It’s crazy that we say ‘tuna fish,’ but never ‘roast-beef mammal,’ or ‘chicken bird.’
“You better make sure you know where our umbrella’s located,” Mom says to me.
But I’m a big boy and she worries too much.
“I’m on an adventure,” I laugh as I make my way to the shores edge, intent on finding sea shells, chasing and being chased by the rolling waves.
Two minutes later: “Where’s our umbrella? Which one is ours. They all look the same.”
Starting to cry, Mom finds and brings me to our umbrella. Now she won’t let me out of her sight, where I must be contented digging holes and building castles in the sand.
You live in a hundred different realities or more, because every person who sees or meets you, envisions you differently.
In the village of Ck’u-my-u’us Ck’lot-c’ there lived a quy’ug’ seh’, a witch, who enjoyed catching and killing cats as ritual sacrifices. The villagers feared this quy’ug’ seh’ and instead of complaining about his vicious activities, held their children close, thankful that it was not their child that had suffered such a heinous fate.
One early morning a caravan of many strangers came into the village, arriving ahead of their annual gathering on the nearby playa, for what outrage and rituals, few would ever know. Many wore, what villagers supposed to be costumes with heads of unearthly beasts that no good soul could or even wished to identify.
And with them came a singular, dark-eyed child, a girl, whose head was covered in reddish hair and whose skin glowed a green-tint in the luminous sunshine. Throughout the day, this stripling enjoyed the company of a certain black kitten.
That evening a cherubic wailing could be heard throughout Ck’u-my-u’us Ck’lot-c’ as the child searched for her now missing and beloved pet. Then as the gibbous moon fully inclined the star-filled sky, the strangers took to praying and singing and chanting in a frightful tongue that no human ear had ever before heard.
The following morning the strangers were gone, traveling northward, deep into the heat of the high desert. Also gone, the villagers quickly discovered, were their cats.
Had the strangers prayers mesmerized the furry beasts, bidding them to follow from the village? No one knew for certain and no one dared to make inquiries of those same strangers.
What was known is the tale told by two boys, who remained outside after darkness fell. In the shadows of the many alleys and various footpaths, they saw numerous cats, too many to count and of all description, gathering, before boldly approaching the quy’ug’ seh’s house, where they witnessed the felines parading in circular fashion around and around the unkempt and mysterious abode.
No one believed the boys, preferring to cling to the memory that the pair were known tricksters, and were obviously intent on playing a practical joke, if not a somewhat ill-timed, on the puzzled villagers. Three days passed, when as suddenly as they had disappeared, every cat of Ck’u-my-u’us Ck’lot-c’ returned in the night to where they truly belonged.
And for sometime after, these returned cats refused to eat, instead enjoying much time before the many homes heated hearths or lazing about in the sun, luxuriously and unceasingly grooming themselves. It left many of the villagers very curious and still others filled with a superstitious dread.
Another three days would pass before the pets, both indoor and outdoor, began to show appetites and to start again eating what their masters had to offer and soon this feline food-strike was forgotten. It appeared that a peacefulness had finally settled on Ck’u-my-u’us Ck’lot-c’ once more.
However, it was about this time that someone made note that the quy’ug’ seh’ had not been seen in many weeks and that no candlelight had appeared in his window, nor had curled wisps of evil smoke escaped the chimney of the dreaded house for many nights. Because of trepidation, nothing was done and the matter set aside, save for quiet whispers regarding the strangeness of the thing.
So months passed before villagers grew bold enough to approach the quietness of the shuttersome place, to check on the long absent quy’ug’ seh’. Once the door was splintered and entry made, his cleanly picked bones, scattered about the earthen floor, were found.
While trying to figure out how to better store all the stories I wrote as a kid, I ran across this one. I recall the night I did it. I was on an Edgar Allan Poe kick and had decided to use a bird feather quill and India ink to pen this one. Here’s the original paper…
Had a bad mix up at the grocery store this morning after the clerk said, “Strip down, facing me.” Evidently she was talking about my debit card.