Monday 140421- Wednesday 160421

1:15 am.
The night was slow. It was raining again.

The bell rang. The door opened.
A monk enetered.
Right on time. Without fail. He was completely dry but he shook his umbrella, also dry, anyway, slotting it in and out of the plastic cover rack.
He smiled at Sang Ho and nodded.
Sang Ho bowed back.

1:16 am.
The same order. One raw cuttlefish, a can of iced coffee, and some gummy worms.
The same total. 5151 won.
And mostly, the same conversation.
“Are you having a good night?”, the monk asked in lilted Korean.
“How many goblins so far?”
없어유” None. So far.
“Ahhh! Good.
Thank you for the coffee,” the monk said with a bow.

He left. The bell rang.
Sang Ho bowed again.
Every Monday. Without fail.

The night was slow.
Sang Ho stared across the store, the rain pelting at the windows.


The boy in the dinosaur costume stared through the window with his mouth open. He held a giant stuffed toy mushroom in one hand and the other was splayed across the pane, smearing it with blood. Sang Ho sighed. He would have to clean it for the third time that night. Blithley, he paid for a banana milk, and with the boy’s eyes following him, opened the door. The bell rang. The boy stared. Sang Ho held out the banana milk. The boy grinned, his face lighting up.
He skipped down the street, mushroom trailing behind him.
A passing imitation of a smile tugged at Sang Ho’s face.
He went back inside.


137 snickers bars tumbled onto the counter, slipping and sliding. Several fell off. A large gauntleted hand replaced them.
They fell off again.
The hand gingerly balanced them back on top of the pile.
They teetered but stayed.
Sang Ho looked down at the snickers and then up at the customer.
Down at the snickers. Up at the customer.
A goblin hit the window with a crunch and slid down the pane, trailing green slime.
Sang Ho blinked, once, twice, thrice, his mouth hanging slightly open in awe.
A rumbling shook the store. A large voice spoke. It wasn’t Korean and yet, Sang Ho found he could understand.
“Put it on the account.”
“네~??” Sang Ho’s voice wavered.
The till screen flashed. A small icon bearing a sword and flame popped up in the bottom left corner briefly before disappearing. The till screen jumped.
All paid.
Sang Ho blinked again.
He turned back to the customer to see if he would like a bag but he was already leaving, snickers bars piled high in his arms, sword dangling at his side, and cape swishing behind him.
His tawny wings clipped the door on the way out.
The bell jingled furiously.

After that, there were fewer goblins, and Sang Ho had to clean the windows less frequently, but order many, many more boxes of snickers.



    goblins!! this is getting so more and more exciting~~
    but seriously, I love that they can pay *just like that* and the slow building of this world!


    All the very specific numbers…do we need to study numerology? My last most memorable run in with numerology was at college – during an independent activities period, the Physics department had lectures on the special numbers underlying our understanding of the universe.

    Will have to pay attention, see if these numbers keep appearing…


      *considers explaining herself from a literature and language technique perspective* *decides not to in favour of cultivating the mystery*



        5151 looks like Unicode.



          Okay this is hilarious and I can’t help myself explaining now.

          I’ve always found oddly specific numbers to be strangely comedic. They invoke a sense of detail in the obscure, a sense of preciseness in the absurd.
          They are used intentionally here for that effect and were not designed to have any greater significance (other than 5151 sort of but not really mirroring the time 1:15); they were designed to seem significant but actually be random.
          Because that increases the sense of the absurd and the unnatural (or in this case supernatural) when the numbers have no revealed meaning; the randomness contributes to the sense of unpredictability and surrealism that I’m trying to achieve through this little serial. Thus contributing overall to “liminal space slice of life”, almost at times satirically nihilistic, tone.

          What makes this even funnier is that there IS actually unintentionally meaning to two of these numbers that I did not realise before:
          1) When you Google that unicode Han Character it says it means “cash”… So the amount of money he pays is literally cash 😂😂
          2) 1, 3 and 7 are often seen as biblical numbers because they appear with spiritual significance in the Bible multiple times (along with 12, which is also what 5151 adds up to, funnily enough).
          I didn’t pick 137 on purpose for this reason, unless it was subconscious, but yes, that is an angel buying the snickers bars.

          So here we have a fantastic example of where the language technique that was actually used deliberately is different from the one the English Teacher would say was used deliberately, and yet both if them work, even if one is most likely coincidental.
          (Or…is it? 👀)


      You guys are nerds and I am here for it