A Shadow in Surfers Paradise
The day has passed its twilight. No tourists but one or two specks of seagulls flit about the water line. The tide is low and lazy, sighing in the duskiness. But the sea is not entirely lost to the sky until the ultimate line of horizon.
In front of him, a shadow flips over from his feet. Like what a distorted mirror might have done to him, it stretches and expands considerably. So that, its legs turn to twin tree trunks; its head to that of a caterpillar. But it is not a ghost, though he has contemplated it for not a small time.
He treads further towards the water, and the shadow, dead and lifeless a moment ago, is at once animated, mimicking his motion idiotically.
His name is Wang Bing. It is the third time he has visited the Surfers Paradise. The first time was some years ago on a trip with his parents, and his then wife and his daughter; this time and the last he came here on the matter of business. Tomorrow he will fly Virgin Blue back to Sydney, where he has lived almost ten years, and where, a girl, with whom he is perhaps in love, is waiting for him.
The thought of her, for the moment, stirs in him a stream of energy, lightening both his spirit and his feet. And still intrigued by the shadow gesturing in his front, he wants to take a photo. There is a Chinese saying, ‘Chase the wind and catch the shadow,’ suggesting the sort of vain efforts in pursuing the nonexistent. But he may still give it a try.
He fumbles in his pocket for his Blackberry, which is an asset of the company he works for. He turned it on; the sudden brightness dazzles him. He presses the camera button, it dims back to darkness. At first glimpse, nothing is visible on the screen. So he waits and blinks, allowing his eyes to adapt to the low illumination. Then, his shadow grows perceptible; and moreover, its background is glittering rich with golden bits, that can’t be detected on the actual field.
Oh, how marvellous it is!
He presses the button, which triggers the flashlight, disrupting the scene, and surprising him. But in the picture that has been taken, he sees nothing but emptiness. He then knows in dismay that the flash has actually overexposed the weak light and ruined his shadow. He is about to without it try again, when a beep, the sound of arriving SMS, interrupts him.
It is from her in Sydney. ‘Sorry, you are not the type of man I am looking for, everything should end from here, and good luck to you.’
-- End of Chapter 1--> Chapter 2