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The Brujo Arbol - The Tree Worlock

So this is what it's like to face your fears. So this is what it's like to face the unknown. A short horror fiction for the spooky season.

By E.AmaliaPublished 9 months ago 4 min read
The Brujo Arbol - The Tree Worlock
Photo by Keagan Henman on Unsplash

There it was, tall and thin like a birch tree — darker than a moonless night. It was exactly the way that Abuela had described it.

They locked eyes — dread told the man to run he could not. He spent many sleepless nights as a child because of this mythical creature.

This was the beast. This was the beast that was talked about from generation to generation. Passing to Abuela and then to him and his cousins.

This was the beast in all of its glory, all of its terror, all of its true madness. Darkness.

Yet, it stood still. Not silent, though, for its grunts and groans seemed involuntary. It seemed as though all of the screams of the darkness dwelt within this one terrible being. As though every shriek were stored up in itself.

The howl of the wind swept past the curious and terrified man’s face as it blew straight through the beast.

The beast did not charge, did not attack, did not scream a horrible screech. It simply stood. Maybe in hopes of being left alone. Maybe in hopes that the man would not charge, attack, or scream a horrible screech.

They stood a distance from one another. Still and unwavering. Soon, the man grew accustomed to the dread tearing through his veins. Any movement or uninvited sound would break this moment. Any second, one wrong move would break this very real moment.

So, this is what it is like to face your fear. This is what it’s like to look directly in the face of the beast that stayed cooped up in the unknown of your mind.

The man was Octavio Ramirez, a sceptic and a charlatan of sorts. It was a very good means to make money off of the superstitions and beliefs of others. He grew up hearing his abuela talk of legends — creatures that walked only in shadow. Creatures that harboured all the world's darkness and more.

As a child, he was scared most of the time, but only because his older cousins found his fear to be amusing. Using it against him, they would often play pranks that landed him the nickname pollito-jito (little chicken boy) As he got older, the pranks grew tiresome and his fear even more so. In all that time, the real things he feared never really showed their faces.

All that time it was his cousins making the noises, scratching on the walls, cutting out the lights. It was always his cruel cousins underneath the mascaras and costumes. He convinced himself that Abuela was in on it. She was the one who spun the tales, after all. It was Abuela's tales that scared him and it was her tales that inspired her cousins to plot their horrible pranks.

As Octavio grew older, he grew hardened and cold. He didn’t believe in any of it. Any mention of a myth or legend stayed as it should be — myth. Nothing more. However, he did see the potential in making money off of other people’s fears, fascinations and beliefs. He knew how to play the part. He knew how to play intrigued and afraid and still be unafraid at the same time.

He learned how to twist tales like his abuela in order to get audiences leaning in as if their proximity would give them more information. Octavio only liked what he did because he got rich. A TV show, podcast, radio interviews, pop culture referrals, the whole deal. The more ridiculous he could make it, the more money he would find himself in, and he liked that.

Alas, none of that mattered now. Here was the beast that haunted his childhood most. The one that kept him from looking into the trees. The one that kept him from looking out the window at night. The one terrifying being that kept his stomach in knots when family gathered around Abuela to hear her stories.

Brujo Arbol is what Abuela called it. A tall tree-like beast worlock with magic darker than the imagination would allow. When his cousins got a chance, they somehow made makeshift stilts to scare the pants off of him on a family camping trip. Abuela was so cross with his cousins, but Octavio didn’t believe her. It was her fault for telling the stories in the first place.

The beast — The Brujo Arbol was there before him. Shilouetting with its dark magic. Octavio couldn’t run. Even still, his blood curdled inside him, screaming "run." It ran through his veins, screaming louder, "Corre, corre, corre, ahora! Now!"

Octavio couldn't calculate what had happened in those next seconds. First, it was the screech and then all was black. No moon, no stars, no film crew, no radio interviews, no captivated audiences, no air.

By feinschliff on Unsplash

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Author's Note

I've recently been reading a lot about the stories I grew up with. A book called Haunted Santa Fe by Ray John De Aragon is one that I have particularly been digging into. It has been illuminating the history of some of the things I was afraid of as a child. I wish my childhood fears were as simple as the dark. However, that was not my reality.

This story was inspired by the dark tales from my lovely home, New Mexico — a land that I miss.

Let's Chat

What sort of dark tales were spun in your culture or family growing up? How did it differ from your classmates or friends? How have those things evolved as you have grown?

*Leave a comment! Let me know!

By Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

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About the Creator


Hola! I'm E.Amalia. I've got a penchant for the macabre, weird, and spine chilling genres. Also I write poetry, also I'm a dragon for books.

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    E.AmaliaWritten by E.Amalia

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