Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Day Off

On Tuesday evening, I had a bad gastritis attack. I thought lightly of it and went home earlier to rest. To my horror, it got much worst at night. Amazingly, just after my alarm clock went off at 6.00am the next morning, it went off, almost completely. By then, I was too groggy to get up and get ready for work. I smsed my boss asking for an emergency leave. How to take medical leave if it was already gone?

To my surprise, fate had its' plans for me. As soon as I opened my email, I found a semi-good news waiting. It was an update on the Stegner Fellowship Award at Stanford University. They received 1600 applicants and will announce the results on 1 April. There was also a bolded line stating: 'If you receive this message, your application is being considered.'

I got ready and strait away went to visit my publisher at the bookstore. It doesn't really matter if I don't get selected. The fact that my manuscript made it to the 2nd round is good enough for me, I guess; considering that I only found out about it 24 hours before the deadline. At least, it didn't go right into the dustbin, LOL!:)

Sharing my latest short story as below. This was inspired from my visit to the land of a thousand minarets.

The Wooden Liver Box - 1st Cut
My whole body above the knees was awkwardly curved into a stiff C-shape. I continue walking up the narrow passage. Its height seems no higher than 160cm. My knees and thighs are sore. My neck feels stretched. My t-shirt is soaked with sweat. It is scorching hot at 40 degrees when I was outside but the air within gets cooler and cooler. I fight the feeling of claustrophobia. “Come on... come on... just a little bit more,” I tell myself.

The last ten minutes feel like an hour. It was like entering a dwarfs’ kingdom. My bended legs take a few more forced steps. I pause upon arriving at a large opening in the stony structure. The ceiling is high enough for me to stand up straight. I breathe a sigh of relief and turn to look behind me. Despite it being the peak of tourists’ season in early summer, there appears to be no visitor close by. I rub the back of my neck.

The spacious chamber on the other side is very dim. Squinting, I try to focus. I nearly jump when I see an old man in a stark white traditional cotton dress waiting for me. Hands clasped, a huge smile spreads across his face. “Welcome young man. You have reached the heart of the pyramid. Come in.”


Naz said...

I hope you'll get it! :)
Btw, how can I get hold of your book/s?

kakyong said...

what award is that? tak faham... LOL!

Hazia said...

If you can give me your email address (mine is, I can email you the details & order link, free delivery in Malaysia.

Hazia said...

Kak Yong,
It's a fellowship, meaning the 10 selected students will get to attend weekly lectures and other programs on Creative Writing at Stanford University, US for 2 years. It's like doing Masters, but more emphasis on practical and there is no exam.I posted another entry on 2 Dec on this - 'Running Away':)

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Hazia, here's wishing you the best...Look forward to hearing the good news. Best regards, Lee.

Nong said...

Good luck from kak nong... seronok baca teasers of your short stories...

Hazia said...

Thanks, me too:)

Hazia said...

Kak Nong,
Tks. Happy reading:)

Anonymous said...

Is it Rumai Blog ? How r U?


Hazia said...

Helnie MRSM BP ke?
Where are you now?