Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Los Banditos Jalapeños

My husband, the writer, has just completed his latest short story, La Historia de los Banditos Jalapeños. It's spicy a tale of magic and imagination, and three brothers who inspire faith in a small Mexican town burdened with sadness and dispair. Although the idea began as a children's book, it developed into a story for all ages as it touches on the dark history of the "The Disappeared" of South America in the 1970's. The finished book will include about 15 illustrations. We're hoping to have it done within the next year. Here are a few teaser paragraphs along with the very first portrait of Eduardo, Oscar, and Gabriel. I painted this with oil on a wood board. Please leave a comment if you'd like to read more and I will email you a copy of the manuscript.


On the day the Banditos Jalapeños were exiled, the children wept and no music was played.  The children believed they would never forget that day and that the sadness would keep their imaginings of it alive forever.  But they did not know then that life would give them other days to cry and that the day the warden ushered the Banditos out of town would fade in their memories.
The hermanos Jalapeños had led the boys and girls through town on the day of the Virgin Guadalupe and walked with them to commemorate their ancestors at the cemetery on the Dia de los Muertos.  For each holiday and for all of the birthdays of the children, they had designed piñatas and filled them with dreams and faith.
But now decades had passed, and those children had grown up, becoming like their parents and forgetting the lessons the Banditos had taught them.  Instead they listened to the immortal warden, who made them fear change and difference and made them desire to keep their children safe at the cost of all things.  And as children disappeared, voices grew quieter and memories faded into shadow and the sound of the warden’s belt echoed as he walked.
The exiled and forgotten brothers, Eduardo, Gabriel, and Oscar, could only stand in the hills and watch the sun set beyond the Sierra Madres, remembering when they had celebrated the ebb and flow of each day with the townspeople as family.  And as the shadows grew from the bases of the cacti, they walked with their lengthening towards the place they called home.

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