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Familiar Ghost

"You don't have to awaken the dead. They're already up"

Quote by Migdoel Noel Torres

I remember the stories I heard from my parents as I was growing up. Those stories used to make me have nightmares.

My mother told me a story of something that happened to her when she was a child, maybe about 10. She lived in the countryside or what we call El Monte in Spanish.

Now the homes back then were made of wood and the roof of tin. This took place in 1938 in Guayama, Puerto Rico.

This story still gives me goosebumps after so many years.

My mom tells me that she had gone out to play by herself in the back of the house. By the way, there are no fences since the closest neighbor is about a mile away.

She said it was still daylight and she was playing outside when she heard a rustling in the trees. There were so many trees but only one of the trees seemed to have had its leaves moving and there was no wind. A bird no doubt my mom thought to herself, but she took a better look and saw a male figure standing on a branch. She started walking his way. As she got closer she recognized him, it was her uncle Pedro Garcia.

He was looking at her as he stood on a branch of a Mongo tree about 20 feet high up. He was holding on to the tree with one hand as the other was limp by his side.

Mom said he just stared at her as she approached the tree. When she was a few feet away from the tree, she started yelling at him in Spanish, "Tio, me asustaste! Que hases ahi?

(Uncle, you scared me! What are you doing there?) Her uncle didn't say a word as he just followed her with his eyes as she got even closer.

"Tio, Baja o se lo digo a mami! (Uncle, get down or I'm telling Mom!) Her uncle didn't say a word, he was looking down at her impression-less.

She got so upset when she repeated for him to get down and he didn't listen, so she grabbed a few Mongos that had fallen from the tree and threw them at him.

She then turned and ran back to the house she screamed, "I telling Mommy, you're trying to scare me."

Once inside my grandmother was making dinner and she had a knife in her hand. My mom ran in screaming that Uncle Pedrito was trying to scare her.

My grandmother dropped the knife and turned to her daughter, "Que?" (What?) Again my mother repeated what she said. And told her that Pedrito her nephew was hiding up high in a Mongo tree.

My grandmother turned pale as my mom grabbed her by the hand and led her outside. Once outside my mom looked at the spot where her uncle was standing, but he was gone. "Adonde esta?" (Where is he?) My grandmother said in a worried voice. My mom pointed at the spot where she had seen him standing, "El estaba ahi!" (He was right there!)

My grandmother looked and all she saw was the leaves of the Mongo tree slowly stop swaying. "Otra ves, A quien tu viste?" (Once again, who did you see?) "Tio, Pedrito." (Uncle Pedrito.)

My grandmother turned a whiter shade of pale. "Pedrito Garcia?" "Si mommy!" my mom told her. My grandmother got on her knees and asked her again as she looked into my mom's eyes

that were now getting watery because she knew her mother wasn't going to believe her with her uncle hiding. "Estas segura que era el?" (Are you sure it was him?)

"Si Mommy. El esataba ahi, en ese árbol." (Yes Mommy. He was in that tree.) she said as she pointed at where she had last seen him.

My grandmother got up and stared at the tree. "Eso es Imposible!" (That's impossible!) my grandmother yelled as she made the sign of the cross. "Si mommy era el!" (Yes Mommy it was him.") "No, no,---- no puede ser!" (It can't, can't --- can't be!) My mom looked at her mother who seemed very scared. "Porque Mommy?" (Why Mommy?) My grandmother squeezed my mom's hand, "Porque tu tio Pedro se murio la semana pasada!" (Because your uncle Pedro died last week!)

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