an interest in him. Unlike other boys who often loitered around aimlessly and only gossiped about prostitutes. The boy was silent and came across as diligent and dependable.

    The boy was gifted in mathematics and soon this caught the attention of the elders of China town who saw great potential in grooming him and so he was taken in to the house hold of “the old man” – the triad boss.

    Where he worked as a driver and body guard to the third wife whenever his services we needed. Recognizing his flair for mathematics Huan Guan was also given the job of the money man, where he would often be known as

    “the man with the briefcase who carried the money for the four houses.”

    In this treacherous world of gangsters, gamblers, pimps and cut throats our Singaporean boy suddenly finds himself plunging into a dark world of intrigue and mystery – his nemesis is a thirty something femme fatale who looks abit like Maggie Cheung.

    The story charts how he reconciles his desires with the prevailing danger that constantly encircles his fragile world threatening to destroy it in a moment – will he be able to run away with the third wife? – will our Hero find happiness? Or will a darker fate await them – hang on to your seats ladies and find out in the next installment of The confessions of a Singaporean gangster brought to you only by the brotherhood press.

    The brotherhood will post this series every day of the week between 5 – 7.

    On weekends I need to visit my mom and pop to massage their feet, so I cannot post.

    Chronicler

  49. Chronicler said

    You all know bambie boy fights, but he always returns.

  50. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 889312003

    Chapter 3 “The Dinner”

    There is a Chinese saying – when you walk into a trap, smile; if manage to pull this off, your enemies will be confused and abandon the prospects of trapping you.

    These thoughts occupied me throughout dinner. More so than ever before; Mr Kam the Jeweler who had absolutely no reason to be there, occupied the seat directly opposite me.

    Judging by the way his bald shiny head reflected every revolution of the ceiling fan, he was sweating nervously. So disturb as to even shake the tea pot clumsily spilling it twice when pouring tea for the old man; who like the rest of the elders remained impassive, watching and searching for the slightest signs of weakness.

    Throughout dinner, I remained quiet and hardly paid the slightest attention to Mr Kam. Always mindful I was my greatest enemy. If I allowed even a slight furrow or raised an eye brow, it would have been grounds for suspicion, so I remained as I had always been, smiling, nodding and listening attentively.

    Mid way into the dinner, when the elders still had not brought up the issue of the earrings, I turned to one of the elders of the four houses sitting next to the old man.

    Whispering to him in a hushed tone, I said, it was time for me to consider marriage, since I would be graduating next year and I would like to have his blessings to call on his only daughter Jeannie Lam – who I knew only casually – as a sign of my sincerity, I would like her to have this small gift as a token of my affection.

    Even before finishing these words, some of the elders began to look at each other their stern expressions melting into a look of quiet understanding. Others congratulated Mr Lam turning to me,

    “Good decision, a man should start a household when he is still young like a farmer who wakes up early to till the good earth. This is a wise decision.”

    Looking at each other with a satisfied mix of realization and understanding, one by one they stood up and raised their cups to Mr Lam who even placed his arms around me signifying his approval,

    “Next time you want to buy jewelry, you should seek some advice from my wife and not go sneaking around.”

    Then turning towards Mr Kam, he continued,

    “for one she would have told you not to go to that cut throat.”

    This was followed by a roar of laughter and another round of toasting.

    You must understand, I was no ordinary man in the eyes of these men , I was first and foremost a man of education in a room full of men who didn’t even know how to write their names in English, such a man. Even one was imperfect as I was with a half university education, was like a one eyed man in the land of the blind – and such a man was a coveted catch.

    When the pearl earrings were passed from one elder to another, many didn’t pay the slightest attention to it since they were so caught up in the emotion of the moment.

    All except Mr Kam who appeared to hesitate momentarily only to suddenly burst into nervous laughter- latter he would often be heard saying in the teahouses of Chinatown.

    Those earrings were one of the most beautiful pieces he had ever sold in his tiny shop.

    When the waiters popped their heads into the room and asked whether everything was alright, as there was such a commotion. News spread downstairs where most of the wife’s of the elders dined and soon they too joined in the celebration, offering congratulations, some of these tai’s- tai’s turning to each looking with mocking approval. One of them even mentioning,

    “He is the quiet type like a hunter. You better tell your daughter to be careful of him on their first night.” Provoking another round of rapturous laughter and toasting.

    Amid the laughter, smiles and chatter, the first opening tunes of Yue Liang Dia Bioao Wo De Xin began to filter through. That evening as the wife’s of the elders mingled and danced celebrating through the night – only the 3rd wife was absent – as a waiter recounted she wasn’t feeling well and retired early after hearing the good news.

    Turning to my inner self that night – I wondered?

    “I had survived to live another day, but at what price would I have to pay for my ransom this time?

    Like a fox who breathes an air of relief after successfully eluding the dogs – it rapidly dissipates with the growing awareness tomorrow may bring more of today – I wondered whether a worst fate awaited me in my new found freedom – you see, it is easy for you to judge me, but you were simply not there – in truth, I never wanted to get married, but that night I was a desperate man and desperate people do desperate things – struggling against huge waves – amid the sea of death, I bopped up and down searching for a means to cling to life – and when a boat presented herself – I raised my arms and snatched my life back from the jaws of death – only I cared less for even where this boat would port – a desperate man doesn’t consider these things – even if the name of the boat is Jeannie Lam.”

    Darkness 2002

  51. Chronicler said

    You should all forgive bambie boy. He is so weak and vulnerable. Pls dont be too hard on him.

    He loves you all.

  52. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 889312004

    Chapter 4 “The Evening on the steps.”

    Jeannie Lam was 21 and though she was the only child of the Lam’s, she seemed no closer to her parents than any of the 85 workers who worked in the Mr Lam’s real estate empire.

    Unlike her parents who came from the slums of Hong Kong and arrived in London during the 1950’s penniless with nothing except their straw hats and worked day and night to finally succeed in building a successful business.

    Jeannie had never known this harsh side of life, instead her days as a young girl were spent running carefree in well manicured lawns in the prestigious all girls school in Malvern far away from the stench and grime of China town. Where for over 500 years English girls were trained to be prim and proper ladies – who could always be counted on to sip and not drink their tea or for that matter nibble and not chew on their crumpets.

    Her parents seemed determined to mould her into the same image of the people who they had once served, respected and feared; their colonial master’s – the British upper class. However, despite their best efforts all they really managed to produce was a banana – Yes Jeannie was a 5 foot 7 inch tall banana – she was yellow skinned outside, but she was all white inside – right down to her clipped upper class English accent, Laura Ashley clothes complete with a matching Burberry handbag and an amorg* boyfriend. (* Caucasian)

    I can’t say I blamed her for her choice of men, after all, even in China town she very much like a fish out of water and no self respecting Chinese man would dare to approach such an independent woman who hardly behaved like a Chinese woman – so it must have come as a great relief to the Lam’s when I propositioned them for the hand of their only child.

    Naturally, everyone in Chinatown and even the Lam’s imagined that I wanted her hand because of money, but as the saying goes, “you scratch my back and I scratch yours” and fortunately Jeannie was a gigantic itch that needed much scratching and the Lam’s like the rest of the 1.8 billion Chinese belonged to– the most practical race in human history.

    I moved like lightning and by the end of the week – Jeannie had all but forgotten the name of her English boy friend – and she would often be seen by my side dreamy eyed with her head often resting on my shoulder – I wish I could say more but really it was simply that uneventful, had there been a duel between me and this English boy, it would have made a better story, but there wasn’t and I cannot pretend to tell you otherwise.

    One day, I simply appeared after her afternoon lectures in King’s college in my expensive Italian suit and slicked back hair. When her eyes caught mine in the crowd, she looked for a moment like someone who felt something stir inside her.

    She wasn’t sure what it was, but the impression it had on her was profound. Jeannie Yu was like a moth being drawn to the naked flame of a candle. Every moment would draw her deeper and deeper into the depths of my fiery eyes – heightening her awareness, she was not simply any woman, but the only woman a man such as myself was content to look upon for the rest of all eternity.

    In a while, her eyes came to rest on mine and she became quite still, like a lotus on a calm pond. The slight quivering of her lips as they began to part like the moist petals of a lotus after the rains – her eyes watery reflecting fascination and fear like a ripple in moonlit waters gave the impression of woman who was falling uncontrollably in love.

    Yet I continued starring oblivious of even time, space or even the English boy at her side who must have said something like “are you coming?” Even then she hardly heard or even cared to look his way.

    In a while, this English boy disappeared with the rest of the crowd, leaving only both of us standing by the steps and four body guards standing some distance away. Yet even then, I did not speak and just at the moment when she came to her senses and would be expected to turn away or say something like, “why do you look at me in this way, do you not know it is rude”. Her hands fidgeted with her necklace nervously and just when her eyes tore away and she felt the first wave of embarrassment brushing her flushed red cheeks for having allowed herself to behave in this matter before a stranger.

    I moved in with the spirit of a man who was about to pluck a fruit just when it had reached it’s sweetest moment – Jeannie Yu never had a chance, it was love at first sight.

    That evening in Chinatown, the body guards recounted this story to the elders one by one whispering to their masters – though they had been sent by the elders to make sure I did not violate the honor of this young girl and to keep to all the covenants of courtship. They served as the eyes and ears of the elders. Throughout the evening these old men would be seen smiling and laughing amongst themselves after hearing about the incident on the steps – one of them would latter turn to the old man and whispered mischievously,

    “We are living in interesting times, are we not my friend?”

    Darkness 2002

  53. littlefish said

    FC boys, due to the good work of chronicler, you will be happy to hear we will be calling off our planned meeting this weekend night.

    Errh I believe this is the edited version, can we have the version with the spelling mistakes along with his comments on the bottom. Many thanks and I must say it is indeed surprising to see a change for the better. Where is darkness?

    Cheerio.

  54. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 889312005

    Chapter 5 “The Mansion.”

    The following morning I arrived earlier than usual at the old man’s mansion, some documents needed signing urgently. Hardly had removed my coat, when the 1st wife caught me firmly by the arm and ushered me to join them and some of her relatives for breakfast.

    One of the older wife’s remarked she had heard about the incident on the steps with Jeannie Lam. They seemed to be talking among themselves and soon they moved on to another juicier gossip, at times oblivious of even my presence. All so engrossed in adding to each others gossip, waving their hands with expressions no different from those characters in the Chinese opera.

    All except the third wife, who appeared quite distant and silent that morning.

    At times when she looked at me either to offer a bun or another dumpling, I caught flashes of her briskness, but I it was not anger as much as regret.

    I cannot explain to you how two people can ever have a conversation without ever having to say even a single word – I would not fault you if you think my account was not entirely truthful, but I can truly say this was what transpired that morning.

    I imagine only people who are deaf and old would know what I mean, so I would never fault you if you choose not to believe me.

    After all, in their silent world where every expression and gesture speaks the length of a sentence and more – words are as useful as a comb to a bald man and it was in this silent language – we spoke in that morning.

    When her eyes met mine, as my cup accidentally “clicked” her plate – she expressed “you are cruel” – when she offered me another bun, the heaviness of her eyelids expressed “heartless man” – and on another occasion when she poured tea for one of the ladies and gave me a sidelong glance, she expressed, “you sadden me”

    In a while I found myself under a spell, till the sound of a tea cup set down with a “tick” startled me out of it.

    When I looked up the 3rd wife has watching – for how long I was not quite sure – I had lost all track of time.

    By this time the older wife’s and their relatives had moved on to another gossip and they were very much in their own world as we were in ours – there she sat with her eyes fixed on me, as lost in thoughts as I was with mine – we were like two wet spots in the midst of burning charcoal.

    At that very moment, she expressed. “I loved you”.

    After breakfast – the 3rd wife saw me out, handing me my coat, she looked up and said,

    “Huan Guan, it’s going to rain today.”

    That morning on my way to lectures, her predictions came true, it rained cats and dogs, thrusting my hands into the coat – something nicked me drawing blood – it was the pearl earrings, I had given her.

    Darkness 2002

  55. Chronicler said

    If you were a writer, how would u feel if all yr readers took up arms against u?

    Maybe like this:

    Koreans got it right down to a science.

    No one knows where he is – the FC boys are with him in China they will be away for 3 weeks.

  56. Chronicler said

    Today I have to post earlier, have a conference call and will last till late evening – chronicler.

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 889312006-Redux

    Chapter 6 “The Stone Bridge”

    Summer brought a hot oppressing heat wave from the continent. Even the oldest amongst the elders in Chinatown, who had seen the coming and passing of more seasons than they cared to remember, remarked;

    “Aiyah, it’s so hot these days, it reminds me of the old country in summer”.

    That afternoon the 1st wife after sweating like a pig all week, suggested a picnic beside the only lake in Hyde Park gardens along with the other wife’s and a few of her relatives. Her sinseh* had remarked, the sight of cool waters would hopefully:
    (*Chinese physician)

    “Restore her health and balance her ying*” (*life force)

    By mid afternoon when the sun hung high, all the old man’s wife’s either gathered beneath the shade of a sprawling oak or simply dozed off like piglets on one of the many rattan chairs lining the shaded side of the lake.

    All except, the third wife who always seemed content to wander off by herself picking wild flowers along the water’s edge.

    From the distance, I could just make out her figure, in her white cotton dress with bright red carnation prints. From time to time, when she bent down to either pick a daisy or one of those dainty wildflowers, a warm breeze would part her helm to reveal a slight peek of her inner tights. At other times, when she bent over, the fullness of her breast would seem to almost froth and spill over her plunging neckline – you may say, I shouldn’t really derive so much pleasure from all this, but what can I say except I was terribly bored that afternoon. Besides, I was a man and she was a woman.

    Like a prisoner who peers out of his window and imagines what lies beyond the distance of faraway hills – I had grown accustomed to such little pleasures life offered, one of them was watching the third wife from the relative safety of the distance.

    By this time she was somewhere along the stone Victorian bridge. It would be no exaggeration to say something must have caught her attention in the dark swirling waters of the lake in the curious way she came to a sudden halt and leaned over the balustrade.

    Standing so very still with only the wind billowing the loose strands of her hair, her calmness which was all so evident a while ago appeared almost to dissolve with every passing moment.

    She seemed transfixed even drawn by some compelling inexplicable force in the waters .Then suddenly without warning she seemed almost to tense her body raising herself higher as if preparing to throw herself over the railings.

    This sight so unnerved me –I stood up and ran towards the direction of the bridge. For some reason which I do not even know today, I cannot explain why I simply didn’t shout and instead ran towards her in the clumsy way that I did, tripping and falling even once when I jumped over a freshly painted green wooden picket fence, though I hardly even felt the fall or realized my summer suit had been stained bright green.

    Startled by the sound of my frantic foot steps on the irregular stones of the bridge – she held herself erect and looked at me with her large eyes – When I saw her betraying hardly a tremor of nervousness and radiating the full force of her womanly beauty. I realized the completeness of my mistake. All at once I felt unsettled and foolish as she began to look at me, as if she knew why I had acted in the way I did.

    “why do you run as if you think – I were about to jump, silly boy” her voice trailing off in mocking jest as she gestured for my arm to steady her on the irregular stone steps.

    She had adopted a suitably pleasant voice confirming my mistake further but there was hardly a trace of condescension in her tone. Yet when she slipped slightly and I steadied her on the side where I had managed to stain my coat – only to soil her dress with a long green unsightly stain.

    “It’s ruined”

    “Silly, it will wash off”

    At that moment, a single wisp of hair slipped over her clear white cheek, and out of a finely drawn corner of her eye a smile flashed a spark of black fire as she drew me to the railings.

    “I want you to see something boy”

    Leaning over the stone bridge, she threw the bunch of wildflowers into the dark waters. As they began spreading out from one point like a dazzling burst of fireworks only to disappear into the oblivion of the dark waters – I couldn’t help feeling, I was looking at my own hopes burning up like some flickering candle bursting alight with a sudden flash only to be extinguished forever – I felt sad.

    “Isn’t it beautiful boy?”

    “yes, it’s only….”

    “Only?”

    “I just wish it could last forever”

    As I turned to her, I saw in those dark eyes a seductive glint that seemed to secretly agree with me, it would be three long days before I saw her again in the garden party.

    Darkness 2002

    (Authors Comment based on readers questions: Many of you have asked me, why I can’t just get a normal job like a waiter, mechanic , security guard or technician to fund my studies in the UK –

    I simply want you all to know this, no one in his right mind aspires to be a gangster – that only happens in the movies, in real life, fate has a way of conspiring against man.

    We lead our life’s only to be ruled by accidents – like the Cantonese say, “Mah seh, lok teh hangh” – horse dies, man must walk – someday, I will share with you how a simple Singaporean boy like myself suddenly found himself walking down this windy path, it is not as if it was planned, one thing leads to another and the next thing you know, your lose a bit of yourself with every step you take, till even your life simply doesn’t belong to even you and you wonder whether you really had anything resembling a choice – it could just have easily happened to you – I will share this confession with you one day – one day.)

  57. inspir3d said

    chronicler,

    do u have content available on darkness’ conception of the 2nd and 3rd protocols? if so i would appreciate if u could email it to me.

    thx,
    insp.

  58. Chronicler said

    Inspirid,

    I want to assure you the mercantile guild is still on this case – that is why they have sent their best diplomats to parlay with the FC boyz (Praetoria and scholarman) during their retreat in China (they r financing it out of their own cosca, this is how important they consider it to be) – I think they are climbing, biking and doing their monkey bonding thing – but trust me, serious discussions are also happening. This I can assure you 100%.

    One thing u have to understand abt darkness, he knows JDAM, KOHO and bird of prey may not be the smartest ppl on this planet – but he has taken on the role as a big brother to these no brainers, his way is always to influence them softly and gently – to be honest with you, I dont know why he bothers with those idiots.

    But darkness is a strange fellow, but he is very charimatic, I am sure he will succeed, he feels responsible for those no brainers and he doesnt want them to feel marginalized by the rest of the brotherhood.

    But rest assured the mercantile guild r the best. Trust me. I have alot of confidence in scholarman.

    Let them return and I will be happiest to facilitate your request then.

    Meanwhile, I remain yours trully – Chronicler.

  59. Chronicler said

    I dug this up for all of you. This was the redux version. This was how it was supposed to end.

  60. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 889312007-Redux

    Chapter 7

    “The Secret Reflections of The Third Wife”

    Dear Diary,

    “No one knows what I really think in this gilded cage, not my husband, his wife’s or even the servants – I have become very clever these days at saying one thing and doing quite another – well enough of that….

    In those three short days of his absence, the feeling that developed was entirely new.

    I felt the weight of the boy’s absence in my heart and reveled in it.

    His absence was a plump fresh weight. That was joy! Everywhere in the house I reveled in his absence – in the yard, in the dinning room and even during those stupid mah jong games that seem to stretch on forever – my mother was right I must learn to look upon the world stretched out in one long endless line. How else can a woman in my circumstances remain sane otherwise? – and continue to use my beauty as a weapon to secure a future for myself – even if it means marrying a man nearly three times my age!

    I have no life, except the life I choose to hide from the world – in this world where I am nothing more than a slave, the boy is my only moment of truth – yet it must have hurt him to think I rejected his gift – the boy should be more careful next time, it wouldn’t do to have the other wife’s gossip over those cheap earrings – never mind, I shall make up to him when I next see him.

    I really don’t think much about that impossible girl, what’s her name – Jeannie Lam – who he’s planning to marry.

    Worst of all she doesn’t even know her place – and it wouldn’t be long before the whole thing crumbles and he would simply lose interest in her – it is this way with the whites, they never ever take anything seriously enough not even the whites who seem almost to look perfectly Chinese – and what of her plainness – if ever I saw a girl as plain and tasteless as boiled water – it would be this girl, with her flat chest and stupid servant smile that deserves nothing but a good tight slap.

    But enough of this aimless talk dear diary – just the other day in the park, I felt so very sad even though I was wearing my favorite summer dress, you know the one’s with the red carnations – when I feel like that I really don’t want to be with the other wife’s – it was then I saw him looking at me – he is always looking at me, even the first time he looked at me – I said to myself, what an insolent man surely he can’t be expected to look at me in such a disrespectful way – after all I am the third wife!– yet later on, I found myself longing to be seen by his eyes (but I am really changing subject aren’t I, let me get back to that hot afternoon in the park)

    Well there I was feeling all sad and melancholy about my life – in truth, I have never considered my life worth living – till the boy came to my life, but after hearing about his plans to marry this girl – I said to myself, it is all over – in a while, he too will go away leaving me all alone again with an old man who never seems to die – I bet he will outlive all of us!

    So that day, with these morbid thoughts in my head – somewhere along the bridge I just wondered how beautiful it would be to end it all here right now – Yes, to end it all in one moment, right now! – no one would ever know or even care, I would simply throw myself over the edge – the way a man throws a gun over a bridge – and with a slight ripple those waters would swallow me up -those waters seemed so mysterious like velvet that afternoon and as these thoughts swirled and mixed with my sadness – I prepared myself – just as I was about to jump, I heard the sound of running on cobbled stones.

    Let it be him, I said to myself. Let it be him, if it is him. I will live! – heaven give me a sign I said – when I saw the expression on his face, I felt almost pierced like an arrow by something that burnt with a vibrant brilliance deep inside him– at that moment I knew I had to live, if not for myself, for him at least.

    They say when a man saves another, he is responsible for her for the rest of his life. So at that moment all my resolve disappeared.

    When I slipped, he reached for my waist – his hands seemed to search for me, touching me just the way I imagined it – in the way the morning dew falls ever so gently as a perfect droplet on the leaf – I felt his warmth, his cheeks spreading out like a bush fire and I knew I will always love him – it is a pity my favorite dress is ruined, this awful green paint will never come off – the boy will be heartbroken and knowing him, he would probably buy me some old matron looking gown that I’ve never ever want to wear except to please him, like those ridiculous earrings! – no, it simply wouldn’t do, I have to buy another dress to replace the one he ruined, so he would never ever feel bad – but I will not throw this away – you see, when I run my fingers across this dark streak of green – I feel the freshness of the moment coming back again and it makes him happy – tomorrow will be the garden party – he will be there with his servant whore – I want him to see. He simply must.”

    That same evening while shopping in Oxford Circus – the third wife bought a creamed colored summers dress with red carnations and when she passed Austin Reed – she stopped for a while admiring a dummy sporting a jacket – when the salesgirl told her this was the latest fashion – she nodded her head – later on when the cashier winked at her and said rather mischievously,

    “Your man would like this very much Madam, it’s the latest fashion, they just came in from France today?”

    The third wife smiled shyly and replied,

    “Yes, it’s for someone very specially.”

    Darkness 2002

  61. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 889312008-Redux

    Chapter 8

    “The Garden Party”

    On the 30th day of the lunar calendar – the old man threw a garden party in his mansion to bring the auspicious new year to a close.

    This was the least he could do to appease the rest of his other wife’s. Who seemed throughout the week quite restless by his open display of affection for his youngest wife during the Chinese new year celebrations in china town earlier in the month.

    Since Jeannie Lam was officially my fiancée, the old man naturally expressed an interest to see her that evening, he had remarked earlier in the week,

    “Beautiful things are best seen in the fullness of the moonlight.”

    Only to smile revealing a row of rotting teeth.

    That evening Jeannie wore a vermillion silk cheong sam*, close to her hipline a pair of flamingo’s curled across her chest heightening her figure. Braided discreetly to her bun hair, was a burst of magnolias. She looked quite fetching as the slender flamingo’s seem to nod at each other, every time she either bowed or shuffled. (*formal Chinese dress)

    Most of the older ladies looked at her approvingly and though they were preoccupied with the fit of cheong sam – some of these older ladies would later turn to me and wink mischievously, asking me whether a date for our marriage had been set, all except the third wife who seemed as usual quite distant sitting demurely all to herself sipping her tea some distance away on the main table.

    So it came as a pleasant surprise to me mid way through the party, when the third wife suddenly appeared to pay her respects to Jeannie and her parents and though a long silence ensued between these two ladies, she turned towards me with her finely shaped nose and huge bright eyes and said.

    “Now that I have seen her you are indeed a fortunate man.”

    Her words coming out in a rushed whisper, only to move on to another table. Leaving the Lam’s and their relatives smiling suggesting they were perhaps surprised how she had been unusually generous with her praises for their daughter that evening.

    With her back to me walking away, each step she took was an inadequate disguise for the roundness of her hips, surprising on such a slim figure, I found myself unable to tear away from her departing figure and as I looked and continued looking till she disappeared into the crowd.

    I suddenly realized, Jeannie was watching me, her eyes schoolgirl cheery as always, reflecting the many colored bulbs criss crossing the garden – but in their depths, for one moment just fleetingly I swore I saw a desperate thirst in those eyes, filling me momentarily with a slight shudder – but it must have been the play of lights – Jeannie Lam could never fathom the affairs of man who was as complicated as me. Or could she?

    Darkness 2002

  62. derbyshire said

    I love these stories

  63. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 889312009-Redux

    Chapter 9

    “Paper Swans”

    At age 23, I saw the world without the slightest trace of illusion. You could say such a man is cursed – in this world, we can all do with a bit of lies now and then to make an unbearable life more bearable.

    A man who doesn’t choose to lie to himself and sees the world as it is and not how world expects to be seen – is like one of those sad characters in a Hong Kong movie who always seems to see and talk to ghost. While the rest is always left wondering, why is this man always talking to himself? Does he see something we all don’t see or hear?

    Yes – in the known world, I occupied in the moment of my youth, there were all sorts of ghost in China town – loan sharks, con artist, two bit gangsters, prostitutes, pimps were all ghostly figures who seemed to float around quite openly in the streets even in broad daylight.

    One simply needs to make peace with these ghostly figures by adopting the Cantonese philosophy of “kam ya koh ngan” (closing one eye) and – hopefully we can all live in harmony, I would often say to myself.

    In this contorted way, I went about my business everyday as the man who collected money for the four houses, hardly even registering a vapor of disgust when I saw a mother coming out of a hotel with a young girl – who I knew she was pimping, though I could hardly turn away from her in disgust, because like I said, one needs to keep the harmony – even with ghosts.

    Even prostitutes and pimps hardly made me flinch, I would often nod approvingly at these people in the way, one would pass a loving couple and say,

    “the best thing in this world is to be loved and to love”.

    Not even the sight of an elderly man going out with a girl who would one day leave him hanging penniless, cut and dried only to run off with her secret lover was capable of evoking anger or for matter the slightest emotion in my heart.

    I would simply turn to this old fool and express,

    “Even at you age life is just beginning, you deserve all the happiness love brings to you.”

    On one occasion, the purity of my apathy was so refined, I even managed to sit through a murder, where the man seated next to me had his brains splattered with a cleaver – there I was munching on my wanton mee with extra chili sauce – my table cloth stained with bits and pieces of flesh, bone and brains, yet as absurd as it sounded, I even managed to stretch across this dead man’s table and borrow his salt shaker – only to continue as if nothing has happen – we change – we make compromises – we all have to find a way to survive.

    So that evening on my way back from lectures, it surprised even me when I started feeling sad for the third wife. Sadness till then, had only been a distant island, like one of those picture postcards of some faraway beach in the Caribbean – though I have heard of it and probably seen or read about it countless times, it never really had the effect of permeating my heart which till then resembled a piece of industrial grade metal – my heart after all was not even my own – I for one did not own enough of myself to even consider my own heart my own property –I had stepped into a world where men such as myself could never afford to even be themselves.

    Why did I even dream of a life with her? – in this dream, I conveniently forgot about the details such as the body guards and the old man. In this fantasy world, I even imagined “going straight” and getting a normal job as an engineer, where I would even be content to drive a second hand clap up car – we would save like normal couples for fridges, television sets, sofa’s, dinning tables and those sort of things – from time to time, when there was enough to spare, I would buy her a drop of gold and this would bring a smile to her.

    Later on when my bosses saw, I was a man who could be entrusted to do bigger things (because I reasoned surely this world and that world cannot be so different – there will always be a place for serious men like me, who could always be depended to see things through) – and when we had saved up enough to buy our own house, complete with a yard, verandah and a white picket fence – I would probably have more time and even pick up a respectable hobby like photography – perhaps even pursue a master’s and eventually a doctoral degree – and while I studied through the night – she would content herself with reading or watching her favorite soap opera – occasionally, she would make me a cup of cocoa and we would simply sit down, talk and laugh the way ordinary decent folk turned the great wheel of life, page by page, chapter by chapter till this book would close quite happily.

    Like the lies I told myself from time to time –mine dissolved whenever, I saw men in dark expensive suits like myself appearing over the horizon with guns in this dreamscape – menacing – dangerous – who all knew, the world is round and no matter how one runs, one can never really run – they could always be counted to square the accounts.

    That night I dreamt of watching two paper swans sailing out to sea – though I was still dreaming, I remembered lowering my head and saying to myself – it was impossible, they will never make it, the waves are too big – I must be dreaming.

    Darkness 2002

  64. Chronicler said

    This is how he feels abt all of u rebelling against us.

  65. chronicler said

    “In penumbra, I await you.

    In umbra, I see you as a solitary light that flames the fabric of space.

    In umbra, I await the flickering flames of your presence.

    I am darkness, I am yours. All yours.”

    darkness with the FC boys during the failed Marco Polo expedition – when they were lost in the Talakmakan desert -2003.

  66. Chronicler said

    “I know there are always new readers. Let me tell you a few things about life.
    There are always **** (and I am not going to mince my words here) who are out to get us. That is fair, because we will get them as well in our own way, but I want to tell you this.
    You are most welcome to get to know us and more importantly buy into the whole idea of the brotherhood.
    We want you to be part of the experience. I want you to be part of something very special.
    We want you to share in our dream, to believe the world can be a better place. I want you to continue reading.
    So this is specially to you, our first time readers.
    I am darkness. I am sorry, if I come across as rude and crude, but I am just being very honest abt it.”
    Darkness 2003

  67. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120010-Redux

    Chapter 10

    “The Flamingo Hair pin”

    The next day, the third wife called on the Lam’s in their family mansion in Hampstead Heath – she had earlier expressed to the elder Lam ’s wife during the garden party, her desire to acquaint herself further with Jeannie, she had remarked,

    “I see her as a little sister and I do hope she will come to see me as her older sister – we women must really stick together in a man’s world”

    Mrs Lam felt somewhat flattered by the attention bestowed upon her only daughter by the third wife. So that afternoon for tea, the servants prepared the south facing verandah with sweet meats, cakes and candy made from frosted yam, lotus seed desert and other delicacies to honor her visit – she arrived promptly at half pass two with the rest of the old man’s wife’s, who appeared more interested in the food than the company.

    When the third wife saw Jeannie, she gave her the gold flamingo gold pin and remarked –

    “this will go well with your cheong sam – I noticed you like flamingo’s”

    Jeannie was of course too excited to wait and insisted on trying it out there and then – so when the third wife volunteered to fix her hair into a bun – both of them retired to the parlor.

    In a while, Jeannie Yu rejoined the rest of the women in the verandah sporting the flamingo hair pin – though the other ladies managed a smile, many of them later gossiped amongst themselves,

    “though the third wife could always be relied upon for her elegance and good taste – this simply proves, even the best of us can sometimes get it quite wrong.”

    Everyone seemed to be aware of this faux pas – except Jeannie and even Mrs Lam seemed quite embarrassed that afternoon and when these two ladies were seen smiling to each other like sisters seated at one discreet far corner of the verandah chatting – the other wife’s began to gossip. They remarked amongst themselves.

    ” After all she (third wife) has a good heart, so we should not fault her for giving the Lam daughter a hair pin only village folk often find fashionable – perhaps these two with their preference for bad taste will really get along like a house on fire after all” One of the wife’s joked.

    With these words, the rest of the ladies burst out into rapturous laughter and when madam Lam turned to them and asked what they were laughing about. The Ist wife of the old man, remarked,

    “how suitable the match is between these two sisters – they do have so many things in common after all – it must be destiny” and again they laughed, leaving madam Lam quite perplex to even laugh along with them.

    When the third wife heard this she simply smiled and lowered her head demurely in silent agreement. Just about this time, I walked into the verandah with the elder Lam. Earlier on in the day, Jeannie had been quite insistent that I should make an effort to be present for tea – if not for the whole tea for a small part of it – to pay my respects.

    So there I was – looking at Jeannie and her ridiculous hair pin – to say I did not know what was going on would be to say, I was a man who did not understand the ebb and flow of the tides . I knew exactly what was happening, it was all too evident in the slight smirk of the third wife, when her eyes first met mine when I entered the scene.

    “Now your little servant whore is complete, right down to the hair pin” her eyes expressed.

    But I allowed the matter to past – had I acknowledge the insult, it would not only have put be me in danger, but also the third wife and I must say, that afternoon, I cared more for her than I did for myself – enough to even look to one side when she said later on,

    “look how beautiful she looks. Don’t you agree Huan Guan?” her eyes almost teasing me to anger.

    Later on during tea, the third wife recounted to the amusement of the other ladies – the incident how she has missed her footing on the cobbled stones steps on the bridge in Hyde Park. She even went to great lengths to exaggerate the story further by saying how, I had been gracious enough to jump over a freshly painted picket fence to save her just when she was about to fall, thereby ruining my summer jacket. So when she offered me the gift, even the rest of the ladies felt nothing was amiss, not even Jeannie who seemed quite insistent on me trying on the jacket in front of all the ladies.

    That evening after leaving the gift at the Lam’s – later I received a phone call from a very distraught Jeannie, she explained how one of the maids had mistaken the jacket for common linen and proceeded to wash it ruining it completely. Though Jeannie was quite sadden by the entire episode, she resigned herself to look for another similar jacket, only to be told by the sales clerk in Austin Reed, it had been a limited edition and they had all but run out of that model this season.

    Fortunately summer took the turn for the worst and soon the skies turned the usual grayish overcast color of dried mud – with this change in weather so did my wardrobe and, neither the third wife or anyone asked why I was never ever seen in the summer jacket – One day after lectures on a particularly cold evening, I thrust my hands as I usually did into my coat pockets. Hardly had I done this, I remembered the pearl earrings – I had left them in the pockets throughout the summer, and. When I searched frantically for them, I realized, they were gone. Judging from the size of the hole in one of the coat pockets, the earrings must have wriggled themselves out only to fall out – this saddened me.

    Darkness 2002

  68. puppylover said

    Chronicler,

    Could you pls forward this to darkness. I have written to him many times to ask questions and each time, he doesn’t seem to bother to reply.

    http://kitana.wordpress.com/2006/10/30/a-government-for-all-its-intelligence-is-nothing-if-it-lacks-empathy/

    This guy is too smooth, I know he extended Azmodeus the first right of refusal and all that, but the manner in which he approached the whole thing was still very cold.

    Darkness I just want to ask one question. Since you have obviously done your own research into why welfarism would not work in Singapore. You would have also considered other models.

    What do you consider as a workable alternative?

    Thanks.

  69. puppylover said

    I would really appreciate some input and I hope you can help me complete my thesis. As I seem to be currently suffering from some strange form of writers block. If you are interested in meeting up, I can also arrange this with a few of my girl friends and perhaps we can discuss this matter over a cup of coffee? Thanks and pls ignore the “cold” part. It was a cut and paste, I didn’t realize it, till I actually sent it. Thanks again.

  70. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120011-Redux

    Chapter 11

    “In the pool hall” (Part 1 of 3)

    The man who collected money for the four houses was going about his business in the round world of Chinatown and to say everyone liked and respected him or everything was smooth – was not entirely true – there were lumps and even bumps and certainly plenty of indentations in this apparently round world. One of these imperfection were the common foot soldiers of the triads, known as “kachat chai” – “cockroaches” – young men who would never seem to rise because in the words of one the elders,

    “There are too many of them -besides most of them are hot headed – useless – even fighting amongst themselves trying to impress a prostitute – but like big fish in the small pond – even we must live in peace with them – and from time to time throw them a few crumbs to keep them happy.”

    Though the cockroaches were part of the triad family who belonged loosely to one the four houses who ruled Chinatown – their sheer numbers meant if a man was to succeed in going about his job – not only did he have to have the blessing of the elders – but also the respect of the cockroaches.

    These men whose only preoccupation in life was to tattoo their bodies with dragons and phoenixes, loitered around snooker halls and wait for a benefactor to take them under their wing – that is to say, someone who would give them an opportunity to prove their worth.

    To say all cockroaches were doomed to lead a wayward and aimless life forever was not entirely true.

    The old man in his youth rose from the very ranks of the cockroaches and served his benefactor loyally till eventually even he aspired to the rank of benefactor, which carried the title of “most esteemed dragon” – only to rise even further to the rank of elder and finally to a rank he could not longer aspire beyond – “esteemed elder of elders”, by murdering the very same man who once trusted him. So life through the eyes of a cockroach was not entirely a life without avenues, though they were plenty of dead ends.

    The vast majority of cockroaches did not know what to make of me – though, I occupied the lowest rank of a benefactor, my youth worked against me, since a benefactor had to be firstly married with at least 3 children which meant even the youngest benefactor would be somewhere in his mid or early thirties, the old man appeared to have made a special case for me. According to him – I was after all very good with numbers and as he often said,

    “White cat or black cat, what does it matter providing it can catch mice.”

    Another sore point with the foot soldiers was I didn’t have any roots in either the mainland or Hong Kong. In their atlas Singapore didn’t exist – for all they knew, I was simply a man who walked over the brow of a hill one sunny day with my expensive Italian suit and slicked back hair carrying my trade mark briefcase.

    This had always provoked jealously with some of the older cockroaches, who often saw me first as an “outsider” and secondly an upstart – a stranger who snaked his way into the hearts of the elders – as they would often be heard saying in the pool halls,

    “This man doesn’t give us face – he doesn’t even give us the respect, we deserve, even the body guards who protect him when he carries that sissy looking briefcase are all Vietnamese – he doesn’t even trust his own “hen tai”* enough to protect him or the money – he thinks we are unworthy – and look at him, his fair complexion like a maiden– his long lashes and shy eyes like a virgin – even his hands are like porcelain, hardly made to hold a gun or a knife – those hands are only good for turning pages and counting money – now that the elder Lam and his daughter has fallen under his spell, it only goes to show, his hands are even more useless than we all thought –since there are only good for searching what lies between the legs of a whore – this man needs to know respect – one day, we need to teach him the meaning of respect.”
    (* family)

    From time to time – my relationship with particularly the older cockroaches would prove difficult and even impossible to handle. For instance, if I turned down an offer to sit for a cup of tea to either give “respect” or “face” – this would often be construed as an insult and cause for challenge, usually, I apologized– I reasoned even as a benefactor who was as young as myself, one must from time to time “kow tau” or “close one eye” to a cockroach twice my age – but as I mentioned earlier, there are limits, just as one can never expect to continue pouring tea into a cup beyond the point when it over flows and spills over creating a mess.

    A benefactor, even one who was as young as me cannot continue to “give face” or “show respect” all the time to a cockroach. Once, twice, three or even four times, yes – but not all the time – people will begin to talk and soon the structure and symmetry of law and order governing the relationship between superior and subordinate, master and servant and even cockroach and benefactor would break down completely, and as the old man would say, “the entire heavenly order will simply come apart.” – in the words of some of the older benefactors,

    “If I did not learn to break eggs, I would grow hungry because, I would never be able to even make an omelet”

    So from time to time – the man who collected and carried the money for the four houses – appeared in the pool halls to confront the cockroaches of his life and restore the heavenly balance between man and insect.

    One evening with these thoughts, I walked into the liar of the cockroaches – the Kam fah snooker hall – it was time to break a few eggs.

    To be seen in the nest of the cockroach says a few things, but the way one behaves says even more. I cannot describe to you the philosophy a man needs to have when he walks into the very heart of a place where everyone despises him.

    I imagine it is no different from the way a prostitute goes about her business. Firstly, one needs to separate the self from what others see – a prostitute need not necessary find her client appealing, but she needs to pretend to do so.

    In the same way, when one walks into one of those dark lit snooker halls, every detail of one’s character is a show – the way a man sets the table, the briskness in his shots, the way he glides from one shot to another and the slight tightening of his jaw line when he first meets his challenger must be done so well, it leaves little or no doubt in the mind of those who sees this man – he is a serious man, not someone to be toyed with.

    That evening – I took the main table in the first game, from this point, anyone who wanted to take the table would have to beat me – at first the best of cockroaches challenged, one by one, the stakes dropped till, hardly anyone bothered with the usual gambling and betting, not even the bookies who gathered in one corner shaking their heads saying to themselves,

    “Tonight, the fish are not biting”

    Each round, my movements sharpened – the shots finding their pockets unfailingly like one of those tailors who seems to find a happy rhythm in being able to sew one straight line one after another– all my challengers came and went – the pile of crumpled notes piled up on the side table – till finally even the best shooters found themselves standing against the wall united in their defeat.

    This was when a king pin cockroach by the name of Ah Thiam whispered to me, the same one who always expected me to “give face” or “to show respect”. It hardly surprised me to hear the same nonsense again.

    “Give me face – let me win this round – you understand my men need to see I am big fish from time to time – you are a smart boy you know what I mean.”

    I smiled graciously, tipped my cognac and hardly said a word. No sooner had the round began, I defeated him with the precision of one of those well oiled Swedish machines. In the final shot, on the black, I hardly even appeared to bother, leaving the black ball there like some punctuation mark as I lit another cigarette.

    All the while, looking at this older cockroach whose face remained red and flustered like a fire cracker just about to explode. When the final shot came, Ah Thiam – lost his cool.

    “You think you are very clever!– coming down here and acting like some big shot! – I have eaten more salt then you – do you hear me!!!! – let’s play a real game”

    Ah Thiam whipped out a stubbed nose revolver and slammed it on the table – his face turning redder by the minute as he continued glaring at me.

    I remained silent and calm as I pulled on my cigarette, my expression the relaxed face of man who had just finished giving a whore a good long and hard working over – one that she would remember for a very long time – but as they saw the evening was still young.

    Darkness 2002.

  71. Chronicler said

    Puppylover,

    I have relayed yr message. I received the following message from darkness.

    (Ejr Cs r+ s r+ 1 +fir) = Xs (11) r j

    He also mentioned:

    (1)”Your manpower resource assumptions are incorrect – you need to ask the “right” questions. Hint: look at the recent Korean wage hikes.

    It is a delightful puzzle, I wish you and your associates the best of luck!” End of message.

    A face to face with the FC boys will not be possible. They are currently on holiday. Chronicler.

  72. Chronicler said

    Puppylover,

    A face to face with darkness is usually impossible – unless of course – what you and your associates are doing has a commercial value – for some reason darkness believes this may be the case.

    May we politely ask who is funding your Ph D?

    The brotherhood press may be interested to explore the possibility of funding this line of research.

    If you are interested please contact me here.

    Arrangements can be made for you to see the father of the game.

    Perhaps he can assist you and your associates to further your quest over coffee. For some reason, he has expressed an interest (which is very unusual).

    We look forward to a favorable reply – chronicler.

  73. leavenbread said

    Many years ago when Bambi first started writing during the forum days. I remember going with a few of my galfriends to a tea party where he was the guest of honor.

    When I arrived, I saw a fresh faced boy sitting in the middle of a large sofa sorrounded by other girls. He was wearing a light blue shirt with khaki slacks. He looked shy, out of place as he sat there with his legs closed holding on tightly to his tea cup.

    I remember thinking to myself, “so this is Bambiboy.” He certainly had a charm about him, it wasn’t the loud variety, it was the shy type that one rarely sees these days.

    It was the almost pleading way he looked, like a lost boy who couldn’t quite believe so many people actually read his stories.

    When we all gave Bambi boy a Mont Blanc pen. I remembered he shuffled so nervously at first to say something, but nothing came out. Instead he just looked at all of us with his large almond eyes and they looked teary. Then he looked down again. That to me was the best thank you because it came from a shy, polite, uncertain and very talented boy. It came directly from his heart.

    Later Bambi started writing sci-fi and developed some dungeon and dragons game which attracted all sorts of macho characters. Many of these men were very intelligent professionals, because the game was very complex and requires a lot of money to even play. They all admired Bambi’s cunning, he was after all the one who led them from one virtual battle to another. Eventually Bambi lost himself in their adulation. They admired him for all the wrong reasons and he became what they all wanted him to be. A first class bastard.

    In the years that followed Bambi no longer came for those tea parties, but what was to happen was even worst. Many of the men who came into the game changed Bambi, he started becoming harder and less caring. Eventually, he even became quite cunning and manipulative. Every thing had to make money. If it doesn’t make money, it’s not worth doing.

    Soon everyone even forgot who was Bambi boy. Instead everyone called him darkness.

    Darkness is diabolically intelligent, but I realize today he doesn’t have a heart.

    Chronicler, I am going to give darkness what he wants. Pls make the arrangements. I know the data can be configured into a product to be eventually sold to insurance companies, but neither I or my friends (puppylover) want to be part of this business arrangement. And another thing, we are no longer interested to see him either.

    The Bambi who I knew many years ago would never just see us because we had something of value to offer him. He was simply a lovely fresh faced boy who loved to write and share it with all of us. That was why we all loved him dearly.

    I miss Bambi boy.

  74. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120012-Redux

    Chapter 12

    “In the pool hall” (Part 2 of 3)

    “You want to play, we play.”

    Ah Thiam continued to empty all the chambers leaving only one bullet which he held up high, while the rest of cockroaches cheered and hissed.

    “How do I know it’s a real gun?”

    My manner hardly betraying the slightest trace of fear – provoking some laughter from the crowd.

    “See for yourself, here check it, if you don’t believe me.”

    Ah Thiam gestured towards the table where the revolver sat like a coiled black deadly snake.

    The revolver felt warm and pressing the release, the cylinder opened with a reassuring “click” – springing out the single bullet as it dropped on the floor rolling to feet of one the youths.

    In a while, this youth and few of them passed the bullet around, each stopping for a while to examine the bullet, till the old cockroach inserted it into one of the six chambers and spun it.

    “You know the rules – I take one shot, you take the next”

    Hardly after finishing these words, he pressed the revolver deep into the sockets of his temple and pulled the trigger. Again the rest of cockroaches roared, as he raised his hands, turning around like some wrestling star acknowledging the crowd.

    To say, I did the same would not be entirely, true – yes I did bring the revolver to my head, only the way I did it suggested to everyone I was very far from death that night and even after the “click” – the only sound emerging from the crowd of cockroaches was a muffled silence.

    I reasoned, Ah Thiam had perfected the art of predicting which chamber the bullet was in on the first turn – a man who is quick to play this game is very much like a poker player who is quick to play dealer in the first round – such a man could certainly count the cards the first round, but on the second and the third – it was anyone’s guess. That night as he looked at me radiating my coolness like a lake against a steely white horizon – he hesitated slightly, his chances were after all one in four, yet even as he brought the revolver to his head and after a long pause managed a “click” his obvious relief followed by uncontrollable display of joy gave him away – I realized, even he didn’t know where the bullet was hiding that night – he had lost count.

    My turn came and again, I simply brought the revolver to my head and after the “click”- this time, the pool hall fell dead silent – it was the way in which I did it, I neither, hesitated or paused– my confidence radiating the unmistakable impression that he would die on the next turn and I was not really a player, but simply a witness to watch him pass on to the next world – a sort of mythical broker of death..

    A long silence passed, if I said time almost stood still it would not be all together wrong and yet I continued starring my eyes flashing like a naked blade just before the moment of truth as threw the gun on the table.

    I take no pleasure in recounting to you what transpired directly after this moment. I say I take no pleasure and it is no accident that I take the trouble to emphasize this to you twice – though I am man who was at that period of my youth completely permeated with the filth, violence and cruelty that surrounded me day in day out in China town. I was simply a man who did not believe in violence for the sake of violence.

    To say, I abhorred meaningless violence would not be wrong, I was after all first and foremost a man of reason who saw life very philosophically and would have preferred to “live and let live” in this imperfect world where I knew it would futile for a man to spend his time righting all the lumps and bumps in this world – I was a man who did not mind living in peace with these minor imperfections an imperfect world presented me – but there are times, when even this simple notion is too simple for such a complicated world – that night was one of those nights – when I had resigned myself to do a thing properly, so that I never had to revisit my mistakes again – that is to say it must have a head and a tail and I had no choice, other than to see it through from beginning to end – and no matter how you may come to judge me after this account – I pray you would not look upon me in the same way those young men looked upon me that night – as the very face of death.

    The old cockroach remained quite still at first looking at the revolver on the table – I could well imagine his thoughts, what can a man really do when his life hangs between two chambers? Where life and dead plays hide and seek, silently, benignly and harmless, yet in a while – it would certainly explode and unleash hell with all it’s fury.

    He started looking around nervously, the young cockroaches who once looked upon him as their leader – started to close in, a lone voice rang out in the crowd,

    “go on, what are you waiting for!” these words startled him as he looked nervously side to side, till his eyes finally came to rest on the revolver – though I know many things, I do not know what manner of conversation, he shared with that instrument of death that evening.

    In a while, some of cockroaches turned on him, a heavily tattooed youth stepped out and slapped him thrusting the revolver into his trembling hands. Every moment sharpening – heightening the terror – every second a cutting like a knife.

    “what you start you must end – those are the rules”

    Again, he tried, this time bringing the revolver in one movement pressing it against his temple and after a very long time like a lull just before a storm when the air begins to hollow out and grow heavy, Ah Thiam lowered it again.

    A whimper followed and soon it turned into a wail.

    Then suddenly one of the cockroaches struck him in the face with a beer bottle followed by a riot of blows till hardly anyone even noticed I took the revolver from the pool table and changed the bullet.

    When the last of cockroaches had finished with him, – one of youths came to me and placed the gun in my hand and nodded respectfully.

    “Do him!”

    I did not say anything – there were no words left – as I looked at the mass of blood and tissue beneath me – I realized the world is a stage and all we can really do is play our part.

    That evening, I Yu Huan Guan found myself standing like a desolate figure in the darkest place in this planet – a place so devoid of hope – I might as well be standing in the hottest place in hell – playing a role as old as history it’self – a role so feared and revered by men – a role only the angel who holds the key to the abyss knows only too well.

    ————————-

    6 years later.

    Some 6 years later when the Southern side of the Thames estuary was drained – archeologist sieved through the mud filled backs for clues of a Roman settlement– During the sieving researcher came across a rusted revolver – Scotland Yard, department of forensic science identified the revolver as a Series -19 , Colt stubbed nose 35 mm revolver, though the serial number had been filled clean off – there was still enough residual markings to lift off the first three digits using magnesium oxide as a lifting agent – the revolver was manufactured in 1978, first reported stolen in 6th May 1980 by a Dwight Pitcairn who worked as night security guard in the London dockyards – though only one bullet was found in one of the six chambers of the revolver – closer examination using gas chromatography and X-Ray revealed the bullet neither contained any gun powder or percussion primers – closer examination revealed this dummy bullet had been milled from a single block of aircraft grade aluminum and filled with common brass with high trace elements of zinc and zirconium oxide suggesting it had probably been of such low grade – it would be only be used for educational purposes or as rough material for engineer students in the field of the aerospace industry – though badly weathered and corroded – forensic scientist concluded, this bullet though having exactly the same weight and appearance of a 35mm Remington type projectile was none other than a dummy bullet – subsequent investigations suggested the machining of the dummy bullet was undertaken using a type of milling machine commonly sold to both technical and institutions of higher learning during the early eighties where both technical and engineering students conducted practical training in tooling and milling of metals – The investigator concluded in their report while all evidence suggested the gun could have belonged to anyone – the meticulous fabrication of the bullet suggested the suspect was a technically trained person, probably an engineering student – who probably had a deadly sense of humor of impressing his friends by inserting this dummy bullet into the chamber, spinning it, raising it to his head and with a smile pulled the trigger – what detectives in the trade frequently referred too as a “deadender.”

    darkness 2002

  75. Chronicler said

    Ladies,

    You all think it is easy to be the leader of the brotherhood? Think again. The brotherhood isn’t the PAP. Yes, we have ranking system and all that, but no one gives a flying **** abt those things. Let me tell you what it is, imagine this. It is one anthill with one chair at the top. Beneath it there are hundreds of monkeys trying to sit on that chair and trust me some of these monkeys are really smart.

    You really think darkness could have survived all these years, if he was just a goody good – how naïve you all are. Please go back drink a strong cuppa and think again!

    You should all cut him some slack!

  76. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120013-Redux

    Chapter 13

    “The Man With The Red Pail.” (Part 3 of 3.)

    In the weeks following the incident in the pool hall – the older cockroach was seen again in the streets of china town – hardly a flicker of his proud past, he hobbled from shop to shop carrying his red pail offering to clean windows for a few pence – from time to time, some of the younger cockroaches gave him cigarettes or bought him a bottle of cheap liquor, others who were not so forgiving of his cowardice gave him a kick in the groin whenever they saw him– on one occasion, when I saw the old cockroach rolled up in an alley with a blanket made up of old newspapers and cardboard – I invited him for a meal of double char siew fan* in Wong Kei, a restaurant where I first worked – though all the waiters wondered why a man of such prestige would be seen with this smelly beggar of a good for nothing alcoholic – eventually, it became clear to all, whenever he said to anyone who cared to listen, (*Roasted Pork Rice)

    “The benefactor who collects and carries money for the four houses is indeed a truly merciful man and thought I cannot understand why he is still my friend after what I have said and done to him – he is my friend – so if you do not give me face – at least give the merciful benefactor face – for if the benefactor of the four houses hears, his friend has not been treated well – he will not be happy man. Do you understand me?”

    From that day onwards, whenever some of cockroaches gestured – to either “give them face” or “to show respect”, I would still oblige, but when I declined politely as I often did – none of them would dare hold it against me or even feel slighted – all they needed to do to remind themselves whenever they needed reminding was to look outside the window – the sad image of the old cockroach decaying in his soiled leather jacket with his long oily hair reeking of alcohol could always be counted to smile at them – this never failed to send shivers down their spines.

    Older cockroaches would often point to the man who hobbled with his red pail and say to the younger cockroaches.

    “Never end up like this man, he doesn’t know the meaning respect, that is why he was taught a lesson by the young benefactor who carries the money for the four houses.”

    Some six months later – one evening, after the man with the red pail finished cleaning the last of the shop windows and was about to pack his things – he must have said to himself, it was time to give himself a treat – and stepped into a one of the best Chinese restaurants famous for serving Peking duck in Old Crompton Street – he had after all in the last few months given up alcohol and tobacco – even shaving regularly and keeping his hair short – often showering and changing his clothes – on his off days which usually fell on Tuesday, he would often be seen in Charing Cross church fixing either the gutter or having a chat with the Nigerian pastor, who looked upon this lost soul kindly by giving him a little room in the attic, just above the boiler room, where he had started to grow a few pots of tomatoes – Some even said he had accepted Christ and his new name was “David” as he would often be seen in lunch hours listening to his daughter who read him passages from a Chinese Bible, who often sat beside her father in the park – there was even talk of him returning to his wife again, since she was often seen helping him turn the wheel of life as a window cleaner, carrying his ladder, or some odds and ends – even some of the store keepers gradually came around when they saw him getting his act together – often greeting him by his new name and offering him tea and steamed buns on a cold winters day – some even went as far as to pay one month in advance for his window cleaning services – so that night after finishing the first meal he had paid entirely for himself with his own hard earned wages – the man with the red pail was a contented man.

    On his way back – witnesses recounted the sad story of how a black sedan had suddenly pulled up alongside this man, where four well dressed Chinese men brought out a crying teenage girl who was later identified as his daughter and though words were exchanged between these men no one really heard much of it – when one these men handed a revolver to the victim – he merely looked as if his fate had been decided and raised the revolver pressed the barrel into his temple and pulled the trigger – some of the witnesses mentioned hearing the last words, one of these well dressed men said to the man with the red pail – it went something like this:

    “The game is not finished yet – there is still one last round.”

    When the cockney investigating officer heard this account from one of the witnesses he simply dismissed it, saying it didn’t make any bloody sense.

    “He must be bloody talking about last night’s game at the old Trafford.”

    As it turned out, the witness was wearing a faded Manchester united jersey.

    That entire week – shopkeepers, restaurant owners and even the cockroaches came to look upon me sympathetically – the man with the red pail was after all my pet – I had after all being the man who spared his life, when I could very well have taken it and no one would have even faulted me for doing so – given him the red pail and towel that eventually became his trade mark and said

    “From this day onwards, this will be your life.”

    Even used my influence so no window in China town or that matter little Italy would be turned away from him and even when no man would sit with the man with the red pail – I would often be seen sitting with him as he ate his double Char Siew fan listening to his ramblings – I was after all, the man who even the man with red pail saw as:

    “The merciful benefactor of who served the four houses.”

    Surely such a man could not have ordered his execution.

    Darkness 2002

  77. Darkness said

    leavenbread,

    You have never seen me bfr in the virtual have u?

    I am 74% machine.

    Bambi is dead, forget me. Go!

  78. Chronicler said

    This is something slow and soft. It is one of darkness favorite pieces and he wants to share it specially with our Australian and American readers – Merry Xmass.

    Enjoy

    I has been a privilege to serve all of you!

  79. mandylam said

    Bambi was nice, very nice, but the brotherhood corrupted him. It’s not his fault. I remembered reading this National Geographic article once about how babies who were raised by wolf’s behaved exactly like them. They made him hard those cruel men. He didn’t even have a choice. Sometimes when I read his stories. I wonder whether perhaps he was simply superimposing his experiences in the brotherhood with his fictitious life as a gangster.

    I want to get angry with Bambi, but I can’t. All I remember is a clean cut boy. I remembered only one thing how the hair behind his ears would curl slightly. I said to myself, this made him very special because it meant, he was very soft and fragile.

  80. Tenner said

    They made him hard and cruel? How true. I do recall during the last few times when he did come for those tea parties.

    He sported shorter hair and there were cuts to his face.

    I wondered to myself why such a lovely boy would pick up such a destructive sport like boxing.

  81. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120014-Redux

    Chapter 14

    “Children whispering in the night.”

    I cannot tell you when I started to plan for a life with the third wife – all I can say is, it started very much in the way a prisoner, innocently shifts his bed closer to the wall only to knock it to discover a hollow thud – a wall he once regarded as unbreakable, suddenly yields the possibility of freedom – only for this man to dig away frantically till finally escaping through a tunnel.

    My light came quite accidentally, when I chanced upon the third wife one rainy afternoon while she was walking alone in Hyde Park – There was hardly anyone in the park during the week days, so I followed her from a far, along the only gravel path leading up to the stone bridge, she always remained well in my sight.

    For some inexplicable reason that afternoon I no longer saw the world in bold splashes but rather with a striking clarity even to make out objects which had previous escaped my consciousness. I was aware of the minuteness detail, the crushing sensation of my feet against the cobble stones, the gentle swaying of the oak trees on either side – the moss along the cobbled path with it’s edges gleaming rich emerald green soaked from yesterday’s rain and even the faint aroma of the third wife.

    When she came to the middle of the stone bridge, she stopped – whether this stopping was silent resistance or silent seduction, I cannot tell you for certain – though she had her back to me, she must have known all along I had been following – at such close range the fragrance of her jet black hair carefully dressed and piled into a loose bun, drew me closer – till I came to stand so close as to even feel the warmth her body gave off . When she turned around, still wordless , her nose was wet with tears, and her delicate nostrils flared, her eyes gentle, yet in their midst, a mysterious fire burnt deep within them. When I kissed her first on her neck, she began to shake her head in an attempt to ward me off, but her struggles were so mechanical that instinctively, I knew they were not heartfelt.

    As a result of her resistance, when my lips found hers, she keep twisting one way and the other, till somewhere along the way, her resolve suddenly melted away like black ice in fire and she began to settle down. When I tore away and looked at her – because I so wanted to look at the face of love – she looked towards a pavilion at the end of the bridge. Just then a slight rain began and no sooner after making the safety of shelter, the rain began to beat violently against the zinc roof.

    In the pavilion light came in through a small window – her desire was unmistakable, as she undid her hair hardly showing the slightest trace of distress. She was even smiling faintly and when I touched her again her face gradually flooded crimson with desire – this time she did not resist me. The winds and rains by this time, picking up speed and increasing in their ferocity even the edge of the zinc roof began to lift and flap violently. Though it hardly mattered, I neither heard or cared for the rain that evening – my heart was completely at rest.

    Afterwards she lay in my arms – the rains pattering softly – yet she continue to shed tears – fresh tears of joy – nothing could better convey what passed between us in the instant. In a while, the third wife returned very much to her distant self, sitting calmly in one corner very much consumed in her own thoughts as I was in mine, without even a single hair out of place and her cheong sam in perfect order.

    When she raised her eyes and looked at me. A brilliant piercing flash passed between us and in that instant I knew just how she felt – throughout the period, I accompanied her to the car along the cobblestone path she hardly spoke, neither did I and even after opening the door to her car and seeing her off, she hardly ever looked my way.

    I imagine it must be very difficult for you to understand how two people who came so close to each other in one moment in time can suddenly find themselves behaving like strangers – perhaps she like I realized we were people cut from the same cloth – people who did not quite own enough of themselves to even give a part of themselves to others – people like us can never speak of the future, or for that matter even the past – all we can really ever do is to live for the moment.

    We were like, children whispering secretly in the dark when all that resonates in the house is the deep rest of sleep.

    Tomorrow the giants will awake.

    Darkness 2002

  82. Chronicler said

  83. Darkness said

    I know there are always new readers – I am sorry, if you have to bear with the noise – we always have complains and I guess most of it, is due to me.

    I want to assure you as a new reader you may not know much abt the brotherhood – but that is fine – there is never any rush – take your time – I am a believer in being comfortable and setting your own pace. Just go with the flow. Let go. Trust your senses.

    I just want to personally welcome you and I want to thank you for taking the time to read this.

    I don’t want you to run away. I want to know more about you.

    I am Darkness.

    13 Nov 2006

  84. Darkness said

    Ladies,

    Behave yourself. Who wants to go sailing?

    Did you know the brotherhood has just bought a 40 ft yacht and no one knows how to rig it up, except me.

    Ladies, I want to take all of you. Yes all of you even if I have to make a hundred trips on a memorable island tour.

    We will adjourn on a Kelong (there are only 2 in singapore) owned by my very good friend William Lai and I will personally cook all of you fresh seafood.

    You have my word, I will cook for all of you.

    How’s that?

    But I want all this nonsense to stop. Surely that is not too much to ask.

    This is my peace offer to all of you.

    Darkness 13 Nov 2006

  85. Chronicler said

    girls, sorry I am late in posting today. I am in a marathon conference call and will only finish sometime at 2300 hr tonite – will post chapter 15 then.

    Sorry again. Chronicler

  86. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120015-Redux

    Chapter 15

    “The return of the pearl earrings.”

    That same evening after my meeting with the third wife, I found myself kneeling before the image of Kwang Kong all alone in the only temple in China town – my thoughts turned to the image of before me –slowly but surely, I began to reason this was no ordinary wooden figurine – for one, it had been composed with an artistic eye for structure, so he looked less of a caricature since all his features, from the way his eyes narrowed, the slight furrow of the brows, the ever so slight flaring of his nostrils where all perfectly proportioned.

    Even the slight tilt of his head forward focused the entire attention of the viewer on a single thought, beyond all power of human expression – here was the will of heaven, penetrating the sweat, the blood of men who paid tribute to him, leaving them with not the slightest doubt he was indeed their patron who could always be counted on to protect them and ward off the evil eye.

    That night as I knelt before this image all alone seated in the hall, I poured out my heart – I told the God of war how I had betrayed the trust of the four houses by allowing my heart to rule me with the third wife – how I had crossed a line and now I was in mortal danger – I prayed he would look kindly on my affair with the third wife and protect her.

    Just then Jeannie Yu walked in – I had asked her to met me here for dinner that evening and as she came to kneel beside me – I continued praying – from time to time I would look at Jeannie who was content to simply return my looks of affection by lowering her eyes shyly.

    Some where along my prayers – I noticed from the corner of my eyes men who walked into the empty temple. I cannot explain to you how to realized these men where trouble – but trust me when I tell you – I simply knew.

    Judging from their built and they way they carried themselves these were not ordinary men, the determination in their eyes could only belong to a breed of men who I referred too as professionals – had Jeannie Yu not being with me, I would have simply reached for my pistol and taken my chances with them – but that night – as I looked at Jeannie and these men and placed them on the scales of life, I knew only too well, I had very little choice – and it is like this in life sometimes, one really has no choice, other than to face the things that needs facing. So I turned to them and I said, give me a moment with my woman, I removed my pistol placed in on the altar to show them my good faith. The leader seeing my sincerity nodded and stepped back motioning his men to do the same. Then turning to a Jeannie who didn’t quite understand what was going on or for that matter what was about to happen, she began to tremble and cry.

    “What’s happening my love?”

    “Be calm, I need you to be strong for me – look at me! – you need to be strong for me no matter what happens – you need to be strong for me – promise me”

    “ I promise” she whispered holding back her tears while looking nervously at these men.

    I cannot expect you to imagine how a man can prepare himself for a beating – except to say, he cannot and the best, he can really do is to tighten his stomach, clench his teeth and hope for the very best. When the first wave of blows rained down on me, I felt that all too familiar gut wrenching sensation where the stomach seems to congeal into the size of tennis ball only to expand and contract again in between blows – though, I tried to block and shield myself – there was really no point and when the blows became fiercer, I simply turned inwards towards a suffused white light where everything slowed to a blur and soon, I hardly even felt the blows any longer – it was as though part of myself had separated so completely from my body, I might as well have been a by stander witnessing the life being kicked out of another person.

    Though my legs seemed almost like jelly and I could hardly be trusted to stand. I did finally manage to stand before these men – judging from the way they were sweating, they must have given me a good beating, yet I still had enough life to taunt them

    “Is that all you can do?”

    From the corner of my eye I could see Jeannie cringing and curled up in one corner, her sobs resonating in the emptiness of the temple.

    They neither reacted or responded to my taunts again confirming my suspicions these were professionals – one of them, presumably the leader grabbed my hand, opened up my fingers and placed – what appeared to two mother of pearl buttons with the words,

    “the people who sent us told us to give you these – they said you will understand”

    Then with a mixture of embarrassment and the feeling of having done something they would rather not do unless they have been paid a sum of money they could not possibly refuse– they apologized and even when to great lengths to emphasize, it was nothing personal and they meant no disrespect. In this comical exchange of words, where my legs could hardly be counted to stand – I replied, I was no ordinary man and they should seriously consider finishing what they started by putting a bullet in my head. Since after this I would be compelled to hunt them down and neither they or their families should expect any mercy from me when I find them – the leader appeared to nod his head solemnly and replied, that putting a bullet in my head was not part of the bargain – I was only to be roughed up and that was all – I asked who sent them – to which the leader leaned closed to me and whispered.

    “The third wife is dead – she has received her justice for her adultery”

    With these words they disappeared into the night.

    Hearing these words suddenly made the world spin only to come to a sudden stop like a roulette wheel, I must have collapsed again – this time, from the very corner of my eyes I realized for the first time – I did not hold mother of pearl buttons in my hands – but rather the pearl earrings I had once given the third wife. They had finally returned to me.

    Beside me and sobbing quite openly was Jeannie Yu, who gripped my hands so tightly she began almost to tremble– holding her hands had never been so important to me before – throughout that moment, I felt as if, I was sucked into some deep hole where death waited for me only to be pulled back again by those warm clammy trembling hands – hands of a woman who loved me and hands I regretted not being able to love – hands which I wished with all my heart was the third wife – hands which I knew after hearing what I had heard, I would never ever hold again.

    Somewhere between the dream world of consciousness and blackness – I heard the intermittent sobs of Jeannie as she cradled my head,

    “We don’t need to live like this – we really don’t my love – I can’t bear to see you like this – we can start anew, in a place faraway from here – a place where both you and I can live in peace away from this madness and violence – I don’t ever want to see you suffer my love –it tears me apart to see you like this – I don’t even mind leaving everything for you – if only you say yes”

    That evening – as I lay with my head cradled in her arms – the world seemed almost to stop for a moment and I found myself standing before green fields somewhere in the country side – where the air was fresh – Yes, I was back into my fantasy world, the same world I had constructed so meticulously where I had planned to live with the third wife – a world so remove from this world – one could even say, it never really existed except in imagination of man who found himself so close to death that evening.

    Darkness 2002

  87. Chronicler said

  88. professionalchabor said

    fantastic!

  89. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120016-Redux

    Chapter 16

    “Life in a Wheelchair.”

    If you have never been beaten up before, you probably wouldn’t understand what I am talking about – so there you go, I am not even going to try to explain – though if you have an imagination and should you decide to hold my hand and follow me into this world of human wreckage – I may choose to recount to you what transpired after the temple incident.

    That same evening Jeannie and I eloped London by train, I barely had the strength to walk, couldn’t remember the date or for that matter even why I found myself rubbing the two earrings which were in my pocket through out the journey. All I remembered was tearing through the night, flashes of lighting on the tracks as I slipped in and out of consciousness – all the time – immersed in a blur.

    Though I was only 23, for all intents and purposes, the beatings had turned me into an old man – one of those invalids one sees from time to time shuffling in half steps while holding on to a flimsy metal frame. Even at that slow pace, walking proved painful, unbearable and hardly worth the effort. All the while Jeannie propped me up, whispering.

    “Go on you can do it – one more step – there you go my love.”

    “In three to four months you be running like a rabbit.” She beamed.

    Being in pain all the time meant I didn’t believe her, but like I said, I didn’t really have all that much of a mind to even resist her even if I didn’t quite believe her – so I began to with small outings, no more than a block or two from the weekly paid studio apartment somewhere in Manchester – for some reason Manchester seemed like a good place to hide and recover – the old man’s men would be looking for me and so would the rest of the four houses and certainly the elder Lam, since their daughter had been spirited away.

    Manchester being Manchester was simply too flat and spread out to stick out like a sore thumb providing one didn’t show one’s face in Manchester China town – so it was good that the studio apartment was located just off the old industrial area of Manchester where the rent was cheap and hardly anyone visited the area except purposeful men who wore industrial safety shoes and hard hats – hardly the place where a man would be seen wearing a dark Armani suit, with his hair slicked back sporting a pair of black sun glasses and pistol with a full clip of bullets – here, we would be safe for two months after that no guarantees, I reasoned, till I could really recover, get a new identity and move on.

    While I stayed in the apartment during the day time – Jeannie worked in a nearby bleach factory. It was an hourly paid job – people usually came and went without much in the way of questions – no need for filling up forms and that sort of thing – and in the first few weeks, though this new life was so completely removed from her last – like her chapped hands with the first layer of fresh white skin being scoured clean off like tracing paper, leaving her with the wrinkled rough hands of an old maid – she hardly even managed a winch or complain and only said from time to time.

    “Heal my love, heal.”

    On one occasion, I caught her sobbing quietly in the night and when I turned to her, she simply said,

    “I love you…..do you love me?”

    “Yes, I love you.” I replied. After that she simply wiped her tears dry, made me breakfast and went off to work.

    What else can a man say when he is confronted with a sad pair of hands, except to say the things that needs saying?

    In this new life, where Jeannie worked in a bleach factory while I sat all day in a wheelchair in my pajamas – it was life – to say, I didn’t think much about the third wife would not be true – she never left me even in her passing – neither for that matter did the idea of revenge smoke in my mind from time to time, but like Jeannie’s hands which were once white as snow and had now come to resembled a darken shade of tanned seasoned leather, I simply wasn’t the man I used to be – not before I healed myself at least, just as a man simply has to cut off a his rotting arm to save the rest of his body – I had no choice but to simply put all these thoughts into a shoe box and slide it beneath the bed somewhere in my mind – a mind of a man who sat all day looking out at the world imprisoned in his own body, doesn’t have much else to do but to allow time to wash past him while he looks on – from time to time, he may even contemplate the size of his tiny courage, but that really is all he can do – my life now was with Jeannie and though I didn’t love her, she loved me and that to a half man is enough – you see, a half man doesn’t have such a thing as a choice – he simply needs to be the man who he needs to be for whatever reasons and even if those reasons don’t really add up, it doesn’t really matter either – that is how a man who sits all day in a wheelchair staring out of a window makes sense of the world.

    You may not understand this, because you don’t know how to read hands like I do, but as I looked at Jeannie’s hands – I realized only too well, this was the way it was going to have to be – she had after all made a decision to follow me into the depths of an uncertain future – one where we would probably have to get a new identity and emigrate, if we wanted to be escape certain death – though I never asked her, the very thought of leading such a life must have secretly terrified her no end – Jeannie was after all so very different from me – yet from time to time, as I held her hands to my face – they spoke only of misery, misery that simply told me she had fallen in love with me even if it meant the possibility of pain would be part of our communion – so you see, there was nothing else for me to do but to pledge myself to her.

    In this new life where I spent all day sitting in my wheelchair – I realized the man who carried the money for the four houses was dead – from now onwards it would be only me and Jeannie – the woman who I must simply learn to love.

    darkness 2002

  90. Chronicler said

  91. Chronicler said

    Darkness in the budokan.

  92. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120017/18-Redux

    Chapter 17 & 18

    “An Account of an English Miner’s Wife”

    In Wales, located some six hundred miles or so North of London – lies the sleepy town of Llanwrtyd Wells hidden snuggly between two towering mountains – hikers often recount to other each somewhere mid- way up those steep valleys, how they could make out every detail of this tiny toy village, with it’s red roof church spire which tilted ever so slightly, to the only red bricked post office building and even the park square with it’s circular lime stone fountain.

    On a clear day, one could even see beyond the town square with it’s four sided clock tower and beyond, the only school with it’s white washed walls of Cumbrian stone and open grassy rugby pitches. If one proceeded higher, one could just about make out a row of shops at the very far edge of this little town – one of them located somewhere around the middle, in between a garage and a funeral parlor was the “The Magic Bowl” Chinese take away.

    There really wasn’t anything magical about the “magic bowl” – like all other Chinese take away’s, they had chicken chow mein and choy suey in their menu and on Fridays after midnight, they offered a ten percent discount with double servings of sweet and sour pork. Neither for that matter was the young Chinese couple that magical either, the husband with his short cropped hair, limped and had terrible scars on his face, (his wife had mentioned something about a car accident and a terribly vicious one at that, I dare say) he hardly spoke a word, neither did he have much of an opinion except to smile politely from time to time – but it’s like that with those Chinese, they never say very much – his young wife would often be the chattier of the two and exchange pleasant words with the patrons who were mostly made up entirely of lorry drivers stopping for either a rest and some hot and cheap food before they resumed their journey Northwards – the wife took orders from the counter, while her quiet husband cooked behind the kitchen, one could only really only hear him behind clanging on his pots and pans and only see part of his hands in the cut out in the wall, where packed food would be brought out to the counter.

    During the day time – when business was slow in the magic bowl and lorry drivers preferred to make the most of their day light hours – the quiet man would often be seen behind the kitchen with his tools fixing motorized wheel chairs or lawn mowers – they said, his workmanship was first class – but really, I am sure those lads were simply being kind, after all he looked hardly like an engineer and more like a tradesman with his soiled baggy overalls stained with patches of mineral oil he hardly ever took off even when he was seen around town doing his errands – so one day, when the clock tower failed to sound and all that the railway tradesmen could do was to take off their hats and say.

    “Bloody old girl finally kicked the bucket – she breathe her last, she did – well after all she lived a ripe old age ain’t it, seen, bloody Hitler’s bombs and all that – it’ve be sad to see the old girl go.”

    When the quiet man heard there was money to be had in the fixing – he made his way to the town council and asked for the blue prints of the tower clock and though the clerk refused at first – saying only registered tradesmen where allowed to work on council property and it was the law and nothing could be done about it and since he neither had the right papers or was registered, working on the clock was really out of the question- his superior, a barrel chest Welshman overhearing the conversation, simply handed over the dusty blue prints,

    “You can keep it mate, those bloody blue prints are in Blooming German, they might as well be bloody written in chinky chink language – you’re wasting your time mate, but go on give it a go, if you like laddie –it wouldn’t half hurt if you gave that old bat a good working over, if nothing else. “

    That whole week the quiet man worked on the clock tower even checking out a German – English dictionary from the library to help him make sense of those blueprints – and one day when it sounded as it usually did at twelve – even the railway stewards who maintained the tracks looked up at the tower clock in amazement, some saying quite openly.

    “Bloody chink brought her back from the grave – fancy that!”

    So after being paid his repair fee by the town council – the quiet man made his way into the only antique shop in Preston and picked out a gold band with oak leaf carvings in relief, I imagined he must have wanted to give this sort of gift for so long to his wife, but till then they hardly made enough to make ends met – According to the Jewish merchant,

    “The China man knew exactly what he wanted right down to the words engraved on the inner side of the ring”. The Jew often said, it was strange for such an uneducated man to appreciate such fine poetry, the engraving read.

    “To my one and only love – who was always strong.”

    Whatever, little he had left from fixing the clock tower, the quiet man spent it on a white evening silk dress with prints of red roses, he would later say to the lady who owned the shop, it reminded him of someone special.

    Even the councilor, who had a day job as a the local postman would often be heard recounting in the pubs,

    ‘Half the bloody town is dropping off like flies – the other bloody half is falling too pieces – and the only chappy who seems to be able to put it all together and make it work again is the chink”

    So one morning, when the councilor made his way to the magic bowl, where the quiet man could always be seen with his tools behind his kitchen – the councilor cum post man made his offer for an opening in the town council for the position of a engineering supervisor – to take charge of the towns common boiler, traffic switch board and main supply generator – he was saddened to hear the quiet man declined the offer politely after hearing some forms had to filled up and sent to London for approval since he would be an official employee of the town council. In the words of the quiet man,

    “You embarrass me with this offer – I neither have the skills or training for this sort of thing – I am a simple man – and one should not really make a big story of the clock tower either, because all I really did was to strike it with a hammer – but from time to time should the boiler or the switch board go on the blink –you have my word I will be more than happy to take a look at it”

    On the weekends the quiet man would be seen climbing the valleys – he climbed alone. Starting off earlier than the others even before daybreak and though he was known as the quiet man who limped a little when he climbed – when he climbed it was not unusual for those who saw him saying, “he climbs like a tormented soul” – for he would often stop and stare defiantly at the mountain with eyes of an uncommon man –

    But even these accounts can’t really be trusted, as when climbers often slipped and fall as they often do– the quiet man would always be prepared to patch them up – his quiet manner hardly conveying a trace of anger.

    When the quiet man came down from the mountains usually around lunch time – his wife would always be seen driving up to the foot in the mountain in the grayish white Morris van – only six months ago, the quiet man had bought it from the junk yard merchant who said,

    “No I wouldn’t consider selling you that heap of rusted rubbish –what do you take me for I am a junk yard merchant, I have you know we English take pride in what we do – no she beyond a junk (the merchant shaking his head) but if you could give me a 50% discount on your take away’s for the next six months– we can call it a done deal”

    Though the quiet man bargained it down to 25% with a free wanton dumplings no matter what the order – that same day hardly had he shaken on the deal, he began to work on the junk. Till one summers day, this couple could be seen laughing quite hysterically as they drove round and round our little town in this old car with it’s patchy paint job – and when they finally ran out of roads, because our town was so small – the quiet man came to lie with his wife on the grass – from time to time – he would be see caressing her breast, kissing or whispering into her ears – and just when the sun turned the valley a bright orange splendor, the quiet man simply stood staring out into the vast expanse of the English country side – his eyes conveying the sadness of man who perhaps remembered the passing of a loved one and during these quiet moments which seemed quieter than even the quiet man himself, his wife would slowly come to stand beside him, as if she knew of a terrible secret they both shared.

    And the quiet man would simply look at her and bury his scarred face into her bosoms.

    darkness 2002

    —————————-

    An entry by a journalist who once researched a story for Milliyet (the story remains unpublished – the journalist subsequently drowned in his bath tub in Istanbul)

    In a four storey building in Tel Aviv, Israel, a few minutes walk away from the old Jewish Quarter is the Ha – Mossad le – Modin ule – Tajkidim Meyuhadin (Institute for Intelligence and Special Task) – better known to world as Mossad, the equivalent of the CIA or Soviet KGB – Within the walls of the unassuming four storey building military scholars from all parts of the free world – dressed in civilian clothing entered this institution quite unobtrusively through a side door with the loop sided sign that reads,

    “HEBREW LINGUISTIC CENTRE, EST SINCE 1968 “

    Only a select class of officers known as G-89A class officers under Westpoint gradation system or T-90 under NATO classification were sent for this sort of training due to the highly sensitive nature of the information imparted -though the syllabus remains highly classified, even till present date – and much of it remains purely speculation and couched in considerable mystery – it is generally known a part of this training involves

    “The techniques relating to assuming a new identity within enemy territory”

    and

    “Detection avoidance techniques. ”

    It is generally not known whether this secret art of war can be adapted for the purposes of anyone assuming to disappear from the face of world – but even if were proven to be effective – neither the author or for that matter any of the those students are is in a position to confirm or deny– In the same school – at the end of the 45 day lectures – students are informed quite directly by their instructors – should information be released in text form, verbally, electronically or otherwise –the matter would certainly be met by a firm and terse response by the “Metsada” – the execution arm of the state of Israel – even less is known of this shadowy unit.

    Every country in Asean denies sending any NS or full time service men for such specialized training.

    98926/2002

  93. Chronicler said

    Tomorrow there will be no posting – as the above is a two part.

  94. darkness said

    To all our valued readers,

    I don’t think you will
    ever fully understand
    how you’ve touched my life
    and made me who I am.

    I don’t think you could ever know
    just how truly special you are
    that even on the darkest nights
    you are my brightest star.

    I don’t think you will ever fully comprehend
    how you’ve made my dreams come true
    or how you’ve opened my heart
    to love and the wonders it can do.

    You’ve allowed me to experience
    something very hard to find
    unconditional love that exists
    in my body, soul, and mind.

    I don’t think you could ever feel
    all the love I have to give
    and I’m sure you’ll never realize
    you’ve been my will to live.

    You are an amazing person
    and without you I don’t know where I’d be.
    Having you in my life
    completes and fulfills every part of me.

    Darkness 16 Nov 2006

  95. hotdog said

    sorry, i have to say, i really dont like the writing. its trite and melodramatic in my opinion. i dunno, i’m not an editor or anything, just someone who appreciates decent writing.

  96. chronicler said

    FYI This is the redux shorten version, it is supposed to contain spelling and grammar mistakes. Our readers like it that way. It imparts a more authentic feel.

    “its trite and melodramatic in my opinion.”

    Agreed 100% that is what ALL of us in the brotherhood has been trying to tell him all these yrs.

    BTW why are you reading then? A ha! That is why lah!

    Happy slumming!

  97. nacramanga said

    FC boyz,

    Just to let you all know Kendo season starts earlier this year, due to the haze and rain.

    Morning prac begins at 0500 hr (sharp, if you are late, the door will NOT BE OPENED!)

    Pls check your armor, shinai, bogu etc the night before.

    Every beginning of the year during the first session, some idiot always forgets one glove or needs to borrow this and that.

    Let us try to get it right for once this year.

    Darkness since you are in Singapore may I the leader of the 130th extend an invitation to you and the FC boys.

    I would be my privilege if you would open the first round with me as the white tag.

    Nacmanga

    (Chronicler make sure this gets to him!)

  98. chronicler said

    nacman,

    message conveyed, reply received one hour ago.

    “The honor will be mine. Thx for inviting me to open the Kendo season.

    Yes I agree these days, it is impossible to do any decent biking.

    The FC boyz will be there, but I left my bogu in China.

    Can you arrange for someone to loan me a bogu and a size 36 shinai. That will do very nicely.

    I also need to speak to you and some ppl in your cosca abt some business opportunities in China.

    Perhaps we can do this during bf tmr over dim sum – darkness.”

  99. chronicler said

    Pls note for the opening of the kendo season the following the cosca’s will be sending their reps.

    They have also expressed an interest in darkness business plan.

    (1) Mercantile guild

    (2) Materials and Requisition guild.

    (3) The fist of God.

    (4) Briamiamws

    (5) IMSG

    (6) Council members

    (7) Freelanders

  100. blingbling said

    FC boyz,

    We like the stories as they are chronicler. Do you hear us? Pls dont go around changing the format or style. We are warning all of you.

    There will always be ppl who want to read books, let them go to either the library or the book shop 😉

    We want to read abt the real trials and tribulations of Yu Huan Guan, the bad boy super duper kisser ;>

    Besides good kissers never fail to mangle up their sentences with bad spelling and grammar, that’s what makes them attractive.

    They are naturally sloppy slurpies :/

  101. Nacramanga said

    Darkness,

    I have received confirmation the MG will financing the new business plan.

    It is a “go.”

    We will make millions, but nothing changes my friend.

    We are still mortal enemies in the strangelands.

    My dark knight may I and all my men salute you.

    You showed grace and candor this morning.

    We all laughed and for a while we were brothers.

    I will miss you my worthy adversary. I have never found a man who was my equal except you.

    Darkness I have always admired you for your charm and grace.

    Love. Nacramanga.

    PS: This is my last message to you, the next time I see you.

    I will have to kill you.

    Boys Kendo is season is officially open.

    Long live the brotherhood!

  102. chronicler said

    long live the brotherhood!

  103. 130th said

    (all men assembled eagle salute to darkness)

    Long live the brotherhood!

  104. Mercantile Guild said

    (eagle salute to darkness)

    Long live the brotherhood!

  105. IMG said

    long live the brotherhood.

  106. The first of god said

    We pay tribute to the father of game – a donation of 8,000 sepecialmains has been deposited in his account.

    Long live the brotherhood!

  107. landstrad said

    long live the brotherhood!

  108. hurnaman 107th said

    long live the brotherhood! Long live darkness!

  109. Mercantile Guild said

    long live the brotherhood – we will be arranging a deposit for darkness – the sum is undisclosed.

    Long live the brotherhood!

  110. Materials Guild said

    Long live the brotherhood!

  111. Hunababab 106th sardokhan said

    We pay tribute to the father of the game,

    Long live the brotherhood!

  112. Sardokhan said

    Long live the brotherhood.

    Darkness pls check your account.

  113. 804th Humasian said

    Father of the game. I have assembled my men.

    (eagle salute) we pay a tribute ogf 500 solaris.

    Long live the brotherhood!

  114. darkness said

    long live the brotherhood!

  115. steamboy said

    Darkness,

    I don’t want to be a spoiler, but article 1(9) of our constitution expressly prohibits you from laying claim to these gifts if they exceed real world value of USD$10,000.

    It is tantamount to corruption.

    I think everyone is just overwhelmed by your sudden appearance on saturday.

  116. Chronicler said

    steamboy small boy, pls shut your mouth la. These are all seniors here! Do you even know the word, seniors i.e heads of cosca’s. I was the one who lined up all their post last night, side by side. So do us all a favor and run along. We know what we are doing.

  117. Kaplan90 said

    Chronicler,

    Who is this nothing called steamboy. Is he even one of us? Pls comsat me his bio.

    Kaplan90

    Head of the MRG

  118. Steamboy said

    Chronicler,

    I will not shut up. I have a right to my POV. I may not be as big or rich as the other families in the brotherhood.

    But I am a brother. My ensign: 90477737A.

    I am just highlighting a fact. We have the Omertan code which regulates the conduct of ALL brothers!

    Including the great darkness!

    I am not going to shut up!

    I have a right to my POV!

  119. darkness said

    To all,

    Let him be. He is right. Thank you for the reminder steam boy.

    Under the Omertan code. I cannot accept money or gifts – it is a form of corruption.

    Article 9(1) of the code is super clear on this. We are a fraternity governed by laws.

    If I do set an example, then it is finished!

    I suggest this sum amounting to over 4,097.85 Solaris be donated to Nacramanga’s Kendo club.

    Besides I prefer to earn my own money.

    This matter is settled. I don’t want to hear any more. Am I clear?

    MG pls see to the details.

    I expect to see an audited account.

    I am darkness.

  120. Steamboy said

    What kind of brotherhood is this when dissenting views will not be heard. If you talk about changing the world then I think you ought to first remove the splinter in your own eye!

  121. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120019/20-Redux

    Chapter 19 & 20

    “Nine Months later – Mr & Mrs Lim Teck Heng.”

    By the end of the ninth month in hiding – It was safe enough to make a trip down to Manchester China town along Charlotte street –Manchester was the home of the forger (you remember the merchant who sold me the second pair of pearl earrings) – I needed to finalize a few details concerning our new identities, without the right papers, we were like fish swimming in the barrel, it would only be a matter of time before someone would seek us out either by accident or design – as it was the chances were about 50/50 – but they’re were still risk, forms had to be filled, questions had to be answered – those sort of things and if we stood any chance of escape –this was the only way, there was no other way.

    Just the other week, I had managed to enter the record office under the pretense of fixing the clock in the tower. There I had scanned through the records searching for a new identity and found it in the form of a certain Mr & Mrs Lim Teck Heng who roughly fitted our age.

    The couple had emigrated to the UK from Hong Kong some 3 years ago and died in a freak car accident. It wasn’t a perfect fit, he was 2 inches shorter and she had a large mole on her left cheek and that’s why I needed forger.

    The edges were rough and there were a host of significant details that still had to be conjured up and worked into the scene – for the purposes of fullness and authenticity, for them to be brought back to life.

    Only the forger could fill in the missing blanks with the occasional stamp, or connect the images with the odd scrap of birth certificates.

    So far the first part of my plan was panning out exactly the way I hope – I know a few things about doing this sort of thing – though I don’t wish to elaborate further on it – let us just say in life – there will always be men who conduct their business in the shadows and I am irrevocably one of them who belongs to this fraternity.

    Though it is difficult for me to recount to you, why I choose to place my trust in this strange character who once sold me the second pair of pearl earrings – I cannot actually say for certain, just as a man who steps in a lottery booth chooses a set of numbers randomly and has faith in they may be magically picked out of millions – as incomprehensible as it is to both you and me – I simply had the same instinct concerning the forger.

    As I entered the store, I saw that he was hunched over a pad of paper, writing down columns of figures with a black mechanical pencil. In spite of the chill in the air that day, he was dressed in short sleeved shirt – one of those flimsy, loose- fitting summer things with an open collar – which accentuated the thinness of his coppery arms. The door made a tinkling sound, and the forger lifted his head for a moment to give me a polite nod of greeting, though I registered a slight look of pity in perhaps the way he noticed my scars which were still reddish tinged with purple spots. I nodded back, but before I could say anything to him, he lowered his head again and resumed his calculations. This was a good sign, “he doesn’t recognize me” I said to myself.

    Then the forger looked up again, this time removing his reading glasses,

    “Can I help you?”

    I placed the pearl earrings on the table, hardly had he looked at it, he looked up again this time straining his eyes, gradually he realized who I was.

    “You shouldn’t have come here – men have been asking for you (the forger began closing his blinds) – you’re putting me and my family in danger – go I beg you!”

    “I need you help” my voice firm and a long pause ensued while the forger remained quite still as if considering my words, then looking down and up again, he said.
    “Look, I really cannot afford to get involved mister!– I can only help you by giving you some money….(opening his cash register)”

    Somewhere along the conversation, a slight rustling from the back sounded followed by the sound of footsteps and a boy ran in toying with a model aero plane.

    ‘Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” the boy mimicked the sound of the engines.

    “Siauh Chu, go back upstairs, daddy is busy”

    “Can uncle see your plane” I bent down.

    The boy thrust the model aircraft into my chest.

    “Do you want uncle to tell you a story?”

    The boy neither looked my way or either way, there was something wrong with him, his eyes possessing a quality of blankness, but since, I had started, I continued,

    “It’s a Spitfire – you know why they call it Spitfire? (again the boy simply looked blank) – well you see the exhaust on the side aircraft, just where the engine sits – whenever the pilots started the engines, fire would spit out from the sides – like a dragon – and the sound this plane made when it flew was a funny little sound – do you want uncle to make this funny sound?

    The boy simply looked out at space, his face hardly registering a word I said.

    “brrrrbrrrrrbrrrrrbrrrrrbrrrrrbrrrrr”

    Hardly had I finished the story – the boy grabbed the plane and ran off

    “brrrrrbrrrrrrbrrrrrrrrrbrrrrrrrrrrbrrrrrrrrrr”

    The father looked astonished – “he actually heard you, you see that, listen” the forger quite a different man from the man who I just spoke too a few minutes ago. Then as if thinking aloud to himself with his eyes still fixed on his son running back upstairs, he said.

    “They say he’s slow my boy, but what do those fucking English teachers really know”

    Then as if suddenly embarrassed by allowing his mind to wander off like that, he went back to the counter and assumed a business air.

    “Well thanks for your time – one last thing – I was never here” I said pulling my collar up as I prepared to face the bitter cold of winter.

    Hardly had I stepped out of the shop, when the forger came running out, the cold seizing him as he trembled and shuffled after me

    “Wait – I forgot to ask you what you want me to help you with?”

    “I need some papers to be forged.”

    I whispered, the howling wind tearing away at some of my words.

    “Do you have any money?” I didn’t answer and the forger continued motioning me back into the shop, where the boy appeared to peering with his nose pressed firmly against the window.

    “Come in from the cold, I’ve close early – we can work out something over dinner – and you can tell more of your ridiculous stories to Siau Chu.”

    That evening after dinner, where I had split every rib of my host with my ridiculous stories, whose son seemed to even appear to be quite thoroughly entertained – the forger busied himself weaving a new life for both me and Jeannie – though he had mentioned, it would take a few weeks for him to get everything ready – when he opened a crisp manila envelop I brought with me, all the things he really needed was already there names, age, nationality, religion copies of birth and death certificates right down right down the home office approve sized passport photographs – the forger looked at me from time to time when he examined this pile of mixed lives who obviously belonged to someone else, quite openly thinking aloud – “good, you have this” – “ah that’s what we really need” – “Yes, we can’t do without this, it’s good that you have it” – only to finally say with a satisfied look in his eye after three or so hours laboring in his study to put everything together and handing me the documents.

    “I don’t know who you are – but you have done this before haven’t you. Or perhaps someone has trained you?” he looked at me differently with knowing eyes which reflected a slight tinge of admiration one professional gives to another.

    “You broke into the records office……?”

    I didn’t answer and he didn’t press on.

    Soon the matter turned to payment, and I came straight to the point.

    “All I have are those pearl earrings – you can keep them – till I return to square the accounts one day”

    “I have heard that before -what if you don’t ever come back my friend” he said while walking me to the door his tone suggesting for a moment, he would even miss my company.

    “Trust me my friend, even if I never ever return – those earrings have a funny way of turning up in unexpected places – I wouldn’t be surprised if they searched me out some where in the middle of the Gobi desert ” I smiled, the best I could without feeling the sensation of the stitches pulling and tugging against my flesh.

    The forger paused just before the door – an expression of concern and regret gradually clouding over his eyes,

    “They say, you’re an educated man – and from what little I have seen tonight, you are different from the rest of them – so you seem to me like a man who knows this sort of book and studies things quite well, tell me my friend– man to man, because I can take it! – do you think one day my son is good enough to go to university, get a decent job, get married, be a father like the rest of those English boys?” his expression hanging like question mark.

    “You’re not been listening to me have you my friend – like I said – those earrings have a funny way of turning up in unexpected places – don’t be too surprise if you suddenly woke up one morning and found your grand daughter wearing them and asking kong kong how do I look?”

    With this words, he smiled in confirmation and just before he opened the door – the forger thrust a box the size of dictionary under my arm,

    “You need this my friend – when the come looking for you” then sensing my slight embarrassment for not being able to pay him properly again, the forger continue.

    “Don’t look at me like that benefactor – I am a business man – I need to protect my investments – like you said, the accounts will be square properly one day – for that to happen you no use to me dead.” he smiled again.

    I simply nodded and just as I stepped out into the biting cold of a moonless night – entombing both the man who walked in that afternoon along with Jeannie Lam forever – though I didn’t know how it would end for either me or her –I knew for the time being at least two people who were once dead would rise again and speak freely – Mr & Mrs Lim Teck Heng.

    Just before the back door shut with a clang – the forger turned to me and said,

    “Oh I forgot to mention this earlier………the third wife of the old man just gave birth to a son.”
    ————————–

    One week ago.

    During World War II– the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) under the command of Air Marshall Herman Goering – launched a relentless bombing campaign on London– known as the “Blitz”.

    One of the primary targets was the Central Record Office located off Whitehall, South of Westminster Abbey. This building housed all the records concerning the issuance of both birth and death certificates in the whole of the British Isle – In 1941, due to the extensive damage inflicted on public building as a result of intensive German bombings – the Surveyor’s General Office was called upon to identify a suitable location in the United Kingdom where the records and archives could be relocated for temporary safe keeping – in Jan 1942 – the Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells was proposed by the Surveyors –general office.

    The natural fortifications afforded by the mountains rendered an enemy aerial attack virtually impossible– the town was so insignificantly small it failed to qualify strictly under the criteria of a town under the City and Town ordinance byelaw– thus escaping the attention of the map makers who even omitted any reference of such a place in the whole of the United Kingdom , other than perhaps to include a symbol of church on the map issued during the period before the war.

    The other compelling reason for the surveyors recommendation was the town hall in Llanwrtyd Wells, constructed out of two feet thick Cumbrian stones, each weighing 1.2 metric tons.

    In March 1941, the town hall was converted to house rows and rows of filling cabinets –to further improve security, the 21 French windows were sealed up and cemented.

    The architects did highlight one security flaw in the lay out – the tower clock – which stood some 24 meters high with it’s hollow rectangular profile opening all the way to the bottom directly into the record office!

    When this security flaw was subsequently highlighted, as a possible entry point by someone who could all too easily masquerade as a tradesman, who periodically serviced the clock.

    The architects considered this notion absurd for two reasons, firstly the quarter chimed free wheel clock manufactured by German firm, Kieninger in 1870 proved extremely reliable and robust, even the firm responsible for maintaining the proper workings of this clock, William Potts and Son of Guilford in Leeds were hardly ever called to maintain the near perfect mechanism which hardly ever required any oiling or greasing, only a weekly pull on a rope from the clock all the way to the ground floor by three strong men every week for five minutes was enough to keep it running and chiming a whole week! –and a cast ironed hand crank located at ground level connected to the main mechanism of the clock allowed for adjustments should the clock be either to slow or fast – it seemed to the architects and those who manned the town council since there was no possible reason for any one to ever go to the top neither could there be any risk from anyone posing as a trades man to gain unauthorized access into the Welsh record office – that could really only happen, if there was a reason to fix the clock and since it the quarter chimed clock never ever really needed any fixing – the threat was not considered insignificant for the architects to add another slab to seal off the hollow shaft of the clock tower which opened up to the main floor area.

    At the end of the second world war – all the birth, marriage and death certificates were relocated to back to Whitehall – Welsh & Cumbrian authorities retained all documentation for occupants who lived in the area of Wales and the County of Lancashire – not only did this guarantee the continued existence of the town, since registered citizens from around Wales would often make their way to the little town and stay a few days in one of those quaint inns as they visited the natural springs will waiting for either this or that document they either loss or simply needed renewal to be processed.

    The following Monday, when the records administration clerk arrived late for work and hardly had she made herself a cup of tea and settled down on her desk – she noticed two brown envelops which must have arrived from London from the special courier service train every week – the envelops were slightly off color she couldn’t help noticing, but the type print and seal of the Home Office,

    “IN THE SERVICE OF HER MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT suggested everything was in order. Except for a few oily smudges.

    though she could have sworn there were no documents in her “IN” tray when she left last Friday – because she had a keen eye for such details – nevertheless, she proceeded to process the application for the issuance of a social security card for a Chinese couple by the name of Mr and Mrs Lim Teck Heng – as usual she proceeded to the filling cabinet marked “L” which was located just beneath the hollow shaft of the clock tower and when she finally retrieved the small reference card with the details of Mr Lim Teck Heng – who immigrated from Hong Kong, she noticed a discrepancy between the two pictures, when she brought it to the attention of her supervisor who never really recovered from his hangover till some time around lunch – the Welshman hardly bothered with the clerk and her usual nit picking observations which he regarded as chronic pettiness, a disease which afflicted middle aged spinsters like the nit picking clerk– he simply said,

    “Those Chinks – they all look the same don’t they? What’s that old bat on about? – them photo’s not being right and all that.”

    Barely, realizing the man in the form was the quiet man from the ‘magic bowl’ who had just finished working on the clock tower during the weekend after he had given him the blueprints of the clock a week before.

    When one of the clerks was just about to post the newly issued social security card to Mr and Mr’s Lim – she recognized the couple and remarked.

    “Well fancy that – it’s them Chinese, you know the magic bowl couple – wonder why they bother themselves with all this papers, only city folk seemed to care about – they hardly looked like the sort to travel even outside the valley.”

    Hearing this, one of the clerks remarked cheekily

    “Won’t be surprise if the chink meant to apply for passports to take his wife out for a nice little holiday”

    “Blind me!, now what ever gave you that idea?” another surprised clerk added.

    “Well, keep it to yourself alright – just paid the Chink for the work he did on the clock this morning. The guv allowed him to work on it through the weekend – so our little friend has a bit of cash to show off to his missus ain’t it”

    darkness 2002

  122. Chronicler said

    120. Is a bogey post. Brotherhood switch over to secure combat post codex. (4992A)

  123. darkness said

    Thank you.

  124. darkness said

    Hi!

    This is to all our new readers from me. I know you are shy. I want to thank you for coming here. When you are ready, one day and it will be a fine day:

    “I want to fly with you.”

    I think that I might fly away, in my plane,
    And hide from worldly worries on the dark side of the moon;

    There’s but one thing I need before I soar into the blue:
    I need a sky companion and I want it to be you.

    We’ll fly beyond the storm clouds and we’ll watch from up above,

    I’ll cover you in rainbows as we feel each others’ love;
    You’ll shower in the stars at midnight in our special place,

    I’ll dry you with a comet’s tail and kiss your beaming face.

    Dreamy drifting panorama, changing every day,
    Every night your loving smile will be my milky way,
    The moon will wane before us, sailing there in heaven’s height,
    For nothing else can challenge our love’s everlasting light.

    Venus shining on us, glowing soft at our devotion,
    Our daily drifting dalliance in love’s celestial ocean,
    I’ll write you lovers’ poetry, and you will be my muse,

    Orion and Andromeda will oversee our cruise.

    We’ll sleep with clouds as pillows, maybe steal an angel’s wings,
    Then fly as magic lovebirds, or slide round Saturn’s rings,
    And should we tire of drifting and the stars all floating by,
    We’ll hook onto a meteor and soar across the sky.

    Will you consent to be my mate on our celestial ship?
    I’m ready, heart all packed with love, to last us for the trip,
    Take my hand and step aboard, we’re heading for the sun,
    We’re flying till we find the place where our two souls are one.

    Yours always darkness. Dreams are all possible with the brotherhood!

    (combat code 0677A)

  125. 130th said

    This is JOJO controller for the 130th – chronicler pls reconfirm your codex for “combat” mode comsat.

    Our codes are outdated can you repost the new codex?

  126. 130th said

    130th resending a message from darkness dated 20 Nov 06.

    This is to all our new readers from me.

    I know you are shy.

    I want to thank you for coming here (may I thank you?)

    When you are ready, one day and it will be a fine day:

    “I want to fly with you.”

    I think that I might fly away, in my plane,
    And hide from worldly worries on the dark side of the moon;

    There’s but one thing I need before I soar into the blue:
    I need a sky companion and I want it to be you.

    We’ll fly beyond the storm clouds and we’ll watch from up above,

    I’ll cover you in rainbows as we feel each others’ love;
    You’ll shower in the stars at midnight in our special place,

    I’ll dry you with a comet’s tail and kiss your beaming face.

    Dreamy drifting panorama, changing every day,
    Every night your loving smile will be my milky way,
    The moon will wane before us, sailing there in heaven’s height,
    For nothing else can challenge our love’s everlasting light.

    Venus shining on us, glowing soft at our devotion,
    Our daily drifting dalliance in love’s celestial ocean,
    I’ll write you lovers’ poetry, and you will be my muse,

    Orion and Andromeda will oversee our cruise.

    We’ll sleep with clouds as pillows, maybe steal an angel’s wings,
    Then fly as magic lovebirds, or slide round Saturn’s rings,
    And should we tire of drifting and the stars all floating by,
    We’ll hook onto a meteor and soar across the sky.

    Will you consent to be my mate on our celestial ship?
    I’m ready, heart all packed with love, to last us for the trip,
    Take my hand and step aboard, we’re heading for the sun,
    We’re flying till we find the place where our two souls are one.

    Yours always darkness. Dreams are all possible with the brotherhood!

  127. 130th said

    Chronicler the 130th is taking over the com here, if you do not mind.

    We feel you may not have the infra to support the com.

    darkness says:

    “I know you are shy, so am I.”

    “I know you don’t want me to think you are lesser than you are, but I wish you will not do the same to me.”

    “I know you have alot to lose, but so do I.”

    “I know you do not know what to make of this, head or tail, but neither do I.”

    “I am just a bad boy sharing with you some of my thoughts.”

    I am darkness. I am darkness. I am darkness. Do you hear me. I am darkness, so just stop pretending and let us just try to get to know each other!

    What do you say – after all I have so very little time here!

  128. darkness said

    There is no need to stage combat mode for com.

    Chronicler will be the controller.

    My decision is final.

  129. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120021-Redux

    Chapter 21

    “Omi ta Bath to hut”

    Recently the deacon of the Chinese Manchester Crematorium in Princess Street noticed a man in dirty overalls walking along the rows and rows of urns – each with it’s small black and white photograph.

    The man he imagined must have suffered some accident or another – probably lost his wife or a loved one – it was clear from his scarred face, limp and unmistakable tinge of sadness hovering about him.

    From time to time, the man loitered aimlessly around the Crematorium – sitting alone and though the temple rules strictly prohibited photo’s – the deacon had made an exception for this poor soul, he reasoned.

    “Omi ta Bath to hut –It would rest the hearts of his relatives in the mother land when they saw pictures of their loved one’s spending the rest of their days in such a beautiful and peaceful crematorium.”

    One morning the deacon received a strong worded complain from one of the relatives of Mr Lim Teck Heng, born in 25 December 1965 and dearly departed with his wife on the same date in a car accident on the 16 June 1982 in South of Wales – though the relative was quite flustered, she gradually calmed down after wandering the peaceful grounds of the crematorium – and when she finally saw, the deacon she could hardly recount the incident that upset her so much that morning – except to mentioned, she saw a man who had no possible reason to pray for her brother and sister- in- law knelling before their urns repeating the words,

    “I am sorry, I am so very sorry. Please forgive me……….”

    When she confronted the man – he looked quite embarrassed and simply hobbled away – when the deacon asked the relative to describe the man, she mentioned his scarred face – only for him to smile knowingly at her and sigh ,

    “Omi ta Bath to hut – such a man is indeed merciful and compassionate to even care for the death of those who he is not related too.”

    The deacon went on the explain, how this man must have lost a loved one in a similar car accident – and the sight of these two couples united in death – must have made him realize how fortunate, these strangers were, since it is often worse for the living is it not?- hardly had the deacon said these words, the woman began to weep quite openly in shame – and after finally regaining her composure – she quickly replaced the white carnations she had set aside and rearranged the oranges, she had angrily tipped over earlier in the day placed there by the stranger– only to feel more shameful of her deed that morning.

    She even asked the deacon , whether she could pray and leave some flowers at the urn of the strangers wife – to which the deacon said, it was most unfortunate, but he didn’t ask where his wife’s ashes were stored – there were after all 40,000 urns in the Crematorium, the oldest stretching back to 1821, when the first Chinese coolies came to Manchester to work in textile mills.

    Some two months later – just around the time when the forger’s son began to make a funny irritating burping sound with the model plane which seemed only to confirm to others in Manchester China town, he was indeed an idiot child – a caretaker on his usual rounds in the Crematorium came across the urns of the Lim’s and notice, both pictures had been defaced – it had not been the first time, the deacon had warned him, he would certainly lose his job, if he didn’t stop the English boys from sneaking into the crematorium and vandalizing the photographs on the urns – which they usually did with black permanent markers or aerosol paint to fashion moustaches or Dracula like fangs on these images – fearing the deacon would find out – the caretaker relocated the urns to the highest level some 60 ft along the uppermost shelves– there at least, he reasoned. Everyone would be happy.

    The Lim’s especially would be happiest – they were after all closer to heaven.

    “Omi ta Bath to hut.”

    darkness 2002

  130. prettygirl said

    that’s so like him to do that. breaking in to here and there.

  131. darkness said

    This goes to all our first time readers (I just want to say thank you for coming here.) This goes out specially to ONLY you.

    If time could stand still, I’d freeze it here,
    So you’d always hold me, close and near.
    In your arms, where I’m meant to be,
    Filled with the perfect love you’ve given me.

    A bond so strong, a hold so tight,
    To know you’re the one; my ‘Mr. Right’.
    A blessing sent from up above,
    In you I’ve found my one true confidant.

    Our lives entwined to be as one,
    Upon this journey we’ve just begun.
    Where you and I will find no less,
    Than eternal understanding. A place so
    special may I call it a country that is named
    after you and you only – my one a precious shy
    reader.

    darkness 2006

  132. chronicler said

    Sorry miss right, he meant, but Misters are most welcome as well.

  133. chronicler said

    hwa hwa hwa (003A)

  134. chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120022-Redux

    Chapter 22

    “My day off with Jeannie.”

    The rain stopped in the middle of the afternoon, just when I pulled in to the rear of the Magic Bowl.

    Jeannie was standing by the kitchen doorway in her white dress with splashes of red roses (you remember the one I bought with the wages having fixed the clock tower, the one that reminds me of the third wife.) – she even put on a dash of lipstick. I was reminded of the promise I made sometime last week or was it the week before?

    “We should try to take off one day in a week.”

    Since the magic bowl started, we hardly made enough to make ends met, but in recent months, business had been brisk with some closure of highway for road works somewhere up North.

    I reasoned, it was her way to celebrate our first day off.

    Should you find this chapter aimless and spiritless – it’s because I trying to capture the texture of the familiar and ordinary.

    Although the old man and four houses were hunting us and I was breaking into town councils, crematoriums and from time to time the magic bowl, because I can never remember to bring the keys.

    I didn’t lead a James Bond sort of life, dodging bullets or for that matter jumping over gorges – that only happens in the movies – this is a real story, a genuine account and the essence of anything real lies in the repeating.

    Yes, I had a pistol, but it too had seen a lot of action, somewhere in some distant past in the hands of another and like an old soldier who had seen his fill and could see no more. This vintage pistol like me, simply wanted to be left alone in some drawer, locked away sleeping undisturbed in the dark.

    Here, where life moved at roughly the pace of a motorized wheelchair – unlike city life where one’s thoughts can change in the interval between two lamppost by the road side – country living imposes on one an old and weathered soul – it’s like fruit – there is no such thing as diligent fruit – it ripens lazily and gracefully.

    Though from time to time like old cripples, who sometimes dreamt, they could run and jump, I too harbored the distant desire of squaring my accounts with the old man, but it was a far away island, desolate as it was impossible, so like you, him, them, they and the vast majority of humans mine was a day to day existence where I turned the same great wheel of life, where each day came and went very much like yesterday. An ordinary life stretching out like one long endlessness road, where I fixed things in the morning, cooked in the evenings and in between very little else punctuated this ordinariness, except a few sweet words and the odd kiss – but there were moments – moments when the unexpected emerged quite unexpectedly from the expected.

    That afternoon when I prepared the roasted duck I bought in Manchester while Jeannie sat absent mindedly in the kitchen watching me cut the onions, garlic, vegetables though she looked distant and far, I knew she was romanticizing. It was the way, her lips parted ever so slightly, the softness of her tone as if she was reciting a poem and the slight look of indifference when her eyes closed longer than they should. During these moments, she always slid her hand around my shoulders and leaned her head against my back, while I continued doing the things that needed doing.

    I know women, know them well enough to realize most of them wanted me to prolong this mood of love – where my fingers touched hers on the chopping board only to turn away, while her fingers would chase me only be chased again, till they ended clasping each other like two embracing lovers, and. Just when her eyes would look at me teasingly only to cloud over with desire and her breathe would suddenly hang, I pulled her into my arms, feeling her heart beat resonating against my body, telegraphing fear and joy into every cell in her body. Even then, the time wasn’t right.

    Like I said, I liked to stretch the mood. Yes, you could say, this was my way – in the manner, a musician tensions a cord, not too tightly, it would snap and the feeling would burst like a bubble, not too loose either, otherwise Jeannie would suddenly recede back into indifference, but just the right balance of reality and illusion – brushing against her naked arms even when I placed all the dishes one by one on the table all the time looking at her while a sense of excitement swelled in her, as she waited for something to happen, her chest rising and falling like the crest of a wave just before the riot of a storm. Even then, the time was not right.

    As always during these moments, I fed her, delicately and slowly, never ever eating myself. The chopsticks picking out the most succulent meat and after mixing it in the rice bowl till the consistency was just right – I brought it to her quivering lips, always in small bites, never quite enough to satisfy, yet enough for her to yearn for the next spoonful – At times, I would simply hum a tune, but that afternoon, I was simply content to look at her with the eyes of a man in love. Every spoonful like a sugar cube in hot tea, melting away in a swirl of delicious clear sweetness – and this scene would be repeated again and again till the afternoon sun receded over the valley flooding the kitchen with a soft mysterious light. From time to time, I would wipe the corner of her lips with a napkin or bring a glass of wine to her lips, flashing a smile while she simply looked away shyly – yet during those moments, I knew Jeannie could not wish for anything more. Even then, the time was not right.

    After dinner, when the light had all receded giving way to partial darkness like dark honey,when I could still make out the seductive glint in her eyes, when the time was just right, no sooner or later. My hands reached between her legs parting them – her lips gleamed, she licked them moist, her body trembled as she resisted slightly – a plate fell and broke, she neither heard it or cared – she was fighting within herself trying to keep mystery at a distance, while my hands surged forward like a prow of ship across a lustrous calm ocean – parting and discovering beyond something real into the abstraction of her very essence as a woman. Soon the miraculous invaded her so completely, she simply allowed me to take the lead. Here mystery was furiously at work, unrelentingly at work, drawing her out, as she kissed me furiously again and again till a riot ensued and just when her eyes would shine with an even greater brilliance – reflecting within them a place where reality had given way to dreams, where every moment was charged with wonder – I became very still, so very still prolonging the moment, even after she whispered, “I love you, I love you with my heart”- I started it all again, surging through the night, till she eventually grew limp and succumbed to sleep..

    As usual, I would carry her upstairs and lay her down, tucking her into bed – sitting in one corner, humming to her while I smoked a cigarette, till sleep took her over and when she turned as she always did to the left, I knew, it was time to for me to leave the room.

    I could never sleep – though I often made excuses to Jeannie saying, I would join her later, as there was always something which needed cutting and marinating before I turned in. This was simply my way of making peace with my incurable insomnia – or maybe, just maybe, I needed to continue forging on ahead – I was after all writing our story and for the time being, I was merely sketching out the action in rough strokes, and I couldn’t afford to bog myself down. That would have forced me to stop and think, and for the moment I was only interested in forging ahead, in seeing where the pictures in my mind were going to take me. It wasn’t about control; it wasn’t even about making choices – it was all about running away from the pain.

    The pain of loving, losing and now knowing the third wife was still alive – the pain of knowing no matter how I willed myself to love Jeannie, there was always a part of me that yearned to run away – that’s what bad boys do, they can’t stay loyal – they can’t love, not for long at least – and if they don’t pick up and leave, it’s not because they are reforming, it simply means they’re still despising themselves for their own inertia.

    In truth, I wanted to be good – to remain with the woman who stood by me – to love her forever and this meant, following the mythical line inside me, breaking into the records office, finalizing the loose ends with the forger, defacing the pictures of Mr & Mrs Lim Teck Heng in the crematorium was my way of making sense of my senseless world – it wasn’t so much the prospects of sewing together a new life for me and Jeannie – as it was the desperate efforts of a man who had to witness himself doing all those noble things to salvage his own soul – Yes, crooked people need to play twisted games and once one acquires this bent, trust me even you can do it – in truth, I didn’t trust myself – and now that I realized the third wife was alive – I trusted myself even less, like I said, I am bad, true and true bad as they come. Neither can I help myself either, it’s a vampire thing, it’s incurable – I just need to forge on.

    That evening when I made love to Jeannie – I felt like someone who had come home from a long and difficult journey, an unfortunate traveler who had returned to claim his rightful place in the world with the woman who he loved. It felt good to pin her down on the table, it felt right to be inside her again, and in the wake of the happiness that washed over me –
    I was both a part of what was going on around me and cut off from it, drifting freely in my mind –it wasn’t real of course, but when a person is in pain, as long as the story goes on, reality no longer exist and all the pains of this world just disappears – I just wished it was really Jeannie who I was making love too that evening.

    I just want to do the right thing – I need to forge on – yes, on.

    darkness 2002

  135. darkness said

    To our first time readers,

    Into my world
    of darkness and silence,
    you brought light and music.

    When you lit my candle,
    I began to see and understand
    the taste and texture of who you really are and how I wish to be part of your life.

    Will you allow me into your life? Will you?

    This I do for you my very shy first time reader to simply say thank you for allowing me to share this with you.

    Welcome to the brotherhood press.

    I didn’t have to come here personally, but I did it especially for you, because you were worth it.

    22 Nov 06

  136. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120023-Redux

    Chapter 23

    “The Third Wife and The Fortune Teller.”

    Sometimes while she sat all by herself in the evenings before the dresser she thought for hours at a time about him. A whole year had passed since he disappeared and she felt almost like a ghost haunting the familiar faces who made up her little world, the endless mah jong games, juicy gossips and of course the small dramas that were always unfolding in the old man’s household.

    In the course of a year, she had allowed her consciousness to slip away, downstream, with the current, towards the swiftly disappearing past. That’s where she preferred to be.

    In this secret place in her mind, where she would look at herself in the mirror from time to time and say,

    “The boy will return. He can’t help himself.”

    What after all did the present have to do with her? She wondered whispering to herself,

    “He is alive….I can feel it in my bones.”

    It was as if, he were a planet so far away as to be imperceptible, moving in a wholly different orbit, unseen and silent to all, except her, emitting an perfect light, a light that gave her life. A light which kept her from dropping to the ground and being crushed like a maple leaf in autumn – the third wife basked under this strange light, a light which came from a distant past.

    She had even allowed him to intrude upon her days, coloring them – by recapturing the broken threads of their past – during these moments she remembered his touch, his sloppy kiss and the way he trailed his stubble chin across her neck.

    Above all she remembered his eyes and the way they undressed her, revealing and searching – she knew that there was undeniable happiness to be found there and from time to time, she smiled all to herself and said to the woman in the dresser.

    “The boy is never far from me.”

    “Do you hear me? He will take me away from this god forsaken hell.”

    Whenever she said these words, woman in the mirror often replied with the look of a woman who had successfully recaptured the feeling of radiant joy.

    One evening after listlessly wandering along the malls in Oxford Circus – the third wife knocked on the door of the great oracle, just off Leicester square in Old Crompton street.

    The oracle who was somewhere in her nineties was a renowned fortune teller favored by the rich and famous in the Chinese community for her uncanny abilities to unlock the mysteries of destiny. The many photos on her mantle sported famous actors, actresses, business figures and even politicians, like Jacky Chan, Jet Li, Gong Li, Stanley Ho and some even said in hushed tones, Lee Kuan Yew.

    The door with a faded pak kuah opened up to an austere sitting room with only a table and chairs.

    It was dimly lit, the oracle didn’t need light, she was one of those who honed their senses in the spiritual domain and saw the world entirely with the X-ray powers of the third eye. Here light was as useful as a comb was to a bald man. All she needed was to feel her way across the wide chasm of time and space by rubbing her skeleton hands on the palms of her clients – there hidden beneath the folds and lines, she would trace out the invisible threads of fate.

    “Give me you hand child (the oracle dipped her head as she ran her pincher like fingers along the third wife’s palms.)…….mmmh……..so much suffering…..yet so much pleasure…..mmmh.”

    “I want to…” (the third wife, leaned forward)

    “Silence, there are no questions here…… only answers shhhhhhh.”

    “Do you see him?……”

    “Yes, yes. I see a boy, he is climbing and he limps a little, but yes, it is him. Your lines are stitched along his lines…….that is karma……. Yes, I see the boy. He is a feisty one………. hard one to catch, like a wise fox. (the oracle emitted a faint mocking laugh.)

    Slipped passed them many a time he has….. and now he’s busying raising the dead (her face straining as if attempting to peer into some deep cavity, then releasing the furrow, she smiled and then nodded her head knowingly.)

    The boy wants to cross the great ocean to the east….in a metal bird…that’s why he needs to commune with the dead.”

    “America…..” (the third wife’s eyes widening.)

    Shhhhhhh but wait there is something else…..no, someone else with him…..he is not alone. (looking down again, she peered deeply this time, from time to time shaking her head.)

    “What is it? Tell me………..is it good or bad?” The third wife implored.

    “Calm child, be calm, wait……….. I sense great danger, I see a gun. I see him sitting all by himself a man in turmoil smoking with thoughts so dark, I can see no further beyond his darkness.”

    “Tell me will we be together? I need to know!”

    “Hush child, there is much in this boys mind that is difficult to read………the boy dreams of a life far away from here….…….I see what he sees in his minds eye. But wait, he is not alone……….there is a woman with him to this new place in his heart. Yes, I see her now…………she has her back to me, she wearing pearl earrings and a crème dress with red flowers. (nodding her head and opening her eyes and closing them again, she continued.)

    “No I can’t see her face, it growing fainter and fainter.”

    “Yes, he told me about his dreams, the boy wants to take me away. He………..” (the third wife pressing her palms towards the old woman.)

    “Shhhhhhh…….there’s one more thing, I see………… he is planning to return.”

    That afternoon as the third wife stepped out into a muggy afternoon. The sky for the very first time after such a very long time appeared strangely spacious and the summer clouds immaculately white. She was elated to the point of trembling with these refreshing thoughts of his impending return.

    “It’s destiny. I shall await my fate – he will return to take me away!”

    That same evening when the daughter of the oracle massaged the old woman’s foot, she heard her mother muttering.

    “Run boy, run like the wind – the wolfs are coming for you. They are coming.”

    At precisely that moment when the oracle murmured these words – a cabbage lorry belonging to the Kowloon trading Emporium in London Chinatown – driven by a Chinese driver pulled into the magic bowl – as he lit his crooked cigarette and joined a knot of other Chinese driver by the side for a smoke, he peered into the take away and turned wide eyed to his burly friends.

    “What’s it? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!”

    “I know that chap. I swear it, I know him. That’s the benefactor who carries the money for the four houses.”

    “You mean the one who ran away with the Lam girl?” another replied while peering along with the rest into the magic bowl.

    “There’s a prize on his head, there is – a big prize!”

    darkness 2002.

  137. Chronicler said

    Dictionary:

    “pak kuah” – chinese hexagon symbol usually placed on the main entrance to ward off the evil eye.

  138. blingbling said

    Hi all,

    I just don’t see how he is going to get out of this fix. He has already been beaten up so badly once. It is necessary for him to get roughed up again. It just doesn’t seem fair.

  139. darkness said

    My first time readers…

    A stranger you were once my first time reader.
    Then, with a gentle look you took my hand.
    As our lives entwined,
    you lit my life and I held both your hands.
    Now that so many chapters have passed,
    ours souls have indeed become one.
    How fortunate we are
    that we each other a place where, I want to
    tell you about currelean dreams and place so
    near yet so far, it resides in a place so near to
    you – in your heart.

    May I thank you – will you allow me?

    darkness Nov 29 2006

  140. steamboy said

    I want to ask a question darkness. What do I with someone who I really hate?

  141. Chronicler said

    Just ignore him, we all know steamboy is the court jester of the brotherhood – just ignore him please.

  142. Steamboy said

    I am not a court jester. I am a brother. My ensign: 90477737A. I am a brother. I have rights under article 12(5) to petition the father of the game directly.

    I have a right to my POV!

  143. Nacramanga said

    Who is he chronicler??????

    Both of you to report for sat Kendo training at 0445 hr.

    We all want to see you and this steamboy.

    Darkness and me want to see him.

    I think there is only one way to handle this matter.

    This is a direct order chronicler from the 130th.

  144. Steamboy said

    Because I have spoken and it is my constitution right to do so.

    The paramilitary SS of the brotherhood has decided to silence me.

    I have a right to my POV! Article 12(5) states very clearly, I can petition ANY brother can petition the father of the game.

    He is not God. The constitution is on my side.

    I just asked a very simple question, why do you ppl have to hunt me down.

  145. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120024-Redux

    Chapter 24

    “What the fortune cookie said one evening in the magic bowl.”

    After communing with the dead for two months – the unremarkable Lim’s who once lived a unremarkable life in an forgettable town slowly came back to life again, bits and pieces of their life’s slipped through the letter slot all through the week – first the social security card, tax return forms complete with even a ₤ 15 rebate and finally, the passports complete with our photos.

    Like a mad scientist who successfully manages to sew different body parts together – now, Mr and Mrs Lim Teck Heng had finally returned from the dead.

    The experience was supernaturally sharp, even when the records officer handed me a tax return form just the other day and mentioned.

    “Can you be so kind to fill this up, Mr Lim?”

    It wasn’t as if he was talking to me. For a moment, I asked myself,

    “Who is Mr Lim?”

    Then incredibly he came alive, brimming with energy, present in the moment, a part of some eternal now that had always gone on perpetuating it’self as if he never ever passed on. Intense colors, the minutest details shining in utmost clarity. He was alive!

    So much so, one evening when the door swung open with a bang and a group of Chinese men glared at me and one of them said,

    “We know who you are! Dead or alive, you’re coming with us!”

    I simply sniggered, clucked and replied recklessly in a half joking tone.

    “Yeah, sure you do! I get this shit about once a week, you like the rest of the other 10,000 truckies ***** from Chinatown all know who I really am, don’t you? (not even bothering to turn back while busying myself with the crates) I am the benefactor, don’t you recognize me m***********? (bringing my face close to the leader who stepped back a pace in shock) the same one that everyone is looking for, north, east, south and west – yeah the one who eloped with some big shots daughter, there she is behind the counter – look! That’s the bitch.” Nodding towards Jeannie as she struggled to understand why I had suddenly behaved in such a reckless manner –while secreting herself behind the counter.

    For a while they all looked at each other – while another group of Chinese customers seated along one of the benches froze, chopsticks and dumplings hanging in mid air exchanging doubtful looks – I continued stacking cabbages and from time to time, even cursed the delivery boy for being too lazy to carry them all the way to the back,

    “Your mother gave birth to a turtle, you dumb lazy ****, a turtle and it ain’t even a land turtle, **** your mother! Get your ass down here and help the benefactor or he will waste you into turtle soup!” – it worked – from the corner I caught sight of the slight grin forming on one of the men and in a while the others broke out into rapturous laughter, only for one of them to remark.

    “Yeah sure you are the benefactor – we believed you, really we do, if not for the fact, your face looks like one of those cabbages you’re carrying.”

    The others laughed again, till even the English drivers were giving them sidelong glances from the rim of their plastic bowls.

    “Really, I am the benefactor of what? The four sacks of potatoes and that woman behind the counter is the daughter of the big shot – I swear to you from the very bottom of my heart!”

    “You really shouldn’t have given us such a fright stranger – he nearly choked on his dumplings (one of them pointing to a fat man who had slipped off the bench) – but I guess you get that a lot from our Chinatown boys from London telling you the same thing?”

    “All the time, brother, all the time – though at sometimes, I wish I really was the benefactor.”

    “Why is that?”

    “That way, instead of you boys sitting there on your fat asses – all of you will be so frightened you’ve help me with some of these f******** crates! By back is killing me!”

    This triggered another round of laughter, one of them even pointing at Jeannie as he continue to shake uncontrollably with bits of dumplings coming out from the corner of his gapping mouth.

    “Hey, hey, hey! – Careful with that f******* floor – the benefactor wouldn’t be pleased with the way, you dishonor his honorable floor.”

    This time, I even stood astride holding one of the cabbages like a pistol with my head cocked.

    Again they laughed – this time one of them, even raised his hands up patting his chest as he coughed uncontrollably,

    “Enough please – you’re killing us!”

    In a while after finishing their dumplings, they to settled down pulling on their cigarettes – the joke having run the end of it’s course – while I continued stacking the last of the crates. As those men recounted one tale after another, one of them recounted.

    “That benefactor was a real ladies man, I bet he hammered the old man’s wife, that’s why they did him nice and proper.”

    “No doubt about it.” Someone said.

    “How do you know?”

    “Know the younger brother of the man who did him – runs a restaurant in Derby but everyone knows he is a hired gun – bad ass character. Cant recall the name, but delivered before.”

    At that point Jeannie stormed out slamming the door – from where I stood, it could just about make out a muffled whimper in the kitchen.

    The others looked at me to pick up the cue.

    “See what you done now – you lorry drivers are all the same, not knowing when to shut your sh*t pot mouth – finish and f*** on off. I am shutting early tonight – my back is killing me and that bitch is in one of her baby moods.”

    “You mean she is pregnant?”

    “They’re like that when they all get big around the tummy.” Someone added.

    Turning towards one of these men, I glared.

    “Before you boy f*** off tell me more about the man who dun in the benefactor.”

    “What’s it to you cabbage face?”

    “May need his services to square some old accounts – you know what I mean?” fingering the deep scar just above my eye.

    At another corner, someone crunched a fortune cookie and read out the transcript,

    “This week, someone who you know is going to help color the life of a complete stranger. Remember the magic color for this week is red – bright lucky red!”

    darkness 2002

  146. railroadman said

    Never ever post, but I must this time. You have gone too far SB.

    Tomorrow is saturday boy.

    Do you know why the 130th wants the chronicler there? He sees things and writes them.

    Tomorrow is saturday boy.

    Btw don’t count on darkness to shield you. He is a true politician – even tigers know when to seeth their claws when wolfs howl – how do you think he reached where he is – he chooses his battles – and he is just going to let them tear you to pieces. Besides the 130th doesn’t fear him. There are too many of them.

    Tomorrow is saturday boy.

    Suck it in and just roll with the punches. Welcome to the brotherhood.

    Tomorrow is saturday boy.

  147. Chronicler said

    Nacramanga,

    Darkness would like to make a personal request. He misses cycling in BT and he wants your cosca to join him.

    Steamboy you will ride with darkness. This is the wish of the father of the game.

    The father of the game does not have much time in Singapore bfr he returns to work in China.

    I personally think we should do our very best to accomodate his wishes.

    Meet Chesnut at 0630 hr.

  148. Chronicler said

    nice piece do enjoy from darkness

  149. Chronicler said

    Boys,

    The marriage bureau of the brotherhood would like to wish all of you happy hunting. This comes directly from darkness himself.

    Boys pls kindly deposit 550 solaris into the account of the FC boys.

    As you know those arrogant SOB’s pride themselves with a 100% success rate, so do try your best not to let our side down tmr.

    happy hunting all!

    I shall be there to document this event.

  150. Steamboy said

    Ah what a bunch of wussies. Sure- you wanna meet me? I won’t come alone. Be there then.

  151. Elena said

    you boys really can’t keep a straight story going without getting into all this space crap and infighting. Disappointed. Truly disappointed.

  152. Jessica said

    please stop harassing steamboy. Shame on all of you.

  153. brotherhood press said

    Dear valued readers,

    For your reading convenience please be informed Chapter 25 – “The Cigar Box. The Forger Once Gave Me.” will be posted slightly latter than usual between 2000 to 2100 hr today 27-11-06.

    We are having some problems retrieving this segment of the story from our archives.

    The inconvenience is highly regretted.

    Thank you.

    nanoman on behalf of the chronicler.

  154. vickyelite said

    brotherhood,

    I hope this doesn’t mean you boys are going to start stringing us all again! By keeping us all hanging by our finger nails.

    Or the level of service is suddenly going to go through the floor.

    So far Chronicler we think you deserve a special mention for doing a fab job.

    As for bambie boy he is completely useless when it comes to the area of customer satisfaction.

  155. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120025-Redux

    Chapter 25

    “The Cigar Box. The Forger Once Gave Me.”

    Foreword from the author on this chapter:

    “This conversation takes place in the kitchen behind the magic bowl just after the lorry drivers have left. It’s dark, the lights have been deliberately switched off to give others the impression, the couple has turned in earlier than usual. Only the sound of Jeannie crying filters through the void.

    It is the author’s opinion only words spoken by the characters are of any importance to the narrative. For this reason, there will be no description of the scenery, no comments about the lay out or what any of the characters are doing. And not a word about how Yu Huan Guan spilled cheap liquor on his pants that night.” Author pens out.

    (The scene opens:)

    Jeannie: “Now that you know who they are. You’re going to hunt those men who beat you up. Aren’t you? I heard it all.”

    Huan Guan: “It’s got to be that way, there’s no other way.”

    Jeannie: “The world is one big black hole to you isn’t it? It’s a just a game. I know how it’s going to be, you’re going to kill them and they are going to send someone to hunt us down. We’ve be right in the thick of it all again and every time we turn a corner or the door opens. We just…..just…..be like animals…scared….frightened………can’t you see, I can’t go on living like this.”

    Huan Guan: “You don’t understand a thing about what I need to do, do you? I can’t even walk ten paces without the pavement turning into rubber, I can’t even see too well, because one side of my head is in pain all the time and it’s all because of those ******* and you expect me to just let it slide and walk away from it all?”

    Jeannie: “Well you can go ahead and do what you want because I won’t be around when you return. I can’t go on living like this. I’ve given up everything to be with you and if you think, you can just lead your life the way you want without thinking about me. Then I am not going to have it, do you hear me? I am not going to have it!”

    Huan Guan: “What else do you want from me. I have been working my ass off to get us a new identity so that we can immigrate to America! Isn’t that enough?”

    Jeannie: “It’s is always all about you. You did this! You did that! But you never once considered what I really want. I want a place where we can live life on our own terms darling. That’s what I thought we’re working towards. A place, where those monsters would leave us alone, where no one knows us from Adam, where we could have a fresh start again.”

    Huan Guan: “And for all that to happen I have to be willing to just let it all past! Well I don’t have that type of courage.”

    Jeannie: “Yes! You think I had the courage when you once asked me to be strong for you. I am not like you. I have never ever seen that much violence before in my life not even on TV. But that night when I saw those men kick the living day out of you? I just said to myself, “Jeannie, you’re going to have to pick up the pieces after this, so just grow up and stop whining” – I was courageous for you then and I have never asked you for anything before, except to do the same of me……no for us this time, walk away from it all.

    Huan Guan: “walk away?”

    Jeannie: “Yes walk away my love. It takes courage darling….to walk away from it all.”

    Huan Guan: “A place to live life on our own terms.”

    Jeannie: “Yes, darling. Just a place where the only thing that really matters is you and me and all the cares of the world simply….I don’t know, disappears.”

    Huan Guan: “Perhaps there will even be an open verandah in this “place” along with a white picket fence and a cherry tree by the side.”

    Jeannie: “Yes and you could continue with your studies my love. We are young darling, too young to waste our life chasing down the ghost of the past. Let it go. Let is all go, you see it will be better my love.”

    Huan Guan: “Perhaps you’re right Jeannie. I want so much to be an engineer, that’s all I really ever wanted all my life. I just want to be able to take care of you nice and proper.”

    Jeannie: “You will darling. You’ve be a first class husband a top dog engineer, Just you see my love.”

    Huan Guan: “You’re right. Jeannie. You know there is only one gun in the house and I am going to give it to you, here take it………. I said take it, it’s not going to bite. That way when I go up to Manchester or London from time to time, you know for certain, I wouldn’t be up to no good. I want you to have peace of mind Jeannie and if it means walking away, I’ve do it for you, so take it before I change my mind.”

    Jeannie: “Only if you really want me too.”

    Huan Guan: “Hide it somewhere and don’t tell me where you’ve hidden it. Only remember this, if you think, I am up to no good. I want you to check this hiding place and if it is still there, you know that I have kept my end of the bargain. I am going to walk away from all this because you are the most important person to me. I love you Jeannie.”

    Jeannie: “I love you so much darling, I just love you to bits and you will see, it will be better after you’ve walked away. You’ve see. I promise.”
    That evening when the wife of the quiet man turned in earlier than usual, he sat as he always did in the worn out chair chain smoking. By his tenth cigarette the man suddenly rose, walked to the kitchen, bent down and reached his hands underneath the sink. He struggled with something wedged firmly somewhere in the plumbing. Finally pulling out a cigar box, the same one the forger had slipped under his arms a few months ago with the words,

    “You’re no use to be dead. Besides I am just protecting my investment.”

    Placing the box on the kitchen table, the man stared at it. The longer he looked, the more he felt that the familiar sensation gnawing against him. Till he could hear a faint rattling sound like someone scratching on the lid of a coffin. And every time he turned away he sensed the scratching sound growing louder, every second heightening and sharpening the will to throw it away, yet knowing deep inside, it was simply impossible. Finally he opened the box.

    Holding up the gun to the light his eyes began to fill with tears. That was the one that did him in, this was his kryptonite, the one that was too much to bear. Like an alcoholic who manages to stay dry for years only to finally succumb to his weakness that was the moment that said it all, the one that simply whispers mockingly with a sinister sneer.

    “A leopard can never be expected to lose its spots. You can’t expect to run away from who you really are. Can you?”

    Once the tears started, there was nothing he could do. Somewhere from the depths of his thoughts and memories, he could just make out the faint image of a stranger walking through the door in his minds eye, a solitary figure in a tailored suit with his hair slicked back wielding a gun standing all alone with his trade mark briefcase as if surveying the battle field on a high plateau beneath a godless sky. He closed his eyes in anguish. He tried push the stranger away and even summoned his promise to Jeannie, challenging the void behind every word, sentence and even recalling her expression, but it was useless. All he felt was an immense solitude. A quiet, desperate sadness which came from knowing the stranger who had strolled into his minds eye that evening was none other than the man all feared – the benefactor who carries the money for the four houses – a man who simply whispered the words.

    “The accounts have to be squared.”

    He lowered the gun, lifted his hands over his face, and began to sob.

    darkness 2002

  156. darkness said

    Life is very simple, you can say you are famous or even win the blog award in Singapore, but ppl will still vote with their mouse clickers.

    You can even say I will pretend not to see, hear, read or even notice or register you, but again ppl will still vote with their mouse clickers.

    You may even say, I will not interview them or even write about them and hopefully they will go away and my life will return to the way it was, but again ppl will still vote with their mouse clickers.

    Above all you can say whatever you want ppl or even think what you like, but again ppl will still vote with their mouse clickers.

    This is the new economy, it is not abt how famous you claim to be, it is all about how ppl are willing to vote with their mouse clickers.

    This we in the brotherhood have known for a very long long time – it is the truth –the painful truth and let me share with you one other thing.

    It doesn’t even matter whether you believe or not – like I said – ppl will vote with their mouse clickers.

  157. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120026-Redux

    Chapter 26

    倚天屠龙记 –The Story of Heavenly Sword & Dragon Sabre.

    This story takes place about three thousand years ago in ancient China – the exact time doesn’t really matter – all you as the reader need to know is, if it wasn’t important to the main story, I wouldn’t even have bothered with this fairy tale.

    So make sure you read it carefully, because if you miss one small part, the next chapter would hardly make any sense.

    The gangster world in China town like the rest of the Tongs* in the major cities of the world are all bound together by a common heritage.

    Like the Freemasons or the Mickey Mouse club, each has their respective paraphernalia to make sense of who they are in relation to the world.

    To the Mason, the divider and set square inversed represents the power of knowledge, to the Mickey Mouse member, the ubiquitous Mickey head gear represents all the magic associated with this rodent. And to a China town gangster, common cutlery such as chopsticks, teacups, plates and even a teapot forms all their elements of the so called universe, they all call the order of heaven and earth – for example, if a lower ranking gangster seeks an audience before an elder, he always assumes the seat to the East – similarly, even something as innocent as a the spout of the tea pot in the Tong world can be transformed into a diplomatic tool to obliquely insult or reprimand by simply directing it at a person on a table – an inverted tea cup is a declaration of the end of all hostilities – a cup filled to the brim and presented with two hands with the head lowered is a sign of redemption – a pair of chopstick placed in a crossed fashion, symbolizes a truce – a bowl broken filled with rice means one of us have to leave town – a chair placed side ways speaks of a fallen one whose spirit is greatly missed – a fish turned over before one side is finished implies abundance and it is needless to continue fighting – a teacup filled three times with one hand placed on the heart speaks of friendship – a meal that goes untouched says the reverse – and of course when only one chopstick is broken on the table and placed like a joss in a bowl of rice – it simply means the accounts have to be squared and someone on the table will have to die and neither heaven or earth can interfere with this divine order.

    (Tongs: Cantonese reference to triads)

    Do you now understand how complicated and mind boggling the Tong world is to a simple Singaporean boy who was once born and raised in Siglap!

    Now you understand what I mean. Allow me Yu Huan Guan who was once a Singaporean gangster in London to share with you the yarn of:

    倚天屠龙记

    Many centuries ago there lived in the ancient capital of Xian a certain swordsman by the name of Yi Tian – Heavenly Sword who roamed the lands in search of a worthy opponent who he found in a warrior of equal standing by the name of Long Ji – Dragon Sabre.

    Every year, these two warriors met beneath the falls to cross swords – and every year the result was the same, a draw, since both were equally skillful and strong in their swordsmanship – on one occasion during a duel, Heavenly sword pierced through Dragon Sabre’s armor wounding him, but just before he fell, Dragon Sabre’s sword pierced Heavenly Sword squarely breaching his armor – only for these two great warriors to fall from the sky (those days all swordsmen could fly as they had mastered the art of Hein Sian Lou (anti – gravity) – into a very deep pit.

    In this pit, the fighting continued – by sun down after no victor or loser emerged – both men found themselves completely exhausted and tired, only to lean against each other –till a sort of conversation emerged – when Heavenly Sword mentioned how he had some magical tea leaves – if only he had some fire wood to make a brew – they would be able to leap out of this miserable pit and continue fighting to finish what they started off – to which Dragon sabre replied, he had arrows, which could be broken to make a fire – so after both warriors agreed that one should supply the tea leaves and the other the fire – both of these men prepared and drank the brew – hardly had they finished – they leapt out of the pit – realizing, their desire to fight each other had altogether diminished completely –because they were after all magical tea leafs one of them said, brewed with the pure flame of broken arrows.

    So these two swordsmen made peace and embraced – and from time to time – when one came across the other in the mountains – both of them who were once bitter enemies, would sit together drinking tea made from the pure fire of broken arrows.

    From time to time during those moments when they sat together recounting the past, each would say to other,

    “Let neither heaven or earth come between what we have agreed upon.”

    darkness 2002

  158. St helens said

    OMG bambie darkness,

    All the time, I was under the impression, this was just another fictitious story.

    But me and my gal friends were having a chat over lunch and someone just asked: is there any truth to all this?

    I do hope, you will take the trouble to reply.

  159. Chronicler said

  160. darkness said

    Cerulean dusks

    I want to talk to you about happiness and well being, you know that feeling that accompanies the moments when the hair at the back simply stands to attention and you get that all familiar sensation of excitement telegraphing into every cell into your body.

    I want to talk about special moments, like the time when I woke up early and stood all by myself in Bedok jetty listening to the sounds of tubular bells from distant winds that carried forth clove scented perfumed breezes from distant shores as far as Zanzibar.

    I want to talk about early May weather, about the harmony and blissful repose, about burung kakak tuah’s and the odd yellow finches and flamingo’s darting past our skyscrapers in Singapore, while I sip my coffee and simply say,

    “I wish you were here beside me to see this.”

    I want to talk about us, about the pleasures of stepping into the light only to feel the warmth of your embrace as it envelops and cocoons me.

    I want to remember the cerulean dusk, the langarous, rosy dawns, and the sounds of distant dogs barking in the twilight as I think only of you.

    A speck and point in time, but none the less a thing of immense intrigue and beauty.

    May I my first time reader think of you in such terms, I wonder? Will you allow me?

    I am darkness.

  161. Anita Blake said

  162. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120027-Redux

    Chapter 27

    “A beautiful day to die for.”

    As the train barreled towards London I felt like a bullet snuggly fitted into a chamber and fired off – there was nothing to do except sit back – that’s the philosophy of being a projectile, one doesn’t need to analyze or rationalize – the matter was cut and dried – one simply has to be, what one must be – in between the endless tunnels and openings dividing darkness and light, reality and illusion, right and wrong, heaven and earth , life and death , Jeannie and the third wife and the man I am against the man I yearned to be – my consciousness alternated between these two realities – my adversary was within and somewhere between these two halves there was still enough of the present to gnaw at me – wind whistling through the chinks – the emerging and disappearing countryside – the reflection of a slim young woman, probably foreign, who stopped a moment to check herself on my half opened carriage window. She looked beautiful reminding me of the third wife as she raised her bare arms gracefully to tie back her hair. Suddenly her eyes met mine through the window. For an instant she held the gaze, surprised and curious becoming self-conscious and when the train pulled out she was gone – thoughts are like that, they all come and go flashing past like meteorites some lingering longer than others – killing a man isn’t easy – it only looks easy in the movies – the audience doesn’t realize what goes through a man’s mind when he has decided taking another life is necessary for purifying the soul – or what occupies a man before, during and after a hit.

    When I stepped into the restaurant – the same one where one of the lorry drivers had mentioned along old Crompton Street in London, China town – I felt almost like a hand slipping into a glove, it was a perfect fit – it was just around the “in between hour” –much too early for the lunch crowd to begin streaming in and too late for breakfast, the period when cooks usually took a nap or read their papers.

    The table I occupied was a horse shoe against the wall at the far extreme corner – hardly visible from the main dinning area – when the waiter came, I ordered roast duck and kai lan with oyster sauce – this was when he walked in – it was unmistakable – I recognized him, the instant, the same man who beat me up in the temple.

    “Well, well, well, the Gods are kind to me, it seems – though it is often said a man who devotes his life to a desire which he is not sure will ever be fulfilled – you have delivered my enemy before me – thank you most powerful God of gods – Kwan Kong.”

    This realization went very well with the duck – even asking the waiter for extra chili sauce and the morning papers – when the boy finally came with the chili sauce, another refill of tea and a crumpled newspaper, the type – with a topless weather girl on the front page – I simply read it – all the time staring at the man, who had his back to me – he was there for business – waiting for someone perhaps, it was the way, he searched the hall with his eyes and though he looked at me a few times – he didn’t realize who I actually was.

    In a while two other men came in and sat beside the man – none of them looked particularly suspicious – more like traders, I reckoned and in a while, they left, leaving the man who was by now feeling hungry enough to open the menu scanning it –the restaurant still empty.

    When his order finally came –I walked up, drew a chair and sat down -the man knew what was going on, the muzzle peeked out just enough for him to image the rest , he slumped back – I realized finally, he registered a vague impression of who I was. Gradually his expression flooded with awareness, it was like a bough breaking sending an uncontrollable torrent of emotions which seemed almost to shake him as if a cold cinder of fear had suddenly been placed on his belly.

    I continued looking at him, while gripping the pistol.

    (You could say, if you didn’t know me, I was savoring the moment just before exacting my revenge – but you are wrong – killing a man properly is an enterprise which I seriously do not recommend to the faint hearted or those who suffer from a nervous disposition – too many things that can go wrong, pistol’s jam all the time, bullets don’t go off like they are supposed too and even if they do, one can miss only for it to ricocheted off in 10 different directions only to end up blowing off your pecker.

    No, to kill a man in broad day light requires an appreciation of what I call the dying time – prostitutes know only too well what I am referring too – they can instinctively search out those who undress them with their eyes without really looking a them, as if they can smell out their hidden desires, they know just when to move sinuously – so can pickpockets, they always manage to get their fattest wallets with relative ease, even when their victims smile and say sorry after being bumped into, they too know when to make their move – it’s all about timing and these are the things they never ever show you in the movies.

    The art of killing is a bit like cooking for one, it’s all about preparation – for one, the assassin needs to prepare the victim for the moment of truth – the slight inflection of the victims voice, his eyes, the way the pupils dilate and contract even right down to the cadence of his breathe, all these things determine the moment – just as nervousness can be conveyed to one’s victim – or any other range of emotions – the hit man needs to convey a supreme sense of calmness to his victim – and this can only be accomplished if he doesn’t fidget too much or become distracted by his surroundings, but instead conveys with his eyes the inevitability of what is about to come, in the way a panther suddenly freezes before he pouches on his prey – if this is done right, his victim begins to take on the face of a man who has just relieved his bladder after a very long queue in the toilet – there is a happy calmness about him, one which conveys not only his resignation to the inevitable, but a complete lack of will to even offer the slightest resistance and that’s the moment. That afternoon at half past three, the man who sat before me looked just about ready to die. The time was right.)

    I reached over the table and in one smooth movement stripped his gun from his breast holster – the waiters barely noticing the transaction.

    Thrusting a chopstick into his bowl of rice, I leaned back. The man simply looked on, as if even he realized how the language of the dead hardly needs any words. Then as if summoning the last reserves of strength, he held his cup up with both hands and lowered his head.

    During this strange meditation between the prey and the preyed – I looked out of the window and into the vast expanse of the sky – a great cloud that had appeared from beyond the horizon like some airship, I had once seen in a picture book in my youth. The sun was already high, and the clouds had to stretch its tentacles far to cover her. The extension had made the cloud wispy and thin and resulted in a large rift in the lower portion, through which a radiant light streamed, as though the shaft of brilliance that streamed out was blood endlessly spurting from the a great wound.

    It was a very beautiful day to die.

    darkness 2002

  163. chillibowl said

    I just have this feeling darkness feels very close to his readers.

    I guess they have a special place in his heart. After all they have followed him for so many years.

    So it is only natural for him to show his softer side to all of them.

    This is a side he rarely shows to the brotherhood. To them he is hard, ruthless and a dictator.

    I have often wondered how a man can be so full of contradictions, but then again I am not darkness.

  164. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120028 & 29-Redux

    Chapter 28 & 29

    “When the road runs out.” &

    “Somewhere deep in the jungles of Cambodia.”

    “We all got conned, it was a bad mistake…….a terrible mistake…….we thought the old man who rules the four houses ordered us to beat you up…..that’s what we all thought…….we thought the order came directly from him…….you know how it is, we are all soldiers……..it’s not our place to ask questions……I don’t want to die……..I don’t want to die…..someone fixed us…….I don’t want to die……not like this.”

    Those words rattled around like a pin ball in my head firing off a million cells – there I was sitting with a gun in my hand making a million calculations per second, connecting the dots when all I should be doing was keeping to the plan.

    “If it wasn’t the old man who else could it be?” one part of my mind whispered. “Who else?”- “This can’t be happening!”- “It doesn’t make any sense.” – “he must be lying. Yes, this is ploy, he’s just buying time!”

    With these thoughts swirling in my head, I tried to pick up the line again, but it was giving way to a broader and darker line that seemed almost to race past this faded line – it was the beginning of a new realization, one that was even more unnerving and sinister than any other word or sign that had passed between us that afternoon.

    That sinister line in my head raced across the landscape in my mind at the speed of light only to suddenly stop abruptly – there where the road ends, the awful realization suddenly dawned on me in the full splendor of Technicolor, the man who was about to die that afternoon was telling the truth – there’s no doubt about it – that’s the way with people who know death is certain – they no longer have any incentive to lie.

    It was bad enough that I was a Singaporean gangster in London, but a philosophical hit man who suddenly loses his line on the job – that was really bad – it was tragic.

    (Reflections: See what I mean killing a man isn’t that simple as they make it out to be in the movies or the radio – a hundred and one things can go wrong – see, I told you so! Didn’t I? – Did I tell you once some idiot pointed a gun at me demanding I hand over my briefcase. As a yawned with the expression,

    “Not another idiot with a rusty old gun, pleeeeeeeeze!”

    His hands began to shake so violently, the gun went off blowing off his big toe – the same thing happened once to another famous hit man in China town who once walked into the provision shop to do the proprietor, only to walk out smiling exchanging greetings and carrying two cases of canned abalone, it turned out the guy he was supposed to do, happened to be his long lost third cousin removed from the old country – like I said in the last chapter, killing a man ain’t that easy – fate has a strange way of stepping in – it’s a random thing, like walking into a betting shop picking out a set of numbers straight from the top of your head only to for it to magically line up – if this was a scene from a continental film, the subtitles would probably read.

    “Err, hey you’re not reading your lines like you’re supposed too.”

    As I sat there with these thoughts swirling in my head – I realized things weren’t going they way, they were supposed too – like being suddenly blind sided – wham! Bang! –now that I realized the old man wasn’t the one who ordered my creaming, this man had to live slightly longer– “slightly longer” spoilt it all, the dying time thing, the part about how a assassin needs to be like a cook preparing, marinating, brushing – I had it all down to a science like taking a piss.

    It’s a 1, 2 and 3 thing – (1) unzip (2) slip out Mr. Anaconda (3) Aim (4) Fire – only this time step (5) was the one where I found my foreskin snared on my zipper – like I said, a hundred and one things can go wrong– that mucked up the timing – it spoilt the rhythm – above all one question kept bouncing no end in my head.)

    “If the old man who ruled the four houses didn’t order the beatings, who the hell ordered it?”

    As I looked at the man opposite me repeating the words,

    “I don’t want to die…………..I don’t want to die…….not like this……I don’t want to die.”

    I found myself loosening my grip on the gun. His mantra repeated in a shrill hypnotic tone, had a strange effect on me, pulling me back – far back into the distant past, as if the dikes which once held back the waters of time had suddenly given way.

    There I was again in the mud churned trenches somewhere in the jungle in Cambodia, the sound of shells tearing across the air before they shook the ground. Above the whop, whop, whop of helicopters swooping low as they sprayed the Vietnamese lines with machine gun fire. In the distance the clank, clank, clank of artillery fire being let loose. Cordite and sweat filled the air, columns of black smoke divided the horizon – I found myself in hell again!

    Sitting there in the restaurant watching the man, I found my mind’s eye turning inwards. I saw the whole line of the trench, it was exactly like a scene out of “all quiet in the western front”, straight for twenty meters, then dog-toothed to prevent blast, then straight again. Beyond it, stretching out further to the distance to the South, a range of mountains, forming to create the impression of a royal Siamese gondola. For an instant it looked almost too peaceful to be real, like some mythical vessel floating placidly in a sea of green.

    Then another incoming shell screamed in shaking the ground with a thunderous roar, the sandbags that made up the parapet had been blown clean away. A section of the trench caved in and barbed wire was all over the place hanging all over the churned smoking earth.

    The sound groaning filled the air. Someone shouted, “Mama!” The medics were trying to clear debris to get to the wounded men. Men who always wore that vacant expression whenever you pulled them out from the mud – men who always wailed after being cut down by shrapnel – men who kept on knocking their heads against the wall repeating the words,

    “I don’t want to die……..I don’t want to die………I don’t want to die.”

    That day as the man before repeated the same words, I found myself to thinking about all the men who fell in some distant past – I remember one Kampuchean officer who stared at me leaning against the wall, his expression hardly betraying a glimmer of fear instead, he radiate peacefulness and as I approached him. I wanted him to get down, I remembered calling out to him,

    “Dein pak ay hen – a hun tei neh – pro tie jung je kai!”

    (take cover you idiot – it’s heavy artillery – what you doing there, propped up for like a sitting duck)!

    I ticked off his details in my head as I crawled over to his side, he was around my age one of the first batches, the red beret trained in jungle warfare. I remembered vaguely how he wanted to start a small business fixing bicycles after the war ended, he liked to listen to Michael Jackson, a son was on the way, his wife had eyes shaped like a banyan leaf – as I came up close to him, I realized his head was cut away in section, so that the smooth skin and the handsome face remained on one side, but on the other were the ragged edges of skull from which the remains of his brain were dropping on to his scorched uniform.

    At that moment, another incoming tore through the skies – this time, it was close, some one shouted, “Get down Captain!”– after the blast, the world became radiant white and silent, it was calm and peaceful – I had just turned 19 and like the other boys there that day, I found myself repeating the same words I heard that afternoon.

    “I don’t want to die……..I don’t want to die………I don’t want to die.”

    That afternoon as I sat there watching the man before me – his words cast a spell on me – I found myself suddenly standing all alone watching a wave of immense loss from the past sweeping into the present, as it fingered towards past the sands of time and touch me. I felt that unspeakable fire – that afternoon as I sat there with a gun in my hand watching the man, I mourned the lost of those who had fallen – I mourned the loss of my innocence – above all, I didn’t want to be a part of it any longer.

    I realized then, I loved life, it didn’t even have to be my life or even the life of a loved one or even the life of someone I even knew – any life would do, even the life of a stranger who once beat into a pulp – the life of the man who sat before me weeping that afternoon.

    I don’t expect you to understand these contradictions – they’re not supposed to make sense – like a the faint impression of the moon in daylight – it’s vague – hardly making any sense at all except to those who see the world through the eyes of a man who simply knows, he’s damaged goods.

    I reached out for the cup the man held up and placed it on a set of chopsticks.

    “I want to tell you this, I just had a divine revelation, but if you don’t stop whining. I going to change my mind and pop you one right here. Do you hear me? So get yourself together!”

    The man poured tea three times into the cup, his hands shaking so violently threatening to tip the pot. Then holding up the cup to me again, he said:

    “Brewed from the fire of magical arrows – benefactor.”

    Raising the cup, I said.

    “Let neither, heaven or earth come between what we have agreed upon.”

    After the man had settled down and composed him, I leaned forward and asked.

    “If it wasn’t the old man, tell me who was it?……….This better be good….I swear to God it better be very good!”

    2002 darkness

  165. mikoyan said

    I just want to notify everyone steamboy has disappeared from the face of the known planet.

    Yesterday I received notice from the 130th and 140th, all space stations are currently manned by the militia. They have effectively taken over all space traffic control and imposed martial law on the strangelands.

    May I respectfully ask chronicler what has happened to steamboy? Our cosca is very concerned and we have been deliberating the idea of lodging a formal complaint with the federation.

    Can you please clarify the situation.

    I fear he may have been apprehended by one of nacramanga’s thugs and sent to a gulag, can someone please tell me where he is?

    Please!

  166. Chronicler said

    Chapter 28 & 29 has been reposted in Mr Miyagi.

    Ladies,

    Please dont get mad with me, bc I posted – go to Mr Miyagi – it is all there. Thanks.

  167. Chronicler said

    http://miyagi.sg/2006/11/treatment/#comments

    Thank you very much ladies and have a very nice weekend.

    The chronicler

    Long live the brotherhood!

  168. darkness said

    Nacra,

    Many in the 130th and 140th fought beside me in Pillium and the Ascension wars. Do you all remember? Or have you all forgotten? I wonder?

    I know some of you personally, we have sat down together breaking bread like brothers.

    Others I even know personally, I know the names of your sons and daughters.

    You will all turn against me now!.

    I think not.

    You should always bear this in mind Nacramanga.

    I want steamboy to be delivered to my cosca by 0800 GMT tomorrow.

    He is a fool, but even a fool has a right to speak his mind in the brotherhood. If I don’t mind his nonsense no one should take him too seriously. He has a right to his views.

    We are not here to hammer down ppl just bc they hold different opinions from us.

    We should all be graceful enough to give them a bit of creative license – after all he designed those space stations.

    I will give you 24 hrs to end martial law in the strangelands after that you may if you wish order your men to move against me, but not a single man will move against me Nacramanga – not a single one – I am the father of the game, the one who led them in Pillium and the Ascension wars.

    Do you understand who I am?

    I am darkness. This is very polite request, obey me if you are wise.

    Chronicler, I want this to be recorded.

    I don’t want to fight, I really don’t want too, but you ppl keep forcing me too.

    I feel very sad.

    I am darkness.

    30-11-06

  169. darkness said

    I am challenging you nacra give the order. No one will obey you. Give the order! Go ahead!

    I darkness am challenging you!

  170. chronicler said

  171. chronicler said

    From Nacramanga:

    I offer an unconditional apology to the father of the game.

    There has been a misunderstanding, we merely wish steamboy to be our guest.

    He will be returned to the FC boyz at the designated place and time – we offer a tribute of 1,000 solaris as a token of good faith.

    We do not wish to pursue the matter further.

    As we have mentioned, it is a misunderstanding.

    Yours very respectfully to the father of the game.

    Nacramanga.

  172. aiboh? said

    You sadist have to keep poking him all the time. You cant even leave him alone can you? This scene has been played out so many times in the history of the brotherhood. I personally think bambie should just waste this troublemakers like the singaporean gangster in London.

  173. chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120030-Redux

    Chapter 30

    “La Grande Casino.”

    To enter the Grande Casino was to imagine words like chiaroscuro and destiny. It was a much smaller version of a full sized casino minus the razzmatazz one seldom comes across these days, slightly shabbier and worn around the edges, relying more on the patrons to supply “la atmosphere.”

    The type of place one typically comes across in dingy side lanes in Paris, New York and London where from time to time, the rich would simply indulge in a spot of slumming.

    Much too small for a full sized orchestra with only a lone singer with a husky voice and a shimmering gown who leans sinuously belting out jazz evergreens over a grand piano while the rest of the floor remains perpetually flooded in twilight: that was the Grande Casino.

    A place where men and women would look you up and down discreetly in the lobby area, where women dressed in long flowing gowns holding on to ivory cigarette holders sashayed by while leaving a lingering aroma of exotic perfume. While men walked around with a double scotch and serenaded older women. I’d seen it all in the movies, and I knew how it was supposed to look and feel – worn mahogany, and old velvet, that was the Grande casino a place that only came alive only after eleven.

    According to the man who once beat me up, this was the place where I would find the third wife that evening – she had taken to a spot of gambling recently. I imagine it was her way to while away the evenings.

    The Casino was on the second floor with a rigged roulette table from where I stood, I could just hear the muffled sounds of an ivory ball bouncing away – so the man who once beat me up said, he had even given me a few complimentary chips with the words,

    “It’s nothing much, but that’s the least I can do to square the accounts.”

    He said he knew some people there like the Russian émigré who whispered,

    “Place your bets gentlemen.”

    In an oily foreign accent who oversaw the roulette table.

    “Put it on 18 as many times as you like. Like I said, I do what I can to square the accounts.” The man who once beat me up had said.

    When I asked whether the third wife could enlighten me, the man who once beat me up simply shrugged his shoulders.

    I want to share this with you this, the human mind is a strange thing, on one level, you could say. I am a very practical man, I needed money for both me and Jeannie. Emigrating isn’t cheap, there is a whole lot of stuff that needs money and now that someone had placed a price tag on how I winch and limped, I wasn’t about to let it simply past by without at least cashing in on my chips. Remember, I am a Singaporean gangster in London and gangsters are the most practical people on the face of this planet, that’s why they choose to do the things they do. It’s business. It’s nothing personal.

    But I knew, the reason why, I went to the Grande Casino that night was because I was drawn to the notion of meeting her again – the third wife. It’s a tractor beam thing (someday, I may try my hand at writing sci-fi to explain further) but if I am pressed to explain. I would simply say, I was a moth and she was a flickering flame.

    A moth doesn’t have anything resembling such a thing as a choice, it’s fate is predetermined, it has no other choice but to fly around in ever decreasing circles around the flickering flame, each circle drawing tighter, each circle bringing it one step closer to it’s source of fascination and fear only to eventually charge into the very source of it’s allure.

    By the seventh round I had amassed quite a sum, it was time to cash it all in – and then it happened, from the corner of my eye, I saw her and though she registered a slight look of surprised, I realized she was had been there quite a while, staring at me – it was the third wife of the old man – who looked at me as if she knew I was simply meant to be there that evening –it was the overpowering sense of calm that enveloped her, the radiant silence burning within – one which spoke of her desire for me.

    I am Yu Huan Guan, the Singaporean gangster in London.

    darkness 2002

  174. guardianpharmacist said

    I think one reason why the character Yu Huan Guan is so appealing is because he is a very uncertain hero.

    For instance in Chp 28, he appears so cool and certain. Only for it all to fall apart in Chp 30 because he remembers some painful past in the jungles in Cambodia.

    I think in a sense, there is abit of Yu Huan Guan in all of us (that is why many of the ladies can relate to his trials and tribulations)like him, we are not always sure, certain and confident most of the time, but we want others and especially ourselves to believe that we are.

  175. navigator said

    I personally think these mini episodes are very, very addictive like melon seeds, “kuah chi.”

    If you don’t believe me try your best not to continue reading.

    Both my mum and two sis are already fighting with me to use the home computer every day and that never ever happened before.

  176. killamaru said

    Hi folks

    I think personality also plays a part. I am not saying the content is lousy, only a big pull factor is personality and this cannot be denied.

    We all know darkness has a very unique relationship with his core readers. That’s because he often crosses the line with them.

    If they put up barriers, he will just go around them. He doesn’t do anything of course but he makes it known to them if you want me to be part of your life, you must let me come and go as I please. So at the end of the day, he comes and goes as he pleases, says and does whatever he likes just like a cat and after a while all of them develop a fondness for this strange sort of intimacy. Where they want him to be around, yet at the same time, they don’t like it, if you know what I mean, but the pattern is always the same.

    They all invariably don’t want him to go.

    So personality plays a big part.

  177. lakesidegal said

    hi killamaru,

    Personality? Yes, I agree, what you mentioned reminds of a HDB cat who goes by the name of shadow. Shadow is ash colored and his right paw has a burst of white. He comes and goes as he likes.

    Although shadow’s hunting ground is in the general vicinity of Bedok North. He has been known to travel as far as lakeside and even right up to Woodlands and was once even spotted in Sentosa.
    This is a fact, there is actually this cat called shadow.

    I agree shadow does have a sort of charm. He does what he pleases and once you have settled into a sort of routine, he suddenly picks up and disappears for months. Only for you to find yourself looking out of the window from time to time wondering, “where are you shadow.” And just when he has all but disappeared from your memory, Shadow reappears again, he strides right in and plonks himself down as nothing has really happened and the story just picks up from there.

    So please dont make it too glamorous, he is just like a HDB cat who goes by the name of shadow.

  178. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120031-Redux

    Chapter 31

    “The Mythical Bird.”

    That evening as I looked at the third wife, it seemed as if the sun had broken through the clouds, it may have been a mere illusion on my part. Yet the entire composition of the scene, the soft murmur of gambling chips being thrown on green felt, the sound of a single ivory ball bouncing on the roulette wheel all these slowly coalesced into a solitary image – the face of the third wife.

    How I long to tell a story that differs from the one I am telling! You have no idea, how hard I have tried to change it, yet the same face reappears only to find myself trapped, stretched bare on a pelt rack crushed by the intensity of the moment.

    Here one has no choice but to, perform the same actions, think the same thoughts and go through the same litany. You may think you could have said and done differently to alter the direction of this story, but trust me my friend just as some flowers have no choice but to radiate their beauty and others their ugliness, you don’t have any thing close to a “choice” – even birds know this when they gather along telegraph lines on a cold September morning sensing the encroaching winter creep up on them – they step right out of the “I” take up their place in a formation along side other nameless and faceless birds to fly off to warmer lands – they assume their faceless role without too much fuss, no one expects them to say “sorry”, “how do you do?” or even care to ask, “where you’re from.” – “or where you’re flying too?” – they know something you and I don’t.

    So please don’t think my tale circular; in truth, it has no shape or direction. This happens when a man finds the outer world slipping away from his inner world. That night as I looked on at the third wife, the “I” had somehow slid out of my body put on a pair of trainers and taken off full speed towards some dark alley, leaving only a man who shuffled his chips absentmindedly wondering:

    “How long had I wandered, how had I come to where I am?”

    It wasn’t the reality you, he or they are accustomed too, it’s the variety where the “I” was bolted off, the type that leads you to do and say the things that you wouldn’t normally do.

    That night as I followed the figure of the third wife – who writhed sinuously extenuating the roundness of her hips and narrowness of her waist with every step she took. I followed her without saying a word down the sweeping stairways, through the smoke filled lobby into the dimly lit streets of London towards the Arab section just off China town and into a rented room resplendent with shimmering Turkish mosaics of a crystalline texture – I remembered the third wife naked, her milky white skin framed against purple silk sheets and the wan of the yellow street lamps filtering Moorish patterned shadows on her skin – beads of sweat at the forehead edge of her jet black hair, and in her dark triangle, on her eyelashes – while her liquid brown eyes looked on as if she cared only for tonight as if even she had the power to stop time it’self – perhaps she could, I remembered saying to myself.

    Like the many birds of this world who simply know, it is time to leave before crushing cold of winter sets in and takes off into the darkness through the sky and beyond, into the endless night, it scarcely mattered where she was leading me too, even why or whether it was right.

    That night as the “I” ran out of me into the night, I was no longer Yu Huan Guan the Singaporean gangster in London – or the benefactor who carries the money for the four houses – I was merely a cold and solitary soul, lost in the distant constellation I could no longer see as I sensed her words to me that night.

    “Come, my beloved, let us remain here on the fluted damask and enameled tiles of our bedchamber and shut out the world, let us linger on the carved wooden filigrees and arabesques that decorate it’s many door and shutters. Here tonight, we have a place we can call our world in the world. Come, my beloved. And in the eternity of this moment, the only that has ever existed, we shall never know the fate of the storyteller, the outcome of the story, or the difference between the two. This will be our chapter.”

    I had been magically transformed into a mythical bird – I was Garuda.

    darkness 2002

  179. Chronicler said

    darkness says:

    “We are never ever going to blog!”

    21-09-2006

  180. Chronicler said

    The second batch please remember to bring your sun block and your wide brimmed hats tomorrow.

    The man called darkness has personally informed me, he will be arranging a surprise cruise for all of you.

    Pls do not be late ladies and remember always all the boys in the brotherhood are looking forward to seeing all of you.

  181. lakesidegal said

    Shadow is a Singaporean super cat. When I walk to the MRT every morning, he always walks ahead of me. This cat believes, he is my protector. Whenever I return in the evenings, shadow is always there, waiting by the steps. He walks like a silent sentinel. Some evenings, he just looks into our hall, he never demands to come in, he just looks on with his supernaturally big eyes. When he does come in, we never likes the door to be shut so we all leave it slightly open.

    Shadow loves nasi lemak. My Ah Kong says, Shadow has probably travelled to Malaysia once upon a time because he knows how to climb trees something which Singaporean cats haven’t quite learnt yet.

    There are times when shadow stares out of the kitchen window and he just looks out. He sticks out his tongue as if smelling the air and you simply know, he is readying himself to leave again.

    You know this because before he goes, he always looks up jealously at birds who fly to the South, as if he too had wings and during those moments, he is extra nice. So very sweet and charming.

    I once bought a cage from cash converter to stop shadow from running away. When I told my Ah Kong about it, he simply shook his head and said shadow wasn’t like the other cats in the estate, there was too much of the wild in him.

    So I just let it be. One evening when I realized the story was coming to an end and when that happens Shadow always slips away.

    I just had this feeling in my heart to go out to the void deck and look out.

    I saw the Singaporean super cat in the distance as if he was just waiting for me to wave good bye. Then in a blink of an eye, he slipped away into darkness.

    Someday Shadow will return. Someday my wish is: Shadow will stay.

  182. Chronicler said

  183. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120032-Redux

    Chapter 32

    “The Reflections of The Third Wife.”

    Leaning on the window sill that night, the third wife turned her eyes up to the starry night and fixed her eyes on one particular point of light, and tried not to take her eyes off it. She had heard from the man boy how stars were so very far away, she remembered he dreamt only of rocket ships and distant worlds.

    Then, just as she was watching – the star wavered like a man who had suddenly lost his steps, then wavered again and snuffed out.

    “Huan Guan,” She whispered.

    He didn’t stir.

    “I just saw a star go out, exactly the way you said, it would.”

    It was a trivial thing to wake him for, but she couldn’t help herself. She put a hand on his naked back and felt a pang of loneliness. The man boy had told her once such a star had burnt out millions of years ago, and yet its fire had streamed towards her ever since – like his love for her – searching her out once again just the way the fortune teller had predicted – this was fate, it was destiny – she felt alive even when all the world slept around her, she had never being so charged with alertness before.

    Turning to the man boy in the dark, she wondered what a dismal thing, to live an unremembered life – dead days all adding up to the emptiness of nothingness, but it had all changed in his return. All the more reason to finish this night and find a way to make it into art, she said to herself and with these thoughts she kissed his him.

    The following morning, the sky was whitish blue and the clouds iridescent like she had very seen before – as she looked at him wolfing down his breakfast, she was reminded of fresh ice shavings served in a polished metal bowl – full of live and tingling, the sharpness of his eyes, the way they seemed to dart around as if the world was still a place of wonderment and adventure – the white neat row of teeth and the innocence of his smile as they beamed through the morning – the sound of his voice, rising and lowering in hushed tones as he spoke to her about how, he planned to emigrate with her to America and some ridiculous yarn about having sneaked into a town council hall and a crematorium to get hold of some false papers – and something about running a joint called the magic bowl – about getting a decent job and eventually working with rockets and flying machines – it was all nonsense of course, but it hardly mattered – like the place he had brought her too, it was a strange and foreign world, one where, she was simply content to remain forever and assume her place as the woman who had and will always love him.

    Somewhere along the conversation, she noticed a dark shiny Mercedes with it’s menacing three pointed star like the sight of a machine gun pulling up to the side curb.

    She remain still and continued to smile at the man boy pretending to listen to all his ridiculous plans of setting up home somewhere in America. A place he mentioned, with a open verandah, a white picket fence and even a cherry tree by the side. As she continued staring, her minds eye turned inwards:

    “Trapped beneath your crushing gaze, I looked again fleetingly. This time when I held it longer, I began to see you as you truly are, small, delicate and lovely, not like those cruel men; and I began to pity you, and from this pity to love you even more.

    You are too fragile for their world my love, they will crush you and this time surely you would be finished. I realize from that moment it was futile to continue loving you, there will be no wide open verandah’s – no white picket fences – or even a cherry tree with a wooden swing my love – only in another life not this one.

    Today, I realized, for my love to continue. There is a price, I must pay – a terrible price.”

    As she listened to the man boy man telling her about his dreams, she sipped her cold coffee and look again at the car with the black tinted windows parked by the side, she said to herself,

    “As long as I am with him, he will be safe. They wouldn’t dare to make a move. I mustn’t let him know. The boy is full of dramatics, he would probably whip out his toy gun and do something he saw in the movies. No! that simply wouldn’t do – I’ve have to bear it all – the unbearable and plan his escape.”

    In the background Mozart played softly – it was a clean, a well lighted café, a world so far from her own dark world of intrigue and dead days – a world she yearned to be part of – the man boys brave new world, he had described in his simple rounded tones – where the gaudy polished seats gleamed brightly with hope like bright red cherries – sunny corn yellowed Formica tables with rounded edges – bright orange tiles she once saw in a cartoon movie – complete with even a plastic clown who sat all alone on a bench with a dazed happy smile as if he had just finished his second opium pipe – it was right in the middle of China town, London – it was McDonald’s.

    darkness 2002

  184. secretary said

    I dunno whether to cry or to laugh, but that part about: “The boy is full of dramatics, he would probably whip out his toy gun and do something he saw in the movies.” Is so very true.

  185. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120033-Redux

    Chapter 33

    “Take me away now Huan Guan.”

    Chan Sim’s eyes were brown, that’s her name. A dark chocolate brown flecked with traces of light golden threads, perhaps some hints of even orange as well. They were complex eyes, eyes that changed according to the intensity and timbre of the light that fell on them at a given moment, and the first time I saw her that morning after slumbering out from sleep in the rented room, she was there resplendent looking at me with all her fullness of being.

    It occurred to me then when I looked at her, I had never met a woman who exuded such a measure of composure, such tranquility of bearing, as if Chan Sim, who was not yet twenty nine at the time, had already moved on to some higher state. A plane where she saw the world clearer than even all of us – it was an inexplicable feeling one that just feels so right, like finding a comfortable park bench or when one just finds the right book and it’s effortless to see it through to the end. You know the feeling right?

    So when she leaned forward that morning in McDonalds and looked at me with her reserved cool, the same one with the silent radiance burning within and whispered,

    “Take me away now Huan Guan. Let’s just pick up and run like the wind.”

    I looked at her searching for signs of madness, only to discover a startling pool of calmness free from even the slightest signs of inner struggle. I found myself searching for the right words, but like I said, it just felt right, too right for me to even say, no.

    “Where?”

    “Anywhere, let’s just get into a taxi and we will decide from there.”

    I nodded and no sooner after stepping into the cab, when the driver quipped,

    “Where too guv?”

    “Train station please.” The third wife injected, while looking back nervously straightening my collar.

    “Which train station would it be ma’am? Paddington, King’s Cross….”

    “Choose one. Hurry please!”

    I bought tickets for the seaside resort in Brighton, she said, “it was a good idea.” While slipping away she said to stock up on some toiletries. It a nice getaway for the time of year and as I turned the corner after purchasing the tickets it happened.

    I saw one of them, a lone figure, broad-shouldered, dark- headed figure, a crisp black silhouette among the listless cheerful colors of holiday makers. I recognized the searching look and the slight tenseness around the jaw line. I looked towards the train which had by now begun to signal the last call and wondered whether she had gone ahead of me. Yes, perhaps I’ve find her in the carriage, moving furtively through the crowd, I turned my collar up (after all that what they do in the movies right!) and began to make for one of the carriages. As soon as I entered, I caught sight of a second figure out of the window that was not moving at all. Tall and dressed in a fine dark tailored suit, standing quietly on the platform, he was too far to make out his features clearly, but I caught sight of a metallic object peeking through his crumpled newspaper.

    I raced to back to the carriage, she wasn’t there. The train had begun to lurch forward. I raced towards the window in the last carriage and that was when I saw her standing on the platform looking straight at me – I pulled the door handle, it was bolted shut – I tried to pries it open – kick it loose – but it was useless, I turned to her in the distance, when her eyes met mine, she suddenly lost that look of pensiveness and soon her expression changed completely transforming into one of relief and a soft smile swept over her, as if she had succeeded in an enterprise she hardly cared to share with me. As if she had released a bird and seen it take flight taking with it all her dreams and hopes – that afternoon as I held on to the image of the third wife who slowly receded away, I stretched my hand out of the carriage. I felt the wind tear away at me – the sound of the roaring engines drowning out my voice as I called out for her, before she disappeared, a circle of men in dark suits closed around the solitary figure and that was when she vanished right before my very eyes, as if she never existed.

    As I stood watching, a wave of loss passed right through me – then my grief reached me, and unspeakable fire. An unspeakable fire………..

    —————————–

    Four Years Ago Somewhere In The Jungles of Kampuchea.

    (One afternoon during a monsoon storm in Kampuchea along the Mekong North of Stoeng Treng. 205 miles from the Laos border. In a secret war history has forgotten.)

    Throughout the day, the Vietnamese had poured into the sector and were moving fast cutting off the path of the retreating Khmer militia. Earlier in the morning, villagers had streamed through the this sliver of land where the Mekong was narrowness and by evening when the monsoon storm slammed the peninsula, the Mekong had swelled bursting her banks, her breadth increasing nearly four fold, threatening to cut off the only escape route.

    Tying two bamboo rafts together a group of men proceeded towards the river bank. They made a good entry despite the rough waters, but somewhere along the middle veered slightly off their line, but the man who held the sweep seemed to have managed to pry them free from a nasty eddy.

    Along the three quarter mark just when they were about to reach the safety of the banks, a large tree trunk suddenly charge through the raging waters upstream like a battering ramp and ploughed hard into both rafts, throwing a few men overboard.

    For an instant the man who held the sweeps was himself nearly thrown overboard while the rest gripped the sides of the rafts as they were thrown into another eddy, both rafts reduced by this time to wooden toys circling a bathtub drain. Though the man with the sweep tried to pry them out into another line, it was useless – the currents were strongest near the banks threatening to pull both rafts under – water flooded in – the rafts quickly losing their shape as they begun to flex and bend– their cords fraying – the men screamed.

    Suddenly the unimaginable happened, the man with the sweep drew out his machete, he appeared to be struggling with a few of his own men who were trying to bring him down, but he was too strong and with one sweep severed the rope tying the two rafts together – that evening as one the rafts bearing the wounded drifted unmoored into the wide channels sweeping uncontrollably downstream at breakneck speed.

    The men who I can only describe as the damned shouted and screamed for their comrades, their outstretched hands and faces describing the horror – all except the man who held the machete, standing erect, his expression lost in darkness he slowly lowered his head – that evening as the other men scrambled to the safety of the river banks, the man looked on at the other raft, bobbing in the distance, it raced away downstream, yet even when it disappeared from sight, the man looked on as if he had been transformed into a bronze image, one forged by an unspeakable fire …..only the damned knew…..the unspeakable fire.

  186. Chronicler said

  187. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120034/35-Redux (sub-list deleted)/ Circulation Status: Green.

    Chapter 34 & 35

    “Somewhere in the Jungles in Kampuchea during the Rainy Season – 4 years ago.”

    “There is no point in radioing, they’re changed the frequencies, they’re cut us loose and don’t think for one moment, they’re going to send a rescue squad to get us out of this shit hole. It’s all gone wrong very wrong, we not even supposed to be so far up North, someone either ****ed up big time with lousy intel or we’re just expandable, trust me, otherwise we wouldn’t have the whole ****ing Vietnamese army breathing down our necks. I’ve lost half my platoon, I can’t even allow myself to think about it otherwise I’ve go all spastic, I’ve got to keep it all……..together (clamping his head with hands).

    Listen up this is as good as it gets, to the West we have Uncle Ho and his merry men. To the South, it’s way too far to the Thai border and to the West, we have Mr Year Zero and his killing fields, so that leaves us only one option, the North to Laos. From where we are, we about two hundred or so miles from Muang Khong, (the man stoops and draws a straight line on the ground) all we have to do is follow the Mekong upstream, from here to the Laos, she runs straight up like an arrow. Now we’ve been trained for this sort of thing, so I want you all to do it by the book, junk the No.4’s, dog tags, boots even the heavy metal, there are only nine of us left, find some civilian clothes. Split up, one man traveling by himself has about an even chance of making it through, but a group…no way…..no way in hell….. Keep the sun to your left, stay close to the river but not too close and remember when we make it back, the last one to Mutho’s Curry house picks up the bill! Good luck and I’ve see you all there!”

    4 days later. He stood surrounded by the lush jungles walking the narrow earthen path – a sliver of a trail which had yet to be warmed by the rays of the morning sun. How far had he traveled? How far was there to go? He remembered passing burning villages by the side of river, sun dried bone white thatched roofs; the crinkled hands of an old woman serving him brackish water from a polished coconut shell; a burning fire in his head that would not go away, a metallic taste in the back of his throat that lingers, yet he continued walking – one foot in front of the other as if this was the only thing that really mattered. Once, he passed a village, empty of inhabitants save for a flock of black birds feasting on the remains of the dead, perhaps it might have been vultures, he was not sure, he had gone over this too many in his head to wonder why he should have preoccupied himself with such meaningless trite; but whenever it is a voice in his head whispered,

    “You’re losing it, keep it together, keep it together.”

    By the seventh day, he remembered vaguely the voices of brown skinned children following him along country trails, beckoning him,

    “Siah praih thuen pie, siah praih thuen pie, si ku vein drangh.”

    (Beggar go away, beggar go away, or I’ve stone you to death.)

    He noted the slight change in the way they rolled out their words unlike Southerners stretching their vowels, he must be very close to the border now he thought, the nights were colder, Yes, he must be very close to the border now.

    He took another bite of coconut flesh from his pocket, it was crawling with ants but it hardly mattered to someone who already had a ruin mouth or dribbled more than he could chew and soon he felt the familiar pain somewhere deep within his gut, it had followed him throughout his journey.

    By the sixth day, when he arrived at the rivulets that constituted the turning point of the Mekong when it turned South, droplets of molten sunlight swirled in front of his eyes then slowly coalesced to form the face of a young man in a Khaki uniform who brought his face close to the beggar – before passing out completely, the beggar chuckled like a deranged man half crying and laughing, he had noticed the orange star on the crumpled cap of the soldier – it was the uniform of a Lao border guard.

    darkness 2002

    —————————————

    Present day Singapore – A Straits Times, Life section interview with a famous Curry house proprietor article simply entitle, “The Strange Eating Habits of Singaporeans.” (to be published sometime in the near future.)

    Wat dah dey! Today I want to talking about gila*1 people in this Singapura*2. You know (pointing to himself), I in this business many years already (raising up his finger knowingly), you can asking all everybody from Woodlands, Jurong and even East Coast, all knowing number one curry fish head here lah. (tapping the counter proudly).

    Deh, dat one another story lah, let me tell you the story about gila people who come to eating here. I Mutho very simple one, you have money, you want to do what you want – your business lah. Yoga also can. Kamasutra of course cannot lah, (smiling and turning the inside of both palms) you want me, Mutho to kena summon is it? (slapping the reporter jokingly while offering him another papadum) that one go Mohd sultan road*3 to seeing dancing on table lah, but here in Mothu Curry house in my father time (turning to garlanded image of a man who smiled supremely) he always saying,

    “Customer is first deh!”

    Deh! Don’t disturbing lah!

    “Ah cha enah saperdeh deh. Yena porangeh, pundek moneh!”*4 (Can’t you see I am talking to a reporter here, I talk about renewing your work permit tomorrow, can’t you see it’s a bad time, get your Southern ass back of the kitchen!)

    Sorry what I talking just now? Ok, ok la, gila people (rotating his fingers round his head) who coming to my shop.

    Isay, (slapping his forehead) I want to tell you this story about one psycho who coming here to eating every Friday, this fellow all the waiters here call,

    “Piatiam champion No.1”*5.

    This fellow coming. You know what he doing or not? He sitting down lah (pointing to a table for two), so we give the rice lah, but he saying, “somemore” so we give lah, rice free apa?*6 So he saying “somemore” until becoming mountain lah, then this psycho looking at the mountain of rice, his face like Woodbridge fellow lah*7 – then he make hole with his hand, until like volcano, then pouring sambar lah, then he hantam*8 all the rice. This psycho everyone in Serangoon road know, he champion*9. Aiyoh (slapping his forehead).

    Another psycho but this fellow only come one time in one year, like national day lah wat dah (slapping his head) you don’t know is it, one time one year lah! No such thing as two national day, only one time (holding one a single finger) usually this psycho coming during rainy season lah, many people also come to makan*10 that time also, because Chinese believe when rain come, the body not so solid lah, so curry give power*11 lah (nudging and winking at the reporter).

    This fellow only taking the bus (pointing to nearby bus stand outside the shop), he always carrying the bag, isay what the word deh? (clicking his fingers and looking to the ceiling) ah! Briefcase. Ayo yo briefcase that word nearly forgetting deh.

    Oho. this psycho always calling first one, he stylo milo lah – gaya ada sikit, he telling what he want on telephone first (making a phone with fingers), always table for twenty one people, he also ordering curry fish head first for 21 people and he want to seeing all the makan when he enter, he don’t like to wait one.

    When he coming in that time, he sit down at the table and this is the gila part lah, he telling the waiter all to giving rice lah, I say one time to him, rice I can give dah, but cold rice tasty ah? (cupping his hand to his mouth) Cold rice nice is it? But like my father saying in his time, you pay we give lah, rice free apa? No charge for rice in my restaurant! So we give this psycho what he want lah.

    One time I asking this psycho, but he don’t look like psycho fellow you know, they one kind one. This fellow got standard a bit lah, gentlemen psycho lah. I asking,

    “When your kaki*11 coming deh? (pointing to his gold rolex watch) very late already deh!”

    This fellow just smiling any how any way he hantam lah*12 lah, sitting there (pointing to a long table at the corner) all by himself, but when I seeing longer his face, he like telling me another story deh, (leaning closer to the journalist) this psycho telling me,

    “Dei Thamby*13, they are already here lah. You got no eyes to see kah?” (burst out in rapturous laughter, offering the journalist a glass of mango lassi.)

    But all the table still kosong*14 food some more there lah! This kind of people also have in Singapura. Original psycho. (laughing and shaking his hands while reaching for a box of kleenex), that’s why I Mutho saying, in Singapura, got many funny people lah. You believe this story or not, that one lu punya pasal lah*14.

    So you remember what I talking to you today, hello mister (leaning over the counter to overlook the note pad of the journalist.), you know how to spell the name of my restaurant or not? Mutho with a “O.”

    darkness 2002

  188. rocketman said

    Hi all,

    I personally think there should be a government health warning attached to all these post. Like coffee and cigarettes, it is definitely very addictive.

    You know this when you start checking IS 3 to 4 times a day for the latest post from the brotherhood press.

    Darkness is a master opium blender.

  189. darkness said

    Our relationship is that of a red rose
    Whose splendor rises as the sun shows its face,
    Whose petals expand further and richer
    Whispering secrets of happiness and affection. Do you feel it?

    And even though with the fall of dusk
    All contentment is swept away,
    And the rose’s petals unite as one
    Reflecting any light that may endeavor to shine through,
    The sun will always rise
    And the rose’s petals will eternally broaden
    Until they fully blossom into a stunning creation.

    Our realtionship is that of a red rose
    Possessing a few imperfections
    That may cause evanescent wounds,
    But the internal radiance
    That will everlastingly bestow healing and comfort.

    May I darkness thank you all – will you allow me?

    6-12-2006

  190. darkness said

    Or will you blush? I wonder.

  191. pandabear said

    Hi,

    Very addictive only in a nice sort of way. What I usually do to curb the addiction is by visiting only once every week and print it all out, 5 episodes that is and read the whole yarn on my way back from work on the train.

    I find if I come here on a daily basis, it can get very stressful, because they don’t seem to have a fix time for posting these mini series.

    Not everyone agrees with my approach, my other galfriends all do it daily style, they say that way more shiok, but I think, they may be hard core addicts already.

  192. Chronicler said

    Ladies,

    3rd batch get ready for our island hop exp (you know when). Pls note due to an emergency, darkness will not be available due to an unforseen contigency.

    Instead your host will scholarman from the mercantile guild and his fine eye candies, joining him will be some boys from the 130th and 140th.

    We hope you ladies will find love.

    As the chronicler, I will be there to record all this.

    Remember your dreams can come true with the brotherhood, only count on it to be sappy. Very sappy.

  193. gunman said

    Don’t usually post but chronicler, why has the mini series suddenly stopped posting. I have been visiting here many times and you ppl in the chronicler’s office do not seem to be doing your job – where are the stories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  194. Chronicler said

    Hello,

    From now till the conclusion of the confessions story, there are only 5 more episodes.

    We are delaying the post as one of the series contains a Xmass scene, so naturally we are trying to time it properly.

    There will be no post for this whole week and in the weekend.

    Chapter 36 will be posted on Monday 11-12-2006.

    Thank you for your kind understanding. Chronicler.

  195. polarpuff said

    darkness sounds so cool and confident, but in real life, if you challenge him to met up, he will just behave like a scaddy cat. All talk and 100% no action, no I am not blushing either please dont flatter yourself and do try to have some shame. As for the posting next week. This is so like them.

    Undependable, inconsistent and unpredictable!

    Bambi Booooooooooooo! Run now! Did I scare you boy?

  196. Karen Leong said

    The FC boyz are running their marriage bureau full steam, full ahead cho cho chooooooooo! This time of the year. The end of the year is the most lucrative season that’s when ppl clear leave, so pls don’t disturb them. I am already 31, I need to get packed off soon otherwise, I will end up missing the boat.

    Do be nice and please leave them alone ladies.

  197. darkness said

    Let me tell you one thing about life – many people can say, I do not know them – but then again many people can also say, I know them very well – and in life, the rule is simply this – you cannot shut the people who know the brotherhood – they will talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk – even I cannot shut them up – that is life – at the end of the day, it boils down to one thing – the mouse clicker!

    This is determines whether they are with or they simply dont give two shits abt you.

    Life is very brutal and cruel. Remember this always when you say to yourself, I will not mention them, I will not speak about them and hopefully they will go away like a bad dream – remember this always

    I am darkness, so go ahead and block us we will just find another way to go around it!

  198. darkness said

    So you understand what I mean? Because there are some people out there who behave as if we do not exist, they do consciously, with the intention of misleading not only themselves, but also you. Yes you! You!

    Their mantra is simply this: If I do not acknowledge, it doesn’t exist and if it doesn’t exist, I don’t have to deal with it. Of course it is **** up theory if ever there was one and I am not going to mince my words about it.

    But those of you who have followed us by reading our material know otherwise. You have been following us, that is to say you have been logging in and reading and you know behind all this – there must be someone!

    Remember this in this world there is only one truth – one day, I darkness will take my briefcase and walk to the world and simply say this:

    “I am darkness.” When that day comes all these people will simply have to say,

    “he is darkness. He actually exist!”

    Do you understand what I am trying to convey to you?

    Good, very good!

  199. darkness said

    So I want you my readers to stand and be counted. I darkness no longer want you to hide in the shadows and feel ashamed that you have been secretly logging in here and reading my material only to say, they exist, but I do not know how to fit them in my life, because I do not understand them.

    I want you from today to say to yourself, I will find a place for these funny people. I will acknowledge them and I will not be ashame to say that I am with them. I need you to stand by me my readers, new or old doesn’t matter – you are all the same to me!

    I want you to do this for me! I want you to stand up and be counted!

    I darkness am talking directly to you, yes to you, the shy journalist, the administrator, the secretary, the woman who doesnt quite know where she stands in relation to the past and present and in between the multitude who simply looks on.

    Because if you don’t support me who will? If you do not protect me? Who will? If you do not fight for me, who will? Who?

    I need you more than you can possibly imagine!

    I want you all to think abt this when you sleep tonight.

  200. darkness said

    Good very good, you people are all ears – it has to be this way – there is no other way, we the brotherhood have been barred from certain sites – I tell you this, it is gives 0 pleasure say this my readers – but this people must learn, we will boycott them as well, you think only you can play this shitty game. Let me darkness play with you and we shall see who will win!

    Let me tell you this there will be no winners!

    We will ignore them and in short they will NOT get on cent – for legal reasons, I be releasing these sites on a closed line – you know what to do and spread the word – you will learn, you will learn the very hard way because darkness will teach you the meaning of loss!

    Chronicler proceed to release the details to our readers! Remember I did NOT start this war, you people started it first, so you will learn the fist of the brotherhood!

    You will learn how it is to be have empty seats in your shows and why suddenly your stat counter goes very silent. Let me show you what is the power of the mouse clicker, then perhaps you will understand who you are ******** around with!

    Proceed Chronicler!

  201. Chronicler said

    By your command – long live the brotherhood – prepare for war!

  202. JDAM said

    I have never ever seen him so pissed off bfr in my life. Can someone please tell me what is happening?

  203. scholarman said

    Chronicler,

    Let me begin by first stating very clearly, this is perfectly understandable.

    Even the guilds are very disturbed by this systematic effort to eradicate the brotherhood from cyberspace.

    We understand how darkness feels and we the guilds share his sentiments completely.

    However, what darkness is proposing is a violation of article 27(3) of the Interstellar Protocol.

    Please note we are signatories of this protocol, therefore we have no choice but to abide by the codified rules of engagement.

    May I propose a real world face to face discussion with the relevant parties to explore the possibility of a diplomatic solution to this problem?

    No one, not even me, likes large chunks of our presence eliminated and thrown out like garbage, that is like rewriting history, but we do not see the need for conflict unless first exhausting all diplomatic means to resolve this problem in a peaceful fashion.

    We the guilds respectfully request a cessation for a period of 5 earth days, this is not too much to ask.

    Meanwhile Chronicler, we seriously advise you to ignore darkness’s order till then.

    Scholarman.

  204. scholarman said

    Chronicler,

    Brother darkness is very charismatic and he fails to understand how much sway he has when he rallies those in the real world and the strangelands to boycott a particular site. Many of those who he speaks too will simply do what he wants them to do, because of their love for him.

    All they see is a very angry cute stuff toy trashing in his cage, they will sympathize with him, because they really believe, those people have hurt him unnecessarily and they too will be angry and behave irrationally.

    The fear of the guilds is simply this: we may have already violated our part of the agreement in the interstellar protocol and irreparable damage may have already occurred.

    Under the interstellar protocol, we (the brotherhood) cannot interfere with the affairs of real world entities. It is therefore with the greatest regret that we, the guild must formally notify darkness to desist from making further inflammatory speeches directly or indirectly.

    Chronicler, the guilds will be stationing a garrison in this site to monitor developments. Please convey to brother darkness, he is not above the law. If he breaches it, he will be treated like anyone else and held accountable for his actions.

    Scholarman.

  205. atomic monkey said

    scholarman, the reason why we in this problem is because of you!

    You failed to connect with the right ppl in the real world. You did not take care of our economic interest.

    Your request has been denied. The trade embargo stands.

    darkness has decide to team up with the French to negotiate the terms of the release of his new 50 episode story entitled,

    “The moon in day light.”

    He no longer has any confidence in the guilds. The guilds were the ones who betrayed darkness in the first place, you ppl were the very ones who conspired to eradicate him secretly with those pirates.

    I have thought long and hard over this matter – I want to tell, I do not relish the prospects of war, but sometimes it is necessary.

    From what I have been able to observe, darkness is right. There has been a systematic process of marginalization.

    Their position is we do not want to talk to you and you do not exist.

    So let me tell you the deal, we will launch, “the moon in daylight.” right here in the intelligent singaporean at the same time they roll it out over there and we will do it free of charge, just to make double sure, they cannot materialize a profit from their sponsors and subscribers.

    Inaddition we will also be initiating legal proceedings for copyright infringements concurrently in the real world, please not this is not in the virtual – OK.

    Scholarman you are no longer relevant, please kindly get lost.

    Darkness is very disappointed in you.

  206. atomic monkey said

    Guilds understand this!

    Darkness says:

    “Those hopeless and useless good for nothings mother******* will return me my book.

    Do you understand me, they will return to me what is lawfully ours!

    The planet of Irullan will capitulate and their leaders will learn the fist of brotherhood!

    The French are will fight alongside us in this battle and our allies in Entropia will be providing us sanctuary.

    You have all fought valiantly with me in Pillium and the Ascension wars bfr, now I call upon everyman in the brotherhood to join me again.

    Disregard the commands of your superiors and join me in this battle.

    I darkness will personally lead the attack at the very front, we shall walk down the thoroughfare brothers, it will be like the old days again, we will sack the ancient city of Ur and we will enslave the corrupt leaders of Ur! Those ang moh will learn the meaning of loss once again.

    Join me brothers and let history be your witness!

    Prepare for war!”

    This is steamboy:

    All battlecruisers RDV at sector 9003-003-883 in the strangelands at Primus time 0935 GMT – shift to combat status – prepare for war!

  207. The legation said

    We are with you darkness – the father of the game.

    (1) 130th
    (2) 140th
    (3) Sardokahn
    (4) Fist of God
    (5) Imperium guards 607th

    Lead us dark one to victory!

    You are right our leaders are corrupt and useless!

    Lead us!

  208. Darkness said

    Where is vollariane? I need him on my flank. Nacramanga you will be the standard bearer my trusted one! The one who I trust the most. JDAM, my hammer, you will lead the sardokhan, strike hard in the center. Where is Kadjal?

    Kadjal you will ride by me and together we will feel the wind. Like the old days, remember? Come to your master!

    It will be like the old days again brothers.

    I see the quickening brothers, steel yourself!

    Good, I am happy! So very happy bc I am united with the real brothers!

  209. chronicler said

    I the chronicler am neutral.

    They are finished, darkness is a very angry man!

  210. ladybug said

    When are you people going to post the last five episodes of the

    “Singaporean Gangster In London”

    This is not funny pls do nto keep us hanging

  211. hanuman said

    chronicler

    The girls in my office have been pestering me to ask you, when will you post the last few remaining episodes of the adventures of Yu Huan Guan?

    I want to impress upon you the gravity of the matter. This is not a trivial matter not by a long short! So I really hope you will diligently proceed to give me an answer so that I will not be pestered again on Monday.

    I understand the brotherhood is currently preoccupied in another melee (look up and sigh), it has been reported in virtually every gaming site in the world.

    I hope you will personally look into this matter and revert to me asap.

    Otherwise I fear, we may once again face another round of mutiny.

    Pls note I am used to be a brother myself.

    Long live the brotherhood!

  212. bicycleman said

    Darkness has an allure about him. The man who rolls his own cigarettes, there was something romantic about him as I looked on, it was the way, he took his time about it, oblivious to those around him, as if he was in his own world. I noticed the way he busied himself with the affair, the almost absent minded expression in his eyes as if he was a man who neither care to be the man who he was meant to be: The father of the game.

    From that moment I realized the terrible truth, he never ever wanted to be the father of the game all he wished was to be an ordinary Joe like me.

    It was during a cycling session with the brotherhood when I realized this.

  213. professionalelite said

    Brotherhood or whatever,

    Let me just say this, all of you have once again demonstrated your unfailing record to disappoint and leave us all hanging again.

    Time and again, we give you all, the benefit of the doubt only for it to used and abused.

    What may I ask are you people fighting over this time? I see, more space nonsense, someone stole someone’s spaceship, someone took their toy ray gun back because things just weren’t going his way.

    Do grow up! As for bambi, he is just a petulant child? What kind of idiot demands the support of his readers yet stands them up time and again.

    However, if he promises to reform himself and behave maturely and responsibly. I am confident all will be forgiven and forgotten.

    Besides our hearts are all very big.

    Bambi can begin by showing us his maturity by taking 5 minutes of his time to look into this complaint and repost the rest of episodes. I think, it barely even requires a e-mail or phone call to get things on track again.

    I am very sure bambi will see to this matter personally or will he?

  214. montburan said

    I have been popping in and out of here all day to see whether they have posted.

    I think that is very inconsiderate, all of you should simply release a time table and pls keep us all informed as to the next post.

  215. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120036-Redux

    Chapter 36

    “After The War – 31/2 years later in a military academy.”

    Long ago, a stranger was seen crossing no man’s land, approaching the city on foot. Word soon spread, and many gathered along the battlements of this walled city surveying the approach of the stranger. Amongst them the clot of generals shifted nervously, words such as, “impossible” – “this cannot be” passed freely amongst them in hushed tones.

    How curious the crowds were, for none had ever seen a man who should have died but by some curious stroke of fate cheated death itself. To be sure there was no mistake, the crowd noted, his strange demeanor as he walked towards them, the slight arc of his head, the length of his arms and legs, the size of his courage. And to be sure, no one mistook him for another other than the man who was supposed to die but somehow managed to live through it all, they all peered deeper to study his features, but the light failed them, it was dark so very dark on that moonless night and none could quite discern the true appearance of the approaching stranger. Somewhere after passing the statute of the Merlion just short of the shiny buildings, the distant figure stopped and stood silently waiting on the empty flats.

    “He will complicated things.” Said one of the generals. The others nodded their heads in silent agreement exchanging conspiratorial glances. “Yes, he will complicate matters and we don’t need people to complicate our already complicated life’s do we, gentlemen?” – “What shall we do?” one asked. “Let’s see, if we make him a hero, then he will have to admit there was once a war and we can’t do that can we? Then again if we crucify him, we would have to admit there was a war also and we certainly can’t have that either mmh…..” – “perhaps” one of them said, “Go on out with it!” said another– “we should just ignore him and treat him as if he never ever existed.” – “what about all those people who died?” – “what people?” – “the one’s who died in the war?” – “what war would that be general?” Soon the generals began congratulating themselves on the purity of their will.

    Still the stranger came no closer and as he remained where he stood, eventually the crowd grew bored and this time dispersed and when all remained quiet in the flats beyond the city gates. The stranger looked on.

    Now let me tell you this: the stranger stood in the flats regarding the distant apparition of this splendid city of gleaming steel and glass towers, but presently it faded before his eyes, leaving only the emptiness and the unbroken stillness of the everlasting night.

    The following morning after the strange dream, the man awoke earlier than usual, though it was normally his habit to begin the day with a 5 kilometer run. Sitting at the edge of his bed, he said to himself, “it’s not my fault” – he felt much better after that and soon the familiar balm swept over him, the one where he was content in the knowledge, he was connected with nothing, no one, that neither his presence nor his absence counted for much that he or anyone else needed to be dependent upon it. The days he thought to himself would move with the fluidity of a silk scarf drawn through a ring – if only he could hold on to the thought.

    Huan Guan stood looking at the stranger in the mirror, slim with a flat stomach, narrow hips, the pectorals firm and well defined, like a matador – ageless and timeless. Since his return from Cambodia he had cultivated a curious relationship with the man who looked at him from time to time in the mirror.

    Once or twice a day, if the circumstances warranted, he would approach the stranger in the mirror, as if delivering a message of great importance, statements such as “soldiers die all the time, that’s what they are supposed to do” or “it’s raining again.” Sometimes at twilight he would simply say, “I am going to sleep now, I hope they will leave me be.”

    This was going to be his new life, this routine of daily tasks and chores. Whether he was happy did not seem important any longer, here in the military academy where the hours were divided precisely into neat little packets of chores and duties. The scholar did not need to think –

    “that’s the beauty of military life, one simply carries out orders.”

    So that morning as he stood before the stranger, he had enough time to deal with the tie, so he made himself do the knot calmly adjusting it carefully. He liked to move slowly, because his self control was a source of pride. In his dealings with the world he was constantly striving to avoid hurried gestures, an inappropriate word, an impatient move that might break the serenity of regulations, Even when he broke rules that were not his own – his superiors regarded him as a man with a mouth as tight as an oyster, someone who they described as “dependable as a Swiss army knife.”

    Maybe that was why that morning, after regarding himself for a moment in the mirror, he removed the tie and white shirt and slipped on a Harley- Davidson T- shirt. As he turned to the stranger in the mirror again, he said, “I can’t take this anymore.” His fingers brushed the scar just above his right eye, a memento of the war that he never fought.

    That morning as the commando guard on duty looked at the youth carrying his trade mark briefcase out of the camp, he snapped to attention and asked.

    “Sir, it seems like it will rain today, will the officer require an umbrella for his outing, Sir!”

    With these words the man continued walking calmly carrying his trade mark brief case, the first drops of the monsoon pattering against the concrete, the man turned his face skywards to greet the warm heavy drops of rain that had traveled all the way from the Indian ocean – his expression conveying the satisfaction of a farmer who finally says after a long wait,

    “Yes, I have been expecting all of you.”

    darkness 2002

  216. Chronicler said

    Chronicler says:

    Yu Huan Guan went AWOL – he never returned again.

  217. Chronicler said

    I am not like scholarman, so do u have any preference for food? – if so pls let us know – we will make the arrangements – we have been waiting for you to get serious.

    We need to make some serious money, so far our enterprise here has been a deficit.

    Chronicler

  218. inspir3d said

    italian or japanese would be nice, although i don’t mind local food either. of course, i am open to your recommendations

  219. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120037-Redux

    Chapter 37

    “The Letter.”

    My dearest love,

    I wrote this letter and slipped it in your coat, just last night. That night, I saw a star die, just exactly the way, you once described it.

    There it was one moment, then gone in a blink of an eye. That star had burned out millions of years ago, and yet its fire had streamed outwards every since, a searching ribbon of light, seen from one end, so it looked tiny, paid out like a long line through the keyhole of time, until the last length slipped through and all that remained was darkness.

    My dearest this is how I see our love, that night, when I saw you again in the Casino and now even as I write turning to you. I realized, if it hadn’t been for you, I’m not sure I could have continued living all these years.

    Tonight, you gave me a lifetime, a universe, and made the separate parts of me whole that is all, I can ever expect from life, that is really all I really expect.

    Though we shall never speak again to one another, we will forever remain bound together as tightly as it’s possible for two people to be bound on this earth. I cannot find the words to express this adequately. It is as if, I had ceased completely to be a single being and that part of you has somehow transformed me into a third being. Neither of us exist independent of that being.

    Even now as I close my eyes, I can feel your presence somewhere, always there in my heart – it is a large heart my love, it can hold everything at once, and when I think of who I am now, I gives me the strength to do the things that needs to be done – to buy your freedom.

    My love no matter which way we travel on the road of life – the direction of my heart will remain the same, you know the direction I mean – homeward, to that place where you will always stand as my one and only love.

    So listen to me my love and take wing, take Jeannie with you and live your life for me and forget me.

    Go well my love.

    Chan Sim

    PS: I know you heard rumors that I have given birth to a baby boy, the baby is a “she” my love, her name is Mei Ling, she is the fruit of our love.

    darkness 2002

  220. Chronicler said

    OK Inspirid, I think it is better if we arrange for you to see him one to one – less intimidating – I have relayed your message to him – he asked only one question, “Is this fellow serious abt making money?” – I have to be honest, I said, “I dunno.” – let me be very clear, we dont care about politics – neither do we care about international world peace and saving the world – or the whales for that matter – we are in this for only one reason, to make money – I do not expect you to buy into our philosophy, nevertheless, it is only fair, this is communicated clearly to you, so that you understand where the starting line is – I will arrange the met in approx 2 weeks time from today. Reg Chronicler.

  221. killamaru said

    Now that you have mentioned it. It’s all flooding back.

    The way he rolled his cigarettes, there was certainly a charm about the whole affair, the quiet and calm manner which he proceeded.

    I remembered one particular incident during a cycling session in bukit timah, when he separated from the crowd and busied himself with the task.

    I noticed the way, he measured the amount of tobacco and how he almost seemed to delight in the whole affair.

    I noticed, the falconlike quality about him, the manner in which he proceeded, so carefully, precise and clear.

    Above all, I noticed there was a vague sense of tragedy about him. I felt so very sad, he was indeed a very charismatic man.

  222. inspir3d said

    Chronicler, i am just interested to get to know more about darkness and the brotherhood, before engaging in any collaboration. if we can click, the sky is the limit.

  223. darkness said

    Merry Christmas readers. Forgive for my rants.

    I am darkness and all of you ladies know, I love you.

  224. libby said

    “I am darkness and all of you ladies know, I love you.” – please prove it then by seeing us for dinner as well please. All this talk is very cheap. “US” meaning a group of my gal friends and of course moir.

    Booh! Or are you going to run away? Harum scarum more likely -Like you always do so very well?

  225. Chronicler said

    The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press 2002. 8893120038/9-Redux

    Chapter 38 &39

    “The Stone Bridge.” – “Mind Scape.”

    Yu Huan Guan was ninety five. He often traveled alone now that his wife Jeannie has passed on.

    He chose easily accessible places that would not overtax him.

    There were three runs every hour of the transcontinental undersea worm train. It would be no great matter if he were to miss his return train, time was relative at his age – very relative he though as, he plodded along absentmindedly along the artificial beach in Hyde Park, London.

    Besides the trip from London to Singapore took only a little over an hour.

    He walked along the only path carrying his briefcase, the fifty yards or so leading to the stone bridge.

    Gazing upwards towards the paraffin blue of the sky, the old man noted the large enclosure covering the length and breath of London.

    “Kinetic architecture.” He sniggered.

    The sky in it’s upper reaches was too blue to be real, he thought, not like the old days.

    A blue brought forth by floating, self sustaining organic membranes lighter than air, capable of expanding and contracting relative to weather, heat and occupant needs.

    The sky it seemed was all the same these days, from London, Tokyo to Paris – an opaque saccharine blue.

    Within the dome the ambient environment was controlled at a balmy ambient of 24◦C. Some 30 years ago, a great cataclysm brought forth by the impact of a meteorite slamming somewhere along the equatorial belt rendered life beyond the plexidome inhospitable, for a man to venture out into the open, he needed a space suit.

    He asked himself as he gazed out towards the distance just making out the familiar outline of the stone bridge, whether this was the same bridge, and for a moment he did not recognize it: but as he looked on, he realized, it was there, seventy years ago, he had once first made love to her, Chan Sim – the third wife.

    His thoughts passing fleetingly far back into the moment of his youth, the park was quiet.

    Children were playing, and there were two or three anglers fishing for robot carp.

    Again his mind began to play out the familiar cipher,

    “Here I am again in the corridor of mirrors where I find myself staring at the single image reflected again and again. Wondering whether I have stepped into another fathomless inner chamber, is it possible for a man to collide with his destiny twice in a single lifetime? Is it really possible?”

    Grasping these thoughts Huan Guan ambled towards the stone bridge. He remembered the bright white painted pavilion beside it.

    Beyond a profusion of maples, plums, and tea bushes with hints of an oleander. The summer light fell sharply upon the white spears of dwarf lilies framing the steppingstones, repeating the light from the sky above. A beating of wings from tiny insects seemed almost to pierce the silence. A sparrow flew past, followed by a formation of flamingo’s casting long irregular shadows along the stone bridge.

    Then suddenly the familiar image of a woman in a crème cheong sam with red carnations appeared.

    He recognized her gait – it was her!

    For a moment, he felt the door to his inner world sliding open. Huan Guan looked up at the figure as if pulled by invisible strings.

    The man of ninety five years felt tears come to his eyes. He was powerless to look up at her. She faced him across the sea of time.

    Her nose was the finely carved nose of those years before, and the eyes were the same beautiful eyes. Her skin glowed with a still light; the beauty of her eyes was clearer, shining through something like a patina. Age had crystallized into a perfect jewel, preserving her as if she had never aged even one day since he last saw her in the train station.

    Hiding his tears, Huan Guan looked up.

    “It was good of you to come.” He strained.

    There was a pause, her voice like a whispering rush,

    “Memory my love is like a phantom mirror. It sometimes shows thing too distant to be seen, and sometimes it shows them as if they were here, come with me my love. I want you to see something boy.”

    She took him hand and together they leaned across the bridge, there was no trace of surprise in her voice, it was as if, the last 70 years of his life had never ever been lived.

    There was instead a familiar sort of girlish curiosity in her eyes, and below them a quiet smile as she turned to look at him again.

    Standing there motionless filled with anticipation, she held up the wild flowers and threw them into the dark waters, where a profusion of colors radiated from a single point.

    Watching calmly and motionless, the man simply said to the woman,

    “It’s beautiful….only.”

    “Only what boy?” a smile crossed her lips as she turned her large seductive eyes towards him.

    “Only I wished, it could last forever.” He continued shyly looking up at her.

    A long silence ensued and the woman without saying a word, led him by the hand, setting aside his briefcase with the words,

    “You don’t need this where we are going, leave it here. Come with me boy, I have a surprise for you.”

    She led him down a dark path through the thicket of the canopy looking back at him in anticipation from time to time, he felt that straggling sensation of youthfulness returning to him as he followed.

    Eventually, the trail opened up to a clearing, where a wooden single storey American house stood with it’s wide sweeping verandah, lining it a neat row of white picket fences and beside it, a cherry tree with a swing. There hanging rustically a wooden sign read,

    “Home sweet home.”

    The house was framed with wide opened spaces, with the rolling hills behind it, blazing in the summer sun.

    Along one side, a grove beyond the lawn maples lined the road. A wattled gate led to the hills. Some of the maples were red even now in the summer, flames among the green. Stepping stones were scattered easily over the lawn, and wild carnations bloomed shyly among them, juxtaposing against the floral cheong sam of the woman who looked on at him.

    For a moment tears welled in his eyes as he looked on. He had come right through the tunnel of time, to a place that had no memories, nothing except to be with the woman who he had always loved.

    Yu Huan Guan had finally come home.

    darkness 2002

    ———————————————————

    2073 Somewhere in Science Park / Singapore

    “Under ordinance 16, it is a statutory requirement for me to ask you one last time. Are you sure you want to go through this procedure?”

    “Yes, I am certain.” The man in the wheel chair replied.

    “You realize when you press the button all your memories as you know it will cease to exist completely apart from that which you have asked us to create. You know that don’t you.”

    “Yes, I know. Hurry up, I haven’t got all day.” The man tapped impatiently.

    The Mind Scape® Atomic drive super computer hummed in the back ground, technicians in white coats hurriedly wheeled the old man into the room, called the hall of memories, here his brain would be downloaded into the master computer where every thought, sensation and memory would be instantly be digitalized only to exist in a virtual realm, here reality will cease to exist completely, here only the virtual reality refashioned by gaming engineers, artist, poets and musicians would be played out according to a script to recreate the known world – his world.

    As the engineer in charge of the Mind Scape® that evening finalized the settings on the control board, the lone figure in the plexiglass domed room prepared to load the program he had so meticulously fashioned all these years.

    The man had after all being the principal scientist who first developed the machine and now like a lone aviator preparing for his maiden flight, he had volunteered to be it’s first mind scape tourist.

    As he slid the program drive into it’s hologram receptacle, a soft purring sound confirmed it was downloading and a panel at the arm rest slid opened revealing a single red button marked with the words,

    “LAUNCH.”

    Reaching slowly to press the button, the technicians and engineers peered attentively at their dials and view screens, this every man thought was history in the making – as the father of the game often said,

    “When a person is lucky enough to live inside a story, to live inside an imaginary world, the pains of this world disappears. For as long as the story goes on, reality no longer exists.”

    That evening when they wheeled the dead scientist out from the hall of memories after the failed experiment – they noted the strange expression on his face – he father of the game was smiling – it was Christmas day.

    darkness 2002

  226. Chronicler said

    Ladies,

    The final episode (an epilogue) of the confessions of the Singaporean gangster in London will be posted here in IS this Friday at 2200 hr Singapore time – please stay tuned as there is a final twist to the story.

    We hope all of you have enjoyed another product of unparalleled quality from the brotherhood press and we would like to wish all of you merry christmas.

    The Chronicler

  227. Navigation Guild said

    Chronicler,

    We do not want to engage him directly.

    Can you please inform darkness a warrant of arrest has been issued by the Council of Wise under Article 13(6) Omertan code.

    The charges are treason for declaring war with our allies, the Irrulans.

    Council of the Wise

  228. Chronicler said

    Remember all I am neutral, but I just think you scholars in Primus should be aware of the latest developments in the strangelands.

    Message capsule was transmitted some 2 hours ago.

    “This is steamboy with the latest cipher comsat to Primus from the space station Dimitri. Pls note at Primus time -0399387 – earth time 0930 GMT tomorrow martial law will take effect. The Council has been dissolved and the constitution is null and void.

    A column of armor division commanded by Nacramanga will approach the city gates in Liberation Square, followed by the 130th infantry to establish a new provisional government.

    All gamers are advised to switch over to transmission mode to receive their updates, the comsat will be disable during the duration of the coup. Please refrain from posting any comments.

    Long live the brotherhood!”

  229. Cannicatfish said

    Hi Chronicler

    I just want to make a personal request when darkness eventually meets up can we all go along as well? I don’t think we will cause much disruption and we will even pretend not to know who he really is. He doesn’t even need to acknowledge us. After all we respect and understand your need for secrecy, all of you belong to some top secret underground movement rite! So pls try to make it in a place where there are plenty of tables and chairs, that should give us all a very nice view, thank you very much.

    Cannicatfish

  230. KLM said

    Hello,

    I agree that is an excellent idea. It will be nice to see him again.

  231. ladybug said

    Dear Chronicler.

    May I ask, is the final epilogue episode of the Singaporean Gangster coming out this friday 15th i.e tomorrow or the Friday the week after? What are your plans after this? Will the brotherhood press be running another mini episode series?

    My take on the “do” is this, it should be an open place where everyone can observe everyone and more importantly interact in a relax atmosphere – a buffet will do very nicely and perhaps he can even suggest to us what is in season for the menu, but pls no dark rooms, corners and all that cloak and dagger nonsense.

    I am sure most people just like to see and the brotherhood shouldn’t take it as a negative sign. Infact it could well turn out to be a brilliant PR opportunity if chronicler is wise enough to see the value of such a suggestion in helping to promote the brotherhood press. There could even be a business proposal waiting in the wings? However, I must say, it takes a very mature and experienced person to see things this way.

  232. Chronicler said

    Ladybug,

    “There could even be a business proposal waiting in the wings? However, I must say, it takes a very mature and experienced person to see things this way.”

    I see your point. I would like to emphasize, I see the end of your plan, but just to make doubly sure, I am on the right track, can you perhaps elaborate further on how it will benefit the brotherhood press?

    To be very frank with you, we cannot stop any of you ladies from attending the dinner with the webmaster and darkness.

    It is a free country, so all of you can come and look see, perhaps it will not be such a bad thing for all of you to check out the goods first hand and convince yourself once and for all whether it all really stacks up.

    Hint: Just zoom in on the sweetest eye candy in the room, he will be darkness, but don’t expect him to talk to you because he is there strictly for business and he is very shy.

    Well lighted, relaxed, buffet. Yes all this will be arranged and the location and time will be posted here.

    I am sorry the epilogue will only be post the week after, next Friday.

  233. Singkrit said

    Hello,

    I do hope all is well.

    Years ago many of us presented bambi boy with a specially commissioned wrist watch. It was constructed out of Titanium an exotic material to reflect his love for all things related to space.

    It had a very slim wafer like profile to reflect it’s modernity and a chain mail titanium strap to symbolise the eternity of the stars.

    It was commissioned at an extraordinary cost and only one company in Denmark could manufacture it.

    Fortunately many family has a long history and we were able to use our influence to get this gift manufactured by the best watch makers.

    We want him to wear this when he nexts sees us.

    Bambi knows who I am, chronicler. I am the lady of the lake.

    He will never refuse what I want. Never.

  234. inspir3d said

    alright Straits Kitchen it will be then.

  235. Premma said

    Singkrit et al,

    I am glad you will be going too. Bambi should consider wearing a dark shirt with a contemporary evening jacket to honor you.

    He would look a dapper of a fine gentlemen. Besides it is not very often Singkrit and her lady friends visits Singapore.

    Another thing. I have tried to make dinner arrangements in the place you mentioned, but I have been told every table is taken.

    May I impose a slight request on the chronicler to perhaps use his influence to get us a table for 8. That would do very nicely.

    Meanwhile do send our warmest regards to Bambi boy.

  236. Premma again said

    Dear Chronicler,

    We would like to know when will you be posting the epilogue interview for the confessions of the singaporean gangster?

    Secondly, will this be an updated interview with Bambi?

    Finally, when will the FC boys be running another mini episode story?

    Do keep us informed and kindly convey our warmest affections to Bambi bad boy.

    Many thanks and cheers.

  237. Chronicler said

    This is an official diplomatic communiqué from the brotherhood press based in Primus.

    Message capsule: 0990093773 AH

    Singkrit and friends,

    May I apologize profusely for the delay in returning to both you and your circle of readers.

    Based on our accounts both you and your friends are listed under a special account i.e Singkrit/Consort 00838299 VIP.

    I have relayed your earlier message to darkness with the above account tag. He has informed me to politely ask for kind permission: whether it is possible for you to grant him the privilege of chaperoning both you and your lady friends personally during the duration of your stay in Singapore.

    He conveys his warmest greetings of friendship and remembers very fondly your kind and generous patronage and support many years ago when he first started writing his ridiculous stories.

    He went on to mention the brotherhood owes a great debt which can never be paid off in this life time to the lady of the lake and her circle of readers and he hopes you will accept what he can humbly offer.

    He ends the transmission with the words:

    “by your command.”

    Please note as a general rule FC boys do not believe in using e-mail. However, we shall be making a special and extraordinary exception for you to make the necessary arrangements.

    Yours very respectfully and most sincerely

    The Chronicler.

    Long live the brotherhood!

    PS: We don’t have an record of anyone who goes by the name of Bambi, Bambi bad boy, bambi cutie pie etc – pls be informed his moniker has always been darkness – the father of the game.

  238. Chronicler said

    Dear valued readers,

    True to the tradition of the brotherhood press, we always end each mini episode series with an interview with the author – darkness. This is partly due to the prodigious amount of enquiries seeking either clarification or explanations concerning the story. It is the hope of the brotherhood press, by including an epilogue interview with the author, we will be able to address these readers demands and more importantly provide all of you with a unique insight into the writing process.

    Allow me to share with you all an excerpt of the interview conducted just yesterday. We shall be posting the entire interview in IS sometime this week.

    Once again may I wish you all merry Christmas and happy reading.

    Regards

    Chronicler.

    Excerpt of the interview:

    Agnes Proirie:

    “Many readers have asked what did you really set out to accomplish by writing the confessions of the Singaporean gangster in 2002?”

    Darkness:

    “Wow! That’s a big question and I am not sure we have enough time…however, let me just say this; I love literature, that’s to say, I define my life in terms of the written word as opposed to movies, tv or other streams of media. I am not for one moment suggesting I am anti technology or a TV basher only I recognize the limitations of the modern medium. (rolls a cigarette and lick it.)

    Anyone who has ever read the memoirs of the geisha or Dan Brown’s Da Vinci code will testify to the limitations of how something intangible has been lost when these stories are projected on screen and the reason is simply this. Implicit within the medium lies it’s inherent limitations. (lights the cigarette and leans back.)

    Instead of narratives, we are increasingly settling for MRT topological maps and a derivative of this corrosive acceptance is a sort of reductionism which permeates every feature of our existence – it doesn’t really matter whether it is in schools, lecture theatres, corporate boardrooms or even in a virtual chat site – we as a society are increasingly settling for less and fashioning a God out of the less.

    In a sense we are already starting to see this reductionism in the way, we have supplanted bullet points for real discussions, instead of wisdom, data analysis and this brings into sharp focus my point – instead of real narratives which recruit all the powers of your imagination as the reader to form the impression of the known world a mindless rail road track.

    My motivation if I can call it that, is simply to restore power back to the reader which has been taken away from either him or her – whether this reductionism is motivated by a grand design or plan remains irrelevant to me, but make not mistake, I mourn the eclipse of the cultural authority literature once possessed, and I rue the onset of an age so anxious to barrel towards functionality and usefulness, literature as a school of thought and body of knowledge has even been exiled simply because it is believed there is no place for it in the age of the digital networks.

    But even against the totality of the digital world where the written word remains in exile. I am encouraged by the world of the samizdat, the flowering of an underground writer and more importantly such a thing as a opposition readership – where the lone reader assumes the role of the writer, the producer and transporter of thoughts and so I wrote, one sentence after another. I may not be a Hemmingway, Dickens or any where near a Proust, but you must remember the confessions was my first foray into the internet and since then I have written more than 8 stories.

    Sorry for digressing, but above all as I wrote and posted, I discovered a community in the net. The person who from an early age felt very different from everyone around him or her, the person who like me loves the written word and doesn’t quite know why the world is content to burn books – above all when they read and I wrote, we all reached a consensus where it could be said either I or them would have probably said,

    “Oh my God, there are actually people like me!”

    This….this…. if you must know is the only reason why I wrote.

    —————————————————————————————————

    End / Brotherhood Press 2006 (Interview in the virtual with darkness onboard the French Liberium Class Star Cruiser – “Les Enfants du Paradis.”

  239. scholarman said

    Chronicler,

    A delegation of trade envoys representing the guilds have arrived in Primus.

    We wish to broker the terms and conditions of the surrender of the Irullians.

    Chronicler kindly pass on the message to brother darkness and kindly inform him this is a matter which requires his utmost attention.

    Scholarman

    Long live the brotherhood!

  240. KOHO said

    Look stupid, does the chronicler look like a postman?

    Darkness is at the brigde of the liberium cruiser “LEDP” overseeing the invasion, you can all see him there if you wish – there is no further need for you to bother the chronicler.

    I do not think he wants to be disturbed. KOHO.

  241. Chronicler said

    Brought to you by the Brotherhood Press 2006 (An exclusive Interview in the virtual with darkness onboard the French Liberium Class Star Cruiser – “Les Enfants du Paradis.”

    Journalist: Agnes Proirer

    Chapter 40:

    Epilogue/Interview with darkness.

    Agnes: Can you share with us how it was when the brotherhood press first started posting the confessions online four years ago in Hong Kong?

    Darkness:
    Well how shall I put it, it’s a bit like waking up in the morning and finding a flying saucer parked in your backyard. Most people just looked at it and said, “OK, this must be dream” and went back to sleep.

    Posting stories online is a new concept, so both, we, the producers and the readers had to grapple with this new medium. I say new because writing stories in the net is completely different from a book, play or radio show. For one the tempo needs to be faster to heighten the dramatic effect. Neither can it be too long winded, otherwise readers will just tune off. The confessions as I mentioned many times was definitely a learning experience, I guess as with any new medium which aspires to be part of an acceptable genre they (our readers) too needed time to adjust themselves to this new form of entertainment.

    It is worth noting, the original confessions series was 84 chapters as opposed to the condensed redux version which only manages half the typescript. This means it ran just over a 4 month period and by the end of it, most of them (readers) more or less bought into the idea whole sale.

    The rest like the Americans say is history.

    Agnes:
    In the confessions the main protagonist Yu Huan Guan is always referred too as the man who carries the bag. Many have speculated whether perhaps the bag is a sort of metaphor, can you elaborate further?

    Darkness:
    What I was trying very hard to convey is, contrary to popular myth, none of us just walks over the brow of the hill or makes a naked entrance on the stage of life. It just doesn’t happen that way.We bring with us an enormous amount of baggage, in the form of history. The history of our family, friends, country, community, experience and even the broader history those who have once touched our lives.

    In this respect, the metaphor of the man with the bag was very effective in conveying this “historical multitudes” and amplifying the ideal all of us are irrevocably handcuffed to our respective histories. You can even say its play on the ancient Heraclitus idea, “a man’s character is his fate.” And he can never run away from his history. By fusing the hero with the bag, it was perhaps a very amateurish way for me to constantly remind myself, the plot always had to look back and juxtapose his distant past on the story board. So yes, you are absolutely right in mentioning the play on metaphors.

    Agnes:
    Why was it during the final scene, Huan Guan set aside his briefcase. What were you trying to convey in this scene. Many readers have speculated on what you were trying to say. Could you elaborate further?

    Darkness:
    I had a lot of problems with the closing chapter and much of it was due to my lack of literal skills in being able to successfully reconcile, coax, juxtapose differences and tease out connections. I don’t know how to say this except perhaps to admit, I am not a very versatile writer. Even today, I still struggle with the basics, spelling, grammar and construction. However, having said all that, I knew what I really didn’t want to do during the final scene was to just lay it all out in one straight line.

    I wanted the reader very much to experience the narrator’s world to stand before a forked road, where he or she decides what it really means when Huan Guan agrees to set aside his trade mark briefcase after the third wife says, “You wouldn’t need this where you are going…” This naturally compels the reader to ask, where is this place? What does this really mean? Does this mean he has finally reconciled himself with his past, present and future? Is this some sort of rite of passage? In the last chapter if you noticed very carefully, I was throwing out very suggestive images by using words such as “phantom mirror, kinetic architecture, transcontinental wormtrain, mindscape etc. The whole idea is to convey to the reader, Huan Guan is in another era somewhere in the distant future and this world isn’t really fleshed out, it’s here and there. Open ended even, but the reader is never in any doubt, it is a world of infinite possibilities and endless avenues – one where your guess about the ending is really as valid as mine.

    Agnes:
    Was this a trick you acquired from reading or somewhere else?

    Darkness:
    Au contraire, technique would be a better word. Actually, it’s something I gleaned quite by accident in the way of photography. I noticed, the really great photos which have the highest dramatic impact were usually in the black and white medium and this intrigue me no end.

    It provoked me to consider whether perhaps color photography doesn’t have the same allure because it captures too much of life thereby leaving very little else to the imagination. Whereas the black and white format doesn’t really try at all, in fact it resolutely renounces the real by being color blind, yet despite its obvious limitation, there lies its power to arrest and convey a very compelling narration.

    Agnes:
    And what strength or power would that be? How would you best describe it?

    Darkness:
    The power to recruit the imagination of the viewer or perhaps empower him with this right of narration – the viewer needs to supply the missing jigsaw to complete the picture – that’s to say he needs to form the third dimension. In doing so something magical happens: the reader or in this case viewer ceases completely to be the spectator, instead he’s elevated to the role of the narrator or creator. I remembered mulling over these thoughts during the last chapter.

    Agnes:
    Many have asked why did you set the story in China town London? Was there are reason behind the setting?

    Darkness:
    Yes, if you look very closely at every chapter, there is a common theme that runs through all of them, except perhaps in the last chapter. The sense of displacement, a sort of carrying across where Huan Guan always finds himself away from a place called home. Even in China town, the community never really accepted him as one of their own, being a Singaporean in a predominantly Hong Kong Chinese community only really gave him a measure of home against the sense of being an exile and even when he eloped with Jeannie to Wales. Again the same thematic mood is played out. As a result, his character is never stable, integrated and consistent.

    I guess this controlled instability gave Huan Guan an accidental hero quality which allowed many of the readers to identify with him, where even the reader isn’t really convinced he can really pull it off. It’s the necessary lie in story telling, if the good in the world outweighs the bad, it has to be by the slimmest of margins to heighten the dramatic effect. And thrown amid all this is the notion of duality, violence and compassion, revenge and forgiveness, love and separation, life and death; the state and the individual; the imperatives of history and the waywardness of his life. It’s almost as though he cannot have one idea without immediately considering it’s opposite.

    Agnes:
    Coming back to the issue of duality, there is one interesting chapter where the main protagonist seeks out the man who once beat him up and just before he is about to kill him, he loses all his resolve because he has a flashback of having once fought in some secret war. Many of the readers felt from that point onwards they were actually reading two stories in one. How did you reconcile these two realities?

    Darkness:
    One of the techniques I experimented with in the confessions was a device called leitmotiv – that’s to say images evoked by objects and motifs, one of them as I have already mentioned was Huan Guan’s briefcase, which is very effective in conveying the image of a man with a colorful past, the other is the imagery of war, but note, it’s not any war, but rather, we are told it’s a secret war, which was very effective in conveying the duality between reality and fiction, revenge and redemption, live and death. At that point, I couldn’t really find any other stronger imagery to evoke that sudden change of will, except perhaps the gravity of war and all it’s horrors – that’s the beauty of invoking war as a femme fatale, it’s incomprehensible and even unfathomable – it is worth noting there is a line in that chapter where Huan Guan says, he loved life so much even the life of a stranger who once beat him up – that generally sums up the sentiments of how a man who was so determined to kill another suddenly loses his resolve.

    Yes, I guess there were in effect reading two stories, if you imagine two dancers and every so often one of these dancers steps into a circle and does a jig only to step back for another to step in. This was really the technique, I was deploying – it’s a kind of dance, where there are lots of different inputs, and not one source of origin.

    To me at least those chapters when the secret war is mentioned to the readers is the defining moment, when we see Huan Guan completely in a different light – again I deliberately left the details vague, so the readers would speculate on his past and juxtapose them on the story board, except to repeat the line, “the unspeakable fire” again and again – by keeping the script very loose – it’s a bit like jazz. There is a lot of scope for improvisation within the melodic structure where only the very basic notations are listed and the musician really makes up the rest as he goes along – the direct opposite of traditional music in which the composer writes and the musician plays to a corseted script – here by playing on the idea of his smoky past and leaving out huge chunks – the act of reading becomes very much, the act of writing – and the reader assumes the role of the creator.

    Agnes:
    The reader assumes the role of the final arbiter? Is that the reason why there is one chapter where Huan Guan dreams of a city disappearing?

    Darkness:
    Yes, again it’s a play on the duality of the visible and the invisible – a conflict even – it’s trying to suggest that even among us there are infinite invisible realities. You need to comprehend at that point in the story when Huan Guan experiences the dream, he is very much a man torn by the guilt of having being the only survivor in his platoon – against this backdrop, we have a man who is struggling very hard to remember, yet forget his past – at first he tries very hard to forget, but eventually his past catches up with him, again, it’s a play on the duality between the past and the present – and the reason why the city disappears in his dreams, it’s because it’s unbearable to see it – but the triumph in that chapter is he finally decides to confront the past only to run away.

    Following that there is a very moving scene where he dines all by himself in Mutho curry house – to me this is the scene that really frames the unimaginable magnitude of his desolation – I deliberately inserted the caricature of the Mutho simply to perforce the comical notion how sometimes we can be beyond invisible to perhaps being ultra invisible and in this case, the metaphor of a lone figure dinning alone in the company of ghost remembered only in his past was a good way to convey to the reader – his status as an exile.

    Agnes:
    Exile? This word keeps cropping up again and again. Many have wondered whether perhaps in the course of writing this story and posting them in the net, either you or the brotherhood saw yourself very much like Huan Guan, the hunted and may I say, the exiled?

    Darkness:
    Subconsciously perhaps, these thoughts must have projected themselves into the story board. This I do not deny. Only because when we first started to post these stories in icered.com in Hong Kong, we encountered a fair amount of opposition from other forumers. I remember the webmaster, a man called Tim would call me from time to time and say, “hey they’re going to tie me to a stake and burn me.” Fortunately Tim ran the gauntlet with us and eventually by the second month half way into the series, the hate mails trickled off to zero and many of those who once opposed us eventually became our ardent readers.

    I am very grateful to webmasters like Tim, Francois, Neverdie and Inspirid because without them, we can never do the things we do. It’s never easy for them because when they allow us to use their platform, they are in effect allying themselves with us in the eyes of their readers.

    Agnes:
    9 out of 10 readers have asked. What were you trying to change by writing and posting the confessions?

    Darkness:
    It’s all too easy to jump from the knowledge that a novel can have agency to the conviction it MUST have agency, but I am not so sure it’s supposed to do that. What gradually emerged as I started fleshing out the character of Huan Guan, was not that a novel can CHANGE anything but that it can PRESERVE something, although I started with the original premise, it could provoke a sort of change. I soon realized, it had more to do with preservation.

    The thing being preserved, may be something like “the right for ALL kids to be able to read literature in school” or “the right to ride my bike on the road without ending up in hospital.” But what needs to be emphasized is it’s increasingly difficult to even hold on to these simple “rights” as society grows ever more distracted and mesmerized by the mono culture brought about the globalization and the advent of the digital age. I am not saying for one moment digitalization is predition. Neither am I suggesting we go back to the cottage industry and beat our key boards into ploughshares. It’s not going to happen. But simply because the advent of globalization and the digital age is so powerful, there needs to be an equally strong opposite force to counter it by preserving and reclaiming rather than changing what we still have or have already lost.

    I don’t expect you to understand this, but let me share with you something Agnes which I still consider very disturbing. In my country literature is no longer taught in schools. And this naturally begs the question, are we Singaporeans “bovine” in acquiescing to this sort of “Sovietization?”

    Agnes:
    Sovietization? That’s a very strong word. So what you saying is there needs to be a counter force in the form of an underground literature movement precisely because it no longer features in your society?

    Darkness:
    I really can’t find another word to describe the process. What many fail to grasp is the matter goes beyond the preservation of the right to read literature. It’s the sense that if we continue to remain bovine to these change, erosion, leaching, chelating or whatever you wish to call it, we will eventually end up finding ourselves living in a reductively binary culture: where you’re either somebody or a statistic, wired or logged off, hip or square, in or out, living or existing, functional or dysfunctional, successful or a failure, arts or science, with or against us. And that sort of flattening or dumbing down of the field of possibilities to consider the middle ground is precisely what’s depressing – it’s the classical litany in Oedipus Rex, the one where he sings the tune, I call the “depressive realism of modern life” which is not so different from Huxley’s bleak brave new world :

    “Alas ye generations of men, how mere a shadow do I count your life! Where, where is the mortal who wins more of happiness than just the seeming, and, after the semblance, a falling away?”

    Agnes:
    So what you are saying is writing the confessions was your way to preserve what you once and still consider to be important to yourself and society at large?

    Darkness:
    Yes or more accurately: the right for everyone to be able to discover the beauty of literature – because there is more to literature than meets the eye, you don’t have to be a sociologist to draw the connection literature has always had a tenuous purchase on the psyche of mankind.

    Things just don’t just evolve out of nothing, not even something as simple as tying shoelaces. Europeans use the parallel style because their forefathers fought wars in muddy trenches and every soldier knows it’s easier to remove a boot with a bayonet when the laces are all lined up in neat rows as opposed to the criss cross laces favored by Americans. Everything has a source Agnes – that’s my point and what cannot be denied is literature has always played an important role in shaping the contours of the political, economic, social and technological landscape. One just really needs to summon up literati’s like Orwell, Zola, Krauss, Nietzsche, Mandelstam and Akhmatova to see how they have shaped the course of humanity with the power of literature – by provoking others to simply do one very simple thing: Think!

    So to me when you say, literature, is dispensable, it’s as good as saying history is ephemeral and transient – and an extension of that for mankind to me at least is a future that seems as likely to be dystopian as utopian, simply because I really cannot see how a society can coherently evolve and grow without intellectual debate which only the cultural authority of literature is able to inspire.

    Agnes:
    You keep harping on preservation what specifically are these authors who you mentioned preserving?

    Darkness:
    I guess…..they are preserving a tradition of precise, expressive language; a habit of critically discerning beyond the chimera of superficiality. Their works serve as a manifesto for the disillusioned masses like you, me and them. Ordinary folk who simply want to lead a productive and happy life. Instead of being rail roaded by some guy on television…….I guess in the age of globalization, this need has never been strongest and literature goes a long way to make sense of to those who are constantly seeking vindication and comfort for those who struggle to accept the PR- soaked, artificially flavored, spin doctored and politically- deifying hegemony of modern society – I am not even talking about political science for dummies here – I am just talking about a bunch of kids reading about how a bunch of animals conduct politics on a farm, like Orwell’s book, “animal farm” only for some of them to say, “The world isn’t so simple after all.”

    I believe every kid has a right to that sort of right of passage in their schools – an awakening.

    Agnes:
    “You actually believe books can actually awaken up the political consciousness of the masses?”

    Darkness:
    Yes, that at least is what both me and the CIA agree upon, why do you think, they regularly conduct covert flights into Cuba and air drop copies of Arturo Perez- Reverte’s anti- proletariat sappy love stories – the modern battlefield isn’t about beach landings or land grabs any more mademoiselle, les actuers ne sont pas les gens, nes pas? it’s about the battle of the minds and in this sense, the pen is truly mightier than the sword – beware the power of books.

    Agnes:
    And you think by writing the confessions your book can actually do all that?

    Darkness:
    Yes, even my sappy trite of a yarn pockmarked with lousy grammar atrocious spelling and a ridiculous plot can have such a dramatic effect as evidenced by the number of subscribers – ordinary folk who sit in their faceless cubicles during their tea breaks are voting en mass with their mouse clickers – they are saying, “literature is important, we have a right to read and enjoy it.” That is what is being preserved, some may say well, that’s not very much and my response is simply this, it’s not entirely nothing either.

    Above all when there is a writer and a reader, a community is preserved, a thinking society who simply knows the world is never as simple as it is often made up to be by governments, firms, institutions, cult churches, Moonies,the hare Krishna’s or some guy on TV.

    Above all when literature in whatever form not necessarily in the shape and fashion of the confessions gets read or produced, be it satire, cartoons, commentaries or even just rhetorical observations, the underground community grows, develops and matures in the face of what I call, The Great Lie.

    And in this community neither as big as a statistical significant nor as small as the naked self. It’s a group of people who have all learnt to be preservers in their own way – because if you really want to know what is being ultimately preserved by the confessions it is simply this: Your right to think!

    Literature may no longer be taught as it once was in schools and I may not have the power to change the remembrance of things past, but at least here, where the sun never sets in cyberspace, there is an accidental hero and he is a Singaporean, his name is Yu Huan Guan, the man who carries the briefcase.

    Agnes:
    Would you like to add anything else?

    Darkness:
    Thank you and merry Christmas to all of you.

    Agnes: Can you share with us how it was when the brotherhood press first started posting the confessions online four years ago in Hong Kong?

    Darkness:
    Well how shall I put it, it’s a bit like waking up in the morning and finding a flying saucer parked in your backyard. Most people just looked at it and said, “OK, this must be dream” and went back to sleep.

    Posting stories online is a new concept, so both, we, the producers and the readers had to grapple with this new medium. I say new because writing stories in the net is completely different from a book, play or radio show. For one the tempo needs to be faster to heighten the dramatic effect. Neither can it be too long winded, otherwise readers will just tune off. The confessions as I mentioned many times was definitely a learning experience, I guess as with any new medium which aspires to be part of an acceptable genre they (our readers) too needed time to adjust themselves to this new form of entertainment.

    It is worth noting, the original confessions series was 84 chapters as opposed to the condensed redux version which only manages half the typescript. This means it ran just over a 4 month period and by the end of it, most of them (readers) more or less bought into the idea whole sale.

    The rest like the Americans say is history.

    Agnes:
    In the confessions the main protagonist Yu Huan Guan is always referred too as the man who carries the bag. Many have speculated whether perhaps the bag is a sort of metaphor, can you elaborate further?

    Darkness:
    What I was trying very hard to convey is, contrary to popular myth, none of us just walks over the brow of the hill or makes a naked entrance on the stage of life. It just doesn’t happen that way.We bring with us an enormous amount of baggage, in the form of history. The history of our family, friends, country, community, experience and even the broader history those who have once touched our lives.

    In this respect, the metaphor of the man with the bag was very effective in conveying this “historical multitudes” and amplifying the ideal all of us are irrevocably handcuffed to our respective histories. You can even say its play on the ancient Heraclitus idea, “a man’s character is his fate.” And he can never run away from his history. By fusing the hero with the bag, it was perhaps a very amateurish way for me to constantly remind myself, the plot always had to look back and juxtapose his distant past on the story board. So yes, you are absolutely right in mentioning the play on metaphors.

    Agnes:
    Why was it during the final scene, Huan Guan set aside his briefcase. What were you trying to convey in this scene. Many readers have speculated on what you were trying to say. Could you elaborate further?

    Darkness:
    I had a lot of problems with the closing chapter and much of it was due to my lack of literal skills in being able to successfully reconcile, coax, juxtapose differences and tease out connections. I don’t know how to say this except perhaps to admit, I am not a very versatile writer. Even today, I still struggle with the basics, spelling, grammar and construction. However, having said all that, I knew what I really didn’t want to do during the final scene was to just lay it all out in one straight line.

    I wanted the reader very much to experience the narrator’s world to stand before a forked road, where he or she decides what it really means when Huan Guan agrees to set aside his trade mark briefcase after the third wife says, “You wouldn’t need this where you are going…” This naturally compels the reader to ask, where is this place? What does this really mean? Does this mean he has finally reconciled himself with his past, present and future? Is this some sort of rite of passage? In the last chapter if you noticed very carefully, I was throwing out very suggestive images by using words such as “phantom mirror, kinetic architecture, transcontinental wormtrain, mindscape etc. The whole idea is to convey to the reader, Huan Guan is in another era somewhere in the distant future and this world isn’t really fleshed out, it’s here and there. Open ended even, but the reader is never in any doubt, it is a world of infinite possibilities and endless avenues – one where your guess about the ending is really as valid as mine.

    Agnes:
    Was this a trick you acquired from reading or somewhere else?

    Darkness:
    Au contraire, technique would be a better word. Actually, it’s something I gleaned quite by accident in the way of photography. I noticed, the really great photos which have the highest dramatic impact were usually in the black and white medium and this intrigue me no end.

    It provoked me to consider whether perhaps color photography doesn’t have the same allure because it captures too much of life thereby leaving very little else to the imagination. Whereas the black and white format doesn’t really try at all, in fact it resolutely renounces the real by being color blind, yet despite its obvious limitation, there lies its power to arrest and convey a very compelling narration.

    Agnes:
    And what strength or power would that be? How would you best describe it?

    Darkness:
    The power to recruit the imagination of the viewer or perhaps empower him with this right of narration – the viewer needs to supply the missing jigsaw to complete the picture – that’s to say he needs to form the third dimension. In doing so something magical happens: the reader or in this case viewer ceases completely to be the spectator, instead he’s elevated to the role of the narrator or creator. I remembered mulling over these thoughts during the last chapter.

    Agnes:
    Many have asked why did you set the story in China town London? Was there are reason behind the setting?

    Darkness:
    Yes, if you look very closely at every chapter, there is a common theme that runs through all of them, except perhaps in the last chapter. The sense of displacement, a sort of carrying across where Huan Guan always finds himself away from a place called home. Even in China town, the community never really accepted him as one of their own, being a Singaporean in a predominantly Hong Kong Chinese community only really gave him a measure of home against the sense of being an exile and even when he eloped with Jeannie to Wales. Again the same thematic mood is played out. As a result, his character is never stable, integrated and consistent.

    I guess this controlled instability gave Huan Guan an accidental hero quality which allowed many of the readers to identify with him, where even the reader isn’t really convinced he can really pull it off. It’s the necessary lie in story telling, if the good in the world outweighs the bad, it has to be by the slimmest of margins to heighten the dramatic effect. And thrown amid all this is the notion of duality, violence and compassion, revenge and forgiveness, love and separation, life and death; the state and the individual; the imperatives of history and the waywardness of his life. It’s almost as though he cannot have one idea without immediately considering it’s opposite.

    Agnes:
    Coming back to the issue of duality, there is one interesting chapter where the main protagonist seeks out the man who once beat him up and just before he is about to kill him, he loses all his resolve because he has a flashback of having once fought in some secret war. Many of the readers felt from that point onwards they were actually reading two stories in one. How did you reconcile these two realities?

    Darkness:
    One of the techniques I experimented with in the confessions was a device called leitmotiv – that’s to say images evoked by objects and motifs, one of them as I have already mentioned was Huan Guan’s briefcase, which is very effective in conveying the image of a man with a colorful past, the other is the imagery of war, but note, it’s not any war, but rather, we are told it’s a secret war, which was very effective in conveying the duality between reality and fiction, revenge and redemption, live and death. At that point, I couldn’t really find any other stronger imagery to evoke that sudden change of will, except perhaps the gravity of war and all it’s horrors – that’s the beauty of invoking war as a femme fatale, it’s incomprehensible and even unfathomable – it is worth noting there is a line in that chapter where Huan Guan says, he loved life so much even the life of a stranger who once beat him up – that generally sums up the sentiments of how a man who was so determined to kill another suddenly loses his resolve.

    Yes, I guess there were in effect reading two stories, if you imagine two dancers and every so often one of these dancers steps into a circle and does a jig only to step back for another to step in. This was really the technique, I was deploying – it’s a kind of dance, where there are lots of different inputs, and not one source of origin.

    To me at least those chapters when the secret war is mentioned to the readers is the defining moment, when we see Huan Guan completely in a different light – again I deliberately left the details vague, so the readers would speculate on his past and juxtapose them on the story board, except to repeat the line, “the unspeakable fire” again and again – by keeping the script very loose – it’s a bit like jazz. There is a lot of scope for improvisation within the melodic structure where only the very basic notations are listed and the musician really makes up the rest as he goes along – the direct opposite of traditional music in which the composer writes and the musician plays to a corseted script – here by playing on the idea of his smoky past and leaving out huge chunks – the act of reading becomes very much, the act of writing – and the reader assumes the role of the creator.

    Agnes:
    The reader assumes the role of the final arbiter? Is that the reason why there is one chapter where Huan Guan dreams of a city disappearing?

    Darkness:
    Yes, again it’s a play on the duality of the visible and the invisible – a conflict even – it’s trying to suggest that even among us there are infinite invisible realities. You need to comprehend at that point in the story when Huan Guan experiences the dream, he is very much a man torn by the guilt of having being the only survivor in his platoon – against this backdrop, we have a man who is struggling very hard to remember, yet forget his past – at first he tries very hard to forget, but eventually his past catches up with him, again, it’s a play on the duality between the past and the present – and the reason why the city disappears in his dreams, it’s because it’s unbearable to see it – but the triumph in that chapter is he finally decides to confront the past only to run away.

    Following that there is a very moving scene where he dines all by himself in Mutho curry house – to me this is the scene that really frames the unimaginable magnitude of his desolation – I deliberately inserted the caricature of the Mutho simply to perforce the comical notion how sometimes we can be beyond invisible to perhaps being ultra invisible and in this case, the metaphor of a lone figure dinning alone in the company of ghost remembered only in his past was a good way to convey to the reader – his status as an exile.

    Agnes:
    Exile? This word keeps cropping up again and again. Many have wondered whether perhaps in the course of writing this story and posting them in the net, either you or the brotherhood saw yourself very much like Huan Guan, the hunted and may I say, the exiled?

    Darkness:
    Subconsciously perhaps, these thoughts must have projected themselves into the story board. This I do not deny. Only because when we first started to post these stories in icered.com in Hong Kong, we encountered a fair amount of opposition from other forumers. I remember the webmaster, a man called Tim would call me from time to time and say, “hey they’re going to tie me to a stake and burn me.” Fortunately Tim ran the gauntlet with us and eventually by the second month half way into the series, the hate mails trickled off to zero and many of those who once opposed us eventually became our ardent readers.

    I am very grateful to webmasters like Tim, Francois, Neverdie and Inspirid because without them, we can never do the things we do. It’s never easy for them because when they allow us to use their platform, they are in effect allying themselves with us in the eyes of their readers.

    Agnes:
    9 out of 10 readers have asked. What were you trying to change by writing and posting the confessions?

    Darkness:
    It’s all too easy to jump from the knowledge that a novel can have agency to the conviction it MUST have agency, but I am not so sure it’s supposed to do that. What gradually emerged as I started fleshing out the character of Huan Guan, was not that a novel can CHANGE anything but that it can PRESERVE something, although I started with the original premise, it could provoke a sort of change. I soon realized, it had more to do with preservation.

    The thing being preserved, may be something like “the right for ALL kids to be able to read literature in school” or “the right to ride my bike on the road without ending up in hospital.” But what needs to be emphasized is it’s increasingly difficult to even hold on to these simple “rights” as society grows ever more distracted and mesmerized by the mono culture brought about the globalization and the advent of the digital age. I am not saying for one moment digitalization is predition. Neither am I suggesting we go back to the cottage industry and beat our key boards into ploughshares. It’s not going to happen. But simply because the advent of globalization and the digital age is so powerful, there needs to be an equally strong opposite force to counter it by preserving and reclaiming rather than changing what we still have or have already lost.

    I don’t expect you to understand this, but let me share with you something Agnes which I still consider very disturbing. In my country literature is no longer taught in schools. And this naturally begs the question, are we Singaporeans “bovine” in acquiescing to this sort of “Sovietization?”

    Agnes:
    Sovietization? That’s a very strong word. So what you saying is there needs to be a counter force in the form of an underground literature movement precisely because it no longer features in your society?

    Darkness:
    I really can’t find another word to describe the process. What many fail to grasp is the matter goes beyond the preservation of the right to read literature. It’s the sense that if we continue to remain bovine to these change, erosion, leaching, chelating or whatever you wish to call it, we will eventually end up finding ourselves living in a reductively binary culture: where you’re either somebody or a statistic, wired or logged off, hip or square, in or out, living or existing, functional or dysfunctional, successful or a failure, arts or science, with or against us. And that sort of flattening or dumbing down of the field of possibilities to consider the middle ground is precisely what’s depressing – it’s the classical litany in Oedipus Rex, the one where he sings the tune, I call the “depressive realism of modern life” which is not so different from Huxley’s bleak brave new world :

    “Alas ye generations of men, how mere a shadow do I count your life! Where, where is the mortal who wins more of happiness than just the seeming, and, after the semblance, a falling away?”

    Agnes:
    So what you are saying is writing the confessions was your way to preserve what you once and still consider to be important to yourself and society at large?

    Darkness:
    Yes or more accurately: the right for everyone to be able to discover the beauty of literature – because there is more to literature than meets the eye, you don’t have to be a sociologist to draw the connection literature has always had a tenuous purchase on the psyche of mankind.

    Things just don’t just evolve out of nothing, not even something as simple as tying shoelaces. Europeans use the parallel style because their forefathers fought wars in muddy trenches and every soldier knows it’s easier to remove a boot with a bayonet when the laces are all lined up in neat rows as opposed to the criss cross laces favored by Americans. Everything has a source Agnes – that’s my point and what cannot be denied is literature has always played an important role in shaping the contours of the political, economic, social and technological landscape. One just really needs to summon up literati’s like Orwell, Zola, Krauss, Nietzsche, Mandelstam and Akhmatova to see how they have shaped the course of humanity with the power of literature – by provoking others to simply do one very simple thing: Think!

    So to me when you say, literature, is dispensable, it’s as good as saying history is ephemeral and transient – and an extension of that for mankind to me at least is a future that seems as likely to be dystopian as utopian, simply because I really cannot see how a society can coherently evolve and grow without intellectual debate which only the cultural authority of literature is able to inspire.

    Agnes:
    You keep harping on preservation what specifically are these authors who you mentioned preserving?

    Darkness:
    I guess…..they are preserving a tradition of precise, expressive language; a habit of critically discerning beyond the chimera of superficiality. Their works serve as a manifesto for the disillusioned masses like you, me and them. Ordinary folk who simply want to lead a productive and happy life. Instead of being rail roaded by some guy on television…….I guess in the age of globalization, this need has never been strongest and literature goes a long way to make sense of to those who are constantly seeking vindication and comfort for those who struggle to accept the PR- soaked, artificially flavored, spin doctored and politically- deifying hegemony of modern society – I am not even talking about political science for dummies here – I am just talking about a bunch of kids reading about how a bunch of animals conduct politics on a farm, like Orwell’s book, “animal farm” only for some of them to say, “The world isn’t so simple after all.”

    I believe every kid has a right to that sort of right of passage in their schools – an awakening.

    Agnes:
    “You actually believe books can actually awaken up the political consciousness of the masses?”

    Darkness:
    Yes, that at least is what both me and the CIA agree upon, why do you think, they regularly conduct covert flights into Cuba and air drop copies of Arturo Perez- Reverte’s anti- proletariat sappy love stories – the modern battlefield isn’t about beach landings or land grabs any more mademoiselle, les actuers ne sont pas les gens, nes pas? it’s about the battle of the minds and in this sense, the pen is truly mightier than the sword – beware the power of books.

    Agnes:
    And you think by writing the confessions your book can actually do all that?

    Darkness:
    Yes, even my sappy trite of a yarn pockmarked with lousy grammar atrocious spelling and a ridiculous plot can have such a dramatic effect as evidenced by the number of subscribers – ordinary folk who sit in their faceless cubicles during their tea breaks are voting en mass with their mouse clickers – they are saying, “literature is important, we have a right to read and enjoy it.” That is what is being preserved, some may say well, that’s not very much and my response is simply this, it’s not entirely nothing either.

    Above all when there is a writer and a reader, a community is preserved, a thinking society who simply knows the world is never as simple as it is often made up to be by governments, firms, institutions, cult churches, Moonies,the hare Krishna’s or some guy on TV.

    Above all when literature in whatever form not necessarily in the shape and fashion of the confessions gets read or produced, be it satire, cartoons, commentaries or even just rhetorical observations, the underground community grows, develops and matures in the face of what I call, The Great Lie.

    And in this community neither as big as a statistical significant nor as small as the naked self. It’s a group of people who have all learnt to be preservers in their own way – because if you really want to know what is being ultimately preserved by the confessions it is simply this: Your right to think!

    Literature may no longer be taught as it once was in schools and I may not have the power to change the remembrance of things past, but at least here, where the sun never sets in cyberspace, there is an accidental hero and he is a Singaporean, his name is Yu Huan Guan, the man who carries the briefcase.

    Agnes:
    Would you like to add anything else?

    Darkness:
    Thank you for allowing me to share with you all and merry Christmas to all of you.

    End / Chronicler / Brotherhood Press Copyrighted 2006.

  242. 130th said

    long live the brotherhood!

    Merry Christmas.

  243. Chronicler said

    “When a person is lucky enough to live inside a story, to live inside an imaginary world, the pains of this world disappears. For as long as the story goes on, reality no longer exists.”

    Yu Huan Guan 2002 Confessions of a Singaporean gangster in London.

    The Chronicler’s office wishes all our readers Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  244. Shimanoboy said

    You all have to admit, this captures the mood when darkness rides with us. Especially, the part where he points at you, it’s so him.

    You got to love these boys riding in NYC, there is even a part where line in up in Brooklyn.

    Enjoy. Merry Christmas.

    Long live the brotherhood!

  245. bionicboy said

    Chronicler,

    Hey fatty, I need a table for 4, my sister and her friends would like to see darkness on the 29th.

    Pls arrange it, we cannot get reservations.

    I am a brother, ensign 88937724A. Thanks

  246. Su May said

    darkness must walk into the light. If he doesn’t walk into the light……..I am a woman, but I am Caleb. I have seen the light follow me, follow me out of darkness.

  247. Nacramanga said

    The scholars have calculated our chances of victory is 94%, our attrition rate is 72%.

    Brothers prepare, we will attack the Irullians within the hour.

    Darkness has sent this message:

    “Wake up, Let this be your finest hour, they will not expect us to strike on Christmas day, make it count!”

    Prepare for war!

  248. darkness said

    Call it off. I have given my word. There will be no surprise attack. All units stand down.

    Obey me!

  249. kinokuniya said

    darkness,

    Can we have a change of venue? Pleeze / the location, the chronicler suggested is unbookable!!!!!!!

  250. kinokuniya said

    I dont want to come across as demanding, the chronicler. However, do you think it is possible for you to dig up the Christmas ghost and horror stories Bambie used to write for the holiday season? Many thx.

  251. Chronicler said

    Short Story Series – Brotherhood Press 2004 / Codex retrieve: 98723946875/ AB / Darkness.

    Underground Poetry…..

    No one really knows when poems started appearing in the metro, underground and train stations all around the world. Some cognoscenti’s swear the first poems surface in Moscow during the mid eighties in the Electrozavodskaya in the Moscow underground. Others credit the British who first ran a crazy project simply called Poems in the underground.

    The idea was that, over a few experimental months, the Arts Council and two poetry publishers would support some posters with poems on to be read by commuters and exhausted shoppers, alongside adverts for duty free cigarettes, cars or holidays in Spain. The commentators were pretty vitriolic,

    “Far-fetched if not preposterous….” Said one.

    “The exposure of an obscure and esoteric passion” wrote another.

    But curiously the public loved it and now the scattering of poetry about in public places has been adopted by mass transport systems in New York, Paris, Dublin, Tokyo, Shanghai to Moscow, in capital cities in Scandinavia and Australia. Poems on the underground are now assumed to be part of the urban landscape, a model for primary school projects and a subject for Ph.D these in media studies and semiology.

    I guess the idea of poetry on public transport remains somewhat far-fetched, if not preposterous – even to someone like me, only because, like you I have been conditioned to believe every square inch has to have a commercial value – this I suspect: it’s contrarian sense may after all hold the mysteries of its appeal.

    I guess one reason accounting for the allure, is the fact there are no hidden agenda’s in the form of subliminal advertising to sell you another shirt, holiday, perfume or cigarettes, poetry being poetry is notoriously political promiscuous having absolutely no allegiance to any particular school of thought or movement. She is terminally eclectic: a free spirit.

    Why should poetry have resurfaced in such an unexpected setting? When its demise has been predicted for so long? Perhaps it’s because poetry is an antidote to a world where almost all public language is trying to sell you, how you should live your life. Marketing and spin compromises the vast majority of what we see, hear and read. The news is compromised by a combination of spin-doctors. Even soap operas like the typically trite the brotherhood press regularly churns out tries to catch you with cliff-hanging events to entice you continue reading – there is a nefarious hand to it all, one that simply steals a slice of your soul.

    But poetry is so carefully crafted to seek out such personal truths that it really isn’t like all of that at all – if I may say so from my personal experience, it’s a bit like looking out at a tropical shark infested island – it’s surreal and even beautiful.

    There may be layer upon layer of meaning and reference in a poem, but you know it’s there for it’s own sake – and in search for it’ pied de terre of truth – not because it is manipulating us to buy or vote or spend time. If marketing, television and our local rag are closing down our understanding of language and watering down the meaning of experience into sound bites, then poetry is refocusing and rebuilding it. The essence of poetry with us in this age of stark and unlovely actualities is a stark directness, without a shadow of a lie, or a shadow of a deflection whatever – it is a real experience, like a searching kiss and seeks out the sweetness of the moment.

    Accountants don’t examine poetry for regression curves or cost to ratio benefits. Production specialist can’t finger anything to measure it’s utility and effectiveness. It’s like primrose and roses, there are gratuitous and a love of nature keeps no factories or the tax man happy. Above all it’s a haven of authenticity in our virtual world, relative world. Focussed on what feels real and true, it makes it possible to reclaim our imagination. Most people don’t really give poetry a thought not till they find themselves like me many years ago standing on a lonely evening on a desolate platform before a oversized script somewhere in the underground in London holding a briefcase.

    They say the poem was submitted anonymously to the London Arts Council who published and posted it on their underground – they never got to know who penned it, some said the man never really existed except in the realm of the imagination, so let me share with you all what this man once wrote.

    “I’d like to be with you
    in some small field,
    in the never ending twilight of dusk
    and the endless sound of distant sways of trees
    as they bend and sway languidly to distant winds, a melodic rhapsody.

    And in this little field
    the thin chime of a distant bell would sound,
    like little drops of seconds, minutes and hours all coalescing into
    the image of your lovely face. And sometimes in the evening, from some
    lonely clove, a solitary string played across the vast expanse of time, reaching, searching
    and finding me.

    My heart, a sail boat, a wing with a prayer soaring against the splendor of the sun.
    And out beyond our only window – the eternity of our passage.”

    Happy New Year. Love always darkness.

    darkness 2004 / Entropia publications.

  252. brownie said

    Who does that faggot think he is? If he shows up we will just have to rearrange his pretty face. The same way that character got wacked up in that story he wrote about. Its time someone really taught that troll a lesson or two about respect.

    He comes here writes all those addictive stories, who does he think he is? The days of the brotherhood are numbered, remember we see you there on Friday, we hantam first, then we will talk later.

    Alternatively, you can have the choice of just staying in your little corner and we will leave you be and you can do what you like. Down with the brotherhood!

  253. darkness said

    The World Beneath Her Feet – Je m’en vais chercher un grand peut-etre.

    Paris is a city that might well be spoken of in the plural, as the Greeks used to speak of Athens, her mood changes with the light, she’s ever changing, never the same.

    I don’t know any city in the world that has such an intimate relationship with light. In the evenings when the sky turns a gentle rose color over the river; casting dusky shadows on the water, she looks almost serene like an indolent cat napping away – in the cut glass of the morning light, when the contours of all things are etched suitably precisely to this sort of leaching light, buildings look like colossal elaborately decorated cakes with their exquisite details of gargoyles, cupola’s, spires and baroque columns – and at night, when a languid harmony reigns along side the exquisiteness of the faint glow so much is insinuated, it seems as if this is the only city in the world where electricity should be rightly squandered – I say this as a man who once visited her only to find myself conquered and struggling to find a pretext to stay: there is a charm to French living that is noticeably smooth and slow. If you don’t understand why the French don’t see the need to globalize or jump of the free market wagon, its probably because you’ve really wasted enough time in Paris watching the smooth and slow passage of the Seine.

    The virtue of that slowness has deeply impressed itself on the French spirit – how deeply can be sensed, I remembered saying to myself that the Seine’s course is literally a demonstration of how a little can be made to go a long way. I guess this languor even permeates the language itself: French vocabulary is extremely limited when compared to English, but every word is made to bear a maximum weight. Racine’s tragedy seems a trifle sparse next to Shakespeare’s, but they compensate in intensity for what they lack in extensiveness.

    To the French less is somehow more anyone who has ever sat on a park bench and had a conversation with a Parisian lady over home made cheese and bread will know only too well how they delight in the minutiae fractionale. A few apples, oranges, grapes and a bottle of wine were all that Cezanne needed to revolutionize modern painting – if the French spirit was bottled, she would be parfum, not eau de toilette – its always about the small concentrated picture in this big city, she celebrates the God in the small: the smell of fresh croissant wafts from a family run patisserie, a greengrocer arranging fruit and vegetables as if they were millinery. A tobacconist busying himself with a mortar and pestle concocting his family blend that morning as I looked from the vantage of a seat in a café – I realized buildings had suddenly become furniture, courtyards like arrases, streets like galleries……..and against this chorus of sights and sounds, I couldn’t help but believe how meaningless it all sounds….globalization……we don’t have a choice……..we have no control……we have to compete…..we have to…..we have too or else……..

    That morning as I sipped my coffee with these thoughts casting long shadows in my mind – I stared out into the eternity of the Seine in the background a radio blared about a Anglo French project to dredge and widen a section of the rivulet to increase it’s speed, I smiled only because I knew better, they can surely try I said to myself, but she has a mind of her own, she lives by her own terms and knowing her, she’s be the last to bow: The lady called the Seine – it was New Year’s Eve in Paris.

    “Elle flotte, elle hesite; en un mot, elle est femme…..elle s’endormit du sommeil des justes.”

    Chronicler record this. darkness.

  254. darkness said

    Many of you have asked me why Paris is called, la lumiere du Monde -the light of the earth. Others have simply asked why is it called the city of lights. I want you to come here tomorrow at this time. I want to share something with you.

    We have this time together you and I bfr the world awakes – yes?

    darkness 27-12-06

  255. Chronicler said

    “If he shows up we will just have to rearrange his pretty face.”

    Look here ninkompooph, if you are skilled in the art of war, dont go and tell ppl what you are going to do in advance – this is what darkness always says.

    Just do it lah! FYI do you know what the FC stands for in FC boyz? It stands for fight club, this fellow is a boxer, you idiot! He is a real boxer, cuts and all, not the bluff variety and he will floor you that means you amatuers will probably shit yourself when you see him. So will run back to your mothers so fast, you will leave your diapers behind!

    Make sure you turn up bc this will give the ladies something to talk abt. Make sure OK! Don’t disappoint us all!

    So make sure you are there! Because he will be there!

  256. darkness said

    The City of Lights – Ville Lumiere / Travelogue 2006.

    There is a French word which I really like to share with only you this evening, it’s a word that doesn’t lend itself easily to the English translation, “d’epaysement” – a few years ago, I chanced on an article written by the Paris Bureau chief for the New York Times, his translation of the word felt just right so for ease of reference, I am going to quote him.

    “The feeling of not being assaulted by the familiarity of things, a change in surroundings where there is no immediate point of reference.”

    He went on to quote a French journalist who once said that

    “Most people don’t make it a point to d’epayses, only to end up finding a home away from home.”

    This is unfortunate as it is true, so although one may even spend years working, living and playing in a country, their unwillingness to d’epayses ensures they never really left home.

    The British and Americans are the worst, go to any country in the world and you would most likely find either a sliver of Dorset complete with immaculate cricket lawns or an American club that serves super sized whoppers next to a giant screening the live satellite baseball games. As for overseas Singaporeans, we don’t endeavor as hard to create fiefdoms in foreign lands, but eventually after exhausting the run of the mill dialogue as to which school, university, unit we more than make out for our lack with our fetishness – when the conversation invariably turns to the very serious issue of bartering or begging for Maggi instant noodles. Trust me you know you’ve being away for too long, when you’re willing to trade your hippest CD’s for a packet of Maggi instant noodles.

    It never fails to amaze me even today how our entire historical sense of being revolves around the humble instant noodles. What I usually find unfortunate is whenever I ask whether they joined the locals at the café for a morning croissant or an evening aperitif, shopped at the outdoor marche, went to the local fete, or people-watched in the place, the answer is invariably, “dowan lah.” They may have had an amazing boat ride on the Seine, but they don’t know the real Paris – one has to make it a point like I mentioned to be depayses – step off the boat and walk around for that sort of knowledge – even perhaps try to get lost – and if a boat ride experience alone is what they were seeking, they certainly didn’t need to fly all the way to France: there are plenty of beautiful places to see the sights by boat in Singapore and Malaysia.

    Until you have really wasted time in a city, you cannot pretend to know it well. The soul of a city like a heart of a woman is not be grasped easily; her heart has many chambers, but as every Parisian will tell you, just as one begins to acquaint oneself with a building by first stepping into the lobby – the first chamber is to understand why she is often called, Ville Lumiere or City of Lights. Though it is constantly used in reference to Paris, it has become a sobriquet a term of endearment.

    Say Ville Lumiere and some will conjure images of well lighted sparkling pools doting the length of the Seine – the Champs-Elysees and Eiffel ablaze. Or perhaps the Pantheon, Sacre Coeur, Trocedero – all bathed in a yellow hallo.

    Personally I’ve often imagined the expression has more to do with the soul of the city. Apart from the illicit thrill of Paris – they also have real shops, colorful, family owned café’s, full of evocative smells and all of them seem to disregard the local bye law by spilling out quite openly into the streets, where minds meet and tongues wag into the night. To me café’s are just not places, they’re like transit points very much like airports, train stations and space stations where people gather around only in Parisian café’s they do something most of these places don’t do outside Paris – they talk and talk and talk…..

    I am reminded so much starts with conversations. The kind of conversation in which you start with a willingness to become a slightly different person, these are conversations that open the possibility of changing your mind. Perhaps that why so many new experimental hubs in the world insist on using the word “café” as a metaphor to describe their quest for vibrancy, verve and variety – certainly, for centuries, many in the world have been drawn to Paris like the proverbial moth to the flame precisely because it offers the opportunity for life changing conversations.

    In a sense the appellation ville Lumiere isn’t about physical light at all. Half a dozen other cities probably have more and brighter lights than Paris these days. Hong Kong’s harbor light show is computer controlled to wax and wane in synch with Bach and Mozart. Shanghai boast, the largest wattage per square kilometer ever to be endorsed for public lighting by any city municipality. Yet despite their fervor in setting themselves a blaze, no one dreams of renaming them the city of lights. Besides the title city of lights was claimed by Paris a century ago before the advent of electricity and street lighting.

    Rather it’s a reference to the light of intellectualism that attracts the verve to ignite, political, spiritual, cultural and intellectual change. The glow emitted by these café’s which dot Paris is not simply climatic to what many refer to as “la atmosphere”, it’s a spiritual force that also shapes one’s character, opinions and judgments. It’s a powerful astringent – coffee, cigarettes and conversations – the 3C’s which defines the City of Lights.

    There’s another intangible reason. Something about the quality of life, the outlook of the people, daring and provocative but never dull, the city of lights is often seen as the enfant terrible of the international community simply because they, the French don’t see the virtue of embracing globalization or the monologue of American foreign policy, where the mantra is either you are with or against us – they have their own will and they will do as they please – in these café’s a man learns at least three things, how to roll cigarettes from the outside in, listen to three conversations simultaneously and write his history, where the latter usually involves deconstructing established structures and reassemble them again like Lego bricks, nothing ever remains the same, man observes….he realizes…. he sees possibilities… makes a choice…..takes a position, one where he knows if he doesn’t someone else will just come along and write his history, only to end up being told where to go, stop there, turn left etc.

    I guess the reason why I see these café’s as embodying the light of the city is because they’re also about escaping the cacophony of modern life by truing oneself through a rigorous process of discourse – by this, I mean you can teach a man to draw a straight line; or how to string a sentence or even pronounce a word, with admirable speed and precision; but if you ask him to consider the deeper meaning of why he writes, he stops, his execution becomes scraggy; he thinks, and ten to one he thinks wrong; ten to one he slips up and doesn’t quite manage to convey what’s really in his head on paper – that’s what happens when sometime mechanical is rendered a thinking being, till then he was simply a monkey trained to pick coconuts, a machine, an animated tool, that to me is what these café’s actually are miniature production houses that keeps churning out critical thinkers. So even if it sounds cliché to the uninitiated, countless others, this is where the light burns brightest in the City of Lights.

    That realization occurred to me one muggy evening, many years ago when I found myself mulling over Thoreau’s dictum the “mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” I found myself suddenly a stranger in a sea of many and soon that familiar depressing sense of estrangement from the mainstream fogged it – deepening the abyss – but how ridiculous it is the self-pity of the loner as he leans over the bridge pulling on a cigarette seeking answers from the Seine – that night in the language of rivers, she said, Yes? She said yes, so I asked again, and she said yes again. In the rush I didn’t notice the city lights being turned off for the night, or when the sparse crowd dispersed. As I looked out along the quay at the many yellow lights of the café’s still opened, I remembered the moments and the waters I had crossed in my life – above all I realized, it was a long time since I last went into one of those café’s in the City of Lights, a place so bright that I will simply have to go on using that cliché Ville Lumiere as long as those café’s remain through the night.

    darkness 28-12-06

  257. darkness said

    Somewhere Off The Taiwanese Coast……..When The World Suddenly Stopped / Rants 2006.

    You know something, when you start to think long and hard about it, this entire internet hiccup is a peculiar business.

    It’s peculiar because it’s too pertinent, like the sudden death of a country priest. A priest in the city doesn’t enjoy the same measure of centrality in a community as a priest in the countryside, here far away from skyscrapers, highways and all forms of modernity, the country priest remains the only umbilical cord to the civilized world and beyond, the ethereal world, he: so to speak holds the key to the abyss – he’s a sort of traffic warden, that tells his community, when to stop, look and go. Here surrounded by trees, stones and grazing sheep, he stands as the only vanguard against the evil eye, the sole Templar knight who selflessly guards his flock. And when he suddenly dies, it is as though he has acquitted himself too faithfully to his vocation; as thought the man who had devoted his entire life to teach others how to live and die had suddenly given a public demonstration of the act and by some sort of freak accident has somehow really died himself – that’s how this entire business of 4 or 5 fiber optic cables being severed somewhere off the coast of Taiwan appears to me – its too surreal, like waking up and finding a flying saucer parked outside your void deck only there is twist to this scene, because as you look longer at those spacemen you can’t help but think, if they can manufacture this shiny spaceship, surely they could have designed a better space suit that actually looks futuristic and hip.

    Now that we are all happily reduced to pre-pentium Flintstone era surfing speed, the situation is ridiculous as it is surreal, but it also serves as a timely reminder how so much of our lives have been placed on the altar of technology and that reminds me technology still remains both perdition and salvation.

    I say salvation only because this hiccup reminds so much of those black out’s in the moment of my youth, when all of us huddled in the middle of the hall to the tongue of a single candlelight forced to confront human limitation for what it really is: a fixture of life. Yet amid this apparent mood of doom and gloom, I remembered having a deep spirited conversations without the distractions of TV and radio with those around me as to who I wanted to be one day – I remembered mulling over a strange machine which I once saw in the largest stationary shop in Penang purring as it emitted a strange greenish mysterious glow – it was a dawn of the new age, the information age and I realized, it was time to pick up and head south to write my history so to speak.

    The world now finds itself in this ancient cave once again, where a few men are gathered around a campfire, their shadows cast against cave drawings, each silent in their own thoughts, a desolate island cut off from the light of the world, each trying to make sense of where they will stand against the dawn of a new light tomorrow – if it comes?

    In a sardonic sense, its not such a bad thing that those cables have been severed, its even a blessing in disguise as I am reminded of the realities of life once again, against the frenetic pace of life as it used to be: how it still takes 9 Julian months for a baby to develop in the womb of her mother or how there is no such thing as fast ripening fruit and nature simply needs to take its course, how one still needs to earn the respect of a woman if you aspire for her to see you as another man – it all takes time.

    And perdition because this lull or hiccup simply allows me to familiarize myself with apocalypse, to acquaint myself with the contours of giving too much to technology and all its terror when it fails – time stops for the duration when you can’t surf, conference or can’t send an e-mail as it does when you simply light a cigarette: when you are smoking, you’re acutely present of yourself and your addiction; when you’re smoking, you’re acutely present to yourself; you step outside the consciousness forward rush of life. This is why the condemned are allowed the final cigarette, it’s a requiem my paper man is content to lament whenever he tells me how the rainy season has been playing havoc on his life, the world is ending he says, my papers are turning soggy, its ending, I tell you, and I ‘m happy to simply puff away once again belonging to this fallible world which believes it is infallible.

    Above all the world is still confused and we can talk, you and I.

    Darkness 29-12-06

  258. sphgirl said

    chronicler, you should warn bambie bad boy. I just dont want anything bad to happen to him OK.

    http://miyagi.sg/2006/12/christmas-letter/#comment-56368

    Ah Beng said:

    If we see him, we will just wack him..
    there may be more of them than us.
    they could also be better trained than us.
    but I am sure the blogging community will
    rally together and exterminate them once and for all like we did in the case of WSM. What they are doing is
    undermining our way of life and they are also stealing
    our readers. The brotherhood are like those aliens in the movie,
    Independence day. It is either them or us. We all need to get that
    darkness. Either he goes or we all end up mati one day

  259. killamaru said

    darkness is natural fighter, you have never ever seen this man look at the sum of all our fears when he climbs – he smiles – you should worry abt them, pray for them – it is sad when others do not know what their strenghts and weaknesses are – it is indeed so very sad.

  260. killamaru said

    If only they looked deep into his eyes – they would see the sum of all their fears…….it is so sad.

    You really want to know the truth – no one in the blogosphere in singapore want the brotherhood to pick up and leave – not a single person will support them, not even one – they may not like or understand the brotherhood, but as they read, they simply know this man called darkness speaks alot of sense – they respect him.

  261. killamaru said

    You are alone. You are like a desolate star – not a single person will support you, against them.

  262. Chronicler said

    The Reason Why You Write………. (Brotherhood Press 2006 / Codex: 9926439-2006 / Musings – darkness)

    Have ever asked yourself why you write? These thoughts clung to me like seaweed throughout the course of the morning when I woke up earlier than usual to ride my bike in Bukit Timah. It was quiet, dark and a slight mist hung over the jungle – then it came, the question, have you ever asked yourself: Why do you write the things you do?

    I brushed the question off, clipped into the pedals, felt the tug. The chain settled over the sprockets; soon the familiar feel of the meshing, followed by the forward glide – man and machine barreled into darkness, wind cutting against the spokes, the sound of crushed leaves, the twilight – then it came again, the question: Why do you write the things you do? This time, the jungle whispered.

    “I don’t know I replied, leave me be, I need to focus, the trail is soggy and slippery today, they are all kinds of unseen dangers here. A man could loose his hold on a mossy rut, slip fall and break his neck or misjudge a drop off and break his neck and fall. Leave me alone.”

    “No, I want to know, why do you write the things you do? Tell me.” She pressed on.

    I began to reflect, looking back a line of men followed, each panting, fighting and rasping as we tore through the trail – silently yet zipping past like the flight of an arrow – then it came again, the question: Why do you write the things you do? She whispered again.

    Is it because we need to believe in such a thing called a voice: the will to record indelibly, to set down our fragile thoughts into permanent words like these, seem akin to the conviction we are larger than the state, community and even our own chemistry – I say chemistry only because we are increasing being told by experts how we may perceive, decide and even say or behave is largely due to our biology – you may think, you have such a thing called a choice, but they say you don’t, you know “they” the clever people who go around in white coats mixing chemicals in test tubes – they’re telling you and me we’re all irrevocably bound to like fire hydrants, milestones and fire extinguishers – mere fixtures and just as a tree can do nothing except bear fruit in Summer or wither in Autumn only to flower again in Spring – so much of our existence is determined by our pre-edenic being – man isn’t so much an animal as he is a system, process and machine.

    So we have to write, it is hardly a matter of choice, though we dress it up as one – we have to write in the way cripples gather beneath the shade of a tree and convince themselves wheelchairs are scientifically far more efficient ways to travel around – it doesn’t matter if the lies we tell ourselves turn to mud when we are confronted by a flight of stairs – we need to write to convince ourselves our existence has the hope of transcending the omnipresent cultural susceptibility to the charms of materialism – you don’t want to be labeled a bimbo, mall rat or lounge lizard and I don’t want to be called a himbo all muscle and no blain, no blain*(1) – above all we write because we still want to believe we are in control of our destinies in an age when we are slowly being told character isn’t as important as genetic make up, your helix decides who you will be, a rocket scientist, janitor, hood, taxi driver, circus performer or simply a man who writes the things he does?
    Just admit it, let go! Like me you can’t bear the possibility of a rogue gene hiding itself unseen somewhere in your flawed helix, it’s the quintessential: the enemy beneath your skin, the sum of all you fears – the one that makes you more susceptible to being a compulsive lair, alcoholic, philanderer or simply someone who needs to write the things he does.

    And you wonder whether you write the things you do, isn’t intimately related to the post modern resurgence of the oral and the eclipse of the written – losing the written word is like losing a piece of your existence, your history disappears like a drop of dye in water: our incessant digitized conversations, our ephemeral e-mailing, our steadfast devotion to the keyboard and plasma screen and suddenly humpty dumpty falls off the wall, some undersea cable somewhere gets hacked away, all our life’s are suddenly on hold, we can’t retrieve the threads, the systems down – the world is growing darker, so we write, we write as Plato’s description of writing, in the Phaedrus, as a “crutch of memory.” For no other reason other than perhaps other than “to mark our existence that we once passed this earth.” – it’s the same reason why a string quartered played on the deck of the Titanic just before it sank, they the damned were simply writing.

    Above all you write because in an age of mass consumerism and the mono culture brought forth by globalization you want to defend yourself against the homogeneity of mass culture. As I told Inspirid during dinner last night, the closer computers gets to being human, in other words, the less you want to have a relationship with him or her or shall, I say it.

    The truth in this age of globalization only makes sense, if you define humanity as a simple matter of data processing only then can you ever believe that human being and machines are alike. It’s a classical circular argument: humans are just machine so we can treat them like robots, program them to think, behave and react in the way we desire for one simple goal – to max of the productivity and optimization curve.

    You write the things you do because you don’t want to be a dot that connects to another dots on this optimization curve – so you learn words to like customization, individualism and limited edition, that electra pink mobile phone, handmade earrings and hemp embossed bag differentiates you from the rest of the automata’s, that made to measure custom bike smooth out your genetic limitations it gives you the belief, you have an edge

    You write the things you do: because you to take pride in small things even something as small and insignificant as tying your shoes laces or being able to make bubbles with your saliva – you take great pride in these small pleasures that the world hardly notices such as the art of adjusting lacing patterns to terrain – you tell yourself, those shoe manufacturers may know the foot of 99.99% of the rest of humanity, but your feet is different, you are an individual, you’re special, you’re not like them, you write, they don’t – so you develop a style of tying your laces which keeps the toe box loose and the ankle tight when climbing uphill (to prevent twisting) and on the descent you learn to reverse the pattern on the way down (to protect the Achilles tendon), using a double- twisted knot to separate the two parts of the lace – you tell yourself, few people know how to do this, they don’t really know how complex tying shoe laces is, only you, no one else – and as you look out over the yonder, you tell yourself – if only writing was like tying ones shoelaces, if only.

    Darkness 30-12-06

  263. Chronicler said

    Official communiqué from the space station “Dimitri” Message Capsule: 987769324/ darkness.

    Dear Webmaster,

    We would like to thank you for meeting up with darkness. It is our hope you will come to understand, we are a fraternity of peace lovers who simply wish the world to be a better place.

    We hope you enjoyed our hospitality.

    We hope this is the beginning of a mutually rewarding relationship.

    Darkness thanks you.

    Long live the brotherhood!

    The Brotherhood.

  264. Chronicler said

    Dear valued readers,

    The brotherhood press cannot accept any liability for the many spelling, grammatical and ill constructed sentences in darkness latest post.

    The Reason Why You Write………. (Brotherhood Press 2006 / Codex: 9926439-2006 / Musings – darkness).

    He wrote it all out in less than 15 min during a cycling stop over in Chestnut drive this morning on my Nokia communicator.

    I told him he needed to pass it through our scribes first for correction, but he simply said,

    “Let them see me for what I really am….a flawed man.”

    Then after finishing, he broke off from the pack and rode off by himself.

    I do apologize.

    The Chronicler.

  265. darkness said

    Forgive me chronicler, for my atrocious spelling. You are absolutely right, all publications should be first vetted by the brotherhood press. I shall try in future to reign in my literary improprieties.

    Having said that, dear readers, please allow me to share with you a morsel of thought – it concerns the Stendhal syndrome – named for the sick, physical feeling that afflicted French novelist Stendhal after he visited Santa Croce in Florence, this syndrome is synonymous with being completely overwhelmed by the trite, staid and sameness of being.

    Do you sometimes get that familiar sinking feeling when you surf the blogosphere in Singapore?

    That all too familiar sensation, you’re missing out on a wider and larger perspective of life, work and play?

    I do, I get assaulted by these thoughts at least 30 times a day – the Stendhal syndrome in a nutshell is simply burn out.

    It’s the result of being subjected to a list of les incontournables and after a while all of us end up invariably seeing and understanding less. This in my opinion may not be such a good thing.

    This evening, I am going to introduce you to a very talented writer and it is my hope you will hopefully discover a new world experience in reading.

    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/agnes_poirier/

    Thank you and long live the brotherhood! Darkness 2006.

  266. inspir3d said

    Chronicler, it was a pleasure meeting Darkness and making contact with The Brotherhood, not forgetting that the food was excellent.

    Kindly continue our correspondence with the email address I have used with Darkness.

    Cheers, InSp.

  267. Chronicler said

    “La France Profonde” – The Real France / Travelogue Series 2006. The Brotherhood Press / 8201-06 / darkness / Codex: None.

    Not everything about the French appeals to me. In fact, I find some of their quirks darn right vexing, anyone who has ever owned a French automobile will soon learn why rubber bands, super glue, scotch tape and chewing gum where invented when buttons and knobs either fall off or rattle incessantly.

    I am inclined to believe, the French simply have no idea how to build a decent automobile, you know this only too well after spending half an hour trying to figure out how to start a car only because you can’t seem to find the ignition switch and when you finally make out a familiar button – the boot pops up.

    Neither have they (French industrial designers and engineers) ever heard of the word: ergonomics.

    I am quite convinced, you have to be either Harry Houdini,a test pilot or a circus contortionist to successfully aspire to drive and survive the experience.

    Even their language can be challenging. During my sojourn in France, when I was by no means linguistically up to the mark, I found myself being confronted by a few drunken louts in a Parisian night club one evening in the district of the Moulin Rouge – I didn’t catch all the words, but it came across as, “your money or your life.” Instead of surrendering my wallet, I said, “Mais, essayez-moi” (go ahead make my day – a literal translation from Clint Eastwoods, “Dirty Harry.”) Curiously, this had the desired effect of disarming my would be assailants so completely, they scuttled off like rats, tripping over each other – that evening, I felt terribly smug only to realize the following morning, when I recounted the entire episode to a knot of sniggering ladies how the term was a standard Parisian homosexual come-on – so never make a word to word, sentence to sentence translation, it simply doesn’t work and invariably guarantees an embarrassing outcome.

    There’s also the issue of conversational timing, a casual French speaker will eventually get the impression the French like to interrupt mid-way into a conversation. “French is a very quick language,” said a Singaporean photographer friend of mine who resides in Paris. “People understand the meaning almost instinctively mid-way into the sentence and they don’t feel the need to wait to reply.” It’s very different from German, for example, where you don’t understand the whole meaning of the sentence, because the verb is at the end. So be dully warned.

    Contrary to popular belief the French don’t take to foreigners readily, not even in Cosmopolitan Paris – there’s always a faint whiff of xenophobia, but this can usually be successfully disguised as an exaggerated love for all things French.

    It’s values, tradition, history and what the French often refer too as “La France Profonde” – it is France center of gravity – and gravitas. It also means, the French see it as their moral duty to keep the modern excesses of globalization, mass consumerism and free market forces at bay: this of course includes starbucks, megamalls, super duper stores, Mcdonalds and even foreigners like you and me – so whenever one enters a bakery, one naturally stands out, its not racism per se and I want to make it very clear, precisely because their derision lacks the essential quality of malice and ill will – I say this as a man who has experience racism first hand – when the French behave in a dismissive manner towards a foreigner, its not because they hate us, it’s because they feel, we don’t feel the need to understand their way of life – this is the reason why first time visitors to France often recount to others, whenever they ask a French person, whether they speak English, the reply is invariably a curt, “Oh, M’sieur, vous ne parlez pas Francais.” (And you don’t speak French) – there is almost a yearning, pleading or crie de coeur to be understood by the rest of the world that plays out in ordinary day to day conversation.

    And this is especially evident, whenever a French lady says,

    “Monsieur darkness, you are an affront and I do not wish to see you again!”

    It doesn’t really mean what it means in the literal sense as in German or English where she is expected to storm off while the man bows out gracefully. Curiously in the French context, the lady usually looks on pleadingly with an air of expectancy; it’s a plea to be understood, a plea to be recognized harking back to a bygone age when they were once a proud race who held sway to half the world. A plea to be seen in this historical context and when one understands this subtle nuance and shadow play, one simply understands it is in essence nothing other than word play.

    Under those circumstance one is well advised, to retort in a sanguine tone, “Oh le Pauvre!” –“Poor thing!” and with these words the tension diffuses almost instantly allowing her to resume her dignified role as a conversationalist – this clever play of words or fence is indelibly a quirk unique only to only the French and it is often referred too as “repartee.”

    so be warned never ever take anything personally, not even an insult – for beneath the layer upon layer of meaning, they simply wish for you to rise to the occasion.

    France is the only country in the world where when they are rude they literally expect you to be rude in return and if you bow, it simply means you are don’t understand what it means to play their games.

    I am sure given time all this preoccupation will all things French will eventually change.

    Many more people already speak English in France these days, to the disappointment of the Academie Francaise, some American English words have even crept into the language – such as best-seller (succes de librairie), data bank (banque de donnees), popcorn (mais soufflé), and fast food (restauration rapide). Though change is slowly coursing through the history of this country – to the Singaporean traveler at least – the French themselves remain completely oblivious and will probably be the last to bow – the world as they say, will always be the world, seen only through rose tinted glasses. An age known only as le lapin agile – “Peace in our time.”

    I for one am inclined to agree with them…for the time being at least.

    Vivre Le France!

    Happy New Year!

    Darkness 2006

  268. Harphoon said

    Your History, my History and Rick’s History….. (By Harphoon / Brotherhood Press/ Philosophy / 2006)

    I crossed the New Year lastnight watching a Warner Brothers HD-DVD edition of “Casablanca.” You know that fuzzy black and white melodrama based on the broad way play, “Everybody Comes to Rick’s” by M.Burnett and J.Allison. The plot moves roughly at the speed of a motorized wheelchair from scene to scene under the guidance of veteran director Michael Curtiz.

    The main character is, of course, Richard Blaine, played by Humphrey Bogart. He’s a figure not so very different from Huan Guan in the confessions of the Singaporean gangster in London only a whole lot, street wiser with a heavy dose of world-weary cynicism. He’s the quintessential antihero, a man who proclaims,

    “I stick my neck out for nobody. You hear me, nobody!”

    At least that’s his philosophy until old flame Elsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) shows up, only for him to utter those famous lines,

    “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she has to walk into mine.”

    Then all bets are off as Rick turns back into a noble and caring human being.

    The accolades, awards, and adulation were nothing short of spectacular for a film that almost never was. In 1942 when it was being made, it was considered just another Warner Brothers back-lot melodrama only to end up being one of the all time silver screen greats.

    I first chanced upon Casablanca the movie one muggy Friday night in the mid 1990’s.I into my final year in Engineering college, bored, and surfing between a baseball game and the wheel of fortune when Rick suddenly appeared – I remembered the tune, it was catchy, you know the one played by a sambo “yezzzzzz basssssss” caricature side kick, whenever the antihero says, “Play it again Sam.”

    By the end, I was fascinated by something that would normally have left me cold fish indifferent -a romance! (I am a Sci-Fi buff). I had no idea how popular the film was, winning Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, nor how much more popular it would become on TV, eventually attaining the status of most-often broadcast film in history. I only knew I loved it!

    So, what’s the attraction? Why does “Casablanca” consistently show up in the public’s and critics’ lists of top-ten films of all time? I suspect it’s the characters, the atmosphere, and the dialogue as much as anything else. Sure, it’s a riveting love story, but without the colorful cast, oily locales, and memorable clichés, it would probably be just another run of the mill melodrama, which, as I said, is about what its producers initially expected it to be. But the movie eventually took on a life of its own in the eyes of the public. I guess one reason why most people found it affecting is precisely because, it was one of the first times Hollywood actually produced a movie where the main character Rick had such a tremendous amount of emotional baggage rooted in the past – in fact, throughout the movie, we are reminded of how everything he thinks, feels and decides to do isn’t so much determined by events in the apparent present or future, but rather his distant past with Elsa.

    In a sense watching Casablanca yesterday night when the New Year passed, underscored for me, the importance of appreciating our history as individuals, a community, a tribe, a nation and perhaps even the wider spectrum of a broader based history of others who we may not even know.

    I cant help but feel, the appeal of movies like Casablanca lies precisely in their capacity to tap the age old human yearning of questioning: who were really are and where are we going? In a sense, when we watch the antihero Rick struggling emotionally with the past as he tries to do the right thing in the apparent present of the silver screen– we can’t but reflect and draw analogies with our own existence and how our personal and broader sense of history eventually shapes our reasoning and perspective of the world.

    On a larger schema or bigger canvas one may even juxtapose this question to ask the question for the rest of humanity: Where will our understanding of today and, more critically, the next century be, if we didn’t have a clear appreciation of our own sense of history? So much of how we presently see ourselves resides the cobwebs of our past. In not necessary referring to the history depicted to by historians, yes, sort of history does help us make sense of our place in society and community, but I referring to the small stuff – your history, like the moment when you first learnt to ride a bike, or the first time you ever scored a goal. You know the small stuff where history is a “h” and not the big booming authoritative voice of “H.” There is a certain uncertainty about even the notion of what really is history, I suspect.

    I mention this only because the history of history is replete with endless contentions as to what actually once transpired – everyone from individuals, firms, institutions, governments and continents feel the need to gain a foothold over their equity of the past in order to help them make sense of their sense of futurism, losing our sense of history is like losing a limb, we hobble, we fall.

    The recent debate on history textbooks in Japan and its impact on the neighboring countries like China and Korea, shows historical revisionism is a deadly serious business – no one wants this past to be snuffed out, not the comfort women not even the pygmies who once fought alongside the Australians against the Japanese in WW2. Or for that matter people who go around creating crop circles – everyone wants the benefit of clear light.

    In a sense this has even transformed how modern day historians go about profiling history. For one, historians have to contend with the multitudes of views from different individuals and this in turn has led to the concept of “interculturality”, which focuses on the interdependence of these countries and peoples – unlike traditional comparative and contrastive-dichotomic research based methods of profiling history, where people from different continents are measured against each other very much like bolts ie West/Europe versus Asia/one of the already mentioned countries.

    The concept of interculturality presupposes an inclusive methodological approach where no one country, people, creed or race has the right to determine their own history: since the actors concerned are not exclusively regarded as “autonomous” entities, but rather “mutually dependent” entities which influence each – in short, this analogical framework of profiling modern history is simply an extension of the “butterfly effect” – with albeit an academic gloss, one that simply reads.

    “Your history determines my future and vice versa.”

    If this sounds like a revisit of the demented jack in the box Jurassic Park chaos theory construct – where a butterfly flaps its wings in Tokyo and causes a force 10 hurricane storm over Long island, that’s precisely what it is. In short history in our age has never ever been so ephemeral or ungraspable before.

    The history of mankind seen against the light of interculturality cast long disturbing shadows of what actually once transpired in the past, it simply means, its not enough these days for an individual, firm, institution, government or continent to simply understand their own histories, they need to take a proactive interest in their neighbor’s histories, if they seriously aspire to succeed in global politics, economics, trade and commerce.

    Getting it wrong simply means the mother of faux pas’s like present day basket case Iraq, when military planners didn’t see the need to factor in the historical baggage of Sunni’s and Shites only for them to face the multi headed hydra of an Iranian style theocracy in the future – in short the sum of all theirs, yours and my fears put together with a bit more to spare to go around the block!

    Getting it wrong simply means when the Japanese Historical Institute recently supplanted the word “invasion” for “campaign” to describe the Nanking incident, it created a diplomatic ruckus resulting in thousands of Chinese students protesting openly on the streets all across China.

    Getting it wrong simply means for better or worse, our age is now either a technological nightmare or nirvana and whatever the bane or benefits that either technology or the free market capitalism has done to resolve the problems of the world’s unfairness or exacerbated it – your guess really is as good as mine. We shall never know, we will lumber like the blind, barreling head long into this architecture of the future, never really knowing whether it holds the key to dystopia or utopia for the rest of humanity.

    Getting it historically wrong simply means the human race will increasingly disregard real values, philosophies and even such a thing a relationships, but instead seek solace in the powerful opium technology offers in the form of TV, pop culture, and the endless pursuit of gadgetry, even though these narcotics are addictive in the long run only to exacerbated the ills of society. The more widespread the usage of these narcotics, the more socially acceptable their use, till we will physically stop seeing it – that’s what happens when we don’t care to understand our history against the broader history of others – that’s what happens when the compact between society and history is abrogated – it becomes slightly shakier, its never entirely stable and this is where the pain of not really knowing who you or who they really are comes in, it grows dimmer and darker.

    On a personal level, there is nothing as derisive as someone saying or behaving in a manner which simply sends out the message: I don’t want to know anything about your history. I am just not interested. It goes beyond disrespect, its very hurtful.

    I remembered one incident poignantly some years ago during a scientific meet when I was the last speaker who presented a paper of an cracked brained scientific finding in New York about using man made generated lightning bolts to tame the weather. Hardly had I walked up to the podium half the crowd left, some had the courtesy to apologize, others simply stormed out and two thirds of the way into the seminar all but only two men remained.

    One of them slumped on his chair snoring, the other an oriental gentlemen in a dark Italian suit seated in the back row listened attentively, his demeanor sharp and attentive possessing an eagle like quality. The man stayed on to the very end.

    That evening as I stormed out of the lobby into the chilly sidewalk towards the subway, the stranger with the briefcase followed. I turned back and after exchanging a few words, I gathered he represented a group of interstellar colonist on an unheard of planet, somewhere in some far distant galaxy from ours – he mentioned briefly, there was a demand for what he termed terra-forming technology and expressed a wish to review the area of my cracked brain research further.

    I had till then many strange conversations, but none as strange as the one that fateful evening. As I walked listening to the man, I couldn’t help but recount Rick’s closing lines to Capt Renault in Casablanca.

    “I think this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

    Harphoon / Brotherhood Press 2006.

  269. atomic monkey said

    Welcome back Harphy!

  270. hellokitty said

    OMG!!!!!! There is a whole world of the brotherhood here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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