“I don’t know Lucy, I am the only one in my family besides my mama to have never seen anything myself. You’re lucky, it seems like you and your brother might have escaped as well.”
It was still early as they made the tortillas for breakfast and lunch and so they were able to chat and take their time about it.
“I know my witchy sister have seen plenty of things and I will pass on that gift, thank you very much. Bah, how come your tortillas always look so much rounder then mine do?”
Lucy picked up the long oval tortilla that she had been working on and several small holes appeared as it stretched to an even longer oval shape. Janie tried not to chuckle, her youngest daughter was a sensitive one.
“It takes practice, and patience I think you must be rushing.”
“I’m not! I just don’t have your skills I think.”
“Don’t worry, they still taste good. You will get better if you keep trying; just promise me you will keep trying. I’d like at least one of my daughters to know how to make tortillas.”
She was joking of course, Janie was proud of her daughters and their cushy office jobs. She had never expected them to be copies of herself…still, sometimes it seemed like they tried very hard to follow different paths then she had. She had always worked cleaning houses but then she started having trouble with her knees. She was just lucky that her brother had known someone who needed help at the same time. Now all she had to do was sit with one of the husbands of the country club lady while she ran errands or “had lunch” with her friends. She was expected to serve him lunch and sit with him, but she didn’t have to cook, the lunches were fixed and kept in the refrigerator when she got there. After lunch she washed his few dishes and then she pushed his chair into the garden and walked him around for a while until he was ready to go inside. It was usually time for his wife to back from her day out by then and then it was time for her to go home then. It was very different from the almost backbreaking work she was used to. She was almost guilty that it didn’t pay much less than those jobs had…almost. After all she still had two little ones at home to provide for.
The twins had certainly been a surprise. At 39 years old she assumed she was going through the change at first. It wouldn’t have been the first time that happened to someone her age, after all. The news that she was pregnant again shocked her- the later news that she was carrying twins was almost unbelievable. Twins, when she had already had four children and watched them grow up into young adults, were unexpected. Her husband and her had worried about raising children that could’ve called her grandma, but it had all worked out just fine. She was 51 now and she still felt able to do many more things. Raising two sometimes mischievous, always lovable twins was not a problem.
“Hey, don’t call your sisters witchy, I got wrapped up in tortillas and almost missed that carancha!”
“Ha! But mama they are. How often do they call because they have a “feeling” that something is wrong? And all those ghost sightings they’ve had, it’s not normal.”
“No they are not. And I do not like you to call them that. If they see things it is not their fault. It’s been that way with my family since, well you know since what.”
“Uncle’s story- you said you’d tell it again.”
Janie sighed but started anyway.
“Your Uncle Nate was the first of us to run into…problems. He had just gotten out of the army and had money to buy a house and settle down. He got married to, it seemed, the first nice girl he set eyes on and then he and Rosa bought a house two blocks from where we were living at the time. It was a nice little house. It didn’t seem like there was anything different about it, but then the guys in the neighborhood started telling him stories about the rumors surrounding it.
It seems like one of the past owners was eccentric and didn’t trust banks, so he would bury jars with his money in the lots behind his house. Well the land was an acre and a half in all and sometimes he couldn’t always find all of his money. Supposedly a lot of his money, including some very old gold coins he owned had never been found when he passed on. His children sold the house and everyone who bought the land after that spent most of the rest of their life trying to find it.
“I’m not going to be stupid enough to waste my life like that.” he said.
But somehow the thought nagged him. He lost sleep over thinking on how he might be a rich man without even knowing it. He held out for as long as he could but finally he gave into the urge to dig. And then he really dug. He dug every chance he got. In the morning before he went to work he dug. In the evening as soon as he got off work he dug. He was a man obsessed, his young wife even threatened to leave him and still he dug.
One night he dug later then he had ever dug before. The moon was full and he thought he would use that to his advantage. He dug a little deeper this time and all of a sudden his shovel hit something. He stopped digging and got on his hands and knees to sweep away the dirt from what looked like a very old chest. And then a white dog the size of a large man jumped out of the hole he had just dug and knocked him to the ground. He said it was dazzling white though it had come from the ground. He said it had teeth that glared in the moonlight and eyes of red that looked into his soul.
My sister in law had sent one of the neighborhood men to go looking for him when he didn’t go home that night and he found him on the ground clutching his heart. We almost lost him that night. You won’t be surprised to know that he sold that home as soon as he could, he lost money on it but he didn’t want to live there anymore, that dog had scared him that much. He thought it had come from hell itself. “
Lucy shook off goose bumps. She was glad that it was sunny and bright in their kitchen. “Mama, can I go to work with you today?”
It wasn’t a strange thing for her to do on a Saturday anyway- her brother liked to spend them with the boys next door. Lucy didn’t like being left alone, and there was no way, no how that she would stay home alone today.
Her mama just smiled and nodded yes and they finished up their work almost in silence.