The Silver Scarf

Catrina comes to see the Mexican celebration, Day of the Dead, as it really is.


8. The Buzz

    I told my parents that I didn’t want to come back to Mexico. I asked them, I begged them not to take me back here, but they did anyway. They said that I had to face my fears, put the past behind me. That rubbed me up the wrong way; I wasn’t hiding from my past, I was just… trying not to think of it. It had only been two years since… it happened.

I was thinking of all this as I rode the bus back north, away from the place I had grown to hate. I did tell my parents I was going, they told me that they couldn’t stop me. So I hopped on the first bus I could find, pointed in the direction I wanted to go and took a seat when the bus driver nodded. I spent the entire ride staring at the seat in front of me, following the drab pattern with my eyes, trying not to look out at the streets where I used to play.

I was rubbing at the seagulls in the satchel José’s father gave me absentmindedly as I stared blankly ahead. He had said that José would have wanted me to have it. I had cried the whole night after that, before thinking about how selfish I was being. José’s father had lost both his son and his wife to the very same road. This made me cry more. So much for selflessness. I looked down at my fingers to find them red raw and the seagulls smooth.

I didn’t notice that everyone around me had exited the bus until the driver came back and tapped my shoulder. She spoke in rapid Spanish. Upon noticing my blank features, she sighed before repeating herself in English.

“End of ride,” the driver said impatiently.

I exited the bus reluctantly, and looked around, horror instantly gripping my heart. The road was closed for the Day of the Dead parade. I should have seen this coming. I should have seen the crowd coming too, but I didn’t, they swept along the footpath, carrying me with them and towards the celebrations. I struggled to get out, to go back; to go anywhere but here. There was too many of them and I got carried deeper and deeper into the parade.

They were all so happy, laughing and dancing in the fray. The lights shone, but they only managed to make me dizzy and disoriented. The music was haunting, bringing back the nightmares that had been haunting me for the past two years. I renewed my attempt at escape, achieving nothing but a bottle full of a dark brown substance that somehow made its way into my arms. I was so over the day that I took a swig.

The liquid burnt all the way down, but with it I began to relax. The second swig made the lights less of a hindrance. After the third, the nightmares subsided. Anything after that and the memory becomes a mash of colour and sound, with a vague sense of freedom behind it. I remember not being able to remember. The past was no longer a constant buzz in the back of my mind. I couldn’t remember my name, but it didn’t matter.

That was until I came across José. The flutter of wings filled my ears. He was all around, part of the mass of people. I caught a glimpse of his tousled hair to my right and a hint of his dark eyes to my left. I swung around trying to pin him down and I reached out for him but he would vanish into the crowd, his grin taunting. I was just reaching for him to my left when he appeared a hairsbreadth in front of me. I stood in shock, but was silenced when he put his fingers to his lips and motioned me to follow him.

So I did. I followed him out of the crowd I had desperately tried to escape before. I shadowed his movements through a gate, my steps far from steady. He weaved through the stone, leaving me to bark my shins behind him, a mixture of the dark and wooziness to blame. He then began to speed up, up to the point where I would catch up, then lose him around the next tombstone and have to half-jog, half-stagger my way after him. I’m sure my shins were black and blue by the time I stopped, having lost sight of him completely.


    I looked down at the stone before me, I could only just make out the name, Carmen Posada. My heart skipped a beat when I realised José’s grave is just beside hers. Yet I couldn’t remember why this mattered. I shrugged the thought off and turned to why the two graves before me weren’t alight with candles yet, so I dug into José’s satchel and pulled out the two broken candle halves. I lit each half on nearby candles and set one on each tombstone then stood back. The flames wavered in the humid air, the wax already soft.

I felt something behind me, but saw only growing shadows when I turned. I felt quite sick by now, my stomach was fit to stage a revolt. I recall the world taking a sudden dive before I managed to steady myself on José’s headstone. A cool pocket of air chilled the sweat on my skin and eased the nausea. I looked up to see José, leaning over me, concern in his eyes. His outline shimmered and rippled even though he stood still. His chest didn’t move for breath and his eyelids never twitched to blink. Apart from that he looked no different, as if two years hadn’t transpired since I’d seen him.

 “You’re here,” I sighed, a rush of relief washing away the past two years I’m sure I had imagined.

“Yes, mi querido, my dear, I’m here.” His voice sounded far away, like the wind brushing at my window. I blamed it on the blood rushing to my ears.

“You l-left,” I managed to force past my heavy tongue.

“I didn’t mean to be gone for so long,” He reached for my cheek but his fingers disappeared on contact, leaving my skin ice cold. “Why didn’t you visit?”

“I-I visit every year,” I furrowed my brow in confusion.

“You haven’t been here for two years… don’t you remember?” He tilted his head, and tested my forehead with the back of his hand, his whole hand disappearing in my head, the cold of his touch no longer soothing my nausea. “Are you sick?”

“No.” I said as I lurched to the ground.


“Are you… dead?” One part of me knew the answer, the other part refused to believe it.

He nodded, an ethereal glow emanating from his skin.

I sighed, and with it I sobered slightly, yet my vision was still wavering.

“You have to remember,” He whispered, “Please don’t forget.”

“I won’t” I sighed again, with it the world began to whirl away from my reach.

“Catrina?” His voice was getting even further away with each breath I took, “Catrina?”

His voice simultaneously disrupted and soothed my thoughts as I pass out.

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...