Sync or swim

Chan had almost finished his preparations when he heard Ethan's grandad howling for the teenager to come back.

Friday, 22 June, 2012, 12:00am

Sync or swim

Ethan and Grandad stared at the floor, too ashamed to respond.

'Did you really think I believed our money was coming from gung gung's website?' Mum demanded. As a cover, Ethan had created a non-functioning home page purporting to sell Grandad's stock online.

Mum looked at the pair and shook her head. 'So what exactly have you two been up to?'

15 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Sync or swim

Before heading off to the kitchen to make more tea, Mum introduced their visitor with a smile her son couldn't quite fathom. 'Ethan, this is Mr Chan. This is the man who has been paying for your scholarship all these years.'

8 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Sync or swim

The rest of the sprawling house lay in silence and darkness as, in his room, Sam lifted the scanner cover and removed the last battered, black-and-white photograph to be copied.

30 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Sync or swim

Morose and bitter, Ethan watched as Gilbert and Charlotte Chan swaggered out of the school gates, designer bags slung over their shoulders, and the latest smartphones gripped in their hands.

'They've got it all, haven't they?' he muttered, turning to Maya. 'But do you think they stop for even one second to think about where the money to pay for it comes from?'

23 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Sync or swim

If Mr Wong hadn't taken a step back into the doorway of his shop, he would have been flattened as Ethan hurtled by. 'Sorry!' his neighbour's grandson yelled over his shoulder as he disappeared down the street. Despite feeling like he'd just been slapped in the face, respect for his elders was ingrained in Ethan.

16 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Sync or swim

The next morning, Ethan and Maya stood at their classroom door watching Gilbert and Charlotte Chan, huddled around a tablet computer and giggling at the real-life misfortunes of some poor soul that had been captured on video.

'Ethan, we don't know if their dad is involved,' Maya cautioned. 'He may have been discussing something completely different with the property agent.'

9 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Sync or swim

Ethan gasped as the hood slipped from the head of his long-time pursuer, revealing that person to be ... No, not a thug hired by the ruthless property developer looking to oust grandad from his shop, nor someone connected to the hackers that had attacked the shamefacebook site. Neither was it his old enemy from the housing estate, Tam Wai-hung, or the jealous Kieran O'Shea.

2 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Sync or swim

Ethan scooped up the last of the clothes that had collected on the floor of his room over the past few months like a layer of sediment, and jammed them into the bottom of the wardrobe.

20 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

Sync or swim

The smoke seeping out from under the shutters which sealed the front of the shop was growing thicker and darker with every passing moment. 'Gung gung!' Ethan screamed as, with mounting desperation, he pummelled the metal screen.

13 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

Sync or swim

It was the end of the first day of term back at St Jude's International School. Groups of students were still swapping tales of their skiing trips and beach holidays in Bali or Australia, as they headed for the gates where their families' drivers were waiting.

By the banks of lockers, Ethan watched as Maya made her way through the throng to join Keiran O'Shea at the main door.

6 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

Sync or swim

Ethan and Sam stood staring in disbelief at the laptop as the video Ethan's grandad and Sam's younger sister had made finished playing.

The short film, which featured scenes intercut with text titles, showed:

a garden, with Mr Wong's mournfully-cute puppy sitting in the midst of trampled flowers

25 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Sync or swim

The lift came to a juddering halt at the floor where the engineer, Grandad, Sam and Jenny all stood waiting.

'Siu-man!' Grandad called.

From inside the lift came Ethan's strained reply. 'Gung gung.'

As the door slowly opened, Grandad and Sam took a step forward then stopped in their tracks.

18 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Sync or swim

With the lift broken down between floors, Ethan realised he was trapped in a two-metre square space with a violent thug who had a grudge against him.

After jabbing every button on the control panel to no effect, Wai-hung punched the alarm.

Ethan struggled to keep his voice steady. 'That ... doesn't work.'

11 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Sync or swim

His heart pounding, Ethan ran back to the supermarket. He was almost certain his laptop had been stolen, but maybe, just maybe...

28 Oct 2011 - 12:00am