Nightfall: Escape

By: Jhondie "JD" Abenaza




    1899


    In a quiet town in the northern part of Luzon during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, there lived a Spanish-Filipino family. They were esteemed because of their lineage and were well-known in the town, especially their only daughter who was bright and had a smile for everyone. Through inevitable circumstances, the young lady became friends with their maid's son who worked as an errand boy for the family. Their relationship grew until it became evident to the girl's parents that something was going on. Because of the family's social standing, the girl was forbidden to associate with the boy any further. To make sure of this, the parents decided to send the boy away denying him any hope of seeing her again.


    Days passed, and the separated couple found themselves yearning for each other. Regardless of getting into trouble, the boy decided to go back to the girl's house and intended to be reunited with his beloved. He saw the chance when the girl's parents became preoccupied with political matters and were often out for social obligations. With his mother's help, he was able to slip inside without being seen. Afraid of not having another chance to get in, he became demanding with the girl and began to forcefully persuade her to elope with him. The young lady was indecisive about eloping and as time passed, her parents returned from their tripdiscovered their forbidden meeting.


    The parents decided to put their daughter in complete seclusion not allowing anyone to see her. The maid got expelled along with her son, but this time it was the Spanish guards who got rid of them and forced them even to leave their hometown. The boy grieved terribly. The cruelty of Spanish authorities and the unjust treatment of poor people were imprinted in his heart and mind.


    Several months later, the Americans arrived. The boy was forced to join the Spanish forces to repel to only end up as a prisoner of war. Escaping later from American captivity, the boy and his fellow Filipino soldiers ended up in the town where his old family was lived. Now there weren't many Spaniards around so they felt free to roam around while thinking of what to do next. The boy remembered the girl he loved, and suddenly desired to know her whereabouts.


    Dressed in decent clothes, the boy looked for the house where he once was so happy but also suffered greatly. He was surprised to find it well-kept and even after he was banished. Upon his arrival, he noticed a small social gathering of relatives and friends. The boy was curious so he decided to go and join them while pretending as a guest. To his delight, the young woman he'd loved was there she became the mistress only after several months, hmmm... However, he soon found out that she was married to the heir of another wealthy family. She never thought destiny would bring him back to her, so she tried to explain to him when he confronted her in front of the surprised guests.


    The series of hardships and sufferings hit the boy, along with the realisation that he can never have the woman he loved. Filled with rage, he gripped the knife he had kept with him as a soldier. All he knew as he carried out his murderious intent was that he was striking out at all the mistreatment done to him--he knew that it was all for revenge. Shocked by the attack, the guests and servants fled to safety instead of trying to overcome him.


    The young woman was frozen in fear and as the boy dragged to her bedroom, where she was held her prisoner. But the madness sprung by his rage continued and he proceeded to rape and then kill her. Shortly after, the boy committed suicide.



    2008


    Ara Cruz, an aspiring female journalist who works for a struggling newspaper company stumbles upon the story of an abandoned mansion in an obscure town in Northern Philippines. Rumors are spreading that people are disappearing as they pass by this mansion. With a positive attitude and daring heart, the journalist heads to the said location to uncover the real story.


    The house stands on a barren land and in the middle of the forest. Judging from the surroundings, the area was obviously abandoned for a long time. She didn't hesitate when she decided to park her car on the side of the muddy road away from the mansion. Feelings of uncertainty and hesitation to go back began to build up as she approached the mansion. The sunlit afternoon turned gray, sending chills to her spine. As she wondered if someone was watching her. She tried to run towards the house, but the house seems to get farther away as she moved closer. The darkness began to devour her and the only thing she can hear is a feint guiding voice inside the abandoned mansion. She goes inside to find out but there is no turning back from there.