Swan Dive! Ch. 46: Listen to the Bony Lady

Heed my words.

Santa Muerte does not repeat herself.

I’m talking to you.

Pay attention.

My hood is fashioned from human flesh. My eyes bleed from red stones set deep in hollow sockets of white bone that gleam pure as lost souls wandering a blistering Mexican desert. The handle of the scythe I carry is long enough to slay you wherever you try to hide. The globe I carry is your tomb. My skeletal fingers hold the fate of the world.

You cannot run from me, your worst nightmare that feeds on your brain cells. You are helpless before me, your personal Mexican death saint. No one stops my almighty power. Light your white candles. Light your black candles. Flame ignites my dominance. C’mon, baby, light my fire.

No matter how smart you think you are, your small minds have no idea how skillful I have become over centuries of death humanity brought on through greed, jealousy, hatred and ego. Those of you who respect my energy are wise. You desire safety, health, money, success.

Sí, muy bien.

You deserve love, good luck, well-being. You also crave justice and seek revenge. I’m listening, so talk to me. Peace and healing remain my preference, but I empathize with your need to get even. I embrace your suffering, your sickness, even your Covid virus.

This bony lady hears you.

Holy death will help you in your journey. But first you must ask for my guidance. I invite you to petition my assistance. Please. Because I decide who breathes, who lives. I decide who gasps for breath and who dies. Are you worthy of my touch? Only I decide. In exchange for my protection I expect devotion. Betray me and whither like bad grapes on the vine, shrinking, shriveling, dropping to mix with ancient soil and the sweet mysteries of existence.

I dare you to laugh at me. Break your promise and your children and grandchildren will one day twist in pain as I inflict torture and claim their lives. Their spirits already belong to me. Do you want them servile and naked, groveling in the foul underworld where my spells turn them into serpents that crawl fetid floors of feces and flame. Go ahead. Break your promise.

Santa Muerte always gets her way. Santa Muerte always gets her wish. Santa Muerte always wins.

Mother Death eventually claims all her children and takes them home.

Today I must offer an American sacrifice to teach humans a lesson and show my first cousin Mother Nature that humans deserve to continue evolving despite doing your worst to kill the planet. You pollute the environment and endanger majestic animals and other species. You poison the land, water, air and all the bountiful life that makes Earth the magnificent miracle she is.

Florida is special to Mother Nature and to me. We dig Clearwater Beach. If we were human we’d drink at RayRay’s Elbow Room.

So today I must decide whom to save, whom to condemn, whom to spare, whom to immolate. Today I choose the one to sacrifice, the one whose time has come. Whom shall I select?

Randall Lark wants to understand the dark puzzle of his existence, to make amends yet still get even.

Marty Durkin is a damaged man who retains only a thread of his pathetic composure.

RayRay is a good guardian of the light, a soldier fighting for fairness. He comprehends cold vengeance and adapts to the emptiness of the void.

Kim Phillips exhibits tenderness, has a big heart but is too easily led.

Ruby Arenas is my mirror image when I was a similar young seeker, a great feminist spirit upon whom so much depends.

Sam Bennett is my favorite.

But Becky presents my main concern. Her madness destroyed twin Irish demons and can kill the others. Becky drills their minds, blurring reality that washes the beach like a monster tidal wave turning homicidal. Becky is the obvious choice to die so we can make life easier for everybody.

But Randall and Marty might also welcome the quiet comfort of forever sleep.

RayRay will stoically accept whatever comes.

Poor Kim wouldn’t know what hit her if I put her out of her misery.

I laugh to envision Sam just raising his arms and flying away.

Or shall I make the ultimate offering of my dear goddaughter Ruby?  

Maybe even that savage parrot Dillon.

Whom shall I cast into the abyss, the chosen one to join me in the boneyard? What magic colors will guide their fate?

Look into my eyes, my children, while I select a sacrifice.

You Randall Lark radiate shades of deep forest green that shine like blazing emerald gemstones. Green is the color of justice, ethics and law. Guilty about killing civilians as an American soldier in Afghanistan, you pine for the loss of a child you named Boss, a boy you loved, a baby really, the enemy Taliban killed to punish you. You must restore your balance.

Marty Durkin? Blue for you. Young Tyrone Lark lives with you forever. You shot and killed him as a fearful white cop firing in the line of duty. Now he lives in your conscience. You see his face every time you face his brother. You need to gain new energy to continue to live and breathe freely.

RayRay Gigliardi, I see your bright white light shrouding the sacred purification of your spirit, healing amid chaos and confusion as you try to hide all emotion. I am pleased you completed your Russian project, by the way. I know you succeeded because I talked with the gators in the swamp.

Aztec gods who own underworld gold mines have asked me to ask you Kim Phillips to help them recover the precious metal wealthy mine owners stole. The gods sense pure gold love beating in your heart. The gods respect your 24-karat pulse.

Only purple suits you, my dear Ruby Arenas, goddess of witchcraft, as you continue to assist in casting my most powerful spells. You will succeed me as Santa Muerte. Purple becomes you. You become purple. Purple power to the people! You, Ruby Arenas, gatekeeper of the celestial realm, are destined to rule my kingdom.

And, you, Dillon, I have not forgotten you who embodies the red hot chili pepper aspect of Santa Muerte. You carry yourself with an almost human dignity unless you’re drunk. You, Dillon, fancy yourself as a superhero. We shall see. Avian flu is epidemic, you know.

Black for the old man sounds good, don’t you think, old man? You, Sam Bennett, insult yourself with this sad slur on natural aging. You yearn for flight and practice for the day when you will soar. But you now occasionally doubt yourself. You wonder if you are too old to fly. I sense gloom in your spirit, self-doubt I refuse to accept. Maybe you should just disappear. Or reject all fear of failing. I have faith, old man. You might one day soon surprise us all.

Becky, Becky, Becky.

Your insanity represents color and shade run amok. You are blessed but must be controlled. Your mad spirit threatens to forever fill creation with chaos in the vast beyond that has no beginning or end. Your insanity imperils time and space. Your lunacy sometimes scares even me.

Very well, I have said too much already.

The time has come for me to name my gift to our natural world.

One of you must die.

Who among you will perish?