In this short story, Jenny Hor captures the 1950s in Malaysia and reflects on how people treat PTSD soldiers.
After a long day of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and teachers yelling at the top of their lungs, we raced to the newly implemented basketball court. My brother received a basketball for his birthday last month, a prized possession, which he only shared with his siblings and our cousins, Chêu and Phák. The evening belonged to us when we could bleat like mad goats from the family farm. Our usual formation was two against two: my brother and I opposed our cousins. It began with my brother protecting the ball from the opponent’s watchful gaze before passing it to me. I tried to aim for the hoop less basketball ring, but the older cousin snatched the ball away from me. He ran fast, as if his pants were on fire, but soon tripped on a concrete bulge.
The ball slipped out of his hands and rolled to one corner of the court until it collided with a pair of naked, blistered feet. A grey hand picked up the ball, its blackened fingernails caressing the course surface. We all huddled together in silence when we realized who had picked up the ball.