The Touch of Fear

The clock struck five. The countdown has just begun. Belgie stared at it. Guess he noticed that I have been taking note of each passing tick. He shifted his gaze at me. I bent down and touched his whiskers. Sixty minutes from now, I will face a dreadful moment of my life.

I quickly got myself into my black skirt with a casual top, the colour of the sky. I set the waves of my thick brown hair in place, applied a little powder and enhanced my full red lips with my strawberry lip balm. As I grabbed purse, my eyes locked with Belgie’s and I whispered, ‘I have to do this. Now or never.’ Then I left allowing the door of my room to bang at my back as I hurried down the steps.

Forty-five minutes left. I felt the cool breeze caressing my face and I recalled how my day turned around. The phone call. It disrupted my day. It was from him. Prada. He was bent at his quest again. He torments me so and I have grown thinner than expected of a bride–to-be.

“Be there. Penmark Hotel. A dark skinned man with a distinguished moustache awaits you. He will show you the video. 6.00pm. Go alone,” Prada sounded with a scary voice.

“How do I see him?” I asked.

“He has your picture. Be at the bar. He will come to you,” and the line went dead.

As I bent towards the road leading to Penmark I wondered once again. Why wouldn’t he just let go. By now he should have known that it’s over and what we had in the past should be kept there. No doubt, we shared blissful romantic moments but it’s gone. A bird chirped sharply up the tree and I jerked back to reality.

It’s 5.50pm and I found myself at the gate of the Hotel. With shoulders high and face ever straight forward, I braced myself as I walked to the bar.  Still like a statue, I sat and waited.  Posing for those snap shots and the fun – video that looked more like a pornography we made together is surely telling on me now. I tensed up. But he deleted it from his camcorder or am I wrong? With the recent advent of new technology, one can never tell it might be retrievable.

Six has struck and gone. I bite my lips hard. The thought of this video going public horrified me. Never before now have I actually thought of my social life. How will my family and my circle of friends view me if this video goes public? What will his price be? I waited and waited but no one showed up. I tapped my hands on the table and my legs shake but I saw no one. Suddenly, I can feel the heat of my palms. The sound of my phone sent cold shivers down my spine. With shaky hands I picked it. It was him again.

“Look around,” came the deep sounding chill of his voice. And I did. There was no stranger but him. Him alone. He placed his hands casually on my shoulder as if it belonged there. I gazed at him motionless and speechless and the words came from him, “I have no video. It’s being long deleted. It is gone like the flames of a candle light. I just wanted you to have a feel of it. Anxiety and fear. Yes, that is what I felt when Horace took you away from me.”

I gasped.


28 thoughts on “The Touch of Fear” by Jasmine-Peace (@Jasmine-Peace)

  1. Well done Jasmine! I like the way you describe events and your use of word associations. You also created suspense throughout the short story. Yes, the word is a great weapon. “The pen is certainly mightier than the bullet.”

  2. I really liked your story,the suspense and the way you end it.

  3. Although your story have a familiar ring tied to it but I think the way you played it, especially the end made it somewhat fresh, and I liked it, but I suggest you work on your flow from one paragraph to another. You are a promising writer, and I look forward to reading other works by you

  4. My sis,ur story is really interesting baby.keep de work on.okoli kindness

  5. @Jasmine-Peace, the suspense you started the story with had me interested, but I felt that the story was incomplete. Without knowing exactly what the MC put Prada through, I didn’t really feel anything at the end.

    Also, you need to watch out for tense confusion; for example:

    The clock struck five. The countdown has had just begun. Belgie stared at it. Guess he noticed that I have had been taking note of each passing tick. He shifted his gaze at me. I bent down and touched his whiskers. Sixty minutes from now, I will would face a dreadful moment of my life.

    Keep writing; I’d like to read more from you.

    1. I noticed the tense confusion too. In fact, it was the first thing that stared me in the face when I started reading – “The clock struck five. The countdown *has (had) just begun. Belgie stared at it. I think it’s a good story but I also think you got so lost in the descriptions that you forgot to show the action in some places. keep writing thumbs!

      1. @petunia007 and @TolaO: I had to check the previous comments so I wouldn’t go about flogging on something that had already been hammered on. Glad I did.
        The tense confusion seems to be the major spoiler in the story as it is. I also think some things are a bit irrelevant like Belgie especially in the current format. If the story is going to be longer, you can do all that but as it is, what is the relevance of the ‘cat’ [?]…

  6. The story started off well and there was suspense in it. I liked that. You might do well to stick to the present tense throughout. Though this’s more difficult to do but if you get it right, it would give this story something extra. The breif sentences in some places help to keep it fast-paced; ensure that they are put together in sich a way that they convey the right meaning.

  7. i feel so alive readin ur comments. U dont know how much it means to me havin some1 read my work and really criticize it. I luv it.

  8. @Afolabi, thanks. Yeah, writers fight with the verbal weapon they knw hw to use best-words

  9. @Tola, thanks for d corrections and guildelines. @Ife, thanks and well noted. @ Salatu, thanks, i will always keep that in mind.

  10. @kindy, tanx sis. @naijaseer, thanks for the encouragement. @Khadijah, thanks a lot

  11. I enjoyed your story, my friend. It’s really captivating and suspenseful. You need to be consistent with your tenses. You were moving freely from the past t the present. Well done.

  12. Ñîçê $tôrý… Apart from the mistake’s.

  13. nice story. Fantastic job with the expression. I lyk ur mastery of d descriptions, spot on. But u cud do well to improve with ur grammar and story correlation. Promising though, thumbs up.

  14. @Jasmine, apart from tense confusion, there were several typos too, an edit and expansion will transform this to something very beautiful…. Keep writing, you are good.

  15. “He was bent at his quest again”

    I didn’t understand this – i felt like it was incomplete.

    Some punctuation errors.

    But all in all…you write very well.

  16. @seun, i meant dt he was determined on hs quest. I tnk it is self explanatory. Tanx al d same. I lv gud critics

  17. This made me chew my nails. Out of prevention of the need to claw my eyes out. Not your fault; more like part of Ur work being the proverbial straw that wants to break my back, me being the proverbial camel.

    Okay. Ranting over. :D

    Apart from the tense confusion, which threatened to spoil a good story, try not trying to write like a female. I mean, Ur main character is tensed about something, and U r describing her ‘full, red lips’? That will probably be the least of her worries. And like Tola said, this work felt a bit incomplete.
    I think this story has the potential for expansion. Follow the thread, and don’t lose it. Not bad. Waiting for more from U.

  18. @all, tanx am really encouraged.

  19. This is real something!

  20. @kaycee: hmmm, am surprised. Positive comment comin frm you. Thanx tho.

  21. Captivating story. The end didn’t deliver ‘that cliff-hanger’ feel. All the same, it was good.

  22. @mikes, i appreciate. But do u mean to say ‘cliff hanger’ or ‘denoument’? Becos d endin of a story doesnt need a cliff hanger feel, or clarify me…

  23. Wait, do you really think there’s a need for the very last word there? So to say, that last line?
    I think your story would do well without it.
    I enjoyed your story. I love the way you twisted something familiar to your style and made it enjoyable. Still, don’t you think that this story could have been better? Several people have mentioned some points: tense confusion, overt descriptions killing the pace and all. I think that you got to tell at some points rather than show… Is that contradictory when one mentions the description thing? I wonder.
    The story looks like it could do well with some fleshing…add some little something here and there. It would really help… About making it longer, hmm… it might kill the thrill.
    I would suggest that if you can, to kill people the more with suspense, you can make Prada to simply come to her and tap her shoulder or something. You don’t need to mention that there’s no tape…just say anything that would make the reader want to inquire more to know whether there was a tape or not…
    Or maybe you can think of that for another tale :)

    Over all, nice one here JP… You had me smile. Well done!

  24. Touch of fear,maybe Touch of anxiety would have worked better since the MC already knew it was a tape, fear would make a reader expect so much from the MC.

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