Dead Lazy

By Hope Daryl Talib
Short Story

Nineteen-year-old Mitch Cabrera was lying in her bed while waiting for the day to end. It was a beautiful day, she admitted to herself, with bright blue clouds and flowers blooming everywhere on the street, but she was too lazy to go outside, even to move, for that matter. She had even hired a personal assistant to prepare her clothes, comb her hair, and even to brush her teeth.

“Lina!” Mitch shouted. “Turn the TV on!”

Lazy ass! Lina thought as she rushed to Mitch’s room. She can’t even turn the TV on herself. She did what she had been ordered to do and then handed the remote control to Mitch. “Here!” Lina said louder than she had intended.

“Wow,” Mitch said. “I think someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I would’ve slapped you, but it takes too much effort.”

Mitch was unaware that a stranger was watching her closely from a window. Lazy, lazy, lazy. Why are you like that, Mitch? You might regret it someday. Who knows? It might even be today.

Mitch dismissed Lina with a wave of a hand so she could watch TV alone. She turned it to Star Movies and settled in her bed, watching one of her favorite movies, Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Mitch had dropped out of college so she could spend more time watching TV and eating cheese puffs with cold mayonnaise. School was too much work for her. All the writing and moving was too much. Finishing the drink with one loud gulp, she threw the can of soda somewhere, knowing her paid hand would clean after her.

She watched TV and ate cheese puffs for the rest of the day. Not much happened in the house, and she didn’t have to worry about money either, because her parents, who had died a month ago, had been rich enough to provide for her. Now Mitch just had to mooch off her inheritance and never had to lift a finger. Mitch got money, Lina, and the entire house. What more did she need?

To live, thought the stranger watching Mitch. To totally live her life. Not just to exist.

“See you tomorrow!” Lina told Mitch before leaving her. As soon as Lina closed the door, Mitch sighed and continued watching a TV series and feasting on pepperoni pizza that her assistant had ordered for her. The TV later showed a boring documentary about starving children in Africa. Mitch wanted to change the channel, but the remote was too far from her. I’ll get it later, she thought, and she continued to eat. Why is chewing so tiring?

Little did Mitch know that the stranger watching her was already pouring gasoline around her house.

“Hurry up!” Mitch shouted to the TV. “I’m trying to watch my soaps!” The documentary was taking forever, and she didn’t give a rat’s ass about the subject. What am I supposed to feel? Pity?

The stranger lit a match and dropped it into the gasoline. Fire instantly ignited, swallowing Mitch’s house in flames. If she moved, she could live. If not, she would be a human barbecue. Mitch coughed and looked around her house, with red and orange flames surrounding her. The only exit was the window.

But Mitch couldn’t get up. Or she wouldn’t. Whatever her choice was, the stranger left her there to decide.

Editors and Contributors


Andrea D. Lim is from General Santos City, and she is currently working as an editor for a publishing company in Cebu City while taking her master’s degree in literature at the University of San Carlos, Cebu City. She was a fellow for poetry in the 24th Iligan National Writers Workshop (2017). She is also the former editor-in-chief of the Weekly Sillimanian, the official student publication of Silliman University, Dumaguete City.


Jude Ortega is a fictionist from Senator Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat Province. He has been a fellow in four national writers workshop, and his stories have received honorable mention in the F. Sionil José Young Writers Awards and the Nick Joaquin Literary Awards.


Rossel M. Audencial is an AB English graduate of Mindanao State University in General Santos City. She now teaches in the university and serves as the adviser of Bagwis, the student publication. She finished a master’s degree from Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City, South Cotabato.

Hope Daryl Talib is a fourth year BSED English student at Mindanao State University. She loves to write poetry and fiction in the languages she knows, and her dream is to inspire her future students to write. She is from Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat.

Jerome Cenina was born in Brgy. Spring, Alabel, Sarangani Province. He is currently studying at Notre Dame of Dadiangas University as a Humanities and Social Sciences Grade 12 student. He has always dreamed of becoming a lawyer and writer.

Marie-Luise Coroza Calvero is a composer from General Santos. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Film Music at the Institut für Neue Musik (Institute of New Music) of the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik (State Conservatory of Music) in Freiburg, Germany under composer and film music expert Cornelius Schwehr. In her spare time, she reads books, writes poetry and short stories, does freelance work as a music arranger, and teaches piano and music theory to children.

Joana Galila is a student of Bachelor of Secondary Education at Mindanao State University-General Santos. She lives in the municipality of Tampakan in South Cotabato.

Merhana Macabangin is a writer, illustrator, and Education student from Polomolok, South Cotabato. Her works are usually about Muslims and the Maguindanaon.

Mariz Leona is an AB English student at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. She is from Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat. “First Aid,” her essay in this issue, is the winner of the 2017 Sultan Kudarat Essay Contest, organized by local writers.

Ira Shayne Salvaleon is a senior high school student (Accountancy, Business, and Management track) at University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan, Cotabato Province. “Twenty-Two-Hectare Treasure,” her essay in this issue, is a finalist in the 1st Cotabato Province Essay Contest (2017), organized by local writers.

Jhessa F. Gales is a fourth year BSED English student at Mindanao State University-General Santos City. She is from Polomolok, South Cotabato.