The Reaper

The Reaper, hair and skin blackened with charcoal from the ritual fire, crouched an arm’s length from the jungle path. Beneath the broad leaves of the banana bush she was invisible. She had been stalking for days and knew the habits of the ones she sought. Her prey would pass this way soon. They would follow this trail to the water’s edge to fill their skins. The male and female with their young . A boy. The Harvest.

Her nimble fingers went first to her tongue then ran slowly along the thin edge of a black feather, gifted from her Token Spirit and woven tightly into her pulled back hair. The crow had chosen her, had been her guide, her strength, her determination through the challenges, tests and trials leading to her selection as Reaper.

She was the first of her kind, a spirit-child, a Harvest, a female. The first to be chosen for the sacred task. The first in three generations. It was an honor to be sure, but had she not earned it? Yes! She had no doubt. Her Spirit Guide had never failed her. And she would not fail her people.

It was The Way of the five tribes. It was The Way of peace. In the time before, there had been war and suffering. They had nearly destroyed themselves. But the Harvest had saved them. Now war was no more and the tribes lived in The Way. The Gods, who feared the destruction of the people, had delivered The Way to the Shamans. And now she, Kaidyn, was Reaper and the time for Harvest had come.

She would take the young male from this path and disappear into the jungle. The others would not follow. It was The Way. In gratitude, she would rename him for her Token Spirit. She would call him Rook.

Oh Cruel Pei Wei

Curse you airport terminal Pei Wei.  You are but a vaccuous shade of the PF Chang I should have patronized before clearing security. Damn you and the uncooked grain of rice that broke my tooth. 

Farewell thirty-one dollars including tip. General Tsao retreats in shame from any association with the molar crushing defeat that was my meal. Trek on Johnny Walker. Your overpriced black label offered no condolence.

 Lightly Wok seared chicken indeed! I think not. Oh how I mourn the innocent red chili sacrificed in service of such a culinary abomination. I blame it not for refusing to be flushed or suctioned or tongued from the refuge of the cavern that once was my filling. 

Anbesol provide me succor till my desecration is crowned in golden glory. 





Three ladies in a crowded room

With voices sweet as fine perfume

Casting tales of want and woe

To talk amongst so many though.


Pronouns sown anonymously

Her and they, then I and she.

Feel free to share your thoughts if any

Three voices. Still, amongst so many?


And then a name is dropped by chance

A tilted head, a sideways glance.

That name to some, a familiar word

Three voices have been overheard.


Fearing lest they be misread

Try to recall each word they said

In chronological succession

Three voices now with more discretion


Lesson learned? One can but hope,

To understand the breadth and scope

Of risks and dangers that one faces,

Talking private things in public places.



© rdfindlay 2017