Wednesday, April 13, 2005

a new short story...


It was an eerie environment and the cold breeze of air slowly opens my imagination to fear that something might happen unexpectedly. The surrounding frets me that it aggravates the feeling of fright into my senses. I am in front of a close to die acacia tree and the resident bird adds to the weirdness of the place. As I observe the tree, I was moved to what I just found in the ground right next to the evident roots of it --- a blood covered dagger.

When I was about to pick the dagger and put it in my scrutiny, I felt a sudden dizziness as though I am tumultuously thrown back and forth. Right then, I felt a warm hand in my face, which soothes my senses. Jane is by my side telling me that I am having a nightmare. I saw in her eyes the deep anxiety she felt at that moment, but what puzzles me is the scare in her face. Her watery eyes add up to the agitated feeling I am experiencing. Tears came rushing through her eyes as she started telling what really happened. Although reluctantly, she was able to finish her story (in between sobs) as to my request.

“I was awakened by your moans. I thought you were just joking. But when I looked at you, you were perspiring really hard… When I woke you up you looked at me directly, as if you have something to say. When I asked you what’s wrong, you just kissed me. When I looked at you… it’s as if I am looking at a perfect stranger. And… and… and you started taking my clothes off even with me pleading you not to do so. I know you and won’t do it. But you hit me. Then all of a sudden your eyes started to roll with that of a lunatic. And you collapsed.”

The sun is about to shine and I started my day with a heavy hotdog-tocino-fried rice breakfast. Too too toot too toot. Oh, my friends. It’s time for our daily early morning jogging. “This is a great day!” I told myself. But as I leave my pad, I really had a strange feeling. I can’t explain, but it kindda troubles me.
Jogging is one of our bondings. John, Timmy, and I are best of friends. Our friendship started in high school. Although we had different schools in college, we still find time for us to be together --- hangout, bar hop, and like this, jog. As we jog, our feet guided us to a park nearby. We took our places in the damp grass and started sharing stories to each other. This is one of our times that we talk about out problems. Luckily, I don’t have anything to share.

John is a Business Administration student. He’s not good in Math though, that’s why he regrets enrolling a math subject in this semester. He told us that he didn’t attend any class meetings in his College Algebra class right after the prelims ended. “Wala ng pag-asa pare. I’m really not for Math. Maybe next sem. Sa ngayon ihahanda ko muna sarili ko.” As I hear his stories, I feel quite sad for him, for being so frustrated.

Timmy? Timmy, Timmy, Timmy. She’s an A student! She hasn’t had any problems with schooling even once. But what worries me is her relationship. She’s so in to her boyfriend, as if he’s her life. She told us they were in a bumpy road at the moment and she can’t help but cry while telling us their problem.

And it’s our time to go home. As we bid good bye to each other, a tree caught my attention. I saw a close to die acacia tree. I remembered something from the scene I am in. I was startled. As I came closer to the tree, a bird just flew in one of the twigs of it. “I remember now!” I told myself, with a sound of vexation. It is from my dream. I forced myself to be brave. The sun is already up so nothing will happen anyway! I went closer. I scrutinize the tree and looked at its evident roots, searching for something I can’t remember. Right then I found a black-covered book. My hands began to lose its heat --- as if they were frozen. I looked around for my friends but the park was already deserted. Bravely, I picked the book and opened it. Upon opening it, a loud tintinnabulation came to me, as if totally losing my sanity.

Pare, pare, ok ka lang?” it was John. I saw in their faces, John and Timmy worriedly waking me up. “What happened?” I seriously asked, with my head aching. “We were exchanging stories kanina and all of a sudden, you fell asleep in Timmy’s lap. I know you’re tired kaya hinayaan ka muna namin. But you were talking with words that are out of our knowledge in your sleep. Di nga naming alam kung language ba yon o chant e. Pare, masyado ka atang naapektuhan ng mga nirereview nyong movies e.

Tara na. it’s getting hot na. My dog hasn’t eaten yet. But Miguel, you have to take a break. I think you’re over-worked with your thesis.” Timmy said.

As I headed home, I can’t help myself to think of my dreams. What do they mean? After finishing my shower, someone knocked at the door. I hurriedly went to the door, bared only with towel hugging my lower body, expecting it was Jane. But as I opened the door, I found nothing, except from a black box, with a black ribbon tied on it, and the all-of-a-sudden wind blew, as if just waited for me to open the door before blowing so hard. Inquisitively, I opened it and was moved upon seeing what was in it --- the book from my dreams. A sudden rush of cold air came to my senses and even with a humid temperature, I started to feel cold. I then hurriedly wore clothes and called Timmy and John.

On a Sunday morning, our jogging day, I brought with me the book I promised them. I never had a time reading it. I had to rush paper works for my research. I tried everything to take the book out my mind but it never stopped appearing in me. But I promised my friends to just open it when they’re already with me. And so we opened it. To our surprise, it is a dark book --- a book with a list of spells intended for dark magic. We were a bit startled reading it at first, but I laughed. I dunno why, but it just went out. Perhaps a defense mechanism for them not to notice that the “big muscle man” was frightened. So there, we just laughed at it, never gave importance to what would it bring.

Because we all laughed about it, we browsed at it, finding it cool that someone has done something really hilarious. As a part of our game, we all agreed to try one spell --- the spell that would grant all wishes. Laughingly, we gather all the ingredients of it. But what’s so weird about it, which we found more fun is the ingredients of it. Like, lizards, some leaves that we found in Quiapo, and other odd ingredients.

It was night time that we finished the “hunt” for the ingredients. And it was very timely that we finished it because the book stated that we have to do the chant at 12 midnight. As we waited for the tick of 12 in my pad, we were laughing and joking at each other what wish we will be making. Timmy, wished that she and her boyfriend be ok at the very moment after the chant because of their very recent fight. John wished he could pass his College Algebra class. I laughed at them, for everything they wished was really impossible. Well, perhaps it is, but in a one in a million chance. Me? My wish? I won’t tell them! They might laugh at it and won’t believe me…

And so we did it. We did all the stuffs, in between chuckles. After we did the whole chant and other instructions from the book, we weren’t able to help ourselves but laugh… laugh at the top of our lungs! ‘Til our stomach were bloated. Right at that moment, while we were still laughing at ourselves for doing such hilarious thing, we heard a knock at the door. I opened it wondering who the intruder is at that very late time. Stunned, shocked, and to my surprise, I found Ice, Timmy’s boyfriend, holding a bouquet of flowers, also bewildered to how I stare at him. “I s’pose, Tim’s here?

Upon retrieving myself from the shock I felt, I hurriedly guided him inside. As I escorted Ice inside, Timmy and John suddenly went quiet looking at each other, with confusion. When they were back to reality, they laughed aloud, and Timmy, hurriedly embraced her boyfriend.

After that night, a big question was hanging in me. How did Ice know Timmy was in my pad? And how did he get in my pad quickly given the instant that he was in Ilocos Sur and my pad is in Manila? But I dismissed the thought, thinking it’s just my imagination that’s driving me crazy. And by the way, it happened! So it’s possible! And everything was just coincidental!

Queer! John passed his College Algebra! Coincidental! Well, perhaps. But it’s really strange. And so we had a celebration at a restaurant, of course the gang was complete --- Timmy, John, and me --- with my girlfriend Jane, Timmy’s Ice, and John’s special someone. As we finished our lunch, Jane went to the washroom. And that’s something you can’t get rid of girls --- they really are very much to their physicality.

While waiting for our girlfriends, Ice went outside to smoke. John and I were left in the table. “You know dude, it’s quite strange that I passed my College Algebra. Perhaps my professor was drunk while doing our grades. But what puzzles me is the wish I made before we did the chant in the book you’ve found. First, Timmy’s wish, and then mine. Then what’s next? Your wish? I really can’t help but think that what’s happening is all coincidental. But you know I don’t believe on witchy things bro.


The screams were coming from the ladies’ wash room. “Jane! Jane is in the washroom too!” I told John. “and so is Timmy and Catherine.

John and I hurriedly went to the washroom to look for the girls. We found Jane still screaming while facing the mirror. When I hugged her, she went blank and collapsed.

What happened hon? Why am I here?” Jane asked. After seconds, perhaps after remembering everything, she cried with a deep fright from her eyes. “Honey, what happened? What’s wrong? Is it true? The stories of Timmy and Cath?” I asked.

“I was applying lipstick at the washroom and… and…”

It’s ok baby, I’m here now.” I said.

And.. my reflection at the mirror was not… was not moving... When I prayed the Lord’s Prayer, it just followed me… God! It recited the prayer with me with its eyes looking at me sharply. Hon, I’m very scared…” Jane finished.

I told Jane to take a good night rest at that night as I drive her home. She was very much anxious to what’s happening to us --- to Timmy, John. She’s blaming the black book I’ve found. I told her that everything was coincidental. But she’s really agitated, so I told her that I will throw the book.

When I was home, although stressed and tired, I still can’t sleep. So I turned my computer on, and browsed the internet, searching for something --- something that might help me analyze things. I searched for incidents that involved paranormal things. I still don’t want to act as if things were really happening just because of the book I’ve found. Suddenly, everything went black --- as if all lights were off and my lap top was even out of my sight. I was alarmed. I was about to look for my cell phone for some light, but right then, I felt a warm embrace coming from my back. I forced myself to be free from the unexplainable creature embracing me, but it was strong enough to penetrate me. I reached for its head in my rear. I found out that the creature has a long hair. I still can’t see anything that’s why I tried to hurt the creature to free myself. As I touched its face, I became apprehensive. Its face was wet. Tears? Are those tears?

I’ve waited so long for this moment… to touch you, to feel you, and enclose you in my arms… I’m sorry to do this… but…” the creature cried.

Who are you? What are you? Why are you here?” I asked. “Couldn’t you let go of me now? Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you… uhm… I think I must say, don’t hurt me please. Please let go of me!” I continued with my hoarse voice.

I presumed, the creature is a woman --- an old woman. I don’t know why. I know, I felt scared, but I felt her emotions --- her deep old voice --- it radiates the very sad and longing feeling. I felt the narrow emotion of her wanting to see me --- her gladness in embracing me fills the space we were in. Right at that point, I felt myself agreeing to what she wanted. She continuously cried. I felt her tight embrace. I thought at that moment that I will just make an action if she will make a bad move. Suddenly, I was in ecstasy. And when I opened my eyes, I was horrified. It’s already 5:16 in the morning and I’m still in front of my lap top. I weren’t able to notice that I fell asleep and all was just one of my strange dreams.

It was exactly one week since we did the weirdest-oddest-funniest thing in our entire life. I was taking my shower and getting ready to rest for me to take the good fine rest. It’s already pass 11 o’clock in the evening! Kring, kring, kring. ”Miguel, son, do you exactly know where John is? He hasn’t gone home since Saturday. He didn’t leave me with any information where he is. His phone is also out of reach. This is the first time he did this. I bet you knew where he went for Timmy and Catherine are here and were asking where John is. His car is also here.” Mom’s John asked.

Ma, I’m sorry to break this to you but I have no idea where John is. Haven’t heard from him since last week… Ma… Ma?!” the line was cut.

Kring… I answered my phone immediately. “Miguel… Miguel… John was found. It’s very strange…we found him in his room. We thought he was just sleeping. But when we tried waking him up, he never responded anymore. And… and… Miguel, John left us… he’s gone…” Timmy ended.

I was in a state of callousness for a moment. I don’t know what to feel. My friend for a long time is gone. Lifeless. I never had a chance to tell him he’s so important. Then, suddenly, I felt tears rolling down my cheeks. Am I crying? I guess t’was worth to cry…

Hon, it’s but natural. For you to cry is never a sin. And it never threatened your being a man. It’s okay. You can cry with me. Let’s both think that John is in good place now. But it’s really odd. John was autopsied, and he was very normal. Not even a single scratch was found in him. His vital organs were also in good condition. And Timmy said that all looked around the house, and John was nowhere to be found. It’s also impossible that he just sneaked in, for his mom was near his room’s door and never left her place since she checked his room. Hon, I’m really having a bad thinking that this is all the book’s fault. Have you thrown it?”

“I haven’t. we’ll throw it. Tomorrow.

And so we threw it. We threw it in a river along the road to my pad. Jane and I saw it sinking. I wished at that moment to end all the weird things that were happening to us. I wish… I wish…

Saturday. Six days after John died. I went to the park where I had a dream and found the book. I had this strange feeling that the book has the responsibility of what’s happening. I keenly observed the close-to-be-deserted park, for it’s already pass 11 in the evening, searching for the acacia tree I found in my dreams, when suddenly, the surrounding went black. I told my self that it’s happening again. Suddenly, I found myself sitting in a very comfortable couch and saw Timmy, hiding her one hand in her back. She looked at me keenly. Straight into my eyes. I was startled. I don’t know why. “Timmy, what’s wrong?” I asked. “You’re the wrong!!!” she replied. Right then, she showed her hidden hand, holding a dagger. She laughed, and all of a sudden, raised the dagger and thrust it to herself. I hurriedly went to her to stop her, but I was late. When I came to her, I abruptly took the dagger away, but was stunned upon seeing it. It was very familiar… it exactly looked like the blood covered dagger in my dream! “This is just a dream… this can’t be happening, no, no!” I told myself. Right then, I felt a n embrace coming from my back --- it was the creature in one of my dreams. “I’m sorry, I had to do this…” she cried, with her embrace getting tighter. I shouted, and shouted… until I heard someone knocking. “Sir, it seems like you fell asleep. You were blowing your horn for minutes now…” it was a police. Whew, glad it was all a dream!

Sunday morning. I went to Timmy’s place to tell what has happened in my dream, but she’s not home. Her mama told me that Timmy’s out of town with Ice since Thursday to unwind and forget about what happened to John. So, I just called Timmy, but her phone is out of reach. And so I called Ice, asking where they were, because I really need to speak with Timmy. I started to get agitated when Ice told me they were not together, that their trip was cancelled because they had some misunderstanding. I hurriedly told her mother about Timmy. “Naku yang batang yan oo. Don’t worry, itetext ka nyan! Baka she slept over with a classmate. Alam mo na, bakasyon.” Timmy’s mom said. “But don’t go yet, accompany me here. It’s been quite a while since you went here. Antayin mo na siya.

“It’s getting late. Alam naman ni Timmy na nag-aalala ako pag wala pa siya ng ganitong oras pag Linggo. San na kaya yun?” her mom stated worriedly.

And so we waited for Timmy. But no Timmy showed up. It was 10 in the evening when I decided to go home. I tried to give Timmy’s number a ring but it’s still out of range. I called her mom to check if she’s home, but she’s not home still. 12 midnight. I was starting my sleep, when my phone rang. It was Timmy’s mother. Timmy was found in her room. Dead. It was exactly a week after John died! Why do these things happen? First it was John. Then Timmy. After them, I’m next in line!

Four days after Timmy’s death, I decided to have a vacation. To unwind. I went home with Jane. It was for 2 days. We went back to Manila come Saturday. We were stunned when we came back to my pad. The book we threw was in my bed again! I was stopped. It’s as if my world was in slow-mo. For a moment, I was in ecstasy. Then, all of a sudden, my environment turned black. It’s happening again! I was about to search and grab Jane’s hand but was startled. I am in front of a close to die acacia tree. Right in the evident roots of it, I found a blood covered dagger. All of a sudden, a silhouette of an old woman appeared in front. As it slowly unveils itself, I had the strong feeling that she was the creature in my dreams. “Who are you?” I said.

I’ve waited so long for this moment. My son…

What are you saying? You… you killed my friends!!!

No I didn’t… you killed them… Son, aren’t you happy? We’ll be together now… You don’t have any reason to stay in this world. You have no family, no friends.

No! You’re not my mother!” I cried. Suddenly, I ran and picked the dagger from the evident roots of the tree and thrust the dagger in the creature’s body because of my outrage.

Right then, I heard someone crying. As I opened my eyes, I saw Jane. “Why? Did I do something wrong?” Jane uttered. A tear rolled in her cheek and involuntarily closed her eyes. I killed her! I heard a voice in my mind at that point. “You did it! Bwahahah! You removed every reason for you to stay in the world!” I then realized one thing --- my wish was also granted --- to be with my real mother…