6. Penang door 5
Old Penang doors

A night in Penang.

By Brian Martin-Onraet and illustrated by Tiffany Choong.

“They will die if we do nothing,” Felicity said, pacing on the crazy pavement by the pool.

“Felicity, tokek,” Gary said, “please stop pacing, tokek, you’re driving me crazy, tokek.”

“Gary,” Felicity said, “stop with your tokek, it is driving ME crazy.”

“Sorry, Fel’, it’s a tokek, I mean, a tick. Tokek. I agree with you, tokek, they will die, but what can we do? We’re helpless. Tokek.”

Felicity said nothing. Kept pacing around the swimming pool. Looked up at Bulan, the Moon, in full splendour in the starry Penang night. She stopped. Looked at the pool. Then at Bulan again, looked at Gary. Started pacing again.

The fault lies not in our stars,” she said, “but in ourselves *. WE have to find a solution. Sock? Any thoughts?”

“Gan’t garely greathe, let alone think,” Sock said.

“Take your bl..dy mask off, for Pete’s sake,” Felicity said. Sock removed his mask. Coughed and said: “It’s the forest fires, the air is… choking. Cough, cough!”

“What a lot!” Felicity said. “I repeat: Our. Friends. Will. Die…”

“If we do nothing. Tokek. We know. Tokek. What do you suggest Fel’?”

Felicity stood still. Looked up at Bulan again.

“I know! I know! There is a solution! Stéphanie! She can help us!”

“The little girl?” Sock said. “But, but…”

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