What happened to the days where kids ran squealing across the corridors?

by Zoe A. Choo

Block Catching was amongst my favourite childhood game, next to Pretend. It was to me, the most thrilling of them all. Unlike Hide-And-Seek, in Block Catching we had a chance to run all over the block and escape if we could run fast enough.

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5…”

We ran as fast as we could, if my younger brother joined us he’d usually tag with me.

“16, 17, 18…”

We usually hide in corners, often in twos or threes. It felt a little too scary to hide alone, as if the weight of being caught always felt a little too heavy to bear. We felt more powerful together, we’d last a little longer in the game. If we were to end up alone, chances are we would amongst the first to surrender.

However there were Lone Wolfs, those who ran faster than everyone. They were confident they were able to outrun the Catchers and groups were more of a burden to them. I had my fair share of Lone Wolf moments (only because I was the oldest) growing up.

“20! Ready or not, here I come!”

The hunt was on. Predator VS. Prey. Sometimes I’d hide in the lift, it’s often the stupidest place to be hiding in but a great tool to leverage on. I’d often take the lift up to the 3/4 of the building and hide at the corridor staircase, vigilant and prepared to run up, down or across the corridor. The suspense of looking out from behind a blind spot of a wall was the greatest thriller I had the pleasure of enjoying as a child.

“CATCH!”
“AHHHHHHH!!!!”

Only to be caught by my friend had tip-toed down the stairs of the corridor behind me.

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”

Sometimes I’d punch my friend out of shock as a metaphorical reply, because getting caught felt like being punched in the face for stupidity.

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