The Door and Out

It is plainly painted with cream. Its bristled roughness and sharp edges show an appearance of toughness yet its slenderness gives away its vulnerability. The surface, lined with vertical bristles, is like a vast highway with heavy traffic of parallel vehicles. The handle, like a stout and narrow bronze goblet, is cold to the touch.

I see a boy. A tall one. He’s standing upright and in the background is a symmetrical, cone-shaped mountain. The sky is bright and almost a perfect blue except for a few passing feathery clouds. Strangely, at his foot is a small hill of what seem like crumpled sheets of paper. I begin to step out of the door and hear the crisp sound of the grass beneath my feet. The roar of a vehicle from a distance has seemed to cue the bird above my head to cheep and chirp. I try to catch sight of the vehicle but find an empty sandy road. I gaze back at the crumpled sheets at the boy’s feet. I make out a huge “50%” text printed in red on a glossy paper.

The field is an expansive pasture of short but fearlessly sharp yellow-green grass. The heat of the sun is mild but as I walk around, I feel the rays of sunlight gently prick the back of my neck—so gentle that it’s tickling. I try to look straight at the sun but it’s too conscious—or cautious—to let me glance at its glow. Every time I turn my eyes on it, the sun immediately shoots diamonds of piercing rays directly to my eyes. And I immediately, involuntarily, turn away. I seek the shade of a huge mango tree at the side of the road. It’s a small road. Some vehicles pass occasionally. I cling onto the robust trunk of the tree and look around. No houses. No other people except for—


I look behind me and the boy that was standing blankly outside the door is now here. He slides his hand around my waist and I don’t struggle in any way against it. I turn to face him and now I feel his breath against my forehead. I breathe in his breath which smells like warm steel.

“Where do you want to go next?” He asks me.

“I don’t care as long as you carry me,” I tease.

He lightly pinches my nose and giggles. Now, he’s full of life. Then, he squats and takes my arms onto his shoulders and almost instinctively, I jump and hang onto his back like a baby koala. He starts to run and the wind blows excitedly on my face.


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