“La bruja” short story by roberto juarez


Roberto Juarez

There are many stories in my culture about Brujas and Curanderas, (Witches and Healers). The stories are of the ability for one to cast evil spells and the ability of the other to remove such spells. It is said that a Bruja (witch) can be employed to obtain for you what is out of your reach or control, but the price you pay may be more than what you stand to gain. As time goes by each generation adds its own tales of mystery and wonder to the list of quentos (stories). To this day quentos are still passed on from the elders to the young about the Brujas about the good ones and of the evil ones. Quentos are used to teach and to caution the young, such is the case in the tale that follows.

“Abuelita, Abuelita, (grand mother, grand mother), where are you?” The eight-year-old little girl shouted for her for her grandmother, she needed to speak to her; she rushed into her home looking franticly for her. “Aqui estoy mijita, en la cocina” (I am here my child in the kitchen), answered the Childs’ grandmother. The child ran into the kitchen, there she found her grandmother sitting at the kitchen table enjoying a cup of coffee. The child wrapped her arms around her grandmother and gave her a kiss on the cheek, “Como te quiero Abuelita” (how I love you grandmother). The grandmothers

“La Bruja”
Roberto Juarez

eyes grew teary, “Por que lloras Abuelita” (Why are you crying grandmother), asked the child. “Por que te quiero mas que mi vida” (because I love you more than my life),
replied the grandmother. The child hugged her grandmother tightly and then took a seat on the floor next to her and laid her head on her grandmothers’ lap. The girls grandmother gently stroked the child’s’ hair and asked, (Que paso mijita), what happened my child.

“Abuelita is it true that because I am beautiful and have lovely eyes, that I can have the best of everything that the world has to offer and that I will marry a rich and handsome man”, asked the child. “Quien te dijo eso” (who told you that), asked the grandmother. “Una senora que me encontre en el camino” (a lady I met on the way), replied the girl. “What else did the lady say”, asked the grandmother with a tone of concern. “She told me that my beauty is all that matters, that and the envy of all who see me”, replied the child. “Mijita” (my child), the lady is wrong, happiness and love are the most important things in life, don’t concern yourself about beauty or whether or not you will marry a handsome and rich man, or if your children will be beautiful, instead pray that the man that you marry has a good heart and that he love you. Should God bless you with children, pray that they be healthy and strong” said the grandmother.

The child grew quiet for a moment, as if going over her grandmothers’ words in her head, and then she spoke again. “ Pero, Abuelita, (but grandmother) the lady told me that if I have a handsome husband, riches and beautiful children, everyone would envy me, is that wrong.” “Que es mejor (what is best), to have the envy of the people around you, or to have their respect and love instead”, asked the grandmother. “I don’t know, now I am not sure”, answered the child. “My child sometimes wanting the envy of all
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Roberto Juarez

who around you can bring with it a heavy price to pay and misery that is equal to the envy. “Por que es eso (why is that), asked the child.

The child’s grandmother took a long sip of her coffee before she answered her granddaughters’ question. “Te voy ha contar un cuento” (I am going to tell you a story), the grandmother said and she started to tell her tale.

“There was once a beautiful woman, God had blessed her with a beautiful figure, light brown hair, but the most beautiful thing about her were her green eyes. Her eyes seemed like jewels, as they sparkled and glowed. Every person that this woman met commented on how beautiful she was and how lovely her eyes were. Some would even say that they envied her beauty. Comments like this made the woman very happy and she would grow vary vain and proud.

This woman was married, her husband did not have a handsome appearance, but he was not bad looking. What he did have was a good heart, he was a hard worker and he loved his wife very, very much. He worked two jobs so he could get his wife all that she would ask for. He gave her a nice home, the best in clothes and jewelry, anything she wanted he would get for her. There were times when the man would complain of how hard he worked and how tired he was. The woman would not be sympathetic, she would tell him that a woman as beautiful as she could find a man that would be willing to work night and day to provide for her. “Me queires , verdad” (you love, right), she would tell her husband. He would respond that he loved her very much and would stop complaining.

“La Bruja”
Roberto Juarez

In time the woman found out that she was with child. She was happy, but concerned, who would the child resemble. If it was a boy and he looked like her husband, the child would not be handsome, but if it was a girl and she looked like her, the child would be beautiful. The woman wanted the best, even when it came to her children, appearances meant more to her than anything else. She had to be sure that she would have a girl and that child had to be beautiful, a child whose beauty would be envied by all who saw her.

The woman sought the aid of a Bruja, (witch), not just any Bruja but the best that money could buy. The woman was told of a Bruja (witch), that was said to be very powerful, but expensive and dangerous. The woman did not care; her desire to be envied was greater than her fear or caution. The woman obtained the address of the Brujas home and drove there. She knocked on the door and an elderly woman answered. The woman did not look like a witch, she was pleasant and asked the woman to come in. The woman entered the house and she saw that it was neat and clean, but it had a strange musty smell to it. It smelled of wet soil and incenses. The Bruja spoke first, “Que quieres de mi” (what do you want of me). The woman told the Bruja that she was with child and she wanted to be sure that she would have a girl and that the child would be beautiful. While the woman was speaking the Bruja stared at the woman’s green eyes, she did not even blink, her stare was so intense. The Brujas eyes seemed to have a haze covering them, the woman wondered if the Bruja could see.

When the woman was done making her request, the Bruja told her that there would be a price to pay for what she was requesting. The woman told the Bruja that she had money and that if she did not have enough with her, she could get more, what ever the price she was willing to pay, “Lo que sea”, (what ever it is), said the woman. The
“La Bruja”
Roberto Juarez

Bruja smiled and for the first time the woman felt uneasy, the Brujas smile was evil and menacing. The Bruja spoke, “Quiero tus ojos” (I want your eyes). “Pero como es eso” (but how is that), was the woman’s answer. I will tell you later was the Brujas response, but for now give me the amount that I will write on this paper. The Bruja wrote an amount on a piece of paper and handed it to the woman. The woman read the amount and started to go into her purse. The Bruja stopped her. She told the woman to pay her when the deed was done, when her child was born. The woman agreed and got up to leave. The Bruja walked her to the door and told her, “Vas ha necesitar mas de mi”, (you will need more of me). The woman left and wondered what the Bruja had meant.

Time passed and the woman was preparing for the birth of her child, the best of everything was brought into the house, crib, bedding, clothes, toys, all that you can imagine was made ready for the child’s birth. If the woman could have rushed the child’s birth she would have, but some things cannot be changed or rushed. The days turned into months and soon the woman gave birth to her child. The child was beautiful, a little girl with beautiful blue eyes. The woman’s husband was happy beyond belief. He worked even harder to get his daughter what ever she wanted.

When the woman was able to, she went to see the Bruja to pay her debt to her. The Bruja greeted the woman and asked “salio bien mi trabajo” (did my work turn out well). “Mi hija esta preciosa” (my daughter is precious), the woman told the Bruja. The Bruja smiled and put her out for her payment. The Bruja paid; the woman made her way to the door, as she stepped out of the Brujas house the witch spoke, “You will be back to see me again, when your child becomes pregnant”. The woman did not respond, she left and drove home. On the way home the woman thought to herself, “ how can this ugly

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Roberto Juarez

old hag know about my daughter, she is not even a month old and already she has her giving birth”

El tiempo paso (time passed), the woman enjoyed watching her daughter grow, what she enjoyed most were the comments that she would get about how beautiful her daughter was and how lovely her blue eyes were. The child was sent to the best schools and dressed in the best that money could buy all of this brought even more praise for the woman about the beauty of her daughter. The woman could see the envy in people’s eyes and she loved it. The child grew into a lovely woman and soon fell in love and married a handsome young man, who came from a very wealthy family. The woman’s dreams and her deal with the Bruja, were becoming a reality. Her daughter’s wedding was so splendid, that people spoke about it for months. Again all who knew her envied her and again the woman relished in it.

The years passed and one day the woman received a phone call from her daughter. It was exciting news; the daughter was now pregnant with her first child. The woman was thrilled beyond belief, “My grand daughter will be the most beautiful child ever”, she said. The woman’s daughter was silent for a moment, then she spoke, she told her mother that she did not know if her child would be a boy or a girl and that it did not make a difference, she would love the child with all her heart. She also said that to her the child would be beautiful in her eyes, even if no one else thought so. “Tienes razon” (you are right), replied the mother. They spoke a little longer and the woman hung up.

The woman pondered over the conversation she had with her daughter. “She is too young to know the importance of appearances, I will have to handle this”, she thought
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Roberto Juarez

to herself. The next day she drove to the Brujas house. When she arrived she knocked and was greeted by the Bruja. The woman was let in and the two sat at the kitchen table to talk. The woman noticed that the Bruja had not aged; she appeared as she did many years ago. The Bruja spoke first, “Tu hija esta embarasada” (your daughter is pregnant), “Si” (yes), was the woman’s response. “You are here because you need my skills again”, continued the Bruja. “Si, que me va cobrar esta vez” (Yes what are you going to charge me this time), replied the woman. The Bruja smiled, and told the woman that after her grand daughter was born, to come to her and she would tell the woman what she owed. The woman left the Brujas home; unsure of what it would cost her, but whatever the cost it would be worth it.

The months passed and the woman forgot about the witch. She was busy preparing for her grand daughters arrival. Clothes were brought; blankets and bedding of the softest and most expensive material were purchased. All was being prepared for the arrival of a princess. The day came and woman received the phone call from her son-in-law. Her daughter was in the hospital and had just given birth to a baby girl. The woman almost screamed with excitement, “Is she beautiful, what color are her eyes?” the woman almost screaming into the phone. The son-in-law replied that she would have to come and see for herself and he hung up. The woman readied herself and rushed to her car, ready to leave. She abruptly stopped,” the Bruja”,” she said to pay her when my grand daughter was born”, she said to herself. The woman went back into her home and picked up an envelope that she had been saving, it contained the money that she would use to pay the witch.

The woman drove to the Brujas home and knocked on the door. The Bruja answered the door and told the woman to come in. They sat down and the Bruja spoke
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Roberto Juarez

first “Ya nacio” (she is born). “Si” (yes) replied the woman. “Is she beautiful”, asked the Bruja. “I have not seen her yet, I came to pay you first”, replied the woman. “Tenga su dinero” (Here is your money). The woman tried to hand the witch the envelope of money. The witch let out a cackle and pushed the woman’s hand aside. “You brought money, this time te va salir mas caro” (this time it will cost you more). The woman grew irritated, “Tenga” (here), she shouted, trying again to hand the money to the witch, she was in a hurry to get to the hospital and this old hag was haggling with her. The witch would not take the money. “Entoces que” (then what), shouted the woman. The Bruja leaned close to the woman, so close the woman thought she smelled sulfur coming from the witches breath. “Tus ojos”(your eyes), whispered the Bruja. The woman stood up abruptly and threw the envelope she had been holding at the witch. “Tenga su dinero, usted esta loca” (take your money, you are crazy) shouted the woman as she left the Brujas house. The Bruja followed the woman out and shouted at her as she drove away, “Me debes y me vas a pagar, esto no es un juego (you owe me and you will pay me, this is not a game). “Si tus ojos no son para mi, tampoco seran tuyos”, (if your eyes are not for me, then they will not be for you) snarled the witch.

The woman arrived at the hospital, excited to see her grand daughter. She was so excited that she did not see the sign; she slipped on the wet floor and struck her head violently. When she came too, she heard her son-in-laws voice. “Mom are you ok, can you hear me”. “Yes, replied the woman, but I can’t see you”. Later the woman’s daughter and son-in-law were told that the woman had received such a severe blow to the head and that it had caused her to lose her eyesight

“Abuelita” (grandmother) did the woman ever get to see her grand daughter?”, asked the child. “No, mijita, nunca” (no my child never), replied the grandmother. “Que
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Roberto Juarez

triste” (how sad), said the child. “Si que triste, (yes how sad) continued the grandmother the woman wanted everyone to envy her and her family, to her appearances were the most important thing in life, nothing else seemed to matter. The woman believed that only the things that could be seen and envied were important, she did realize that love and happiness can only be felt and not seen. True beauty lies within us, and we must learn how to see that beauty in others and in ourselves. We must also learn that there are things in this life that we cannot control or change and we must accept this. When we employ evil to control our destiny, evil will befall us, now help me into the living room”, said the grandmother. The child took her grand mother by the hand and helped her into the living room and into her favorite chair. “Abuelita , te quiero muncho” (grandmother I love you very much), said the child. “ I love you too” said the grandmother and I know that you are as beautiful as you are kind.” “Abuelita, I know now that beauty is not everything, but I wish you were not blind so you could see me just once”. “ Oh! Abuelita I think the lady I met knows you”, exclaimed the child. “Por que dices eso mija” (why do you say that my child), replied the grandmother. “Because” said the child, the lady said “Tienes los ojos de tu abuela”

Roberto Juarez
273 E. Beverly Terrace
Montebello, Calif.
cell: 323-274-5383
email: robertoj1945@hotmail.com

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