Invisible matters of the mind turned real into the written word.
|“Do your thing.” Shelby Long’s skull was ready to explode. Cursed with migraines, he’d tried every treatment known to god or man. Medical science had failed him. He’d been referred for psychological help. Told there was no physical problem, that it existed only in his head. Right. They were spot on about that.
Rounds of meditation, biofeedback, hypnosis, pills and analysis sent him from one specialist to another without result. “God knows what’s going on,” was offered as the bills piled up until he could afford no more.
The big time faith healer, Right Reverend Blaine Trueblood, blamed Shelby for not forking over enough money to prove he was ready to receive God’s grace. “The devil’s got in you, son. He’s wrestling with your soul.”
Shelby didn’t need a theological degree to know where to go next. If the devil wanted his soul then good riddance, just make the pain stop. Apparently, there was a glut on the market. Hellbent on finding relief, he’d offered to do anything for the Satan worshipper's group he’d found. “Soul for a soul, dude. Human sacrifice.”
A dark side website was offered where he could learn the necessary steps. By this time, Shelby was living out of his car, no job, family or friends, nothing but himself left at all. “What? I need a shaman to do it for me?”
Countless hours staring bleary eyed at a Starbucks Internet connection revealed all. So, here he was out in the middle of the Utah desert inside a nameless small Indian reservation watching colored smoke waft around. The sweat lodge stank of the Shaman’s body odor steaming off the hulking figure’s skin. Shelby bit his tongue bloody and tried to hang on.
He didn’t understand a word that was chanted in a sing-song murmuring tone. The sand painting taking shape before him slowly grew into a work of art. “That’s me, isn’t it?”
The shaman motioned Shelby quiet. Fingertips dribbling colored sand wove another figure into being. It grew into a writhing snake. A clap of hands followed by a puff of smoke and Shelby’s mysterious headache was gone. He collapsed unconscious.
Shelby awoke, stretched his four legs and wagged his tail. “I give you what you want,” the shaman grunted, “You are my spirit sniffer. I trade you for my dog.”
Shelby began to howl. Becoming all nose overwhelmed him with a soaring hurricane of scents, each more intense than the last. Fecal matter unlocked possabilities he’d never dreamed of before. Hiding in there were such spores of evil haunting demons it taunted Shelby’s strange new sanity. He lay panting at the Shaman’s feet.
One eye opened. It watched his old body roll into the sweat lodge fire, spit fat as it was consumed. The shaman turned to the new Shelby wiping his nose in the dust and chuckled. “You have a lot to learn about begging, dogman. If you’d said, please. I would have taken your pain away and left you free.”