Archives for posts with tag: short story

Staring at the app’s play button as I waited for the dials to hit red, I thought to myself that now was the time for the Universe to do something, anything if it wanted to stop us from doing what we were about to do. A lightning bolt, if God wanted to be all Zeus-style here would be more than sufficient. We were on the rooftop, after all, and practically standing on top of one big puddle. The three of us would get fried in a split-second. Forensics would simply find our charred corpses the next day and wonder what these people were doing on a rooftop during tropical depression Rosinda and what the hell all the equipment was for.

Or maybe a heart attack. Lord knows my heart was beating fast enough. I imagined that when the time came for me to play the recording, I’d just keel over and die before I could run the program. Then, a lesson would certainly be learned by Elsa and Aloi, which is please not to fuck with the natural order of things.

But in a short while, the laser was already fully charged. Outside the tent, Aloisius did a thumbs up. “Alright, we’re good for four minutes, ” he told me. “I’m going to hit a beam against the side of that big nimbus cloud and by the time we get feedback, you can start playing the message.”

“So, what do you think’s going to happen?” Elsa asked. She half-startled me as I didn’t see her enter the tent. She had a jacket on but her jeans were soaked and her hair was dripping. Like me, she probably didn’t get a bit of sleep last night. “I mean, would they believe these new commandments? Or do you think there’s going to be a manhunt for us?”

“Are you asking if villagers with torches and pitchforks would eventually get to the mad scientist and his assistants and then tear them apart, piece by piece?” I chuckled.

She smiled. “Yeah, that gory end. Or, you know, a little something I’d like to call a criminal case. Which is what happens when crimes are committed. Such as the one we’re doing now.”

“I don’t think so. I suppose maybe over half the people hearing this would suspect that something was up, but not unless somebody out there knows how to mind-read, nobody would know who or what was really behind it.” I tried to sound as reassuring as I could. The rig was vibrating already, which meant that it was nearly time for us to start.

“Besides, I think we’ve got God on our side.” I told her.

I clicked on the button and the media player began to play the mp3. The audio was routed to the rig which then converted it into a continuous signal embedded into the beam. The beam reached the nimbus clouds and excited billions of water molecules at a key frequency which then produced a chain reaction as the bounced beams affected the other nearby clouds which then sent the same signal to its contiguous clouds. Power was what our rig needed but we were more than prepared and our resident mad scientist Aloisius knew his math. Within ten seconds, above the city of Manila, all the nimbus clouds of sufficient density were effectively converted to audio speakers.

The Lord spoke.

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Tortang talong must be the worst food for a kid. I mean, it’s not like it even tries to be delicious. It’s just simply there to be eaten, what parents cook for you whenever they decide they don’t have enough love to give that particular day, right after stock markets crash or some beloved national celebrity dies. After four miserable spoonfuls that morning, I just gave up.

My Ma was quick to notice, like she’d been expecting it. “If you don’t finish the food on your plate,” she began, “Mang Erning will come here tonight as our guest. You know Mang Erning, right? You see his stomach, how big and round it is? How he’s always shirtless whenever he drinks with the rest of the drunks? That’s because he goes inside people’s houses to eat their children, those who don’t finish their meals or who disrespect their parents. He’s always shirtless because that’s his way of advertising his services, as a devourer of children.”

And that was the first time I heard about Mang Erning. Previously, he was just one of those men who always stayed in the carinderia in front of our house drinking with the others the entire day. Always seemed the surly type but nothing particularly bad as far as adults go. But now I had been warned. He was somebody I needed to be wary of, somebody I didn’t want to notice me or to know I even exist. But then, it couldn’t really be true, right? Could it? Some grownups eat the children of other grownups and the parents just allow it? Something wasn’t quite adding up.

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Memories of the Flash Mob on Charles Lee

“Have you heard about this guy, Charles Lee?” That was my brother waking me up at around 1 a.m. Once again, he was in my room and using my desktop computer. Didn’t even ask for permission or anything. He repeated the question. “Charles Lee?”

“What? No, why? Who is it?” Like most people, I didn’t appreciate getting woken up at 1 a.m. to answer some inane question specially since I had to do a presentation at 9 on the state of the country’s biological diversity or something like that in the morning but apparently, this, news of some Charles Lee was important and trumped my need for sleep.

“Guy is trending on twitter,” my brother said. “Everybody’s talking about him. Apparently, this Charles Lee drove his car through some flooded area but the water was just a bit too high at one point. Well, his Volkswagen Bug ended up like Jesus and floating on water. And then he needed the help of some manongs and tambays to push his car to safety. Unfortunately for him, there was this news van on that exact same street and they caught everything on tape.  So, he gets out of his car all soaked and his man nipples all hard and he’s embarrassed, and the reporter asks him, didn’t you see how high the flood was?”

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Taong Grasa

“Witch,” Ronnie del Rosario told the former President of the Philippines,— if this was indeed her now in front of him. The other guard, Soriano, who was holding her immobile so Ronnie could get a good look was quite sure this was her. But fuck, how could such a thing even be possible? Ronnie did the math in his head:2016, nine years.

She’d been missing for nine years and nobody had any clue where she might’ve gone. It was all everybody could think of. She was among those who were under investigation for various corruption scandals and everybody was only waiting for a guilty verdict. And then, she was just gone.

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hungersolutions.com

call center

photo source: gettyimages
 

“I really am sorry for this, sir, but we’re undergoing our scheduled system upgrade in order to better serve you, our customers. Unfortunately, that means that we’re unable to track some of our couriers at the moment. If you could just wait a couple of hours, we’re–”

“It’s been ten hours, the bird should’ve gotten here already! I’m just so fucking hungry now I can barely think straight and you’re asking me to wait? Hey, do you have my address correct or is there a mixup?”

“The Jefferson Hotel section #3945 unit K, 17th floor?”

“Yeah, yeah. You have my damn address, why isn’t it here yet? Are you having some system-wide error?”

“I apologize, Mr. Roberts, but I don’t have information regarding what percentage of our birds aren’t showing up through the GPS, but rest assured that they are still on their way. We just can’t monitor where they are at the moment.”

“Listen. Listen, you’re not listening to me. Are you listening? I haven’t eaten yet and that doesn’t make me a happpy camper, okay? I’m sorry usually I know you guys are tops when it comes to service. It’s been a great relationship ‘cept for a couple of times when the bird delivered cracked tubes with half the glucose missing.”

“Cracked, sir?”

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