A Family Secret:Chapter 6

Ah the twin, and where is the boy twin, Luis?” Lucy’s uncle greeted them at the door with a quick kiss on the cheek as he let them in.

“He’s at school now Nate, he decided to transfer to a school in San Antonio this semester. He wants to be a Radiologist and the college here didn’t offer the course he needed.”

“Meda, que bueno! That’s good. So no college for you then, little one?”

“No, I mean I will probably go sometime I’m just not ready yet. I’m going to start working part time with Stella next week though.”

“Oh good, that’s good. I was about to put on the coffee pot, do you want one or maybe a soda?”

Janie looked to see Lucy shaking her head no. “No Nate, thank you can we just go in with ma now?”

“Yes of course, but come back over before you leave we’ll visit then.”

Lucy and Janie walked down the hallway to a small back room. It was Nate and Rosa’s guest room and it had been painted in a soothing lavender color. The coverlet and curtains were covered in a lovely floral print in lavender, yellow and pink to match it. Janie liked to see her momma in a bedroom instead of a hospital but she wondered if her mother noticed the difference anymore.  She had lost so much weight since getting sick, she almost got lost in the queen sized bed.

“She’s so tiny.”

“I know, your grandma has always been a small woman, but she is absolutely shrinking now.”

Lucy helped her mom fix her grandmother’s coverlet. Nate had said that she had had a hard night so they were not too surprised to find her fast asleep. She muttered something and grimaced in her sleep but then grew quiet again.

“Do you want to go wait with your tio? I don’t know how long your grandma will be sleeping, I’m just going to sit here and wait in case she wakes.”

“No mom it’s okay I can wait.” Lucy squeezed her mom’s hand. They sat in the two dining room chairs that her uncle had probably moved into the room just for that purpose and waited.

In the bed Lucy’s grandma grimaced again and then stat up in bed.

“Mama! What’s wrong? What do you need?”

Her mother spoke in Spanish but she could understand most of the words.

“La bluha negra tenga tu Hermana!” She had looked straight into Janie’s eyes with a startled expression that she wopuld never forget and then she closed her eyes again.

“Mom, what did she say?”

Lucy turned to look at her daughter, her eys looked like they were starting to fill up. “She said that……….she said that the black witch has my sister.”

When her sister came to take their place Janie walked into the kitchen to find her brother Nate. Lucy, here come sit down I’ll get you coffee.”

“No, Nate, I’m okay.”

“What my coffee’s not good enough for you?” he said it with a smile,” You take milk and two sugars right? And for you Lucy, is a coke okay?”

Lucy smiled.”Yes.”

Nate poured Lucy an orange soda while the coffee water boiled and she smiled bigger but didn’t say anything. It was common for older people in this town to call any kind of soda a coke, and she didn’t mind orange soda too much anyway.

When they were all at the table again Janie began, “Nate. Mama said something weird just right now.”

“Oh yes? What was that?”

Janie explained what had happened while Nate took off his glasses and wiped them.

“What do you think that means?”

“Well, I think maybe Mama knows that she is going and is trying to make peace with what happened to Cata. What do you think that it means?”

“But Nate, why would she even mention the black witch? She’s never even said a word about her before. I didn’t even know that she knew anything about her!”

“Janie, we lived in a very close neighborhood. You couldn’t even walk to the outhouse without three neighbors knowing and then telling three more neighbors. So when Cata started going around asking questions about a black witch legend how long do you think it took someone to tell mama about it? Of course she knew, we’ve always felt guilty for not doing more about it. The thing is Janie, ghosts or spantos whatever you want to call them, the more attention you give them the more their power grows. She talked to me when Cata first started hearing things at night and we thought it was best to ignore the whole thing and wait for it to go away. We didn’t think she would get obsessed with it. I know better now, sometimes you don’t choose to get involved with something, sometimes it chooses you and there is nothing that you can do about it.”

This is a continuation of my Nanowrimo novel, for part 5 go here, for part 6 1/2 go here. All other posts for this can be found on the A Family Secret page. Thanks for reading!

A Family Secret: Chapter 5

She’s doing as well as can be expected. She’s in a lot of pain, even with the painkillers she is on. Maria keeps praying to have her stay with us longer but sometimes…sometimes I think it would be kinder to let her go.” The words seemed cold to her but Janie hoped what she felt behind the words was clear. Her mother was suffering, the cancer had spread too far by the time she went to see a doctor and now all they could do was sit with her and do all they could to make her comfortable. “Well I’m happy that you got the chance to mend things with her before she went.”

Lucy didn’t really have the closest relationship with her grandma but she remembered going to see her on Christmases and on her birthday. She remembered her house and how it always smelled like prayer candles and she could still picture her walls that were covered from top to bottom with images of saints cut out from old calendars.

Once she had wandered into her grandma’s bedroom and seen a large illustrated poster depicting two scenes. One side must have been a good girl, angels surrounded her as she prayed and did good deeds. The other side was the same girl but devils followed her. One image was of the girl’s hair being pulled by a devil who lay under her bed and had stayed fresh in her mind’s eye from the moment she saw it. She was stood in front of the poster trying to understand the images when her mother found her and pulled her away, chiding her for going into people’s bedrooms without permission. She was never able to sleep without her parents checking under her bed first after that. Her mother called it a silly poster and told her to stop thinking about it but even now at twenty years old the image seemed fresh to her.

She shuddered a bit and Janie patted her shoulder.

“ I’m sorry I shouldn’t say these things to you, I forget that you’re so young still. If you want to go with me today I’ll be leaving in twenty minutes,okay?”

This is a continuation of my Nanowrimo novel, for part 4 go here, for part 6  go here. All other posts for this can be found on the A Family Secret page. Thanks for reading!

A Family Secret:Chapter 4

“Where’s mama?  You should have called me sooner!” Janie’s face was grief-stricken as she scanned her sibling’s faces in the hospital waiting room.

“You didn’t care so much about mama when you turned your back on your faith. We called you soon enough. Mama wants to see you, that is the only reason why you are here.” Maria bit the words off in icy clips, like she was trying to talk and clench her teeth shut at the same time.

Janie swallowed the tears in her throat and willed herself to not lose herself here. Not now in front of these people that she used to call family. Maria had always been the coldest towards her, maybe their age difference meant they had never really bonded. More than that, the church was everything to Maria. She never missed a mass; she knew all of her Saints like she knew the names of her daughters. Janie leaving the church to marry her husband and then to be baptized in the Baptist church was an unforgivable sin to Maria. Janie tried to look at Anna but she kept her eyes downcast. Anna would never go against Maria; she had always been the weaker of the two.

Nate coughed to break the tension. “Come Juanita, Ven, I’ll take you to mama.” He made his way between the two sisters and  placing a hand under Janie’s elbow he led her away.  

Good old Nate, the peacekeeper, Janie appreciated that he had always tried to keep in touch with her but she missed the closeness they had once had. They walked down the hallway in near silence the sound of their shoes echoing before them.

“Mama, she’s okay. I mean she is not okay, of course not, but she still has a little time. Rosa and I are taking her back to our home, a Hospice nurse will come by to check on her and we all decided that we will take turns staying with her during the day. Janie, I wanted you to have that option too.”

“But will she be okay at a house? Couldn’t they do more for her here?”

“Juanita, it’s too late, all we can do is make sure is comfortable. I think she would be happier with her children.”

Janie nodded. Of course her was right, mama hated hospitals. “I’ll go over as often as you’ll let me. What about Maria?”

“I’ll talk to her; mama would want you there too. Maria is going to have to deal with that.”

“Thank you.” They had stopped in front of a room marked with her mother’s name in jerky script. Janie hugged her brother quickly and then pushed against the door to go in.

“Mama.” It had been at least six months since she saw her and Janie regretted letting that be the case. She tried to call her every couple days but the calls were always short. Though her mother never voiced what she was thinking the way Maria did, Janie knew that she disapproved of her lifestyle. Now it was hard to look at her mother lying there looking so frail and small without beating herself up for not trying harder. She walked up to her mother in the hospital bed and put her hand as close to hers as she dared. It hurt her to see all of the wires going in and out of her. “Estas ven? Nesisitas agua? Are you well, do you need some water?” Her mother had lived in America all her life but preferred to speak in Spanish. Janie talked English most of the time now and the words in her Spanish pronunciation sounded off to her ears. Her mother nodded no and lifting two of her fingers, she placed them on Janie’s hand. Their eyes met and both filled up, so much time wasted was the thought they seemed to mirror. Janie’s other hand covered her mother’s and she touched her head to her head before rising up and kissing the forehead gone soft with age. They didn’t seem to need any more words just yet.

A Family Secret:Chapter 3

It was funny but Lucy had always seemed to be full of fear. Her mother didn’t know if she had somehow doted on her more and made her this way, or if it was just who she was. When she was born Lucy had been the smaller of the  twins and it is true that Janie had been a lot more careful with her then she had ever been with her other children. Twins worried her anyway, her mother had a set of twins before she was born and both had only lived a week. Her sister Maria had given birth to twins and they had died in their teens by drowning. When she learned that she was going to have twins herself, and have them so late in life she was full of fear for them. That fear seemed to be bottled up inside of Lucy. And yet, she did ask to hear the stories. They scared her much more then they scared her brother, but she still listened to them, still asked to hear them herself sometimes. Maybe somewhere there was some bravery in Lucy, it just had to be woken up.

“Boo!”

Lucy jumped back and then realizing that it was just her brother messing with her again, she scowled and tried closing the closet door on him.

“You’re so stupid!”

“Ha, you’re so funny! I’ve never seen anyone jump that high before. Ha ha ha.”

“That’s fine have you’re laughs I’m just on edge today that’s all.”

“I figured, why do you think I hid in here til y’all got back? Lucy, why did you come back anyway? I thought you were going to spend the night with Martha at Sandra’s house.”

“Ugh. Don’t even mention that. I’m never going back to that haunted house again, I don’t see how Sandra can live there.”

“What? What happened? C’mon Luce spill, or else!”

Lucy was quiet for a minute while Abel waited patiently but he fionally lost patience.

“Luce!”

“Shh. I don’t even know really it happened so fast. Sandra and her husband were fighting over something stupid in the kitchen and I was at the table wishing they wouldn’t do that while I was there and then all of a sudden..”

“What? “

“Well, all of a sudden faces started popping out of that wooden cabinet that divides the kitchen in half.”

“You’re full of it.”

“I’m not kidding! They came out one by one. They came all the way out of the cabinets and then became part of the cabinet! And the whole time those two kept arguing without even noticing. It was around the time the third one popped out that I finally found my voice and started freaking out. They stopped and just looked at me like I was the crazy one. Meanwhile two more faces popped in and out while they just stood there.”

“Aw Lucy you imagined that. Or you made it up to make them stop fighting.”

“I didn’t! My yelling made Martha come out and then they all stopped and saw what I was talking about.”

“What more faces popped out?”

“No. The faces were still there. They’re like engrained into the wood now- everyone saw it right away and got freaked out too.”

“So what are they doing now?”

“Bah, you know Sandra by the time Ma came to pick me up she had decided that the faces had always been there and that we just hadn’t noticed them before. Case closed.”

“No way!”

“I kid you not. Ma saw them too but she didn’t say much. She had a talk to Sandra about how their fighting was probably stirring up negative energy. And she told me in the car how if she were still a Catholic she’d have called a preist to come bless the house.”

“Damn. That sucks.”

“I know! Its so freaky! I told Martha she should spend the night at ourn house instead but I guess she didn’t want to leave her mom. I’m sure it’s bothering Sandra more then she’ll let on.”

“Yeah, that’s all bad but I that’s not what I mean. How come the biggest scaredy cat in our whole family got to see something and me who actually whats to see something never has? That’s what sucks.”

Lucy punched her brother’s arm lightly.

“You’re such a ding dong. I tell you what next time you stay at our crazy sister’s haunted house, I dare you.”

“Heck no, I’m more scared of her then I’d ever be of any ghost! Ha her temper probably woke the dang things up!”

Lucy laughed and she knew that she was already feeling better. She was lucky to have a brother who always made her laugh her fears away. She needed that in this family.