SERVANT OF THE SCORPION – Chapter 7, The Orphanage
I was still seeing the killings, over and over again. None of us had said a word since we fled La Antigua. Irma was driving us straight to the orphanage in Mudéjar.
Itza kept looking over at Irma. Irma’s ferocious outburst had upset me too. Did she just assume that woman “Olivia” was guilty of child abduction and deserved to die like that? Her anger seemed personal.
We came to a long wall that had fallen in many places. We drove right through one of the breaks.
The orphanage is the former main house of the ancient colonial estate. We stopped near the entrance. Itza got out, “I’m going to find Rita.” Irma followed her through the door but said nothing. The food was still in the Rover but I wasn’t going to just stand there.
The entrance opened into a corridor that surrounded a cloister. There were many stairwells and other corridors. I did not expect the intricate and colorful tile. I saw that Itza had gone in one direction but Irma was going in the opposite direction. I followed Irma.
I wanted to talk to Irma but for some reason I kept to shadows as I followed her. She stopped at a door and quickly entered. I was unsure what to do. I didn’t move. A minute later she emerged dragging a metal suitcase.
Irma kept looking behind herself but she never acknowledged me. She struggled with the suitcase through a passage to the outside.
I started to follow but suddenly a little girl stepped in front of me.
She looked up at me and beamed, “Hello.”
“My name is Rosalinda.”
“What is your name?”
“Me, I’m Cesar. I’m sorry, cariño. I’ll see you later” and I moved past her.
“Do you live here?” she said sweetly behind me.
I went outside through the passage. I was in a walled patio. I saw a breach in the wall. I could hear Irma thrashing through the vegetation beyond. I didn’t have to be quiet as I followed the noise.
Now close ahead the noise suddenly stopped. I stopped. Then I heard her huffing and I heard tearing vegetation.
I heard her coming back my way. I stepped behind a cluster of big leaves and I crouched down. Irma passed me without the metal suitcase. Her face was sweaty and she brushed her soiled hands.
I could no longer hear her. I proceeded to find where she had hidden the suitcase.
I came to what looked like a T-shaped headstone. The stone looked very old. There was a shape carved into it. It could have been a scorpion. The vegetation behind it had been uprooted and then returned.
I went around the stone and on my knees I pulled up the debris. I soon uncovered the metal suitcase.
“What did you found?” said little Rosalinda peering down at me over the stone.
“You aren’t supposed to be out here.”
“Why are you?”
As I quickly covered the suitcase again with the torn vegetation I said “I’m not supposed to be here either.”
“You better come with me” said Rosalinda wrapping her hand around three of my fingers. We walked back along the trampled path.
At the wall I picked her up and set her through the breach into the patio. When I stepped through I looked up. Rita, Itza, Irma, Esmeralda and several workers were there staring at me.
“Me puto.” I raised my eyes to heaven.
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