Lechuzas

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By Christina Miranda

I’m telling you, it’s real.”

“It’s fucking cold out here. Let’s go home.”

The two brothers kept walking deeper into the pecan orchard anyway. Ever since their uncle told them about the lechuza, the little brother kept going out at night to look for it.

“Just look for the owl, it’s not that hard.”

“Marco, there’s no owls here. And it’s not going to turn into a witch. It’s gonna fly away. Or eat your face.”

“You’re just scared.”

“I’m cold and tired.”

“You’re scared.”

“I’m cold.”

“Chicken.”

“Shut up.”

“Five more minutes.”

The older brother rolled his eyes and kicked the trunk of one of the trees. A soft fluttering of wings hovered above him. His little brother quickly turned around to look up.

“There it is!” He began to climb the bare branches, rising higher and higher with ease.

“Marco, get down from there! You’re going to get hurt!” All the older brother could see was a small silhouette bobbing between two thin branches.

“I see it!”

“Marco! Mom’s gonna get mad!”

A screech pierced the older brother’s ears, followed by a trail of snaps and thuds. His brother landed right in front of him. He lay motionless. When the older brother turned him on his back, his face was covered in long, crimson scratches. Whether they were from the owl or the branches he couldn’t tell. But right as he was about to run home to his mother, the fluttering behind him stopped, and became the sound of footsteps coming towards him.