Edmund: I meant to post this earlier but due to my tight Singapore schedule, I’ve finally got this up. This happened two weekends ago and some development came through when I was away, so I feel it’s only right that I post this now. Hope you find this an interesting read. 🙂
I slowly paced up the street as I wielded my torch light to search the roof. My heart was beating fast, hockey stick held tightly in my left hand. I trained my eyes into the dark. Nope, not a single soul in sight. Not on the roof, that is.
I told Mom and Ashley to stay indoors. The robber could attempt to break into our house. Ashley was pacing around the living hall with a small baseball bat, probably anticipating action.
And suddenly, I saw a group of Chinese boys – armed with sticks and javelines – charging frantically in my direction as two other motorbikes zoomed past me.
Okay okay, in order for this whole story to make sense I’ll start from the beginning. Here goes…
It was almost 4 in the morning when I was still chugging into the night, working on my next ‘big project’. Yes I am normally awake at this hour. 🙂
It’s always dead quiet at this time I could hear a pin drop. The only thing breaking the silence is the sound of my clattering keyboard. That was until I started hearing noises coming from the roof (my house is one storey tall).
But the noise became disturbing, louder and quickly grew into rhytms of ‘thud’s and ‘thump’s.
** SCRATCH — SCREECH — THUMP THUMP THUD! **
Wait a minute. Too heavy to be a cat.
I stopped working and started examining the roof window with my torch light. Thank goodness I’ve bought the new batteries not too long ago. The noise didn’t stop abruptly though it became more subtle. I was in a semi-tired mental state but suddenly, my body grew alert. Kura, Kura, Kura, Kura, Kura, and Kura were scrambling in their tanks frantically — but I couldn’t take my attention off the roof window. I had to be sure.
In a blink eye, I saw a figure darted near the corner of the roof window. Not a cat. But SOMEONE. SHIT, someone’s on our roof!
Instinctively, I inched my way towards the side of the computer table for security: my hockey stick. Better used as a weapon than a tool for the turf.
I stared at the roof window for another good 30 seconds before I woke Mom and Ashley. Whoever was up there was crawling in circles. Sometimes the sound was near and then sometimes it faded away.
When I woke Mom and Ashley up and told them what was happening, Ashley immediately grabbed the mini baseball bat tucked under her pillow. We switched on every light in our house, especially the back door. However, the noises on the roof continued to persist.
Soon Auwlithe our watch dog was barking outside the house, looking in the direction of the roof. I went out of the house and started searching the roof with my torch light (from the road, of course – I didn’t dare climb up 🙂 ).
As I was searching the roof, there was a car parked opposite our house – with 3 suspicious boys inside. Parked under the street light, they were making a lot of bodily gestures inside the car and I couldn’t help but wonder what were these guys doing at this unearthly hour. Could they be accomplices to the “roofwalker”?
After all, when I came back to Johor Bahru three weeks ago, Mom warned me that there had been robberies and break-ins lately; they’ve all been occuring in our neighborhood. There was also a rumor that there were people walking on roofs too, at hours like this.
For a split second, my gut feeling told me to remember the car’s number plate and call the cops. Wait, too late for that. The three boys in colored hair got out of the car and approached me.
I was holding a hockey stick in my hand at that time, and I didn’t know if I should keep my distance until I confirmed what was really going on.
I kept my guard up as the three figures approached me, seemingly to ask me “what is going on?” in Mandarin. It’s a shame I can’t converse in Mandarin so in simple English, I told them that there was someone on the roof.
The three boys looked at each other, and one of them asked me if I was sure about it. Well, of course I said YES.
In the next ten seconds, the highlight of the sleepy neighborhood came. A horde of boys in singlets, t-shirts and shorts dashed out of a small house – armed with sticks and javelines – those that you would see in a Lion Dance or Martial Arts performance.
The commotion woke up a lot of neighbors as houses started lighting up and more people were awake. The boys were probably excited for action, as they started combing the housing area in search for the slick suspect. Two motorbikes started circling the area as the boys were making a racket.
It was comforting to know that they were helping us, even though we were unable to find any trace of the “Roofwalker” after 30 minutes of search. He must have left before the boys did anything.
We were grateful that the boys offered to help, and we learned that they were actually part of a Lion Dance and Martial Arts group. They were just bunking over at one of their friends’ house (in the opposite row), preparing for the next day’s performance. So this explained why there were so many guys emerging from a small house, and why they weren’t asleep even at 4 in the morning. 😉
We retired from the search party though word got around about the commotion. Even as I am writing this, the night patrol is frequenting this particular stretch more often than ever. Phew!
By the way, Mom and Ashley had their own suspect on whoever that “Roofwalker” might be. You see, when I was staying in Petaling Jaya for most of the time, a new family moved into the neighborhood. Overall, the family members are normal people – all except one old man. Very suspicious.
I’ve not met him before though I’ve seen him only once. According to my sister, he’s got a very suspicious character. He seemed to always be looking at her every time she takes Auwlithe out for a walk. He asked every neighbor questions like “how many people are there in your house?” and “what time are you normally at home?”
To top it off, the old folk is unemployed and he’s often seen loitering in different parts of the neighborhood.
As I’ve said, I’ve not met this old timer in person before albeit seen him only once. So definitely, I don’t have anything concrete against him though Mom and Ashley have their own suspicion. After all, he IS relatively fit even for his age.
Just days ago, I learned that the old timer went to prison for a crime he committed. Robbery. One of his sons joined him in the two-man party too.
Coincidence? THE END? Let’s hope it stays that way for this episode. 😉