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  CARMONA Acct. no. ASJ6952 1 Blesilda R. Carmona YA Short Story 24339 Park St Hayward, CA 94544-1915 USA Cell: (510) 300-5603 Email:  Account no. ASJ6952 A TRUE FAIRY TALE FROM QUEENS, NEW YORK Once upon a time, a second generation Puerto Rican immigrant family named Rosales settled in the Elmhurst area of Queens, New York. Jose and Magdalena Rosales had two  beautiful daughters, Rosario and Clementina. A good looking Puerto Rican immigrant, Pablo de Jesus, came a-wooing towards Clementina, leaving Rosario pining away for him in secret. So Pablo and Clementina got married with the blessings of the Rosales parents, while Rosario, the older one, was left all alone without a partner, but only for a little while. A few months later, Rosario also got married to another man, another Puerto Rican named Juaniyo Vasquez. It was June of 1960 when Clementina learned that she was already 3 months pregnant with her first child with Pablo. Due to a construction job that Pablo accepted in El Salvador City around that time, their child, Margarita Yanira, was born in El Salvador on December 6, 1960 at around lunch time. Pablo distinctly remembers that it was a Tuesday  because it was winter and there was no construction work that day so he was hungry and  CARMONA Acct. no. ASJ6952 2 he was praying to the Archangel Raphael, patron saint of the Tuesday-born, for him to give Pablo some food and a job. While waiting for his wife Clementina to cook lunch, Pablo watched as his wife went into labor and gave birth to Margarita Yanira, the apple of his eye. Curiously, at around June of 1961, Rosario also announced that she was already 3 months far gone; and by Decemb er 6, 1961, the same date as Margarita Yanira’s birth, only an exact year later, Rosario gave birth to Maria Antonietta in Queens, New York at a little past 12 midnight. Rosario remembers how one moment she was going to the bathroom to pee and the next moment she was already having contractions so she yelled at Juaniyo to go take her directly to the nearby Elmhurst Hospital emergency room. And so Maria Antonietta Vasquez, cousin of Margarita Yanira de Jesus, was born. The cousins, a year apart in age, were inseparable as friends and companions in the streets of Queens, New York. Margarita Yanira grew up to be a successful  businesswoman in the buy-and-sell market and married Rodrigo Bustamante from El Salvador, an advertising executive. They have a son who is now taking up Medicine, Rodrigo Junior, born February 18, 1980. Maria Antonietta decided to be a homemaker, married to a rich Ecuadoran property manager named Manuel Villadolid who owned several homes and private properties himself. They have a daughter, Isabella, who was born on the very same day as Rodrigo, Junior, on February 18, 1980.  Now let us talk about what happened when the cousins Margarita Yanira and Maria Antonietta were both being courted by one charming ladies’ man:  Rodrigo  CARMONA Acct. no. ASJ6952 3 Bustamante, Cavallo Negro or Black Horse. This is what they used to playfully call Rodrigo, the ad executive, when his back was turned. Rodrigo was such a playboy. He couldn’t make up his mind whether to go for the  bigger, more assertive Margarita Yanira or for the smaller, quieter Maria Antonietta. Is it going to be la bonita brava or la pequeñita? Finally, Cavallo Negro made his choice: it was to be Margarita Yanira. So once again in the history of the Rosales family, one woman was chosen and one woman was spurned. Here is the rest of the fairy tale: We already know that Margarita and Antonietta’s son and daughter, respectively, were  born on the same day. One day when they were still young, in the early 1980s, the cousins, Isabella and Rodrigo Junior, were playing as usual in the common backyard of their adjoining households. Finally, Isabella said to Rodrigo, “Cousin, I want to show you some new toys I discovered in the attic.”   Rodrigo, Junior perked up. “New toys? Really? Show me.”   And both cousins, all of 5 years old at that time, climbed up to the attic of Isabella’s house where dusty antiques and other throwaway stuff were usually held in storage. It was a Sunday and Maria Antonietta , Isabella’s mother  , was not around to shoo them away from the attic because she was in church with her husband Manuel. Fascinated by the stuff he saw there at his cousin’s attic, Rodrigo called his mother Margarita Yanira over to let her have a look-see. Since Margarita Yanira does not share a  CARMONA Acct. no. ASJ6952 4 similar compunction over Sunday mass obligations like Maria Antonietta does, she was home at that time and so decided to humor her son. My God! She gasped in disbelief. What Margarita Yanira saw in her cousin’s attic simply t ook her breath away: It was a black voodoo altar with her closeup picture taken during her quinceañera all marred with nails and scratches and red drops of blood-like ink. All sorts of evil-looking contraptions, statues, written spells, incantations, amulets, oils, charms, bracelets, crystals, snakeskin, evil eyes, symbols engraved in gold and silver… and incense wafted up along the stale attic air.   Margarita Yanira’s legs went weak as she just realized that her smal l and quiet cousin, Maria Antonietta, had been trying to cast a voodoo spell on her all along! However, she decided not to say anything about it for a long time. How she explained everything to her little boy on that day, she could barely remember. All she could remember telling him was to let the attic “toys” be their itty bitty little secret. Rodrigo Jr., still thinking that it’s all one big game anyway, gamely acquiesced and forgot all about the “toys” in the attic in the following days, mont hs, and years. Meanwhile, life went on for both the Bustamante and Villadolid households. Margarita Yanira kept having nightmares at all times of the day and her businesses were not doing as well as they should, but she just kept quiet. At the corner of her eye, she kept seeing a thick black snake wherever she went. One afternoon, she was having a siesta after a particularly satisfying lunch and in that state between sleeping and waking, she knew that her natural eyes were closed but that  CARMONA Acct. no. ASJ6952 5 her third eye was open. Now she saw the thick black snake again and this time it was tightly coiled around her legs and its head was reared back and was about to strike her in the face. She was just barely able to utter a quick, “God help me!” when the thick black   snake was immediately flung away from her and splattered across the wall away from her. It remained there unmoving. Shaken to her core, Margarita Yanira quickly sought out the services of a certified espiritista. She consulted Cuban native Francisco Perez of the Federacion Espiritual El Muchachito De Mao with his religious shop in Woodside, New York. Francisco, a Leo, went with Margarita Yanira to their adjoining houses in the Elmhurst district, ostensibly to attend Isabella’s quinceañera and Rodrigo Jr’s 15 th  birthday last February 18, 1995. Francisco first went to Margarita Yanira’s house, took one  long look at the walls and said, “There’s a thick black snake splattered on one of your walls.” In the natural world, of course, there was no such snake, but Francisco was speaking etherically, and he  proceeded to cast out the dead demon snake. Francisco Perez, being the blunt Leo man that he is, did not hesitate to call a spade a spade. He did not care that there was a big celebration going on. In front of many guests, he confronted Maria Antonietta Villadolid. Francisco Perez called Margarita Yanira Bustamante to his side and pointed a finger at Maria Antonietta Villadolid and said, “That is who is doing the evil voodoo magic  on you! That is the one responsible for all the evil things happening in your life!”  Francisco kept pointing his finger at Maria Antonietta while trying to reassure Margarita Yanira by his side.
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