Ghosts of Mexico

The Twisted Tree


The Twisted Tree
Hi my name is Bruce Parra. Just before I was born, my family moved from Mexico to live in the USA . I am the only American-born Mexican in my family. I'm 15 years old, and am studying Art. I have aspirations to be a great artist some day. But, I'm not here to talk about my ambitions, rather, I'm here to tell you a story, a story I'm sure you will find intriguing.

When I was eleven years old, we returned to Mexico for a visit with my grandparents. They live in a farm about eleven acres large. They grow corn almost on the entire land.

My grandfather, who is very active till today, rises even before the sun does and heads to the field to collect his corns. Whenever he woke up, I would too. But I always went back to sleep. I don't understand how he can wake up every morning while it's still dark outside. (sigh)

One morning-I don't know why-I felt compelled to get out of bed as my grandfather awoke. I thought then since I was already up, why not tag along with him to the field. So I did.

As we walked, the gentle wind began to pick up. It became cold, and I huddled closer to my grandfather. The sky had begun to turn purple as the sun slowly made its appearance. The sky looked like it was alive. It seem to connect with me somehow, with its deep blue and bright red colors dancing all over the place. From the horizon, the golden ball of fire rose slowly. Our corn field lit up like golden ferries, dancing in the wild wind.

"It's never so windy in the mornings. I wonder why." My grandfather uttered as he cupped his hands and blew into them.

Then, as we turned with the pathway, the bushes revealed a twisted dead tree. Its colour was pale, between grey and white. The twists were so intricate that they looked like they were made by hands. It was more "art" than a tree, I thought.

I stared at it, mesmerized by its beauty. Before too long, I snapped out of my stupor, and realized my grandfather had paved quite a distance away. I ran and clutched his rough strong hand, and turned my face towards the dead tree as we walked until it disappeared behind the bushes.

"That was awesome huh, grandpa?" I exclaimed as I looked up at his wrinkled but serene face.

My grandfather didn't say anything to my remark. He shook his head, squeezed my hand tight, and pulled me along.

If not for the beautiful twisted tree, I would have gone back to sleep. Instead, I jumped out of bed and followed my grandfather out, heading for cornfields again the next day. Something was different though, the day was extremely dark. The moon was still up in the sky.

I was curious, but didn't ask my grandfather why he was heading to the fields so early.

As we turned with the pathway, there it was again, the beautiful twisted tree. And yet again, I was captivated. In the moonlight, the twisted tree glowed like the moon itself. My grandfather squeezed my hand, and I squeezed back. Then, my eyes caught something strange-a black face at the side of the tree. It seemed the moonlight on some of the twisted branches had coincidentally created a shadow that formed a face. To confirm my theory, I moved aside to get a better look. The very moment I moved, I felt as though an electric current had surged through me; the hairs on my body sprung up instantly.

A GLOWING BALL OF FIRE FLOATED OUT FROM BEHIND THE TWISTED TREE. It remained circling around the tree. It seemed alive and taunting us!

I stood on the spot, frozen with fright. My grandfather seemed unaffected by fear. He grabbed my arm and pulled me away. As we hurried away, I heard him mumbling frantically to himself. I realised then that he was not so fearless after all. I felt cold at my groin and upper legs. I had wet myself. I tugged at my grandfather's hand and urged him to go home, but he only shook his head and walked on. I tried to let go of his hand so that I could run home, but he wouldn't let me. I thought then that maybe he was afraid to be alone. So, we went ahead and collected our corns. With every pick, we looked over our shoulders for that glowing ball, but it never came.

When we were done filling our sacks with corns, we tied them up and waited. I didn't have to ask, I knew my grandfather was afraid. Seeing fear in his glazy eyes made me even more afraid. But we had no choice; the pathway was the only way home. My grandfather nodded at me to pick my bag up, and we began the walk back. We peered warily for the glowing ball as we approached the tree area. I almost lost my senses at what we saw next!


They were staring at us in a hostile manner-IT WAS EERIE! My grandfather began to pant and hiss. I was afraid he would faint and leave me all alone. Then, suddenly, the donkeys grinned with wide open mouths and showed us their white luminous teeth. It was a sight so scary, we didn't wait to see more, we just scooted out of there instantly.

The incident was not harmless. It has left me traumatised. I can't sleep peacefully anymore. Whenever I try to sleep, I am disturbed by dreams of the face I saw on the side of the twisted tree. My dreams are so scary that I often wake up panting and in cold sweat. In the dreams, the face tells me to "ENCOURAGE DEATH." I don't know what it wants from me. But one thing I am not going to give him, is my life, that's for sure.! I've named the face "ED" after "Encourage Death."

Oh, by the way, my grandfather did not collect his corns for a week after the apparition. But when he did again after that, the twisted tree mysteriously had vanished.

My grandfather later told me that he had never seen the twisted tree before I joined him to collect the corns. - That is SPOOKY!

I hope you will post my story at your website, but if you don't, that's cool by me too.

Bruce Parra., 15



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