Friday, March 25, 2016

The Monkey Dynasty

This story was written by Sze Long Cheung, a P4 student with a brilliant imagination.

Beijing fell. One by one, the citizens of the city fled, screaming and kicking at the furry monkey warriors. And after some time they made the journey down to Shanghai.

“Emperor Yang! Beijing has fallen and they are marching towards Shanghai!” The guard explained to the emperor.

“Chi Yang! Haven’t I told you a million times before to not bother me? Next time, I’ll have you beheaded!”

Chi Yang sighed. That emperor was always like this. But he wasn’t going to give up yet. Fiercely and firmly, he faced the emperor.

“Emperor! If you don’t listen to me and get rid of those fuzzy furballs, then this dynasty will come to a terrible end!”

Oops. That was a bad move. The emperor looked like he was going to explode out of the window.

“CHIII YANGGG! How dare you tell me my kingdom will come to an end just because of those useless furballs! I should have your head stuck on a pike in front of the palace! Guards! Throw him in the dungeons!”

The guards wrestled him to the ground! “Stop!” he giggled. They didn’t know that he was ticklish? Eventually he lost consciousness.

Chi Yang regained consciousness to find himself imprisoned in a dark, humid place. He gazed around the gloomy cell. The guards who imprisoned him stood next to the rusty metal bars, cackling wildly. “The emperor’s gonna behead him. We can steal all his money!” They laughed.

“If only his majesty will let us,” another teased.

Chi Yang watched sadly. All he wanted was for the kingdom to survive. But now, he was just an old prisoner, waiting to be executed. He stuck his filthy hands into his pockets. He felt something. Something really crumpled. He slowly took it out. What on earth was it? But what he only saw was a note. As he unfolded it, a hologram appeared on top of the note. It showed the monkeys celebrating their victory over Beijing. But there was one monkey happier than all the others. As he peered closely, he saw a tiny little crown with the words ‘The Monkey King.’

Chi Yang was filled with fury. With a hand, he swooped across the hologram, trying to punch the celebrity monkey. Suddenly, his hand disappeared into the hologram! And before he knew it, Chi Yang found himself in a magical vortex of stars...

After what seemed like a billion years, the vortex stopped spinning. Chi Yang found himself on a piece of dry land, with only nothing, nothing and nothing. He looked down at his clothes. At least they were there. But that was all he had. His ragged, torn clothes. Out of nowhere, he remembered the note. Was it still there? He stuffed his hands into his pockets. And there it was, unharmed but soaking wet. Wet!? Well, maybe the vortex caused it. Or the stars. Or the imaginary rain. I guess I’ll never know, he thought.

Unfolding the note, he spotted a sign. It read: “Welcome to Monkeygolia. All may go in, but few will come out!”

Chi Yang shivered. He knew what this meant. He racked his brain to remember this. In 1352, he was studying riddles and codes. He found a coffee-stained scroll in Monkeygolia with this exact saying (A perfect pair!) and its meaning. People must respect the monkey king, help him and complete an impossible challenge. “Noooooo!!!! Chi Yang cried. He would never help the furballs conquer his own home. Holding the note firmer, he marched down the way of the Monkey kingdom.

Half through his journey to the north disaster struck. Suddenly 18 monkeys equipped with expensive armour Attacked Chi Yang! Frightened, he froze like a cooked duck, Unwilling to fight.

“You come with me!” Squeaked the first monkey, that seemed to be the leader of the pesky group. The rest of the monkeys nodded.

Chi Yang unfroze. If they took him to the city, he could secretly destroy it!

“Okay,” agreed Chi Yang. “Just don’t eat me!”

The head monkey shot him a look. “Who made you think we will eat you, the servant? Ha ha ha!”

Chi Yang sighed. “I’ll come with you.”

Surprisingly, the monkey’s attention was not on Chi Yang but on a newspaper shop!

They crowded around the shop to get one for five shiny, golden Monkepounds.

Chi Yang secretly peered over the monkeys heads to see what on earth was so monkey-attractive when he knew he shouldn’t be. The headlines flashed: Monkey Kingdom conquers Shanghai! Chinese emperor flees toward Shen Zhen!

He wanted to scream. He wanted to cry. He wanted to kick the emperor for not listening to his warning. Still, he pretended not to notice so the furballs so that they wouldn’t realise his plan to kill the monkey king. What a tragedy!    
It was only 10 Kilometers till Chi Yang reached the still-celebrating Monkey City. But the journey was not going well. The pesky annoying monkeys teased, frightened, and kicked Chi Yang. He didn’t even get a short chance to pull out the note. Poor Chi Yang! And what a bunch of monkeys! Still, Chi Yang fought dehydration, hunger, and EQ problems. But he didn’t give up.

“Fight to the end,” Chi Yang thought. “Make a difference. You are the one who will end this Monkey-Human War!”

As the thoughts raced around his mind, he laid upon the carpet as the monkeys escorted him into the palace.

The moment Chi Yang was in the fortress city, he sobbed secretly. “I’m afraid,” he whispered to himself. And there was no more time to think or say more. An enormous golden gong sat right in front of him but Chi Yang could only stare at it, amazed. Just then, a monkey marched in front of the gigantic gong. That gong was a hundred times the size of the monkey. Unbelievably, the monkey smashed the gong with all its might, and out came a distracting, super loud gong sound which alerted the whole city. The citizens of the city, however, were not as smart as the next city. The citizens sprinted around screaming: “Fire drill! Lockdown! Brace yourselves!”

Even the guards themselves were not the smartest monkey on the block. They tried to calm them down, but individually! It would take them hours! On the other hand, smart Chi Yang found the opportunity to escape. As fast as a light, he sprinted across the city, crossing shops and lakes. With his fear, he forgot that he wanted to assassinate the king! Wow!

The guards turned. When they saw Chi Yang fleeing the city, they ran after him, yelling: “Get him!” When Chi Yang was running for his dear life, he noticed that a ray of light shone from the note. He unfolded it and up came the hologram of the dungeon. Just then, a weary monkey leapt towards him.

Would Chi Yang escape in time to live?  

Chi Yang tumbles down to the dungeon. He was reaching out for the note when something caught his eye. The dungeon was open, the guards were dead. Chi Yang panicked. What caused this? He trembled. As he tip-toed outside, his heart beat a million miles a minute.
He had a look outside. The monkeys were there, celebrating the defeat of China. Chi Yang couldn’t bear to look at the greedy monkeys. He just stayed in the dungeon; and thus ended the illustrious Ming Dynasty.   

Saturday, December 19, 2015

One of my best students, Jayden Yiu, presented me with these two poems. I'm delighted to post them on my Blog.

Going Home

I walk down the street
as the rain pours down
My clothes are all wet
as it was raining like
the world would drown

I ran without an umbrella with everyone staring at
I ran fast and crazy
like an insane warrior

Why does it have to
rain when I go walking
on the street
I would rather eat an entire farm of
purple, distgusting beets!!!!

The Exams and Beyond...

I squiggle and squirm
when I hear “exam”
All that studying
makes my brain jam

My classmates can still
go out and play like a boss
on a throne
But what can I do
when I’m sitting on my chair
facing my textbook and all alone

Everyone hates exams
and so do I
Why did someone invent
a stupid thing like this
Why? WHY? WHY!?!?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Love is the Best Present

This is a short poem written by one of my best students, Adrian, who is part of my creative writing class. I was delighted when he presented it to me during the lesson.

"Love is the Best Present"

You are rich people

Fly more and see

how many people are poor and have bad lives

Go, give and help the poor.

Love is the best present.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Magic Frog

Stewart Sloan

Simon was meandering home from work. It’d been a long day, the transportation was packed and he was in no rush to get home so he could listen to his Mother-in-Law telling him about how her other sons, Sons and Daughters -in-Law were earning so much more than he was and living in much bigger, better apartments. Her name was Leung and she was mother to three daughters and two sons.

He stopped off at a convenience store and bought himself two cans of beer. Taking them into a nearby park, found a secluded spot, well away from prying eyes where he could enjoy them in relative peace before going home.

Simon Leung worked as a senior accountant in a marketing firm and the work was mundane, unchallenging and to be honest, down right boring. However, it paid the mortgage and put food on the table and his wife, Lily, didn’t share his Mother-in-Law’s feelings. She was happy with their lot and felt bad about her mother’s constant nagging. She made it up to him for putting up with her mother by being a loving and attentive wife.

Simon relaxed, resting his back against a tree and sipping on the first of his cold, cool beers. His shirt would show signs of where he had been but at this point in time he didn’t care. He finished the first one and set the empty tin down, opened up the second and it was then he noticed the old lady standing in front of him. She was obviously poor, judging at least by the state of her clothes and hair. She was looking down at him intently and Simon felt in his pockets for lose change. She was obviously going to beg for some money.

Simon rose to his feet, his beer can in his hand and reached into his pocket for some coins. When he looked up the old lady was smiling at him.

“Hello, Simon.” She said. Simon peered at her face, searching for a memory. She obviously knew him, but he couldn’t remember having seen her before.

“Of course you don’t remember me,” she said.”But I remember you!”

“Who are you?” Simon asked politely, still wracking his brains as to who this person might be.

“Never mind.” She said. “The important thing is that I know who you are and I know what you need!”

Before he could think of anything to say, the old lady stretched our her hand and offered him something. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to take it, but, if it got rid of her then what was the harm? He took the item in his left hand without looking at it. The old lady smiled, and turned to go.

“Wait!” Said Simon. “Who are you and how do you know my name?”

But she was gone, walking quickly for such an old lady, and was soon out of sight amongst the trees.

Simon looked down at the object in his hand and saw that it was a rubber frog. Why on Earth would anyone give him a rubber frog. He wondered if it would croaked if he squeezed it, so he tried. There was no sound, nothing. He tossed it into the bushes and finished his beer and decided that it was time to face his Mother-in-Law. He threw both of the empties in the nearest bin and set off. He suddenly remembered that his wife had asked him to buy some lemons for her mother. To forget them would be to incur more derision than necessary so he headed in the direction of the wet market.

After a few moments he came to the shopping centre, under which the wet market was located. It was then that he saw a neighbour. It was a gentleman by the name of Chan who lived a few doors down from him. They had been known to spend a happy hour sitting in the park with a can of beer or two.

“Chan!” Simon called out, expecting a greeting in reply. It was entirely possible that they might end up have a beer together. Mr. Chan heard the greeting and looked about himself. He looked in Simon’s direction and Simon waved to catch his eye. Strangely, there was no look of recognition on Chan’s face. It was as if he was looking straight through Simon without seeing him.

How strange, thought Simon. Perhaps his eyes are getting bad. Chan was usually such a friendly guy. Simon shrugged it off and carried on. The matter of Chan’s eyesight reminded him, he needed a new prescription himself. The constant use of computer screens to create spreadsheets was tiring his eyes as well.

He stopped outside his favourite optical shop and it was there that it all started. There were two other shoppers, one on either side of him, and he could see them clearly, reflected in the shop window. But, where was he? He was standing slightly behind the man on his right and moved forward so that his elbow brushed against his. The man looked down, but didn’t say anything.
He brushed his arm as if to get rid of a fly. Simon made sure there was no one behind him and stepped back. No. He had no reflection in the shop window. He could see everything else, people walking past, but he could not see himself!

A thought crashed into his mind. The frog! He had to find the frog! In a panic he rushed back to the park and the tree he had been sitting under when the old woman approached him. He scrabbled through the bushes and, thank the gods! There was the frog!

He clutched it to his chest as if it were made of gold and peered down at it. He looked around to see if anyone was walking in his direction. There was a couple but they were some distance away. Tentatively, he pressed the frog. He didn’t feel anything happen. Standing there he waited until the couple were closer and as they walked passed he said, “Good evening.” They turned to look at him and nodded, unsure of who he was and why he would greet them. He was visible again.

Simon held the frog in his hand and a combination of fear and excitement rose in his chest.

. . . .

Simon rushed home. He was so excited it wasn’t until he was turning the key in the door that he realised he had forgotten the lemons for his Mother-in-Law. He was also 45 minutes later than usual.

He knew his wife wasn’t going to question him but her mother was another matter. There was the usual diatribe about how much better her other family members treated her. None of them would forget to buy fresh lemons for an old lady. Simon bore the rebuke in silence, as did his wife. The thought occurred to him, as it had many times in the past as to, if her other sons treat her so much better, why she didn’t live with one of them. Simon knew the answer. They wouldn’t have her.

Simon retrieved part of a truce by going to a supermarket after dinner and buying the lemons. She was quick to point out that they were not as fresh as the ones from the wet market but then, Simon knew that if he had gone out to a farm and picked them straight from a tree they still wouldn’t be good enough.

. . . .

Over the next few days Simon didn’t use the frog. It never left his side but, as tempted as he was to experiment, he bided his time. Then one day, the frog in his pocket, he went into the gents, made sure that no one else was there, and standing in front of the mirror squeezed the frog. His image in the mirror vanished. Immediately he squeezed it again and he was back. A plan was forming in his mind but he had to test it thoroughly.

That evening when all the other staff had left he tried an experiment. Going back to the toilet he took his desk stapler and placed it on the sink below the mirror. He squeezed the frog and his image disappeared from the mirror. Then he picked up the stapler and saw it suspended in the air before him in the mirror. Then he placed it in his shirt pocket and saw it disappear. Any object that was part of him, his clothes, a bag he was carrying, would become invisible. A thousand possibilities opened up before him and he squeezed the frog, bringing back his reflection in the mirror. He studied his face in that reflection and wondered if he was really capable of the evil he was contemplating.

. . . .

Over the next few days simon spent some time looking in novelty shops around Tsim Sha Tsui. The vast majority of them sold sex toys and while some of the items were certainly interesting they were not what he was looking for. The problem was, he was not absolutely sure what exactly he was looking for. He would recognise it when he saw it, of that he was sure.

Simon was not in a rush. He was still preparing his plan, the ultimate crime, and, as it is said, revenge is a dish best eaten cold. Once he was ready he would act, but it wouldn’t be in the heat of passion. His revenge would be cold, premeditated and precise.

He wasn’t sure how many shops he had been to. He eventually found what he was looking for in a novelty shop in Mong Kok in a centre that was mostly electronics on the ground floor, fashion on the second and sex toys on the third. It was a face mask resembling that of a mutated zombie. There was even blood and gore around the creature’s mouth. It was made of soft latex and rolled up neatly into a pouch. He could put it on and remove it in seconds. The first part of his plan was complete.

Over the next few weeks he asked his wife about her shopping trips. What time did she normally go, what did she buy. He told her he was concerned about how much she had to carry home, especially when her mother made no effort to help her. At the same time Simon was careful to be kind and attentive to the old woman. She responded, slowly, and for the present it looked as if a truce had been declared. She actually became solicitous about his lunch and asked her daughter to start preparing suitable lunch boxes so that he didn’t have to eat the unhealthy rubbish from the fast food shops.

Simon had moments of doubt. Could he really go through with what he was planning? The frog never left his side. On one occasion he was tempted to throw it away where it could never be found. He also wondered who the old lady was, how she had known his name and why she had chosen him to give the frog to.

Then one night his Mother-in Law had been particularly vitriolic. She had spent the day with one of her other daughters who treated her to dim sum. Simon had never done that for her. She went on and on about how beautiful their house was and how respectful that side of the family was. Why, she wanted to know, wasn't Simon as caring and respectful as they were. It was at that point that Simon made up his mind to proceed with the plan. He’d had enough of the hateful old woman's attitude. The sudden change in her mother’s behaviour badly upset Simon's wife and that night, in the privacy of their bedroom, Lily wept silently in his arms. His wife's distress made Simon all the more determined to go through with his plan.

. . . .

Simon chose the day carefully. He found out that Lily had to visit her doctor for a regular check up. Her mother would be at home by herself. It would be perfect. But he had to make an excuse to get out of his office for a few hours. Of course, he had leave accrued and it was easy for him to tell his boss that he wanted to accompany his wife to the doctor. What he wouldn’t
tell his boss was that he had to make a quick visit home first.

After the staff had left and the office was quiet, Simon practiced with the mask and the frog. He stood in front of the toilet mirror wearing the mask, went invisible and then pressed the frog. The image he presented would be terrifying to anyone that wasn’t expecting it, especially an old woman.

He then spent several days in self examination. Could he really do the crime he was contemplating? Could he live with himself and how could he live with Lily, knowing that he was responsible for killing her mother?

Then a window of opportunity presented itself. The entire office was invited for a seminar and it would be easy for Simon to sneak out for an hour without being noticed. These seminars were incredibly boring and everyone took advantage of them to take care of some personal business. Even if he was missed it would be assumed that he was just taking care of something. The important thing was to be there at the beginning and the end.

It was a Wednesday, Lily would go out to do her shopping at half past ten, Simon, invisible, would be waiting outside the apartment when she left.

The day came……..

Would you like to read more?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Darkness in the Tree

Part One

Detective Sergeant Leung was not a happy man. He had fought long and hard to be transferred to the Criminal Investigate Division, the CID, and he had just received the info that he was to head up a three man team to investigate missing persons in the Tai Po area. Missing persons were the responsibility of the relevant station, not the CID. He went for the meeting scheduled with his boss, a Chief Inspector who had, so far, spent most of his tenure as head of E-Section behind his desk issuing orders. Leung knocked on the door and received an immediate ‘enter’. He opened the door to wafts of cigarette smoke and found Detective Chief Inspector Wong sitting beneath the ‘No Smoking in Government Offices’ sign puffing away on a Marlborough.

“Leung, take a seat”. Leung took a breath of relatively unpolluted air before entering the office and closed the door behind him.

“You are probably wondering why CID is investigating missing persons, eh?”

Before Leung could answer Wong carried on. He had little time for the opinions of his subordinates anyway.

“As of yesterday three persons, two females and one male, have gone missing in Tai Po within the week”.

“People go missing in Tai Po every day of the week,” offered Leung. He was met with a withering glare that silenced him. He would not speak again unless spoken to.

“The link between the three is that they were all know to have enjoyed walking in the park area that runs along the Lam Tsuen River. And then, today, another link came up. A boy handed in a wallet, the type that joggers strap around their arms to carry their IDs and cell phones. It belonged to one of the missing persons”. Leung was quick to note that Wong had not used the word, ‘victims’. “When we realised the link we asked Tai Po to send the boy here so that you could interview him”. He handed Leung a file containing whatever information they had on the victims, missing persons, Leung corrected himself.

“The boy will be here at ten. I told the desk to send him to you”. He was interrupted by his desk phone. He answered it and spoke briefly before turning back to Leung. “That’s him. He’s waiting at the front desk. Go and talk to him”.

Leung met the boy, a secondary school student of around 17 at the front desk and took him to an interview room. The desk had also given him the wallet wrapped in a plastic evidence bag.

He offered the boy, Andy Lo, a soft drink, and asked him how he had come to find the wallet. The boy related quickly and simply that he had been walking through the park and found the wallet. He had immediately taken it to the Tai Po Police Station. Although he didn’t say so Leung knew that it was a good excuse to miss lessons.

“Where exactly did you find it?” Asked Leung, producing a road map of the area that showed in brief detail the path that ran through the park. Andy Lo studied it for a moment and pointed to a spot about half way through the park.

“Are you willing to come with us and show us exactly where you found it?” Asked Leung.

“If the owner doesn’t claim it within three months I get to keep it, don’t I?” Asked the boy. Obviously a fine upstanding citizen thought Leung. There was an Octopus Card and a hundred dollars in the wallet. There was no sign of a cell phone and Andy Lo wasn’t volunteering any information on this issue. By law, any unclaimed item would be returned to the finder after 90 days.

Leung assured him that it would be returned to him and left the room to organise a car and round up the other members of the team. Within ten minutes they were on the way to Tai Po.


The CID car dropped them off at the upmarket housing complex that lay next to the entrance to the park and Leung, two of his team and the boy, Andy Lo, walked across the footbridge into the green oasis that the park offered to the residents of the area. Leung asked Andy to show them exactly where he had found the wallet. Within a few moments they had reached the spot and Andy looked at the bushes on the right hand side of the foot path. He paused for a moment and then pointed to a spot between two bushes.

“There,” he said, “It was right there”.

“And when exactly was this?” Asked Leung.

“Yesterday, around 8:45, I guess”. The boy answered. Leung made sure that one of the team, a Detective Constable by the name of Wong was recording it all on his small camcorder.

“All right, Andy, you wait over there please. Let’s take a look around, see if we can find anything. The sweepers will have been through here at least twice since the wallet was found so look hard”.

A few walkers went past and Leung identified himself as a police officer and asked them to keep to the other side of the foot path. If there was anything to find he didn’t want it disturbed. The detectives crouched down and carefully examined an area two metres before and after the spot where the wallet had been found and it was after a few moments that Wong called him over.

“Take a look, Boss”. He pointed to a leaf on a small tree just about a metre from the edge of the foot path. Leung peered at it. Thank the gods it had not rained overnight, and the sweepers only worked on the foot path. Leung took out his mobile phone and called for a forensics team. He sent one of his men back to the car for the evidence kit and cordon tape. The walkers and joggers were not going to be happy. The area was now a crime scene and no one was going to go through it until after the forensics team had finished their examination. Andy Lo would have to wait for a long time to claim the wallet.

The leaf and those surrounding it was covered in dried blood pieces of what appeared to be flesh.


Leung waited until the forensics team had arrived and left Wong in charge. He and other DC returned to CID in Police Headquarters to await the report and put together everything they had on the case so far, the three victims, he felt he could now officially classify them as such, and see if there were any similarities. He also had to interview the persons making the missing person reports to see if anything could be gleaned from them such as the approximate time they had gone missing and if anyone knew for sure that they had gone to the park that day.

Calls were made and two of the three people concerned agreed to come in. The third was wheelchair bound and Leung arranged for a DC and a WPC to go and take a statement from her.

There was not a great deal he could do now until wait until the reports and information started coming in. And then he got the news about a fourth possible victim who had gone missing over a month ago, supposedly in the same area.

Leung called in one of his men and instructed him to compile a list of disappearances in the same area. At the same time he asked the officer to find out when the Tai Po Park had been officially opened. The results were not comforting.

According to official records and past police reports the park was officially opened 20 years ago and since then there had been 27 reports of missing persons, 17 of them had been connected one way or another with the park. At the same time word came down from DCI Wong that they were to carry out a bait operation. That entailed sending in a female police officer dressed as a jogger that would hopefully flush out the killer, or killers. She would, of course, be well protected and Leung asked to be placed in charge of the operation.

The next day the preparations began. Ten metres away from the scene there was a water control point. It was a small concrete structure just over a metre high on which they could mount an infrared camera. Technicians from the Technical Services Division arrived in plain clothes so as not to raise to much suspicion and worked quickly and efficiently to install it The control post would be set up at the park office 30 metres in the opposite direction. It was further away than he would have liked but there was no other suitable location and no way to conceal four to five officers and the monitors required for surveillance. There, Leung and his team would monitor the cameras and be ready to move instantly should anything untoward happen.

The Woman Police Officer chosen as the bait was Angie Yung, affectionately known to her colleagues as ‘Angelina’ after the famous actress because of her way of tying her hair in a pony tail. And also because of her rather prominent breasts which were the envy of her lady colleagues and a subject of locker room conversation among her male colleagues. While officially posted to PHQ she had applied for transfer to the CID and the Detective Training Course. The paper work was still going through but she had been interviewed and the transfer was only awaiting the completion of the paperwork.

Late in the afternoon of the day chosen for the operation Angie was wired with a transmitter. Due to the habit of joggers and walkers to carry iPods or similar the microphone and earphones would not raise any suspicion. Leung did the sound check himself. He had been on sting operations before and had been the bait himself, so he knew how it felt to be up the sharp end. Then it was only a matter of waiting for night fall and hoping for a quick result.


It was 7:45 and full dark. The street lamps were on but there were still areas of shadow that could conceal a potential assailant. Anyone entering the park was photographed and numbers were taken to ensure that anyone entering also left. However, they were other ways in which to enter the area. Leung and Angie went over the plan one more time and for the seventh time he checked the reception of her transmitter. Then it was time to go. The plan was for Angie to jog up to the end of the path and then walk back slowly, as if she had injured an ankle. It was twenty minutes later that the officers in the control room received word from Angie that she had reached the end of the path and was starting back. The plan was for her to pause at the point where the victim’s wallet had been found and make it look as if she was checking her ankle.

The walk back up to that point was a test of her nerves. Angie was a brave woman and had shown her mettle in several instances, but tonight every shadow was a potential hiding point and walking slowly was more frightening than the jog in the opposite direction. To make matters worse the street lamps started flickering. She whispered this to Leung who cursed under his breath. There was no way he could do anything about having them checked at that moment in time. Then she was there. She stopped and as per the plan started flexing her ankle. A noise in the bushes startled her and she made a prearranged signal to let the officers know that she had heard something. Leung and the others were ready to go but had their eyes glued to the infrared monitor. Apart from Angie there was nothing to be seen.

She stood up and looked about her, listening intently for any noise. Apart from distant traffic noises there was nothing. Then something touched her shoulder and she spun round and went into a fighting pose. It was a branch, dangling down from the tree above her, strange that she hadn’t noticed it before. There was nothing else. She was physically exhausted now from the tension and ready to call if all off. She stood up and looked in the direction of the control room and suddenly something reached under her right arm, snaked across her body and around her back. She gasped as she was hauled bodily into the air, whatever had grabbed her crushed her breasts painfully against her chest. She sensed that she was several feet off the ground and pulled at the branch crushing her. Vines wrapped themselves around her face and across her mouth which she opened involuntarily, gasping for air. Then she was face to face with something. Her consciousness was fading rapidly but she knew it was evil. It was like a storm cloud, dark and malevolent, and she knew it was laughing.

Leung and his team watched in numb shock as Angie was lifted off her feet by something unseen and ran out of the control centre, weapons drawn. They raced to the spot where Angie had disappeared and used high-powered flashlights to peer up into the tree above them. There was nothing. No sign of Angie.

Leung called out, hoping for an answer when Angie’s body landed amongst them, and around them. She had been severed in half and in the instant that Leung saw her he realised that there was massive tissue loss in her upper torso.


Leung sat in his desk in E-Section, PHQ, staring into middle space. He had been sitting like that for hours judging by the lightening sky. He glanced at the wall clock and saw that it was just after 6:00 a.m.

On their return to PHQ the team had made statements. Angie’s remains had been delivered to the morgue and the duty coroner had been called. DCI Wong had made an appearance and made conciliatory noises before leaving as early as was politely possible. Leung had gone to his desk and sat there, going over and over in his mind what had happened. Reliving the moment when Angie’s mutilated body had fallen to the ground

He was still sitting there when DCI Wong returned at 9:15. For once Wong was not his usual sarcastic self. He asked about the other members of the team. DC Wong, Leung told him, was in shock and had been sedated at Queen Mary Hospital. The others had appointments with the Force psychologist, as had Leung himself. But he had other plans for the day as well.

The press had gotten hold of it, despite a blackout issued by PHQ but the results were better than expected as it created a fear psychosis which kept even the news ghouls and sightseers away from the crime scene.

Being a member of the Criminal Investigation Division and a Detective Sergeant, Leung was entitled to draw any weapon, within reason, he wanted. He handed in his trusty .38 revolver, which fortunately, he had never had to use in anger and asked for a nine millimetre Glock. He would have preferred something more powerful but the .45 caliber 1911s that the force had in stock were somewhat antiquated.

Despite being asked to take official leave he returned to the park. The area had been cordoned off and police officers posted at various points along the foot path. They travelled in pairs and never let the other out of sight. They acknowledged Leung but did not speak unless spoken to. They saw the sadness and fatigue in his face. He walked the entire length of the footpath and stopped at the tree on both legs of his walk.

It was after 7:00 p.m. before he climbed back into his car and drove home.


He was woken by the ringing of his mobile at 6:45. It was DCI Wong asking him to get into PHQ as quickly as possible. Had there been a break in the case, he asked for details, but Wong had already hung up. Leung showered and dressed and arrived at Wong’s office just before nine. For once Wong was not smoking. He was in the company of two men, neither of whom Leung knew. Wong introduced them as Edwin Chan, from the office of the Secretary for Security and Professor Law from the Botanical Gardens. Sec for Sec, as the Secretary for Security was known, had taken over control of the case. It was too high profile and had been blown out of proportion by the press. Reports of a murderous, wild animal running rampant in the Tai Po area had been reported in the international press. Whoever, or whatever was responsible had to be found and stopped immediately.

Leung looked at Professor Law and Chan anticipated his question.

“Professor Law is here to advise us. You will take us both to the crime scene and let him examine the tree where WPC Yung was killed”. Leung doubted the purpose of the visit but kept his mouth shut. He arranged for a CID vehicle and the three of them set off for Tai Po.

Unbeknownst to Leung, Law had requested a mobile crane to be brought in. It was the type that electricians used to fix overhead lighting on the roads. He was to use it so that he could examine the upper branches of the tree. The officers on duty, still traveling and working in twos let them through the barriers and escorted them to the tree.

Professor Law climbed unsteadily into the mobile crane with his notebook and camera. Leung saw no reason to accompany him and stayed on the ground. Edwin Chan made a point of studying the bushes around the tree and avoided eye contact with Leung. After fifteen minutes Law climbed down out of the crane, as unsteadily as he had ascended and looked extremely happy to be back on the ground.

“Can you tell us anything of value,” asked Chan.

“Well,” said Law, “It’s a Tectona Grandis of the family Verbenaceae.” He smiled at Chan and Leung as if he had just solved the case. Leung did not think it wise to point out that there was a small plaque on the lower part of the tree that identified it as such.

“Can you tell us anything else? Asked Chan.

“Well, this particular type of tree has never been known to harm anyone, unless of course it fell over them.” He smiled at his own humour and if he was disappointed at the lack of response from Chan and Leung he hid it well. Leung had seen no point in the visit and this had just proved his point. What he didn’t see was the thing that was watching them from above.

In the next tree, on one of the upper branches crouched the Darkness. It was not at its strongest in the daylight, but was still incredibly powerful. To the human eye it resembled a static cloud of smoke or mist, varying from grey to dark grey. It had been in existence for a thousand years, created by a fool of a necromancer that thought he could control it. The necromancer soon found out to his dismay that no one could control something made of evil and elementals that could not be destroyed by any human device.

The Darkness looked down at Leung, recognising in him a potentially worthy foe, one that might give him some moments of amusement. Then it sent out a whispered command to an egret that was crouched in a nearby tree and the bird’s eyes gleamed. With a hoarse caw it rose up into the air and flew towards the sea.

The Darkness watched as Leung, Chan and Law left to return to PHQ.


Over the next five evenings, despite being ordered to stand down Leung carried out solo bait operations, offering himself to the killer. The Darkness watched him in amusement and was tempted to strike but decided that he was enjoying the game too much to end it so soon. It did however ensure that Leung was entertained with falling branches and flickering street lamps.


Leung attended the funeral of WPC Angie Yung. It was attended by the unit and of course, the Commissioner of Police, who took the time to speak with Angie’s parents and family. He assured them that he killer would be found and brought to justice.

After the funeral, Leung did not attend the customary dinner but instead returned home, changed into casual clothes and made his way to Tai Po. He decided not to use his car in case the killer had been monitoring his movements. The quickest way to get killed in this job was to underestimate your opponent.

He travelled to Tai Wo Station on the train and from there it was a ten minute walk to the beginning of the park. He showed his police ID to the officers at the barrier and walked into the park.

Nothing seemed to have changed except for the egrets, huge great migratory birds that frequented the Lam Tsuen River. It didn’t occur to him that it was unusual to see them in such numbers so far away from the water. Then he was at the tree. The crane had been removed days ago and there was nothing to indicate that it was anything other that what Chuen had said it was, a Tectona Grandis of the family Verbenaceae he read from the plaque. You didn’t need a university degree or to be a professor to be able to read a plaque.

There was a swoosh as something passed his over just feet away and he felt the flow of air. In shock Leung looked about himself and saw an egret climbing upwards. He watched as it settled in a tree near the building they had used as a control centre on the night of the bait operation. Leung eased his hand off the butt of the Glock that he had reached for unknowingly. The something touched his shoulder and he spun about in the opposite direction. This time he did draw the weapon and realised that he had not chambered a round. He racked the slide, arming the gun, but his training made him keep his finger out of the trigger guard. A branch was dangling in front of him, swaying in the wind.

The Darkness looked down at Leung, if it had a mouth it would have smiled.

Leung grasped the end of the branch and gave it a tentative tug, not really knowing what to expect. And unbeknownst to him the egret he had seen earlier flapped into the air to gain height and then started a dive, behind it another started off from a nearby tree. The Darkness had become bored of the game. Leung was busy peering up into the tree and didn’t see the egret until it was too late. All he saw was a flash of white as the bird struck him full in the chest crushing his sternum and sending bone shards into his heart. Leung fell onto his back, numbed by the force of the impact, without realising it his finger had tightened on the trigger and he fired off two rounds which alerted the officers at either end of the park. As Leung lay on his back, fighting the pain in his wounded heart the egret, its neck broken by the impact, fluttered in its death throws on his chest, the second egret landed just above it and tore out Leung’s throat in one quick movement. It had flapped away, its bill covered in gore long before the officers arrived to find Leung’s mutilated body.


The Darkness watched Leung die from its point near the top of the tree, it felt the rush of energy flow into it as it did every time it caused the death of a living being. It had seen many men die over the centuries and would be sure to see many more. It sent whispered blessings to the egrets that had done its bidding and decided that it had had enough of Tai Po Park for now. There were other pickings to be had elsewhere, and other Leungs to torment.

Part Two

Edwin Chan, from the office of the Secretary for Security was not a happy man. He had fought long and hard to be transferred to the Department of the Secretary for Security and and he had just been told that he would be responsible for clearing up the business in Tai Po and to make sure that the fallout from the press coverage was kept to a minimum. Murders in Tai Po, and for that matter, police officers that fall out of trees and get killed by low flying birds were absolutely not the responsibility of Sec for Sec! He glared at his desk phones, one of which was a direct line to Sec for Sec and reached into his jacket pocket for another Tylenol. He knew that extended use of these pills would sooner or later, probably sooner, melt down what remained of his liver, but in order to get through the day he had to deal with the blinding headaches that had become a daily event ever since this business started. He popped the pill, swallowed it dry and leaned back in his chair, hoping for a few moments of peace to allow the medication to take affect.

He looked through the list of calls received that his secretary, Amy had handed him. Three were from a man named Huang, Huang Li Man to be precise. Obviously a Singaporean by the spelling of the name. Why they couldn’t just use the pin yin spelling that Hong Kongers used was beyond him.

Not more than five seconds had gone by when one of the phones shrilled.

Chan grabbed for it, at least it wasn’t the direct link to Sec for Sec, but the news was just as bad.

“Ah Sir,” said Amy. “Ms. Lau called, the boss wants you to see you now”.

Ms. Lau was Sec for Sec’s Personal Assistant and therefore the next best thing to the Goddess of Hell. Her every command was to be obeyed implicitly and immediately!

Chan groaned something into the phone and stood up. He was not looking forward to the next fifteen minutes.

He knew it was going to fifteen minutes and not more because Sec for Sec divided his day into 15 minute intervals. Some for him to be brought up to date on what was happening in Hong Kong, some for global events and some to be enjoyed by berating his subordinates; a pastime he thoroughly enjoyed.

Alphonse Lo, (silly bloody name, thought Chan) was one of the few department heads that still held a western first name. Ever since the handover it had become fashionable for department heads to do away with Christian first names and adopt the more traditional Chinese names. Lo was a career civil servant. During the British administration he had sworn absolute loyalty to the Crown and then at the time of the handover, sworn the same absolute loyalty to Beijing.

Ms. Lau kept him waiting for the mandatory three minutes before allowing him into the hallowed halls that contained Alphonse Lo’s office. You could house three Kowloon City families in here, thought Chan, as he entered the door, which he did every time he entered the door.

Alphonse Lo always pretended to be busy, it was his way of ensuring respect from his underlings. He motioned to a chair in front of his desk, spent another two minutes pretending to pour over some papers and then looked up at Chan.

“So, Chan. what news on this business in Tai Po?”

Actually, there was nothing new but Chan wasn’t going to admit that to his boss.

“Sir”, he began. “I’m working closely with the police to ensure that the culprit, or culprits are brought to justice within the shortest possible time. As of this morning I am still awaiting a call from DCI Wong”.

“I’m one step ahead of you Chan,” Smirked Lo. “There’s been an arrest”!

Lo enjoyed Chan’s look of consternation for a moment before explaining.

“They’ve arrested some bugger by the name of Huang Li Man at the scene of the murders. A Singaporean, by the ID he was carrying. They’ve taken him to Tai Po nick (Chan had to stop himself from grimacing, Lo enjoyed his command of English colloquialism and continually referred to police stations as ‘nicks’). Get there quick and find out who the bugger is”. Chan remembered the name from looking at his list of calls just moments ago and wondered what the connection was.

Chan was not sure whether to be pleased or annoyed but if it gave him an excuse to get out of Lo’s presence then it had to be good.

Amy had called ahead so the O.I.C. at the Tai Po Police Station had been expecting him. He was taken to the interview room where Mr. Huang was being held. There was an officer, a Police Constable, in the room with him, but they weren’t talking, the PC was there to keep an eye on him. Huang stood up as Chan entered the room and Chan immediately noticed that he was wearing a traditional Chinese robe. He offered his hand to Chan who ignored it and sat down opposite him at the table.

Unperturbed, Huang resumed his seat and introduced himself. Chan bought himself some time by going through the single sheet of paper in the file he had been given. There wasn’t much, his name, nationality and profession - researcher into ancient eastern customs - all the makings of a nutter thought Chan whose headache suddenly returned.

“Mr……Huang,” Chan took some time pronouncing the name, there was no need to be rude, at this point. “What were you doing in a closed crime scene?”

“I’m sorry,” said Huang. “May I ask your name and rank”. Chan realised he had forgotten to introduce himself. His first instinct was to offer his hand but he managed to suppress the gesture. He wanted this man to know he meant business. Chan introduced himself and mentioned that he was from the officer of the Secretary for Security.

“Then you are the man I have been trying to contact”, said Huang, smiling broadly.

“Mr. Huang, I don’t think you realise the trouble you are in. You have been taken into custody for entering a closed crime scene and there are reasons to believe that you did so with ill-intent”.

“I can assured you,” said Huang, “that this is not the case. In fact, I am here to offer you my assistance to halt the killer you are seeking”.

‘Halt the killer,’ Huang had said, why didn’t he say, ‘catch the killer’, thought Chan.

Chan couldn’t conceal his interest. “And what exactly do you know about ‘the killer’?” He asked the PC to get the OIC to join them right away. He turned back to Huang and asked him to wait. Any information he had regarding this case should be given in the company of a trained police officer. Moments later, the OIC, Superintendent Lai and a DCI from PHQ were in attendance. They sat quietly at the corner, present and listening, but not taking part in the questioning. When they were settled Chan asked Huang to continue.

“I think I should introduce myself first. My name is Huang Li Man, I am originally from Wu Han Province but I was taken to Singapore as a child by my parents. My profession is…..well, let’s go into that later…………”.

He continued, “I have been following this killer, for several years now. I first became aware of it in 2007 when there was a series of murders in Terengganu in Malaysia. It was there that I started my research. The next scene was Kluang, also in Malaysia. Then there were several in Singapore before it moved on to Sandakan in Sabah, East Malaysia. These killings all took place within a very short space of time, say 19 months. Then the trail went cold. The thing, it appears, had gone to ground”.

Huang had referred to the killer as ‘the killer’, ‘it’ and then ‘the thing’. However, before Chan could seek clarification Huang was continuing.

“About a year ago I heard about the murders in the Tai Po Park and came to Hong Kong. I’m sorry to tell you that my worst fears were realised. It is the same killer that was responsible for the deaths I mentioned earlier in Malaysia and Singapore”.

“What……..”. Chan was just about to ask, ‘what is it’, but managed to stop himself. “Who is it we are looking for, Mr. Huang?”

“No, you were correct the first time, Mr. Chan. It is indeed, not ‘who’ we are looking for, but ‘What’”.

“It is a demon, Mr. Chan. Nothing more, nothing less. A demon that has existed for over a thousand years”.

Would you like to read more?

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Asian Human Rights Commission - Impunity to do wrong..!

(Lanka-e-News- 24.Aug.2014, 7.00PM) Information has been received that the executive director of the Asian Human Rights Commission, a regional NGO based in Hong Kong, has been telling falsehoods to members of his staff with regard to payments and other matters and that the management and chairman of the board have offered him impunity.

This is of particular concern as the issue of impunity has been at the forefront of the AHRC’s attacks on the Sri Lanka Police Service and other branches of the government, including ministers at high levels, for many years. It is therefore shocking that this organisation is hypocritical enough to allow the same impunity to its own executive in order that he can do as he wishes with his staff.

The information, as we have received it concerns three issue; the first was an application of a salary advance by one of their staff. In February of this year he applied for a salary advance from Bijo Francis, the executive director and was informed that he (Francis) was no longer in a position to grant such advances. He actually used the wording, “ it is no longer within my remit”, and that he would have to seek the approval of the board. However, within weeks of making this statement and in the full hearing of other members of staff he granted such an advance to one of his cronies, thereby proving that his earlier comments were obviously false. If Francis did not want to grant the salary advance he could have simply informed the staff member that, in his capacity as executive director, he had elected not to do so. However, that would have been an inconvenient truth. Sadly, he found it more convenient to tell a convenient lie.

The second incident involved a letter purported to be from the management committee in which he informed a member of staff that he was being reprimanded and that the committee had agreed on the content and the issuance of the said letter. However, inquiries made with two members of the management committee confirmed that neither of them had knowledge of either the contents of, or the issuance of the letter. If Francis had omitted the part about the letter being approved by the committee there would have been no problem. However, that would have been an inconvenient truth. By hiding behind the management committee Francis committed another convenient lie.

The third incident involved the long term service award of an outgoing member of staff. In the Hong Kong SAR there are two sums of money involved when an employee leaves a company. One is the long term award and the second is the Mandatory Provident Fund which all employers are required to contribute to. The staff member was informed of the amount that he was to receive as a long term award and was surprised as the employer has the right to deduct any contributions to the MPF. After making inquiries of Francis in the presence of the Admin manager he was told that his MPF award would NOT be affected. However, upon receipt of the payment by the relevant bank he found that the sum of HK$ 88,000 (USD 11,000) had been deducted. The staff member gave Francis every opportunity to explain the situation but the latter dodged the question and left the matter to Mr. Basil Fernando to explain. In an obviously contrived letter Fernando informed the staff member that they had done all in their power to pay the person everything he was entitled to. What he failed to explain was why Francis had once again been permitted to lie to a member of staff with impunity. 

Sadly the matter did not end there. It was shocking that Mr. John J. (Jack) Clancey, the chairman of the board of directors, having been made aware of the actions of his executive director, would take his side after being presented with documentary evidence. 

Another matter was raised personally with Clancy a few weeks later but, as it was of a very sensitive and personal nature involving several members of the staff, it cannot be revealed here for fear of causing embarrassment to the innocent persons affected. Suffice to say that rather than be concerned at the information presented to him so that he might take some form of action to avoid the potential of embarrassment to the AHRC, Clancy threatened the informant with legal action.

It is appalling that despite their very public stand for over 15 years on the issue of impunity for wrongdoing, the management and directors of the Asian Human Rights Commission are prepared to turn a blind eye to the actions of their own executive director.
-By a special correspondent-

Friday, July 11, 2014

Gainfully Unemployed

Dear Friends and Readers,

Just a quick post to let you know that I have now left the Asian Human Rights Commission and am teaching English Conversation; a job that I thoroughly enjoyed in the past.

I am also doing freelance editing work so if anyone has any editing requirements please contact me at

Thank you.