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
“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.
“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.
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.