La Llorona y Luna
by Tammy Boehm
A phantom moon crested against the billowed clouds riding the wake of the storm’s ebbing rage. I crouched, shivering as the moon shed light but no warmth in my temporary shelter. I’m not that far from your door…Coaxing my weary muscles to move, I rose from my crouching position and willed myself to stand straight. Burnished cottonwood leaves in soggy clumps muffled my cautious steps as I made my way from the bosque to the arroyo behind your yard. It seems like years since I’ve seen you. Warm wood smoke and roasting chile wafted through the damp air. My mouth watered as I thought about those fireside evenings with you curled up in my lap, picking meat from the posole and begging for sweet carameled flan. mi niña preciosa, me largo para poner mis brazos alrededor de ti. With trembling hands, I smoothed out my drenched shirt and ran my fingers through my dripping hair before lifting the knocker and tapping…one…two…three….
“A la machina, Paqui if you don’t let me sleep I swear I am going to kill you!” Rosa grabbed her pillow and brought it down hard against Pasqual’s snoring face.
“What is wrong with you, woman?” Paqui batted the pillow onto the floor, startling the cat who yowled in discontentment.
“That! Between your snoring and your stupid screaming cat, I am up all night. No sleep! Nothing. Just a chain saw and the cat from Hell. Would you please get up and put her hairy butt outside so she can shut up?”
“Rosa, te amo, the cat has been sleeping on the bed all night. I know because you been kicking me since I got in here. Arms and legs flapping! Its like sleeping with a couple of pit bulls fighting under the sheets. You need valium, man. Serious valium.”
“No, you need to stop doing shots before you to sleep because then maybe you’d hear your crazy cat screaming and scratching on the front door. Every time it storms that Chulita is yowling and digging her nails into the door. And you are lying there drooling. Go, Paqui. Go look at my door.” Rosa planted a foot against Pasqual’s rib cage and dug her toenail into his exposed flesh.
“Y hola, alright. I’m up.” Pasqual stumbled down the hallway to the entry door, cat in tow. “What the Hell, Chula? You can’t use the kitty door? Have to go out the front like you don’t even live here? Your Highness? With a flourish of his hand, Pasqual opened the front door and waved the cat outside. Chula hissed, flattening her ears against the side of her gray skull and puffed up to twice her normal size. “Oh shut up.” Pasqual nudged the hissing feline out and gently shut the door. He padded back to the bedroom he shared with Rosa, and slipped into bed beside her. “There, the evil kitty, she’s outside. Its damn cold out there too. You happy? She’s all freaked. Hissing and stuff. You’d think there was a monster out there waiting to eat her or something.”
“Yeah, whatever. As long as she doesn’t scream anymore tonight.” Rosa nuzzled against Pasqual
“I think you’re crazy, Mamacita. Too many stories about La llorona, and you gotta blame my cat.”
“Oh yes, La Llorona. She’s coming for you, Paqui. Can you feel her icy arms pulling you into the arroyo? Pasqual, Pasqual, mi nino!” Rosie wrapped her arms around Pasqual as they drifted off to sleep.
Mi nino, did you not hear me knocking? How I miss you…I put my freezing hands up to your door one more time but had no strength to call your name…Pasqual…my child…I cast my eyes to the brilliant moon…Estas son las noches en las que los lobos son silenciosas, y sólo los aullidos luna.
Tammy Boehm is an avid writer who published her first YA Christian action fiction Novel “Bethany’s Crossing, in 2008. Her non-fiction article “Coyote, Singing Dog” was published in the September 2013 issue of Spider Magazine. Wife, mom and professional accountant, Mrs. Boehm has been a New Mexico resident since 1979 and much of her work is infused with southwestern culture.
Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal, and The BG News. He has also worked as a professional writer and editor in the medical publishing industry for several years. For the last 15 years Richard has also taught literature and writing at the secondary and post-secondary levels. He works much of the time with at-risk students.