Afterwords: The 19th Hour

So here we are again. It’s almost become customary now. Writing an afterwords for a serial is one of the most rewarding thing to me. It meant I’d done it and completed a good run. So far, there’s 5 of these under my belt and I couldn’t be happier.

Honestly, I did not think I would end up participating in SWP 2016. Then, a friend of mine showed me a music video of a town overrun by zombies or something, and at the end, the protagonist gets killed off, only for the whole thing to rewind itself back to the beginning. Suddenly, I had a story.

How about that?

Long time readers would probably have noticed the little nudges to my other stories. Mostly, the surprise appearance of a certain time traveller in chapter 2 and 8. Well, that’s because The 19th Hour actually takes place along the same timeline. Specifically, in the grand scheme of the Tearha multiverse, it took place right before the start of Absolution.

Of course, I always prefer to write stories in standalone format. There are tons of short stories that I have written which takes place within the same multiverse. However, I’ve often made little to no mention of them, simply because of the aforementioned quirk.

Speaking of format, I’ve actually named every single chapter in The 19th Hour. Mostly just for fun. I knew the tone to be too serious for them to be above each page, but hey, it’s over, so might as well share them here!

Chapter One: Pop Pop Bang Bang
Chapter Two: Voice of Mis-reason
Chapter Three: Listen to Your Brain
Chapter Four: Dream of Eclectic Beeps
Chapter Five: Detective Out of You
Chapter Six: Liar, Liar, RPG
Chapter Seven: In Case of Emergency, Die
Chapter Eight: Bree’s 19th Symphony

Of course, I never actually wrote the notes for Bree’s 19th Symphony. But if anyone gets any really cool idea, that’s what you should title it as.

A lot of life experience over the past 5 years went into The 19th Hour. Especially from my days as a conscript in the Singapore Armed Forces. While I was never a soldier, being assigned as a clerk instead, the regimentation and subsequent depression breakdown episode fed a lot into the writing of Allison Bree. Her mental state, the mind numbing regurgitation of day to day, hour to hour, was an ingrained experience.

Nevertheless, the truth is, The 19th Hour is a small tribute to the brave men and women who chooses to serve in the armies around the world. It’s a thankless job sometimes, and I can only know the repetition of seeing horrible things numbing hearts and mind. A day could sometimes feel like a year at the rate. And just like Allison’s 19th hour ordeal, whatever time and effort you think these soldiers spends in defence of their country, I can guarantee you it’s at least 10 times more than that.

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