my memory might have tricked me, so i really don't know what time it was.
i just woke up in the middle of the night, or perhaps it was early dawn -- i really had no way of telling the exact time -- because a loud, shrilly cry pierced through the darkness in my room, with only a few traces of light from outside, both from the moon and the fluorescent bulb, that were filtered by the window screen.
i remember two to three months back that each time this happened, i was not able to go back to sleep, and so i needed to transfer to a bed that had another someone else in it, be it my lolo or my parents. and i don't think you can blame me either, because in the room where i'm staying at right now, i can sometimes feel the presence of our houseboy who passed away just two months ago.
no, he did not die in my room, but in our servant's quarters, which is adjacent to my room. about 3 meters to be exact, from my window to his. he was 24, he slept early after a basketball session, and he died in his sleep at around 11:30-ish. may god bless his soul.
you really can't blame me if i chicken out from time to time, because knowing how abrupt his death was, for all i know, his spirit might still be languishing around because that white bright light has not warped him yet to where he ought to be. but still, i do hope he is resting peacefully right now.
the reason why i was so afraid before was because i dreaded suddenly waking up in the middle of the night, looking at the window screen, and then be greeted by the sight of him just looking straight at me, his eerie gaze all the more made scary by his face bathed by the moon's illumine.
and so when i heard that loud-pitched cry, i immediately scampered around and looked for my cellphone to see what time it was. it read 4:56 am. i was looking for my other phone to check for messages, when i felt something hard from underneath my body. no, it isn't what you're thinking. it was just my phone, and apparently, when my weight pressed on its surface, i accidentally typed in a number.
i was perplexed when it read: 6 6 6.
even as my heart raced because of this unusual numerical allusion to all things dark and evil, i tried to temper my horror by convincing myself that clearly, this was merely a coincidence.
and then i heard the same shrill cry again. only this time, it was more abrupt, eerier, and it sent shivers down my you-know-what.
my basic instinct had me going for the door, and not looking back at what i might see in my window screen, because clearly the sound came from somewhere outside my room.
i prayed, and prayed hard.
but the wailing only persisted. only this time, it was for a longer period of time. i listened intently to that heartfelt cry a couple of hours before the sun was about to free me from this horror.
it sounded so cold, so lifeless, so desperate, and so sad.
i mustered all my strength to take a peek outside. of course, i readied myself for whatever i might see. even when cold streaks of perspiration were dripping down my forehead and my palms were getting sweaty from the unhealthy mix of anticipation and dread, i vowed to not be cowarded by the possibility of seeing the personification of evil itself that might be lurking beneath the shadows.
all i saw was darkness.
and as my eyes adjusted to the scattered traces of light and the gentle blanket of blue that signaled the arrival of dawn, i was able to survey the outside surroundings.
there, i saw our houseboy's room windows. i could not help but stare at it, because even when i tried to move my sight away from the zigzagged bamboo sticks that provided for a makeshift room window, my better instinct led me straight to his cold and almost dead room window.
and then, in the middle of the illuminating light and the dominance of darkness, the sound sliced through the night again.
i defied my humanity and looked at where the sound seem to come from.
and then i saw it.
my grandfather's goat that was just born the other day.
i told you this was no ghost story.