4 Nov

garfield cropped 2


Don’t come inside, said Maricar. She was 4′ 11”, 19, looked 14. Waray-Waray. The father a coconut farmer on Samar. There are beach there but no tourist, she explained. He’d never heard of it but decided to move there.

They were in the best hotel in Angeles. You could tell because there were so many Arabs. In the elevators they’d quietly appraise your girls and smile. One named Waleed he’d seen three times, earned enough trust to hear that your George W. Bush was a criminal. He worked for the Jews.

He thought she’d be impressed with the room but she only liked the toilet. Below off Walking Street pimps squatted on scooters by massage girls doing each other’s eye shadow. They were 15, looked 12. Too young to have a license to fuck clipped on their tube tops, a photo of the fat regional health minister in a polo shirt smiling. Instead they grabbed your sleeves on the street saying massage massage. Stuck out a card with a cell phone number you called to get them in your room for 500 pesos. From there who knows. Maybe you got macheted.

Maricar had never been with a white man. If you went too hard she’d cry. Her cunt felt like it was wrestling him in baby oil. He pushed it in slow, pretended it was not to hurt her. It was just that he didn’t want to cum too fast. When it got to be too much he tried to make himself come inside. So when he died he could think he might have a kid somewhere. He couldn’t.

His hair was going white and he had hips like an old German shepherd but the young girls still made his cum hit the headboard. Then ten hot ropes on her belly, her neck. She pursed her lips and closed her eyes and squirmed like a baby. For a minute he just looked at her. She put her hand over her face. I shy, she said.

The shower took ten minutes to get hot and the door had a big gap at the bottom where the water got all over the room. These places had been built in a week on top of jungle, by island people who didn’t understand time or straight lines. The girls had sex at 14. Ruined, they went to Angeles. Sold themselves to Koreans in loud bars. Wired the money to a hundred brothers and cousins who sat around playing cards, smoking shabu. They had drunk boyfriends who beat them up. A Catholic country.

Maricar showered too. She was fast. Most girls took forever. Maybe to be away from him before their time was up. Like when he’d take too long counting prune juice in the drug store basement, to get away from old Russians and their coupon disputes. Computer won’t let you? So your computer is almighty God? She came out in a fluffy white towel and they laid on the bed, wet together. Most girls kept their distance, said I shy. But Maricar put her face on his chest and her palm on his belly still warm from the water. For a second he felt something. Back home girls looked at him like a worm on the street.

You’re beautiful, he said.

You too, she said.

You want American boyfriend?

Maybe, she said.

Do you like me, he said.

Diri, she said, and laughed.


Out on Fields Avenue scooters with pigs in wire cages on the back blasted by. Hideous men with Boris Yeltsin gin blossom faces stalked from bar to bar looking at the ground. In the bars monkey faced girls danced listlessly to Katy Perry and other children’s performers. If you pointed at them they’d sit with you. Sip apple flavored beer. You struggled to make them understand questions until they got bored. Back at the hotel, $40 to fuck for a minute and a half. Then just look at them. In the states these girls would have you arrested for swiping right.

Here they told you about lives on hot islands no one had heard of. Coconut orchards stretching to the white beach. Palm huts blown away by typhoons. The other men were 60. Collected pensions. Drank cheap beer in the heat until nighttime when they’d roll around in giant soft hotel beds with high school age girls out of the “escape” section of Bridge Over the River Kwai. They were the unhappiest people he’d ever seen. It was monsoon season. Between rains he’d see their eyes in puddles like his own death.


You use condom, she said. No, he said. I don’t like. Please, she said.

Do you have something?

I no have a sick. But they give us talk at the bar. Health minister. It is important to use a condom every time you have sex. She sounded startlingly like a health minister. He made a mental note never to patronize The Drill Shack again.

Listen, I don’t have anything he said. I won’t come inside. Thinking how am I 8,000 miles away having this same argument. She had a tattoo that said Malibog.

Please, she said.


She looked like she was about to cry. What’s the fuckin big deal, he said. We won’t fuck.

Mama san get mad.


She give you back money.

Wait- is that an option?

I go back, she give back money, very mad.

I won’t make you go back.

I don’t want to walk home, she said. I am a scared. At night is Aswang.


I don’t know how you say in English. Some girl disappear.

Instead they watched cartoons. She was 21. From Palawan. He looked at her while she slept and decided to move there. She sent money to her father who’d lost his hotel job. There are beach but no tourist now, she said. Abu Sayyaf had stormed a resort with speedboats. Beheaded a Canadian. The State Department issued a warning. The Aswang was a vampire. In the daytime you couldn’t tell unless you looked into its eyes. Your reflection was a different person. At night it grew wings to hunt.


At 3AM someone grabbed his T shirt sleeve. He was walking past an alley; overhead a sign with Garfield promising whores. Massage massage. She looked like his ex’s junior high school portrait. The one that got away. How old are you, he said.


I can’t.

If you don’t like you get massage from my sister.

Behind her the sister leaned on a dumpster, made up in raccoon eyes. She was his ex’s fifth grade portrait. Her hips hadn’t come in. She pouted, licked her lips.

Nineteen huh? You have family?

Yes, she said, one baby. You want to see? She pulled out her phone. The boy was half white. Had his eyes.

Who takes care of him?

My father, but he is alcoholic.

And your mother?

She has mentally ill. You want massage, 500.

I can’t honey, he said. I gotta go.

Wait, she said. You have both, 800. He paused. Down the street monsoon clouds miles high. Something black flapped across the moon.

It can’t go on like this, he thought. But it wasn’t until Palawan that a plan started to form.

13 Responses to “Aswang”

  1. Small November 4, 2017 at 10:15 pm #

    Jesus, this was great.

  2. Atlanta Man November 4, 2017 at 10:40 pm #

    Damn dude, human suffering….

  3. Father O'Hara November 6, 2017 at 12:16 am #

    Fuck them brown bitches!

    • Father O'Hara November 6, 2017 at 12:21 am #

      It saysv4 comments when there’s only 3. Wait now it says 5??

  4. o()xxxx[{::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::> November 7, 2017 at 2:37 am #

    Yet another swing of the mighty Atlantean Sword®…
    Hope you can tie this stuff into the serial. Flashbacks or something.
    Call it THE STAND (1994) meets SHORT EYES (1977)

  5. Atlanta Man November 8, 2017 at 2:25 am #

    Damn, what country is this fictional tale from?

  6. Dr Caveman November 12, 2017 at 10:35 am #

    Dark but can’t stop reading


  7. Nah November 16, 2017 at 1:54 am #

    Where are you and what’s next? If it’s any impetus – I’m a non- atmosphere person eagerly awaiting your next installment. Hope you keep writing.

    • Nah November 16, 2017 at 1:55 am #

      *non manosphere

  8. bowler hat December 1, 2017 at 7:33 pm #

    ’Her hips hadn’t come in.’

  9. Steve July 26, 2018 at 4:15 pm #

    Dude, excellent writing. Seriously glad I stumbled on your blog.


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