Key of f-ed, Bea

They had warned us never to touch the grand piano sitting backstage in the William Shaw Little Theatre. The place was dimly lit; my flashlight illuminating the dusty instrument.  The wooden floor creaks upon my every step. I take a deep breath. The afternoon bus rides I devoted to reading Philippine Ghost Stories back in grade school prepared me for this.

Despite its age, the piano was still functional, my fingers lightly making prints against the dust that covers the F, A, and C keys. I start humming a melody that stuck in my head all day, but before I can even play the melody, the piano keys start going up and down in a rhythmic fashion. I stop humming, and the piano falls silent.

 “Ako na ang tutugtog. Maganda boses mo eh,” said a voice.

(Let me do the playing. Your voice is lovely.)

Freezing point, Magz

I woke up with a sinister chill down my spine. “8:35 AM” said my phone as it brightened the dark room. The harsh rain washed the Andrew building’s windows clean. I came back to my senses and reminded myself that we had a free cut. Everything was so cold and quiet. All I could hear was the sound of my footsteps as I dragged my body outside the room.

There was no sign of life in the unlit halls, just the air getting colder. I walked toward the elevator and waited for anyone to arrive. But the elevator lights were dead. Is it not working again? I ran down to the other floors and saw the same thing. My heart pounded violently. I reached the dark lobby but no one was there. The thunder exploded into a crescendo as I tried to catch my breath.

I tried to get out of the building but the doors were frozen shut. I pounded on them and yelled, begging for anyone to get me out of this place. The cold could kill me; I just wanted to get out. I slammed the glass and continued to scream. But only the vicious tempest greeted me, laughing mercilessly at my terrified reflection.

The loop, Glenielle

It was getting late and he should go home. He quickly walked toward the St. La Salle Hall. It seemed to him that the wing seemed out of place; was it larger? Is the paint brighter? Never mind, must be his sleep-deprived consciousness. It won’t be long now, perhaps his mother prepared his favorite tinola for dinner. The student hastened his footsteps, eager to come home. But not before hearing another set of feet padding behind him. 

“You,” came a weak whisper. He turned, and it was a man with large fearful eyes. A shiver ran down his spine, and he began running. The exit was near; he had to make it. 

“You,” the voice was raspier this time, as the man appeared, blocking the way.

“Please, I just want to go home,” the student begged. 

“You have to see!” urged the man, pointing a shaking finger behind the student. 

Finally, he turned. It was row upon row of old graduation pictures, the kind displayed throughout the University’s hallowed halls. “Look!” Finally, he looked closer. Tacked near the end of the last row was a picture; it was faded with time and yet it was inexplicably his beaming face on it. The student hasn’t aged a day. Above, a label read: “Class of 1968”.

Special class, Jihan

It’s rare to see Laguna Campus after dark. While the campus closes its doors by 10 in the evening, almost all students and teachers leave by six. What is left are empty classrooms, guards walking around the halls, a small number of teachers rushing to get work done, and the cold breeze that surrounds the campus as the moon illuminates the areas unlit.

However, there were times when a special class would be held in one of the elementary classrooms. When you would peek at the door, you would see the lights on; the room would be filled with young children unattended by a teacher. They seemed so quiet, so behaved, as if they had been reprimanded previously. You take a closer look at their faces, having a hard time recognizing who they are. Yet when you open the door to take a closer look, they disappear. The lights are off, and the only person you find inside is yourself, the only thing you feel is a chilling breeze—and despite being face to face with the air conditioner, no gusts of wind were escaping its system, no lights indicating any power.

An audience, Alexandra

I opened the heavy doors of the Natividad Fajardo auditorium on the 18th floor of the Andrew building to see the red theater fully lit and empty. I guess I’m early. I went in and took a seat on one of the cushioned chairs, remembering that when I was younger my weight wasn’t enough to keep it down. Eventually, I decided to practice my dancing and take advantage of the empty theater without anyone’s judgment. I twirled and jumped,  until I executed the final pose with a flourish. I heard a slow clap from what seems to be coming from the tech booth upstairs. I catch my breath, confused.

“Hello?” I called out. The room suddenly went dark, but the claps never faltered; in fact, they seem to be getting louder and closer. I was filled with terror, slowly backing away. Then, the lights went up and I was relieved, but only for a moment  There was no one  there—but the empty theater with all of the seats down.

By Bea Cruz

By Magz Chin

By Glenielle Geraldo Nanglihan

By Jihan Marie Ferrer

By Alexandra Simone Enriquez

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