Writing in short bites


Creepy stories

I’m sure you’ve heard of that story. You’ve heard it all before— or something like it.

It starts with a campfire at night, or a flashlight before a face during a sleepover. Everyone’s still wide awake, and they’re listening to the stories. The scary ones, of course! Nice and juicy, guaranteed to send a light thrill through the back of your neck.

What if I were to tell you that there are certain stories— the scary ones, the ones that make you afraid of the dark— that you should really be afraid of? What if there are horror stories that are… alive, if you could call it that… and that are feeding on the fear generated in each retelling of their tale? (more…)


A Reunion at Revelation Rock


“Are you gonna go my way?” the driver asked, the dust from the dirt road settling on his rusty pickup truck.

Of the two men walking at the side of the road, only the younger man looked up.

Dressed in torn jeans, military boots, and a ragged Dead Kennedys t-shirt, the man smiled though his dead white eyes still looked at the world hungrily. “Gladly. Always good to see a helping hand.” (more…)

An Aswang Love Story


Dude looks like a lady, the Englishman Tom Doesil thought as he glanced at the person crossing Malate Circle at 3 o’clock that night.

Tom grinned despite himself as he slowed down his rented Honda Civic around the rotunda. You’d think that after being in the country for almost six months and doing NGO work for the World Bank, he’d have an easier time judging Filipino faces.

He studied the person in the distance. Truth be told, the figure was too masculine to be a woman – the shoulders too broad, the Adam’s apple too prominent in the throat, and the features too strong despite the Chinese cast to the face. (more…)

Working over the Holidays


Day 120, December 25, Christmas Day.
From the Log of Engineer Thomas Indra-de Leon, The Aureus Orbital

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

I can now officially announce that this is my first Christmas in space.

I’ve already tried to fix things inside the Aureus to make it appear more festive. Unfortunately, I don’t have too much in terms of colored paper and my Christmas lights consist of the on-board monitor’s flashing LEDs. (more…)

The Sleep of Prey and Predator


“Like a virgin,” she crooned as she touched the pale full lips with a finger, “Touched for the very first time…”

The body on the bed didn’t respond and she laughed softly. She rose from the bed, the sheet sliding off to reveal her naked form. She glided on the room’s soft rug to the window where she had a view of the towers of Hong Kong all lit up in the distance.

Bored with the view, she headed towards the bathroom and passed the mirror. Her reflection moved past, her body shifting from that of a black hag to a curvaceous woman of Asian descent. She stepped on the cold bathroom tiles. (more…)

Memoirs of an Ex-Zombie


Purple haze. It’s all a purple haze in my brain, man.

It’s hard to think of before, when the end of the world came and the infection spread. People screaming and dying, being chased by these zombies, cars exploding, governments collapsing – it all sounds like one hell of a bad B-movie.

Personally, I didn’t give a shit then. I was in a world of my own smoking my grass and just cruising through life, you know? But then I got bitten by this half-assed zombie while trying to score and next thing I know, I was becoming a zombie myself. One moment I was alive, the next I was dead and mad-on against the next guy.

But here’s the funny: I wasn’t really “dead”, more like “brain-dead”. They called ‘em “zombies” on account of some kid screaming at TV reporters in the early days and it spread. (more…)

Four Kings


‘Smells like teen spirit’ is one of my better songs.

Call me Piper, everyone does. I write songs for a living, you might say. But I get paid more than the usual, and the money’s worth every note.

You might ask what a songwriter of my caliber is doing in a country like this. I like it here: the Boracay sunsets, the white sand, the beautiful women – trust me, Filipinas may be known around the world as domestic helpers, but they take good care of those they’re paid to love. Look at me: I’m pampered like a king.

Unfortunately, when a Filipina goes out with a Caucasian like me, most people here think: she’s a prostitute. And that’s damn unfair. But what can you do? Whether in their own country or abroad, the women of this country get the shit end of the bargain.

But where was I? Ah, yes, you were asking about me. Do you want a drink first? The margaritas here are real good. Me, I love the Pale Pilsen – definitely one of the best beers in the world.

Before anything else, I’d like to congratulate you. Not too many people know about my special relationship with the world music industry. I give you top marks for your reportorial skills. Where does Rolling Stones find you people? And tracking me all the way here? Brava, young woman, brava.

But I’m getting away from your question again, aren’t I? (more…)