Magdalena Cervantes Gómez


Magdalena Cervantes Gómez resides in California where she studied comparative world literature. As a writer and artist, she attempts to bright forth the real, imaginary, invisible, and fantastical. Magdalena is currently writing and illustrating her first comic book.

Don Lazaro

            The small cantina in the pueblo of La Higuera was shut up for the night. Death woke up his dog who had fallen asleep waiting for him outside. They walked down to the banks of the arroyo that ran the length of the pueblo.

“The cantinero said my Spanish was really good.”

“You don’t say.”

“Yeah,” Death stumbled over the uneven bank. He smelled of cigarette smoke and whiskey. “you’ve been pretty quiet today.”

“Yeah …”

            The night was warm, and the pair came to the spot where they usually rested, under a large tree that grew on the border of the arroyo. Tonight they halted, looking up at the branches.  There, swinging gently back and forth hung a familiar figure shrouded in a black veil. Death let out a long sigh, “Jesus Christ.”

             Laura Espinoza was brought down from the tree the next morning. She’d been hung there by her own hands. They shriveled up at last, leaving two bloody, ashy stumps.

            Como suele suceder, there was Talk in La Higuera. By nightfall, Rumor, Chisme, Verdad, and Superstición had all met up in the small cantina:

            Era buen hombre, el hijo de la chingada. She had a lover. A lover? Un amante. And he was the one—¿ese pinche guey que se dio un balazo en la cabeza hace poco? Yeah, that’s the guy. Hijo de la chingada … The money? Quién sabe. The body? Quién sabe.

            A dog who had made his way into the small cantina earlier, let himself out unnoticed into the night air. The din was too much for him. He’d heard and seen enough. Sometimes his nerves got to him. Sometimes his bones ached very much.

             His owner had been sitting quietly by a pile of leña just outside the cantina, waiting for him to come out. Death saw at once that it had been too much for him. He motioned for him to follow, “vamonos de aquí, Lazaro.”

            “One more thing.”

            Reluctantly, the dog and his owner made their way across the dirt road, up towards the sugar cane fields that belonged to an ugly man everyone called El Molcajete. Three or four small houses stood on that corner of La Higuera. One of those had belonged the Espinozas.

            The small, desolate brick house was dark. No one had gone near it despite the fact that the front door was unlocked. The pair walked to the side of the house and stopped by the pila where Laura Espinoza had spent her days washing her neighbors’ clothing.


            Death pointed his thin, bony finger to the old well shared by the four families in that part of the pueblo. Gingerly hoisting himself up on his hind legs, the dog peered into the well. They say that dogs don’t see very well, but he could see himself very clearly there at the bottom. Limbs twisted in odd directions like a swastika, his head bent at a sharp angle into his chest. He felt quite sure that it meant something deep and significant to see himself dead.

            Without saying a word, they made their way back down towards the dirt road lined with guamuchiles, past the small brick houses and past Don Ramon’s maguey fields until they reached the carretera.

            The dog and his owner read a sign on which was painted the name of the next pueblo.

Death hummed a little tune, and they walked from La Higuera into the darkness of El Pochote …

© The Acentos Review 2014