Chapter 0:

Red - Normal

Life In This Strange World

It’s strange isn’t it, how you could be surrounded by an abundance of people and yet feel so lonely at the same time. I don’t know... maybe I’m just saying stuff just to make me feel better about having no one to talk to. Long walks do that to a person sometimes I guess, you just go on spinning around in your head thinking about philosophical things just to keep yourself entertained and make time pass.

                                                                      - Richard -


                                                                         - Red -

                                                             00:58:46 / 01:00:00

I walked across the pedestrian crossing along an empty quiet highway bridge, making it across to the other side and stopping, looking over the safety rails to see my distorted face in the shallow river running below. Have you ever had that feeling as you walked home, that if you stopped right where you stood and turned around something would be bound to happen?

It was silent and calming with the only sounds you could faintly hear were sounds of leaves slowly falling and landing elegantly onto the river. So in a swift motion, I turned myself around and checked behind me. A long display of traffic flooded the once empty highway now filled to the sunset with cars and the sounds of screeching tires and car horns gave off an unpleasant combination of sounds, and amidst the sounds of chaos and thunderous sounds came a soft pure sound right in front of me.


Such a sweet delicate voice, almost angelic even. A short yet mature looking girl with short black hair and marble green eyes wearing the same school uniform as mine. Though it was a short and yet weird introduction that still stains my mind, why just a simple hi?

“Come on, let’s go we’re gonna miss the train.” She said as she went and held both of my hands together in her soft palms. My hands began to slowly move out of her grasp as she walked back across the pedestrian crossing with cars moving still moving at a regular pace ignoring her as they drive past the crossing. Though the traffic remains unstable and dangerous she managed to make it across without a single scratch on her moving elegantly and swiftly.

“We’re going to miss the train.” She said again, but now more faint and distant, her voice slowly getting lost amidst the sounds of screeching tires and car engines.

“The train…”

The sound of my shoes clicking against the concrete pavement echoed throughout the road, I could feel both my body and the floor surrounding me feel lighter. The world around me felt as if it began to fall apart as bricks in the pavement began falling like sand suspending me high up in the air leaving only the white pavement of the pedestrian crossing. It was quiet… near silent even, though as it felt as if I was suspended higher than the clouds, I could barely hear a thing. My ears began to ring, a light yet high-pitched tone attacking my ears as they try to take in the slightest noise.

I ran, I ran like my life depended on it, I ran without the fear of falling with only one goal in sight. Though it felt so close, I could never reach the end of that crossing, like running on a never-ending treadmill suspended in the sky. The longer I kept running… and running, my vision began to become brighter as if a blinding light began to surround my vision. It soon covered my entire vision, my surroundings and sight only becoming a bright white slate as clear as paper.

“Yo, still thinking about the past?” Yeo said squatting down low to talk to me.

Out of breath, I used what energy I still had left to block out the blinding light of the sun by lifting my forearm in the air covering my eyes, “Uh... Hey…”

Yeo sighed and reached into her bag, “I got you so boba.” Yeo said as she place the ice-cold plastic sealed cup atop my forehead.

“It’s cold…” Taking the drink off of my head as I stood up from the cold concrete floor.

“You’re saying that like you wanted it warm you weirdo.”

With my clothes being both dusty and dirty I might as well help myself to some sweets. I turned the cup around and inspected the label detailing the flavour and ingredients. The cup was filled with a purple liquid with a layer of sweet chewy tapioca pearls, “What’s taro… and why is this purple?”

“It’s a purple yam.”

“You’re telling me this is potato juice? That doesn’t sound appealing at all...”

“Well if you didn’t want it you can just give it back.”

“Yeah like I’d ever turn down free food.” I said as I took the straw attached to the cup and poked it through the top of the lid.

“You’re a 25-year-old man with a job, you should stop relying on me dude, I’m still doing my masters you know.”

“I’m young at heart, I’m an ecstatic young adult with years ahead of him.” I then took a sip out of the bubble tea getting a good amount of both taro milk tea and chewy pearls.


                                                                       - Sweet -

“Oh crap this stuff is pretty good, are you sure this is potato juice?” Damn, I'm surprised at how a potato could taste so sweet and milky.

“Yams, they’re not potatoes, they’re yams…” Yeo said as she readjusted her glasses letting out a deeply disappointed sigh.


                                                                      - Silence -

It was neither cold nor hot, it was as for a second the entire earth had stopped rotating with the wind ceasing to exist. Somehow it gave off this strange feeling… I felt incomplete and lonely somehow. Silence began to pass as we both stared off, past the safety rails of the quiet empty highway bridge. “Hmm?” She began to stare at me as if she had caught me doing something embarrassing, with a soft smile with a playful smug stare.


“You’re thinking about that girl aren’t you?”

“Shut up…”

“Haha~ You’re such a dork dude.” Laughing as she pinched my cheeks. This is dumb… I’m dumb… I let out a sigh as she patted me on the back, we returned to that strange silence as we both continued to admire the scene past the safety rails. I want to meet her again.

                                                                     - Richard -


                                                                     - Repeat -

                                                               00:00:00 / 01:00:00

My name…

My name is Issac, I’m 24 years old and live in an apartment above the Alinam Train Station. My ethnicity is Chinese, and I am 5 foot and 10 inches tall with brown eyes as well as brown hair. My blood type is O and my favourite food is fried chicken. I am currently unemployed and trying to find meaning in my life as I am bored with living a normal life constantly following the same routine. My hobbies include watching videos broadcast on the internet and reading novels.

You might be wondering why I’m telling you all of this. It’s because I’m trying to make you understand that I’m a completely normal person, with normal hobbies and normal life. There is nothing special nor abnormal about me, I’m neither a leader nor a follower. I am normal, and yet I’m extremely proud of that.

                                                                           - Issac -


                                                                         - Normal -

                                                                00:35:16 / 01:00:00

The noise of someone clicking their pen has always bothered me, especially when it’s done repeatedly…

“So Issac, I see you meet the requirements for this job considering your academic achievements, do you mind telling me about yourself?” An old white-bearded man asked me from across his wooden mahogany table. There’s not a single thing I like about this man, his beard isn’t shaven, and he keeps tapping that pen for some reason.

Beards make me feel as if the person is incomplete or broken in a way...

“Issac?” He asked again, trying to regain my attention.

My eyelids blinked exactly two times before answering his question, “About myself?” I replied thinking of the best way to answer his question.


My name is Issac, I’m 24 years old and live in an apartment above the Alinam Train Station.

My ethnicity is Chinese, and I am 5 foot and 8 inches tall with brown eyes as well as brown hair. My blood type is O and my favourite food is fried chicken.

I am currently unemployed and trying to find meaning in my life as I am bored with living a normal life constantly following the same routine.

My hobbies include watching videos broadcast on the internet and reading novels.

“And I assure you I am completely normal.” I said firmly.

“Excuse me, what do you mean by normal?” He asked in a confused tone slightly scratching the top of his head.

“Normal…” I quietly responded.

“Well, your references seem to check out, and you have the right experience… you’ve got the job, just try not to act so… strange around everyone else in the office okay?”

At that moment… he called me strange… I don’t know, I couldn’t think straight or remember it all clearly. All I could remember about that situation is how I desperately wanted to check if I locked my apartment door that day.

My… My right pocket feels oddly heavy….


                                                                        - Strange -

At approximately 5:43 PM Saturday, I had declined the job offer from the paper company known as Yang Corp offering a mean annual salary of approximately 67,000 dollars. It seemed as if we had many issues with each other such as beliefs and ideals.

Though unfortunate I didn’t mind as much as I am in a decent financial situation and can go a little longer without the support of a job or salary. Despite having no job or purpose in life I manage to stay relatively happy and undisturbed, something as simple as a half-empty glass of water could cheer up my day. So as I normally do I went back to my studio apartment above Alinam Train Station to have a drink of water. As I made my way inside my small studio apartment I immediately heard my doorbell ring loudly, the room was filled with this disturbing high-pitched doorbell ring. As I opened the apartment door a strange figure stood right in front of me, standing up high and proud a short girl wearing a yellow baseball cap with her short light brown hair flowing down from behind her head.

“I’ve heard you could help me.” She said as she removed her bright yellow baseball cap from her head. Ears, strange ears. We all have little hobbies, things that help entertain us once in a while.

She has two sets of ears, a pair of regular normal human ears where they’re supposed to be, and two strange cat-like ears on the top of her head. This doesn’t make sense, it’s strange, abnormal and crazy.


                                                                     - Strange -

Strange, abnormal, different, things such as her are the things I dedicate my spare time to fixing, it’s my hobby in a way. “That’s right, come on in.” I say holding the door wide open for her to enter my apartment.

As I held the door open she slowly walked inside suspicious of her surroundings, she then took a seat on my computer desk chair and crossed her arms waiting impatiently for me to close the door and assist her, “Cat ears, haven’t seen that before, usually, it’s an extra finger or a tail.” I then closed the door and walked toward my patient.

“I just- I just want a way back…”

As she talked, I took out a folded piece of A4 paper from my pocket and unfolded it in front of her. The paper was exactly 210 × 297 mm in size weighing in at 5 grams. The unfolded piece of paper had a single strange letter on it, it seemed as if it was a strange mix between both Arabic and Mandarin, “This letter, are you familiar with it?”

“Yes, I’m not sure what it says, but I’m pretty sure that’s Korean.” She replied awkwardly staring at the strange letter closely.

“Seems Korea is pretty different from the one we have here, don’t worry, that assures that I can help you.” I said, as I walked back towards the front door and locked it to avoid the chances of her escaping.

Slowly taking the piece of A4 paper and pressing it against the door, “Quiet now, the gate is opening...” I had retrieved it recently from another strange individual who had visited a while ago, it’s a shame I’ll have to dispose of it, but it’s for a good cause.

                                                                              - Issac -


                                                                           - Normal -

                                                                   01:00:00 / 01:00:00

Quiet, it was nice and quiet. It began to feel as if the entire small apartment was perfectly lit to perfection with no spot being too bright nor too dark. The wind began to stop flowing in through the window as if time stood still for a second. The entire room began slowly deconstructing itself in a neat orderly fashion as it recognised the room’s surroundings into a staircase toward the clouds.

As the floorboards slowly reorganised themselves we found ourselves suddenly high up in the sky, above where any of our problems could ever reach us. When the room finished reconstructing itself, there stood in front of us a long staircase with a door at the end, slowly opening towards a bright light.

“I- I can go home?” She said slowly making her way up the staircase with her head hands and legs vigorously shaking as she took each step.

My right pocket felt heavy…


                                                                         - Silence -

There’s a reason why I want to push the emphasis that I’m a completely normal person. Cause just like any other normal person in this universe, I wish that we can all live in peace uninterrupted. I only wish for the best for us. Strange things, irregular things. Things that are out of place and things that don’t belong in this world. These are the things I help fix, these are the things that I help save.

And as it stands, this world of ours is completely normal. From the crops to the very people that live in this world. I intend to keep it that way. We then both made it to the top with her looking through the bright doorway staring in awe and amazement.

“Excuse me.” I say as I grab the shoulder of the irregular woman. She didn’t belong here, her anatomy is all wrong…


                                                                       - Strange -

It barely took a second, with a swift motion I was able to take out my tool from my pocket and press it against her neck, a switchblade. Without saying even a single word I pressed the trigger and pushed the blade into her. She gave me this look, she stared directly at me with her eyes wide open, it was as if she was trying to speak, her throat desperately trying to let out a voice.

“I’m not sorry, goodbye.” I said returning her glare as I pushed her into the bright doorway never to be seen again, my breathing began to feel normal again as I felt refreshed and calm now that she was gone. The room then slowly began to restructure itself back to its normal self returning to the regular shape of my old small apartment. There was almost no trace of her, only her bright yellow baseball cap remained. I might need to go burn that or throw it back into the gate where it belongs. Though the process seemed as if it was difficult, I can finally rest easy. The world is back to its original state, normal.

                                                                          - Issac -


                                                                        - Normal -

                                                                  00:00:00 / 1:00:00