Horror People of Color Urban Fantasy

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

Jose Cabrera woke up in a daze. He was stunned. He was slightly dizzy. He didn't know where he was. Everything was a bit blurred. How did I get here and why am I naked? He thought to himself. Even worse, he was on top of a cutting board on a counter, his mouth taped, his legs and feet tied down, and he was miniaturized. Lying next to him were chunks of beef, onions, carrots, potatoes, and celery. He could see a large yellow pot over the fire. The pot was starting to boil. It felt warm and uncomfortable being tied down. He tried to move so the chafing would stop. It was no use. No matter how hard. He was totally immobile.

Before he knew it, he saw Mari Pierre walking up to the counter looking over him. Mari Pierre was his assistant at work. He was her supervisor. Jose didn’t hire her. She was part of a packaged deal when the two companies merged. Instead of a cute, tall shapely Chica, he got her, a stout, natural-haired, thick-lipped Haitian with glasses and bad skin covered over with foundation. Jose, with his Cubano machismo, always felt superior to anyone Haitian. His family’s boat came over without issue. Mari’s family? “Who cares?” Jose would say to himself. He was better than her in every way. Haitians were always below the Cubans. In his opinion, Cubans are way better than Haitians. He could harass her daily by giving her extra work and drinking her lattes without overtime pay or a union to hover over him. He had power and he knew it. If she were Cuban, maybe he would take a pop at her on top of the desk. But since she was a black Haitian, she was taboo to his friends and family.

He remembered a time a year ago when he kept Mari working past her usual time. She begged to go home because her daughter needed her best sneakers for her basketball game.

"Doesn't she have sneakers?" said Jose.

"She wants the one her father bought her before he died," she said. "She always played well with them."

"I'm not letting home early to get a pair of sneakers," he laughed as he walked back to the office. "I need those files together and done before you leave." As he walked into the office, his phone rang, and answered it. "Marisol?" he answered. "Como esta?" "Si, yo soy aqui." Before Mari could say another word, the door closed. Mari silently seethed. She called Dominique and broke the bad news to her.

"Don't worry, mama," she said disappointed. "I'll manage." Surely enough, Dominique's team lost, and Mari seethed even more. "Mwen pral jwenn ou!" she said to herself. "I will get you!"

But this time, Mari was looking over his tiny body. She was smiling and giggling at the same time. She was about to get her revenge. Doesn’t she have a kid? He thought. What does the kid think about what her mother’s doing?

“Hello, Jose!” She spoke to him. “I bet you wonder why you’re the way you are.” Mari had a sneer across her face watching over his Matchbox-sized body. 

            “No, I don’t!” he said. “What did you do to me you nig-“

            “That’s the whole point, Jose,” she said. “You bullied me for the last time. I got tired of your racial slurs regarding my Haitian ancestry. Just because you’re a white Cuban in Miami doesn’t give you precedence over me.”

            “What did you do to me?”

            “Remember when you swiped my Starbucks latte from my desk and drank it?”

            “Yes?” he said, as he remembered how it tasted. It wasn't a typical taste for a latte, but it was delicious. Too delicious in his opinion.

            “Well, cabrón, I set your ass up. Since you made fun of my family and called me a voodoo girl, I went to my grandma’s recipe book for making a smaller human and put it in the drink just for you.” 

Jose messed with the wrong woman. Mari's family may have assimilated into the American lifestyle, but there was always something they could fall back on when they needed it the most: voodoo. When Jose made fun of her heritage, she couldn't think of a better way of getting back at him.

          “So, you knocked me out and shrunk me?”   

“Yep, and now your tiny body will be in my Bouyom Bef stew to be eaten by my family!” she said to him as she lifted him up off the counter and put his body into the hot liquid stew. 

            Jose tried to tread in the bubbling hot stew. It tasted spicy but he couldn’t eat it, especially while silently sinking into the stew. He tried holding on to a carrot or the soft beef chunk, but he was sinking with the meat and the stew became hotter and hotter. “Let my bargain with you!” he screeched in a tinny voice. “I’m sorry! I just bbbblllloobbbollllloloo!” But it was too late. Jose’s body disintegrated into beef, carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes. No bones, no corpse. Nothing left of Jose.

            “Orevwa, Jose!” said Mari in patois as she stirred, closed the pot, and prepared her table for dinner. Before she could call her, Dominique, came downstairs to help her with the table. Dominique was the spitting image of her mother, except for the long blond tinted plaits in her hair. She always had her iPhone in one hand and her Air buds in her ears. She turned off the technology so she can talk to her mother.

            “Mama, are we having manman grand’s stew for dinner tonight? She asked.

            “Of course,” said Mari.

            “You only make this when something good happens.”

            “Well, it did!”


Dominique had seen that smile before. It was the look of a woman who looked vindicated. A woman who got what she wanted. It wasn't unusual to her. And in a way, she was happy for her mother.

            “Just like your last boss?”


March 17, 2023 23:08

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Mary Bendickson
16:18 Mar 25, 2023

E-ew! I don't know if 'like' is the right sentiment for this gory tale. But what a way to go!


Robin Gadsden
01:04 Mar 26, 2023

Thank you!


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David Sweet
14:08 Mar 25, 2023

Interesting concept! I kept expecting it to be a dream, but I really liked the way you incorporated the magical realism into this piece. I suppose revenge isn't always a dish best served cold, but also as a hot voodoo stew! Haha. Great work. Thanks for sharing.


Robin Gadsden
01:04 Mar 26, 2023

Thank you!


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