Uh, this is, uh,
from a Western in progress, entitled The Place of Dead Roads.
And my protagonist Kim Carson finds
himself in deadly conflict with Mr.
Hart - the press tycoon, and Old Man Bickford - a beef and oil baron.
And Bickford has a special price on Kim's head,
because Kim killed Old Man Bickford's son in a gunfight...
For three days,
Kim camped on the Macy Tops, sweeping the valley with his binoculars.
A cloud of dust headed south told him
they figured he'd arrive south from Mexico.
He'd headed north instead, into a land of sandstone formations.
And everywhere caves pocked into the
red rock like bubbles in boiling oatmeal.
Some of the caves had been lived in, at one time or another.
Rusty tin cans, pottery shards, cartridge cases.
Kim found an arrowhead, six inches long, chipped from obsidian.
And a smaller arrowhead of rose colored flint.
Dusk was falling and blue shadows gathered
in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east
Sangre de Cristo.
Blood of Christ.
Rivers of blood.
Mountains of blood.
Does Christ never get tired of bleeding?
It is raining in the Jimenez Mountains. "
It is raining Anita Huffington" - Last
words of General Grant, spoken to his nurse.
Circuits in his brain flickering out like lightning in gray clouds
Pottery shards, arrowheads, rusting fish hooks.
You can see there was a cabin here once.
A hypodermic syringe glints in the sun
He holds the rose flint arrow head in his hand.
And he fondles the obsidian arrowhead, so fragile. "
Do they break every time they were used like bee stings?", he wonders.
Somebody made this arrowhead.
It had a creator long ago.
This arrowhead is the only proof of his existence.
So living things can also be seen as artefacts designed for a purpose.
So perhaps the human artefact had a creator?
Perhaps the stranded space traveller needed the human
vessel to continue his voyage and he made it for that purpose?
He died before he could use it, he found another escape route.
This artefact shaped to fill a forgotten need,
now has no more meaning or purpose than this arrow
head without the arrow and the bow, the arm and the eye.
Or perhaps the human artefact was the creators'
last card, played in an old game many light years ago
Chill in an empty space, Kim gathers wood for a fire.
The stars are coming out.
There's the Big Dipper.
His father points to Betelgeuse in the night sky over St.
His fathers grey face on a pillow.
Helpless pieces in the game he plays on this checker board
of nights and days - so fragile - shivers and gathers wood.
Slave gods in the firmament
He remembers his fathers' last words: "
Stay outta churches, son.
All I got a key to is the shit house...
And swear to me you will never wear a policeman's badge."
Hither and thither, moves and checks and slaves.
And one by one, back in the closet lays.
Rusty tin cans, pottery shards, cartridge cases,
arrow heads, a hypodermic syringe glints in the sun