This is a joint experiment between 2 good friends - both with different styles of writing. How this works is that we will take turns to write the chapters of a story. We have lots in common, but we have lots of differences too. The same story, written by 2 writers. We'll see how this goes. Feel free to send us a message or ask us a question!

Chapter 4: Mojo

As they settled down at the dining table, Michael looked around. How blessed was he that even though his dad left the family 10 years ago, they still stuck through together as a family. He remembered telling his mom, when he saw her crying on the day his dad left them.

"Mommy don’t cry.. Mikey will take care of the family now because Mikey is already a big boy. Mikey can work!"

His mom looked at him with teary eyes and smiled.

"Mommy knows, Mikey. You will be a big and successful man when you’re all grown up. Much better than your useless dad”, she told him, while trying to fight back her emotions. Michael hugged her tightly.

"MICHAEL! HELLOOOO! Can you pass me the sauce over there?” Stephanie shouted across the table, cutting his flashback short.

"Uh? Oh! Right. Here", as he passed the sauce over, feeling silly that he had fallen into deep thoughts.

A few minutes later, Michael felt something tickling his feet. It was something long and furry, like a tail or some sort. He looked under the table and SURPRISE! His pet monkey jumped right up on his lap, startling Michael who nearly fell backwards from his chair.

"Hey Mojo! Sorry I’ve forgotten about you", said Michael, brushing Mojo’s head.

Mojo stared at him with a flurry of actions and loud noises, that only monkeys are capable of. It was as if Mojo was expressing his anger in the most animated way with hands and tail flying in all directions while he was jumping up and down.


Or so it sounded.

"Alright, alright. Here!" Michael gave him a piece of fruit from the fruit bowl on the table.

Stephanie looked at Mojo with sinister eyes. She always bullies Mojo whenever Michael is not around because Mojo loves to annoy the hell out of her. When Mojo saw Stephanie staring at him, he spitted the seeds of the apple at her, startling her. With such amazing speed, Stephanie ducked underneath the table and screamed.

Mojo finds entertainment in annoying Stephanie whenever Michael is not around. There would always be a battleground every single day in the living room where both Mojo and Stephanie would fight for the remote. While Stephanie loves to catch some of her best chick dramas on TV after a long day at school, Mojo on the other hand loves to watch cartoons. And it just so happens that both TV programmes are shown at the same time! So, one can only imagine the amount of ruckus made by these two “famemies” (pronounced as: fair-MUH-mees; a combination of ‘family’ and ‘enemies’) in the house. It doesn’t even stop there! 

Once, Stephanie caught Mojo using her shampoo as his toothpaste. What comes next was a few days of bubbles coming out from Mojo’s mouth. Even though Stephanie was pretty much amused about it, she still felt irritated that Mojo used up the last bottle of shampoo that can never be found in the local supermarkets anymore.

Michael was aware of this, but he is pretty much entertained by all the hoohas in the house. Well, it’s not really surprising when your own social life don’t even come close to such ‘action’. Sarah Parsons just got used to it, after her attempts to stop them two fell on deaf ears.

"Okay, enough now! Can we eat our dinner like normal families would?" Sarah exclaimed. She hadn’t even touched her food!

So everyone settled down in their own seats (even Mojo), eating their own share and talking about their own experiences for the day. 

"How was your day, Mike?" Sarah asked.

"Mmm t’was okay. Nothing much happened", Michael mumbled.

He knew that if he went on to describe the details of his life, they would all be bored to death. He compared his life like a walk through a history museum, where schoolchildren attempt to understand whatever the curator was saying. But after the trip, nothing in their lives were enriched by the museum experience one way or another, even though they echoed impressive oohs and aahs. Hence, it was all an act. Yeah, an act - like that of his own life. Michael felt as if he was living a double life, but not much of that of celebrities though.

Suddenly, there was a knocking at the door. It didn’t sound like any kind of knocks. These were hard, aggressive and impatient knocks that may just break through the door any moment and you see a hairy, large fist sticking through. Stephanie got up from her seat to see who was at the door. She peeped through the peephole and turned back to face Sarah and Michael with the most shocking facial expression.

- Sunshine :D

Chapter 3: The family.

The front door opened, and was slammed shut. Michael heard the clinking of keys as they landed in a bowl. A loud thud echoed through the house as a large bag was dropped onto the wooden floor. Footsteps, or rather mindless stomping, followed next.

"Geez, seems like someone’s mad,” Michael said with a smirk as he stuck his head out the kitchen. He expected to see a crazed bull, focused on destroying everything in its path, but all he saw was a fuming 17-year-old girl making her way upstairs. 

"Hello to you too Stephanie! I had a good day, thanks for asking!" Michael yelled. "Dinner’s about to be ready soon so don’t kill yourself just yet yeah? There’s too much pasta for me to finish on my own."

The sarcasm in his voice was obvious, and he intended it to be. He knew very well what would come next, and he was going to enjoy it.

"Ahhhh! Shut up! I hate you! Why don’t you just move out of the house like the other kids at your school?" Stephanie screamed out from her room.

"Because my baby sister needs someone in the house to prevent her from hurting her pretty self," Michael replied, "now come down and tell me what’s wrong!" 

There was silence for a few seconds, then Michael heard the angry bull rouse from the bed and slowly make its way down. He gave his mom another hug and a comforting - don’t-worry-I’ll-talk-to-her - look. Sarah smiled in return, she was thankful that she had a sensible young man.

He made his way to the stairs and waited. It’s been a while since he last spoke to his sister, he had been busy with studies and all. He missed her.

They used to be extremely close as kids growing up. Michael never failed to look out for his baby sister, often being the one clean up her wounds when she fell at the playground. He even sucked it up and joined her little tea sessions with Mr Cuddles and Ms Ponytail.

Like other normal siblings, they grew apart as they grew older. Stephanie found her own group of friends and Michael was no longer needed in her life. She was old enough to take care of herself, she would say. Michael understood that she needed her own space now, so be backed off, but always kept a watchful eye on his sister.

Michael couldn’t help but smile as he watch Stephanie make her way down the stairs. “Wow, she’s grown a lot,” he thought to himself.

Stephanie was now a lot taller than he remembered. She had long, wavy brown hair and big brown eyes. She was definitely a pretty girl. The kind that would attract a lot of attention from the stupid boys at her school, with their raging hormones and all. Michael made a mental note to keep a closer watch on his sister.

"I don’t even know why I even bother," Stephanie said. There was a hint of sadness and anger in her voice. "He doesn’t even care about me!"

"Who doesn’t care about you?" Michael asked curiously. He hadn’t been updated about his sister’s life for quite a while now but surely he would’ve known if she had a boyfriend. He was starting to get nervous.

"Brad, my stupid boyfriend," she replied. "It seems that all he wants is to just go out with me and show me off to his friends. He never buys or makes me anything! It’s so frustrating!" She was clearly mad, and he… he was shocked.

"Boyfriend? You have a boyfriend now? Why didn’t you tell me about this boyfriend of yours?” Michael asked, raising his voice. He was not mad, he was concerned. He needed to know what type of boy his sister was going out with. He had to approve of him first. 

"You’re never around! Besides, I’m old enough to handle my own business," Stephanie said. There was an aura of arrogance around her, and Michael did not like it.

"You should’ve told me Steph, I would’ve straightened him out first so that he wouldn’t hurt you like this," Michael said jokingly, while driving his right first into his left palm repeatedly.

"Of course you would’ve," Stephanie replied with a smile. She felt better, knowing that she had a brother who would always look out for her. She proceeded to give her brother a hug. She had missed him.

Michael hugged her back, and tried comforting her by brushing her hair with his fingers. 

"I’m going to kill that prick," he whispered as he devised a plan to snap Brad’s legs in half.

"No, you’re not. I’m gonna do it myself!" Stephanie joked.

They laughed for a while, and then Michael led the way as he brought his sister to the dining table.

Boy, was he thankful for his family. 

- Ambiart.

Chapter 2: Mom

As he stepped inside the house, he saw his mom’s face beaming through the kitchen door. Upon seeing that, he felt a surge of a familiar warm and fuzzy feeling inside his soul. Michael knows that whatever he may feeling that day will soon vanish when he is surrounded by the safe walls of his home. Well, at least somebody in this world truly cares and loves him without judging him. Michael went up to his mom and gave her a huge hug and a peck on her cheeks.

"What’s cooking, Mom?"

"Only your most favourite dish of all time, fyeah!" she said, while showing the Rock ‘n’ Roll sign with her hands.

His mom, Sarah, used to be a wild chick. Always messing with the bad boys, because that was how she 'rolled', according to her. Yes, it didn’t bother her that she’s in her 40s raising up a college kid now. She still wore the same gothic-inspired tight clothes and fishnet stockings that she used to wear in her 20s, and the same thick charcoal black mascara and red-blood lipstick whenever she goes out. And she’ll always do up her hair in a bee-hive style that turns not only heads in the public, but hanging sign boards from the ceilings because it was too high.

She is definitely outstanding, judging from her appearance.

Ironically, that was not the case with Michael. He would rather blend with the crowd than put himself out for public scrutinisation. He feels weird when someone stares at him, be it in the train, bus or in the neighbourhood street. He will choose to wear the dullest clothes in shades of black and gray, with an occasional dark blue during his feel-okay days.

Whenever Michael went out with his mom to do some grocery shopping, the pair would attract certain stares from the people around them. Firstly, normal people would assume that his mom was some kind of a sugar mommy or a cougar (read: mature woman who have mature relationships with young males) judging from the way she dresses and always interlocking her arms with Michael’s.

Secondly, normal people would assume that Michael is a young pimp who runs a prostitute den.

Either way, normal people would assume bad things about them. Even though Sarah didn’t care much, in fact she loves the attention, Michael wasn’t really proud of that and would always have his head hidden under the hood of his sweater.

Despite the way he seems to be hiding himself from the world, he hates being "emo" - or any other trend-setting groups that have emerge from the past 21 centuries, for that matter.

His honest opinion about these fanatic ding dongs are the same across all groups who worship trends like secret cult followers, which is they are in fact… well, ding dongs (for the absence of a better description).

Even so, he feels no inclination to get himself sucked into the temptations of such trends, like resisting his hands from touching two huge… soccer balls at the same time to feel their texture before buying one of them. He is decisive, and he knows it.

One look at Michael and you know that he’s… different. Nothing exactly appropriate to label him under. He’s an in-between if there is even a choice of options like a mix of sweet strawberries with black coffee or, ice cream with soya sauce.

He’s a half wayward boy who questions life in general when other kids his age are pretty much concerned with outnumbering sex partners against one another.

"Oh cool! Thanks mom!" he exclaimed, sounding a little more ecstatic than ever before.

- Sunshine :D

Chapter 1: The problem.

Michael Parsons looked up at the sky and heaved a sigh.

"What does he know? He has no idea what goes on in my head. No idea at all," he muttered under his breath as he slowly walked home from school.

Earlier that day, Michael was asked to see his Communications lecturer, Mr. Summers, regarding his recent change in behavior. Mr. Summers had noticed that Michael seemed troubled. He seemed to be lost in thought most of the time in class and while he seemed to be scribbling notes furiously, Michael was, in actual fact, drawing.

"Parsons, I’ve noticed that you’ve been wasting time on nonsensical doodling, rather than being focused on what’s really important," he said.

Michael made no effort to explain his moody behaviour. He assumed that Mr. Summers wouldn’t understand anyway, judging from the way he dressed every day and from the way he speaks to others. He was just another old fart who didn’t give a fuck about other people’s feelings anyway.

Mr. Summers had always been the arrogant, uptight, anal, strictly-follow-the-rules type of teacher. Michael never really liked him but it didn’t bother him that much, since he rarely paid attention in class anyway. 

It was true that Michael had been feeling down recently; and to him, he had a perfectly good reason to feel that way. He had been suppressing the thoughts of how he’s actually just another loser at college with no real friends, for a few years. Every once in a while, he tried to convince himself that he’s just being silly - that those thoughts were unfounded and untrue. 

But with each passing year, he watches other schoolmates get asked out on weekends while he spent his weekends at home alone. He reads about all their interesting lives while he sits at home by his computer every night. He hears stories about how their friends throw them awesome birthday celebrations while he settles for a few “Happy Birthday” wishes on his Facebook wall and a private celebration with his family at home.

Sometimes he wishes that he was somebody else. Somebody cool. Somebody popular. He would often stare blankly at his phone, hoping that someone would send him a text message. He hates it when he hears the familiar message tone, rushes to check his phone, only to realize that it was another person’s iPhone who had emitted that sound.

How come he gets so many text messages and I rarely even get one?" he would wonder to himself.

Usually he’ll just shrug it off and move on, putting on a front that he’s not affected at all by the lack of concern from his ‘friends’. But the past 2 weeks have been difficult for poor Michael. His 21st birthday was coming up, and he has no idea what to do on that day.

He had watched other people throw crazy parties and have the time of their lives as they turned 21, and he could only wish that he could do the same. But Michael, being the realistic type, knew that he could never have that kind of happiness. It seemed impossible. 

Sure, he had a few friends who talked to him and tried to convince him that he’s not a loser. That he did have people who cared about him. But Michael found their words hard to believe - because they were just words, and words had no worth to him. Anybody could have said that they cared, but none of them showed it.

Apart from the thought that nobody cared about him, Michael had another insecurity: he always thought that he was inadequate. He always felt that he was not tall enough, not good-looking enough, not fun enough, not interesting enough, did not have enough money.

Michael was a pretty decent guy, but he never felt that way. Maybe it was because he was often surrounded by better-looking guys. Guys who were taller, more handsome, had better hair. Guys who came from richer families. Guys who could do whatever they wanted. Guys who could always get the pretty girls to go out with them. Guys who Michael wanted so badly to be.

He despised himself, but he was smart enough to not do anything silly like cut himself with a razor blade. 

But inside, he was being cut up pretty bad.

He was nearing his house, and he did not want to show his mother that he had been feeling upset, so he took a deep breath, practiced his smile and increased his pace.

"Well, let the show begin," he thought to himself as he entered his through the front door of his home. 

"Mom," he yelled in the best non-upset voice that he could pull off, "I"m home!"

- Ambiart.