Writing in short bites

Tooth and Nail

jabidah

(First posted here. It didn’t win but it was still fun enough to write and now I have a kernel of an idea for the start of my alternate history stories.)

Dictator Ferdinand Marcos was a crazy bastard and he lied to us.

For example, Martial Law? He had his reasons for it, the primary one being to kill all monsters. Big-assed, flying, digging, crawling, teeth and claws, bloodthirsty monsters. They came out of the woodwork and it took all Marcos and the government to put them down without panicking the public in the ‘70s.

Of course this took a toll on Marcos’ New Society with accusations of corruption and killings. Marcos couldn’t reveal they were actually fighting a war of shadows at that time and this would later cost him when the military took the side of civil society in Edsa ’86.

Truth is stranger than fiction. Take for example Jabidah Massacre. Remember that? Where more than a hundred Moro soldiers and officers were recruited and trained to invade Sabah? And when the operation was aborted, it was said the soldiers were summarily executed by the military?

Well, there’s a shadow story behind that one.

Reports started to surface in 1965 of four monsters appearing on the islands off Tawi-tawi, near Sabah. They killed all the islanders and turned the place into a ‘desolate wilderness.’

Reports indicated they were the four monsters of legend: the many-limbed Kurita, the man-shaped Tarabusaw, the gigantic bird-like Pah, and the seven-headed bird that was not named.

In order to save the remaining inhabitants, Marcos had ordered a special unit of Muslim soldiers be drawn up for a special mission.

Their first task was to try to retrieve the people there and bring them to safety. Marcos’ strategy in using the Muslim soldiers was that they would be able to talk to the people there.

Their other task was to kill the monsters.

What happened? Of more than 200 Muslim soldiers who had landed on the islands, only twenty were left when they finally managed to kill all the monsters. Marcos was severely wounded—that damned kidney problem—and he was never truly the same afterwards.

But that was the start of it all, when the government’s official war of shadows started and the declaration of Martial Law.

But what they didn’t tell us as we fought against those monsters was that it was his fault the monsters were all there. Marcos was the one who opened the damned gates to hell with his dabbling in occult science.

In the end, that was what killed us all.

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