Horror Mystery Fiction

Asia gets up with a groan. His back feels the numb from sleep he isn’t supposed to get. But he did it anyway. He pulls his hand to his face, rubs the sand off his wrist. A slight curl, a feeling of defeat, slowly coils at the corner of his lip.

Yeah. Watches. You wish you still have one.

The salty air lingers around him. He throws his eyes around, examining the darkened interior. At the corner lurk stacks of dust-colored laptops and tangled wires. From where he is sitting, the wrecked technologies are like dismembered corpses. He removes his eyes from the hopeless gadgetry and checks his surrounding again. The thought of home seems to stretch longer and beyond. Far away into the future, full of despair. So far away, like the distance between human and the sun. In fact, it’s so much further than that. Asia is thinking about heaven and hell now underneath dome-shaped ceiling. He isn’t longing for the former, yet has formed no fear against the latter. He rests both hands on the ground. He grabs a handful of sand with his right fist and tilt it forward slowly, like someone readying a punch, but with less energy, an exhausted boxer after 11 rounds in the ring.

Oh. Yes. I’m in this cave. Wait. Where is Negara?

Asia slaps the sand off and throws himself up, exiting from the pitch-black cave into a dimly lit whitish-brown beach. He squints at the white-blue sea. The wonderful tonic sound the waves make across the water is a music to his ears. He breathes in while his eyes shut. The magical dawn comforts, not only his body, also his soul. The flat water and fresh damn air remind him of the Kedayan river back home. Living in a village where the boys love fishing and the girls addicted to gossiping, an introvert like him has never felt betrayed by the world he is currently living at the moment. Trapped in a mysterious island for almost weeks or months, the feeling of regret stills swims inside his mind like the unhurried waves across the sea.


Asia twirls around and waves his hand up, the one that has been fisted earlier. Sand particles begin sprinkling down like curtain of fairy dust, they sparkled against the soft hue backdrop. Wiping his face off with his other palm, he lets his feet slowly submerged into the sand, languishing the therapy of tiny particles around his ankles. The yeller starts to get bigger from on top of the hilly slope behind which stand a grove of coconut trees overseeing the shoreline.

“What have you been up to?” Asia asks, brushing off the sand from his chest.

“Just these balls.”

Negara replies with a cherry face and jolly voice, as if they are in their honeymoon. Asia smiles at her, thanking her for the coconuts she has gathered what seems to be a challenging task for a female. But Negara isn’t an ordinary female. She is different. For Asia, she is none other than a perfect woman in this dystopia world he is forced to live in simply because of a reason originated purely from a hopelessness and despair. He has fallen in love with this co-worker. If not because of her, he would have died and gone forever.

“Still not used to sand particles?” Negara asks, teasing while dropping the coconuts in front of them. “It’s been what…Five? Six months? Like almost a year we’ve been here. And you’re still thinking we’re teachers sitting at our staff lounge gossiping on our students.” Her eyes widen with her teeth showing like teachers usually do to students when they are annoyed.

“Can’t help it. I have eczema.”

“Only when you’re stress. Remember the first time we’re stuck here. Your fingers are flaked with dried glue. If you don’t think about it, you should be fine.”

“But I…”

“…Can’t help it. I know. I know you can’t help it. But you need to start helping yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s not your fault that he disappears.” A confident smile spreads across her face. Asia wonders how she managed to be happy where everyone dies around us.

Asia shakes his sandy feet off, remembering his student whom Negara has mentioned. His name was Akmal, a talkative, clever boy of 12, about to sit for his big exam this year. The sign of him disappearing was obvious, and the fact that Asia could not do anything but let his own student to disappear grimly one limb at a time is an experience that is worse than a nightmare.

“Look. The sun is starting to go up. It’s time.”

It’s time.

The two of them have found a way to stay alive in this new hellish world. What seemed like a crazy idea then has now makes sense. It is Negara’s idea. It’s not his. And Asia thinks that might probably the second reason why he loves her. She knows how to stay alive. It is as if he is destined to be alive just so he could learn from her.

“Come,” Negara plants her knees into the grime of the wet surface. The shoreline is beautiful, but the cold temperature chills painfully up his bones. “Position ourselves just like last time. You’re there…Aaaand…I’m here. Right?” Her face is smiling when she’s giving the instruction.

Purplish hue begins to crawl over Negara’s face. Asia turns his attention at the line where the sea surface and the greyish sky appear to meet. A globe of bluish-purple sunshine rises up. The sun, normally used to be white, lively color, now appears dead and hideous.

“Don’t move. Just bear with it.”

Asia can feel the sting across his chest and forehead as the purplish hue crawls over him. Asia thinks about his dead students…He remembers his dead families…He remembers his past life.

“Negara. I’ve been thinking…”


“I don’t think I want to live anymore.”

Negara is about to reply when she hears the wet smack of feet against the soft soil. “Oh no. Please. Please don’t be like this…Please.” She is tightening her eyes close, wishing for this nightmare to end.

“Good bye...I love…”

Asia screams in pain, writhing beside her. Negara wants to get up and stop kneeling. But she can’t. Her body stops her from doing what she is supposed to be doing. She continues kneeling, worshiping the cruel monster above the horizon.

The writhing sound of her lover is enough to exhaust her. She faints and wakes up alone to see the moon off the two puddle of water punctured from Asia’s knees.

The End

November 18, 2020 04:40

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