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4th country of the game
Today is just like any other day for Terry. Is she feeling bored? No, that’s not it. The feeling is geared more towards anxiety, curiosity and on top of that… fear. It shows from the way she kept on scratching her nails - in fast-constant-movements – and from the way she walks and passes her favorite café, instead of stopping by to visit it after class, and heads directly to her home. The closer she came to her home, the faster her heart beats.
Not long after, she arrives at her place, opens the front door and walks toward her room. But then she suddenly stops, right there in front of her room. Her heart beats twice as rapid than before. Sweat pours suddenly from her, flowing from her forehead towards her chin.
“It’s my turn. Will it be there?” she whispers to herself.
Slowly, she raises her left hand and steps closer to the door’s knob. Her hand shakily eases closer to the doorknob. When she nearly reaches the knob, her hand hovers over it, unsure whether to proceed or not. Gathering her courage she collected this whole week, finally she opens the door and enters her room. Nothing has changed. It is still the same as she left it this morning, except for one thing: the tablet is there.
Terry already expected this thing, since it is her time to throw the dice. She grabs her phone and starts calling the other participants, but… no one answered. She tries calling them again, but received still no response from any of them. She nervously glanced at the white compact gadget. Within a few seconds, it turns automatically on.
“Oh no! It’s starting!” She shouts with her tiny lips.
She reaches the tablet and, similar to her previous experience, sees that a question was already displayed there. She has no choice now, with or without Teresa and Zacky, she needs to take on the game. She reads the question carefully until it’s complete. Then, her facial expression changes - from nervous, worry into sheer confusion and total fear. The tablet shows:
“In a Japanese’s folklore, there is a woman called Kuchisake Onna or also known as Slit-Mouthed Woman. What should you answer to her question in order to be saved?”
Terry stares at the question with her eyes wide open. During that time, the screen changes into a countdown stopwatch. She starts to panic and tries to call her friends again, but still gets nothing. Fifty second left and she has to yet be able to reach Teresa and Zacky.
“Aarggghh….. Where are you guys?? Zacky must know this kind of stuff!” She keeps mumbling while walking around haphazardly.
With only thirty seconds left, she finally decides to answer the question just by following her instinct. Knowing that the fate of her friends is in her hand, Terry confidently types an answer. Just as she was about to tap the ‘submit’ button, she contemplates once more. Everything is messy in her mind right now. Particularly after what happened to Teresa and her speech before, Terry has no doubt that this game is not to be considered as a joke anymore. When they make a mistake, they must then pay the price.
Even though the stopwatch shows only ten more second s to go, Terry still kept her thumb 2 inches away from the ‘submit’ button. However, since she has no other choice, she finally enters the answer, hoping that she won’t get the dice. The grey loading sign appears and keeps on turning round and round under her stare. Again, Terry’s heart beat increases drastically, until finally the sign stops and the screen reveals this phrase:
“Enjoy the ride”
A short clear statement instead of a question. The nightmare finally arrives; she got the dice. This means that only a miracle could help their fate. Not yet finish with her shock, the dices came up, spinning by themselves and waiting to be stopped. As her energy fades away, she taps on the ‘stop’ button. The speed of the spinning decreased.
At that moment, she averted her eyes away off the screen, wishing fervently for and repeating the number six like an incantation. She could care less about any other matters, all she wants right now is that the dices would be showing up 6 dots. If she got less than that, they are really going to be doomed. However, before she can even think about how Teresa and Zacky’s reactions would be, the dices finally stop. She opens her eyes. There they are; the results. Her brown eyes filled with unshed tears after looking at those dices; 1 and 3 dots.
She felt very cold, her mind goes blank and in a flash, she is pulled into the tablet again. Just like previous incidents, Teresa and Zacky joined her and now they are finally together. Unlike Terry who still felt numb, Teresa has started to shout out of her shock and anger. While Zacky, still scratching his head, is trying to understand the sudden development.
“What the…. Where are we? Why we are here?” Teresa attacks Terry, who now looks like a zombie, with her questions.
“It’s time remember? We have to play.” she looks at Teresa with her completely blank stare.
“But couldn’t you have at least waited?? I was in class… uurghh!” She walks away from Terry, stomping her feet out of anger. Her breathes sound heavy and her heart beats like crazy. While Teresa tries to manage her emotions, Zacky approaches.
“Look” he says, pointing at the distant gates in front of them. Huge letters or maybe words were written on them.
Teresa’s feet stopped moving and her eyes followed Zacky’s finger. After clearly seeing the gates, she rushes over to Terry who was still in a frozen-like state.
“You’ve already learned the Thai language, right?” asks Teresa.
“I..err..no. I learned Man…darin “ Terry answers with a tremble.
“What?? But why? I thought….huft… explain what happened!” Teresa raises her voice again.
“I gave a wrong answer… so, I got the dices” Terry explains nervously.
“How could y… God! What was the question?” Zacky enquires. His eyes were fixed to Terry, trying to dig up possible explanations on what brought them there.
“It was about Kuch…Kuci…na..eerrr…” Terry tried to remember the name, but her memory seems to not be working properly. Unexpectedly though, she recalls the other name in English.
“Slit-Mouthed Woman. The question was: ‘What should I answer to her question in order to be saved.’” Her voice gets shakier than before.
“So, what was your answer?” he takes a few steps towards her and gets closer to her.
“Yes, beautiful as always” and now she looks at the two of them. She knows that her action already has caused them this trouble, but then again, she has had no choice. Take on the game, or …. face the consequences!
****to be continued****
What is actually happening here? What kind of game is it? Why should they learn Thai?
Want to know the complete story?
Well, stay tuned!
Story by : Zaza
Edited by : Chandrasa
About the author
This regional coordinator of Polyglot Indonesia Bandung is known for being talkative and always have a lots of spirits. As a student of French Literature at University of Padjadjaran, she always has a crush on language. After attending a cultural exchange program in France view months ago, her interest about learning new languages is getting bigger. At this moment, she's in the middle of her thesis about French Semantic.