As a child, Lili Banta ignored her grandmother's cryptic warnings to avoid children outside their Filipino community in Houston. When many of those other children fell ill, Lili ignored the whispers in her community that a vampiric aswang walked among them.
Years later, Lili returns to Houston to work for the Quarantine Station of the Center for Disease Control—but she is plagued by dark, bloody dreams that consume her nights and haunt her days. When a strange illness attacks the city's children, Lili is called in to find its source, and maybe even a cure.
But in order to save the city, she must first acknowledge the sinister truth: A monster stalks the night—closer than she ever expected....
But the word still ricocheted through my mind.
Until yesterday, I hadn't thought of the term in years—not since I'd left Houston for med school in Maine, determined to get as far away from home as I could.
But this resurgence of the same, odd illness that had swept my city years before was apparently also dredging up the old stories from deep in my subconscious: the aswang, a vampiric woman who lived a quiet life by day and fed on children in the night, flying back home on bat-wings just before dawn.
My unconscious mind had clearly also expanded on the idea, casting me in the role of aswang and adding schizoid conversations with a chorus of internal voices.
Great. I'm insane in my dreams.
And I'm a monster.
Shuddering, I wiped my hand across my gritty, raw eyelids.
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