Cesar Miguel Escano
What I Write
I write both realistic and speculative fiction. When writing spec fic, I dabble in surrealist, fantasy, sci-fi and horror.
Here’s a sample sudden fiction story I wrote which falls under the “horror” genre:
“Please explain this photo”
Unlike others who send photos to your magazine, I want you to confirm that the one I’ve enclosed with this letter is fake.
I should never have bought that camera. No money, the owner said. Only that you accept it. If only I had known then…
The camera felt so natural in my hands, you see. It used to be that I could only take photographs of inanimate objects, of still life. As long as I wasn’t focusing on people, on faces, my hands remained steady. With this new camera, I clicked away at everyone, even passers by. Never before had I felt as confident, as trigger happy.
I can’t say when exactly the camera started doing what I thought it was doing. Maybe my hands jerked at the last possible moment before I pressed the button. In these photos, people were headless. Not everyone. Only certain persons. Even if I examined all of the rolls, that person’s head went missing, cut off by the edge of the frame.
The first few times, I let it go. Shaky hands. Happened to everyone. But soon, the strange images started piling up.
I started inquiring. I asked about the persons whose heads I had inexplicably cut off. Every inquiry ended up the same. He or she was dead. Fell ill. Run over by a car. Never woke up. They all said the same things. It was so sudden. Nobody could have seen it coming.
I threw away the camera but it was too late. Something had already taken hold of me. It shadowed me everywhere I went. Dogs howled as I passed. Birds cawed and flew away when I was nearby. Babies cried as I approached. Children pointed over my shoulder and screamed. Each time, I turned around and saw nothing.
Even mirrors lied to me. Only my reflection stared back.
Then I had an idea. I borrowed a friend’s camera. Later, alone in my room, I turned the lens on myself and took a picture.
What came out filled me with dread.
Baby Teeth: Story Philippines
Tuko: The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories
Master of Sungka: Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol 12 (Forthcoming)
An-An: Bisaya: An Anthology of Visayan Literature (Forthcoming)
My Write-a-thon Goals
Finish 2 short stories (Santelmo and Camelot)
Write the first few chapters of a novel (R.A.I.D. Online)