Howahkan (Part 4)

“Let’s get out of here!” he yells at Atlat, who scrambles to his feet. But he does not run to Kaga, instead staring at the choking monster. He raises his sword, and a second later brings it slicing down toward the brown-feathered shoulder. Just as it is about to cut Ántimán, his left arm flies up and catches the blade, cutting into the palm. Atlat tries to wrench it away from him, but the hand clamps down harder in spite of the dark red blood now dripping from between its four fingers. Ántimán continues to cough and choke, retching up some blood which smokes upon the ground, and clutching its burning stomach and chest. He raises his face to look at Ántimán, eyes narrowed, red irises peering out from between the slits. Its mouth opens wide and a screeching scream erupts from it. Altat releases the hilt and turns and runs, and Ántimán trudges after him, releasing a smaller and smaller scream with each step until finally falling forward, the stone sword cast aside. The body twitches and then the tongues of flame cover it, the feathers curling up as they catch fire. This time both Atlat and Kaga stop to watch.
Go on →


Howahkan (Part 3)

The two men sit at the base of the ogre’s perch, chests heaving. From up above, the sound of roaring resounds, and rock cracking on the other side of the peak as the ogre breathes down, searching for the two that disturbed it. Atlat looks over at Kaga.

“Thank you for that. It was like stabbing the air, and all it did was wake it up. I don’t think we’ll be able to attempt another attack tonight with the way it’s carrying on up there.”

“It’s nothing. I’m just glad my jokes don’t make people vomit like that. More importantly, did you see what it did?”

“Aside from an incredibly angry ogre, I did not notice anything out of the ordinary.”

“Well, from my vantage point, before it attacked us, it looked as though it was asking for help.” Atlat looks at him, eyebrows raised.
Go on →

Howahkan (Part 2.75)

The peak is an anomaly among the surroundings, rising above the surrounding plateaus. The stone is lighter in color, orange approaching yellow, and its sides are weathered and worn from the wind, crenelated . There is no visible way to scale it from where they stand, though the current lighting does not help this assessment. The wind has died down, and a strange sound greets their ears, alternating between rasping exhalation and a stifled snorting that almost sounds like–

“Is that snoring?” Atlat asks.

“Seems to be.” Kaga whispers back.
Go on →

Howahkan (Part 2)

“Take my horse with you as well. I doubt it will fare well in the mountains.” Atlat says as Mato turns to go. Mato nods, and he and the other hunter climb back onto their horses, looping a leather rope around the third, riderless equine, and urge their horses to a canter, heading back through the trees in the direction of the village. Atlat and Kaga watch as they go, and then turn to face each other.

“So your name is Atlat. And mine is Kaga. Have you met with monsters before in your hunts?”

“I have only heard tales of them, and now have seen the destruction they make. Have you seen the thing in the mountains?”

“I have not, though this is not my first encounter with these wretched creatures. Each one seems to be more foul than the last. And yet again, you all had not heard of their propagation throughout the lands. One man is not fast enough to warn everyone.” He sighs, closing his eyes. Opening them, he continues. “No matter. Do you know what lives in the mountains, Atlat?”

“I didn’t think anything lived in them, though birds may roost on the peaks.”

“I thought you said you’d heard stories of monsters before? Well let me tell you myself, mountains are the dwelling place of two kinds: ogres and giants. The giants aren’t so bad, I’m friends with a few in other areas – you look like you have some of their blood in you, has anyone told you that before?” Atlat scowls at this remark. “Eh, looks like they have, haha! In any case, the ogres are what you need to look out for. They like to lie in waiting and when you get near the edge of a cliff, BAM!” Kaga kicks one leg, “They kick you right off, and the last thing you hear is their scratchy cackling as you smash into the rocks below.”

“Do they also control the wind?” Kaga ceases his gesticulations and looks at Atlat.

“Well, no. That’s a bit beyond them, or at least I’ve never heard of it being something they can do. So basically, we’re going into this blind, with a high likelihood of having to deal with two other formidable foes.”
Atlat gulps, and breathes in deep.

“Let’s go.” And with that, Atlat runs through the woods towards the brown and orange peaks in the distance, Kaga sprinting to catch up.
Go on →

Howahkan (Part 1)


The spear slices through the standing reeds, a small section of the field now uneven with the rest of the chest high plants. Some were cut by the stone at the end of the spear, some were bent or broken by the haft. The corner of the wielder’s mouth curves down as he looks at the intact reeds. He is tall, around seven feet, his limbs lanky and smooth, the muscles undefined. His hair is long and untied, but only reaches to just above his waist. His rectangular face is of similar stretched proportions, glowering eyes with thick black eyebrows. He wears leather trousers, trimmed along the seams with just a few feathers on each side. Another man walks up behind him, similarly clothed, though he has quite a few more feathers.

“Atlat! There you are. Wasting your time out here again, I see.”
Go on →

Sukanwi (Part 3)

Ten rotations later they reach the opposite shore, the banks of which are a gentle slope rising up from thick mud to thick green weeds, bugs buzzing over both. Birch trees rise up a just six feet away, their straight trunks rising to branches that arch over Meda and Masou’s heads. Heavy bags are under their eyes, and they crawl out of the canoe onto the shore and then roll over on their backs on the grass.

“I feel sick.” Meda swallows and closes her eyes.

“I’m just glad nothing happened the second night. I feel as though I’ve been rowing for a week.” He groans and puts his right arm over his eyes. Meda sits up and brings her legs up to her chest, hands sinking into the thick grass on either side of her.

“What do we do now?”
Go on →

Sukanwi (Part 2)

Masou dashes through the rain and, after almost falling twice, slows down. He reaches the path that leads to the stream and in minutes has reached it. Kimi’s parents kneel in front of a grey mass on the grass. Masou stops, closes his eyes in a grimace, and steps forward. Kimi’s parents do not acknowledge his presence.

“No.” The denial is choked out as he sees the soaked clothes and mottled skin of Kimi’s body. Her hair lies around her in strings, eyes white and glossed over, and her skin tone is a pale, almost blueish hue. Where it is exposed, the skin is wrinkled and translucent, and torn at places. Masou’s shoulders shake as his eyes move from one place to the next, and then they stop as he looks at her fingers. The nails have fallen off and the joints that connect them to her palms look as though they have either rotted or been eaten away, the smooth, bright white bone exposed to the air. He can see rainwater sliding down the bones and in between the spaces. Masou spins around and places his arms against a tree, hanging his head, his breath coming out in quick gasps.
Go on →

Sukanwi (Part 1)

A young man and woman walk at a brisk pace through a sunlit forest. The light filters through the leaves and passes over them as they move side by side. They are both young, and the man has shoulder length black hair, strands sticking out here and there. She is a half an inch shorter than his five feet eight inches, and her hair is in similar condition. It branches out in almost lightning-bolt shapes and curling up into sharp points at the bottom. Her face is similarly pointed with almond shaped green eyes and light pink lips. His jaw line is less defined and more angular, with prominent cheekbones and heavy brows. Neither looks as though they’ve washed in a few days, though her hair is a bit less greasy. Their tan leather clothes, a shirt and trousers for him and a long dress with a fringed bottom for her, are dirt-stained and stiff. They are holding hands but they are not smiling. He keeps an eye out to his left, and she looks ahead. He squeezes her hand after looking behind them and her lips open a fraction, and she looks to the right.

“Meda, you really need to be more alert. They’re still following us thanks to your games.” She lowers her face.

“It’s fun to pretend to have medicine, even though I don’t.”

“I just hope they’re more forgiving of your parents than they are of you.” Meda looks down again, frowning. He looks at her and puts his arm around her shoulder, drawing her closer to him. “I’m sure they’ll be fine, they didn’t even know about it until it happened.” She keeps walking as he pauses and then follows her.

Go on →

Cameahwait (Part 3)


“I can die happy. I’ve annoyed many over the years but this is the first time in memory that I’ve pissed off a spirit.” As the neck untwists, blood is smeared in a streaked band around Cameahwait’s head. Coyote stands as it wobbles on the still twig-sized neck, the once smooth face a storm of angry creases and wrinkles. Cameahwait glowers at Coyote, its eyes burning white hot beneath its hat-like brow. Its breath becomes heavier and each one comes at longer intervals, and it begins to puff up again. Coyote backflips away from it, eyes from behind the mask pointing at its mouth. But no more viscous blood comes forth from its maw. Instead, Cameahwait grows in size, increasing outwards from its core, where a heart would be, and its lower half sinks into the ground, until only its chest and arms are visible. As it grows, it absorbs the doppelgängers that have been milling about while it fought Coyote. It towers over him, face in shadow, sword and staff extending up into the black sky, two eyes shining like distant suns. He holds the now immense sword out, the flat of the blade facing down. As it falls towards Coyote’s head he dashes away from the giant spirit, making a line towards where he threw his axe. The area around him gets darker as Cameahwait moves towards him and he does not look back as he runs. He reaches his axe and picks it up, spinning around to face the titan.

“You’re not the only one who can change sizes!” As he says this, the axe begins to grow, and continues to do so until the haft is as big as a tree trunk and the blade more like a piece off a cliff face rather than a shaped piece of stone. His fingers can no longer curl around it but splay out, clutching it on either side of the ridged wood. It rises up until it is level with Cameahwait’s chest, forty feet in the air. He lifts it back over his shoulder, muscles and tendons in his arms and hands standing out. Cameahwait’s eyes raise from looking down at him and follow its movement, which is faster than would be expected for something being lifted by a person a twentieth the size of the weapon. It raises its sword to block the swing while also bringing the staff around to the front and pointing it down at Coyote. But as it begins to glow just as the axe shatters the spectral blade. Its shards drag sheets of red through the air as they fall and fade away. The blood streams down but evaporates before it hits the ground.
Go on →