Friday, March 24, 2006

Tales From College: Otherworldly Stalker

To save on gas, Annie and her friends decided to carpool on their way to a party. Her friends parked their cars in one of the parking areas in their school, and they all piled into Henry's car. After the party, they all returned to pick up their cars. The others quickly left, and only two cars remained in the parking area: Henry's and Ramon's, another one of their friends. Henry and Annie (who was hitching a ride with Henry) talked a little more with Ramon.

Ramon's car was an old one, a car that he had painstakingly restored to become roadworthy again. It was one of those '70s models, and he was really proud of his achievement in getting it to work.

But that night his car would not start. He popped the hood and checked the engine for any loose connections. Henry and Annie didn't know much about cars so all they could do was watch and offer Ramon encouragement.

Now off to the side of the parking lot was a big calachuchi tree, and beside it the generator unit for one of the school's buildings. There was some shrubbery growing around the base of the generator unit. This last bit may seem like a trivial detail but what drew Annie's attention to them was that they started moving of their own accord! There was no breeze in the air, and the temperature suddenly dropped. Annie grabbed Henry's arm, surprising him.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"Something's coming towards us," she said.

Henry looked around them but saw no one. "Are you sure? I don't...," he began to say, but he wasn't able to finish because he saw the bushes by the generator unit sway back and forth. Slowly at first but then they began to shake rather violently.

That's when they heard the click-clack of hooves striking the pavement. It was a distinct sound, and even Ramon looked up on his work to comment on it.

"Did you guys hear that?" he asked.

Henry and Ramon glanced at Annie. She was staring straight ahead at the calachuchi tree.

"Annie? Are you okay?"

Annie seemed to shake herself out of a trance. She got up and headed to Henry's car.

"Let's get out of here," she said. "I think you should just come back for your car in the morning, Ramon.”

Without argue, the three of them piled into Henry's car and drove off towards Ramon's house. It was only during the trip that Annie revealed that there was a kapre residing in the calachuchi tree.

Annie had known about the kapre. She had seen it watching her whenever she would pass near the tree during the day in school. Sometimes she would see it following her, but it would keep its distance.

Tonight, though, was different. When they heard the click-clack of hooves on the pavement, it was the kapre. It had gotten down from the calachuchi tree and was advancing towards them, towards Annie. That was when she urged the others to get into Henry's car and leave.

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*First appeared in True Philippine Ghost Stories book 11.

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