I’m back, yet again. It’s definitely not the first time I’ve let my blog rot away. There were times when I did not blog for a month or two. But at almost five months, this is by far the longest I’ve been away from my blog.
There’s two reasons for this absence. First, I was President of a student society for International and Exchange students in Sydney University. It’s called Unimates. I did mention Unimates a couple of times here. For the past five months or so, I was so damn hyper-focused on Unimates that I didn’t have much for anything else. Then of course, there’s coursework and other campus activities. Anyway, I’ve officially stepped down last Thursday.
The second reason – and this is the main reason – is that I was sick and tired of blogging. I could have used the excuse that being a President of a student society was time draining. But then that would be an easy cop out. I was Vice-President last semester and even though I was busy, I still manage to blog on a monthly basis.
But it seemed this year I had no will to blog. I wouldn’t say I stop blogging completely. I did wrote a few blog post for my society’s blog. But then, that’s a society’s blog and as the then-current President, there’s a limit to how much you can say, although I did try to take certain liberties (ahem).
But yes, I was tired of blogging. I could have continue blogging, but then it’ll be nothing but boring fillers: “Beloved Blog, today my friend was a judgmental nincompoop. I shall cease any correspondence with this offending and odious person. BAH!” Well, you get the idea. Still, it’s not that I have nothing to write about. I do. But sometimes it’s harder to get it onto the screen and get your ideas across to the readers. And to be honest, I make a very horrible blogger. I promised to write a blog advert for this Singaporean upstart back in February and I never got to it. And then there’s Mike Thomas’s film that I promised to write about it way back in October.
Yes, I’m a shithead. Or as I mentioned, an offending and odious person.
So I’m back. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I’ve put too much investment into this blog to let it really, really rot away. And now that I’m no longer President of Unimates, maybe I’ll have more time to rant about random stuff.
But this post is not about random rants. This post is about the sequel to the very short story called The Second Last Week. I wrote it last year for one of the Unimates’ event. It was supposed to be a short event description for the final Unimates event (a dinner party) and it somehow turned into a very short story. You can read it here.
The sequel to The Second Last Week is for the exact same event, only eight months later. This Unimates dinner party actually took place last Friday. When I was writing the event description, I thought it would be fun to write a sequel. So I banged out another very short story.
The Second Last Week has influences from the 1998 film Six-String Samurai to Kevin Smith’s Dogma. And it also placed Global Financial Crisis and the University of Sydney Union’s membership pricing in a humorous context. The sequel still references to Six-String Samurai but I’ve changed the rest. I was slightly more heavy-handed in terms of pop-culture referencing in the sequel. Anyway, enough jabbering on my part. Read on.
The Second Last Week (A Sequel)
You sit up and look around. The surrounding landscape stretches out before you, barren and undulating. A tree or two, grow out from the ground cracked by centuries of heat. The trees’ barks are roasted to the colour black.
“What…” a hoarse sound escapes from your mouth.
You remember dying at the hands of Lord Exam. The brief pain when his blade severed your head from your body. And the sweet, sweet darkness that you succumbed to. And afterwards…
A small fragment of memory is floating around. You push through the fogginess of your brain and try to reach it. So close. The memory of laughter, of food, of drinks. But where did these memories come from?
You look around again. There are no sign of your guitar and samurai sword. You look up, shielding your eyes from the blinding sun, and see, for the first time, a red gash on the sky. That’s odd, you thought, you don’t remember seeing that there.
“Are you lost?” a smooth, baritone voice shatters the desert silence.
You half turn and see a strange-looking creature, with dirty, matted orange fur, staring at you.
“I, er, I can’t remember.”
The creature raises an eyebrow quizzically. It continues staring at you with its dark green eyes. Slowly, it circles around you, its right hand casually resting on the hilt of a small sword.
“You cannot remember if you are lost?”
You eye it warily. The creature could be a marauder. They were frequent in the desert. But then, it didn’t look like any marauder you’ve seen before.
“Where am I?” you cough, the words sandpapering your throat as they left your mouth. “Is this the Mojave Desert?”
The creature stops pacing. “Mojave Desert? No, my friend, this is the Red Waste.”
“I’m sorry, but I seem to be suffering from amnesia. I don’t remember being your friend.”
The creature hisses. “It is a mark of courtesy. Unless, you would like to have the honour of becoming my enemy.”
Small as the creature was, it looks as if it handled its fair share of battles. Furthermore, the creature was armed.
“I’m sorry if I’ve offended you. I remembered being killed by Lord Exam. The last memory I had was laughter, and weirdly enough, of food and drinks too.”
“And who is this Lord Exam?”
“He is…” you pause. Lord Exam, Lord Assignments, and Lady Projects were the most fearsome of marauders. How could the creature not know the tripartite of Doom?
“Hold on, where am I?”
“As I have mentioned, you are in the Red Waste. To be more precise, we are in the Red Waste,” the baritone reply resonates through the desert.
For such a small creature, it sure has a deep voice.
“I know, but I mean, what is this place? I remembered I was in the United States.”
“United States? I do not know where that is. But no, my friend, you are in the land of Essos.”
The creature sighs and rubs its forehead. “Yes, the land of Essos. The land of the Free Cities. The land of the Dothraki Sea. The land of the once mighty empire, Valyrian Freehold.”
You blink at the creature, confused.
“Clearly I have not managed to enlighten you. I hope that you will regain your memory. But for the time, we must continue walking. The Mother of Dragons will be here soon, and she wants my head.”
“The Mother of Dragons?”
“Ah yes, a very beautiful woman. Her eyes are pools of lavender, while her hair shone with the white of the moon. I promised to wed her, but wanderlust took over me and I escaped from the City of Qarth.”
You stare at the creature.
“Clearly you do not believe me. But now it is not the time to convince you. Come, we must continue our journey. Can you walk?”
You slowly get onto your feet, stretching the tensed muscles. Apart from a sore backside, your body is still in good condition. Taking a few unsteady steps, you stroll beside the creature. You did not realize how small the creature is. The top of its hat barely reaches the height of your kneecap.
“By the way, what’s the red thing in the sky?”
The creature looks up, the wide brim of its floppy hat shielding its green eyes from the sun.
“I have heard many stories in Qarth. Some say that it is the Dragons’ comet. Some say, war is coming. But the most frequent story I have heard is that the gods are angry.”
“The gods are angry? With whom?”
“I do not know. But the tale is that someone was kicked out from the realm of the gods after failing to pay for a meal.”
That sounds familiar. But you have no idea where you have heard that tale before.
“I see. That’s an odd tale.”
“It is. But I do not believe in these stories from Qarth.”
“I’m sorry but I don’t think we’ve introduced ourselves. I would have gave you mine if I remembered it”
The creature smiles. With flourish, the creature doffs its wide, floppy hair and gives a deep bow.
“My name is Puss-In-Boots. It is a pleasure to meet you in the Red Waste.”
“And it is my pleasure too.”
“Come, my friend. The Red Waste is a treacherous desert and we are a long way to the City of Braavos.”
Above, the red gash glowers from the sky.