High-Rise Litterbug

WEDNESDAY is the happiest day of the week for Hsien Wei. He gets home at 2pm, instead of the usual 4pm, sometimes even 5pm. Last Wednesday, however, was not a happy day, far from it. The last anyone saw him conscious was Uncle Wan and his five-year-old granddaughter, Jenny, his neighbors four doors away. They waved hello and goodbye to him just by the playground beside their Jurong East home at Block 421.

Hsien Wei, as usual, was walking briskly, excited at the prospect of a quick lunch and then a few rounds of “League of Legends.” Just as he was about to step into the void deck, a bottle came crashing down on him. He collapsed, his left cheek pressed against the ground and his neck whipped grotesquely backwards. His arms were sprawled out and his backpack weighed down on his crumpled body. 

His short-cropped hair was soon soaked in blood. Jenny screamed: “No! Oh dear, no, Ye Ye! What’s happened to Gor Gor Hsien Wei?” Then, she burst out crying. The scene was too much for her. Indeed, it would have been too much for anyone as well. Who would have imagined a bottle coming right down on Hsien Wei’s head? Those killer litter stories always happened to someone else, but never someone close to you. But now that Hsien Wei lay motionless, Uncle Wan and little Jenny were speechless.

Poor Hsien Wei has been in a coma since that fateful Wednesday. The prognosis is not good. He suffered a fractured cranium and cerebral hemorrhage. A shard from the bottle had pierced his frontal lobe.

The police have arrested a young man, 27, who lives on the twenty-first floor. High-rise litterbug miscreant. Should Hsien Wei’s parents forgive him, like the man who forgave the litterbug teen who hurled a bicycle wheel that killed his mother? Who knows? But as far as Jenny was concerned, she knew deep in her heart she wouldn’t.

(334 words)

Faith Yang, Primary Four
February 2016

Also by Faith: Clean Up After Your MessCharred Onions and a Sooty Kitchen

This essay was written in response to the old exam style of four boxed pictures, the first three capturing a narrative, and the fourth a question mark. Picture #1: a boy waving hello to his neighbors by the playground, Picture #2: a bottle comes crashing down on him, Picture #3. he collapses and his neighbors rush towards him.

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