Animators, graphic designers and film critics. These are just some of the dreams and aspirations of the students in ADM. As arts students, we are really hardworking and hardly get much sleep. Staying up late on campus to work for that A grade is detrimental to our health but yet the sacrifice is worth to pursue those dreams. However, during these unholy hours spent in school rushing for a submission, are we really left alone?
Sayings of a masked figure lurking with a rose around the ADM campus after midnight have been passed down since the first batch of students, along with a warning to students to avoid the second floor.
Previous incidents or sightings claim that this figure targeted those burning midnight oil. His modus operandi included catching and choking victims before dragging them off, and also ambushing students taking a dump by offering them toilet paper from behind.
In some ratchet cases, victims described their encounter with the demon as ‘hauntingly beautiful’, and bite marks were found all over the student’s body and neck after a gratifying night.
However, no one really knew why he held a rose.
During the start of the recess week, something unexpected happened. The school’s OSS portal was hacked by the masked figure, who promptly flooded it with warning messages:
“Greetings ADM. I have warned you but not all have complied. Free yourself from the compound after dark or expect me.
IF YOU DO NOT SLEEP, I WONT LET YOU DREAM.”
Enter Van. She is an ADM freshman with an exceptionally inquisitive nature and perpetual habit of staying late nights. After the hacking incident, she decided to get to the bottom of the matter that night by meeting with this mysterious entity, and to uncover the meaning behind the rose.
Van decided to take this chance of a lifetime and worked on her assignments in the 4D Foundation computer lab past midnight, as told explicitly NOT to. It was when the clock showed an inauspicious timing of 3:17AM, when smoke suddenly filled the area.
Curiosity had killed the cat and was now coming for Van. At the back of the lab stood the black figure, appearing into focus after a blur. He wore a voluptuous cape and donned a Guy Fawkes mask, and radiated an air of menace that left Van covered in goosebumps and cold sweat. Van gasped as she turned around, not daring to face him and hoping that he would leave her alone. But as she stood there trembling, she could hear the soft swishing of the cape growing louder as the figure made its way towards her. Then the room grew quiet, and Van almost jumped in fright when she felt the warm breath right behind her ear.
“Do you accept my rose?” asked the mysterious figure, as he moved to face her, all the while caressing the rose on Van’s helpless face. “If you do, I’ll hand you this briefcase filled with money, turn your grades into straight A’s, and complete all your assignments on your behalf, including the myth poster for 4D.”
“However, in return, someone you do not know will die.” The thorns of the rose pricked Van’s forehead upon the last sentence. The masked figure moved in closer to Van and continued, “And if you don’t…are you really sure you don’t want it?” he asked slyly as he broke into a sinister laugh which filled the corridors across the foundation rooms. He moved in even closer, so much so that their noses were almost touching.
“I’ll return once you make the decision.” He whispered. “Post the rose on your OSS should you choose to accept. This is the price you have to pay for disobeying. And Remember, remember, the week of 5th October.” (The deadline of our myth poster and synopsis.) Van closed her eyes to take it all in, and when she reopened them, the figure had disappeared.
Fast forward a week. Since that fateful incident, Van had experienced many sleepless nights thinking about the handsome offer and the huge price to pay. She could also feel herself being drained physically and mentally by the huge pile of assignments that she knew would be impossible to complete within the short deadline.
At the same time, the figure had been haunting her as she held onto the rose wherever she went. (Comedy elements of Vendetta tailing her around ADM, onboard the campus shuttle bus, eating with her at the canteen as Van looks extremely out of sorts and Vendetta accidentally walking into a nude model session.)
Finally, when the stress and temptation built up so much she felt she was going to explode, Van decided to accept the figure’s offer and posted a picture of the rose on OSS during her 4D foundation class. Almost immediately, the classroom door creaked open and the masked figure stood there, framed in the doorway.
(Screen will show an inception scene of the exact scenario in class appearing on screen.)
The figure made his way to Van and handed her a briefcase filled to the brim with money. “I see you have accepted my offer. This is your cold hard cash and your updated grades.” Inspecting the cash and grades, she broke into a smile as the whole episode was finally over when she remembered, “Since I accepted your rose…did..did someone just-”
“Just die? Yes they did.” said Vendetta. “I need my rose back. I’ll offer it to the next student with the same terms and conditions. I can assure you that it will be offered to someone you do not know.”
Based on the Myth : The Slit-Mouth Woman
Originated from Japan
Original target: Children
The woman will ask the child, “Am I pretty?” If they answer no, they are killed with a pair of scissors which the woman carries. If they answers yes, the woman pulls away the mask, revealing that her mouth is slit from ear to ear, and asks “How about now?” If the they answers no, he/she will die. If the person answers yes, then she will slit his/her mouth.
Moral of myth: Rumoured sightings of the slit-mouthed woman scared children so they avoided staying out late alone.
Myth remade: Greetings ADM
Logline: An arts student pays a huge price for not paying the sleep debt for rebelling the masked figure that lurked around the ADM campus after dark.
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Myth remade: Art students
Purpose: Freak the students of ADM out so they will avoid staying in campus till late and serve as a reminder to get more sleep
Premise: I chose ADM itself as it will be utterly relatable. Along with the situations we’re facing, the proximity between the characters and audience will get the audience intrigued.
Archetype: Van depicts a typical ADM student that stays up late to rush for assignments. Her curiosity also portrays our inner inquisitive nature.
Perspective retold: Myth is retold in the perspective of the victim as to why they stay out late and not have enough sleep.
Moral of remade myth: As mentioned in the purpose, the plot aims to creep out especially the midnight oil burners in school with the insecurity that a masked figure will appear, so they will stay home and hopefully be asleep instead.
Elements of the film V for Vendetta was also incorporated in this story and explanations will be saved for another post.