Now for the El Cucuy...Dun, dun, dun!
Considered the south Texas' official boogeyman, the El Cucuy is one of the creepiest of the Texas monsters, pronounced "el koo-koo-ee".
More of an urban legend, El Cucuy (Coco, Cuca, or Calaca) is a goblin-like creature with glowing eyes, razor sharp claws and fangs. Attracted to the disobedient and ill-mannered child, El Cucuy is known throughout many cultures, especially in Spain and Latin America. In the San Antonio, Texas area, El Cucuy has appeared on more than one occasion. Some believe he is a shape-shifter and can morph into other creatures. He can hide almost anywhere, and is notorious for lurking under the beds of misbehaving children.
My husband's deceased grandmother was from Mexico. They moved to south Texas when she was a small child. She recalled El Cucuy as more of a "you'd better be good or else El Cucuy will get you" legend. Which is still make-your-hair-stand-on-end freaky, especially when you see an image of the impish creature. I would NOT want it lurking under my bed!
Here's a wicked little lullaby from the Latin culture. "Duermete niño, duermete ya...que viene el cuco y te comerá (sleep child, sleep now...or else comes the coco to eat you)."
Of course, my MMM posts wouldn't be complete without a sketch. I've included one after my excerpt from a Middle Grade story I wrote last year. Because I'm afraid of the dark, I sketch my creatures in a sweet sort of way. I'm a forty-something-year-old baby, and it helps conquer my fears. :)
Here's a scene from a MG story I wrote last year.
Turn Out the Light... Night, Night
Hiding under his bed covers, Sergio heard a thump from somewhere in the dark room. Something scurried under his bed, waiting, watching. Visions of the El Cucuy, plagued his mind. The creature preyed on children who wouldn't go to sleep. It abducted them straight from their beds, and they were never seen again.
Something pressed up into the mattress from below, poking him in the back.
He froze. Close your eyes. Count sheep. Anything! Sergio tried to scream out for his mother, but nothing happened. Fear gripped his throat, choking him.
Something tugged at his blanket from the foot of the bed. He grabbed his end, yanking it up over his eyes.
Well, at least there was one positive side to being slaughtered by a goblin in the middle of the night; At least he'd get out of not doing his homework.