I was dreaming. I know I am because such an experience would happen once-in-a-lifetime, and it had already happened. I was running, spilling water from my water bottle all over the place but having no time to stop and close the lid properly. The sun’s heat pounded on my back, and my sweat dripped as fast as I was running. I couldn’t understand why I was doing something as strange as this, but I had to make sure no one was following me. I mean, nothing.
Then, I saw the two creatures. They seemed to pull closer and closer into my view, with their feathers looking more coruscating as they approach. Then, once they get extremely close, I would wake up.
I’ve lived in a tiny camp shed with my parents and siblings for as long as my mind could remember. It had stood through rain and storm, but people here wouldn’t even worry about the weather. In fact, their ceremonies every 30th of the month would be because they wish for it to rain, or to be extra sunny. Why?
Because of the sarimanok.
I know, I know. They’re supposed to be symbols of good fortune, but this one didn’t seem to be of any luck to anyone around. I was seven years old, thirteen days after my birthday, and I called it “the incident”.
I was browsing the area one day, window shopping for some food, and hoping I’d start seeing something I’d want to eat. The ground was cool from the shower the night before, so I didn’t have to worry about finding an umbrella. Of course, those days, the incident hadn’t happened yet, and umbrellas still existed. They don’t exist anymore, that’s for sure.
“Two, four…” I counted the brownies on one of the stands a bakery had on display, “There’s only five here now… There wouldn’t be any more left if I buy them now and crave more after.”
My mother laughed, and my father told me he’d buy all the brownies if I wanted to, all I had to do was choose faster. In the end, I decided to buy all the brownies. I said thank you for it and started walking to the pedestrian lane. I was about to eat my first brownie, when the incident happened.
My last news update was a few months ago, when some reporters said something about earthquakes getting stronger and stronger every day, but then I locked myself out of it after a few days. I paid less attention whenever my parents would play the news. But today, the earthquake was definitely closer.
And the weird part was that a giant caused it.
People scurried into houses, some houses not even belonging to them, screaming, and ducking for their lives. They shut themselves in cars, and I even saw some hiding behind trees. All the shops were crowded.
That’s where the sarimanok comes in. Its big feet opened craters in the ground, and with each crater, the people grew more agitated to do something. There was no guard keeping watch, which was really inconvenient, especially since I see them all the time before this.
I took a bite from my brownie by instinct to calm myself from the sudden shaking, not even thinking of anything else. I made the mistake of exclaiming, “Yum!” I know, I laugh at it to this day, but none of this was humor to the huge chicken.
It cawed in return, and suddenly, a smaller sarimanok appeared, with a rounder tail with duller feathers compared to the sarimanok. They were both colorful, like rainbow chickens of fantastical feathers. A papanok was what appeared, the sarimanok female version.
The two of them pecked on the houses, trampled over road signs, and did all in their power to get to me, and I just wanted them to stop. I searched for my parents. I couldn’t find them. There were no more people in the area I was in. That was my cue to run, so I did. I ran and ran until I didn’t know what else to do.
Suddenly, the sarimanok reached where I was. I was in plain sight around the field of grass compared to how I was slightly hidden among the buildings. The rooster’s hugeness was nothing compared to me; I was an ant in its eyes. I decided not to move, you know, like the trick to make sure bees won’t come nearer when they’re already really close.
“Hi,” I grinned nervously. I couldn’t budge, suddenly realizing I could’ve before. The sarimanok was a little more scarily majestic than it was scary. Its feathers were vibrant, like an acrylic painting fresh from the paint jars. Its eyes were like those translucent stones you use to decorate fish tanks, but a bright orange around a pure black.
It had a stare that could’ve belonged to royalty, if I would match it to the ones I’ve dreamt up from when I was littler, which is what made it terrifying. You’d just want to shrink down by a corner and surround yourself with pillows and blankets and just sleep. And hope you’d never wake up and see it.
It got really close, until I could almost feel its feathers. The papanok had now seen where its friend was and was now behind me where the sarimanok was in front. I was surrounded, and then, what happened was I fainted. At least, that was what my parents told me. They reached me when the two chickens had almost pecked at me, and carried me away running, then they called the firefighters. The chickens were shaken up long enough for them to arrive, and take me back home.
So, the people started wishing it would rain, but then they’d get nervous after it happens, since the incident happened after the rain. They’d also wish it would be sunny, so that the sarimanok and the papanok’s feathers would be burnt and they wouldn’t have the chance to come to our area. The earthquake detectors also reported no more cases after that, so I question sometimes if the colorful chickens had something to do with it all along.
That was where their stories end whenever they tell me about it, and every time it gets a little twisted from its original. But what I just said was the original, very much the original, except for the last part. I’m not sure what happened to the two chickens. And I’m not sure how I was actually brought back home, but since they’ve told me many times before, I know it’s not a dream.
Or maybe I just haven’t woken up yet.