fiction | nonfiction

You left us way too soon, you son of a bitch

It rains here every afternoon. Noontime, it’s hot. Feels like the whole world is in an oven, and we are bread and the bread is going to be all crust, no soft bits, because it’s too hot. There was a dead dog on the side of the street near our house. It was all bloated and it would have been comical if it weren’t so disgusting and sad. The body was on its side and all four legs of the poor canine were spread out, looked like a tipped-over figurine of a cow. Under the suffocating heat, that body must really be rank and rotting and just filled with juices and worms and maggots right now. In other words, it’s really hot.

Anyway, our dog died, one of our dogs, we have two dogs, he died two weeks ago. We only have fifty percent of two dogs now. I have been wanting to write some eulogy or something for our dead dog. He was a good dog, one of the best we ever had I think. He had a great personality, very friendly and he went into all sorts of shenanigans and adventures. He would all of a sudden just start running from point A to point B for no real reason. I would then goad him, encourage the little bastard to do it faster and faster, which he would do. Like he understands or something. Run, run, run, faster, I would yell, And he would run his little legs and lungs out of energy and breath. When he’s done with all the running, he would bound upon my person and put his front paws on my lap. I would ask him what it is he wants, and he would bark back, and I would not understand because he is not talking or anything, just barking, so I would ask again. And he would bark again, the conversation is convoluted, it is going nowhere, so in the end I would just give him something to eat.

Fighter, for it was his name, loved to eat. He ate bread, rice, fried fish, fried chicken, pork, anything really, He loved to sleep. He would sleep on his side, or on his back with his legs all curled. He sleeps in places where foot traffic in the house is high though and this has led to several incidents where he gets accidentally kicked and he would yelp and fight and he would recognize you and be all friendly again. You would not want to get on his bad side, but luckily that aspect of his doggie personality seldom manifests itself. Fighter is friendly to other dogs not just towards humans. He likes sniffing the butts of other dogs, bigger dogs than he, for Fighter was a small doggie. He was well-muscled though, and he had a dignified working-class air about him. He works for his living. He is a guard dog.

At night, he would mostly lie down on the steps of the porch or veranda. If he hears anything weird, he would investigate and start barking. Usually this happens at the early hours of the morning, say one or two, when it’s really dark and cold outside. I would be jolted back into consciousness and curse the heavens and earth and hell, for this hellish noisy creature that has disrupted me from my slumber. But the barking subsides, I fall back to non-consciousness, and during the morning, I would open the door and there he would be all happy and tail a-wagging and he would bound upon my person, stand up, place his paws on my lap and start talking to me about all the things that happened last night.

How I Knew It Was Raining [spoken word by Cornelius Julius]

I put a bullet in my head last night. I placed it in my mouth. Thought pleasant things. Spat it out, prayed, and slept. I woke up at two in the morning. My head was throbbing, the world was spinning. I tried to get up, ended up face first on the floor after my arm slipped on the tile. On the floor, face-up, I saw the water slowly dripping from a tiny hole in the ceiling. That’s how I knew it was raining.

[music and voice by Cornelius Julius]
[words by radioactivelizard] [my reddit account. stalk me here.]

It Wasn’t A Mosquito

Horror is realizing a split-second after having just killed a mosquito between your palms that it wasn’t a mosquito. It could have been anything, but not a mosquito. Now your palms are together, sticky with insect guts and you’re too afraid to open them. You go on with your life with your palms stuck together like this. People look at you like you’re crazy, but you don’t care. Between the two fears, that of people thinking you have become unhinged, and that of finding out what it was that you actually killed, the latter weighs far greater on your mind. Your friend sits you down, and asks, ‘Please Mike, just tell us, what is the matter?’ But you just stare back, eyes on fire though ringed with dark lines because of sleep deprivation, ‘You wouldn’t understand it dude, it’s just, just leave it be, man.’ And then you bring up other matters, talk of different things. Your friend sighs, shrugs, gets up and leaves you be.

You have become a hermit, you live deep in the woods. You have learned to live using only your feet for your daily tasks. Meanwhile, your hands and arms have atrophied. They have become stick-thin, and the veins have bulged out so that they look like the exposed roots of large trees. Your nails have become so long. You have long cast off normal life in society, now preferring the company of small rodents and fowls. But it does not matter. You are content in this world you have made for yourself. At night you sleep peacefully.

Decades pass and one day, mountaineers find you petrified corpse seated in the lotus position, palms clasped together in the hollow of this tree. They think you are some sort of holy person who died meditating, like those Jains in India. Your grave becomes a shrine visited by New Age folks and some Tibetan Buddhism practitioners. One comments that your hands actually are in the position known as Añjali Mudrā, and is in the exact location above the heart chakra. Those visiting agree with this, and because your body is still unidentified, they just call you the Anjali Mudra Saint. One day a family visits your grave. The mother places the small child on the ground and gives her a garland made of tiny delicate orange flowers. The mother, with the child, walks up in front of you. The mother tells your corpse that she called on your visage while her child, this very child in front of you, was gravely ill. Through your interdiction, the woman continues, that child has slowly recovered and is now happy and strong. The child looks up at her mother. The mother looks at the child and nods. The child walks up to your corpse, and around your neck, gently places the garland.

Oven of God’s Creation

It is cold, and when it’s cold, the world makes sense. When it’s hot, like tropical weather/climate, the world is still being made, like it’s still in the oven of God’s creation. That’s why things move quickly in tropical settings. That’s why life here is not as important. I guess people in cold places are more ‘preserved’ metaphysically speaking. They have their individuality. While in the death-rich tropics, the species, the race is far more significant than the individual. Here in the tropics, there’s death, there’s individual death to be exact. It is expected of course for an individual to die, but in the tropics it is also expected that the person die young. And then there are the racial/species death, but that’s less common than the first kind of death. Dying is not such a big deal here. Life is not such a big deal here. When you die, there are others that will take your place in the scheme of things. You are a cog in the machine. There is nothing unique and special about you. Up there, and down there, in the polar regions of the world, that must not be the case. I haven’t been there, can’t be certain though. But I’ve lived all my life here in the tropics. It rains, it is hot, it is humid, and there are lots of insects – mosquitoes, flies, cicadas, fireflies, cockroaches, wasps, winged ants, non-winged ants, termites. There are centipedes, millipedes, snails, earthworms, slugs. At night before you sleep you make sure you set up your netting, otherwise all sorts of insects could enter your mouth or your nose or some other parts of you. The mosquitoes are especially pervasive. These are huge mosquitoes, about two inches from front to end. You can hear them buzzing, they fly around in a dense cloud during the late afternoons, during the twilight hours. They are merciless, they bite everything. You can’t sleep without the netting. Preferably, the netting should be made of silk and is very fine.

There are places here that still do not have electricity. Or rather the electricity is used to power the machines – the processing machines, the separating machines, the cutting and dicing machines of the factories. The centers of energy are the factories. Along the road leading to the factory are shanties. This is where the workers live. They make do with candles and kerosene lamps. The kerosene lamps smell when they burn. The town is infused with this smell. It sticks in the lungs and the throats and the mouths and lips of the sleeping children. Beyond, behind the houses are the tree line, and beyond that the forest. Lush growth, thick canopy of leaves and vines and parasitic plants. The forest is not a silent place, daytime or nighttime. You hear the cawing and hooting of birds, the high-pitched chirping of crickets, the buzzing of cicadas and other insects. It is always wet. The damp soil is covered in a deep layer of decaying leaves and other dead or dying organic matter. The air smells faintly metallic, like that of a freshly-honed iron machete.


We celebrate the feast day of Saint Isidore with a beauty pageant of bikini-clad teenage girls. People of all ages in the town are all gathered in the multi-purpose hall to witness this event. Local politicians are present to make their speeches and they are thanking this person and that person, and all the people gathered here, and of course the young people whose bodies we are about to ogle here in this feast day of Saint Isidore, May 15th. It is not an easy thing to do, the Vice-Mayor said. It takes a lot of guts and courage, so we should not heckle and say negative things about our brave and courageous and beautiful candidates. The Vice-Mayor is the daughter of the current Mayor of the Municipality of which this town is a constituent. The Vice-Mayor’s hair is a tribute to the 80s. It looked like it was sculpted first and then lowered with a crane on to the top of her head. She is about middle-aged and she is wearing this black lacy top, and jeans.

The night is warm this summer, people are gathered tightly-packed in front of the tiny stage in the open-air multi-purpose hall. It is mostly young people here. There are stalls selling popcorn at five pesos per small pack, fruit shakes at either five or ten pesos per plastic cup, size-dependent. I bought two five-peso cup mango shakes. I gave one to my brother. He is glowing red, practically incandescent in the badly-lit multi-purpose hall. We have just been to an uncle’s house where we ate a meal of pig’s blood, rice, and pork vegetable soup. Also there was beer. I counted one and a half cups my brother imbibed. Me, I lost count, but it was probably like seventy-five percent of a liter of beer. I have remarkably high alcohol tolerance. It takes a lot for me to be drunk, and I don’t stay drunk easily. While taking in the atmosphere of the festivities, a though appeared in my head, a question: Why is it that the drunker I am, the more I have the urge to write something?

Which was an unfortunate thing. I did not bring any writing implement, and besides there was no place where I could write. Overall it was typical drunk logic, which is to say it was illogical. But it felt good to think thus. Thank God for alcohol, one of the cool things in this world. Drink moderately.

Then up on the stage, while I was thinking thus, this girl’s turn to do her bikini walk. A cousin sidled up to me, and said, she’s a cousin of ours. Oh, I said, and strained my eyes. I seemed to have developed a bad case of drunk blindness, which is when you are so drunk your vision gets all fuzzy. Blind drunk, I thought, so this is where that phrase came from. I tried but failed to focus my sight. I ain’t no prude, but this whole event is much too icky for my taste. Maybe it’s the presence of older people. I mean, like, if it’s a youthful affair, no oldies allowed, then maybe it would be interesting. As it is, you have these old folks, semi-drunk to blind drunk, ogling as Rizal wrote ‘the hope of our fatherland,’ which is a very Eurocentric thing to say. Russia always though of their country as ‘Mother Russia,’ while Germany’s mindset I guess is more patriarchal. Anyway, I bought more popcorn, gave one to my brother who is wearing this black shirt with the words up front printed silver saying ‘Fly Me to the Moon.’ It’s a reference to the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. Fly Me to the Moon was originally sung by Frank Sinatra. Fly Me to the Moon was covered by the voice actress for the character of Rei Ayanami and it is the ending song of each of the episodes of the anime. I’d rather be back in my room watching my anime and shows and whatever, than be here.

On the way back to the house, riding at the back of another cousin’s motorcycle, I gazed at the darkness of the sky. The air was cold as it whooshed past us. Three of us in the motorcycle – cousin driving, my brother, then me. This is a primarily agricultural place, and there’s a vast space for all the projects of this agricultural college, which is the nearest center of higher learning in this municipality. Starry night, you can see much because the politicians and people here seem not to believe in street lamps. The cold wind contributed to my being back in a more sober state, and I thought about our dogs, and our rooster, which we haven’t fed yet, et cetera.

I dreamt of this girl

I dreamt of this girl I was seeing back in college. She was with this gay friend and they boarded up this jeepney I was in. But the jeepney only had one seat left. So the gay friend sat at the spot in front of me, while the girl sat on my knees. She has lost weight, and generally just improved her looks. I had my arms around her waist, then she started talking to me about how she felt when we stopped seeing each other all those years ago. Hearing her talk, my heart felt unburdened. Her voice, all the feelings, it was a cathartic/therapeutic experience. This was something we should have done before, I thought. Just laid it all out in the open, all those feelings, instead of just breaking contact because most things were awkward between us. I tried to tell her something but I could not remember what it was.

A Year-Long Period of Mourning for the Murder of Presidential Sister Kris Aquino

– – – – –

A Year-Long Period of Mourning for the Murder of Presidential Sister Kris Aquino

– – – – –

No one expected that Kris Aquino would be murdered in front of a live studio audience by a rampaging deranged ninja.

This ninja, whose name has been lost to the police, and thus to history, just done appeared out of the blue and ran tanto-first onto Kris Aquino.

Kris Aquino was in the middle of saying something totally stupid when this happened. Her child, the annoying dark one, was being all annoying and dark. He was I think busy mixing some ingredients in a bowl.

The attack happened in the morning, when the theme or topic or current area of interest of Kris Aquino was baking. I think they were making some sort of cake. There they were, the small dark child, his doting, high-pitched whiny-voiced mother, all the cameramen and studio assistants, the co-hosts, the live studio audience, and of course, the viewing public with their eyes on their television screens all across the nation. There was also the ninja, wearing dark, close-fitting overalls, tiny horizontal slit on his headgear to see with. Though he actually did not need that slit, for even if his eyes were closed, he would have killed Kris Aquino just as easily.

The ninja, after the attack, using his ninja-powers, then disappeared in a puff of smoke.

The Scene of the Crime Operatives afterwards determined that the ‘puff of smoke’ which the ninja vanished into turns out to be nothing than common ordinary flour.

The sentiment among the public afterwards was that the ninja was a Godless and evil and overall bad person. That he was sent by the political enemies of the Aquino family. That he was an agent of the communists. That the communists imported him from China, with Chinese training from Chinese Buddhist monks with all their martial arts and kung-fu.

But I ask this: if he were truly an evil immoral person, then why did he not kill the child as well? If he were really really bad, he would have slashed that annoying child’s throat as well, saving us all from further exposure to it. The fact that he did not do so is evidence of a sort of sentimentalism that is ruining the image of ninjas around the world as these stoic motherfuckers who are professional and utilitarian and just focused on the mission at hand. Clearly this ninja was a soft ninja. A weak ninja.

The President, behind his Presidential standing desk from where he has read countless speeches written for him by hired professional speech-writers and lawyers, said, and I paraphrase, that his sister touched the hearts of everyone who met and heard and saw her. She was a kind-hearted individual who strove to improve the lives of the Filipino people. Both their parents, his and Kris’, (they have the same parents) brought them up to serve the public in whatever way they can. Kris did this through her movies and shows. Her shows and movies have delighted the hearts and guided the lives of countless numbers of Filipinos here and abroad. Kris was a good sister, a loving mother, etc. etc …

You get the idea.

The mangled body of Kris Aquino could not be put together decent enough for public viewing by the most masterful of embalmers and morticians of this country, and of those from all countries possibly even. The injuries caused by the flurry of attacks that followed the initial assault by the ninja was so severe that in the interest of public morality and decency, I decline to describe them in this short account. The wake, needless to say, was a closed-coffin affair.

Tears, tears, tears. All the celebrities gave all their words of sadness and condolences to the family, the clan of Kris Aquino. Friends, relatives, and former lovers gave their words too after the President had his say on the matter of his sister’s death.

How in the world can we continue to live now that the light which is Kris Aquino, this light that has been guiding our domestic lives, Presidential Sister to all the Filipinos all over the world, has been snuffed out? As Nietzsche wrote, how can we continue with our lives after witnessing this ‘divine putrefaction’? But as DH Lawrence has written, we’ve got to plod onwards ‘no matter how many skies have fallen.’ In lieu of this, the President has submitted a bill, which was then quickly approved into law by all the politicians of the land, mandating a year-long period of mourning for the murder of the Presidential Sister Kris Aquino.

– – – – –

Wednesday, April 15 2015
Rey Claveria

33 Of The Most Hilariously Terrible First Sentences In Literature History

kara angtawo:


Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

Every year, the announcement of Bulwer-Lytton Prize is a gift from bad writing heaven. Inspired by novelist and playwright Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s famous “it was a dark and stormy night” opener, the contest asks writers to submit an opening sentence for the “worst of all possible novels” — although Fifty Shades of Grey has already been written. The results are perennially astounding, with entries in every genre from Children’s Literature to Spy Novels, and one sentence awarded the dubious honor of the worst sentence of the year. It’s like the Razzies, but better.

Here are some of the best entries from the past decade of the contest, each of them just as wonderfully atrocious as the next. Think you can write a sentence that’s worse? Leave your (unofficial) submission in the comments.

1. Sue Fondrie

Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into…

View original 1,905 more words

A Dog Named Snacks

I call him Snacks because a few times a day, besides his meal, I toss out some morsel for him, some snacks. I like naming animals after food. I think it’s funny. The trend started I think because of this sketch comedy show called ‘Super Laff-in’ I watched when I was younger. I remember there was a cartoon segment there, and there was this cartoon character, and he had a dog. The cartoon dog’s name was Adobo. He got into all sorts of shenanigans at the expense of his master.

Back when I lived in a dorm in college, my dorm mates and I named several of the cats that wandered inside the compound. There was this big white cat we called Siopao. He was a sweet cat who followed anyone and meowed and asked for food. Then there was Siomai, a tiny white kitten. Siomai died young because he was abandoned by his mama. We tried to feed him and take care of him, but he was too young and already too weak when we found him. RIP Siomai.

Snacks is right now lying down on the driveway. It is sweltering hot. The kind of hot that melts asphalt. I whistle and call for Snacks to come under the shade and drink some water, but he does not reply. He is not dead since from inside the house I can see his chest rising up and down. He just seems to like the heat.

Snacks is old and a bit infirm. He is a big white dog, with large orange spots on his body. The top of his head and his ears are orange-furred, so he looks like he’s wearing a helmet. Other dogs respect Snacks. They let him eat the food I leave outside for them first. They leave him alone when he growls at them. I suspect he used to be the alpha around this street. That must have been a few years ago. Now, Snacks spends most of his time lying on the front lawn of our house.

Destroying something beautiful

I was about to go to sleep last night when I noticed a tiny flickering green light flying all about inside my mosquito net.

It continued wandering about my sleeping mat, even flew onto the back of my hand.

It was mesmerizing seeing it up close.

I thought after some time of observation, now you must be free little firefly.

I opened a side of my mosquito net a bit and sort of shooed the little firefly outside.

The firefly had a hard time finding the outside world.

I got a bit impatient and also concerned that mosquitoes would come in, so I sort of brushed the little firefly out.

A line of luminescent green innards smudged on my sleeping mat.

Felt awful for a while for I have accidentally destroyed something beautiful.

Then I closed the side of the net, and went to sleep.


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