The wall, Pencil on paper and digitally coloured, 10 Aug 2014

List of chapters in 2014 “A walk on the dark side”:
Jan – Dark Night, Feb 2014 – The Tunnel, Mar 2014 – The Invitation, Apr 2014 – Underground Palace, May 2014 – Foxy Gentleman, Jun 2014 – Crystal Lizard, Jul 2014 – Three Little Mice, Aug 2014 – Mr. Mad, Sep 2014 – Chess Game, Oct 2014 – Lost Children, Nov 2014 – The Garden

Mr. Mad

“I can’t wait to show you.” the hologram of Winter Queen walked towards the door, “Come and play with us, wouldn’t you?”

I followed along, and when I stepped out of the door, I saw this giant crocodile in chains, and it started moving immediately after the hologram of Winter Queen began to ride it. It scared me at first, but seeing how obedient it was, I felt more comfortable about the situation.

I followed them up the stairs to the left, it was a circular staircase. It reached all the way up, and I couldn’t even see the end of it. Also I had to say it was quite a scene to see a giant crocodile climbing stairs.

After a little while, Winter Queen turned around and said, “Just follow the stairs, and Mr. Mad will show you the test room, wait for me there.” Before I even had time to ask any questions, she had disappeared, just like that.

Now I was alone with the croc called Mr. Mad on the never ending stairs. I felt ridiculous greeting a croc by his name, but I couldn’t say I was shocked after what just happened within the last few hours. I followed Mr. Mad for a little while.

Out of the blue, he said, “Want to play?”
I wasn’t sure if I heard him correctly, “Sorry?”
“Want to play a game?”
I thought he was quite an interesting croc, “Sure, what game?”
“If I can carry you all the way to the test room on my back without making you uncomfortable, can you do me a favour?”
“What would that be?”
“I’d like you to release me from these chains, they are really making me uncomfortable. I have been in them for days now.”
“Who put them on you?”
“Well it started as a game with someone else, the rule was I had to get permission from another person to get out of this.”
“And no one really cared to do it for you?”
“You obviously don’t know what goes on here do you?”
“Apparently not.”
“Come and let me carry you, and I will tell you.”
I wasn’t exactly sure about our deal yet, but I was curious what he had to say, so I sat down on him while he continued to climb the stairs.

“I have been here for quite a while now,” he said, “and I have seen a lot of things.”
“What’s the most bizarre thing you have seen here?” I asked.
“Hmm, have you been to the middle of the palace?”
“No, I don’t even know where we are within the palace.”
“We are at the very bottom of it. There is a Pool of Life in the heart of the palace, which is about several levels up.”
“What’s in the Pool of Life?”
“A giant child like creature, and it looks like the person who is looking at it.”
“Are you saying that if I look at it, I will see a giant version of myself?”
“Yes, except younger, perhaps 3-4 years old.”
“Interesting, and what can I do with it?”
“Whatever you do, don’t go too close.”
“That’s good to know.” I smiled, “Can I please know what will happen if I go too close?”
“You will be its meal. There are a lot of strange things happening here, but the White Child is something else, it’s the end game.”
“Thank god you’re telling me this. I could have killed myself.” I gasped out of shock, followed by a pat on his back, acknowledging his words.
“I’m worried about you, just like I’m worried about everyone here.”

After many steps, we had reached a corridor with nicely decorated carpet. I felt like the higher the level, the more well furnished it was. Mr. Mad hinted me to stand up, so I did.

“Could you please unlock my chains now?” He looked up to me with almost tears in his eyes.
“But how?”
“Just say you give me permission to unlock my chains, and it will happen automatically.”
“Er … Ok. I give you my permission to unlock your chains, Mr. Mad.”

And then it was like magic, the chains broke on their own. His mouth could open more widely, and his legs could move quicker than before, he looked relieved and happy.

“Thank you so much” He said, “May I ask for your name?”
“Call me Yeok.”
“Ok Yeok, can I rest my head on your lap? I’m sure I will feel the comfort there.”
That was quite a strange request, especially coming from a croc. As much as I’d like to thank him for saving myself, I wasn’t sure what he was up to either. So I said, “Maybe next time. I’ve really got to get to the test room. Can you show me where it is?”

I knew something was wrong the moment I refused him. He started to look annoyed, “Am I not good enough for you? After everything I have told you?”
“No, that’s not what I mean. It’s just I think Winter Queen is expecting me and I shouldn’t keep her waiting.”
“I think I know what’s going on here. You think you can discipline creatures, but in fact, you are just a weak little girl.”
I really didn’t like where this was going, I started to step back unconsciously. But I didn’t realise until a moment later that this was a corridor with a dead end.
“Please, I appreciate everything you have told me, truly. But I have promised Winter Queen to be at the test room as soon as possible.”
“And yet you have no clue about what you are going to do, don’t you?” He stepped a little closer.

Very soon my back was about to touch the wall, and I really had no where to go. I blamed myself being naive for believing in a crocodile’s tears, all I wanted to do was to get out of this place.

And then I heard someone is whispering next to my ears, “Come closer, I can get you out of here.”

List of chapters in 2014 “A walk on the dark side”:
Jan – Dark Night, Feb 2014 – The Tunnel, Mar 2014 – The Invitation, Apr 2014 – Underground Palace, May 2014 – Foxy Gentleman, Jun 2014 – Crystal Lizard, Jul 2014 – Three Little Mice, Aug 2014 – Mr. Mad, Sep 2014 – Chess Game, Oct 2014 – Lost Children, Nov 2014 – The Garden

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