December 5, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Short Story: That Night in Haw Par Villa by Elsa Mattson

1 min read

Elsa Mattson’s short story focuses on a young Singaporean man who has a secret he desperately tries to hide and takes some inspiration from both magical realism and the southern gothic genre with a unique twist.

“Ah Boy, wake up!” 

Robert arose from his long, delirious nap. A smell reminiscent of rose water, gula melaka, and sea salt hung in the air, disappearing when his chestnut eyes opened.

“Aren’t you going to take me around town today?” his mother asked, walking over to Robert’s bed stand. “I just got back from a very long trip!”

“Of course, Mom,” Robert said croakily. Ever since his sister gave birth to twins in April, his mother had been away in the United States for an extended holiday.

“Any ideas?” Emmaline Chia asked.

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