Ang Biktima ni Angeli

angeli-aswangNOTE: English version of story below.

Habang hinuhubad ang pares ng duguang gwantes napatingin si Angeli sa salamin upang sulyapan ang kanyang ginawa. Walang buhay na nakahandusay sa sahig ng comfort room ang pinakahuli nitong biktima – isang freshman sa unibersidad – na ang dugo ay nagkalat sa tiles mula sa nakangangang hiwa sa tiyan ng dalaga. Mula sa hiwa na iyon ay kanyang hinugot at nilantakan ang atay ng biktima. Ang natira ay kanyang sinilid sa plastic na garapon sa kanyang bag. Napakasarap ng atay ng dalaga. Nalalasap pa rin niya ang sarap sa kanyang bibig. Matapos ang isang taon, muli siyang nakatikim niyon, na paborito ng kanyang mga ka-uri.
Mga tatlong linggo din niyang minanmanan ang kanyang biktima. Nagpanggap pa siyang estudyante sa pinapasukan nitong unibersidad. Sa wakas dumating ang pagkakataon nang gabing iyon nang tumungo ng mag-isa sa comfort room ang estudyante bago umuwi. Hindi na nito nagawang makatili nang baliin ni Angeli ang leeg nito. Pagkatapos ay sinimulan niyang hiwain ang estudyante gamit ang scalpel. Mga matatalas na kuko niya sana ang kanyang gagamitin ngunit hindi madaling alisin ang dugo kapag sumuot sa ilalim ng kuko, lalo pa’t may pupuntahan pang gimik si Angeli.
Maingat niyang sinilid sa plastic ang hinubad na mga gwantes at nilagay sa kanyang bag. Tinignan niya ang sarili sa salamin. Maliban sa dugo sa kanyang mga labi at sa baba at iilang talsik sa kanyang mga braso, walang bahid nito sa kanyang uniporme. Matapos iligpit ang scalpel, naghilamos at naghugas si Angeli. Muli niyang sinulyapan ang kanyang biktima bago umalis.
Ni hindi man lang siya napansin ng dalawang security guard sa gate nang siyang dumaan palabas na animo’y ihip ng hangin lamang.
Kinabukasan agad nabalita ang pagkatagpo sa bangkay ng kanyang biktima na wakwak ang tiyan at wala nang atay. Napangiti si Angeli nang sinabi sa balita na baka aswang ang may kagagawan.

———————
Angeli’s Victim

While removing her bloodied gloves, Angeli glanced at her handy work through the mirror. Her latest victim – a freshman student in the university – lay dead on the comfort room floor with her blood spilled on the tiles from the gaping incision in the girl’s belly. Through this incision, Angeli pulled out ate partially ate the victim’s liver. The rest she put in a small plastic jar in her bag. The girl’s liver was exquisite. Angeli can still taste its goodness in her mouth. After a year, she has once again tasted human liver which is a favorite of her kind.
She observed her victim for at least three weeks. She even disguised as a student in the girl’s university. At last the opportunity came when that night the student went to the comfort room alone before going home. The girl wasn’t able to shriek when Angeli broke her neck. Then she started to cut her open with a scalpel. She would have used her claws but washing off the blood wasn’t easy once they’ve gotten under the nails, especially that Angeli is going on a night out later.
She carefully put the gloves in a plastic bag and placed it in her bag. She checked herself in the mirror. Except for the blood on her lips and chin and some splatters on her forearms, her uniform was unstained. After getting rid of the scalpel, Angeli cleaned herself. She took a last glance at her victim before leaving.
The two security guards at the gate didn’t even notice her as she slipped past them like a gust of wind.
The following day, there was news on her victim who was found cut open with the liver gone. Angeli smiled when it was speculated that the culprit could be an aswang.

END

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Another manananggal cousin

abat-medium-edited-jpeg

Jeepers creepers, where’d ya get those eyes?

The abat or awok is the Eastern Visayan variant of the manananggal in Philippine folklore. Like the latter, an abat detaches from its lower half of the body at the waist but instead of growing wings on its back, its arms are the ones that transform into bat-like wings. It has bloodshot eyes which almost bulge out of their sockets. Like the manananggal, an abat must rejoin its discarded lower half before sunrise otherwise it will die.

Manananggal’s wingless cousin

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A wingless cousin of the manananggal on the prowl.

The anananggal are self-segmenting aswang in the Eastern Visayan folklore of the Philippines. Unlike their cousins, the manananggal of Luzon, anananggal are wingless like the Indonesian penanggal, and can render themselves invisible – an ability which gives them freedom to enter any house unnoticed.
Aside from preying on pregnant women and attacking children or those who wander at night and the wee hours, anananggal also have a knack for sniffing a corpse in a wake.
To them the smell of a corpse is so irresistible that they would enter a house where there is a wake for the dead and sniff the corpse until they are forced to leave by the approaching dawn. Contact with citrus fruits prevent them from flying. An anananggal will die should sunlight shine upon it while in its segmented form, or if salt, spices, and ash are placed on the stump of its discarded lower half.

The Date

I.

The café had a few customers that night. Tina was alone at a table in one corner, quietly sipping a cup of mocha cappuccino while stabbing a slice of chocolate cake with a fork. To her left a group of boisterous young men sometimes glanced at her. They were obviously talking about her. Two girls, in their late teens, from another table ogled a professional-looking guy who just entered the café with a girl in tow. Another guy with a very expensive wristwatch was talking on his iPhone 6 at the table near the counter. Tina’s phone rang, catching the attention of other customers. She picked it up and answered the call.

“Hello?” she said softly.

“Hi,” the guy on the other line responded. “I’m so sorry but I can’t make it there tonight. Something came up and I have to take care of it.”

Tina’s smile faded.

“Oh, that’s unfortunate,” she said.

“I know but I really have to take care of this. I hope you don’t mind?”

“Oh, not at all. It’s alright.”

“Thank you. I owe you one. Say, what about I make it up to you Monday night?”

“Sure, why not?”

“Great! See you Monday, gorgeous. Call you later. Take care, okay? Bye”

“You too. Bye.”

Tina stared at her phone for a while after the call ended. It was disappointing not being able to spend some time with him on a Saturday night. She wasn’t mad at him. He understood and accepted what she was.

She paid her bill and walked out of the café. The cool evening breeze greeted her as she approached her car, the key in her hand.

“Don’t make a noise.” Tina felt the pointed tip a knife pressed against her back. A strong arm wrapped around her neck. There were two of them. The other guy, in his early thirties stood guard watching out for possible passersby that might foil their plan.

“If you make any scene I’ll gut you. Open the door,” the man holding her growled.

She unlocked the car with a steady hand and opened the door at the driver’s seat.

“Get inside,” the man with the knife pushed her in. She went in without resistance and sat next to the man, her eyes fixed on him as he started the engine. The guy in his early thirties sat in the passenger seat behind her. She knew what they were up to. Robbers, carjackers, and serial rapists lurked in the city, preying on innocent civilians. But something else lurked in the city. The two criminals failed to notice the faint smile on Tina’s face as they headed for the highway which lead out of town.

 

II.

It was past eight in the morning when Tina rose from her bed. A faint taste of bile lingered in her mouth. Her mom and dad were in the living room, discussing business matters. Later in the afternoon that day she went out to hang out with some friends. She nodded in response to the security guard’s greeting, on her way out of the subdivision. In the guard house one of the personnel was absorbed with the news on the radio. Apparently two dead men, one in his early thirties, were found in the floodway just outside the city. Their throats were slit and their bellies cut wide open like a dissection frog, the guts spread out for the world to see. One of them was missing a liver.

 

THE END

The Visitor

I.

The hospital reeked of sickness and death. Along its cold concrete corridors echoed the groans of the ill, the pained, the dying, and the prayers of hopeful souls. Medical staff, patients and their relatives with worried faces shuffle about. The groans of the dying and the scent of death were intoxicating.

“Calling Doctor Diaz, you are needed at the nurses’ station,” a nearby P.A. speaker requested.

Tina smiled at a frail-looking old woman in a wheelchair in the hallway. The old woman glanced at the bunch of red roses she was carrying in response.

“Won’t be long now,” Tina thought while discretely sniffing the air.

The male hospital staff, most likely a homosexual, who pushed the old lady’s wheelchair glanced at her prim university uniform. The bitch must be jealous of her finely ironed checkered skirt and spotless white long-sleeved blouse, she thought.

Her sick friend’s room was up ahead. She slowly opened the door and peeked inside.

“Hello, gorgeous!” she said while entering then shutting the door behind her. “How are you?”

Her friend, Trisha was in the bed, her body propped up with a pillow against the headboard, an android tablet in hand. Another friend, a fellow student at the university was seated beside on the bedside.

“Feeling better,” Trisha replied.

“Great! By the way, I thought these could make your day even better,” Tina put the bunch of roses to the vase near Trisha. “What’s up, Jackie?”

“Spending some quality time with Miss Dengue here,” Jackie elbowed Trisha and they all giggled.

Trisha caught Dengue somewhere but was fortunate to be hospitalized early and avoided serious complications.

“The doctor said I was lucky my Dengue was not that severe,” Trisha related. “I’m the third Dengue patient admitted to this hospital this week.”

“Really? What about the others?” Tina said.

“Well, my doctor said he’s treating one of the other two patients. That one he says, a little boy, is not in good shape.”

“Is the patient in the I.C.U.?”

“Oh he’s in the next room.”

II.

High fever wracked the eight-year-old boy. His entire body shivered despite of his soaring temperature. It felt like being dried out in the desert then suddenly plunged into a tub full of ice again and again. His head felt like it was going to explode. He could barely open his eyes. He laid uncomfortably on his bed, dozing off to a delirious sleep then suddenly waking up terrified. In his dreams someone else, aside from his nanny was inside the room – a dreadful presence that gave him the creeps. His eyes scanned the room. But only his nanny was there, busy on her mobile phone. Suddenly he was afraid to sleep. His feeble body, unfortunately, had to give in. His eyes were heavy. As his eyelids shut finally and the world of dreams and nightmares sucked him in he thought he saw a shadowy figure loom over him.

III.

Trisha looked gloomy when Tina entered the room.

“If you keep on looking like that I’d say you need to spend a week more in this hospital,” Tina giggled.

“Hey,” Trisha said still looking sad.

“Why the face, gorgeous?” Tina pinched Trisha’s cheek.

“Cut it out will you?” Trisha brushed off her hand. “Remember that other patient I told you?”

“The boy? What about him?”

“He died last night.”

THE END

The Couple

I.

“What a sweet smell!” Tina reveled while sniffing the cool morning sea breeze. Tacky, her pet puppy stirred in her arms and raised his head as if alerted by something. She turned and saw a couple strolling at the water’s edge near them. The woman was pregnant – five months probably. Tacky jumped off Tina’s arms and ran towards the couple and pawed at the woman’s heel. Startled, the woman almost kicked the puppy away but thought otherwise and cursed the animal instead, calling it names. Tina came running.

“God, Tacky, leave the lady alone,” she said while picking up her pet. “Sorry about that.”

“You shouldn’t let your mutt loose. It nearly gave me a miscarriage.” The woman glared at her.

“I’m really sorry. My dog was just being playful,” Tina said.

The woman’s husband, if he was indeed her better half, was silent. He was busy ogling Tina, his eyes wandering lustily all over her.

“If I were you I’d chain that pooch before he hurts someone,” the wife added.

“Oh, no need for that. He’s just a curious pup, a baby exploring the world around him,” Tina replied coolly, glancing at the woman’s bloated belly. “Well, got to go. I’m really sorry for the inconvenience.”

Tina smiled to the couple and walked off with Tacky in her arms.

II.

The couple slept heavily in their hotel room. It was past three in the morning. Three hours earlier they chilled in one of the islands many bars then decided to call it a night. Only a lone bedside lamp lit the room. From the shadows in one corner of the room a pair of eyes watched the couple. A pitch-black form of a woman emerged and slowly approached the couple, its hungry eyes fixed on the woman’s bloated belly.

III.

Tina chatted cheerfully with her college friends while they strolled around the island, checking bazaars and shops with Tacky in her arms. A throng of people, a parked police car, and an ambulance outside a pension house caught their curiosity.

“What happened here?” Tina inquired casually from a bystander.

“A couple was found dead in their room,” the woman said. “What makes it really sad is that the woman is pregnant. Authorities say there’s no sign of foul play. Must have died in their sleep.”

“That’s unfortunate,” Tina replied staring at the window of a room on the second floor.

THE END