Miracle, Milagro, Mojeza

Dusk, Harlingen, Texas. Jaime found himself running for his life after making a wrong turn in an unfamiliar neighborhood. He was not sure who it was, but he knew one thing: he had to run.

While he ran, he fumbled with his belt for his own handgun just in case he managed to get a clean line of sight on his attackers. But, just as he was a few blocks from his own home, he heard a loud trk-trk-trk behind him. He hit a crack in the concrete and fell, feeling bullets pierce his skin and enter his body. Helanded face up on the pavement and his fear turned to amazement when he felt no pain.

He shut his eyes.

Two voices carried by two pairs of footsteps carried a hint of bewilderment.

“Is he…alive?”

“I shot him seven times. He’s dead. Look, he’s not breathing.”

“But…there’s no blood?”

“Flip him over, you’ll see that his entire back’s going to be a mess.”

They never got the chance. Jaime opened his eyes and the sudden shock froze his two assailants. He brought up his own handgun and emptied eight rounds into the men standing over him. He kept on pressing the trigger until a dull click clic click let him know the chamber was empty.

Thousands of miles away, just off the Yemeni coast, there was a sudden burst of excited oohs and aahs off in the distance. “Come quick, Na’em.” Yasmeen said, tugging at her older brother’s hand. Na’em played along, happy to entertain Yasmeen’s eight-year-old fascination with everything around her. He was eighteen now, and envied her lack of worries as he pondered whether or not his grades were good enough to get him into the international students’ program. He would have to leave her behind, but until then, he would cherish every moment. He didn’t even mind that it took them twenty whole minutes to get to where Yasmeen wanted to take him because she kept poking her head into stores whenever she could.

“Show me, sister,” he said, and let her lead him to something that made his heart stop and every logical gear in his analytical mind come to a sudden and violent halt. The Red Sea, in all its glory, was there to greet them, but for one critical factor: it was split. Right down the middle of the sea was a trench that had not been there yesterday, or at any point in the recent historical record.

Hundreds of people were climbing slowly down the sides of the sea into the muddy trench that had been created out of nowhere. From his vantage point, Na’em could spot scores of dead fish flapping lifelessly on the mud, as confused as he was. It had to be a miracle.

Miracle.

Milagro.

Mojeza.

When you inadvertently run off a cliff, it is known that the laws of physics are suspended indefinitely up until the moment you look down and realize you are walking on air. In much the same way, the most pleasant dream is shattered into fragments when the dreamer realizes that he is in fact dreaming.

In Harlingen, a man was found dead in his apartment. The police found his body, lying peacefully in his living room as crimson-black blood seeped through the fabric of his couch. There were no signs of forced entry. The coroner’s report revealed that the man had been shot hours before and had somehow miraculously stayed alive until he got back home.

In Yemen, a brother and a sister watched in horror as a canyon in the Red Sea immediately disappeared and the waters crushed a hundred men and women instantly.

 

Seven Travelers

They traveled over the border through one of three of the international bridges between Brownsville and Matamoros. Three of them crossed in vehicles of different makes and models heading to Black Friday sales at Sunrise Mall and Best Buy. Two more crossed on foot and headed right into downtown to visit secondhand stores run by Koreans and craft shops managed by students from the nearby college.

Those five would head back that afternoon.

The last travelers were automatically exiled once they braved the desert, coyotes, Minutemen and the Rio Grande Rubicon to enter into their brand new golden cage.