Fiction by | June 9, 2019

Raindrops poured and the fragrance of wet grass and mud wafted in the dense air. A thin layer of fog blanketed the cluster of trees and chilled the nights of the distant homes within sitio Bago-Nalum. It was two weeks after the incident that happened at the highway of crossing Bago. Nights were filled with the sound of thunder and flashes of lighting since then. Rumor went around that the family failed to light a candle for the soul of Tata who died in the accident. His body was found with an envelope that bore the mark of the Eagle. Rain had washed away his blood and the morning sun has long dried the concrete. In sitio Bago-Nalum, where the man used to live, a rumor has been making rounds. Amidst the silent persisting downpour, whispers could be heard. Santelmo. The forgotten soul shall haunt.

Berto Dimahunong heard the whispers at Bugak as he was filling four containers of water. In Bugak people fell in line, carrying with them containers to be filled with fresh water, or gathered to do the laundry. Water flowed from the ground, through the years-old pipe, and into the container. The first one in line was Berto. He was a fireman and a dutiful son. He intended to do his chore as quickly as he could, but he could not help overhearing what everyone was talking about. Amidst the patting of fabric and the splashes of feet entering the shallow pool, people were in careless exchanges.
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