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She stood patiently outside of the mouth of the cave, her head bowed and her hands clasped together. She whispered quickly and quietly under her breath, the cold mountain air making her teeth chatter.

"Ven a mí, Diablo, y reclamas tu regalo. Ayúdame, Diablo, y tu puedes elegir tu regalo."

Come to me, Devil, and claim your gift. Help me, Devil, and you can choose your gift.

Below her, in a small woven basket resting at her feet, a fat brown toad croaked out into the night. He sat atop a small doll made of a rich black velvet, a luxury for an area so poor. Lying haphazardly next to the doll was a thick sewing needle, glinting in the moonlight, with a length of thick red thread laced through the eyelet.

The last item in the basket was a human skull. Pieces of rotten flesh still clung to it in some places, though the lower jaw had long since been torn away, and the toad happily flicked its tongue out toward the insects that came to inspect the detritus.

This basket contained almost everything Lydia Arroyo-Marquez needed to kill her worst enemy. The only thing missing was the Devil's assent, and though the night's frost bit at her like a viper, she would wait at the mouth of this cave, rooted to this spot, until the Devil came to her so she could plead her case.

​Luckily for Lydia, she wouldn't have to wait long.

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