- Nathalie Ho
Fate of a Protester (The Final Instalment)
Chapter 1- Fight!
Right, let’s pick up where we left off. I’m standing in a dusty room in the Civil Services Typhoon Shelter. The typhoon is still sweeping us. Time seems to stop as I step up to Serena (pro-government selfish snob jerk, by the way), my insides filling with adrenaline. Sweat dripped down my face. Then it came. POW! Serena swung one of her fists at me. I tried to fight back, but she had drained all the energy out of me. In just one punch! Man, that girl was strong! I yowled in pain for help.
The next thing I knew, my parents came rushing in. “Joyjoy’s fighting with a girl!” Joey exclaimed.
“It’s okay, I’m okay.” I said.
I looked at Serena like she was a poisonous jellyfish that had stung me. She glared back and made a face that said “loser”. Just then, my mom motioned for me to come into their room area. Before I left the scene, Serena pretended to impersonate me, but in a mock childish baby voice.
My parents didn’t say anything until that moment. I didn’t want my parents worrying about me, or even worse, to be disappointed in me. But what they said was ten times worse.
“Sweetie, we didn’t want you to get into a fight like this. You could’ve just told us how you felt,” my mom said.
Whoa, I thought. Get into a fight? I didn’t get myself into trouble on purpose. Also you weren’t here before. What were you thinking?? Half my mind wanted to scream ‘SHUT UP! This has nothing to do with you guys, so stay out of this!’, and the other half wanted to say ‘I’m sorry for getting myself into trouble. I really should have thought about it instead!’, but, the good me was done with this. I decided to throw it all in their faces and explain the situation.
Chapter 2: Rebellion Of Justice
It had been two months since the fiasco with Serena. My parents brought me to my therapist, Lila, straight afterwards. She was surprised to see I could lose it over a small ‘disagreement over politics’. She sent me home with a few stress tools and that was pretty much it. I’m still glad my parents chose to seek help from her, in previous times she really helped during my PTSD panic attacks.
Right now I’m sitting at home with a bored look on my face. My phone vibrated. I wasn’t expecting it, given that it was a Monday, but the text said to meet the gang at our warehouse in the Eastern New Territories. I rode in a cab, which took about an hour, and met them at the dusty old warehouse we partly called home. We sat down in the makeshift living room and started the meeting. Our next protest was on Wednesday. I was excited! Calvin was presenting his new bomb that looked like a cross between a nuke and a grenade. It looked like a pineapple with an arrow stuck in at the top. A nukeade, I guess. I was about to ask Calvin how he pulled that off when Hana rushed in with a box full of... well, something! She pulled out a customised journal we could take turns writing entries in, which sounded interesting, and she passed us each a handbook and a flyer of the next protest.
“If you get permission from your parents we can stay here for the night and pig out on bubble tea! And pizza.” I called my parents, and to my surprise THEY. SAID. YES! I whooped happily and Josh laughed at my excitement.
“But wait, there’s more! I want to introduce you to our newest member—her name is Canis.” Canis stepped forward. She was hardly more than 15 years old, with a red streak in her hair. She smiled.
“Hi everyone!” she said.
There was a chorus of hellos and nice-to-meet-yous. We introduced ourselves to her. She was generous and offered to bring the snacks for tonight’s sleepover. While she went out to buy supplies for our sleepover, we headed to a local footbridge’s hidden sides and worked on some graffiti and vandalism. Hopefully, nobody catches us!
Chapter 3- Welcome to My World
That night, as we settled in for pizza and bubble tea, I sat next to Canis.
“You want some bubble tea?” I asked.
“Nah,” then she leaned towards my ear, “I have diabetes,” she whispered.
“How does that feel? I’ve never met a diabetic person until now!” I said. Oops. Was that rude?
“Really?” she answered, “well, now you have! Welcome to my world, Joy!” We collapsed into giggles, even though there wasn’t anything funny to that. As we talked, I noticed we actually had a lot in common. We had both lost our homes in Typhoon Mangkhut, or Killer Typhie, as I liked to call it. And we both liked dim sum! I think we have the potential to become friends!
As night fell, Calvin was starting to edge away from the group every now and then. What was going on? I couldn’t stand not knowing what was going on anymore, so I walked over and asked Josh, one of his best friends, what was going on.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
He shrugged in return. That was a pretty weird sort of answer. Canis came up to me and tapped me on my back, and gestured for us to return back to the place we were sleeping at. But when we returned, I looked around. The rest of the group was nowhere to be seen.
Chapter 4- Hide and Seek
I scanned the area, Canis right behind me. We walked around. I heard footsteps coming from behind, echoing in the dim hallways. It was Josh, panting and looking around. He wiped away some sweat.
“Where’d the others go?”
“I have absolutely no idea,” I replied.
“What in hell is going on, anyway?”
Canis looked around, as if she expected them any moment now. “I checked the third floor ages ago, before I came up to you. They were there earlier, but now they’ve left no trace.”
“Oh god!” Josh exclaimed worriedly. He quickly texted the group.
JoshXCW: Hey guys where are you now???
He looked up from his phone, “no reply.”
“Then we’ve got some searching to do,” I said, then the lights flickered and all was dark.
It was a few minutes later till we managed to get our phone flashlights on. We decided to continue our search party for the others. We went up a floor, groping our way through the darkness. I panicked. It felt like the rest of us were too. Just then, the lights went back up. Phew. I looked around. The other members of the search crew glanced around repeatedly. A second later, I heard the loudest scream of my life.
Oh shoot. There was a resounding crash following, then another scream. “W-what’s g-going on?” asked Canis. Josh shuddered. I walked out to where the noises came from. I gasped.
I stood right in front of a cracked, mangled piece of steel, (probably a storage shelf) and a bloodied Calvin. Someone I didn’t know was standing next to him, a satisfied, smug look on his face. He held a gun in his hands, blood running down his arms. Then a girl ran out. She looked like one of those top secret agents you see in the movies. But again she might be his girlfriend. The rest of our team came out of hiding behind some boxes, in storage shelf #12.
“What’s going on here? Did you murder him?” Canis said.
“What does this have to do with you?” the girl said. She had a knife in her hands. I shuddered a little. Oh great. Would she murder us next? Calvin made a gross gurgling noise, and coughed up a bit of blood. He sat up weakly.
“Maybe we should take him to the hospital.” Hana said worriedly. I nodded. I dialed 999. The unmistakable noise of sirens sounded three floors down.
Dear Diary- Joy (Chapter 4 ½ )
What the hell just happened? I’m so confused. According to my watch, it’s 2 in the morning. I haven’t heard any updates from my friends or my family so far. I woke up dreaming about them. I miss them a lot! Canis’s in the bed next to me, and Josh’s at the hospital. I’m stuck here thinking whether my friend is in mortal peril or not. I’m also really, REALLY stressed. It was only 5 hours since an ambulance came to pick them up, and believe it or not, the couple who attacked Calvin just now ve run and hid. It’s hard to believe somebody like this would run and hide in this kind of situation. Or maybe they’re just wimps. LOL!
Signing out now,
Chapter 5: The Crackdown
It’s six in the morning. Me and my friends are getting ready for the ultimate protest. I pulled on my favourite T-shirt. The black one with Lion Rock on it.
“Guys!” Canis asked, with a worried look on her face.
“Yeah, what?” answered Hana.
“What’re we gonna do without Calvin?”
“Oh yeah!” I answered. I thought for a while. Maybe Josh could substitute for him.
We were standing in one of the main arteries of Wan Chai, a district in Hong Kong Island. I adjusted the yellow hard hat on my messy head. “We’re starting sometime…. Now.” said Canis. She checked her Apple watch, which was rose gold (her favourite colour) and pastel lavender purple. I started over to the barricade, my friends traipsing after me. Then the fight started. I lobbed a grenade, which landed directly on a policeman’s shield. Canis whooped loudly and high-fived me. “SAVE US ALL!”Josh shouted. I’m guessing he wants to make Calvin proud. I lobbed another grenade, sending it hurling across our crowded battlefield. “Sounding the alarm! Tear gas warning! Water tank warning!” shouted Canis. She threw me a gas mask. Over across the battlefield, Hana hurled a brick towards a “blue” shop. Just so you know, we’re yellow and the government's blue. It’s kinda like our side colours. Anyway, let’s get back to the fight. “Warning! Police troops advancing! More than 50 of them!” I hollered. Uh-oh. They had sent reinforcements.
Chapter 6: Dawn Of Success
We were successful that afternoon. We outran the police. This was the first time we ever did! My teammates were so proud of each other. I think this was totally a first for us.
That night, I video-called Calvin. Before I said bye to him, he told me “Before the night of injustice ends, there shall be the dawn of success.” And I replied by saying “After injustice, there will be the silent twilight peace. When we wake, the yellow sunlight shall rule over blue midnight altogether and forever.”