Manananggal

She has perfected the art of coming apart, splitting herself from herself.
Night falls and hunger claws her belly from the inside out. Scapulae
shift and willing flesh parts; her wings muscle free. A snap of the wings
and a twist of the waist. She is undone.

Legs left bedside, the better part of her glides through the open
window. Soaring into darkness, seeking those that slumber. She feasts
on hearts ripe with love and rancid with hate; tender lungs gently
scented with breath; the bitterness of livers.

Sino siya? A living woman halved, a magician’s wet dream? Ano siya?
A nightmare? No. A woman tearing herself apart in order to live is
nothing new.

Sylvia Santiago

Sylvia Santiago was born in the Sunflower State and spent her childhood in Western Canada, where she still lives. Her words have appeared in Star*Line, Liminality, and Immersion: An Asian Anthology of Love, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction.

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