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Martes, Mayo 15, 2012

Spare Me

Story by: Pandemic


Ellie was caught in the middle of dreaming and reality. She was paralyzed in bed and had her eyes slightly open. Her hair and her back were dripping in sweat and she’s frozen in terror. She keeps hearing words from a suffering lady saying “Spare me, spare me.”

At first, the only thing she sees in the darkness was the closet opposite the bed. She wished her eyes haven’t adjusted through the darkness yet, but it did already. After a few seconds of being paralyzed in bed and half asleep, she started seeing weird things.

She heard the door opening and a girl in polka-dots red dress entered. Her hair was stuffy and messy as if she just got away from a brawl with another lady. She was crying, her lipstick was all over her face, parts of her dress have been torn and her lower lip was a bit bloody. After a split second, the door opened again and was slammed closed. A man entered, he was wearing white sleeveless shirt and faded jean pants. He appears to be on drugs because his eyes are very red and he, although it was Ellie’s first time to see him, appears to be not himself.

The lady leaned pleading in the corner of the closet and the wall. She keeps saying “Spare me, please. Stop, stop, stop!” The man, seeing the lady’s pleadings, appeared to be amused. He walked slowly toward her. When he reached her location, he dragged her near him by the hair, their faces almost touched, and he said “You bitch don’t meddle with anything with me again. When I ask for your dimes, you give me your dimes, understand?” The hurt lady nodded as tears flow from her eyes.

Ellie almost wished she can close her eyes because the next happenings were too brutal for her. Still holding the lady by the hair, the man banged the woman’s head to the closet door repeatedly. And when he stopped, he slapped the lady’s face very hard that the wounded lips bleed badly again and the woman fell to the floor weeping.

That’s when Ellie awoke. She sat up in bed, dripped with cold sweat and panting like a tired horse. Unlike what she saw in her nightmare, the daylight was bright and the room is calm. There is no one in the wide, square room but her. She couldn’t quite believe that everything she saw was just a part of a nightmare. Ellie is not like any other thirteen year old girls. She knows more. She thought she was just caught in a sleep paralysis. It is the state when you are not completely asleep and also not completely awake; it is when your brain meddles with reality and shows you things that aren’t real but seems like the reality.

But this theory doesn’t completely fit. The event or dream, or whatever lasted at least for two to four minutes in her estimation, although she can’t really accurately estimate how long the scene had taken because it was just a dream.

Lest being ridiculed or mocked by her younger and older cousins, Ellie resisted asking her aunt during breakfast about her dream and told herself that what she had seen was simply a part of a nightmare. Ellie is in a small town in Bicol for a week-long vacation with her older sister, Erika. Another reason why she came to the place is also to get to know her relatives in that province.

The night that followed wasn’t particularly worse but definitely not better. But for Ellie, if you were in her position, the nightmare was definitely worse. The second nightmare doesn’t have any scene that will appeal to drama fans; there is no battered wife or abusive husband and the drama cliché of slapping faces. Sounds better than the first one, right? But could it really be better if you seem to be a part of the nightmare already?

Ellie again was paralyzed in her bed. This time her eyes are more than half open and everything that she sees appear to be very vivid and real. The closet is still opposite the bed, except that someone blocks the view. At first, it was only the same woman that she had seen last night standing at the foot of her bed, wearing white sleep dress. Her eyes look straight into Ellie’s intently. Ellie was frightened to death. She could see the woman’s face clearly. Below the woman’s eyes are thick, bulgy, blackish eye bags, her face is very pale and weathered. She doesn’t look mad or angry, but her face is sad, as if pleading.

But then, the worse isn’t over yet. The scene changed. In Ellie’s peripheral vision, in the left of her, she could see a man standing in the open doorway, watching. In front of Ellie, the woman is no longer merely standing, but floating. She was slightly rotating while her neck was tied with thick rope and she was hanging there with her eyes open but dead. Then Ellie heard the man’s horrific, fiendish crackling laughter.

The scene vanished again. Both the woman and the man disappeared, except the woman didn’t completely disappear. The next moment, the woman was in Ellie’s left, she appeared to be leaning her face down to Ellie’s ear. There she whispered in thin, cold, misty voice that Ellie actually felt her breath, “He didn’t spare me.”

When Ellie awoke, everything that she had seen seemed to be in real time, the door was open and the room doesn’t feel calm at all, although it is impossible because the lady appeared to be a woman who lived during the 50’s. It was still in the dead of the night. The digital clock beside her bed shows in green light the figures 1:05. She was again dripping in cold sweat and panting very hard. Instead of going anywhere, she hid herself under her thick comforters and tried to continue her sleep.

The next morning, during breakfast, Ellie couldn’t hold her little secret anymore. There are eight of them in the table. Her sister Erika, her four cousins, and her Uncle Robert and Aunt Hilda were all having hot pandesal, coffee, bacons and eggs, and other freshly-cooked food.

“Aunt Hilda…” Ellie said hollowly.

“Yes Ellie?” Aunt Hilda replied.

“For my past two nights here, I’ve seen things.”

Both Aunt Hilda and Uncle Robert looked at Ellie with sudden interest, their eyes narrowed. “What is it that you saw, Ellie?" Aunt Hilda asked.

“A man…a man and a woman…fighting.” Ellie said, she was suddenly feeling scared again.

“W-when was this?” Uncle Robert asked. When Uncle Robert showed interest, the rest of the people in the table started paying attention to what Ellie is about to say.

Ellie then said her accounts of her first two nights in the house. She said everything that she saw, every detail of it. When she finished, at first, everyone was silent. The two younger boys shivered, Aunt Hilda just stared in blankness, unable to utter a word. After a moment, Uncle Robert said something. “Okay, this is the first and the last time that I will talk about this. Since it has been a long time, I’ve no reason to keep on telling this story and I also forbid any of you to share this with anyone.”

Aunt Hilda looked at her husband, but she doesn’t appear to disagree with what Uncle Robert is about to say. “It was 1958-”

“Wait.” Aunt Hilda interrupted. “Let me tell the story, Robert, since this concerns my ancestors.”

“Okay.”

“It was in the year 1958 and I was four. Most of the families in this neighborhood were part of our extended family from our great great grandfathers. In this house, my aunt Miranda resided together with her abusive husband, Uncle Rodrigo. Through the years, the couple did everything and did all the praying, but still they failed to have a child. In frustration, my Uncle Rodrigo ended up being an alcoholic and a drug user. He started being apathetic, arrogant, rude, and abusive to our Aunt Miranda. Aunt Miranda’s earnings were just enough for common necessities because Uncle Rodrigo stopped working. When Uncle Rodrigo is either stoned or drunk or in need of money, he will beat his wife. Ten years after their marriage, Aunt Miranda was found dead in the room where you are staying. She was found hanging near the bed as what you have told us, Ellie.

“It took a few days before her body was discovered. The police officers first assumed that she was killed by her husband, but later found out that the husband didn’t do anything to kill her. My aunt killed herself because of the sufferings and depressions she has been through. Uncle Rodrigo nevertheless was jailed for a few charges, including drug abuse and violence to a woman.”

“This house wasn’t really changed even after at least fifty years. We only maintained it but we never did any major reworking in any part of this house. Maybe that’s why the dead still lingers. The history of ghostly encounters in Aunt Miranda’s room is also the reason why as much as possible, I don’t allow guests or anyone to stay there. You have been quite persuasive, Ellie, that’s why I allowed you to stay there. And I also thought and hoped that Aunt Miranda’s ghost has left already, that she already moved on to the other life where she belongs. That is the history of this house.” No one has been able to utter a word after Aunt Hilda’s story.

After Aunt Hilda’s tale, Ellie spent the rest of the summer vacation sharing a room with her Ate Erika.

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