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Photo by/ Foto por Albert Becerra

Los Espooquis Ghosts in the Fields

By Kris Paul, Ivanhoe Sol

The glassy surface of the water served as a large mirror reflecting the lights of the stars back at them, they could not possibly care any less as they already did not at all. Flood irrigation is a tricky process that requires water gates to be opened, flows controlled to just the right moment so that everything is submerged under an equal depth, and many times in the darkest hours of the night.

Panfilo watched as the water filled the trough created by the dirt berms. The moon shone its feeble light as it waned to almost nothing, and the clouds stayed away. The earth smelled of rich soil, and a cold crisp chill clipped the air.

One second, the lights of the stars and moon were present, another second they were all gone. His confusion, plain on his face, found him standing in an empty field. No water. No troughs. No reflections. No smells. He was standing in nothing.

The air grew a touch colder, and his breath became visible as he exhaled a nervous huff.

There was a tap on his shoulder. He spun around.

There was more nothing there.

“It’s me…” a shaky voice rang out. 

“W-who… who are you?” he managed to squeak out.

“MEEEEE….” the voice roared.

“I- I don’t know nobody named ‘Me’,” he replied in a small voice, while desperately wishing the lights were back. Wishing that he wasn’t alone. Wishing that he was back home, in his bed, not talking to ghosts named “Me”.

He was met with nothing, but an eerie silence. He took a step forward and went nowhere.

A breath passed through his nose, but still registered no smells of earth, no sounds of water, nothing but nothing.

“Are you the Cucuy?”

Nothing.

“Hello?”

Again, nothing.

“I- I just want to go home. Whoever you are…” He heard more nothing. “Maybe just back to work then, ha ha…” he trailed off.

He craved to be back in the field, alone, knee deep in cold water. He longed to be back at work, which he never thought would be something that he would ever want so badly, but this nothing, this silence of that roaring voice. They were all chilling him to his core. The hairs on his arms stood up, his muscles tensed, and his poor eyes watered at the edges.

“Please, I just want to go back to work. Please.” He closed his eyes as he pleaded.

An even colder breeze blew past his face and he opened his eyes in its wake.

The smell of earth returned, the running water was moving from one section to another, and he was back at work.