Tag: vulnerability

The Mudjikiwis

The Mudjikiwis

Intoduction: Sometimes you can find courage in unexpected ways and places.

It was Summer and the Indian brave was to become a man this season but he was afraid of war. They were at war with the Chumash and it wasn’t likely to end soon which weighed heavy on his mind as he worked on his preparations.

Today would be the big hunt and tonight the ceremony feast where they would become men. He would become a man, be expected to fight with the others and take a wife. Every brave has done this since the people’s beginning and he was excited about leaving his childhood behind.

Strong and tall he was a well-known figure in the tribe. He was used to fighting as he had been taught well by his father but his warrior skills were not being questioned. It was his courage.

He hid this fact from the others with much bravado but eventually, they were bound to find out. He pushed these doubts aside, noted the sun and rose to his feet it was time for the hunt. He gathered his things from the lodge and went outside.

He walked over to the other young braves as they were mounting their stomping ponies crying out with excitement, “Hee hee ha ha hee!”

They too would soon be men and were very impatient about starting the hunt. They called out to him. Not to be left out he ran over, mounted his pony from behind and they galloped off towards the tribe’s hunting grounds.

His mind on the hunt he started to relax. Nothing like a good hunt to take his mind off of war and fighting. They all split up into pairs for better coverage and safety in numbers. Just in case they ran into any Chumash raiding parties they’d be ready. He was hoping that wouldn’t happen.

After a time they came out into a clearing near a stream and decided to water the ponies. He longed to tell his friend that he was afraid to fight in the war, it was not their way so he remained stolid.

His friend was bringing his pony back out of the stream as he mounted his and spied a small group of deer feeding upwind of them. Spurring his pony on he closed the distance between them quickly. They could still not smell him and if he was lucky he would bring home some nice deer meat.

When he was close enough he expertly fit an arrow into his bow. He picked out a young white-tailed buck and he shot it. At the last second, it veered sharply into a stand of thick trees but he had nicked it so he followed the blood trail into the woods.

He realized that his friend had dropped behind him and not caught up. Surely he was following him because his people had full knowledge of this land. It was in their blood and it was their home. He felt reassured his friend would catch up waiting quietly.

It was dark under the canopy of trees and after his eyes adjusted he could pick out the deer lying in the brush several feet away. It was very still and shafts of sunlight played through the branches. He was puzzled because it had not been a kill shot yet the deer looked dead.

He crept closer to examine the deer and found the brush around it disturbed like there was a struggle. The deer was torn apart on one side and just as he was taking this in a large wolf limped out from the underbrush.

“Brother please do not be afraid for I am injured and need this food.” The brave heard these words as plain as day and knew he was speaking to a spirit animal.

The wolf was indeed injured, it looked like his leg was hurt. He was deeply honored answering, “Brother wolf you may have this deer for you were the one who killed it.”

“Thank you for your kindness young brave. I will not die from this injury but without food, I surely would have sickened and died.”

The wolf moved closer, “For helping me I will give you my father’s tooth. It will help you to be brave and have much courage in battle.” The young Indian took the tooth and thanked the wolf for this gift.

He mounted his pony and left the wolf to his meal wondering about his friend when he saw a rabbit out of the corner of his eye. Swiftly he drew an arrow and shot. It screamed once and lay dead. He urged his pony towards it and saw an eagle on the ground nearby.

“I have a nest of young one’s and we need this food,” she cried.

Another spirit animal, what were the chances? The brave was deeply honored for at this time in his life these were good omens.

“Sister eagle you may have the rabbit for I will hunt another. Feed your young and live long over this valley.”

The eagle eyed the young Indian carefully and replied, “Thank you for your kindness, here’s a feather from my wing. It will help you be fast and fly through your battles.”

He found himself coming out of his trance and realized he was watching the eagle fly off with his rabbit.

Just then his friend rode up on his pony and said, “I was looking all over for you and here you are goofing off in the woods. We will be the only one’s not bringing meat back for the ceremony!”

His friend was a chubby boy who ate too much in his opinion but he was right.

They finished the hunt bringing down a large wild boar which was the best meat of the hunt and was enjoyed by all. They became men that night and the brave was full of his thoughts of the woods.

The next day the tooth glistened in the sun as he turned it around in his fingers. The feather was soft yet bristly and large. Examining his treasures and thinking of the spirit animals already gave him strength and he felt something change inside. What was this feeling, could it be courage?

As soon as the word popped into his mind he felt it fully. The animal spirits of the wolf and eagle moved freely within him. Yes, he was not afraid! He was the Mudjikiwis, a Cree Indian and would slay his enemies gladly with his brothers to protect the tribe.

He took a wife that season and built his own lodge. The Chumash attacked and he fought bravely with his brothers and saved the whole of the tribe with his fierceness and quickness in battle. The people sing songs of these battles to this day around our fires for he was the true Mudjikiwis.

(Mudjikiwis means eldest son in Cree.)

© Rebecca Sanchez 2013

I wrote this story after seeing the image I used. Not sure if the Indian in the artwork is a man or women but no matter this is fiction based on a few facts I looked up on Google.

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Hot As Hell

Hot As Hell

Introduction: To assume something can make an ass out of u and me but expectations can truly be hell.

It was hot as hell! Driving through this damn desert for my book signing near Los Vegas wasn’t my idea but it had to be done. The date had been booked by my manager for months in advance and my loyal fans would be waiting.

There was nothing to see but scrub plants, sand, and more sand. I had the air conditioning on high and wasn’t feeling it. I tweaked the nob getting nothing hearing a noise that sounded bad.

Belching steam and lurching like a drunk my overheated car came to a stop under the relentless sun. I tried to restart it but it was dead. I exited the only protection I had against the hell outside only to fill my lungs with hot air.

I looked around me half expecting the devil to make an appearance. The sand went on forever in the shimmering heat. There was no oasis like in the movies I was stuck in the middle of nowhere and I was going to be late!

I got out my trusty cell phone only to find no service. I searched my car finding nothing but an empty water bottle and a quarter. I expected lunch at the book signing event. My stomach was complaining already.

Nothing to do but start walking. I wasn’t on a highway I was on a backroad and it was deserted. There was no traffic whatsoever not even a tumbleweed crossed my path.

My throat was parched and after a few miles, I felt dizzy and nauseated. I didn’t see one house or farm along this hot dusty road.  I sat down next to a barbwire fence that went nowhere for a rest and passed out.

Waking up it was near sunset. It still hadn’t cooled off after all of that time and no cars had passed me. I checked my cell phone and it was still without service. I was starving with a hell of a thirst but at least I felt a little better.

Then I saw her! She was strikingly beautiful, not unlike an angel as I gawked at her wondering where she came from. There were no signs of any transportation or buildings nearby.

Her makeup was perfect, she wore a skimpy sun top and blue jeans that fit her shapely body like it was painted on her. Her violet-purple eyes were bright and inviting as she looked at me but said nothing. Her look was inviting me to join her I stumbled to my feet.

It was odd she had a rope she was spinning around and around. First, it spun around her and then not. She was very good with it doing tricks like a cowgirl. As I got close she quickly threw it around me.

I felt as if under a spell as she talked to me with her eyes. They had a glow to them I’d never seen before. So, so, beautiful I forgot the heat, my thirst, my car and my predicament.

She started dancing with and around me the rope moving about as she circled. I had no idea who she was but could care less about asking. I never felt more captivated by a woman. Maybe I could get away but did I want to?

Embers rose from the large fire nearby filling the sky. Surely the fire was there before and I had missed it. Physically I felt wonderful on top of the world! There were a million stars on this moonless night but I only had eyes for her.

Suddenly, she dropped the rope and kissed me passionately. The kiss made me muzzy I was a goner. Her hands were all over my body at once. She couldn’t get my clothes off fast enough ripping my shirt. I could care less.

Now both of us naked we sank down in the sand where only the sky bore witness. I was eager to have her and she was ready for me not making a sound.

Her fingernails raked my back as I entered her deeply. It felt like nothing I’ve ever had before when suddenly I saw bright lights as a horrible pain raged through my back. Panic gripped me, the cuts felt deep; to the bone!

She rolled us over getting on top and fucking me with wild abandon. I was bleeding profusely and in no time we were covered in my hot sticky blood!

The pain was horrible my flesh was being ripped off in pieces and it’s then I heard her. Her terrible laughter was echoing off of the distant canyon walls.

She sat up on me smiling down with white pointed teeth as her tongue flashed snake-like from her hideous gaping mouth. Her eyes were yellow and her breasts and naked body had been slashed with satan’s great claws.

That repulsive creature finally stepped off of me as the devil himself showed up. Thankfully, I passed out but my last thought rang clear as a bell.

I had expected the devil to make an appearance.

© Rebecca Sanchez 2016

That is Liz Taylor in this photograph (which I animated) that inspired me to write this story.

The Puppy

The Puppy

Introduction: Discovering a puppy in a post apocoliptic world makes a little girl’s day but the puppy draws more attention than she bargained for.

The little girl paused in the hallway of the old hotel listening. She was 10 years old and alone searching for uncontaminated food and useful things to use back at her hiding place.

She strained to hear the faint noise-there it was again! A whining noise of some sort. She wondered what it could be. Not many good things were alive anymore. Watching her step she continued her search.

It was 2018 and ever since the crippled nuclear reactor explosion went underground in Fukushima it was like this in San Francisco. Instead of the fog the city used to be famous for, it was now a thick, unromantic radioactive haze filled with vile things that will kill you eventually and for good. And you don’t want to come back as one of them!

She was drawn nearer to the noises that were coming from room 11. She was hunting for food, water anything she could find to keep surviving. She was one of the lucky one’s but did not feel lucky today. Looking for untainted food was a full-time job and she was hungry.

She was a pretty little girl although you would never guess as her hair was matted, she was filthy and she lived like an animal. Her heart was pounding in her chest and she counted the beats to calm herself as she pushed the door open.

At least she still had a heartbeat; the older one’s turned first. She kept her blade sharp just in case but she must be fast. She lived this long because her blade was always ready and she was quicker than most.

She heard the noise again, this time, louder and looked around the room still not believing her ears. Animals were pretty much dead now everything alive was killed and eaten. Yet there it was again and it sounded like a dog.

When she saw it she fell in love. The black puppy was terribly excited now his sharp barks piercing the silence. It was straining to get to her tied to a table leg in the middle of the room with a rope. It was skinny and dirty but it was a real puppy!

She saw no one just a wreck of a hotel room that from the looks of it had no food and nothing to offer her but she found a puppy and now, there it was!

She stopped in her tracks, surely this was a trap! She drew her blade her blue eyes searching the hotel room very carefully. Surely they were not smart enough for tricks?

She came out of the shadows tentatively holding her hand out to the puppy. When she got close enough it licked her face and she laughed at the rough tongue tickling her skin. She put down her blade and picked up the puppy. It was warm and didn’t seem sick, but where did it come from?

The puppy struggled in her arms yelping and she tried to quiet it. She cut the rope and surveyed the room as it was getting dark and it was bad to be out at night. She spent too much time tracking the puppy and now it won’t stop making noise. She pulled it into a closet so they weren’t out in the open.

Suddenly, one of them entered the room! She tore her shirt and stuffed a piece of it into the puppy’s mouth. It struggled and made too much noise so she automatically broke it’s neck as the thing passed their hiding place.

She was used to being near them and became very still. She noticed that the puppy was bleeding from the nose but she stayed quiet, thinking how she might salvage the day. They never found her this way she was good at hiding.

The vile thing had almost left the room but it spun around at the door. Her soul went cold as she realized it had caught the scent of the puppies blood and it was all for naught.

© Rebecca Sanchez 2014

The Bridge

The Bridge

Introduction: When you’re alone, pay attention to where you’re going and don’t talk to strangers.

It was a foggy day but I jog daily no matter what kind of weather so I trotted out to my car. I arrived at the park and grabbed my gear for my workout. It was like pea soup outside but I finished tying my shoes and promptly got started.

I’d been jogging for a half hour when I entered the glen. The fog suddenly dissipated and although the sun was not out the area had an eerie light. I saw my path ahead but it looked different. I stopped and uncapped my water bottle taking a long drink as I looked nervously about. Everything seemed just fine I was lost and just being silly. Then I saw the bridge!

It was just down the path through the glen. Surely I took a wrong turn? The path I take every day has no glen or bridge. I could see it clearly but I rubbed my eyes anyway. I consider myself a very sensible person and at the moment I was feeling a little mad.

I looked up to gain my bearings. Trees were blocking out the sky and I didn’t recognize anything. I walked closer and couldn’t believe it but the bridge was beckoning me I felt drawn to it.

As I approached I saw a very old arched bridge made of hand laid stone. It had ivory growing all over it and the trees nearby were very thick so all I could see was green. I heard the water underneath as I got closer although I knew there was no creek in this part of the park but there it was!

Before walking onto the bridge I paused, held my breath and then stepped forward. I felt a strange electricity run through me as I walked to the middle of it taking in the illusion. Or was it real? I pinched myself like in the movies and I felt it!

“It’s a beautiful day today isn’t it?” Said a voice.

Startled I blurted back automatically, “Well, actually it’s been foggy and…” I glanced around frantically yet saw nobody on the bridge.

“Down here! On the creek bank,” he called out.

Then I saw “him.” He was strangely dressed in earth colors and blended in like an optical illusion and I was thinking he was precisely that.

I finally found my voice; “I don’t believe it” I said flatly.

I surprised myself at how calm I felt but I was confused and felt light headed. The man had 2 arms, 2 legs, and a head firmly on his neck where it belonged and I could tell he was a man but that was where any comparison ended.

“Excuse me for surprising you like this but I’m a troll and surely you’ve heard of trolls and their bridges?” He was smoking a pipe and I was wondering what was in it.

“I don’t believe in trolls and this bridge does not exist so I must be dreaming.” I needed to finish my workout and had things to do deciding I must be in a section of the park I didn’t know about.

“Sorry to be rude but I must be on my way can you please tell me how to get back to the main parking lot?”

“Not so fast! You can’t leave this bridge without paying the toll.” His face remained smiling but his features took on a menacing look. He was short and stout but looked a lot more dangerous and had sharp pointed little teeth.

I was speechless! I still had to get some work done today, I was lost and now I had some homeless freak accosting me after getting lost. I found my voice, “I’m sorry err….whatever your name is, but I must be on my way now. I don’t carry money on me when I do this…”

“One gold coin you can pass, no gold coin trespass. You will not cross without it.” He rudely interrupted.

What could I do but look at the little troll spouting rhymes and laugh, “Okay, I enjoyed our little talk but you have kept me far too long.”

As I reached the end of the bridge I was bounced back hard on my rear. Surprised and angry now I scrambled to my feet.

“Ho..ho..how?” I stammered. As I spun around the troll was on the bridge facing me and he seemed much bigger now.

“I will give you nothing,” I screamed at him.

“You will not cross,” he said and now he stood squarely in the way. “One gold coin you can pass, no gold coin trespass.”

He kept growing and was even larger as he continued, “I have been waiting a long time to escape it was easy to fool you into coming here. You really must pay more attention to where you’re going.”

His head was cocked quizzically to one side like a cocker spaniel. “What’s the matter cat got your tongue?”

And indeed it had. My head was spinning and I felt light headed. He smelled of cinnamon but something very bad on top of that and he seemed to fill the sky it was making me sick. I saw the whole world turn upside down as everything went dark.

I awoke in the dark and I jumped to my feet in surprise scattering the pile of damp leaves I was lying in. As they landed around me I dropped my gaze to my bare feet and screamed. I didn’t recognize it as a scream really, kind of pitiful.

Then I remembered the troll was gone, and my feet were not mine! I was under the bridge and ran to the water’s edge to see my reflection. My mind raced with past events as I looked at the stranger looking back at me. I had on earth colored rags and no! Surely that could not…be…me?

“It is you and you are now the toll-keeper,” someone said. I knew that voice.

His reflection was in the water his face near mine only he was now a normal looking man. I twisted my head around to look behind me and he was not there! I heard his voice as he spoke in a monotone telling me my fate.

“One gold coin they can pass
no gold coin trespass.
No gold coin then you must trap
another person to take the rap.
Trespass they take your place
taking tolls with a troll’s face.”

It sounded like a bad fairytale surely it’s not real! My mind was slow and sluggish to comprehend as he finished.

“I lost track of time under this bridge but you will remain here until you lure someone here that can’t pay. It may sound easy but the trick is finding a person in the right frame of mind and getting them to step on the bridge. When you put your foot on the enchanted stone you were caught in my trap. Didn’t you feel it?”

I was too stupefied to answer him still staring at the water.

He continued,”I am just a man as you see here but made the same mistake as you, losing everything because of one weakness.”

“What was that?” I managed to croak and he answered me as his reflection faded from my sight.

“Vulnerability my dear, you were vulnerable enough to fall into my trap!”

© Rebecca Sanchez 2013