Guadalupe Ch. 3
Now, louder thunder. And a cloudy flash of lightning only ten seconds later. She ran faster, arms pumping, feet thudding harder into the gritty sand. Now a few raindrops.
She would welcome a downpour, to clean off the dirt, and the crust from that horrible algae-filled pool. As she started sweating with her exertions the foul whiff returned. She radiated filth. Please God, wash me clean!
Alas, the rain was only a few drops. Then a loud crack to her right. In the corner of her eye she saw a jagged bolt hitting the ground!
She could not outrun an electrical storm. She had to find a low spot. She remembered hearing about a baseball game, at a high school not far away, where the pitcher got struck and killed because being on the mound he was the highest one up. To her left she saw a hollow and dove into it, a belly flop, all at once, sliding as if into home plate, her breasts tugged downward painfully as they got snagged under her.
Her hair prickled against her scalp with the sudden gathering of static electricity. The air around her crackled. Oh God, I’m about to get struck. So many thoughts ran through her head in that half-second. The prayer for last rites. She would thumb through the back of the Missal during Mass when she was bored. How did it start again? Auxilios espirituales --
She would be found dead the next morning. Unless the vultures got to her first. Her family grieved and also puzzled -- naked, in the middle of a vast pit?
She shrieked as lightning hit a hundred feet in front of her. Then she cried and cried, like she hadn’t in a long time, not even when she was a six years old playing with her father’s hammer and accidentally hit her finger.
She cried and cried, not hearing the storm pass. Finally she had to catch her breath. There was no thunder or lightning now, just rain, drenching her from top to bottom, her hair, her shoulders, her arms, her butt, the backs of her thighs, her heels. Her legs were a little separated and she felt it running past her butthole and into her womanly cave.
“Oh . . . Dios mío . . . “ No, she hadn’t been killed. She was alive. Maybe she died and came back? She was grateful for the rain on her bare backside, breathing air, the sensations of sand under her. She’d been given a second chance. She said a prayer. “God, I will live a new life. I will stop lying and doing ‘puta’ things like dancing.” Rosa was nice, and like the big sister she never had, but she never should have let her talk her into the life of a dancer.
Somehow Rodrigo came into her thoughts. Being so degraded and traumatized, and shamed, she had something in common with him. She will make him her friend. He smiled at her once in the cafeteria and he must think I’m pretty.
As she came back to earth and her senses fully returned she noticed other things. Her mouth was filled with sand from when she flopped down. She tried to spit it out. And that nice smell of the ground when it starts to rain? Here the moisture only brought out the pit’s foulness. For the first time she noticed a pile of dog poop (or was it coyote poop?) a few feet in front of her and turned her head.
Her breasts were uncomfortably crushed underneath her. She did not like having big boobs, or having to hunt around at the store for another 36DD bra. Rosa said it wasn’t the right size; she should be a 32G, and she offered to drive her to a bra store in Lordsburg where she could get properly fitted. “G”? The girl didn’t know they made letters that high. Ever since she started “developing”, in sixth grade, she’d had to cover up with layers so that the boys didn’t make fun of her. It was uncomfortable, especially on hot days.
Now the rain stopped. As is typical in these parts, wind started up and in a couple of minutes the clouds were blown away. There was no moon, and stars were starting to fade now that dawn was approaching. She felt the wind across her butt. She felt so exhausted, both in mind and body, by what she had been through, that she felt she could sleep here, naked under the stars, no blankets or pillows, face down on dirty sand. But she couldn’t do that of course.
She was about to get up, laboriously, when a whiptail lizard ran in front of her. Before she could react it had scurried onto her butt and stayed there, its little claws digging into her skin.
Guadalupe was afraid to move. She had seen lizards before but was always a little scared of them. Did they bite? The little creature, perched on top of its newfound girl-mountain, seemed content to stay where it was. Minutes went by. Then it stepped a little forward. She prayed it didn’t jab one of its claws into her butthole, it was so close to it. Then it scampered down to her heel. She longed to kick it off but dared not. Her toes squirmed uneasily in the wet sand. Finally it hopped off.
Aiee!! A scorpion!
This arachnid, small but venomous, crawling into sight triggered yet another panicked escape in a night full of them. She hopped up and ran, toward that highway.
In the faint light of “nautical” twilight she could see that there was a big concrete wall blocking her path. When she got closer she saw that it was really tall, maybe forty feet! How could she scale it? She briefly turned to her left; somewhere over there was La Chiquita Peligrosa, blocked by a forest of snake-filled weeds.
Ouch! Her foot stepped on something metallic and pointy because she wasn’t looking. Now she carefully dodged what looked like the remains of a wicker chair. She watched with blinking, focused eyes for any more scorpions. She remembered now that they tended to come out after it rained. If only she had boots! The worst part of this ordeal of nudity was her feet being bare.
As she got closer she saw that the concrete wall was some kind of retaining wall, holding up whatever was behind it. On top, a little set back, was a little building in an open space. Wait -- the retaining wall had a ladder!
Not really a ladder, but a series of rungs, old and rusty. She was afraid of heights. But she had to get out of this pit! She ran the last hundred yards and then stopped at the base of the wall, caught her breath, and looked up. Yes, she could climb it. Just remember not to look down!.
Breasts wobbling, she hefted herself up. The rungs were about two feet apart, a stretch for a small girl, and as she opened her legs to grab the next rung with her toes, her knee up next to her head, she felt air going into her lower spaces, and sand and dirt falling into them from the rest of her. The rungs were rusty and old but looked secure. Big tough men must have scaled these in their heavy shoes and work clothes. Here I am, a teenage girl, without the benefit of clothes or shoes. It was uncomfortable, stepping on these rungs in bare feet, but she ignored it.
She was halfway up when she heard a car engine in the distance behind her. She turned and saw, in the distance, a police car. It stopped in the middle of the pit and a couple of officers got out, with flashlights, heading in her direction.
[to be continued]