Lazaro Rising (Part IV)

IV

Maryflor wanted to know more, but Féretrina had no more information to give her as of yet. “I have no more information to give you right now but, if you wish, I can show you what I have seen and maybe you will espy something which will help you in your quest.” Maryflor was hungry for information, so Féretrina complied. Placing  her hands on Maryflor’s temples she told her to focus on what she wanted to see, then she told her to close her eyes and visualize a dark tunnel. Maryflor did as she was told as Féretrina began to chant under her breath in very quick and clipped phrases in a language that she did not recognize, but she knew for certain that it was not Spanish.

Maryflor felt a tingling sensation ripple through her body, then a feeling of separation and lightness of being. She soon found herself in that dark tunnel she had recently conjured up in her mind, and she was afraid. The darkness was cold and all engulfing and seemed to have no end to it, until a faint light appeared a few yards away. As it approached, she discerned a figure, which she soon recognized as the living (?) counterpart of the statuette she had brought to the Yerberia Fenix. The Lady of Shadows approached her in all of her osseous glory, draped in a radiant green mantle, only this time she did not carry any scales nor her customary scythe. On her left shoulder was a grey screech owl with large yellow eyes that shown like spotlights, which contrasted sharply with the atramentous darkness that abode within the quelling glance of the Queen of Mictlan.

Nestled in Her bony arms was a spectral infant in black swaddling bands. The Lady peeled away a black ribbon to reveal the ashen torso of the child, allowing it some limited freedom of movement. The tiny wraith opened its big black eyes to regard Maryflor then reaching out his pallid little hand, he touched her forehead which caused her perspective to swap with that of the owl, allowing her to see herself from the point of view of the strigiform. Disoriented, on top of being scared, Maryflor heard the voice of Féretrina calling to her from a distance, “Do not tarry, you are the owl, you are my Mistress’s eyes. Go see what she has seen, learn what you wish to know–go now!”

Rising from the perch on the shoulder of the tenebrous goddess, Maryflor flew towards the blackness from whence the Lady of Shadows had emerged. Then seeing a light, she raced towards it and burst into the light of day and upon a place she knew well: a corner in her brother’s neighborhood, just off of Grand Avenue, in Phoenix Arizona.

As Maryflor alit on the branch of a nearby tree, she saw a white van pull up to a little island adjacent to the corner, which was soon swarmed by a group of brown-faced men, who flew to it like moths to a flame. One lagged behind, however, whom she recognized as her brother Lazaro. She thrilled to see him alive, then recalled that it was just his shadow, and despaired.

“Buenose tardess ameegoes!” sneered a lanky pink-faced man from the passenger side window.

“Yustehdehs keeyerrehn trabahar?” he continued as his thin-lipped rictus stretched into a tobacco stained smile, or at least what was meant to pass for one, his gray eyes glaring from his furrowed brow at the men now forming a semi-circle around the passenger side door. His companion, the driver of the van, sat quietly with a blank expression on his puffy mug. As his partner pitched his offer to the men in his best broken Spanish, he stared ahead and pulled the brim of his dark blue cap down on his brow. His small mouth almost entirely obscured by his bushy auburn mustache.

Maryflor’s brother Alvaro seemed to be the only one of the bunch who didn’t seem to be buying what this overly friendly huckster was selling. He simply stood behind his friends and watched the scene with growing trepidation. The man, noticing his reticence, called out to him, “Khe passa ameego? No keeyerreh yustehd gannahrr deenehro?”

As Lazaro struggled for an appropriate response, his buddy Heriberto, smiling, turned to place a hand on his shoulder and responded in heavily accented English, “My friend, he like work, he come too!”

“Well, okey-dokey then, kindly step into the back of my van and we will take you to the site!”

Lazaro, wary, said “Wait, you haven’t told us yet where it is or whether we need to bring any special tools.”

The pink-faced man lost his smile for a moment, looked Lazaro in the eye and retorted, “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it son, you won’t need anything at all where you’re going.”

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