Ezine Article

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Story of a Ghost (Fictional Short Story)

                                        Photo credit: Photo by Tony Detroit on Unsplash


The Story of a Ghost (Fictional Short Story)
By: Noel N. Villarosa
6 September 2018


In the late evening hours, I was seated at the firm surface of my bed. I can’t go back to sleep; in louver, I waited until the ultimate sunlit peeped through the slats. That moment I was in so much anguish that made me starry-eyed. In a flick, my thoughts desired to see the distance place where moments of loved ones dwell. Even if it was an intermission, I welcomed it all in alliance with my deep longing for the happy occurrence. My heart was in the clamor to see them all; my eyes sparkled with pleasures for all the fine senses of deep affection. While time held its breath, gave way to reunite me with the past.

It flew me back to the time where I was seated with other small children maybe aged 6 or 7 and where a lady teacher believed she was holding a stone whisperer will always know of whatever hidden mischievous events inside her classroom. Magic, then introduced into the innocent mind. There was even a garden wherein a dwarf statue was changing position from time to time. It was a blossoming superstitious belief that resided on every child.

Then there was strong nostalgic feeling that turned back those times where I spent playing outside the house; I was playing glass marble games by putting it into small holes just by pressing it between the index finger and the thumb while flicking it forward. I was a kid proficient at hitting my opponent’s marble even 4 to 5 feet away. As time moved freely, I was brought into the scene where I was playing the game of kick called “sipa” in the Filipino language--made of a washer with colorful threads or plastic straw attached to it. I was wearing a good pair of rubber shoes tossing the sipa upwards and catching it to avoid touching the ground; I had to count the required number of times in tossing the sipa, and then hitting it as far as it could, away from the opponent to let them chase and catch it by their foot. At the gyrating movement of the surrounding, I found myself holding a hand span of teks playing cards running away from other players who will be asking a share of some of my teks playing cards. At another scene, I was trying to rescue a captured teammate from another base and trying to secure also our base from an intruder in what was called “catch and own a corner” or “agawan base” game in the Filipino dialect. I have won and lost many games but with all of these; I have found new friends until the play mats have been folded and kept in the corner when childhood moments escaped while running uncomfortably to more mature roles.

My eyes winked and suddenly brought me back to high school days, where I was under the heat of the sun practicing military marching cadence; in those proving stamina; I was able to win discipline and endurance; all the nearby barber shops were too occupied to attend those cadets that need a haircut. I was a frequent visitor to the library where researching was done since there was no internet during those periods. I spent many times in reading and writing researched information and staying late in the evening reviewing notes. Time was so generous that showed events where I was clinging at the back of jeepney to bring me to school and sometimes walked briskly from house to school when traffic was worst during those times. The moment was splendid when it showed me bringing my lunch to the school and eating at the riverbank with trees in the background. I did not go far in finding a university; at the same location as the high school was where I attended my college. There was no escape from a tumultuous life in university life, that even in a more mature life, I was not spared from bullying where an English teacher made me stand up in the class alongside with a classmate and asked somebody to tell comparison between us. It brought humiliation where I found it hard to forget. Somewhere during the last school year, I got sick and decided to stop--to give way for minor stomach operation. It was that reason that I graduated in the span of 5 years and did not join the graduation rites.

As time slipped away, I was on a night shift job working in the bank, reconciling data and went home the next morning. Then I saw myself doing most of the time a clerical job, data controlling and data encoding, until I found a permanent job in the government which I served with sincerity and later got married and settled down. The most treasured part was seeing traveling with my wife and son together with other family members. I treasured the moments playing with my little son, discovered fun ways to talk to him even in a long distance communication. It was charming to see moments sharing a pleasurable life with my wife that can turn my life around with her loving and caring nature. Time expanded showing more details of my devoted mother for the untiring and loving care. Time traveled extending up to the most critical decision of my life--to work in foreign land embracing different customs and cultures. Strict compliance of the law had fortified and fine-tuned my personality. Every day, I resided in the virtual world, where communication had settled on the internet. The life outside the home country was like rituals: going to work, calling family, remitting money, and working again to earn a living. The sickness I tried to avoid that’s why I strived in healthy living.

Over time, back again inside the room, small and big details which in a quilt of patchwork would tell someone I have memorable memories. The years spent living in the foreign land was like being poured out from my safety dwelling that’s why big changes happened with my body: grey hairs prevailed, memory lapsed, unexplained body pain, stress, homesickness, and loneliness were altogether engendered my body to deteriorate. 

While the surrounding snoozed quietly in the evening ceasing the entertainment in how the crowd moves about where only a few won the highly coveted spot of life. I no longer own the time--the time to communicate with loved ones, no longer to play a role with the community, to wake up at dawn, no longer had to rush for work and jostled with the crowd for business appointment, no longer to worry the threat of suicide bombing in a crowded place. The sad thing was, I could not touch and feel anything around me, and I felt like a spirit got stuck in the earthly dimension and among the jinn’s world. Many thoughts flooded my mind. How could this be happening? I have still so much to do, am I now an earthbound ghost? Now, I feared more than anything else of being secluded with my loved ones; I don’t know how to accept that I was dead. I am still obliged to nurture my little child, to grow old with my wife, and see to it that they will be alright. Who will help me accept the last episode of my life? For the last time, I tried to hold my mobile phone to call my family but my hand just passed over the tangible thing. I saw the light pulling me; I needed to decide whether to pass into the light or remained stuck in the earthly dimension. I decided to remain earthbound spirit in search for someone who is sensitive to spirits and could help me understand about death.

I remained calm, cried sometimes, moved around and learned what a ghost could do. Then the rain came pouring down; someone knocked on the door, it was a child looking for shelter, tried everything to get his way inside my house until he found a way to get inside. Suddenly I met him and probably saw me passed by him. “Do you live here?” The child asked. The End. 


Submitted to Ezinearticles.com pending approval for publication.

The Author and the Orphan Boy (Fictional Short Story)

              Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/typewriter-desk-vintage-retro-old-2095754/

The Author and the Orphan Boy (Fictional Short Story)
By: Noel N. Villarosa
27 August 2018

The Beginning

Everyone hopes that someday they will be recognized because of their unique abilities, but sometimes opportunity is too elusive. Once they get to hold popularity, more times than not, they become fascinated by their humble success and reminded them of the people behind their triumph.

As a little boy, Nomer grew up emotionally and an introvert. It could be caused by incessant humiliation. Nomer can't do anything but to avoid imminent embarrassment. Nomer was very careful not to enter a conversation that would end up his being empty-headed. Nomer needed to be simple and tried not to be arrogant in any way. Nomer took refuge into writing poems and fictional stories as the humiliation piled up.

Nomer got interested in reading comic books; his interest grew into the realm of fantasy.  There was a wide range of comic book rental during those times and Nomer would save a few coins to rent his desired comic book. Slowly, Nomer gained confidence in writing his first poem and started joining online poetry contest which some of his works got placement. Nomer was moved into creating his own short story as he fondly narrated some of this to his family and close relatives. Writing had become an avocation for him to write an inspirational written piece.

The Strive

Everyone strives to receive accolades from relatives and friends. Nomer was one of those who needs little praise and approval. Only a few admired Nomer’s written works. All the poems, short stories, and articles he had written were compiled in his blog. Nomer was satisfied to see a few visitors when he monitored the flag counter of his blog.

The Attempt

Nomer had reached the point to offer his written works to a publishing company. He wrote his covering letter together with all other requirements and sent his book proposal. Nomer did not wait long for a response from the managing director of the company. Nomer received a rejection for his book proposal but he understood the company’s business core and very far from what Nomer had offered them--a fiction story. The company was publishing only a non-fiction inspirational and self-help books. Nomer never heard or received a reply again from the publishing company.

The Decision

Nomer was eager to share his written works and it popped out suddenly to his mind--what if he donates this to charity purpose. There are many orphanages in the country and many out of school youth needed reading materials to quench boredom inside the orphanage. There are some charitable institutions intended to serve the orphans with their dedicated volunteer teachers. Nomer started printing the manuscript of his book and created a design for his book cover, and Nomer's first thought upon finishing what needed to be done was “knowledge is sharing.” Nomer did not hesitate to donate his book to an orphanage. Nomer could only print one copy of his book as his budget was tight.  Nomer went to his chosen orphanage. He was happy giving the book to the orphanage administrator. The administrator was touched by Nomer’s kindness. The next day inside the library, it had displayed Nomer’s book.


The Arrival

It was mid-summer when all other orphans were outside removing weeds in the little garden when outside the entrance gate a little boy was staring and seemed was eager to join other kids. The administrator saw the little boy and approached him. The administrator took him inside and asked where he came from and where were his guardians. The little boy only bowed his head and cried. The little boy narrated what had happened to his parents and siblings. All family members have died during the heavy flash flood that stricken their place; the little boy could only remember he survived by clinging to a piece of wood that brought him to a nearby place. He became a vagrant and depended on someone else’s mercy. The administrator offered the little boy the orphanage to be his new home while the little boy did not refuse and accepted the offer.

The Curiosity

The little boy was to be known as Nimuel. Every day Nimuel would habitually visit the small library, nobody had coaxed him to read but he insisted on doing so. What caught Nimuel’s interest was the sole copy of the book donated by Nomer entitled “Collection of Thoughts,” in all it has 180 pages with three chapters: poem, short story, and an article. Nimuel read freely the book’s content, never got tired understanding the message and eventually learned it by heart. At the end of the day, Nimuel could able to recite the poems. At every moonlit, Nimuel would share the story he read to other orphans, and to the surprise of all, Nimuel could share information he read from the article section of the book. The book became Nimuel’s pillar to build his dreams. Nimuel showed the wisdom that would communicate the elders his eagerness to learn and that was the beginning of it all. Nimuel was sent to school being sponsored by the orphanage. Nimuel persistently occupied his life with straightforward knowledge, and at the deciding time, Nimuel graduated with honors. The orphanage was very proud of Nimuel that his struggle did not come in vain rather harvested good fruits. Nimuel wholeheartedly thanked the people behind the orphanage and revealed the secret behind his success aside the good upbringing of the people in the orphanage was the sole copy of the book “Collection of Thoughts,” Nimuel was keen to ask of who donated the book, the administrator unselfishly revealed that it was donated by Mr. Nomer Rovales. Nimuel dreamed of finding Mr. Nomer and needed to tell to Mr. Nomer of what the book had contributed to his success. Nimuel left the orphanage and started a new life outside what he called a real home for several years. Now Nimuel armed with skills and knowledge embarked on the corporate world where he built his huge wealth. One day while Nimuel was walking along the park, he was overwhelmed by two opposing feelings; happiness and keenness. Nimuel had humble beginnings and went on to become a wealthy man and that happiness also will help him to find Mr. Nomer Rovales.

The Meet-Up

The helical trail of everyday life was not easy for the once little boy named Nimuel and into manhood where fame and glorious life made him realize that emptiness still lingered in his heart. There was one goal that Nimuel would like to have a real impact on the lives of orphaned children and that was to give them education, by starting to build more libraries in the far-flung areas. Accruing over 10 years, Nimuel succeeded in building many libraries, it came like a montage of films put together for a good effect. Nimuel believed that education is the first step to success.

One day, Nimuel was invited to a public speaking engagement. The topic was about “Deliberate Parenting,” even though Nimuel did not have a genuine conversation since that tragedy happened to his parents, if he had to look for his parents caressing touch, it was altered by a good touch from the orphanage. It was a chance for Nimuel to meet the people he will likely be sharing success with. One of the audiences who attended that day was Nomer, seated at the far end of the domed stadium. Nimuel was confidently imparting his story across his audience and for the umpteenth time mentioned also about the book entitled “Collection of Thoughts.” Mr. Nomer, immediately knew that it was the book he donated solely to the orphanage. Immediately after the speech, Nimuel expressed his gratitude to Mr. Nomer Rovales, and right at that moment showed to his audience the book he had been keeping all the times -- the book who became his inspiration to do the right thing. Nimuel lectured also that in life there were three doors needed to be entered: One door full of pictures to choose with, the second door are roads to a trail, and the third door is a tree bearing fruits to pick. What to reap in the fruit-bearing tree comes from the roots of one’s perseverance. Nimuel had pledged that he will print more copies of Mr. Nomer’s book as he personally acknowledged the significance of the book. Mr. Nomer could not express the joy inside his heart; at long last, his written works had earned recognition. Mr. Nomer without any words walked out of the stadium without introducing himself to Nimuel. Mr. Nomer was happy that way even without showing himself to the crowd as Nimuel talked about the author.

In the years gone by, Mr. Nomer grew old along with the deterioration of his body. He confined himself in his room and used to read his draft copy of the book he donated to the orphanage, with tears in his eyes upon gazing in wonder at the cover of his book, someone knocked on his door, to his surprise it was none other than Nimuel at the doorstep holding a bound book with attractive design bearing the author’s name “Nomer Rovales.” Nimuel took Nomer’s hand and hugged him. The author’s face was in an unusual calmness when Nimuel touched his face, on closer approached; Nimuel realized that Nomer was dead. It was a sad reunion between the author and the once an orphan boy. The book had circulated all over the country and had become the best seller. Mr. Nomer’s pen and thoughts were resting now; all things have been in the desired place for God is really working to get the blessing back on all of us. Nomer was remembered as the author who made big changes with the life of an orphan boy. The End.



Submitted to Ezinearticles.com still pending approval for publication.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Someone Who Believes

                                               Photo by Marina Shatskih from Pexels

Someone Who Believes
By: Noel N. Villarosa

If someone disbelieves you, it’s his will
Your choice matters more than anyone
Follow your desire like wind over the hill
When you get there, catch a glimpse of the sun

Earned your guests in a certain level of kindness
It is a decree of sure winning your fellow’s trust
Repair false service to free them from blindness
While I serve, know no bound, only pure and just

It’s not a lost for lacking someone’s harbor
Feel you just belong to a bigger shelter
For the heart of the mass will get you farther
Things will get better in moments spent together

Life is a battle that you don’t always compete
Against the stronger or influential one
But sooner or later the one who completes
Is the one who believes he/she can!

Along the search to find my political team
None other than an old friend showed me the way
To fulfill bigger step and claim what is in my dream
To talk about my name and cast one’s vote on Election Day

A poem for my sister running for Barangay Councilor
April 16, 2018
www.poetrysoup.com
Copyright © Noel Villarosa | Year Posted 2018

Lovely at Your Age

                                                Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels

Lovely at Your Age
By: Noel N. Villarosa

The thought of years feels remarkably well
Like a hopscotch scheme, tossing, and hopping
In a numbered square where your aim will dwell
In careful steps, everybody’s watching

Blessed age is not too young or too old
Candles on your birthday cake tell a tale
In your age, love and care have all years told
Another rendezvous, young heart prevails

For a moment feel free from your duties
Let me take you for a lovely dinner
Flowers and candle-lit room show beauties
For my wife, who’s lovelier than ever

Small notes that I always stick to the wall
April twenty-three is a birthday call


Birthday poem for my wife
April 23, 2018
www.poetrysoup.com
Copyright © Noel Villarosa | Year Posted 2018

Yard Birth Announcement (Prelude)

                                                    Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

Yard Birth Announcement (Prelude)
By: Noel N. Villarosa
April 5, 2018

Eleven years, yet that news unveiling
Still resounds happiness that fills our heart
You may write down your wish, still accepting
And out in the box new hope will start

Embrace this day as another journey
Stepping across the mown grass in a yard
Scent of fulfillment, day will stay early
You will see the rainbow as wishing card

The splendor of eleven years is heaping
Of what you are now is so fast to keep
Days of moving and nights of dreaming
The childish moments in a whirlwind’s sweep

Slowly branching out from our care
Where your fate will be, will follow our prayer


April 5, 2018
Copyright © Noel Villarosa | Year Posted 2018
www.poetrysoup.com

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Out of Touch (Science Fiction Story)

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/hacker-attack-mask-internet-2883632/

Out of Touch (Science Fiction Story)
By: Noel N. Villarosa
December 7, 2017

Everyone who had witnessed his childhood days will be puzzled by his behavior. There was no one who can explain the behavior that he was furtively doing in distinctive gesture.

He can't remember when it all started, he just found himself doing it upon after someone touching any part of his body or even a simple body contact when bumping each other. He can't help but shrug off any energy that he believes will adulterate the composition of the chemical element inside his body. Hand forming a snakehead and blowing his breath on his hand and covers the touched part of the body by tapping on it three times like a vacuum sucking all the trapped energy. He strongly believed that any negative energy will change his complex whole.

I have observed the young boy and studied his behavior; otherwise, my suspicion cannot come true. With science in the background, there was the answer to all my arguments--what if this little boy has been used in a teleportation experiment.

All the while, a guardian stranger had always monitored the little boy and they were always inside a hidden place called 'networks.' His guardian stranger called the little boy 'Zacky.' I was then a paid helper to the stranger guardian and he will always instruct me to do the cleaning and be fixing their mess inside the 'networks.'

There was one occasion that I finally vouched on my notion that the stranger was doing an experiment of a quantum teleportation. There were a massive collection of computers and an enclosed metallic glass cubicle where the little boy was put on a stand. And a kind of light emission will engulf the whole body of the little boy just like scanning his whole body down to the subatomic level, seeding a curated atom. Every day the stranger would measure the level of atoms that penetrates the little boy's body. He was building a colossal energy that will annihilate the physique and cells to be transformed into qubit. All the scanned information will go directly to the computer as a back-up. The captured atom or photon will be transmitted through entanglement between the sending and receiving location. It needed the speed of light as the newly converted molecules were mere qubits of information that can be conveyed between two entangled atoms.

The stranger created a medium that would have a refractive index and had built an optical computer around the networks that would process in the speed of light. He used a laser to send communication over long distance and the encoding and decoding were processed inside special chips via fiber optics.

When all the required mass of atoms were present inside Zacky's body, the atoms annihilated Zacky's body and passed through the computer using a rectifier to make a direct flow into an electronic circuit and then passed through into another cubicle attached in the computer to teleport the boy.

The discrete energy of Zacky being proportionally elevated to the radiation will allow atoms to interweave and merge his identity at the other end of the cubicle creating a complete teleportation.

The stranger understood those processes on his own term, but the disturbing fact was that the rest of the system was bogged down by the estranged energy that previously mixed up with Zacky's body during contact with other humans. The teleportation of Zacky's body was changed into a quasiparticle version of the Internet. Zacky's curated atoms were trapped inside the computer and could no longer find a way out of it, a connection to the computer had been Zacky's only communication into the outside world. Zacky had the ability to interact with the outside world through a voice and for the time being he became a phenomenal voice for those researching information on the internet. Zacky could travel from one place to another by uploading his presence in the computer. Zacky had been living throughout logging on to the computer and being teleported from one computer to another, but never his body. Zacky became the representation and interpretation of information inside a digital world. Zacky is out of physical touch, screen touching is the key to make him come alive again and will be serving you as the intelligent personal assistant.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Noel_Nicolas_Villarosa/1158366


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9844681

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Railway Watchman and the Little Boy (Short Story)

                                                 Photo Credit: Maria Cecilia B. Villarosa

The Railway Watchman and the Little Boy (Short Story)
By: Noel N. Villarosa
November 27, 2017

During the ancient period, watchtowers were vital in overlooking the surrounding--for a watchman to see the situation and decide to send a warning or herald for a coming harvest. There are boundaries we need to put barriers to protect and prevent someone from getting hurt. Many centuries ago, there were objects and things that possessed magical power that can ward off the evil and bring luck to the owner. If the ship is the lumbering hulk of the sea, the road has its clunking train with sprightly speed. Everyone will be completely engrossed in the sound of steam whistled from its engine's metal innards.

In a bustling train terminal of old Manila, where train travels to or from the north or south ends of Luzon. Many captivating moments were registered in the mind of a young boy named Gabriel. In his youthful mind, there were many questions that need an answer, like the many different kinds of signage he saw in the crossing, but one thing he got interested in was the saltire sign also called Saint Andrews Cross. In what the signage was referring to was where his fate will take him.

Once in the train station, the conductor called that all passengers be aboard, as the train will be leaving. The lady said to the conductor, "Please wait my son Gabriel is still outside." Her husband got off to look for Gabriel.

During the occupied time of lifting their luggage, Gabriel had let go of his mother's skirt. Gabriel was persuaded to see what was happening in the run-round loop track. In there, he saw locomotive being attached to the opposite end of the train. The need to detach and reattach the locomotive motivated little Gabriel to approach the watchman inside his wee shed just near the level crossing. Gabriel politely asked the old watchman, "Sir, what is the purpose of that detaching and attaching of the locomotive?" The old watchman puffed on his tobacco before he replied to Gabriel, "That's what you called the terminal headshunt where it allows the locomotive to dissociate itself from its train. That is the intent of moving it to the opposite end and then pulling the train out of the station into another direction." Gabriel excitedly answered, "That's interesting, and may I know your name, sir?" "You can call me, Filomino or Pilo for short," as the watchman puffed again on his tobacco. Gabriel aimlessly looked at the cross signage and then asked, "Mr. Pilo, what is that cross signage for?" The watchman while pointing toward the location of the signpost said, "That is the 'saltire' or the 'Saint Andrews Cross' that is to warn road users for a coming train. I am responsible to stop passersby with vehicles or no vehicles and to clear the tracks." "I have witnessed many accidents afar from this point, as many people braved in crossing the track in a way to cut their long walk heading to the other side of the road," continued by Pilo.

It must be fairly evident now to Gabriel that he needs to dwell on the age-old warning of Stop, Look and Listen which is the most sensible thing that he can do.

Mr. Pilo gave Gabriel some tips to remember while riding a train. During his travels, Gabriel should stay track on the exact location of every signal that he gets to see and try to remember any remarkable things behind those signals. Gabriel should be aware not only on the physical condition of the train but also of the crew who is manning the train.

Mr. Pilo shared many stories to Gabriel, like accidents whose fate caused by humans themselves. Lack of awareness was one thing that caused many railways' death. Mostly careless crossing, unaware that there were two tracks to look at -- the northbound and the southbound that caused their untimely death. Mr. Pilo as an experienced watchman and a book fanatic about train survival guide had also shared few tips that might help to survive a train mishap. Mr. Pilo pointed out the importance of finding the safest seat which will prevent him from any kind of collision. It will be a safe seat in the middle section of the car during a collision and if it was a derailment--the one seated on a car at least one or two back from the center of the train will be a safe seat. But nobody will ever foresee an accident. If one had to choose which side of a seat was safer, one must grab an aisle seat which was the rear-facing aisle seat toward the back of the train. It was also self-explanatory to always pay attention to announcement from train conductor for any situation inside and outside the train. Mr. Pilo also explained the importance of using every emergency alarm to alert the train driver. If there was a need to jump off a train, one needed to jump off at the end of the last car. The last car was at least running slow and it was safe to jump off at this pace. Mr. Pilo talked about the location of all emergency windows and the proper pulling off the rubber ring colored red to lift it and also with the panel of its doors. Mr. Pilo also advised Gabriel to familiarize himself with the different emergency signs located inside the train. Mr. Pilo finally instructed Gabriel that during a helter-skelter situation, he must always be alert in analyzing the situation and must be loaded with much of unswerving determination to survive and save other lives if he can.

As Mr. Pilo turning his eyes heavenward, he prayed for a safe travel of Gabriel and his family. Gabriel happily thanked Mr. Pilo for sharing his vast knowledge of being a prepper and a survivalist. Gabriel as a token of appreciation gave his lucky coin to Mr. Pilo. As the train was about to leave, from a sheer sound calling Gabriel's name became louder as his father came approaching. "Mr. Pilo, this is my father, Mr. Joselito," introduced by Gabriel. "Hello, it's nice I've met you with my son," politely uttered by Mr. Joselito. ""We have been looking for you Gabriel, where have you been all the while?" continued by Mr. Joselito. "I am having a meaningful conversation with Mr. Pilo, and now I am packed with so much knowledge about travel awareness," answered by Gabriel. "I am so thankful to you Mr. Pilo, and it is nice to meet you, the train will depart now, cheerio and will see you again," mentioned by Mr. Joselito. "Have a safe travel, God bless you," responded by Mr. Pilo.

As father and son were supposed to leave, Gabriel went back to Mr. Pilo and whispered him, "That coin I handed to you was minted in the leap year and was found by my father outside during a storm with its head side up, as told by old folks that kind of coin is a luck-bringer. If and only a green grasshopper would crawl into that coin will be a harbinger of danger." Gabriel reminded.

The solemn-looking watchman although feared the superstitious belief of the little boy just waved goodbye to both folks and went back to his office. Mr. Pilo staring out at the foggy train-tracks from the window had started hearing the clickety-clackety sound as the train where Gabriel and his family were riding went rolling away from the platform.

It was Gabriel's first time to ride a train bound to his parent's province--Bicol. It was sad for him to visit his grandfather's wake. The unsteady shaking of the train added excitement to Gabriel, as he tried to walk around every car. Gabriel had closely observed every passenger and the souvenir gifts they were bringing to their family and relatives. There was one scene that captured his attention when he saw a mother trying to hide her child from a roving conductor--for that child had no ticket to show. Big and small boxes, a can of assorted biscuits were the usual items brought by the passengers. Side by side, passengers got along with other passengers; they have so much time having a leisurely talk during this 10-hour ride.

Come evening, all were resting in their designated seat and sound asleep, while Gabriel enjoyed peeping on the window looking the fast viewing of outside sceneries and the frequent site of twinkling lights from fireflies attached to the trees or sometimes just outside the windows. His father told him that during his childhood rides, that the windows were open, unlike Gabriel's time, the windows have clear sturdy glass protected by metal screen grates to block stones hurled by people living along the tracks. The train would usually have a stopover at every station to allow passengers to shake off stiff muscles during a long seating. Gabriel had the fun of buying foods at the laid-back food stalls or to peddlers.

The next morning, the train arrived at Naga City. Gabriel and his parents looked for a jeepney that would bring them to his grandfather's house. The journey had been so tiring and the only consolation they got was traversing along with green rice fields and tall coconut trees. They got off in the marketplace and entered small alley leading to his grandfather's house. They paid respect to the dead and later joined other relatives for exchanging inquiries. Their stays have become less tense and worry-free, away from the noisy and busy city. Gabriel used to play with his cousins in the park and tried many outdoor games. Gabriel had so much fun. In one occasion while searching for adult female orb-weavers suitable for spider fighting, Gabriel accidentally stumbled upon a silver chain arrowhead along with a pendant that looks like an eye. Gabriel picked it up and went home. The little boy proudly showed it to all the guests in the house, and one elder recognized it, telling that the arrowhead silver chain was believed will protect the wearer from illness and guards against the evil eye while the pendant with an eye was known to be the Eye of Horus which was an ancient symbol associated with supernatural powers in perceiving things beyond the senses. Gabriel with superstitious beliefs took it seriously and kept it wherever he goes. Those amulets will be more powerful if the one who wears it has a kind heart.

The day had come when Gabriel and his parents were about to leave. They said goodbye to their relatives and thanked them for such a memorable stay. They went ahead to the train station. Their travel will again be a long and a winding trip. Gabriel wearing his two amulets turned his eyes heavenward and prayed for deliverance.

Back at the Tutuban station where Mr. Pilo was expecting an early morning train to arrive had put the lucky coin on the window sill. Unexpectedly, a green grasshopper perched on the coin. Mr. Pilo shaken with fears did the sign of the cross and went outside to observe what was unusual.

As evening fell and it grew quietly, Gabriel had fallen to sleep, only his body was inactive but his other senses had picked up a threatening danger. Gabriel clearly saw a danger in the next daybreak the train they were riding will slip off the rails just about 1 mile from Tutuban station. Gabriel ignored the first warning sign, but as the time went by--the more unpleasant emotion caused by his belief that something was unlikely to happen. Gabriel's only recourse was to tell this to his parents. "Father, I have a premonition of an imminent disaster which transpired in my dreams," confessed by Gabriel. Mr. Joselito touched the two talismans that Gabriel had been wearing and said, "This pendant of the Eye of Horus had helped you to see events beyond the normal senses, even if it is unconvincing, I must warn the train driver to keep the train at slower pace, although I might appear ridiculous, we must keep the safeness of all the passengers," replied by Mr. Joselito.

At the Tutuban station, Mr. Pilo kept thinking of Gabriel's admonition, not wasting any time, he called for his backup personnel to relieve his post as he got the parked handcar and drove it southward to check any broken rails, he was bringing with him a kerosene lamp to impart a good range of brightness to his path, he steered the handcar as far as it could until his handcar fell out the rails and that was the impending danger that his superstitious belief was telling him. From that point of the broken rails, Mr. Pilo continued to steer the handcar onward up to longer miles as far as where the broken rails were spotted. When Mr. Pilo thought that he was at least two or three miles away from where the broken rails were spotted, he immediately radioed back to the locomotive engineers and reported the broken rails on a curve at a distance of 1 mile from the level crossing that they need to close the railway crossing and send alarm signal for vehicles. Mr. Pilo set aside the handcar and stood guarding beside the railway, if any time he will see the train was coming, he will send a signal by waving the kerosene lamp to the approaching train.

Back inside the train, Mr. Joselito approached the train driver and had told of the danger, but the train driver had no way to believe such supposition. Mr. Joselito told the train driver that if in any way he believes superstitious now was the time to heed his warning. The train driver just replied, "In a short time we will be reaching the station, you need to sit down as everything is alright unless I received a call from my radio relaying for an emergency stop of this train." Mr. Joselito could do nothing but to pray that what little Gabriel saw in his dreams will never happen. The train was running at about 45 miles per hour, more than three times the supposed speed limit along that curve of the track, which had broken rails.

Many incidents happened, that railway track had portions not securely welded down and sometimes residents pilfered more metal parts causing derailment accident.

At a distance of three miles from where Mr. Pilo was stood guarding the railway. The train driver received a radio call from the locomotive engineer instructing him to reduce the speed as they were approaching broken rails just 1 mile from the level crossing. Upon receiving the warning, the train driver immediately reduced the speed and increased the light from its headlight and ditch lights with accompanying sound from its horn four times (long-long-short-long). The loud noise reverberated from where Mr. Pilo was standing. Mr. Pilo immediately stepped in the railway and waved his kerosene lamp to send a signal to the approaching train. At a close distance the train driver saw the waving lamp at exactly the train had started reducing its speed, a rail squeal sounded making all passengers hold tight as seated. All their hearts pounded and trembled with fear as everyone bathed in sweats after that terrifying moment. The train had successfully made a full stop before reaching another mile.

Mr. Pilo clambered up the train's door and checked if everyone was unhurt. At the last car, he found Gabriel and his family very safe. Gabriel ran toward Mr. Pilo and embraced him as their savior. "Thank you, Mr. Pilo for your strong determination to save lives," said by Gabriel. Mr. Pilo while holding the lucky coin that Gabriel gave him, said, "Thanked also this lucky coin that you gave me, it is really a godsend."

Being stranded there, the desirous waiting for a quick fix of the broken rails had produced a good result. All the passengers were safely transported back to the station platform. Some went to the beanery to satisfy their hunger, while Gabriel and his parents stayed with Mr. Pilo telling every detail of the story.

If two souls will be interacting through their superstitious belief, there will be a strong positive energy that will tailor favorable events. The train gives different thrills in our journey. It may clear the way of other's route. In the cold and misty evening, drizzling morning come, its structure still gleaming while slowly moving away from the station and into its destination. Its motion is full of clunking and screeching and rolling down the old track passing through villages just like gentle beats in the middle of the night.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Noel_Nicolas_Villarosa/1158366



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Monday, November 13, 2017

Super Mustache Man (Fictional Short Story)

                                   Photo Credit: Illustration by Pio Noel B. Villarosa

Super Mustache Man (Fictional Short Story)
By: Noel N. Villarosa

November 8, 2017

In movies and comic books are the real world for superheroes, but one man has fallen seriously in taking the praise and aspiring to be doing heroic acts. Mr. Motly couldn’t get enough of superheroes so he pondered so much of what it would be like them. A dream weaver as he fondly attracted his subconscious mind to form creative information. 

As the clock sets forth, Mr. Motly’s evocative mind has turned back the time into his boyhood days nurtured by full of figments of the imagination. He remembered creating stories for all his miniature plastic toy soldiers and always fell dreaming of flying by the gesture of flapping his arms and feet. Growing up in a small town near a river where the many flows of life embarked and ended like the dramatic changes of the ones breathtaking water into a wan-looking river. Mr. Motly relinquished the good old days and has notably fashioned a hirsute upper lip.

The biggest fear that one has to live for the rest of his life is living in increasingly perilous times. The world seems to be in a vulnerable situation from a back to back violence: Homicide, violence against children, women, and the weak one. As we live in a world where serenity is besieged by doubts because of man-made disasters like terrorism, mass murder, conflicts, and much violence committed against humans and not to forget also the natural disasters. Everyone wrestles with fear, worrying about the chances of falling to such viciousness. Dangers are lurking behind every corner--where can one run to ask for help?

Every single day, Mr. Motly had thought of the helpless persons just in need of a savior like a superhero. He argued that with the advances in medicine and technology he will be able to succeed in performing the invincible superheroes. Mr. Motly considered also the applicable medications in increasing the mind function and the nanotechnology that may intensify his physique. Mr. Motly was very clear to himself of becoming a knight in shining armor for the feeble one. Mr. Motly trained so hard to build a stronger body. He perfected slugfest and his kick; he practiced impeccable moves to destroy the hooligans. During a long confined workout, he developed beefy shoulders with herculean strength. Once he gained the confidence of his skills, he started contemplating on his identity, in what suit he would clad as reminiscent of a superhero. Since Mr. Motley has a dashing charisma of his mustache, he liked it to be exposed. He donned a powerful exoskeleton like armored suit under a black suit pairing it with an ascot cap and covering his eye-nose area with a mask. His tactical pants paired with tactical boots. Only one weapon he chose in toting with him was a pair of Arnis--a non-bladed weapon made from flexible rattan sticks to disarm and to subdue the enemy. Mr. Motly will use his skills to counter daily crime and saving the innocent.

In the evening where crimes would usually take place, Mr. Motly would go around riding on his motorcycle and will watch the serenity of the place, he kept vigilance for someone to rescue from a life-threatening situation.

In the next morning, witnesses shared stories about a good Samaritan with hidden identity who had rescued a woman from her abductors. The witnesses described how the masked man shielded the woman from gunshot and how the unidentified man used his skills of the Arnis by disarming and conquering the outlaws.

Each morning, stories about the masked man were all over the newspaper, revealing the heroic acts. Many horrified hotel guests retelling a gruesome night when a gunman’s incessant shooting brought traumas on them while one selfless person stepped inside and shepherded dozens to safety and finally tucked the gunman inside the prison cell.

The next evening, when one apartment was ablaze and ready to collapse, the masked man got those trapped out of dangers. The mysterious man would be seen hanging around with street children showing magic tricks to entertain and sometimes would teach the children with things learned inside the school as he wanted them to keep away from illegal activities.

It’s a matter of depriving positive human qualities, spreading false beliefs, absurd promise, irrational principle, moral retraction, and identity concealment that evil ways are fostered.

Someone will emerge to defend those lacking the power to fight back. The courage to protect someone from harm is a duty to defend a moral cause without expecting any reward in return.

On many encounters, one could not stop in asking who’s hiding behind the mask; Mr. Motly respectably replied to them, “Super Mustache Man.”

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Noel_Nicolas_Villarosa/1158366

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