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The Crying Slayer

The Funeral

The Funeral

The Funeral

I’m numb, my mind is absent fleeing the dark righteous sparks of vengeful thoughts igniting the synapses of my brain. I don’t understand why I’m not crying, watching her coffin slowly being lowered into an arid brown gravely pit where my family and I will visit frequently as long as we live, which in itself may not be long. Ah Mari why did they have to take you, our lives will never be the same ever since the Mexican drug cartels moved in to the country the relentless rise in violence against the Catracho (Hondurans) especially women, has forever darkened the psyche of the nation.

Twelve months and a day from now my street will be filled by the bellowing sounds of drums, maracas and dancing a Honduran tradition to give my beloved deceased an ancestral send-off. But it will make me re-live this terrible time only to ponder my lovely Mari so gorgeous; raven black hair perfectly contrasted your silky caramel skin that seemed to glisten regardless of light, those chocolate brown eyes danced and revelled in the beauty they embodied and that smile which always made me feel like we would be alright no matter how difficult the circumstances, now you’re gone and this circumstance is too much to bare.

Ah sis why did they take you from us these street gangs are literally the spawn of the devil, your death not long happened after the brutal killing of that beauty queen who won Miss Honduras a few months ago. The main difference is, the police have caught that bastard of a boyfriend who shot her in the back six times in a blind jealous rage. The government are paying to protect her family but that won’t last forever, what about us we are not celebrities we are poor the government does not care about the women of this country as many cases of extreme abuse and murder have gone unsolved they’re corrupt as fuck sitting in their ivory towers while they siphon off money from the fucking evil drug cartels. Now my country has become the most violent place outside a war zone where as much as two women a day are killed.

Welcome to the home of Femicide!

I worry for my sister and my mum, poor mum WHY AREN'T I CRYING! Watching her convulse apoplectic with anguish losing her first born so young. Parents should never have to bury their children but this is just a fantasy as the consequences of living in this reality is insufferable. My younger sister crushes my body transmitting her despair into my being but I still can’t cry.

MARI, MARI!!! My mum screams, her tears indistinguishable from the sweat of her brow bereft as if her morbid tones would be heard beyond the grave. Sis why did you go out that night…It was just another humid night in Santa Rosa de Copan.

I remember you were particularly happy that evening, you went to Gracias to enjoy a night of dancing laughing and drinking with your friends until some unsavoury drunk gang members walked in the bar throwing their weight around. One of them took a liking to a young girl demanding that she be his girlfriend but you couldn’t stand there and watch as this thug started to grope and rough her up. You tried to protect her knowing full well how dangerous it is for women here. Ah sis so noble so strong and because this demon had some status, he thought he could do whatever he wanted unchallenged, as you stood in front of the young girl, he pulled out a gun and shot you twice in the head. It’s been two weeks and not a peep nobody has come forward not even your so-called friends want to say anything as they understandably fear for their own lives. And the police lacklustre approach has been jarring I will find the ass-hole who murdered you sis and I pray the Holy Father manifests his righteous vengeance through me.

We say our last goodbyes and proceed to leave the cemetery Hector a long-time family friend guides us to his car, our home a 30-minute drive away from Santa Rosa cathedral. The vehicle slowly bobs along the streets lined with neo classical 18th century buildings a constant reminder of colonial Spanish rule. I blankly stare through the tinted window as I comfort my mother and sister the vehicle encapsulating the hush of grief amplifying the sound of the tyres scrapping over cobbled stone.

We arrive home.

‘Lo siento mucho.’ Hector whispers as he opens the door for us.

‘It’s okay, don’t be sorry it wasn’t your fault, thanks for the lift.’ I answer briskly.

I usher my mum and sister into the house our home is modest with its red tiled roof and exterior painted pastel purple. All of the homes here are brightly coloured a kaleidoscopic cornucopia of bricks and mortar connected by wires and cables held up by pylons create a web-like canopy between the dusty pot holed roads and the pale blue. Our place is the second to last at the top of the hill on the outskirts of Santa Rosa affording us a wonderful tropical vista of undulating hills thick forest and the city below. My younger sister takes mum to her room and sits with her although we don’t feel like eating, I go to the kitchen to prepare something.

I’m not looking forward to work tomorrow given my current state, although we have some small savings, I have to keep the money coming in. I walk into my mum’s room holding a small plate of Baleadas

‘Here you are mama your favourite.’

She sits staring at the image of Jesus Christ on the wall still grasping ever so tightly a picture of Mari.

‘You must eat something mama.’

She doesn’t flinch constricted with silence.

My sister takes the plate and lays it on the bedside table.

‘You must eat too.’ I say strongly.

‘No, I can’t face eating anything right now Julianna.’

Lucita was the youngest, me the middle child and Mari the oldest.

The reason why I felt I had to be strong; the rock that my family could lean on during this horrid time.

Lucita and I spent most of the evening with mum she lay on the bed in a fetal position still grasping the picture of Mari. Her cheeks flush, dampened by the outpouring of pain-filled tears, she had finally drifted off to sleep my sister snuggled with her.

Glum, I slowly strolled to my room next door and collapsed on my bed still not having shed a tear I couldn’t cry.

I had sent a text to my cousin Carlos the day we found out about Maris death. Carlos loved Mari and looked after her from time to time when she was younger. Unfortunately, Carlos inevitably got caught up with a street gang although he was against it; all he wanted was to get away from here to start a better life in the U.S as the majority of Hondurans live below the poverty line.

You might argue he had a choice; the reality is choice is an illusion. He got caught and barley kept his life, he’s half way through a 12-year sentence in San Pedro Sula one of the most violent prisons in the world.

Maybe he’s lost his phone or worse, no I can’t think like that but it’s been two weeks since we’ve been in contact, I hope to God he’s still alive.

Morning returns I pour myself out of bed reluctantly getting ready for work, a phantom stench of tobacco leaf invades my nostrils a prelude to the drudgery ahead. I go to check on my mum and sister, to my surprise they are still sleeping the food I prepared yesterday has been left in the fridge which will be an easy breakfast for them.

I leave home to start the 45-minute walk to the factory as I look at my phone in the hope my cousin has responded, still no response. With each stride I reminisce about the six-month visa I got to study English at an independent college in Texas my plan was to intern and eventually get a job as a writer for a small publication. things were going quite well it provided a strong sense of hope. It was my intention to over stay my welcome but I didn’t think it through properly. As my visa ran out I took the ruinous decision to stay illegally I just wanted to build a better life for my mum and sisters but this was the beginning of sorrows as I soon got found out, got deported and within three months of my forced return I’ve lost my beloved sister, have a low paying job with no prospects, and in grave danger of losing my life because of my gender. But this is no time to feel sorry for myself.

Santa Rosa tobacco factory has a long and celebrated history and is world famous for its brands of tobacco. But the tourists who frequent this historical establishment have little knowledge of Luz del Luna a tobacco factory only known by the locals it’s small 18th century façade welcomes me in, the dense scent of tobacco penetrates my skin the ammonia-heavy odour of drying and curing leaves accompanied by the clacking of antique tools only enhance the enigmatic ambience of this building.

I get to the locker room, open my locker put my bag in take out a blue lab coat every worker was obligated to wear to keep the chippings off your clothes and a mouth mask. I would usually put my phone in my locker as mobiles are not permitted on the factory floor but I’m hoping my cousin will contact me so I keep it in my pocket. I put on the lab coat and make for the factory floor; I enter and immediately feel a pin-drop-silence fall upon the room.

Awkward!

The walk to my desk seemed to take forever as I shuffled passed my colleague who sits next to me, I could see great pity in her eyes.

‘I’m deeply sorry Julianna.’

‘Thank you, Consuela, to be honest I just want to work and not think about anything.’

‘Of course, my love, of course.’

But I WAS! Thinking, scheming, plotting raking my brains to find a way to get my sisters killer.

I lost my self in my work, I had become very skilled in rolling which increased nimbleness in my fingers and enhanced dexterity in my hands, I was in a trance about to role my tenth cigar from left to right laying out the tripa (filler leaves) then the capote (binder leaves) and finally the capa (the wrapper). I partially remove the central vein of the filler leaf and started to bunch the leaves together when I felt my phone vibrating the leaves, I was rolling sieved through my fingers like sand. I hastily reached for my phone looked at the screen expecting a text, I hesitated taking a second to realise it was actually a call I couldn’t believe it, Carlos was actually calling and not texting I rocketed out my seat and sped out of the factory room ignoring my line managers shouts of disapproval.

‘Hello hi.’

‘Julie, I got your message just as my phone lost charge, it’s been a nightmare getting a new battery its difficult enough trying to not go insane in here can’t imagine what it’s been like for you and the family how are you lovely.’

‘Carlos, thank God you have no idea how pleased I am to hear your voice with what has happened I thought the worst, I’m not coping well, and mum and Lucita are just…are…’

‘Okay, okay I’m beyond angry Julie. Mari was a beautiful soul and didn’t have a bad bone in her body she didn’t deserve this.’

‘I know things aren’t easy in there Carlos but we’ve got to do something about this maybe you could ask around to see if we can find out who did this.’

‘Since I got the message, I’ve reached out to certain people I haven’t heard anything yet but as soon as I do, I will text you okay.’

‘Okay.’

JULIANNA!!!!

‘Shit my manger is shrieking I must go Carl glad to hear your voice Love you.’

‘Ditto Kid, ditto.’


The Prison

The Prison

The Prison

I stare at my phone briefly forgetting my hellish surroundings this prison is dark, decrepit and dangerous I lay on a deflated mattress imagining millions of ways to kill Maris murderer. The punk who caused this will pay in the worst way. San Pedro Sula prison has had its fair share of media attention over the last 10 years with good reason. Luckily, I’ve managed to live through the power struggles and massacres.

There’s a social structure and hierarchy here overseen by Don Breve although he’s not gang affiliated has the respect of the notorious MS13 and Barrio18 gangs. The inmates are living in relative peace under his watch which has been a welcome relief. The prison is splintered into three categories: Maras (active gang members), Pesetas (former gang members) and Paisas (those who have never been in a gang before being imprisoned). Unfortunately, former gang members are put in with us Paisas which has caused extremely bloody and gruesome episodes where many have died terribly.

I’m in here for attempting to run four kilos of cocaine to the boarder of Guatemala the street gang leader offered me a decent sum which would’ve allowed me to eventually get out of this country but I got caught I have another six years of this shit-hole the chances of me being killed were very high until one day I happened to see one of the pesetas brandishing a makeshift knife sneak into Don Breves unguarded room while he was snoozing. I managed to catch up with him and knock him out. Let’s just say that Don Breve was merciless with his would-be killer, he’s owed me ever since.

Its morning and the prison is already rowdy I get a message that Don Breve wants to see me. I briskly walk through the grey caged labyrinthine corridors dodging inmates and ignoring dirty slurs. I go through one of the courtyards then into a smaller area three minutes away from my cell. Don Breve had a much more luxurious abode compared to mine like me he was a Paisas but gained a name for himself as a thief on the wicked streets of San Pedro Sula and interestingly didn’t have many enemies a moral criminal if there ever was such a thing.

‘Don Breve you wanted to see me.’

‘Yes, yes Carlos come in sit, sit.’

His cell was decked out with a variety of creature comforts a 20-inch plasma screen his bed frame a happy home for a comfy mattress, air conditioning and a mini fridge posted up in the corner where he kept his favourite beers.

He got up and stretched out his thick-set arm to open the fridge pulling out two ice cold bottles of Salva Vida and cracked them open with his teeth.

‘Here take.’

‘Thank you.’

There was a short pause as we simultaneously took a swig.

‘How are you Carlos?’

‘Surviving Don Breve, surviving.’ As I eagerly awaited what he had to say me.

‘We all are my friend, listen I know you’ve found it difficult since you got the sad news of your cousins murder, as you know I’m a man of my word I owe you a favour, I know the name of the man you seek.’

My chest tightened my breathing shortened sweat oozed through my pores as if watching my favourite striker about to shoot before he scores.

He got his phone and showed me a picture and his name.

My pupils dilated I was enraged and elated at the same time knowing that Karma was etching ever closer to seal this monster’s fate.

‘Give me your number so I can send you this.’

Before Don Breve could finish his sentence, I relayed my number within seconds I had this precious information in my phone I only hoped that we could kill him before somebody else did.

‘Thank you so much Don Breve as I got up hastily.’

‘Wait.’ Don Breve whispered loudly as he gently placed his weathered hand on my shoulder to sit me back down.

‘This man has a moderate reputation on the streets, how are you going to go about getting him.’

‘I, I need some time to think about that.’

‘Look I have a contact that I will speak to in the coming days who knows where he operates.’

‘Who?’ I asked inquisitively.

Don Breve looked me dead in the eye piercing my soul his face expressionless, he turned away and took another swig of beer and casually uttered.

‘El Immortal.’

Coughing nervously, I knew exactly who Don Breve was talking about The Immortal was a well-known contract killer whose signature was cutting out his victims’ tongues and eyes before shooting them in the heart. He was highly connected with the Mexican drug cartels and street gangs around the country.

There was three quarters of beer left in my bottle which I gulped down in one go. I graciously thanked Don Breve once again and left for my cell I decided not to send Julianna the details of the killer just yet as I had to wait on Don Breve’s killer contact.


Time Goes By So Slowly

Time Goes By So Slowly

Time Goes By So Slowly

Laying here in our favourite hammock I think about you every day Mari wishing you were opposite me like the old days chatting and laughing about anything and everything. It’s been months now although we’ve been in contact Carlos hasn’t had any news regarding the killer but I can’t lose hope. I pray every day that I get to look him in the eye and transmit the insufferable torment he has inflicted upon my family.

Lucita hasn’t been to school for ages my mum worries for her as school children often get caught up in the turf wars between the gangs and are at risk of being beaten, kidnapped and raped. Mum has spiralled into a profound depression she seldom leaves her room constantly reminding Lucita she must stay with her which is taking its toll on all of us. She’s a young girl and like all young people should be out with her friends enjoying her youth but she can’t due to the machismo culture of gang’s girls and guns where a man’s power is measured by the bullets he’s shelled. All of this is fuelling the fire of vengeance raging inside of me I crave for more fire more anger I feel it shifting me into a new form of existence. I unashamedly have zero remorse for who I once was; that person died with Mari. Staring at my phone I message Carlos again;

Hi Carl I know I’m being a nuisance but have you had any word any leads or anything.

I feel my phone vibrate I don’t need to look at it because I know its Julianna, I feel bad for not sending her the picture of the killer right away but Don Breve hasn’t got back to me, it’s been months now. Time passes differently on the inside. Walking back from the prison market ironically named the zone of death one of the inmates catches up with me and whispers.

‘Don Breve wants to talk to you.’

My snail pace quickly turned into a equine cantor as I entered the courtyard and swiftly glided up the stairs two by two. Upon entering his room I stopped in my tracks as Don Breve was being entertained by a stripper who was giving him a private dance.

‘Carlos come in.’ as he shooed the dancing woman out of his cell.

‘How’s it going?’

‘Not bad Don Breve although it’s been a while since we spoke.’

‘I know. Getting hold of the Immortal has proved problematic but I’ve managed to speak to him have you spoken to your cousin?’

‘No not yet.’

‘I think you should let her know who the killer is, as the immortal has agreed to help.’

‘Really!’ I chuffed.

‘Over the last few months he’s been recording his movements to discern the best time when he’s on his own. There is a small bar called El Loro Amarillo (The Yellow Parrot) in San Jose he goes to the last Friday of every month.’

‘Great I’ll let Julianna know straight away.’

‘Listen, the immortal will be at that bar around 10pm I know you’re aware of his gruesome signature?’

‘Yes, very aware, his escapades will be remembered in urban folk lore for generations, you’re right Julianna needs to know now, thank you Don Breve’.

‘Good now get outta here.’

I sprinted to my cell and grasped my phone I couldn’t dial fast enough

‘Hi Julie.’

‘Hey Carl you good’.

‘Yes, very good, I have some news Maris killer will be at a small Bar El Loro Amarillo in San Jose this Friday, A powerful friend has someone that’s going get him’.

‘What!’

‘Now, I’m going to send you a picture along with his name, I know this will be difficult Julie but take comfort in the fact that he’s going to get what he deserves very soon.’

‘Please send it, send it now thank you Carl thank you.’

Trembling with despair and delight I fell out the hammock grazing my wrist as I gripped my phone like a croc attacking a gazelle on the river bank. My phone vibrated I froze glaring at the message hesitating to open it anticipating the melee of emotions poised to wreak havoc with my nerves. I opened the message; His Name was Miguel Lopez or more widely known as El Golpe (The Hit) he was a captain of a lesser street gang that were notorious for hacking their enemies to death before decapitating them. He had a small skinny frame his neck bejeweled with a rose gold chain sprawled out on a chair, his squinting eyes propped up by a sweaty sinister smile. I got to look him in the eye but I knew this wasn’t enough.

‘I am going to kill you.’ I thought.

The next few days were agony, going through the tedious motions of the everyday, thinking about what I was going to do; I had no idea.


Friday

Friday

Friday

Friday

I haven’t slept, adrenaline has been building up in my bloodstream ever since I got the message. I still wasn’t sure how I was going to get there.

But somehow some way I’ll get to San Jose.

I vaguely remember El Loro Amarillo It was a popular drinking spot for farmers and nomads. Before the car crash papa would take me on delivery runs from time to time and that bar was one of his stops. My sister and mum had gone to the nearby market to get some groceries I went to work as normal I rolled five more cigars than usual to the surprise and reluctant praise of my manager. I rushed home had a quick wash and changed into a dark grey tracksuit trying to figure out my creepy journey. I didn’t want to pay for a cab too risky and I certainly wasn’t going to walk as it was highly likely I wouldn’t return home. My sister was preparing dinner when there was a knock at the door. I cautiously stepped towards the front door.

‘Who is it?’

‘Hector.’

I rapidly opened up and welcomed him with a big hug.

‘Hey Hector what you doing here.’

‘I was in the neighbourhood and couldn’t leave without seeing you guys, where’s your mum.’

‘Lucita! Is there enough food? Hector is here.’

I set another place at the table as my mum and Hector caught up. As we sat at the table my behaviour became more erratic.

‘Julianna are you alright you seem a bit preoccupied.’

Of course I was, its 9:10pm I’ve got to leave!!!

‘I’m okay Hector.’

I shot up out of my chair.

‘Where you going Julie.’

‘I need to get something from Jenny down the road, mum I’ll be back in five minutes.’ Lola was a neighbour who had been so kind to us since Mari's passing.

‘Come straight back.’

‘Yes mama.’

Lucita gave me a rye eye knowing I was up to something.

I rushed out, put on Mari's favourite baseball cap and took Hectors car keys from his jacket that was hung by the door. I jumped into his pick-up quietly depressing the handbrake allowing it to silently roll down the hill. Once I was far enough so that I wouldn’t alert him I switched on the engine and lights and headed towards San Jose. It was a 40 minute drive from my town my phone buzzed It was Carlos asking what I was doing as I briefly looked down at my phone I hit a pot hole that veered me off course positioning the vehicle directly into the path of an oncoming car, lights and life flashing before my eyes I swerved the right way at the last moment.

I can’t die now

I’d been on the road at least 30 minutes driving in darkness, murky jungle either side of me tussling with the night air softly back-lit by a half moon. Eventually a sweeping corner gradually revealed the sparsely lit town of San Jose.

Memories of papa flooded my mind adding extra strain on the heavy pain I was already enduring. It was 9:59pm I slowly parked up and waited with the bar in sight.

The yellow parrot hadn’t changed much surrounded by low lit street lamps it had the charm of a wild-west saloon the ones you would see in old Clint Eastwood westerns the rocking chair on the decking was still there as it latently rocked in the refreshing Honduran night- breeze the edge of the roof was draped in little Christmas lights, Wooden cladding eroding where it met the rusty metal framework. Muffled tones of Cuban salsa seeped through the window cracks the shabby interior accompanied by intermittent laughter and chatter.

I sat back in the black pick-up like a panther patiently waiting for its prey, the atmosphere was strange as there weren’t many people around, I got the odd inquisitive look from passers-by. Looking in the rear view I didn’t recognise myself I couldn’t see my soul behind my sombre eyes I pulled the peak of the baseball cap low so my face was partially obscured.

I glanced at the side view mirror I noticed a large man emerge from the blur of the night gradually strolling towards El Orto Amarillo without a care in the world. He was wearing a black shirt buttoned from top to bottom, black jeans and sandy brown cowboy boots with spurs melodically jingling with each step. His head adorned by a black Stetson a bright red Macao feather wedged in a black silk ribbon rapped round the top of the brim glowed like an infra-red beam. I was intrigued by this mysterious stranger, watching him slide into the bar.

20 minutes had passed, my phone vibrated it was Carlos re-sending the message that nearly killed me earlier.

Hey Julie I hope you’re okay that bastard is gonna get it tonight good fucking riddance!

I grimaced thinking it was a smirk my attention shifted by Shakira’s voice as it sharply got louder and almost immediately softer as the bar door opened and closed.

It was him! I wish my medusa-like stare would kill him right there; skinny fucker he was with the mysterious red feather. They seemed to be having a tense discussion then walked towards a red car parked further up from the bar.

It was then I knew the red feather was the killer contact, my whole body shivered even though the night was warm. They talked some more before getting in the car. From the corner of my eye a soldier came out the bar and seemed agitated looking around as if he lost something then he fixated on the red car that was pulling off.

‘Shit!’

I fidgeted with the ignition the car chugged alerting the soldier to my presence he started to walk towards me.

‘Hey…hey!’

As he got within two feet of the car, he put his hand on his pistol the wheels span; I was gone, hoping I hadn’t lost the red car and grateful the soldier didn’t fire.

The night was ageing, my phone vibrated it was Lucita calling.

‘Where the fuck are you Julie, mama is getting well worried.’

‘I’m not far, do me a favour let mum know I’m alright and try to keep Hector from leaving.’

‘Julie do you think I’m stupid? I know you took his car now what the fuck is going on.’

I raised an eyebrow.

‘I’ll tell you when I get back, please sis for me keep him from leaving our house okay.’

‘I’ll try, you owe me big time.’

‘For sure, besos.’

I had caught up with the red car I turned my headlights off using the brake lights ahead as a guide.

‘Where the fuck are they going!’

The red lights sharply disappeared left onto a country road flanked by long grass. The night adds a different complexion to places but this area seemed familiar.

It was as if Mari was pulling the ethereal strings of coincidence to help my vengeful plight.

I made my way up a slight incline the dark night sky embossed a silhouette of a solitary house partially enveloped by undergrowth. My memory of this place came flooding back it was La Casa Embrujada Del Santa Rosa a haunted house that has been the talk of many towns for years due to the fabled paranormal activity that has been said to go on there.

Mari and I went there a couple of times, filled with teenage curiosity and mischief I remember looking at the floor and Mari saying;

‘This floor is so dirty even the mice wear stilts.’

Her sense of humour was something special.

The red car pulled up I parked a respectable distance away, two shadows appeared from the car one seemed to be pointing an object at the other and gesturing for them to go into the house.

I quickly swiped the small machete from the side pocket of the passenger seat and jumped out the pick-up. The half-moon emitted her cool hue as I walked towards the house, my heart beat accelerating as I got closer my body engorged with vengeful vexation.

I crept through the undergrowth surrounding the house the long grass cushioning my steps, groans and moans become increasingly louder. As I edged closer I crouched under the glass-less window and peaked through a hole under the window pane, El Golpe had been tied up to the central overhead beam that held up the house he was stripped to his briefs hanging by his wrists, feet dangling like a little child in a push chair. The floor was filthier than I remembered he seemed to be semi-conscious red feather had already gone to work on him blood mixed with dirty perspiration dripped from his jaw.

A bright orange floating ember partially lit up a dark corner followed by a thick plume of smoke seeking El Golpes battered face, the melodic jingle of his sandy brown cowboy boots added to the symphony of death he was conducting.

El Golpe was breathing rapidly.

‘D, D, Do you know who I am? You kill me and you’ll be dead by tomorrow I guarantee it.’

Red feather smiled as he stepped closer to El Gople who was hanging like meat in an abattoir, except he wasn’t going to be cured.

‘ARRGGGHHHHHH!’

I could taste the faint flavour of pork but it really was the scent of burning flesh, red feather prodded him in his chest with his cigar branding him like cattle being primed for slaughter.

I suddenly felt something crawling up my leg it was a centipede I hated those critters yelping broke my cover. I frantically looked through the hole desperately trying to get a lock on red feather stupidly thinking he never heard me but he was gone.

‘Get up!’

I shook, my stomach tight and twisted.

‘S-l-o-w-l-y.’

I rose like diver re-merging from the deep.

‘Who the fuck are you?’

I paused still brandishing the machete hidden by a shadow, my back facing his thundery baritones.

‘As you can see, I’m in the middle of something, two for one great just another day at the office for me, you’re lucky I could’ve shot you already.’

‘Now! Who? Are. You?’

‘Julianna Caceres, I followed you from El Orto Arimillo in San Jose.’

The Immortal shifted his gaze to the hanging victim.

‘Mm how do you know that man?’

‘That bastard murdered my sister in cold blood and I wanted to see his torment first hand.’

The Immortal chuckled softly.

‘Now turn around slowly.’

As I turned, I was faced with a cigar smoking Stetson wearing hulking figure brandishing a gun the black hole of the barrel yearning to suck me in. The half-moonlight exposing the machete I was holding.

‘I’m guessing that isn’t for me.’

‘Correct.’

‘This way.’

He ushered me around the back of the house and through a small doorway, I could see the back of El Golpe hanging like rotten fruit from a dying tree. The read feather slowly walked back to face his victim he took another puff on his cigar reached behind his back and pulled out a sickle El Golpe gasped.

‘No, no!’

On seeing the sickle El Golpe knew exactly who the red feather was.

‘You’re, you’re, The Immortal, who’s paid you I’ll, I’ll double it to get who wants me dead.’

The Immortal smirked as he swiftly swung the sickle within millimetres of his left ear El Golpe scrunching his beady eyes into his cheeks anticipating a painful and gruesome impact. He didn’t feel anything as he slowly opened his eyes, the Immortal glared at him.

‘Today’ is your lucky day I’m not going to kill you.’

El Golpe gasped in relief.

‘She is.’

Slowly appearing from the dark, I waded through the filthy floor my face as still as my dead sisters.

‘C’mon I’ve never seen this bitch before in my life.’

‘No, I’m the last. Now cast your mind back eight months you and your cronies went to a bar in Gracias causing havoc; remember?’

‘Look bitch me and my boys go all over the place, what the fuck do you want from me?’

Staring him dead in the eye I raised my machete to his left armpit and applied enough pressure to draw blood.

‘ARGHHH!’

Do you remember now?

‘Yeah that’s right me and my crew went to the mosquito bar there. C’mon we’re men we can get a bit boisterous at times the people there tolerated it then we left.’

‘Don’t. Fucking. Lie to me. As I pointed the razor-sharp tip of the blade directly at his pupil.

‘Alright, alright, there was this chick who was playing hard to get, and someone like me isn’t into games so we danced and shit, then this other bitch tried to involve herself in my business, gotta hand it to her though she had some cojones.’

The way he just casually spoke about Mari as if her life didn’t matter was sobering, I erupted.

I started to skin him like an apple flaying him from his armpit to his hip, I wanted to get to his core.

‘ARGHHHH! FUCK!’

‘The place I’m sending you has no fury for my scorn this is the beginning of your torment, I’m glad eternity has no end.’

I started to hack at him like a human piñata.

His rib curdling screams were mute to my ears each slash, slice and stab was punctuated by my words,

‘You killed my sister to increase your rep you fucking evil skinny little worm.’

My soulless eyes burst with water like Giza’s it was uncontrollable all that pain accompanied by flash backs of good memories of Mari while I continued hacking. I was finally crying the more I slashed the more I cried.

I sobbed.

I wept.

His limp bloody lacerated body become blurred behind giant pearls of tears into a reddish black mist. The inconsolable outpour spurred my revenge filled rage the limitless spirit of vengeance was powerful indeed. Then I felt a hand tightly grip my hacking wrist poised for another strike.

‘He’s dead. He’s gone’. The Immortal said calmly.

I fell to my knees into the disgusting sludge beneath. Breathing heavily, I glared at him, my face full with streaks of blood mixed with gushing tears streaming down my cheeks reminiscent of the ending scenes of Carrie. The Immortal looked at me from behind his shadowy brim and with a tilted grin uttered “La Asesina Llorana.” The crying slayer.





© 2020 Daniel Sevan

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