Wednesday, October 15, 2008

PGS -- The Special Horror Issue


Guest-edited by Yvette Tan
Cover art by Nelz Yumul
“An Unusual Treatment” by Dominique Cimafranca
"Now, bend over!"

More hesitation from my cousin. A love tap to the back of his head keeled him forward.

I could swear that I saw it, though I didn't believe it. Mr. Olandria snuck the cracker up Mick's ass crack, and it disappeared completely. When I first thought about it, I thought the old man had palmed the saltine or crushed it, but he was wearing short sleeves and there were no crumbs. Whoosh! It went in just like that.

Even more unbelievably still, he took the apple and stuffed it in after the cracker. I could swear I heard the suction. And it all happened before Mick could object.

"Okay, you can pull up your pants now," Mr. Olandria said. "Come back again tomorrow. Same time. Rebisco King Flakes and an apple, don't forget."

And with that, he swept us out the door.

On the ride back, Mick was uncharacteristically silent. He said only one thing to me, and with all the utmost earnestness I had ever seen from him:

"Not a word, Jake. Not a word."

“Same Time Again Next Halloween” by Alex Paman
“But it really is Jack, ma’am,” I said. “He’s just here to visit.”

“Get out of here, both of you,” she screamed, flailing her arms to shut the door. “Don’t ever come back here ever again.” In a single click, she bolted her door and turned off her porch light.

We walked down the steps and merrily kept walking along.

“That didn’t go very well, did it?”

“Tech Support” by Sean Uy
"I want you to draw something on your screen," Jeanette said.

There was a long, uncomfortable pause on the other end of the line.

"Sir?" Jeanette asked.

After a long period of silence, the voice suddenly answered her. "What?"

"I want you to draw something on your screen," Jeanette said patiently.

There was another long period of silence before the caller spoke. "What are you talking about? What do you want me to draw?"

Jeanette took a deep breath. "A five-pointed star," she said. "One point up, two points down, and enclosed by a circle."

Five seconds later, the silence was almost unbearable.

"Sir?" Jeanette asked.

Slowly, the caller cleared his throat. "What’s your name?" he ventured.

"No," Jeanette said. "You don't have to know who I am. You don't have to know why I'm doing this. You just have to work fast. Whatever it is has had five weeks to get hold of your computer."

“The Haunted Man” by Raymond G. Falgui
And there was the time I found my favorite GRO locked in the bathroom, refusing to open the door and whispering incoherently about what, I suspect, of all things, was the electric fan. Like the others, she never went home with me again. She’d sit with me when I dropped by the club, but she always nervous around me – and afraid. I could sense that, just as I could sense that it wasn’t me she was afraid of. But she never answered any of my questions: three months later a spot opened up for a stint in Japan, and she was gone. I never saw her again.

It was at about this time that I got involved with Sarah.

“The Jar Collector” by Charles Tan
Not every secret is incriminating. Some sound trivial: I like daddy more than mommy, I spelled my co-worker’s official designation wrong, my boyfriend’s name sounds funny.
Eventually, I encounter a secret that haunts my dreams. An unassuming man--one with a neat haircut, oversized glasses, and whose taste in clothes is quite formal--sits besides me and asks if he can tell me a secret. I sigh but he takes this as a sign of confirmation.

“I killed my brother.”

He doesn’t mention the details but my imagination fills in the rest. Before I could betray my panic, the man quickly leaves. I start wondering whether the man is having second thoughts at his confession. There’s a good chance he’ll hunt me down.

“The War Against The City” by Joseph Nacino
Ramon is running and an empty city is running after him in his dreams.

It’s always somewhere he knows, somewhere he’s been in the metropolis: the well-lit business district of Makati; the claustrophobic, grungy side-streets of Binondo; or the long, lonely stretch of Marcos highway. This time, he's running past the dark malls of Ortigas with the rain rendering everything bright under the auburn street lamps.

But Ramon knows he's dreaming because despite the strangeness of the hour (is it past midnight? 3 o’clock?), the streets echo lifelessly and he knows Manila never sleeps. He abruptly stops and turns around. He looks for the sound that had come from nowhere and everywhere. It seems like the sound had come from a human voice—though it lacks the sound of anything that resembles human.

It is the city’s voice and he knows the city is after him again, in revenge for the pain he has caused it.


Blogger Dom Cimafranca said...

Coolness! Can't wait to get my copy.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

according to a character in the movie donnie darko, some old dude claims that the most beautiful set of words in the world are "cellar door".

of all the titles, i think "the jar collector" sounds the best.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

BTW sir, how come PGS4 isn't in the side column yet? ^^

10:06 PM  
Blogger rcloenen-ruiz said...

I've been reading your blog entries for sometime now, and have been quite curious about Philippine Genre Stories. Are your upcoming issues themed or are you going to accept submissions that don't fit into any theme? (except that they're genre, of course)

10:52 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Hi Rochita!

The "regular" issues are unthemed and you can send in anything genre.

7:05 AM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

@ek: Oo nga, 'no? I'll ask B.C. for help...

@rcloenen-ruiz: Hi, and welcome! What Charles said!

@charles: T.Y.!

9:23 AM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

@dominique: Will let you know when it's ready *crosses fingers that all will go well*.

9:38 AM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

@anonymous: thanks for your kind words! I hope when you get your hands on a copy, you'll like the other tales too!

9:39 AM  
Blogger rcloenen-ruiz said...

Thanks for answering my question.

Here are a couple more:

Is it possible to order a copy of PGS online or is it only available from fully booked?

Do you also have pdf copies for sale?

Just asking. Last time I was home I didn't find any in National Bookstore. I did find Story Philippines...but no PGS.

It also might be of interest to other expats if it's available as a downloadable pdf. Frex: GUD has copies available as print and pdf...depends on the price the buyer is willing to pay.

2:21 AM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

@rcloenen-ruiz: Yes, it's possible to order PGS online.

Sorry, no pdf copies for sale as of now (though this may change, as I'm studying how to go online, perhaps in the near future; depends on many factors, including budget)

I will inform Anvil, my distributor, about your not finding any at National. I know it should be available there, but I know that Anvil keeps them in different parts of different stores. Comic Quest Mega and SM North are other places with stock.

Thank you! :)

10:13 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

as ever, reserve me a copy and i will get it from you when i get back to the rp

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Justine said...

sayang, di ako nakapagpasa sa horror issue! may horror issue pa ba darating? hehehe. ^_^

8:05 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

@Ryan: Sorry for the late reply. I think there are copies still for sale at Comic Quest Megamall and SM North Edsa.

@Justine: Hehe, sorry. I don't think there'll be a next all-horror issue in the near future.

9:00 PM  

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