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God of the Winds

By Skadi meic Beorh

The world is a predator, yet some places prove friendlier than others. Ireland, for instance, with all of its blood and sorrows, brings a comfort in its woesome gales which I have found the American West never to afford. The lords of the two lands do not know one another, both rising from the places they serve, and remaining constant in those arenas. The kings of Ireland (a green place of wet terror) are made cordial through humble service to the land and its people. The Mesa Lords of northern New Mexico rage fierce, and dry, and require an affronting ferocity to appease them-If such strength is available. I was in no way prepared for that which would unfold as these rulers took fresh lie of their land, discovered me, and set forth to challenge my presence.

I had temporarily relocated from my home in Hollywood to Mora, New Mexico, in an effort to escape a vampiric relationship where I had become the selfish aggressor-and to study the shamanism of the
Greasy Eye Cavities of the Skull clan of Hopi; the extinct Wikurswungwa. I arrived on a nameless ranch the day after Halloween. The snows had already come-intermittently, but heavy, and wet when they fell.

Mora is not particularly known better than any other place for Hopi shamanism. It is, however, one of the more silent places of the continent, where bloodshed cries out in its meek way still, but the whir and stir of humanity is altogether absent. This is the land of the
mesas verde-the great, green tables, once mountains in times not remembered. An unparalleled climate for sustained academic research, and potential healing of the heart and mind.

"Here today, gone to Mora," I said to no one as I popped the lock on the heavy front door of my log house and entered the dark main room which smelled of cinnamon and pine. I laughed at myself, then said the phrase again as I rolled the 'r', and adopted it as my motto. I soon had the hearth roaring and inviting, and a cast iron pot of curried lentils bubbling away on the wood-burning stove.


After a restful third night's sleep, I arose at dawn, dressed in warm clothing, and hiked the five miles to the abandoned monastery where the bravest of the Spanish monks had crucified themselves in the attempt to make the Hopi and other local natives understand their message. During this
épouvante, hundreds of Indians were baptized into the Faith. Because of this, it was thought that the monks were being effective in the sharing of their religion…until it was discovered, some years later, that the long-awaited Hopi savior, Bahana, comparable to the Aztec Ehécatl, was a crucified sun-god who had required no human sacrifice-and that the Indians believed the monks to be emissaries of their beloved lord. Nevertheless, the Catholic authorities continued with their missionary work, heathen salvation not their actual goal, but power through land and populace ownership. The natives made good, humble slaves in the name of Jesus Christ.


It began with the chimney swifts. I noticed them flocking in unusual numbers to the ranch. At the same time, blustery currents of air, warmer than the November temperatures, commenced. I knew, though, that these New Mexican
chinooks were animated with something more than air currents.

After the winds began in earnest, at night I would recline on my longsettle near the fireplace, done with my studies for the day, and listen to them howling down from the nearest mesa like feral creatures on the hunt. Too often I allowed myself to fall beneath their enchantment, and became so unnerved that warm milk infused with valerian extract was all that would calm me.

I began finding the glassy-eyed bodies of the swifts, untouched by hawks and unmolested by beetles and other scavengers, their wings fully outstretched. There were dead swifts by the river. I also found them scattered around the barn garret, behind my house near the generator, inside the outhouse, and, yes, in the chimney (when suddenly the flue wasn't working properly). Each bird had died in the shape of a cross, with a worm in its mouth-the international icon of the sun-god…the eagle with the serpent in its beak.

One crisp morning, just after a new snow, I fueled up on 'cowboy coffee' and rock-hopped across the greenish-clear river to get a better look at an ancient juniper clawing the sky like a severed hand.

There is something about the way the piñon-juniper landscape smells after is has been moistened. It comes to life-all the fresh conifers and red earth activated by water.
Zesty might best describe it, like sea spray or sitting by a waterfall-a secret of the high desert only unlocked by a cold rain, or wet snow.

When I stepped from the river into the fresh snowfall, with no warning my legs turned to rubber, and breathing became difficult, as if the wind had been knocked out of me. The brisk, sunny day became overcast as if gargantuan fingers covered it, and the Mesa Kings, which had previously come with their most forcible antics after dusk, began to roar down from the heights with such velocity that I was forced to lean into them to stay upright.

As I fought for balance with my newborn legs, fallow earth surrounding the old juniper began to rupture and push upward, shifting and swirling, forming a maelstrom of stinging sand, snow, and natural debris. From the loosened, flying dirt emerged carrion talons, and human digits, and undersea feelers, and waving antennae.

Then, breaking the surface of the land, around and around the juniper as if swimming, or drowning, moved creatures dead, and dying, and things of bone-howling like starving felines as they swam. The lacerated heads of those still wearing flesh oozed, open and raw-and as they moved in a quickly increasing diameter, they reached for my feet with their appendages.

One gruesome humanoid, smelling of rotted meat and trailing a matted, black mane behind him, leered at me with yellow lemur eyes as he passed. I was struck by his evil gaze, crumbled, and went down. I was then yanked into the hideous multitude by the corvusian deathling trailing my vascanian assailant.

Fire and ice tore into my right kidney, and then my left, soon filling my flanks with molten agony. Feeling as if I were being torn asunder by the monsters which were now punctured children, now quivering hags in their death throes, I writhed and screamed and kicked, but my aggression only caused more of them to sidle toward me, grab me, and pull me into the cold, disturbed earth. My mouth filled with sand and gore. I choked, and purged. The lemur-eyed thing mounted me then, gyrating as we bathed in the whirling charnel. The undulating ground then opened, and I plummeted with those ministers of horror into a dank, pitch blackness.


I awoke dazed. As I held my throbbing head, I saw that I lay alone in a room of indiscernible size, as the place was illuminated by one candle set in an earthenware dish three paces away. Panicking, I checked myself over to see how badly I had been clawed, and bitten. My fingers pushed into a thick death-smelling seepage which I knew was not my own, and I gagged. Relieved that my unwanted companions had deserted me, I pulled to my feet, stumbled, took up the candle, and began a slow exploration.

I had not crept far into the gloam of the building when I knew that I was, indeed, underground. Twisted tree roots pushing down from above decorated the walls like heathen icons. Water dripping from them formed intricate webbing designs as it trailed away to the floor. Was I in a kiva of some sort? Though not as cleanly designed as those I had witnessed before, soon enough I saw that the place was something akin to the kiva-the underground ceremonial room of the Hopi-for to my right I discovered a wooden table whereupon three kachina dolls had been displayed: a
Wiharu, a Soyoko, and a Nata-aska. Oddly enough, this display disturbed me as deeply as had my convulsions beneath the juniper, for these are the evil spirits of the Hopi.


I jumped backward, inadvertently blowing out my candle. My spine iced over. I could see nothing-not even my fingers which I brought up only centimeters from my eyes.


The voice was addressing me in Hopi, as man.


"I…I don't speak…I…"


"I don't speak Hopi…I maybe
should, but I…"

"Well, you speak
something, you filthy dog!"

I clamored sideways, searching for where the root-covered wall to my left had been. It was not where I remembered. I fell, cracking my wrist on the solid clay floor. The pain was excruciating. I knew I had fractured my ulna.

Taaqa. Welcome to Flesh-House."

I froze, not knowing how to answer the voice. I patted the immediate area for my candle, but it was gone. I then felt something cool, and wet, and reached around me to see what I had fallen into. I didn't know until I lifted my fingers to my face. The metallic scent of new menstrual blood.

I rolled away, only to thump against something solid, yet soft. Knowing intuitively what I had hit, I screamed, and as I did so, as if my voice were some kind of light switch, a yellow glow interrupted the darkness, and I saw my verbal assailant: a baboon.

I screeched like a child on a playground. Survival instinct alive and electric, I threw myself behind the body.

No. Could it be? At first I saw it to be Miriam, the woman I had been with in Hollywood, her large violet eyes unmistakable. She was bloodless and dying, and beckoning to me with her full lips, yet no sound came from them. Then I saw her to be a beautiful Indian girl who had been tortured by having her hands cut off. Or had they been gnawed away? I could not tell. I vomited my breakfast over her shoulder and long raven hair, wiped it away from her face, told her I was sorry, and collapsed, hanging over her waist, spent and laughing. I laughed so hard. I laughed, and then I wept, and then I laughed again. A voice from inside me said that I was losing my mind, but I didn't care. The scene was horribly hilarious; deliciously demented.

Then my thoughts turned downward. Should I strip the girl and gloat upon her obvious loveliness? Should I penetrate her (with my abrupt, throbbing erection) and so give my soul fully to all that is debased in the world? Should I then eat her after our thanatophilia? Bite off her nipples? Chew at her pudendum filled with my salty gift? I didn't know. I climbed upon her and pushed on her solar plexus. She expectorated blood, which I kissed away from her before I roared horrified, a madman now. A lunatic. I lay there thrilled, and revolted, and terrified. I felt my core temperature cooling, my body shaking. I was freezing to death. I was dying. In Hell.

"Leave the girl,
taaqa," the baboon said as he blinked sightless eyes. "Leave her or do your desires, you foul thing. This is Flesh-House. Your will is your command."

My will is my command? What did he mean?

"Frig the girl, flay the girl, or flee the girl," the beast said as he ambled over, took one of her stumps in his hands and pushed it between his lips, sucking. "This is Flesh-House. Your will is your command. Get up. Stop being so indulgent, or you'll die where you lay,

Of a sudden I was sane again, or so I thought. I knew that I was warm again. I stood, the blind baboon turned, and we walked together toward the source of the egg-yellow light.


I awoke in my bed crying out for Miriam, wet with sweat though the night outside had grown frigid.

"My god, what a nightmare," I remember saying, and all day long I was disturbed by the infernal visions remaining fresh in my memory. Valerian root tea was the only thing I found to sufficiently calm me for sleep again that night.


"You've returned, my fiend," said the blind monster. "This is good. Let us continue our walk, will we?"

I screamed, thrashed about in my bed, and clawed at my eyes, trying to gouge them out.

"You silly little
taaqa," the simian said. "Believing blindness to be a deterrent to the visions. Keep your eyesight. You are already damned. This is Flesh-House. Follow me."

I followed the beast, which moved as if sighted, and as we walked, he somehow became the dead girl. I was ashamed, and held back. She sought to gather me to her, to help me along, but her bleeding stumps could only grab me like kitchen tongs. I pulled away from her, mewing like a kitten, which only further shamed me. She held me tighter, yanking me toward her. She then kissed the corner of my mouth, her pretty upturned nose brushing mine, her big eyes wet and shining.

"You are mortified by your base thoughts toward me?"

"Yes, Miriam," I said, but I knew she wasn't Miriam.

"Have power over your mind. You are its lord and king. Ready yourself now. We enter the Hall of Pleasures."

We squeezed through a slimy passage allowing us only to turn sideways as we went, the girl ahead of me. I found that I had hold of the long braid she now wore-like Miriam had worn. As I tugged, she moaned as if in great pleasure. Though I fought it, I again became aroused, and imagined her doing things to me with her stubs.

"You have an iniquitous soul," she said as we pushed through the tight corridor. "You would sleep with your own mother, and beg her to call you daddy."

I said nothing in reply, but I flushed with shame. I shut my eyes against the fresh knowledge of my deviant lechery. When I opened them again, we were in a room reminding me of a hospital ward, but the beds were stone slabs carved with deep blood-catches and serpentine drains, like those found at Peruvian Wari sacrificial sites.

"What is this place?" I heard myself ask. The Indian pushed a bleeding limb to my lips and held it there until I wretched. As I wiped my mouth on my shirtsleeve, before us, on the dozen tables, there appeared apparitions of sacrifice victims. I turned to the girl, questioning this scene. I wish I had not, for behind her loomed a coven of translucent, hollow-eyed things.

"What…" was all I could say. She turned.

"Oh. Those are the Old Seers. They are the most potent humans on Earth. Or at least they
were. Their abode is Flesh-House, and from here they move outward, to usurp energy from those unaware. Their time of gleaning is dusk. Only the impeccable warrior can defeat them."

Forgetting-or not caring-that my guide was hideous without her hands, I pulled close to her. Hot tears streamed down my face.

"They will not harm you while I am here," she said. "Look," and she pointed a ragged wrist to the row of slabs.

I turned away from the Old Seers, and as I watched, the vague shapes of the sacrifice victims took on bone, and then flesh, and soon lay whole and shuddering in the cold of the evil room.

Then from the plant roots crawling down the walls slithered black vipers which, as they came to the floor, morphed into endowed nude priests wielding curved knives of obsidian. Nodding to me as if I were somehow part of their ceremony; each of them then climbed upon the slab and penetrated his prey with his engorged equine-like phallus. I stood aghast, unable to turn away from the debauchery as the orgy reached a heightened frenzy. The moment each pair climaxed together, the priest plunged his knife into the abdomen of his partner, twisted it, and laid his mouth upon that of his lover-I assume in order to catch all of the escaping life essence.

"Hide your face, you whore," the girl said to me.

I did as I was told. When I looked again, we were in a new place.

"This is the Room of Idiots," she said. "You should feel welcome here,

My face must have revealed my anger at her words.

"Ah, I see," she said as she walked to a bench and with her mouth lifted from it a cat-o'-nine-tails made of black leather and pieces of jagged stone. She then slid out of her purpled buckskin dress, spread her legs in a wide horse-stance, and pushed the long leather handle deep into her dewy genitals.

"Don't you want to pleasure me?" she asked. "Come here, big white man what studies our culture like a big hero. Don't you want to make me scream, big man? Don't you want to eat me? You said you wanted to eat me. You sucked my blood. Didn't you like my taste? You disappoint me, big boy. I bet your tuber spurts good, yellow milk. Am I right? Why don't you come over here and show me. Push your big tuber up inside my hot oven, hero-man. I bake it good for you."

I was on my knees, hiding my face in pure humiliation, every inch of me flaccid and trembling. The first sting of her whip was like ice, followed by flame. I bellowed, but could not move. I wondered how she was holding the lash whose fiery tails came down again, and again, and again. She had soon flayed my back to rags, and I knew that if I did not escape her, she would kill me. The smell of my visceral fluids covered the room.

wùuti," I heard a familiar voice say, and peering up through my own blood I saw the baboon creature enter the room. Removing his green Phrygian cap and tossing it aside with an air of carelessness, he retrieved the whip from the girl, who had somehow tied it to her left wrist. She dressed again, walked over to me and, sliding her gory arms under mine, lifted me to my feet. I felt no more pain, and realized that I had not been hurt in the least. My torture had been some kind of cruel illusion.

An arduous trek of a quarter mile or more through the blackness of yet another narrow passageway (with the terrible, grunting baboon following right behind me) led us to a gargantuan door opening onto an ancient sports arena. As we stepped out into the open night air, the winds with which I was now so familiar growled all around us, and seemingly
through us. "Dios del Viento," the blind creature said. I quaked. God of the Wind.

"He has come for you,
taaqa," the wùuti said, wùuti meaning woman. "He does not like your spirit, and he has come to kill you. Es la Casa del Aire y tu no eres bienvenido."

"The…God of the Wind? I…am not welcome in his House of Air?" I asked, my voice feeble, shaking. I received a cutting blow across my mouth from the simian devil for an answer.

"Damn you!" I screamed as blood and saliva filled my mouth.

me? Damn me?" the primate replied. "Oh, taaqa. You are so full of pride I fear you are lost forever. Damn me, he says, wùuti." And he laughed. And the girl laughed with him, and coughed, and spat phlegm at me, and laughed again, her eyes widening in a demonic glee, her tongue rolling in her once-pretty mouth.

"Christ," I said.

"You think your Christ can save you now,
taaqa? Yes, he could save you, if you knew him as you claim. But you have no lord save yourself, though your mind spins with delicious head knowledge. You are a lazy academic buffoon."

"How much…how much more of your insults do you think I will take?" I asked, finding strength to step away from the sadistic duo, preparing to run.

"Where will you run, little man?" the Indian girl asked. "You cannot run from
Bahana. Your hisatsinom Adam and Eve tried to run from him; your Simon Peter tried to run from him; many have tried to run from Bahana. None is ever successful. None. This is Flesh-House. There is no running from Flesh-House."

Bahana swept down into the arena with a ferocity causing his antics at the ranch to seem as if they had been light breezes. The skies above us revealed themselves to be a deep indigo each time an onset of lightning flashed and crackled. I looked, and the baboon was gone. I was left with the handless witch, and for some reason, this frightened me to the core of my being. I fell where I stood, and was blown over to my side, my broken wrist pinned beneath me, making my arm explode with electric agony.

The girl walked forward a pace, turned, and faced me. Blood dribbled from her lips. "I will always love you," she said.
Miriam's last words to me.

The Lord of the Mesas then manifested himself in human-like form, and what little sanity I held left me forever.


One might expect
Ehécatl to appear as a glowing warrior of tremendous strength, feathered with colorful plumes, a bronzed and handsome king of his ancient culture; a destroyer of the Anasazi vampire god Huitzilopochtli-the 'Blue Hummingbird From The Left.' Oh, if I could erase the image of Ehécatl, of Bahana, from my mind forever, I would gladly give anything I own to do so. But, was it his image I saw? Even today I am not sure, yet, after all, what color is the wind? Are not the heavens our mirror? Do we not make God in our own image?

Before me and the Indian girl stooped a naked Caucasian man with no hands. His eyes had been scraped out, and his back had been shredded, as if with a whip. His complexion was sallow-almost dead in appearance. As the winds continued their outrage, he mouthed words which I could not understand…


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