Fiction: Street Kids (3b)
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Fiction: Street Kids (3b)

Cebu : Philippines | Dec 16, 2012 at 10:09 PM PST
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Skooter reports 12/17/12

That gloomy day, Sparky 1 received a brown envelope; outside rain clouds looming above the verdant hills, thunder growling in distant and lightning streaks across the darkened sky. The bushy haired gentleman slowly opened the envelope and pulled out the contents. Along with the photo, plane tickets and a bunch of cash he found a CD, inserted this in the player and activated it. In few seconds, he listened to the voice he didn’t recognize, and didn’t want to know anyway, instructed him what to do in the next few days.

He took a long look at the photo of a smart looking middle aged man, memorized the shape of the man’s face, eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. Finally the way the targeted man split his hair to the right. Mistaken identity is not an excuse, he was well aware of that. Then Sparky dropped it on the glass top, sauntered towards a panoramic glass window over-looking the metropolis, lingered there for a while, deeply thinking about the complex mission. Now that he was all set, he destroyed the confidential disk by tossing it in the blazing fireplace.

Twenty-four hours later, Sparky in a casual navy blue suit, a black leather bag hang on his shoulder arrived at the airport. Everyone looked at him, curious about his distinctive appearance and thought he was a foreign tourist. In the next couple of hours, his plane landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. He flagged down a taxi cab and headed to a hotel somewhere in Makati. Before he stepped out from the vehicle, the cab driver smiled at him and with no question asked, handed over a back pack.

On the twentieth floor of an upscale hotel, he unzipped the backpack, found a disassembled M4 carbine and IMI Tavor Tar 21 with a Kimber Mepro reflex sight, the standard infantry weapon of the IDF. He pulled out a smaller bag that contained a semi-automatic handgun .45 caliber pistol. In a matter of minutes, he assembled the said weapons. On his face one could see his fascination for the special weapons; he smoothed each one of them with his hand, cuddling those with loving care.

Sparky opened the shoulder bag that he carried along in the trip; reaching inside, found an Olympus camera complete with variety of lenses, examined it briefly and placed it on a desk nearby. After lunch he went down for a quite walk with a camera on hand. He was amazed to see the streets teeming with cars, and people traffic. A red light glowed, and the moving traffic halted. A couple of street kids ran to the opposite side of the street he saw. Something flashed in his mind as if it was a headache, painful, that prompted him to reach his temple. Deep within his mind he saw a boy knocking on a car’s window, opened his palm to beg. The glass window rolled down and someone’s hand dropped a coin on the kid’s hand. The street kid went to another car begging for more. Then the scene suddenly disappeared from his thoughts. For the first time he felt sad at the scenario he didn’t understand.

Taking a cab, he told the driver to proceed to the Batasan Pambansa building or the Philippine Congress. Since he had no pass, he remained outside watching people coming in and out of the building, taking photos covertly.

The next day Sparky can be seen from a window of another 5-star hotel just a couple of blocks from the Batasan, again snapping. Switching to a binocular, he observed the movements of the crowd and vehicles that come and go from the building. He was so eager to accomplish his mission in the earliest possible time but had failed to see his target that day. Turning quickly, a brown envelope was quietly inserted underneath the door of his room. The gentleman readily picked it up, but then tossed it on his bed whispering in his thoughts, I’ll take care of that later.

Famish he took his dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. After an hour he returned to his room and as he had promised he tore open the envelope. Seriously he spread it on the desk near his bed. It was a floor plan of the legislative building showing every corner of it, including secret passages. Perusing the sheet the whole night, he doggedly looked for a way to access the building possibly without being noticed. He considered the two secret underground tunnels.

The young woman was pulled out from her cage, chained her ankles, wrists, pushed roughly towards the odd-looking machine which they called “the match maker” because after half hour processing, out you go looking different and make you feel reborn. Next you will be paired with a perfect subject not for love but to eliminate or be eliminated. Fiona struggled to get free but someone behind her pricked her with something sharp on her neck and the next thing she felt, everything went black.

Laid and securely strapped in the machine’s folding arm, she was swallowed in, in the machine’s chamber, stream of white smoke-gushed out from each side of the tight sealed chamber.

In the avocado orchard, Caloy and Tony were resting on a wooden bench, talking about what could have had happened two of their colleagues that both disappeared inexplicably. They feared that Ben and Fiona suffered the same fate as the other missing boys and girls. Caloy told his companion that he was afraid that if you are unfit in this strange camp, you are finished. Tony felt the same way and agreed with his friend’s thoughts that made him to make a sign of the cross in front.

Caloy thought of getting out from the camp. They have already thought of everything even if Ben and Fiona were with them at the time and nothing had come out positive, the other guy recalled. “This time, I’m not in favor of getting the hell out of here.” Caloy was surprised to hear this, but he let his friend explain why. “We’ve been thinking of escaping ever since, but I’d say we’re safe here and being fed regularly. I mean I’m happy here. I mean I have to watch myself, so that I would not be sick, yah know? Out there,” he yanked his head. “We don’t know where to go, no food, no nothing, always keep moving like, yah know? I mean I don’t like to be out in the streets again. I fear those cops, yah know?”

“OK then, I’ve no quarrel with you my friend,” Caloy felt sorry for his little pal. “If that is what you like, we’ll stay and wait who’ll be next.” Tony tapped hard the bench with his hand and said, “Oh, common…don’t say that.”

“Hey! You two, come out there.”

To be continued...

Noel Horlanda

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arts
Street kid
skooter is based in Cebu, Central Visayas, Philippines, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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