Wednesday, May 7, 2014

(Prose) - Bus Trips (CAP 2010 Portfolio)

Bus Trips

I: The Coin
Glad to be out of the hot evening sun and in the cool air-conditioned environment of the public bus, Phillip promptly swiped his card at the electronic cash machine before making his way further into the bus. After a grueling climb on the stairs to the second deck, Phillip slumped his exhausted body onto an empty seat. The second deck was, by Phillip’s observation, more spacious and empty than the first deck below. Clearly few people would want to go through the agony of climbing a set of steep steps after a long day. Phillip gave an involuntary yawn as he settled himself into his seat, his school bag by his side. Outside, the scenery moved rather quickly as the bus lumbered along its route, its engine whining noisily below on the first deck. Casting a glance at his feet, Phillip could not help but notice a tiny object that was glinting merrily at his feet. Bending down to inspect it, Phillip discovered that it was, in fact, a silver coin. Picking it up, Phillip studied the coined more closely. It was a pretty thing, being only barely a year in age (its back was imprinted with a ‘2009’), its metallic body showing little signs of wear and tear. As Phillip proceeded with his inspection of the coin, an overwhelming question came to his mind- to keep or not to keep? He frowned upon this, puzzled. The coin was certainly of monetary value, but to keep it would have been an infringement of his Christian values. But after all, the coin was now displaced from its owner, would keeping it still be considered stealing? Pushing all his doubts aside, Phillip dropped the little object into his wallet. The absence of the coin’s little glow immediately ate into his conscience. Biting hard into his lower lip and with all the day’s fatigue aside, Phillip continued to ponder about retaining mastership over the coin. After some silent thought, Phillip retrieved the coin back out from his wallet and placed it back where he found it. After all, if he did not take the coin, his conscience would not be tainted and his life would be much simpler.


II: The Baby
Another day at school sees our young protagonist exhausted! With all his might, he clumbers into the bus and takes a seat. Oh no! He immediately encounters a dangerous threat- the baby! What would our Phillip do? The baby fires a wide smile at our boy, sealing off all hopes of feigning ignorance! Our boy throws back a funny face, and the baby takes it full on! Its laughter saves our protagonist a few precious seconds to shut his eyes, but wait, what is this? The baby cries our Phillip awake, raring for another showdown! Our boy is left with no choice! He dishes out his signature move- the flapping ears! It works! The baby retreats back into its seat, roaring with laughter! Now that the threat is removed, our boy leaves the bus, victorious! Or so we would have wanted the story to end but avast, it does not! The baby once again pops out unwittingly near our boy and engages him in another round! Drool attack!  Our boy returns with a feigned stern face! The baby frowns…wait! It laughs again! Our boy has proven himself victorious over the baby! Three wins in a row! He can now truly leave the bus, and proclaim his great victory!


My reflection: Bus Trips

This collection of short stories arose from true experiences during my rides home from school on the public bus. As told in the story, I left the coin back in the bus when I exited it without a guilty conscience, and I truly encountered a baby on a separate occasion. Although my encounter with the baby was not as exciting as recounted in the second story, I did want to show my reluctance in engaging the baby in the story, while he, on the other hand, wanted to engage me! I have decided to use an ordinary third person narrative in the first story, employing a tinge of Classical English Literature writing style. To add in a little fun into this piece, I have employed a different type of third person narrative for the second story- the spoken style of a commentator in a sports event, or in context to the story, a boxing match. This creates much contrast between the first and the second story, which would reflect on the introspective quality of the first story, and the retrospective quality of the second.

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