Posted on 21 April 2012 by Osorio
The woman made her way between sage and chaparral, having left no footprints in her wake. Small animals froze in the underbrush, crickets ceased their chirping. No birds flew overhead.
She would make it safe for her children; they were ready to return. She had all the time in the world.
The observer clambered down the makeshift ladder, dropping the last few feet before pitching face first into the dirt. Regaining his footing, he scuttled towards the center of the Plaza.
A Guardian returns with the observer, ascending the steps ahead of him to peer over the wall. “Mud person“, he said at last. “Female. Harmless, probably“. Considering a moment, he added “Let her in. Keep an eye on her“.
The woman spent the afternoon under a shade tree, an object of condescension/derision/curiosity/inconsequence. She sat expressionless, at times eating a bit of meat of indeterminate origin. Presently she would fulfill her destiny by seeking lodging. Until then she would close her eyes and meditate, thoughts of the bloody birth of Left Hand Hummingbird interwoven with a small procession on the other side of the world, in Bethlehem.
At last the sun has set. Reaching under her skirt, her hand emerges clutching a white candle. As she approaches the first dwelling, the candle bursts into flame.
“Senor, please help. I look for a place to sleep tonight“.
Eight homes approached, eight doors closed in her face. At the ninth home, a young man beckons the woman to enter and gives her a blanket, pointing her towards a spot near a fireplace.
While sweeping the temple she finds a ball of feathers. Tucking it safely within her garments, she resumes her task. Clicking from her footsteps echoes throughout the temple.
Now she stands outside, her glance directed upward at her children illuminating the nighttime sky, each one greeting her with a shared memory. Fulfilled, a resolution to the conflict begins to take shape in her mind. No need for death…
….a broom handle thrust into her side awakens the woman from her dream.
“Fuera, mujer” the voice both frightened and angry. “Get out“, the man continuing to prod her. Glaring at the woman, he shouts at his son. “Why in hell did you let one of them in here“?
A brief vision of talons, flaccid breasts and writhing serpents assaults the young man’s eyes, gone before his brain can process it. The woman’s almond eyes look deeply within him. “By the grace of the God you know and the God I know, depart this place before nightfall tomorrow“.
It is only upon reflection days later that the young man recalls it was his own voice he had heard speaking to him, and that the woman’s lips had not moved.
She stands in the village square, placidly observing the night sky . It comes as no surprise when two pairs of arms grab her.
….”only one dissenting vote from the Assembly. Very well, the Assembly has spoken. Before we carry out the sentence, in keeping with tradition we shall say the Creed of the Plaza. If the Master of Ideology will lead us?”. Nodding towards an attractive woman, the Facilitation Master steps back.
“This is our Plaza, ours by blood. Those thirsting for freedom shed that blood, which no interloper can deny. We fought the State, we fought the mud people. The price of freedom is steep. The Plaza is our sacred site, ours and ours alone. Long live the Plaza!”
“Long live the plaza” echoes the Facilitation Master, striding back to the raised platform. “Guardians of Ideology, approach“. Sotto voce. “waste her“.
How long did it take that damn kid to look over the edge of a bridge? Once she quits kicking, cut her loose. Simple as that. Tossing aside his cigarette, he turns – and stops dead in his tracks. The damn kid’s eyes were empty sockets, mouth moving soundlessly, hands clutching his chest. The older man tries to scream but no sound comes out, like the damn kid his eye sockets are now empty – yet before his heart bursts his brain processes a final image, an image he will take with him into eternity. A creature stands on clawed feet before him, wearing a skirt of writhing serpents. Between flaccid breasts protrudes a skull. Atop her neck twin serpent heads regard him.
The stars descend to adore their mother, lighting the Plaza as if it were daytime. None remain to witness the phenomena.
The woman makes her way through the desert underbrush, leaving no footprints in her wake. Celestial light guides her way. She walks in quietude as nature senses the power in its midst.
She will make the world safe for her children; their return foretold. She had all the time in the world.