by Chong Yen Long
I ACCIDENTALLY walked into the wrong room in the budget hotel named Nilai (in Malay it means "Value") as I was tired from a four-hour outing, consisting of exploring the nearby Mantin town and savouring its gastronomic delights. The last course of "fishhead curry" shared with two long-lost friends as I had just returned from abroad after a long absence, must have induced my wandering into Room 007 (when my registered was 008).
I saw the two lights on the reading table -- dim as if not to disturb the rest, perhaps, of a dainty maiden? It's an hour past midnight -- only the sound of soft running water exited from an adjoining bathroom, due to a tap not completely closed by a tired soul, I surmised.
Above the table was a portrait, and what seemed a ray of light emitting from a smile, flirting on the face of yet another beauty? My head had lately been obsessed with beauties from unknown landscapes -- they visited me in my dreams, and even at daytime reverie during tea-breaks.
Or the two beauties could be related -- even twin sisters? My writer's imaginings becoming richer by the second-- maybe it's the rice wine, or the fishhead, especially its brains said to contain aphrodisiac and sublimal values.
Two lights, dim and shy, hiding some secrets. Perhaps One of apparitional delight. And the Other, I'll find out, tomorrow, should I have the pleasure of meeting the living delight.