Oracle

12

Ningún Santuario Pt. 12

Chapter 4

Oaxaca, Mexico

Three men and an elderly woman sat cross-legged on the dirt floor of an adobe choza staring down at a Ouija board. A gravid rat was gathering sticks and sundry items of trash from the floor to make a birthing nest in the upended box advertising Hasbro’s “Mystifying Oracle” in a corner of the room. In unison, the four figures raised their heads and made the sign of the cross before the woman and two of the men placed both index fingers upon the plastic planchette in the center of the board.

“Maria Guadalupe,” spoke the oldest of the men to the woman sitting across from him, “Quien mató a tu hijo?”

“No lo sé.”

“Maria Guadalupe, murió a manos de un Mexicano?”

“No. Estoy seguro de que era un gringo.”

“Maria Guadalupe, cómo lo sabes?”

“Sólo los gringos eran malos para él. Lo odiaban.”

“Ok.”

Now speaking to the group, he continued, “Vamos a continuar. No empuje ni tire. Deja que Dios y Santa Muerte hablen por tus manos.”

Slowly, imperceptibly at first, the planchette began to inch its way to the upper left hand corner of the board. As the Oracle moved from letter to letter, the man scribbled the results in a small notepad. A…N…D…R…E…W.

The planchette paused as if to alert the group that the first name was complete, then continued its slow navigation of the board. G…U…I…L…D…E…N.

Rising from the floor, the man handed the notepad to Maria Guadalupe for her inspection and again addressed the group, “Eso es. Tenemos a nuestro hombre. Ahora la justicia será servida.”

Outside, an ominous storm cloud passed over the village as a crow landed on the roof of the choza and let out a long, plaintive caw.

***************************

I sat in stunned silence as Grace and Jose recounted the terror that had befallen them the previous night. Jose wore a thick bandage on his neck covering the wound he had sustained in the bizarre melee.

“I’m so sorry to have gotten you involved in all this,” I said sheepishly, awkwardly, never having been in a situation even remotely similar to this before.

“It’s cool,” Jose replied dismissively. “But I knew something was brewing when you found that Diego Huerta figure on your door. I wish you’d have filled me in on the fucking walking dead that’s been on your tail for several months, but I get it. It’s not the kind of thing people divulge if they want to avoid being placed on a 72 hour psychiatric hold.”

“Can I at least pay the tab?”

“You bet your ass you’re paying the tab, Motherfucker,” Grace interjected, mercifully breaking the tension. I smiled and got up to cash out at the bar.

I couldn’t wrap my mind around what was happening. What had I done to deserve an existence that was suddenly tantamount to a waking nightmare? Weeks of racking my brain to recall any offense of which I may have been guilty towards this monster had yielded more questions than answers. All I knew was that he had to be stopped before he killed everyone unfortunate enough to know me. A sudden flash of cruel logic brought my internal dialogue to an abrupt halt.

I’m going to have to sacrifice myself, I thought with a shudder as I handed the bartender a fifty and waited for my change.

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