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  • Charlaine LeRoux

Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Evil

Hey Bookworms! Listen, y’all. I have tried to explain several times, as recently as seven days ago, why you have to be on your toes at all times during road trips or maybe even skip them entirely. I have attempted to both shake your nerves and rattle your brains in the most loving way possible. Still, you persist. So, Imma pull out the big daddy of travel warnings and after that you can just trust your judgement and go with god. I’m sure as hell not going. That’s all I’ve got to say.

Three words. La Mala Hora. This is a being often more feared than the devil himself. In Spanish it translates to “the evil hour” or “the evil one”. LMH is a shapeshifting entity of pure evil that travels along lonely country roads looking for victims. It’s also the title of a novel by Gabriel Garcia Marques; while I’m not a Marques fan myself, I would not panic if I came across the novel on a deserted road in the middle of the night. Magical realism isn’t for everybody, but it’s not specifically out to kill you. To my knowledge. Who knows what information may come to light?

Anywho, back to the evil. La Mala Hora usually manifests as a dark sphere that pulses and undulates as it drifts down the lane. You might think it looked like a storm cloud from a distance. Then it would catch your scent and surge inexorably closer to you, billowing and contracting excitedly. At that point, you would likely urinate out of fear and slam on the gas. It doesn’t do any good. The wretched devil cloud keeps pace with you easily and soon overtakes you and swings around to the front of the car. You see, the primary goal of LMH is to hypnotize and paralyze it’s victim. It wants to break your will, oh what a thrill! Then it wants to rush forward and envelope you in its inky depths and suffocate you.

Then, of course, you’re dead. End of story. You may have gotten off easy though. La Mala Hora doesn’t take human form very often. When she does though she always meets you at a crossroads. Not in a sweet Bone Thugz N Harmony way either. She will suddenly appear at the side of your car. Cackling and reaching terrifyingly long nails out toward you. Scratching and scraping across your windows. Even if you gun it; put your foot down on the gas so hard that you’re flying, and she’s nothing but a misshapen nightmare in your rearview mirror it’s already too late. Either you or someone you love is going to die soon. Nothing you can do but cut your nails and twiddle your thumbs. You’re real nervous and it sure ain’t fun. Oh, baby. It’ll drive you crazy. Within twelve hours someone is gone.

Creepy right? The locals won’t even speak about it. If you ask they will look at you like you’re the dumbest dummy to ever dumb and then shake their heads. “It’s an evil thing” is all they’ll say before they walk away from you as fast as possible. Nobody wants to hang around the fool that keeps flapping their jaws about La Mala Hora. That’s just asking for trouble.

They are correct. I can’t put any kind of a positive spin on this one. Avoid this beast at all costs. If you must drive through New Mexico then for heaven’s sake do it during the day. If you can’t avoid driving at night then I wish you the best of luck. I hope that the only version of La Mala Hora that you encounter is a tale of small town gossip that becomes a rumination of the corrupt power of the Mexican government. It’s not exactly a fun beach read, but it also won’t physically suffocate you and sometimes that the best that you can ask for. If you are looking for a fun beach read, check out My Name is Trouble. It's dope, y'all. Later days, Bookworms!

#bookreview #folkloreFriday #folklore #featurepost

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