Sombi CHAPTER 1

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PROLOGUE

            Ang boses ni Mic Enriquez ay nanginginig at nawala ang kanyang trademark na tono habang inuulat ang isang balitang yayanig ’di lang sa Pilipinas ngunit sa buong mundo.

            “Mga kaibigan, ang Alpha Phi Tsui Phi o mas kilala bilang Phi-virus ay isang virus na biglaan at kasalukuyang kumakalat sa bawat sulok ng mundo. Walang dalubhasang nakakakaalam kung saan ito nagmula at wala ring nakakaalam kung ano ba ang lunas dito.

            “Ang alam lang natin sa ngayon e nagdudulot ito ng rage-like state sa mga tao. Ang mga taong infected ay nawawala sa tamang pag-iisip. Delikado po ang mga taong infected sapagkat mahahawaan nila kayo gamit ang pagsalin ng dugo o laway nila sa inyo. Sila ay umaatake at pumapaslang na parang mga animal.

“Ang ulat na ito ay hindi isang ulat lamang; isa tong babala. ’Wag kayong lalabas ng bahay. Isara lahat ng bintana at pinto. Tumawag na kayo sa inyong mga kamaganak dahil maaaring ’di niyo na sila makakausap pang muli. Mga kaibigan, ang ating mundo at ang ating buhay mismo ay maaaring magwawakas na. *ubo* *ubo* ”

Sa una at huling pagkakataon, hindi nag-“excuse me po!” ang imbestigador ng bayan pagkatapos niyang umubo. Sa dulo ng kanyang huling ubo, nakita ng madla ang bangungot na nakaabang sa kanila.

Sa kanang bahagi ng frame ng camera sumulpot ang isang naglalaway at nauulol na si Kia Guanio. Sa kaliwa naman sumulpot ang natatanging partner ni Mic, si Zelle Tiangco, na naglalaway at nauulol na rin. Walang awa nilang nilapa ang imbestigador ng bayan at punong-puno na ng dugo ang lente ng camera. Lahat ng telebisyong nakatutok sa 24 Hours () ay nagkulay dugo.

Kumakalat na ang Phi-virus.

Nagkakagulo na lahat.

Natataranta na lahat.

Di nag-“excuse me po si Mic Enriquez sa kanyang pagmamadaling mag-ulat.

… Diyos ko, guguho na ang mundo.

1

            NAIA is said to be one of the world’s worst airports. But the plane’s crew members were nice; some were pretty and some were downright ugly, the food… Well the food sucked to be frank. The facilities in the plane itself were also good, aside from the fact that there was no toilet paper when I took a dump. Overall I didn’t think it was the worst… Until we landed.

It’s been like… 10 days. 10 days since I became stuck in this god-forsaken airplane bathroom eating nothing but cans and cans of “Cow Ulam” of different flavors and drinking nothing but this “Xtra Diyos” mixed in CLEAN toilet water. Well… I wasn’t “wow’ed” by the food and beverage but being stranded in a zombie apocalypse doesn’t really give you a buffet of food to eat.

            For entertainment, the only thing I’ve got are these couple of books, Libro ng Wika at Gramatikang Filipino and Diksyunaryo. These were all that I had with me when IT happened.  During this 10-day bonding time with these books I learned — Shit! — I learned nothing.

            Let me first introduce myself: my name is Joe delos Reyes. A Fil-Am from New York. My father is a Filipino; he met my mom in the States. They got divorced a while back and my dad won the custody battle recently. He planned on taking me back to the Philippines. “Our home” as my father said.

            My father and I really weren’t that close. He didn’t teach me anything about “our home” or the Philippine language for that matter. But he DID teach me something. Years ago he saw a friend, a Filipino too, and they greeted each other with these exact words:

SOMBIBasahin ang storyang ito ng LIBRE!