Angel od Death Chapter XIII

XIII

DIVINE PUNISHMENT




I froze and hesitated to open the door. The shop closed hours earlier. Father Fidel opened his eyes wide, probably expecting salvation. Nervously, I opened the door slowly, inch by inch. Pedro was on the other side. How could that be possible? I sent him to the house front door around the corner.

“What are you doing here, Pedro?”

“What happened with Father Fidel? I know he’s here; I saw him entering your house. I was following him.” he said, ignoring my question.

“Why were you following him?”

“I want my revenge,” he said, appearing older than a thirteen-year-old boy “my older brother is with me, and he’s going to help me get even.” he continued.

I wondered how many more kids wanted their revenge.

I had a tough dilemma, but I couldn’t back out of the original plan. Father Fidel will never see the sun again. But I was forced to include Pedro and his brother in the scheme. They knew he was here. I had to let them in. I couldn’t turn them down, and I was curious about what they had in mind.

“Okay Pedro, I told you Father Fidel was going to disappear very soon . . .”

“Yes, but I want my revenge first,” he interrupted me and added, “You have to let me do it that’s why I brought my brother.” 

Pedro turned around and quietly called his brother. Appearing out of the dark, he had a knife in his right hand, his arm firmly tight against his right leg. I let them in. I had no other option. I told them how the priest had been deceiving grandma and that she knew he was a pedophile. “Follow me,” I said. 

We all went to the butcher shop in a single line. I was pushing grandma’s wheelchair. The brothers walked behind me, like executioners heading for the gallows to meet a condemned criminal. It must have looked like a scene from the Spanish Inquisition.

I felt overexcited with the turn of events. Three generations, a seventy-year gap between the youngest and the oldest, very odd indeed.

We found the priest lying on the floor near the front entrance. He was ready to kick the door to call for attention. He had rolled over the entire length of the shop. He had to know his end was near when he saw Pedro and his brother with a knife in hand. I dragged him back and sat him on the floor against the walk-in refrigerator.

Pedro was the first to confront him. “Pinche Padre joto!” (“Fucking homo priest!”) He said as he slapped him on the face. I wondered why Pedro didn’t confront the priest that way when he first tried to take advantage of him. But then, I realized that I had been in the same situation with my father, and I didn’t confront him until he was dead.

Perhaps, seeing how weak Pedro had slapped Father Fidel, his brother approached the priest and hit him with a solid blow. There was no doubt; the real punishment had begun.

I thought about removing the gag from his mouth to hear his defense, but he had no excuses, and nothing could save him. He couldn’t expect paradise after committing such atrocities. He looked pathetic. No one could pity him knowing the true story, not even his mother.

“Why did you do that to me? I didn’t do anything wrong; my mom only wanted me to be an altar boy. She even thought I could be a priest like you.” Pedro said with tears in his eyes. 

Father Fidel had tears in his eyes too, but his tears were of fear and desperation, not of pain or repentance.

I took Pedro’s brother aside and asked him what they had in mind. He said he didn’t know yet, but he suspected that his brother wanted him to do the same things Father Fidel did to him.

“Okay, I’ll give you an hour to get Pedro’s revenge, but don’t kill him and don’t say a word to anybody about what we’re doing here,” I said, as I pushed grandma to her room.

His name was Abel. He was nineteen years old, and he didn’t speak English. He was sixteen years old when they arrived in the United States. He had been working in the fields with his dad since then. He didn’t have time to go to school to learn English or anything else. Pedro had told him all about it just this morning. They had been following Father Fidel all day long. They were waiting for him to come out of the house.

When I went back, the priest was lying naked on the floor. The brothers got their revenge. Things were even. Could they ever be?

Abel and Pedro shook my hand on their way out. Pedro didn’t look like a kid anymore. I guess a horrible experience such as that could turn a young kid into a bitter man in a short time. He would look at the world differently. He would be more cautious, but his innocence was gone.

The priest was unconscious. He was bleeding from his genitalia, and his penis was gone. I couldn’t avoid comparing this image to his smiling face on the picture with the Pope. What a ridiculous contrast.

I still felt enormous hatred for him. I decided to work on him while he was still alive. As he lay on the floor, I put a butcher block under his right hand and proceeded to cut it off with my machete. The priest regained consciousness, sat up, and lifted his right arm. Seeing no hand attached to it, he fainted again. Then, I severed his head. 

Later, while dismembering his body, I smiled when I found his missing organ inside his anus. They pushed his dick up his ass with a stick or something like that. I confirmed my suspicions when I saw the toilet plunger near his body.

Many people will miss him. Probably a reward would be offered by the church or the local government. But the church choir will be singing with genuine happiness.

In the morning, grandma gave me a note, “They are going to organize a massive search. He might have been a monster, a child molester, but nobody knew about it. Everybody loved him; he was very popular too. We need to be extremely careful.” 

She had a good reason to be worried.

The disappearance of a priest was not the same as a missing runaway teen or a missing homeless thief.

It could have been possible that somebody knew where he was going. Maybe, somebody saw him coming to our house. But there were no traces of him in the butcher shop. I spent a lot of time cleaning in detail with industrial chemicals and cleaning materials.

I told grandma not to worry too much. But I was worried a little.

On Saturday, as I carried the sinful ground meat to the park, for a moment, I thought, maybe someone should bless it with holy water first.

That time grandma and I refused to participate in our cannibalistic ritual. There were many things about Father Fidel that we didn’t like. He was worse than a ‘normal’ rapist; his victims were innocent children. In my opinion, he was a hundred times worse than me.

After a couple of days, Father Fidel was on the news. They were announcing his disappearance. 



Edmundo Barraza
Lancaster, Ca. 08-22-2014

Angel of Death Chapter XI

XI

My Dysfunctional Brain

I wished the happiness I felt could be permanent. Sadie was the primary source of my positive mental change. For the first time, I thought this could be possible. I also thought of getting help from a psychiatrist or even a priest.

I had to allow myself to clean up my act. I was in a vicious circle, and I never knew how it all started. If my shyness caused an inferiority complex, or if it was my dad with his absurd assumptions that I was gay.

Priests and psychiatrists have the same objective: they help to control fears and wrongdoings. My sins needed exoneration. Maybe I could get rid of my repulsive thoughts.

I was thirteen years old when my dad and grandpa forced me to become an adult. That’s when my childhood ended. There wasn’t a transitional period, just a drastic traumatic change. That’s when I lost my innocence and my faith.

How could I confess my sins and crimes without expecting any punishment? Even if I knew they wouldn’t denounce me to the authorities, I couldn’t dare expose my homicidal record. Deep in my mind, I wanted to have a clean soul. I would feel so much better if I could erase my past.

I made an appointment with a psychiatrist. Maybe she could fix the mental disarray and anarchy I carry in my brain. I did it because I saw a remote possibility to have a regular life. Sadie opened the door to that possibility.
 I chose a female psychiatrist. I thought a woman might be less aggressive and more patient than a male psychiatrist. 

When she asked me to explain the reasons I was there. I told her about my irrational thoughts. I spoke for an hour, mostly about my dad and how he raised me.  
At some point, I felt ridiculous. I thought nobody could help me but me. I knew there what something wrong with me. I knew that all I had to do was to stop killing people. But there I was, thinking about ways to kill my shrink. I thought about going behind her chair, removing my belt and strangle her, or hitting her in the head with the oversized crystal ashtray she had on her desk.  

Instead, I decided to give her a chance. If she succeeded with her treatment, she would live. If she didn’t, she could die with the heavy ashtray that’s always be available on her desk. Her life was in my hands, but she didn’t know it.

She was in her forties, and she looked very professional and elegant. I’ve never seen women like her in my butcher shop or my AA meetings.

The reason I was there was that I wanted to get rid of the absurd feeling I had . . .  that I could kill anybody. I just wanted to be a regular person. 


*****

I took Sadie to Sequoia Park. We were on the same bridge where my dad pushed grandpa. Sadie and I were lying down on our backs with our feet hanging from the bridge. 

“I read somewhere that God hides behind the clouds when he’s ashamed to see the things we do, but I think he hides because he is unable to help us. If he sees us killing each other, why doesn’t he intervene? He’s been watching endless wars, catastrophes, and injustices for centuries, but he never intervenes. It seems He doesn’t care. What do you think, Sadie?”

“All that you’re saying makes sense, but maybe, He intervenes and ends all wars we start, but we keep creating new ones. Or maybe he’s just taking a nap,” she said.

“Or maybe we’re just puppets, and he’s just pulling our strings?”

“I don’t know Angel, but I think he did at least one thing right. He brought us together.”

When she finished that sentence, I felt happy. It was great having her next to me in the same spot where I had the worst moment of my life. 

Then she said, “I told Joy about us. She was a little upset, but in the end, she accepted it. I’m glad she did because I didn’t know what I would have done if she had opposed it. I love her so much. She’s like a mother to me. Did she tell you somebody raped her?”

“Yes, she did,” I said.

“I remember my dad went to pick me up at school that day. My mom was at work. When we returned, we heard noises coming from Joy’s bedroom. My dad grabbed a big knife from the kitchen. When he opened the bedroom door, we found a guy with his pants down on top of Joy. The man had his hand over Joy’s mouth. Then, my dad stabbed the man on his back. Dad used such a force that in the end only the handle was visible. I’ve never seen so much blood in my life, not even at the butcher shop. For a moment, I thought Joy was dead too. She had so much blood on her. After dad pushed the man to the floor, we noticed a puncture on Joy’s chest. The knife went through his entire body and reached Joy’s body too. If the man had been a little skinnier, my dad would have killed them both.”

I’ve seen that scar between her breasts. When I asked Joy about it, she didn’t answer and changed the subject.

“The police interrogated dad, and they concluded he was not guilty but spent a few months in jail anyway. Joy remained in shock and couldn’t talk for a few days. Two months after that man raped Joy, mom moved to California with her new boyfriend. She left us when we needed her the most. After mom left, Joy quit school and started to work. She was sixteen years old. I was twelve.”

I thought my life had been hard. What a fool.

The story broke my heart. I felt compelled to tell Sadie about the events that happened on that bridge. I told her about grandpa’s plan to retire to Mexico, to the place where he met grandma, and I also told her the story when my grandma’s mom disappeared from her hand and died under the legs of  horse. And I told her about the way my grandpa died.

Sharing our stories brought us even closer. Sadie learned that day to love my grandma even more.


*****

My shrink started each session with a question, and then I talked for an hour. It was good therapy. I didn’t mind being judged or criticized. There was so much to tell, even if I didn’t include the crimes. 

“Of all the movies you’ve seen, who’s your favorite villain?” My psychiatrist asked.

I loved that question. Right away, I thought about all those moments I had spent hiding in my room. The only thing that could help me deal with my vulnerable mind was to watch movies. Almost all the villains in all the movies I’ve seen were my heroes too. I was always on their side.

“Without a doubt, Nurse Ratched,” I replied. 

“Wow, what a choice. She was so mean and cruel. And what about your favorite heroes?” she asked.

To me, superheroes were super false. Superman, Iron Man, and Spider-Man never came to my rescue. In that case, my only superhero would be Grandma. My grandma had been a real hero, just like my dad had been a supervillain, even worse than Nurse Ratched. Now that I think about it, my dad was the only villain I hated.

“Wait, I have more favorite villains, I also like Hannibal Lecter. I love cannibals.” I said.

“You do?”

“I mean, I love stories about cannibals, zombies, vampires, and all those bloodsuckers.”

I had to control myself. She was making me talk too much about things I shouldn’t talk about. I almost forgot that that was not a regular conversation. She was analyzing me, getting information to make me sane.

“What about your heroes. Who are they?” she asked.

“I don’t like heroes; I always wanted the villains to win. I’m always on the loser’s side. That’s why my favorite movies are One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Silence of the Lambs. The villains win in those movies. I don’t like heroes. I hate them.” 

“What would you like to be, a hero or a villain?” 

“A villain of course.”

I knew I fell into her trap, but I didn’t care.


Edmundo Barraza
Visalia, CA. 12-05-2012

ANGEL OF DEATH Chapters I and II

Chapters One and Two

After many years of abuse a troubled man gets his revenge. First, he kills his father, whom he deeply hates. When he accidentally kills a thief, a serial killer is born. His loving grandmother becomes an eager accomplice. To get rid of the bodies he begins to feed the homeless, winos, and drug addicts that gather in a decrepit park across the street from his butcher shop.

Edmundo Barraza
Visalia, Ca. September 2012



CHAPTER I

GRANDMA

The prolonged mental abuse my dad inflicted on me created long-lasting scars on my mind. He never abused me physically. But the negative impact of his cruel comments contributed to my weak mind.

My dad was the first person I killed. I never reported him missing and I never filed a police report. I just said to anyone who asked that he had decided to retire to Mexico and that he was staying there indefinitely. But in reality, I made him disappear.

My grandfather Genaro was born in Mexico in 1912 during the Mexican revolution. In the 1930s, he immigrated to the United States. At first, he worked in the fields of Central California. After four years, he saved enough money to buy a small grocery store which he later converted into a butcher shop. When my grandfather died my dad kept the shop and bought the house next door. 

We connected the butcher shop to the house by building a hallway between the two properties. Our house was behind the butcher shop.

My occupation required being in constant contact with my customers. Butchers, like barbers and taxi drivers are very communicative. They develop an extroverted personality that they adopt for the rest of their lives. In my case, after I closed the shop I became quiet even in my thoughts. 

My grandfather was a big man. He had dark brown skin and a heavy mustache. The hard work in the fields and later, the heavy chores in the butcher shop made him strong as a bull. When he died, he was eighty years old, and he could still lift a quarter of a cow to a six-foot-high hook. Whenever he comes to my mind, he appears wearing his apron. The only time I saw him wearing a suit was in his coffin.

My grandpa never learned how to speak English. My father did, but he never absorbed the American culture. He always felt he was a hundred percent Mexican. My grandpa never pushed dad to go further than high school. I had the choice to go to college, but I never consider it seriously. I always thought I was going to end up in charge of the family business. Some of my Mexican friends said my dad looked like Pancho Villa. His name was Ramiro.

When my dad died, he left me the shop and eleven houses surrounding the shop. The entire block was ours. We lived in one of the houses and rented the rest. I guess we were rich, but I never felt or looked like a rich person. Maybe because we never learned how to spend our money.

My grandma was eighty years old. She had been in a wheelchair for the last few years. She had bad knees, and she lost her ability to speak when she slipped in the kitchen and hit her head on the countertop. Her name was Sandra. She was my only friend.

Her head injury caused damage to the left side of her brain. She developed a rare speech disorder called aphasia. Within days she became mute. Partial recovery was possible, but that depended on the age of the patient and motivation. None of that was in her favor. 

The doctor recommended treatment with a speech therapist, but she only attended a few sessions. She claimed the therapist didn’t speak Spanish properly.

I bought her a wheelchair when the increasing pain in her knees prevented her from doing all the things she used to enjoy. The wheelchair remained unused for months until I stopped begging her to use it. Once she started using it, the pain in her knees went away. She never walked again. She was a quiet person.

Like my grandfather, my grandma never learned to speak English and hated anybody that didn’t speak Spanish, including Americans. She still considered California to be part of Mexico.

One day, before she lost her speech, a brown-skinned boy, obviously of Mexican descent, started talking to her in English, and she told him, “Aprende a hablar en español como tu papá, mocoso!” (Learn to speak Spanish like your dad, brat!) And she became furious when he responded, “Learn how to speak English, like your grandson, old lady!” I couldn’t help but laugh, but I turned away so grandma wouldn’t notice.

I began to cook after watching grandma struggle around the kitchen. She was still able to attend to her needs. Her hygiene had been impeccable all her life in all aspects of our lives. Tidiness was high on the list of her virtues. The house and the butcher shop were always clean too.

We installed wider doors and ramps so she could gain access to every room in the house. She could do anything but cook. After some time, I became a decent cook. 

I enjoyed her company, and the fact that she couldn’t verbally criticize me made me feel like I didn’t have so many flaws. I loved our one-way conversations. Her face became very expressive, and I could read all the gestures and signals. She wasn’t very devoted or virtuous, but she spent a lot of time in church.

The butcher shop was in front of the Lincoln Oval Park, a small, decrepit park where the homeless and drug addicts spent their leisure time doing nothing. It was the poor side of town where most Mexicans used to live. Having the police station two blocks away wasn’t a deterrent to crime and violence in the area. There were four second-hand stores in the neighborhood, including the Salvation Army. 

The place was in Visalia, in Central California. Population: one hundred thousand. The biggest attraction was the Sequoia National Park, thirty minutes east of town. Agriculture and dairy were the primary labor sources.

The business at the shop was good, considering the bad economy and the high unemployment rate.

My name is Angel.


Edmundo Barraza
Visalia, Ca, 08-27-2012




CHAPTER II

MY FATHER




The name of my father was Ramiro. He had demons like me. My grandma said I was his replica. If Grandma was right, then I was a total screw-up.

He was always home, but to me, he was always absent. He was a good provider, though. I never knew what hunger was, I always had shoes on my feet, but that was basic stuff. What he lacked was more important than that. It would have been better to be a poor kid with a great dad than a rich kid with a bad dad.

When I killed my father, I was thirty years old. I had endured over a decade of false accusations from him. He accused me of being gay. I repressed my rage and resisted his suspicions and insults quietly. He never knew how badly he wounded my pride with his sarcasm. He would say: “You’d make me happy if you bring a girlfriend, but if you bring a faggot like you, I kill you.”

And the more he accused me of being gay, the harder he made it for me to take the decisive steps to find a girlfriend.

I didn’t understand the reason why he was so homophobic. He acted like a typical Mexican macho man. I wasn’t gay. I was shy and never learned how to behave in front of women. My dad had just worsened my traumas with years of constant false accusations.

One time, I finally had enough and said, “Dad, I’m not gay, please stop suggesting that I am because I’m not.” and he responded, “The day you impregnate a girl, I’ll stop thinking you’re a faggot.”

I even thought I wasn’t trying hard enough to find a girl just not to give him the satisfaction. And the years passed. I had had sex once in a while with prostitutes, but it was never satisfying, as for a long-term relationship with a regular girl, it seemed impossible.

The irony of it all was that my father had not been a playboy either. He was as shy as I was. Grandpa had to take dad to Mexico to find a wife for him. My dad was fortunate to have found my mom, but I couldn’t say the same for mom. After dad died, I stopped feeling so miserable.

One day, a friend of mine showed up at the shop. I introduced him to my dad. After my friend finished his shopping, my dad told him, “You should take my son out one of these days and help him find a girlfriend or a boyfriend. I still don’t know what he likes.” In an instant, I felt the heat coming out of my face. It was by far the most embarrassing moment of my life. I dropped my apron and went out through the back door.

That night I killed my dad.

I went to my room, sat on the bed, and started crying. Then, I heard the squeaking sound of a wheelchair. Grandma looked at me with her sad face. Her bright black eyes had two sparkling tears in them. I just shook my head. She knew my dad was the only person that could make me feel so sad. Without saying a word, grandma was able to comfort me with a simple hug. But it wasn’t enough.

Before she left the room, she mentioned that she suspected dad had killed my mom.

For a second, I thought about killing myself, but instead, I decided to kill him. The shop was closed when I came back. Dad was in the walk-in refrigerator. All I had to do was to slide the bolt. Through the small glass window on the door, I could see the shock in his eyes. 

As if nothing had happened and without any remorse, I went to the kitchen and started cooking dinner. At the table, looking at the empty chair, grandma questioned his whereabouts. I moved my head sideways and shrugged. 

It was past midnight when I went back to check the situation. Seven hours had passed after I locked my dad. Before I opened the refrigerator, I noticed some words written on the fogged-up glass window. At first, I thought it was something written from the inside. When I figured out what it said, I knew somebody had written it from the outside. It said, “ti evresed uoy”. 

I saw dad in the corner, lying down on the floor in the fetal position. He had been cold all his life, but in that moment, he was just frozen dead. The temperature there was -10 degrees F. I could never stay in that room for more than three minutes. 

I was a little nervous because I thought he could still be alive. But he was as hard as the rest of the meat in there. I grabbed the meat hook to move his body, but I thought it was disrespectful. Instead, I dragged him out of there by his feet.

First, I sawed off his head with a hand saw because he was too heavy to lift to the band saw table, so I dismembered his extremities. His blood was frozen, so I wasn’t too worried about making a whole mess.

For the first time in my life, I wasn’t afraid of hearing back about his sarcastic comments. With unrelated sentences and with short intervals in between, I began:

“I told you a thousand times that I wasn’t gay,” Then, I cut in between his ribs, from the neck to the stomach.

“Grandma was right. You deserve it,” Then, I removed his intestines.

“You’ll never meet your grandchildren,” Then, I removed his cold heart.

“You won’t be so cold in hell,” Then, I cut off his penis.

“Even your mother hated you,” Then, I turned him over.

“You won’t be calling me all those ugly epithets with your filthy mouth, like faggot, gay, homo, homosexual,” then, I sliced his buttocks.

“I saw you killing grandpa, you cold-hearted bastard!”

 Then, I grabbed his decapitated head by the hair and put it in front of my face.

“Did you kill my mom, mother fucker, did you kill her? Answer me, you piece of shit!”

I had to use all the equipment in the shop, three different knives, a cleaver, a skinner, and a cimeter. Also, the handsaw, the table saw, and the meat grinder. I sawed all the bones to three inches or less, even his cranium. Nobody would recognize those bones as human bones. Intestines and organs went straight to the trash, including his sexual organ, ugh! I put it all in a tightly sealed double heavy-duty plastic bag and in a separate bag all the bones. Hands and feet had to be cut into tiny pieces and then to the grinder.

Out of two hundred and fifty pounds, I could get only sixty pounds of ground meat. On Saturday morning, the homeless, winos, and drug addicts had free hamburgers. Dad was finally giving back to the community for years of loyal support.

I ended up with a big mess after all. I was glad dad had installed tile on all walls and floors, with Stainless steel equipment, a commercial water pressure washer, and plenty of drains. When I finished, the place looked shiny new again. The shop was free of bacteria and parasites. My dad was finally gone. Hallelujah!

Mexicans had a few exclusive advantages. For instance, we could kill another Mexican, and if somebody asked for him, we could answer: “He went back to Mexico, indefinitely.”

The next day, I opened the “Carnicería Jalisco” or “Jalisco Meat Market” for the first time as a sole proprietor.



Edmundo Barraza
Visalia, CA. 09-02-2012

*** Two new chapters will be posted every week starting on Saturday, Sept-18-2021