It’s finally out!
It’s no secret that I’ve been out of the writing scene for a year and it has been the worst. So I thought to get myself out of that rut hole, and Bookbed happened to serendipitously came along with the #BookbedFictory—a short story writing challenge based on a chosen prompt. Baby steps, yes?
I chose a prompt that’s close to my heart, something that involved local myths and everything fantastic. Writers chose from a selection of story prompts, and I have to admit there were a few that caught my attention. Eventually, I settled on a prompt that had something to do with siblings and a duwende, and thus, The Mark of the Duwende was born.
A germ of an idea popped in my head when I first saw the duwende prompt. Lower myths have always been a fascinating topic for me, and growing up in a household that still believed in age-old superstitions fueled my hyperactive imagination to write something about it.
For those who are not familiar, the duwende in Philippine mythology is a small creature (usually depicted as old and look like goblins or earth spirits) that can be both malevolent and benevolent. They are usually found on termite-like mounds or ant hills (a.k.a. “punso”) in provincial areas. In order to maintain order, people would sometimes leave food near the duwende‘s place of residence. These creatures were known to curse people who would defile their home or do something to anger them.
It wasn’t easy getting back into writing, though. I had to struggle with procrastination (who doesn’t?) and the overwhelming urge to delete the crappy stuff I’ve written. Deadlines proved to be a good enough motivation to get me to finish the first draft. The initial pass yielded around 5k+ words, but the final draft came out one word short of the maximum word count. And it made the deadline. What a relief!
The Mark of the Duwende is up on the Bookbed site. Hope you can take the time to read and share your thoughts about it. Have you encountered something similar, or know someone who did? Let me know! And if you enjoyed the story, I’d be grateful if you shared it and/or commented on the Bookbed website. Also, thanks a lot to my editor, the Bookbed beta readers and to Chris Mariano for helping me get this story to a great shape!