Walis Tingting

By Raoul Suarez

I woke up due to the heat. Another power interruption. I was too lazy to check my phone to see what time it was. I was assuming maybe it was a little past five in the morning. It could be dawn already.

I can hear the sound of a walis tingting sweeping the ground. The rhythm was very repetitive. I couldn’t care less. The dogs were awfully silent. They must have been fed already. It was the same old rhythm. It sounded so close and a little forceful.

I tried to get up but I couldn’t. I must be tired. I must be a little sick. I tried to reach for my phone but I couldn’t find it. The power was finally back. I can feel the cold breeze from the fan but it felt a little odd that I don’t remember my room being this dark. I always turn the light on in the other room before I go to sleep, so I won’t have to sleep in total darkness. It has always been a habit of mine. Maybe that light needs changing. It must have gotten old.

The sound of the walis tingting sweeping the ground was still there. Same rhythm. Whoosh whoosh whoosh. Like one, two, three, then it would stop for a few seconds and repeat. They must be cleaning up earlier than the usual. Something felt off though. It then dawned upon me why I couldn’t hear the early morning hustle and bustle of vehicles. It was also too dark and no light penetrated my room. The sun rays would usually come in during the daytime to give me a little hint of light. I scrambled for my phone so I could check the time. I could not find it anywhere and I was relieved to finally pull it from under my pillow.

I sat down and tried to unlock my phone using a finger scan. It would not budge. The screen was just plain dark. I tried to restart it. No good. I must have slept while watching a movie or listening to music. I must have drained my batteries. I put the phone on the bed and blindly fumbled for the other phone I was using as a back up. I remember that I plugged it and left it to charge near the bedside table before I slept. It was there. Just where I put it. I tried to unlock it but it also had no power. Strange. It was at over fifty percent. It was locked when I charged it and nothing was playing. No apps running. I cleared them up. The reset wasn’t working. It just would not power on as well. Useless devices.

The sound of the walis tingting sweeping the ground was still there. Faster than the usual strokes. It was getting very annoying. I needed more sleep. The fan blew cold gusts of wind. I wanted to turn it down a little but I could not move. There was utter darkness and an eerie silence. The only sound I can hear was the whooshing sound of the walis tingting as it swept the ground. No people talking. No dogs barking. No noises made by vehicles.

The sound of all that sweeping was just there. On repeat. In the darkness. With no way to check the time. I figured that maybe I was dreaming. I woke up and oddly enough it was daytime but it was still pitch black inside my room. Very strange. I checked my phone and I could barely read the time. It then turned off and I couldn’t get it back on. Whoosh whoosh whoosh. It was getting annoying. That walis tingting. The sound it made. It did not stop. I realized that I was still asleep and it wasn’t a dream. I was having a nightmare.

I got up and checked my phone. I was a little surprised to see that it was only three in the morning. The sound of the walis tingting sweeping the ground was starting to fade. I could hear the noises made by the passing of the vehicles. I could hear the dogs bark. The light in the other room was on. I reached for my cigarette packet and lit a cancer stick. I inhaled the first puff deeply then blew smoke rings into the air. That was some nightmare. Pretty odd. I’m glad it’s over. I’m glad I woke up.

Nothing felt off this time. I went to the other room to check if my work computer was unplugged because that was one of the things I did before I went to sleep. It wasn’t plugged in. Good. I also remembered that I just got a haircut today so I tried to check if it looked fine. I went to the mirror. I was a little surprised to see that I had no reflection. I was standing right in front of it and I could not see anything at all.

The sound that the walis tingting made was back but it was a different one this time. It was not the sweeping sound that was annoying. It sounded like it was being dragged. I felt like it was coming from behind so I turned around to check. Nothing was there. I turned to face the mirror again and there was a little old lady, with a walis tingting clutched by her left hand, slowly walking towards me. Her other hand was reaching out to grab me. I tried moving backwards but she then appeared right in front of me. I couldn’t move. We were staring eye to eye. She creepily smiled at me. I could feel her cold, wrinkled hand locking on to my wrist with a very icy grip.

Man. That was tough. This time, I’m really awake. I’m writing this down so I won’t forget. What the hell was that all about anyway? I should stop drinking soda and binging on noodles before I go to sleep. I won’t be able to sleep again now though. I might as well play games. Right, old lady? You agree?