Mosquito Heart-republished

'Mosquito Heart', originally published in 'Lost in Putrajaya' by Fixi Novo, will be featured in Volume 5, Issue 35 of Eastlit, the online journal of Asian literature. Again, this story deals with Malaysian politics, which tends to be arcane for the most part, but it's one of my favourite stories and I hope that you enjoy it.

Throwback to 2014: 'Lost in Putrajaya'

An excerpt from my story:

“Tell me more about Dad,” I said to her that night.

My mother had always hesitated, refusing to say anything else. But that night she told me of unhappy nights and the glare of paparazzi, and the strain of him wasting his nights in the clubs, drinking away, and she had eventually left all of it behind. It had not been a simple departure. It had been messy and tangled in all sorts of bureaucratic nonsense, ending with a thinly-veiled death threat from my father’s family. I had no memory of him. Perhaps it was for the best.

“So what happens now?” I asked her at last. “Your hearing is going to end soon. Are they really going to post you to somewhere in Africa?”

“I am lucky for such a fate,” my mother said wryly. “You can’t make mistakes a as diplomat. I was always careful but it wasn’t enough. I didn’t even tell you anything about what I felt. But it is a terrible feeling. You have to keep secrets all your life. You are like a shell. An empty soul, with nobody to talk to. And now I have done it and everything is over.”

“Please, just talk to them again,” I pleaded. “Ask Pakcik for help…”

“No,” my mother said sternly. “Mosquito Heart has caused enough damage.” She stood up and left me for the living room. I closed her bedroom door and retreated to mine. On the ceiling there were two house-lizards, prancing uneasily. I watched them until I fell asleep.