Grandma used to warn me about the cotton tree.
It’s where spirits go when they don’t want to sleep.
They linger for years waiting for the next,
hoping it’s a family member that won’t get them upset.
Night time I would be afraid because there is a cotton tree in our backyard with the roots slowly decaying.
I would see grandma take a glass of rum, throwing it at the cotton tree.
When I asked, she would say, “so Grandpa can drink it and finally go to sleep”.
It seems like Grandpa loves the cotton tree because Grandma keeps on giving him rum and he still won’t leave.
I wanted to test the theory for myself, to see if Grandma was telling the truth or if she needs help.
Maybe nursing homes could assist, but first I needed to see if the cotton tree spirits exist.
She was sleeping, a good opportunity to prove the theory.
I took a glass of rum and went to sit under the tree.
Waited for hours, boredom started to overtake me.
I got up and sipped the glass of rum, first time tasting alcohol and it was awful.
My head started to feel dizzy, I looked at the glass and said,
“Hell no, a sip isn’t supposed to make me tipsy.”
Three ladies appeared in front of me, I recognized all of them.
Little Rosy was killed by her drunk father, who put a bullet in her head to spite her mother.
Paulette had an asthma attack when she was playing football with her brother and his pack.
Anna who was missing for over a month now, guess I now know where she is.
The three spirits formed a circle around me, begging me to play with them under the cotton tree.
They were happy, laughing.
I was terrified, sweating.
I could feel my chest tighten up.
I could feel my own soul giving up.
“Leave her alone, is not your family.”
I could finally breathe.
I turned around and it was my grandfather staring at me.
No smile, No laughter.
With a straight face, he said, ” Never come here again, if you feel yourself being drawn to this tree, your life is near to an end.”
I ran to house and hug grandma, she smiled and whispered, ” I did warned you about the cotton tree, where spirits go when they don’t want to sleep.