Writing in short bites

in media res

The Eyes of Ouroboros

<> on April 23, 2013 in New York City.

The screens told so many stories. So many CCTV cameras accessing so many scenes in one moment:

-A man in a white robe walking down a hospital corridor.

-An intersection in Ayala Avenue, so many vehicles moving at quick stop-motion speeds.

-A pawn shop in Quiapo, its counters seemingly unmanned.

-A pretty young woman withdrawing from an ATM in Quezon City.

His eyes scanned the multitude of screens, his fingers constantly clicking through each camera connected to the network throughout Metro Manila. (more…)


The Last Stand of Geronimo Yap

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There’s a point when you know you’re fucked up totally and incredibly. The security guard Geronimo Yap knew he had reached that point when he found his partner Elijah Macasaet stripped flesh-to-bone in twenty seconds flat. Unfortunately, Elijah was holding the remote detonator at that time.

“Shit,” Geronimo muttered and started running, leaving the now-useless C4 explosives. The hundreds of tyanaks, all baby-small, fish-white skin and red eyes, followed after him. “Shitshitshitshit!”

He exited the pharmaceutical factory and slammed the security door shut. Good thing the door swung inward; the metal door bulged outward as the army of tiny monsters crashed against it. He heard a multitude of frustrated screeching behind the door. Thank God they didn’t know how to use doorknobs. (more…)


New Life

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The antiseptic, white corridors were empty. Closed sliding glass doors lined the walls, all blank and featureless.

Dr. Alan Saldano took a step forward, clutching the scalpel. He jumped when one of the glass doors slid open, the laser light blinking as it sensed his approach.

He was the only one left of the research team. In fact, he didn’t know if anyone was left alive on this level of the lab.

“Hello?!” he cried. “Security, can you hear me?!” The lab-wide intercom remained silent. (more…)


Skin

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They were burning bodies again.

Manuel averted his eyes even as the smell of burning flesh overwhelmed him. At least the bodies this time weren’t human, he thought, though the limbs on the bonfire seemed human enough.

He carried his groceries to the small apartment he was renting on the avenida. As he was unlocking the gated door to his unit, a Humvee bearing a troop of American soldiers carrying high-powered rifles swept by with their siren red lights streaking the darkened street.

So far, the military sent by the United Nations had been successful in liberating Manila from the invading alien forces. But there were still pockets of resistance throughout the city. As he walked up his apartment, he thought he could hear muted gunfire in a distance. (more…)


Lady Luck

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When Michael  Salvacion was a child, a diwata fell in love with him.

Nobody knew how or why this happened. Nobody knew its presence was even there. But like a guardian angel, it hovered over his shoulder, constant as the moon in the evening.

Hey! Mike! Where’ve you been? It’s already midnight! We’ve been drinking ourselves dry waiting for you!

Yeah, late again as always.

“Ah, sorry guys. Had work to fill up.”

Work, hah! He probably had a date again. Didn’t want us to meet the girl.

Why should that be a surprise? Girls fall for him all the time. Mike’s the man!

Most define diwatas as fairies, earth-sprites, or elementals. Primarily a forest-dweller, this one was an incongruous sight wandering around the cities of Man. Those few remaining trees in the cities who are left choke (if a tree can choke) at the sight of an unbound spirit attached to a mere mortal like a cat’s tail. (more…)


Business Magic

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People don’t know Mr. Benaforte.

An affable, good-natured guy, Mr. Benaforte runs the Persian restaurant in Pasig City. He’s pretty serious about it, trading time between being with his lovely young wife—who teaches at a nearby school—and managing the restaurant.

Still, he manages to spare some hours surfing the Internet. He does that a lot, always searching the worldwide web. Right now, he’s just waiting for the head waiter to close shop downstairs. It’s a Wednesday night, a slow night for the restaurant so he’s letting the guy handle closing time. He does that every now and then. (more…)


Leap Year

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The youngish-looking man standing at the cemetery may not look it but he’s celebrating his birthday today.

He’s 25 years old but technically, he’s older. That’s because he’d been born on February 29– leap year– and only celebrates his birthday every four years.

As time went by, he had fleshed out to become a solid-looking young man despite being gangly for most of his existence. And despite his baby-face, he had eyes that looked old-man tired and were bookended by crow’s-feet. (more…)