For the next few weeks I did all I could to track down La Señora Falcón but to no avail. Mom couldn’t remember the woman’s first name, so I systematically called all the Falcóns in the Los Angeles, Pasadena, Alhambra and Glendale and Burbank phone directories and asked if there was Mrs. Falcón who had once attended El Buen Pastor church.
My efforts were futile. All I got was a lot of mind-your-own-business! After a while I tried a different tact. Perhaps I could find the zombie kid I had seen in that downtown ally. For several days I tried hanging out there. But he never returned. I was pretty much ready to give up my search when one day something surprising happened.
I had returned from school and brought in the mail from the mailbox the way I usually do. To my surprise, amid the bills, was an envelope addressed to me!
There was no return address.
I quickly opened the envelope and found a neatly hand written note inside. It was just a folded over piece of paper. It simply said, “Stop looking for me! The butterfly emerges when the time is right.” It was signed Hortencia Falcón.
So now I had her first name. But she didn’t want me to search for her. And how did she know I was looking for her? Had I talked to her on one of my phone searches and not known it?
The letter had a calming effect on me. I realized that if the woman didn’t want to be found I was probably not going to have much luck looking for me. I decided to give up my search, at least for the moment.
The next day I had much more important things to worry about.
I got arrested.
Here’s how it went down.
I was walking home from school, doing a bit of day dreaming and didn’t see Danny Betances running toward me until he knocked me over. He had been looking over his shoulder as he ran. Obviously he was running from someone.
“Lazo!” he said helping me get up. I could see he was really agitated. He kept looking over his shoulder.
“Hey Lazo, how would you like a brand new watch?”
“A watch?” I asked. There was something fishy going on here.
“Yeah,” he said. He pulled out a Rolex wrist watch from his pocket. Suddenly a smile came over his face. “Here I’m going to give it to you cause we’re friends.” He dropped the watch out into my hand.
As I was examining the watch, a police patrol car suddenly came speeding around the corner. Danny saw the cop car and took off running down the street, leaving me holding the Rolex. The cop car came to a screeching halt next to the sidewalk where I was standing. The officer in the passenger side, a big beefy guy, jumped out and grabbed hold of me.
“Well we got one of them!” He said. “And with the goods!”
I was terrified. I didn’t know what was going on.
“Planning on fencing that Rolex, kid?”
“Sir, I was just given this watch by…”
“Shut up, kid! We’re taking you in!”
“But I didn’t do anything! I was just walking home from school. And this guy–his name is Danny– came running up to me and he gave me the watch.”
“I said shut up! I’m not going to tell you again!”
With that he pulled out a pair of handcuffs and cuffed my hands behind my back. He then put me into the back seat of the patrol car and we drove off. As we drove away, I spotted Danny hiding behind some bushes. For a moment we made eye contact. He just stared at me with the strangest look.
In the back seat of the patrol car I really began to sweat. Arrested!
I could feel the drool begin to build up in my mouth. Suddenly the implication sank in. They would take me and book me. They take my finger prints. What if they discovered that I was dead? If they found out about me being a zombie , what would happen to my mom? Would they arrest her as well for tampering with graves?
In just a few minutes Danny Betances had managed to completely turn my life upside down!
What would happen to me now?
Copyright 2012 Lazaro de la Tierra and Barrio Dog Productions, Inc.