Boom by Jean Tay

This month, it will be ‘Boom’, a play by Jean Tay.

It’s a play in which civil servants wake the dead, corpses are terrified of cremation, old women are besieged in their own homes and ah bengs still dream of being Superman. Oh, and it’s set in 2007, Singapore.

Does this convince you that this play would be interesting?

Well, let me tell you, it’s not. And from here on, it’d be a rant. On just what is wrong with the play.

Firstly, the language.

Alright, it’s not as bad as it could be, since it is still mostly in English, but there’s so much Singlish (Singapore English) in it that it’s hard to read. Especially when every three lines or so, you have to refer to the footnote to understand what is being said, especially in the scenes where two of the main characters are present in. I mean, sure, it makes this authentic, but can’t you just make the whole thing easier to understand by scrapping the Singlish?

And, the characters.

Honestly? They piss me off, especially the main characters. Mother, one of the three main characters I can pick out, is an old hag who clings onto the past so hard that she makes herself unlikeable. She’s so blinded by her past that she absolutely refuse to see her present and her future, her son and her life. She’s so adamant not to move on because of her past, her husband, that she tells her son – her present and her future – to get out and leave her be when he tried to get her to move out of that tattered old apartment that was falling apart, in order for her to be distanced from the past and could possibly move on.

Which brings me to the son, Boon. The main character of this play.

On one hand, it’s clear he’s extremely filial. On the other hand, he’s just so absolutely horrible at being nice to his mother. He’s an active character, sure, one who doesn’t sit around and wait for good fortune, but he’s not, in any way, a character I can sympathize with.

In a way, though, I suppose it was intended. At least, I hope that Jean Tay intended to portray them as one person who is so rooted in the past she can’t accept any changes around her, and another who is so determined to leave the past behind that he makes a point to bury his memories and cut himself off from what he was.

When the characters who are meant to be the ‘bad guys’ are the only ones that are at least tolerable, you have to wonder about the play, though.

The bureaucrats, for instant, are meant to be faceless, nameless people who are ‘for policy, not people.’ but these are the ones that I can actually picture. The Director? For the nation above all. It’s someone you can understand. Colleague? Doing this job voluntarily but not too enthusiastically, perhaps for his family, perhaps for other reasons. Understandable too. Jeremiah, the one who can talk to corpses? Oddball who is pitiful, really. Everyone in the play told him to go away, to scram. Even the corpse. Still better than Boon and Mother. And corpse.

When it comes down to it, though, I suppose it would be good for a one-time read, even if I would totally understand if you would be like my friend and give up on this play after the first page.

Breathe

He wasn’t supposed to die before her.

He promised, he promised that he would never leave her, that he would always be there to tell her to breathe, that she wouldn’t have to bury him too.

That’s why when she first found him, the tears didn’t, wouldn’t fall. The only thing she felt was rage, the only thing she wanted was destruction. Obliteration, of all who did this to him.

It was only far, far, later, when all that was left were ashes and fading memories that it truly sunk in.

He’s not going to be there for her anymore.


[Anika Grace] 250 Word Character #1

250 Word Character #1

Okay, this was extremely hard to write within the 250 word limit, but it was just nice. It’s hopefully able to cover her most basic characteristics! Let me know what you think about her!


When she was thirteen, she sat next to nothing on the edge of the roof. She can’t deny that something tore at her heart, but she was fine with it.

She truly was.

She had long since accepted that happy endings don’t happen to people like her.


He ignored her, continuing to cram fish fingers into his mouth after dipping it into a concoction of ketchup, peanut butter and jam. When he was done, he gave her that lopsided smirk.

“You can eat anything if you try hard enough, dear.”

That was the last time he smiled at her.


When she was nine, she received a kill order. The target had a very familiar face and an extremely unfamiliar name.

“You lied,” she had accused, because what else could she have said?

“You returned the favour,” he had retaliated.

So started a partnership turned into kinship.


When she was six, they were both starving and scared, alone in this world together until the deaths of the people who took them both in tore them apart once more.


The first time she met him, she was five. That night, her brother burnt alive with his sister.


When she was three, her father bled out in the living room.

Her first memory: a distant impression of a vague figure who was so very warm, surrounded by swaths and swaths of red.


When she drew in her first breath, her mother let out her last.

That unforgiving winter solstice, Anika Grace was born.

(250 Words)

Moments Ago

The voices wouldn’t shut up, won’t leave him alone, can’t seem to agree on anything – their presence only served to ramp up his unease, reminding him that there was something just so wrong wrong wrong about this place, why had he even entered this maze?

Not now, a voice whispered – he’s already here and she was here, and…There!

The door – his exit… He sped up, reaching, scrabbling for the knob…He looking down in horror. But it was there just a moment ago! Even as he searched, the shadows crowded in.

For the first time, the voices remained silence.

(100 Words)


Prompt: …but it was there just a moment ago…

How To Be A Heartbreaker

So I’ve missed the last Saturday Update… I’m going to try to catch up with that after next week, I’ve got about five deadlines coming up plus an interschool debate for some competition when we’ve been told we won’t be making it until around last week, where we were suddenly shortlisted for the proposition teams…

That’s not entirely related to this week’s song, but this song helped me through trying to figure out what to write for my script and the reflection for another project, so the song shall be How To Be A Heartbreaker by Marina & The Diamonds.


How To Be A Heartbreaker
By: Marina & The Diamonds

Rule number one, is that you gotta have fun,
But baby when you’re done, you gotta be the first to run
Rule number two, just don’t get attached to,
Somebody you could lose
So le-let me tell you

This is how to be a heartbreaker
Boys they like a little danger
We’ll get him falling for a stranger, a player
Singing I lo-lo-love you

How to be a heartbreaker
Boys they like the look of danger
We’ll get him falling for a stranger, a player
Singing I lo-lo-love you
At least I think I do~

Cause I lo-lo-lo-love you.

Rule number three, wear your heart on your cheek
But never on your sleeve, unless you wanna taste defeat
Rule number four, gotta be looking pure
Kiss him goodbye at the door and leave him wanting more-more

This is how to be a heartbreaker
Boys they like a little danger
We’ll get him falling for a stranger, a player
Singing I lo-lo-love you

How to be a heartbreaker
Boys they like the look of danger
We’ll get him falling for a stranger, a player
Singing I lo-lo-love you
At least I think I do~

Cause I lo-lo-lo-love you.

Girls, we do, whatever it will take
Cause girls don’t want, we don’t want our hearts to break
In two, so it’s better to be fake
Can’t risk losing in love again babe.

This is how to be a heartbreaker
Boys they like a little danger
We’ll get him falling for a stranger, a player
Singing I lo-lo-love you

How to be a heartbreaker
Boys they like the look of danger
We’ll get him falling for a stranger, a player
Singing I lo-lo-love you

Cause I lo-lo-lo-love you.
At least I think I do!

Between A Rock and Two Hard Places

When taking the quest, he had acknowledged the possible dangers. The full impact, however, was only hitting him now.

Quite literally.

Sliding down the wall he had just been tossed into, he tried his best not to cower as the Minotaur joined the Yeti, crowding him in. About then, a third shadow joined them alongside a fireball.

‘Oh dear’ he thought faintly, looking up. It took him precious little time to figure out that the ‘sky’ was the underbelly of a dragon.

A dragon about to sit on him.

And that, my darlings, was the start of a wonderful friendship.

(100 Words)


Prompt: Between A Rock and Two Hard Places

Prequel to: Hang-10Ghoulish Treasure

Here Without You

This week would be Here Without You by 3 Doors Down.  It’s somehow a song I’ve always pictured for Percy Jackson during the Son of Neptune, especially when he was alone. Canonically, I ship him with Annabeth, and this song describes them, Annabeth, too, during the months she spent alone, searching for him desperately.

(Even if I prefer Percico :D)


 

Here Without You
By: 3 Doors Down

A hundred days have made me older
Since the last time that I saw your pretty face
A thousand lies have made me colder
And I don’t think I can look at this the same

But all the miles that separate
Disappear now when I’m dreaming of your face

I’m here without you, baby
But you’re still on my lonely mind
I think about you, baby
And I dream about you all the time
I’m here without you, baby

But you’re still with me in my dreams
And tonight it’s only you and me, yeah.

The miles just keep rollin’
As the people leave their way to say hello
I’ve heard this life is overrated
But I hope that it gets better as we go, oh, yeah, yeah

I’m here without you, baby
But you’re still on my lonely mind
I think about you, baby
And I dream about you all the time
I’m here without you, baby

But you’re still with me in my dreams
And tonight, girl, its only you and me

Everything I know, and anywhere I go (oh whoa)
It gets hard but it won’t take away my love (oh whoa)
And when the last one falls
When it’s all said and done
It gets hard but it wont take away my love, whoa, oh, oh

I’m here without you, baby
But you’re still on my lonely mind
I think about you, baby
And I dream about you all the time
I’m here without you, baby

But you’re still with me in my dreams
And tonight, girl, it’s only you and me

Who You Gonna Call?

When he blearily opened his eyes, he saw the grey ceiling. It registered a few seconds later that the bed felt like concrete. He bolted upright.

And winced.

He was distracted from the throbbing, though, when he noticed the bars. And the guard standing behind it.

A rat scuttled across the floor.

He frowned at it for a moment before…

A prison?

But…

What had he done? And, what about his call? Wasn’t it a right?

“Hello?” he asked tentatively.

There was no reply.

“Guard!” He reached for the bars, ready to make a rackus.

His hand passed right through.

(100 Words)


Prompt: Who You Gonna Call? 

Follow-Up/Companion to: Lost , Hang-10Ghoulish Treasure

Happy SG50, Singapore!

I was born in Singapore.

I can distinctly recall being extremely young and playing on an open field with my brother, before sitting down on the grass, earning a cry of dismay from my grandmother, the one who washes my white dress for me.

Now, of course, that field is gone, as is the field I used to fly kites in, for the sake of development. It’s all been replaced with high-rise buildings and more high-rise buildings, no longer the free and open space that you could run around in.

I would imagine that the change throughout Singapore in the fifty years would be much more tremendous than the simple changes I’ve been seeing throughout my life as I move from house to house.

Singapore has come very far from the little British colony we used to be, and for that, I’m truly proud. After all, not many countries as small as ours could simply step out and stand up and survive, for fifty years, on our own – an island nation whose only resource was its manpower. An island nation populated by the migrant workers who once drifted across the oceans in search of a place they could work in order to send money home.

My parents came here seeking jobs, too, and they stayed because this was a safe place with a great education system. Even if now I’m a little worried for the education system, I have faith that sometime later (not too late), the ministry of education would hopefully see the error in what they are currently doing and go back to the system that has been put in place by our first minister of education.

Leaving that topic, I’m here to wish Singapore a happy SG50, and I hope to see an SG100 in the future, when I’m an old and cranky lady surrounded by cats and books.

Happy Birthday Singapore!

Going Down In Flames

This week’s song would be Going Down In Flames by 3 Doors Down. It used to be my theme song for Leo Valdez (Heroes of Olympus), and even now I still kind of think that it will suite him? It’s always been a personal favourite though, and I’ve dug it up from a playlist lying around somewhere.


Going Down In Flames
By: 3 Doors Down

Don’t tell me what to think
Cause I don’t care this time
Don’t tell me what to believe
Cause you won’t be there
To catch me when I fall
But you’ll need me when I’m not here at all
Miss me when I’m gone again, yeah

I’m going down in flames
I’m falling into this again, yeah
I’m going down in flames
I’m falling into this again

Don’t tell me how life is
Cause I don’t really want to know
Don’t tell me how this game ends
Cause we’ll just see how it goes
Catch me when I fall
Or you’ll need me when I’m not here at all
Miss me when I’m gone again, yeah

I’m going down in flames
I’m falling into this again, yeah
I’m going down in flames
I’m falling into this again, yeah

Now, I’m all the way down here
I’m falling
I’m all the way down here
I’m falling down again
I’m falling down
I’m falling down
I’m falling down

I’m going down in flames
I’m falling into this again,
I’m going down in flames
I’m falling into this again

Now, I’m all the way down here
I’m falling
All the way
All the way down here
I’m falling down again now I’m falling down