Monday, August 29, 2011

The Terror that came to my Town (another Chiapas story)

I am a two year old Mayan girl in Chiapas.

I spend my days running around our mountain town, chasing my mother’s chickens, drinking atole, listening to grandpa’s stories, eating and sleeping whenever I please.

I haven’t a care in the world.

And then, today, it happened. I was walking around the yard in front of my parents’ house, and decided to wander over to the next door neighbors’. They have a little store in the front room of their house, and sometimes they give me candy. I walked past the banana tree in front of my house, toddled between a crowd of chickens and their baby chicks, and rounded the corner…and there it was.

The creature from my worst nightmares.

It looked vaguely humanoid. A head, two legs, two arms, a torso. But something wasn’t right. This was like a cruel parody of the human form. To begin with, it was almost twice as large as a normal adult human, making it about ten times my size. It sat on one of the plastic chairs that my neighbors keep in front of their store, the chair’s legs nearly buckling beneath the beast’s weight. It leaned back lackadaisically, one monstrous leg crossed over the other.

Its hair—if it can properly be called “hair”—was overgrown, tangled and straw-colored, pulled together behind its oddly-shaped head. Unlike the humans I have seen, this creature seemed to have hair growing all over its body, and far too much of it. Its lanky, simian arms were covered with thin, yellow hairs; its face was thick with dark fur. As far as I could tell, its skin was a pasty, pale color at least three shades lighter than a person’s skin. Like the skin of the dead. And where its nose should have been, it had an enormous projectile erupting from its face.

And the eyes—unlike a normal person’s eyes, this creature had a bright blue ring around its pupils. As soon as I rounded the corner, the creature stared at me through those terrible, terrible eyes. And I screamed. I screamed and ran, unconscious of where my legs carried me. I ran and screamed until I felt the warm embrace of my older brother. He held me tight, but it offered me no consolation. I continued to scream, and although I no longer scream, my fear has not subsided.

I lie here tonight in bed between my mother and father, surrounded by the familiar smells of the wood fire from the kitchen, the fresh rain outside, and the wood panels of our house. But it will never be the same. Up until today, I thought that the fearsome world of my nightmares was kept safely at bay by the cold, harsh borders of reality.

But today, I have seen that the monsters of the dream realm are able to cross that boundary and erupt into the dimension of my waking hours.

I have seen one of these creatures, and I know that it is real.

(…at least that’s what I imagine the poor girl would have written if she had the ability. I spent the night at a family’s house in a remote mountain town, and apparently surprised their neighbor’s daughter this morning. I’m guessing she’s never seen an outsider before.)

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