Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Vignette: Turnabout

This is a work of fiction. I'm trying my hand out at what I think is a neglected area of Philippine literature: crime fiction. The story is complete, running at 3,900+ words. I'm submitting it to an anthology. If it gets published, good. If not, oh well....

Andrew Ong, age 23, abducted in Ortigas on May 16, 2003. Andrew had just come from his doctor's appointment when two men went up to him and whisked him into a waiting Honda Civic. There wasn't any struggle. There usually never is.

If it hadn't been for the doctor's receptionist, who was stepping out for a smoke just at that moment, the crime would have gone unreported. The perps would have made the right calls and the right threats. A bit of bargaining here and there, and then the exchange. Money changes hands. End of story and very hush-hush.

As it happened, I was on the beat and caught the report as it was going into the blotter. My good pal Rey, the watch sergeant, let me in on the story. Without a formal complaint, I really didn't have a story. Rey got in touch with Andrew's parents while I hung at his elbow, pen in hand.

Andrew's folks, as expected, were uncooperative. They knew the drill. Handle it within the community. Raise the money. Arrange the exchange. End of story. No publicity. Very hush-hush. I hung on anyway in hopes of a story.

Either Andrew Ong miraculously reappeared, a little worse for wear, with a good cover story on the alleged abduction, in which case there was no story. Or Andrew's body would turn up in some dark grassy field. Story. Or the deal would go sour and PAOCTF would get called in. Gang bang shootout. Big story. I don't want to sound callous, but hey, I was a beat reporter. It should come as no surprise what ending I was hoping for.

If anyone is interested in the complete story, feel free to email me.


  1. I think you got it pretty good. That which drives reporters to hang on like stray dogs waiting for scraps of meat from the butcher's place. Hmm. That didn't sound too sympathetic. LOL. Then again, I was never that much fond of "reporting." Too many people sully the idealogy behind it.

  2. Me, I'd rather see how the kidnapping goes. How long is the full story?

  3. Thanks, Jute! I appreciate the compliment!

    Sean: sent to your Yahoo account.