Dia de los Muertos

Photo by Mitja Juraja on Pexels.com

Born from the earth in el huerto de calabazas, Cucurbita awaits the choosing–la seleccion. She will soon be ready for the children. They will see her and fear her, as they should.

“That one,” the dark-haired doctor says, pointing at Cucurbita. “That one will be perfect.”

She is not perfect yet. She knows this to be true. Her identity must be changed in order for the plan to become fully realized. Dr. Ramirez takes her to his private garage. It is poorly-lit, dingy, dirty, and there are black oil stains on the concrete floor. It is a deplorable atmosphere for the surgery that will be performed tonight.

The doctor prepares the table and lays out his instruments. Cucurbita sits on the table, knowing this is the last time she will appear as she does. Her beautiful face will be permanently transposed forever. There will be scars that will never heal, but she knows it is necessary and she is ready. After the doctor has prepared her, he carefully uses the knife to make the alterations to her face.

After the transformation is complete, she is forever changed–not only in appearance, but on the inside as well. There is no light inside of her; she is empty, cold, evil. She has no remorse for what she will do to the children.

“Yes, you’ll do nicely,” Dr. Ramirez says with a malicious grin. “Make them afraid.”

He lights a fire in her, motivates her to strike fear in whomever may look upon her, whomever may dare to tread upon this threshold.

She waits in the darkness and hears them approaching. Los niños y las niñas. These will be the first of her victims. She sees that it is the princess and her followers.


“Eeee…!” the little girl shrieks.

“It’s okay, mijita,” her mother assures her. “It’s only a calabaza. See? A pumpkin.”

The little girl still keeps a tight hold of her mother’s hand.

Cucurbita’s eyes flicker as the candle’s flame is licked by the night’s breeze. The princess, a skeleton, and a superhero approach Dr. Ramirez’s door, but the princess keeps a watchful eye on Cucurbita.

Yes, princess. Be very careful…

Copyright © 2020 Brandon Ellrich

If you liked this short story, you might also like one of my other stories like Taken or my poem Halloween

Published by Brandon Ellrich

I live in Central Missouri and enjoy reading, writing, playing tennis, watching movies, and exploring creative outlets. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and I love to take my readers inside the minds of my characters.

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