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smoke
Narrator Jingjing
Volume Into the Forest
Starts May 20, 2014 (02:11:12)
Ends May 20, 2014 (11:03:08)
Previous chapter Warlock
Next chapter Better Forgotten

"smoke" is the twentieth chapter of Into the Forest. It is the third and final chapter to be narrated by Jingjing.

Chapter Quote Edit

"From the outset it was impossible."

"Then what shall we do?"

"Make a place for the impossible."

"Is that possible?"

"It's what we do."

- Five Chambers

Summary Edit

The chapter opens up on May 20, 2014 at 02:11:12 in Singapore. Jingjing has still not smoked from the pale blue balloon he bought three days ago and he is still trying to decide whether or not he should. He gets up from his hammock and goes to the roof of the apartment complex. He has hidden the balloon here so Tian Li would not find it. He thinks about a question Tian Li once asked him: "How do we remember this emptiness so in fullness we won't forget?" which Jingjing doesn't understand. He has no idea why a person would want to remember such emptiness and pain.

Jingjing places the balloon in his front pocket and takes his monster card deck out from his back pocket. When he draws a card, he sees he has drawn Vasuki. He begins contemplating returning to his drug dealer and selling the balloon back to him.

Later on, Jingjing goes to a hotel called Marina Bay Sands, hoping to do some gambling. He is stopped by security guards at the casino entrance and is asked to show his identification. He is also asked to pay an entry fee. Jingjing becomes paranoid when he remembers the balloon is still in his pocket. Two more guards show up so Jingjing decides to walk away. He runs into Pink Pearl, Copper Azure, and Cocoa Cherry. He becomes excited when he sees them and they invite him to a private party. They get into an elevator and ride it to the top floor of the hotel. The trio are able to get Jingjing into the party. He wants to tell them about the balloon he has, and he is willing to share with them, but he says nothing. He knows Cocoa Cherry would not approve but the other two would enjoy it.

Hours later, Jingjing is back in the void deck of his apartment complex. There is nobody inside of the void deck except for himself and Lau Jerry. Lau Jerry says that he and all of the others have been noticing Tian Li's different behavior lately. Jingjing begins to think that he does not need the void deck strangers, or Tian Li, to be happy. He returns to his apartment and finds the kitchen is a mess and Tian Li is eating more food. Jingjing becomes increasingly depressed when he looks at his world wall in his bedroom. He sees that Tian Li is running out of money and may even be evicted soon if this keeps up. He wants to leave her behind and move on with his life.

Jingjing pulls out the balloon one more time. He decides to smoke from it. He suddenly feels like he is whole again. He thinks about Tian Li's question from before again. In his mind, his answer to her question is: "this how we lose emptiness so in fullness we forget."

The chapter ends on May 20, 2014 at 11:03:08.