Thursday, September 20, 2012

graphic tales (part II)

In the midst of a hectic first-year residency, I got a nice surprise when my short story "Scars" was selected as part of the long list of this year's Philippines Graphic-Nick Joaquin Literary Awards. "Scars" was my first foray into the realm of horror fiction, and eventually appeared in Graphic's Halloween issue. With a sprinkling of Gothic and Filipino-Chinese religious elements, I thoroughly enjoyed writing it very much - so much that I had to scratch the writing itch inside an impromptu internet cafe of a mall! To cut the long story short (pun intended), I didn't make it to the top three, but what the heck - literary awards nights are always magical. Congrats to this year's winners, and heaps of thanks to the ever-fabulous Joti Tabula for accompanying me!

An excerpt from "Scars":

When war broke out and the Cantonese boss was abruptly dragged off by the ruthless Kempeitai for interrogation, the family was forced to evacuate to safety. How Vladimir managed to survive the war with nary a bruise or an injury puzzled many people. According to one account, both his parents were shot dead by belligerent Japanese sentries as they were fleeing from the city, but the bullets only seemed to whizz past the boy’s puny body as he raced for the hills. Another bystander claimed that the bullets indeed hit him and he swiftly crumpled to the ground, only to rise seconds later as if nothing happened. A third account contained more grisly details. Seeing his parents sprawled motionless, the young Vladimir, not more than twelve years old by all appearances, flew into a fit of rage and single-handedly strangled the Japanese soldier with incredible superhuman strength, lifting his burly frame off the ground. When the dust had cleared, the ill-fated soldier was found slumped in a pool of blood, reddish froth oozing from his mouth.