Category Archives: Tucson

The Spider Lady: Final Episode

The Spider Lady
by Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez
From The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry

     A few months went by and I didn’t hear anything concerning the spider lady.  A little after five in the afternoon one day I got a call at a doctor’s office.  I had never been there before.  I was impressed when I read on the sign that was next to the door of the office that it was a woman doctor who was a naturopathic doctor.

     A very pretty, young, brunette woman who was close to my own age at the reception desk smiled.  She seemed especially friendly and cheerful.  She said she would go get the person who called for the taxi.  She returned and smiling she said, “She’ll be just a minute.”  There were women and children in the waiting room.  Then I saw her in the semi-darkness of the room approaching me.  It was the spider lady.  She was wearing a long, dark print dress.

     I went to open the back door of the taxi for her and she said she wanted to sit in the front so I opened the front passenger door for her.  As we were riding along I thought how strange that we were riding in a car together with daylight all around on a warm, sunny afternoon with a touch of coolness in the air.  She seemed calm, patient, relaxed and humble.  She was gazing off into space.  She sat in her long, dark print dress with her arms resting on her lap.  Her wrists and hands were placed just above her knees, her palms up.  Her fingers were delicately curved as if she was posing in a peaceful, serene and beautiful position.

     Then I saw it!  On both of her wrists were plastic, stick-on bandages.  I kept looking in disbelief while she remained calm and serene.  She was gazing into the distance ahead with slightly lowered eyelids as if in a surreal state of melancholy and peacefulness.  I looked again at the bandages in exactly the places on someone’s wrists where a person would slash with a razor blade to commit suicide. 

     I looked at her face so calm, serene and transcendent.  Except for glints of light that reflected from her eyes as we drove along she seemed motionless and in a state of relaxation.  It seemed as if she had wanted me to see her bandages.  She wanted me to know. 

     When we were on her street and getting close to her house she asked me to stop a few houses away from hers.  She said she wanted to walk the rest of the way.  I offered to get out and open the door for her but she insisted on letting herself out.  She reached for the door handle.  She seemed listless as if drugged.  I patiently pointed to help her find the door handle.

     The afternoon just before sunset was in a golden glow as I watched her walking ahead of me with the skirts of her dark, elegant dress swaying while she walked past the yellow and green lawns of the neighborhood towards her own home.  She walked with sadness and serenity as if introspective.  I never heard anything of the spider lady again.

    I remembered I had told the cab drivers and dispatcher that no such spider that is completely black with a smooth, hard skin of that size exists in this area that I’ve ever heard of.  It was larger than tarantulas which I have seen in Arizona and tarantulas are furry and brown.  Was it just a spider?  Where did those webs come from on the porch that I had just walked through?  What was that smell of death?  Did she practice evil magic and lure men to their death, murdering them in the belief that she could gain power from death like a female spider that seduces males to have sex with her and then devours them?

When I read in a magazine about how a man turned in Jeffrey Dauhmer, the serial killer, to the police because of smelling an unusual smell that made him think of death and then he looked into Jeffrey Dauhmer’s bedroom to see bed sheets covered with caked, dried blood it reminded me of the smell in the spider lady’s house.

     Did I break her magic spell by writing a verse of poetry?   Did she use poetry for evil, magic purposes to cast her spells and did I defeat her unwittingly because of being a poet myself?  Was her seduction spell over me that important to her that when I used her own medium to break her spell she attempted suicide?  Or is the writing and publishing of this story the final breaking of a spell that may have gone beyond the grave?  At this point I know there are people who practice magic, both good and bad. 

Continued from:

https://markalbertoyodernunez.blog/2019/07/24/the-spider-lady-episode-three/

eBook on Kalamazoo Public Library: The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry

eBook: The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry
by Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez
Kalamazoo Public Library

Aphorisms on active rain.com including a quote from the spider lady

“-Truly, freeing oneself in one’s own mind is only the first step on a path of freedom.-” 
― Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez, The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry

For sale at these fine bookstores:

Denna samling noveller, dikter, aforismer och humor av Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez är tänkt att vara underhållande och inspirerande för alla som älskar god läsning.

Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez의 단편 소설,시, 경구, 유머의 모음집은 좋은 독서를 좋아하는 사람들에게 즐거움과 고무감을주기위한 것입니다.

Spindeldamen handlar om en ung taxichaufför som möter en mycket konstig äldre kvinna. Det är en mörk memoar. McArthur Street berör en pojke som växte upp i Tucson på sextiotalet och hans kämpar med gott och ont.

スパイダーレディは、非常に奇妙な年上の女性に出会う若いタクシー運転手に関するものです。それは暗い回顧録です。マッカーサーストリートは、60年代にツーソンで育った少年と、善と悪との闘いに関するものです。

rate this book on good reads: the spider lady and other short stories and poetry

For sale world wide:

website referrers

Thank you to all the websites that have referred to my blog with links!

I hope people will be entertained with my writing! I like to
have fun with literary clichés. I have made literary references
that seem to turn in on themselves about literature and writing
itself. My goal is to inspire imaginations! If I have succeeded
in that then it is an accomplishment.
The Dream, The Spider Lady, McArthur Street, Catholic
School Stories and Liquor Store Stories are works of creative
non-fiction. If you are wondering how The Dream could be
non-fiction it is because it is straight reportage of an actual
dream I had. All the events in my non-fiction stories are true
to the best of my memory. The creativity is in how I tell the
story. The Talisman is a psychological fantasy and The Ghost
Ship is just a great, ghost story!

The Switchblade

From Catholic School Stories
The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry

      In the sixth grade at St. John’s School there was a new boy we had never seen before.  His name was Chango which in Spanish, I was told, means monkey.  He had brown skin, very short, nappy hair and big ears that stuck out noticeably on the sides of his long face.  I could see how he got the nickname.  I never knew what his real name was.  Even the teachers called him Chango.  It seemed to be his preferred name.

     The boys and girls told me that he had been in public school but he kept getting into trouble so his parents sent him to the Catholic school.  They told me that he had flunked a grade so he had been put back one class.  He indeed was taller than the rest of us.

He liked to talk and smiled a lot, I noticed, when I was introduced to him.  In the schoolyard he liked to talk to us boys in his class.  He liked to tell stories and found a receptive audience.  It wasn’t long before he started talking about how he was always shoplifting.  He mentioned stealing pencils, erasers and crayons from a drug store that was across the street from the school.  He kept bragging more and more about all the things he would steal.  It wasn’t long before some of the other boys started to brag about stealing things like pencils from the drug store.  “How many pencils?” Chango interrogated.  The bragging about shoplifting seemed to be increasing.

     At this time some boys I knew in my neighborhood and I were really into comic book heroes.  We talked about being like them and trying to fight crime.  I was disturbed about Chango’s bad influence on the boys at school.  On a Saturday I went into the store with my two friends and asked to speak to the manager of the store.  The man in his short sleeve, white shirt and black tie came and listened to me.  I told him about Chango.  He asked me to describe him.  After I described him the manager said he would be looking out for him.  He thanked me.  My friends and I left the store.  That was about it.  It wasn’t exactly like being a super hero but it was a start.  My friends seemed to be impressed that I wasn’t all talk. 

     It wasn’t long after that Chango started something new.  He was sitting on top of one of the little bicycle racks we had in the schoolyard.  It was under a shady tree next to a wall of the convent.  The boys in my class were gathered in front of him, some to the left and some to the right.  I walked up to see what was going on.  I walked to see up the center of the boys who were on each side with Chango straight ahead of me on his seat.  Chango was telling the boys stories when he pulled out a switchblade.  He held it up and pressed the button.  The double edged blade shot out from the side and locked into place with a click.  This was no ordinary switchblade.  I could tell that the blade was long enough for this knife to be considered an illegal, deadly weapon.  Chango wielded the knife and passed it over to his other hand.  He was brandishing the knife while telling his stories of how tough it is in public school.  I watched for awhile and walked away.

     The next day was the same in the schoolyard.  Chango was on his seat on the bicycle rack with his audience of boys from my class.  He was brandishing the switchblade knife.  He was telling his public school stories.  He was getting a feeling of power from his display.  Once again I walked away.      I had held switchblade knives in my hands myself.  Some Mexican boys who were neighbors had brought them into my back yard.  They told me that these knives were legal because their blades were less than three inches.   People bought these knives in Mexico and brought them over the border in Nogales.

     There are two kinds of switchblade knives.  One kind has a blade that shoots straight out from the handle when the button is pressed.  The other swivels out at lightning speed from the side when the button is pressed.  There is a spring inside that makes the blades shoot out so fast.  With both kinds of knives there is a familiar clicking sound when the blade locks into place.  Even with a blade that is over three inches if it is only sharp on one side it is not illegal, I was told.  It is the knives that are razor sharp on both sides that are considered to be dangerous, concealed weapons.  I had held all of these kinds of knives in my hands and pressed the buttons.  I knew the feeling of the lightning fast response and the clicking of the blades into place. 

     Chango’s was the first switchblade I had seen that was illegal.  I made up my mind that I would not allow this in my school.      The next day when the other boys were in the schoolyard I walked into the principal’s office.  I had never been in the principal’s office before.  I walked in out of the hot, Tucson sun.  There was a middle aged woman with a round face behind a desk who asked if she could help me.  I said that I wanted to talk to the principal.  Before she could ask me what it was concerning the principal looked out from her office door and told the lady to send me in.  I noticed that the front office where the lady was and the office where the principal sat at her desk were very tiny and there were piles of papers and folders everywhere. The principal, Sister Ynez, in her white habit asked me what it was about.

     I started telling her about Chango.  I told her about how he bragged about shoplifting and had gotten the other boys to start bragging about it, too.  She listened intently, looking thoughtful with her little, gold, wire rimmed glasses.  I told her that he was bringing a switchblade knife to school and showing it to the other boys.  She asked where he kept the switchblade knife.  I said, “In his pocket”.  The principal thanked me for coming in and telling her.  I walked out of the cluttered little offices into the bright sunlight of the schoolyard.  I could tell that the lady in the front office had been listening as she made busy with her paperwork.  

     It was the middle of the morning in class at St. John’s school.  All the students were looking down at their desks working on their assignment.  The principal appeared at the open, front door in her white habit.  At her side was a tall, athletic looking, young man who was dressed in a dark suit with a tie.  I knew what was coming.  The principal commanded, “We want to see Chango!”  Everyone was silent.  I sat up straight in my desk.  All the students were looking down at their desks.  Even the teacher, a pretty, young lay woman with brown hair, looked down and then she looked up from her desk just a little bit.       I looked at Chango.  I was sitting in the same row, a few desks behind him.  He had been looking straight down at his desk.  With his head still down he looked around to his right.  Then he looked around to his left.  I could see his eyes moving this way and that.  He lifted himself slowly from his desk as if he had a heavy weight on his soul and mind.  When he came to be standing he looked around himself and at the students in the class.  His mouth was pursed.  All the while his head was bowed.  He sluggishly started walking forward.  He turned from the aisle.  He walked to the right, past the teacher’s desk, toward the principal and the young man in the suit who were waiting for him at the door.  The three of them turned from the door and walked away with Chango in the center.

     I looked at the boys and girls in my class.  They had been looking down at their desks the entire time.  They continued to look down as if afraid to even look to the side.  I went back to doing my school work.  We never saw Chango again. 

One of the three Roberts in my class started bringing a switchblade knife to school.  It had a blade that was less than three inches so it was legal.  He sat in Chango’s place on the bike rack brandishing the knife and talking like the way Chango had.  I watched him and walked away.  He did this about three times and then stopped.  He was one of the Roberts whose family owned a ranch in Tucson.  Everything returned to normal at school.  Chango had been in with gangs.  I probably saved his life.

Catholic School Stories: First Holy Communion

Communion

I started school in first grade. Kindergarten was not
required in those days. I was still five. It was then that I had
my first big crush. Her name was Theresa. She had pale,
blonde hair and fair skin. She was so beautiful I couldn’t stop
looking at her.

I was considered to be the smartest boy in the class. She
was considered to be the smartest girl. I was, also, the smallest
boy in the class. She was the smallest girl. Consequently
when we had to march in single file to go somewhere else in
the school or to the church we were first in each of the lines
with the boys in the left line and the girls in the right line. The
smallest to the tallest in each line and so we always held hands.
I must admit I loved to hold her hand. She didn’t seem to mind
holding mine although she seemed a little embarrassed and she
smiled coyly. I was glad. I loved to walk beside her through
the breezeways of St. John The Evangelist School.

In the second grade we started to study for our first holy
communion. Our parents had to buy us boys a little, blue, clip
on tie to wear. The boys got a package with a black prayer
book. It had a cover that held a rosary. The girls got a white
prayer book and rosary.

On the day of the first holy communion I was the first in the
line of boys on the left side of the center aisle. Theresa was the
first in the line of girls on the right side. We marched slowly as
we were taught with our hands pressed flat together, fingers
pointed straight up in prayer on our way to the altar. When we
got to the altar the boys knelt down at the altar in a line to the
left. The girls knelt down in a line to the right. Since I and
Theresa were at the front of the line we were the only boy and
girl kneeling down at the altar next to each other.

I couldn’t stop turning to my right to look at her. Her hands
were on the altar pressed together in prayer. She had a circle
of white lace, bobby pinned on top of her beautiful, blonde
hair. She looked so beautiful in her white, communion dress.
She looked straight ahead with a rhapsodic look in her eyes. I
thought I saw just a trace of a smile on her dainty face. Two
priests came to us to give each of us the host. Altar boys held
gold patens under our chins while each priest took a host from
their gold chalices to place the hosts on our tongues. They said,
“The Body of Christ” and we both said, “Amen”.

 

If you are interested in this eBook: Amazon or My Book Page

McArthur Street: Creative Non-Fiction: Episode One

McArthur Street Downsized

All evil seems to arise from the desire to dominate others.
Most men in our society are taught from a very early age to try
to dominate. It isn’t something that they think about
consciously. It operates at a subconscious level. They are
taught by the adults around them and their peers. Someone
dominates them and they in turn try to dominate others. They
do it without even realizing it and they do it without even
thinking about why. It is without question. In their conscious
awareness they may aspire to grandiose ideals but their actions
speak for what really motivates them from a subconscious
level.
-Mark Alberto Yoder Nuñez

When was it? When I started sixth grade and I was still ten
my older brother, Daniel, the oldest of the family, a year older
than myself, made friends with a boy in his class, Jimmy. It
turned out that Jimmy lived on the next street to the north of
ours, a street called McArthur Street. Our street was called E.
Illinois Street. It was unusual to meet someone who went to
our own school who, also, lived in our neighborhood since we
went to a Catholic, parochial school miles farther away than
the local public school. This was certainly a novelty. So it
was in a mood of high spirits that I went with my older brother
on a warm, Tucson, Saturday morning to visit in a foreign land,
McArthur Street, the street next to ours.

Jimmy was standing in his front yard expecting us. It was
the second house from the end after crossing the street. The
day was already growing hot in the desert climate. Jimmy was
much taller than my brother. He had blonde hair and was very
Caucasian looking with his pale skin. My brother introduced
us. Everyone seemed to be in high spirits.

I think the first thing that made a serious impression on me
about that first meeting was when Jimmy talked about the boys
who lived in the corner house next to his. It was a neat
looking, little house with a low chain link fence around the
front yard, a nicely mowed lawn and well cultivated flower
beds and shrubbery with a shady tree in front. Jimmy said to
watch out for the boys who lived there because they were
really ba-a-ad. Having never met Jimmy before and being a
child, together with the fact that he seemed an amiable enough
boy, I decided to trust him with the things that he said.

We were looking toward the house across the street and I
saw a very pretty, teenage girl walking in the front walk
towards the front door of the house. She had bouncy, medium
length, dark brown hair and she smiled at me with a big, nice
smile showing her white teeth. Then she went into the house.
Jimmy said that once she went out on a date with a guy on
Saturday night and he didn’t bring her home until the next
morning. I had to think for a moment about what Jimmy was
trying to imply. With the tone in his voice it sounded like he
was trying to put this pretty girl down. I liked her. I wasn’t
going to pay attention to what Jimmy said.

After this we had made our way to the gravel and dirt
driveway of Jimmy’s house. Suddenly a younger boy came
out of the house on the other side of Jimmy’s. He had medium
brown hair and came running up to Jimmy like a happy puppy
excited about meeting new friends. Jimmy said, “This is
John.” Jimmy then promptly started hitting John over the head
with a rolled up newspaper he had picked up from the
driveway. The poor boy ran away crying back into his house.
I was horrified at what I had just seen. Jimmy simply resumed
his conversation and invited us into his house to show us
around.

At this point I suppose had we been a little older and more
experienced in life we would have seriously started to wonder
about Jimmy. However since we were charged with the
euphoria of something that is so important to children at that
age, making a new friend, together with how nice Jimmy acted
towards us, we accepted his friendship. We went with him into
his house, met his mother and accepted his hospitality.

It wasn’t too long after this that one Saturday my brother
took me along with Jimmy to meet another friend of theirs on a
long trek, miles away, beyond St. John’s school. This boy was
named John, too. He was in the same grade as my brother and
Jimmy. He had brown hair and was tall like Jimmy. John had
a nice, big house with a very large yard and an apple orchard
adjacent. He took us out in the middle of the orchard. It was
cool and pleasant under the shade of the apple trees. John had
very short hair like a crew-cut and stood up very straight. He
actually seemed slightly taller than Jimmy. John was the kind
of guy who wore buttoned sweaters and sometimes would wear
a turtle neck dickie under his shirt. He was very conservative
looking. This was the mid-sixties era. John seemed like an
intellectual, scientific looking kind of a guy. He seemed
almost a bit aristocratic in the way he spoke. Walking back
toward his house John pointed out his tree house in the back
yard. It wasn’t like our tree house in our back yard which was
just a wooden platform in the tree limbs made of scrap wood.
John’s tree house had plywood walls and a roof. John had
electricity and a television in his tree house.

We went into John’s house and Jimmy and John suggested
that we play a board game called Risk. They wanted to be on
one team and have my brother and me be on the other team.
Not knowing any better we agreed. It didn’t occur to us at the
time that Jimmy and John knew how to play the game and we
didn’t.

In this game there was a map of the world and various
armies in different colors with equal numbers of pieces. Each
team member received two armies and the world was divided
evenly between the two teams with an equal number of
countries. At the beginning of the game each team was
supposed to distribute its armies across all of its countries.

My brother and I logically assumed that we should
distribute our armies as evenly as possible in all the different
areas to protect against attacks. John and Jimmy to our
surprise left the minimum of one army in most of their
countries and massed the bulk of their armies in a few areas.
We soon found out why. Everything was decided by the roll of
the dice but besides the roll of the dice odds were taken into
account based on the number of armies engaged in each battle.
So therefore the roll of the dice could be in our favor but the
odds in terms of the number of armies could be so
overwhelming that we would still lose the battle. While we
were losing armies they were gaining armies. We of course in
our turn attacked only their countries that had minimum
protection and kept gaining countries while they were only
losing one army at a time. It wasn’t long that we had control
over most of the world but had lost most of our armies. The
armies we had left were thinly spread while Jimmy and John
had armies massed in a few areas. The tide of the battles
turned completely against us as the odds were so high against
us that we soon were losing every battle. Even when it was our
turn to attack we were faced with battles we couldn’t win.

At this point we wanted to just quit and end the game. John
and Jimmy said that we couldn’t and that we had to finish the
game. We finished out the game to satisfy our new found
friends but we were reduced to a state of total demoralization.
Even when I asked again to quit the game they were insistent
that we had to finish the game. I couldn’t help but wonder
what kind of people are these? If they had wanted a good
game they would have had an inexperienced person on the
same team with someone who knew the game. Instead they
wanted to crush and dominate. They weren’t interested in a
fair game.

Continued on:

https://markalbertoyodernunez.blog/2019/08/03/mcarthur-street-episode-two/

From The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry. EBook for free in exchange for a review on Noise Trade!

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