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This one sort of deviates from my usual themes, but nonetheless it is still a short tale.  Originally, I planned on ending it with death, but hey — amidst hopeless cases, hope isn’t too bad either.  

Here’s a genuinely happy Halloween for 2013.

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They say the first ones never really leave.

Out onto the confetti-laid pavement, she often peeks through the velvet curtains of the tent. Street vendors selling cheap, false potions, half-naked gypsies holding out tarot cards, and visitors, confused, but entertained — oh, how she wanted to join them again.  Though the faces of its dwellers do not change as frequently as the caravan moves, she didn’t know anyone anymore.

She’s in the tent where no one can see her. She was one of the firsts.  Let’s call her Ritz.

Now, just so we can establish some things, no one was allowed to notice her.  She could not move if anyone looked in her direction, sans, of course, Madame Sygne, master of the tent.  One could say that Madame Sygne cared for Ritz, keeping her clean and showing her off to those who would wander into her tent, but she never really cared for her.

Ritz always stayed behind Madame Sygne whenever a potential customer would enter.  Given Madame Sygne’s age, (but then again, her age never really mattered,) Ritz would peer into the crystal ball, and whisper ever so discreetly to the master what she would see.  She would whisper which card to pick, and which potion to brew.  She was the life of the tent, but her own life was, by far, no more.

Madame Sygne never learned the tricks of the trade — she never really tried.  And with her selfishness, she’s kept the wisdom of Ritz from everyone else. That being said, Madame Sygne would never join Ritz where she was right now, up in her tapestry behind the master’s table.  Madame Sygne would die a mortal, alone, and what was left of Ritz would fade away with the dust that would settle on her being.

It didn’t take long before someone complained of the stench coming out of the tent.  It also didn’t take long before the young dwellers of the caravan found the decaying body of Madame Sygne.

The tent was put away, and everything else was packed up in an old trunk.  For Ritz, everything was pitch black.  It was a crypt, and she was buried alive.

Months, years, probably centuries had passed.  But one day, she somehow saw light again through the small crack in the trunk’s mouth.  The light got bigger, brighter, and it blinded her.

Regaining consciousness (or at least, whatever consciousness she could regain for being part of a piece of fabric,) she realized how she was hanging again, not so high up on a wall of what looked like an old, abandoned receiving room.

Someone was looking at her.

So she looked down.  It was a little girl, Ephie. The little girl held in her hand a small matchstick — she was an orphan who took shelter in the cold, abandoned house.  This should have been troubling, but what caught Ritz’s attention was that she was smiling. At her.  

She smiled back and motioned to a candle inside the open trunk…

…which the little girl curiously lit up.

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Three eggs frying in the pan sunny side-up, with bacon and frankfurter at ready, (the scent of crisp pork and spices had already reached you by now,) I didn’t have to drag you out of bed.  You scrambled out the tent with Lady barking alongside you (no doubt she could smell the bacon as well.)  You hurried beside me and kissed me on the cheek while grabbing three slices of bread and toasting them yourself with readied butter, garlic, and thyme, over open fire.

We weren’t camping– no, not this time.  We were hiding and on the move with loaded guns and big kitchen knives.  We promised we wouldn’t leave each other.  But once Lady left her bacon untouched and slowly sniffed herself away beyond the bushes, I knew that promise wouldn’t last very long.  All it took was her growl and the whimper that came after.  Then silence.

We needed to run.

And I did.  You were running too– okay, more like chasing me.  So I gave you two clean shots and sliced your head off.  The thing is… I knew you weren’t chasing me.  You weren’t infected, and Lady was alive.

The odd thing is, there was no zombie apocalypse.

Finished March 3, 2012

©Camcas Cervantes

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Mr. Twinkie was my best friend. For most, he was just a doll that I took everywhere- to the park, to school, to my friend’s house, and even to the bathroom! But he was more than that. Whenever I was alone, I’d used to imagine him showing his true form to me. A life-size Mr. Twinkie would suddenly crawl out from under my bed, or come out of my closet, or come up my bedroom window whenever I was alone. He would always be right outside the school fence, or waiting for me by the swing at the old park. He was more than just a doll. He was a real human being for me. This went on for years, until I realized things were getting strange.

I was 9 when I noticed that Mr. Twinkie’s games weren’t really fun. He was just plainly bossing me around, and I’d get purple marks on my body whenever I didn’t win the game. Or in his case, whenever I make a wrong move in the game. On the bright side, he’d reward me with kisses and back rubs whenever I get the game right. He’d visit me more during the night. Sometimes, I think Mr. Twinkie looked a lot like my dad. But my dad never wore anything like Mr. Twinkie did. So I guess they just really looked alike.

Mom died when I was 11. She had the same purple marks on her body when me and Mr. Twinkie found her. That was the last time Mr. Twinkie ever appeared in his life-size form. I woke up the next morning, and Mr. Twinkie, my doll, was missing.

I was left with dad. He wanted to move houses after mom died. I found Mr. Twinkie’s clothes in his closet, all bloodied up like the last time I saw him. I showed them to dad. I told him it was Mr. Twinkie’s. Of course he didn’t believe me- he told me they were too big to fit Mr. Twinkie. Then I told him I found them in his closet. His eyes widened. They grew red. He looked scared, worried.

He asked me to go to my room, and so I went. I fell asleep.

I woke up a few hours later feeling thirsty, so I went downstairs to the kitchen to get some water. It was unusually quiet. Passing by the living room, I noticed a strange book. It was a photo album. Dad never showed me his photo albums. Bored enough, I flipped a few pages. There was a curious picture there where dad seemed to be next to a mirror. But he wasn’t really. The boy beside him looked so much like him, or maybe he was the other boy. Either way, they looked extremely alike.

Finished September 29, 2011

©Camcas Cervantes

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I’ve been so afraid of heights ever since my brother Joe pushed me off, headfirst, down a ladder in our playground when we were in preschool.  But hey, I plotted my revenge.

My brother was as street smart as he was handsome- always getting honors and always getting all the girls.  Me? I was invisible. No one knew me. Joe never acknowledged me, and I learned to let it pass. During middle school and high school years, I failed to perform my revenge. Although, I did manage to give him a few injuries here and there.

After graduating college, he went straight to work as a typical employee.  But after a few years, he quickly brought up his own credential firm.  This was when I made my move.

News update:  Young CEO falls headfirst down elevator shaft, probable suicide

What can I say? I missed my brother.