Vignette: Lost

Inspired by Sandra Cisneros’ book, The House on Mango Street


Oneida Ibarra, reporter

No other neighborhood can be anymore creepy! No other situation could be any worse than the mess I’ve blindly put myself into. Nope. Not a single one. When I first realized I was lost, I acted normal and started walking toward a man to ask for directions. Yet before I reached him, he turned slightly, and I saw his crooked eye looking wicked. That’s when I changed my mind and went into reverse mode.

Then, I caught a glimpse of a tall skinny lady with radiant red lips so I asked her instead. She just ignored my question and said something about a big balloon and butter scotch as she stared at the sky. Thinking she was pulling my strings, I laughed and nodded. Suddenly, I could feel her finger on my teeth, and I pulled away quickly. I ran, and she stayed put, waving as she said, “Cheerio, nice to meet you!” It disturbed me how she didn’t seem to think what she just did was weird and somewhat inappropriate.

My thoughts were interrupted by, “Okay here I go! Prepare to bow down to the King of the Jungle suckers!”

I turned in time to see a boy in an oak tree. He stealthily, sneakily, and slickly swung like Tarzan on a vine. For a second, it seemed like he could fly, but then he started falling — low, lower, and “THUD!” He landed. Perhaps not on his feet, nope, nowhere near, but he landed.

That’s when I realized that coming to ask for help here was my first mistake. The houses seemed to barely appear before me like a bear coming out of hibernation or stepping out from the shadows. I looked them over and took in their shattered broken windows, peeling paint, wooden planks, and the thugs roaming the streets. I knew I had to get out of here soon, very soon if not now. Unless of course I was willing to become tonight’s dinner.