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  • Ken Zen

Cheongsam

Updated: Aug 28, 2023


A woman wearing Cheongsam
Photo from Pexels

Since then, the resurgence of the retro style has taken hold of the streets. The buildings exuded an old-fashioned charm, and even the waitresses at the hotel embraced the opportunity to dress up in vintage attire.


Unbeknownst to herself, Sophia had developed a fondness for vintage clothing, particularly men's suits and Cheongsam dresses. A satisfied smile graced her lips as she gazed at her elegant reflection in the mirror. Her hourglass figure was ideally suited for these timeless garments.


On a leisurely weekend, Sophia again was drawn to the clothing street. Peering through the windows, she eagerly took in the display of various garments in every boutique she passed.


And then, there it was. A new clothing store adorned the street, its decor exuding an antique elegance that beckoned Sophia towards it. Without a second thought, she stepped inside, greeted by a sight she had become so familiar with over the weeks - a treasure trove of ancient attire.


Sophia's excitement bubbled up as she perused the racks, her hands carefully caressing the delicate fabrics of each Cheongsam dress. She would treat herself to a few more of these enchanting pieces today.


Considering her shapely figure, Sophia revelled in how the Cheongsam accentuated her gracefulness, drawing admiring gazes from men wherever she went. There was an indescribable pleasure that came with wearing these garments.


Sophia made her way towards the fitting room with a selection of dresses in hand. However, her attention was suddenly captivated by a red Cheongsam hanging prominently on the wall.


It was breathtakingly beautiful. Sophia couldn't tear her eyes away from it. The vibrant red hue dazzled her, and the classic stand collar traced along a narrow edge with finesse. Intricate clasps had been crafted into delicate butterfly patterns, and the front of the Cheongsam was adorned with bold crimson peonies. The entire ensemble exuded a noble and mesmerizing allure.


Lost in admiration, Sophia turned around and called for the shop assistant. Her finger pointed towards the red dress on the wall as she inquired about its availability. The shop assistant, a woman in her mid-thirties, approached with a warm smile.


"Miss, that particular dress is the symbolic centrepiece of our collection and is not available for purchase. Moreover, the vibrant red may not suit everyday wear," the assistant gently explained.


The middle-aged woman's words sparked a flicker of anger within Sophia. "What do you mean by 'emblematic'? Aren't all the clothes in your shop meant to be sold? Besides, it's not your concern whether they suit me or not—I want to purchase it!" she retorted with determination.


The middle-aged woman shook her head helplessly. "Miss, I apologize. I misspoke. That Cheongsam is the symbol of our shop, and I cannot sell it."


"But I want to buy it. Don't you want to make a good sale? How much do you want for it?" Sophia persisted stubbornly, determined to acquire the red Cheongsam.


"Miss, it's not a matter of not wanting to sell it. This Cheongsam holds sentimental value as it belonged to my grandmother. It is her wedding dress, and I cannot part with it," the middle-aged woman explained, puzzled by Sophia's insistence on purchasing it.


However, captivated by the allure of the Cheongsam, Sophia refused to listen. She took it off the wall and held it in her hands. Pulling out a wad of cash from her bag, she threw it onto the counter and walked away without looking back.


Observing Sophia's departure, the middle-aged woman shook her head. "Grandma, you've finally found your successor."


Excitedly, Sophia slipped into the Cheongsam and admired herself in the mirror. It was breathtakingly beautiful! The vivid red colour complemented her rosy complexion, and the peony blossoms adorning the chest appeared ready to bloom.


As she beheld her reflection, Sophia's excitement grew. Not only did the Cheongsam enhance her appearance, but she seemed to radiate a newfound beauty.


Eagerly, Sophia struck various poses in front of the mirror, taking several selfies and sharing them on her WeChat. As expected, news of Sophia's transformation quickly spread among her friends and colleagues.


They showered her with compliments, praising her beauty in the dress. Sophia basked in their adulation, repeatedly reading their comments with delight.


Suddenly, a message caught Sophia's attention. It was from a colleague known for her candid remarks, aptly nicknamed "big-mouthed." She had posted in the group, stating that the woman in the photo did not resemble Sophia.


A hush fell over the group as they processed the message. Sophia, feeling defensive, responded resentfully, "What nonsense are you talking about? It's me in the photo. If you don't believe it, look if I'm still wearing this dress!"


The group remained silent, and then another message appeared, casting doubt on Sophia's claim. "Since everyone is quiet, it seems I was right. Sophia, examine your face closely. Is that really you? Moreover, there's no red mole in your eyebrows!"


Sophia was taken aback when she saw the photo. She carefully examined it once more. "You're right, and I didn't notice it earlier. Not only does this photo not resemble me, but there's also no red mole between the eyebrows, and I don't have any red mole."


Confused, Sophia removed the red Cheongsam and took more pictures of herself in front of the mirror. She realized the person in the photos wasn't as beautiful as before, and there was no red mole between their eyebrows.


That person wasn't her. Who could it be? Sophia couldn't help but shiver. She turned to look at the Cheongsam she had thrown on the bed, feeling a sense of unease.


No, there must be something wrong with the red Cheongsam. That's why the shop owner refused to sell it to her. It seemed like the owner knew there was something amiss with the dress and prevented her from buying it, even when she insisted three times.

But what should she do now? Should she return it? Sophia pondered anxiously. "Forget it. I bought it already. How can I have the audacity to return it now?"


However, it felt increasingly unsettling to keep the dress. The more Sophia looked at it, the more peculiar the red colour appeared, and the more fear crept into her heart.


In a rush, Sophia searched for a paper bag and swiftly stuffed the red Cheongsam inside. Then, without hesitation, she turned around and discarded it in a community trash can.


As soon as she threw away the Cheongsam, Sophia felt a sense of relief wash over her. She let out a sigh and hurriedly made her way back home.


Upon arriving home, Sophia sensed an eerie presence following her. She mustered the courage to turn around but found nothing there.


"What's wrong with me? I've never felt this fearful before! It's so cold in the room," Sophia thought aloud.


She walked towards the balcony and peered outside. It was sunny, and she had anticipated a hot day based on the morning's temperature reading. Yet, her room inexplicably turned icy cold.


Taking a deep breath, Sophia was startled to see a white mist before her. She glanced at the thermometer on the wall. She discovered that the room temperature had plummeted to six degrees below zero.


Panicked, Sophia hurriedly climbed into bed and reached for her phone. She intended to call her boyfriend, who worked in a different city. However, due to their distance, he would take a while to return and be with Sophia.


Sophia was utterly shocked when she picked up her phone and realized no signal. Without saying a word, she hastily grabbed her backpack and made a dash towards the door, desperate to leave the freezing room.


To her dismay, the door was firmly locked, and no matter how hard Sophia tried, she couldn't open it. Frantically, she kicked the door with her feet, hoping the sound would alert her neighbours and bring assistance.


After what felt like an eternity, Sophia grew exhausted and sank to the ground. The door remained steadfastly shut, and no one came to her aid. Defeated, she threw her bag onto the sofa and returned to bed. Turning on all the lights provided a small comfort in the cold room.


Late into the night, Sophia stared wide-eyed in terror, afraid to fall asleep. The day's events were bizarre; she was trapped in her own room, unable to escape, and it was a nightmarish ordeal.


As the night progressed, nothing unusual occurred except for the lingering cold. Exhaustion overcame Sophia, and she reluctantly closed her eyes and succumbed to sleep.


Sophia encountered a captivating woman adorned in a red Cheongsam in her dream. Sophia studied the recently discarded Cheongsam, comparing it to the woman's appearance, particularly the red mole between her eyebrows. Sophia let out a piercing scream, abruptly awakening from her dream.


The room remained illuminated, and the bright red Cheongsam lay at the edge of Sophia's bed, resembling a pool of fresh blood. With a howl, Sophia leapt to the floor in shock.


Recalling vividly that she had thrown the red Cheongsam into the outside trash can, Sophia questioned how it had reappeared on her bed. With the door still sealed shut, Sophia turned and dashed towards the balcony, desperate to call for help.


Despite her relentless cries for assistance, no one came rushing out. It was as if no one in the community could hear Sophia's desperate pleas.


An eerie whistling wind caught Sophia's attention from behind. She spun around only to witness the red Cheongsam hovering mid-air, heading straight towards her.


"Oh, my God!" Sophia attempted to flee, but the Cheongsam changed direction and charged again. Her legs gave way, and she collapsed to the ground. The Cheongsam floated closer, right in front of Sophia.


In a chilling display, Sophia's lips curled into a sinister smile. She slowly reached out, picking up the bright red Cheongsam and slipping it on. She made her way to the mirror with deliberate steps, gazing at the woman reflected before her.


Donning large, watery glasses, the woman featured crescent-shaped brows, a small red mouth beneath her petite nose, and two dimples that formed a smile. The red mole between her brows accentuated her allure.


After admiring her reflection, the woman smiled eerily at the mirror. She swiftly made her way to the kitchen, grabbing a fruit knife. Returning to the mirror, she stared at her beautiful face and began slashing left and right with relentless fervour.


Her movements grew increasingly frenzied, shredding her face to pieces while blood stained the dressing table and the bright red Cheongsam.


Two days later, Sophia's boyfriend, who had been unable to reach her, arrived at her residence only to discover a gruesome scene. Sophia's face was disfigured beyond recognition. A bloodied fruit knife lay silently on the floor while the congealed black and purple blood tainted the room.


On the clothing street stood an antiquated Cheongsam shop, with a splendid, crimson Cheongsam adorning its wall—a vivid reminder of the tragic events that had unfolded.


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