Another short story by G and I’m sure you will enjoy it. Like me, G has retired to the Philippines and spends at least part of his time writing.
I appreciate that he permits me to publish his stories here first. Not only are these stories worthy of reading but they also serve two other purposes. One, they give you the reader something different to read – a different voice to listen to. Second, they give me a breather.
A breather, but not from writing. I am busy writing with my other commitments. And, the final editing of my undercover book is also time consuming. That book should be published any time soon.
The Philippines has a tradition of ghost stories and tales of the supernatural. Filipinos have a word for these supernatural creatures – aswang.
An Aswang (or Asuwang) is a shapeshifting monster usually possessing a combination of the traits of either a vampire, a ghoul, a witch, or different species of werebeast in Filipino folklore or even all of them together. It is the subject of a wide variety of myths and stories. Spanish colonists noted that the Aswang was the most feared among the mythical creatures of the Philippines, even in the 16th century.
The myth of the aswang is well known throughout the Philippines. It is especially popular in the Visayan provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Cebu and Bohol. Other regional names for the aswang include “tik-tik”, “fi-fi”, “rako”, “bayot”, “wak-wak”, “sok-sok”, and “kling-kling”
Okay, enough from me and on with G’s story –
Inspired by Phanie my ‘adopted’ Filipino daughter and her great inner strength.
My Lips My Teeth Your Neck
“Little girl, don’t you know it’s dangerous to be out here alone?”
The girl continues through sugar cane that waits for harvest. The disembodied voice continues, “Did you not hear me, gwapa?”
The girl continues on. Behind her the stalks of sugar cane part in quick succession. The dark movement highlighted by a strange blue moon. The girl does not quicken her pace. The dried stalks behind her are now slower to move.
The girl turns to her right. The stalks behind her are still. She glides through the rows of sweetness. Her black hair glistens in the moonlight. Wisps of her long straight hair flirt with the occasional breeze. The top of her head a foot shorter than the cane. Slight of build she wears a dress with much need of repair. Her brown bare arms swing beside her in cadence with her footfalls. The ground beneath her bare feet is soft from recent rains. She makes no notice of her surroundings. She makes a quick left. She then makes a right followed by a left. The cane stalks part in front of her.
The disembodied voice has become visual. A tall naked man’s sudden presence stops the girl. “You seem lost, gwapa. Can I help you?” His dark skin glows on its own without need of the moon’s light. He smiles. A flash of pure white teeth. His reddish tongue licks the edges of his canines. The girl moves to another row of cane and disappears through them. The man laughs out loud, “You can’t hide from me. I can see in the dark.”
The girl walks without panic. Her stride slow and sure. The man steps out from the cane into her path. “Now, do you think you can get away from me?”
The girl side steps the man without a word. The man chuckles to himself. He’s quick to move into the cane. Stalks bend in a circle around the girl. He plays with her. She continues. Right turns after several yards bring her back to the same spot. “You’re lost!” diabolical laughter from the man. He grabs his sides. He jerks with laughter, “This is fun. I’ve not had this kind of pleasure in a long time.”
The girl looks to her left and then to her right. She turns around and goes in a different direction. She stays on the new course without hurry. The man appears in front of the girl. “Gwapa, I like you. Let’s keep the game going longer. I’ll close my eyes and you keep going like in hide-n-seek.” The girl steps around the man. She continues her path. “Okay, I am going to count to ten and then look for you. One, two, three . . . I don’t hear you. Oh, you’ve found a place to hide. Here I come.”
He races through the cane like a strong wind. He stops in front of the girl. She is still. Her head is down. “Why are you not hiding? Don’t just stand there, it’s no fun.” He stomps his feet. He shakes the girl. Her quick hand springs up with a knife. It strikes his chest. Her hand moves up. Her hand moves down. She gropes inside the wound. A quick pull and the man’s heart is in her hand.
“You killed my sister.”
The man laughs, “If you mean that tasty kid last night . . . the one with the bad teeth and muddy feet. Yeah, I did. She wasn’t worth my time, though. Now you, you’re different.”
The girl holds his heart up. The man laughs, “A worthless organ. It will do you no good. You can’t harm me.”
She steps up to him. He grabs her head, “You’ve been fun, so I’ll do this quick – my lips, my teeth, your neck.” The girl pushes him backwards. “What, more fun? You want to struggle? I like a little struggle, it makes the blood sweeter.” The girl pushes him harder. He stumbles back. “Nice one.” He motions for her to come at him, “Come on give it your best.” She studies him like a hunter. “But, then I have to finish, you, the sun is about up.”
The girl runs at him. She knocks him back on his heels. He laughs. He loses his balance. Behind him a sheer deep drop to the small river below. He turns his head to the drop. “Oh, this is so much fun. I’ll be right back.” He falls, he smiles, folds his arms over his chest. His body hits the river bank. It breaks through a grass mat. His eyebrows raise. Before he can register any other emotions his body becomes impaled on a dozen wood spikes. A howl of great pain emits from him. He grabs the top of two spikes, struggles up, “You bitch, there will be no mer . . .”
The break of sunlight stops him. His torturous howls send the birds into the air. Panicked rats storm the river bank.
She nails his heart to a tree with her knife. A ray of sunlight sends it into flames. The man raises his smoldering fist to her. She looks at him, a small smile creeps across her face. Her right hand comes up to reveal her middle finger extended.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, would be purely coincidental.
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Copyright © by JJ Ian Kevin Panday
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Cover photo public domain license http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/
Modifications by G.