THE WORRY DOLLS, (9) “Las Chupacabras”

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There is a legend amongst the highland Indian villages of Guatemala.

If you have a problem, then share it with a Worry Doll.

Before going to bed, tell one worry to each doll, then place them beneath your pillow.

While you sleep the dolls will take your worries away.


Chapter 9 – “Las Chupacabras”

        The Las Chupacabras gang had confiscated their name from a modern-day mythical Latin American vampire that inhabits the jungle.

        Educated people hope that it is mythical.

        There have been many inexplicably gruesome killings of farm animals as if by an unseen vampire beast, hence given the name La Chupacabra.  In Spanish chupar means to suck and cabra is a goat.  The South American Chupacabra is said to kill and then suck the blood of goats and other farm animals.

        Las Chupacabras gang sucked the blood of Los Angeles.

        Startlingly, Las Chupacabras gang members were mostly women, with some chosen male “soldiers”.

        Nicknamed Chupas, – to which they were referred in whispers on the street, in black stains in the press, and in tones reminiscent of campfire horror stories by the cable news – Las Chupacabras were the most violent and deadly gang in Los Angeles at this time.  They controlled drug trafficking, extortion, and prostitution over a large part of southern California and they all but owned the jungles of the City of the Angels.

        If anyone ever betrayed the Chupas there is no physical evidence.

        This night, one of the Chupa quinceañeras (their sardonic nickname for teenage girl recruits), a girl named Pequita, had seen Carlos and the “Guardian Nun” hastening across the street, firmly gripping by the wrist Rosalinda, one of Sister Juanita’s precious “little angels”; valuable little angels to Las Chupacabras.

        Pequita had no idea that Carlos and the Guardian Nun were on the run but Pequita pulled out her cellphone and dutifully reported her suspicious sighting.

        It had taken another two minutes before La Diosa (The Goddess, a term of high rank) Zaleilah had gotten the news about this betrayal.  La Diosa Zaleilah had summoned three of her crew and raced off in pursuit of their stolen property: the young girl Rosalinda.

        Meanwhile, Carlos, Sister Juanita, and Rosalinda were scurrying from one darkened recess of the night into another, working their way down the valleys of shadow between buildings.

        Sister Juanita wondered in despair if God would really protect her after all she had done and allowed to be done to the children while she had watched in silent complicity.  There came the distant sound of thunder.  Sister Juanita raised the crucifix which hung round her neck and her hands trembled as she kissed the crux.

        Rosalinda had finally stopped crying.  She had also stopped asking where they were going or why; too tired to keep asking questions which Sister Juanita withstood with tears.  When Sister Juanita had seen the quinceañera Pequita she had yanked Rosalinda hard, trying to merge with the shadows before being recognized.  Rosalinda missed her footing and slipped on the curb.

        Letting her crucifix fall, Sister Juanita had pulled Rosalinda erect and with Carlos they all fell through God’s hands.  Moving forward, Sister Juanita kept her shoulder against the building’s grimy wall, tugging little Rosalinda behind her.  Carlos was leading a few paces in front.  Rosalinda whimpered as Sister Juanita frantically searched ahead over Carlos’ shoulder for the next darkness in which they would dwell.

        Zaleilah with her soldier Mando, and Payasa with her soldier Tramposo, drove into the intersection two hundred yards up the street from their prey.  Doing as they had done at each prior intersection, they had stopped briefly to give each other a moment to scan in their assigned direction.  Zaleilah, driving, searched ahead, Mando sitting next to her searched the street to his right, while in the backseat Payasa looked to her left and Tramposo checked to his rear.  Zaleilah caught a glimpse of something in the shadows down the street and lifted her foot from the brake and moved it to the gas pedal.

        Zaleilah yelled, “I’ve got the bitch”, startling the others.

        The rest of them torqued their heads toward Zaleilah’s gaze.

        Zaleilah said “Dead, fucking dead, bitch.”

        Suddenly, Mando’s hand clutched Zaleilah’s arm.  Mando hissed, “Chotas (Cops).  Go straight; we can circle around after the chotas have gone by.”  The “Chotas”, Police Officers Sinead and Canh, had just begun their patrol of the neighborhoods.

        Mando had been chosen for the gang six months earlier.  In that short period of time he’d proven to be transcendentally brutal when instructed to be and instinctively intelligent when the situation called for it.  Mando spoke with deliberation, “Just ease straight ahead through the intersection, we’re too far away for those fuckers to have any reason to fuck with us.”

        Zaleilah scoffed, “Nobody can mess with this.”

        Circling back around the block, the Chupas returned just in time to see the unlucky Carlos, Sister Juanita, and Rosalinda disappearing into the entrance of an old warehouse.

        The Chupas parked and the four followed their quarry into the apparently deserted warehouse.

        There was a crescendo of thunder.  It had begun to rain.

        The Chupas’ prey had then made no attempt at being quiet while ascending the stairs.  Sister Juanita lead the way up, struggling with her footing as she held Rosalinda’s arm tightly.  Carlos followed half of a flight below, walking side-ways, pointing his rifle behind himself.

        Juanita saw three children playing on the landing in front of her.  She hesitated, but realized it was impossible to reverse direction now.  She yelled at the children to get inside, “Ahorita! (At this very moment!)”

        The children reacted to the fear in Juanita’s voice by shrieking.  A door opened and a small slender Hispanic woman appeared.  She grabbed the two closest children and dragged them into the closing door in one continuous motion but the third child ran away down the hall frightened into flight.

        The Hispanic woman cried out after the fleeing child, “Chango!  No, Chango!”

        Mando had heard Juanita’s warning shout to Chango coming from above.  The Chupas up ahead of him were already approaching the next landing.  First one, then two more reluctant doors opened in that hallway.  Terrified half faces peeked out to see who was causing all the commotion; only to retreat after seeing Mando with a gun in hand.

        Mando thought, “Whore of Jesus, this was supposed to be an empty building.  Now there will be witnesses!”

        The thumping sound of automatic-gunfire tumbled down the stairwell.

        Mando took the stairs faster.  Reaching the next landing, he saw the rag-doll figure of Carlos’ corpse, shot and macheted.

        Mando allowed himself no remorse over the demise of his fellow soldier Carlos.  Carlos had betrayed the Chupas by aiding “Sister Juanita”, the nun who was never a nun.  Mando spit on the body, not caring if Carlos had gone to hell for his sins or to heaven for his attempt at atonement.  Mando believed in neither place.

        Mando saw Zaleilah, Payasa, and Tramposo down at the far end of the hallway looking down out the window.

        Zaleilah was cursing volcanically.  She was hacking her machete into the wall in frustration.

        Mando called, “What the fuck?!”

        Payasa turned and shouted back to Mando, “They jumped!  That fucking Juanita jumped with the girl.  They’re both down there!”

        Tramposo shouted, “They’re fucking fucked dead!  Fuck!”

        Zaleilah suddenly cried, “Look!  The girl!  She’s alive!

        Payasa shouted, “She’s going down the alleyway!”

        Zaleilah whirled and ran back to the stairwell, toward Mando, shouting, “Come on!  Come on!”

        Zaleilah, Payasa, and Trampaso thundered past Mando and on down the stairs.

        On the dark landing directly below appeared the child Chango.  Zaleilah ran into him and tripped, falling, and Payasa and Tramposo stumbled into each other trying to avoid the collision.

        Chango hollered, terrified, and in that instant, Zaleilah instinctively swung her machete down onto the child.

        Tramposo gasped.

        Payasa hissed, “Jesus fucking Christ!”

        Zaleilah stood up and said, “Shit on it!  Goddamn chípil (spoiled brat)!”

        The three stood in silence over the split torso of Chango, the horror of Zaleilah’s action affecting even the ruthless Chupas for a split eternity.

        Zaleilah shook herself and shouted, “Fucking, come on!” and she started down the dark stairs again.  Payasa and Tramposo glanced back at Chango’s body as they started down the stairs after Zaleilah.  They heard a rumble on the stairs above them and they saw the dark figure of Mando coming down the stairs and then they looked away.

        As Mando stepped onto the landing he slipped in gore and he fell onto the body of the child.  He scrambled erect, the front of his shirt wet with blood.

        In the moment of revulsion Mando tore his shirt off and flung it down the stairwell, shouting, “My goddamn new shirt!”

        He started down the stairs to catch up with the other Chupas.  He saw them on the landing below, now just standing there, and he almost hollered, “What the fuck?!”

        Then Mando saw the figure of the slender Hispanic woman holding the rifle and trembling as she held Zaleilah, Payasa and Tramposo at bay. She was crying, “Where is my Chango?!” then she screamed, “Chango!”

        Mango aimed his handgun down at the figure of the woman and fired.  She clenched the trigger and her rifle discharged and then she collapsed like a pillar of ashes.

        Payasa howled and grabbed the side of her face, bending over.  The bullet had severed her jaw as it cut through the side of her face.  Her face sagged open, now a hideous clown face.

        Zaleilah in a rage kicked the dead woman and turned to Tramposo, yelling, “Let’s go!” then she shouted at Payasa who and sunken to her knees, “My Payasa, we will come back for you!” then she barked up at Mando, “Thanks for nothing, you shitfuck!  The woman was nothing!  Tend to my Payasa!”

        Zaleilah and Tramposo headed down the stairs.

        Mando came slowly and stood beside Payasa who was still on her knees moaning and bowing up and down in pain and shock.

        Payasa began to cough and choke and then to gargle her own blood.  She shuddered as she slowly rolled onto her side and she curled into a fetal position.  In that manner Payasa was borne into death upon a final breath.

        Mando muttered, “What a waste of a fine cunt.”



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        Once upon a midnight bleary as I sat tap tapping on my computer keys there came a sighing, gently prying from my heart, a sorrow for my unobtainable love, signifying, “Katylyn, I never stop thinking of you.”

        I stopped tapping on my computer keys, stopped my semaphore sadness for the key to her love, untouchable evermore.

        I sighed, again for my eternity’s end, for, “The moon outlasts all love,” as I stared into midnight,  reflecting a pale and immaterial purpose in the window.

        The full moon had arisen in majestic luminance, the stars parting.  I recalled Katylyn’s amused observation from our Paris balcony that the same moon is seen by others beyond our horizon.  I don’t know why I should remember that except that Katylyn had gone beyond my horizon like the memory of sunlight.

        My hope was that the sun also rises yet I knew my hope foolish, last to die in the end of my days.

        It was as I sat staring into my emptiness that I noticed a figure beyond my window, a woman’s figure, a familiar figure, and I thrilled suddenly to ice in my heart.

        The woman was approaching and seemed to be emerging from my very own reflection in the window.

        I cried out as suddenly she was standing in my room before me, seeming to have passed through my wall and my reflection.

        I leapt erect, shouting, “Katylyn?!”

        The apparition smiled and I heard her answer, “I am Twyla Bellegrave, pleased to make your acquaintance.”

        I was paralyzed with clashing thoughts.

        The apparition then laughed and said, “You have shaped me, my poor dear.  Be careful what you wish for.”

        I burst, “What?!”

        The apparition said, as if to a child, “You poor dear, you have summoned me,” and then it said to me, “Please call me Twyla and stop thinking of me as ‘the apparition’, my poor dear.”

        I had to acknowledge this mad reality that was before my senses.  The …, the …, “Twyla Bellegrave” was a dignified young Southern belle, I perceived, in the manner that I remember my dearest Katylyn.  She wore a gown of satin and white lace and around her neck a string of pearls like a string of tiny luminescent moons.  She looked like the debutant that Katylyn had been and I started to laugh nervously with nascent insanity.

        I was suddenly very afraid and I asked, “Are you the angel of my death?”

        Twyla Bellegrave smiled slyly and teased, “Why poor dear, are you so sure that you are really alive anymore?”

        Self-pity stifled my fear and I retorted, “I am in pain so I know I am indeed alive.”

        Twyla Bellegrave mused, “Life is the dream that hurts, for sure.  But, believe me, the After-life..”

        I fumbled, terrified, “Are you…, are you not…, are you… alive… not?”

        Twyla Bellegrave mocked me gently, sing-song, saying,”She loves me…, she loves me not…, she loves me…”

        I cried, “Stop it!”

        Twyla Bellegrave replied, “You are the one who must stop it, my poor dear, if you don’t appreciate my company.”

        I asked again, near nervous exhaustion, “Who are you really?”

        Twyla Bellegrave began, “Do you know of that old Motown song by Jimmy Ruffin ‘What Becomes of the Broken Hearted’?”

        I moaned.

        Twyla Bellegrave continued, “Well, when I was alive the way you are alive, I died the way that you have died,” and then she stared at me expectantly.

        I stuttered, “What, what do you mean?”

        Twyla Bellegrave continued, “You can think of me as the Spirit, the Maid of Unrequited Love, if you like, if it helps you.  It is no life, believe me.  In a terrible cosmic irony, I am yours, truly.  You have shaped me…”

        I whimpered, “What?  What?!”

        Twyla Bellegrave raised her hand, saying the ghastly words, “And I have shaped you.”

        I became an open mouth.

        Twyla Bellegrave then said, “But take courage and let me tell you my story,” and she smiled with commiseration, adding, “Oh, Servant of Yearning,

        It was May of 1861 and the War of Northern Aggression had begun the month before.

        I was in love with a young man, Jubal Johnston, oh, who was studying medicine.  He would read to me his favorite sequence of poems by some Yankee, Walt Whitman, called Live Oak Moss.  He was a beautiful man, my Jubal.

        But Jubal never furthered the relation of my desire.

        Jubal soon joined the Army of Northern Virginia.  I was mad with worry.

        I traveled to his encampment.  I learned that he was in a quarrel with another soldier over some insult and that a forbidden duel was being tendered mutually for satisfaction.  I used my lady’s persuasion to find the secret location.  It was to occur on this very day!

        A sympathetic young soldier agreed to bring me there although he was distracted severely by my request.  I confess, that young soldier, of low birth, had fallen in love with me by the end of my persuasion, the poor smitten dear.

        We rode through the woods until I discerned the clearing and saw there the entourages of the two rivals.  When I followed their gazes, I saw that I had arrived behind Jubal’s opponent and then I saw Jubal across from him, facing my direction.

        I dismounted in panic and I flew toward Jubal’s opponent.

        I heard the young soldier cry out behind me in alarm.  Jubal’s opponent was raising his firearm.

        I leapt to pull down his arm.  As I rose into my leap I saw the burst of smoke from Jubal’s firearm and the sudden impact of horror upon his face.

        His bullet missed his opponent and struck my heart.

        My desperate leap became my descent into Hell.  I saw the leaves of grass arising to bear me into the bosom of the earth.

        Yet I turned and floated onto my back and I was in the arms of the young soldier who had guided me to my fate against his affection for me.  His face was contorted with grief.

        The world for me washed pale as in moonlight.  Then I vanished into that moonlight.

        Do you remember?”

        I was startled, “What?!”

        Twyla Bellegrave repeated earnestly, “Do you remember?”

        I stared at her.  She prompted me with a nod and whispered, “You were that young soldier in whose arms I died.”

        I was overcome with a seizure of terror.  I screamed against my will.  I could not stand the heart-long rush of adrenaline.

        I fainted.

        I arose strangely free of my emotional gravity and my habitual malaise.  I stood before Twyla Bellegrave who smiled at me and without a word bade me look beside myself by her glance.

        It was I lying unconscious on the floor!  At least a person identical to my own self, l rationalized ludicrously.

        I was amazed that I was unafraid.

        I looked up at Twyla Bellegrave.  She extended her hand and calmly I clasped it.

        Twyla Bellegrave said to me softly, “Let us together end this.”

        And so the two passed into moonlight.

        When I awoke on the floor from this, this extraordinary dream, I could never forget it to this day.  I ponder it now with a peace I had not known before.

– Edgar Allen Ash



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blown apart tree woman


        I thought then that I was but I realize now that I am.

        I am looking northwest over the shore-cliffs of the Pacific Ocean as my brains are blowing southwest out the side of my head all over Richard Brautigan’s cold campsite.

        I am impressed by this .44 Remington Magnum.

        Smatterings of my thoughts express in a mist my place in history:  I am now Fly Fishing in America for months before you find my body.

        Messy, isn’t it, my friend?  How did I end up all over this place alone?

        My scattered thoughts recall that it had something to do with ballistic penises and corkscrew vaginas; something about sexual conflict between Donald Duck and Daisy Duck; something about horrific spiky penises damaging the female for rival males.

        Or maybe not.

        You were always waiting for me to grow up.  I am a willful naïf, cultivating childishness.  A gentle, troubled, deeply odd guy dismissed and abandoned.  The baby thrown out with the bathwater.

        I have been a sesquipedalian polysyllabic homage collage of thoughts upon feelings about an impression of words and fate.  I thought that I was Jack Kerouac but I know now that I am Richard Brautigan.

  place is clouds



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But, the most ancient scrolls are kept on: THE TABLE OF MALCONTENTS