“Did you know the folks here used to believe that each year, this river steals a life?” narinig niyang tanong ng misteryosong lalaki na nasa paanan ng tulay.
“How did you know that? Taga-rito ka ba?” Nagdesisyon si Faye na lapitan at salubungin ang tingin nito, at tumigil yata ang kaniyang paghinga. Mukhang god ang kaniyang kaharap!
“I’m fairly new to this place, pero matagal-tagal na rin mula nakalipat ako,” anito.
“So totoo ang sabi ng mga matatanda. May pakpak ang balita, kaya alam mo ang tungkol sa myth ng ilog na ito.”
Unti-unting umangat ang gilid ng mga labi nito bilang ngiti. Sinabayan niya iyon. Dumantay ang palad nito sa kanyang kamay at doon siya natauhan. His hand, his palm was ice cold.
God! Parang kamay ng isang bangkay!
there’s an excerpt here, if you’d like to look at it…
the places mentioned in the story are real places in Ilocos Sur. i can’t say i grew up there because i wasn’t born there. but my father did. and i know the area fairly well. it’s near our relatives’ homes, including that of my great grandmother.
i didn’t want to write about vampires. nor werewolves (but with my infatuation with Alcide Herveaux, i might). so basahin niyo na lang kung anong nilalang si Aurelius. ?
the original cover peg i found was of this model, Brad Kroenig. kaya lang, i chanced on an airing of Van Helsing on HBO, and saw Velkan, and when i researched for pics of Will Kemp, i saw this close up shot that said to me, ‘i’m Aurelius.’ so there.
depending on your threshold for mystery-thriller stories, be prepared to be afraid. bwahahahaha!!!
i thank my aunt, my Dad’s cuz, Cherry Gonzales-Toquero, who helped me think of the names of Aurelius’ clan by supplying me with the Ilocano terms that I needed. and i thank my other aunt, Dad’s sis and my ninang(godmother), Amelia Gonzales, from whom i heard these strange stories that prevailed in the province long before i was born. hehehe.