“Tonight, some one is going to kill us. Pick us off one by one, when we least expect it, when we think we are safe in our cozy dorms, snuggled up to our furry feline friends; the killer is going to come unnoticed, sneak up on us and before our cats can even raise an alarm, bury a hatchet in our brain and watch in rapt fascination when tissues of grey matter squiggle out of the only deep opening in heads.” I said in a silent whisper, hoping that I sound menacing enough to scare the girls.
“Ahhhh” I hear two, satisfyingly, loud intake of breaths just as Fuschia, my Persian cat, snuggles up to me demanding a belly rub.
“Jasmine, you can do better than that. Come on, this remotely sounding prophetic statement wouldn’t scare an 9 year old, forget 19 year olds.” Laura, my nemesis, spoke clearly exasperated by our incompetence to scare each other.
But then again, I knew she had it in for me. From her ordinary mousy brown hair to her spectacled black eyes; from her evident poo belly to her H&M’s clearance sale clothes; Laura was not the type who would be asked out on a date even if she were the last girl in the dorm.
And Laura knew it, but then again, bless her middle-class heart, she did try to excel in academics.
In fact she tried a lot. So imagine her surprise when Jasmine, the auburn haired, hazel eyed beauty; who wore 2017 fall fashion; sweeps in and unceremoniously drops Laura off from the pedestal of a top grader.
Well, some one had to explicitly explain it to Laura that life sucked, especially considering I had at least 207 times already, and yet she wouldn’t understand.
So here I was, scooped up in my refurbished dorm with Laura and two other pre-meds on a stormy Halloween night with our power supply cut off. Considering almost all our college mates had left for the long weekend, I had no other choice but to indulge these three samples of inferior gene pool.
“Why not, Laura?” I challenged her annoying reasoning. “Don’t you think there are people who are ailurophobes, people who have a phobia of cats which means by definition they would hate cat lovers?” I answered, holding Fuschia tightly in my laps and curling her furry tail around my index finger.
“And what better reason to be picked off one by one because of pet cats? Right?!” Laura asked.
Okay, I do reluctantly agree that this did sound quite far-fetched, not out loud though. I mean we were discussing logical reasons why and how could anyone kill us one by one that night, for fucks sake, of course.
Nina suggested that the Red Devil might, in all likelihood, kill us, especially when we go to the toilet. The Red Devil will walk in and ask us to choose between using a blue toilet paper and red toilet paper. If we choose blue he would strangle us to death, you know blue face and all, but if we choose red, he would slit our throats and we’ll be covered in red.
I really do worry about that girl sometimes, like exactly ten seconds of my life, once a week, goes in wondering how many people is she likely to kill in the Operation Theatre. And when I think about that, I also wonder, how on Earth could someone as daft as Nina have cracked her pre-meds.
Now if you ask me, this Red Devil logic sounded like a load of bullshit. Like what difference does it make what color I chose, also Nina, bless her far less than intelligent, mediocre heart, couldn’t for the life of her explain why would the Red Devil come to kill us in the first place.
“B…Because the red devil hates us. That’s why it’ll kill us! It makes perfect sense.” She almost screamed in her customary shrill defense.
So, now it was Laura’s turn. And we all turned to her, her pasty complexion shining in the feeble candle light as she began.
“About twenty years ago, in this same dorm room occupied by Jasmine today, a heinous act of harassment took place. An act that eventually leads to three deaths and one suicide.” And just like that Laura had everyone’s attention, including mine.
“Go on…” I said.
“There was a transfer mid term, just like Jasmine is.” She said. “Her name was Tamara. She had the most beautiful, big hazel eyes and long wavy auburn hair and when she joined she wore 1997 fall fashion.”
“Just like Jasmine.” Nina whispered and everyone turned to me. I felt shivers, as the room suddenly felt chilly, chilly enough to hold Fuschia closer to me.
“Nina, do not open your slum dwelling mouth unless you’ve been asked to. Am I clear?” I snapped at her. Nina whimpered, opened her mouth to protest until she saw my warning look.
“Yes.” Laura continued. “She also had a Persian cat that she had named Magenta. During those days ragging new comers was a norm. So three of her classmates came up with a plan. A plan to rag Tamara, even worse than what they had gone through when they joined first year of medicine. On Halloween weekend twenty years ago, they cut off the power supply to Tamara’s dorm room, locked all her windows from the outside and left her inside the room alone. Not even Magenta was allowed with Tamara.”
“So what? How is that scary?” I said loudly. I was getting tired of all the whispering and references to similarities between Tamara and me.
“Well, there was something else in the room with Tamara that night.” A chill ran through my spine and the silence in the room could be cut with a paper knife.
“What was it?” Sia asked.
“Sia, my sweet little dimwit, I’m sure she’ll tell us, even without you asking. Can’t you see she’s working hard to make up a crazy ass story scary enough to make us scramble to our Mommies?” I continued. “Oops, I’m sorry, I forgot your Mommy will be earning a buck tonight, giving blow jobs. Wouldn’t she?” I spewed venom at Sia.
“That’s enough.” Laura said.
“You know what was in the room with her, a hand, a severed hand. They left Tamara with a hand from the morgue, tightly tied to her midriff.” Laura paused, turned her head from one side to another. Her big, black-hole eyes taking us all in, one by one.
“Oh!” she continued. “For one night and one day Tamara screamed, cried, and begged to be let out. With no food or water and no one else in the dorm but the other three girls, Tamara received no mercy.
But then something happened, a day later the screaming and the begging stopped. The only noises that came from the dorm room were wet, slurping sounds.”
“What happened to Tamara?” I asked.
“Well, the three girls who locked Tamara up were too terrified to open the room and see what was left of Tamara. So, after the weekend was over, and the staff was back, the janitor opened Tamara’s room and you won’t believe what he found.” Laura paused, that dramatic bitch!
“What? Say it!” Nina almost shouted. Her shrill voice jarred in my ears as I swatted her right in her arm.
“Tamara was found, cradling and eating the severed hand. All the fingers were missing, eaten through the bone, and chunks of flesh had been bitten off from the arm at many places.” Laura paused again, for effect of course.
“What happened to Tamara and the other girls?” Sia asked.
“Tamara was institutionalized, but guess what. A year later, exactly the next Halloween weekend her three classmates were found dead with their throats slit from one ear to another and their fingers chewed to the bones, huge chunks of flesh were found missing from their forearms.” Laura said.
“OMG, did Tamara do it?” I asked, my stomach drowning in deep pits of fear. I was sure, I did not want to stay in the same dorm anymore.
“No one knows, Tamara had hung herself in the mental hospital the same day.” Laura spoke, almost somber and sorry for the losing Tamara.
“Guys, I’m going to the bathroom.” Nina stood up and announced in a shrill, nervous quack as she started walking towards the common bathroom in the corner of the corridor.
Typical, I thought, just when you needed everyone here, Nina had to go and masturbate.
We waited for Nina in silence, Sia, Laura and I.
“Isn’t Nina taking too long?” Sia spoke first.
“Like you care, Sia.” I snapped. “I am terrified here, some one in the same dorm room as mine went crazy just twenty years ago and killed three other girls. Did your marshmallow sized brain even wonder how this would impact me?”
“Jasmine I…” Sia tried to continue, when Laura interrupted her.
“She’ll come soon, don’t worry.” Laura said just as we heard the tip tap of stilettos that belonged to Nina.
And from the door that Nina was supposed to enter I saw someone dressed as the Red Devil, stand on the threshold, holding a severed hand.
I turned to Laura and Sia, when I saw them stare at me intently, their lips spreading from ear to ear in a wide smile. And all I could say was, “Oh…Oh”.