VEILED LADY

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VEILED LADY

By:  Ace S. Tolentino

My Aunt works at the Filipiniana section  of a University library. Filipino  and Spanish books dated  as early  as 1800s were kept  in that section. She always  has interesting stories to tell about  those who once  scanned  the pages  of those  books and return to touch them again.  The most  unforgetable one  according to her was  the  veiled lady.  The last  bell which remains employees, students  and researchers to leave the library premises had rang. Five minutes before eight,  all lights, computers and airconditioners  should have been turned off.  She was  turning  the lights off at the old books  section when suddenly she  heard someone drop  a Book.  she looked for the delinquent library  user to tell him that  library service  is over.  Along the way, a book  which she suspects to be the one dropped  a while ago was left open on the  floor.   Puzzled, she picked  up the book  around for whoever dropped  it. Seeing no one,  she just shrugged and turned  the book to the shelf. As she was  about to  return it though, she noticed a slight movement at the corner of her eye.  Turning towards the movement she froze. Before her stood a veiled  woman garbed from  head to  toe in  pristine white My aunt was rooted to the spot. My aunt knew right away the woman was not a   student.  She also had a sneaking feeling the woman was not a  living being.  The interesting thing is,  my aunt couldn’t  tell whether the woman was young  or middle aged since  the lights  had been turned off except the one three  shelves behind  her. The woman seemed to be floating on air.  My aunt,  felt helpless,  closed her  eyes and  silently prayed  the “Our Father.”After the prayer, she opened her eyes,  expecting the prayer to make the unexpected visitor  disappear. But the woman was still there!

What happened next made  my aunt’s hairs stand on end.  The veiled lady  uttered the prayer that my aunt had just said in her mind a  while ago. Her cold  voice broke the deafening  silence and reverberated across the  room  and it petrified my aunt. After a  few moments,  the woman lifted her arms,  and made as  if to  unveil  herself.  This  galvanized  my aunt  into action.  After uttering a bloodcurdling  scream, she fell  in a dead faint.  When  she opened her eyes, the veiled lady was no longer there. Two lady  guards were tapping her face until  she gained consciousness, in her terror, she forgot about the book which she picked up a while ago. The book was ” Doctrina Christina” dated 1884.

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