Socorro ran through the cocoa tree grove, long green palm leaves whipping him in the face. He was worried that at any moment his feet would give out beneath him and send him tumbling to the ground. If he did, they would be able to catch him. He could hear them right behind him, shouting and screaming and hollering, a bunch of wild savages they were. Their long sharp nails, their bloody red lips, and their ruddy pink cheeks were enough to make Socorro jump over a hill, but now that he had accidently angered them, they had become even scarier, baring rows of shiny white teeth and crying with a high enough pitch to shatter an eardrum. It would be his last glimpse of freedom and light if he were to make a spill.
Socorro looked about him all the while dodging the long red cocoa beans hanging from skinny dark branches. Somewhere around here there was an old dead tree, its core carved out and hallowed. Socorro knew he was just small enough to squeeze inside of it. Frantically he searched for the single tree. Next to him there was a sudden furious rustle and a long ruby tipped claw reached out from the brush to grab at him. Socorro took a sharp intake of air and leapt away from it. He had to delay the beasts.
Socorro turned and held forth his hands. Thin circles of green light sparked to life around his wrists, they hummed and buzzed with restless energy. There behind a row of trees, three shadows moved. They were upon him. Before any one could move, Socorro threw out his hands further and dove them towards the ground. The circles of light sped forward with popping bursts of bright light. Two of the creatures squealed and hurried away while the third gave a low growl and ducked behind a tree. Socorro didn’t stand there any longer.
He fled in the opposite direction of them, his eyes still roving the lines of trees until he spotted the ugly gnarled dead thing. He skipped over a few of its revealed roots and clambered inside of its base, squirming his way further inside so that he could have room enough to tuck his feet in. His wild curls of hair were pressed in closer to his head, swirls of it getting into his eyes. He listened intently as the beasts came closer and closer to the tree. When they reached Socorro they began to beat at the tree and scrape the dirt beneath him. They grumbled and snapped for about a few more minutes, but eventually gave up. He could hear their heavy breathing from the other side.
One of them let out an irritated sigh and barked: “You can hide in there, but wait till we tell Mama what you did to us!” Socorro peeked out of one of the cracks in the wood. Outside his three sisters stood with their glossy makeup, painted nails, and ruffled skirts, all three covered in huge gloppy stains. Prior to this, Socorro had been gluing some broken pieces to the weather vane on the shed’s roof when he had bumped into his glue bucket, dumping its contents all over his sisters.
“I have a date tonight!” grumbled his older sister, Agueda, twenty-one years of age. “Don’t you know how long trying to get this goop out of my hair will take!?”
“Not really,” Socorro replied from within the tree. All three of his sisters’ faces blazed red with frustration.
“You are the worst!” shouted the second oldest Lorenza, fifteen years of age. Then with a sarcastic flare she said: “Oh and thanks for that annoying light show; you’re magia is always so awesome!”. She hiked up her skirt, skidded around, and marched off. The other two sisters followed her, but not without Agueda giving a strong death glare and the youngest Isabella, thirteen years of age, sticking her tongue out at the tree.
Socorro, the only brother and fourteen years of age, waited until his three sisters were out of sight before comfortably settling down inside of the empty tree. He was safe for now.