Thursday, November 1, 2012

Jasmine Chapter 1

(Author's Note: This is the last time I am writing something like this in the middle of the night during a creepy holiday in a spooky old house located in one of the most mysterious places in the country. Sheeesh. - Lee)

It was one of those days hot and humid days and being cooped up inside my nine square meter room felt almost like a punishment. I had some extra money to spare so I thought now would be a good time to go sip bitter coffee in that expensive coffee shop in the mall. This liberty, I thought, was one of the few perks of being a single twenty-five year old sleep-deprived home-based writer. I bought a tall cup of brewed coffee (the cheapest coffee item on the menu), and found a cozy space in a corner, near the electric sockets. It was a Thursday, 13th of the month, and a day before the mall’s weekend sale would go into full swing. It was only a little after noon so there weren’t too many people inside the coffee shop as I settled into my corner on the second level. I took out my laptop, logged on to the free WiFi service, and after checking out emails and Facebook statuses, proceeded to work.

I was immersed in the 1000 word blog article that I was writing on eggs, half amazed at the things I was finding out on the internet (Like, ‘The egg shell accounts for 9 to 12% of an egg’s total weight. Whaddaya know?) I glance up from my Acer Aspire One to mull over some egg facts when I saw her, a girl of  about my age, walking in a trance-like state towards the direction of the empty table beside mine. She had on a loose red shirt that has seen better days, shorts that barely covered her ass, and a pair of Havaianas slippers. She glanced sideways at me, and I could have sworn I saw her smile for a brief second before looking like a pretty hypnotized zombie. Yes, pretty. So I was a sucker for pale complexioned, frail looking chinitas who appear to be sleepwalking, sue me! She placed her wide Longchamp tote bag on her lap and gazed forward, not looking at anything in particular. She leaned on the cushioned wall and took a long deep breath. Then, she took out what looked like a pocketbook from her bag and laid it on the table top. I was immediately aware of the sweet smell of jasmine that was either on her hair or her skin, and I hoped that she would stay a bit longer, just so I could take in her scent a while more. But just as quick as she had come, she stood up in one graceful motion, slightly grazing my jeans enveloped leg.

So, maybe, I thought, she’d be buying her cup of coffee downstairs and used the book as her own ‘Reserved’ sign. I glanced at the purple colored book and saw a painting of the face of a disfigured man on the cover. Must be a horror novel, I thought. I pushed the thought of the disfigured man and the jasmine-smelling girl to the back of my mind and went back to my egg article. I wasn’t fully aware about how long I’ve been punching my keyboard when a couple of what looked to be nursing students based on their uniform, got my attention and asked me if the book topped table was taken. I smiled and nodded at the same time, and the two moved on to looking for another table. I did a quick survey of the room and realized that there were more people coming in. Jasmine-smelling girl hasn’t come back yet, and once again, the disfigured man on the cover was drawing me in.

I don’t know what came over me. One moment I was just taking the book off the table and looking at its cover. The next instant, I found myself in a dark place that smelled of damp and dirty washcloth. To my horror, I realized that I was tied to the wall, with clamps on my wrists and ankles. I could feel the cold metal eat into my flesh as I hung there, helpless and terrified. I started shouting for help but the stone walls only sent my shouts back to me. I tried to clear my head to remember what happened before I got into this nightmare of a situation. I remembered sitting in a coffee shop and sipping coffee and taking hold of a book, the book that pale, chinita, jasmine-smelling girl left on the table beside mine. I recall opening it up, and then, she… jasmine-smelling girl came and talked with me and… asked me out. I seemed to have been following whatever she told me because I recall taking a taxi with her and ending up in front of a really old ancestral house. I recalled how she immediately ripped my clothes off as we kissed each other like we were starving for each other’s taste on our tongue. We did it on the living room floor of the century-old house and I remember falling asleep in her arms and then, now, here I am, chained like a frog about to be dissected in biology class. After shouting until I was hoarse, I gave up and cried helplessly.

That was when I saw her, jasmine-smelling girl, clad in a silvery silk robe that appeared to have nothing but bare, pale skin underneath. She looked at me with her mesmerizing eyes and all I could think of was that this was the last time I will be duped by a chinita. She approached me without saying a word and I have seen my share of horror movies to know exactly how this would end. I see her smile a wicked smile as she bared her fangs and salivated like an insane dog. I closed my eyes and accepted my fate as the sweet scent of jasmine filled my nostrils before I felt her mouth and teeth on my neck just as I screamed with all the energy that I had left.

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