From the Author;

My husband said that he likes all my works except this one, so better read this last, you may not like this too, it's kind of inhuman, you know.


                                            AFTER TYPHOON ONDOY

We were home that Thursday morning when it started to rain.

At first I enjoyed the comfort of a cooler air; I heated some popcorns and snuggled under my blanket and watched TV.

By the afternoon however, there was already water on our yard and by early evening, it reached our floor. Before the road gets impassable, we decided to evacuate and stayed with a relative.

Two weeks after, when the flood water subsided, we returned to our house.

Oh ... there was mud and there was dirt, there was plenty of cleaning to do.

But what dismayed us was not the task at hand, it's what we found on our dining room . Believe it or not,


Yes, and I was more surprised than alarmed that I just stared at them eating. It took seconds before they noticed us; they too, were surprised.

Who are you?” said the one who appears to be the father.

“Huh ... we are the owners of this house. Who are you? Why are you in our house?" I nervously asked while holding on to a cane.

Ah...we are neighbors then. We are evacuees. No more time to tread the fast rising water, your house was the nearest and the safest place we could go to. We are sorry for forcing ourselves in, but we have no choice. I know you will understand,” he said.

How can I not understand? We ourselves leave hastily because water was fast rising and there is just one way out of the subdivision. If the water continued rising and we are trapped, there is no other way but up the roof. Saving your family is the only thing important at that time, nothing else matters ... nothing else.

Ok then, but how did you get in? I see no force of entry?”

“Ahh … yes. We were careful not to destroy your property. Don’t worry, we are no thieves. All your belongings are exactly where they were when you left them... but the food ... we ate them. There is no food outside, there’s just water ... water everywhere ... a vast ocean of water.”

His head was down and he was shaking his head, and he looked very defeated that I actually found myself sympathizing with him.

OK ... no problem with the food, you may even bring whatever is left, but please leave now.”

“We cannot do that. Do you see that river over there? That’s where we live, in the riverbank. You cannot see our house though, it is still under water.”

I look out the window and noticed that indeed the river is still swollen. I never noticed houses there before. Are they really my neighbors? Once again the disturbing feeling came back.

Look...private houses are not evacuation centers. Go somewhere ... anywhere."

"But ... there is still water outside"

“There are ways. I don’t want to appear rude but I really don’t care where you will stay and how you will get there, all I care is for you to leave, so please really must go now.”

I want to leave your house just as much as you want us to leave but please, give us a week more. I think the water will subside in a week’s time, we could go back to our own house then.”

A week with complete strangers? He must be crazy, I thought.

Look, we will be very very silent; you won’t hear nor see us. All day we will stay in that cove on your kitchen. We will take our dinner when you have retired, that way we will be non- existent to you. Is that fair enough?”

“No you cannot, just the thought that you are still here gives me the creeps.”

The whole family of intruders did not even stir. They just stared at me with mournful eyes, perhaps expecting me to give them mercy and change my mind. But I was losing my patience then, my face was already red with exasperation and anger.

You are exhausting my patience. You must leave now, and I mean NOW! Otherwise I will call for help.”

“Ok then, just give us a day, Ok? I will look for a dry place where we can stay,” the father pleaded.

I said NO! If you don’t leave now, I will have to hurt you.”

"You can't do that."

I am not a violent person but they leave me no choice, so I raised my arm and aimed my cane.

They ran, all of them, with their short stubby legs and hid behind the chairs.

Ok then, you leave me no choice,” I said.

I then went to the telephone and dialed for help.

Hello, is this Pest control? Will you please send somebody to my house right away? There are rats in my house and I can't make them leave. I need help.”

And sixteen short stubby legs went out of my house.

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