Baked Squeebs In Butter Sauce

…because boiled squeebs are just plain nasty

365 People, Places & Things #97

Beware on those moonlight walks on the beach.

Alt. Rocks: The Sand Woman

She’s not actually made of sand, you know. I reckon she’s made of ectoplasm or somesuch, but she takes up the sand to have a solid form. Under the moonlight, even up close, she looks pretty normal. And beautiful and sad.

Researching the legend (is it still a legend if you know it’s real and true?) was pretty easy. Newspaper office in town has issues on file for every week of the last 133 years. The issue for October 4th, 1885 had her obituary and a full page written about her by her sister. Pretty moving stuff, actually.

Anyway, her name was Josefina Delgado and she was the daughter of the town’s baker and his wife. Middle child of nine and by all accounts a quiet young lass not given to doing anything that might get her in trouble. Leastwise, not until she got up around 17. That’s when she was told by her parents to choose a husband from among several suitors. Problem was, she didn’t want to get married to anybody. She told her folks that she wanted to go to the big city (Los Angeles) and study to be an artist, which she had great talent towards. Her folks shot that down on the grounds that it was unseemly for a young girl to go to school all alone like that, plus they couldn’t afford it so she had better damned well choose a husband.

Well, she shut herself up in the attic of the house for a few days and painted a bunch of pictures, all of them showing her walking on the beach in the moonlight. Wouldn’t eat anything and, according to her sister, kinda went crazy….talking to herself and praying and such.

Finally, after 4 days, she came on down and ate a bit and apologized to everyone and hugged them and such. She told everyone that she would let them know her decision that night, after a walk alone on the beach. They were all pretty glad she had come to her senses, but her younger sister was still concerned about her. She thought something was up, so that evening after dinner, when Josefina went on her walk, Serafina (the younger sister) snuck up to the attic to look around.

What she found was a bunch of paintings, 15 of them, all arranged in a circle. The first was small, only 6” square, and showed Josefina at the top of the trail that lead down to the beach. Each painting in turn got a bit bigger and showed her going farther along the the beach, until the last one, that showed just a section of beach and the moonlight on the water.

As Serafina looked at it, she saw Josefina walk into the painting and then lie down on the sand. As she watched, the painted girl took a small bottle out of her skirt pocket and drank it. Then she just smiled and closed her eyes.

At that point, Serafina knew what was going on and ran screaming down to her parents. It took them a few minutes to calm her down enough to get the full story, but once they had it, everyone headed for the beach. Sure enough, the found Josefina there, dead from poison.

Later on, somebody brought those pictures down from the attic and it was noticed that Josefina was not in any of them. A few days later, all of the paintings just up and disappeared from the room they had been put into. Nobody looked very hard trying to find them.

One year to the day after her death, a young fisherman who had grown up with her saw Josefina walking down the beach. Scared though he was, he spoke to her as she passed, but all she did was smile at him. Since then, hundreds of folks have seen her. She usually makes a couple of trips up and down the two mile stretch of beach every couple of weeks or so. She never speaks and it you try to touch her, she just dissolves into sand. And once every few years, somebody finds a painting down there on the beach. Subject matter is always different, but it’s never a picture of a beach. Some years ago, an art critic came to town and saw them. He said they were the work of a very talented artist.

I reckon Josefina was glad to hear that.

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