“Marcos! Marrrccoos,” the parrot screeched to 15 year old Marcos Reyes as he walked in the back door. “Shhhh, Mama will hear,” Marcos whimpered back. “I already heard. Don’t you know that every time you walk in that back door the parrot calls out? Where have you been, it’s 3 o’ clock in the morning! You have things to do.” Mrs. Reyes yelled so loud that Marcos’ 4 younger brothers and sister were all up and screaming. Marcos could not take the stress and responsibility that was put on him. He had just turned 15 and was like a father to his brothers. A tear fell down from his dark brown eye to the floor. Marcos looked down, whispering to himself, “Te quiero Papa.” Then he ran out the back door.
“She just doesn’t understand what I do for her. I go to school every day so I can come home and take care of my brothers. I love them all very much, it’s just I miss my Papa. Every since he died Mama has never been the same with me. I just wanted one night, my birthday night so I can go out and see friends and not have to worry about cleaning up and putting them all to sleep. Why can’t she just love me?” Marcos had been walking all night and morning. He had grown very tired and unfamiliar with his surroundings. The mocking sun beat down on his dark face. Sweat dripped from his forehead, evaporating before it even his the ground. And then, he collapsed.
The ground shook. The beat of the drums matched the beat of Marcos’ heart as he awoke. Blurry figures seemed to be dancing around him. The chants grew louder and the figures got closer. He rubbed his eyes so he could make out who these mysterious dancers were. Marcos sat up and saw hundreds of Native American dancers with beautiful headdresses chanting and dancing around him. Although they were not normal. They were all skeletons. The wind whistled through the trees and right through the ribs of the skeletons. “Madre de Dios. I must be in a dream. Passed out in the middle of the New Mexican desert and hallucinating,” Marcos said as he tried to remember what had happen. The skeleton’s bones rattled as their skinny legs and feet moved to the beat of the drums and graceful chants that came out of their hollow heads. Some how it made Marcos feel comfortable. “This is incredible,” he thought aloud. Then he remember the stories that his father told him long ago, of the Skeleton Dancers that seek the ones in need. He remembered his father’s words, “Marcos, remember, if anything happens to me, or you need help do not worry. The Skeleton Dancers will find you. And when they do, always think of me because I am with you Mijo.” At that time Marcos new that this was a sign, a sign of hope. He got up and danced with them the rest of the night.
The next morning he headed back home. When he got their his Mama was sitting crying. “Marcos! I am so sorry.” Mrs. Reyes ran and hugged her son. “No I am sorry, Mama. You have had trouble with the loss of Papa and I am here. I have hope.” After things were settled between them he went into his room and found the most beautiful headdress on his bed.