BLOOD FOR BLOOD | Story by Kym




She is seen as a violent thing. Flying with a ripped body, fangs bare, searching for victims. But who is one-dimensional? She is manananggal and a babaylan. A creature but also a healer. She knows that in order to heal sometimes a little blood must be spilled. That what others see as violence is sometimes an act of resistance.

The world is a disaster. And the state uses people’s fear of her unknown kind as a fuel for control. Her ancestors tell their history. She is from a line of resistance fighters, trying to reclaim their land. The priests, the government officials whisper lies to the villagers. These women are a danger. They will feed off your children. They only come in the night. Do not help them. The stories stick. The people now whisper.

So she is here. Gathered with her kind, so few. Wreaking havoc in a world of complacency. Demanding more. Blood for blood.

With her legs on, she is a healer. Walking through a crowd unnoticed. People are asking for her hand. Her voice. Her heart. Her skill. And she is there. Listening to who has caused such pain. Often her kind is blamed. And she speaks softly saying, “No, these are not wounds from an unseen creature. This is pain from silence. Tell me the real story.” And they do. Tell stories of broken trust, of people in power, of those who are supposed to protect. She asks the spirits to give them what they need to survive while writing down the names of those responsible. The names tucked away for an evening’s chaos.