Russet hues peered through the windshield with a slow release of breath. There was a tinge of red that circled the moon. Not in the sense of a blood moon but still something that had a shiver of anticipation travel the length of the Latina’s spine. A plume of smoke emitted parted tiers as she cracked her neck. Her Madre’s superstitions were getting to her. “Nothing ever happens with the hint of red around the moon, mija.” her mother’s words echoed within her ears.
Get a grip pendejo, what could possibly happen? You are half demon and Cluebra. Whatever it may be, you can handle it. Drop your cajones and move. Gaze cast to the Rosary hanging on the rearview mirror that belonged to her Abuela. The faintest of smiles gracing her features as memories flooded back to the days that the three of them would sit around the living room. Laughter would echo off the walls when the trio of Saltero women gathered. A much simpler time. Where there was no bloodshed. No violence on a daily basis. A moment in time she was carefree, even if she be a bit rebellious. How much she missed such her blissful ignorance then. Slightly shielded from the world of demons, Cluebras, or any other supernatural being. Before the life of the Cartel that turned her into a person that at times truthfully frightened even her. On how ruthless she had become.
But it was time that had changed her.Or by the likes of her Madre. Luna had yet to discover what her Mother’s words meant when Luna had died months ago. “Now is not your time, this wasn’t the deal made.” It still puzzled the eldest Saltero. Sure, she had come back to life. As a demon but there was something else that was in her veins that even puzzled the son of Lucifer himself. She still attempted to find the missing piece, but it was always put on the back burner. Figuring as given this opportunity, she wouldn’t dare waste it. But when sleep came, it was the giggles of her son Lorenzo that haunted her. The way that her Madre looked so determined that Luna was to follow a certain path. That death was not to take hold. Even through Hell.
Shaking her head rapidly back and forth, she lodged the memories back to her corners of mind. Snuffing of the cigarette in hand, she painted pouts the signature red before exiting the 67’ Mustang. Her club Euphoria was in effect once more. But with luck, she wasn’t going to be a dancer on the stage. It was the night off, so claiming a seat at the bar is what she would do.
Even in the club itself, the atmosphere that was in the area washed over her with a wave of electricity. Yes, she was the owner, rightfully so. Many pairs of eyes followed the Latina as she sank into the private booth, ravenous locks tossed over a bare shoulder. Esmerelda approached with Luna’s regular. “Hefa. Didn’t expect to see you here tonight. What brings you in tonight? You know the place is in capable hands.” A chuckle crept out of Luna as a slender digit skimmed along the rim of her glass that was placed before her. “Such a warm, warm welcoming Esmerelda . If that is the attitude you give all patrons perhaps I should find another waitress. Fate has it in your favor tonight though so I shall let the snide remark pass. Just keep the drinks coming and the people happy, por favor.” With a flash of golden orbs then switching back to a brilliant shade of green, Esmerelda scoffed, followed by a low growl.
“You don’t even know what you have, do you, Luna?” a quizzical brow rose on the petite woman that stood before her. “You are dense not to see the power you carry. Not fully tapped into what it is we can do. Shame to have spent so long at the top to mere fall for the likes of you.” With a squint, Luna’s eyes transformed to that of the golden hue that Esmeralda shown moments before. “Are you done? Seems to me that with the lack of leadership that you reigned over, there was another that saw a more fitting to be in your place. But I am quite confused. I’ve done nothing more than bring the likes of you from gutter rat to this.” Luna’s hands gestured all around. “When I took over this place it smelled of piss and cum stains that lingered on the sh*tty booth. You and I both know all too well that if I hadn’t stepped in when I did, you would be hustling at the nearest truck stop as a lot lizard begging for your neck meal. What I have created here is a place for you to stay concealed and still live.” her words were hissed through clenched teeth.
Esmeralda’s frame stood ramrod straight as she took Luna’s words. Each being a dagger and hitting the target head on. “You still don’t see it. But you will.” with those parting words, Esmeralda turned on her heel. Luna quickly drained the contents of the crystal glass that sat before her. “Mind your tongue next time when approaching me, susia.”
With a refresh following a few moments later, Esmeralda slid in the booth beside Luna. “Listen, I’m sorry. I’m grateful for all you’ve done for us. You know...our people. So as an apology, here’s a double. And it’s on the house.” The comment had a laugh escape Luna. “Es, the building is mine. Everything I get is on the house.” she shook her head, amber liquid of the glass swirling as she moved the glass around, gulping down the elixir. Low hum built within her throat, something different within the contents of this glass. “We get a new shipment in?” she clicked her tongue on the roof of her mouth, dark brows knitting together to pinpoint what was different about the drink.
“Just came in today. Figured you would want to be the first to test it. See if it is something we could add to the ever growing menu of specialties. Mixed it myself.” Es spoke up. But what Luna didn’t see were the devils that danced behind the gaze that looked back at her. The unfamiliar taste coated her throat and was fueling through her system. Lips popped in a smack before smiling. “You may be of use after all Esmeralda.Give me another before I hit the road. I have an early morning.”
As ordered, a second glass of the ‘special’ was promptly delivered to the Latina. “Have a nice trip, Hefa.” were Esmeralda’s finally words. As Luna traveled home, she cranked the volume up on the radio. Probably shouldn’t be driving but who would she be if she didn’t break the rules from time to time? Things began to become fuzzy on the edges of her vision as she turned the vehicle on her street. “What was in that drink?” hiccups as she tumbles from the car.
Digits tapped at her forehead, her body seeming to sway with every step she took. “At the very least I parked in the lines!” another hiccup came forth. Fumbling with her keys, Luna managed not so gracefully to make her way into the apartment. “Yo….Demon Dude….” how could she have possibly forgotten Payne’s name? Whatever Esmeralda had given her was striking hard and fast. “You home….?” Luna made a face as she was met with complete silence. She then proceeded to go about the hallway to the kitchen blowing raspberries. “Food… does a body good. Wait… that’s milk. OH!! Milk and cereal. Excellent choice.” once more, her slight frame swayed when she walked, hip bumping the countertop as she moved.
“But you know what else sounds good? Sleep.” twirling in place, she redirected herself to the living room as the room itself started to tilt sideways. “Yoooo my dude…. This tilt-a-whirl sh*t has gotta go. No mas.” The Latina faceplanted on the cushions on the couch before zonking out completely.
The incessant sound of her alarm blared in her ears. With a drool trail coming from her mouth and attached to the throw pillow, Luna swatted at nothing in particular. “For all that is holy, will you kindly f*** off.” With one swing of her arm, Luna flailed off the couch and ass planted to the wooden floor. “That is rather rude to do first thing in the morning. Just want to point that out. And if this is the start of the day, I want a do-over. Immediately.” Grumbles as eyes begin to slowly open.
Panic sets in as Luna looks at her surroundings. Nothing familiar to the place as she stands. “What the actual Criminal Minds is this?” heartbeat picks up rapidly. One step forward had her twist her ankle. “Why am I in heels? Who the hell wears heels to bed??” This brought attention to the attire in which she wore. A form fitting, black leather top with skin tight jeans. “If this is some twisted sick game of capture the serial killer, I’m not entertained. I will call the cops, a**hole.” she called out into the void that was around her.
In the distance, she heard keys jingle. “Oh, I am not about to be a based on a true crime show.” looking around the room, there was a display case of knives. With a victory fist pump, Luna moved to retrieve them. A dagger in each hand as she peeked around the corner. Entering the door was a rather large male. No one she had recognized. Brown orbs watched his movements for a moment before sinking to the ground. Taking aim, she threw the kife in his direction, missing by mere inches as it landed in the wall behind him.
“Who are you? Are you some creep that just kidnaps young women for the hell of it? Is it money you want? Because trust me buck-o, my folks will be looking for me. I go back to college today so they are sure to look for me sometime.”
Through all of this, the man that stood before her was Payne. But the version of Luna that stood before him was that of a much younger Luna. No longer was she in the body of the woman that he had come to know and love. She was now just a scared animal it seemed. “Step any closer and I will cut you, mister Armani suit. What’s up with the monkey suit anyways? Business that good in the stock market?”
She had no memory of knowing who he was. Or that she had been poisoned in a sense by the likes of Esmeralda the night before.
A young Luna was now running rampart on the world. What would be of this trip to her past self in present day?