FUN TILL SOMEBODY DIES: Part Two By Paul Corman
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Not rated by the Author.
Part Two of a murder Mystery
What I told Sergeant Garcia: Yesterday I was standing in the shade near the front door to Cantina Culo, trying to decide whether to go in or not.
I could still taste tequila in my mouth. I was wondering if someone could fill in the blanks from last night. I remembered buying a bottle and sitting with some local fishermen. It was a tawdry and transparent attempt to ingratiate myself while negotiating a day out fishing.
My head throbbed. The scorching sun hung overhead. Just as I turned to go into the Cantina I heard the sound of a funeral drum. I looked up the dusty street towards the mountains and saw a slow procession coming towards me.
I squinted to bring the procession into focus through the shimmering heat waves. As I stepped out into the road and shaded my eyes, the light sliced into my eyeballs and formed one hard knot of pain in the middle of my forehead that throbbed deep into my brain.
Four Indians were at the front of the procession carrying the coffin. They were young men in their late teens. The rough plank box cut into the shoulders of their faded shirts. They moved slowly, eyes on the ground in front of their bare feet.
An older couple followed the coffin; one on each side of a priest. Their dark eyes and wrinkled faces were filled with grief. The priest was light skinned but with coarse thick hair and one of those face stubbles that needs shaving three times a day.
A large crowd followed the funeral, leaving bare footprints in the dusty road. A few storeowners came out of their little shops and stood in the road to watch.
I followed them down to the beach and along to the cemetery back in the dunes. A hole had been dug in the sand with a simple wood cross stuck at the head. The mother fell to her knees as the boys lifted the lid and she placed a red flower on the folded hands of the young girl inside.
The priest read the prayer and sprinkled holy water in the hole as the mourners pressed in. I leaned over a shoulder and looked down. I saw the face of a young girl. I could tell she was once pretty but now, in death, her skin was gray and slack.
Someone had dressed her in an old wedding dress and along the neckline where the lace ended I saw the dark purple marks where fingers had closed around her young throat and driven out her tender soul.