I was afraid of 12:00 midnight eleven years ago. Everyone in the house was asleep – yes even Zenki, our dog. It was the first week of June and it always rained. Tomorrow’s first day of school as a sophomore. That night, the lightning looked pale and the thunder warned me of the hungry visitor coming uninvited. I hated this whisper. I know few minutes from now I will hear a sustained echoing howl from Zenki. The visitor, unwelcomed, came in a bad manner and passed by the roof.
This has always been the scenario for six months since my mom got pregnant on November of 2004. Our family hardly had a “good-night-lullaby” sleep, because we were always awake in the dawn. The old men and women in our subdivision earlier cautioned my mom about the possible attacks of the manananggal or tik-tik. They said this creature is a half-bodied out-of-this-world evil blood sucker that can fly and feed on fetus inside the mother’s womb and even in new-born babies.
Of course deep inside, we laughed. We rejected the town’s folklore because we were all raised up in a Christian family ever since. We are all workers in the church ministry. My mom is a worship leader; I am a keyboardist; and my step dad an assistant pastor. And as much as faith and biblical truth are concerned, we do not believe in aswang neither do we entertain the idea of it.
I don’t know why it always rains when the tik-tik disturbs us. It’s ironic as well to figure out how consistently determined it stays on the air for nearly two hours each night if the wind is blowing harshly against it. And surely when it arrives, I’d stare up our bare roof because it has no ceiling and ask God to protect my mom and the baby inside her. As I utter my prayer with my knees trembling, I bravely tiptoed straight to where my mom is sleeping and observe for any strange and creepy phenomena.
My mom didn’t know anything about my surveillance – well maybe because she is five times as fearless as I am – but I saw, and I’m not dreaming right at the surface of her tummy the baby is kicking all around! Right then I cried of amusement and not of fear anymore. I praised the Lord more when I heard our roof cracking while the baby is kicking. Aha! The baby is brave and a fighter indeed! Then the more we should be.
For a moment the whooshing sound in the air pacified. In my mind I thought the tik-tik rested for a while, it got tired of flapping its wings for months and still sucking no blood but raindrops. Thirty minutes after a break, the greatest battle in our lives began. Still believing maybe all that’s happening that night was a coincidence – or maybe a thief was just improvising different techniques to infiltrate our home – I was proven wrong. Everything was real! And hell it was a cold rainy night.
My parents were awakened by the deafening thunder. The rain intensified. This time the lightning was furious. We saw trails of saliva falling down our window. Maybe the tik-tik was frustrated now. The roof banged sharply as if a rock hit it and it was 2:00 in the morning! My little siblings, my dad, and I stood up and gathered around my mom. Without closing our eyes, we prayed loudly and rebuked whatever evil-creature there was above us. We kept on shouting “…in Jesus’ name, you don’t have a single right to harm us… Go away! You get back to where you’re from and don’t disturb us! In the name of Jesus!”
The atmosphere was becoming too Spirit-filled that we felt we’re not alone. We don’t know where we are harnessing that kind of courage – that kind of faith. It was superb. Yes, we’re not alone. It’s a battle between flesh and spirits.
The dogs in the whole street, including Zenki all howled like they too were fighting for us. Electricity blacked out. It was dark all around the house. My four and five year old siblings hugged my mother and cried aloud. My mom stayed calm for them. She held them back tightly and sang a lullaby to put them to sleep. My father was shouting directly to that creature over the roof and commanding it to get back to its place and stop bothering us. It got even haunting when we heard a high-pitched reverberating sound like a bee daunting its prey.
The gasping voice did not last for long. It slowly weakened, until it sounded like a hoarse summon. It was 3:00 in the morning. The rain turned into a typhoon. After the thunder had given off its final blow, nothing was heard. The dogs simply just stopped barking. All that was left sounding were the raindrops on the cracked roof… and our voices thanking the Almighty for a safe and harmless night.
That was the last time the “visitor” had its failed tour in our home. Finally we can all get a complete 8-hour sleep. It’s not a surprise to see a pinched hole in the roof the other day. Not a big problem – we’ve got too much stock of vulcaseal! And I had to wipe out those stinky saliva trails in our window before I get to school. Everyone in the house was still in the state of shock. While we kept quiet about what had happened the last night to prevent threatening people, the whole neighborhood already knew about it through rumors and heresays. The scary details and whereabouts, of course, are a waste of time to ponder upon and now a history.
One month later, on the 11th day of July 2005 a warrior is born – and yes, not a coincidence, it rained not hard but with a smile of the rainbow painting the sky. From then on, the message was clear to us. That rain reminded us that God did not leave us alone during the battle. He was with us even when a fine misty rain turned into a typhoon. My mom named my baby sister Deborah. For that name is inspired by a real-life bible Character, Deborah – a female judge and prophetess, who led an attack against the forces of Jabin king of Canaan and his military commander Sisera.
She’s 11-years old now, a graduating elementary student. And do I have to mention it? Of course, she’s brave! Because she is Deborah.
Today’s post is written in response to the Devastation daily prompt challenge of The Daily Post.