• Teresa Carrion

How Sergio Came To Be

a section from a story by Teresa Carrion

Sergio de la Torre Dorada Escondida was born on the other side of the rio Moreno. His mother, Lucia Escondida, gave birth to him at sunrise, on a muddy bank among the wet grasses and violet wildflowers. When he emerged from Lucia’s tired body his skin was a bright golden hue like the golden lizards that lived in the cypress grove. It was that otherworldly glow that the villagers would wonder and gossip about for decades.

But Lucia did not wonder as she held her illuminated son against her bare chest. Her dark wavy hair fell over his tiny glowing body as he cooed and squirmed, already restless in her thin but strong arms. She knew instantly he was a magical boy that would bring light to everyone he met, and that this restlessness was a sign of greatness.

Lucia, however, did not come into this world with the same brightness as her son. She arrived in this part of the jungle after her parents abandoned her in the capital city of Encuentro, on their way to the New World. They never planned for Lucia. She was a terrible but inevitable accident on that fearful night of the Great Storm of the century, which tore the houses from their roots and left nothing but a gigantic mound of shredded wood in the middle of the river.

When Lucia’s parents decided to follow their dreams of wealth and power, they felt that their wild raven-haired daughter would only complicate their journey and their assimilation within the rising classes. So they left her at the train station, wrapped in a blanket of Spanish moss and placed between a trashcan and the unattended shoeshine stand.

It was Alberto Escondida Fuerte, the silver haired shoeshine man, who found her later that morning and took her home to the village of Perdido. He gave her his name and raised her on his own. Alberto was a solitary man who lost his own daughter Maria and wife Lorena to that same Great Storm that helped to conceive Lucia. He lived alone ever since, shinning shoes in the city part-time and fishing in his wooden boat whenever he could.

Alberto took Lucia home and as soon as he set her down on the small nest he made for her from her blanket of Spanish moss, he knew finding her was meant to be. Lucia smiled in the glow of the smoldering embers of the wood stove. Night after night she slept calmly, until she grew older and darker.

As Lucia grew it became apparent she was an unusual girl. She would take long walks through the village alone. For hours she wandered and mumbled strange words under her breath. Some thought she was a witch or touched by the devil. Others were convinced she was some kind of dark angel fallen from grace. By the time she was fifteen her raven hair had grown past her waist and was so thick and wavy it took up more space than her thin body as she walked and walked around the marketplace, mumbling until sunset.

Years later, Coronel Ramon de la Torre Dorada and his 12 man troop came through Perdido during the Very Short War of the Swine. This invasive species of black swine, introduced by the Spaniards, was overrunning the jungle and eating all the healing plants and golden lizards.

Lucia was already a beautiful young woman when Coronel Ramon saw her in the marketplace. She had outgrown her mumbling and wandering phase and now sat very still next to the fruit vendor, between the apples and pears, playing her accordion and singing songs no one in the village understood. It was as if all those years of wandering and mumbling had filled her body with music and now it poured out of her like a waterfall of longing. Lucia’s songs made all the women in the village weep uncontrollably as they touched the tomatoes to check for their ripeness. These sorrowful women gave Lucia the nickname, the Sad Black Bird of Perdido.

It was on the third Sunday after his arrival that Coronel Ramon saw Lucia. Unlike the others who only felt the anguish in her songs, Coronel Ramon recognized something bright and deep, longing and passion, but still a pure and full of innocent joy.

Lucia knew Cornel Ramon understood her music as soon as he knelt down before her to drop a coin in her basket and locked his brown-eyed gaze with hers. He understood her language. Her music entered Ramon’s soul and created a bond with Lucia so strong that nothing would ever sever it.

She ran off into the jungle with him that night without fear or shame, and they got lost in the dark and in each other’s arms, on a pile of leaves and moss, where they stayed together until the sun rose revealing the new day they had both been waiting for all of their lives.

“Forever,” he told her. He kissed her long and deep as streams of golden morning light fell upon their bodies.

And so it was that their son, Sergio de la Torre Dorada Escondida, was born exactly nine months later on the muddy banks of the rio Moreno, among the wet grasses and the violet wildflowers. His golden, restless body quivered in the arms of his mother as she sat beside the cypress grove where the healing plants and golden lizards were saved, and continued to thrive until the end of time.

Golden lizard


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