“It’s creepy out here!!”

Wilson kept his mouth shut, his eyes darting to and fro, checking the faces of the passengers inside the jeepney. The trembling comment from a female co-passenger summed up the overall feelings of those who have heard of the tragic crash, him included.

The driver slowed down, honking a single blow of the horn before his vehicle passed the exact spot. Local traditions dictated that it was a sign of respect, to ask for permission from the departed for a safe pass. Otherwise, the anguished spirit on the scene could cause another bloody accident.

He could still see the long skid marks the tires made on the concrete road. It signified how the motorcycle driver tried to brake before the head on collision with the dump truck.

“I had a talk with one of the residents around here,” she continued. “They mentioned an apparition lingers at night. The white figure floats, going around the area as if looking for something.”

Wilson closed his eyes, wishing he kept his ears closed, too. The chilling story gave him goosebumps.

“I believe that whoever took what the spirit searched for will be foolish not to return what is not his or her in the first place. There will be more accidents here until the spirit gets justice.”

 – 0 –

Wilson walked aimlessly in the town center, arguing with himself what was the best solution to come up with. On one hand, he wanted to get back home and return the shoes to their rightful owner. But since his brother was technically the new owner, he had to convince his sibling to surrender them back to him. Max was not the easiest person to deal with.

On the other hand, he could forget all about it and let his brother suffer the nightmares instead. But that would not absolve him either since his parents would point the finger at him for bringing the curse home.

“There they are!”

He was somewhat overjoyed to see the pair who sold him the shoes. Their temporary stall were relocated outside the market. Perhaps, he could ask for a refund after making up a wild ruse about the shoes’ defects.

“Excuse me!” he said a bit louder, trying to be heard by the couple who watched TV while taking a snack.

“Ah! Our lucky buyer!” said the lanky man to his voluptuous wife.

Wilson was not amused by the welcome: those two probably knew about the curse.

“Where did you get them? The shoes, I mean.” He was serious “Did someone sell them to you?”

“That’s odd really!” the  man said laughing. “We stopped by the side of the road, you know that uninhabited spot before the short bridge, to take a leak. I was about to get back into our pick up when I noticed them lying on the grass. Since no one was around, I assumed it’s finders keepers, that sort of thing.”

“So you sold them without knowing who owned them?”

“We sell second hand items! That’s natural, isn’t it?”

“But why were you so glum that day?” Wilson’s questioning went deeper. “I remembered you both like lifeless salespeople as if you were afraid of something.”

Instead of feeling offended with his veiled accusation, they both laughed..

“Yes, we were afraid,” the man explained. “No one buys. Too many people but no one buys. That’s scary because we won’t be making our quota. We need to eat, too.”

“You were our first sale of the day,” his wife continued. “I think your jubilant reaction after you left the stall caught the attention of those around. They became curious and bought like you did. As they say that day was history made, one of the highest gross sales for our stall.”

Wilson could not say if they told the truth. And if they lied, telling him about the curse was out of the question: they would not want the shoes back. The refund option was dead.

“I am glad for you two,” he said without feelings, though leaving them overly pleased.

(to be continued)



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