Formulation

© 2019-2022 michael raven

“Why is is medicine men always seem to live so far away from the villages they serve?”

Harlow was tired of the jungle trying to eat him while he hiked through it, whether it was the bugs, the large cats, snakes or the tiny fish in the river’s waters with teeth far to large to be sensible for any fish to possess.

“Not medicine man,” Alejo replied in his halting pidgin. “Is brujo.”

The translator and guide that the University had recommended was adequate, but hardly fluent in English, much to Harlow’s chagrin. Harlow craved a return to civilization, where he could have real conversations with someone less… subhuman.

“Whatever. Medicine man or whatever you called him — he’s the man who has the formulation I require.”

Alejo nodded briskly. “He has. They all say.”

“Well, let’s hope he’ll trade for it. I’ve waited long enough to explore the realms Alhazred mentions in his damnable book. I’m weary of these false leads.”

“This brujo has, they all say. You dreamwalk when you get back to Santarem, you want.”

Harlow pushed another vine out of his path. “I’ll dreamwalk tonight, back in the village, dammit.”

Alejo stopped and shook his head slowly.

“You dreamwalk in village, they kill you when you leave your body. They no want the dogs to follow you back from dreams. Santarem is better, They not know dreamwalking. Or about dogs.”


Another New Weird flashfiction from 2019 posted elsewhere, with some modifications. Prompt was “brujo” from the OED word of the day. While I admit it has some cringe with respect to pidgin and sterotypes, the usage was intentional, as I was trying to emulate more of a 1920s feel than a 2020s feel. And I tried to moderate it a bit away from the even more cringy elements in stories popular at the time. No offense is intended.

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