Close to Death

Posted on 12 January 2018

Author’s Note (1): This is an entry for the writing competition “Australia Day Short Story”. More information can be found in the following link:

Author’s Note (2) : I feel like I didn’t write as well as how I used to. Perhaps it’s because of the lack of writing practices or motivation to write. Maybe the next story will be better. Who knows? (: 

Disclaimer: Not all of the facts (eg: How to start trekking in the Kakadu National Park) found in the story are true. The places are real though so close enough (:

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you an adventure, you just get on it. And that’s what I did. I bravely took up on darrenchan’s sudden offer when we were talking in a HabboBites event room. It was quite a spontaneous and bold decision, with me being a tad scared of the world. But how do you overcome your fear of the world? Well, by going to the most dangerous country of course! Australia, a country where you can find all its venomous, poisonous and murderous animals in every corner. With faith in darrenchan’s plans and expertise of the country and my life in his hands, here I was! In Australia.

I met up with darrenchan at the Darwin Airport and we discussed about the itinerary of the trip. Apparently, we were going to Kakadu National Park the next day. We took a cab down to our lodgings in a town called Jabiru and rested for the night. While resting, being the girl in her little safety bubble, I began to research more about the park. From the looks of it, it was breathtakingly beautiful but the disclaimer on the website made me anxious. “Beware of snakes, pigs and alligators while trekking.” My heart pounded furiously, thinking about the dangers. I asked darrenchan if there were any other safer parks we could go to. With a smile, he reassured me that everything would be alright.

In the early morning, we hailed a cab to go to one of the entrances of the park. I started up a conversation with darrenchan to soothe my nerves.

“Man, I miss my family. I cannot wait to show them all the pictures I’m gonna take and tell them all about this trip. Maybe I’ll even bring them here someday. Do you think I’ll be a professional tour guide like you Darren?” I asked excitedly.

“I think you’d make a great tour guide. Damn, I miss my family too. It’s a shame I can’t go back yet.” Darrenchan dejectedly responded, while looking out of the cab window. It must have struck a chord in him. From what I understood, darrenchan studied in Monash University in Australia while his family were still in Malaysia. Perhaps he felt bad that he couldn’t visit his family that often.

Feeling guilty, I tried to stray away from the topic by showing him all the picturesque landscapes along the way. As we were talking, our mood began to lighten up as we eagerly discussed about our plans. However, in the midst of our conversation, I caught a glimpse of the cab driver looking at me through the mirror. As if I was a strange person. How weird.

As soon as we reached our destination, darrenchan zoomed onto the walking trail. Thinking he was just excited to show off the area, I followed suit. However, darrenchan began trekking at an incredible speed. I tried to yell after him but he didn’t listen. He didn’t even stop to wait for me. Picking up my pace, I scampered towards him, afraid of being lost in the wilderness. Thirty minutes into trekking, I saw him going off the trail and into the trees. I frowned in confusion. Why was he heading towards some random trees? Without a single rest, I worriedly ran towards him while yelling out his name.

I managed to catch up only to see darrenchan on the brink of falling into what seems to be a pit. Struggling to keep himself balanced, darrenchan fell. I hurried over to the edge and looked down. I stifled a scream, horrified of what I saw. I didn’t see darrenchan. I saw a decomposed corpse, lying face-down. The corpse was wearing the exact same outfit that darrenchan wore.

My mind was a complete blank. I couldn’t process at all. Suddenly, as if by instinct, I turned around to see a worn-out bag beside a tree. A strong feeling pulled me towards it and before I knew it, I found myself rummaging through the bag. Inside, there were photographs, a notebook, a camera and a wallet. Hesitantly, I examined the photographs. It was darrenchan.

It didn’t feel real. Questions flooded my mind. Was that darrenchan? Who was I talking to all these while? Did he lead me here? Why me?

“Please, bring me home…”
Comments (2)
Kreasa on 12 January 2018 9:10 PM
Wah gong gong so kind. Still bring lala on a tour even when you are ehem HAHAH
darrenchan on 12 January 2018 7:24 PM
wow i died LOL
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