Tuesday, August 16, 2005

VII. The Race (6)

Rosang Taba ran as fast as she could, and Ser Pietrado, with an animal roar quickly closed the fifteen pace gap. But he could not pass her – so tightly was her bulk wedged along the slender path that he could not even see where they were going.

She endured his curses and threats and maledictions, squeezing through the wickedly narrow lane. Her shoulders began to bleed as she scraped roughly against the constrictive walls.

“Let me pass, you pig!” Ser Pietrado cried, savagely planting a boot in her back.

“Hindi!” Rosa shouted, biting back the sting, refusing to allow even one tear to escape her eyes, as she fought to maintain her position and balance.

“Let me pass!” Ser Pietrado screamed, as he attempted to clamber over her, only to be frustrated by the low ceilings formed by the lane’s old arches.


Each time he struck her with his fists or feet, Rosa voiced her passionate denial of his demands, fueled by a conviction whose depths only her heart understood.
“Jódalo! Let me pass!”

Ser Peitrado howled in anger and hurled at large rock at her head.

“Hindi!” She cried, ignoring the red-tinged pain and sudden warm wetness that engulfed her senses.

He tried pushing her, biting her, clawing at her, ramming her, tripping her, entangling her, everything he could possibly do, but she was a natural bottleneck all the way around and back to the Plaza Binondo where they began, to the deafening roar of the Katao of Hinirang, and the stunned silence of the Ispaniola-in-Hinirang, sparkling mutely in the sunset.

(6) Diomedes Makabata, Tandang-tanda Ng Lola Ko Ang Lahat (Maharlika, 1841)


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