Aswang*

That last one, a shapeshifter, was a kindergarten teacher
Can you believe that?
A real dainty thing before I snapped her head off
She said she wasn’t an aswang anymore
She’d been reformed

Rules are rules. She’d killed before. So,
off with her head.
Her daintiness dried up quick. Her skin sloughed into dark blue scales.
Her fangs out yea’ big.

She said a lot before the head snap.
That there were few active aswangs now
The humans are killing themselves
Too kill even more was depressing

I hear ya! I said.
Wrapping my rope tightly around her.
Aswangs can be slippery little bugs changin’ shape
Then Bam! They’re gone.

She said she deserved to die for the sins she’d done.
I’d never heard one talk like that before.
She said I looked tired.
Tired of yer mouth, Missus!

She gave me a severe stare.
Told me I needed to go home.
Strange one, that one.
Like I say, off with her head.

That was three weeks ago, twenty towns before this one.
This next one –
A jazz musician. Famous sunava-
Can you believe it?

*An Aswang (or Asuwang) is a shapeshifting monster usually possessing a combination of the traits of either a vampire, a ghoul, a warlock/witch, or different species of werebeast in Filipino folklore or even all of them together. It is the subject of a wide variety of myths and stories.

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