The Case of Maria

Prologue

 

child in a room-case of maria

The banging thump escalated rhythmically, as if the devil covets release of one’s rage. I, in my dying innocence, effortly pasted half of my face against the wall. The vibration didn’t bother the ears, rather debts more of inquisition towards the unsightly event right next to this room. I was growing more concerned of Aunt Rina. She was howling like a wolf, yet disturbingly seem aroused by her own sound. I slowly crept in my pajama, hoping no sound interrupts their mysterious preoccupation. Tiptoeing through the cold tiles, I finally reached the door next room. The holstering duo of grunt and scream stopped. Within seconds, the door swung open almost catapulting my feet up to the roof. A white hairy man looked down, smirking at a small figure before him.

“Like what you saw?” he said.

I remained stiff. There was an eerie sense of awkward perplexity and disgust over an unfamiliar anatomy. He walked past, the shanty light coming from the bathroom through the end of the hall, showing off his naked behind. Inside the room, Aunt Rina sat at the edge of the bed, breast sagging as she breathe hastily her constant cigarette companion. Throwing a look of penance, her unspoken words linger. You will live as I live.

I scampered back to bed and crouched beneath the sheets. The coldness did not wither.

At 10, I was made aware that people act crazy because they are alone. Although they’ve always been that way since birth, they still fear the thought of it. I became satisfied with the punity of being alone with everyone else. Fourteen days before Christmas in 2014, an astronomical news created frantic all over the world. The sun abandoned earth causing total darkness for 6 days, the first after a massive solar storm in 250 years. The next day, Aunt Rina and I joined the hectic crowd in Razon Supermarket which is 10 minutes jeepney ride from the house. There was little space to squeeze in among shoppers who feared they might not see the light of day again. I fought to find an escape while the old ones savagely brawled at every item they could grab. An old woman in rugged clothes stood outside watching through the walled glass. Unlike the others, her eyes showed no fear. Then she found me. I was obliged to connect, slowly being drawn towards her.

“Be strong little one. Your time is near.” she whispered. For a child mind, such enigmatic blabbering wasn’t much to contemplate on. My retribution lies on a roof to live and food to eat. “Do you have food or water to spare?”she asked.

“I don’t really have money.” My head turned back to the swarming pickers negligent of who does what. I thought I could maybe sneak back for a loaf. “but maybe I could try to–” Before the good intention could be said, she was gone. Gone like I was the only one who knew she existed.

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