Dream Journal: 2015-12-25.01

The dream itself occurred yesterday, but the fullness of it did not strike me until today. It started off with me standing in a cave somewhere in what we now call “France” but somewhen far before what we call “now”. I am watching small hands draw out an image on the wall. Even with the barely perceptible light from the dwindling and sputtering torch, I know what the image is. Continue reading “Dream Journal: 2015-12-25.01”

Dream Journal: 2013-07-14.01

I was on a world jumping expedition. I had some charms in mind to represent various biodomes and wanted to see them first hand to get a better feel for what items would best represent them. I visited deserts, ocean shores, rivers, and mountains. They showed me colors palettes and textural cues.

Somewhere along the grand tour, I picked up a tagalong.

I felt ill and heavy. I shook with sudden fever. I felt something in me, something that wanted out, something that didn’t belong.

At one of the deserts I feel to my knees. Only the constant wind was holding me up. In the whistle I heard it say, “You hold more dead than you should. Give it up.” I knew the desert would take it, as it takes any and all unnecessary burdens. But the desert will also take the necessary and required burdens as well. The desert takes everything unless you are able to resist it. I wasn’t.

My heaviness increased. The wind couldn’t hold me any further and I feel face first onto the desiccated ground. A name came to me. In instinct, I called it. As I spoke it, I realized who I was calling out to.

“[Mxtl], shake your rattle, your bone-jarring rattle. [Mxtl], flash your blade and cleave spirit from bone.”

The ground under me trembled and split. Into the sudden maw I fell helplessly into cold darkness.

A gentle rattling was to my right. Warm hands held my bare feet. I heard the hiss and snapping of a fire nearby. My head and shoulders were resting on something soft. I wasn’t sure where I was, but I was sure it was very comfortable.

Something twisted inside me, pulling on my spirit and flesh. I twisted with it, crying out. A hand gently pushed me back down. The hands on my feet stroked my legs in reassurance.

“It’s not ready yet. But now that you’re aware, we can proceed with deliberation.” Mxtl continued shaking her hand rattle in her right hand, but lifted her obsidian dagger into my field of view. “I do believe, someone called me to do a thing. Lay back down and hold still so I can do this. It will be uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as allowing that bastard to eat you from within.”

I smiled and did as directed. Tliltic Ocelotl held my feet firmly and purred loud enough to challenge the rattle. The combined rumbling made my intruder uncomfortable. I felt something grabbing my ribs and organs, pulling viciously.

“Diaphragm! It’s at the diaphragm!” Tliltic Ocelotl moved swiftly from her place at my feet to sit on my hips. She started patting and pushing up on my abdomen, still purring loudly. Mxtl held the obsidian dagger over where I felt the intruder. She slowly tracked its movement up my torso. I felt a jerk and the intruder had moved past the diaphragm into the chest cavity. Tliltic’s patting kept it from spreading out. Mxtl asked where I felt it and when I took a deep breath to answer, Tliltic slapped the sides of my ribs. I felt something coalesce in my lungs. I coughed violently, unable to answer and barely able to breathe.

“I love it when you answer with precision.” I could only wrinkle my face at her snark. Too late I realized her method of distraction. With a swift plunge, she stabbed me in the lower left lung. “Cleave spirit from bone, you said. So also shall I cleave spirit from flesh. This is going to get very, very uncomfortable for you. Do bear with it, and allow what happens to happen. If you try to enforce physical rules, you risk making things worse for you. This is all spirit here, no matter how physical you feel. Remember that.”

I remember. Not even yesterday I woke up nearly full term pregnant in the lair with something Snake needed an incubator for. I felt all the physical sensations of being pregnant, but was not alarmed because of where I was and who was with me. I merely wrapped my arms around my distended belly, assured what I was holding that I would not evict it, and went back to deeper sleep.

Besides, I’ve been stabbed so often by Mxtl or in Mxtl’s presence, I expected nothing less to happen and was more curious how much more crazy this shit was about to get.

The intruder was now more physical than spirit and was taking up nearly my entire lung capacity. I struggled to breathe, and realized that effort was helping the intruder to remain. I stopped trying to breathe. I stopped trying to maintain physical integrity. I forced my body to relax and lie helplessly in Mxtl’s lap. I am in Mxtl’s realm, a corner of the underworld. When among the dead, lie dead.

Tliltic remained straddling across my hips and patted my chest as if playing with clay. She settled into a rhythm, augmented by her purring and breathing pattern. Mxtl put the blade away and used her now free left hand to tilt my pliant head and neck back. With her right hand, she began playing a harsher rhythm with the rattle, one that intertwined with Tliltic’s rhythms.

The intruder tried to descend into my abdomen, but it was physically restricted to the lungs. It tried to melt into spirit, but the rattle kept it in form. Slowly, Tliltic Ocelotl pushed and patted the intruder into the bronchioles, into the bronchi, and into the trachea itself. My physical instinct was to thrash about violently from the sensation of having my trachea completely blocked. Instead, I forced myself into as deep a physically meditative state as I could, ignoring each and every physical signal that managed to reach my mind.

The obstruction continued up my throat. It tickled my vocal cords. Mxtl held my jaw open and watched my throat intensely. For some reason, I had kept my eyes open and could see her reaction. She smiled as the obstruction filled my mouth. I tasted fingers on my tongue. The intruder was coming out hands first.

Mxtl abandoned the rhythm and shook the rattle violently. I could not ignore the sound and my body trembled with equal intensity. The effect loosened the intruders grip in my lungs. Tliltic reached forward and grabbed the hands emerging from my mouth and pulled the entirety of the intruder out of my body. Only after the feet are pulled free do I allow myself the luxury of physical sensation. Which is good. Because the hands tasted nasty enough as it was. I did not want to dwell on the other body parts that passed over my tongue.

The intruder twisted and squirmed in Tliltic Ocelotl’s grip. But this cat had caught something far better than a canary, and she wasn’t letting go. She kept the intruder’s hands caught fast in one hand full of jaguar talons, and with her other, she pinned the intruder about its neck.

Mxtl patted my face. “You can breathe now. Even the hole I made when I stabbed you is whole. Nothing was left behind. We have it all.” I took a sweet breath, coughed a bit, and felt whole and intact. I sat up as Mxtl stood.

“Any idea where he came from, Cacalli?” (Cacalli is the Nahuatl word for Raven.) The male spirit looked gray and gaunt, almost skeletal. The desert said I had more dead than I should, and now I understood what it meant. The hair was almost completely gone, what was there was sparse, stringy, and barely shoulder length. There was no marks of damage except for a fresh stab wound on his torso that was in the same place as where Mxtl had stabbed me. There was too little for me to try and gauge ethnicity with. A professional would have noted facial features, the ratio the girth of the rib cage to its length, and the structure of the long bones of the body with a glance and be able to tell much of the intruder. All I could tell is the intruder is yet another of the wandering dead.

“Mine.”, said Mxtl. “You can’t have this one, Cacalli. You didn’t remove it. This one won’t be going to the Boneyard.” I pouted as my Tonalli claimed ownership of the extracted prize. While I moved my position to one of the fallen logs, Mxtl took her obsidian dagger and cut open the spirit’s chest. “Oh, hey, he still has a heart! And a liver! The rest of the organs are gone, though. That’s okay. There’s enough here.”

Enough here for what? A stone bowl was thrust before me. “It’s not coffee, but I think you’d like it just the same. Drink up. Regain yourself.” Mxtl left me with the brown frothy liquid and went with Tliltic around the fire towards a cauldron I had not seen here before.

Where did that big ass cauldron come from? The spirit saw the cauldron and started to fight against Tliltic’s grip. She only started purring again in obvious satisfaction. Mxtl grabbed one of his flailing legs and struck with her obsidian blade. The knee joint was severed in one strike. Mxtl held the detached appendage over the cauldron, and cut the foot off at the ankle. It fell in, making a splash sound. The leg followed soon after.

While I watched Mxtl systematically dismember the struggling spirit, I sipped the bowl. I was rewarded with the taste of strong bitter cocoa and intensely hot chili. It made my eyes water and my ears burn. The heat filled me, purging me of lingering weakness and leaving a burning strength in its wake. It’s not coffee, but hot damn, it’s just as good!

Joint by joint, the spirit was dismembered and placed into the cauldron. All that remained was the head. To my surprise, the head, the heart, and the liver was placed in a basket and the basket tied closed. Mxtl hung the basket from a nearby tree.

Their preparations finished, my Tonalli and my Nagual came and sat beside me. “Questions?”, taunted Mxtl.

“The cauldron. Feast for the dead, or for some honored few?”

“A few will have first pick, and then it’s first come, first serve once the flesh of the spirit is boiled.”

“The basket. If it was just the head, I’d say you was trapping or sealing him. But you put the heart and the liver in there as well. Gift basket?”

“Of a sort. It will be buried.”

“Buried?” A stray memory made a connection. “Buried in a red ant hill. For the ants.”

“Yes. You know something?”

“Mxtl, knock it off. Everyone knows more than I do, remember. A supposition, that’s all. Something I’ll have to look up later.”

“So, what do you think of the Xocolatl?” She leaned over and noted I had emptied the bowl. “You didn’t add sugar? I’m surprised.”

“I’m not in America at the moment. And I’ll try anything as is, once. The bitterness damn near knocked me out, but the chili kept me going.”

We talked more, with Tliltic Ocelotl remaining silent behind us. We discussed the fact-finding mission that led to the spiritual invasion. We discussed regalia and how my path would be considered invalid fluffy bullshit by many because it did not adhere to published denotations of various entities and workings. The discussion ended in peals of laughter. Mystery Cult of One, indeed. We do what we need to do to better ourselves.

I thanked her and Tliltic for the assistance and for the xocolatl, and left Mxtl’s corner of the underworld. As I did so, I left the dream entirely.

Now I’m hungry for beef stew. Dammit.

A Sacrificed Heart

I was pacing back and forth before the fire at the lair. Berber Snake was crouching on the other side of the flames, watching me silently. I was anxious. My bones were aching from severe nervousness. I wanted to peel my skin off of me and stop being me for a while because I could not handle the severity of my screeching instinct.

My instinct to flee.

“Let me hold you.” He had his handdrum slung over his back. “You’re going to work yourself into a frenzy.”

“I’m already in a frenzy. I just don’t know why.”

“Then let me hold you.”

I stopped pacing. “I don’t know if I can trust you.”

He nodded. “I know. You can. You have. You trust me with great things and hoard away the little things. You are afraid. And that fear is muddying your reason.”

“I’m living in the moment, in other words. Allowing what I’m experiencing at this second to blind me from what I have learned previously.”


“The way the Gardenmaster allowed me to hold kir offspring, and the next day I was accusing all y’all of using me like a trained animal in a circus.”

“Yes. You understand.”

“I understand I have more leashes on me than what I first thought.”

Snake sighed deeply and held his head in his hands. When he lowered them I had come around the fire and was standing next to him.

“I also know I am blinded and there is a metric fuck-tonne of information being withheld from me. My instinct tells me I am going to be hurt and betrayed tonight. And that placing myself in your hands is the last thing I should do tonight. But I don’t have much of a choice, do I… Warden.”

Snake stood up. “You are stronger than you think.”

“Hmph. You say ‘stronger’, I hear ‘more gullible’. Do I have a choice, Warden?”

Snake’s emerald eyes glittered in the firelight. “Not really. By trying to avoid it, you’re going to guarantee it is done by someone else that won’t have you in mind when it happens.”

“Might as well get this shit over then.” My shoulders shrugged in surrender. My instinct was still screaming at me to run away, but I smothered it with apathy.

“You’re not asking what or why?”

“Does it matter? I know sometimes you intentionally keep me ignorant of immediate shit because if I know what’s coming, I’ll change the outcome just by knowing. It’s my nature, remember? I fuck shit up just by being there.” I shrugged again. Apathy wanted to bring forth tears and I couldn’t understand why. “If it was important for me to know, you would have told me.”

He cupped my face with his hands. “Do you trust me?” He reminded me of K*, from stance, to gesture, to tone, to the inspection of my face for unspoken responses.


“But you trusted an angel to possess you.”


“Weaver, do you trust me?” His eyes were not emerald. His eyes were green. The purest green I have ever seen. Unfiltered. Unsullied. As if the Dreamer had just cast off this color.

“Fuck you. You manipulating, venomous, game-playing, son of a bitch. Fuck you and all the shit you’re hiding from me. Yes, I trust you, you fucking bastard. I always have. I can’t do otherwise even though I want to. I don’t know the truth from the lie, but I know I trust you. And if you answer with apologizing for what you’re about to do to me and end with some bullshit homily that one day this will all make sense, I will rip your nuts off and throw them into a black hole, and you can go fetch your gonads when this shit finally makes sense to me.”

He kissed me lightly on the forehead, chuckling. “Fine. I’ll break the script this time.” He locked eyes with me again and I saw the jewel-like state return to his orbs. There was a glimmer of red reflected in the facets, as if the fire was adding its hue. I recognized the color too late. My body collapsed into his arms.

“If you start snoring I reserve the right to throw you into the fire.” Hey that sounds like me. But I’m not speaking. I open my eyes to see I’m sitting on the ground before a fire. It is hemmed by bones and rocks. A log holds me in a seated position. Stretched out on the log behind me is Tliltic Ocelotl, apparently napping. To my left, Mxtl is working with the hand rattle. She is looking over a prototype of the physical rattle I was hoping to make. Someday. She smiles grimly.

“Do you know where this is?” She gestures around her.

“No.” I look around and see the ruins of something like Aztec pyramids. Some of the carvings I can sort out. Renditions of feathered snake skulls are everywhere. I see glyphs of priests in regalia and draped with various skins including human. I also see warriors with jaguar skins and obsidian blades. I recognize glyphs and images of Quetzalcoatl, Mictlancihuatl and Mictlantecuhtli, Tlaltecuhtli, Tonatiuh, and Teccuciztecatl in the tops of standing monuments. There are others but they are obscured by the overgrowth or I don’t know them. “Heh. This probably represents my total knowledge of Aztec culture and its pantheon. No wonder it’s sparse and crumbling.”

Mxtl placed the prototype rattle on the large carving of a feathered snake skull beside her. She shook herself as she stood, filling the space with the sound of her rattling beads and calling forth her own personal rattle. “Look up.”

I did, warily. “No stars. No clouds.” I scramble to my feet as she approaches me with measured steps. “No sky. Are we underground?”

Tliltic Ocelotl grabbed me from behind, forcing my arms out to the side. Her interlocked fingers dug into the back of my neck. True to her feline nature, she purred deeply at my discomfort.

“Not underground, [Weaver]. Underworld. Still you do not recognize what I am? What you are?” She took an obsidian blade, about the length of her hand and flaked with a concave curve to the edge, and cut away my clothes so that my chest was exposed. “No. You don’t. Then what is about to happen will confuse and wound you.” She cut into the skin of my chest just enough to draw a finger’s width of blood onto the blade. She balanced the drawn blood on the blade and walked over to the fire sideways so that I would be able to see her actions.

“Do you plan on writing this when you awaken?”

Her question was sincere, but the circumstances made it amusing. I cried and laughed. “Um. Maybe. Probably. If only for my own records so I don’t forget how I fucking betrayed my damn self again!”

Mxtl smiled. “No. Going to [the Red Woman] to feed your addiction to violence is betraying yourself. This… This is fixing some things, for others as well as yourself. The culture you are currently in has blinded you. That’s okay. This is for your benefit. Trust me.”

“Trust you? What the fuck, Mxtl!”

“Okay. Then I’ll say it plain. Trust yourself. Your conscious self will not be in control here. You may not remember anything after it begins.” She lifted the rattle. “No matter what comes after, remember I am you without your American cultural baggage. I have survived events that would crush you. What your mother has done is nothing to me. I… you… we are stronger than you know.”

Mxtl threw back her head and screamed to split the world. At the peak of her shriek, she violently shook her rattle. My legs fell lame at the sound. Only Tliltic Ocelotl’s grip held me vertical. As the rattling began to settle into a pattern, she flung the blood on the obsidian blade into the fire. I felt a great heat in my chest that extended into my bones. I passed out.

The river burbled gently nearby, the coolness of the water enveloping me as I knelt on the sandy shore. The gentle daylight confused me. Wasn’t I under… I forget. A white robe of thin silk was draped over my shoulders and arranged to spread out around me in beautiful display. Glowing softly in the sunlight, it was decorated with red and orange leaves. My hands were being held in my lap. Something soft, intangible, and invisible cupped my hands as my hands cupped water without leaking. Floating in the cupped water was a single lotus bloom. The petals were white with bright blue edges and tips.

I looked around. All was quiet in the Nagalands. The breeze touched me softly. Fragrance from unseen flowers comforted me. The entity held my hands securely. I could not see it, but I could feel it. The grip concerned me. I realized it was doing more than keeping my hands waterproof. It was anchoring me here.

A fear chilled me and I wanted to stand up. But I could not move my legs. I tried to lean away, but the entity’s grip kept me upright. I wanted to speak, but the gentle grip had silenced me. It shifted its touch on my hands, and even the ability to look away was removed.

I had to remain here. I had to hold the water and the lotus floating in it. But I did not know why. It’s not like I was under…

under the ground…


a blade…

The sun watched with intense gaze and intense glare as Mxtl and Tliltic Ocelotl carried me up the stone steps of the pyramid. I was drugged and unable to move on my own, but I was mostly aware and able to see clearly. They each had an arm over their shoulders. Tliltic Ocelotl was naked except for body paint and the pelt of a black jaguar. Mxtl wore a short shift decorated to resemble the scales of snake skin, but over that was the numerous beads of her regalia.

I was wearing regalia to remind the viewer of my association with ravens. Leg bindings, arm bindings, capelet, waist wrapping, and headdress all served to firmly identify me as a corvid. I wrinkled my face and from the way the skin itched in the movement, realized my face was painted as well in a very familiar style.

At the top of the pyramid, I expected to see a stone room. Instead, it was flat and bare of all except for a odd stone carving. It was long and thin and dipped in the middle as if a harsh reclining seat. The side of the stonework I was able to see was carved in a stylized serpent pattern, with the head of the snake tilting up.

Behind the snake carving was a man in full regalia. Long green feathers everywhere and snakeskin bands holding them in place. Body paint decorated what the regalia didn’t. His face was painted to resemble a white skull, but his head was gloriously adorned in crowns and halos of mostly green feathers. I did not recognize him until I saw his eyes.

His emerald eyes.


The priest looked at me as Mxtl and Tliltic Ocelotl dipped to one knee in greeting. They started to move me into position on the carving, but the priest held his hand out to stop them.

“Who am I?”, he asked me.

My mouth would not work but I was able to scream with my thoughts. Snake! What…

“I am not him. Not this time. Who am I?” The priest’s words chilled me with painful fear.

My mind worked furiously to recognize the cultural symbols around me. But none of them aligned with what I was taught was proper expressions of Aztec culture. Carvings of feathered snakes everywhere. Aztec style regalia. Predominately green feathers on his regalia but he was haloed by a rainbow of colors. Stone pyramids. The sun was in a tropical altitude.

Quetzalcoatl. Even as I gave my answer, I was not secure in it.

“Do not forget who I am.” He nodded towards the other two aspects of me. Wordlessly they rose and settled my limp body on the carving. It fit me into a tilted reclining position, but with my back unnaturally arched so that my chest jutted upward.

At the Underworld ruins, the sound of rattling brought me back to awareness. Tliltic Ocelotl still held me upright before the fire, but Mxtl was moving about the fire. She cast no shadow from the flames, but floating wisps of shadow was steadily being pulled inward from the surrounding darkness. They dogged her steps without touching her, following her movements with phantasmal echoes. In her right hand was a hand-rattle. In her left was the curved obsidian blade.

Every time she made a pass around the fire before me, she would viciously strike at the air around me. She never touched me, but I felt things and things being cut away just the same. I cried out from pain I could not understand but could feel very vividly.

I jerked to wakefulness at the fire by the lair. I was resting in Berber Snake’s lap. It was a calm night. Stars moved in impossible motions overhead, as was their norm here. The River gossiped loudly in the distance. A cool wind checked on the nearby forest. The polite trees nodded their tips as it passed.

Snake wiped sweat from my brow. “You’re doing fine.”

“Doing fine? Snake!” I eyed him warily. “Snake?”


“I’m… confused.”

“Not surprisingly. Ready to work off some of that anxiousness?”

I looked around again. So peaceful. So quiet. Something jerked my body sideways but there was no one here but us.

“It’s time. Stand up.”

“I’m scared.”

“I know. You’ll like this part of it. You take to it so well.”

He helped me to my feet. “You’re being a snide and sarcastic shit. Purposefully. Before you were assuaging my fears, now you’re intentionally trying to provoke me.”

“Yes.” He tugged at my top. “Unless you want this ripped, I suggest taking it off now. Your bra, as well, if you are wearing one.”

“Why are you trying to get a rise out of me?”

“Because you wrap yourself up quite tight, and often the amount of emotional surging it takes to break through that wrapping is self-defeating. I need you to be you, but to be yourself in a cognitive manner. I need you to unleash yourself without losing control.”

“And how does being condescending to me accomplish that?”

“Because when someone else does it, you instantly rage. When I do it, you try to second-guess my motives, which slows you down. So when you finally do spread those wings, it is with all of your faculties.”

“Have I ever told you, that you are a manipulative asshole at times?”

“You might have mentioned it here and there.” He tugged at the shirt. “Trust me. Take it off.”

I gave him severe side-eye and began removing my shirt. He watched me impassively, as if distracted by intense thoughts that had nothing to do with my half-nakedness before him.

The flower was centered in the cup of my hands. The entity gripped me so that the water remained level no matter how my body naturally swayed this way or that. Despite the cool of the day, I was breaking out into a sweat. The wind tried to dry my face but it could barely keep up.

Through force of will I was able to speak a few words.

“Don’t let go.”

I kept my gaze on the flower as the white silk robe slightly tightened its wrap around me.

On the pyramid, Mxtl held my arms back, pinning me to the stone. It was unnecessary, I thought, as the method used to immobilize me presented no sign of leaving me anytime soon. Tliltic Ocelotl held my feet. I was able to see the nearly naked woman was kneeling on the stone floor, facing me. She held my feet, but held her head down. Why this detail struck me as important, I do not know.

I was too busy watching Snake Quetzalcoatl standing over me. In his left hand, he held a stone bowl. In his right hand, he held a long obsidian dagger. He held these items up and out. He was watching something above him, but all I could see was the burning glare of the nearly noon sun.

At the Underworld ruins, Mxtl had stopped circling the fire. I was screaming in pain as if my very bones were being cut out of me, but other than the initial blood-letting, she had not touched me with the blade. Swirls of shadows and creeping darkness accumulated around us, to the point where the light of the fire was almost completely obscured.

She now stood with the tip of the obsidian blade pointed at my chest. Tliltic Ocelotl was still holding me upright. They were waiting, but for what, I did not know.

My shirt and bra removed, I was upset with myself. This is the Otherworlds, what the hell do I need to wear a bra for! Snake was amused with my fussing as I walked around the fire half-naked to get accustomed to the immodest display.

He settled down just out of range of my pacing and began playing softly on the handdrum. It was clear he was just playing to warm up his hand and the drum head. I swayed around the fire, still wary, but not concerned. I did not have knowledge of what was happening to me in the other worlds. As far as I was concerned, it was over.

I felt another jerk on my body. It made me stumble and fall. I looked for my minions, and realized they were all absent from me. I looked up at Snake.

“If you’re looking for your seven pieces of trouble, they are inside the lair. Locked down. If they come out, they may not survive the experience.”


“While you were being prepared.”

“And who gave you the right! Those are my minions! That is my hive.”

Snake looked up at me with those glittering emerald eyes and smirked. “You are my ward. I do with you as I please.”

I know he was wording himself to intentionally get a rise out of me. He had just admitted his plan was to push me to the edge of rage. I knew this was part of that pushing. And it was successful.

I meant to cross the fire to slap the shit out of him. Instead of going around the flames, I barreled through them. When I reached the center of the bonfire, he gave a disarming shout and slapped the drum. The combined sound dropped me to my knees in the fire. I lost control over my rage and shrieked a monstrous cry. Black wings erupted from my back. Feathers and flesh surrendered to the disturbed flame. Ash covered hands and legs as I stepped through winged and flaming.

But by the time I had stepped out, I had my rage under control. I snapped my wings and the flames extinguished.

“You wanted me ready to burn the worlds. You have me. You wanted the [wildfire], you have it. Give me something to burn, bitch, or I’ll have another go at you.”

Snake smiled and nodded. “As you wish.” He began to play a serious rhythm on the drum. One that echoed my heartbeat and the sound of my ashen feet on the ground.

The flower trembled in the disturbed water. The grip pulled gently on my hands, grounding me, and pulling my awareness under the surface.

On the pyramid, the sun reached the zenith of its path. High noon. It flashed supernaturally bright. Quetzalcoatl cried out and plunged the dagger into my throat and pulled down, dividing flesh and bone alike. That hurt. Understand, that fucking hurt. But he was wearing Snake’s face while doing it. And to be honest, I still wasn’t sure that wasn’t Snake.

The flower and the water I held jumped as I suddenly jerked. I started trembling but the white robe kept me upright and the entity’s grip kept me from moving.

Mxtl shoved the dagger forward with a swift movement. She buried the obsidian between my ribs and nestled it perfectly in my heart. I coughed up some blood as I felt my heart beating in furious drumming against the cold glass that had invaded it.

With the obsidian came the shadows. All the darkness and shades that her movements had previously summoned were now pouring into the plugged wound in my chest. I no longer felt pain. I felt cold. Very cold. Cold and numb and I couldn’t feel my body and…


Shrieks and screeches chased away anything resembling gentility from the night. I was angry. Howling in fury and covered in self-inflicted wounds from my own hands. I could not reach what I was angry at, so I pried at my own flesh to satisfy the deep instinct of Anger.

There was a person in white cloths banging furiously on a drum. He was just out of my reach. The noise of this drum caged me, kept me within the fire’s light. The fire’s reach. Not even the sweep of my wings could reach him.

But that’s okay.

I have the fire.

It delights me.

Things fall out of the sound I am making. I know they should be impossible things, but that doesn’t matter right now. They are hemmed in by the drum’s sound as well. They try to scramble away from the flames and from me. I pounce upon them, rend them, and feed them to the only thing more angry than I, the ever devouring flame.

Quetzalcoatl has cut my heart out of my body but I’m still alive. I’m still aware. I’m still immobilized. On contact with air, my heart bursts into flame but does not consume itself. He holds it aloft and presents it to the sun which has stopped moving across the sky. He takes up the stone bowl, fills it with what blood is still streaming fresh out of me, and lowers the flaming heart to it. The blood in the bowl ignites. He places my inflamed quivering heart to the side and holds the bowl of burning blood up to the sun.

The glare briefly intensifies, and I realize a shaft of light just came down from the sun, touched the burning blood in the bowl, and retreated back into the sun. The impossibility of what I see strikes me as humorous, as does everything else that is happening on the stone pyramid. I want to escape. I try to exert scientific fact. The light from the sun takes a little over eight minutes to reach the surface of the earth, and is filtered by the earth’s atmosphere.

Quetzalcoatl lowers the still burning bowl and looks at me. “This is no place for your ‘science’. The masters of that world do not rule here.” He looks up at the sun once more and shouts in what I now recognize as Nahua, but I am unable to understand any word of it. His proclamation completed, he drinks from the stone bowl, taking in every drop of my burning blood.

I can feel him drinking from my innermost as he does. He is using the blood to connect with something within me. I start to shudder on the carved stone.

I am flame. I am burning. I am the howls and the feathers of plasma and the desire to consume everything and embrace it in unquenchable flames…

Mxtl is staring me in the eyes. The last of the shades she has summoned has entered my body through the wound she still holds plugged with the dagger. The cold has passed. I’m hot and feverish. I feel my muscles trembling around my bones.

“Soon.”, she whispers.

The flower quakes in the water. I do not know when the water in my hands was refreshed. The entity holds me with a firm grip still, keeping my sight focused on the flower, keeping my body from voluntary movement. The sweat is dripping off my face. I am soaking the robe. A part of me wishes to be concerned about staining the robe.

Far in the recesses of my mind, I am aware of what is happening to me elsewhere. I whimper. The wind turns cold in desperate effort to cool me.

Quetzalcoatl is a messy drinker. My blood drips from his mouth and chin down the front of his body. I’m actually upset by this. I want to mock him saying that the sun was a better imbiber than he. But I am at my limit for cognition in this state. As long as my heart is out of my body, I’m stuck. He empties the bowl and takes up my still flaming heart from where he had placed it out of my sight. He places the heart in the bowl and lifts it up towards the sun. There is another flash of glare. The flames in the bowl leap high.

He stands over me, and pours my melted heart into my chest cavity.

The searing flame claims all of my body at once. Mxtl and Tliltic Ocelotl are forced to release me.

My cognition flees.

Mxtl pulls the dagger out of my chest. A spurt of blood races after the blade, followed by a jet of flame. Tliltic Ocelotl holds me ever upright as the trembling seizes all of me. My eyes roll back into my head. I cough blood, plasma, and flame.


Burn it all.

Burn until it is all ashes.

Ashes and dust.

The intangible hands lift my cupped hands. The motion focuses my attention back on the flower. Wisps of smoke is dancing across my skin. The water is moving from convection currents caused by my hands. I smell something burning. For all that is going on, I am worried about the robe. I don’t want to burn the beautiful robe.

Not the robe with the red and orange leaves.

Because when leaves are red and orange…

they burn…



My heart-flame has claimed my body in the Underworld Ruins. Tliltic Ocelotl is finally forced to release me. She has no companion in flame. I crumple into a heap of burning flesh. Mxtl crouches just out of reach of the heat.

“Ashes. Dust. Then blood. Complete the cycle.”

My cognition flees as the flames begin to melt my flesh.

I want to spread beyond these cold rocks. But the vibrations hem me. The source circles me, round and round. An unending serpent of sound.

The water boils in my hands. The flower is blackened in the naked heat as my body bursts into flame. I shout but my voice is consumed. A great force throws me into the nearby river. The cold of the water is as great a shock as the heat of the flame.

I sink until I am at the bottom of the river. The current pulls me into the middle of the stream.

Something grabs me and lifts me to the surface. It holds me so the current points my feet downstream. Only my face is exposed to the air, and even then, waves of water wash over me with regular timing.

I shudder from what I think is a fever. The river feels as cold as mountain runoff. “Yes. That’s right. The mountains and the temple and the water source from high above. The river is glacier runoff. Science. Yes. There are rules. Yes.” I try to talk more but the fever destroys my coordination and all my sounds descend into jibberish as my body shakes uncontrollably.

That sound! I will reach it! And I will break it! It hems me! It holds me! It forces me into blood and bones and I will not go!

I open my eyes and see my room. The air is cold. I slept nearly naked with the fan on, I should be shivering. I am shaking, but not from any temperature. My mouth is bitter with an unnatural taste. My fingers and toes are bending far past what I can will from them. My back is arched. My arms and legs are straining from the forced pose. I’ve bitten my tongue.

I’m hot.

I’m fitting.

So hot.

The fit breaks and I fall. My body is embraced by the bed but my cognition keeps falling.

The heat breaks. The river has won. My body temperature falls sharply. I shudder from cold now.

I’m only worried about the robe.

“T… t… the… r… ro…” I can’t ask. I’m too cold to move.

I am lifted partially out of the river so that my head is tilted down. I am wrapped in a long length of white silk that is decorated with red and orange leaves. The cloth extends past my immobile legs. I don’t see any charring on the cloth.

“G… g… good.” I relax, allowing the river to sweep my cognition away.

Screaming. Someone is in pain. Someone is scared. Someone is screaming. Someone is disoriented. Someone is confused. Someone is covered in dust and ashes. Someone smells like blood.

“I have you. Here. All of you.”

Someone doesn’t know who said those words, but someone recognizes what they mean. The screaming stops.

“Your minions are going to try and have my ass if all of you doesn’t come back to them. They are rather fond of you, you know.” Minions?

Someone remembers what minions are. And whose minions they are. Someone opens kir eyes but ke doesn’t know who ke is.

“That’s it. Pull yourself together. You have been ashes. You have been dust. Now you need to be…”

“Blood.” My voice sounds alien to me. It is the last thing needed to cause the rest of my cognition to reassemble itself. My mouth tastes like dust. I smack my lips. “Dust and ashes and blood. Is it finished?”

“For now.”, said Snake. My Snake. My beloved Snake wrapped in the white robes of the Berber.

I’m lying in his lap. I would say I was naked but I am covered with such a layer of dust and ashes, I probably look more like a museum statue than a person. I hope I can be mistaken for one of Bernini’s works. I doubt it. I’m far too filthy for his smooth lines.

The sun is dawning. Brightening amber hues grace the cliffs over the lair. Seeing it made me remember Quetzalcoatl. I whimpered.

“What’s wrong?” He sounded genuine. That did not help my concern.

“Was that you?”

“When? Where?”

I realized I did not want the answer to that question. Not now. “Never mind.” I tried to get up but found the hard way that I was utterly exhausted. Snake picked me up as he stood. I gestured towards the River. “Bath.”

“For us both. You succeeded in burning my hair. And I am covered in the ashes you threw at me.” I noticed the smudges of charcoal on him. A good portion of his robes were burned away. “It was worth it. It was necessary.”

I tried to speak again, but exhaustion caught up with me and pulled the last of my lucid cognition away with a series of violent shudders that chased me into waking.


“The hell you think you’re going?” Wrong question, I thought. Where the hell do I think I am? I had just stood up from a perch on a prone log. A campfire burned in the middle of the night. Around it was the remnants of carved stone and large chunks of rough hewn wood. I had been in raven form before I stood up. The act of standing transformed me from raven bird to raven-cloaked Weaver.

“Sit your black ass down. After your bullshit today, I’m not letting you out of my sight.” The speaker shifted position, filling the silence with soft rattles. I looked to my left and saw Mxtl (the closest this American English speaker can come to pronouncing Snake Dancer’s preferred name) in her beaded regalia sitting on one of the carved stones. It was not lost to me, that her current seat looked like a giant snake’s skull that was collared with large feathers. She didn’t look up at me, but was visually focused on a small handmade rattle in her hand. The shaft looked familiar.

The feathers of my cloak fluffed up in annoyed disarray. “I was supposed to be at the lair. The fuck I’m doing here?” I held the cloak tightly around me. I knew somewhere in the darkness behind me was my nahualli. She didn’t speak much, preferring physical action to lofty sounds. I knew better than to try and take flight. A prepared jaguar’s burst speed is much faster than a raven’s cold launch. She’ll be on my ass before I have even tensed to jump.

“Confronting the things you’re afraid to confront.” Mxtl shook her construct. Uneven rattles jarred me. “Speaking the things you’re afraid to talk about. You know, the usual. Being a bitch to those that can help you.” She looked up at me and smiled. Her headdress shook gently at the motion. My eye twitched in annoyance. “Now sit the fuck down.” She never stopped smiling.

I sat and heard a satisfied purring immediately behind me. “I’ve already spoken, far too much I think. I have some posts to remove in the morning. Last thing I need is for someone to panic and call the police on my ass.”

She turned back to the rattle and began pulling on the twine holding the rattles in place. “No one will. You demonstrated you were mostly back in your right mind before logging off for the night. And, frankly, they’re used to your outbursts by now. No one will panic, they’re too busy playing Psycho Bingo with your words.” She spoke evenly, without concern for how her words stabbed me. She shook the rattle in test again and furrowed her brow, finding the sound still unsatisfactory. “Your outbursts are predictable. There’s an explosion, then you realize you’ve chased off those you really needed to shut the fuck up and listen to, then there’s the self-loathing, then the despair sinks in and the realization that nothing in your personal life has changed since the last time this happened, then the scramble to find some justification for continuing to bleed words, then someone dares to approach the erupting volcano, then you stab yourself with more words to show that someone that you’re “okay”, and “just bitching”. Except that someone knows you’re full of shit and calls you out for it. So now you’ve run out of fuel. You’re still hurting and starting to realize while you don’t have a mark on you, those exposed to you are looking at you in horror, reinforcing your self-hammered identity as a Monster In Human Form and making sure you don’t reach out to anyone because, by golly, haven’t you started enough shit already! So now you’re considering just walling yourself up because even you have recognized the merry-go-round by now, and just turning your face to the wall and trying to kill off every last good thing you have left because the price of your existence weighs too damn heavy on your sensitive and delicate soul and what the fuck have you ever done that is good in the world except bear a child you can barely support and be free entertainment to the racists and the misogynists and the bullies and the entitled fucks of depravity that passes for humanity and why can’t you just blow the planet up while you’re at it.”

She shook the rattle and smiled at me again. I judged if I would be able to cross the space fast enough to get a sucker punch in before the Jaguar behind me could throw my ass into the ground.

“But when you wake up, and check your Tumblr, and check your email, you’re going to have the justification you need to continue going online. And you’ll swallow your pride that you’re choking on even now. And you’ll realize that there is no great plan. And you’ll realize you are not like other people. Hopefully you’ll realize that no one is like other people. And you’ll pretend you have something akin to humility, post some self-deprecating remarks, and proceed with the usual plan of trying to hustle up a better job while continuing to spend the Erinyes gift card that your mother bought with her cruelty.”

Mxtl smiled, but there was no mirth in her face. “Knock the shit off. You’re getting better at not falling into the routine, but once you do, you’re still shit for bringing it to a halt. You’re addicted to rage and adrenaline. Control yourself, or you will continue to be controlled.” Her smile did not change, but the sudden flood of mirth to her eyes was unsettling. “Unclench your fists, dear. The Tliltic Ocelotl is not going to hold you back. Neither will I. But remember everything has a price, dear. And your jaw will pay if you follow through with the heat in your eyes.”

I didn’t realize my fists were clenched, but there they were, digging raven talons into the palms of my hands. I was angry. Very livid. I felt just as powerless before Mxtl as I do before my mother, as I do before my current circumstances, as I do before the NSA. I’m listening to someone else tell my narrative, my story, my life, and the ending is once again completely out of my hands. All I have left is rage. Everything else has been abused to the point where I can not trust it. Not love, not friendship, not compassion, not my sense of self, not my knowledge, not my understanding, not my body, not my appearance, none of the things that I see other people taking solace in are available to me in security. All I have left is rage. And the fire of it. And even that is manipulable.

Despair made my hands impotent and weakened my knees. I slumped back on the log, sitting as the mostly human thing I am. My Shadow snuggled against my back, her purring loosening what muscles were still tensed. “No fair. Cats have an unnatural advantage with purring already. An anthropomorphic cat has double the advantage.”

Black furred arms reached around me and held me close. “Shut up and allow yourself to be held.”, commanded Mxtl. Yes, Master., was my sour thought.

The punch to my jaw that followed the thought should have thrown me into the fire, but Tliltic Ocelotl’s grip was firm. I only cracked my neck as my head whipped violently to the right. I physically recovered from the blow nearly immediately. My Shadow’s grip was stronger than my resolve to break Mxtl into a multitude of shattered rattles. My voice was distant as I tried to break free of the black jaguar woman’s grip. But all I could do was roar incoherently and struggle vainly to even lean forward.

Mxtl waited until the rage had passed and reason returned to my face. My jaw was sore from the impact and I was greatly confused about her motives. “Learn to control your rage, learn to control yourself, or you will be nothing more than a pawn for others to use. Once you fall into the routine, you become predictable. Yes, your circumstances are shit, but you will not be able to lock yourself away from everyone and everything. You talk about being dead in a living tomb, what the hell do you think you’re doing now? Your mother killed you, but you of all people know the dead doesn’t always remain dead. If you become just another cog in someone’s machine, then you are useless.”

I hurt. Physically and emotionally. “Mxtl. I’m out of time.”

“You keep saying that.”

“And everyone keeps acting like I have decades.”

“You potentially do.”

“And every time I dare to put hope in that, I am forcibly reminded that I don’t. Every time I dare to live, I’m killed again. And I’m just a little bit tired of this shit. Kill me and let me stay fucking dead!” I tried to stand but Tliltic Ocelotl’s grip restrained me with minimal effort from her.

“Can’t do that.”


Mxtl sat back on the feathered snake skull stone. “The answer is in your inbox.”

I had ran out of rage, out of words, and out of resistance. I slumped in the still purring woman’s embrace. I sat there for a long time. I barely noticed the stars moved overhead in impossible motions. The fire emanated heat but was restoring the wood instead of burning it. Mxtl continued tinkering with the small rattle. Tliltic never released her grip, but she never stopped purring, either. The woman nuzzled against my back, occasionally rubbing her face against my cloak in that distinctive marking action that all cats show to those they own. The night continued on with my gentle captivity.

“Now that we have the easy part worked out, time for the harder questions.” Mxtl started shaking the hand rattle gently. “Why does this place disturb you?”

I yawned, stretching my sore jaw. “I’m not Nahua. The stone you’re sitting on, the woman holding me, your regalia, your name, and what you called her are not my culture to take from.”

“But you have a Nahua ancestor.”

“If the birth records are telling the truth, I have some Mayan and Olmec markers in my DNA as well, doesn’t make me a native. Besides, I have more Carib markers than Nahua.”

“Speaking of… Su espirito.”

“What of kir?”

“You do realize the Baraja Española is European in origin? Right?” Mxtl was smirking.

“It was. But the spanish communities in the Americas have taken it over and… “ My mind raced past the immediate point of contention and saw where the two lines of questions were converging to.

“And… what?”

“… And synchrenized it to their own needs. Since the Roman Catholic Church pretty much made tarot impossible to use and playing cards were ubiquitous, the cards became the folk divination tool of choice. You could hide it in plain sight and such.”

“But, it’s European. Look at the name. ‘Baraja Española’ literally means ‘Spaniard deck’, as in Castilian Spanish.”

“Yea. So?”

“They don’t have the right to use it.”

“Define they.”

“The Conquered.”

I sighed. “Get to the fucking point, Mxtl.”

“Tell me about Margaret.”

“You know about her. You know what I know. And probably know more than you’re willing to consciously tell me.”

“Okay.” She continued gently shaking the rattle. The sound was soothing my irritation despite my desire to hold on to it for focus. “I’ll get to the part you don’t consciously know, then. Or rather, I’ll lay out the puzzle pieces, and I’ll leave it up to you to put them together.”

“You drink at Rummer John’s table. But you send gifts to a Chinese mob boss. The sands of the Middle East whisper your name. But the savannas of sub-Sahara Africa keep your footprints. There is a river in Germany that remembers you. But your smile has taken you far in Japan. Everyone knows you are mixed blood, yet those with eyes to see can not place you. No book holds the guide to your path. But the worlds are open to you. The ground around your well is cracked and broken. …”

“Finish that saying, and Tliltic Ocelotl is going to be put to the fucking test.”

Mxtl smiled, a genuine smile. “It’s the key to your future, to the potential decades you say you don’t have.”

“It’s bullshit, Mxtl. It’s bullshit and a distraction and wishful thinking and a fucking fairytale. There is nothing special about me. We both know that.”

The rattling stopped. The silence squeezed me tighter than my Shadow ever did. I swallowed nervously.

“We do?” Her tone indicated she believed the opposite of what she said.

“Yea. We do.” I held my resolve.

“The ground around your well is cracked and broken. But the well is full. What are you drawing from?” Such a patient teacher she is. Such a recalcitrant student am I.


“What are you drawing your water and your stories and your power from?” She smiled. She knew the answer. She wanted me to say it clearly.

“Mxtl… it’s means nothing… I’m nothing…” Hot tears stole the moisture from my mouth.

Mxtl came and stood before me, her regalia tinkling softly with her serpentine movements. “What is the name of your well, Weaver?”

I knew she would not relent until she heard it from my lips. I closed my eyes and betrayed myself. “The Well of All Things.”

“You have time.”

Tliltic Ocelotl released me suddenly. She leaned fully against my back but didn’t embrace me again. Mxtl handed me the rattle she was working on. I recognized the handle of the rattle as being a particular piece of wood I was holding on to.

“If your hands get bored…”

“If I have time, you mean. Which I don’t. You know how many physical projects I have started and have been unable to complete? I don’t know what hurts more, that I don’t have the solitude necessary to take care of my own shit, or the amount of money I have spent chasing projects that never had a chance in hell.”

“So, complete them.”

I looked at Mxtl, held her gaze, and threw the rattle in the fire. “Complete them you say, assuming I don’t have family in my shit about this devil shit I’m doing. And then what? When am I going to have the time and the space to actually use a noisemaker like a rattle when I can’t even take a shit in peace without my mother barging in because fuck you, this is her house and her eavesdropping is more important than me. Everything I make with my hands, she tries to take. This is a nice world you live in, Mxtl. Free of monetary and time restrictions, you can leave your shit out without some nutter burning your books, and you can make all the tchotchkes you want. Real nice.”

She looked behind her at the rattle that did not burn. She looked at me and smiled. “Turn your hands over.”


“Because I’m asking.”

I shrugged and turned my hands palm up. The rattle was back in my hand once more. It was warm from the fire, but unburnt. I cried to see it.

“Everyone thinks I’m some great bruja, a realm-traveler that can do so much. I have people saying they are afraid to write to me for fear if they inadvertently offend me I’m going to turn their gonads inside out. The entities I know, the things that I can do for other people, the powers I can summon and command, it’s useless to me! I can’t save myself, Mxtl! I can affect everyone’s life but mine, and what use is that to me? I make a rattle, and then what? I don’t even know how to make this. You know how obsessive I get when making something, it has to be fucking perfect or I can’t follow through. Why the fuck you think I have a drawer of shit I never completed? I can’t even finish the last knitting project because thirty-six goddamn stitches are frustrating the fuck out of me. I can help everyone but myself, Mxtl.” I threw the rattle back into the fire. “And I’ve run out of time.”

Mxtl reached down and turned my hand over. The rattle returned to it, freshly warm. “Well, you’re here now. Practice here.” I stare at the warm rattle. Some of the noise makers are broken seashells, some are fragments of seed shells, some are pieces of random debris tied in a descending spiral along the shaft. A rattle of found objects. One I would never be able to duplicate.

I shoved the rattle roughly into her hand and stood up quickly causing Tliltic to fall over. I noted we were the same height. I walked over to the right where I had seen some hollow logs. “The rattle is your instrument. The drum is mine.” I thumped on the hollow logs until I found one which sound settled me somewhat. I didn’t wait for her to start playing, but just started playing out rhythms.

I had tired of words, and had too many thoughts weighing on me. I decided to speak no more with my voice, and allowed the percussion to fill the space instead. I didn’t notice when Mxtl had started shaking the rattle again. I didn’t have to look up to know she was prancing at the fire. Her regalia was sounding different from the hand rattle, a distinction she was using to full advantage.

Across the fire, Tliltic Ocelotl was stretched out along the length of the prone log. The black jaguar skin was draped loosely over her naked body. She said nothing, but her eyes shown with unnatural light.

The stars turned in the unceasing night sky, moving in strange and impossible orbits. The drum and the rattle spoke. The fire restored the wood it danced on. Just as it felt it would remain as such forever, time ran out.

I woke up.

Dream Journal: 2012-09-19.03

Headaches! Yay! (fuuuu) Too little sleep, too little eats, too few breaks, and one demanding & easily insulted person at the house meant Keri had a headache and needed a nap.

So I kissed the kid, and patted the spirit, and waved “fuck all” to the world and laid down for a nap.

“Where are you going?” Snake had grabbed me by the arm and was pulling me back towards the entrance. Continue reading “Dream Journal: 2012-09-19.03”