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Exodus: a mass departure : emigration

Before the Japanese took Manila, the US Army threw the doors of their bodegas open. American merchants, too, suddenly opened their warehouses to the public. Papa enlisted everyone in the household to grab food: canned meat, mostly, some sacks of rice. The Jesuits took every barrel of wine and sack of flour they could find, wheeling them into their seminaries. They seemed to have had a better sense of the situation than we did.

We heard MacArthur’s promise to return, and thought it was only a matter of weeks. We ate well at first, surprised at all we had gotten for free, until it ran out and [three]¬†years passed and we could no longer be surprised by anything. So we set forth, most of us, and washed up on American shores with every swell of the wave. Searching.

Oh, they hated it. They hated us, the multitudes of us, the dark and sunburnt stink of us. We, unlike some, could speak their language. But we could not explain that we were there not to escape Manila, but to return to a past that someone promised to return to us, reconfigured with a bright future.


Story Notes

5/100 for #The100DayProject. Changed the last line in the digital version to something closer to what I’d intended to say.

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  1. Pingback: What I’ve Learned Writing Flash Fiction Every Day – Bea Pantoja

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