AlvernoINK Spring / Fall 2017 - Page 57

Chapter 1, Sangre Nativa

Sol Garcia’s headed down there because the bodies keep piling up.

She strapped on her ankle boots, secured her Heckler & Koch USP, and pondered over the details of the murder as she slipped into the dark March night, smothered by the somber snowfall. For the first time in years it was snowing. She trailed back to 97’, remembering how the strange snow blanketed the city for nearly three days. What was originally nothing to worry about turned into a brutal war of survival. Temperatures dropped into the single digits, the death toll sky-rocketed, and Guadalajara’s more-than-a-million population stood unusually still. The day it snowed back in 97’, the Zaparrita sisters stirred awake.

She arrived at the scene with bed-head and a yawn, her surroundings giving her a classic case of déjà vu. What do you know? Same MO from 19 years ago: male, 18-34 years old, strangulation marks, six stab wounds beginning at the lower abdomen trailing down the shaft to the tip of the penis, and of course the infamous cherry on top, a missing heart. It took less than a sneeze for Sol Garcia, Guadalajara’s leading Investigadora, to identify the similarities. The blood in her body ran cold, accelerating the rate of her heartbeat. She knew no one was staring, but every set of eyes in the world was turned in her direction, scrutinizing the past they didn’t know even though it dragged behind Sol with a loud, raucous cry. They don’t know, Sol reminded herself. But what if they did? Her uneasy breath was growing embarrassingly noticeable. Goosebumps tore through her skin, each inhale brought with it cool air that iced her nostrils, her burning chest rose and fell, and no matter how hard she rubbed her hands against the pantsuit she couldn’t get rid of the sweat oozing out of her. She heard the thump of her heart in her ears, felt it on the side of her head, and wished she hadn’t tied her hair back in such a tight fucking ponytail because now it was too much pressure and she couldn’t breathe. She closed her eyes. The wind twirled on top of her dark skin, cackling they knows into the curve of her ears. Sol tidied her spine, and listened for the voice of Doña Julia, the older woman with the calloused hands who followed Sol much after her death… felt the warmth of the tiny old hands she fell in love with brush across her temple, lifting her chin up between her dry thumb and index finger to the calm heavens. Sol’s eyelids sprang open and she inched closer to the newly found body.

That rare March day had been a winter wonderland; a dream straight out of her sleepless nights. Even now, months later, she could feel the pitter-patter of each snowflake whisper coolly on her skin. Could still see the intricate design that made each one different, spellbinding; coaxing her eyes to stare just a minute longer. The streets had flooded with bodies of women, children, and men, each careful not to disrupt the way they naturally fell, the unexplainable marvels of nature painting their busy, humble city. Sol didn’t need to turn on the boxed radio in her small apartment to know the last snowfall that had shook up the streets of Guadalajara was the one in 97’.

sangre nativa