The Widow

I hear him every night; on every street. The scales that do slither; deliver me from.

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1. Chuparosa

The chances are that if you did not already know the town was there, you were likely never to find it at all. It was far from any major city, and its single claim to modern industrialization resided in the now abandoned train station. The town was called Chuparosa, or Hummingbird. Local legend tells that the founders named it that in the hopes that it would give the location a more welcoming appeal. In truth, the town was so hot and dry that the only plants that grew were wild cacti and the occasional weed or dry bush. Flowers with nectar did not find the place suitable, and therefore neither did hummingbirds.

It could be described as a town lost in time. The majority of the inhabitants did not have electricity and only lived off of the earth, eating starchy root plants or the livestock that grazed on the nearby hills. The people of Chuparosa were as old fashioned as their town. They were superstitious in nature and lived primarily by the rise and fall of the sun each day.

Young women in Chuparosa were as rare as hummingbirds. Though the women existed, they were often locked up in their cold clay houses and were rarely seen before their quick and quiet weddings in the town’s small chapel. The men of Chuparosa were especially shielding of their daughters and sisters, as the men in this town had a much more chilling reason.

Chuparosa was not famous for many things, but it was known for its strange disappearances. The unwed young women of this town were so often the victims of a horrible plague so that their fathers kept them locked indoors as if this could spare them from the terrible black death.

Many of the missing women disappeared due to nothing but a youthful desire to leave such a small confining place. Majority of the disappearances, however, could not be explained at all. The women simply wandered out of their homes in the middle of the night and returned home in caskets.

Previous generations had seen the town as a gateway to the west. When the town officials were approached with the idea of building a railway station as a stopping point along the way to the ocean side towns, they eagerly agreed. A wealthy man from the east funded the construction and came to Chuparosa to see it done. There, he fell in love with a beautiful local woman. She was a sweet, soft-spoken girl, who trusted too easily. But the town would later learn she had a vengeful and envious trait that was never outmatched.

In those times, weddings were a thing of celebration in Chuparosa, and the couple agreed to host a grand festival for the occasion. On the night of the event, a strange man came to town. He was an unseemly man with eyes like shiny black coals and wiry hair that stuck out as if it had been glued to his head in clumps. He carried a jar of black tar at his side but never spoke.

The following morning the newlywed couple was found dead in their marriage bed. They were still wearing their celebration attire, and the young bride had died still clutching her husband’s body in her arms. He appeared to have died first, and she held him in her arms as she waited for the plague to take her too. No cause of death was every discovered, and the bodies were cremated to prevent the unknown disease from spreading.

The train station was never completed, and the strange man with the black eyes was never seen again. Years later the young women of the town began to disappear from Chuparosa. They would turn up in the desert days later with black tar leaking from their faces. It is said that the night the girls disappear a woman is seen wandering the town. She hides her leaking black eyes behind a veil of white lace. Any young maiden who leaves her home on the bride has been seen, never returns home. She is found days later with her eyes leaking black tears and her life removed from her body. The cause of death is never certain, but Chuparosa calls her the Widow.

Inspired by The Widow by The Mars Volta.

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