By: Aya Paredes
This is a story of a group of friends who accidentally turned one of their gimik nights into one hell of adventure they will never forget. Don, Mike, Obet, Jenny, and Olive are friends since their high School days. Now on their fourth year in College, they still see to it that they meet up at least once a week for a gimik or lakwatsa. One Friday evening, they agreed to go to a famous old house somewhere in Pasig. The old house used to belong to Don’s family until his parents decided to sell it to an American couple who would spend a few months in the Philippines every year.
“So how in the world are we getting in if the owners are outside the country?” asked Mike, the short-tempered one. “Easy, pare. I have a spare key!” quipped Don. “What if they changed the locks?” asked Jenny. ” They won’t and they can’t. The lock are antique. It was made by one Spanish artist and the new owners knew that. They wouldn’t dare take off a very important piece of the house,” Don said. He was confident that he was right.
After a few more arguments, the group made it inside the ancestral house. The entire house was dark, not a thing can be seen. Obet clicked his lighter which barely illuminated the room. The sala set consisted of old narra furniture and other antique pieces that were covered by white linen sheets. The whole place was clearly dusty. The owners obviously haven’t been home for months. “This gives me the creeps, guys. Let’s get out of here,” said Olive. She’s always been easily scared.
Sometimes, the group thinks, she’s even afraid of her own shadow. “Nah! You’re scared of almost everything. Olive, you are even scared of your own reflection in the mirror! Hahaha!” Mike said. He was exerting an effort to ward off his own nervousness. But somehow, his voice was a telltale sign of his own misgivings about exploring the house. A large squeak on the wooden floor surprised the group that they started running into different directions. Olive and Jenny ran towards the kitchen, Mike and Don ran to the second floor, while Obet was left behind searching for his lighter that was knocked off from his hand. Obet was on the floor when he saw a man and a woman came from somewhere in the sala. The woman was carrying a gas lamp, crying. The man was very mad, speaking in what sounded was Spanish. The woman ran towards the staircase but the man pulled her by the hair and repeatedly hit her head on the floor a few inches away from Obet. He was surprised that the man had not seen him at all. Obet watched in horror as the man took the gas lamp, poured poured the kerosene all over the woman’s body, and lit her up. “Help me! Help me!” cried the woman. Obet’s adrenaline rush made him forget his fears. He stood up and took one of the linen sheets covering the furniture.
He used the sheet to put off the flame engulfing the woman’s body. After a while, everything went totally dark once again. Obet was catching his breath. The smell of burnt flesh gagged him. He used his lighter to light up the place. He saw that he was totally alone. Jenny and Olive were faring no better in the kitchen. “Be careful, Jenny. We don’t know what’s in here,”Olive whispered into Jenny’s ear.
“Don’t be scared. Look, we can see the kitchen from here, thanks to the luminous full moon outside,” Jenny assured her friend. “Hush. I think someone’s coming. Maybe it’s one of the boys. Quick, let’s scare’ them. Let’s hide under the table.
The two girls quickly took cover under the table. They waited for the boys to go near where they were hiding. But to their surprise, someone wearing a camiso chino shirt and a pair of long pants came inside the kitchen. The mysterious man was holding a big bolo. All of a sudden, a woman appeared from nowhere. She was running around the kitchen, crying and begging for her life. Jenny and Olive embraced each other, they were couldn’t understand what the woman was saying. Then it happened. The woman screamed as the man stabbed her numerous time.
Blood was everywhere- on the walls, kitchen sink, on the floor. Jenny and Olive closed their eyes and tried their hardest to muffle their screams. Then there was a sudden silence. Mike and Don were beginning to become agitated in the second floor. “Pare, let’s find the others na. It’s too dark in here,: said Mike to Don. ” Wait lang pare. I’m trying to locate my old room. I want to see if something’s been changed.” He pointed to a room located farthest from where they are. Mike followed Don to the room. When Don slowly opened the door. He and Mike saw the most gruesome scene they might ever witness their entire life. The room was lit by a gas lamp. There was a man, with blood all over his clothing. He was stabbing two small children, a girl and a boy. The girl was screaming, asking for help: “Help! Help us! Papa’s killing us!”She was quickly silenced by the man by slashing her throat.
Don and Mike wanted to run and hide, but both of them were frozen, couldn’t move. They were too shocked to react. After the man killed the kids, he got a thick rope and hung himself from the ceiling. After this, the door slammed shut. Don and Mike ran away as fast as they could. When they reached the first floor, they saw Obet, Jenny, and Olive running away from the house. It took them hours to calm each other down. They never spoke about what they saw for many months. A year later, Don’s parents came home from abroad. Don asked the history of the house. His mother told him about a gruesome murder that happened in the house in the early 30s. A wealthy Spanish man killed his entire family after finding out that he was losing his business and the house and was virtually poor. The man killed his wife and two kids, but the little girl survived. She was Don’s late grandmother. Don threw away his key. He learned that sometimes, things are better off being left alone.