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.