Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Cuento de Mi Id


(Not to be confused with the Patrick Swayze movie of the same name, of course.)

There is a ghost in your attic. You know this because your older sister Lupe has told you so.

But your mother does not believe in ghosts and you‘re not sure you should, either.

But Lupe just smiles. “Go to the attic tonight,” she says, “and you’ll see a ghost, all right. I guarantee it.”

So you go.

You set your clock for midnight and wake up before anyone else in the house hears it. Then you put on your slippers and creep up the attic stairs.

Suppose there’s nothing up there, you think.

Then what?

In spite of yourself, you feel disappointed at the thought that there might not be a ghost up there.

You find yourself praying that you will find a ghost up there and yet you pray that you won’t.

As long as it doesn’t hurt me, you say to yourself, it doesn’t really matter either way. But in your heart of hearts, you know you lie.

You are almost at the attic door now.

Your hand is on the glass knob.

Still not too late to return to the safety of your bed, but you don’t.

Then you see it.

The ghost.

It lies suspended from a rope tied to a ceiling beam.

And then it turns around to greet you.

Too late you recognize its features.

Then you run downstairs and hide yourself in the safety of your bed.

The next day, of course, Lupe does not show up for breakfast.

Your mother mutters something about ungrateful children wasting food but you stay silent.

You still stay silent after your father goes upstairs to fetch something from the attic.

Once the screaming starts, you begin to wish that you really had seen a ghost.

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