A Little Girl’s Gripping and Magical Story – 27


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 narrated through the heart-convulsing letters of a woman to her niece, detailing her extraordinary childhood experiences.

Written by

J.J. Ireneo


The Wicked Woods – Part One


Part Three

Age: Six years old.

Year: 1985.

— indomitable —


Dear Sage,

A gloomy day under a pleasant drizzle!

A bit bizarre yet tempting. I had to do something.

The horrific hysteria had already subsided. The wall clock ticking had also been switched off from my consciousness. The disturbing spectacles appeared to be impossible to pull off now.

Kids were still the same. Dandying away in their ‘dangerous’ games.

Grandma and grandpa had been having a goodnight sleep. I had also been having a goodnight sleep.

It had been days since I had forgiven the angels.

Things started to feel a little light.

I had been reading a lot. I had also been allowed to write with a sharp shiny pencil. My good heart was glowing back.

Tomorrow was going to be Angeline’s funeral.

I had been slowing down on grief. And I would just squeeze it all out into letters.

I would speak to her in my heart, and she would respond right away.

I was already good with that. I had been learning the value of acceptance.

In my six-year-old existence, I was beginning to believe that sadness cried along with time.

It would come and go.

Though some pieces would clutch on. While some would grow.

Deep down inside, I knew it wouldn’t be healed fully. I just had to learn the magic of tricking it away.

Today could be one of those days.

The day to learn the magic of sadness trick-away.

A gloomy day under a pleasant drizzle.

Still bizarre, but…

“Humid rain,” grandpa said during recess.

I took a huge bite of my muffin, then chased it down with hot chocolate. “I like it.”

“Deceitful weather,” he replied. “Witches would love it.”

“Wrong,” grandma chuckled. “It’s when there’s rain under beautiful sunshine. That’s what they love.”

Kidlat and Kuwago were anxiously skittering around, moaning and barking a little.

“Maybe we should play outside,” I said.

“Wait until the drizzle is gone,” grandma reacted. “Then you can go play.”

“Just don’t go far, though,” grandpa reminded me.

Grandma must have spoken it to existence. The drizzle had magically wrapped up in the blink of an eye.

So Kidlat, Kuwago and I invaded the ground. Away from the kids.

Away… away… away…!

We didn’t want to disturb their ‘dangerous’ games, so we had to find a special space of our own instead.

Away… away… away…!

I led the way. Kidlat and Kuwago galloped along.

Where should we go? The waterfalls?

No. I didn’t want to get sad today.

The vegetable garden?

No. We didn’t want to ruin the banks and slopes.

I spotted the wicked woods outback.

What could be hiding in there? Let’s check it out.

We ravaged our way in.

Kidlat and Kuwago were already bouncing around in excitement.

This would be the first time that all three of us would actually go for an adventure together.

An adventure into the wicked woods.

Where grandpa saved me from one of my outbursts.

Well, no outburst to save this time.

Just a very sad little girl who longed for an escape to keep her heart kind.

The universe has a boundless space.

You may escape as many times as you want.

With a kind intent.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

We slid down the hill. On our quick-triggered feet. Balancing was the good swing, and a whole lot of rhythmic beats.

Everything looked a little damp. Big and small trees stood like kings and princes. Tame, untouched. The wayward bushes and shrubs seemed peachy.

The birds would keep on chirping along the way. Our rustling feet signalled them to be on alert. We kept quiet. Respecting their home.

So what else was to see?

Same good old fellas.

Greens, browns… Greens… Browns…

Pink!

Bougainvillea! Whoa.

Stop, stop, stop!

Kidlat, Kuwago and I stood in front of the bougainvillea tree. Its rich pink color reminded me of Angeline’s dress she wore when I met her in a dream.

An enraptured fancy.

I had to pick off one.

But it was quite tall for me. I looked at Kidlat and Kuwago, with desperation ramming in.

“Yeah, I know,” I sighed. “I’m too short and too little to do this.”

They moaned a reply, embarrassed.

“Are we far enough yet?” I said.

I didn’t think so.

Scoot on!

All the way down… Down… Down…!

What could be hidden down there, anyway? This looked like a never-ending journey.

Trees. Big and small.

Bushes and shrubs. Wishy-washy. Some looked peachy.

Birds chirping. Rustling feet.

Nothing else to hear. Nothing else to matter.

Nothing else interesting. Nothing else to ponder.

Oops. Found a bountiful guava tree.

The fruits were humongous, and they came in different colors. Green, yellow, and… purple?

Was it purple?

Was there a purple-skinned guava?

Or I could be wrong. After all, I was only six. I could identify all the dominant colors, but that was just it.

Could I?

“We’ve gotta get us some of those guavas,” I told Kidlat and Kuwago.

They looked at me like I was out of my mind.

The tree was still tall for me. I had to climb up myself just to grab one.

I had never climbed a tree before, but…

… in the name of one yummy guava, I was determined to launch myself into a life-and-death situation.

Why was I even too short, too little and too tiny, anyway?

I thought I was just so little, so tiny and so fragile.

I just didn’t realize that height was also a critical part of the physical description.

“Okay,” I sighed. “Here it goes.”

I studied the tree for a bit. It looked sturdy, dewy… slippery.

It must be from the drizzle.

But I had to have that one yummy guava. Picked off with my own hand. Fresh from its branch.

Kidlat and Kuwago wagged their tails, moaning.

A warning?

“I’m doing it!” I said.

Each time you’re tempted,

consult an instinct first.

Is it good or bad?

If it’s good, go ahead.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

One foot up. Grips on. Body weight hoisted up. Another foot elevated its way forward. All over again. And again.

One more.

Gotta get the grips at the top of the game.

Ouch! Ouch!

I got a splinter!

Bad sting!

Let go!

Baam!

I hit the ground, without mercy.

The fractured bones wired up into my awareness like a nightmare. As the big baby tantrum crashed in firsthand. It was hard to bear.

Kidlat and Kuwago went berserk, barking around, kissing me on the face for comfort.

I wasn’t bleeding. I couldn’t find cuts, wounds and scratches either. Except for the prickling splinter.

I felt paralyzed. I tried to move a spasm, but it was a wracking punishment. I just had to stay still, so nothing would hurt.

I was still whimpering, but there was nothing else I could do. I could scream and cry for help, but would anyone even hear me?

Kidlat and Kuwago were still having a fit. Afraid to hop away from me.

Thunders! Lightning! Dark clouds were coming forth!

Panic latched onto me. I squealed at the top of my lungs.

Revolting rain was about to stream down, and I would be drenched or even swept away.

I was in my most helpless doom.

I could die today.

Kidlat decamped away. Kuwago stayed close beside me.

Where was Kidlat going? Hopefully, to look for help.

Thunders! Lightning! More dark clouds coming forth!

For the first time, I realized that my crying never mattered anymore.

Not in the wicked woods. Not when death… my own death… was ready to claim me. Today, tonight, tomorrow.

Soon. Pretty soon.

How could I ever think of such evil things now?

I prayed for rain to halt itself up with the dark clouds. Like the moon swaying along with gravity. Keeping its stature with other stars and planets.

I tried to move my hip. I could, a little. But something was sore inside. And a forced frisk would only make it worse. So I must only keep still. No matter how badly I wanted to get up.

Argh!

How far did we really go?

Was it really that far enough?

Did we run fast enough?

Oh, grandma and grandpa must be worried sick again! Crying, praying, treading on their alarming fears! Again.

Everyday. Every other day. I had become the princess of disturbing spectacles, the master of embarrassing ‘show-offs’ and the werebeast of tormenting plagues.

But I was just another kid around.

Only sad. Very sad. With unbearable grief to battle through.

With a special wish. A good friend.

A magic in the heart that would never stop whispering.

Like right now.

“Angeline,” I cried, “are you there?”

“Yes,” she replied. “Baykoy, don’t cry.”

“Am I going to die?”

“No.”

“Are you sure?”

Baykoy, don’t cry.”

The magic in your heart is faith.

With a dash of strength and courage,

you’ll be saved.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

Thunders! Lightning! The dark clouds were now threatening to splatter down!

I forced my body to get up. A hopeless attempt. Something had been terribly squished inside.

The kids were right. I was so fragile. My bones could easily break.

And I could feel them scrunched up now. I should have believed them.

Kuwago laid down beside me, with his head resting on my arm.

My frail arm.

Where did Kidlat go? I hoped he went to ask for help. Grandpa should be here any minute. He should be.

Someone should find me. Anyone.

Please come and get me!

I could cry and cry… I could scream at the top of my lungs… I could throw the biggest baby tantrums…

Nothing would come of it anyhow. I was already losing hope.

I was on the brink of death. My prayer had been answered.

I wanted to die. And here it was.

Broken bones. Cramped body. As thunder and lightning terrorized me.

Tomorrow was going to be Angeline’s funeral. I could have taken my last breath by then.

She could meet me in life beyond. Where all the beauty and magic glimmered under the wondrous sun.

Nothing to fear. Nothing to cry.

I should have been ready to fly.

I could sing the baykoy song now.

My baykoy song. My happy song.

The song that would remain in grandma and grandpa’s memory. The only two people in the world, who had never given up on me.

And I had been making them cry.

I was supposed to make them happy somehow.

But my deep sadness had been getting in the way.

And there was nothing that I could do about it.

I was six years old. Just a little girl.

Just another kid around.

I could justify it over and over again.

But it was the truth that got me strained.

I sat in a funeral van.

Jiji’s peaceful and pale face kept flashing on.

Angeline resting in a casket.

No good friend in sight. But I was just another kid.

Here I was again, hating angels and heaven.

How could they always hurt me and make me sad? Just insane.

They must take the blame. They should take all the blame.

Amen… Amen… Amen…

“Kuwago, it hurts,” I cried.

He moaned and rubbed his head against my skin.

“Angeline,” I whispered, “what should I do?”

Sing the baykoy song,” she replied.

“Then that would be cheating. I can’t sing the baykoy song when I’m not happy.”

The baykoy song is there to keep sadness and pain away.”

“Ooh really?”

Try it.”

Baykoy, baykoy… It’s time to go baykoy… Here goes the joy… Call them ahoy… Baykoy… Baykoy baykoy… Can’t be destroyed… Woohoy…!”

And the revolting rain splattered down!

I heaved out a loud cry. Kuwago jumped on to his feet, howling.

“We’ll never be found! We’ll never be found!”

Life will always find a way

to make you realize

all the special worths

that you’ve failed to

recognize.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

Drenched in revolting rain. Recoiling from thunder and lightning. My last breath was waiting.

I laid still helplessly. Praying for the numb hook.

The numb hook of survival. As the death clock ticked on.

Kuwago’s anxiety got him to roll all over me or shield me with his body or grab my dress. As his moans and barking and cries argued with the beastly nature.

He kissed me in the face, assuring me that we were going to be alright.

Kidlat was still away. Did he run for help? Was grandpa coming?

I felt the wild weather. What was going on? Was this typhoon? Like the ruthless typhoon?

Not exactly. But it wrestled me against the bad memories.

Oh, I wouldn’t want to go back to those images at all.

Get them off me! What was about to attack me next?

Hissing… Hissing… Hissing…

No, it wasn’t a vicious wind.

It was… It was… What was it?

Kuwago stood still, growling. He was confronting… something.

A werebeast? A monster? A viscera sucker?

Hissssssss…. Hissssssssssss…

Kuwago growled on. He was standing close to my head. Ready to fight a…!

I tilted my head to take a look. And…!

In dead horror! Could this be my last deep gasp? I trembled as all grandma and grandpa’s alarming fears were skinning me alive!

A snake had erected itself about a few steps away from Kuwago. Its eyes were angry. Its stand was resolute and quick-witted. It could attack in a snap.

“Angeline,” I moaned a prayer, “a snake is gonna eat me.”

Kuwago growled at it, showing off his fangs and spunk.

Aaahhh… Aaahhh… Aaahhh…” the angelic singing responded instead.

“Aaahhh… Aaahhh… Aaahhh…” I emulated it.

Hissssssss… Hisssssssssssss…

It was mad and upset now.

Aaahhh… Aaahhh… Aaahhh…” the angelic singing powered it up.

“Aaahhh… Aaahhh… Aaahhh…” I hummed along.

And Kuwago moaned deliriously.

I took a look, and the snake disappeared. “Kuwago, where did it go?”

Kuwago laid down beside me, with his head on the lookout. On sharp alert.

The revolting rain, the thunder, the lightning, the snake… while trapped in the wicked woods… while my frail and fractured bones were praying to brave up… while Kidlat was still away… while Angeline and the angels were on a vigilant watch… while I was understanding the distinction between life and death…

… while my good heart had been illuminated.

I was back to me again.

Me. The sad six-year-old girl.

Who sat in a funeral van.

Whose little brother’s peaceful and pale face slept into her memory.

Whose only good friend was resting in a casket.

Who could never be just another kid around.

Whose only prayer now was simply…

… to be found.

Rustling… Rustling… Rustling…

Footsteps… Someone was coming…

Kuwago jumped around, barking hysterically!

“Who is it?” I asked.

“Who’s there?” was the reply.

My heart jumped.

The distinction between life and death

will be shown to you

while you’re battling against

your good heart’s storm.

The only something.

— Indomitable —