Written by | Musings, Quick Reads

His body lay on the border crossing like someone felt he had to die in two countries. His chest had been ripped apart, you could tell that the vultures had long found his body but something had stopped them before they could finish devour their find. The maggots, a few hours old, poking out of the festering wounds the hyenas had left as they tried to reach his bones. It was almost as if the jungle had conspired to finish off his remains, and midway in the feast, something had stopped them.

When she went back to where it had all happened, she found someone, or a few people at least, had already been there. The body was still in the same position she had left it after he provoked him, just as she had hoped he would, and she had driven the blade through his chest. She knew where to aim, right in the middle of her chest, where she knew he would bleed slowly and painfully. As the warm blood spurt and formed a trail on the blade to her hand, and he fell down onto the moist ground, she felt a satisfaction she had felt a few times before. This was her hunt, this  was the moment she had craved so badly. Yet she knew the cycle would begin all over again, she would feel empty the next morning, like there was something missing from his being, a part that had been ripped off.

The blood had long dried, and the wind had brought with it coats of dust that would deceive one who did not know what had happened there. The border beacon was fifteen feet away, unassuming and stout, like a miniature lighthouse in the middle of nowhere. The locals said that the devil was hunting again, she who always ate what she hunted. The police had looked for her for hundred years, the legend said, but no one who set eyes upon her ever breathed again. The old man said she was the ghost of the ancestors, but in this modern world, she could have been anyone. The body of a man had been found on the border crossing the night before, his arms bent and placed under his head, fingers interlocked, almost as if he had been executed. A visitor would say it was a random killing, the knife lay next to the body, almost as if whoever had killed him wanted to be found, but the locals knew she loomed in the shadows, never killing the same way twice.

No one knew why the legend said the devil was female but they all agreed that she was fear itself. She was said to lack a heart, an empty sould residing in her chest instead.

When they found the body of the Border Patrol officer the next day, they knew she was hunting again, and she would not stop till she had what she was looking for, what she had always been looking for. The police imposed a curfew on the border, no one was allowed into the woods after dark, and yet she did not need to go there, she lived there, she had lived there for many year. Killing people kept her alive, she told herself, but she needed to stop, she wanted someone to find her and stop her.

Last modified: February 3, 2020