Rambling about books

Book review: Fatherland, by Robert Harris

It is April 1964 and one week before Hitler’s 75th birthday. Xavier March, a detective of the Kriminalpolizei, is called out to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a lake near Berlin’s most prestigious suburb. As March discovers the identity of the body, he uncovers signs of a conspiracy that could go to the very top of the German Reich. And, with the Gestapo just one step behind, March, together with an American journalist, is caught up in a race to discover and reveal the truth – a truth that has already killed, a truth that could topple governments, a truth that will change history. Goodreads.

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#FictionFriday

#FictionFriday: The shop.

The first thing she noticed was the sky, how it turned to a lovely hue of blue but gradually turned into dark grey. Slowly the clouds are congregating, as if they have a meeting to attend high up in the sky. The next come the pitter patter of rain hitting her wind breaker. Slowly she brought out her green umbrella. Standing motionlessly under the rain, she can hear all the droplets of water clearly, she can feel the wind blowing, and most of all she can feel the thunder brewing high above the sky waiting patiently to unleash its sound and light.

Slowly the lights began to flicker, illuminating what once was a crowded street but now empty due to the falling rain. She walked slowly, trying to enjoy the splashing of rain around her, the smell of rain if there is one, the flashes of thunder and the quiet street. The slow walk might have something to do with her anxiety over where she was supposed to be fifteen minutes ago.

There was a shop at the end of the road, and they had a Christmas tree set up, complete with twinkling lights that serves its purpose as fake snow. A Christmas tree on a July? The shopkeeper must have gone mad, she thought to herself. For what other reasons could there be for a shop to set a up a Christmas tree five months before the actual Christmas? And yet she can’t help herself from stopping in front of the shop and just stare at the twinkling lights. She pull out her left hand from under the umbrella and felt the rain had wet her hands. She hoped that the water might have turned into snow soon. A foolish wish, she knew.

The door to the shop was open, she was startled, she lost her balance a bit, she thought she was going to fell on her backside, but a pair of bony hands shoot out and pull her up straight in time.

“Oh, dear me. Did I startled you, young Lady?”

The owner of the bony hands was a lady with an all black clothes, from her immaculate top hat to her pointy boots are black. She cannot decipher how old the lady was. She seemed ancient, but young at the same time too, if she were to judge by the strength of the bony hands that pull her up straight.

“Oh not really, I was just lost in thoughts from staring at your Christmas tree. It’s gorgeous,” she manage to say, “but, why a Christmas tree? Christmas is still quite far away.”

“Oh dear, this is not a Christmas tree. Surely you can see this is not even a pine tree. This, my dear, is the tree of wishes. Each sparkling lights you see here represent people’s deepest wish. When someone wishes for something, strongly wished for something, sometimes, we are alerted of it and we try to locate that person and help them grant their wish,” the Lady was speaking in such a soothing tone to her ears, “I would love to chat with you but I am needed somewhere else. Have a good day, dear.”

She stood there, slowly shaking her head as she watched the Lady walked purposefully followed a black cat. Oh, surely whatever this shop is, the owner and whoever works there have gone mad. Tree of wishes? Whatever happened to this world?

With that thoughts in mind, she drags herself slowly trying to locate her destination. The rain grew harder and she doesn’t feel like walking anymore. She saw a bench, she didn’t care about the wetness of it, she was going to sit on it because she doesn’t feel like walking anymore, and so she sat down.

“I think I’m supposed to find you, clearly you’re the only person wandering around in this deserted street. Everyone else has gone inside a building, either to keep themselves warm or just to keep themselves dry until the rain stop. So, tell me dear, are you the one I’m looking for?”

She was close to screaming when she heard it. She thought a cat was saying those things to her. There was a cat in front of her, looking at her with tilted head. The cat has the shiniest black fur she had ever seen. Strangely the fur doesn’t seem to be wet. Thankfully, she realised that it wasn’t the cat that was talking to her, it was the Lady from the shop with the Christmas tree. She was not going to call that tree of wishes, she is not mad, yet.

“I’m sorry, what?” Her question came out like a squeaky mouse if ever a squeaky mouse can talk.

As the Lady took up the seat next to her, she said, “Well, I did tell you about how we go out and try to help people when they have wishes to be granted. We’re like a genie but without the hassle of living in a bottle and wait until some poor soul rub their grimy hands on the bottle. I was told to find a girl who would be wandering around the street, I was told she would joining us in training. Since there’s no one here except for the both of us, and Jimmy the Cat here, I assume you’re the one that I need to found.”

“Again, I’m sorry, what?”

“Oh for goodness sake, mate. I don’t get paid enough to go around and be inspirational and shit and whatever. Look, Are you or are you not Emily Henderson? And do you or do you not wish to join the Fidelia Greenwod Witchcraft?”

“Oh yes. To both questions, I mean.”

“Well, let’s get a move on then. We were waiting for you. I’m a witch but it doesn’t mean my clothes can’t get wet and honestly, the water from this bench is seeping up my knickers already.”

 

Impromptu writing

Impromptu writing: I fear for her.

I fear for her.

I dread the day that golden eyes shine no more.

I dread the day that face would scrunch no more.

I fear for her.

What if she no longer comes when I called for her?

What if she no longer there when I need to hug her?

I fear for her.

I do not wish her to be alone.

I do not wish her to groan.

I fear for her.

She deserves more.

She deserves to soar.

I fear for her,

for I will be gone

and it would feel like eon.

I fear for her,

but I fear for myself more.

If the end should come,

I see myself turning numb.


Jakarta, 15 June 2017

#FictionFriday

Twisted lies we tell ourselves.

A/n: Not posted on Friday, I know, but I swear it was written on Friday. So it’s still FictionFriday, right? Yeah, it is.


“Where is she?”

“She said she’s on her way to Nan’s place.”

“What? Why?”

“Because Dad is picking her up.”

“And how does that explains anything?”

“I don’t know, mate. I hung up the moment I realised I was not going to have a proper conversation with her. I haven’t had breakfast to deal with confusing conversation this morning.”


What I would give to have my Saturday just lounging around, but here I am waiting for my brother at the ER. He was complaining of chest pain, he fears he might be having a heart attack, which is completely bogus if you ask me but then again heart failure thing runs in the family so there might be some truth into it somewhere.

We were told by our eldest brother that our Mum was to come and meet my younger brother and I at the hospital. I honestly don’t know what to do in a hospital. I’m fairly healthy most of the time, ergo I really am a complete utter trash right now. I really need a proper adult in dealing with the administrative things.

“You know, I just don’t get it. I’m sure Sean said something about Mum coming here after her lunch was done. Why is she going to Nan’s place?”

“Honestly, it’s like you don’t know Mum.”

“I mean I get that that Dad picked her up and he might want to go to Nan’s place, but can’t she just tell Dad that I’m in the ER? I’m sure Dad didn’t know about me being in the ER.”

“I’m pretty sure she didn’t even bother telling Dad about it. Probably she just went sulking about, which is just completely idiotic because how the hell Dad would have known that you’re in the ER. I didn’t call him or anything, neither does Sean, I’m sure.”

“You know, it’s not like I need her here. You’re doing fine so far, it’s just that she promised she was going to come. She can’t just bail out like that, and we wouldn’t even know had you not called her just now.”

“Again, it’s like you don’t know Mum.”

“Are you pissed that you have to be here and taking care of me? I mean, you could be excused if Mum is here.”

“Surprisingly, as much as I’d rather be at home and sipping on tea, I don’t mind being here. It’s just that I’m miffed because she’s not committing to her commitment to us. She made the commitment to come here before Dad told her they were going to Nan’s place. She could have either told that you’re in the ER or just straight up told Dad she promised to come here. I mean, we all know Dad’s priorities in life are a bit messed up. Pretty sure he would still go to Nan’s place whether or not you’re in the ER.”

“Forget it, I’m probably discharged soon anyway.”

“I’m just up to meeting her when she’s back from Nan’s place. She’s always pissed every time she came back from Nan’s place. She always does, you know. And then she gon’ be telling me about she’s pissed that Dad ruined her plan to come here by bringing her to Nan’s place. Like I said, pretty sure she didn’t even tell Dad she promised to meet us here. So, technically she brought it on herself now that she’s stuck at Nan’s place.”

“Why would she do that?”

“Because she has crazy ass need to have constant drama in her life. She needs to have something and/or someone to blame for things that didn’t go right.”

“Gosh, that’s.. twisted of her.”

“I think it runs in the family. Have you seen how dramatic Sean was last week when he proposed Kim?”


“Hi Mr Chavis, so how are you feeling right now? Still experiencing chest pain?”

“No, I think it has lessen after that tablet you gave me, Doc.”

“Alright, I’m going to write you some prescriptions and then you’ll be discharged. Is this your brother? I need you to wait in the waiting room for the prescription and the discharged papers.”

“Yeah, sure, so what’s wrong with my brother?”

“Oh it’s his gastric acid. Mr Chavis here haven’t been having proper meal at proper times. Sometimes when your gastric acid escalates rapidly, you either throw it up or it suppress your chest causing some chest pain and trouble breathing. Nothing to serious, but he would need to pay attention on his meal and to take enough rest.”


“See what I mean with it runs in the family? Heart attack, my arse. It’s your damn gastric acid, son.”

#RetrospectSeries

May: in retrospect

Ah I see I have become lazy in doing the Retrospect Series. Might it have something to do with my usual laziness or I just seem to have many things to be done, but it’s obvious I am doing nothing about it? Hmm. Don’t matter. What matter is that it is only two months (is it? Or is it three? One in a half?) until my departure, and it’s getting eerily real. I really should start packing and everything, but I haven’t. I haven’t even made a list of things I should bring. I have been just living my days as if nothing is about to change. Talk about being responsible, eh?

I did have some major things done actually during May. I did my medical check-up, psychometric test, got my passport, but what I didn’t do is actually submitting the much needed documents for the actual moving away. I have been putting it off for as long as I can remember. I had all the documents prepared, but I feel like to actually submit the said documents is to seal my fate and I’m not sure I’m ready to go.

I think I am just scared, but I never actually acknowledge the feeling, for to acknowledge one’s fear is to bring it to life and I really don’t need anymore distractions than I can handle.

That being said, I did have several panic attacks throughout May, but I handled it just fine.

Now, what else does May means to me?

I think May was that one trail that leads you to the rickety old bridge. You knew where the trail would lead you, you’re scared if it but you keep on going anyway, knowing that it is the only way out of your misery. I think May is here to prepare me for June, because by the time June ends I will be crossing the bridge of no return. Come July, I really don’t have any other reason but to seal my fate to move to Colombia. Gosh, dramatic aren’t I? I mean, we’re not even halfway through June and I’m already sweating over July.

Yep, I can feel my panic attack creeping up on me.

Oh, I also have been taking Spanish class, so that counts as something good amongst the many panic attack I’ve been having since May, right?

Yeah.

Rambling about books

Book review: Touch, by Claire North

This was the book that I should have read before The Sudden Appearance of Hope, but by some wrong calculation, I end up reading this after the said book. On hindsight, it was actually a favourable mistake; whilst I do enjoy The Sudden Appearance of Hope, I have to say that it still doesn’t hold a candle against The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, while this one right here do come quite close on par. No, seriously, this book is so good! Everything about it is amazing! I have no complaint whatsoever.

Continue reading “Book review: Touch, by Claire North”