art by tatiana tulskaya
Shalla DeGuzman's short stories have appeared in the Mosaic Literary Journal, WordRiot, The Mad Hatters Review, and The Houston Literary Review. Her articles have appeared in The Scriptorium and L.A. Freepress, and her skits hav been performed at the Stella Adler Theatre.
Shalla, a former writer and producer of a health and fitness cable show, is currently writing a novel. She is President of The Shalla DeGuzman Writers Group where she interviews literary agents, publishers, and editors.
For more on Shalla: www.shalladeguzman.com
† † A continent away, headhunters decorate the rugged terrain of the Cordillera Region in Northern Philippines; six ethno-linguistic tribes, like the Igorots, survive.
† † Passing Beverly Hills, driven in a white limo, Iím making lots of money. Wherever I am, my trendy, ultra-high tech lap top works--any competition gets slit.
† † Tucked under my arm, we race up my private jet, stomping each step as I go. We sit next to a window and I watch buildings and streets where people are getting smaller and smaller like compressed digital memories, until they can all fit on a postage stamp.
† † Enter my password. Click on Shares. Sell short all oil stocks. Cha-ching! Going online on a plane is sexy.
† † Windows Media Player pops up with the latest on The Apprentice. Is that really Trumpís hair? Heís edging me on branding--ďYouíre fired!Ē
† † A steward slips off my shoes and raises my feet on velvet cushion but I do not look up, too busy, I have other more important things to do. He brings me a cocktail of Valium, Xanax and Paxil and for a crazy second, I wish I can ask him for a bottle of etag (the most popular Igorot rice wine) to drink with it, but I doubt there is any here, since itís so exotic, it can only be found high in the Philippine mountains. Right about now, Iíd also like some sweet, sugar-coated Tsu-om, its rice grain split and crushed by my own motherís handÖ
† † Google plastic surgeons, must get another nose job.
† † Email my lawyer.
† † Buy stocks of Trumpís real estate.
† † Check my accountantís website.
† † NOISE. I jerk forward, turbulence in the skies, the seatbelt grabs me back, but my lap top slips my fingers and crashes to the floor: Gold, English Pounds, American Dollars, Peso, Yen, NASDAQ, cigarette commercials, Scrooge McDuck... I want to die, let me die.
† † This life has been hell. A lap top doesnít love me. I must fly back to the Igorots.