Dingdong Morales woke up screaming at the tangled blankets, still fighting the creatures trying to kill him. A huge slimy monster tries to suck his brain through the empty eye hole.
Removing the mattress stain, Dingdong gave a weak growl and stumbled to his feet, peeking around the two, looking for the creeps from his nightmare. The large single room was cold and quiet, only a rod of moonlight pouring through the small window, picking up the dust floating in the air. They came again for him. In his dream – as they always do – he is caught sleeping so he is not protected.
They come in the dark. Always in the dark.
Staggering out the window, Dingdong looked up. Dawn is already rising, the horizon has a faint red light, a sign of bad weather to come. He licked the dry lips, he covered his face with the horrible taste in his dry mouth. It dried up like empty beer bottles scattered on the floor around his mattress.
Kicked the bottles aside, he pulled on a pair of dirty jeans, and boots that made the day even better. Then towards the butlers sink, he turned on the cold faucet and rinsed his mouth. Filling a battered aluminum kettle, he lit the gas camper stove and boiled the water.
As he waited for the hot water, Dingdong pulled out the hoodie he had been wearing this past week, then opened a can of sardines, opened them with a long -held spoon, wiped the juice running down his chin with the back of his hand. The kettle finally boiled and he shaved, washed, and drank his 3-in-1 coffee.
Leaving both Piers he walked across the dew-filled lawn towards the cage he dug among the trees, did his business and dumped on some ground afterwards. She feels she is safer now. The sun is shining and they rarely come into daylight.
They come every dark. Always in the dark.
Dingdong was born last year 2003, to a schizophrenic mother and an alcoholic father, not far from where he now lives. Over the years his father – there was much anger at the drunks – they were both abused, until the day the bitter old man died of a heart attack.
Dingdongs mother, who was always a fragile woman and always blamed herself for her husbands death, committed suicide. Her body was found on the moors, her face was eaten. A wild animal they said, but Dingdong knew better who killed her. It was not a wild animal that killed his mother. These are the monsters from his nightmare.
The death of his mother has left Dingdong – who himself suffers from an undiagnosed long -term paranoid personality disorder – into complete paranoia. Now the people gave a wide space to the muttering, trembling man. Except for some of the young people in the village, who thought it would be fun for him to get drunk and listen to his stories of aliens life on Linapacan Island.
At first Dingdong was able to cope well with himself, but then he started drinking. He didn have a proper education or job, but he did have the ability to find weird jobs around the area.
Dingdong prefers to help the boatman on his trips to the Mainland, Palawan. The boatman didn pay him much, but he did give Dingdong a lot of second-hand sci-fi books. Something Dingdong missed.
The arrangement suits the two of them, as the boatman doesn want to spend a lot of money and Dingdong can afford to buy his own books. He loves to lose himself in the beautiful worlds that are within the pages of the book, thinking that he is the hero who will save the world.
Always behind his rent, Dingdongs landlord finally got fed up with him and evicted him. After sleeping soundly in the woods for a few weeks, Mrs Marilyn Borres offered him to use her old hut house in exchange for helping her animals and doing odd jobs around the small farm. Occasionally it even goes to fix for him, he is always shouting about the bottles scattered in the area.
Living with the two of them is the happiest time in Dingdongs life – except for the aliens. Ever since her mother died, the strangers have been silent, only coming to scare him with his dreams. But he knew they were out there, waiting for him. That one day soon now they will go for him, just as they come for his mother.
Dingdongs head is always empty when he thinks about his mother and how the aliens killed him, taking the only thing that had any meaning in his life.
Dingdong was afraid at first that he had somehow caused his mothers death, that aliens might have followed him here from the island and then retaliated by killing his mother. It was like that in his frequent nightmares.
He knew he wanted to kill the aliens, because he saw on Linapacan Island and he was scared. So Dingdong slowly laid out his plans. How would he know where they had their nest and how he would kill them all.
No one else believes their story or accusation but Dingdong knows differently. He saw them on Linapacan Island. He knew what they could do. His plans will soon be over and he will soon be able to stand.
”Ill be proud of you Mama. See if I don want to. ”
”Its useless to sit there with your lower lip spread like that, Miss. ”
Arabella Mae Villar did her best to ignore her mothers taunts, threw her long hair over her shoulder and looked out the window.
”I still don see why I can stay home alone, ” she said, clasped.
”Because Im only sixteen. Do you expect me to leave you alone for five weeks? ”
”Why didn he pay someone to take care of his stupid animals, thats what I want to know? ”
Rotated by Mrs. Alicia Villar was driving in a large truck, feeling the slight pain in her stomach that she always does when she is forced to overtake on a narrow road with a restricted view. Finishing the maneuver, she looked in her rear-view mirror and relaxed a bit.
When she looked at her daughter, she smiled.
e really going to step on that lower lip of yours if you don stop sulking. ”
”Oh hardy ha. Its so funny, Mom. ”
”Look Arabella Mae. Your aunt didn ask to have cancer that you know. So stop being selfish. Just imagine how you would feel if you had to go to the hospital for a double mastectomy. ”
”I guess. ”
Arabella Mae prefers not to think about her aunt, or the fact that she is undergoing a horrible operation. All she knew was, she was pulled away from her home in mainland Palawan, to spend the next few weeks on some silly farm taking care of some silly animals. And just at the beginning of the school holidays!
She plans to spend time with her boyfriend, Dario Nuevo. The Winner Boys play at the Lyceum, and there are at least four movies they want to watch together. It is not only fair that she be taken to the house of his mothers sister Mrs. Marilyn Borres.
”Its not bad, Arabella. You might still enjoy it, you know. ”
”How can being a worker on some muddy farm be,
ot too bad? ” Arabella mimicked the air quotes.
Her mother chose to ignore her daughters sarcasm. ”Its not really a farm. Its just a small piece of land. ”
e all the same. Stinky animals in a stinky farm. ”
”There must be one going here somewhere, ” said her mother, ”Youll see a signpost of the place, won you? ”
”There, ” Arabella Mae called.
Her mother turned and for a moment Arabella Mae watched the fields pass by.
”Mom? ”s she said eventually.
”Uh huh? ”
”Why did Dad say I couldn be with him? ”
That was the question Alicia dreaded. Gilbert, her ex -husband, recently moved in with a younger-beautiful woman.
”Woman? Huh, almost a woman! ”Alicia thought when she first saw it.
When she called her ex to discuss Arabella Maes stay with him for a few weeks, she sobbed and cried so she finally shouted it out: ”Whats wrong with you, Gilbert? Your daughter wants to come along to be with you. Do you have a problem with that? ”
”Well, I don . No, of course I don . ”
Alicia gets a slight emphasis on I.
”Oh don say- ”
”Well its a bit awkward, ” it snapped at her.
”Yes Im sure it was Gilbert. But if you can get your act together with Mara as far as your daughter is concerned— ”
The line became quiet and she saw in the mind of her eye – Gilbert, staring at the floor with astonishment on his face – something she had always seen done when things heated up and she didn know how to deal with it. ”Oh don . Just tell her, Mara the smart, that we won stoop down at her! ”
Mara the smart, the name used by Alicia and Arabella Mae when talking about Gilberts new partner.
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