by Hazlan Zakaria

Image by Graf

Hamid runs as fast as his spindly legs can carry him, his ill-fitting yellow rubber work boots flip-flopping on the floor of the 1Africa Putrajaya Nuclear Reactor Complex executive lounge.

“Ya Allah! Ya Allah!” he mouths, gasping for breath, a computer print-out streaming in his left hand as his right flails a clipboard chart in the air, speeding along the corridors.

His white technician’s coat flapping wildly in his rush, his dull-grey hard hat long ago fell off somewhere along his mad dash from the central reactor control room.

Hamid’s eyes search wildly for the arched doorway to the executive dining area, still panting, still rushing, almost running into some suits who on their usual morning break.

His security tag dashes against his chest and sides, swinging on the chain a tad too long around his neck.

On most days, a lowly technician like Hamid would stop, shuffling to the side, allowing the well-heeled executives in their wing-tips and Savile Row two-piece suits to pass.

“TEPI! TEPI!” he shouts.

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