Illusions – Grammar Ghoul Press


Revelers dressed in bright colors, cavorted through the graveyard. Dia De Los Muertos was a happy event. A time where one celebrates relatives who had passed on, but no joy buoyed Rafaella’s heart.

She’d swept Papa’s grave clean of leaves and twigs. She kneeled beside his headstone, her tears a small waterfall of misery. “She suffers, Papa,” she moaned. “I cannot afford the medicine anymore. That bastard, Toro de Oro tells everyone to deny a job for me, and they must. They are all afraid of him. He only wants me for one thing. I can’t do that, Papa. It’s vile!” She collapsed in a heap upon the grave, sobbing. “Help me, Papa. Please!”

As night fell and the moon rose high, Rafaella sobbed herself to sleep.

Slipping through the dark blankets of slumber, she fell, spinning into the void. Panic began to grip her, and then she opened her eyes.

The sun shined upon sheep, grazing on rolling green hills amidst flowering Dogwood trees. The man sitting beside her wore a familiar vest and fedora, but it was his over-large nose and twinkling eyes that gave him away. “Papa!” Rafaella cried, and she hugged him tightly.

Salvador Molina returned her hug, then appraised her at arms length. “It’s good to see you pajarita.”

“Is this Heaven, Papa?”

“Yes and no, my child.”

“Are you not happy?”

“I am, but also sad. You see, I have never really left you, but illusions in life hide this. There is happiness here, but I see your sadness. In life, there is confusion and sorrow. Few understand the illusory nature of  the world. It causes much unnecessary pain and suffering.”


“I know, child. No medicine can help her.” Rafaella began crying again. Salvador held her close. “Don’t worry pajarita. She’ll feel no pain anymore with me.”

“But I’ll be alone! And that monster, Toro de Oro, he wants me to…”

“Yes. About that puta, Hector, his strength is more illusion than reality.”

“But he controls the mine, the stores, the train. He owns everything, even the people.”

Salvador’s eyes twinkled. “Hector Cabrera’s castle is made of sand. You must be the sea. Let me show you something.”


Rafaella awoke in the drifting mists of dawn. Could the dream be real? Is it true? She walked past stone angels to a tree, its limbs barren of life. She touched a dry branch, and suddenly held a delicate blossom in her hand where none existed a moment before. The tree, she knew, was not dead and its blossom had never withered away. She now saw the world with new eyes that pierced the veil of reality’s illusions. Salvador had taught her how the world really worked.

She smiled.

Things were going to change.


Rafaella’s sundress shone brilliantly in the morning sun. Her silver high heels clicked as she stepped onto the marbled floors of Toro de Oro’s sprawling mansion. Hector’s four guards, armed with AK-47 assault rifles, saw and heard nothing. A touch from Rafaella’s delicate fingers and none of them could remember her passage. She was nothing more than mist, illusion’s shadow to them. They never saw the stack of legal documents she carried, nor the expensive pen she would have the documents signed with. They sensed only what Rafaella permitted.

Perhaps it is best they had no memory. What trauma would they know if they heard the screams of Toro de Oro for three hours? Screams that shattered glass in the room inside. Screams that sounded like a man being slowly chopped into pieces.


“Muy bueno!” gasped Director Soares as the beautiful woman in finery walked past him.

“That’s Rafaella Molina,” said Doctor Azarola. The pair watched her climb into her Jaguar limousine. “She visits once a month.”

“A donor for the asylum?”

“Sadly, no.”

“Typical rich!”

“She runs two orphanages and a school,” countered Azarola.

“Who does she visit?”

Azarola led the Director to a patient’s viewing window. “She’s not related to Hector Cabrera, but still sees him regularly.”

The bedraggled man inside rocked forlornly side to side in a wheelchair, his right arm hanging limply. He whimpered with despair as he gazed at his left hand, horrified eyes agonizing over his appendage.

“He believes his legs and right arm have been sheared off, and his hand is nothing but bone,” explained Aquino. “Yet his body is entirely intact.”

“What caused such a mental break?” wondered Soares.

Azarola shook his head. “A terrifying illusion in his mind.”
Author’s Notes:
Toro de Oro means: Golden Bull
Pajarita means: Little Bird

Written for Grammar Ghoul Press. This week’s media prompt was an animation depicting a heart-warming story about Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). This week’s word was, “Void.” Look here for more stories based upon the prompts:

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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16 Responses to Illusions – Grammar Ghoul Press

  1. Lyn says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Great story, Eric. One that makes you sigh with satisfaction that wrongs have been made right and evil vanquished and made to suffer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Yay! That’s right. Evil must be stopped and I love to celebrate that. Glad you found satisfaction, and yeah, that evil man suffers mightily. I’m happy you see it the way I do. Thanks much, Lyn! 🙂


  2. I love her and yet I fear her! She is one wonderfully strong and terrifying woman, i tip my hat to the genius that wrote her 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      She is very powerful, but she is still kind and giving to those in need. She does run orphanages after all. It’s only bad guys that need fear her. Thank you so much for the kind words, Kerrie. I appreciate it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Madhura says:

    A genius story once again, Eric 🙂 She’s an amazing woman!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you, Madhura! She is amazing because later she used that ability to help others in need after taking down Toro de Oro. Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks much for the read and your thoughts. 🙂


  4. Shannon says:

    Whaaa….holy crow, this was fantastic. Colorful and descriptive, it took me through an entire world of a story in so few words, and the story itself was just great. I really loved the ending, loved that she left him whole but convinced that he wasn’t, just macabre and beautifully sadistic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      “Beautifully sadistic.” I love that. I think that describes the ending very well. I’m happy the descriptions gave the story as much color as I’d hoped for. I’m glad you enjoyed the story so much. It makes me feel I succeeded in my goals. Thanks so much for such a detailed critique. I really appreciate that! 🙂


  5. Suzanne says:

    I’d like to learn how to do what Rafaella did. Just in case, of course. 😉

    Another great story, Eric! Love where the prompts took you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Me too! I’m still trying to “pierce the veil,” but that is a work in progress. Such abilities could be really handy. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks so much for the read! 🙂


  6. Oh wow! This was scary in a whole other way. You have a fabulous imagination, Eric. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the way you have used the prompt. I thought the imagery of illusion was really effective: ‘she was nothing more than mist, illusion’s shadow to them’ was my favourite 🙂


    • EagleAye says:

      I think that’s my favorite sentence too. It’s good to hear the imagery worked for you. This piece took a lot of work. It’s good to know it paid off. Thanks so much for the kind words. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Silverleaf says:

    It’s nice to remember at this time of year that the spirits can right wrongs as well as just haunt people unmercifully!


    • EagleAye says:

      Yup! Sometimes the spirits of family members can step in with some great ideas and techniques. Rafaella’s papa knew just what to do. Thanks so much, Silverleaf! 🙂


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