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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

entry arrow12:44 PM | A Halloween Story

Years ago, I had a strange visitation. I had decided to move back to my old apartment in Tubod, where I still live, because campus housing was not for me and my huge library needed proper shelving. It must have been October, during a semestral break, and I had spent the day directing the move from Acacia Cottage to this bachelor's pad hidden away in a corner of a compound with its own entrance.

I loved the dilapidated look of the pad from the outside -- a swirl of vines, an unfinished fence of concrete blocks, a "front gate" of grills, a pile of old lumber in the adjacent backyard -- because it felt like a good illustration for the truism to never judge a book by its cover. Inside the pad were walls of books and paintings and what-not. It's a small pad, a long rectangular box really, with a kitchenette.

That moving day, everything was still in boxes, and my bed had just been installed in, its mattress still naked. I was so exhausted I decided to take a nap, naked. The minute my head fell on the pillows, I was gone. I'm not sure how long I slept. Two hours? Three? But it was almost dark when I woke up -- and I had awakened because even in my deep sleep, I was aware that someone was watching me.

I came to groggily, and towering over me was a woman in dark rags, and she was looking down at me with glaring eyes. For some reason, I didn't panic. Still lying down completely vulnerable in my nakedness, I asked her in genuine confusion, "What are you doing here?" She didn't say anything, just glared at me, and then she gave me a terrible smile. That felt like eternity. After a while, she walked, or glided, slowly to where the door was. I had managed to scramble up from bed. Again, I asked her: "What are you doing here?" She slowly turned to face me; this time her face was a complete blank, completely expressionless, completely unnerving. I scrambled to dress up. But by then she had disappeared. I raced outside, to an evening that was devoid of traffic and people, and looked up and down the street, but she was gone.

Sometimes, I still forget to lock my front gate.

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