Tikbalang Wedded

Written by Kerry Elizabeth Blickenderfer-Black, 21 November, 2013

The bride, Emora, looked splendid, as brides should, in a gown that complimented her glowing eyes.  Her rosy hooves thudded boldly up the packed dirt aisle in the remote open-air chapel to meet her groom, the Tikbalang Paeng. 

She lowered her head by way of greeting the officiate before stunning her soon-to-be husband with a brilliant smile, large, white, even teeth revealed in a dazzling display.  Her sleek, equine body was draped in pearl-studded lace. A steady drizzle dampened her matching veil but a little, as the sun shone in confused vigor on the scene in the Philippines.  Paeng bowed from the waist, his human torso clothed in a tuxedo top that he stole from a man lost in the wilds, mislead by the ministration of his Tikbalang brothers for the occasion.  He scratched the ground nervously with his right front hoof, his gray horsey-tale swishing vigorously.

Will-o-the wisps made the long journey from Ireland, their pixie fire reflected by the rainbow gracing the cerulean sky.  Centaurs served as ushers, happy to stand for their cousins on this joyous occasion, lending ceremonious dignity.  Anahaw and jasmine perfumed the air, soft white petals floating with an occasional breeze.  A chorus of frogs sung from the nearby swamp, accompanied by the far off lapping of the South China Sea.

Just before “kiss the bride” was announced, Emora became a giggling girl, rearing up to allow her front hooves and the immense creamy silk gown to cover her blushing visage.  When she recovered, the bride     turned to her groom and recalled when first they met. 

She guided a glossy-haired maiden deeper into the swamp than was her custom, enjoying the mounting terror of her victim, when he saw Paeng.  Paeng also had a victim with him, a young man of about 20 with coal-black hair glistening in the moonlight.  The humans rushed to each other’s arms, sobbing their relief, each believing the other would serve as salvation and guidance from the sucking muds of the confusing swamp with its entangling, tree-hung mosses.  The human’s love was born on the day that the Tikbalang left them in the swamp to die.  Likewise, that was the day the Tikbalang couple found their own love.  When Paeng saw the female Tikbalang, Emora, his heart was as lost as the souls that he was destined to mislead.  Emora was equally caught in love’s snare.

Today, though, travelers would be safe from their pixie-leading.  Humans could wear their clothes in traditional fashion instead of backward, since the happy couple and their guests would be off of work and too busy celebrating the unusual wedding this happy day for misleading mischief.

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