Archive | April 2017

Cabin in the Wood: the Truth

cabin in the wood

By Enelis C

Harry was awakened by a loud thud outside the house. He sat down immediately and cursed inwardly.  So much for the idea to stay awake. He got out the bed and went out the room. The sun’s rays went in through the window and illuminated the corridor. Yawning widely, he knocked on Anna’s door. No answer. He waited for several minutes before knocking again. Being impatient, because it was so not-Anna-at-all, he turned the knob and opened the door. Panic pierced his heart when he realized that the bed was empty. No Anna in sight.

He hurriedly went down the stairs and looked around. The fire still danced happily in the hearth. The dinner table was empty, showing no sign of the feast last night, as if it was only an illusion. As his mind tried hard to find the logic of the situation, he noticed strange sounds outside, like something continuously scraping against something. He realized that the front door was ajar.

Gripped by fear, Harry slowly went to the door. He opened it soundlessly. Kathy was standing at the clearing with her back was to him, bending over something, wasn’t aware of his presence. He realized that she was the source of the sound he heard. She was sharpening a saw on a big round stone, almost enthusiastically while humming softly. What was she going to do with that thing? Harry inhaled sharply.

To his horror, he saw dark red blotches were smeared on her clothes, particularly the lower part. He darted a shocked look at the ground. There was a pool of red almost like fresh blood. A wave of sickness hit him hard he almost collapsed. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Was that Anna lying motionless beside the red pool? There was no mistake. It was her! He knew that redhead too well.

You might think that being unnoticed as he was, he has an ultimate chance to finish her off and she might not realize she was attacked until it was too late. Or he might yell a war cry, announcing his presence then attacked her like a hero on many fairy tales. He would come as the winner and would be famous for avenging the monster that killed his friend. No. He just stood there numbly for several seconds before shrieking un-hero-like.

The saw on Kathy’s hand fell with a sickening thud to the ground. She turned and looked at Harry with a crazy gleam in her eyes.

“My bacon sandwich! You’re awake! Care to join your girlfriend?”

Harry shrieked again. He stumbled backward. The front door was slamming in front of him.

“Why were you running away? Come here. I want to show you something!”

Harry held the urge to throw up. She was crazy. Then, he realized his mistake. Instead of running away from the cabin, he was running inside. He cursed. Now what? He was totally trapped. He forced himself to calm down and think it over. The idea of running away with that wicked woman free to chase him was not a good idea. Who knew what that woman would do? For goodness sake he might have a saw embedded on his body the moment he fled from her. Maybe that woman could catch up with him despite her fat body. Moreover, he couldn’t leave Anna behind. He shuddered. The thought of her lit his anger.

He needed to outwit the crazy woman. His best weapon was his brain. He couldn’t use destructive power like his other friends. Though he might do some fighting, he couldn’t battle an armed maniac almost twice his size barehanded. Not to mention that she had a sharp saw! He needed to make her incapacitated so that he could escape to the town and asked for help. He looked around, trying to find a way to subdue her. He could trap her somewhere in the cabin. But where?

“Roast chicken, don’t be shy. Why are you running away?” Kathy called. She was on the other side of the door already.

Harry could lure her inside one of the bedroom and trap her there. No. That was not a good idea, either. He could hide behind the door, but her big body would block the exit. He would be the one trapped. There was no time.

Speaking about a trap… He set his eyes on the trapdoor. He got an idea. A foolish and desperate one, but he didn’t have a choice.

Kathy opened the door forcefully.

“Where are you, smoked sausage?” She called in a sing-song voice. “Are we playing hide and seek now?”

From his hiding place, Harry could tell that Kathy moved around, searching for him in any possible hideouts in the small cabin.

“Huh? The trapdoor was open! Bad kebab! I told him not to open the door!” she grumbled. “I will teach him a lesson! Maybe he can be the main dish for breakfast today?” she laughed evilly.

Harry held his breath and willed his heart to stop beating fast, afraid she could hear them clearly. He heard her walking down the stair to the basement. He moved fast, opened the door of the larder where he hid, ran towards the surprised Kathy, kicked her in the chest and sent her tumbling down the stairs, closed the trapdoor and bolted it.

“What are you doing, chicken nugget?!” her muffled cry sounded beneath the trapdoor.

Harry ran outside and went to Anna’s still body. Blood covered the back of her head and her neck. Her lifeless blue eyes stared at the sky. It was too late. Harry cursed. Tears stung his eyes. He turned and ran as fast as possible to the city. Now that the sun was up and the fog was gone, he could find his way back to the city. Rage boiled inside him as he noticed that the cabin was located so damn near to the city. If they hadn’t stopped at the cabin and kept walking, they might reach the city in less than twenty minutes. And then, Anna would not…

Harry closed his eyes, trying to dismiss the thought. He hoped that it was just a nightmarish nightmare, that he was still asleep, so was Anna on the next door. That Kathy was only a harmless fat lady. He kept running and running, letting his legs led him. And what a wonderful guide they were, since he suddenly crashed into a solid muscular body and landed hard on his bottom on the cobblestone road.

He opened his eyes and looked up at the handsome face of the head of the Red Dormitory.

“Larc!”

“You looked like hell,” he said. Okay. Just forget about the handsome and muscular part.

“Wh-what are you doing here?” Harry stuttered.

“I have a business to make with Annaliese. So, where is she?”

In a flash, Harry stood up. Words poured from his mouth incoherently.

“Never mind about that! She was… It was too late… The witch… Trapdoor… My fault…”

Larc raised his hand, signaling him to stop talking. “You don’t make any sense. Try to explain slowly.”

“We don’t have time for that!” Harry shouted at his face. In normal situation, he would never dare to even think about shouting at Larc. In fact, he never saw anybody doing so, except those who had death wishes to die in a painful way. Since it was not a normal situation, he thought he could make it an exception. “Just follow me, please. I will tell you the whole story while we are running.”

Harry wondered if he truly looked like hell like Larc had said before, since the man didn’t argue with Harry ordering him around. He expected a thunderbolt to strike him from behind, but there was nothing. Larc followed him, though Harry couldn’t read his expression at all. Running back to Kathy’s cabin, he explained everything in detail, starting from his decision to walk back to the city when their car was out of fuel to his trapping Cathy inside her own cabin. When he finished his story, they had arrived at the cabin. Harry knelt beside Anna’s lifeless body and sobbed.

“If only I didn’t fall asleep, she might be still alive. Poor Anna. I will make sure that the witch will get a severe punishment for this.”

Larc knelt beside him and looked at the body. Though he claimed that he was looking for her, his face was still unreadable as ever. Then he stood and looked around the cabin.

“Well, if it is her, is that you over there?” he pointed.

Harry raised his head, following the direction Larc’s index finger pointed at. True, there was a figure that looked like him, well, looked exactly like him, standing under the sunlight at the end of the clearing. He was instantly dumbfounded. He looked at Anna’s body closely, his mind kept racing. Larc knelt once again and touched the body.

“Despite of what you’ve said, I think we are truly looking at a very fine statue. An absolutely marvellous art it looks like the real deal.”

“B-bu-but…” Harry stammered.

“We can ask the old lady to find the truth. Where do you lock her in, you said?”

“But Anna is missing!” he protested.

“Well, do you think a crazy old lady can do her in that easily?”

“Well, she’s not that old, but yeah, I see your point,” Harry said in a small voice. He totally forgot that. Anna might look like a fragile and weak girl, but she was strong, super strong, in fact. Now, how could he forget that? He felt so stupid suddenly.

“Where, Harry? We better release her before she becomes the victim.”

Harry groaned inwardly. He went inside the cabin, Larc on his tail. He stopped midway. There were no pounding and no muffled cries. His fear increased. Larc walked pass him and opened the trapdoor. Kathy blinked her eyes as she climbed up the stairs, looking at yet another stranger in her house confusingly.

“I’m verry sorry, Madam. It seems that one of my students had mistaken you for a bloody murderer who killed his friend,” explained Larc.

“Murderer? Kill?” asked Kathy with a questioning look.

“You have a saw with you and blood smeared on your clothes and Anna’s gone and you were so interested with her last night!” accused Harry.

“Ohhh, my chicken nugget, I think you’ve misunderstood.”

Larc looked puzzled by the endearment.

“See!? She keep calling us by any kind of meat dishes even though we’ve told her our names!”

“Well, you like it better if I call you by vegetable dishes?” asked Kathy, looked more confused than before.

Harry slapped his forehead. Larc looked bored.

“Maybe you can explain what actually happened,” Larc prompted.

“I accidentally slipped on the ground while painting the statue of your girlfriend. I knocked the can over and the red paint splashed on me as well. I fell into the pedestal and it broke under my weight. That’s why I sharpen my saw, to make a new pedestal from the logs.”

“So, that’s why Anna’s statue is lying on the ground rather than standing like my statue,” Harry concluded. Everything began to make sense inside his head.

“So, you’ve looked at the statue, then. I put it under the sunlight to let the paint dry faster.”

“But, you are so mysterious about your basement!”

“I’ve placed all my statues there. I want to show them to you guys after I finished your statues.”

“But, it doesn’t explain why Anna is missing!”

“She’s not. She went to take a bath on the river nearby. You can reach the river through the path behind my cabin.”

Larc closed his eyes and shook his head. Harry had never felt so humiliated before. His cheeks were red and he hoped the ground opened to swallow him. He could feel his face reddening more when light footsteps were heard getting closer outside. Less than a minute, Anna appeared at the door, looked so fresh and alive. The three of them stared at her.

“Huh? Did I miss something?” she asked with pure confusion. “Harry, you look like a red tomato. Kathy, is there something wrong with the statue? And Larc? What are you doing here?”

Larc sighed and walked towards her. “I’ve just arrived. I want to ask for your help.” He took Anna’s arm and led her outside.

“Um,” Harry began difficultly. “I’m so terribly sorry. You’ve been so kind to us and I repay you so badly.”

“Don’t worry, pickled cucumber. It’s not every day that I have such an interesting day,” she laughed heartily and slapped him on the shoulder.

Harry couldn’t help but flinched hearing the new endearment. Oh well, it turned out that she was only an eccentric fat woman with an awesome talent. Later that day, she finished Anna’s statue and placed it beside his statue. Harry felt as if he was looking at his own reflection. Kathy showed them the basement, where she stored her statues, all of which were so astounding that no words could truly describe them. If Harry looked at the content of the basement and saw the statues before he hid inside the larder, he might think that they were victims of black magic and got more freaked out than he was at that time. All in all, he was grateful that he had awakened from his ‘nightmare’.

Speaking about black magic, Anna looked a bit guarded after Larc told her the reason he came searching for her. She didn’t tell Harry anything about that but he could see that she was becoming restless. Something bad must be happened in the city. But it was definitely another story…

The End

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Cabin in the Wood: the Suspicion

cabin in the wood

By Enelis C

You might have ever heard about a story where two children named Hansel and Gretel were lost in the forest and found a house made of gingerbread, cakes, and candies. Though the idea of such house sounds harmless, it turned out that the owner of the house was a cannibalistic witch who loved eating children by luring them to her house. Like other classic stories, there must be one moral or two from this story. Maybe it wants to teach you not to eat too many sweets. Maybe it wants to show you that good-looking something does not always mean good. Or to put it simply, it gives you a warning: beware a strange house in the middle of the forest.

The fog was getting heavier with every passing second and so was the feeling of regret in Harry’s heart at his stupid decision to leave the carriage and walk instead. Their horse accidentally injured its leg, preventing them from continuing their journey back to the city.  The carriage would not be a warm place to spend the night, but it would be if his fear of their getting lost had been true. With the thick fog, he wasn’t so sure that the path they’ve taken was the right path to the city. He even wasn’t sure that they would find the carriage if they turned back. Worse, he even wasn’t sure about their location anymore.

Before leaving the carriage, the fog was not as thick as it was now. He was sure that they were so close to the city already, that it would take less than an hour to reach the city by foot. At least, they might find some inns along the way where they were supposed to get warmer than staying in the carriage. Unfortunately, the fog chose to get thicker when they have gone through the halfway of the journey. Now, after walking for an hour with no sign of life except the fog and the forest and the dim light of their lanterns, Harry was pretty sure that they were lost. He stopped, forcing the girl beside him to do the same.

“I’m sorry,” he managed. “We’re lost. I don’t know where we are right now.”

Anna didn’t answer, but she nodded. She kept shining her lantern to their right side, but nothing to be seen except trees. She lowered her lantern and gasped.

“Harry, do you see what I see?”

“What?” he answered rather too fast. He knew that they were alone inside the forest right now, and any idea of superstition didn’t make him feeling better.

“Is that a mailbox?” she pointed her finger to something that looked like a very rusty can impaled by an iron bar. They moved closer to inspect it. It was so rusty that Harry was sure if there was something written on it, nobody could read it without scraped the rust first.

“If that thing is here, there must be…” Harry shone his lantern frantically until the light shone into a large shadow lurking not so far from them. There are some rectangular shapes glowing on it.

“A cabin,” she finished his sentence. She shone her lantern to the ground and they looked at a small bushy path leading to the cabin. She looked at him expectantly. “Those lights mean there’s someone there. I hope that someone doesn’t mind welcoming two visitors in the middle of the night.”

They followed the smaller path towards the wooden cabin. Harry realized that there was a small clearing beside the cabin, hidden behind tall and thick trees they saw at the previous path. His lantern shone on strange-looking heaps within walking distance. He wanted to know what those were, but feared the possibility of swamp or bog there. He moved closer to Anna who was walking in front of him instead.

“Are you sure it is a great idea? This place sure is creepy.”

“It’s better than spending the night outdoor,” she answered.

“It reminds me of a witch’s house a lot.” Harry looked around, expecting some short monsters popped out and surrounded them. Oh hell, maybe those heaps were monsters that’d been waiting for ambush strangers.

“You listen to too many spooky stories, Harry.”

“I can’t help it. You’re the one telling me such stories,” he complained.

“My bad.” She knocked at the door.

No one answered. Anna knocked again.

“Excuse me?” she called.

Heavy footsteps echoed inside the cabin. Shortly, the sound of the door being unlocked was heard. They glanced at each other nervously. Harry prepared himself to see an old crooked frail witch to open the door. Instead, a very tall and fat woman holding a lantern looked down at them. “Yes?” she asked in a quite deep voice.

“I’m sorry. We have a trouble with our carriage. May we ask your favor to let us spend the night here?” asked Anna sweetly.

“Oh, my poor hamburgers!” the fat woman hugged them all of a sudden. “You must be so cold and hungry. Come in, come in.” She practically pulled them in and locked the door behind them.

“Did she just call us hamburgers?” Harry whispered in Anna’ ears. She gave him a quizzical look.

“You can call me Kathy. Welcome to my humble abode,” said the woman while hanging the lantern on the nail beside the door.

“Oh, thank you, Madam. I am Anna and this is Harry.”

“You meatballs come in a right time. It is so rare to have visitors here. I have some dinner prepared. I’m glad I don’t have to finish it alone.”

Kathy placed her hands on their shoulders, ushering them into the cabin. Harry mouthed something to Anna, maybe wondering why the woman called them ‘meatball’ this time. But she didn’t pay much attention to him. She was distracted by the interior of the cabin.

It was not a large cabin, but it was sure a simple and cozy one. Fire roared in the stone hearth on their left, a comfy sofa bed facing it. To their right were a neat and orderly kitchen and a larder. At the backside, there was a staircase leading to the second floor and a trapdoor, maybe leading to a basement. But the most attracting part of the cabin stood in the center, which was a dinner table served with many kind of mouth-watering meals that could feed 20 people at most. Harry couldn’t stop goggling at the spectacular feast.

“Don’t be shy, pork chops. Eat as much as you want.” Kathy helped Anna to her seat then gestured to Harry to sit down beside her. Harry raised his eyebrow at the endearment. Anna was either very hungry or astonished that she didn’t care. Her eyes fixed on the dishes. Kathy sat down in front of them and started filling their plates.

“You cooked a lot for someone who lives alone,” Harry muttered. Anna shot him a dirty look. He mouthed ‘what’ angrily. He got the right to feel suspicious, didn’t he?

“I am a woman with a large appetite,” her laugh echoed throughout the cabin. Harry wondered whether he mistook the vibration of the walls all around them. Great. A large lady with a large appetite. Hopefully, two teenagers had nothing to do with it.

Harry didn’t feel reassured at all. Nevertheless, he couldn’t deny that he was hungry. What they had been through in the forest earlier had taken its toll on them. He’s not only hungry, he was exhausted as well. He began to chew and swallow everything Kathy had placed on his plate like somebody who had not eaten for weeks. He couldn’t help it. The food tasted as fantastic as it looked.

“Those are very beautiful eyes you have there, my pot roast,” said Kathy. Harry almost forgot that the woman was there watching them. He stopped halfway to pick some sausages, then realized that the woman was addressing Anna. She mumbled ‘thank you’ with her mouth full with cheese.

Anna was very beautiful with her redhead and clear sky-blue eyes. It was not the first time someone commented on those physical features of her. Yet, Harry couldn’t help the unsettling feeling in his gut. Kathy said those words like a hunter appraised her prey. He couldn’t stop noticing that Kathy kept watching on her all this time.

“Those eyes would be a masterpiece, indeed,” Kathy sighed. Harry shivered. However, the girl in question was not affected at all. She gulped down her milk like nothing happened. Well, there was nothing happened, literally, but, couldn’t she tell that their host were getting more suspicious over time?

Suddenly, after dropping the empty glass back on the table, Anna’s body went limp. She leaned forward and dropped her head to the table and didn’t move anymore. Harry panicked and stood immediately.

“Ah! My poor hot dog! She must be very tired!” uttered Kathy. In a very swift motion for a fat woman, she approached Anna and scooped her up easily. “She fell into a deep sleep. We better put her to bed. Follow me, my beefsteak.” She walked towards the stairs with Anna in her arms. The girl didn’t stir. Harry followed her halfheartedly, convinced that there was something wrong. He stopped at the bottom of the stair, looking down at the trapdoor, suddenly feeling curious about it. Kathy stopped and looked round.

“Chicken pie! You shouldn’t open that door!” Kathy sounded alarmed.

“Why? What’s in there?” asked Harry.

“Just some things I don’t want people to look at. Come on. We better hurry and put your girlfriend upstairs. She will be more comfortable, then.”

Kathy led him to the corridor upstairs. Two wooden doors stood ajar on one side. There was a small window at the end of the corridor which he was sure facing the small clearing outside. Kathy entered the nearest room and laid Anna down on a small bed. Beside the bed, a wooden cupboard was the only furniture available in the room. Kathy turned to him.

“You can sleep in the room next door. I think I will let you get some rest, as well. I will be downstairs if you need me.”

“Well… okay. Thank you,” said Harry. He watched the woman walking down the stairs in confusion. He re-entered Anna’s room to make sure that the girl was indeed sleeping before he got to the second room. Laying on the similar small bed and gazing at the dim lamp above his head, Harry couldn’t help thinking that maybe Kathy was truly a kind loner as she seemed to be. He felt bad to think otherwise. The woman had let them into her home, eaten her food, and even used her bed. However, he couldn’t put aside the need to stay alert. He decided not to sleep until sunrise when they would be ready to leave. Something told him to keep awake and he felt it will be safer that way.

Of course, he managed to do that for only ten minutes before he snored.

To be continued

Motivation: Awaken

Wallpaper-of-Nature-Water-Fall-Vietnam-Images

Wake up! Refuse to sleepwalk through your life any longer.

Wake up! Open your eyes and dare to see the world in a new and different way.

Wake up! Awaken your passion for life and awaken it in those around you. Awaken yourself spiritually. Find something larger than yourself to believe in. Find a way to lift yourself above the mundane.

Wake up! Take a long, hard look at all you’ve been missing, and decide not to miss any more. Awaken your senses, your intuition, and your desires. Awaken the parts of yourself that have been sleeping.

Wake up, and don’t go back to sleep.

Life is a dream, and to live it, you must be awake.

– Rachel Snyder

Review: Case Closed, Vol. 2

Case Closed, Vol. 2
Case Closed, Vol. 2 by Gosho Aoyama

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an adventure of Sherlock-Holmes-maniac high schooler Shinichi Kudo solving many difficult cases within a seven-year-old body and pseudonym Conan Edogawa. There is only one truth!

Being a little boy, Shinichi realizes that he has to do a lot more than convincing Ran and Kogoro to let him stay with them and solving cases by impersonating Kogoro. Professor Agasa states the obvious, even though he is a high schooler, he has an appearance of a first grader. People will be suspicious if he doesn’t go to school. Therefore, he enrolls Conan in his old school, Teitan Elementary School. Moreover, his condition hinders him from capturing criminals, so Professor Agasa creates a gadget named Power-Enhancing Kick Shoes using electricity and magnetic fields to add tremendous power to any objects Conan kicks. He also creates Criminal Tracking Glasses able to track down and locate the transmitter within 20 km radius.

After school, accidentally Conan meets Kogoro who has been following certain somebody for three consecutive days. He is paid a large sum of money despite such easy task. To their surprise, the burned body of that man is found shortly afterwards and the only possible murderer has a perfect alibi. However, a perfect alibi is not a problem when Conan has no doubt about the identity of the murderer. It is the first case Conan solves using the Power-Enhancing Kick Shoes.

The next case is a disappearance case. A young woman named Masami Hirota asks Kogoro to find her missing father, her only blood relative. Surprisingly, when they follow Ran’s ridiculous advice, they manage to find him and reunite the father and the daughter. However, Ran gets worried since she cannot contact Masami afterwards and goes to their apartment, only to find the dead body of Hirota and the broken glasses of Masami. Conan follows the transmitter he accidentally put on Masami’s wristwatch and strangely the signal brings him to a pachinko building where he stumbles on a very large man. Meanwhile, Ran notices another suspicious large man spying on Detective Mouri’s Agency. Being subdued by Ran, the man admits that he is a detective also hired to find Masami’s father by the large man Conan met previously saying that Masami’s father is his elder brother and his only blood relative. The detectives are confused with the two stories contradicting each other. Conan decides to follow his transmitter once again only to find out that the large man has been poisoned in his room and he is, indeed, wearing Masami’s wristwatch. To make it more confusing, Inspectur Megure calls Kogoro telling him that Hirota was a bachelor, which means that he didn’t have any daughter. Relating the case to the recent one billion yen robbery, Conan manages to unveil the truth leading him to his second encounter with Black Organization.

The last case in this book introduces three important elementary schoolers in the series, cute Ayumi, fat Genta, and smart Mitsuhiko. Those three persuade Conan to accompany them investigating a haunted house. Obviously, in Conan’s world, there is no such thing as ghosts. He finds many strange things about the house and realizes that he should solve the mystery faster before his new friends keep vanishing one by one. Another new gadget invented by Professor Agasa is introduced in this case: Elasticity Suspenders which enables Conan to lift heavy objects he cannot lift with mere child’s strength. Conan manages to solve yet another tragic case, ending the mystery of the haunted house.

Even though the anonymous large detective subdued by Ran makes his first and last appearance in this book, somehow I kind of like this character. First of all, he looks so frightening with his big and tall body, and sunglasses hiding his eyes. Totally awesome compared to Kogoro. Yet, when the sunglasses are removed… the impression goes ‘poof’. However, that’s the funny part I love the most, especially since Kogoro and Conan laugh out loud. I know it’s so impolite to laugh out loud at someone’s weakness, but I guess I might do the same if were there. My bad.

I do wonder, though, for someone like Gin who claims that silencing people by killing them is the organization’s way, why did he shoot Akemi Miyano on the stomach rather than the head? Headshot means instant death. Why risking her being alive for some minutes and leaving her behind? To let her have a painful death? I think it’s not a good reason enough. By doing so, Gin gives Akemi enough opportunity to reveal the location of the money and even the fact that she is a member of Black Organization to Conan. Or maybe because she is only a minor who almost knows nothing about the organization except their dress code that Gin feels so confident to leave her before making sure she is dead?

Moreover, the case is closed with assumption that she kills herself over the guilt of the crime. Despite her fingerprints on the pistol, is it strange that someone kills herself by shooting her stomach? In many suicidal cases, I think people tend to shoot their heads or chests or any parts of their bodies that ensure instant and less painful death. Otherwise, somebody will find out and maybe manage to call ambulance faster or give them first aid, increasing the chance of survival.

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Review: Case Closed, Vol. 1

Case Closed, Vol. 1
Case Closed, Vol. 1 by Gosho Aoyama

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Any lover of crime and detective stories must know about this well-known manga by Aoyama Gosho. Having been extremely popular for over a decade, this manga has developed into anime, movie, TV special, live action, and even video games. Once, I was a big fan, but now, I am only a fan among many of fans hoping that Aoyama Gosho will finish it ASAP, since the stories have gone a bit too far and too long that I keep asking, ‘When will this manga end?’ and kind of losing the euphoria over waiting for the new chapter. Nevertheless, I still praise the author’s ability to be able to present Detective Conan with one-of-a-kind, fresh, amazing, and new cases each time. Well, that is one of many reasons why I decide to review this series, which means, there are 90 more reviews to go. Huff.

High school student Shinichi Kudo is a fanatic fan of Sherlock Holmes and having a world famous novelist of detective novels as a father makes him develop a brilliant brain to solve many criminal cases that even other detectives and the police department cannot solve. One day, he goes to an amusement park with his childhood friend, Ran Mouri, and accidentally gets involved in a bloody murder. While he manages to solve the case and reveals the murderer, he notices two suspicious men in black among the suspects. His curiosity leads him to spy on one of them, but he is interrupted by the attack of the second man sneaking behind him. Rather than killing him with a gunshot that obviously will alert the police, they decide to force-feed him with a new poison developed by their organization and leave him behind to die. Instead of killing him, the poison turns his body into a child’s body.

Shinichi determines to hunt down the Black Organization to get the antidote and return to his original body. However, he realizes that he cannot reveal his condition to anybody for fear of the organization will look for him to kill him, and harms his family and friends in the process. So, he decides to hide his true identity and only let Professor Agasa, the scientist living next door, knows about everything. He takes a pseudonym name, Conan Edogawa, and lives with Ran and his father, a lame detective Kogoro Mouri, by reasoning that any information about the Black Organization will reach a detective agency. However, Kogoro Mouri is a very incompetent detective. Even though Shinichi can solve the case given to Mouri, nobody will believe a child’s deduction. Therefore, Shinichi asks Professor Agasa to develop some inventions to help him, some of which are stun-gun wristwatch that enables him to put Kogoro Mouri to sleep and voice-changing bowtie which enables him to impersonate Kogoro Mouri. And so, Sleeping Kogoro is born.

Though I like detective stories, I do not truly like the idea of being a detective, particularly after reading this book. Even if you are able to know many things from only a quick glance and notice many things that everybody else normally doesn’t notice by being so observant, the job of a detective requires you to be highly curious, or known as ‘kepo’ in Indonesian slang, which actually stands for ‘knowing every particular object’. The thing is, something that you are curious about can be something that you do not need to know or something that you do better not know of. In this case, Shinichi are curious about an illegal transaction that leads him to an organization so dangerous it does not even think twice to kill him in order to silent him. He’s lucky, though, to be alive despite his shrunken body. But, of course, Detective Conan will not exist if Shinichi is not curious about this organization at the first place. But in reality, any amateur detective might want to reconsider about being a detective to avoid getting into similar situation.

Speaking about curiosity, I wonder why nobody truly pays attention to the bump on Mouri’s head or at least rushes to his side the moment the ashtray hits his head. I know it’s only Conan supposed to know about it (since he is the one kicking the ashtray), but should you check on somebody who makes an abrupt change of movement? They only ask him what’s wrong and remain in their position. But again, of course, if they truly rush to his side, Sleeping Kogoro will never be born. Luckily, he is awakened by his burning cigarette at the right moment. Just imagine what will happen if he is still knocked unconscious even after he ‘finishes’ his deduction.

For a detective story where logic and truth become priorities, there are many coincidences, don’t you think?

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Review: A Night in Terror Tower

A Night in Terror Tower
A Night in Terror Tower by R.L. Stine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goosebumps lovers will surely love this one…

American tourists Sue and her younger brother, Eddie, spend an average day exploring London when Eddie takes an interest on Terror Tower. Both of them join a small group of tourists with a guide leading them from room to room, explaining and narrating the tragic story of Prince Edward and Princess Susannah of York. However, before Sue can actually listen to the end of the story, Eddie distracts her by breaking her camera. When the commotion finally comes to a halt, they realize that the group has left them behind. And yet, they have to realize so many unusual things ahead.

They realize that they are completely alone in that tower, with a mysterious man in black spying on them earlier attempts to capture and kill them. They realize that the suite where their parents are supposed to wait for them is empty and no registration has been made for the room. They realize that their pocket money is worthless. They realize that they cannot remember even their last names. They realize that there’s something wrong with their memories or there’s something wrong with their surroundings. They realize that the three white stones in Eddie’s possession are not mere stones. Now, they realize that they must do something to escape from their terrible fate…

I definitely love the time-travel idea and the happy ending. Goosebumps series rarely have happy ending. Normally, when you think it is a happy ending, there will be a twist on the last paragraph or sentence that ruins the happy ending and practically turns it to a bad ending. Something to be reflected on this story: What does it feel to listen to your own story being told by somebody else to captivated audiences?
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