Fantasy Fiction posted August 22, 2014

This work has reached the exceptional level
A character of a book comes to life.

Jana - The Prostitute

by Aussie

Jana ran hard, tripping and slipping on the garbage in the alley. A shot rang out and she went down - forever. Farewell my lovely - The End.

Finally, I had worked on my book for months - now it was finished. I poured myself a scotch and looked at the clock - it was 3am in the morning, how did it get so late? I had to take my manuscript to the publisher in the morning, it was already morning! Finally I had made the deadline.

A low, female chuckle came from my bedroom - I thought I must be hearing things? So damn tired from writing. There it was again?

I stood up, stretched, rubbed my eyes and walked toward the flashing sign that threw its garish, red light at my bedroom window. Never did like that sign - 'The Red Lady.' Still, the district was full of bad characters, I couldn't afford a better place close to the city. You could say it was a 'red light district.' I grinned at my own joke.

I was still grinning when I walked through my bedroom doorway. I was definitely seeing things this hour of the morning - she lay on my bed with a malicious, leering, grin - a wineglass in her hand, ready for filling.

"Who the hell are you?" I said to the woman on the bed.

"Well, you ought to know darling, you created me," she entwined her legs languidly, drawing on her cigarette. The smoke curled towards the ceiling. Oddly, there was no smell?

"I don't know you, never seen you before - get out of my room," I was confused and angry that this woman had somehow gotten into my apartment and she was definitely after one thing - me!

She made no effort to move, clinking the empty wine glass against the bottle and leering at me, she ran her tongue around her very red lips.

I walked towards her and she stared at me, her eyes almost obsidian in the light of the flashing red sign coming through my bedroom window.

"Look in the mirror, darling," she smiled.

I did look in the mirror, mainly from reaction to her request... I saw nothing, except a man in a cheap suit with a slouch hat, toting a sidearm. Dressed as if he belonged to the 30's. The face was mine - the rest came from my book, and the name of the criminal was Razor. What the hell was going on?

"Who are you?" I stared at the tart on my bed.

"Jana, you called me in your book. Jana the prostitute. How do you like my looks, Razor?"

"Don't call me Razor, my name is Glen Atwood," I was so confused after seeing the image of a pimp called Razor in my bedroom mirror.

"You're my pimp darling, come and get your reward from Jana," she poured herself a drink and stretched like a full grown tiger.

I turned and looked in the mirror again - there I was, the real me - Glen Atwood, poorly paid author and news writer. I wrote for The Globe newspaper. I swung around and took a second look at my bed - she was gone and so was the copy of 'Jana' that sat on the bookcase right next to my Grisham books. Jana, the book, was constructed out of harmless cardboard, benign paper, non-toxic ink. It had a dust jacket an ISBN number - similar to any other book except when I touched it, it fell to dust and then, there was nothing.

Why would there be my book, it hadn't been published yet!

I sat on the edge of my bed and felt the covers - there was no warmth from the body that had lain there for a good hour. It was 4am and no point in going to bed. I went and gathered my manuscript ready to take it to the editor.

Well, I enjoyed writing 'Jana' but felt I needed a change from the life and times of a prostitute. She obviously hadn't had enough of me! She was back.

I caught a glimpse of her whilst I was shaving, I decided to ignore her. The phone jangled and broke my train of thought.

"Hello?" There was music coming through the phone line and then the voice I knew to belong to Jana.

"Hello, Razor, I will never leave you, my murderer - You killed me in the alley!"

This time I decided to ignore her, and so I wiped my face and threw the towel at her, grabbed my manuscript and walked out the front door. I was at my wit's end, couldn't afford to move apartments. I would see if my dear old grandma had any thoughts about what I should do.
Grandma was Cherokee and she had the 'sight.' I kept walking, head down, clutching the manuscript and closing in on Grandma's house on the boulevard of dreams (she called it) a run down, rat-infested, hovel of a place. Still, she kept her white-clapboard home sleek as a new kitten. Her home sure stood out amongst the druggies and drunks of the area. Lots of poor folks came to her for help and not once had she been attacked or had stuff stolen - maybe it was the ancestors protecting her.

Grandma's front porch was covered with Cherokee paraphernalia - wind chimes made out of deer's antlers clattered and tin dollies clunked. She said it was to keep out evil spirits. I just nodded and went along with her - she did have the second-sight; handed down from her father who was a tribal shaman.

She lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw me. Her toothless smile was something to see. Grandma refused the Government 'fantastic plastic' teeth - and said she would hang them on the porch!

After our usual patter, I got down to business and told her I had big trouble from the bad spirits. That sure got her attention.

"Eh, you brought that woman to life, boy. Now, you got to send her back. She won't leave you alone. I come with you and talk to this Jana, bad spirit?" Grandma was dead serious.

Grandma started chanting and seemed to be in the other world as she gathered items like a smudge stick, bear's claws, and her shawl made of wolf fur. I never questioned her reasons and hoped she had the answers to my dilemma.

"You had anything to eat today? Most important you don't eat before we do this thing to send her back and don't talk to me when I am doing MY thing, OK?"

I hailed a taxi for us, I didn't want grandma to walk that far to my apartment. She sat there gazing into the next world. I loved her so much - silly old woman.

I paid the driver and helped grandma out of the taxi. The driver smiled at her wolf skin shawl.

We struggled up the stairs and I slipped my key into the lock - music was coming from within my apartment.

"Can you hear that, Grandma?" I hoped she could.

"No, only you can hear and see what you created in your book," she replied.

As soon as we entered the apartment, Grandma started chanting and dancing around my living room - she used our native language, I had long forgotten the words.
Jana looked uncomfortable on my bed - in fact, she looked furious!

"Hey, get rid of that old woman, Razor, she's giving me a headache," Jana was rocking back and forth on the bed.

Grandma was using her smudge stick all over the rooms - she hadn't entered my bedroom. Jana was grinding her teeth - all of a sudden, Grandma threw a handful of fairy dust (as kids, we called it that) on to my bed. The red dust permeated the rank air and Jana disappeared - again.

The chanting stopped and grandma fell into an easy chair, panting and not a good colour.

"She's so strong, she just drains the life out of this old girl," Grandma lay her head back and hummed.

"Can I talk now?" I asked grandma, I always did what she said - she was fast asleep.

Jana was gone, and I hoped forever. I had to wait to find out the 'state of the nation' as grandma used to say. After an hour she woke and reached out for my hands.

"There is only one way for you to send her back - you must rewrite the last chapter of your book - give her a good ending, don't shoot her dead!"

"OK, I will do that. Are you positive she won't come back?" I hugged the old woman.

"Yes, she told me in spirit time that you created her, and then shot her. Now you must tear up the last chapter, burn it, rewrite that ending and make her a changed woman, can you do that?" Some colour had come back to her cheeks.

"You come along with me, boy, we have to go back to sacred place." She rose from her chair and grabbed my arm as we toddled out the door.

Back in her little white house, grandma lit the fire in the hearth. It was the middle of summer! I knew she needed to help me burn the last chapter in our traditional way - to rid me of the Jana who was haunting me.

The sun was going down on grandma's back porch, I sat sipping a beer whilst grandma slept soundly on her couch - oblivious of the room temperature. As the sun slipped below the horizon, she woke and added more wood to the dying fire.

"Now we ask Spirit about Jana," she pulled me inside to sit beside her.
"You say sorry to Jana - sorry to bring her into our world."

"She's not real Grandma," I was confused - a wolf started to howl.

"Is the wolf real enough for you Glen? He be my totem animal."

"OK, you win, hearing the wolf in New Orleans was too much for my jelly-belly.

Grandma explained that a Jin Jin had attached itself to my story character - there was no Jana only a bad spirit that acted like her.

After she had prayed and I had asked for help, I ripped up the last chapter, promising to rewrite a more favourable ending to my story.

I stayed in Grandma's safe house and kept on writing until I was finished. Roughly, it was Razor running down the alley after he had murdered one of his 'girls' a cop shot him and he didn't get up.

Jana walked away from being a pro' straight into the arms of Fr. Michael, of the Sacred Heart church. After much counselling, Jana was a changed woman, she washed the floors in the church, placed fresh flowers on the alter, and ladled soup every night for the street people.

Maybe she didn't exist in our time - still, I married her off to a parishioner and she had two children. I was happy with the new ending - so was grandma. The lesson being - be careful what you write about - it may come back to you and your grandma may not be as clever as mine! Of course the Jin Jin returned to the underworld and my book went to the publisher.

Write About This contest entry


Australian English and grammar. This is a CONTEST entry to compliment the painting provided. The fictional author of 'Jana' brings his character to life and death. I am writing as a male in this story. I am also writing about America (from what I know) the spirit world does exist and you can call up the wrong type of spirits. Obviously, the author of Jana should not have killed her off - she was determined to fix his wagon. Grandma was the lifesaver intent on fixing Jana and sending her back. LOL - Enjoy.
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