TITLE: Spirits of Anito
AGE CATEGORY: Middle Grade
GENRE: Historical Fantasy with Steampunk elements
WORD COUNT: 65,000
Abandoned too often, Pim won’t die for anyone. But when war erupts, she becomes her town’s only hope for survival. Pim must master Spirit Magic or the effort will cost her life — and her soul.
The Philippine Islands, 1896
Anything, or anyone, with a beginning must have an end. A person’s body ages and dies, the same way an animatón becomes too rusty to be worth the clocksmith’s time. But when you’re left behind too often, you start to wonder if maybe, God has no one else to pick on but you.
Well, not you. Me.
Pilár Maria Querubin, at your service. You can call me Pim.
Yes, I know. My previous nanny, Aleng Sinning — God bless her soul — thought “Pim” sounded like a skin disease.
“Stop pouting, Pimple. Your big mouth makes you look like a duck,” she said. “Do not scowl. The neighbors might think you’re a green-eyed demon.” Aleng Sinning made obnoxious analogies about me, but I still mourned for her when she passed away last month.
Perhaps Mamá wouldn’t have liked my nickname either, but I never met her. Papá raised me alone, until he left me with his younger brother for the “scientific expedition of his lifetime.” We never heard from him again.
Then, there was Fandango. My dog and my best friend until his fatal encounter with an automaton horse.
Every night, I asked God why He kept taking away my loved ones. He never answered, but I didn’t mind. God was probably just busy like my uncle, Tío Nacho.
“Hoy! Stop doing that, you little chunk of metal,” I scolded the animatón pecking the window beside the double doors. Animatóns were animal automatons, designed to perform specific tasks with clockwork efficiency.