An Anasazi Story by Jeff Posey.
In the last light of the day, Tootsa saw one of the Fat Man’s prostitutes standing alone outside her lean-to. He wondered if, underneath the blanket she clutched, she wore anything. She saw Tootsa and wiggled her finger for him to come to her. His heart almost pounded out of his chest.
“You’re the one with the orphan army, aren’t you?” She chewed a piece of piñon sap.
How did she know that, Tootsa wondered. Maybe she’s just fishing. “Maybe,” he said.
“Oh, you are.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Oh, but I do. The Fat Man likes to talk while he’s testing the quality of us girls.”
The image of the Fat Man having sex with this girl passed through Tootsa like a wind-driven grass fire. He felt at once disgusted and curious.
“So, what of it.”
“So I know somebody you need to talk to.”
“Sure, and get myself knocked in the head.”
“A guy who comes to me is the grandson of the High Sky Chief. He told me his grandfather hates the High Priest and would do anything to get rid of him.”
Now a different feeling went through Tootsa. Fear. He didn’t know how to talk to High Anybody. They could turn him into a ghost with their eyes. He’d heard the other boys say they could.
“So why does he want to meet me?” He meant the High Sky Chief.
“Well, the boy I know doesn’t know he wants to meet you. I just think you should. Then maybe you can get the leader of that army of orphans to come into town. Maybe you can get him to come see me.” She snapped her sap gum.
“Maybe,” said Tootsa, relieved he didn’t have to talk to anybody important.
“You don’t know nothing, do you?”
“’I’m tired of your maybes. You don’t say anything. You don’t stand for anything, do you? You got no testicles.”
Tootsa didn’t know how to respond to a girl like this. He’d never known any to behave this way. She made him mad. It’s not allowed to get angry at an older girl. But he couldn’t hold himself. Besides, he thought, she’s just a prostitute.
“I’ve got more testicles than any of your boyfriends. I’ve got four teeth from the head of the Masaw warrior that made your Fat Man wet his crotch-cloth!”
The girl sucked in her breath, then smiled at him.
“You do have some fire. Nice. I like that. Now what are these teeth you’re so proud of?”
Tootsa didn’t trust her. She might be making fun of him. He couldn’t tell.
“From the head of Ihu.”
“Really? Ihu is dead? How surprising. A hothead like that.”
“He killed my father,” said Tootsa.
“Mine too,” said the girl. “And I had to pretend I liked it when he visited me. I’m glad he’s dead. Did your orphan army kill him?”
“The leader of our orphan army killed him. Cut his heart out in front of everybody, even a bunch of Masaw Warriors.” Tootsa’d gone from anger to feeling like an ally of this girl the moment he’d learned the same man had killed both their fathers.
“That’s one way to kill someone,” she said.
What an odd girl, Tootsa thought. She never said anything he expected her to say.
“So you’ll meet my friend?” For the first time she looked at him and smiled, and he felt his knees rock a little.
“Sure,” he said, thinking he shouldn’t. “Sure.”
# # #
Is this too much dialogue?