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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Be Like a Turtle

  1. FADE IN

  2. Act 1

  3. INT. BEDROOM - 09:00

  4. Alarm clock sound. PETER observes his waking WIFE.

  5. PETER (V.O.): My wife begins her week-long remote work today.

  6. Pausing.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Instead of visiting beaches again this week, I've to stay home too.

  8. Pausing.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): We're being subjected to quarantine orders. Our domestic helper has been infected with Covid-19 virus.

  10. Pausing.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): She wasn't well for days. Before my son coming home for dinner yesterday, my wife asked her to do a RAT. While the C-line in the test cassette was clearly visible, the T-line was very faint.

  12. Pausing.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As our domestic helper interpreted that as having no problem, we asked her to do two more RATs and the results were the same.

  14. Act 2

  15. INT. DINING ROOM - 09:15

  16. Peter, his wife and KAJI, the family pet, are having breakfast.

  17. PETER (V.O.): My wife insisted that she'd go to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for us.

  18. Pausing.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As she likes cooking, she knows she has a higher risk than me to get infected.

  20. Pausing.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To minimize my risk, I've been staying in the master bedroom most of the time since yesterday.

  22. Finishing breakfast, they do their RATs.

  23. PETER: I've just one visible C-line. You too?

  24. WIFE: Yes.

  25. Peter's wife puts food and drink at a closed room door before calling their domestic helper to get them.

  26. PETER (V.O.): But our domestic helper has to use the common corridor to go to the toilet.


  28. As his wife begins working, Peter checks his diary on screen.

  29. PETER (V.O.): I've to send an apology to a HKUST function. I meant to have a chat with the outgoing HKUST's President. Tough luck.

  30. Having sent a mail, Peter checks Quora and sees dozens of new answer requests.

  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's good to interact with the world while I'm on quarantine.

  32. INT. BEDROOM - 12:30

  33. Peter begins to play the flute.

  34. PETER (V.O.): I haven't played it last week as I was going out and about after our first quarantine.

  35. Peter blows the melody of "Butterfly Love" in the amateurish way.


  37. Entering, Peter sees in the bathtub, a bigger turtle resting in a corner and a smaller one stretching its hind legs.

  38. PETER (V.O.): She's so relaxed. Yesterday, we're so pre-occupied with our domestic helper's condition.

  39. Pausing.

  40. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Although our pet turtles were confined for the day, my wife fed them an extra meal as compensation.

  41. After capturing a photo of the smaller turtle, Peter gives shoulder massages to the two turtles.

  42. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): They enjoy that - they're knowledgeable and wise enough.

  43. Enters Peter's wife.

  44. WIFE: The authority has just ferried our domestic helper to the Covid-19 isolation facility.

  45. Peter looks pleased.

  46. WIFE (Cont'd): Hours ago, she still sent me an image of her RAT in which the C-line was visible but the T-line was very faint.

  47. PETER: We can't afford to turn a blind eye to the evidence, putting us at a higher risk. Let me help sanitize the premises.

  48. WIFE: No! It's very risky. Let me do it alone.

  49. Act 3


  51. Holding a black and white violin bass guitar, Peter plays the riffs of the Beatles' song "Come Together" with the support of a mini amplifier.

  52. PETER (V.O.): I'll practise the musical instruments at my own pace. But I shouldn't stop.

  53. Later, Peter plays electric solo with a SE rhythm guitar with the support of a small amplifier. We hears melodic fingerings.

  54. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To move forward, a turtle has to stick its neck out first. And no matter how slow is the pace, forward is forward.

  55. Reflecting.

  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): During quarantine, I try to be like a turtle - at ease in my own shell.

  57. Smiling.

  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Meanwhile, let me offer to give a shoulder massage to my dear wife.

  59. THE END

  60. .

  61. FADE OUT

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