The rain and quiet

 

One can hear it, can feel it –  the rain and quiet of an afternoon with soft pitter-patter of droplets barely making it to the grounds, announcing the nearness of yuletide. It’s the season of calm, of children freshly fetched from schools playing some one hundred meters away and the occasional tweets of common jays foraging for rice crumbs in the compound. Some forgotten moments before the traffic rush people and feet again at 5pm, before tires screech to full stops and before the hustle and bustle of another day almost over, but not yet. There is a host of needful things to be done – lists, carryovers and yesterday’s errands – crying for one’s attention.

 

larawan ng isang open parking lot sa San Francisco area sa U.S.

Small droplets of rain were falling on the ground one afternoon/ persquaremile.com *image of SF parking lot borrowed, not related to the post*

 

There’s something to be said for the season. Day times are generally hot and the gusts of wind come pleasantly humid. Yet, if one happens to be in an open parking lot before sunset, a shaded corner would gladly remind that indeed the season has changed. The vendors passing by are the same – same outfits, same greetings, same small talks. But their gaits have something about them – more energy, more anticipation, more hastes? More obligations, perhaps? More reminders of time passed and time remaining. More time to make or to catch up with? It’s hard to tell. A car instantly sped by, two employees in uniform walked fast, chit-chatting in a hurry, a delivery van parking its way into the area slowly – circling first, circling again. Several people started to mill about, in groups of three or four.

 

Suddenly, there’s commotion. Feet hustling. People running about. One man dashed in the center of the melee, a rather huge man in short-sleeved barong, looking much like a security guy. Several women and two men made way for him. He had with him a device, a tool of some sort. He was followed by two shorter men, one alert and the other, not quite. A circle was beginning to form around them as they bend down to scrutinize the fallen body. One of the men asked the people around to move 10 feet away. A woman security entered the semi-circle, clasping a logbook. She whispered something to the big guy. They both looked up, as though trying to size up something in the sky. They whispered to each other again and then, looked knowingly to each other. The big guy said something in low voice to his companion.

 

From a distance, siren sounds were closing in. One, apparently from a police car. The other, from an ambulance, some kilometers away. More and more people have come down from their buildings, it’s twenty past five. Men in their neckties, women in their dresses and several assortments try to make it through their regular routes in the parking lot. The surroundings has darkened considerably. The sun has set 12 minutes ago, but nobody noticed. Everybody was in a hurry. The traffic at the main avenue promises to be its usual. The delivery van was settled in its slot, its driver – nowhere to be found. Some of the curious onlookers have slipped away, many still had to clock out. But there were more who came by to ask what happened, what transpired while they were answering the phones in their respective offices, checking out the last-minute emails, sending out messages via LAN. What happened while they were putting away files and clearing the OUT trays? Nobody seemed to have the answer.

 

The soft rain has stopped. The wind has cooled somehow and darkness seemed to envelop the whole perimeter. Nights come early, a month and three days before Christmas. Several buildings far and near have opened their lights. The business district still feels and appears busy. A man with a DSLR camera was trying to make his way through the throng of people in the lot. There is no saying if those people gathered about were the same folks who were there 25 minutes ago. Policemen were already there, but they were not cordoning off the crime scene with yellow ribbon yet. They simply asked the spectators to move 15 feet away. Fifteen feet, this time. Also, they were waiting for the ambulance crew. The big guy conferred with the leader of the police in a corner. Meanwhile, his partner put a white sheet on top of the found mangled woman’s body. Then, the huge man went to the almost center of the crowd and gesticulated, seeming to drive the mob away.

 

The body has been dead two or three hours ago before it was put here. No one saw how it was done. It was raining… You may all go home.”

 

The man with the camera clicked his apparatus several times before the ambulance crew lifted the body onto the stretcher. The murmuring crowd dispersed as though on a clue. In less than five minutes, less than ten people could be seen in the open parking lot.  Only three cars and the ambulance on the way out could be discerned in the parking space that was full an hour ago. Relatives of the victim came last minute, delaying the vehicle’s departure. A minute later, there was hardly any evidence of the grotesque that took place. No sign that it has rained, either. Almost everything appear to be in their usual places. Once again, the place feels deserted. Only the quiet was hovering.

 

*Just trying my pen at fictions, folks. Not to spoil the season of giving, no. Btw, the idea came from the news items in the last two weeks. I would appreciate it if nobody would sue me. Yours truly has no money for the litigation. 😉 *

 

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22 comments on “The rain and quiet

  1. renxkyoko says:

    Oh, I thought you were there, too and witnessed everything ! ! So what exacrly happened to the woman, if you got the idea from a newspaper article ?

    By the way, I hope I’m the first… MERRY CHRISTMAS ! !

    • hello, Ren… hala, i just imagined everything. this’ll give you an idea of my berserk imagination, pasensya naman… in the news lately was a model abducted, raped and then thrown from a vehicle in a crowded place, in Cubao. some of the suspects have been rounded up already… then in, in the South – CDO – a whole family was discovered to have been killed and then, buried in the sewer. sad… ^^

      ahaha, you’re the first, indeed. thank you, dear. MERRY CHRISTMAS, TOO! 🙂

  2. You’re a natural. I thought it was an artfully-rendered eyewitness account too. I love how you begin, like a held breath, a sense of pleasant anticipation, then the commotion and unexpected violence of the discovered victim, and then the calm returns like nothing happened. Just outstanding.

  3. bagotilyo says:

    Greatly written .. Eh di ikaw na din ang magaling sa fiction at semi-fiction? hehehe

    clap!clap! na nga lang pati merry christmas 🙂

  4. nadia says:

    You had me holding my breath as I read the entire account! Now you need to tell us what happens during the investigation and the subsequent court hearings. If only the Ms. Meyer writes the way you do, I’ll start reading her vampire series 😉

    • Ahaha, am both glad and flattered by what you just said, Nadia… Thank you so much. And I have new writing assignments now, got to buckle down, hehe. Thanks for comparing my write up to the works of an author who made it to the mainstream. Tyowsko, malayo pa. But thanks, am really glad you enjoyed it. Hugs and regards 🙂

  5. munchow says:

    Great read. It feels like you are reporting a real incident. Love it!

  6. Steve Pulley says:

    I don’t think you have to worry about being sued by using a newspaper article as the inspiration for your story. Many writers before you, and I expect after you, have based wonderful stories and novels on true-life events. Very enjoyable story it was, by the way. As was mentioned by another commentator above, the juxtaposition of happy holiday preparations with a terrible murder is very effective.

    • Hello, sir… the said incident is somehow controversial and has been on top of the news for about two weeks already, is why am a bit cautious, ahaha. oh, sir, i suppose i have spent a considerable amount of time around open space parking lots and decided to use a bit of my observations in this experiment. ^^

      glad you enjoyed it, truly. 🙂 it came to me in a flash, the write-up just sort of wrote itself… effective? your comment made me happy… kind regards 🙂

  7. This is powerfully written… the rain, and the mood, says so much of life’s fleetingness (not sure if that’s a word!). I felt like I was watching it on fast forward. Very nice. Very tragic. (BTW, please send me your email so I can send you the book… if you prefer to email it to me I’m alarnarosegray (at) gmail (dot) com). Have a great day 🙂

    • Hello, Alarna Rose… so glad you came by and left a message. appreciate it. i am happy that you enjoyed the short story, dear. yes, it’s tragic to hear stories of that kind, bodies just being thrown in a corner, as though life could be dispensed with just like that… 🙂 ahaha, fleetingness is a word, true… will email you today. thanks for taking the time to come over. regards… ~ San

  8. batopik says:

    Nacomment na nila gusto kong sabihin. Pero ang galing mo pa din. Hakhak. Effective ang tragic pero sa panahon ngayon uso na yan. Hakhak.

    • Ahaha, salamat, batopik… parang gusto kong ipa-laminate ang comment mo, hakhak. hamo, manonood uli ako ng balita, hehe… Be good, kapatid 😉

      • batopik says:

        haha. oo nga, yung mga balita, puro ganyan.. nakakasura na tuloy abangan kung anong bagong balita. tapos kapag may mga ganyang patayan, yung mga nakikiusyoso pinipicture-an pa at pinapanood lang, hindi muna tulungan o tumawag man lang ng ambulansya. ay nako, hakhak.

      • ahaha, di naman. lately na lang uli itong mga heinous crimes, kumbaga. ay, ayoko rin yong picture-picture na para bang spectacle, parang hindi tao ang namatay at parang wala lang ang turing ng mga nakiki-usyuso, as in… :c

        btw, Makati ang setting na idinescribe ko sa kwento. sa Cubao ang real event, yon lang… hello, batopik! 🙂

  9. […] The rain and quiet – another first attempt that is, to write about a crime. The story came fast, as though it wrote itself. The notion that it would all be about describing the atmosphere came from an old Filipino movie. […]

  10. […] magsulat sa salitang Ingles ang blogger dito, parang… Sa mga naisulat doon, paborito ko ang The rain and quiet. Fiction story ito based sa news na may model na dinukot, pinatay at inihagis sa isang mataong […]

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