Fiction: The Case of the Malaysian Predator and Other Unholies.

by Suzan Abrams

Τo be a writer was for her, everything.  It meant the mental encapsulation of a planet from where she would triumph like an Amazon warrior while balancing  the delicate elegance of a fashion shoot. She would destroy any hint of the word wannabe once and for all; a strange inclination purported to failure and struggle and used mostly in Malaysia, the land of her hometown, the land of her wondrous birth. It was a cliche termed by fair-weather acquaintances and a few upstart book bloggers of the equally lamentable kind; often highlighted to reveal desperation for a literary scenario, although a little silly, one must admit. How could anyone want to be a writer, when you either clearly wrote or you didn’t.

Still, that was not the poised question that made for the ridiculous assumption of this story. The essential farce being in this solitary case that she, the secret fly-by-night predator, would construct herself nobly if not somewhat akwardly for her cause. And what tomfoolery that turned out to be.

She wore forever a martyr air signalling the tragic sound of the dead or the fast howling of the dying. She was seen to be pale, powdering her uneasy smile with the hard chalky complexion afforded only to roaming ghosts. She playacted at best, a skeletal apparition determined to spy on her sleepy environment, secretly and with the hidden eye. She would unveil a sphere, devoted for years in trust to a faithful slumber of her brilliance. Otherwise, what else! Now instead, while she stood, finally exposed to shadowy souls and public faces, shocked friends would regale in an uneasy wakefulness, determined that she hide under a banyan leaf for comfort. Her sins were so tiny,surely she could squat under one. In turn, they promised to stay disbelieving. Obstinate, she refused. This was her time of fame. A crime exposed in its hideous prime. Her ancient victim was dead.  Why, she could steal as many writer tales as she wanted as long as she stayed careful that they were not ripe enough to be read freely in the digital age. By which time when the ensuing years had finally arrived, she herself would have turned into a rather obnoxious museum relic, not caring about the ifs or whos. In the process, her stories had become thoroughly Malaysianised, or Bollywood-ish if you liked; the European element of the plagiarised work work slipping off a plot’s torso like unbearable vormit. Certainly, she revealed in this distorted luxury with a mystifying piqued air…the imbalanced ordinance of the human mind that lent itself to a touchy crime.

She was sly, but turned this defect into a virtue with which to be lived and learned and where sinful writerly secrets were to be constructed and mastered with a fine air of notorious disgruntlement as if burglary in its fullest measure, were the luxurious order of the day. It didn’t matter that her fluency of the English Language, that showed itself to be somewhat confused in the Far East, would stay as mixed-up as an erratic jigsaw. She blamed her inadequacies, stemming from a merry-go-round operation of her tenses, nouns and verbs,  on an inferior  primary and secondary education. Was it her fault that the British had left before she was born? Instead, her literary theft would represent for her, on someone else’s profit, a scholarly disposition of high learning, to be termed without measure…her literary endeavours consorting themselves to the idea of ‘genius’.

All the months long as she concocted her plan, she thought of nothing else but…Here is the genius, ladies and gentleman. Look at the genius pass. Oh my, oh my, what is the genius wearing today. A design applauded by Rusdie no less, a collection harbouring itself to the lost winter of a past season, many moons ago… Try an Arundhati Roy collar or how about a specially-designed Zadie Smith brooch. It didn’t matter about the superficial Oscar wardrobe. Who was to know that her borrowed material were nothing more than colour-spin fake goods, sold in Malaysia’s Chinatown. I saw the genius today and she was kind enough to sign her book for me. Ahh, those telltale whispers!

The point being,that another’s inspirations could always prove hers in duplicate without anyone being the wiser. In Malaysia, no one would care or think twice. How many after all she had carefully concluded, were that widely-read to discover her dusty skeletons in the closet.  Why, no one.  No one at all. She could steal as many as 20 stories all at once if she dared, and if she was terribly unfortunate, only one or at most two would be observed with a faint flicker of recognition. Of course, it wouldn’t do to retort in defence. In the hands of her righteous enemy who knew all and who protected truths in a carefully-sealed library, she the hurrying ghost and sometimes plagiarist, would be easily prosecuted on discovery. She had to be careful in laying her tracks. The only solution was to seek a n urgent refuge from her sorry demolition.  She proceeded to cook up a series of painfully-crafted  compassionate notes on a website.  Through a rather ingenius psychotic disposition, she proposed to spread her generous efforts of painful tribulation, forgiveness and redemption like a dungeon feast.

A specialist quality that made sure she always produced a forgiving nature when a darker truth would surely emerge that she could well have ended up blacklisted by the authorities for theft.  This, if she failed to play her cards carefully. She would never again be published by anyone who may have harboured even a remote suspicion. As such, she carolled up the word compassion like a readymade recipe for kindness. In truth, editors not wanting to lose their printing license, would immediately wash their hands off her with the frenzied power of  Coal Tar suds and the web would spread the dire warning of her fraud with a refrigerated chill.

Her expressions were bemused lending themselves to speculation that she may have been persecuted in daylight for the wrong reasons, that she may have been bullied to satisfy an envious whim. But in fact, hers was a tight calculating measure spied on by a a popularity of the self… the crowds that drew themselves to her, would arrive, embracing and unsuspecting, that she wore the clothes of the dead and stole their jewels for good measure. They would hug her false stories which made for stern hardcovers to their big buxomy chests, where cleavages would hoard her secrets and kiss her actor’s talent. This afforded themselves to a fellow blogger’s matriacial pride and would later when the truth became known, appear on a Google cached engine as a highly foolish parade.

When interviewed for those stolen stories, the predator in question would claim every story success or supposedly her basking recognition to of all things, the childhood passions of Enid Blyton.

It started rather well, with doting parents on which she would have been forced to lay claim to a profession. She chose teaching, not daring herself to doctor a body part. She prided herself on being smart and would use arbitratory threats to often protect herself in a crises, had a pawing manipulation failed in their claws to scratch the innocent.

(to be continued…)

ⓒ Copyright Suzan Abrams

*This story, loosely based on the true episode of plagiarism a few months ago in Malaysia, is fictional. I’ve just started to write it and it’s still incomplete. The Case of the Malaysian Predator is to be a carefully-composed tale with no relation either to the living or dead. Any marked resemblance or characteristic trait of any living person that appears here, is to be treated as pure coincidence.

Free picture of Spinters-in-Jeopardy courtesy of Feebleminds