Lolo – Grandfather
Apo – Grandson
Daniel knew about the folk lore. His lolo was one of the oldest and richest men in their barrio. He heard that people like lolo Puling will never rest until he passed his sacred stone to one of his descendants.
It was him.
He entered the room smelling jasmin and incense. His lolo‘s face was peaceful. “My dear apo, give me your hand,” the ancient man said. Daniel reached out and held his lolo’s still strong hands. He remembered being carried by the old man when he was younger.
With a deep breath, “I leave you everything,” he said.
Their eyes locked as if speaking with one another for an eternity. Then the glow in the older man’s eyes disappeared, then he slept.
Daniel withdrew his hand from lolo Puling and noticed a blue jewel as if engraved in his palm.
“One more, please?” Pedro cried out a prayer. He counted the small change he got from yesterday’s earnings. He still needed to meet his daily quota of cotton candy sales before he could start making any profits for the day.
The gloom oh his face brightened and he couldn’t help a smile broaden when two beautifully dressed girls approached him.
“Manong, can we get two cotton candies please?” the girl in a blue dress asked.
“Yes, of course, iha,” he replied.
“Teresa! Come inside the van, we’re about to leave,” a man’s voice shouted.
“Ah, sorry Manong. Time to go,” she apologized. “I’ll come back next week.”
The smile on Pedro’s face melted as he nodded hopefully at the girl.
Then, a lady carrying a baby from his side asked for half a dozen pieces.
“Thank you,” Pedro graciously whispered.
Some words to define
Manong – a respectful way of addressing an older man like Mr. or Sir.
Iha – local term to call a little girl
Photo: Zorlone Edited by Frank Cunha III Original story by Zorlone
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It was daybreak when they realized they’ve been walking for five hours since last night. The teenagers were already joined by a crowd of people getting ready to work.
Rose still had some confetti tangled in her blond hair, while Julia’s face had lightly smudged make up, and Marcus’ shirt was untuck from his pants underneath a leather jacket.
“This is the happiest day of my life,” Marcus said while viewing the pictures of last night’s celebration.
Rose finally held Marcus’ hand. She stopped then kissed him lightly on the lips. “I thought I wanted to remember it this way.”
Marcus blushed. At sixteen, this was his first kiss.
Julia punched her brother in the shoulder, “Spoke too soon?” then she tugged him to the sidewalk.
All three walked at the one way street of Madison Avenue corner East 51Street.
“Black magic I tell you!” An old man shouted in the middle of the plaza. He was frantic as he pronounced the words.
“Shhh,” a vendor hushed the troubled man. “Be quiet if you know what’s best for you.”
The fascinated onlookers gazed at the wild-eyed figure.
“You who cursed me with black magic, come out and face me if you want this back,” he shouted angrily as he waved a golden pendant within his hand. The crowd was still confused of what they saw.
The old man suddenly fell lifeless to the ground. A deafening silence shrouded the witnesses.
A teenager spoke, “Black…” but he was cut off by the old vendor. “Shhh! Be quiet if you know what’s best for you. She unmindfully picked up the cursed pendant from the old man’s hand and walked to the forest.
*Special thanks to Corinne for the online help
“He says I talk too much.”
“He’s the strong, silent type. Besides, actions speak louder than words. What’d you say?”
“I said, ‘I love you.’”
“That’s only three words. Not so bad.”
“But there’s more…”
“Always is, isn’t there?”
“Keep it simple. Stick to the facts. Don’t overanalyze!”
Her friend had a point. Not much to analyze, really.
“Can we talk?”
“I love you.”
“You said that—“
“I know, but…”
“Shhh.” He leaned in for a kiss. A kiss that spoke volumes, just as her friend had said. It was a long kiss. A loud kiss. It left her breathless. “You were saying?”
For a moment, she could not remember. For a moment, words failed her. She longed to be consumed by his kiss, to drown in his eyes. Then she remembered:
“He has such warm hands,” Page spoke loudly in the room.
She used to be bed ridden after suffering a concussion and was placed in the ICU. Everyday, doctor Robert made his rounds and examined her.
“You know Anne,” she spoke to the sleeping young lady next to her bed. “His hands felt so warm every time he touches me, I don’t know how to explain it,” she paused. “He healed me.”
Just then, the doctor entered the room. He nodded at Page, then approached Anne. The doctor placed his left hand on her right wrist while his right hand held her palm. He smiled weakly after his examination, then he stepped out of the room.
“P-Page,” Anne said. “He has warm hands!”
Page gave a flabbergasted look at Anne, whom, a few minutes ago, was in a deep coma.
Jacob’s contagious laughter spilled throughout the room like daylight creeping through curtains in a sunny afternoon. He told his latest adventure to his friends. It was during Saturdays when he could relax and get together with the other workers at the factory.
“I envy you Jacob,” one of the men told him. “You are lucky! Nailing that pretty brunette, Agnes!”
Jacob gave another boisterous laugh then winked in agreement to the man.
When he reached home, his patient wife was fanning their daughter relentlessly because their electricity was cut off. He merely smiled then sat opposite the sofa and immediately fell asleep.
His wife walked towards him then wiped the sweat off his broad forehead.
“Thank you Agnes,” he slurred.
Anne looked blankly at her husband’s sleeping face. Not knowing what she felt, but immediately tasted salt from her lips.
Alfred is an admired businessman known for his rags to riches story. After all, it took ten years of hard work to put him where he is.
Every week, he patiently waited in line to transact his business at the bank, but this odd Tuesday, an indigent went in and shook his hand.
“A fine day to you, Mr. Alfred,” the beggar said. “Could you please spare this hungry man a dollar, I have already missed six meals.”
Honored and flabbergasted, Mr. Alfred readily took a dollar from his pocket and gave it to the stout man.
“On second thought, could you please spare another dollar?” he said politely.
He felt his hand a little heavier when he lifted the dollar to the demanding pauper.
“Thanks,” the man said, then hurriedly left.
On his way out, the beggar entered again.
Ron took two steps, hesitated, then returned to his desk. He stood up again, only to sit down quickly.
He’d been trying to convince himself for the past two hours, should or shouldn’t he ask Marie out?
Ron’s separation from his wife two years ago took a big blow on him. He vowed never to enter another relationship after his failed marriage, but that was before he met Marie.
She was his new co-worker at the office. Her cubicle was several rows opposite Ron’s. Marie broke up with her boyfriend a couple of weeks ago.
“Perfect timing,” Ron told himself.
Ron finally mustered enough courage and approached her, “Marie, can I invite you for dinner tonight?” he said.
Marie flashed a sweet smile at Ron and said, “Sorry… I’m not yet ready,” she stood up and walked away leaving Ron staring frozen at her empty seat.
The forest was dark when the cave troll crept behind him. It raised a club as huge as the trunks of the surrounding trees and aimed at him. Joriah’s eyes have not yet adjusted when his instincts told him to duck. He heard a swooshing sound made by the club as it struck the tips of his hair.
He automatically unsheathed his sabre. The troll was slow, but its swings were deadly. He whispered an enchantment and his sword lit. The troll was mesmerized by its radiance – it froze. Joriah charged at the giant and hurled his sabre into its heart. It was too late when the troll snapped out of its trance. It fell.
“Well done Joriah,” said the voice. Killing the cave troll was your last task. You may now claim the jewel of the Eastern Sky.