Canonically, Encanto is set in the 1950s, since Alma and her husband Pedro most likely fled during the Thousand Days' War, which took place from 1899 - 1902. Encanto takes place fifty years after the miracle was created. My story takes place post-movie ending. The period following the 1950s in Columbia was still very turbulent, since La Violencia, a violent civil war, had just ended in 1958. And there was still in-fighting/civil conflicts going on, up until the twenty first century. My male OC is someone who has been displaced, having lost his family in the conflicts as well. The time period is only relevant to provide context to this story/my OC's background. An important note about the ages as well: everyone is six years older (so Mirabel is 21). Male OC looks like an older Miguel from the movie Coco, and can sing as well. But this is NOT a Coco crossover. The time periods are completely different (Coco takes place in 2017), and the location is different (Coco is set in Mexico). Also, my OCs name will be...Marco Diaz (no, this is not a Star vs the Forces of Evil crossover either). I just want to use a name other than Miguel, and Miguel's original name before the creators decided to change it was Marco, so why not? And Diaz is actually a common Columbian last name. Content warning for mentions of violence and death in this oneshot. POV of the oneshot is from Mirabel's point of view.
o - o - o - o - o
Encanto. Enchantment. A lot has changed about my small town and the residents of it.
Six years ago, I, Mirabel Madrigal, ended up saving my town, my home, and my family, after restoring the "miracle". Even though the magic was saved and everyone returned to their daily lives, things weren't the same as before. In our own family Madrigal for instance.
Luisa didn't work as much as she used to. That's not to say she doesn't work, but she doesn't burden herself like she used to do. She's no longer just "the strong one", the one everyone depends on to do the heavy lifting. No, she's learned to not take on more than she can bear, to share her load with others and not force herself to do everything just because she can.
Isabela isn't "the perfect one" anymore, and never have I been more glad she opened up to me six years ago. She looks so much happier and free than when she was still under Abuela's control. After discovering she could grow more than just pretty flowers, Isabela has been experimenting with growing crops and produce. The town has never had such a bountiful harvest!
Dolores and Mariano are still going strong. In fact, they've recently gotten engaged! Hehe, it took them long enough...
And me? Well, I'm preparing to be the next head of the Madrigal family! Trust me, that took me by surprise as well. But after saving the miracle, Abuela decided that there was no one better fit for the role. I've been learning the ins and outs of being the leader of the village too.
Which brings me to my next point...
After the magic disappeared, the mountains protecting Encanto split open, connecting us to the outside world after having been isolated for fifty years. We didn't think much of it back then. We had all just assumed that when the magic of Encanto returned, our village would remain hidden.
But we were wrong.
People started showing up. Outsiders. Not just any outsiders, but refugees.
Abuela didn't like talking about her time before Encanto. Aside from the pain that memories of Abuelo's sacrifice brought her, thinking of the turmoil and upheaval of that time upset her.
Here in our town, we don't talk about the outside world. The other elders aside from Abuela were just as tight lipped about their lives before they came to these mountains. There was no point in wondering about a world we no longer had access to anyway. But that was before the mountains opened up. Before these runaways and outcasts found their way here, to Encanto.
They were more often than not families. Mothers, fathers, children. Or those with no one by their side at all. No matter who they were, they had the same weary and tired expressions. Carrying nothing except what was on their backs, they had fled their original homes to find a better and safer place to settle. In fifty years, nothing had changed at all. The outside world was still violent and dangerous.
So what else could we do except help these poor souls? We built new homes, grew more food. And, I'll admit, it was funny seeing these newcomers' reactions to my family's magical abilities.
That doesn't happen in Encanto. It can't, when the residents have lived here all their lives and seen all there is to see.
And that's how we adjusted. We changed, adapted to the arrival of these new settlers. At first, we were all panicking about the possibility of our town being revealed to the outside world. But then we saw that it was always refugees who arrived, people seeking a haven and shelter. Not just anyone arrived in our town. No soldiers, no criminals, no one with less than pure intentions. Only those who had already lost everything, with nothing to gain.
None of the refugees ever left. They always decided to stay after we helped them. So the population of Encanto grew year by year.
Life continued like this for six years. I had nothing to worry about, other than my new duties as the family head, and village leader. Things were peaceful for me...until the arrival of one Marco Diaz.
o - o - o - o - o
It was a day like any other. Which was strange, considering this was the day I'd meet someone who was not like any other.
"Hey, how's it going! Love what you've done with your hair, by the way! Oh, is that a new dress?"
I was making my rounds around the town, greeting the townspeople I came across.
Someone had run up to me, panting and gasping. I recognized them as one of the persons on guard duty, that is to say, they would come by the river every day and check if new refugees had shown up.
"Mirabel, we need your mother at the clinic! Urgently! This man is in bad shape!"
"What?! Oh no, I'll get her right away!"
From the sound of their voice, it seemed like the matter was urgent. Occasionally, we would have refugees who would faint from exhaustion and the like, but never any in critical condition. I wonder what had happened to this man to get him to the point where he needed urgent medical care. I ran back to Casita as fast as I could. Luckily, Mom was in the kitchen when I found her.
"Mom! They need you at the clinic! They found a refugee in critical condition!"
"What?! Well what are we hanging around here for?! We have to hurry!"
Mom left the dishes she was washing, and ran with me to the town's clinic after grabbing a few of her arepas con queso that she had on hand.
When we got there, we were led to a room where a man was lying propped up on one of the clinic's beds. He had numerous bruises all over his body, and he was bleeding.
"Sir! You have to stay awake! You can't close your eyes!"
There were people there who were trying to keep the man awake, as he fought to keep his eyes open.
"Thank goodness! Julieta Madrigal is here!"
My mom hurried over to the man's side, placing an arepa in his mouth and encouraging him to eat it. The man, despite his waning consciousness, seemed to hear her, as he bit the arepa and swallowed a small bite. The change was instantly apparent. His bruises started to heal one by one as he ate more and more of the arepa con queso. When he completely finished it, all of the bruises on his body were gone and he was no longer bleeding.
Now that he was healed, I examined his appearance. He looked around my age, and he was, admittedly, quite handsome. He had tan skin, black hair, brown eyes, and a beauty mark below his nose. He wore blue jeans and brown leather shoes...and a sleeveless white shirt. It was quite a strange shirt. I had never seen men in Encanto wear sleeveless shirts like his.
The man, who was now fully conscious and alert, looked around himself in desperation.
"Who are you people? Where am I? Why am I here? Where are my belongings? And where is Dante?"
Dante? Who's Dante? Someone that was with him?
I and everyone else turned our heads toward the entrance of the room. A dark blur rushed inside and jumped onto the unknown man. Everyone was startled at the sudden appearance of this...animal? It was some kind of four legged creature...skinny, almost hairless, with wrinkled brown skin and long legs. There was a tear on its left ear. It had its tongue sticking out, and missing teeth. It was wagging its tail as it stared at the man happily.
So this was Dante! It was kind of cute! Not really what you'd think of when you hear the word cute, but it was charming!
"We are so sorry. We tried keeping him in the other room, but he ran out. And here are your things, sir."
Someone gave the unknown man lying on the bed a suitcase and a...guitar case?
"Thank you. And everyone here can just call me Marco. Marco Diaz."
"Well, Marco, it's nice to meet you! My name is Mirabel! Mirabel Madrigal! And this is my mother, Julieta Madrigal!"
I took the initiative to introduce myself after he did so. Everyone in the room went around doing the same.
"I'm the town's leader! Welcome to Encanto! Now that you're feeling better, how about we get you up and running? You can meet with some other refugees, and they'll explain everything to you and get you set up with lodging. Do you have any special skills? Or a trade you'd like to learn?"
"My family...no, I...was a shoemaker..."
He was trying to hide it, but I could sense some hesitancy in Marco's words. Did he...lose his family too? He wouldn't be the first. Many of the refugees that came to Encanto had lost family and friends along with their homes. I could ask him for the details later, but what was the most important was getting him settled into Encanto.
"How about I stay with Marco and show him around town? Mom, you can head back to Casita. And everyone else, thanks for your help today!"
Just like that, everyone left after saying their goodbyes, leaving me alone with Marco and Dante. I could finally ask him the questions I had been holding back since I was too embarrassed to ask them in front of everyone else.
"What kind of animal is Dante? What's that weird shirt you're wearing? Why do you have a guitar with you? Why did you have so many bruises?"
Marco looked caught off guard at the rapid fire questions I asked him, but he still tried to answer them one by one.
"Dante is a xolo dog. I wouldn't expect most people here to be aware of what kind of dog he is, since his kind is not from Columbia, but from Mexico. Um, the shirt I'm wearing is called a tank top. And that guitar is my guitar. And I had bruises because...I'm sorry, I must have looked terrible, didn't I?"
Marco looked apologetic, but then he clenched his fists and glared at them in anger.
"Those damn bastards...why did they have to come to my town..."
I had an inkling of who he was referring to, but I just needed to make sure...
"They...they killed my family...burned my hometown down...and I couldn't do anything to stop them! I was in another town entirely...and then they came to the town I was in...and I tried to stop them then...but where did that get me? Just a bruised ego and battered body..."
"So...these people...they came to your town, and you confronted them, but you got beaten up as a result?"
"Yes...I'm sure they thought I was dead...throwing me and my things away...if Dante wasn't there to guard over me until I woke up..."
"And how did you get here? To Encanto?"
"I don't know...I...wandered for a long time. I had no food and water...I was...so hungry...I just kept going...hoping to find somewhere, anywhere else...and then I collapsed...the bruises on my body were too severe. The last thing I saw was a butterfly. Then I was here, in your clinic, with people begging me to stay awake...and I ate your mom's...arepas...hold on..."
Marco widened his eyes in realization.
"How did...your mom's food heal me? I was sure that I was dying!"
"Oh, haha...this is something you have to see to believe."
In all the confusion, I had forgotten to explain just what was so special about Encanto.
"Let's go outside!"
I grabbed Marcos's hand and took him outside the clinic. His hand had calluses on them, maybe from his guitar playing? Dante followed us eagerly.
"Welcome to Encanto, where things are quite literally magical!"
At that moment, Luisa was walking by with a pile of donkeys on her shoulders.
"Hey Mirabel! New refugee?"
"Alright, get him situated soon. I'll see you later for dinner! Time to return these guys to their owner..."
Luisa left, leaving Marco with his mouth gaping open. Ah yes, that's the reaction I've come to expect.
"What? How is...was that your sister? How did she carry...?"
"I'm part of the amazing Madrigals! And...well, I usually have a whole song about this, but hey, why don't I just give you the abbreviated version?"
Marco was still in a daze as I told him about everyone in my family and what they could do.
"I thought it was weird when you didn't know what a tank top was...but then I find out your family is literally magical...a town named Encanto...that I've never heard of before...magic...it all makes sense!"
"Yes! So, I still have to get you situated, but you're welcome to stay here if you'd like!"
"I...well, it's not like I have anywhere left to go..."
Marco was back to looking dejected again. I didn't want him to wallow in his own despair, so I grabbed his hands again, both of them this time.
"Hey...I know that no one will ever be able to replace your family, or anyone you knew in the past...but, I want you to know that I'm here for you. Everyone in Encanto is. There's other refugees as well...people who have lost their hometowns just like you...you don't have to be alone. You aren't alone. You don't have to bottle up your grief. You can let it all out."
Marco was silent, before he closed the distance between us and...hugged me. I could feel drops of liquid on my shoulders, and slight shaking as Marco sobbed while holding onto me.
"Thank you Mirabel. I needed someone to tell me that."
o - o - o - o - o
And, things were back to being peaceful in my life again. Save for the presence of Marco. Marco had adjusted to living in Encanto. I think talking to the other refugees like I had suggested helped him. He took up shoemaking, like he said he would, apprenticing under our own resident shoemakers. And I was pleasantly surprised that he was quite good at making shoes. Marco got to know everyone in town as he fitted and made shoes for them.
As for me? Well, I...grew attached to Marco. There were plenty of handsome boys and beautiful girls while I was growing up in Encanto, but none of them made me laugh like Marco did. None of them could tell stories about the outside world, which I had grown curious of with the presence of more refugees, like he did.
I had thought that the outside world was all bad, full of terrible people. But that wasn't the truth. There were good people, like Marco, like the other refugees. Encanto would always be my home though.
In the time I had gotten to know Marco, I had never actually seen him playing guitar. He told me that he had left his family's hometown in order to pursue music. But I had yet to see him sing, much less even strum a guitar.
Was he still feeling guilt over being unable to prevent his family's death? That he left his hometown in order to become a musician?
My heart broke for him, but unlike his other trauma, this was something personal to him. Something he could only solve on his own.
When I started spending more time with Marco, I would be teased at home, by Luisa, Isabela, Camilo...even Antonio! Just because he's the first guy who I've spent prolonged periods of time with, and who is not a family member, doesn't mean I like him that way! Or do I? Gah, I wish I knew!
Why is it so hard to have a crush on someone? Not knowing if they'll return your feelings? Did Dolores feel like this too? But Mariano was technically engaged to Isabela at that time...and Marco isn't engaged to anyone (although he had admirers, much to my chagrin)...
Should I just tell him? But if he doesn't feel the same...this was one of the few times I regret living in a town where everyone knows everyone...
I could always just hide away in Casita...and never come out...like Tío Bruno...
No! No! Bad Maribel! I can do it! I can confess my feelings! And...even if he doesn't feel the same, I will still be friends with Marco! Because...our friendship is stronger than...a crush...
So I gathered up my courage and asked Marco to meet me at the river that night.
Alright, here we go Mirabel! You can do this! I psyched myself up by breathing in and out quickly.
"You can do this! You can do this! YOU CAN DO THIS!"
I whirled around to see Marco, with a wide grin on his face.
"Were you nervous about meeting me?"
"Yes. Well, no! I mean, uh..."
I cursed at myself for getting tongue tied at this exact moment.
"It's okay! I...was also feeling nervous meeting you tonight. Because I have something for you."
Marco set something down on the ground, and I realized he had been carrying his guitar case the entire time.
"It took me so long to pick up my guitar again...but I wanted to...because of you...because, Mirabel, you're special to me."
Marco took out a beautiful white guitar, with a grey checker pattern around the edges, and inlaid with gold. He tuned it, before beginning to sing.
What color is the sky
¡Ay, mi amor! ¡Ay, mi amor!
You tell me that it's red
¡Ay, mi amor! ¡Ay, mi amor!
Where should I put my shoes
¡Ay, mi amor! ¡Ay, mi amor!
You say put them on your head
¡Ay, mi amor! ¡Ay, mi amor!
You make me
Un poco loco
Un poquititito loco
The way you keep me guessing
I'm nodding and I'm yessing
I'll count it as a blessing
That I'm only
Un poco loco
The loco that you make me
It is just un poco crazy
The sense that you're not making
The liberties you're taking
Leaves my cabeza shaking
You are just
Un poco loco
Un poquititi-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-to loco!
I listened with bated breath until he finished singing.
"Marco, does this mean...you like me? Romantically?"
"Yes...I have for a while...or maybe even the first day I met you...but Mirabel...do you...feel the same way?"
"Are you kidding me?! I was psyching myself up because I didn't think you liked me!"
Marco had placed his guitar back inside its case, leaving his arms free for me to jump into.
"Of course I love you! Of course!"
He spun me around and laughed. I knew that somewhere, Dolores had probably heard all of this, and had maybe already told the rest of our family, but I didn't care. The only thing that mattered to me in that moment was staying in Marco's embrace.