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|The gift (standard:fantasy, 743 words)|
|Author: jopoguerrero||Added: Mar 22 2008||Views/Reads: 1830/0||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A mysterious gift|
The gift (A story titled “The Wedding Present” in Neil Gaiman's book, “Smoke and Mirrors”, inspired me to write a short fiction of the same plot. The following short story is my poor version of Gaiman's deliciously dark and intimidating ideas and illusions. -JRPG) After all the scorching pressures of the election, provincial board member-elect Kerwin Fernando and his wife Lerissa sat down peacefully in their backyard bench and got down to the business of opening letters and unwrapping gifts. The stack held congratulatory messages in every lingo, cards enough to inspire an army, and books for all kinds of legislators. But the last package gave off an unusual stuff, a comic book – like a double digest Archie comics. “What is it? asked Lerissa. Kerwin silently browsed the material. “Well”, he said. “It appears to be a comic book about my political career.” He passed it to Lerissa who looked it over. The illustrations were a bit funny but pleasantly colorful. It began with Kerwin's fruitful tenure as barangay chairman. Then it pictured his fiery yet productive stint as city councilor. It went deeper to his roaring election to the provincial board. After that, the pages related Kerwin's stormy victory in the gubernatorial race – he was accused of massive vote buying and harassment. “Governor? Vote buying? Harassment?” Lerissa's brow flew. “You are elected as board member for the first time, and now this comic book is talking of a gubernatorial election?” “I think it's just a joke from a disgruntled politician,” Kerwin shrugged. “Shall I throw it away?” “No.” She closed the comic book and carefully wrapped it with a manila paper. “Maybe, we hold on to it as a weird remembrance of your first victory in the provincial election.” After a year, while cleaning their room, Kerwin and Lerissa accidentally unearthed the comic book in one of their cabinets. Out of curiousity, they leafed through it again. The pages yielded a horrid Governor Kerwin Fernando – potbellied, his fingers were peppered with gold rings, a diamond-studded necklace swung around his neck, and he sat beside the backyard pool of his mansion. He was now tagged as a big-time drug and gambling lord in the region. With his mountains of dirty money, winning a re-election was not a problem. Kerwin and Lerissa exchanged funny faces after reading the new addition in the comic book. Entirely untrue. Kerwin was still a board member, fiercely straight and honest. No potbelly. No jewelry except his wedding ring. No pool. No mansion. Just their old but well kept bungalow – good enough for them and their only child, Sugar. “I think you are pulling a fast one on me, Kerwin!” Lerissa said. “You commissioned somebody to make and re-make this comic book?” “Me? No way!” Kerwin protested. “But I think that this is really a gift. A magical gift. It is showing things that I should not do in my political career. Instead of living it, we are reading it. I think we should keep it to let the bad things stay in its pages, not in our life.” Another year passed. Kerwin, Lerissa and Sugar were tending to their plants in front of their house when they heard a sudden scream of brakes, followed by a spray of bullets. Some of the metals scraped Kerwin's right cheek, and some thumped on the heads of his wife and daughter. Kerwin survived, but Lerissa and Sugar died on the spot. Weeks after the remains of his wife and daughter were buried, the scarfaced Kerwin idly loitered in their backyard. He gathered dried leaves and twigs, and started a fire to make himself warm. Then, he again read “the mysterious gift”, the comic book. In it, Lerissa and Sugar were alive. But they left Kerwin after Lerissa caught him doing a crotch-centered chore with his secretary, Pauline. The comic book was still filled with hideous illustrations. But at least, Lerissa and Sugar were alive in its pages. He missed them very much. He wondered whether it would be worse to let his loved-ones live in shameful circumstances, or to let them go with unblemished name. Kerwin casually tossed the comic book onto the fire. As “the gift” curled and blackened in the dance of fire, Kerwin sat back in their backyard bench, and waited for his scar to fade, for the potbelly to appear, for the rings and necklace to blossom, and for the mansion to tower over a backyard pool. Tweet
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