La Muerte Triste(The Sad Death)
Short Story by: Alexander Arnell
“La Muerte Triste”
A friend of mine experienced a great tragedy. Gina Zulus received a phone call from her friend Sally. In a sobbing voice, Sally explained to Gina that she and her husband Randy were getting a divorce. Sally was obviously distraught and needed company.
Being a good friend, Gina volunteered to fly from Dallas to Houston for a few days to help Sally through her difficult time.
Gina taking only a small carry-on bag set out for the airport hoping to arrive in time for an 11 o'clock flight.
Traveling on 121-Highway, Gina came upon a traffic jam caused by scheduled roadwork on an over pass bridge that had been struck by a truck earlier in the month.
In an effort to save time, Gina pulled off the main highway to take backcountry roads around the traffic jam. There was no traffic as Gina drove down the narrow dark wooded two-lane Texas black top.
Just before entering the city of Grapevine, Gina approached a four-way intersection. Just as she started to cross the middle of the intersection, an old woman stepped out in front of Gina's car.
Gina slammed on the car’s brakes making a screeching panic stop. Frantically, Gina looked around for the old woman. To Gina’s surprise, the old woman stood beside the driver's door with creamy white, lifeless eyes.
To see if the old woman was all right, Gina started to lower the window. The window had only lowered an inch when the old woman leaped at the window clawing with her wrinkled crooked fingers.
Gina screamed in terror as she floored the accelerator, making her car leap forward and away from the old woman. As Gina drove away, in the rear view mirror she saw the old woman standing in the middle of the road with outstretched arms mouthing unknown words.
Once on the plane, Gina told her fellow passenger seated next to her about her harrowing experience.
After patiently listen to Gina's story the passenger asked, "Were you onFairway Drive
at the four-way stop just beforeNorthwest Highway
?" Gina nodded her head puzzled by the question. As the passenger wrung her hands she said, "It must have been La Muerte Triste.”
"The Sad Death?" Gina asked.
The passenger said, "This is bad, this is really bad. La Muerte Triste only appears when someone you love is going to die a sad death."
Remaining silent, Gina finished her trip to Houston to be with her friend Sally during her time of need.
Gina told Sally of her traumatic experience. Gina and Sally ordinarily would have laughed at such an old superstition, however the appearance and the story of the old woman had shaken both friends to their very soul.
Sally was so concerned for Gina that she did not once the whole evening mentioned the divorce. Instead, Sally made strawberry daiquiris to calm Gina down as well as herself.
The next day Gina felt much better, but never really shook the feeling of dread. Neither friend spoke of the old woman, yet both thought about her many times over the next few days.
After a few days in Houston, Gina decided she needed to go home to her family. Knowing that Sally did not want to be alone Gina invited Sally to come back to Dallas with her.
Sally accepted on one condition. Sally was deathly afraid of flying therefore, she insisted that she and Gina drive to Dallas instead of flying.
The next day the two left in the Sally’s blue Ford Focus. Less than 20 minutes after the two had left Sally's home, a small twin-engine airplane took off from Hooks Airfield. Just minutes into its flight, the airplane’s left engine failed, making it flip over and crash into Sally’s car; killing her instantly.
© Copyright 2017 Alexander Arnell. All rights reserved.