CHAPTER TWO- THE PAST
It was morning in the 24th of December year 1990 where everyone in Barangay Salvacion are busy preparing for the celebration that'll happen later in that day.
One of the organizers is the head of the Barangay who is very focused for the preparation, he was happy seeing people happy and excited for the outcome of their hardwork.
Theresa, which is one of the neighbor of the Zedlers suddenly went near the Barangay Captain and exchanged their greetings. "Captain, did the Family Zedler went here?" Theresa asked with a curious tone.
"I never saw them coming here, Theresa. Why asking?" the Captain stopped from what he was doing and faced at Theresa with a serious look.
"N-nothing, Captain. I was just curious if ever they dropped by and helped for the preparation." The Captain felt Theresa's nervousness and thought if something happened at the Zedler's residence last night that made her this preoccupied.
"Is something bothering you, Theresa?" Theresa directly shooked her head the moment he asked it.
The Captain raised an eyebrow not convinced of what she replied. Then, Theresa sighed and directly met the Captain's gaze.
"Captain, you can say that I am just imagining or hallucinating with what I will say but I promise you, what I hear and saw is really the truth." Theresa said in a whispering tone.
"What do you mean?" the Captain asked.
"Last night, when I was about to empty the trash bin in our house, I heard a sudden scratch from the Zedler's house and because of my curiousity, I was already outside the house that time and all I can see was silhouettes of different people. I directly recognized Satchel Zedler's back because of the little light from the street lamps. A-and when he turned his head at my direction... H-he..." the shock was still visible in Theresa's eyes, her sweat was flowing at the corner of her forehead so the Captain helped her wipe her sweat then asked her calmly, "What did you really saw there at that moment?"
"Mr. Zedler's mouth was covered with blood." Theresa was so scared that made her lose her balance.
She was brought to the Barangay Clinic from the Captain's orders. He was staring deeply at the ceiling of his office, he didn't go back to where he was a while ago since he was still preoccupied of what the Zedler's neighbor just shared.
A lot of things were pouring in his mind and he just can't take everything with just sitting in his office.
"I've got to do something." He then stood up and made up his mind to go to the Zedlers.
As the driver stopped the car, the Captain automatically opened the door and went out. He roamed his eyes at the view of the house, it is big but could already sense the gloomy aura from afar.
He suddenly shooked his head remembering what Theresa told him and plastered a smile on his face approaching the Zedler's house.
He pressed the doorbell twice and later on the door was opened by a woman in her mid-50s smiling ear to ear and he thought that she was kind of strange or maybe just her smile.
"Good morning to you, but can I have some of Mr. Zedler's time please?" he directly said without any hesitation.
The Captain thought that he would stutter but surprisingly, he didn't. "May I know who are you, sir?" the lady asked with a smile.
He returned a smile before answering, "I am Robin Gonzalez, Maam. I am currently the Barangay Captain of our Barangay." At first, the lady was shocked but then she smiled again and opened the door wide open.
"Please come in, sir. My husband is in the sala and was just fond reading the current news." Robin went in and waited for Mr. Zedler's wife to lead the way.
Robin followed Mr. Zedler's wife and saw Mr. Zedler sitting on a couch, seriously reading the newspaper.
"Honey, we have a visitor." His wife said and sat beside him. Mr. Zedler put the newspaper away and stared at Robin for a while before giving him a smile.
"Please sit down, sir. I am very pleased that our Barangay Captain is in our house but I am very curious for the abrupt visit." Satchel Zedler drank the tea served by his wife. He stopped from sipping his coffee when Robin suddenly laughed.
"E-ehem. I'm sorry for that Mr. Zedler, the matter I wanted to talk to you about is for the upcoming event happening this midnight."
"May I know what that matter is, Captain?" Satchel said in a serious tone.
"You together with your family is invited for the Christmas Eve celebration to be celebrated this midnight. We hope to see your presence there, sir." Robin smiled and saw Satchel's wife shadow eavesdropping behind the stairs, Satchel's wife stood up before they discussed the matter to get a drink for him.
Now, Robin was convinced of what he first thought of their family. They are man-eating humanoids who hides their identity behind the dark; before he confirms this to everyone in their Barangay for them to be awared, he needed to wait for the Christmas Eve to come.
The only hope he's waiting is their absence in the said celebration.
"We will try our very best to be in the celebration, Captain. Since we are also going to celebrate Christmas Eve together with my family, I am not really sure if we could be there." Satchel reasoned out and stared at his wife who is now serving Robin a tea.
"Thank you, sir. But your presence would be greatly appreciated." Robin formally said.
Before Robin went back to His office, they talked about some political matters including the crime rates that currently is the Barangay's problem. When Satchel received a call from the said employer, they said their goodbyes.
Robin thought that if it was just a mere person coming in the Zedler's house, maybe it would have been just some friendly talks they are exchanging without any intention from the Zedlers, but he is the Barangay Captain and he needed informations in order for them to avoid any problems.
It was almost midnight and everyone was really excited to celebrate and welcome the Christmas Eve, kids in Barangay Salvacion went outside for the fireworks display that would be showed during 12:00 am.
It was already part of the Culture, Filipinos being one during the Christmas Eve. People started to join the countdown. "Ten."
"Nine", "Eight", "Seven" ...
The countdown of the people was loud, it was as if no one could ever hear the dirty business done by these people who showed no mercy at the family who were just enjoying theirselves for the celebration, a tall man harshly grabbed the hands of the girl who was also doing the countdown.
The girl shouted but it was too late, the man directly covered the girl's mouth and hid behind the trees.
The man pinned the girl at the tree and slowly get near to the girl's neck and bit it like it was a delicious meal, he was like a vampire who have never eaten for so many years, he then again did it, he bit and peeled the girl's neck and savour the meal for his Christmas Eve.
The girl shouted but nothing can be helped, she can never be heard by anyone for she was blocked, her mouth was blocked by the demon's hand.
When the man's done with what he's doing and felt the girl not moving, he went away and left the dead body. The man wiped his mouth full of blood, "Delicious but not enough."
He smirked as he heard a shout from behind him, he moved faster and went back to the hill where he can see everything from the Barangay clearly.
"Six", "Five", "Four" ...
The people surrounded the area where the body was found, Theresa, the Zedler's neighbor was also in the area that time.
She was dumbfounded with what she saw and what she only thought was that she needed to call the Barangay Captain.
She saw the Barangay Captain near the Christmas Tree in the Central Plaza who is now talking to someone on the phone.
Robin stared at her and saw that she wanted to say something and can't wait anymore, so he thought that maybe it is something so important. Robin ended the call and scratched the back of his head.
"Is something wrong, Theresa?" Robin stared at her with a confused look. "Captain, they are on the move. A girl was found dead behind the tree; bites and scratches were found visible in her body."
The Captain's eyes widened, "Where exactly was the body found?"
"Follow me." Theresa said and jog, Robin was able to keep up with her feet but he can't still accept the fact that it was so tiresome for him and he was now breathing heavily.
Theresa stopped and grasped for some air, she then pointed at a direction where the area was already crowded.
The people saw their Barangay Captain and made a way for him. His eyes darted out seeing the painful state the girl is in.
What kind of a beast could do this devilish act? the Barangay Captain stated in his thoughts. He faced the people who are staring at the body with their scared eyes.
"Tonight, let's be together and end this one hell of a fight. Let's end the Zedlers cruelty, bring everything you've got. Whether a knife, torch or sword, if it's the only thing to let them surrender then we got to massacre them."
The area was filled with whispers about what Robin said, it was all stopped when someone from the crowd shouted.
"Let's bring all of them out!" the crowd then agreed and returned to their homes to get the things they needed for the agreed massacre.
"Three", "Two", "One" ...
The fireworks blasted in the sky, for the people in Barangay Salvacion, it already serves as their signal to attack the Zedler's Residence and not as the signal for the Christmas Eve. The people were able to assemble and then went to the Zedler's home.
But unexpectedly, they only saw darkness, the house was empty, it was like an abandoned house for many years.
The people were disappointed, but what they didn't know was that someone in the crowd during the planning of massacre happened, there was this lady who pretended to be one of them.
She was totally happy of the plan made by the humans around her but still, she made her comrades be aware of the said massacre.
It was a legendary story of the Barangay Salvacion made about the Zedler's appearance and disappearance, they were called as demonic human-eater and man-eater humanoids.
The story about the Zedler Family was made known to rest of the country's islands and until now, they still couldn't get a hold of any member left in the family.
Suddenly, with the help of a sudden appearance of the oracle, the people's scared feeling about their place have been wiped out but that's what they thought, there was a good and bad news proclaimed by the said oracle.
"Humanity only has one hope and that is the Everlasting Stone, but Zedler's heiress found out about this hope and was planning to claim this hope to reign the world. All of you, there would be the time that the stone will find its keeper and fate will surely be not what it was before."