smwrites: A woman sits at a typewriter, pages flying, a plug in the back of her awesomely big-curly hair. (Default)
smwrites ([personal profile] smwrites) wrote2012-11-06 03:58 pm


You can’t meet one eye with two.
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One-eyed jackrabbits are ferly creatures, given to hunker at the edge of a campfire’s light with that seeping, blackish pit turned towards your face. You can scare them away with prayers, I hear, but Christian ones – I don’t know those – so I took to speaking with them. About the weather, first, then ancestors, and finally what men do. They listen with their big ears swept forward and answer back in polite, soft voices.

My point being, sheriff, I trusted them when they said this man had to die.

A coyote’s bottom canine tooth caught me in the face and dragged out my eye with the nerve still wriggling at the end, so I kicked him on the brow that his jarred free. Do not pretend, sir, that humans haven’t the same law. I came to talk about the dead men, though – the one our friend killed and the friend of ours you hanged. We wish to explain. Will you light a fire? Do not pray, sir. The rasp and rhythm batters such sensitive ears as mine – so, too, does the scratching of dead men’s nails on the roofs of their coffins.

Let me explain, sir, how to silence a corpse.

The bodies didn’t smell after three days and three weeks burial respectively and neither had a single nail on their hand, so I can’t say the old jackrabbit wasn’t right about something wrong. Dismembering them at the joints seemed a little thing to do with that single, glossy dark eye settled on the nape of my neck. We talked about cattle driving while I wedged apart back bones with my knife. The reason I’m talking to you, though, is that they want more favors. At night I hear them outside my room, whispering in their voices as soft as their fur. A coyote did not allow her ear to be gnawed away in recompense for biting off one of ours, sir. Would I shoot her? There are many more dead men to silence, sir. Might you attend to them?

Doctor, there aren’t jackrabbits up north. Let me go.