Él No Se Pierda Este Día


Father Estrella was drunk, but not too drunk to hear confession. Marco used to joke  it was better to have a drunk priest hear your litany of recent sins, since any righteousness on his part would be offset by the hypocrisy of his own weak soul– not that Father Estrella was ever especially righteous, even when sober.

“Say three Hail Marys and two Our Fathers,” said Father Estrella through the shutter, the wine on his breath giving the confessional a pothouse odor. “Go with God.”
She crossed herself and genuflected outside the booth, then hurried past the line of old women, wondering as always what sin a woman that old could commit.
Marco had said once that they likely borrowed sins from the radio plays, or else invented them altogether.
“But isn’t that blasphemy?” she asked, appalled.
“To a drunk priest?” he laughed.

The  square was bustling with villagers and merchants setting out painted skulls, cascarones, piñatas, and food for the fiesta. Bunting had been draped between trees and luminaria were set along the clean dirt paths. She heard somebody playing a trumpet in the distance. This would be the first Day of the Dead since Marco was killed. It had always been his favorite holiday.
“The only real holiday we have,” he  said.
She hoped he would come.
She hoped with all her heart.


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