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55 Fiction

“The World’s Shortest Stories” yearly contest

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Silly Love Songs

(Pre-2000)
Everyone should have a place to hang out with friends and a nightclub devoted to a certain group is not unusual.

But the group in this story is.

an excerpt from this contemporary short story …

The nightclub was called Mabuhay Gardens. Two unique conditions were attached to its lease.

First, Derek Donaldson, lessee, was not allowed to change the name of the place no matter what kind of business he operated out of the address on the corner of Broadway and Montgomery. Pio, the owner and lessor, was quite unapproachable on the subject.

Second, if Donaldson decided to have live music, it could not begin until eleven p.m. any day of the week. Pio was equally implacable on this topic.

Pio would have inserted a third clause saying something like, “And pronounce the name correctly!” but that would have been unenforceable and even he knew that much about real estate law. Still, Pio hated hearing Anglos distort his native tongue, especially a word so packed with meaning. It should be treated with respect and the last syllable emphasized. Mah, boo, HI!

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Mabuhay means several things in Tagalog, a primary language of the Philippine Islands. Literally, it means “long life,” but it is quite formal. Depending on its context, Mabuhay means “good luck” or “hello.” So, it is a greeting, it is a toast for drinkers and a salutation. It can also mean “goodbye.”

Donaldson, who had run Mabuhay for ten years, never asked Pio what the name meant.

The story behind the name is this: Pio’s mother, who lived and died without leaving the tiny town where she was born, was a well respected necromancer, a paid shaman renowned throughout the entire island of Luzon. She instilled a belief in omens, signs,

This story is 21 pages long, available in PDF format.
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