And blessed is the fruit
Of thy womb, Jesus.
Cathy was tired, she couldn’t concentrate in class and it felt like she hadn’t slept in forever. She sat on her back porch and watched the sun sink further down in the sky. She grabbed at the grass growing out of the cracks in the cement step and pulled it out in clumps. Soon it would be night and she was dreading it. The dish washing only woke her up and that made her feel strange and alone. Maybe she was crazy; maybe she was just imagining it all. She hardly saw her momma in between jobs but whenever she did; her momma seemed to look at her strangely. “Are you getting sick?” she asked one day as she touched her cheek,” You look so pale, I hope you’re not on a diet like Maria and Anna; you already look like a stick.
“Nothing, it’s nothing.”
What could she say? Her momma didn’t have time to deal with ghosts that washed dishes. “Hey Cathy!” Janie broke the silence as she bounded into the yard the two Gomez brothers trailing behind her.
“Catch your breath and then talk.” Cathy shook her head, “When is Janie not running?” She thought.
Janie whacked the older Gomez hard on the arm, “Hey…Pete, tell..her..what you told me.” she said in between swallowed gulps for air.
“Yeah, okay. Hey Janie said you’ve been having ghost visits?”
“Well, I don’t know if it’s a ghost, I just know someone has been washing dishes at night and it’s not my sisters or my momma, so maybe.”
Pete nodded as if ghosts washing dishes was an everyday thing. “Yeah that’s the Black witch. This used to be her house my abeulita told us all about her. She lived here til she disappeared one day. She must want her house back now. “
“That’s stupid. Go back home and stop coming over here trying to scare us.”
“I’ll go home, but I’m not kidding ask anyone! The black witch, she used to steal children everyone thinks the neighborhood just got rid of her one day to stop it. She might not be wanting her house you know, she might be wanting you!”
Cathy pushed Pete away from her. “Get out!”
“Sheesh, you girls are brutal. Come on Isaac, let’s go home, I’m not staying here to get beat on byo gils especially not with the Black witch hanging around.”
“Yeah you better go home! Sorry Cata, he wasn’t supposed to scare you. I tell you what, I’ll stay up with you all night okay? I’m not scared of no silly witch.”
Five hours later and the only thing keeping Cathy company was the sound of Janie snoring. She didn’t even wait for the water running to hide her head under the covers. As soon as it started so did her Hail Marys.