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    Bitter Reckoning, Chapters 1 and 2

    Chapter One

    The RV was found fifty miles south of Marble Canyon off highway 89. The thirty-five foot class A-diesel had jumped the guardrail and rolled off the paved road into a ravine where it remained hidden from view. If it hadn’t been for Tommy Yazzie having stopped to change a flat on his Chevy in the middle of the 115 degree August afternoon, the RV might’ve remained there through the rest of the summer months, into the fall, and then the winter. But Tommy had stopped, and, while working the jack on his truck, one of those rare summer breezes brought the smell of decay and death to his nose. With one glace over the bent guard rail, he caught the glint of the shattered windshield and looked up to see the slow, easy glide of vultures circling overhead.

    Something was dead. Something or someone.

    ***

    “Right there,” Tommy said.

    Joe Kody, the Tuba City police captain, tipped his cowboy hat back and removed his sunglasses. “Yep, you’re right. Fits the description Mary Dee’s granddaughter gave us of the RV that went missing with one of her crew along with all that expensive equipment.”

    Tommy sniffed. “You smell it, don’t you?”

    “I smell it.” Joe pointed to the vultures. “They smell it, too.” He took off his hat and wiped his arm across his forehead. “I think we better call in the Coconino County sheriff. They got rigging to pull it up.” He turned toward his SUV. “They’ll probably want to send up their medical examiner to ID the body.”

    Tommy watched a rabbit scurry in the brush next to one of the RV’s shredded tires. It had no fear of vultures. Those birds only ate dead things.

    “Tires all been chewed up, Joe.”

    “I know. I saw that.” Joe began muttering into his radio, but while doing so, he looked down both sides of the highway then up at the late afternoon sun before checking the time on his watch. When he finished making the dispatch, he joined Tommy at the guardrail once more. “We need to get off the highway. It’ll be dark soon.”

    “Did Mary Dee’s granddaughter say who stole her rig and that equipment?”

    “One of her crew. A gal, Piezee or something like that.”

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    Comments

    1. Hi Everyone!
      I hope you will forgive me for being 5 months late on this story. Part of the delay was I needed to find a trusted consultant who could help me present the cultural nuances of the Navajo culture in an authentic and respectful way. The story deals with some sensitive topics, and I don’t want to be the proverbial white woman coming in and misinterpreting a culture that is not my own.

      Anywho, I found someone to work with, and she is giving me pointers to keep me on track.

      This is a scary story, more scary than The Groves, so if it ain’t your thing, don’t read it!

      For those who read it, I hope you enjoy it!

      PS: I logged on today and discovered I had a ton of private messages, comments, etc. from months ago. I didn’t know why I hadn’t been getting the notifications in my email. I just checked and realized those notifications were going to my spam file. So my apologies for the long delay in replying.

    2. Welcome back BenMac:
      This is a wonderful two-chapter post; I was already scared when Tina saw the old man, Shiley, spooky.

      So, Alice was Bette’s girlfriend and got the cursing of the sacred place, but how sad, even if the dead don’t feel after they die, it’s sad for the loved ones to see how they ended; good that Bette hasn’t seen her rotten and destructed body.

      I like very much the part where Kit tells Bette, that it doesn’t matter who was her father but which is important is who was her mother; I read time ago that intelligence and many other genetic heritance comes from our mothers, contrary at what most people believe.

      I like that Bette wants to uncover the crime against her people forty years ago, to show to the public what happens whatever it was.

      It is curious, apparently, the beliefs of ancient Navajos is common in all the north, center and south American native nations; the beliefs about taking pictures of people, the respect of sacred places, and many other things you are indicating here.

      And finally, I like that Tina admires Bette, and respects her values.

      This is going to be one more of your magnificent story, a new masterpiece.

      Thanks for the wonderful two chapters I will eagerly wait for the update (next Sunday?)
      .
      Thanks again for this chapter.

      P

    3. Welcome back BenMac,

      What a wonderful gift for a cold and snowy Monday morning here in the UK -a new story from you!

      I love the opening Chapters setting the scene and look forward to the next post fleshing out the characters!

      When I read your stories it even affects my nasal tubes and I can smell the old man the same as Tina! Phew! If it wasn’t so early in the day I’d be reaching for the Brandy!

      Welcome back again, PPS and light on the cliffhangers please

      SG

    4. BenMac, welcome back!

      I was so incredible happy when i saw this new story. I forgive you for the long wait.

      I admire and respect it that you take the time to really try to research the culture and found someone to help you.

      For the rest i think proteonomics said it all in her comment.

      Thank you so much for coming back with another story.

    5. Hi there lady, happy to have you back with another story, maybe. Looks as though it will be another one to scare the hell out of me. Boots turning into hooves, damn girl, too much for me. Hope you guys are doing well. Take care.

    6. The prodigal daughter returns; literally to the LF site and figuratively to the sacred native lands of Arizona since the Groves. As usual, everyone, including myself, are super excited to see where the new adventure takes us!

      Welcome back, BenMac!

    7. Hi BenMac.Welcome back!!
      I’m so happy and excited for this new adventure.Can’t wait to see where this is going and already have a few questions.
      I’ll be waiting anxiously for the next update.
      Thanks for sharing this great story with us.

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