Night Mare

Night Mare Diptych

Relief Print diptych, printed on Fabriano ingres. Edition of five, 6"x10"

Night Mare

About ten years ago, I knew an extraordinary woman. She and I would go out to rural Texas and watch meteor showers at two in the morning, and she would tell me stories about her childhood. She grew up in west Texas, and was raised by her grandparents. Her grandmother was a bruja, because she was born on Dia De Los Muertos, but she was a good witch. Her grandfather was a bad witch hunter. What a pair. She told me some of her earliest memories was throwing chickens into a fire. The chickens would burn and their spirits would fight in the air, and that's how you could tell who was a bad witch. She also said that her grandfather would tell her stories about witches in northern Mexico.

In all these stories, he was riding home from parties at a neighboring ranches on horseback. Apparently, if you see a woman in the desert at three in the morning, she's probably a bad witch, because no respectable woman would be wandering around alone that late. He would sneak up on them and whisper The Lord's Prayer, and knot a handkerchief as he recited it. This would bind up the witch until she couldn't move, and then he would then scold her, tell her to knock it off.

Late one night he was riding home, and saw a witch rustling around. He headed towards her, but every time he got close, she would outrun him, even at a full gallop. He chased her to the edge of a cliff, cornering her. Before he could confront her, she spun around and snapped her teeth at him. He said she had a horse's head.

This story has rolled around in my mind ever since.

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