When Coyote Called Down the Stars, by Aaron Vlek


Coyote’s sitting beside a fire pit
late one night.
It’s real dark, and his back’s to ya.
Finally, after he’s made you wait
a good long while,
he signals for you to sit yourself down.
You’re sitting right there
in front of that old varmint,
but he ain’t seeing ya.
WHAT?— Coyote yells, finally looking up at you.
You thought Coyote was a Man?
Or some kind of wild dog?
Or maybe a spirit from the Before Times?
Well I’ll tell you something.
I ain’t none of them things!

You look in Coyote’s eyes.
You’re looking for signs,
signs that tell you
Hey! It’s okay,
Coyote’s only funning with ya.
But all you see
is those two yellow eyes,
and the firelight flickering
reflecting your own face
dancing in those old yellow eyes of his.
Then Coyote starts messing
with the fire,
sending sparks and smoke
curling all the way up to the stars.
Coyote, he’s mumbling something
to himself,
and there’s the beating
of nightwings overhead.
Coyote, he starts whistling,
pulling that old blanket of his
tighter around his bony old shoulders.
Hey, Coyote! What you calling down?
But Coyote, he doesn’t answer.
He never does.
Not directly, ‘least not right away.

He just starts messing with that fire again,
rocking back and forth,
mumbling something to himself.
Faster now.
Hey Coyote! What you calling down?
Coyote, he looks up at the stars overhead
and starts grinning.
There’s those nightwings again.
Hey Coyote! What you calling down?
Finally, Coyote looks you dead in the eyes
and shakes his head like you were some sorry excuse.
Best you just sit still now,
and keep quiet, if you can—
he hisses in your general direction
as he jumps up and sets to
his medicine dance.
Coyote, he always means business.

Aaron Vlek is a storyteller who works with the trickster mythos in its role as bringer of delight and proponent of disquieting humors. Some of her (yes, her) stories center around the goings on of the jinn, and of a universal imagining of the Native American character, Coyote. Some works are historical in setting while others occupy a contemporary and urban landscape. She also indulges frequently in the reimagining of classic themes of horror and the occult. Aaron is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. Domine Canè, a short piece of speculative horror with a historic theme, appeared in the April 2015 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly, Vol. VII, Issue II.  At the Kids’ Table appeared in the 2015 Christmas Edition of Chicken Soup for the Soup. Additional stories have been accepted for publication throughout 2016.



Posted on December 21, 2016, in Issue 19: Speculative Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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