In BURNT on January 25, 2011 at 8:49 pm


The bottle travels around the circle.  No one takes as big a pull as they would like, though their throats are dry and the whiskey tastes very good.  This is a rough bunch and they don’t know one another at all, having each found this fire by the railroad tracks separately.  The builder of the fire is unknown as is the owner of the bottle.

“Shall I tell you the story of how the Coyote tricked the wind?”

The tension around the fire doesn’t allow for a nod or a grunt of agreement so Arango just proceeds.

“Coyote was wandering in the desert and he came to a great lake.  Now Coyote was lazy and didn’t want walk around the lake, so he said to the Water, ‘Water, why don’t you move aside so that I can cross?'”‘

As he speaks, Arango studies his new compadres.  Their rough hands tell him that they were laborers once.  They are dirty.  The kind of dirty that means sleeping without much between you and the dirt.

They share something else as well.  A lack of desperation.  These are men who have faced desperate times and despaired.  But those times are behind them.  They are beyond despair now.  They live with it.  In it.

Just like him.

“So this is how we got the Santana winds, which still blow hot when the Wind is angry.  And this is how Coyote came to die of thirst at the bottom of a lake.”

Arango upends the bottle.  It’s empty.  He’s drained it.

Without a word, the men fall upon him and begin to beat him to death.

The Story So Far

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