Tag Archives: halloween

Happy Halloween!

In the Spanish and Mexican culture there is a vast amount of tradition. Chiefly among them, the folklore, which are stories based in part on truth, and have been passed down from one generation to the next. Notable examples are La Llorona or The Crying Women, the myth of La Lechuza or witch/harpy bird, and of course, the legend of Chepita Rodriguez, whom many say was the first women to be executed in Texas. Wrongly accused of theft and murder, the legend says she haunts San Patricio County in South Texas to this day-with a noose around her neck.

 

The following is a similar story, albeit one lesser known. In fact, beyond that of my family and my elder’s closest friends, it may not be known at all. Today, it will be. In the late 1930’s there was a young man named Andres. Andres was a little over 13 years old. Andres was, to say the least, a very angry child. Here is the account of Andres, as it was told to my father, by his father Bruno, and how this young boy’s life was forever changed.

 

I call it,

Obedezca

Obey.

 

Socorro and Alejandro were immigrant workers in South Texas and prided themselves on a hard day’s work. They did their part during the day, toiling in the heat of the summer, and each evening when the sun would start to fall, they went home, tired but happy. Whatever food they could afford was more than enough and Socorro would always provide a decent meal for herself, her husband, and their only child, Andres. Somehow Andres, when he was actually home, found room to complain. The food was too hot or too cold, too bland or too spicy it was always never good enough. When he was younger, Socorro made excuses for him and blamed it on simple child-hood pickiness. As the years went on however, she began to believe that he truly meant to discourage her. This attitude was true for everything she did in the house. Alejandro intervened and begged Andres to listen and to show respect, after all, she was his mother. Andres cursed his father each and every time. When Alejandro went to further discipline his son, Andres would be gone in moments, prowling the neighborhood, looking for algo que hacer, something to do.

“¡Tienes que obedecer, hijo! Tu eres el unico que tenemos!” “You must obey, son! You’re the only one we have!” his mother would cry out to him as he walked away. She loved him unconditionally.

He would yell back to her, “It’s not my fault your barren!” among other curses and obscenities. He was getting worse and worse and the more they tried to discipline him, the more he resisted.

The elderly neighbor, Mariana, a close friend of the family’s, would hear every curse thrown at them by Andres. When she would visit, Socorro would appeal to her and ask her advice. Many times Mariana would console her and explain that it must be a phase and to keep disciplining him. But she knew it was not enough.

One day, while Alejandro was away, Mariana tried to intervene.  Andres threw piedras, rocks, at her and cut her cheek with one of them as he cursed at her. Fed up with how he treated his parents, she yelled at him, “¡Nino miserable! Los demonios le mostrara si no aye nadie mas puede!” Miserable child! The demons themselves will show you, if no one else can! Forget about me, obey your parents!”

He spit at the ground in front of him; a sign of disgust towards her and kept on walking.

“I pray to God for your protection but Lord knows!” she yelled at Socorro before slamming the screen door of her home.

Later that evening, Socorro paced the living as Alejandro sat on the couch. It was after midnight and Andres had not come home yet. This was rare. He would be in his room by this time, everynight, regardless. Then they heard a noice outside.

“Andres?” his father yelled out.

¿Que te importa? Ya bete a dormir, pinche hombre viejo. Tu y tu mujer! Voy para el bano! Ya dejame!” he yelled.

“What’s it to you? Go to sleep already, you old man. You and your women. I’m going to the bathroom. Leave me be!”

In those days, an outhouse served as a bathroom for families.

Alejandro and Socorro looked at each other and their faces fell in sadness. “What do we do?” she began asking him. Not having any solutions, they stood in silence and bowed their heads.

Their voices were drowned out by Andres’ sudden screams coming from outside. His screams were so real and horrible, his parents froze for a moment, but soon Alejandro gathered himself and darted out of the door. He grabbed his machete. Socorro ran behind him. The screams became louder and ominous.

Andres! Que te pasa, hijo?” Andres! Andres!” Alejandro shouted with terror. They reached the outhouse as it moved from side to side slightly. Loud and intense pounding of the walls filled the night as Alejandro tried desperately to break down the locked door, hacking and attempting to slice through the splintered wood. They yelled to him again and again. Andres’s cries were otherworldly. “¡Ama! Ama! Apa! Son muchos!!!” He yelled. “Mother! Mother! Father! There’s many!” The hitting and scraping of the outhouse walls and door intensified with screams of “leave me! Oh, Lord! Leave me!” Andres let out one last cry that shook his mother’s heart and caused her to fall to the ground. Then complete silence. Alejandro, out of breath, gave one final chop to the door and yelled out to his son. There was no answer. Alejandro opened the door and knees buckling, fell to the ground, making the sign of the cross over and over…and over again.

Andres lay huddle in the corner of the outhouse, one bloodied hand almost clutching the wall, the other around his knees. He was brutally beaten. His clothers were torn, tattered, and long, deep cuts crossed his chest. His fingers were bleeding and scratches covered his face. Clumps of his hair were strewn on the ground, covered in blood. As Andres stared blankly at nothing in particular, he whispered a single word, over and over:

 

Perdóname.

Perdóname.

Perdóname.

Perdóname.

 

Overtime his wounds healed, though the scars remained. His mental state was what the doctors called, “perdido“…lost. Andres was sent to an asylum.

The only word he would ever speak was “forgive me” in Spanish:

“Perdóname.”

 Alejandro and Socorro never had other children. They were never the same.

 IMG_6195-550x366

True story.

*This story was published in Underneath The Juniper Tree’s blog 10/2011. Here is the latest and greatest Halloween /13 ISSUU!

Word.

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Una Noche Con Los Muertos. A Night With The Dead

Gael was ready. He had been waiting all month for this night. The party, he thought to himself. It was a Halloween party. He looked into the mirror and forced a smiled. Just a few weeks earlier he and his long time girl friend Vida had broken off the relationship. It was her decision, and he was crushed. This night would be a great opportunity to finally get out of his depression and maybe, just maybe he would enjoy himself and get Vida out of his mind. His friends constantly texted and called him until they finally convinced him. He sighed and continued putting on his face paint. A few days from now would be Dia De Los Muertos, and in honor of the holiday and the tradition of his famila, he was going to be a muerto– a dead man-tonight. His face resembled a real skull. He had many years of practice transforming into one of the dead, so he wanted it perfect. And it was.

Later that evening, Gael found he was actually having a good time. He was smiling and talking. Everyone loved his make-up and outfit. The intricacies, outlines, the arte on his face, everything was brilliant. Vida who? He kept repeating. He even won a best costume contest. He was glad he came. Then the night became even better as he noticed from across the room a beautiful girl eyeing him. She had a matching costume. A muerta. Dead woman. He was smitten. Gael waved and walked over to her.

“Hey. I’m Gael. Uh, Gael Ortiz. Great party, right?”

“It really is! That make-up is perfect. It looks so real!” she said to him smiling.

“How cool is it that we’re both dressed as muertos? Yours is…I mean you should’ve won the contest!” he smirked. He stared at the intricate work on her face. “It’s really something…and that dress! Authentic would be selling you short!”

She laughed and stared into his eyes. “Thank you! Oh, I’m Araceli Santa Anna! Nice to meet you!” she shouted over the noise.

He looked at her beautiful black hair and in it was an even more stunning blood red rose.

“Hey, Araceli, you…you wanna go outside to…talk? It’s-“

“Loud?” she interuppted, laughing. “Let’s.”

Gael allowed her to go in front of him and they found a quiet spot in the back porch.

“So, Araceli. I know it’s probably the make-up but…I don’t recognize you. Where you from?” Relax Gael, he thought to himself. “I mean…your name is beautiful.” Gael put his hand to his neck.

She smiled and put her head down, the make-up hiding her flushed cheeks.

“Thank you, Gael. It’s so beautiful out here isn’t it?” she said ignoring Gaels question.

He didn’t care. It didn’t matter where she was from. It only mattered that he had met her, tonight.

“It is, Araceli. Your dress is beautiful.” He walked closer to her and looked into her eyes. She turned away.

“My mother made it a long time ago.”

“A long time-“ he began to ask.

“I mean, well she made it for me a long time ago and…now I fit into it.”

“Oh,” he whispered.

“My family will be here visiting for Dia de los muertos. Hey!” she yelled chain the subject. “It’s Halloween! Let’s go to the cemetary!”

He looked puzzled and realized that yes, it was Halloween.

“Cool. A couple of muertos prowling in the night!” he shouted.

“It’ll be una noche de los muertos!” she smiled back.

“De veras!*” he nodded.

;

They walked hand in hand a few blocks, passng trick-or-treaters young and old. They were met with oohs and ahhs and thumbs up. They seemed to be a perfect match, especially this night. For the first time in a long time, Gael was happy. Vida had indeed left his mind.

They arrived at the gates of the cemetary and looked at each other.

“It’s something isn’t it?” he asked.

“What, the cemetary? Or…”

“Well, yes, but everything. Halloween, dia de los muertos. Everything.”

“Definitely, Gael,” she whispered, squeezing his hand. “Hey!” she yelled suddenly. “Hide-and-go-seek!” she shouted as she ran away from him.

He was surprised and slightly hesistant but gathered the courage. Why ruin this night? He asked himself.

“Let’s!”

He let her get a small headstart and covered his eyes.

Then he felt a drop on his hand. And another. And another. Then a lot.

It started to rain.

“Aw, man. Araceli!” he shouted. The night was now darker because of the rain. His heart started beating faster and faster as he searched for her. He rubbed his eyes as his make-up started to melt. He couldn’t see that well through the paint and rain and tripped over a headstone.

“Dammit,” he grunted. “Araceli!” he yelled frantic now. Then he heard footsteps sloshing in the rain coming closer and closer.

“Hey!” It was Araceli.

Gael sighed a sigh of relief.

“The rain made it even better don’t you think? You couldn’t find me!” Araceli was overjoyed, her excitement showing in every word.

“If you say so.” He started getting up and noticed the tombstone in front of him. He frowned but laughed all at once.

“Look at that!” he shouted. “The name on this marker says Araceli. I can’t read the last name. Here, come help me clean it off.” He hadn’t looked up at her until then.

His mouth dropped and he jumped up, backing away slowly.

“Gael? What’s wrong?”

“You’re make up!” he screamed. His face was pale through th streaks of make-up. “You’re make-up. It didn’t come off!”

Araceli put her head down.

“Of course not. It’s…it’s not…it’s not make-up,” she said sounding sad and ashamed now.

Gael started shaking and couldn’t speak.

She stepped towards him and her eyes caught the moonlight.

Araceli became blurry as Gael fainted and fell in the mud.

;

A few moments later, he awoke with Araceli kneeling over him.

“Gael?”

“What are you?”

“I’m dead,” she said softly. I’m dead, Gael. Muerta.”

His eyes shot open and he slowly turned his head towards the gravestone, now washed clean. It read:

Here Lies Araceli Catrina Santa Anna. Beloved Daughter and Sister

“Una Vida Corta Pero Hermosa.**”

1874-1891

Gael gulped and in his stupor whispered these words,” “Primera Vida y ahora…la muerta***.”

Dia De Los Muertos by Claudia Lucia McKinney

The End?

;

*truly or, for real

**A short but beautiful life

*** First Vida(life)…now, death.

;

UnaNoche Con Los Muertos. A Night With The Dead. Happy Days.


Pemberton Returns to the Forest That Screams

When we last saw the boy he was waving good-bye to his family in the ville,

the thought of them afraid of the dark, well it just made him ill!

His story continues with a little poem of sorts

never mind the ghastly GrumGrum beast’s snorts.

Tonight’s the night the ghouls and superhero’s feast!

On treats and goodies, some candy corn…at least.

They will come to the door, and don their disguises,

and better for their candy bag, if they should surprise us.

But one young man, oh, he has no joy.

He has no plan of action or ploy.

See  though it be Halloween this night,

And the spirits about will come out to fright,

Lil Pemberton is not smiling, no he is down, he is forlorn

his spirit is remiss, yes, oh yes, it is torn!

for tonight is the last night he can sit and be free

Underneath The Juniper Tree.

The October Issue is going away, along with the dead,

and Pemberton is filled with such dread.

“But wait, young boy,” eerie voices team,

“Remember when you first walked into the Forest That Screams?

There is no need to cry, or pout,

or whine or to shout…”

The voices drew closer and ever closer still

The kind that could be break even the strongest man’s will.

It then continued in it’s haunting, dark speech

and now Lil Pemberton was within it’s cold reach,

“there is most certainly a reason to fear…

The November Issue…is coming, my dear.”

Into_the_Light_by_daniellieske

 

Matter of fact, the Issue is here! Read on and bedefrighted. |m|

Read the Halloween Issue  as well, and also check this interview of Tex via Andrea Hurst & Associates!

 

 

 

10/31> And of course what Hallow’s Eve would be complete without Ichabod Crane. We all now what happened to the poor Mr. Crane* so let us enjoy…happier times.

*or do we?

WORD.


Steps To Survive A Horror Movie

See that dark house coming closer and closer? Yeah. That’s Halloween approaching and in the spirit of the holiday I share with you the following. Recently, well actually very recently, The Twitter unleashed the hashtag, #StepsToSurviveAHorrorMovie and lemme tell you, it went off. So did I. Then a few of mine were in the top tweets for a few moments (there were so many!) and it quickly became a country wide top trending topic. I’ve decided to share a few of mine.

Note: These are all original from the mind of me.

Here’s how it all went down.

Be. A. Badass a.k.a. BE. BRUCE CAMPBELL.#StepsToSuviveAHorrorMovie

Do not fear death.

My horror writing peeps seriously need to get in on this! and teach these kids some #stepstosurviveahorrormovie

DON’T do the deed outside. For cryin’ out loud-get a room…in the city.

Don’t think your kindness will win the killer over. Look what happened to Machete in the Halloween remake.

Continue reading


Rapping, Rapping At My Door.

I kept waking up last night, shivering. The shadows on the wall danced but…they weren’t happy. I heard something outside of the window and hesitated to look. I took a deep breath, got over it and looked. Nothing but the juniper tree hitting against it.

Shew.

I decided to grab a snack, something small not too heavy. It was 3:33 in the morning after all! I wrapped my robe and scarf tight-it was cold out and the air was creeping in.

I ate my snack and exhaled. “Everything’s good,” I convinced myself then headed back to sleep…and then…I heard a knock at the front door. I opened my eyes and stared at the roof. “Are you kidding me?”
“Who’s there?,” I whispered and swallowed hard.
Silence for a minute or two. Then the tree began tapping the window. Good grief.


Then the knock started again. The rapping made my heart jump!
I had to answer so I jumped up without thinking, casting off the fear like my robe just a few minutes earlier.
I darted for the door and asked loudly, “Who is it! It’s 4:00 in the morning!”
Silence.


Then the rapping continued…and stopped suddenly.

Why, oh why did I pick this cottage deep in the forest as a suitable place to live? I wondered.
I mustered the courage and told myself I was clearly delusional. Obviously from the lack of sleep. I thought of Poe for some reason and smiled. Enough of this, I thought to myself and started for the room-and the knock got louder. My eyes grew several inches in size and I turned, angry now, and opened the door.
“WHAT?” I yelled.
But there was no one there. I breathed in and out and looked to my feet. The October Issue of Underneath The Juniper Tree was resting on the ground. I stepped out and looked through the trees. But no one was out. The cold air brushed my air and I swear I heard an eerie laughter in it. I bent down to grab the issue just it began to rain. “Great,” I grumbled.
I didn’t see the figure with the pumpkin for a head behind me, in my own house…’til it was too late.

Read the October Issue, out now!


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