Happy Birthday

The first birthday.
It was unsurprising the parents would throw a party to commemorate the special occasion. Cake, candle, presents, singing and clapping. Even if the tot of honour wouldn’t really understand what was going on.
I just wished I wasn’t strung along for the madness, but Mum insisted I went with it. Paid me handsomely to clam up the complaints and head down to the shops for something appropriate.
“I don’t think we should be endorsing this charade,” I said, but my protests fell on deaf ears.
“Your aunt would really appreciate this. He’s her first child, after all.” Continue reading Happy Birthday


4am: Homesick in Sunway City

Part I

Feet in saltwater, head tipped to the sky, the screech of gulls ahead. Idle fishing pole gripped in your palms, disobedient fish swarming below the pier.

A call in the distance that sounds like your mother’s. You turn to holler back –

You blink awake to cool sheets, rat-tat-tat of a fan above. For a second you think you’re home and your brother’s about to rush in, banging at the door, but you know this grey ceiling, the university-issued closet in your periphery.

Coffee. Then consciousness. Continue reading 4am: Homesick in Sunway City

ECHO: Stories from 2018

For our last article of 2018, ECHO has decided at the suggestion of one of our writers, Natasha, to compile a series of passages from our members. The prompt: what was a significant memory from your 2018?   I think the best thing that’s happened to me is probably how I wrote a book of poems – mostly prose and micro-poetry, but some basic poems … Continue reading ECHO: Stories from 2018

Untitled (due to the sheer indecisiveness of an overthinker)

There I was, standing in front of a bookshelf in a bookstore of a mall on what seemed to be a lazy Sunday afternoon, as the store workers were either idly meddling with their little oblong screens as they stared into it with droopy eyes, or simply deep within the dreams of an afternoon nap, drool seeping its way down the side of their mouths. The store itself wasn’t crowded; a couple of children with their parents – worn, exhausted and withering like ghastly undead cadavers (which is unsurprising considering they were very likely soaked in a midlife crisis), browsing the stationery section or in a panic looking for materials for a last minute school project; and a few others, like me, trapped in ‘decision-making purgatory’ within the aisles of the endless labyrinth of bookshelves. Continue reading Untitled (due to the sheer indecisiveness of an overthinker)

Awake & Alive

There, standing behind my father, steadfast in her beauty and in her support of my father alike, is my mother. It’s not her that I’m taken aback by, it’s the boy next to her. He’s the spitting image of Mr Boyd, this boy, with the same obsidian eyes and platinum blonde hair. He smiles directly at the corner, cool and close-lipped.

“That – that’s me,” I say. Continue reading Awake & Alive

One Night

Written by Ng Li Wei – “I know you.” It’s night-time. A moon has risen over the dimly lit streets and several pedestrians are hurrying home, glancing fearfully up at the thundering sky.

A bell rings – a customer entering a convenience store. A boy looks left and right and behind him before he crosses the road – not to look out for cars, but to make sure no one’s following him. Soft music gently bubbles through the air from a cafe and the sound of clinking glasses along with loud, unruly cheers erupt from a nearby bar. The owner of a bookstore is sitting by the counter…… Continue reading One Night

Reluctant Protagonist Meets Badly-Written Horror Story

Written by Koh Ze-Wen

Arin woke to pouring rain. It sounded like someone was trying to drown the world in rain, which she respected, as a college student who had an 8am class. Still, if she didn’t get that sweet sweet 80 percent attendance, she wouldn’t even have the opportunity to flunk out of Physics.

Lost in thought, she dumped her bag on her seat and was suddenly and rudely acquainted with someone’s butt on her desk.

“Excuse me,” she said to the butt in question.

“Hey,” the owner of the butt said. He looked vaguely hungover, and he was dressed in a varsity jacket and skinny jeans. Which was interesting, because their college didn’t have sports teams with varsity jackets, which meant he had possibly acquired……

Continue reading Reluctant Protagonist Meets Badly-Written Horror Story

To Sleep in the Woods

In the evening of a dreary November, the clouds enshrouded the heavens above with a weary gray that plagued the sunless skies and the horizon beyond. Sere leaves in shades of dull and worn amber drifted aimlessly in the chilling breeze, fallen from their trees that grew ever tired in the passing autumn, covering the ground as their ghastly graveyard. The ghostly mist shrouded the woods, smothering the trees into lifeless blurred silhouettes. I walked deep into the woods, below the shedding canopies, hearing the crunching of leaves that rested peacefully on the ground with every step I took. Continue reading To Sleep in the Woods


Photo Credits  By Raeesah Hayatudin   Out of the quiet rise sudden, high-pitched clicking sounds. Will opens her eyes and peers over the side of the boat to see a young dolphin, gazing up at her, trilling cautiously. Will’s face breaks into a wide smile. She reaches her hand down and out towards the dolphin; it rises up to butt at her fingers with its … Continue reading (ALMOST) A LONG-LOST DREAM