Too Much, Too Late

Today started off with this: My alarm went off at exactly 4:20 a.m.

Good morning!
Good morning, I'm Late for Work!

I turned off the alarm and gave myself permission to sleep for 5 minutes more.

5:08 a.m. – My eyes flew open all to suddenly. By force of habit, I grabbed my mobile phone and checked the time. Crap. At this time, I should have been getting ready to leave the house. I shot up out of bed like you wouldn’t believe and made it to the bathroom in record time. I was lightning fast! I was faster than a speeding bullet! Ha! Take that, Superman!

5:21 a.m. – After taking The World’s Fastest Shower, I am in the passenger seat of our family car. My head is aching due to the ungodly way of getting out of bed. (It only means that I didn’t stretch out and lay there for a couple of seconds before sitting up and dragging my ass out of bed. Oh so slowly.)

6:06 a.m. – I clocked in the office. I am late! Hurrah! This 6 in the morning shift is proving me wrong. I can get late. I am not as invincible as I used to think.

And let me tell you, hurrying along the pavement while taking notice of the sun beginning to shoot out its rays on the not-so-dark-now sky felt weird. Usually, I come into the office when the sky is still dark and the sun has not yet screamed out at the world in its blazing glory.

Tangent: My mom has an iPhone 4S now. How unfair is that? She didn’t even want an iPhone 4S. Maybe I could wheedle her in scrounging around for long ago gaming consoles like the Family Computer or even an Atari. Or both. Tell her to stick with what technology she knows by heart and can use even with both her eyes shut. HAHA.

image source: Always Be Cool

Introduction to Horror by Edgar Allan Poe

I have been reading books ever since I could remember. It seems to me that the moment I knew how to string together a couple of words and make sense of sentences and paragraphs, I could not stop myself. I couldn’t help it. I had to read, whether they were snippets from the encyclopedia or a pocketbook like Sweet Valley Kids. But one random plucking of a random book from its shelf in my school library changed me.

I was in fourth grade, maybe fifth, and being in the library made me feel like the sun is shining brightly down on me and the birds are chirping away merrily in the background. It was just such a happy feeling, raw and innocent and simple.

Until I chanced  upon a copy of this book, which was a compilation of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories. Intrigued by the artwork on the cover of the book (which I had forgotten by now, really), I curiously and eagerly opened it. After devouring the content of the book, two stories struck me: The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado. It was a momentous event in my life. I guess you could say that I could hold Edgar Allan Poe responsible for my penchant for horror stories.

The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart
"Hearken! and observe how healthily - how calmly I can tell you the whole story."

“TRUE! – nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses – not destroyed – not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily – how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture – a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees – very gradually – I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever…”

The Cask of Amontillado

The Cask of Amontillado
"I must not only punish, but punish with impunity."

“The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length, I would be avenged; this was a point definitively settled — but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation…”

 

When my dad learned about this years and years later, this was all he had to say to me: “You read Edgar Allan Poe at age 11 or 10?” Pause. Then he said, “It’s not something you should read at that age.” I could only shrug. Once you’ve read a book, you can’t just flush it out of your brain.

image sources: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado

Princess Paranoid

My nine year-old niece, the Paranoid Princess. When I took her out to the mall (with my mom in tow), you won’t see her walking around without holding on to either me or my mom. Sometimes, she’ll hold us both. And when she realizes that both her left and right hands are free? She would exclaim in a tone of voice that’s about one stop short from panic. sheer panic, “Hold my hand! HOLD MY HAND!” And if we don’t comply? The sky would drop from above, elephants would come waltzing in, right along with the lions and hyenas (all in a synchronized ballet movement), and the world will just come to an end. At least, that’s what you’d think would happen if we don’t grab her hands fast enough.

I was willing to write that one off as one of her many silliness because she is a child who indulges in laughter and sarcasm. I was proved to be wrong hours later, when we were about to go home. We were about to get in the cab. She was supposed to stay in the middle part of the backseat. My mom on one end  and I on the other. I told her to go ahead and go inside but she stopped halfway. With half of her butt inside the  cab, the stopped all of a sudden. I told her again to get inside. She told me to wait… So I waited, expecting her to look around, thinking she dropped something. But no. Oh no. What she was waiting for was my mother to get inside the cab first. She said she was afraid of getting kidnapped, that the cab would drive off with just her in the backseat.

Paranoia is in the genes. She just displayed it at such an early age. When I was her age, what I would do was make sure I locked the door for sure. And then, even though I’ve seen with my own two eyes that the door was indeed locked, I would still lock it. Not once, not twice but several times. Just to be really sure. And know for certain that burglars or zombies or murderers won’t be able to go in.

But that is not paranoia. That is obsessive-compulsive disorder, as I’ve learned later in life. All those glitches in the gene pool. *shakes head*

Two Down, One to Go!

One bridal shower/bachelorette party. Check.

One bestfriend’s wedding. Check.

One cousin’s wedding. Check.

One brother’s wedding. Will feign sickness. Must attend. (Take note of the term “must“, which denotes being coerced or obliged to attend.)

Get me out of here. Quick!
Get me out of here. Quick!

It’s not that I hate weddings. It’s just that the stress piling up hours or days or weeks before the wedding fries my nerves and my fragile little body just can’t put up with it. It refuses to put up with all the stress… by collapsing and being sick days before or after the wedding. I kid you not. True story.

I just hope that my brother’s wedding next year (March 2012) will be prove to not be too much of a nightmare. I do not want scenes of my mother getting in a snit because her shoes are hurting her legs. I do not want scenes wherein my family would bicker over something trivial like my father’s hairstyle or how my younger brother would start the toast. Gawd. Just imagining the possible scenarios already make me want to hide in a cave or take a vacation leave in Bikini Bottom and hang out with two idiots (Hi, Spongebob! Hi Patrick!).

image source: Tim . Simpson

A Scary Tale: What Our Dog Saw at Past 12 Midnight

Past 12 midnight found me in front of the door of our house, waiting for whoever was on the other side to open it for me. I didn’t have a copy of the key to our house and usually relied on one thing: calling out to someone, anyone to open the door for me

I was too tired to notice it but when the door opened, our dog wasn’t anywhere near. If I had the presence of mind to notice that odd fact, I would’ve asked my father (who opened the front door for me) where the dog was, since our exasperating and hard-headed but lovable pet is usually there to greet me every time I come home from work. The only time she didn’t come greet me was when she was sick and could not even walk properly. That was the first and only time. Until that night…

We knew the dog saw something....
We knew the dog saw something so terrifying that it scares her until now.

The moment I stepped into our dining area, my mother immediately asked me if I’d noticed that Sable (the dog) wasn’t with my dad when he opened the front door. I told her oh yeah, she wasn’t anywhere near. Is she sick? And this is the tale my mother recounted:

The moment Sable heard me opening the gate to our house, she looked out the window and then sprang into action. With her tail wagging excitedly, she made her way toward the front hallway, following my dad. She was about to walk ahead when something stopped her. She literally skidded to a stop. In the middle of running she tried to stop her body. She was looking at the direction of where my dad was standing. And my mom (who was a few feet behind the dog) heard Sable let out a loud, chilling cry and a pitiful whimper, with her tail going down between her legs. And the nutty, baffling part was how she tried so hard to run back to our room. But she was apparently too distressed and freaked out that she started to walk backwards, her gaze still on the same spot (near this cabinet made of wood with mirrors as doors). She continued to cry out and whimper until she went back to our room.

Minutes later, I used KFC’s chicken to coax and bribe the dog to go back outside to the dining area but to no avail. She just sat on the bed, looking nervously at the doorway and then whimpering again. All throughout the night, she avoided going near the dining area. And the next day as well.

I wonder what scared our dog. She’s a ten month old Labrador-Rottweiler breed, large and black. She’s fiercely protective and would bark and lunge at any stranger who dares step into our house. But whatever she’d seen? It was enough to turn her into a whimpering puppy. I’m guessing that what she saw was not the usual white lady or black lady or a child ghost. No. It probably looked more horrific than that. I’m thinking creatures. I’m thinking something short with thin but gangly arms and legs and a scrunched up, warped face. Eyes red and round and abnormally large. Barely there nose. Thin lips that when stretched into a grin shows sharp, uneven teeth. Rotting skin. Not a spirit but an entity, a creature of the dark. One which lives inside old trees or under the earth. It’s probably the same creature my sister once saw in our house… And it was enough to scare the living daylights out of her.

image source: Robb North