“La Llorona” and other traditional bugaboos from Mexican-American lore find modern young victims in this bilingual set of South Texas tales.
That ghostly mother seeking replacements for her dead children succeeds in two of Sandaña’s six offerings. The others are rather less eerie. Shy Joey fails to prevent his intended date, Marlen, from fatally “Dancing with the Devil,” and Cecelia comes to accept that “God’s Will Be Done” after a mysterious bull prevents her from meeting a suave stranger in defiance of parental orders. The other stories take almost comically grisly turns, with a mother’s warnings about the consequences of playing with knives coming literally true as “Louie Spills His Guts” through a small cut in his toe. Another lad is nearly “All Choked Up” in an ER waiting room by a severed hand that arrives in an ice chest. The original English versions occupy the first half of the volume, and their Spanish translations the second half.
Mild chills in either language. (Short stories. 10-12)