by Pauline Yates


Drunk on Samsu, I muddle the warning about a white-dressed woman with long, lank hair. Who said that? The bartender? No, a Malaysian beggar; a story for a coin, he said as I staggered home.

A generous man, I obliged, and learned about the mythical Kuntilanak, a vengeful female spirit who lures unsuspecting men and feasts on their organs, her wickedness driven by the stillborn soul she cannot birth. “She reeks of frangipani. Smell that boy, you run, run…” I shuddered. ‘Twas a good story.

Continuing, I meet a woman, lost, alone. I stop to help; her frangipani-perfume is irresistible…

Pauline Yates

Queensland writer, Pauline Yates, loves to explore the dark side of humanity through her writing. Her stories appear in multiple publications and anthologies and she is the winner to the 2020 AHWA short story competition.

Website: paulineyates.com

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