The floor-to-ceiling windows were left open in the evenings. Patches of dark blue, star-littered sky interspaced with charcoal grey walls, as we sat drinking cheap alcohol.
“Why do you think Mr. Red jumped off?”
“Must be his stupid wife. She always wore the pants...”
“Whatever it was, our snoopy neighbours are going to find a lot of blood on the pavement tomorrow.”
J pulled out a Ziploc bag and passed it to me, with a key. The small bump of white sending a trickle of sweat down my forehead. We dialled the police line and had a round of shots.
In the light of the streetlamp, I saw it move from under my car. A small head with short bristle-like hair, hands spread out and eyes constantly shifting from side to side. This was the first time I saw the creature well lit up. There were a few of them in our neighbourhood, and my uncle had a black and white picture of a dead one. Its body ended at the waist and a younger version of my uncle stood proudly next to it, chest puffed out. We call them i huaj and they keep to themselves. Most of the time.
In the wild struggle for existence, we want to have something that endures, and so we fill our minds with rubbish and facts, in the silly hope of keeping our place. The thoroughly well-informed man--that is the modern ideal. And the mind of the thoroughly well-informed man is a dreadful thing. It is like a bric-à-brac shop, all monsters and dust, with everything priced above its proper value. The Picture of Dorian Gray