A Little Girl’s Gripping and Magical Story – 23


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

A little girl's gripping and magical story. 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 Enchanting Spirit – Part One


Part Three

Age: Six years old.

Year: 1985.

— indomitable —


Dear Sage,

A tent full of wake attendees.

It looked like the entire town was present. The school kids, with their folks. Even some big kids who were complete strangers to me.

A lot of gossip, a lot of domestic chitchats, a lot of yawps, even giggles… Kids seemed to take it as a playground extension, tables slumped with serious card players, mourners snacking away… Yet a zephyr of sadness was felt in the air.

There, almost an oldfangled house stood. Made of bamboo trees, with palm leaves for a roof.

Angeline’s casket laid inside. With funeral decors and flowers all around it.

My heart skipped a beat at first glance. I wanted to throw up. I felt like being attacked by a viscera sucker all of a sudden.

Tears were spooking their way out. I had to be in my best behavior no matter what.

No matter what.

As her smiles and hugs still felt fresh. As she unwrapped a chocolate bar for me to lavish with. The succulent, chewy bite.

The way she looked at me like I was the most important person in her life. The kind of look that I could only recognize in grandma and grandpa’s loving eyes.

She loved me already. She could feel my good heart. She could feel all my sadness. She knew all my wishes. In an instant.

Grandma and grandpa were holding my hands as we were approaching. All heads turned.

Right away, we had been hounded. Welcoming greetings, genuine smiles and ‘how are yous’, men shaking grandpa’s hand, women striking up chat topics with grandma, school kids saying, ‘Good evening, sir! Good evening, ma’am!’.

Old folks, kids’ parents acknowledged me with their delightful quirks. Some female elders even bestowed me with hugs and kisses.

We stepped inside the house.

Angeline’s parents bounced towards us upon our entrance. Grandpa handed them an envelope. It was quite a thick envelope.

There were tears of gratitude and hug exchanges.

Angeline’s mother gave me a closer look. Her eyes were in a draining grief. “She left you a present. Hang on.”

She whirled away and returned with a wrapped present. The paper was pink. It was a small square box. A bit light. “Thank you,” I uttered.

A wedging jab hit into my heart. I was already on the verge of yet another disturbing spectacle.

But I had to stay calm. No matter what.

They accommodated us with snacks and drinks. Right there. Just about two meters away from Angeline’s casket.

I could hardly breathe.

I couldn’t even taste the biscuit. I couldn’t taste the orange drink either. It looked orange, but my taste buds were bland.

The twins waved at me, smiling. They looked shy.

I waved back. I was also just as shy.

But they looked like thoughtful and quiet kids. Not the typical vibrant ones.

They zinged back into a room right away.

Then grandma and grandpa ambled towards the casket. I sat still, with images of Angeline and I sharing moments by the waterfalls.

The epiphany. Angels sending me a good friend.

A good friend who was about to go away.

Jiji. Angeline.

Sitting in a funeral van.

Any more punishment from heaven?

I was ready.

To die.

You can control your emotions.

No matter how painful they may be.

It’s one of your powers.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

Grandma and grandpa took a moment of a silent prayer.

I hugged my present as I fought to divert my mind to the reception outside. Though my vision was blurry. As my eyes were buried in tears.

Stay calm. Stay calm. Stay calm.

Don’t cry. No disturbing spectacle. Don’t be an embarrassment.

I had to keep telling myself these important phrases.

I had to keep my mind rolling away.

I had to use the magic of the mind.

I thought of the full moon spinning around. Aah! It was falling! It was falling!

No! Gravity held it up. Along with the stars and planets.

I thought of Miyong’s pineapples. Boy, he could really use some help with those rich pineapples, all right.

I thought of the crazy wild families slaughtering a pig. Oh. Poor, poor pig. Really gross and disgusting! Now the pig was under heaven’s comfort.

I thought of the two young boys who were cotton fruit merchants whose rough day had been saved by grandpa. Oh, lucky. Lucky, lucky, lucky.

I thought of the stories I had read.

Oh, the birthday girl! The werebeast little boy! The fairy-tales! What else… what else… what else!

WHAT ELSE!!!

No, I shouldn’t think of the birthday girl. That story should have been banned from my memory.

I thought of… Reynan.

No. I shouldn’t think of him anymore. He would never be found, anyway. Besides, he lied to me! He. Lied. To. Me.

I thought of… the old home.

No. I shouldn’t think of its ruins anymore. Absolutely not.

I thought of… I thought of…

No family. No loved ones. They were in the city.

I shouldn’t think of anything that would only make me feel sad.

I shouldn’t even think of Jiji anymore.

His peaceful and pale face.

The way he died on a jeepney. On our way home. In your grandmother’s arms.

I thought of… I thought of…

No. Not her. I couldn’t. She was resting in that casket now. I couldn’t. Not anymore.

Please… please… please…

No more bad thoughts.

The crying, the big baby tantrums, the disturbing spectacles, all my hysterical whimsies.

I should think of…

Tick tock tick tock

Sting… sting… sting…

Kidlat and Kuwago. Where were they?

Oh yeah. They were told to stay home instead. Good boys. They were always good boys. I wished they were humans. But their hearts were more beautiful than most humans.

Oh, the kids who were scared to play with me.

Shoves! Go away! Get outta here!

I exhausted my mind.

Just to spare myself from another caustic cry.

And how long would it last?

Your mind can play tricks on you.

Entertain what brings you joy.

Yet don’t be afraid if it provokes your weak heart.

It’s conspiring for a brand new start.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

Grandma and grandpa yielded to me with a presumptuous eye. I knew what it meant. I shook my head ‘no’ to it.

They understood.

Angeline’s parents then talked to them some more. I was afraid we were going to stick around longer than we should.

They sat down altogether, away from me. Away from my ears.

Perhaps, grandma and grandpa warned them about my sentiments.

They spoke in a low, austere voice. Almost in whispers. I could tell it was about a thorough detail of what happened that morning or the night before she died.

I was still hugging the present. Battling against my mind.

I wanted it to work like magic. Like I wouldn’t see images at all. Any heartbreaking images. As one of them was already resting closer to me.

I just wanted to remember her in those beautiful moments that we shared together. Not like this.

Spiritless. Cold stiff. Eyes closed.

In a casket.

My chest was getting heavier now. My vision was blurred up with more tears. My body was in chills.

Then…

Oy,” a familiar voice breathed into my ear.

I gasped. Heart drumming.

Oy, baykoy!” It flew by in a whispering lull.

I jumped on to my feet. Hair raising. A bit terrified. But… not really.

I knew it was her. I recognized her voice. She spoke to me.

Angeline just spoke to me!

My heart was ready to give in.

Now!

I ran to grandma and grandpa, bellowing it all out!

No, it wasn’t a disturbing spectacle. It wasn’t. I could swear it wasn’t.

And there it was. A rumbling panic.

Grandpa held me up in his arms, and I clasped around him in tremor.

The grief was already wedging its way into the night.

And the kids saw it as yet another disturbing spectacle.

The old folks, the elders, Angeline’s parents… they were all comforting me, with their sugar-coated words, all the baby talks, assuring and gentle touches on my cheeks, hands wiping away my tears… I felt suffocated.

Grandma and grandpa had to apologize and bid their good nights early on.

And we were out into the chilly, misty street. As grandma held a flashlight.

And the present was still clutched onto my hand. Pressed against my chest. Which reminded me of Angel.

They never spoke a word. Just some more solacing phrases for me. But nothing worked. I was still waggling.

“My god,” grandpa said.

“What?” grandma replied.

“She’s palpitating badly.”

“Jesus, Mary, Joseph.”

It was one supernatural night that I would never forget.

Angeline spoke to me. I heard it clearly. The angels let her speak to me.

I cried out of grief. I cried knowing that she was right beside me. I cried believing that… my good friend, the good heart that I had briefly known, still loved me beyond her lifetime.

I should have been at peace with it.

I should have been…

… at peace with it.

A good heart will always be loved here and beyond.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

A gentle, loving touch brushed against my face.

Hush… hush… hush…

It grabbed grandma and grandpa’s consciousness. They studied my sudden reticence as if I was a Science experiment.

We had just arrived home. Kidlat and Kuwago pranced around us.

Grandpa put me down in the living room chair. The natural gas light had been flamed up.

I was eerily calm. I had no words for it. But I just felt an extraordinary soothing sensation enveloping me. Overwhelming kindness. Heavenly warmth. Like being born again.

Grandma made me drink some water. “You’re feeling better yet?” she asked.

“That’s not better,” grandpa said. “That’s something that requires either a doctor or a spiritual expert.”

“A spiritual expert,” grandma objected. “There’s no way we’re sending her to a spiritual expert.”

“I think Angeline might have come through her,” grandpa commented.

Grandma poked him in the shoulder. “She’s not possessed.”

“I’m not talking about some demonic possession,” grandpa said. “Her friend’s spirit has just contacted her. That’s what’s going on.”

“We’re not sending her to a witch doctor, if that’s what you want.”

“Not a witch doctor. A pastor, maybe.”

“Quit it. She’ll be fine.”

“If she still wouldn’t get better after the funeral, I’m taking her somewhere.”

“Somewhere? Like where? I’m taking her to Pacing.”

“Pacing? For what? She’s not sick. It’s a spiritual thing.”

Tick… tock… tick… tock…

“I’m taking her to Pacing on Saturday.”

“It’s a spiritual thing, all right? Her friend’s spirit is all over her! That’s what’s causing her to act strange!”

I looked at my present. My movements made them shush.

Grandma caressed my hair. “Wanna get to bed now?”

I shook my head ‘no’. I wasn’t sleepy yet. I just felt cradled by invisible arms.

The invisible arms had the kindest thrill. I was there. But not fully present. Though my mind wasn’t the culprit at all. It was having a tranquil ride of its own.

It was something else.

Something supernatural.

I could only feel it.

It was silently speaking inside of me. I could only feel the words. Attached. Safe. Divine.

Above all, the affection felt strong. I couldn’t resist it. It was asking me to do something.

Something daring. Like an adventure.

It was telling me there was nothing to be afraid of. A present was waiting for me at the destination.

A special present.

I had to go.

I had to obey it.

I had to know.

What could it be?

Where would it be?

Whose invisible arms were cradling me?

There is a distinction between mind and spirit.

If one or the other speaks to you, don’t be scared.

As long as an extraordinary kindness is felt.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

I had never spoken a word since.

They put me in bed as I still felt the invisible arms cradling me.

I didn’t have the energy to speak at all. I couldn’t move much either.

I felt light. So light. Like a piece of paper swaying along with the soft wind.

The silent voice was still speaking to me. Again, the kindest I had ever heard. Angelic. Like heavenly singing. Though I still couldn’t figure out what they were saying. Yet somehow I understood something.

I understood what the silent voice was telling me.

It wasn’t ringing in my ears at all.

It was swirling inside my gut.

Like magic.

Its sensation would give me chills once in a while. But not the kind that would terrify me. Just calming. Beautifully calming.

Yes, I was present. I was there. In bed. With grandma. She was snuggling me under her arms.

Yet at the same time, I was also floating away somewhere else. Like I said, it wasn’t my mind.

The mind was at rest.

It was the invisible arms.

I closed my eyes, and it was pitch dark.

Even the mind was not showing me anything.

It was still at rest.

Yet the silent voice and the invisible arms would never leave me. They gave me an unbelievable tangibility of affection that I had never felt before.

I knew grandma and grandpa loved me so much.

But this one felt like heavenly love. The kind of love that I knew would never be given by any special human. At all.

Oy,” the familiar voice breathed into my face.

I giggled. “Oy.”

Grandma cuddled me closer. “What is it?”

I couldn’t get my full awareness to respond to her. The familiar voice held my charm, and I was giving in to it. Without fear. Without a playful mind.

It was a palpable experience that I couldn’t escape from.

Oy, baykoy.” It felt so close. Tingling in my cheeks.

I was amused. “Oy, baykoy.”

Grandma tossed over, shaking me. “Baykoy, baykoy!”

Want a chocolate bar?” the familiar voice whispered.

“Want a chocolate bar?” I replied. I couldn’t come up with anything else to say. I was just compelled to repeat the words myself. My mind wasn’t there. I was simply aware of it. Just fully aware of its presence.

Grandma twitched my face towards her. I knew it was her. She was with me. I just couldn’t get my consciousness around her reality.

“Who are you talking to?” she wondered.

Baykoy, don’t cry,” the familiar voice pleaded.

Baykoy, don’t cry,” was my response.

Grandma shook my face. “Baykoy!”

Is that your nickname?’ the familiar voice softly laughed.

“Is that your nickname?” I laughed along.

Grandma panicked. “Baykoy!”

Oy, baykoy,” the familiar voice whimpered.

Oy, baykoy,” I sobbed.

Grandma cuddled me tight, weeping.

There is a beautiful mystery found here.

Some may appear to be a sad enchantment.

Nothing to fear.

The only something.

— Indomitable —