Friday, July 18, 2014
Brick In The Wall
A smile appeared on Mahmud’s face as he looked down on the bag of big letter blocks he’d been collecting from various government building signs for almost three months now. He finally had all the letters he needed to set his plan of four months in motion.
He checked his watch, confirming that it was already half past one in the morning. He zipped up the bag, got in his red Kancil and went off to his destination: Sekolah Kebangsaan Maluri Perdana. The closer he got to it, the faster his heart beat. It had been a while since he’s conducted a project of this magnitude, so he understood why he was a little more nervous than usual. This actually made him smile even more. The more the adrenaline, the better.
He parked a fair distance away from the school. He didn’t want his getaway vehicle to be spotted now, did he? He walked with his hoodie on and his bag in tow the rest of the way to the gate at the side of the school. He was sure that the guard was just sitting at his post near the front gate, probably sleeping. He had staked out the place for a whole week straight to know that the singular guard’s nightly routine never varied.
He put the bag through the hole in the fence that he made the previous night and squeezed into the school himself, making sure to make as little noise as possible. It was a good thing that they put the only street lights on the road near the school gate. Mahmud didn’t need to much light to maneuver himself. The light of the full moon that night was more than enough to show him the way.
He quickly made his way to the Living Skills workshop, unlocked the door and took out the tallest ladder the school had to offer. There was only one, and Mahmud estimated that it could reach about ten meters high. He put the bag full of letters down and carried the ladder to the side of the main building of the school and positioned it against the wall which he had been observing for quite some time. He then went back to the workshop, took his bag as well as three tins of Dunlop general purpose contact adhesive, or as it was known to the general public, gam kasut, and made his way back to the wall.
He took a look around the wall to make sure that the guard was still where he was supposed to be before starting. He laid out the letters of various official-looking fonts in the order in which he wanted them before brushing on the glue to the backs of each of them. After re-checking the guard house - you can never be too careful - he climbed up the ladder and applied glue at the positions in which the letters needed to be. This needed a lot of climbing, going back down again, moving the ladder and climbing back up.
After close to half an hour of being in the school compounds, Mahmud finally placed the letters on the wall, being careful not to stick the letters onto himself in the process. After placing the final letter, E, he put the tins of glue back into the workshop and locked the door. He then took the ladder and, after one final look at the guard house, carried it all the way to his improvised entrance at the side of the school compound and hid the ladder in the bushes. He then squeezed out of the gate and made a clean getaway. That went even better than expected, thought Mahmud as he crawled into his bed to get a good night’s sleep.
The next morning, the school was in a furor, as it was found that in the background of the students’ assembly ground, and in full view of everyone, especially the teachers as they were facing that way, was the phrase “HEY TEACHER LEAVE THOSE KIDS ALONE”, using shiny block letters. Those Ss even looked like the ones that were taken from the school sign two weeks ago, remarked one of the teachers.
The headmaster told the workers to immediately take the piece of vandalism down, but the workers couldn’t do so because they didn’t have a ladder that was tall enough to allow them to do that. When asked who would do such a thing, one of the school’s Living Skills teacher, Encik Mahmud just shrugged and shook his head in disbelief.