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The Dark Forces
“Are you leaving me with them?” Andrea asked when her sister Yvonne got off the car with their two brothers.
“We won’t be long. Don’t worry, you will be alright,” Yvonne said with a wicked smile.
“Don’t be long. I am outnumbered here,” she called out as the three crossed the street to buy durian from a street vendor. She turned her head and five sets of eyes bored into hers. She smiled nervously and her heart pounded on her chest. She was at the mercy of the dreaded Dark Forces.
Andrea left the country six years ago and had no idea how the Dark Forces had evolved. All she knew was that they belonged to her brothers James and David. She heard tales of their uncanny ability to darken an otherwise bright day just by their presence. Stories abounded on how they tortured human adults that they came in contact with.
“Don’t show them your fear. They will pounce on you and you will never know what hit you,” her sister Zenia warned her.
Andrea reluctantly shut the car door. One of them clambered to the driver’s seat and locked all doors, then stared at her as if to dare her to unlock them. Andrea looked away.
The little one disappeared to join the others in the back seat. At first they whispered and giggled, then got into high gear with a funny language that only their kind understood.
Aside from the noise bombarding her eardrums, Andrea endured the vigorous slamming on the back of her seat. She mustered enough courage to see what was going on. A plastic bag was being torn apart as sets of little hands grabbed it at the same time. Candies and chocolates flew all over the car and they dove for them, giggling while pushing and shoving each other. They slammed on the car seats and Andrea waited for the cries of pain but she heard nothing. Instead, there were more giggling and shoving.
“What are they made of?” Andrea whispered to herself as she leaned on her seat weakly. They must be feeding on the energy that was fast sapping from her.
The Little Imps
She jerked when a small head appeared next to her and Andrea’s heart leaped to her throat at the sight of blood-covered teeth flashing at her. It took her a second to figure out that the teeth were red from candies, not blood. Though she swore she saw fangs and quickly moved her neck away.
Before she could calm herself, panic gripped her again when something wet and slimy slithered on her arm. She looked down and shrieked at the sight of a little brown object running up and down her skin. It quickly recoiled.
With the initial shock over, she realized that it was a chocolate-smeared hand that stroked her.
The grimy hand pointed to the bottles of mineral water in the bag next to her feet. Andrea hurriedly scooped the bottles and gave one to the hand. More grubby hands appeared to take a bottle.
The hands disappeared and soon water started splashing around.
Andrea willed herself to ignore them and not to mind the water sprinkling on her head. “I don’t think the Dark Forces drink water. They play with it. They torture people with it.” She realized she was talking to herself. She was going out of her mind, she thought, and she was annoyed.
With a stern face, she turned to them, “Ok, give me those bottles. Enough with the water.”
They froze but to her dismay, they started giggling and laughing as if she was one big joke to them. She sat back defeated.
“Shh…. Shh…, ” one of them shushed the others and Andrea could hear whispering and shuffling. Then they handed her the bottles. She took the empty bottles one by one without mishap until she felt water trickling down her chest soaking her blouse. She snatched the half-filled bottle from the grinning imp. She knew it was deliberate. She bit her lip to keep from screaming.
They were quiet for one full second before Andrea felt a tap on her head. She turned and they shoved candies to her face.
“No,” she shook her head but one of them pulled her hand, turned her palm up and piled candies on it.
“OK, so you don’t take no for an answer,” she smiled stiffly. After a minute, her arm was poked. Without turning, she put her palm up to take more candies.
“Ugh! Gross,” she exclaimed when candies from their mouths dripping with saliva were deposited on her open palm. They giggled when she grimaced while reaching for the tissue box.
Her sanity was beginning to snap. She wanted to rush out of the car and into the middle of the busy street but she controlled herself.
Then one of them pulled her by the hair to talk to her face. The little imps wanted her to play with them. They were bored with slamming, wrestling and whatever it was they were doing. She managed to look at her watch and to her horror, they had been cooped in that car for just twenty five minutes... She couldn't believe it! It felt like eternity.
She looked across the street longing for freedom and she saw her siblings tasting the durian while the vendors were opening more. She hoped the fruit could compensate for what she had endured. She wanted to release the dark forces into the street, into the speeding cars but the thought of prison and hell loomed in her head.
Her hair was pulled again and she was brought back to her senses. They yelped, they screeched, they squealed, and they jumped up and down. She had to think fast before they hurt each other or worse, before they hurt her.
Play a Game
“OK, let’s play a game. Anyone who can be quiet for the next hour will win fifty pesos. No giggling, no shrieking, no whispering.”
She should have added no moving because she did not realize they could do anything without a sound. They punched each other, they pushed and they pulled each other's hair in a miraculously quiet way. The slamming on the back of her seat continued but at least her eardrums relaxed.
She should have done it sooner, Andrea thought as she sat calmly in her seat, swaying occasionally from the force of a little body crashing into it.
Then another idea hit her. “Anyone who can sit still until we get those durian will get another fifty pesos.”
In a flash, they rushed to sit themselves. They shoved and they pushed until all five of them were seated quietly together.
Back to Yvonne’s house, Andrea who was 500 pesos poorer, got into dry clothes, and enjoyed the durian which replenished her lost energy. She was glad that the Dark Forces were confined in one room. Probably chained, she thought.
“If you want to go, I’ll give you a lift,” her brother David offered after dinner.
“Oh, good. I could use a lift home.” Andrea collected her purse and was all set when little giggling bodies rushed passed her and jumped into the car.
“Hey, hey, make room for Auntie,” David said. He turned to find Andrea gone.
“Where’s your Auntie? She was standing here a minute ago…”
The children chattered, “She ran back to the house…no, she walked… she walked very fast…” They giggled, they shoved each other and giggled some more, holding a hundred-peso-bill in each little hand.
© 2015 Virgo908