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Good Girl by Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon

Goo d Girl
by Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon

Stiff in her seat one late, languid afternoon, Hannah Marie Liwag looked out to

the slab of sea across the street and dreamed of exterminating the Dumaguete expat

community. Murder en masse, if possible, for she was quite the practicable woman.

Fortunately, the city had a lot to offer in terms of slaughter, though its residents—

inching through their hours with such happy, provincial complacence—were not aware

of this. Wrenched away from Quezon City at some indeterminate point last year,

Hannah knew she could see things the natives couldn’t, telling herself this again and

again, night after night after night after night.

The number of expats in Dumaguete was a travesty. Around four or five would

have been a tolerable total, but there was far more than that, and Hannah was sure

that this was a very dangerous thing, this mushrooming of monstrous men. Their

sizeable skeletal structures, their deep, thunderous voices, their swagger. Beneath

relaxed clothing—light cotton polos, khaki walking shorts, aviators, strappy Mojos with

machine-woven tribal detail—prowled beasts with a single motive. Culture, they

wheezed out loud, sitting back in their respective sunny spots. Fresh air, simple folk, the

gauze of history—it’ll do me some good, this seaside standstill life. But Hannah had a

nose for bullshit. Culture? she cried out to herself, writhing around in her own sunny

spot. I’ll give you culture.

To start things off with much efficacy, a flood of Biblical proportions along Rizal

Boulevard. Bloated expat bodies bobbing among the dregs of Whynot’s strobe lights

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Good Girl by Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon

and pleather couches and mirror balls, crushed under the plaster image of the St. Paul

Sisters come to Christianize in their crowded little boat, cooked by boiling tempura oil

from woks flung about in the deluge. And no sanctuary will be found farther inland, not

even in the old church made of coral and stone. The life-sized—and suddenly life-given

—image of Señora Nuestra Catalina de Alejandria will smother the survivors with curls

as long and synthetic as her name, mock locks shooting from her scalp and winding

themselves tightly around the men’s heads. Nor would the few remaining fucks find

deliverance in Silliman University’s grounds. An earthquake will take effect. Books from

the library will soar out of shelves like leather-bound bats, their sheets slicing through

hairy arms and legs, through rubbery, gold-chained necks. Instruments from the

College of the Performing Arts will also make sweet, sweet music. A hail of violin bows

puncturing their hearts; steel banduria strings snapping off and whipping them

senseless. No expat should be left standing by the end of this superb seismic activity, of

course, but just in case, just to make sure, the Portal will finally live up to its name, an

invisible force field stretching across its twin white towers, whisking off whatever

bloodied, quivering foreign figure left stumbling through it all the way to the lakes of

Balinsasayao. The local Loch Ness will take care of the rest.

A fuzzy feeling seemed to have wrapped around Hannah as she thought this,

until she realized that it was, in fact, the hefty, hairy arms of Walter Leroy Smith. Her

Walter Leroy Smith, he had always insisted since their first face-to-face encounter at the

Mall of Asia atrium after four months’ worth of emails, IMs and text messages, holding

her hand with a firm, sweaty grip as they stared off into the Manila Bay sunset.

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Good Girl by Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon

Hannah’s mother, herself a practicable woman, told her that this was the best place and

time to meet him. Her rationale: the amber lighting and seashore shushing would make

for the right kind of drama.

In Dumaguete, though, the sun sets on the other side.

“Oysters, hon?” Walter offered, plucking a large, gnarled half-shell from the

copious spread of grub before them. Hannah admired its resemblance to a good and

sturdy chunk of jagged rock.

Weapon! Weapon! the tasty glop in its center screamed out to her.

She took the shell from her lover.

“Here, babe,” she replied, bringing it to his lips. “You can have it.”

Walter wrapped his huge mouth around the shell and slurped the glop up gladly,

letting his tongue slither for a second over Hannah’s ring finger, spit and sand and

seawater skimming the diamonds set in her band.

“You don’t want any, hon?” Walter asked as he chewed.

“Maybe later, babe,” she replied as lightly as she could. She looked right back out

to the tremendous and endless and irrevocable slab of sea. “I’m good.”●

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Good Girl by Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon

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