Cemetery Gates

There is a place that lies deep within the forest, where the children sleep through the morning lull and the midday sun. Past the cemetery gates, we see their tiny, silent homes that we call tombs.

From beneath the soil, they wake at night alone together. After all, no one really sleeps forever. The abandoned children of this earth roam free in the late hours, in their putrid shells of dry hardened skin.

Most people are clueless to the truth of this age-old myth. That is because small corpses have quiet feet. Some have feet so rotten they can hardly be called feet at all.

Those wise enough to suspect a little, they say, have never seen it with their own two eyes. If they had, their mind had chosen not to believe them. It is after all true, that humans are more often than not, willing cynics at heart.

Whether you believe it or not, the dead children walk. When the moon hangs high and the time comes, he rises. She rises, too. They all rise and yawn, letting their stale breath fill the air. A sharp ear can hear their jaws creak, as door hinges of old homes often do.

Samuel climbs out of his plot, sluggish like his (also) late Gramps, who lives in a different adult cemetery. His bones make an unsettling cracking noise as heavy mud slides off them. He is only seven. But to be fair, he has stayed seven for a rather long time. In fact, his death anniversary had begun right from his seventh birthday.

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Review: Sausage Party (2016)

Sausage Party (dir. Greg Tiernan & Conrad Vernon, 2016) – Some food products are about to learn the truth about their purpose.

Verdict

From the guys behind This is the End comes a predictably raunchy and often objectionable comedy, amusing for what it is.

3/5

Review

After eight years in gestation, the passion project of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg is finally born. Enter Pixar’s defective cousin Sausage Party, which will leave unsuspecting audiences audibly aghast and possibly outraged.

Somehow managing to land a willing investor, this sausage-starring rated animation turns out as raunchy and juvenile as what you would expect from Apatow’s Frat Pack. For the lot who knew what they were getting into, this kooky project works better than it should.

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Ghost of Days Gone By

I looked back at my home and for a while, could not pull myself away. Leaving was no easy thing to do. This was where I had spent four happy years together with my family, before everything fell apart.

But it was now or never, wasn’t it? Piotr will be home any minute now. If I saw him, I was not sure where I might find the strength to leave. Before he – or I – could change my mind, I got into the cab with my suitcase in the trunk.

At the airport lounge, I sank into the seat and parked my luggage at my feet. There was an hour to spare before my flight. Already, I am starting to wonder if it is the right thing to do, leaving my whole life behind without telling a soul. But I knew I could no longer stay in this place so full of painful memories. Even here.

Kara’s bubbly laughter still echoed so clearly in my mind. Our lives used to be so perfect, with nothing more I could ask for. How could everything have changed in just one day? What had I done to deserve losing my loving child? 

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Ravenous

Work has kept me away from writing this week. But I do want to keep my Postaweek series going. So I’m cheating with a story that I wrote a few years ago. In place of trigger warnings for the violence that lies ahead, I will instead quote one of my favourite authors Neil Gaiman:

“What we read as adults should be read, I think, with no warnings or alerts beyond, perhaps: enter at your own risk.”


Rain fell that night. Rafe and I drank from the dark skies for the first time in weeks. We embraced, but our smiles did not last. As comforting as the weather had been, it did put out the last of the fire we built. A makeshift tent was no match for wrathful winds either.

Where we eventually slept, or at least tried to, was on soft mud in a cold cave. Persistent hunger pangs woke me throughout this fitful night. My heart pounded as every brief moment of shuteye ended with dreadful nightmares. Rafe did worse, running a high fever after the downpour.

It had been two long weeks since our last meal – a doe with a pike through its tender neck. What little fighting chance it had against the strength of desperation. As Rafe roasted its flesh over the roaring fire, I mourned. Not for the doe, but for us. Every hunt had since turned up empty, each shorter than the last.

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Running from Shadows

The Black Wolf treads behind me. It keeps its pace, slow with patience and steady with purpose. My heart is palpitating, hurrying my tired feet that refuse to cooperate. After all, this tango with The Wolf is one that had gone on for far too long.

Ten years, to be exact. I was fourteen when I first came to know The Wolf. That night, I had been crying in the comfort of solitude, for reasons I could not really put into words. It was when I first felt its presence. The very moment I looked up, I saw it. Dark like a mere shadow, I had first thought it shapeless and perhaps, illusory.

But like all creatures, it grew to the point I could no longer ignore it. What I had deemed a shadow, had gained a form. Then, I could see it bare its teeth and hear its howl, as I do now.

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Review: Lucid Dream / Lusideu deulim (2017)

Lucid Dream (dir. Kim Joon-sung, 2017) – After the abduction of his son, Dae-ho attempts lucid dreaming, an experimental psychiatric therapy that enables patients to access lost memories.

Verdict

Better enjoyed as a dramatic thriller than science fiction, Lucid Dream owes more to its excellent cast than the jerry-built plotting.

3/5

Review

When an elusive memory is all you have to find your missing child, what wouldn’t you give to relive it for a glimpse of a clue? That is what drives Dae-ho (Soo Go) to revisit the day of his son’s abduction over and over again. Assisted by neurologist So-hyun (Kang Hye-jeong), he repeatedly reconstructs the scene in hopes of uncovering forgotten details, even if the experimental therapy comes at a cost.

Entering the dream world is nothing new but a rehashed concept, which The Cell and Inception have put forth on a grander scale. Lucid Dream sets itself up for inevitable comparisons to its spiritual predecessors, but makes a lesser mark in terms of stunning visuals or layered storytelling.

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