Disguised as a beggar, the young man walked lifelessly on the dusty road. The reflection of the pale yellowish moon revealed dimly his skeletal figure, a figure that was not usual to his own being. Funny after months on the run can change a man inside and out.

An old man was panting a few steps behind him, trying to catch up. The smell of clove cigarette spreads as he exhaled his breath. He reached out and grabbed the left hand of the beggar.

“Stop!”, the old man said.
“Let go of my hand, old man.”, the beggar responded.

Surprised, the old man let go of the beggar’s hand.

“Please come home. We are not going to betray you. You have nothing to be afraid of anymore. The enemy is gone.”, said the old man.

“Greed makes a man afraid, old man. Once a person has reduced his needs to the absolute minimum, he has no more reason to fear, of anything, anybody”, the beggar replied while still, lifelessly walking forward.

The old man was stunned. A young man that was once his son has changed radically. He was no longer the son he once knew.

“Well, if you don’t want to go home, at least take my money. It’s the least that I can do.”, the old man said in a surrendered tone.

The old man emptied his pocket and shoved a few ringgit notes to the beggar.

The beggar stopped and stared at the old man’s eyes. The moonlighting divulged the beggar’s bloodshot eyes.

“Give it to someone who needs it.”, the beggar reacted in an annoyed tone but kept his cool. He started walking again.

“Everyone needs money!”

“Then you use it.”

*****

The stars glittered as the unnoticed clouds moved across the dark grey sky. “To victory”, the beggar whispered to himself, “To freedom”, as he walked north. Lonely steps taken to the direction of the beggar’s conquest.



A loose depiction of the first part of Pak Pram’s The Fugitive

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