Okay, here’s something I’m going to do. Since it’s Sensitive Saturday, I’m going to write a very brief story. Without thinking of it ahead of time. That is to say, I’m going to start and finish in one step. No taking a day to think about it. No story outline. I think I know how I want to start, but I have no idea how it’s going to end. Obviously, I’m not going to guarantee anything about the quality or consistency of the story. Never really done this before. If you want to write a story in the comments, go nuts!
Before I begin, this is what prompted me. Yes, I have a coyote skull in my house:
Matilda bent over to inspect the strange thing reaching out from the blanket of dust. The desert wasn’t just sand, it was dust; fine and ubiquitous. It found its way everywhere. It stuck in the corners of her eyes (even with the goggles), clogged her nostrils, almost poured out of her ears when she tilted her head. The wind tried its hardest to shove the dust and sand through Matilda’s cloth mask. The light of the full moon glittered brightly overhead.
She picked it up. It was a coyote skull. Her fingers gripped it by the eye sockets. Dust and sand poured out. The lower jaw was missing, but the teeth on the upper jaw were all there, white and pitted. The incisors bit into the air.
Matilda looked around. “Where did you come from?” she said. The dunes were bare and rolling, directed by the wind, expanding to the horizons.
The skull answered her. Wait, no. It couldn’t have answered her. But, if she held it in just the right angle, the skull resonated. A deep noise echoed from within it. Deeper than it had any right to be.
She dropped it, startled, and it slid in a mini sand-avalanche down toward the dune valley. It stopped part way, staring back at her.
“What the hell?” she said. Nothing answered her. She didn’t expect to meet anything like this on her journey. She was told that it would be a long distance. They didn’t tell her what she would find. They didn’t tell her how long it would take. It had already taken a long time. “Maybe I’m imagining it,” she said out loud to herself, already walking toward the skull.
It found itself in her hand again. She looked into its eye sockets. “Am I imagining you?” she asked it, feeling stupid the moment she asked.
The wind whipped again, flowing around the teeth, into the sinus cavity, and blowing sand out of the eyes. A thin, reedy “perhaps” answered her.
Matilda’s eyes widened inside her goggles. “Are you here for me?” she asked.
It was as if two moons glowed in the sockets. A deep “YES” rumbled from the skull. The rumbling answer erased the ripples from the dunes surrounding her and re-created the ripples in unnatural patterns.
Matilda climbed to the top of a dune, still holding the skull. “Where do I go now?” she asked it.
The wind died, sending the remnants of its energy through the skull. “North,” whistled the skull.
In the calm, the dust settled. She took off her goggles and looked up at the stars. In no time, she found north and continued walking.
Hope you enjoyed this. Also, be sure to check out the latest episode of Freddy’s Fan Fiction! Give it a listen (or watch), download, subscribe, and tell folks about it! Fun stories with fun people! I enjoy the hell out of it, so I hope you do too!