Chapter 4-The Storm

A hot, humid evening has left Angelica feeling uncomfortable and spent. She woke up in a cold, sweat; her silky gown clinging tightly to her skin as though she was bathing in the open sea.  Even though her body started shivering from the coldness and her skin was exposed to the outside elements, the spring tropical wind was warm and inviting.  She remembered those rare evenings by the campfire with her lover embracing her ever so tightly, his rough, yet gentle hands massaging her tired aching muscles into submission.  She would be seduced by the rhythm of his fingers on her smooth, silky skin as if playing a Fazioli piano surrounded by soft candlelight.

The storm was fast approaching and as she exited her front door past the outside patio, the wind buffeted violently against the metal awnings and the wind chime clashed loudly and out of sync with nature’s majestic symphony. The weather changed abruptly.  The gale force winds howling loudly as wolves in the middle of the night.  The calm cumulus clouds suddenly metamorphosed into a monster cumulonimbus cloud; its appearance alien in form and hurling down lightning bolts from all sides and screaming rolling thunder as if in a fit of rage and uncontrollable anger.  It would remind her of New Year’s celebrations in her province when colorful fireworks and fireball explosions would light up the skyline.

She sat down on an old wooden, creaky chair that belonged to her grandfather. He used to spend endless hours looking up to the sky; deep in thought and prayer for his family and those that has passed on to the next world.  She was now recalling an old story of what her grandfather had told her about the lightning.

According to local legend, in a mountainous place far away from the city of lights was this magical place called Mount Kinabalo. There lived a guy who toiled blood, sweat, and tears for 24 hours in order to feed his family.  He was in charge of harvesting his master’s coconut plantation.  The storm was moving in fast so he took shelter in a small hut reserved for the field hands.  Flashes of light were illuminating the horizon as though Mother Nature was flicking her light switch on and off.  Just then a huge, lightning bolt shot down from a dark cloud above the hut and struck a tree with such ferocity it split it in two and blackened the bark and singed the leaves off its entirety.  The energy from the lighting blast was so intense it sent the guy to the ground, knocking him out, and putting him into a deep sleep.

As the sun rose from the East the man went outside to check on the progress of the harvest. He noticed the coconut tree that was struck by the lightning appeared to be without life any longer.  He revs up the chainsaw; roaring as a lion about to tear into its prey as its teeth grinds into the still smoldering bark as if it hasn’t feasted for days and severs the once mighty tree from the earth.  He spends countless days digging deep into the rich, soggy soil as to uproot the entire trunk out of the ground and to saw the remaining pieces in proportions for furniture and other crafts that the wood would provide.  After one month and one week of digging out every section of root from the earth, a gigantic shiny black gem-like stone catches his eye.  It is smooth in texture and glistening as formica…

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