He turned, and was about to walk towards the door, when he noticed a drop of blood about the size of an old sixpence on the corner of the sink. He was certain it wasn’t there when he first came in. He studied himself carefully to see if his body had left this unsavoury mark on the white porcelain. “No, not me!” he said, positive that it was not his own body fluid. He glanced at the floor and noticed several other red spots which were leading towards the door. He followed the trail but stopped dead when he saw a dark shadow through the frosted glass. As far as he knew, the other offices, of which there were two, had all closed at five which meant he should be the only person left in the building. He wasn’t sure whether it was the remains of the alcohol playing tricks on him but he felt the hairs stand up on the back of his neck and he froze . . .
*The Warped Web is out now on paperback and ebook.
There was once a beautiful young woman named Mae Nak whose love for her husband, Tid Mak, was undying. One day, while her husband was away at war, she died giving birth to their baby who did not survive either. Due to her undying love for her husband, Mae Nak and the baby returned to the living world as spirits. Everyone in the village has learned of their deaths, but when Mae Nak’s husband returns home from the battlefield he is greeted by his loving wife and their newborn child, unaware that they are spirits. The villagers try to warn him but he doesn’t want to believe them. One night the ghost of Mae Nak is preparing dinner for her husband when she suddenly drops a lime and it falls through a gap in the wooden floorboards. Back in those days, the houses were built a short distance off the ground. Tid Mak watches Mae Nak from the outside of the house as she stretches an elongated, ghostly arm through the long gap to the ground and reaches for the lime. He was aware that no human could reach that far and it was then that he realised the villagers were telling the truth. He runs from the house in terror to a nearby temple to seek refuge where the ghost of Mae Nak is unable to enter. Mae Nak becomes angry and takes out her frustration by terrorising the villagers. There are a few versions of how the story ends. In one, Mae Nak and her baby’s spirit are believed to be confined in a piece of bone from her exhumed forehead and bound into a wristband worn by a monk. In another version, a monk convinces Mae Nak that she will be reunited with her husband in another life at which point Mae Nak, along with the baby, is believed to have voluntarily moved on.
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So I signed up to gohighbrow.com (Highbrow) to the subject on The Science of Happiness.
For many of us, psychologists are those people who can tell you what’s wrong with you, who can look at you and find all those hidden fears and issues that we all have. But what if psychologists were those people that can tell you all your hidden talents and the wonderful sides of your personality that go so unnoticed most of the time?!
Positive psychology is a science that looks at what works, what’s right, and what’s improving with people. It is an approach within psychology that is meant to complement the majority of traditional psychology research done before, that’s focused on clinical settings and people with mental illnesses.
Underlying this new approach is the insight that happiness is NOT the negation of unhappiness. For example – overcoming a depression does NOT mean that you are happy and thriving. This course is based on a scientific approach that tries to find out what we need in order to flourish.
In addition to overcoming weaknesses, we will look at building strengths. Instead of running away from unhappiness, we will try to find ways to be happier. And in addition to overcoming tough times, we want to understand how to live a fulfilled life.
The main question that we want to tackle: How can this research be applied to help us make long-lasting, positive change? This also made positive psychology the most popular course at Harvard – back when it was taught there a few years ago. Nowadays, organizations, consulting companies, governments, schools are taking on positive psychology.
Qingshan was left speechless. And then out of nowhere, he did the unthinkable and reached for Lei-Li’s hand and held it. All this time he had wanted to hold her hand, but he had never plucked up the courage to do it. At that moment, however, it felt right. It felt like the right thing to do. He then looked right into her eyes and she looked right back at him. She didn’t have to say anything for him to read the expression on her face and to know she felt exactly the same as he did. It was that one intimate moment that confirmed to Qingshan that he and Lei-Li were more than just friends.
“The lady stopped writing and turned to look at him. As soon as he saw her, he stopped abruptly, suddenly lost for words. Looking back at him was the most beautiful face he had ever seen, probably about the same age as him, in her mid-twenties. Stunned by her beauty he couldn’t help but stare as he felt he was looking into the face of an angel. He had never seen such beauty before. She had the most exquisite, fair, soft-looking complexion. She had beautifully almond-shaped, light brown eyes and her medium-sized lips were painted red, making her appear slightly sultry.”
Grandma Ling nodded sadly. Joie only knew very little about the Chinese customs when it came to wakes and funerals, but she didn’t know that a mother couldn’t attend her own daughter’s wake and funeral. So a mother couldn’t say a proper good-bye to her own daughter?
“That’s very stupid,” said Joie.
“That’s the custom,” said Grandma Ling sadly.
“Grandma Ling, how are you going to say good-bye to my mom, your daughter?”
“What happens if you turn up at the wake and the funeral?”
“Joie, in Chinese custom when it comes to wakes and funerals, we Chinese people take it very, very seriously. If the customs are not followed and obeyed, there will be bad luck, ill fortune, and disaster within the family.”
Joie didn’t say anything.
“Joie, during the funeral, you must send your parents off well and properly, especially for me, OK?”