La Chusa

It was a beautiful and starry night, that I remember for certain, but then he began to whistle.

“You must stop that.”

“What? Oh I’m sorry I should have asked if you minded me smoking.”

He stopped rolling the thin cigarette he had been focused on.

“I couldn’t give two rats whether you smoked or  not, I myself like cigars, but you must never whistle, not here and especially not at night.”

He laughed then, clear and lovely his laugh was, it echoed through the nectarine trees that we had chosen for our rendezvous.

“C’mon Estrella, you really hate whistling so much? Surely you are not serious.”

“Esteban you are not from here so I will excuse your laughter, but just respect my wishes. Do not whistle again.”

“Okay, maybe I will entertain your whim…but you must tell me why. I need to know that at least, you can’t keep it from me.”

I sighed, knowing that what I said would not seem believable, but I decided to try anyway.

“La Chusas live in this valley. They are women that have sold their soul to the devil himself. Every night they turn into half woman half bird creatures …and they eat human flesh. They only come out at night and they answer to whistles. If they hear a fool whistling at night they will come and they will devour the one who is whistling.”

The words barely dropped from my mouth before I heard laughter erupt from Esteban’s lips. He was nearly doubled over and hitting the knee of the dressy black slacks that he always took so much pride in. It angered me, I had expected this reaction, but it angered me anyway.  I turned and began to walk back to the chapel where everyone else was still celebrating.

“No, no my little star come back, don’t be that way. I’m sorry, come here.”

He opened his arms and entreated  so I stepped forward and let him envelop me, I did like him after all, I just didn’t like to be teased. I could smell his fancy cologne as soon as I got close to him. It was subtle, not like the gallons of cheap stuff the other town men practically bathed in. I took a deep sniff and enjoyed the moment. He was new in town and I liked how he differed from everyone else. I loved that he took pride in how he looked, I rolled my eyes when my brother said he was like a women. He was clean and he always dressed nice, he talked about all sorts of things and places that I had never even heard of, he interested me immensely.

But damn him if he didn’t start whistling again. I threw him off me and I could feel my blood start to boil. No one knows my temper when I’m really vexed. I try to control it so much, but I really am only a moment away from going off at any minute. I turned again and I could hear the idiot whistling behind me. He was whistling some song I had heard my mother sing when I was still little, back when she was still alive. He was whistling and twirling, only stopping to laugh before starting again. I was pissed I couldn’t help it, it’s what being made fun of does to me, it’s what whistling does to me. You’d think a clear warning would stop people but it never does. They know what will happen but they have to go out and stand in a damn field and whistle to test me anyway. I felt the feathers erupting from my skin as he continued. It hurts a little but I’ve gotten used to it by now. He didn’t see me. I’m sure he had expected me to come back to him; I don’t think he was expecting the form I choose to come back.

That man really was lovely in spite of everything, I could almost regret what happened. But he was so very foolish…he was also pretty tasty though.

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