You have not known what you are.
You have slumbered upon yourself all your life.
Your eyes have been as much as closed most of the time.
What you have done is already in mockeries.

The mockeries are not you.
Underneath them
And within them,
I see you lurk...


-Walt Whitman


31.10.08

superstition


SHE WAS WALKING ALONE and trying desperately to keep her mind blank of any thoughts. but she was unsuccessful. the face of the woman behind the glass was etched in her mind like a distant nightmare. she shouldn’t have peeked into the coffin.

a friend of hers died two days ago. suicide. she wondered how she committed her suicide. the dead woman looked peaceful lying there in the soft insides of the white coffin, a twisted smile etched in her face. how could someone kill oneself and die smiling? the image still burned in her head. there were flowers that cast smell of death in the evening air and candle lights were the only sources of light. black outs are just normal in the province. and it’s just normal to find the streets void of people as soon as the dusk sets in. it was already 8 o’clock in the evening and she wished the road she was taking be flooded by light. she wished that people still stayed outside. the next house was still a long walk away, standing nearby a river. she was afraid.

she continued to walk. anxiety took over and made her apprehensive of everything that surrounded her. the cold air; the trees that lined the street, swaying and whispering; the silence broken only by the sound of insects; the light coming from the misty glow of the moon and from the candle she was holding in her right hand to light her way. the road was soft and muddy and it looked like the rain would pour soon. unfortunately for her, she forgot to bring one. she walked on trying to calm herself by breathing slow deep breaths. but somehow there was an eerie feeling that someone or something was breathing with her. she could feel it blowing at the back of her neck but she shook the thought off. the next house would be only 60 meters away. she just needed to cross the bridge and soon she’d be home.

she walked on until suddenly, there was an absolute silence. the insects couldn’t be heard anymore, same goes with the swaying trees and the wind. the silence was only disturbed by the sounds made by her feet against puddles of water, her fast breathing, and her heart beating up her throat. the breathing at the back of her neck remained slow but this time accompanied by soft footsteps. she never dared to look sideways nor look at her back. she was determined to look ahead and go home. she walked a little faster. and with a heartbeat she heard something, right at her left ear. she didn’t understand it. it was a whisper. an unintelligible hush of words that made her skin crawl. she broke into a run…

she ran with eyes closed trying to block anything but even if she did so, the image of a wake was still seared hot on her mind. she tried not to hear anything nor feel. it was all in the mind, she thought. she ran the length of the road, her skirts and hair swaying violently against the air and her legs were stained with mud. she stopped. every breath stabbed her sides and her heart was trying to break out from her chest. she opened her eyes slowly… very slowly… she waited for her eyes to adjust to available light. there was no light. the light from her candle was gone. the only light was from a faint glow of the moon that had successfully penetrated the clouds. it started to rain. she looked ahead and found herself before the bridge; black angry water churned beneath it.

she hated crossing the bridge. it was only made using bamboos weaved together but still proven safe as time went by. what she didn’t like about the bridge was that it’s narrow. very narrow. only two people could fit in its cramping width. if two people crossed the bridge towards opposite directions, it was impossible for them not to brush shoulders. boats were unavailable due to big waves caused by the rain earlier that evening. there was a house nearby but it seemed deserted. she had no choice.

it was quite a long bridge. she crossed it very slowly. the bamboos were slippery due to the pouring rain. her gait was a series of calculated fall. her hands were struggling on the slippery bamboo bars on the sides for support. she couldn’t see clearly due to the scarcity of light and the thin sheet of visionary wall made by the rain. still breathing heavily and heart pounding, she was glad the sound of breathing and footsteps had gone, drowned away by the angry waters below her and the rain pounding on her ears. she looked and continued to walk across. half-way, she saw a silhouette far ahead. it was a woman. she was excited to see a living soul at last.

the excitement and relief died in instant. something was wrong and strangely weird about the woman in front of her. she was not moving. she just stood there in the middle of the bridge, head bowed, and waiting. her long tangled hair covered her face, dripping wet. she was wearing a tattered daster printed with little pink flowers. she was barefoot. she didn’t know what’s more eerily weird about the woman: the fact that she’s standing in the middle of the bridge looking like a lunatic or that she’s slowly running her fingers on the hair of porcelain doll, eyes missing from their sockets. the doll had no arms too. the woman’s pale white skin glistened in rain water… and blood?

the woman before her scared the hell out of her. but she had no choice but to move forward. she couldn’t go back. the nearest village was very far away and transportation was hard at that hour of the night. she heaved a very deep breath, sighed and slowly moved forward. her eyes never left the woman in front of her and closer and closer she went. her heart is beating frantically when she came in level and brushed shoulders with the woman. and in that instant she felt an unexplainable chill that ran from her neck down to her body. it was neither the air nor the rain. it was caused by something she couldn’t explain or rather something her mind won’t entertain. she mustered every ounce of courage she had left and moved forward and past the woman. she was just five steps away when she heard it. it was the whisper she had heard earlier. it was an unintelligible whisper, followed by a girlish laugh like a giggle; a mirthless laugh that made her skin crawl once again.

pssst…

the woman was calling her.

pssst…

it was a soft and prolonged but very audible sound.

pssssst…

she wanted not to look back but her neck was somehow forced to. very slowly she turned her head and the image she saw brought her to the edge of sanity. she was looking into the eyes of a woman without a soul. her eyes were empty. but what really petrified her to the spot was her sinister smile. and then, the woman suddenly leaned backward against one side of the bridge and went overboard. she had a last hint of a smile on her face as she got swallowed by darkness and the churning waters below.

her thoughts were numb. she ran as fast as she could, even slipped a couple of times but she didn’t care. and suddenly she was home. she was safe at last. she was crying. it took her some moments before she noticed that her house was in total darkness. the darkness scared her. she decided to light the candle she was still holding with a lighter from her purse. and when the light slowly flooded the room she saw it again. right in front of her were empty eyes and a twisted smile she knew so well…

"tumalon ako sa tulay…"

she wondered how she committed her suicide. she got her answer.




. . .
this is my post for the halloween season. this was the story i was very scared to write. just like i had said, my imagination scares me a lot. i usually write at night but i wrote this entry this morning starting at 7 am. but still i had goose bumps while writing the draft. i am just relieved that i was able to let it out of my head at last.

there’s this superstition (pamahiin) that when you attend a wake (burol) and went straight home, the soul of the deceased would follow you. creepy eh? awoooooo! happy halloween guys!

35 comments:

RJ said...

uhmn, Philippine setting! [8 o'clock in the evening here in South Australia is still very bright this spring!]

You've got a very creative mind, Ron, very good imagination, and I admire the way how you put it into words. Excellent story-teller, you don't need to tell me not to close my eyes (your header?)... [Kaya kahit maliit ang font at mahaba ang post mo binasa ko pa rin.]

The 'burol' superstition? I don't believe it...

Even if Australia doesn't celebrate Halloween, I would like to say "Happy Halloween, Ron!"

JoShMaRie said...

tamo nga nman ang power of imagination:)


feeling ko totoo yun na minsan susundan ka ng kaluluawa ng taong dinalaw mo sa burol. :)

onatdonuts said...

Happy halloween sa iyo ROn!

nakakakilabot naman to, tama ka tsong matakot ka talaga sa imagination mo. haha galing!

Chyng said...

hay kaya ako ayoko sumiliip sa coffin. ayoko ma-stuck yung image nia na patay na. i prefer the image of that person na buhay at masaya pa.

galing ng story! scary ah!!!

is that your gf sa slideshow? (--,)

Fjordan Allego said...

sa wakas!! natapos ko rin basahin!! hahaha grabe! galing galing mo talaga..

habang binabasa ko siya, ang setting niya parang nasa probinsya namin.. as in.. yung tulay na bamboo.. iniisip ko talaga.. para akong nanonood ng isang eksena ng isang horror movie..

galing!!

Happy Halloween!!

http://fjordz-hiraya.blogspot.com

~Kinesics said...

I thought love story :) cuz of the the quote from Mew! :)

SCARY! Magaling ka! :)

Happy Halloween, Ron!

~kinesics

P.S. I fixed my blog and got the pic back! :)

Lance said...

it's one hell of a creepy story, Ron..makes me remember of that First year high school classmate I had who died right after our school's intramurals.. I was the class president then. Although she didn't appear to me as a ghost, but her memories (including the scene in the coffin) would always haunt me at night that I couldn't sleep without my mom beside me. And it lasted for 4 months until the school year was over...




--------


it's really nice to contemplate to our past.

Ganun mo pala ka crush si Shan Cai dahil ginaya mo talaga ang red card sa locker mo.. hehehe! cool yun ah.. =)

RONeiluke, RN said...

RJ: thanks for the compliment :)salamat at pinagtyagaan mong basahin. talaga? 8 pm maliwanag pa rin? sa bagay malapit na kasi kayo sa south pole...ganun ba yun? hahaha!

is it true na walang halloween dyan? hmmm...bakit?

josh marie: thanks sa comment :) ako hindi ako naniniwala or ayaw kong maniwala! hahaha!

onat:thanks! buti at nailabas ko na rin tong istoryang to sa isip ko..hehehe!

fjords: naalala ko rin kasi yung tulay na bamboo sa amin dati. hehehe! salamat ng marami

happy halloween!

chyng: chyng! happy halloween!

ako din ayoko ding sumilip lalo na kapag hindi ko kakilala. kasi pano ka makakaisip ng happy memories ng sang taong di mo kilala di ba? hehehe!

sa slide show? nako wala dyan. kasi naman wala akong gf. single kaya ko! hahahaha!

lance: thanks, mate :)

bukod sa tito ko at lolo ko wala pa akong kaibigang namatay. it must have been a really traumatic experience to lose a friend...

wow president ka pala... i was scred of being class president during my academic years..hehehe! pero ako lagi ang binoboto!

---

oo! sobrang crush ko yun dati. adik kasi kaming magbabarkada sa metor garden... nakakamiss tuloy ang HS...

RONeiluke, RN said...

kinesics: hahaha! ayoko munang mag post ng tungkol sa love... takutan muna tayo! hahaha! besides if i post something about love baka maging bitter post lang yun! hahaha! happy halloween!

GreenMangoes said...

i've read the premise, man. ayos!

pero.. i can't find the time to read a blog lately.

something's missing out of me so ayun.. patawad na muna.

babalikan ko yung previous posts mo. :)

salamat!

JoShMaRie said...

hindi lang naman muna ako magpopost pero dadaan pa rin sa mga peyborit kong blogs. at makikisilip sa coffin dito sa blog mo. hehe. ingats.

Mugen said...

Pwede ka na sa Pinoy Ghost Stories. I bet you can write better stories than their writers. Hehe.

RJ said...

may tanong pa ulit sa akin. 'TO naman, parang kailan lang napag-usapan ang "Questions and Answers" ah.

1. Q: "talaga? 8 pm maliwanag pa rin? sa bagay malapit na kasi kayo sa south pole...ganun ba yun? hahaha!" A: Maliwanag pa nga ang 8pm dito. Ito ay ang influence ng EARTH TILT. Search mo nalang sa www. ha.

2. Q: is it true na walang halloween dyan? hmmm...bakit? A: Ayaw ng mga locals ang Halloween celebration dito, pauso lang daw yan ng US. Purely business strategy. Pero sa UK (London) meron din daw. Doon din naman galing ang karamihang taga-Au.

Sana wala nang tanong Ron.

_ice_ said...

waaaaaahhhhhhhhhh

kakatakot naman tol.. nanindig balahibo ko..

galing ron..

happy halloween....

REDLAN said...

happy Halloween mate! after undas ko na lang to basahin. the fact is, takot ako sa mga scary story kapag halloween.

RONeiluke, RN said...

green mangoes: ok lang yun, mate :) i hope you'll what's that missing piece...

peace out!

joshmarie: sige maraming salamat joshmarie. i really do hope you enjoy your blog leave. you're always welcome in my site :)

happy halloween ulet! :)

mugen: thanks :) i don't read those. nagsawa na kasi ako sa mga horror stories. but i listen to them alot. are you familiar with 'spooky nights'. It airs on the radio every halloween :)

happy halloween!

RJ: ahhh..ganun pala yun. sige hindi nako magtatanong sayo kahit kailan. i have drafts in filipino. pinagiisipan ko pa kung ipopost ko.

peace out!

ice: thanks, mate :) tumataas din ang balahibo ko habang sinusulat ko to. hindi ko sure if i was able to justify the images with what i've written here...

happy halloween and advanced merry krismas :)

redlan:
ahh..ganun ba? takot ka pala sa mga horror stories kapag halloween! hehehe! sige hintayin ko comment mo :) happy halloween, mate :)

dabo said...

very nice ron... though di ko binasa... duda ako na horror talaga eh heehe sowwwee

RONeiluke, RN said...

thanks dabo! i value honesty! hahaha! goodluck sa paghahanap ng underwear! hehehe!

KRIS JASPER said...

I knew it! My eyes just scanned this post coz I have a feeling (wow! i have feelings) that this'd be scary.

And I've read the end bits and it validated my intuition.

argh!! cant wait for A to come home.... me, scared.

Roland said...

naks, from a registered nurse to a storyteller now!!! what a road to stardom, hahaha.

bilib ako sa imagination mo... ang galing, tumayo balahibo ko while reading it.


====

hays, ndi mo nabasa yung entry ko before alaala ni tatay? wala lang, i just want to hear you comment and advise. :)

palapit na ng palapit ang pagbabalikbayan ko... game knb? :P

acey said...

scary pic!

Sidney said...

Wow... amazing story...a bit scary...but perfect for the time of the year.
You are a talented writer!

Asian Traveler said...

Phew! Your story was scary and creepy enough.

RONeiluke, RN said...

KJ: hope A would come home soon. baka ano pang gawin mo. hehehe! happy halloween!

acey: yeah. i spent half an hour just to find the perfect creepy picture for this post. hehehe!

sidney: thanks :) it was nice of you to drop by :)

asian traveller: thanks. i appreciate the compliment :)

roland: sige basahin ko :)

REDLAN said...

takot ako tumingin sa patay sa coffin. nakarelate ako dito ah. ganyan rin ako, parang nakikita ko pa rin ang coffin kahit nakapikit ako.

superstitious ba yan sa inyo. iba't ibang lugar sa pinas may pamahiin sa burol. sa amin sa province bawal maligo kapag nag attend ng burial after 3 days pa dapat maligo at maglaba. lol

RONeiluke, RN said...

redlan: uhmm...hindi ko alam kung dito nagoriginate sa laguna yung pamahiing yun. nalaman ko lang sa tv.

hala! hindi ko kaya yun! babaho ako! hahaha!

hindi ako tumitingin sa patay lalo na kapag hindi ko kilala...the coffin makes it creepy. madalas naman kasi ako makakita ng patay during my internship eh...

peace out!

Jake Tornado said...

Nampuch! I shouldn'have read the entry. I'm alone in the house tonight!!!

SCARY!

(San ka pala nakakuha ng copy ng Love of Siam?)

the spool artist said...

WALANGHIYA KA TALAGA RON!!!

It's midnight here now, it's raining, it's cold and I'm alone upstairs sa office! I'm scared shirtless with your story... and my imagination is playing against me!

Hahahaha, happy halloween anyway!As usual, great storytelling... I think Peque Gallaga has to read your blog... I see another installment of shake, rattle and roll! lol

RONeiluke, RN said...

kuya loven: thanks! hehe! xenxa naman. dapat naanticipate mo na magpopost ako ng horror stiry dahil halloween! ahehee!

jake: sa you tube lang. it was a great watch. have you seen it?

Dylan Dimaubusan said...

inumpisahan at tinapos pero di binasa lahat..iniscan lang ng mata.

matatakutin ako at nerbyoso kaya hindi ako nagtatagal sa mga ganitong kwento.. i have this weird imagination, mas buhay sa isipan ko ang mga binabasa ko pag nanunod naman ako ng horror, pumipikit ako.. nanood pa ako noh? haha!
kung aattend ka ng burol pagkatapos nun eh san ka pupunta? di ba uuwi na? ugh! di na ko aattend ng burol!!! lolz.

anyway, u deserve a big round of applause for this, cguro pwedeng pwede to sa mga halloween specials sa TV. ;)
cheers!

yeh, i know that novel- "series of unfortunate events" binasa ko, sa sine, hehehe..

RONeiluke, RN said...

nako pareho tayo ng imagination. ang tagal ko ng planong isulat to pero hindi ko magawa kasi natatakot akong isulat! weird noh? hahaha!

kahit bumili ka lang sana ng sakto bago umuwi! haha! pero hindi ako naniniwala. kung gusto ka talagang
sundan, susundan ka talaga! hehehe!

thanks, mate :)

Dylan said...

nyeha! how come nakapagsulat ka ng ganito?! ang bangis mo naman.. nasakto nga nung pagbasa ko dun pa sa pinaka nakakatakot na part ng story mo.. eh at least a week nagtatagal ang images sa utak ko.. waaah!

anyway, di ko ata narinig sa klase namin yung abt sa Jehovah's, blood transfusion bawal but the cremate thing? really, natutulog ata ako nun.. haha, antukin ako sa klase eh.

RONeiluke, RN said...

dylan: WEEKS??!! ibang klase naman pala yang imagination mo eh..hehehe! sana nakakatulog ka pa. hehehe! thanks :)

oo kasi naniniwala sila na pupunta tayo sa langit ng may katawan pagbalik ni Jesus...uhmm..my friend kasi akong Jehova..ayun. :)

Robert Aquino Dollesin said...

Hey, Ron

I've swung by your site several times and read a few of your stories. I think you're a gifted writer. You have a natural ability to build tension, keeping the reader wanting more. Keep at it and I'm sure you'll go a long way.

istepf said...

creepy! grabe buti ngayong umga ko to nbsa kung kgbi, cguradong maiisip ko to mgdamag! hahaaa..=)

galing-galing! tama cla, pwede ng pang-tv..=)

grrrr... naiimagine ko ung eksena, ung itsura, at ung pgkakasabi nya ng "tumalon ako s tulay" waaaaaaaaaahhhh!

haha.. late ko nbsa, buti n din.. ;)