It was a dark and stormy night, foreshadowing the darkness of what was to come. Four girls had just completed a late-night rehearsal at Dark Hall Theatre, and they were looking forward to a relaxing rest at home for the rest for the night.
“Alright, Shiny Collagen, that was a great performance. Dora, I love your new move,” their manager praised, making Dora beam in delight.
“It’s called the shimmy. It doesn’t disrupt my butt pads too much,” she responded evenly. There was an awkward silence, followed by orders from their manager to get changed in the dressing room quickly so they could head home.
With satisfactory grins, three of them headed to the dressing room while Rose, the remaining member, decided to detour to the washroom.
“Did you see my shimmy, Violet?” Dora asked her girl group member eagerly. Violet gives her an encouraging smile and nod. It was enough to keep the redhead happy. The remaining blue-haired member of the quartet, however, merely gave an undisguised snort and resumed her change of clothes.
It was then that the lights suddenly went off. The noisy room fell ominously silent as the girls tried to decipher what was happening.
“Did the lights just go off?” Dora’s voice was heard in the darkness. A clicking sound was heard, and a light flashed around the room. It was from Ice’s phone. “No, Dora, the lights are still on,” Ice retorted sarcastically. It was then they heard an odd noise in the distance.
“What was that?” Ice shined the light on Violet’s horrified expression.
“I don’t know. It sounded like a dying cow,” Ice answered truthfully, and held back her laughter when Violet’s face grew pale. Violet was an animal rights activist and a sworn vegan.
The odd noise grew louder until it stopped outside the dressing room. The three girls held their breath as a figure came barging in – and at the sight of the figure, they gave loud screams of shock.
Rose came limping over, with a black hole in her chest. She was wild-eyed, looking around frantically and making incoherent noises. The three girls spoke at once to calm her down.
“Rose! What happened to you? Please tell us!”
“I think we should call an ambulance, she’s hurt!”
“Is her silicon still intact…” Dora murmured, eyeing her chest with widened eyes.
“You can’t call for an ambulance, Violet! The police are going to tag along and they’ll think we did it! She looks like she’ll be dead by the time they arrive anyway!” Ice batted Violet’s handphone away and Violet bared her teeth as though they were going to engage in a catfight. However, Dora broke the tension by screaming, as Rose’s hunched figure collapsed to the ground with a loud thud.
“There, she’s dead,” Ice declared.
“What do you mean? She just fainted,” Violet said shrilly. “Stop saying she’s going to die!”
“We need to go,” Dora said, suddenly calmer than the other two. “We need to get help.” Without further discussion, the three girls ran out of the dressing room to the corridor. It was odd how no one could be seen, and they felt as though they were in an alternate dimension. They checked their phones and strangely enough, there was no signal. The lights ominously flickered on again, and with it came an odd noise that sounded like someone gasping for air.
For a few moments, the girls stared at each other, before slowly turning to face the left side of the dim corridor that hosted the noise. To their horror, a white figure stood upside-down on the ceiling, her long black hair fanning out beneath her. She was breathing heavily and groaning. Her face was a deadly white and she was smiling maliciously with pitch black eyes. Her mouth was glistening with blood that was dripping onto her forehead and hair. It was a miracle how they could see all of this even with dim lighting, but they managed to discern well.
“I want those contact lenses,” Dora breathed, before the three of them took to their heels and started running down the other side of the corridor. It was the fastest run they did, and they could probably give Usain Bolt a run for his money. However, as they descended a flight of stairs, Ice tripped and sprained her ankle.
“Guys, help me!” she cried, struggling to stand up. The girl’s heavy breathing could be heard above, and Dora and Violet were forced to make a split-second decision. They continued to run down the flight of stairs, leaving the poor girl behind. “Sorry, Ice, you’re on your own!” Dora cried. “It’s okay, you get a free pass to Heaven!”
A loud cry resounded around the building as Ice was attacked. The two girls kept on running, until they hit a dead end. Looking around, they realized that they had no choice but to confront the unearthly monster. Not long after, she arrived, sliding along the ceiling and leaving a disgusting trail of green goo behind.
“What do you want with us?” Violet asked darkly, even though she could hear her heart thudding precariously as the girl’s eyes focused menacingly at her.
She opened her mouth, revealing a set of sharp bloody teeth. Her raspy voice sounded low and hollow, as if it wasn’t coming from her. “I am the Gatekeeper of Hell. You made a bargain five years ago, and it is time to repay the debt.” She echoed, even though her mouth didn’t move.
“Bargain? What bargain?” Violet asked, nonplussed.
Dora made an odd choking noise in the back of her throat, causing Violet to look at her questioningly.
“Don’t you remember? Ice did a stupid ritual she came across on the internet to make us famous but our souls will be collected in five years,” Dora reminded, and Violet immediately remembered that fateful night.
“Look, I didn’t do the ritual! I told Ice not to do it,” Violet said shrilly, her hands coming up in a gesture of self defense.
“Can I sacrifice my hamster instead?” Dora whispered, wide-eyed.
The Gatekeeper of Hell suddenly gave a terrifying, raspy laugh and started to scream very loudly. The two girls covered their ears and watched in horror as her mouth elongated to the girl’s chest and thick-looking blood pours out like a fountain.
“That’s chocolate fondue, that’s chocolate fondue…” Dora whispered, trying to calm herself.
Violet cowered in fear and closed her eyes.
Suddenly the sound of a car could be heard in the distance. For some odd reason, it caused the monster to scream in pain. Without hesitation, Dora and Violet ran past the monster towards the other side of the corridor that had the ‘Exit’ sign. They could hear the monster roaring behind them as they took to the nearby carpark. Fortunately, there was one car parked with a man sleeping inside. With frantic screams and persistent banging on the window, they woke him up.
“Help! Some ugly girl is trying to kill us!” Dora pleaded. Although the man appeared puzzled, he let them inside, with Violet sitting on at the front and Dora at the back.
“Drive!” they ordered, and he immediately hit the gas.
After they were adequately far enough from the site, they breathed collective sighs of relief.
“What happened over there? And aren’t you part of that girl group Plastic Collagen?” he asked curiously.
“It’s Shiny Collagen,” Violet corrected, “And we were attacked by this crazy monster and Rose and Ice are already dead. We need to call the police for help!”
“We need to call our manager too!” Dora pleaded.
“Alright, calm down,” the man said, assessing their states as he drove. Violet finally received the chance to study him closely. He looked somewhat familiar, especially with that long black hair that fell below his shoulders. “I need to know exactly what happened.”
“Look, pal, we just need your phone to call the police, or you can just drop us off at the police station,” Dora said warningly. There wasn’t much time left to lose before the monster gained on them.
The man suddenly gave an odd laugh, and stared unnervingly at Dora with eerily black eyes. “Why would I do that?”
The two girls stared in horror as the man transformed into the female monster. Her mouth opened even wider with a demonic laugh as she swung the steering wheel to the left.
The car then swerved off the road, slamming into a nearby tree. Muffled screams could be heard from the car, followed by a large, strange gulping sound. About three minutes later, a beautiful girl could be seen crawling out of the wreckage, straightening her Shiny Collagen outfit. With a large, contented burp, she skipped off happily into the distance.