Belinda had always considered herself a good person. She didn’t think of herself as wealthy, just as a moderate success. Of course she’d done what it took to climb as high on the corporate ladder as opportunity allowed, but she tried to be a fair boss. She looked out for those working under her, and when her best friend’s family ran into trouble she helped them, lent her money, lent her time, even let her stay in her house.

And that indescribable piece of filth repaid Belinda by feeding her poison. They explained, her best friend and her husband, while the poison ate away at her insides and she choked on her own blood, that they were in love, that they needed the money, that the arrangements had already been made. They left her there, curled in the center of her hardwood floor, with a fake suicide note and a knife for when the pain got too bad.

But Belinda didn’t die. No, she is stronger than that. During that long, pain wracked night she had a lot of time to think. When the Tree came to her, the aspect of Leaves and life, she grasped it. In the morning, when the last of the bloody cramps had passed, she did what she always does. She cleaned up and drove herself in to the office. Because transactions can be traced, transactions can be reversed. Day by day she hunted. Her work suffered. Her subordinates went ignored.

It was the dreams that saved her, that distracted her from pursuit. Her fellow awakened, meeting her under the branches of the Tree, showed her how to smooth down the instability of change, and gave her purpose other than hatred. But she has not forgotten her betrayers, oh no, the day of reckoning will come.



Kapre Aswang Avandus