Sunday, April 20, 2014

Memoire No Hogosha #1

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*****

The day was like any normal day to Joshua. Or at least it seemed to be. The alarm rang at 7.00 am sharp, he said hi to his housemates who were already awake and he drank his favorite coffee before heading to work, just like every other day. The morning commute was horrendous, nothing new there, and there was a little feeling of boredom that one would get when one usually goes to work on a Monday.

But still, he was not complaining. He loved his job at the national archives to a certain extent, helping to digitize bits and pieces of his country's history before they are lost to the corroding effects of time. After all, he felt that just like what our memory are to us, history helps define our society and culture. Without it, people would never learn, and civilization would stagnate. Besides, he enjoyed the working quiet working environment than the cutthroat office culture that most of his friends are in.
However, unbeknownst to Joshua, today will not be a normal day. Just yesterday, a series of unexplained events happened at the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the Petronas Twin Towers. The internet was abuzz with discussion of the so called "White Fireworks" event, something that the authorities claimed to happen. Radio station deejays were discussing intently about them, but like every other radio chatter that Joshua usually hear, he did not pay much heed to it.

He was turning out from an intersection near his house when he saw something strange. Perched on a corner of the residential park that he usually jogs at, a white rose watched over the cars and people that passed it. If it was any normal day, Joshua would have drove pass it like all the others, headed for his work. But today was different, and something about the rose attracted him. Before he knew it, he was making the fifth round over the park.

It was then when he noticed it. The rose was not white, it was frozen solid in ice. The white colour came from the ice that coated it. Definitely a strange sight in a tropical country like Malaysia.

On his seventh turn, Joshua parked his car near by, emerging from the silver coloured Myvi that he just bought. Or rather the car that he will continue paying for over the next few years. He walked along the gravel road unto the sidewalk, and then unto the grassy patch where the frozen rose stood. He stood over it for a while, wondering if his mind was playing a trick on him. Perhaps he had mistaken his morning coffee for something else.

But his eyes were not bluffing. The rose was indeed frozen, and was acting like how frozen things would normally do when they are out in the open. A mist emanated slowly from the petals, and even though Joshua was a few centimeters away from the flower, he could already feel the cold touching his skin. He squatted down to take a closer look at the flower, remaining silent the whole time, flooded with curiousity. 

The uncles and aunties who jogged by the park every morning stared at him confusingly, because in their eyes, they only saw a guy squatting on his own near the edge of the field.

By now, Joshua felt as if he was next to the frozen food section in a supermarket, even though the morning sun was shining directly above him. The rose was starting to glow strangely as well, as if wanting to talk to him. Joshua raised his eyebrow at the rose, perhaps contemplating on whether he should reciprocate the rose's attempt to communicate. His phone was beginning to buzz in his pocket, probably from his boss who is wondering where he is.

After what seemed like forever, Joshua raised his hands slowly to touch the petals of the rose, and as the chilling sensation sunk into his finger, a white light engulfed the entire park. By the time everything was gone, the guy who was squatting mysteriously at the edge of the park was no longer there. It did not matter anyway, because no one who was there seemed to notice that he was now missing. With the exception of his car of course, who was left alone at the side of the road, wondering where its master went.

*****

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