Tuesday, November 19

The Morning After Halloween

photo by ELIJAH JOHN M. ENCINAS/ THE FLAME

Trigger Warning: death, rape

The crisp air of dawn cleared a young lady’s lungs as she walked home through a path in the woods. She came from a costume party from the night before. A pristine floor-length dress with long billowing sleeves was her interpretation of a white lady. The ghoulish make-up she applied yesterday had rubbed off from an evening of eating and dancing.

As she walked, she heard a rapid crunching of leaves. Her heart began to pound. Someone⁠ — or something ⁠— was in the trees. She sped up, frantically looking around the path. Perhaps she was just being paranoid. The ghosts and monsters of last night are simply haunting her until now.

But there are worse monsters than tikbalangs or manananggals; they were monsters who have grown more audacious, no longer fearing the exposure of daylight. They did not care how covered up one was or how loud they shouted “no”.

As the woman walked slower in thinking she was safe, a pair of strong arms grabbed her. A hand covered her mouth to muffle her screams. Rendered immobile, she was dragged to the side of the path. The monster laid her behind a tree and pinned her down. A wicked smile spread across his face as he lifted her dress.

The morning after Halloween, a female body covered in leaves was found in the woods. Her white dress was splattered with blood and dirt — it was as desecrated as the woman who wore it. F ANA MURIEL R. VERON

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