I don't know exactly what made me want to write this short, except the fact that I've been battling writer's block, listening to way too much Spanish music, and watching too many fund-raising musical shows on PBS. I had the idea to write about what Pueblo was like "before" when I first watched the RE4 credits, but I never knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. And to be serious, or not serious? That's a tough decision for me… And since the credits tend to make me all weepy and maudlin… I was actually on the verge of making it totally serious, until I recorded 'A New Argentina' and 'Worst Pies in London' onto my computer. Then I got in the mood to parody a little. So I chose the best solution I could think of – do two versions, one of each, both in the same story. Now to a quick disclaimer, something I rarely do.
I do not own Resident Evil, which is just totally obvious, or any musicals – least of which Evita or Sweeney Todd – please don't throw cans of grape soda through my window… Which I wouldn't own either…But would drink happily.
The Tale of Two Pueblos
It was a resplendent day in the Spanish countryside. The cold grip of autumn had painted the farmland fields gold and orange ceremoniously in warning of the winter's approach, when all the land would be doused in sleep. Everything was peaceful there, but the same could not be said for the woodlands.
The woods had fallen ill at the first frost, no longer clinging to the bright hues of late summer as did the farmlands, but dyed monochrome at miserable speed. No trace of anything living graced the earth, just the dead remnants of what spring had given birth to.
In these woods stood a small town called Pueblo, fashioned from the byproducts of tree and mineral, nearly isolated from all other civilization. Small stone houses stood side-by-side, colorless in an almost sterile fashion, looking disconnected and impersonal. Though on the outside the village seemed uninviting, on the inside it was genial.
The townspeople, farmers in an environment that was unkind to crops, lived off of what was around them, including the animals they raised. Any morning like this, the villagers would be busy at work when morning broke, feeding the livestock, and toiling over the land. The goodwives would be engaged in the kitchens, preparing the meals of the day for the men of their families, before withdrawing to the forest to work beside them.
The villagers kept to themselves, not venturing beyond the quiet boundary of their home and into the hectic world beyond, being happy with what they had. They were a simple people, gentle and benevolent. Their home was unlike the rest of humanity; it was convivial, and safe. But all of that was about to change.
It was on this luminous day, that the village chief brought a strange man into town, and this visitor spoke to them of power. And in relation to that power, he described a plan that would unify the people of the world, all through the cultivation of a creature that, unknown to them, would prove to be their demise.
It would start with strange dreams and temporary bouts of pain, waking the villagers up in the middle of the night, or keeping them from their daily labor. As time passed, they would begin to cough up blood, often heavily in the evening hours, and distance themselves from those around them, becoming aggressive on occasion. They wouldn't talk much, or eat; they would just work, and pray. Sometimes, one of the villagers would awake to find a family member dead, laying in a pool of blood in their bed, or somewhere around the house. This became a normal incidence in the village.
Eventually, the whole town succumbed to this anomalous behavior. Including the once humanitarian village chief.
All was left to rot and fester, just like the morals Pueblo had been built on. And so it was that a good people became corrupt with the passing of harvest.
It was an unusually sunny day in the bleak, autumn-ridden Spanish countryside, where a small town, mostly comprised of dirt, wood, thatching material and cobblestones, named Pueblo resided; nestled deeply in what would have seemed like a jungle to anyone who didn't live in the middle of nowhere. The townspeople, farmers by trade, lived off the land, as well as the animals they raised: cows that never shut up, and chickens that have gun phobias. And, on occasion, yapping dogs with narcolepsy issues.
On a fine morning such as this, one would normally find the villagers busy at work when the sun came up; forking hay, collecting water, fattening cows. The goodwives would be busy in their kitchens, brewing drinks from herbs and cooking up what the land had provided for their husbands, brothers and sons… Whatever that would be… Potatoes, maybe? No, that's Ireland. Um… Roots… Dead leaves… Tree bark… Bird nests…
All in all, their lives were slightly reminiscent of a Nathaniel Hawthorne story. And if there was a woman running around with a scarlet A on, it would be strikingly reminiscent. Anyway, it was rather old-fashioned, as if you couldn't see that. The town had virtually no contact with the outside world, hence the lack whatsoever of technology and education. When you think about it, that totally explains what was about to happen.
This was the day that the village chief (a dude who's, like, ten feet tall and has a creepy glass eye) brought a stranger into town… This guy who liked purple a lot, and constantly talked about power. Without hesitation, the guest stood up in front of the crowd, brandished a needle and cleared his throat. "By the power of Gray Skull, I have the POWER!"
The villagers stared at him weird, having never seen an episode of, or even heard of He-Man. Regaining his composure after that failed to inspire the crowd, he began to sing.
"Now I am a worker, and suffered the way that you do! I've been unemployed and I've starved and I've hated it too! But I found my salvation…! Um… Forgot the rest of that part… Err… A new Argentina!"
They still stared blankly. Obviously, they'd never seen any musicals either, and they weren't in Argentina. This didn't phase him, though, since he tried again but with a different musical.
"Never thought I'd live to see the day… Uh… Something, something, something… Some stuff about animals dying… Mrs. Mooney has a pie shop. Does her business, but I've noticed something weird. Lately all her neighbor's cats have disappeared… Um… No denying times is hard, sir. Even harder than the worst pies in London…"
The villagers gave the impression as if they got something out of this, since they clapped quietly, although without any real enthusiasm. The chief didn't seem so thrilled.
"Could you hurry up? The people have… 'crops'… to reap, and animals to slaughter for food."
The visitor thought for a moment and then responded, "We don't need no education. We don't need no thought control…"
Obviously it wasn't a good idea to willingly allow a parasite to make you its host, but the villagers of Pueblo either weren't on the bright side, or couldn't see that the side effects were seriously undesirable… Like having Pat Benatar stuck in your head when you're in serious need of caffeine… Anyway, it was pretty bad. On top of having nightmares about creepy things (self-spinal taps, murder sprees, being buried alive, Joseph Stalin in a pink bikini…), they would cough up blood all the time. Not only would the coughing keep them up a lot, it would also hinder their ability to work. And eat, since they would end up coughing blood into their food.
Over time, they would hang out less with their homies, and spend far less time with their families. Ever wonder what happened to all the children they show in the credits? Well, let's just say they probably didn't make it through the first phase of Dr. Salvador's personality change – when he thought he was Freddy Krueger.
Eventually, they would stop eating for the most part, and if they did, they only had rotten stuff. Praying became their main enterprise, aside from farming.
Sometimes, they would wake up to find members of their family dead, probably from other people butchering them in the middle of the night after mugging them.
Sooner or later, everyone in the village had become a psycho, including the chief, who was once… Well… Not centipede-like.
And that's how Pueblo, a once non-disturbing-and-bleak town, became a very disturbing and bleak town, all during the reaping season.
"Far away, across the hills,
The tolling of the island bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
Here, beside these broken magic spells."
-Pink Floyd, "Time"
Well, strange; definitely. Life-changing; probably not. Either way, leave me a review, and tell me what you thought. Maybe someday I'll do something else with the town of Pueblo… I actually had an idea to write a little story based on "The Secret Garden", using "The Secret Pueblo"… I think I might start that right now.