Since Yesterday 2

English: Luna Jacal shelter in Big Bend Nation...

English: Luna Jacal shelter in Big Bend National Park, Texas, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Asturianu: Villa El Jacal, casona indiana n'Alles.

Asturianu: Villa El Jacal, casona indiana n’Alles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: SVG drawing of a baseball bat.

English: SVG drawing of a baseball bat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Weeks later and I think all the butterflies are all dead.  But IDK that it’s safe to explore in daylight so I go out and search for survivors after dark in the cold.  Caborca is a ghost town.  Since the people here were always superstitious I’m not that sorry there are no survivors.  But in Macho Grande there is a hint of life.  A thermal gradient on the infrared is strongly suggestive of a presence.  The very jacal where they fed me tortillas years ago is warm.  On an infrared scope you couldn’t miss it.  As I approach the rawhide front door my neck hairs stand on end and I have to fight the urge to run because I’m sure someone or something is in there.

The smell of rancid grease is strong enough I know someone has been cooking here very recently.  I play the flashlight around but do not see someone about to brain me.

I hear the sigh of displaced air and feel the breeze from a blunt object just missing me.  Someone stumbles into me and a baseball bat clatters to the floor.  By touch I am able to get this person by the neck and march them outside into the moonlight.

In the flashlight I see an hysterical old peasant man.  When he sees I am not a ha’nt or a dumb fuck he starts babbling in Spanish so fast and accented I cannot get a word of it.

No hablo tan rapido, I say.  Reducir la velocidad.

Diablos negros alados comieron cada uno!

Mariposas, I tell him.

Mariposas?

Si.  Mariposas.

But, he stammers, such a thing cannot be!

They’re dead now, I say.  The cold killed them.

He goes on to say that he is the only one left in the village.  He hid while the big butterflies ate everyone and when I came he thought one came after him in the dark and I tell him that they’re not active after dark.

Come away with me to the mountains, I say.  I have food and water and light.

He is glad to get away from the town and is silent until I ask him, Como se llama usted?

He says he is Juan Matus and he is at my service.

Would you go to San Agustin?  I ask him.

He seems to think about that for a moment and says he will if I promise to take him away if the Mariposas come back.

So while Juan babbles about dead priests and ha’ants, we get on the road to San Agustin.

 

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