Coyote’s Cloak of Death

I dream I am playing frisbee with men whose faces match those of my friends and some family members. The game begins lightly but turns unexpectedly aggressive, then violent. they are throwing sharp rocks at me. Something is changed in their faces, and I see that it is not my friends or family, but the face-stealers, the demons I have dreamt of many times. I run from them, underneath a large stone-built bridge from centuries past. It makes an arch over the water and the bridge’s walkway is flat and high above the river. The mens’ faces have become demonically angry underneath the thin disguise of the human, and terrible women are with them too. They are all a part of a horrific regime.

Nearby, built into this stone bridge beside the water are stables for animals. I go inside and hide in a stall barely large enough for me to fit into laying sideways. Now Coyote appears to me. She tells me to take off my clothing and be only in my skin now, to hide in this stall curled up, and to play dead. I do as she says, and a moment later a soldier of the regime finds me, and thinks I am dead. I hear him crying regret, saying “Her face haunts me,” at seeing what he had done to people, that he had killed them. So I look convincingly dead, and I see myself from his perspective now –sickly greenish as a corpse, and in a stage of decay with the bones of my face showing.

Coyote speaks, “It is the cloak of death that covers you and saves you, though you are not really dead. I know the way. I bring back to life everything.” And the soldier falls to the ground in contrition, begging forgiveness, and his gun becomes a pile of ash. Beneath my shapeshifter’s cloak I also grieve for my people who have been lost to the jaws of the regime. When the repentant soldier leaves, I crawl out of the stall, in the movement of animal forms down the corridor of straw beds to where two of my beloved friends are sitting and waiting with water on their heads catching light, welcoming me back from the dead, and laughing with Coyote.



image: Creative Commons CC0

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