(Author's Note: I found this sitting in my archives the other day, and I have no idea where it's from or why I wrote this. Nevertheless, it's still a bit interesting to read...)
There was a tall man walking towards him.
Jimenez noted a couple of things from the start. The first was that the man was dressed in old-fashioned clothes. He wore a black suit with coat-tails, a beige vest of some unknown material, and a bowler hat that looked almost too large and too ill-fitting to be believable. The second was that the man looked almost exactly like Arturo Agoncillo, President of the Republic of the Philippines.
Truth be told, it was the second detail that convinced Jimenez that this was just a dream. President Agoncillo, after all, was a man who barely scraped the five-foot, two-inch mark.
“Hello, Johnny,” the Agoncillo-man said, stopping a few feet in front of Jimenez. “I’ve got something for you.”
Jimenez suddenly found that he was afraid. It was an unlikely feeling, especially knowing that he was standing before a tall man who was about a head shorter than him in real life. Jimenez noted, with indistinct senses, that Agoncillo held a black valise in his right hand, and he wondered what was inside.
“I’m not Johnny,” Jimenez finally told him. “That’s what you called my brother, and he’s long gone.”
It was the truth, of course. His elder brother was fifteen years in the grave, having eaten a hitman’s bullet in the prime of his political career. Jimenez never really knew if Agoncillo was trying to keep the dead man’s memory alive, or could never tell the two of them apart, or was just too stupid to notice. For some reason, he felt that it was probably all three.
Agoncillo opened his mouth to say something, only the sounds that emanated from it didn’t seem to form any words at all. Instead, a distinct hum filled Jimenez’s ears, and it echoed around and around the darkness until it seemed that the president-elect was screaming at him.
Jimenez found himself screaming back, only his screams were not screams at all. They were the whirr and clash of machinery, the sound of thousands of cogwheels all stuck together and beginning to break apart.
Agoncillo stopped screaming and smiled, reaching down and opening the little black valise.
And Jimenez suddenly awoke in a cold sweat.