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Pontianak

An Indonesian Urban Legend

By Rodulfo TodioPublished 2 years ago 12 min read
The Pontianak is the ghost of a pregnant woman who died during childbirth, or at the hands of men. She returns from the dead with vengeance, and determined to exact revenge.

Pontianak

Prologue

“Welcome to Mobile Legends! Five seconds till the enemy reaches the battlefield, smash them!” The game as well as the live webcast got underway. Dexie, often known as Dex or Xie, is a 16-year-old Indonesian girl living in an upper-class neighborhood in Jakarta. She's a struggling small-time Facebook gaming streamer who primarily plays Mobile Legends. She only has a few hundred followers and a few regular viewers who can be counted with the fingers on two hands. The majority of them are her classmates.

Her story is a terrifying and tragic tale. She was so fond of online gaming that she liked imitating the game’s heroes dialogs while live streaming and her favorite lines are "Your life is no longer yours. Experience the horror of Death!" In hindsight, this seems like a foreboding of the succeeding events leading to her tragic end.

This is how that day transpired.

Act 1: Really Bad Day

Dexie was rushing back home after borrowing a book from her classmate and best friend, Dewi. She accidentally bumped a pregnant lady which resulted in an accident. Dexie was left unscathed, being unmindful of the injury of the pregnant woman she decided to escape from the scene as the passersby tended to the injured lady.

She took a cab and noticed that the taxi driver was creepily staring at her in the rearview mirror. She attempted to ignore it, but it continued throughout the journey. When she'd had enough, she decided to just go back down the street, but the vehicle continued to circle the area. She was on the verge of crying when the taxi driver came to a halt and apologized. He explained that he kept on looking at her because her reflection in the mirror is headless. He told her that according to the old people, this is a sign that she is being followed by an evil demon called Pontianak. In fear, he kept on driving until her reflection showed that she had a head again which he interpreted as a sign that they lost whatever it was that was following her. “What have you done little lady?” asked the driver while shaking his head with a look of concern on his face. Dexie was perplexed and was not paying attention. In her mind, she was almost kidnapped by this creepy taxi driver. All she wants to do is to get out of the vehicle as soon as possible. She stared at him blankly and opened the door. On her way out, the driver warned her to burn all the clothes that she is wearing now to make sure that the evil entity that is following her never finds and recognizes her.

Dexie shrugged her shoulders and whispered “Whatever.” to herself.

Act 2: Livestream

Dexie ignored the cab driver's advice and went about her business as usual. She decided to live-stream her mobile legends game after completing the tasks in her borrowed book.

“All troops deployed” was announced in the game. Dexie picked the marksman Karrie and as usual, she imitated her line “Speed, precision and strength!” while moving to the mid-lane with her friends, Annisa, Aulia, and Dewi. Annisa chose the fighter, Freya, while Aulia selected the assassin, Natalia. Dewi went with the mage Luo Yi. Her other teammates decided to protect the top and the bottom lanes.

“First Blood!” Dexie’s spinning light wheel slowed down the enemy allowing Freya to draw the first blood. She felt good when she saw some of their classmates that were also interacting in the live stream. The girls applauded her group but the boys were bashing her, telling her to just dance or show more of her skin.

Dexie ignored the taunts, convinced that she would soon become famous without showing her skin. She got distracted and was stunned and killed in the game. Her friends got mad at her and lost their focus and eventually, their base was destroyed and they lost the game.

She typed GGWP on the keyboard which means a “good game well played” to appease her teammates. Aulia replied with “Noob!” and left the game.

Act 3: Disturbing Events

Dexie decided to call Aulia and asked her to play one more game. “Xie, you have to focus on the game so we don't lose again,” Aulia complained. “Sorry, I got distracted because of the bad comments but I will just ignore them and will concentrate on the game,” she assured her. Aulia rejoined the game and the live stream continued.

Dexie was about to destroy one of the towers in the middle lane when she received a lot of comments complaining about scratching noises from her stream.

She muted the microphone and proceeded to inspect its settings. Everything seems to be alright, this is the first time that her audience has complained about noise issues but nothing seems to be off with the mic. She turned it back on.

“How’s the sound now guys?” she asked her viewers. Her classmates replied that there’s no more noise so they continued playing.

Halfway to the game the light in her room dimmed and flickered. At the same time, another series of noise complaints came from her viewers. This time they said they were hearing shrieks and ticking noises.

Dexie frustratingly removed her gaming headset from her ears. She carefully placed it on her desk and looked outside the window. She thought that the noises were coming from the wind gushing in from her open window and decided to close it.

As she approached the window, she noticed a white figure standing on one of the branches on top of the Acacia tree a few meters away from their house. It’s a bit far to be seen clearly but from the looks of it, it’s a middle-aged woman with very long hair dressed in white. Dexie squinted her eyes to see more clearly from the darkness outside, the woman seemed to be intently making eye contact with her and smiling, however, she noticed something off with her smile. Dexie shivered.

Dexie was so bothered with the way the woman looked at her that she quickly broke eye contact and closed the window. She closed the curtains as well making sure that the woman in the white dress could not peek at her from the outside.

As soon as she got back to her gaming chair, she got a notification on her phone. It was Dewi calling, she picked up the phone while she scanned the comments on her live stream. Dewi had so many comments saying pick up the phone.

“Dex!” Dewi sounded frantic, “This morning you said you’re home alone right?” she asked.

“Yeah, my parents are out of the country now,” Dexie replied as she sat and waved at her live stream camera.

“I just saw someone walk past your door,” Dewi alarmingly mentioned.

“What are you talking about? That can’t -- ”

The conversation was interrupted by her dog, Max whimpering and running as fast as he could under her bed. Her dog started barking almost immediately at the door.

Dexie was so visibly shaken by this that she forgot that she was on a call with Dewi. She was surprised to hear Dewi on the headset as she clasped both of her hands on her mouth as if praying. Her eyes fixed on the open door, she sat there not knowing what to do.

“Close the door Dex! Are you hearing me?” Dewi was now shouting on the phone. “Dex please shut that door!!!” her friend was now pleading.

Dewie snapped back to her mind and immediately ran towards the door and locked it. She slowly walked back towards her computer and glanced at the comments on her live stream. Not only were the comments kept on coming but also her viewers jumped in numbers as well. Max retreated to the corner of the room that is farthest away from the door and lay silent.

Dexie noticed that the curtains in her window had been moving. She remembered that she closed it but did not actually set the lock.

Max started barking violently on the window.

Long and slender fingers with long black fingernails appeared and slowly opened the curtain. She almost fell from her gaming chair.

Max ran to the other corner of her room whimpering.

“Who are you?! I will call the police!” she shouted. She faced the camera “Guys someone is trying to get into my room please call the police.” Dexie looked at her window again. It's gone, threatening to call the police must have frightened the intruder.

After locking her window she checked their CCTV since her father installed security cameras and one of the monitors is in her room because her parents are frequently on business trips. A surveillance camera showed nothing save a luminous blip that appeared to move near their main entrance door.

She had a temporary sigh of relief.

Act 4: Pontianak

“And now I am back,” Dexie greeted her followers as she periodically checked the security footage while continuing the live feed. She felt safe because she knew the main entrance door was locked, as well as the door and window to her room.

Dexie noticed that Annisa quit the game and sent her a message with a screenshot of a pixelated photo of a woman standing at her door. The webcast captured the wispy figure. However, she couldn't discern any details because it was hazy.

One of her viewers also commented that her ring light was also casting a shadow of a figure in a white dress and with long dark hair. One of her bashers commented that if it is a ghost, don't flee, for it might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a laughing emoji.

Dexie suddenly felt that someone was watching her inside the room. She looked to her left and right but did not see anyone. But when she looked back to her screen, her 40-inch monitor reflected an image in the corner of her room near her closet.

She shivered as her mouth and eyes opened wider. Her reactions were captured in the broadcast. She looked at the dark corner of her room and saw a woman with long hair, standing still. She moved her webcam to capture it. The viewers were eerily silent after that point. No comments, no notifications, it was as if Facebook froze altogether.

Her heart was racing at this point, it was as if she’s all alone with this intruder, and not even her dog Max was reacting. The woman smiled which slowly turned into a grin. Dex can see the evil intention in her eyes. Her pale skin highlights the crimson blood dripping on her lips into her white dress. The woman walked towards Dexie in a rather peculiar manner, her movements were angular and indistinct, never taking away her eyes on Dexie.

Dexie fell to the floor as the woman inch closer. She pushed her gaming chair towards the intruder and remembered that her mother had given her a hamsa amulet with a blue bead called the hand of Fatima. Her mother told her that this talismanic emblem she got from the middle east would protect her from any evil forces.

Dexie raised the amulet and murmured some Arabic incantations. The woman vanished in an instant.

Dexie saw Max approaching her wagging its tail. She picked him up and sat on her gaming chair. Her heart is still pounding but she’s glad that she doesn’t feel alone anymore. She realized that everything was captured by the webcam as the live feed was still ongoing. She nervously waved holding her dog’s hands on the camera trying very hard to remain calm. The comments reached a thousand and she reviewed the most recent ones.

One of the viewers, in particular, mentioned that he saw what just happened, that she was attacked by a Pontianak which is an astral ghost of a pregnant lady that is seeking revenge.

His remark elicited a barrage of negative responses from others. They mocked him and made fun of him in the comments section. They claimed to have seen nothing of that sort.

Dexie was now so confused about what really happened. She asked herself, “Did it really happen or not?” She paused reading when Max growled even more violently than the last time. Her heart was pounding and she was perspiring profusely. She saw that the live feed went blank again. From the corner of her eyes, she could see the silhouette of the woman but now she was wearing a red dress and looked more violent than ever. Her eyes were big and bulging with dark circles around them. Her smile is not a smile at all but a blood lust that only someone’s death could quench.

In her panic, Dexie quickly ran towards the door but accidentally tripped and fell down hitting her head on the door handle in the process. She was knocked out cold.

Max was angrily barking and pounding on the Pontianak. The woman moved in the dog’s direction. Loud howls were heard and everything turned silent.

Dexie must have blacked out because she was awoken by a series of notifications from comments on her live stream. She couldn’t remember as well how she ended up sleeping on her table while sitting on her gaming chair. She scanned the room and rubbed her eyes to see more clearly. Then she turned her attention to the comments.

“I can’t believe this girl could kill a pregnant lady and do a live stream as if nothing happened.” said one of the comments.

“She was evil and privileged, did you see how she pushed that lady onto the oncoming traffic?” replied another.

“Look two souls are dead because of her” commented another while sharing the CCTV footage of the incident.

Dexie began crying profusely. “I’m sorry… I’m really really sorry...” she said as she covered her face with shame.

“Killer!”

“Murderer!”

Her live stream was bombarded with a lot of hateful comments from new viewers as well as the CCTV footage and news footage of her absent-mindedly pushing the pregnant lady onto the oncoming traffic and running away after.

Dexie expressed deep regret and embarrassment for her actions and apologized publicly.

Epilogue

“We are standing here today in the actual room where a sixteen-year-old gamer ended her life. Was it a suicide or something more?” recited the reporter in front of the camera.

Paramedics are carrying Dexie’s lifeless body outside of the police cordon in the background.

An interview of the victim’s friends who were online with her during the incident flashed on the screen.

“We are having a nice time, I don’t really know what happened. She just suddenly fell silent and was acting strangely after that.” Dewi wiped her tears while she recounted the incident.

The screen changed into Aulia saying “I can’t believe Dex is capable of doing such a horrific act on that pregnant lady. I’m really ashamed to be her friend.”

The screen returned to Dewi “I will miss you, Xie,” tears fell from Dewi’s eyes. “You’ll always be my friend no matter what” she continued.

The screen showed several policemen interviewing Dexie's parents who hastily flew back from Singapore. After that, the screen showed another one of Dexie's friends.

“It just like all of the sudden, without any provocation, she snapped out of her mind.” Annisa bit her lips and looked up as if thinking deeply. “I mean I was horrified that she just hung herself in front of her live audience! Who in their right mind would do that?” she waved both of her hands to emphasize what she was saying. “Now we’re all scarred for life.” she continued.

A guy managed to insert himself behind the reporter followed by two news staff who were trying to pull him out of the camera view. “I saw everything! She was attacked by a Pontianak,” a Policeman joined in dragging the guy out of the view. “I saw it! I saw it all --”

After the ruckus, the reporter wrapped things up.

“Was Dexie killed by an evil entity called Pontianak as that guy behind me would want us to believe or was it all in her mind because of guilt? Only one thing is assured, there is always a consequence for all our actions, and before we act we must be ready to face it.” The reporter paused for a second “This is Jennifer Gunady, reporting for North Jakarta News.”

-The End-

monster

About the Creator

Rodulfo Todio

I'm a freelance writer and a team leader for Peloton fitness units.

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Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insight

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (1)

  • Humble Smoke2 years ago

    Ok

Rodulfo TodioWritten by Rodulfo Todio

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