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The lights of Tekong

I was never fond of army. And I cried myself silly for 3-months in the most uncanny settings; Marching, low rope, leopard crawl, bunk.

I felt the pain of captivity, the agony of being detached from my world.

That night, when I was waiting for my turn during remedial training to the low rope, and the view that penetrated my sight. A stretch of orange lights from across the sea; The mainland of Singapore. The view was beguiling.

And now at age 34, the memory of it, after a cigar and a few Myanmar beers; The pain of missing my army days, the pain of missing my youth.

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The Charlie Tiger

I was in my number 4, wet from condensation and perspiration. The humid weather has been lifted by the magical uniform, I was superman, invincible. As I folded by legs into a comfortable stance, I nestled behind the vegetation, focused, to spot a fictitious enemy.

I saw a familiar shadow darting pass behind the bushline, making a clumsy noisy beeline towards me in a flank. 'Lau, eh, do you have tissue paper?'

I reached into my grenade pouch, and pulled out a packet of 4-ply tissue and offered Sir Charlie. I was hanging on the brink of death-by-exhaustion, the weight of the 7mm resting on my lap, as I pointed the muzzle towards a general direction. It was a dawn attack, and I knew it was going to be a long non-anticipating mission.

As the dawn broke, I was both glad it was unhappening, and we were only halting for instructions. The weather has started to warm up from the sun, and finally it was time to move. We threaded across the peak of Jane, to the next objective.

Xuen came up to me, and pointed with glee to the dried coarse ground 'Siang Lin, wah, got a piece of shit, careful ah.' I followed his finger and saw an enormous (and surprisingly defined) chunk of crap, like a ripe Filipino banana.

'Wah, maybe it's a tiger leh. So big piece.

A few steps later, another serving of feces, almost as large as the first one. I was getting intrigued. Whatever this creature was, it was sure fond of defecating in the middle of the track, and it was definitely carrying a lot of load in its rectum.

Then I saw a litter of white unsuspecting tissue paper, soiled ones.

Gasp. As I scrutinized it with the brief moment I trotted past, the designed of the paper! It was mine!

My tissue paper!

Sir Charlie!

It was not a tiger, Xuen.

It was... our Platoon Commander!

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