Monday, November 1, 2010

Fic Fragment: Heels over Haloes

Note: this is only a fragment of a literary piece I submitted to The Sentinel last year, about a boy who can see auras :). I blew up the drabble-ish piece into short story size, then picked up this part. It's inspired by a real-life banter between me and a friend.


“You should have at least brought an umbrella with you,” he said in greeting. “The sun can toast you alive.”

He chuckled when she gave him a mind-your-own-business glower. He shaded his eyes with the cup of his left hand, wondering how long she had been staying there. Beads of sweat glittered on her brow and her cheeks were suffused with a raw flush resembling the shade of her aura, but she did not look irritated or anything. She was too absorbed in sketching. He heaved a sigh and looked over the busy city.

“Sometimes I wonder what cities would be like if they were women,” he mused out loud. “I think Manila would be an intelligent but very exhausted mother, too exhausted to even notice she’s finally growing gray hair. Makati would be an elegant chick, probably having obsessive-compulsive tendencies, but that fact would be overlapped by the swing of her hips and her smooth, mile-long legs. Quezon would be the party girl, overly friendly and talkative and skimpily dressed. Caloocan…well, I’ve never been there, but based from what I heard, she’d be an obnoxious little girl. She’d haughtily try to be independent, but she couldn’t at the moment. She’d be a creature that a mother Manila would like to take care of.”

Of course, he did his research. He found out she was staying in Caloocan. Helena seemed to be aware of this. She looked up from her drawings and rolled her eyes. “There you go,” she said, feigning disinterest. “Do I need to remind you that I just met you the other night, Mr. Darcy? What do they always say---it’s just my name that you know, not my story.”

“I’m glad that you remembered my name, but it’s Caloocan that I described, not you,” he said calmly. “I figure that’s the kind of environment you’ll grow up in.”

She tossed a handful of hair behind her shoulder. “Don’t play your game with me and please, please stop reading Austen books. I guess you’re being too involved with them to a point that you’re introducing yourself as a fictional character.”

His head was thrown back with the force of his laugher. “You know, I told my mother almost the same thing when I finally got to read Pride and Prejudice. I said in jest that I’ll try not to hold a grudge against her when she named me after that Fitzwilliam Darcy. I don’t even like the character.”

He spied a ghost of a smile on her lips, but it did not develop into a full one. Not allowing the silence to stretch, he asked, “have you ever wondered what you would be like if you were a city?”

“Caloocan-ish?” she guessed mockingly.

“No. You’ll be like a very noisy city: all jeepneys and cabs caught in a traffic jam would be blowing their horns. What? Why are you glaring at me? That’s even so subtle, I would’ve said there were machine guns in the city hall just to describe how extremely harsh your mouth works. Hmm.  The houses would be huge and grotesque, masterpieces of one joke of an architect. There would be fleabags scampering after mice around the darkest alleys; large dogs would be chasing robbers and serial killers in the middle of the night. You'll be a city of your own, a city like no other. Helena City.”


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