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Carmen remembers, vividly, one of those afternoons when she was younger; it was during fall, and around 7 pm was dark already. She was sitting around a fire with a group of kids; Carlos, Maria, Lupe, and others did not know that well. They were telling scary stories.
Carlos was telling them the story of the crazy lady that drowned her kids.” And the kids’ screams could be heard for miles, but no one would dare to go near that house. People were afraid of the crazy lady, and they thought she was a witch. Perhaps she was. Some people say that they had seen her fly on a broom one night, and some say that she would take her eyes off her face as many witches would do at night. But, no one knew the truth that she was only crazy.” Carlos would pause at times and stare at the distance with his deep brown eyes. Everyone would stay still waiting to hear more.
Carmen biting her nails, “what happened next?”
“Ah, well, after a couple of hours, people worried about hearing the poor kids scream. Armed with shovels and knives, they got the courage to go and check up on the kids. As they were approaching the big dark house, their hearts were beating faster and faster. They would whisper each other as they approached the house. ‘Wonder what she was doing to them?’; ‘she is cooking them?’ ‘No, I think witches eat bats and rats.'”
Interrupting Carlos, Lupe said, “Witches aren’t real!”
“Nuh-uh. My dad says he saw one when he was a kid.” A kid sitting next to Carlos with dirty blond hair and dirty fingernails cut the grass with his fingers as Carlos was telling the story said.
“Anyways,” Carlos continued. “When they approached the big black Iron Gate, the screams of the kids were terrifying. They felt like their ears were about to explode. Some people just ran away from there as fast as they could. The ones that stayed slowly tried to push the gate open, but it was rusty and made a loud noise as if it hadn’t been open for years. For a second, the kids’ screams stopped, and everyone stood still not wanting to make any noise. But the gate opened faster than they expected and made a loud noise as it crashed with the gate’s back.”
Carmen and the other kids got closer to Carlos as he continued to tell the story. Everyone was anxious to hear what would happen next.
“Alright guys, I will continue, but you got to give me some room to breathe” He stood up and walked away from the group for a bit. Everyone followed with their eyes, and Carmen went inside her house to bring more sodas.
“Are you guys ready to continue?”
Carlos opened his can of soda and took a long sip. Everyone stayed still waiting for him to continue. “Where was I? Oh, yeah… the gate made such a loud noise that a black cat jumped in front of them. Everyone jumped and felt their heart sink to their chest. They didn’t know she had a cat. But then again they knew very little about her. Anyways, when they began to walk towards the front door, they heard the crunching noise of the dry fall leaves under their feet. They formed big piles that looked like small mountains.
The smell of sewage penetrated their noses as they got closer to the old wooden door. The wind picked up, and the leaves formed a tornado as they arose from the ground. Their eyes got dry, and when they tried to open the front door, it got full open just by a little push of one of the men.
‘No, mammy!’ They heard one of the little kids that the crazy lady had screamed as loud as he could.
‘Shut up! And bring me more water,’ she said.
The neighbors stood still at the doorway, waiting to hear more or not want to be caught. But they eventually made their way slowly to where the light was coming off. They thought it was the kitchen. One of the old ladies who were with them got a glance at what was going in the kitchen; she just stood there in shock, unable to move. Everyone looked at her and as to waiting for some sort of conforming explanation. But she just stood there in silence.”
“Freaky!” Lupe said, taking a long sip from her now warm soda.
Carmen now was sitting too close to Carlos than she had realized. Having realized it, she moved a little bit away from him, but the truth that she was scared and wanted to be closer to Carlos that was older than she and she had always fantasized about getting married to him. She sighed and said, “Please do continue.”
“Anyways,” Carlos continued. “The neighbors got worried about the woman that stood in front of them in shock. They tried to move her but she would not move and not wanting to make any noise they just whispered to her:
‘Mrs. Johnson, you’re alright?’
‘Come on; we got to move. Not just stand there’, her husband told her.
‘But… but…’ she said with tears rolling down her big red cheeks. ‘I can’t believe what she did to her babies.’
Everyone stood there, still listening to every word she had to say. She described how she saw the twins’ bodies next to each other, with their eyes still open, looking up to the ceiling in horror. After she told them what she saw, she ran like crazy away from the house, and her husband followed her along with some another old lady. Only five neighbors were left in there standing still and perhaps still in shock from what Mrs. Johnson had told them.
‘Do you think we should go in there?’ An old lady with a shovel on her hands said. But, the others just stood there in silence. They made up the shadow of the lady and the little kid standing next to her with a buckle of water at a distance. One of the neighbors let out a scream when she saw the crazy lady pouring boiling water into the container where the twins’ bodies lied. The crazy lady heard her and turned around.”
Carlos sighs and continues. “She dropped the bucket and ran after them with her machete on her right hand, and as the neighbors tried to escape, one of them fell, and the other tried to help, but the crazy lady was approaching too fast that they left their neighbor there on the floor face down. The crazy lady dragged her inside the house, and the neighbors never looked back again. They never heard of their neighbor again, and they never dared to go near that house again.”
Carmen asked, “What happened next?”
“I do not know; many say that the crazy lady still alive today. But, those are just rumors, some think.” Carlos said, and he got ready to leave, but Carmen held his right arm and begged him to stay with them for the rest of the night. They told some other stories some fun and some scary, but not as frightening as Carlos told them.