Sabado, Mayo 21, 2011

Back In Time

Ed's Note: This is a rewritten post. The original Back in Time post was erased when closed without prior notice. I decided to rewrite this story since it's one of my most popular short stories before. -PandemiC-

This story was told to my mom by her friend when she was still a college student. One of her friends shifted from medicine to journalism. Nevertheless, she kept her friendship with her friends in college of medicine.

According to her, their professor assigned an individual project for the students. Their project is to write a feature article about an old or ancestral house. Let's hide the story teller's name to the name of Mila. (LOL sorry, I forgot what name did I use when I gave the story teller a code name in the original Back in Time post)

Since Mila have no idea where can she find an ancestral or old houses in the city, she decided to go to her hometown in Pampanga. She knew an ancestral house near their place. She arrived at Pampanga at 4:00PM. She didn't drop by at their home, but instead, went directly to the ancestral house.

She arrived. She tried to call for someone from the gate, and later on, the caretaker saw her. The house is very old. As far as Mila knows, the house looks like it was built in late 1800s. The gate's paint are already torn off, and portions of the steel gate are very rusty and looks like it's about to collapse anytime..

"Good afternoon." Mila greeted the caretaker. When Mila was still in high school, she always sees the caretaker every time she walks by the house but it was her first time to talk to him.

"Good afternoon. Can I help you?" the caretaker asked.

"Ahmmmm.. Sir, I'm a journalism student. I was just wondering if I could come in to observe, and interview you or the owner because I need to write a feature post about an old or ancestral house?" Mila still mentioned the 'owner' but she didn't believe that the owner is inside.

"Wait, I'll ask the owner. Can you wait?" The old caretaker said politely.

"Yes, of course." Mila responded. The old man caretaker then set off inside the house. Mila was quite surprised that there's still an owner living in the house.

"You can come in now." the old caretaker said a minute after. Then he opened the gate for Mila to enter.

The ancestral house is very old but very elegant. The garden outside it is still very alive and looks like as if it was just planted. When Mila looked back, she realized that the gate wasn't old, rusty, and soon to collapse at all. It was newly painted by white, the steel gate complete and stainless. Mila thought for a second, "Am I forgetful now or my eyes are just weakening?"

The house is almost an all-wood house, except for the staircase to the main door which is made by cement.

The caretaker opened the door for Mila. Mila entered. When she entered, she saw a very beautiful, vintage chandelier. It was above the living area. In the living area, there is a wooden sofa, there seated the owner. He was an old man, with tobacco in his mouth, wearing an old khaki pants, old shoes, and his left foot rested to his right.

"Good afternoon, madam. So, how can I help you?" the man asked.

"I'm Mila, sir. I just came here to ask you some questions about this house because it is our project. That's if you're willing to help me, sir." Mila said politely.

"Of course, I am. I am Gregorio, by the way. Have a seat."

Then Mila asked Gregorio at least 12 questions about the house when a vintage looking Spanish lady went down from the second floor. She looked at Mila, then at Gregorio, and said "We were just wondering if we could play your music while we are waiting for you upstairs?"

To her, Gregorio said, "Of course, of course. Go on." Then Mila continued asking. After a couple of minutes, three people went down and then one of them said "We're gonna go now. We still have a theater show to catch." Mila wondered, "Theater show?"

Mila is already feeling the oddness of the environment of the house. The three people are also looking vintage. They look like as if they were the rich people during the Spanish colonization. Plus, is it really normal to say that you still have a theater show to catch during this modern times?

Then the music played. To which made Mila wonder even more. The music that was played was very old and unrecognizable to modern people of the 1980's. It gave Mila the thought that maybe it's a prank joke or something like that. They act as if the time is really in the late 1800's.

Mila continued the interview, and when she finished, she said "Thank you very much sir for your time. Thank you sir. I'm done. I'm going to go now. Again, thank you very much."

"No problem. I always help people if I can. Thank you for choosing to feature my house too. Wait, don't you want to wander through the house to make your feature post better?" the old man said as he smokes."

It is part of Mila's plans to wander through the house, but "No thanks. I realized that the information I have gotten from your sir is already enough. Thank you." But the truth is, she's already feeling the creeps of the house and she wants to leave immediately.

"Okay then."

Then Mila left. When she got out of the house, the caretaker was there and led her to the gate. Mila merely smiled at the caretaker before exiting the gate. Mila looked at her watch, and she found out that it was already 7:00PM! She can completely remember that she got there at 4:00PM. And the interview couldn't have possibly last for 3 hours. She turned around to look at the house again, but she was crept out when she saw the gate was old, rusty, and looking like it was about to collapse again. And the painting in the house was also torn off and looking like it was a hundred years old or so. And the plants in the garden that she saw earlier are already withered. When she saw the plants earlier, it seems as if it was just newly planted. She felt the goosebumps through her body now.

The lights of the vintage chandelier should also reflect in the window of the house but it didn't because it isn't lit anymore.

Mila felt as if she was in a nightmare. She ran to get away from the house. Someone saw her and asked her "Did you enter in the house?" a woman asked.

"Yes." Mila responded.

"How did you enter then?" the woman asked again.

"The caretaker let me in. I interviewed the owner of the house." Mila said, trying to sound calm and okay.

"Are you crazy? No one lives there anymore! The caretaker died last month and the owners are not living there."

Mila didn't respond. She find her self dumb stricken to what she discovered. After that, she did a little research about the house and found out that an old Filipino-Spanish family lived there in the late 1800s. They are a rich family. And according to what she read, there is a small group that meets nightly at the house to have a meeting in how are they going to get rid of Indio-Filipinos or the poor pure Filipino families of the old times. The group is said to be one of the most discriminative groups at the times and loves to kill poor Filipinos.

She never returned to that house anymore.

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