The Story Of Esperanza Reyes: Chapter 23

Chapter 23:

Esperanza was then given over to the authorities who water boarded her, and submitted her to psychological torture to try to illicit the location of her followers. Her hair was buzzed off and she was made to wear a purple jumpsuit. The officers who had been given custody of her began to mock her. They kneeled and pretended lavish bowing flourishes saying “Hail, Daughter of the Divine, true ruler of America!” They spat on her, groped her, and made all sort of lewd and gross gestures toward her.

When they led her away 24 hours later she was made to carry a heavy box that held the medications that were being used for state-run executions. They then paraded her in shackles up the same street she had come in on only a week prior. She stumbled a few times due to the shackles, the weight of the box, and the pain they inflicted upon her. When she could no longer carry the box, they grabbed a Pakistani store owner off the side of the road named Sayid to carry the box for her. They paraded like this until they arrived at the state prison down the road a few miles. There were, along the way a group of men who were openly weeping as they saw her pass by. She said to them, “Do not weep for me. Weep for yourselves and your children. For you are the ones who are left with the work that needs to be done.”

When they arrived at the state prison they marched her down to the execution room, and strapped her down with two other criminals one on her left and one on her right. They offered to put her to sleep before the lethal injection. She refused. The guards had taken her clothes and undergarments and began betting on them in a poker game down the hall. Esperanza closed her eyes and said, “Divine, have mercy on them; they do not know what they are doing.” Some of the priests and rabbi from the viewing area were jeering and mocking her saying, “If you are the Daughter of the Divine, save yourself. Get up off that table and walk away!” The guards made a crude poster saying Daughter of the Divine and hung it above her table.

The two beside her began to speak up. One said, “Hey! If you are what they are saying why don’t you save yourself, and us while you are at it?” The other in a rebuffing tone said, “Do you not fear the Divine? Aren’t you also going to die here with us? Don’t we deserve this? She has done nothing wrong, yet still she’s here and she is not fighting it.” Esperanza looked over at this one and slowly smiled through the pain, “I see the love of the Divine in you. Today, you will find peace.”

It was around 3pm when they began the injections. Despite the warnings not to photograph or video using cell phones one of the priests live streamed the execution. A thunderstorm had rolled in over Texas and all was dark and bleak outside. About five minutes after the dose was administered Esperanza began to scream out in pain, “Dios mio! Dios Mio! ¿por qué me has desamparado?” which means, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?” Then she cried out, “Divine, I am yours.” With that she breathed her last. One of the guards who had been in the viewing room had seen all of this and with awe said, “Surely, this woman was innocent.”

Many watched the live stream of the execution. It was, rather unfortunately, viral. A man named Jose who was a state legislator paid for the funeral expenses. Her body was transferred to a nearby funeral home named “The peaceful garden”. The body was dressed in a linen gown and embalmed for burial.  There was no viewing and no memorial service as it had been prohibited by the Jesuit church and the state. Her body was moved to a secure burial tomb where a massive steel door was closed locked and under constant guard for fear of rebellion from those who followed her, and vandalism from those who despised her.

On the following Sunday, Maria, Rena, and Claire went out to where the tomb was bringing with them boxes of flowers, and memorials made for Esperanza. They had arrived shortly after dawn. They had spoken of what may happen if the guard refused to let them into the area to place the memorials. As they approached they saw that the large steel door was open. The guard was nowhere to be seen. When they entered the tomb they saw a man in a white linen suit sitting on the left hand side of the tomb. He said to them, “Don’t be surprised. You seek Esperanza Reyes who was executed. She isn’t here. She has awakened. Go tell the others. She’ll meet you in Kerrville as she has told you.” They ran from the tomb terrified. The man appeared familiar to Maria, but she let it go. The women said nothing to anyone about this, because they were terrified.

<  Chapter 22

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