Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Apache Eyes - Yeva Weist

Apache Eyes - Yeva Weist
January, 2008 - ISBN 978-1-59426-843-4
$3 eBook (five formats) - Buy Now!
Author's Backlist: Yeva Wiest

Shovel full after shovel full of dark gray dirt fell into the hole covering the dead body of my bastard husband. The fool! If only he had listened to me, but of course I was only a woman. His "squaw" he called me. My opinion never mattered to him. With each added shovel full of dirt I counted to myself the many ways he had belittled me, used me, but never really recognized me as a human being. If only he had listened, though, I might still have the horses, and he might still be alive.

I had tried to warn him that we were being watched, just as I know that she is still out there, watching me. He had laughed off my knowledge, for it was knowledge, not intuition that had told me they were there. I grew up in this country; he didn't. I could tell by the dust signs that a small band of Apaches were staked out on the ridge just above Canyon Diablo where we lived. I figured there were four maybe five men out there. I hadn't counted on a woman being among the pack. It was the woman who stayed behind the others. It was the woman who watched me.

Sweat ran from my underarms down my sides and from the back of my neck into the small curve at the base of my back. The sun's rays created an unholy hot halo around the hole of my husband's grave. The heat was sweltering. I needed to bury his body by dark. It was beginning to bloat, stink. I wanted shed of it. It was like a putrid weight around me pulling me down, just as he had always pulled me down. I had been forced to join him in life, but I would be damned before I would willingly join him in death.

A slight breeze stirred. I lifted my arms to take advantage of the air against my wet skin. For a moment I relaxed and let the wind cool my body. That wind took away some of my bitterness as well. I looked out at the edge of the canyon where I knew she watched. I smiled. Whatever she had in store for me would be short. Life with him had been like dying a little every day. I welcomed release, any release. Without a horse, a way out of this territory, I was surely doomed. It might take a week or two, but I would die. The ground was barren, barely able to sustain the small garden and the pig we had brought along with us. The pig was gone with the horses. I was alone; I would die.

My arms ached from the toil of the shovel and from hiding the night before. After dusk, I had slipped away from the house--first to the barn and then to the well. He had passed out at the table soaked on mescal. I had weighted a rope with my flat iron, and then I had tied the rope around my waist. My palms stilled burned from the slip of the rope as I lowered myself into the well. I had pulled the rope in after me almost hitting myself with the iron. I was safely hidden in a small cove at the bottom of the well. Water barely covered the hem of my dress.

During the night, I had felt her, felt her looking in the well. Somehow she knew I was there, just as I knew she was above me, looking for me. Perhaps she smelled me. I had smelled her--the raw woman scent of her. Awareness. That's what it was. I was aware of her.