PEPE’S HENS (Part VIII)

Yes, I wanted to help Carlos. But I also wanted to go home. I knew that I had to return to Mrs. Lola’s house before dawn or I was running the risk of staying in that town, because my sister would leave without me, I was afraid that they would abandon me there.

Carlos was watching me and with a voice of resignation he said to me, “If you doubt, you will never know what you are capable of doing. If you hesitate you will only waste time. You must decide. We have been sitting on these chairs for years and we may never be able to free ourselves until Pepe makes us his brothers. But you have been freed, if you keep doubting, you can end just like us. If you must go! Then, go away! However, before you do please go upstairs and free my mother who is hanging from the ceiling. Pepe has her trapped because she saw when Pepe caught me and followed him to save me. Pepe and his brothers like to eat men by cutting them into pieces, put the pieces out to dry in the sun and then they eat them. Women are transformed into different animals. My mother has not been able to forget me and many times she has tried to rescue me, but Pepe always stops her; that’s why Pepe has her trapped.”

“La Llorona, the silver-headed lizard is your mother?” I asked him and without waiting for an answer I said, “She’s free. She went out a window toward the river.”

Carlos’s voice came out in a whispered as he sadly said, “Thank you.”

I raised my right hand, and started scratching my head, then I ate three more grains of corn and said to the young people, “I’m going for the golden corn, I promise I will come back.” Then I started up the stairs again to the upper rooms towards the little church, with the intention of going up to the roof to break the container where the golden corn was.

As I was about to reach the little church, one of the thick blue curtains moved, then a huge hand came out of it and grabbed my leg, causing me to trip and fall. As I fell onto the stands, I moved my head to the right and there was Pepe facing me again, his face had a silly grimace, and his open mouth showed me how big and sharp his teeth were, they looked like wolf fangs ready to bite.

I wanted to get up and run away, but another one of Pepe’s brother grabbed me by the neck, and at the same time another brother came out of the little church and grabbed me. “I was looking for you bony boy,” Pepe said, while mockingly laughing at me. “Bony, I wanted to make you fat and then eat you, but since you’ve given us trouble; my brothers and I are going to peck you”, as Pepe was talking, one of  his brothers pushed me to the other side of the curtains.

They pushed me into a room, which was full of all kinds of objects and furniture. There were five more brothers in that room as they all began to surround me and before my eyes they began to cackle, while they twisted as their bodies were transforming and getting smaller in stature and feathers began to emerge from their skin and their eyes rolled open wide as they turned into hens.

The corn I had eaten kept me calm and strong. My mind was so clear that for a moment I thought, “What a bunch of fools, instead of facing me as men, they became a bunch of hens. And even with their wild looks, they did not instill fear because they were smaller and weaker than my desire and willingness to get rid of the problems and rescue the young people, they trapped.”

The effect the corn had on me made me feel powerful and strong. So, I defiantly looked around to see if there was anything around me that I could use to defend myself and I spotted a few objects.

Pepe turned into that horrible, long-necked, featherless, wide-eyed hen and launched at me, flapping its wings strongly and with its claws ready to hurt me, trying to peck my skin with its sharp beak. I fisted my hands, but I did not have to hit him because in a sudden movement I jumped into a chair that was on top of a couch and just like that I was out of its way.

The other chickens had been quiet, but when Pepe could not hurt me, they all rushed towards me. Then I started throwing all kinds of objects at them, like pots, shoes, candlesticks even a small stove, and suddenly my hands grabbed a baseball bat and I held on tightly to it with both hands, eagerly waiting for the hens to come at me again. The hens, seeing my determination to defend myself, stood still. They knew that with the bat in my hands I could easily bust their heads.

All the chickens backed away and began to transform into men again, when a strong blow to one of the walls threw many bricks out, opening a huge hole on the wall and I jumped through it and immediately left the room. Seeing myself free again, I began to climb towards the roof using the bricks protruding from the walls and carrying the baseball bat with me in one of my hands.

Upon reaching the roof of the black castle, I noticed the silver-headed lizard looked at me from below. Then I felt more confident because I understood that I was not fighting alone against Pepe and his brothers. Already on the roof I walked towards the glass container and holding the baseball bat hard I started hitting it until the glass broke, but the golden corn when making contact with the air began to rot quickly in such a way that it was turning it into dust that the wind began to blow and spread everywhere.

For an instant I did not know what to do, but then I saw that the bottom part of the container was also made of glass and I hit it hard again so that the corn fell into the castle. My action paid off because the golden corn that fell inside remained intact. From above, I observed how the corn when falling and went directly to the dining room to the table where the young people were immobilized and trapped.

At that moment Pepe and his brothers had reached the ceiling and they looked furious, so they started to come at me and I understood that since they were stronger and taller than me, it would be very difficult for me to escape if I faced them; so I started to walk on the iron beams that held the glass container and again jump into the small chapel through a window that was just above the ground.

Three of Pepe’s brothers followed me and turned into hens and threw themselves inside using that window as well.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

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