31 December 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:31 December 2006, 23:04
Subject: Bye '06, Hello '07!  

2007 Horray!I myself cannot believe time itself has flown so fast, and I still remember vividly on this very day last year, my family and I were counting down to 2006.

We're going to do the same again, in less than an hour's time. Moving on to January 1, 2007. Time to take down the old calendars. Time to practice writing 2007 instead of 2006 in school exercise books! Time to sober oneself one; never again will I ever repeat the mistakes I made this year (which I can't remember at the moment!). Time to tell myself, "Hey man! It's the new year! Time to turn over a new leaf, into an even better person!"

Hahaha, I have yet to write up my New Year's resolutions! I'll do that on the New Year itself.

I've gained so much this year, MORE THAN EVER in my entire life. Never have I looked at things in such a new, mature perspective. I actually began to learn to value my life and build up and strengthen my self-philosophy and values. I'm really happy and content with myself. I hope you guys are too! =)

Tonight's New Year's Eve BBQ was a total dud, at least that's what I thought unfortunately. The few guests my mom invited weren't the most exciting bunch. They left home before the countdown. Sigh~ But I guess that's okay. I prefer this to be a family event anyway.

I don't know what else to say now. Guess all that I can do now is wait, keep checking on my eBay's sales activity (which is currently only 1, hahaha!) and yeah... waste the final moments of 2006. Not exactly a good idea, but hey, there isn't much I can do now. I think.

45 more minutes to go.

I shall leave you guys here in 2006. I'll wait for everyone in the Western Hemisphere to pass into the New Year, then we can really celebrate. Okay? =P


[+] There's more!

29 December 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:29 December 2006, 19:15
Subject: Wedged in between Christmas and 2007!  

Christmas is over. It's on to the New Year.Hey guys! I'm finally back at my place now, listening to the pitter-patter of the raindrops. It's that time of the year again when there is heavy rainfall and floods are all too common in my country. Rain can be fun, of course, but having too much is a major bummer!

I'm actually am back home on Christmas Day! Can you believe it? I have to fly so early in the morning at 4 a.m. for goodness sake! I seriously wonder who flies at such an odd hour. Well, my wonder ceased to amazement when I saw the 200 passengers congregating at the airport in the wee hours of the morning, on Christmas Day! Wow. I had tried begging my mom to postpone our trip back home but unfortunately, it wasn't possible as all flights from post-Christmas to the first two weeks of January are fully booked. Not even a seat! That was how terrible the scenario was. Hordes of Australians (or the English) are using our national carrier to go to London from Perth and vice versa, transitting in my country. Apparently it's cheaper by 200 dollars (not so sure about the currency, but it's definitely not in Sterling Pounds!) compared to Qantas or British Airways (if that carrier does fly to Perth), plus with that amount of money, one can stay at my country's most prestigious 5 star hotel for a day. I don't know how true it is, that's what my mom told me. Anyway, on that flight that morning, about 3/4 of the passengers were transiting. I think we were the only local passport holders even!

Now on to the important question. Did I celebrate Christmas?

YES OF COURSE! HORRAY! Technically, that is.

At the stroke of midnight, right before we leave to the airport, my family and I (including my elder brother's girlfriend who I call my sister - she's the bomb!) exchanged gifts! Oh my gosh, I cannot believe I got a Nintendo Wii (How I wish! Hahaha) they like the presents I gave them! Each and every one! I was so happy, I almost wanted to shed a happy tear or two.

Christmas always gets me. It moves me when I show my love through gifts. Okay, that sounds very materialistic, but hey! It's the thought behind that counts! I hugged each and every one of my family member, and deep inside me, I thank them for giving me such a good life and showering me with lots of love, even though I can be a real mischievous and misbehaved son at times =).

It's really cool. The crinkling of present wrappers, the shout of joy when they saw their gifts beyond the wrapping paper. Let's just say the Christmas humbug bit all of us. In short, it was an amazing short time when the family bonded even closer. But then, everything has to end when we have to get to the airport. Everyone stuffed their gifts inside fat and oversized baggages (it was so full, we were worried that it was overweight). Thank goodness our luggage did not exceed the maximum weight imposed by the airport, the weighing scale was being kind to us!

So yeah, my Christmas this year to me seemed so short. We didn't do anything special when we got back home. Everyone was too exhausted from the whole return trip although my brother and I tried on the new video games that we bought back from Australia. (The games they sell in my country are mostly pirated anyway and are not so reliable.) Hehehe...

I'm happy that at least we got to exchange gifts and had an early Christmas dinner at a French restaurant. Damn, I didn't know French can hit the spot in my stomach; yum, yum! No turkey though, haha! We had a jolly good two and a half hours dinner.

I've said it already, and I will say it again. Christmas is AWESOME!

So what have I been up to nowadays? Well, nothing much. Except trying out Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight. I actually wanted to buy its newer version, Flight Simulator X but unfortunately, this game was released too early and only about 5% of the gamers can run it properly. It is too demanding and quite unplayable for modern day computers. According to people's reviews I've read online, they stated that this simulatorwas meant to be played on Windows Vista, with DirectX 10 and well, this system is yet to be released. So staying on the safe side, I purchased the older game which was cheaper and was sold for AUD$10 less. So what the heck! *big toothy grin*

I have this weird fascination for aeroplanes (here we go again!). When I was young, I used to grab a small model of an airline, pretended my bedroom was one big airport and fly the plane, always either taking off or landing. Flying mid-air was too boring for me! Hahahaha! You can imagine me making the sounds of the aeroplane engines and make the aeroplane land or takeoff, and the aeroplane goes zooming by the long runway. Oh yeah, I love it!

The game is fun, but is currently a major bore to me as I need to learn how to fly properly first before landing (Boo!). Hopefully, after I have mastered the controls, I'll fly all over the world and make stops at the world's most busiest airports and admire it's monstrosity and beauty (Changi Airport!). There's something about airports which excites me...

Oh yeah, I've signed up for eBay.com under my "mother's name" since I am underaged. Thought it was high time I got rid of a couple of things around the house and make money out of them instead of feeding them to the dumpster. And that's what I have mainly busied myself these past few days. That explains my inactivity, I guess. It is loads of fun selling! Now I know how it feels like to be a e-seller! If you would like to check out what I am selling, you can ask for my username at eBay by e-mailing me at frolicsomekid at gmail dot com. Reason being my username is easily recognizable by my friends should they stumble into here and find out that I have a secret blog. And my privacy will be shattered... *shudder*

It took me a long time to figure out the mechanics for selling, and I've managed to understand the basics. The hardest part is the shipping, since not many locals will browse at eBay, and international shipping prices don't come in cheap. I was overjoyed when I discovered that a bidder has bid on one of my items! I intend to make the sales to go as smoothly as possible! =)

It's just great that Taiwan had to suffer an earthquake. The Internet connection isn't stable and very slow nowadays, and it will last for a long time until some undersea cable is repaired. What a bummer! At least I still can get online, I heard that our neighbouring countries isn't faring so well. But it's weird that it happened on December 26, eh? Coincidence?


Well, I guess that's that for this blog post. I'll blog more when some random blog-worthy thoughts hit my brain. Heehee. Until then, I wish you guys a very belated Merry Christmas, happy shopping at the after-Christmas sales (and cry when you learn that item you bought for $100 is given a big 50% discount!) and of course...

A very happy, prosperous and healthy New Year! (in advance, in the event that I cannot blog on December 31 - January 1)

And brace yourself for the flurry of SMS-es wishing you a Happy New Year!

Joy to the world! =D

[+] There's more!

20 December 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:20 December 2006, 23:01
Subject: The Weirdness Meme...Again!  

Hey everyone! Yep, I'm back from Melbourne and am now in my brother's place. The vacation was rather alright, although my family and I could have spent time going to more attractive places. Actually, my mother's friend who resided there brought us around the outskirts of Melbourne since she wasn't familiar with the city (which I couldn't believe at first). She showed us the 'not-so-exciting' places, but still fun. I think.

That was a few days ago. I wasn't in the mood to blog because I blame the weather. *chuckle* It's really hot and dry here in Australia and I feel very drowsy to stay in the "hot oven", despite me coming from an equatorial country. It's the feeling you get when you feel like doing something but you totally do not have the mood to do it. I hope you guys get what I mean! But this does not make me hate summer =).

After a long delay, I now (Finally! Whoops!) present to you the continuation of the Weirdness Meme. Only four more to go!

3. I am organised and neat. I strive for things to be in order, organised, neat and clean before I can do anything about it. Let's take my study folder for an instance. All of my written school notes are arranged by subject, then by chapter, following the syllabus in order. I make sure the notes I write are short, concise and condensed form of the textbook (even though they're still pretty long). I can't read from textbooks. They tend to like jumbling together redundant sentences and important facts, and I cannot regurgitate the more important ones as well as from my own notes.

Also, it makes it easy to search for them too. Without organising and arranging first, I cannot do anything at all. Period. I'll be moaning and complaining about how unorganised things are and how messy it is etc. And I can't work. And that's the greatest downside.

4. And from there comes the rigidity. I DISLIKE strategy games like chess and real-time strategy games. Why? Because I can spend hours and hours of thinking up the perfect plan without anticipating what the opponent can do, and suddenly he can do something surprising. And my plan would be ruined! And I'm doomed. I can't change my strategy and unfortunately, I refuse to do so because I can't bear to see my original plan going down to waste. And that is why unlike most guys, I don't play World of Warcraft. =) And that's a good thing, I think...

Oh yeah, and in Melbourne, I was a pseudo-guide for my family, jotting down the itinerary for the week to places that I would like to go. And suddenly, the whole itinerary was turned upside-down, with my mother's friend criticising most of the tourist attractions I had listed down and therefore, we didn't go to some of them as a result. A big let down. Not surprisingly, I sulked about it for a few days. =( At least half of the trip was going according to plan.

5. I have a phobia of playing the piano in front of other people except my family and teacher. The irony is that I'm a Grade 7 pianist! Argh! It's so bad I actually refuse to let my friends to come to my house, or reject people's invitation to their house which I know has a piano in it. Why? Because I will most probably be playing out a song to them. It's frustrating. I played at recitals before, but I was scared and really nervous. There was once I turned Nostalgia (a Richard Clayderman song) into a screwed up song. An unforgettable one which people would rather forget. And they actually clapped! I thought I would have broke down in front of them.

And also there are many other sour memories that fuelled to my phobia. Like not practising a song and my mom's friend "purposely" humiliating me by "forcing me to play in front of her friends" at her house. Shit! And they were chattering while I was struggling to read the notes and trying to play them. And the other time my mother forced me to play in front of my brother's friend, and all I managed to play out were scales. Not forgetting to mention that I failed my Grade 5 practical.

In other words, I'm a weak Grade 7 pianist, and I'm ashamed of myself to hear my friends who are a few grades below me belting some wonderful song which I couldn't play last time. And I suck at sight reading.


But guess what? I still like playing my piano alone in solitude and am not giving up until I finish Grade 8. Hmm... now that is weird! ;) Unfortunately, this phobia has set me back a lot...

6. I don't conform to my gender stereotype at all. Everyone knows that I'm pretty feminine (or what the guys call me 'gay') for a guy. I remember last time I saw this quiz in a forum which asked how you conform to your gender stereotype. I think I have more defies than conforms. Here's the list for it, there are more though which I could not think up now.

Have a small wardrobe
Can be quite dirty at times
I sound rude without meaning to
Pretty egoistical at times =P
Looks like an ordinary guy
Likes girls, not in a lovey-dovey sense ;)
Lazy to clean up
Loves my own smell - Weirdness #1
Hates sissy things and girly-girly stuffs
Gets pretty nasty when I'm mad
Serious about everything
Gives one-word replies when I'm bored/don't like you enough
Shops like a guy

Hates strategy games - Weirdness #4
More artistic than scientific
Biology > Chemistry & Physics
Not very mathematical
Emotion runs my life and I am very expressive and also experience mood swings easily
Dislike being too bulky and hunky etc.
Loves languages
Have an overactive imagination
More at home with girls than guys
Can be quite vain
Prefers having intimate relationships with few people
Acts rather feminine for guys - gets insulted as "gay"
Hates fantasy genre
Don't swear much
Dislike people who don't show emotion or are too cool
Act before I think
Blur most of the time
Enjoys chick flicks once in a while
I love my life
Loathes deep logical thinking
Timid and easily intimidated
Loves to add some words which girls only use - like "Whatever, It's like, you know" etc.
I don't stare at pretty girls that walk by most of the time!
Keeps a secret blog where I spill out my inner secrets - which you are reading now ^.^
Neat and loves keeping things organised - Weirdness #3
Dislikes hanging out with people who are too pedantic or too engrossed with their games (mostly the guys)
Overuses emoticons
Goodie-goodie two shoes

Phew! That's long.

Congratulations! You reached the end of my weirdness meme! Now to tag my dear victims readers.

Sigh, I can't find six! Everyone has pretty much done it, except for katelyn, so TAG! You're it! csmc as well as jbwritergirl too if you guys want to. =)

I'll blog more soon when I get back home. I'll try my best to wake up early and go online to check up on you guys before I go shopping or something else. Thank goodness I have finished my Christmas shopping! Horray! Although I don't really celebrate it, I love to get into the spirit of Christmas! =D Alrightees, till next time!

[+] There's more!

6 December 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:6 December 2006, 18:26
Subject: The Weirdness Meme  

I'm tagged by annelisa! Yay! My first meme too! Without further ado, may I present to you my weirdness! :-O

Note: I might not finish this meme and upload it incomplete. I'm sorry, but I'm actually not in my home country now. I'm over at my elder brother's place in Australia, and my flight to Melbourne will be leaving soon. I'll be leaving for 10 days, so there wouldn't be any updates till then. I won't blog over the month of December, but I'll try when opportunity arises =).

1. I smell myself! Seriously, it's my most disgusting, most filthy and weirdest habit of mine. I won't do it in public, of course (no, I don't seek attention THAT way!) Anytime when I'm at home, no matter what I'm doing, be it blogging, chatting with friends on Instant Messengers (IMs), reading books, watching TV... I am very prone to just scratch on whatever areas in my body and just smell my fingers! I'm sorry if I really gross up you guys. It's just too weird! And it's ironic that I'm a neat freak too! Don't tell the whole world about this okay? Please... I don't think the whole world is ready for this!

I also need to watch out. There are already several times I have caught myself doing such a disgusting habit in public. Haven't been caught so far. Whoops! I'm desperate to break this habit, but so far my efforts are in vain, and I didn't try to stop myself from doing so either! Heck, as long as no one sees it!

2. I have a very compulsive behaviour to use emoticons in my blog posts, comments etc. I don't know why I do it though, they do make my blog posts seem a bit informal but it adds a personal touch to them as well. I believe that sometimes words themselves don't do justice to how I am currently feeling now, especially when they're online. And there are also many instances when they could be misinterpreted to be sarcastic or insulting or a bit crude as well. Hence, the emoticons. Especially =) and =P. My use of emoticons is also partly due to the fact that I gesture and make lots of expressions and change my tone whenever I talk. It's al very expressive, not neutral like some of my guy friends. You can't tell whether they are being funny, sarcastic, sad etc.

I guess I still owe you guys 4 more weird points. I got to have dinner now, and then fly off at midnight. So I guess I shall keep this short for the time being. Be back in 10 days! See you guys later, and in the meantime, take care!

[+] There's more!

3 December 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:3 December 2006, 17:12
Subject: Blogger BETA?  

Frustrated by Blogger BETASo here's my rundown of Blogger BETA. The labels/tags feature introduced by Blogger BETA was the main reason which drove me to switch to it.

One thing good about this new version of Blogger is that your post is published straight away without having to wait for the timer to finish. And there are finally labels which are really long overdue! Unfortunately, I can't make use of it yet as I do have some problems with the template.

For users who are pretty uncomfortable with hordes and hordes of senseless HTML bombarded at him/her, Blogger BETA now allows them to more around their blog content easily by dragging the appropriate page elements using your mouse and place them wherever you want. It's so easy to customise the default Blogger templates by simply dragging and clicking. And you can also add like your Javascript clock, links, archives etc. (those sidebars widgets) into your sidebar very easily.

Unfortunately for amateur HTML tweakers like me, editing the HTML codings are terribly difficult. I have been faithfully using HTML the whole while and suddenly, I have to switch the programming language of my blog to XHTML and XML! I was clueless as to how to tweak my current layout to adapt BETA's new compabilities, because first of all, I have zilch knowledge of those two web programming languages. And that means having to learn everything from scratch once again. And I dread doing that, seriously. It's very time-consuming!

Thank goodness there isn't much to learn for XHTML as it is pretty similar to HTML with a few obvious differences that I can easily adapt to in a relatively short time. Like for instance, the tag elements must be all in lowercase (I have always written them in uppercase). This in my opinion makes tweaking the codings more difficult for me as I cannot really differentiate quickly the tags and the normal text contents.

Hmm, I wonder why Blogger calls it 'Edit HTML'?

It should be Edit XHTML and XML!

And Blogger BETA's default templates is really straining my eyes when I try to refer to them as examples. Everything, or rather most part of the codes are all clustered up together and I have to try and find the end of a particular piece of code and create line breaks just to separate them from the others (it's easier to edit that way).

A sample of the codings cramped together

And Blogger Help wasn't of much help too, especially this piece of article which teaches me how to properly code the widgets code. It's so frustrating trying to make heads or tails of it, and I was really confused after reading that. And the default templates seem to have complicated things.

Why must there be so many new Blogger-specific tags? I don't get it, the old one was so much better and less complicated to do. But this new one makes use of XML, and not only that, it's pretty confusing too.

And that is why I have reverted back to using the classic template instead of the new one. I simply am really clueless to do anything at all. I even spent the whole day yesterday trying to figure out where to put such codings, with no luck. Blogger BETA kept telling me "My XML file is invalid", therefore my template cannot be even previewed at all! Sigh, why bother... I think I am stuck with this for the time being. And probably read up more later.

Overall, I have a pretty sour experience with this new interface of BETA, which spoils the whole image of everything. So should you change to Blogger BETA?

Yes, if you are uncomfortable with HTML and you prefer working with GUIs, then Blogger BETA is for you! It cuts down on your frustrations and confusions by hundreds of percents. If, on the other hand, you are familiar with XHTML and XML, then I'm sure you can quickly implement and harness the new lucrative features offered by Blogger BETA into your blog.

No, if you are like me who dislikes the rigidity of Page Elements and you prefer working with your layout directly. Unfortunately, the whole editing layout thing would further frustrate you if you are foreign to the terms XHTML and XML and you have absolutely no clue on how to tweak your template. I also heard that BETA blogs suffer glitches too, especially the comments, but they should hopefully be quickly resolved.

Other than these, there aren't many noticeable changes in this new version of Blogger.

P.S. This review is written by a HTML purist, who has recently discovered the wonders of XHTML, and he is slowly adapting to it. This review is also focusing on the new template aspects of Blogger BETA. This might be inapplicable to you if you do not bother much about layouts, and if you are so, I suggest you switch to Blogger BETA just to take advantage of the new labels feature.

[+] There's more!

1 December 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:1 December 2006, 21:06
Subject: Blog Undergoing Construction  

Okay, so I decided to make a switch to Blogger Beta just now, and the blog may be messed up as I do so. I'm currently trying to familiarise myself with the new features, and in my opinion, the Help wasn't very user-friendly. Something tells me those pseudo-code lessons I learned in computer class are going to be of help, I hope. Well, yeah, in the meantime, I hope things around here are navigable.

[+] There's more!

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:Same date as above, 15:00
Subject: NaNoWriMo Post-Mortem  

Dissecting NaNoWriMoToday is such a joyful day, the bright sunshine brightening up my Friday today. Today's 1st of December, and NaNoWriMo is officially over. I'm really happy that I was able to end up with 50,056 words a few minutes shy of midnight today. I would like to share my NaNoWriMo experience with everyone, and tell you guys my testimony of it.

So, how did I do it?

Honestly, I have no idea myself. I just write spontaneously with a vague plan in my head, and that's it. I also let the story lead me.

I began writing my first 10,000 words during the first week of November, and I wrote my story casually with many pauses and some deep thinking. At the end of the week, I had to go off to Sabah for an excursion trip with fifteen other students which was organised by my teacher. When I came back, I realised I was a few thousand words away from the recommended goal, and I was feeling discouraged. As the days wore on, I watched in horror as the recommended word count goal increased and I was still stuck, roughly about 10,000 words behind. If only I knew I can make myself write 8000 words...

At the end of the two week hiatus, I could not stand not doing anything to my story and NaNoWriMo and I told myself, "Hey, I have written a good beginning to a story, why stop there and moan and groan about how I cannot reach 50,000 words?" So I decided to do something with it and began to pick up my story and continue it. I saw that it still wasn't too late to do catch-up. The total number of words still did not hit the expected word count though.

On the 25th, the NaNoWriMo website has opened to all the word-count verification for the 50k-ers to submit their story and officially claim themselves to be winners. That's when I panicked. I had completed 30% of my goal, and already people have reached the goal! I picked up my writing speed, but at that pace I was going, it still wasn't fast enough to reach the goal.

On the 27th, I took the deep plunge. I literally forced out the 8000 words from my very soul. And I did it! I actually did it! It was incredible, I tell you. It was a feat I never knew I can do it! But I did! Amazing.

And I tried again on the last 3 days. My brain juice was already fizzling out, and that didn't help when parts of my novel are also stagnating (they're mostly the transition parts in between the major scenes of Kinderella).

And I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote. I participated in 30-minute word wars as well with fellow NaNo writers, as a form of motivation. And guess what? I found out I could type out 600-800 words per session, give or take. I wowed at my own hidden ability and potential.

And finally, at the last day, I wrote full-force and whammed, I slammed my own record. 9371 words in a day! That is really a lot for me. I was so overjoyed when I was able to hit 50,000 words by 11.50++ p.m.

In one word: Incredible.

I have to thank my school for closing down early for renovations, and thus have my holidays early. So I have spent part of my holidays writing out a novel. Yay, talk about being productive! Else, I won't even write at all!

What resources have I used when writing out Kinderella?

The Usborne Illustrated Thesaurus

I really recommend you guys to buy this illustrated thesaurus from Usborne. It's called The Usborne Illustrated Thesaurus and what makes this thesaurus so different from others is that they contain lots of pictures that you know what it is but don't know how it's called. And they also group related words that belong to a certain category, e.g. dance words - boogie, bop, dart, glide etc.

See the sample page here and you'll be the judge.

I wish I read through and briefly study this book before my NaNoWriMo quest. Then I would have more or less some ideas to breath fresh words to dead, boring sentences. Anyway, this book is just amazing, it helped me a lot for NaNoWriMo. I suggest you buy it too, it's worth your every penny and it helps a lot in your writing.

I find myself constantly referring to Wikipedia when it comes to describing a certain event, a scene and even refresh my memory on the story of Cinderella.

What has motivated me to write 50,000 words?

A desktop looking like this:-

My Motivational NaNo-Desktop!

Word wars over at the NaNoWriMo forums and of course, you wonderful blog readers who pushed me and motivated me to write with your words of encouragements. Thank you so much guys! I couldn't do it without you!

Oh yes, and my little brother also played a part. He sneakily took a glance at what I was writing when I was downstairs for dinner. I then asked him for his honest opinion on my novel, and he told me it was "So good, man!" after hearing him saying "That is so lame!( =P )" etc. etc. etc.

Most importantly, did I learn anything out of NaNoWriMo?

Definitely! For one thing, I have gained the sheer experience of rushing against time and came up with an incredible number of words. It was unbelievable! And of course, I discovered that I CAN write. And also, I learned that procrastination was the main obstacle that has nearly caused my downfall, but I have risen against it and have beaten against all odds. I was hoping that NaNoWriMo could help me crush my bad habit of procrastinating. It did, but only a bit. But still, that's great.

Procrastination has its positive effects too, for me. When I decided to write, I realised that time was running short, and the deadline is pressing on me. Because I was placed under the pressure of finishing 50k words, I was able to write a lot more beyond my expectations and definitely well beyond my normal limit. I don't really like doing that though, the quality has suffered in favour of quantity. I find that the later chapters I have done is a little bit messy and "illogical". I need to edit them a bit before uploading them.

Oh yes, from writing so much and with the help of the thesaurus, I learned to make use of new vocabularies along the way and expanded my active vocabulary list. Writing out so many words also make me see that my current vocabulary still has room for expansion, and I will try over these holidays to broaden it.

I also learned a thing or two about describing fashion. Hahahaha! That's really cool.

I've made a mistake in the beginning of the novel though and that is skimping on the description of the main characters' appearances. How they look like, what are they wearing etc. The rest is pretty okay, I guess, at least I did convey their personality out. Self-reminder: describe first!

I have to go out to parties. No wonder I struggled pretty badly with the ballroom scenario. Hahaha!

Ever since experiencing NaNoWriMo, suddenly the 300-600 words compositions that I have to write in school seemed pretty little. And this is good news to me, it boosted my self-esteem a lot! And I wouldn't need to groan so much about the Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition which my English teacher would me to write an essay.

Through NaNoWriMo, my writing style has undergone minor/drastic changes. I don't know whether it's for good or for worse, but I know that I'm writing things a little bit differently now.

This is pretty much what I can think of at the moment to write. My brain is ultra-tired now after writing huge chunks of text the past five days. Sheer terror. But I'm glad I have done it. I feel like an accomplished man! Yahoo!

I shall put my novel aside for a few days and I'll pick it up whenever I am ready. Chapter 7 is found below this post, so check it out!

P.S. Congratulations to Happy and Blue 2 who consistently posted throughout the whole month of November in conjunction with NaBloPoMo. Great work! Take a look at all his November blog posts, starting from November 1st!

[+] There's more!

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:Same date as above, 14:59
Subject: Kinderella - Chapter 7  

Kinderella - My NovelClick on No. above the Date field to view the story.

If you're eyes tire after reading such long blocks of text, I have divided this chapter into 2 halves for your convenience. Words in bold mark where the anchors lead to.

Quick Jump:
First half
Second half


Chapter 7

Kinderella opened the refrigerator to prepare lunch later for the day. Unfortunately, the refrigerator had very little stocks of food left. He groaned. He hated going back to the marketplace again. The people, the cacophony of loud voices, and the weird odours of food; it was all too much for him to take. But he had to do the job, otherwise who would? Besides, if he did not whip up something for lunch, he will face the wrath of his stepmother, who he began to call Empress Dowager after accidentally encountering the word ‘Dowager’ in a dictionary just now.

Even though he did not go to school, his burning desire of wanting to expand his knowledge did not die down. So he made use of the Internet and followed the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) Board syllabus for ‘A’ levels as a guide to aid him in his pursuit of knowledge. He hoped that one day, he would be able to sit for the examinations and continue his education up to tertiary level and earn himself that prestigious PhD even though it was not possible now seeing the mental state of his stepmother and stepbrothers. Sometimes, he wished he could step on their heads. That was what good for nothing step-family members are for!

He sighed. He has got approximately an hour, before his stepmother comes home, to rush to the market and get some groceries. Then he has to rush back and prepare at least a simple lunch, all within the allocated time frame. He quickly prepared a mental list of ingredients and food needed and was soon on his way to the marketplace. Luckily for him, he managed to catch the bus at the bus stop which was a few blocks down his street.

Amy and Mary stopped in front of a booth with neon signs glaring “Peripherals Galore!” They both scanned their eyes at the display racks which showcased many different kinds of input and output devices as well as storage mediums. They were awestruck by the vast choices offered by the shop.

“Hi, may I help you two young, fine ladies?” asked a tall man in a business suit. His hair was gelled back meticulously, and he expressed a look of professionalism.

Mary looked up, and saw one of the most handsome guys in the universe. She immediately added him to her Top 10 Hottest Guys list, and was gagaing over him. She whispered into Amy’s ears, “Did you see that? He’s hot!”

Amy nudged her with her elbow, and Mary retaliated silently while rubbing the contact point.

“Hi! I’m looking for a new hard disk drive. Can you show me some of yours that are for sale today?” inquired Amy.

“Certainly, Miss. The rack here has some of them. How many gigabytes do you need?”

“Er…” Amy pondered for a few seconds. “A hundred and above gigs will do. Preferably one that can do perpendicular recording, and also consumes little power.”

“Why, certainly.” The man tried to reach up for the hard disk drives that were displayed at the topmost rack. Amy took the opportunity to question Mary’s immature behaviour just now. “What were you doing?”

Mary smiled sheepishly. “Nothing, My, he’s so gorgeous looking.”

“It’s Zuleikha,” Amy harshly reminded. “But he’s definitely not my type.”

“He so is mine,” mumbled Mary who was now lost in puppy love.

The man cleared his throat. Amy looked up at him, embarrassed and scared that he might overhear their conversation and she apologized. He gave her a grin, and proceeded to tell her that the brands available at the moment that matched her specifications were Seagate, Samsung and Hitachi. Amy thanked him for his help, and politely ushered him away. “I look for you if I need help.”

“No problem.” The man left the two girls alone to do comparisons of the hard disk he gave to the Persian teen while he entertained other customers who were now browsing through the store’s products.

“Mary, you know I’m a sucker for Samsung. But I need your reviews on these hard disks, please,” asked Amy.

Mary flipped back the hard disks and studied the characteristics of the hard disks printed on the stickers. “Well, Zul…Zul…Zuleikha! To me, I prefer Hitachi’s in this case, because it has the highest RPM compared to these two.”

Amy smiled, happy that Mary was finally able to pronounce her personating name properly. She quickly moved that thought back behind and replied, “RPM’s rounds per minute, right?”

“No, technically it’s revolutions per minute, but you can more or less say that.”

Amy tried to spot for the list price of the hardware Mary has helped her to choose. She spied the sticker at the place where the storekeeper got the hard drive from. She reeled back in horror as she learnt the price.

“Amy, what’s wrong?” asked a concerned Mary.

“It’s Zuleikha for you, Mary!” scolded Amy. She moved her friend’s face and pointed out the price to Mary. See? It’s so expensive. It costs higher than the manufacturer price in Japan!”

“And how much is it?”

Amy hesitated to answer her question. Finally she let her breath out. “About ¥30,000.”

Mary converted the yen figure into the local currency figure. She whistled when she heard of the price. “Are you going to buy it?”

“Yea! Of course! This had better worth my money, and 3 years without upgrades,” replied Amy quickly. She called upon the storekeeper who entertained her just now, and requested him to open up a bill for her.

“Your name’s Miss Zuleikha, yes?” asked the man.

“Yes, it is. How do you know?”

“This friend of yours here seems to have difficulty saying your name out,” he replied. He winked at Mary, and Amy could swear small pink hearts began to appear all around her. She cannot believe that guy just turned her on. She drummed her fingers impatiently on the counter while she waited for the man to finish up his writing.

“That would be $575 please,” the man said. He tried his best not to laugh at Mary who was infatuating over him. Unbeknownst to her, she was beginning to act pretty silly.

Amy handed over the paper money to him. The storekeeper counted the money carefully with his callused fingers. He then placed the money under a counterfeit money detector to check for forgery, and he then cashed in the money.

While Amy was waiting for the receipt and the invoice, she could not help but shudder a little. Strange, she thought, why do I have a feeling that someone is watching me? She looked behind her, and she saw June, another friend of hers, waving at her from a distance. She waved back at her. The storekeeper than placed the hard disk drive, the receipt and the invoice in a black plastic bag and presented it Amy. Amy smiled at him and she almost have to drag Mary away from the store. She was rooted to the ground, and she would not even budge if she was to tell her to go.

“Did you look at his eyes? It was baby blue and when it focuses on you, suddenly, your whole world fades away. You find yourself in the arms of a man, so macho, so dreamy, so…perfect…” sighed Mary. She clasped her hands together and thought of her fantasy. She envisioned herself alone with him in a deserted island, where the hot guy would kiss her passionately in the white sandy beach, under the dreamy sun, sea and sand. It was simply a perfect haven for romance.

A loud commanding voice suddenly surrounded mouthed from her lover. “Mary. Mary? Mary! Are you listening to me?”

“Huh? What? Hey, where’s my lover? I need him.” As she drawled on, she embraced herself with her arms, pretending her arms were his arms, hugging her tightly, not wanting to lose her.

Amy shook her friend violently. “Mary, I’m asking you what you want to do now. Are you back to Earth now?”

“I’m always here on Earth! What a stupid question, Zul! Anyway, I think I’m done with shopping here for the day. Hey, Zul, can you bring me to that booth again? I want to exchange telephone numbers with that guy.”

“No?” answered Amy playfully.

Mary shook her friend’s shoulder. “Come on, Zul, please? Pretty please?” begged a pleading Mary.

“I suppose we can, seeing I don’t really have anything to do now,” said Amy. “Do you want to go to the marketplace with me later after that?”

“No! I hate that place! But I shan’t bother you about you-know-who anymore, okay?”

“Come on, girlfriend, you got a serious flirting to do!” Amy grabbed Mary’s arms, and they both walked back to the booth where Amy purchased the hard drive. Little did they know that someone was watching their every move, and he began to do so when Zuleikha bought the computer storage device.

“Hey, ah…ah…ah…, umm…” Amy was surprised that Mary suddenly became tongue tied and she could see her legs becoming wobbly like a jelly. Amy quickly came to her friend’s rescue.

“Hehe. What she means is that she wanted to have your phone number,” said Amy.

“Sure, no problem.” The handsome storekeeper scribbled down his phone number on a small piece of paper. Amy noted his nice penmanship.

Mary suddenly brightened up when she received the paper from her. “Thank you so, so much! Here’s my phone number.”

Mary without thinking grabbed his hand, his warm hand, and wrote her mobile phone number on it. She smiled sheepishly when she realised she had just taken his hand without his consent, but the man smiled anyway. He found her shyness attractive.

“Leon,” he said, extending his hand.

“Ma-ry,” Mary enunciated. She shook his extended hand. “I think you’re hot.”

Leon blushed when he heard her compliment. He replied, “You’re cute when you’re shy.”

Unwarily, they both stared into each other’s eyes, and sparks zapped out from them. Amy thought the couple looked cute and she broke into a smile. Without wanting to disturb the two lovebirds, she walked out of the store, happy that her friend had finally found her first love.

Kinderella stared at the many different kinds of stores set up at the marketplace. Throngs of people dispersed themselves at the marketplace. Cries of discounts, offers and advertisements echoed from one store to another, persuading customers to come and take a look at their goods. A man suddenly extended his arm towards Kinderella, and his hand grabbed a living chicken, desperately flapping its wings in desperation in its futile attempt to escape.

“You want one? Fresh, live chicken, only for ten dollars!” offered the stallholder.

Kinderella ignored the man and walked past the people who were gathering at one particular store selling food and drinks. It was a hot, sweltering day, and close to lunchtime too. The word ‘lunchtime’ reverberated in his brain, prompting him to quicken up his shopping. He wandered around in search for spices; chilli powder, cinnamon, pepper, ginger, garlic and pandan leaf, he recalled. His nose caught the smell of spices and he sneezed. He looked up, and there was the big sign ‘Little India’.

“Yep, this is the place,” he told himself.

He politely asked the Bangladeshi man for the spices that he wanted to buy. The man placed all the containers and cans into a plastic bag, and Kinderella handed his money to him. He merely nodded, and returned to sit on the stool. Kinderella entered a butcher’s shop at one of the blocks of shops by the marketplace.

He was greeted by a vast selection of fresh meat, at least that was what the sign outside says. He asked for some lamb chops. The butcher took his order and asked him to come back later in ten minutes time. Kinderella made a mental note of coming back to the shop, and he wandered off in search of a poultry stall. Once there, he bought a dozen eggs and few pieces of chicken wings.

He then went to the fruits stall and bought oranges and apples that he could serve later as dessert. He thanked the man profusely for helping him to choose the freshest fruits for him. Lucky there were no customers around, and he must be pretty bored himself, he thought. He went to the vegetables stall nearby and bought a few spinaches, cabbages, and other kinds of vegetables.

Kinderella found a bench at the side of a building and rested his sore feet and hands. He heaved a sigh of relief as he was near finishing his shopping. All that was left was to fetch the lamb chops from the butcher. He took in the sight of the busy marketplace buzzing with lots of activity. He spied housewives bargaining heavily over the price of vegetables, children playing hide and seek, and an old elderly man hobbling along in the crowd.

Looking at his watch, he realised he spent more than enough time sitting down, and he will have only got moments to spare to cook before Mdm. Sweet comes back home in a foul mood, as always. She always does that when she is hungry. Hungry and angry, they are not a good combination.

Kinderella heaved up the groceries, and walked like a duck back to the butcher’s store. He tried to retrace his steps back when all of a sudden, a bell began to ring from behind. Kinderella turned and look but it was too late to evade from the bicycle. He was caught in the path of the cyclist, and by instinct, he jumped away from the oncoming bicycle.

Eggs splattered and some of the albumen and egg yolk flowed out from the carton. Shells broke into many fragmented pieces, and cracking sounds followed suit. The fruits landed with a thud, and the oranges rolled out from the plastic bags. The apples, on the other hand, got bruised badly, creating depressions on their smooth and rounded surface. Some of the spices scattered on the streets.

The bicycle stopped just when it was about to hit Kinderella. The bicyclist looked at Kinderella, and began to curse him because he blocked his path. He composed himself and cycled away in the distance. The children laughed at Kinderella, only to be hushed by their parents who appeared to be concerned about Kinderella. At that short time, the whole marketplace ceased its activity when the small accident happened. And very quickly, the pace of activity quickened up and the people resumed to their activities. The scene familiar to Kinderella began once again. People walked past him, too busy to help him. Some curiously looked at the poor boy who had to clean up the mess he created by himself and gave him sympathetic looks, but that was it. Everyone was too busy running their own lives.

Kinderella picked up the containers of spices and shoved them into the plastic bag as he struggled against his embarrassment. He nearly wanted to choke on himself as he overheard a rude comment by a passer-by. “Tsk, careless he is!”

He wiped off the sweat from his face, and continued to pick up the groceries that he dropped. “Of all days. Ma is so going to kill me. Stupid. Stupid me,” he scolded himself.

He was about to pick up the oranges when he realised that they were no longer on the floor, but instead put away into the plastic bag. He stared at the ground, and he slowly looked up, half-expecting to see his step-mother smirking sinisterly. But the image of her quickly dissolved away when he saw the kind, young face of a lady.

Kinderella guessed that she was about of his age as her appearance looked youthful and cheerful. It exhibited the kind of jubilance that can make one smile after a long hard day, and that was what Kinderella did. Her almond brown eyes with eyelashes that curl just nicely, and some light freckles dotting on this woman’s cheek did not fail to escape Kinderella’s vigilant observation of this young, pretty girl. Her lips were as voluptuous as herself, red in a pretty sense, and not very overdone. The few fringes of her hair peeked out from her blue headscarf and it covered part of her forehead, making her beautiful yet mysterious in a way.

“Are you okay?” the girl asked him with utmost concern.

“Umm…yeah. I’m fine now.” Kinderella never took his eyes off her face. “Thanks.”

“Look, let me buy you another carton of eggs,” the Persian girl offered, and without waiting for Kinderella’s answer, she wandered off to buy him another replacement. Kinderella guiltily looked at the floor. He did not have enough money for himself to pay for the replacement, and worse thing, he had to wait for her to come back. He sighed. He would not have sufficient time to even come up with lunch meat sandwiches for lunch, and even that will not meet Empress Dowager’s expectations.

While he was deep in his worry, the girl dressed in a beautiful aquatic Islamic wear handed to him the carton of eggs. Kinderella hung his head in shame, and refused to accept the replacement. “I don’t have enough money with me. I’m sorry.”

“No need. It’s for you. My treat.”

Kinderella bravely look at her face. He felt at ease when he saw the smile, a smile so sincere that he had never seen for many, many years. He wiped away the tears that once again begin to form in his eyes, and uttered a word of thanks. He felt like throwing himself into a hug with this girl here, the girl who saved him heaps from his embarrassment. He really did not want that special moment to fade away just like that, but unfortunately, such good things do not last for long.

“Be careful next time, okay? This part of city has many ruthless cyclist,” said the girl in her melodious voice. “Wa’alaikummusalam.”

She gave a small nod and walked off, leaving Kinderella behind who was still awestruck by her beauty, her charm and her kindness. He thought such things have completely disappeared from his life. One day, he would look back to this day, and thank God that it happened. What was to come was that, his life would begin to change from that on. And it will be for the better.

(Catch Chapter 8 soon! Comments and criticisms very much welcomed =). Thanks for reading!)

[+] There's more!

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:Same date as above, 00:00
Subject: I DID IT! YAHOO!  

I'm a winner of NaNoWriMo! OMG!I WON! I WON! I WON! I WON!


As I verified my novel, my heart pounded out as I wondered whether I have typed 200 plus words to break 50 000 words. And it really did! Oh my gosh! I tell you, blood rushed up my face and I swear my heart had leaped out from my chest! I have officially reached a state of euphoria. I am now completely bathed in total happiness. The whole National Novel Writing Month is now over, and I have walked out a winner. A winner, ya hear? I'm a winner! Yahoo!

NaNoWriMo Winner is Me!

NaNoWriMo Winner is Me!

NaNoWriMo Winner is Me!

I cannot believe it!!!!!!!!!!!

*calms down*
*takes a deep breath*

I am so proud of myself. I really am! I am lying if I say I wasn't. By the way, I just learned that I am the second person to win in my country (at least that's what NaNoWriMo says when I typed in my country name under Locations). Wow! I cannot believe it!

On the other hand, my Kinderella novel "isn't quite finished" yet. I'm still at the ballroom scene. Hahaha. I'll upload the next chapter tomorrow as I suddenly feel so tired and worn out. And great, I have piano lessons in 8 hours time. So much for the beauty sleep. Never mind. I shall take an afternoon nap.

Tomorrow, I shall blog about a postmortem on NaNoWriMo. Feel free to ask me questions about it if you like. And after that, I'll promise I make no more mention of NaNoWriMo anymore, except for uploading the Kinderella series. Hehehe.

I would like to thank my fellow blog readers, especially Happy and Blue 2, annelisa and madd for giving me words of encouragement and advice throughout the whole NaNoWriMo thing. Thank you so much guys. Without you guys, I don't think I could quite make it today yesterday. Love ya all lots! =)

See you guys tomorrow!

*that frolicsome kid jumps in joy and ecstasy*

P.S. I shall visit you guys' blogs tomorrow and catch up on what's going on. ;)

[+] There's more!

30 November 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:30 November 2006, 18:13
Subject: I'm Scared...  

I'm really scared now that I can't make it on time. =( I only have roughly 5 more hours left before midnight, and I need to get my novel validated by then and also to hit 50 000 words. Oh man, this is so scary! I'm really tempted to turn my local time to USA's but that would be cheating.

I give it my best shot. 5000 more words to go!

[+] There's more!

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:Same date as above, 00:02
Subject: The End is Imminent...  

Sprint to the finish line!I have roughly 10,000 words to cough out later today. Yesterday's progress was bad as I didn't really focus of my novel. But today is my last chance. My final chance to show the world that I can finish writing this novel by today, 11:59:59 p.m. 23 hours later. Time is short, time is becoming a constraint. I'm scared, yet I'm excited to end this thing as well. I came so far, and there is no more turning back. It's full sprint towards the end.

The story is coming well pretty good, if I must say. I have began writing out the famous 'ballroom scene'. No, this is still not a call for celebration yet. I have a high chance of finishing the novel; I might not. Hopefully it will be the former.

Oh well, I should stop blabbing so much now. Let's see. I will fall asleep later at 1 something, and wake up at 9 something. I begin to write out the novel at 10 something and hopefully not get too distracted by the wonderful world of web there. I continue this marathon feat for 12 hours straight, and this includes procrastination time, probably an afternoon siesta if time permits, my usual 7pm TV-dinner time.

Okay, I think I can do it.

No wait, I MUST DO IT. Else, I'll be disappointed with myself.



[+] There's more!

29 November 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:29 November 2006, 00:02
Subject: Kinderella - Chapter 6  

Kinderella - My NovelI hit the green! I hit the green! I hit the green! Yeah! I'm so proud of my accomplishment today!

The green box! Yee-ha!

I cannot believe it! I thought I would never make it yesterday (which was a few minutes ago). And now, I managed to drop my tomorrow's expected workload by 12 words... Err, okay... That isn't so much.

Later today, I must make sure I hit the expected words NaNoWriMo wants me to write by tomorrow. Only 2 more days of perseverance, running at the same pace as today, and after that, I'm home free!

I've done until Chapter 11, and am now working on Chapter 12. Expect one tomorrow, when I'll probably shout out my "little" victory or lost. Chapter 6 is here for your reading pleasure. Click on No. above the Date field to view the story.

If you're eyes tire after reading such long blocks of text, I have divided this chapter into 2 halves for your convenience. Words in bold mark where the anchors lead to.

Quick Jump:
First half
Second half


Chapter 6

Amy fluttered open her eyelids. She had to squint because of the bright fluorescent light in the ceiling that illuminated her room. She rubbed her eyes hard with her own hands and grabbed a look at her clock. It was 5 a.m., early in the morning. She tried to get out of her bed but flopped back down as the room around her began to spin slightly.

“Man, why did I have to wake up so early even though I’m really tired?”

She lay down on her bed and started to organize her plans for the day mentally. She hoped that by doing so, she will wear herself out to sleep for an hour or two before starting school. She thought and thought, but she could not slip into slumber. After fifteen minutes, she gave up, got up and drew herself a nice warm bath in the porcelain bathtub.

She sat down at her vanity table, and she used a brush to comb her medium auburn hair. She whistled a tuneless song while she meticulously parted and combed her hair. Using her fingers, she plaited her hair and tied a pink ribbon at the ‘tail’. She quickly wore the outside she planned to wear yesterday, grabbed her schoolbag and left her room.

She went into the dining room and was surprised that the table was not even set. She looked at her own watch. The blinking digits 06:15 showed. She sighed. No wonder, it was still so early in the morning. She peeked at the kitchen door, hoping to find that the chef is about to prepare her breakfast. Unfortunately, the lights were turned off and no one was there yet. She was beginning to wonder that the people in the mansion were still fast asleep, besides the security guards and her herself.

Amy dropped her schoolbag on the floor and decided to pop into the kitchen to prepare breakfast for herself. She opened the cabinets in search for some simple and easy to make breakfast. Cereal was what was in her mind. Apparently, the only prepared food there were several loaves of bread together with a few bottles of jam and peanut butter. She plugged the toaster into the main switch, and toasted two slices of bread. She stood there, waiting for the bread to be toasted. She waited, and waited, and waited.

A few good minutes had passed. She wondered why the bread was still not fully toasted yet.

“Oh!” She smacked herself in the forehead. She switched on the switch. “Silly me, it was off all along!” She laughed at herself for her silliness.

The bread suddenly jumped up from the toaster. She grabbed a plate, placed the bread on them and carefully spread the strawberry jam over them with a knife. She hummed a song by Britney Spears “Hit Me Baby One More Time” while she was spreading the jam. Finally, she folded both the slices of bread into half. She placed the loaf and the jam away into the cabinet and she took a bite of the bread while standing up. She felt that she will be finishing her breakfast fast, so there was no need for her to go all the way to the dining table and properly consume the food.

After she was done, she casually grabbed a carton of milk from the refrigerator and poured it into a glass. She downed the milk, placed the dirty dish and the now-empty glass on the sink and hopped to the garage.

Her driver Jenkins who was in his pyjamas was cleaning the black Mercedes Benz thoroughly when Amy gave a small cough. He wheeled around and nearly fell on the floor when he saw the elegant teenage girl looking at him, very bemused herself. Jenkins’s face became shades of red, and timidly asked her, “Amy! What are you doing down here so early in the morning?”

“Hello dear Jenkins! I’m ready and full of energy. I’m enthusiastic about school. In fact, I’m so loving it I can’t sleep the whole night!” Amy wildly gestured, clearly saying that she was over-exaggerating.

Jenkins mouth went wide open. “Clearly you don’t mean that?”

Amy gave a sly grin. She placed her arms over Jenkins’s shoulder. She looked at him, and said, “Of course not my man! Come, I’ve got school to go to!”

“Okay,” said Jenkins while he let Amy’s arm drop off from his shoulder, clearly uncomfortable by her sudden sarcasm. “Let me go change into my uniform.”

Amy shook her head frantically. “No! No need to. Just send me to school, no one will be there that early to see you in your…” Before she could complete her sentence, she burst into gales of laughter.

Jenkins stared at her. He was shocked at Amy’s weird attitude that morning. He wanted to insist changing to his uniform, but for some reasons he could not muster a word. He took a deep breath and opened the car door to let Amy in to the car. The laughing Amy tried to mouth out the word thanks and sat in the comfortable chair, while Jenkins sat in the driver’s seat. The engine roared into life as the garage door slowly rose up. The headlights came on, and as quietly as a kitten the car drove out of the driveway into the streets, humming quietly along the way to school.

“Well, this is going to be interesting day,” exclaimed Amy who kept staring at Jenkins’ chequered pyjamas. Jenkins frowned and drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. He ignored Amy’s comment and concentrated on his driving. He will get over with this little joke soon.

Amy slunk herself a bit down the chair, and she slipped in and out of consciousness as the scenery zipped by. Without her realising it, Jenkins stopped the car in front of her school. Her door was opened and she gave a big yawn, asking Jenkins where she was now.

“Oh look! Big girl expecting her little ‘slave’ to open the door after now, eh?” came a high-pitched voice that did not quite sound like Jenkins. In fact, it sounded eerily familiar to Amy’s ears.

“Melissa! What are you doing here?” asked a very shocked Amy. She got out of her car and her exit was greeted by hoots of girly girl giggles. When she got out, Melissa shut the door of the shiny Mercedes Benz and missed her blouse by her few inches.

Jenkins flustered to drive the car away as fast as he could. He did not want to witness another development of a cat fight. He felt so bad that he had just abandoned Amy there all alone defenceless with a group of not so nice girls. But he just could not protect her wearing only his pyjamas, it will further embarrass Amy and he himself. He whispered to God his apology if Amy was harmed.

“Amy, dear sweet charming little Charmings. Thank goodness you came early to school today. That horrendous 70’s dress of yours serves as an example of the greatest fashion disaster of the millennia!” snorted Melissa.

The word “Yea!” was echoed by Melissa’s ‘sorority sisters’.

Amy clenched her fist. “At least this dress was hot enough for the 70’s chics to wear. You’re just jealous that you weren’t the one who will revive foxy outfits from the past.”

Melissa did not flinch. “That was because I’m not as stupid as you are and those old-timers! The fashion was soon dead because it was too ugly, of course. You don’t see people like us wearing that now.”

A tall freckled brunette added on to her comment. “Except for Mrs. Sanders.”

The girls roared into laughter at that little joke of hers. Amy was clearly not amused.

“Look, why do you care about what I wear? I’m not you, okay? What is your intention?” challenged Amy.

“People like you who quit our gang will be treated harshly because they deserve it. They made a really big mistake. You disowned us, Amy, you betrayer! Nobody ever does that and gets away with it. And now you shall pay!” Melissa cracked her fist, and out of the blue, she tackled Amy.


Amy gave a loud scream and she ran to the field and crouched on the floor. A wind bellowed, and the oak tree in front of the school rustled. Suddenly, everything slowed down immensely. The air suddenly became still, the birds chirped slowly in the trees and Amy could see Melissa’s girlfriends. Some cowered in fear, the others watch in anticipation of this assault.

Melissa’s long blond hair swished in the wind as she ran. Her Sunday’s best fluttered in the wind. She sprinted towards her target, giving a growl as she tried her best form of intimidation. Her leg suddenly caught on something and Amy watched in horror as her predator fell on the soft muddy ground instantly.

Melissa remained motionless for a few seconds. The few students who were gathering there gasped, even Amy, fearing that she might have badly injured herself. Melissa slowly got up from the ground using her hands, and when she faced them, her girlfriends immediately fled the scene. Amy could not believe her once so pretty face had suddenly became a mud cake, like a chocolate cake recipe gone bad.

“Oh my gosh! I wish I was there early to see the look on her face! So what did you do?” asked Mary. She flashed a grin which exposed the silver braces stuck on the upper jaw of her teeth.

Amy, who was now portraying Zuleikha, simply shook her head. “Mary, you never believe this,” she sighed.

“I just helped her up and gave her my handkerchief to wipe the mud off her face.”

Mary’s eyes bore at her friend’s. “No way! Why did you do that for? She kept picking on you, isn’t it just great she finally got her own dose of medicine?”

Amy shrugged. “Hey, I’m soft in the heart. No one was there to help her. I think everyone literally fled after they saw the Medusa look-alike. I feel sorry for her though, but then it’s expected. No one really likes her because of her mean attitude. They wouldn’t dare to help anyway. She had this expression of her face telling the whole world that she would explode anytime soon.

“What she didn’t know is, she herself even though popular for her beauty and grace, is infamous for her mean streak. And my mom told me to repay evil with kindness, and that will usually give them a guilty conscience.”

“Amy, oh Amy! You’re too nice!” joked Mary.

“Correction. I’m Zuleikha. Do you want to tell the whole world that,” she lowered her voice into a whisper, “I’m the daughter of President Charming? Please! I’ll be flanked by national reporters and journalist, and Mother will drop nuke on me!”

“Sorry, I forgot. I’m not used to calling you that. Why the disguise anyway?” asked Mary inquisitively.

“Long story,” came the curt reply from Amy. “Oh, come here, look at this cute external hard disk! It’s 40 GB in size.”

Mary studied the hard disk carefully. She then put the peripheral down. “Oh, I’ve seen better and cheaper ones before,” she shrugged. “Anyway, I have all the time in the world to listen to your ‘long story’.”

“Fine,” said Amy. “Well, I have to be Zuleikha because it wasn’t easy staying at home the whole day. It really drives me nutty, it’s like as if I have been put under house arrest! Besides, when I go out, Mother insisted on two bodyguards following me around. I get no privacy, you know, and people will stare at me, especially those pesky paparazzi.

“And so, I disguised myself as a Persian lady. I can cover my glaring auburn hair with a headscarf, and that also makes my face unrecognizable. I have been sneaking out from my house for already a few months, and so far all of my escapades were undetected. Wish I could have thought up of this ingenious plan a long time ago.”

“Why go out? You can always curl up in front of your computer.”

Amy patted her friend on her back. “True, true. But I wanted to see the outside world as well, see how the society works. Oh, it’s complicated to explain.”

“No, no need to. I got you already.” Mary gave her best friend a wink. They both wandered along the little booths set up by various computer companies in the country.

Mary suddenly shrieked. Amy ran quickly towards her. “What? What happened?”

“Look at this, just look at this!” Mary shoved the big and white pen drive she was holding right in front of Amy’s eyes.

Amy looked at her friend in a weird way. “So? It’s just a pen drive, except fatter.”

“No, no, no!” Mary quickly interjected. “It’s the latest iPod Shuffler! Look, look!” She placed the white player in Amy’s hand.

“See the word 2 gig?”

“I see it, I see it, and I don’t believe it!” shrieked Amy as well. “Since when does Apple release 2 gig shufflers? I don’t remember any breaking news on it.”

“Well, who cares, let’s ask the shopkeeper!” Mary pulled Amy’s hands, and they both inquired the shopkeeper of the Apple retailer.

“We received only a batch of it from Apple Corporations last night. They wanted buyers who are in the Computer Expo today to try it out. It’s still in BETA by the way,” informed the shopkeeper.

“Well, how much?”

“$199. But you better buy it quick, because it’s the last one we have in store.”

Amy looked at her friend, and Mary stared at her back. They both weighed the decision laid on them. To buy or not to buy, that is the question.

A small kid of about eight years old pulled Mary’s shirt. Mary looked at the little kid, and politely asked what does he want?

The little kid showed his big blue eyes to Mary. He shifted his feet around and showed her his well-practiced puppy dog eyes while casually pointing at the new iPod shuffler she was holding.

Mary looked at the kid. “Aww, you want it?”

The little boy nodded his head in earnest, but he looked like he was about to wail when Mary shook her head and exclaimed, “No, it’s mine! Mine!”

She gave a sinister laughter, and with jubilance she told the shopkeeper she will take it. He smiled as his hands felt the texture of paper money. He immediately drew up an invoice, and told Mary to fill up a feedback form so that Apple Corporation can contact her after 3 months of usage.

She quickly signed her name and dragged Amy away into the crowd. The little boy looked at her, frustrated that he could not get his hands on the new iPod shuffler. He kept on staring at Mary. Mary looked behind, and put her tongue out at him, and the poor little kid cried and ran to look for his mother.

“Mary, that was mean of you!” lectured Amy.

“Hey Am, errr, I mean Zul…Zul…”

“Zuleikha,” reminded Amy.

“Yes, Zuleikha! I saw that iPod first, and I was the first one who paid for it as well. So of course I deserve it. Like they say: ‘first come, first serve!’”

Amy rolled her eyes. “Don’t come crying for me when the boy’s mother come and look for you!”

Mary’s eye flicked. “She dare do that, I shall bombard her with my receipt, my invoice and most of all, dangle that thing in front of her very own eyes!”

“You’re a devil when it comes to this. Come on, I got a hard disk to hunt for!” reminded Amy.

They both chuckled in laughter as they disappeared into the crowd.

(Catch Chapter 7 soon! Comments and criticisms very much welcomed =). Thanks for reading!)

[+] There's more!

27 November 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:27 November 2006, 13:46
Subject: Kinderella - Chapter 5  

Kinderella - My NovelHi everyone! It's been days since I last updated, but here's Chapter 5. I'm already halfway through Chapter 6 now, and things are slowly piecing together. Today, and on Tuesday and Wednesday, I will do my very best to churn out 10 000 words per day (at least 4 chapters a day! :-O ), by hook or by crook. I am really determined to meet the deadline on November 30. And now I must defeat Mr. Evil Procrastination and Mr. Discouragement. Charge!!!

Prepare for some inactivity for a few days but I'll be back soon, hopefully a winner. ;) The few upcoming chapters that I will be uploading are a bit "boring" in my opinion, because they're mainly fillers and descriptions for that word count. Things are slowly picking up now.

Click on No. above the Date field to view the story. To view my progress, click here (don't mind the 2 week inactivity period - that was what caused me to fall behind badly).

Edit at 00 04 the next day: Oh my goodness! I've just hit 25 000 words, halfway through the goal. Things are definitely looking much cheerier now! I sweated out 8 000 words today, and it wasn't an easy task! Now to keep the momentum going for 3 more days. Can I make it? I sure hope I would!

If you're eyes tire after reading such long blocks of text, I have divided this chapter into 2 halves for your convenience. Words in bold mark where the anchors lead to.

Quick Jump:
First half
Second half


Chapter 5

A perspiring Amy tiptoed down the hallways and took a left turn. She opened the slightly ajar sliding door. She looked behind to ensure that no one was shadowing her and quickly squeezed herself through the narrow gap she created. She stepped inside and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

“A close one!” she exclaimed to no one in particular.

She walked past the exercise machines: the treadmill, abdominal machines, exercise bike, rowing machine; and went to a corner of the gym. She changed into her sports outfit, a collared sweatshirt and track pants, and stuffed her sweaty clothes into the gym bag she brought along with her. With a handkerchief, she wiped off the sweat in her forehead and she ran to the door. She placed her ears at the door, listening for footsteps.

A minute later, she heard the sound of tapping stilettos. Perfect timing, Amy thought. She tied her hair into a ponytail, and slid open the door. She walked out nonchalantly and pretended to pant loudly. She purposely cried out loudly.

“Ooohh! That was so tiring!” Amy took out her handkerchief and like a lady, she dabbed it on her face to wipe off any sweat that were beginning to form.

“Honey! How was your gym routine today? You seem to be pretty worn out.” President Charming gave her daughter her usual affectionate smile.

“Oh Mother! You just don’t know how…” Amy paused for a few seconds, trying to formulate up a make-believe exercise regime.

Amy snapped her fingers. She continued, “You know what, Mother? Those dumbbells are heavy, even though they’re 1.5 kg. It’s okay Mother, don’t worry, it’s my first time! I’m sure with constant lifting, it would be nothing at all! Honest!”

Amy’s mother widened her eyes when her usually feminine daughter mentioned the word dumbbells. She questioned herself again. Did she really say that?


“Yes Mother,” replied Amy. She enunciated the word once again, this time much more slowly. She was afraid that her mother this time would not buy her. “Dduuummmbb bbeeellllsss…”

“Yes, yes, honey! I heard you,” President Charming touched her chin with her finger. “But it isn’t nice for women like you to have big bulging muscles. It’s very unladylike, you know!”

“Sorry Mother! But I got bored of running the treadmill and cycling the stationary exercise bike. I’m too weak to use the abdominal machine…”

Amy quickly changed the subject. “Say, isn’t it about time for dinner?” She pushed her mother gently, ushering her to go. “I’m famished already.”

“Yes, dear,” said President Charming, who was getting suspicious of her daughter’s weird actions today. “I shall go change into a more comfortable wear.” She walked off into her bedroom.

Amy clapped her hands and gave herself a pat on her back. “It was too close for comfort! I must be back earlier the next time.” She smiled at herself, and she jogged back to her bedroom to change out of her clothing, and to pass the maid her dirty laundry.

Amy took quick steps down the carpeted stairs, with beautifully carved rails and smooth polished handles. Her patched skirt fluttered as she walked down the stairs, and when her legs suddenly come in contact with the cold wooden floor, she lifted it up with grace and continued walking in a quicker pace towards the dining room. And there she saw her mother sitting wonderfully poised at the other end of the extra-long table.

Amy spied the eating utensils and the fine glasses sitting on the table when she entered the dining room. She furrowed her eyebrows and immediately went to see her own mother. She bent down and whispered something into her ears. President Charming’s expression turned from a blank one into a look of surprise. As she listened to her daughter’s sweet voice, she could not help but nodded in agreement and immediately she summoned the butler on duty that night. She stood up and pointed the other end of the table and then moved her finger to the seat near her. The butler nodded as if he understood her gestures even though no words came out of her mouth, and very quickly another butler set up the plates, the chopsticks and the spoon near the President’s seat. Amy smiled and showed her mother the thumbs up. President Charming’s eyes twinkled and she casually winked at her dear daughter Amy. Amy giggled a bit at her mother’s cute act.

They both sat in silence as they waited for food to be served to them. Amy stared at the courtyard outside lit by bright Victorian lamp posts dotted around the courtyard. She could make out some silhouettes of the shrubs; she recognised the lavender, the bonsai, the bougainvillea, the periwinkle… Suddenly, her integral recall of the plants was interrupted by the faint sound of “Ahem!” that came from behind her. Amy turned around, and she came face to face with a young chef of about 30 years old. He was moustached and slightly hunched back. He was holding a plate of sweet-smelling exotic food which Amy could not guess what it was.

President Charming held her nose up high and tried to sniff a waft of the food. “Smells delicious! May I know what is that?”

The chef cleared his throat and answered her, saying, “今天的晚餐是有咖喱鸡, 黑豆牛肉, 小白菜和轻汤加饭.” He set the first dish down on the table and bowed. Other chefs who were tagging behind him quickly served the rest of the Chinese food on the table.

“Wait, hold on,” the president called for the chef. The chef quickly came to her and asked whether he can be of assistance.

“Can you repeat what these dishes are in English?”

“Oh, I’m sorry! What I was saying is that tonight’s dishes are curry chicken, beef in black bean sauce and cabbage. Today’s soup is a light vegetable soup with tofu. You will eat all of them with rice.”

“Mother, it sounds really yummy!” piqued in Amy.

“Thank you! I love today’s Chinese cuisine as well. My compliments to you chefs!” The chef blushed and nodded his head. They left mother and daughter dining alone in the big dining room. Despite the appetising looks of the Chinese food, Amy was not feeling hungry as she had eaten just now. Amy felt shameful that she actually might have to miss eating them on that evening. Chinese food is rarely served to them, and now she was too full to actually eat them. Amy bit her tongue and forced herself to eat at least some of the food served on the table.

She held her chopsticks and helped herself to some of the curry chicken. She picked a drumstick up and gobbled the meat down. Without wiping the curry stains at her mouth, she helped herself to more servings of the chicken, the beef and the vegetables. She raised the bowl and started the sweep the rice and food with her chopsticks into her mouth. She rested for a while to chew the food properly and repeated again for another time.

Amy let out a small burp and giggled at herself. She then stabbed the chopsticks into her bowl of rice and left them standing upwards. President Charming nearly choked on her food when she saw the chopsticks pointing upwards in the bowl and hit her daughter’s hand twice.

“Ouch, what was that for Mother?”

“The first hit was for eating like a barbarian. The second was for that intolerable act of yours – poking your chopsticks into a bowl of rice!”

“What?!” asked Amy in disbelief, “What’s wrong with my eating habits?”

“You need to slow down and enjoy your food. You’re not in a rush to go anywhere are you?”

“No… But Mother, I wasn’t really hungry to begin with!” protested Amy.

“Oh? You looked like you haven’t eaten in ages! And please, get those chopsticks off the rice and place them horizontally across the bowl! It’s disrespectful!”

“How so?” questioned Amy.

“For starters, Asians believe that the chopsticks which stuck upright in a rice bowl represent joss sticks that are used as offerings to deceased family members.

“Really?” asked Amy who was now really flabbergasted when she heard that. She sheepishly placed the chopsticks down and placed them properly on the table, clearly embarrassed that her gestures like that could potentially offend her mother’s guests if they were there tonight.

“Sorry, Mother. I didn’t mean to do that. I am truly sorry!”

President Charming caressed her daughter’s cheek. “You’re lucky that none of my guests are here today. They will certainly be enraged and upset if you do that!”

“Never again! Cross my heart.”

“Oh Mother. I got to go up now and finish up on my school assignments,” chirped in Amy.

Before her mother could say anything, Amy kissed her mother on her cheek and happily skipped back to her bedroom, leaving a very confused president behind.

“Teens,” sighed President Charming, “they’re so difficult to understand. Being a lion tamer is so much easier.”

She pitifully looked at Amy’s half-full bowl and the dishes on the table. What a shame, what a shame. She shook her head. She ate in silence at the table all alone. She used the Chinese soup spoon to sip some soup, and smiled when the soup touched her taste buds. “Heavenly, and simple,” she told herself.

She summoned the butlers who were standing by. She told them to clean up the table and insisted them to finish up the food. They nodded at her instructions and she left them alone to do the cleaning and the eating. She retired herself to the lounge where she watched the news and reviewed some statistics.

Amy slowly shut her own bedroom door. She went straight to her computer and booted up her PC. She logged on to Ebay.com once again to check up on her original Versace handbag. She banged her fist on her keyboard. No one was interested to purchase it. “Morons! Where are the rich people when you need them?” she wondered.

She then hopped up onto her soft bed, and she zipped open her school bag. With care, she took out a few notebooks of different colours. “Helps me in telling which notebooks belong to which subjects,” she once told to her friend. She opened her Mathematics notebook and flipped to the page where the class was supposed to complete some simultaneous equations. Oh, how she dreaded those!

She took out her pen, and she was about to begin when the questions suddenly morphed. She stared again and it was not what she thought it was. She had completely overlooked one of the coefficients. She groaned. That darned number made things even harder now. She cursed under her breath.

She started with writing out the rough working in pencil. After a couple of trials and mistakes for twenty minutes, she finally found the light at the end of a long tunnel. Finally, the variable x was 12 ¾ while y was 27. She double-checked her answers. She substituted the variables of the first given equation and calculated the answer. It did not match the solution of the equation.

“No! How can it be possible?” Unfortunately, mistakes are very much prevalent in Mathematics. That was why there were many Sixth Form students dropping that subject in her school. It’s either they could not comprehend the complexity of Mathematics, or that they find the subject very frustrating. Despite that, she persisted because she always loved Maths although she was not the best student in class.

She took about two hours to finally finish her Maths assignment. She groaned as she had two more subjects to tackle. She decided to take a short breather before continuing.

She climbed out of the bed and decided to first check up on her e-mail inbox. A message glowed yellow, signifying a new e-mail from Mary. A wave of exuberant rush washed over her as she assumed that Mary had news to tell her. She clicked to open the mail and quickly scanned her e-mail. “I’m so not missing that computer exhibition downtown! This is the perfect opportunity to get my PC its well-deserved upgrade cheaply.”

She logged off her account. Amy suddenly yawned, and she yawned again, and decided to shut down her computer. For some unknown reasons, she felt more tired than usual that day. She got out of her swivel chair and since she was moodless to do anything else, she settled on planning for her outfit tomorrow. “Whee, how I loved school! How I love my friends and Physics classes!”

“And how I loathe my enemies,” she grumbled.

She went into her walk-in closet and flipped through the clothes she owned. She reminded herself never to buy so many again, it is such a chore to choose what she will wear the next day. She took out a few and put them aside neatly. She then picked the clothes up and did some comparative study of clothes.

“Shall I wear this dandy blue cropped top with this cute palazzo pants? Or wear it with this really cute pleated skirt?”

She held the cropped top up high and placed the palazzo pants beneath it. “Not good, the colours clash.” She then tried it with the pleated skirt.

“Ill! It’s a mix and match gone bad! You know what, I hate cropped tops.”

She tossed the clothes on the floor. She randomly picked out a blouse, a camisole top and bell-bottomed jeans from the stack she put away. She thought for a while on how to match the three articles of clothing. She tried fitting them on herself; she wore the camisole top and jeans first, then she put on the blouse over them.

She modelled in front of the mirror, turned around and flaunted a little. And she gave a seductive wink to herself. She was overjoyed. Amy founded, or rather will promote, a fashion statement and she will be the hottest hit in school. “I will show that Melissa and prove to her that even ‘nerds’ can dress good!”

She hung her attire for tomorrow at a knob, and looked around for another outfit she should wear tomorrow afternoon when she will be going out to shop for some computer parts. She looked at the stack of her favourite clothes she carefully put aside and scanned for her baju kurung, a traditional dress of the Malays in Malaysia. Baju kurung is a long-sleeved loose fitting long blouse worn over a matching sarong, and she loved the its silky feel and the way how the traditional Malay dress can make her look slender, yet very conservative.

Her eyes stopped over a blue floral-patterned baju kurung. She yanked the dress out and decided to try it on. She did not remember buying it in a first place but who really cared about it at that moment. As long as she has something nice to wear! She slipped onto the dress, and grabbed a blue tudung, the Malay name for a Muslim women’s headscarf, with intricate golden lace from her drawer.

She tied the headscarf properly on her head and admired the foreign lady in the mirror. The reflection that stared back was not her. A lavish Persian woman with beautiful fair skin and twinkling hazel eyes stared back, dressed in a flowing baju kurung. Her name was Zuleikha.

(Catch Chapter 6 soon! Comments and criticisms very much welcomed =). Thanks for reading!)

[+] There's more!

23 November 2006

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:23 November 2006, 20:58
Subject: Kinderella - Chapter 4  

Kinderella - My NovelHi guys! Here's Chapter 4. Sorry for the late upload, this afternoon I attended a BBQ outing with several of my school prefects. Unfortunately, the turn-up was really bad. But I still had some fun anyway.

Hmmm...I enrolled myself for a 10k word sprint on Friday itself. I hope I can focus my mind on completing my novel and type out 10 000 words. Hopefully, I won't get sidetracked and get distracted etc.

Thank you everyone for the comments! I really appreciate them and it does give me a boost too =D. After I post this up, I will get back to working on Chapter 5.

Click on No. above the Date field to view the story.

If you're eyes tire after reading such long blocks of text, I have divided this chapter into 3 sections for your convenience. Words in bold mark where the anchors lead to.

Quick Jump:
First section
Second section
Third section


Chapter 4

The clacking of the keyboard with her well-manicured nails can be heard throughout the house. Mdm. Sweet perspired feverishly, her breathing in short spurts as she tried to meet the deadline set by her manager. “By 12 midnight, it has to be sent to London. Otherwise, you’re in for a nasty treat,” the warning of her boss echoed in her mind repeatedly.

“Otherwise, you’re in for a nasty treat,” the words once again rang in her mind.

She mouthed a silent no. She shook the thoughts out of her mind and concentrated on finishing up her company’s weekly report which has to be sent to the head company in London by midnight tonight. She hurled insults to herself.

“Why must I catch that useless soap opera that doesn’t make any sense at all! I could have instead used the time to do this stinking report,” she whined.

‘During the Friday meeting, two staffs failed to turn up for the important discussion regarding the change of the company’s policy effective January 2007. During the meeting, our branch manager stressed on the zero tolerance policy the company will adopt on late arrival to work.’

These words appeared on the screen as she swiftly typed them out. She stole a quick glance at the clock shown at her computer’s taskbar. Only an hour and a half left before the dreaded twelve o’ clock. And she’s already burnt out.

Reluctantly, Mdm. Sweet forced herself to recall the important points that were stressed during the meeting deemed compulsory to all. She regretted that she did not pay much attention to her boss’s blabbering; only twirling her pen and her hain throughout most of the meeting. To her, meetings are dreadfully boring. And the head is pretty old-fashioned too. Can’t he just pass carbon-copies of the agendas to staff by means of e-mail? Or even better, hold teleconferencing. It would be so much better and effective. Why, she can even have private chats with her colleagues while the meeting was going on.

“I should have taken notes during the meeting. Or ask Susan, the secretary, to give me a photocopy of the minutes. The boss’s stupid! Hold NetMeeting instead on MSN! I can at least save the whole meeting, and there wouldn’t be any need to trouble Susan!”

“Meetings are too formal; no wonder they are so dreadfully boring!” She laughed at her thoughts.

She resumed typing out the report. Not a few minutes have passed before she grumbled in frustration. She could not recall at all what happened in the second hour of the meeting. She wanted to call Susan and ask her to fax over the minutes, but she did not want to trouble her at this hour.

She stared at the screen thoughtfully. Her mind was now like an empty shell. Like they say, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, and soon distracting thoughts began to cloud up her mind: watch late-night movies, go online and surf the Wonderful World of Web, go to the bar and get a drink, go and bother Kinderella. She smiled wickedly as she thought of her “dear” step-son Kinderella who was fast asleep in his tiny claustrophobic bedroom.

Why not? It was not like she is bothering him. That stupid blinking fellow would be too sleepy to do anything, and he is able to trail after her every demand hoping that he could get his beauty sleep after that. Oh, how she loved to look at that sleepy head’s confused expression!

“Sure, I’m sadistic. But I love that form of entertainment!” she said bemused.

She rose up from her chair and tiptoed past her children’s bedroom as quietly as a cat. She would have stomped on the ground like an elephant if her children Dean and Aesop were not at home, just to wake Kinderella up. Mdm. Sweet stood by her step-son’s door, and with swift motions she knocked very hard on his door.

Kinderella was sleeping soundly on the warm, carpeted floor. There was simply no place to even put a small bed, so one can imagine how small his room really was. He was having a pleasant dream. He dreamt that he had won the annual national Christmas lottery and got himself a million dollars. He threw some of his money around the streets while people crowd around to get on their hands on the flying papers which make their world go round.

He was laughing his way to the bank when his path was blocked by his own step-brother Aesop. He pitied Aesop when he saw him crying with tears streaking down his face. Aesop was frail and anorexic, and his jet-black hair which was full of lush was now thinning.

He cupped his hands together and whispered in a hoarse voice, “Kinderella, please! I’m sorry to what I have done to you over the years. Forgive me! Have a heart, please, and be so kind as to spare me some of your money.”

Kinderella gave him a look of disgust. “Why should I? You tortured me over the years, and now you want the victim to help you? I think not.”

Kinderella walked away. Aesop called out to him with his weak voice, “Please, I beg you!”

“Oh alright!” Kinderella fished out a dollar from his pocket. “Here, take this. And don’t ever ask from me again.”

“Thank you! Thank you! You don’t know how much this means to me.” His step-brother’s face brightened up and he kissed his money fervourously.

Kinderella laughed, and continued laughing his way to the bank when suddenly, a door dropped from the sky as he was climbing up the steps to the bank. Puzzled, he opened the door and suddenly, a multitude of knocking sounds filled his senses. He covered both his ears in agony and the lottery money began to spill out from him.

Kinderella woke up from his weird dream. He was panting heavily and both his palms were sweaty. The annoying knocking sound continued. The confused Kinderella then realised a few seconds later that it came from his door. He quickly got off and opened the door, wondering what the queen wanted him to do again so late into the night.

He gave a big yawn, and quickly covered his mouth when he was face to face with a woman who was impatiently tapping her foot on the ground. He quickly straightened himself up, and politely asked Mdm. Sweet what she wanted him to do.

“What took you so long to answer the door? I’ve got a report I’m rushing on.”

Kinderella shuffled his feet and while his eyes are trained on the ground, he told his step-mother that he would open the door faster the next time.

“You better!” hissed his step-mother. “Make me coffee, extra-strong. Quick!” she snapped her fingers.

Kinderella nodded and nodded and quickly slink out of sight into the kitchen. He brewed her favourite ginseng coffee for her. He wondered himself how the ginseng can make the coffee taste so complete. He put a few teaspoons of the coffee powder into a cup and filled it with lukewarm water. He then poured the coffee over the strainer into another mug. He added some condensed milk to it and stirred it a few times before serving it to Mdm. Sweet.

He placed the mug on the computer table. “Here’s the coffee you asked for,” said Kinderella. He rolled his eyes while thinking to himself why couldn’t she do it herself.

Mdm. Sweet looked at the nicely-prepared coffee and she nodded her head. Very nicely, she thanked Kinderella. He was taken aback by her sudden niceness and stared at her. Mdm. Sweet realised her mistake and she slapped herself on her cheek. Maybe I’m not myself now, she reassured.

“The biscuits? Where are my biscuits?” she asked disdainfully. Kinderella was still unable to overcome the sudden change in her attitude and continued to stare at her rudely.

“What are you doing? Don’t just stand there and look at me! Fetch me the cookies!” Kinderella nodded apprehensively and he went to the pantry and got the biscuits she wanted. He placed some in a plate and served it to her.

Once seeing the biscuits, she smiled in content and shooed Kinderella off with a wave of her hand. Kinderella got back in his room without any further questions asked. He laid himself on the floor and tried to get back to sleep. For quite some time, he remembered tossing and turning on the floor before he sort of wavered off into slumber. The question still stayed on his mind though. Why did his dear “most of the time evil” step-mother suddenly became nice to him? Has some friendly ghost possessed her mind at that short time? Or has her guilty conscience finally caught up to her? That prominent question stayed on his mind the whole time he was awake thinking, until those thoughts themselves start to wear him out.

The winter sun has just risen, and its sunlight filtered through the dusty windows. The rays hit Kinderella’s eyes, and slowly, he opened his eyes and he took some time to let his eyes adjust to the sudden brightness of the room. He rubbed his eyes hard with his hands and he woke up. His vision was a bit dizzy and he placed his hands gently on his forehead.

“No, I’m not sick,” he told himself, “So why am I feeling so tired?”

He stood there wondering for a few minutes. He suddenly pointed out his index finger. “Of course! That woman wanted me to cater to her whims and whams again. She wanted me to make her coffee. No wonder I feel kind of worn out.”

He did some rather vigorous exercise in his room before going out to prepare breakfast for the day. That’s when it hit him. It was winter, and the sun doesn’t shine until eight in the morning. He rushed to the kitchen and began cracking and beating an egg while he poured milk for himself as his jumpstart breakfast.

He has not brushed his teeth yet, nor has he taken his shower. But in this household, it is a matter of life and death. And he values his life although some people are jeopardising his. He quickly dunk down the milk, and resumed cooking the pancake.

He sifted the flour, baking powder and salt while he mixed the milk with the beaten egg. He got out a frying pan, added some oil to it and then turned on the gas and lit it. Kinderella proceeded to add the egg and milk to the flour mixture in a big blue bowl and stirred them with a spatula until they are completely smooth. He added some melted butter to them and stirred again. He then poured some of the mixture over the frying pan and cooked them. When he noticed the sides getting brown, he flipped the pancake over. The greasy oil sizzled as the pancake was cooking. A couple of flips here and there, and it was done. A fresh hot pancake was guaranteed for breakfast. He continued to add more batter to the frying pan until five mouth-watering brown pancakes sat on the serving platter, tempting anyone to sink his teeth into it.

He poured some milk for his family members and set the plates, eating utensils, the pancakes and the glasses of milk beautifully on the table. He let the pancake cool for a while. He then went to the bathroom and followed his everyday morning routine. He brushed his teeth, gargled his mouth and washed his face. He then stripped out of his clothes and took a nice, warm shower. He took the opportunity to enjoy this morning luxury before his start off slaving around the house.

“La la la la la…”

He reached out his hand and tried to feel the soap bar. He only touched nothing but air. Someone must have moved it elsewhere in the bathroom, Kinderella thought. He ceased his humming and drew open the shower curtain.

He faced a grotesque face which immediately made him scream.




Kinderella closed the shower curtain with one swift motion and immediately faced himself towards the wall. “What are you doing here?” he shuddered.

“Yo, brother, you look horrendous! Anyway, you didn’t lock the door, so I thought the toilet was unoccupied. I just came in. Little did I know some Adonis is taking a shower. You scared the shit out of me you know that?” said Dean.

“You were the one who scared the bejabbers out of me!” shouted Kinderella back.

“Come on now, who wants to look at your ugly naked form?” Dean chuckled.

Kinderella’s face was flushed red. He never felt so embarrassed in his life before. Now this is what he really can call invasion of privacy, and he hated his brother for that. “Can you please get out now?” croaked Kinderella.

“Hahaha! I will, Kinder, I will! Thanks for spicing up my morning!” Dean left the bathroom and laughed his way out.

When Kinderella heard the door clicked shut, he immediately turned off the shower tap, dried himself with his favourite Mickey Mouse towel and he wrapped the towel over his waist. He was about to get his clothes when he caught sight of himself in the fogged mirror. He turned on the tap of the sink and washed some water over the mirror.

He stared at his own reflection and his body, and asked himself, “Am I really that ugly and horrendous like what Dean said?”

Kinderella began to feel a bit insecure about his looks, and the more he looked at himself, he began to observe more of his imperfections. He brushed away his light brown hair, and he noted the few pimples that dotted here and there on his youthful face. He stared at his skinny torso and his flat stomach and chest which were not chiselled unlike some of the boys he saw at school. He sighed. Shaking his head in dismay, he lifted up his arm and bent it, and using he free hand, he squeezed his biceps. He smiled. At least he has got some muscles there. Suddenly, a figure loomed over him while he was busy checking himself out. Kinderella put a hand over his heart as he reeled in from his second shock of the day.

A topless Dean smirked at him. “Ugly, yet vain.” He tsked, and shoved his useless step-brother out of his way. Kinderella quickly picked up his clothes and walked off. He admired the masculinity of Dean, yet he felt that his own step-brother is not worthy of such masculinity.

Kinderella walked towards the kitchen and was about to get his share of breakfast when his nose picked up an aromatic smell. He smiled in delight, thinking that the pancakes he had just cooked still remained hot and delicious. As he stepped into the kitchen, he realised that it was not his pancakes’ smell. He was silenced to his third shock of the day when he saw Mdm. Sweet cooking up some bacon while Aesop toasted bread.

“Ma? Why are you cooking bacons? Didn’t you see the pancakes on the table?” Kinderella pointed his index finger to the dining table.

“Kinderella, oh sweet Kinderella! You don’t cook pancakes for breakfast. It’s winter now and it’s chilly, we need more fat so that we can burn more energy to keep ourselves warm!” replied Mdm. Sweet as she tenderised some bacon while cooking some in the frying pan.

“Where are the pancakes?” asked Kinderella who was clearly insulted that no one had eaten his food.

“Oh, I told Aesop to feed it to the neighbour’s cats.” Mdm. Sweet looked at Kinderella and gave him a smile, a smile so sweet that it was disgusting itself.

Kinderella gasped. His well-prepared breakfast was instead used to fill a cat’s appetite? He could feel himself suddenly feeling a little light-headed. He approached Aesop, and asked him why his breakfast was being fed to a cat instead of them.

Aesop looked at his mother for a few seconds, and when he was sure that his mother was concentrating earnestly on her cooking, he pulled Kinderella towards the side, and whispered quickly in his ear, “Actually, I didn’t feed your pancakes to the cat. Look in the bin.”

Kinderella could swear his eyeballs did pop slightly out from their sockets when he heard the words. He stared at Aesop incredulously, and he asked him again, “Why did you do that?”

“It wasn’t my idea! Ma asked me to!”

“Ma?” asked Kinderella again, “but why?”

“She said that she is bored of eating pancakes every single day. So she decided that today was the best day for a change in breakfast. She asked me to throw them away into the bin since neither Dean nor I wanted to eat them. We can’t take them anyway!”

Kinderella croaked, “And you did so?”

Aesop nodded earnestly. Kinderella pushed him aside and plucked up the courage to confront his step-mother. It was an insult to him that she decided to throw away his wonderfully-cooked breakfast, just because she found it boring.

“By the way, your pancakes suck!” said Aesop in a hoarse voice.

Kinderella ignored Aesop’s unruly remark, and he tapped his step-mother on her shoulder. “What?”

“Why did you lie to me?”

“Lie to you about what?”

“The pancakes?” Kinderella went to the bin and pressed on the pedal. The bin cover went up and revealed its contents of five messy pancakes.

“Oh. I’m sorry, honey. But I am so sick of your stupid pancakes! Is that all you can cook for us every single breakfast, at every single morning?! Do you have any idea how it drives your brothers and I up the wall every single time we taste the same things? Can’t you cook some other things?” Mdm. Sweet asked rudely.

“Of course I can! Just tell me, I can do it. I’m your slave,” Kinderella made sure that he emphasised the word ‘slave’, “to boss around! Thanks a lot, Ma!”

“You’ll be sorry you said that!” chimed Aesop.

“Maybe you should eat the bacons so that you know what breakfast can really taste like!” shouted Mdm. Sweet.

“Forget it! I think I lost my appetite for the day!” Kinderella stormed into his room and slammed the door shut and tight. He cannot believe how terribly unfair he was treated by his family members. He kept asking himself the same question. Why him? Why was he picked on always?

Kinderella lain himself on the floor and bitterly thought again of those times when he was treated harshly. As he recalled those bitter and sour moments, he blinked momentarily and unconsciously let his tears drop on the carpeting. Of all the people, he was made to suffer, a teen slave to put it aptly. He knew he himself do not deserve it, why did he subject himself to follow their orders. He was not destined to be a slave! He is a teenager who was supposed to have some freedom and individual rights.

Many a times, he wanted to rebel against the “despots” of the house, yet he dare not himself. God knows when he does that, he will only land himself for more tortures and shameful humiliation. He pressed his hands together, and he prayed hard. He shut his eyes and said a prayer, hoping that someone up there can hear them and ease some of his miseries. Despite all what had happened to him, he never gave up his faith in God. He knows that one day, he will be saved and be freed.

After some time of prayer, he grabbed one of the comics which were scattered around his cramped room and proceeded to read it. He flipped through the pages and managed to stifle a giggle or two before he tossed the book on the floor. He always found laughter an escape from his screwed up life but unfortunately, it served as a temporary solution.

Pretty soon, Kinderella heard an engine sound of a school bus. He sighed. How he longed to get back to school once again. He was forced to drop out of high school when he finished Year 11 because according to his step-mother, they have limited finances to pay for his school fees. He could not proceed to the prestigious sixth form private college, and worse still he was barred from entering public sixth form schools due to reasons given by his step-mother which he found to be pretty lame.

It was a shame really because he was actually one of the brightest students in his class. Unfortunately, his academic performances fail to meet the expectations of Mdm. Sweet, and she would seek out to find ways to punish him for not getting ridiculously high grades for his subjects. Kinderella blinked away the tears that were forming in his eyes. He told himself that he will resume his education if he could manage to escape his hell dictated by his very own step-mother.

Kinderella unwarily dozed off to slumber, and was awakened by the knocking on his door.

“Kinderella! When I get back from work, you have better cleaned the house. Or else…”

Without waiting for a reply, Mdm. Sweet donning an azure blouse left Kinderella’s door. “Tap, tap, tap, tap…” went her black stilettos as she walked on the wooden floor. Kinderella waited until he heard the front door shut, or rather slammed. He then waited until the sound of the engine roar to life, and the blue Ford car slowly reversed out into the driveway and out to the street. With a screech of the tyres, the sports car zoomed off into the distance, sending an evil, cruel and heartless Empress Dowager off to work.

Kinderella opened his door, and peeked left and right to ensure the house was not haunted by an apparition of his step-mother’s twin sister. To Kinderella, it never hurts to be paranoid; in fact, it is better to be paranoid than sorry, because sorry can be really cruel.

Kinderella stretched his arms wide, and off he went to do his daily chores around the White residence.

(Catch Chapter 5 soon! Comments and criticisms very much welcomed =). Thanks for reading!)

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