When you can’t sleep… Write. Here is the scene from SILVERSHOT where our protagonist meets Mohtahe Okohke, aka Plague of Crows. She’s a Skinwalker, which according to Native American Lore in the Ute Tribe, is an evil shaman that haunts them, and causes sickness, death, and terror. Plague of Crows is all of that and more. Take a look:
Sleep must have taken me because I knew I had to be dreaming. I was once again standing in front of the mountain cabin. The snow on the cabin and around the area was completely gone and the ground was barren and muddy. I looked around with a distinct sense of both the familiar and a new strangeness. The once bright glass of the windows was coated in filth, broken, and some had rough boards hammered over the empty frames. Dim light seeped through where there should have been bright, warm light.
I walked up to the door with a couple rabbits that I had shot… good sized fat ones. Or at least they were in previous versions of this dream. I looked down at them they were no longer fat and juicy, but desiccated, with holes through the hide in patches that showed old rot, bones, and maggoty corruption. I dropped the rabbits.
When I pushed open the door, I expected to see the fun looking redhead from the strip. Instead, there was an Indian woman standing here. She was thin, with long, straight, black hair that had black crow feathers tied into some braids. She wore a tan buckskin dress with tribal decorations I’ve not seen around here before.
As she walked over to me, slowly, I realized that I was unable to move. Not even to flinch when she raised her hands and held my face. She had dark eyes and dark lips. She could have been beautiful… but something about her was off, and that made her unattractive. I felt a coldness in her hands. She pulled me down to her and gave me a kiss. Her lips were cold and dry and hard.
For just a moment, her presence felt familiar. Like I had seen her before. But I couldn’t place her. And then I remembered the church building in Dragon and seeing her up on the ridge after I came out of that perverse church building. Suddenly she bit my lip, too hard, too sharp, and the pain snapped me back to the moment and I pulled away from her.
One half of her face was young, almost beautiful but stark and angry. The other half of her face was bare skull, old and dead with no eye in the socket, The teeth on the skull side had a smear of blood that streaked down the bare bone of her chin.
She laughed at me and pushed me away, so hard I was sent half thrown, half stumbling across the room where I collided with the chair.
Darkness started swirling around her, like smoke. It pulled the light out of the single lit oil lamp left in the room and it grew dimmer and dimmer until the flame was barely a spark. The only other light was the orange glow coming from that empty eye socket. The swirling darkness started to fill the room, and I tried to back away from it, tumbling over the chair in front of the fireplace. But there was nowhere to go and the darkness reached me.
When it touched my hand, there was pain as if the fingers in my hand were broken. I looked at my hand and could see it and my arm shriveling and drying up. I could feel it in my boots, then up to my knees. I could feel my very life being pulled out of me, into that vortex of darkness. All I could see now was a pinpoint of orange light, coming from that eye socket, which was getting closer. I didn’t know if it was coming to me, or I was going to it. The very air in the cabin was a howling wind that carried my scream with it.
I was still screaming when I suddenly woke up with my chest aching, breathing hard, and my heart beat thumping like crazy.