“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?”
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.”