I don’t believe in ghosts or any other witchcraft or paranormal stuff. I never saw or heard anything strange until what happened with the scissors. Our house was one of the last houses before you entered the forest. My wife was pregnant with our first born and she could not do much work around home anymore.
There was an old woman who lived by herself deep into the forest, alone. People would say that she was a witch because she was not afraid to live in the forest in her own, in darkness and away from the rest of the people. She would never talk to anybody, so it was weird that she would stop by all of the sudden and talk to my wife.
“Remedios, you should wear something red because there is a lunar eclipse coming soon and your child might come deformed.”
“How did you know I am pregnant, I just found out yesterday myself.”
“Oh, I am an old woman, and I can see it in your face, your body, the way you talk and walk.”
My wife did not pay any attention that day, but Francisca would insist in coming to the house and offer her help.
“Remedios, you will need me to help around the house, don’t lift heavy loads and do not sweep today. If you sweep on Saturdays and Tuesdays you sweep away the good luck and money.”
As time went by, Francisca’s visits became more frequent. Sometimes she would be there inside the house as if she had never left. The doors and windows would be locked up and no traces of breaking in would be found. Every morning she would be there sitting down looking at my wife sleeping. It was as if she was part of the family.
“Remedios, get up, breakfast is ready. I made some Chamomile tea for you. I want you and your child to be healthy.”
One day, while talking with some friends, someone suggested to me to see if Francisca was a witch or not. Ramon Lopez said that I should get a pair of scissors and when Francisca was inside of the house, I should put them in the shape of a cross by the door.
“You should try it Salome. You will see that if she is a witch she will not be able to cross that door until you decide to let her go.”
The next day I got some scissors from my wife’s drawers and hid them by the door as soon as Francisca was inside the house. I was curious to find out what reaction Francisca would have. Then, to my surprise as soon as she got to the door, she would find an excuse not to leave the house.
“I need to go Remedios. I will see you tomorrow. Oh, I almost forgot, put some salt by the window, it will bring protection to your family.”
Francisca would walk towards the door once more as if she was leaving and once she got closer by the scissors, she would step back and said something else.
“I also forgot to tell you that you must put a candle by your bed to protect you from bad spirits.”
From the chair by the window, where I was sitting, I was able to see her restless face. Francisca, from time to time would turn and look at me as if she knew what I was doing to her. That’s when I decided I had enough, she was really a witch and I could feel it. She was here for my new born and I had to protect my wife and my son from anybody who would cause any harm to them. I finally took the scissors away from the door and let Francisca go. My curiosity was fulfilled and Francisca had, without knowing, given me the tools to protect my family from the dangers she and others like her could pose.
Since that day, nothing was heard from Francisca. Some people said they had found her on the top of a tree, trapped by two big branches, two crossed branches in form of scissors, since then the tree was called the scissors’ tree. Others would call it the witches’ tree. Then one night, one stormy night, a lightning struck the tree and it dried up to its roots. The next day my wife made a wooden cross and wrote the name of Francisca on it. She then put flowers at the foot of the dead tree. Ever since, every year, during spring time, all kinds of flowers grow by the scissors’ tree. My wife and my five year old son would go from time to time to visit the place where Francisca had died. They would take flowers and put them at the foot of the dry tree, then they would pray the rosary and fix and clean the place. Also, since then, my wife would go and help out friends and neighbors with their new born babies.
“Laura, I think you should rest, it is not good for both of you to get up so early. The morning mist will bring asthma to you unborn daughter.”
“I just got married, I am not pregnant!”
“You got pregnant yesterday; it is a good day for someone to get pregnant on the 18th.”
I never listen to my friends anymore; I don’t experiment with scissors or any other objects. The scissors’ tree is no longer there, in its place, colorful buckets of wild baby breaths, puppies and lilies, grow with the stormy nights of March. At the exact place where the scissor tree stood, a cross surrounded by a pile of rocks, lay there inclined at an angle forming a perfect X. In some occasions someone would try to straight it up, but then as if some one would like it that way, it would go back to its original position. I can’t sleep well ever since, I would get up in the middle of the night and feel the empty space of my bed, and as if in a dream, I see a shadow slighting out of the covers, gliding through the door and getting lost into the obscure density of the forest.