Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chapter 3

The room was dusty. The fan droned on noisily. Above it was a light bulb, its dim light flickering with every rotation of the fan.

Smoke and the musty smell of tobacco filled the room. Richard was a heavy smoker. In just an hour, sitting at his desk, he has already finished a pack.

At the front of his desk was a wooden sign proudly displaying his name. "Richard William Simeon". The name was distinctively Caucasian and clashed obtusely with his Oriental features.

Richard Simeon was not born Richard Simeon.

His given name was something that even he did not know.

As an infant, Richard was left in a gutter and for dead. His life would have ended prematurely if not for the charity of a British family. Richard was adopted.

Brought up and educated in Western society, Richard's given name was something that he would not be able to pronounce.

Richard took a deep drag of his cigarette. He loved his imported British cigarettes. Despite the climate, Richard was wearing a tailored suit. His hair was gelled back. He loved being British.

Richard looked at his watch. He was waiting for someone, a certain Tan Boon Hock. It was eleven. Boon Hock was late. Not only that, his name irked Richard. "Tan Boon Hock", it was a name filled with crude and disjoint syllables.

Richard's given name was something that he did not want to know.

There was a knock on the door. Boon Hock came in. He was short, plump, and a representative of a local trade union. Originally expressionless, his features broke into a smile upon recognition of an Asian face.

"Ah good day!" The fat man said in Chinese, "How are you?"

He extended his hand heartily. His weight seemed to perpetually rock back and forth on the balls of his feet.

Richard did not shake his hand, nor did he smile. He did not even get up.

"Mr. Tanne, take a seat", Richard replied in perfect received pronunciation.

Boon Hock's weight stopped rocking back and forth. His extended hand dropped to his side. Boon Hock sat down.

"Now, Mr Tanne, how can I help you?"

Richard did not look as though he wanted to do any helping.

"Ah, I come here ah, is talk about the salary of worker."

Boon Hock started speaking in English. Richard's usage of English has dictated a shift of language.

Boon Hock droned on. Richard was listening but barely taking anything in. Boon Hock's speech sounded chunky, uncultured and contained numerous grammatical errors.

Richard felt a wicked sense of superiority. He loved being British.


  1. Oh, I love the title of your book. My research is all about deception.

  2. A bit arrogant, isn't he? "He loved being British." Your repetitive mention of this phrase to describe Richard made me chuckle. I know some people who are like that.



This is a work of fiction, not a historical account. So, don't nitpick at the historical inaccuracies.

This is also just a rough draft and hence, unpolished.