by Daniel C. De Guzman
Yohan met Santino on a bus bound west of the city on the last day of their school year. That time, Yohan’s body was aching to finally have its much-coveted break after the monthly mental torture he endured just to get good grades all for the sake of barely maintaining his scholarship for one more year. His mind was riddled with too many concerns that made him realize that the vacation that was about to start would leave him exhausted yet again.
Remembering the plans of his A-list classmates for this upcoming break didn’t help him that much either. All he heard from them was that they would enroll themselves in short courses to learn new skills that would come in handy both for the academic and professional world. Some will even attend tutorial classes all throughout their vacation so that they would get ahead. These burned like hot rods inside Yohan’s mind as he began to feel the overwhelming pressure of his soon-to-be senior year in college. So instead of binge-watching his favorite shows or going for an out-of-town escapade, he decided with a long, heavy, and exhausted sigh to spend the vacation by squeezing the last of his brain juice for the next couple of months.
His mission was simple: he needed to learn a new set of skills all for the sake of surviving one more year again before he began the life cycle of a clerk battling his existential dread from eight to five with no other life other than inside his office cubicle. He wished there was something more than that but he had no choice; that was the only viable option for the future that awaits an upcoming graduating student.
But what should I learn? This was the lingering question that hammered countless options and notions in his brain like the keys of an out-of-tune piano that kept on hitting the wrong notes in rapid succession while he stared blankly at the bus’s window; hoping the sight and sound of the city would be merciful to give him one good answer. That was when Santino arrived, making his way to the bus door and quickly, Yohan already found him an oddball.
At first, he thought Santino was just another bible-preaching passenger, which was a very common sight for commuters like him to always encounter inside the bus. These were the people who would stand straight and keep their balance while trying to speak the words of God to all these tired people who didn’t give a fuck anymore about the old man in the sky. Yet with all the passion that they could muster, they would preach about God’s love and turning one’s back away from sin. Claiming that Jesus was all we needed which was always met with a sidelong glance by the working class who knew the truth that no matter how many times they prayed, the food wouldn’t pop out onto their plates. They needed cash, blue or yellow, whoever might be the face on it. This was what they needed.
After their ten minutes of non-stop gospel reading and balancing, a white envelope would be handed to all of the passengers. Any amount you put there would be highly appreciated so long as it was from the heart. Then at the end, these bible-preaching commuters would inform the driver to pull over without even giving their transportation fare. They made the passengers closer to God after all so it’s alright if they wouldn’t pay at all, wasn’t it? That’s how many knew them.
But Santino was different. He had this leather-bound book, which Yohan assumed to be his Bible, yet his appearance didn’t look like someone who was about to do a holy service. There was no trace of formality on his appearance: unshaven face, a ragtag black camisa de chino, tattered pants that looked like it had not been washed for a month, a drawstring bag, and various tattoos on his arms. Hell, for a belt, he just used a straw rope tied in a ribbon. The lighter and cigarette sticks protruding from his pockets were even an eyesore for some on the bus. Everything on him greatly contradicted the typical clean, neat, and harmless demeanor of a common Bible preacher.
Yohan, for one, found him to be a good-for-nothing rascal rather than a messenger of God. But all these impressions vanished as if someone poured white paint all over a color-smeared canvas when Santino started preaching.
No one could understand the words he said as he read from his “bible”. The way he spoke those strings of words was quite strange to Yohan’s ears; it was as if he was trying to command them with his powerful voice that shifted from a soft as silk whisper to a deep raspy growl. This prompted the other passengers to actually pin their eyes on him; they were annoyed, surprised, puzzled, and of course, laughing.
“…VADE RETRO DEMONIA!”
Upon speaking the last phrase of what appeared to be his prayer, he suddenly did a hand sign that made some of the passengers who wore black shirts with unrecognizable names of metal bands grin upon seeing it. It was the sign of the horn, the gesture flashed by rock and roll lovers and purportedly labeled as the sign of devil worshippers. However, as Santino flashed the infamous sign, goosebumps began to crawl all over Yohan’s spine. Perhaps if he would try his hardest to simplify it, it was as if something hard and heavy was going out of his body, like it was forcefully ejected and surprisingly he felt relieved afterward. Like that feeling when you manage to expel that hard shit from your gut after a night of extreme struggle in the toilet. And he was not alone to feel it; he observed it also from the other passengers. Even those who were ridiculing Santino suddenly paused as the sensation washed over their bodies with these weird expressions on their faces.
“Kayo ngayo’y malinis na ng gaya sa isang batang tupa!” Santino gave a smug smile at all of them as he put a cigarette stick on his lips. “Boss, para! Dito na ako bababa!”
The bus stopped and Santino went to the door. But before he left, his eyes and Yohan’s met accidentally. That moment of meeting each other’s eyes apparently led Yohan to an answer; not to the question of what skills should he develop this vacation but rather to the question of what kind of thing was being expelled from their bodies that moment Santino ended his incoherent prayer. He nodded at Yohan and then pointed his finger right at the window beside him. Then he left in time to light up his cigarette.
Santino never left a white envelope for anyone on the bus to be charged for what he had done. But he did actually give Yohan something, which he didn’t know if it were the price he must pay for letting Santino say those weird-ass prayers and expel some goddamn shit from his body. As Yohan looked out at the window when Santino was gone, he had no choice but to scream as the image he saw on it nearly robbed his sanity for good. Black, billowing smoke came forth from all of them in the bus and these were coming from all their eyes, noses, ears, and mouths.
“PARA! PARA PO! PARA!” Yohan ran as fast as he could towards the bus’s door without minding the looks that the passengers gave him. He only cared about leaving the bus quickly as the icy sweat drenched his body down to his shaking soul. He would be damned for sure as he saw the smoke become faces of skeletons with horns and menacing grins.
Yohan was still running and huffing for a few minutes before he calmed down and realized that he had no idea where the hell the bus actually dropped him. The entire road was as black as a starless night save from the reflector stickers of arrow signs that hopefully would be visible enough for all the passing vehicles there to prevent any terrifying mishaps. He scanned the area and found himself trapped again in a new web of fear, for there was nothing on the road other than the rows of towering skeletal trees that had already lost their green from the harsh summer sun from the past weeks. Worst of all, there was no signal in this place so calling a Grab Taxi was out of the option.
“Hoy… Ikaw yung nasa bus kanina ah?”
The chills that crept through Yohan’s skin nearly turned him into stone as he heard a voice behind him. He turned around and saw the man on the bus, he who was the reason he was stranded here all alone in this godforsaken place.
“Santino nga pala. Di ko alam nakakakita ka din pala, pare.” He said casually as if they were good buddies. He even tapped Yohan’s shoulder twice like how compadres would.
“Anong nakakakita ang sinasabi mo?”
“Nakita mo sila, ‘di ba? Yung mga putanginang mga nilalang na parang pesteng pinausukan kaya nagsilabasan sa mga lungga nila.”
“Ah…O-oo. Nakita ko nga. Pero ano ba yung mga iyon?”
Santino stared with intensity at Yohan after the latter confirmed seeing the creatures in the bus that came out from the passengers without them knowing. Then Santino laughed and once again tapped Yohan’s shoulder. The smell of his cheap cigarette was too much for Yohan to handle.
Santino asked for Yohan’s name and then dropped a lone question like a proverbial bomb that triggered so many question marks all popping inside his mind.
“Naniniwala ka ba sa mga Demonyo, Yohan?”
Yohan looked at him quizzically. Santino motioned to follow him. He finished puffing the last of his cigarette but he was already readying the next stick from his pocket.
“Yung totoong demonyo na galing sa impyerno?”
Santino chuckled as he started puffing the newly lit cigarette and explained to Yohan that he was talking about literal demons with horns and teeth, abhorred by gods from the past and present. Those beings that looked like shit. Smelled like shit. And would turn the lives of mortals into shit. Santino even claimed that it was a gift for mortals to see their kind. He even emphasized with a smirk that seeing a demon was an example of a miracle.
To Yohan, however, that was not a gift. No one who was still in his right mind would want to have the ability to see a fucking demon in broad daylight, or worse, at night.
With one hour left before the arrival of the next bus, Santino invited Yohan to follow him. Santino felt that fate had made their paths cross tonight. The two walked the dark streets for five minutes before finally stopping in front of an old church. Yohan could barely see it but the needlepoint towers on its roof told him that it was Gothic in design. There was no door anymore that they needed to open and the entire façade was already devoured by vines, leaves, and dead flowers. Cracks covered the walls both on the interior and exterior. Inside the church, the benches were all gone. It was empty save for the altar where an upside-down cross remained leaning on the farthest wall. Debris was all over and so were the random roaches and rats that skittered loudly upon their arrival.
When Santino said he would turn on the lights, Yohan thought he meant the electric supply in the church was working. Unfortunately, what he actually meant was the leftover candles on the candelabras which he lit one by one. As the tongues of flame began to increase in number, the shadows in every corner of the church were wiped out by the specks of light, enough to let Yohan see the hidden companions of Santino in the form of numerous statues placed in the different alcoves in the altar. They were not statues of angels and saints but of different deities from all over the world: Buddha in the lotus position, the multi-armed Kali, the blue-skinned Osiris, and the half-naked Zeus gripping a lightning bolt. All the terrifying gods of the past were here in this ruined sanctuary of light and shade.
Santino placed his hand on the statue of the Messiah on the cross and then made the sign of the cross before playing again the role of some sort of teacher to Yohan as he indoctrinated him about the misconception that not all demons fear only Jesus or the Heavenly Father. It was a joke, he said, that there is only one god. Having numerous legions of demons was already enough proof that there were numerous gods that counter a specific demon. This was why in this church, there were so many idols and statues that Santino served and worshiped to expel the sons of Satan or whatever other name demons had.
“Kung ganun, yung ginagawa mo sa bus kanina eh isang exorcism rite?” Yohan asked as he also wandered around and looked at the different forms of god from different beliefs and cultures. He couldn’t help but wonder if the number of gods in the world might actually be in proportion to the number of demons that also exist.
Santino turned a little bit serious as he confessed to Yohan that he had been exorcizing demons in different places ever since he was stripped of his authority as a priest, because of a particular incident when he used a different exorcism rite rather than resorting to using the name of the holy trinity to expel a demon that tormented a child. He saved the child but the whole diocese saw it as if he made a pact with the devil. He couldn’t serve the church anymore according to them.
Yohan never saw it coming, that this chain-smoking man whom he thought to be a hooligan oozing with haughty air was actually once a man of the church who served it by dealing with its oldest enemy. The surprise came like an unseen blow that made him stumble toward the altar and accidentally found a small statue of a figure of what appeared to be a Bul’lul, a humanoid god of the headhunter tribe from Ifugao in a squatting position. Normally a Bul’lul’s face looked nondescript but this one had the eyes of an owl and a mouth full of oversized fangs, rather fearsome for a granary god.
Santino grinned as he flicked his finished cigarette with deft accuracy and it landed perfectly on one of the empty holders of the candelabra as he proudly stated that even if he is not an ordained priest anymore, he can still cast demons away with ease. He even boldly said that ever since he started using different exorcism rites after being excommunicated, the success rate of his exorcism ritual has doubled.
“Pero tumatanda na ako, Yohan, panahon na lang ang may alam kung kailan bibigay itong katawan ko.” Suddenly his tone became lonely as he walked toward Yohan. Against the meager light of the candles, the only thing that Yohan could see on his face was his brown eyes that bore deep down into his won. Besides his eyes, the face of Santino was already wracked with weariness. He could also hear his failing lungs.
“Kailangang mayroon magpatuloy sa sinimulan ko. Kahit part-time lang.” Then he gave this grinning smile while his lips held another cigarette stick. Yohan had a bad feeling, but before he could retreat from what Santino was about to say to him, Yohan’s fingers that rested on one of the Bul’lul suddenly felt a stinging pain. A wound appeared all of a sudden on his index finger. Blood dripped freely over the mask-like face of the Bul’ul.
“Estudyante ka ‘di ba? Baka naghahanap ka ng part-time job ngayong bakasyon niyo? Bakit ‘di mo subukan na maging exorcist?” Yohan knew Santino would ask that damn ridiculous question and he wanted to refuse. But his tongue seemed to get caught in something inside his mouth that he couldn’t openly say ‘no’. What’s even more strange was that when he began to utter a sound, he felt as if all the statues of god were casting their eyes on him, as if they were also trying to ask if he wanted to become their ally of to get rid of their sworn nemeses.
Never did Yohan fantasize about becoming the champion of God, or Gods. Heck, he was not even a religious type. His last visit to the church was during the wedding of his sister. The last prayer he uttered was when he was seven out of mere compliance with his angry grandmother who always forced him to pray whenever they ate their meals. And yet, he couldn’t say no to Santino for all the words he was trying to spit were returning back to his mind as if they were bloody soldiers already retreating from a war bound to be lost.
Santino promised nothing in the form of lucrative payment. Only plus points in heaven will be assured from this kind of job according to him. But his words began to sink in when the ex-priest asked him which was more exciting: spending his summer rotting in an office cubicle or expelling demons in different places.He once again tapped Yohan’s shoulder. It was already time for the arrival of the next bus and Yohan was beginning to remember his previous thoughts of being an office clerk for the rest of his life.
Santino put his arm around Yohan’s shoulder as he accompanied him towards the gaping exit of the old church. From there the headlight of the bus was piercing the darkness outside. Inside was another batch of unknowing passengers. And inside these passengers were demons that rode their souls without their consent.
The first lesson that the excommunicated priest gave to Yohan, while exhaling swirling smoke, was the core concept of his exorcism method: knowing the demon he was facing. Santino emphasized that knowing who your foe was would give you, not only a decent, but a much higher advantage in battle. He handed Yohan a cluster of necklaces that had different religious symbols as pendants. Santino told him to touch them one by one and if one of them got hot, that meant a particular demon that corresponded to the religious symbol was nearby.
Then he gave Yohan a copy of the leather-bound book he carried all the time. What Yohan thought to be a bible was actually a collection of various chants and prayers from different religions, both the orthodox and the forgotten ones. They were translated into English and Tagalog which would come in handy to him who was not well-versed in many languages.
Santino pointed out a footnote on one of the pages of the leather-bound book. He reminded Yohan that when he was about to finish the rites, he should follow the instructions written in the footnote. This indicated what kind of offering he must give to the god to make the exorcism rite effective. As the bus was about to arrive in front of the church, he tapped once more on Yohan’s shoulder for one final piece of advice.
Santino insisted that the most important part of an exorcism rite was the intention coming from the exorcist. Whenever they chant the verses, their intention must be as clear as a high-definition TV image. If there was any lingering doubt on the part of the exorcist’s intention, then everything will be fucked up. It sounded more like a warning to Yohan rather than advice. Yohan was beginning to see that Santino was not really that good when it came to teaching.
“Paano kung hindi gumana yung exorcism rite?” Yohan asked the dreaded question as he stepped onto the bus. Santino was about to finish another cigarette when he answered with a smile that it would work because the gods were on their side.Then the bus’s door closed between them. It took Yohan a few seconds before realizing that Santino had just left him inside and had no intention at all to accompany him doing his first-ever exorcism rite.
Yohan banged the door as hard as he could but his voice dissipated against the entire circus of noises inside the bus. It was jam-packed with passengers from the province. No space to sit nor even to walk comfortably unless you wanted to squeeze your way past the standing passengers who were either dozing or chatting non-stop with one another. The music from the bus’s stereo that played a loud blast of remixed New Wave songs was not helping at all. This was where Yohan would begin his first assignment. Suddenly, the tiny excitement he felt the moment he accepted this job, since he never did find a part-time job in the office interesting, was starting to get smeared by a blot of doubt.
He tried moving towards the front part of the bus near the driver’s seat. After a minute of getting suffocated by walls of flesh and getting deafened by the chatter and music, Yohan finally had a good view of everyone inside the bus. No one even noticed him with his school uniform and backpack. He was just a regular commuter like them who wanted to reach his destination. The anonymity would be helpful, he guessed. He started fiddling with the pendants from the bundle of necklaces that Santino had given him while cursing him silently for leaving him all alone in this goddamn bus. Heck, he even started to wish that this bus was not laden with any demons.
The idea of even doing nothing at all and just letting these demons do their own thing became a sound option. These people were ignorant about the fact that demons were hijacking their bodies and probably they wouldn’t even give a damn about it. Everyone had their own demons too, and it was best to leave others to deal with their own, right? The music stopped playing finally and the passengers were also getting hit by exhaustion which prompted them to be silent. Yohan was about to take that as a sign that he needed to stop also from thess shenanigans when all of a sudden a woman began to scream in panic.
“Manong! Puwede niyo po bang bilisan! Yung anak ko, lumalala na ‘ata ang sakit niya! Please po pakibilis naman!”The woman was cradling what appeared to be a four-year-old boy whose mouth was agape as if every breath he took was in arduous labor. His eyes were becoming white and the pale color of his face told Yohan that he really needed urgent help.
But the bus driver, for some reason, didn’t respond. He maintained his speed between twenty to thirty on the dark road. Not a single passenger even bothered checking out the mother and her child as if they didn’t see or hear anything. Some even just plugged their ears with earphones to silence the noise coming from the mother. No one saw what actually was happening to the child except Yohan who froze right at the very moment when he saw the reflection in the window beside the poor woman.
A thick black smoke that almost suffocated the child was the culprit. After a few blinks, the smoke took the form of a demon that was entirely different from the standard horned-headed hellspawn that Yohan knew from movies and pictures. This one looked like a horrendous gargoyle with bat wings that clapped in glee as the demon seemed to be sucking something from the child using its long tongue that went from the demon’s mouth straight to the child’s mouth. It was draining the lad and enjoying every single drop it could squeeze from the boy.
To add to the already awful predicament that Yohan was in, the entire bus’s passengers had their own demons, too. The black smoke around them shifted into a plethora of creatures that were monstrous in appearance; half human and half horses, tiny beings that had fangs and sharp ears, all of them were like a chimera of nightmares that whisper something in the ears of the passengers. God only knew what kind of stuff they were putting inside these passengers’ minds.
Bwisit! Conscience kicked hard at the groin of Yohan’s ego, urging him again to fiddle at the necklaces. It took him almost a minute before he felt something hot. It was the necklace that had the Babaylan script which stood for KABUNIAN that gave off a scorching sensation right on his palm. Immediately, he went for the leather-bound book and scanned its contents. The mother was screaming at the top of her lungs when he finally found the exorcism verse that called forth the help of the god KABUNIAN.
“Apo Kabunian. Tigahulma ng mga mortal. Dinggin ang dasal naming mga nilalang ng lupa…” Yohan noticed that some of the passengers started to look at him as he read the passage from the book. But then they just shrugged and returned back to either sleeping or staring outside the bus. He didn’t feel any reaction at all from the demon who was still slurping the soul of the child with gusto while the mother was already sobbing.
Walanghiya kang demonyo ka! Umalis ka diyan sa bata! He thought to himself as he continued chanting the verse. But after almost a minute of repeating it over and over again, the child remained near death’s door and the demon was about to have its victory dance.
Intensiyon, Yohan. Intensiyon. Santino’s voice echoed all of a sudden inside Yohan’s ear as if he was just behind him whispering his advice. But his mind couldn’t react to Santino’s words as he saw the demon about to take its last gulp.
Anong intensiyon?! Ano ba dapat kong isipin?! It was at that moment when the mother of the child met Yohan’s gaze, the helplessness in her wet eyes was so vivid that it hurt him to look at them. But just when he was about to turn away, she mouthed words that even though done in an almost whisper, he clearly understood what they meant. The clarity hit straight into his mind and forced him to say the exorcism verse again. This time though, he was going to fuel it with a newfound intention: to help with all the strength he could muster.
Parang awa mo na! Tulungan mo kami! Yohan chanted again the verse much louder than before minus the shakiness in his voice. He poured every single bit of strength he had into each of the words he spitted out as if his life depended on them. The passengers began to notice him again, now they were getting bewildered as to why a student like him was chanting a prayer inside a lone bus. Cold sweat began to form on Yohan’s Forehead. The eyes of everyone were like needles that pierced right through Yohan. But he needed to finish the verse until the demon started reacting.
“Pwede bang manahimik ka diyan, boy?! Baliw ka ba?! Manong! Pababain niyo na nga itong gagong ‘to sa bus!”The choir of complaints was trying to challenge his singular chanting; a volume versus volume duel but Yohan kept on making himself louder and clearer. The driver even joined the fray and started warning him that if he didn’t stop, he had no choice but to make him get off his bus.
Plastic bottles began to fly toward Yohan when he finally got a glimpse of the demon: it stopped sucking and cast a baleful look at him. Its black body suddenly thinned out and began to fade. That was the cue to finally end the rites with the obligatory sacrifices according to Santino’s quick guide to exorcism.
But it didn’t end as easily as Yohan suspected; the sacrifice he must do required blood from him that he needed to smear on the holy symbol of Kabunian in accordance with the footnote below the page where he read the exorcism rite. When he took the pocket knife that Santino also gave him as part of the implements he handed, one of the male passengers thought Yohan was about to run amok. Fearing that he might randomly stab anyone in the bus, he quickly took Yohan down with a tackle and wrestled the knife from his hand.
“BILIS! TULUNGAN NIYO AKO DITO SA PUTANG INANG ‘TO!” He called as he started ramming his fist at Yohan’s face while straddling him. At that point, Yohan knew everything would be fucked up. But he still needed to finish the job. The pain could wait afterward. Without a knife, the only way he could make himself bleed as quickly as possible was to bite his finger as hard as he could, even at the expense of opening up his defense and letting the punches get a clean hit on him. Upon tasting something stale on his finger, he reached out for the necklace that had the symbol of Kabunian and let his blood drip on it.
The punching stopped. The people inside the bus gave the same reaction he observed previously on the bus he rode when Santino conducted his exorcism rites. The look of unusual relief and peace was then seen on their faces.
“Diyos ko! Ano ba ‘tong nagawa ko! Ayos ka lang ba, boy?” The man who, just a minute ago was raining blows upon blows at Yohan, now started to help him up and even checked if he was all right. Countless apologies were uttered by him; in fact, he even gave Yohan money that served perhaps as daños perwisyo for turning him into a punching bag, thanks to the demon inside his mind. Yohan took it silently as he weakly grasped the handrails above him.
His entire body screamed internally from all the bruises he got. And to be honest, he didn’t feel so good at all after he cast away the demons from these unsuspecting passengers. In fact, he felt like shit.
Yet when he saw the mother once again sobbing for joy for her son, who was now awake and less pale, a smile made its way onto Yohan’s bruised red face. The mother gave her child an embrace, then she looked at Yohan and smiled while mouthing, Salamat, hijo. After that, Yohan didn’t feel like shit anymore.
As Yohan descended from the bus while still nursing the beating he got, Santino was already in front of him waving happily as if they were friends who had not seen each other for a long time.
“Kamusta, Yohan? Mukhang napalaban ka ‘ata ng husto ah?” He asked as he examined Yohan’s face.
“Hindi ito mangyayari kung ‘di mo ako iniwang mag-isang nagpapalayas ng demonyo!” Yohan shouted at him as he smacked the hand of Santino that was about to tap his shoulder again. That gesture irritated him now as if Santino had the right to do it after what he had done.
“Relaks ka lang. Doon ako natuto, sa totoo lang, kung paano mag-exorcise. Tingin ko naman gaya ko, natuto ka din kaagad. Mukhang napalayas mo naman mga demonyo sa bus eh, tama?”
Santino was telling the truth: Yohan did learn from that nerve-wracking experience, although he didn’t want to get punched in the face again. Then Yohan remembered the mother and son on the bus and the happiness on their faces. He never felt so fulfilled until then. Not even studying gave him such a feeling, to be honest. Not even office work he supposed.
“O, san ka pupunta, Yohan?”
“Uuwi na ako. Tapos na ang trabaho ko dito.”
“Ok. So bukas ulit, Yohan. Next assignment natin, hindi na tayo sa bus mag-eexorcise.”
“Ano?! T-teka lang, anong bukas? Araw-araw natin tong gagawin?! Wala namang kontrata dito ah!” Yohan replied angrily at Santino. He was irritated at the ex-priest for there was no contract between them signed by Yohan that stated such rule that he would exorcise demons on a daily basis.
Santino insisted, however, that Yohan did sign a contract. He reminded Yohan of that particular moment when Yohan’s finger bled when he touched one of the figurines of deities in the church. Yohan stared at Santino to see if he were joking but his face remained the same with his cigarette dangling on his lips. Then the memory struck him, pinning him where he was. The Bul’ul inside the old church. The wound. The blood that was smeared on the idol’s face.
“Sige at magpahinga ka na, Yohan. Kita tayo bukas ulit sa bus stop. Workaholic mga demonyo ngayon kaya dapat sabayan natin sila.” Santino winked at Yohan and waved his lit cigarette stick as he bid farewell.
“Tandaan mo, kasama natin ang mga diyos.”Santino said to Yohan as a follow-up parting message. Yohan would cling to those words for the next couple of months of his part-time summer job.
About the Author: A 28-year-old office staff from Tarlac, Daniel C. De Guzman started to love writing ever since he fell in love with Dan Brown’s novels. He later got interested in the horror genre through the influence of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. When not writing, he loves playing video games and listening to music that ranges from Deathcore to Japan City pop songs. His stories usually feature creatures from the mythologies of the Philippines.