Issue Number 3
An excerpt from Tuko, by Miguel Escaño:
Jun throws up his hands. "I can't help but feel that it's all because I killed a gecko," he says. "The morning after, I learn that someone died of bangungot in my apartment complex. Soon after, the hallucinations start. I'm seeing a dead gecko everywhere I go. I'm hearing 'tuko-tuko' in the silence of my room. Sometimes when I open my mouth, croaking sounds come out."
Jun buries his face in his hands. "What is happening to me?"
"The mind is a powerful thing," says the doctor. "I've read about patients with illnesses that are purely psychosomatic. Their belief was so powerful that they showed disease-like symptoms.
"For all we know, bangungot begins in the mind," the doctor continues. "Victims experience a nightmare so frighteningly real that they believe they are dying."
The doctor scribbles a prescription. "A disturbed mind often causes hallucinations. To calm your thoughts, sleep is usually the best medicine. Take one capsule every night for a week and you will sleep better," the doctor says. He hands a slip of paper to Jun.
An excerpt from Homer's Child, by Paolo Chikiamco:
Muppet was an example of how belief in something could Manifest itself in reality, in this case a firm belief on the part of a much younger Basil Garcia--spurred on by one too many Calvin and Hobbes strips--that his stuffed animal was actually alive. By the time I'd become old enough to realize that this was somewhat lacking in truth, Muppet's consciousness had already become Manifest.
There were plenty of times I'd wished that I had imagined a mighty invisible dragon friend instead, but Muppet had his uses. For one thing, he's known me long enough that he knew me better than I knew myself--which was why I didn't win very many arguments with him.
"All I'm saying is let's be clear as to why we're here," Muppet continued, "There's no Story here. Not the type that would interest a homeridae anyway."
He was probably right. That still left my day job though, and so I started my car's engine and headed toward the school.
After all, even tabloid journalists earned more than storytellers nowadays.
An excerpt from Y, by Sharmaine Galve:
I don't think I can stand being married to a Grade A Minus. Not even Grade B. And definitely not Grade C. Grade C's are the worst of the lot. Bad traits of Grade C include insecurity and competitiveness. Precisely why they could have been A Minuses but aren't. Backstabbers and Machiavellians, those C's. It is their competitiveness that's dragging them down. Like they couldn't exist if they couldn't compare themselves with other people. Like everything is a race. Don't even have them on my staff. Only have Grade A minuses. The B's are wimps in my opinion. A Minuses are the cream of the crop. But not quite the best. They almost have my intelligence. But it will never be as easy coming for them as it is with me. Won't make it to that sharpest point. Will lose their minds before they reach it. Will help in the Achievements. May even be the original source of the Achievement. Dreamers, I used to call them when I was younger. Because they lack the capacity to achieve it. Grade A on the other hand does not lack any facility. It is his surroundings that are lacking for him. The way it is going I might be the only Grade A existing in this world. I'm the only one who can do this.
But no time for this. Time is running out. I started smelling flowers an hour ago again. There are no flowers in this place.
An excerpt from Twinspeak, by Elyss Punsalan:
She hesitated. She smiled. "I meet a friend...who brings me gifts of all sorts every time." Rina dropped her head timidly, like she's part-ashamed and part-excited about what she remembered. "First it was a crystal goblet, very exquisite. But he realized soon enough that I had no use for it, so he brought me next a chest full of necklaces. And then Cuban tobaccos, a state of the art sound system, a Cosmo subscription, a Suburban, Crème dela Mer...Oh! There were so many things he gave me, I can't remember them all!"
"Incredible taste that friend of yours has. So, he good-looking? You like him?"
"I like him a lot, definitely. Handsome? Hmm..." She thoughtfully gazed into a picture frame, a shot of both of us on our tenth birthday; we were wearing ridiculous party hats. "He says he's lived since forever and that he's old enough to be my great-great-great-grandfather. He's not even human. He has a beer belly, four paws, and sharp nails. He's really short, and he has black shiny scales, would you believe? The scales aren't troublesome though. They're rather soft. In the beginning he looked appalling, but once I got to know him, he's such a sweetie. And he has lovely green eyes!"
An excerpt from The Devil Is In The Details, by Charles Tan:
Unperturbed by the man's apparent apathy, the Devil approached him with a confident stride (which is much harder than it looks when you have hoofed feet) and spoke to him in hushed tones, since people seemed to pay more attention to you when you're trying to be discreet.
"I want your soul. Name your price."
The soft proposal was like the ringing of an alarm clock to the man. After decades of informal training at eavesdropping, he heard every syllable (it didn't matter if the words were directed at him or not as his ears were attuned to catch every whisper). A part of his brain wanted to disbelieve all of it. It seemed like the plot of a badly written movie, radio drama,…or short story.
An excerpt from Dreamtigers, by special guest author, poet, and Rhysling Award winner, Robert Frazier:
(first published in the March 1987 issue of Amazing Stories)
No, she said. The doctor could do nothing. It was the bangungut that had him. Fenneman translated that as the nightmare syndrome, first studied in Philippine males. Victims would thrash and cough in their sleep and sometimes couldn't be resuscitated. In our studies we've called them dream deaths.
That noon, just as I was to leave, the young girl stopped me. Her touch lingered, her bronze hand on my black one. She had made herself very pretty, and said to come back that night.
My dreams were also disturbed. I saw a shadow, hers perhaps, stalking me along the veldt.
cover artwork and animation by: Andre Medina
cover and animation concept by: Jenny Peñas
interior design and layout by: Elbert Or