Friday, March 24, 2017

A Trip To A Columbarium (A Short Horror Story)



     
       Death and sex will always be taboo as a topic of conversation for any family.
 
       But that morning, Roddy heard his siblings talking about the inevitability of death. He didn’t join in the conversation, it’s not that he was scared of death. He almost confronted it a few years ago when he tried to stab his own heart a few days after his girlfriend eloped with a married man. The two had been having an affair under his nose. Roddy continued eavesdropping and learned that his siblings had bought a six-urn niche in a columbarium. They were planning to transfer their parents’ remains there and the rest would be be allotted to them—there would be no wake, no funeral service like they preferred, it would be an immediate cremation and a journey straight to the niche.

      That day, they went to the columbarium to make a payment and to see the niche—Roddy quietly sat at the backseat of their car.

      It was around four in the afternoon when they reached the columbarium and as Roddy took a peek at the niche, he asked his older brother on whether he could choose an urn for him just in case.
 
      His brother didn’t answer immediately, he saw him sigh before turning to their younger sister . “I think I heard Roddy’s voice,” he said with a somber tone. “He’s probably with us today, taking a peek at the niche.” His older brother then glanced at the empty niche. “What is it they say about people who just died? They will be only aware that they’re already dead nine days after they died.”

      Their younger sister smiled, her eyes turning sad. “He probably wants to pick his own urn,” she added, her sad eyes turning misty now.

       Then they talked about how they couldn’t understand how Roddy could die die at such an early age. “He was just thirty,” said his older brother, his voice dripping with sorrow. “Oh, God, he shouldn’t have done that.”

       Their conversation was interrupted when a man carrying an urn approached them. Roddy’s brother carefully took the urn and said, “Do you think Roddy will like this urn?” He glanced at the ashes inside it before placing it inside the niche.
 
      Roddy, shaken, took a few steps backward, he turned and saw a woman, standing  a few meters away from him, looking at him. Roddy knew her,  she was a close relative who died a few years ago. She smiled and started walking towards him.

       It didn’t take Roddy nine days…

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Upsides of Insomnia



       
       Hot milk? Check.
       Beer? Check.
       Sleep naked? Check.
       Count sheep? Check.
       Avoid caffeine? Check.
       Exercise before sleeping? Check.

       And still, you can’t get enough sleep and you’re still sleepy and a little groggy during the day? So what do they say about something you can’t lick? Join `em. Or enjoy `em. Enjoy the following benefits of insomnia (yes, it has).

       1. You can do movie or TV marathon every night. Finish three seasons of Game of Thrones in one night.
       2. You can read more books. You can even memorize the dictionary in one night.
       3. You have longer working hours and you can work in utter silence (the only noise coming from your earphones blaring some progressive rock music).
       4. You have lots of time to think. Think about what? About why they don’t sell balut in the morning, for example. Many great ideas came from insomniacs., many great works were hatched late at night.How about a flavored balut? Now that's a great idea. Strawberry-flavored balut seems delicious.
       5. Enjoy the little but awesome things. Hear the crowing of the rooster, see the sunrise from your window, hear the lovemaking of the cats outside your house. Okay, the last one is annoying as hell.

       But you can do all of these things for only a very limited time. People who can’t get enough sleep all their life, well, uhm, you know, die early.  Prolonged sleep deprivation will give you illnesses (high blood pressure, heart problem, diabetes among others). You will also be prone to vertigo, sleep paralysis, forgetfulness, accidents and your work will suffer, you'll make mistakes, your behavior will be erratic and your sex drive will diminish (I don't think this concerns me, I have no use for a sex drive. Lol.)

       So forget all those that are bothering you, overthinking about things you have no control over and stressing yourself too much is one major cause of insomnia. Life will always be unfair, people will always be strange and your crush is not obliged to like you back and your FB posts won’t always have many likes and hearts.

       Just sleep.

       Sleep is life.



Sunday, March 12, 2017

Logan, No! Longan, Yes!




       Thinking of watching Logan, I took a ride to a mall after  after an appointment two nights ago. I didn’t know how many yawns I made during that journey, I probably broke a record somewhere.  I got out of the vehicle when it reached the mall, stared at the billboard announcing the showing of Logan, drooled at the chance of seeing Wolverine decimate his enemies again with his retractable bone claws, then I yawned, twice, turned my back and decided to just go home—I was sure the movie would end with me asleep in my chair.

       My sleeping difficulty worsened this past few weeks.  Somebody probably thinks a complete sleep is such a priceless commodity that I don’t deserve it. Hot milk is useless, drank gallons of it, no effect, I have a few tablets of Sleepwell, but I am yet to take them for fear of being dependent to them. I would go to bed at around midnight and I would still be tossing in my bed at three in the morning. It's not normal. Normal for me is I will go to bed at midnight and sleep at two.

       So I started walking towards the terminal where I could get a ride home, when I heard somebody say, “Logan.”

       I stopped dead in my tracks.

       “Logan,” said the voice again. Darn, did I make the mistake on turning my back on Wolverine and now, he wanted me to rectify it?

       “Logan.”

       Finally, I looked around and saw a fruit vendor selling, well, longan.

       Longan, not Logan, was what he was saying.

       The fruit vendor and I locked gazes, so I was forced to buy a kilo and finally went home, had dinner, probably ate half a kilo of longan and searched the Internet on how I can sleep early; it led me to the picture below. (See #7).



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Be Careful Whom You Offend



       
       One thing I’ve learned in this world is that there are people who are easily (and quickly) offended—and many of them, when offended may not forget. Some of them, when slighted, can be brutal and fatal. Like this news that went viral recently, a man was mauled and killed by a group of young men and women just because he accidentally bumped one of these young men. Now, what kind of animal are you when you are willing to maim and kill just because somebody’s shoulder grazed your own shoulder?

       One sarcastic political post in social media from you and you’ll get a lot of people riled enough to threaten your life. Although, most of these people are trolls who are paid to do just that, harass and intimidate those who aren’t on their side. 

       Then, there are these people who once you offend them,  slightly or in a grave manner will make it their life’s mission to see that you always suffer, never mind if you’re trying to make amends or just trying to be invisible. They will pull you down once they hear that you’re trying to get up, sabotage you when you’re trying to create something, they will always make sure you doubt your own abilities and capacities and make sure that you’re always low-spirited and distressed and will always push you to the brink of giving up. 

       So next time you walk down the street, make sure that you hit or bump no one, or when you post something in social media, make sure your post isn’t that relatable, meaning, some of your friends will think you’re being sarcastic or critical about them and will start thinking of how to make your life insufferable. Be wary of words that come out of your mouth, lest you offend somebody that has the capability to torment you.

       You're lucky if you're made of sterner stuff? What if you're not?