[SHORT STORY] The Rationing: Part I of VI
by Frances Rey
There will be food in the courtyard of the Parish, as there always is during Rationing Day. I would wait on the streets at six in the morning for the armored trucks to come around the corner of Tanguile Street, though they usually arrive at seven o’clock. Mama would accompany me as I wait, making sure that I put my energy to good use by helping her search for food scraps and leftovers in the waste bins along Bakawan Road. Most leftovers could be salvaged into a half-decent meal, if one knows how to work with what they have.
I know very little about the history of our world, but I do remember Mama’s stories of how I was already in her womb when the global economy started to collapse. My father, whom I have never met, was shipped to China, alongside millions of physically-capable Filipinos, to labor over the country’s debt. Mama said that the Filipino debt grew to a hundred trillion dollars at the plinth of the Modern Depression. As a child, I wondered if I heard her voice as she bid farewell to my father, who sailed away upon a polluted sea several weeks before I was born.
The Public Announcement System clicks open and vibrates deeply, startling me from my daydream. It is one of the few things in Project 7 that is supplied with electricity. A pleasant three-tone intermission plays before an automated female voice is heard.
“Good afternoon,” The voice says, with a fabricated warmth to her tone, “The Rationing will begin in ten minutes. Residents of Project 7 kindly proceed to the courtyard of Christ the King Parish in an orderly fashion. Peace Officers and Rationing personnel will guide you accordingly.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am Frances Pia Alexy C. Rey. I think of myself as an optimistic and passionate writer who likes to challenge and further develop my writing prowess.
I won the 2018 Essay Writing Contest of APEC Grace Park West, composed the graduation song of APEC Grace Park West for the batch of S.Y. 2018–2019, and have written fictional short stories and poems that focus on the human nature and condition.
I also enjoy watching and evaluating movies; listening and singing along to music; and experimenting with poems and narratives.