He had never expected the specimen to be this enraged. Usually, when he commits the salab against a human they would be insatiable for blood and flesh, but not to this point. There was something different about this newly turned boy, something interesting.

It was not the first time he had used the salab to create a new aswang, it wouldn’t be the last either. His experiments with turning humans was more than mere curiosity, this was science to test the boundaries of what his kind was.

“The transmission process of turning a human into an aswang is called the salab” – the worn pages of his notes were almost speaking to him. “The salab can come in different ways, it can be as simple as an aswang looking at a human, causing their behavior to be erratic. There is also the salab in which the aswang excretes a bodily fluid or something from its person, this is usually in the form of a small bird, a salab may also be hereditary, children of aswang will become aswang themselves.”

He looked at the boy screaming in the cage. The boy would need fresh human meat soon, the newly turned yanggaw always do. This one was only a child, but he had been chosen because the boy would not be missed, there were thousands of children on the streets every day and it was a mark of humanity that the lower you were on the social scale the more invisible you were.

“On the verge of death the salab becomes imperative to the aswang as it needs to pass on its powers to another. Until it does, the aswang suffers torturous pain without the release of death. The aswang typically prefers to pass on its powers to a member of its family.”

He stared at the picture beside his notes. The time was coming, and he knew she would never forgive him for what he was going to do. He wanted to show her his notes, to tell her that he tried all he could to spread it to someone or even something else.

But he had failed. Even this time.

He stared at the boy, the hunger was consuming him now. There was no more time to wait. He was not cruel, far from it. These twisted methods had the goal to finally rid the world of the curse he carried, but he knew now that the curse was too strong to fight. The hunger would eventually consume you until what’s left is a façade of the humanity you once had.

The boy’s howls reverberated through the laboratory. It was time for his first feeding.

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