Three soft pumps of French cologne and she’s good.

Amalie studies herself in the looking glass. Her girl friends, Tess and Celle, are pretty damn right — she’s so fine. Truth be told, with her looks, she can be a star celeb if she wants to, or a notorious super model maybe.

Born to a Filipino-German father and a Colombian mother, Amalie has the face everyone will die for. From her big bright eyes to her keen-edged nose, let alone his scarlet lips and rubicund cheeks — ah, you can tell, she is a goddess that has set foot on earth. She’s sculpted perfectly. Like a divine masterpiece. It is of no wonder why any Adam who gets to see her beauty becomes an instantaneous admirer. To brag, she has even captured the attention of Arkie Mann, London’s most bankable figure in the modeling industry, when she attended a local charity event where Mann was also a part of. Yes, she can turn heads that easy. No sweat. For all she is worth, to fish in the pond isn’t her thing. To be fished is.

The bubble of her self-adoration bursts when the doorbell rings.

“Oh, it must be Johnny,” Amalie whispers under the amalgamated scent of her cosmetic tools, much less the delicious smell of cookies she has baked for the guards.

Throwing one final glance in the mirror, Amalie swiftly goes downstairs to meet her boyfriend. They will go out on a date tonight. Why, it’s their anniversary.

Well, it’s good to know that her parents are currently on a restful vacation in Vietnam. No disapproving eyes and insulting gestures from her father, then. Bitterly, she sighs. Pshaw, it’s not a secret that her father dislikes Johnny. Reasons? Nah, no list of reasons at all. And if there is, it is in a closed book hidden inside the ink-black headspace of her unpredictable father.

“Whatever,” she grunts while she pulls up her red dress from her ankles.

Tonight is a golden opportunity for her and Johnny. No time for unhealthy thoughts to ruin her night. And she must be glad, for — barring the cookie-filled and coffee-drowned guards outside — she’s living her life alone in the mansion. Plus it’s weekend, and weekends mean no housemaids. She feels even gladder from the thought. Her parents are out, so are the housemaids. Good, no nosy people to deal with around. She beams up. So this is freedom, huh.

Amalie jumps back to reality upon reaching the door. She’s in for the moment, she can feel it. And loves it. Preparing for her beau’s sweet kisses and tight hugs, she can feel her heart beating a mile a minute.

Carefully, Amalie opens the door — only to gasp in terror.

Alas, there’s no Johnny to meet at all. For it’s not Johnny — it’s not Johnny who rushes inside and hungrily owns her lips. It’s a stranger — a big man. His face is covered with a pig mask. Only his eyes and mouth are exposed.

Clutching at Amalie’s face, the man has tough and dangerous arms. And he is very solid...and apparently strong, so strong she can barely free herself from him, from his maniacal intentions. She tries to fight back — with all her might — but to no avail. She seems like a wasted gazelle in the mouth of a starving lion. There’s no winning in this deal.

The man pushes Amalie onto the couch. Her dress is now torn at the seams. Bawling, she prays for the man’s mercy. However, as a quick reply, the man just lets out a thundering and deranged laugh, creepily pulling a knife from his back pocket. The knife is already dripping red with fresh blood. That means...that means he has murdered someone by this time! The thought terrifies Amalie even more.

While the man inches closer and closer to her, Amalie picks everything on hand and throws each one to him. The lampshade, the ashtray, the flower vase, the figurines — all did nothing to the demented intruder. He is one rugged of a man, and it’s unsettling to realize at this point of time.

Fleetly, Amalie jumps from the couch and straightaway heads for the stairs. She can’t just sit there and cry for help. She needs her phone. It’s on her bed. She has to make a call. Nevertheless, as she runs, Amalie accidentally trips down and falls on the steps — just a favorable time for the man to grab her leg and drag her across the living room.

Amalie struggles on the floor, reaching for any sturdy object she can hold on to, screaming, kicking. She has to delay this man’s plan, whatever it is. But, alas, there’s nothing to hold on to. Hopelessly, she claws and claws on the floor until her nails crack and bleed. She roars in pain. The stinging discomfort of her injured fingers, let alone her skinned elbows, is unbearable.

Drowned in sweat, tears and blood, Amalie is carelessly heaved by the man back on the couch. Trembling, she hugs her knees to her chest and buries her head in them. Before long, she silently consoles herself and glares back at the man.

“Who are you? Why are you doing this to me?” screams Amalie at the top of her lungs, pulling her erstwhile tidy hair in distress. “I can give you money if you want to. Give me an amount. A hundred million? Two hundred? Drop your price!”

As the daughter of Junmarl Wroblewitz, one of the wealthiest business magnates in all of Asia, money is not a problem for Amalie. Her mother alone, Sarah Vega-Wroblewitz, the sole daughter of Listo Juan Vega — a rich Colombian politician, can even change this man’s life forever in one signature. In short, this man can steal billions from her, and it won’t even matter. Their cents can go, but not her life.

“You look your best tonight, Amalie,” the man speaks deeply, straying away from Amalie’s curious questions. He is using a voice distorter — the reason for his artificial sound.

Amalie is confused. How did he know her name? Suspicions cloud her mind. The man must have been someone she knows very well. Besides, how could he easily slip into their mansion monitored by a number of closed circuit television cameras and fenced by more or less twenty highly skilled guards? And...and where are the guards by the way? They should have been alarmed by the commotions happening inside the mansion. She whimpers. The night is getting deeper and deeper, and her chance of survival is thinning. No help is to be expected, she concludes. She must find her way out of here. Out of this man’s psychotic prison.

“I know what you’re thinking, sweetheart. Yes, I know you. I know you very well. Inside out. From head to toe,” the man keeps up, drilling his palm with the sharp end of the knife. “And guess what, I know your Johnny too,” his revelation. But there is something behind his revelation. Is it a sense of total familiarity?

“You know what, it’s silly to love someone who knows only a quarter of you,” the man lectures, waving his hands in the air like a know-it-all professor. “Why can’t you be with someone who knows you very well, who has been with you in your ups and downs, in your successes and failures..I tell you, with him, you’ll be joyous and content for keeps,” he softens a bit, head bowed down as if contemplating what to say next.

Amalie is left nailed on the couch. She is tongue-tied. This man is very unearthly. He has been shifting personalities since he broke in. And it bothers her badly.

“What do you mean?” Amalie articulates in time, looking at the man inquisitively — her breaths measured.

“I am that man, Amalie. I am that perfect man for you. I know you very well that I have already memorized you, every part of you,” his blind confidence is obvious. 

In a while, the man drags a chair, sits in front of Amalie — elbows rested on both knees, hands clasped together — and speaks again, “That little heart-shaped birthmark on your back, I adore it. But your shower sessions? Those are way more adorable, more sexually exciting. You, in your shower, unclad, your favorite playlist is on, your hips swaying to the beat. Ugh, such an experience. Just so you know, Amalie, everything with you and about you is damned addicting. You’re giving me something I cannot resist. At first, I didn’t know what it was. Until one day, I realized I have fallen in love with you. I love you, Amalie!” 

“You’re sick. You need help,” cries Amalie. “You don’t know what you’re talking about, you perverted monster!” she blanched. 

“You don’t love me, do you? Oh, yes. I understand...I understand why you can’t love me back. Why, for you only see me as your father!” growls the intruder. 

“Dad?” Amalie blanched even more. “No, you can’t be! It can’t be!” 

“Yes, sweetheart. It is I, your father! Your father who can be the best husband for you. If it’s not for your stupidity, this won’t happen between us. I am a better lover than Johnny, Amalie. I am,” he laughs, licking his lips. “Be mine, Amalie! Be mine!” 

“No,” loudly howls Amalie as she barrels from the couch towards the concupiscent man. They both fall onto the glass table which easily breaks up beneath their massive weight. The two wrestle on the floor with Amalie on top, punching the man as hard she as she could.

Nine. Ten. Eleven.

Amalie has been unfailing in throwing clean straight jabs against the man, hitting his jaw, neck, chest, face. Nonetheless, all of them are in vain. Despite of the bleeding mouth and nose, the man remains to be a happy crackbrain under her, laughing harder and harder in each punch.

“Is that all you got? I want more,” challenges the man — one of his eyes swollen, his lips cut. “No matter what you do, you will still end up with me in my blanket, my daughter!”

“You want more, huh?” Amalie hisses in frustration. “Then take this,” she reaches for a glass shard and stabs the man in the chest, particularly aiming for his heart. The man groans in pain. Blood oozes out of his mouth. He painfully coughs. Then, he stretches out a hand to feel his fatal wound. It’s bleeding abundantly. Like a red river.

Heavy breathing.





A long gasp for air.

No more.

The man has given up the ghost. 

He is dead.

Amalie, tired and weary, drops onto the man’s bloody chest. Yet, momentarily, she gets up as soon as her mind harkens back to the revelation of the intruder a while ago. He can’t be her father. It’s impossible. With an unconvinced heart, she begins peeling the mask off the intruder’s face.

As soon as Amalie sees who the true intruder is, she whimpers uncontrollably. She’s right — the intruder is not her father. Besides, the intruder is not even a man. It’s a woman. And she looks like her. But....but it is her! All this time, she was her own assassin. Right off, she is in a sudden mental disturbance.

But her shock never ends there, for the dead body starts disintegrating before her. In no time, the body is in pieces. She looks at the pieces closely. Did the intruder’s body just turn into a number of varicolored pills? And she meant the illegal pills.

Amalie walks around the room. There has been a change in atmosphere. The fear that has been eating her up surprisingly fades away. With eyes closed, she dances all over the place, not minding the cutting glass shards, not minding the slippery blood. At that time, she laughs. She laughs so hard. Hysterically. Then, she hums. And dances again. She is clearly in an utter state of euphoria.

Ha, her mind. Stupid she. Her imagination has been so full of zip lately. Actually, the intruder never really existed. And everything that happened a while ago — everything that she thought of — is merely a hallucination. Blame those pills that Johnny gave her last time. 

Amalie takes the pills to make her very strong, so energetic...and thoroughly unafraid. Wait, she should never be afraid of anything or anyone. It’s the people around her who should be afraid of her. But who would be afraid of her now when all of them are dead?

Ailyn, their laundrywoman, is on the couch. Her skull is cracked open. Not far from the couch are sharp pieces of lampshade, ashtray, flower vase and figurines. She wickedly nods. Now she knows how that poor laundrywoman got such serious injury. 

She giggles, “I am such a hard hitter.”

On one hand, Rose, their cook, is lying soundlessly upon the steps of the stairs. It looks like she’s trying to escape, only to be dispatched by numerous stab wounds in her lungs and kidneys.

The family’s resident cleaner, Munying, is found near the couch. Her nails are cracked, and her elbows are skinned. She has bruises all over her body.

“Sorry if I dragged you that hard. My fault,” chuckles Amalie.

At Amalie’s feet lies Roda, the mistress of the house. One of her eyes is swollen, her lips cut. A glass shard is pierced into her chest.

“Poor people,” dreamily she looks at each of their housemaids. “Sleep well and be with your Creator,” her last words before dancing her way to the kitchen.

Amalie finds two cookies in the oven. She puts them on a plate and rushes outside the mansion, into the ice-cold touch of the night.

“Ah, what a sight!” she whispers.

Everywhere, dead bodies are scattered.

“How did my cookies taste like, guards?” she calls out.

Oh, she really had fun baking the cookies.

Those poisoned cookies!

In a while, a dashing sports car enters the gate.

It’s Johnny.

Johnny Mambach, the possessor of the biggest drug cartel in the country, the man she loves so much, the man her parents — especially her father — vehemently abhor.

“Hey there, honey,” she greets him with a firm kiss. She can taste the substance in his tongue, and it tastes good.

“It seems like you’re having fun while I’m out, huh?” grins Johnny when his eyes are caught by the corpses at close quarters.

“It’s you who asked me to do this, right? Of course, I’d follow you, I’d follow my man,” she kisses him again. “By the way, how are my good-for-nothing parents?”

“Well, they’re still in the basement. And I’m very sure they’re starving right now,” his reply.

They become quiet.

Meaningful glances at each other.

“Do you have the basement keys?” Amalie breaks the silence.

Johnny smiles, digs into his pocket, and hands the keys out.

In a little while, the two head back to the mansion — still with the cookies on the plate.

Submitted: April 22, 2020

© Copyright 2023 Sherwin French C. Anson. All rights reserved.

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