A Little Girl’s Gripping and Magical Story – 13

A gripping and magical story of a little girl. Baykoy Series.
Literary Fiction/Epistolary/Drama/Fantasy

A gripping and magical story of a little girl. Baykoy Series.

Baykoy and The Only Something

This is a gripping and magical tale of a little Filipino girl who goes by an endearing nickname, Baykoy.

The story is told through the heart-convulsing letters of a woman to her niece, detailing her extraordinary childhood experiences.

Written by

J.J. Ireneo

The Magic in Us – Part One

Part Two

Age: Five years old.

Year: 1984.

— indomitable —

Dear Sage,

I had to meet them again.

The beautiful young woman and the handsome young man. Admiring each other as they held hands. With a mesmerizing smile on their faces.

I should also point out. Longing faces.


Grandma and I had to sit through this fairy-tale again. I still wasn’t convinced that it was actually a children’s book. An actual children’s book. Like all the kids in the world had already known of it. They had read it. They loved it. Especially the little girls. And that they wished for the same love magic to happen to them someday.

Already. They were already wishing for love magic.

This kind of love magic.

The fairy-tale kind.

I already understood how the story went. Though the first time, I couldn’t read all the words yet. I was able to read some of them, but not as good as the way that I was reading them now.

Because right now… the words felt crunchy. They also sounded more alive. Life was breathing out of them. Magnificently.

Grandma would drop the meanings as we journeyed on. And it made me more greedy. Though I could care less about the story at all. I only cared about the words. It was what I was there for.

But then!

“Tell me the story through your own words,” grandma said.

I did. With a lot of pouting and frowning.

“So what’s in the story that you don’t like?” she asked.

“Because she couldn’t rescue herself from the evil stepmother,” I said. “Her only way out was the prince.”

“And what would you do if you were the girl? How would you rescue yourself then?”

“I’d run away in the middle of the night, and I’d make sure I got all my animal friends with me.”

“But it’s dangerous outside. Wouldn’t you be scared?”

“No. Because I’d rather be scared out there, than be scared all the time living in that creepy house with evil people who could harm me any second.”

“You could meet evil people out there as well, and they could even do the most horrible thing to you.”

I thought it over. I thought it over really hard enough.

I ran out of defenses.

I then looked at grandma, and she was waiting for my response.

I lost it. Really lost it!

I gave in to terror.

I broke down.

Well, in a five-year-old sense, it was more like… a big baby tantrum. Really!

Big, heavy pound!

Grandma wrapped her arm around me. “Listen,” she said. “Stop crying now, and listen to me.”

I tried to halt off my wail.

“Did you think of yourself as the girl?” she asked.

I nodded ‘yes’.

“Why? Is it because you’re also a girl? Is that it?”

I nodded ‘yes’.

“Well, I thought of myself as one of the animal friends. We don’t always have to see ourselves as the main girl or the main boy. We just have to see ourselves as any character or heart who resonates with what we stand up for.”

“Ooh really?”

Always see yourself as any heart who resonates with what you stand up for.

The only something.

— Indomitable —

Dear Sage,

Grandma made me hold the fairy-tale book in both hands. She instructed me to just focus on the printed words, and how my mind would catch images forming out of them. I had already done this before. Actually, I’d do it all the time. Anything that would intrigue me, whether through spoken words or peculiar actions, my mythical beat would be turned on.

With or without a subconscious command.

It would simply turn on.

I know how powerful your imagination is. As your grandmother and your mother would report it all back to me. How you found your magic wand. Why you gotta have one. When it should be used.

You found it outside of the church. It was a special tree branch. Refined and a little shiny. Especially when you’d take it outside. And you’d charge it with all the beautiful powers delivered by the angels… by placing it under the morning sun at any given time.

During our video chat, you told me it was for bad kids who would hurt other kids. You said you didn’t like to see other kids cry. So you’d wave the magic wand around them, so they would treat other kids good, and no kid would cry anymore.

It was the noblest thing you had ever done. At four years old.

As for me, your great grandparents made my imagination move most of the time. Seeing images in my mind out of the printed words was just a fragment of it all.

Only a fragment.

“Do you feel like living in it now?” grandma asked.

“I’m one of the animal friends now,” I replied.

“What else does your mind say?”

“I’m forgetting you’re sitting beside me.”

“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” she said.

I looked at her. I didn’t know what to say. As a kid, I should have only mastered two distinct words. Good and bad. Nothing else.

But your great grandparents grappled my mind with a lot of challenging thoughts, dumped into terrifying situations.

“It’s a good thing,” I said.

“Why?” grandma asked.

“Because I’m part of the story now. I’m experiencing magic.”

“But the story itself is not even that magical enough.”

“The fairy godmother makes it magical.”

“Just because she’s got a magic wand and she makes beautiful things out of it doesn’t mean it’s a magical story.”

“So what makes it magical then?” I asked.

“What do you think?” she replied.

My brains were already burning.

A magic wand is never the source of magic at all.

The only something.

— Indomitable —

Dear Sage,

I couldn’t leave my seat until I had given grandma a satisfying answer.

Kidlat and Kuwago had already been dying for us to play outside. It was a scorching afternoon. And I had been itching to splash around. The waterfalls. The river. The woods. To listen to the birds and the crickets. No matter how menacing and mysterious they might be. I just wanted to get out and be a kid.

Along with my two best buddies.

As I thought of Reynan. Whose identity still puzzled me. Where would he be? Did he really exist? Or was he just a part of my imagination?

Was it even a real encounter?

But no. My heart told me it was all real. And it wasn’t just real.

It was magical by itself.

Its integrity was magical.

Magical enough for me to keep it in my memory until the end of time.

“What’s magical to you?” grandma asked.

“Meeting a boy by the waterfalls,” I said. “At first I thought he was creepy, but he wasn’t. He was really nice. And he warned me about all the witchy stuff and some evil creatures around. He had a slingshot. He was gonna shoot birds. He said it was his way of getting even with God. Because God’s people were bad, too. They killed animals and humans to offer to Him. And he said they shouldn’t have written The Bible ‘cause it had a lot of bad stuff in it. And it made him angry. So now he shoots birds to tell God that what His people did to other people was not okay. Then we found an eagle-owl along the way. And he didn’t wanna kill it ‘cause it was a magical bird. ‘Cause they keep other mammals alive. So he walked me back to school, and said that if someone would hurt me, he’d feel it, and I’d see him again, and then he’d kill them with his slingshot… That’s what’s magical to me.”

Grandma was in complete awe. “Did this really happen?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Reynan!” grandpa butted in. “That’s the boy’s name. He said he went to our school. We were his teachers, but… Did we…?”

“No!” grandma blurted. “Otherwise, I would have remembered him! A bright kid like that? Of course, he’d be remembered!”

And an unexpected turn got a hold of my fears.

Grandma and grandpa rendered me an… ‘Are you making this up?’ … look! I panicked. “It happened some time ago,” I said. “My first few weeks here! I swear!”

My memory told me it was true. I couldn’t make this up at all.

I felt like I had been attacked. So…

I convulsed into my most horrid cry. The kind of cry that pressed their panic button. The kind of cry that grabbed their hearts into an agonizing punch. The kind of cry… that kept me in grandma’s arms… that grandpa might not even remember the baykoy song tunes anymore.

I knew its worth.

A magical memory has a dash of truth.

The only something.

— Indomitable —

Dear Sage,

The result.

A trip down to the waterfalls. All five of us.

Grandpa, grandma, Kidlat, Kuwago and I forayed our way down the long, winding trail tracks.

Close by our modest house. It didn’t even take that long at all. As I was singing the baykoy song in my head. I sang it as I felt it. Happy and feeling my truth. That what I knew was always magic.

I must have only sung it as many times as I could count my fingers and toes. But because I was singing on cloud nine, I couldn’t feel the existence of time and space anymore. Relativity had become my friend. I thought it was also a part of how magical the mind could go.

Kidlat and Kuwago sloshed around the river bank. They attempted to feel the water, but they shied away. Although the waterfalls put them in a total daze. They barked at its glory, especially when grandpa revelled in. He kept on hollering, “Woohoo!”… as he was living it up.

Grandma warned me I could only bask in the river.

This narrow and tame river. I was forbidden to splash under the waterfalls alone. But this time around, though, I could.

Grandpa held me up in his arms. I raptured into a whole lot of screaming and laughing and yelling around… as the magical nature snarled me in. I gasped and wiggled and all the quirky movements I could snag out of me.

Our audience: grandma, Kidlat and Kuwago.

They were sitting on the huge rock, side by side, looking on.

Amidst all the waterfalls spree, grandma started singing a gospel song. I recognized it instantly as we would sing it in church most of the time. Especially in kids’ service time.

It was ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’.

Grandpa sang along. I couldn’t memorize the lyrics. So I simply hummed the melody. While Kidlat and Kuwago’s heads were up and alert. Listening and taking part in the whimsical moment. They softly howled, moaned a little. As the magic of life splashed inside our hearts. A memory to rekindle.

“All right,” grandma said. “C’mon now. Let’s get going.”

Grandpa and I hauled out of the water. He put me down, and right away, Kidlat and Kuwago jumped all over me. Like they were happy to know I was okay.

“No, waterfalls aren’t bad at all,” I told them.

“Now it’s gonna stick right into her head,” grandma said, glowering at grandpa.

“Aw, she’s not gonna do it!” he replied, then turned to me. “Baykoy, you can’t jump into the waterfalls alone, you hear me?”

I laughed. “Baykoy!”

“Yeah, you’re baykoy, all right,” he chuckled.

You will always be someone’s most special doll.

The only something.

— Indomitable —

Dear Sage,

Your grandmother and your mother have been sending me videos of you studying. You can read and write now like a prancing genius. You do it almost unconsciously without even a pause. You make it look so easy, larking me away into my own time.

Well, my own time required a lot of romping mind. Of course, I had a huge heart for it, as grandpa would say. But grandma took it to extremes.

Looking back now, she was an academic athlete. Also, a tenacious academic coach. Sometimes, she was grandma. Other times, she was my teacher. And the rest of the time, she was my academic coach.

Having her as the academic coach was always the worst. Not exactly. That would be harsh for me to say. She never hurt me at all. She would never yell at me either. She just sounded firm and mighty. She believed that I could do anything. And each time she would put me through a challenge, an unexplained brain rush would envelope me right off the bat, then I would surprise myself in the end.

One of the challenges she would put me through was the photographic memory clap.

She would announce one letter after another, and I would follow it along with my mind. I would then catch the given word, clap my hands once, then say it out loud. Mostly, action words. Three or four-letter clunks.

Another one was like a charade. One action. No repetition. The keen observation technique would flop me into deep thinking. She would act it out in one brandish go. And that was it. I was on my own. All I had to do was recall the act in order to find the right word for it. And this one would always dunk me into a tingling headache.

Though the words I was looking for were only found in the reviewed stockpile hoarding away into my memory. I was mentally confined. Regardless.

The other challenge was reading a plain passage. No illustrations. Not even a simple drawing. No color to entice me in either. Nothing of a kiddie kind at all. Just a clean and plain passage. Off a certain book.

It was about a little boy who loved adventures.

Who carried the sharpest pencil and a notebook around.

Each time he’d find something interesting, he’d write it down. And he would describe it in absolute details.

In absolute… and graphic details!

No matter how disheartening and bloodcurdling it might be, he knew exactly how to frighten his subject in one-sentence flick. Just so they would leave him alone. So he could go his way. Without distractions.

Grandpa intruded, “Hey hey. She can’t read it yet. Give it to me.”

“It’s for all ages,” grandma replied. “Fables have violence and hostility in them. Even nursery rhymes, and especially fairy-tales. Get away.”

“How’d you like the story so far?” grandpa asked me.

“I’m the boy this time around,” I replied.

You can be whoever you desire to be.

The only something.

— Indomitable —