Short Story

La Fiesta de San Felipe

The town of San Felipe was picturesque as a postcard. Festive lights glittered from palm trees surrounding the town square, adding to the brilliance of the star-filled sky. Sounds of splashing water emanated from a fountain. The band played a lively mix of merengue and salsa. In the midst of the square, Isobel could make out a swirling sea of brightly colored skirts. Her uncle, Marco, walked her over to one of the kioscos selling café, dulces tipicos, frituras and other Puerto Rican specialties. They ordered virgin coladas and alcapurrias and joined the couples sitting on stone benches. Isobel’s eyes wandered to the Spanish Colonial-style cathedral that dominated the eastern end of the plaza. Wreaths of hibiscus and bougainvillea flowers hung on the doors. The façade was white with a soft blue trim and renaissance-style windows that glowed from within with an unnatural red light. The building was very old and appeared to be standing guard over the plaza. Marco noticed where Isobel was staring.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, but kinda creepy.” Marco looked at the church pensively. The few days he had spent in the sun since their arrival in Puerto Rico were already reflected on his skin; the bronze glow visible evidence of his indigenous ancestry. In spite of the tiny lines at the corners of his intense gray eyes, Marco looked more handsome than ever. Coming back home had definitely agreed with him.

“Hmm…actually, el Catedral de San Felipe has a very compelling history. The locals think it’s cursed by demons.”