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Five Hearts Prologue

Updated on November 24, 2014
grand old lady profile image

Mona writes a column for Enrich Magazine which is distributed in five countries. She is interested in learning as she writes.



A worm has five hearts, but put all five of them together, and they fall far below the complexity of a single human heart. Maybe it’s better than way. Life can be simpler, expectations less, and satisfaction more easily achieved. Maybe the worm knows the secret of life.

Not so for the human who has only one heart. Even less, if the human is the victim of the worm, as happened many times before. A worm is powerful and negligently underestimated. Its prostomium is pointed and firm, preceding its toothless yet tremendously muscular mouth.

The prostomium is an ingenious invention of God. In a garden, it hacks slabs of mud, permitting food into the mouth, then grounding it down with mega pressure. The process lasts until the food is dragged down the length of its body, from heart to heart, with the droppings falling off the worm’s anus.

Equation: five Hearts = five times the mystery, five times the evil. My father told me that the worm thrives in human blood. The blood’s moisture gives it breath and sustenance as it eats your cartilage, a bone, crosses a vein, bores through the intestine lining, your kidneys, your liver until everything inside of you dissolves. You think, at last, your suffering ends and you are free.

But you are not. Instead, all your innards regrow systematically, a perfect ecosystem that is encased by your bodily skin. The liver pops back out. The veins reemerge and patch together. The heart pumps. And the process of the worm eating you up begins again. You are the worm’s eternal sustenance. You are in hell, after all.

Jabez Waldo woke up trembling, sweat dripping. He struggled to breathe, counting 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 with each inhalation. Morning will come, morning will come, Jabez whispered. The dream came when it pleased, sometimes daily, sometimes gone, then re-emerging after a year. Jabez reached for the Ambien and the bottle of water that he always kept beside his bed. This would lull him to a dreamless sleep.

……. ……. …….

Some 28 kilometers away from where Jabez slept lived an old woman with a unibrow. She got out of bed as she heard the wind hiss. She went to the front window of her house, looking into the night. The hiss of the wind was overwhelmed by a gentle embrace. The tree beside the window shook. A bat lived in that tree. She could see the curvature of its upside down body hanging on a branch, its long tongue licking nectar from a flower, an arm’s length away.

“Things will not be the same on Bamba Pera street,” the woman whispered sagely. To the left of her house was her sari sari store (a Filipino convenience store) in the place that should have been a garage. She had no car.

The Unibrow lady lowered her curtain. As she walked away a stampita (Catholic prayer card) of the Virgin Mary fell to the ground. The stampita depicted the Virgin Mary, but the artistic style was Hindu in nature. She heard the stampita softly flutter to the ground. She turned around, picked it up, and rearranged the rounded piece of scotch tape that was behind it. Then she patted the stampita back on the wall. She smiled. “Soon,” she told herself, “He will come to live on Bamba Pera street. Very soon.”

A mosaic of Mary and Jesus by Indian artist Balan
A mosaic of Mary and Jesus by Indian artist Balan | Source

Across the street from the Unibrow Lady’s home, Kit Kultihim sat in front of the television monitors that comprised his elaborate CCTV system. Kit could view all activity taking place within the entire circumference of his house. Right now, he watched the movement at the window of the unibrow lady’s home. He adjusted his camera for a close up. He saw her look upward, then stare at the upside down bat on her tree. Then she dropped the curtains, concealing his view.

There was something strange about this woman, her movements, and in general, the subtle activity that characterized Bamba Pera street. He’d been observing everything for years, and in particular, had an excel sheet that marked the daily activity in the sari sari store in front of his house. He detected patterns – a tuna can, some bushes, and seven suspicious customers who frequented the unibrow lady’s store.

It was all subtle, but to the perceptive eye, strange. Kit put in the last notes for the day on his excel sheet -- the date, the time, the wind, the bat, and the peculiar look on the face of the unibrow lady. He opened a desk drawer and pulled out a clear book. Inside, he had printouts of every expression on the face of the unibrow lady through the years. This latest image seemed different.

He looked at the pupils of the unibrow lady’s eyes. They were larger than usual. Overall, she seemed to appear expectant, knowledgeable and somewhat weary. He suspected that she knew a secret. But she always knew secrets, followed by strange, subtle changes occurring on Bamba Pera street. Kit studied the lines on her eyes, the brows, which were thicker than normal. She would doubtless trim them the following day. She had three unibrow styles, he perceived, from his collection of her photos.

Kit put the new picture back inside the Clear Book. Then he turned off the light and went to the next room. There was a mattress on the floor where he liked to sleep. He lay down and dreamt many dreams.



This is the prologue to my novel. Thank you for reading this far. Your comments would be most appreciated, especially criticisms and comments on how this work in progress can improve. Thank you so much.


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    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Peg Cole17:). I hope to measure up to the possibilities that you have mentioned. Thank you or lending your precious time to read this.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      How exciting that you've shared this prologue for your novel. Interesting beginning with a lot of possibilities to come. I wish you all the best on your continued writing.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Nadine May, your encouragement means a lot to me. I am gonna get down on the first chapter and hopefully, it will be worthy of being read. Thank you for the precious time you spent to read this.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Wow, I'm so very impressed by your writing. The five hearts of a worm, I never knew that, and then to find out it was Jabez Waldo's nightmare. You have woven a gripping story here. Keep writing! Voted up!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Spectacled-Bear, thank you for saying it made you nervous, haha. And, thank you for taking the time to look for this.

      I think Hub Pages is going through a lot of changes because it has purchased squidoo. I think eventually they will get it right.

      Thank you for informing me that you didn't get a notice. Because of that, I will share this with my HP followers, just in case.

    • spectacled-bear profile image

      Bob Barber 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hello, grand old lady. I liked this, although it made me nervous! Shouldn't I have been notified that this was published, since I'm following you? I had to look for this. Cheers.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you so much, Mel Carriere. I was worried the humor might be out of place, but if it appeals to you, then it must be okay. Thanks for reading, too.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      That is really some excellent writing. You have a descriptive style that is uniquely funny (unibrow lady) and you know how to engage the reader quickly. I applaud you and I want to read more!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      DDE, thank you very much for reading and for your encouraging words.

      Flourish Anyway, thank you for pointing out the parts that interested you. It will guide me as I try to finish this.

      CrisSp, works are really icky. The time you gave to read this and your comment is very much appreciated.

      Thank you all very much:)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A beautifully presented hub and with such great meaning, keep writing and show your great talent in your own way.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      The unibrow lady, the sense of impending trouble, the Ambien, the bat. Those details made me wart to know more. I encourage and support you ...

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Worms! Eeek! I am scared of them and looking at the picture made me feel like they're crawling on my skin. Yet, you kept me going with your intriguing write and kept my curiosity on where is this leading to?

      Good luck and I look forward to reading the rest.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Billybuc! That means a lot to me, coming from you. I would have never had the courage to do this if you hadn't done your series about book writing. Hopefully, what follows will not disappoint. Ah well, one chapter at a time.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You did what all good writers hooked the reader right from the start, giving us a reason to continue reading. Well done, Mona!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      WillStarr, thank you for reading and for your kind words.

      Jodah, thank you for pointing out the info about worms.

      Thanks to both of you for reading and commenting:)

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Intriguing! Excellent beginning.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very unique story developing here Grandoldlady. I found the facts about worms interesting. Good luck with the novel.