How Murder Came to the Sasquatch
The dead body settled into the river bed, barely disturbing the underwater plants or any of the river’s cold-blooded residents. If they were of the mind to notice, they would note that they’ve seen this before. And for some, it simply represented food, a part of the chain to which they belonged as scavenger, predator, and prey.
If a human noticed, he or she might think that the body was mysterious and disgusting. Then they would call the authorities and the wheels of administration would churn.
But the body was found by a Sasquatch, part of a hidden race that still lived in the forests of the Mid-West United States, while struggling to stay hidden in the disappearing glades.
The Sasquatch was tall and hairy as the tales suggest, but not a galumphing Chewbacca like figure. This Sasquatch was female, with a decidedly female form, and wore clothes that approximated a dress, or maybe a sari. Her eyes were beautiful, large and brown, and the hair on the body was fine and soft. Her features were quite visible and more delicate than one might expect given the stereotypical descriptions of Big Foot. The hair on her head descended in a fighting queue, bound by leather.
Malilah, as she was known, came upon the body at dusk, while fishing in the river. She stood on the bank and noticed eddies swirling where fish concentrated. She became curious, investigated, and found a human foot, which then led to the rest of the human body. Withdrawing it from the water proved tricky, as some of it was already decomposed and preferred to stay with the fish rather than cling to the torso it came with.
Malilah examined the corpse and realized it was a human female. The body still had shreds of a T-shirt and shorts on it, but no shoes, which struck Malilah as odd since the soft-footed humans always wore shoes. Sneakers, she believed they were called, which struck her as funny because there was nothing sneaky about people. Humans made a racket wherever they went and no manner of shoe could fix this.
This thought was followed immediately by the sound of humans arriving. Malilah stepped away from the body and faded into the woods. She stayed close enough to listen the chatter of the men.
“Look at this. This must be her!” said Man With Hat.
“I was afraid of this. I’ll contact control to tell them that we have her. They’ll need to prepare her mother for the news,” said Man With Radio.
“I don’t see any injury here. Nothing to indicate what killed her,” replied Man With Hat.
The other three men, Man With Stick, Man Who Smelled, and Man Who Was Still Boy lay a yellow tarp on the ground and gently moved the body onto it. They wrapped the body up, secured it with rope and discussed the best way to transport it to a pick-up site.
What they didn’t see, but Malilah sensed, was the other Sasquatch watching from the opposite side of the river. This Sasquatch was known to her and to all the tribe, as Outcast. The Sasquatch were a gentle people, with strict rules about hunting. Outcast violated their laws when he killed a deer for the pleasure of killing, not for food. During the conclave to establish his punishment, he attacked the head of the tribe, was subdued, and cast out. No one had seen him since.
Now, Outcast stood on the opposite river bank, and Malilah wondered if he was the cause of the young woman’s death. She knew Outcast could see her so she didn’t try to hide. Once the men left with the body, she simply walked to a shallow place where she could cross and approached Outcast directly.
Outcast gestured her to follow and led her up to his camp on a high cliff overlooking the river. The scent of death was everywhere and Malilah recoiled at the stench. A carcass of some kind hung from every tree. Deer bones littered the ground, interspersed with tinier bones of birds, squirrels and skunks. On the largest tree, a human skeleton hung and clattered in the breeze like a macabre Halloween decoration, complete with a pair of pink Adidas running shoes.
Malilah’s stomach churned. This was not the way of her people and she couldn’t believe that Outcast had gone this far. Her people revered life, hunted only when needed, and made use of the animal inside and out, ensuring no waste. This was an abomination that lay in front of her.
“What have you done?” she demanded.
“Taken what I wanted. We have strength and size. Shouldn’t we take from those smaller and weaker?” Outcast taunted.
“No,” cried Malilah. “In addition to being offensive to our beliefs, you bring attention to us with the death of humans. You put our existence at-risk!”
“Let it be at-risk,” Outcast scoffed. “We live in hiding for what? So the soft humans can spread, destroy the forest and crowd us out of our living spaces? I see no honor it that!”
“There is certainly no honor in this!”
Outcast sprang at her, giant arms outstretched, anger on his face and a need for violence etched into every sinew. Malilah ducked, fell on her back, threw her feet in the air and connected with his body, shoving him over the cliff. He fell directly onto the rocks, dead on impact.
Malilah looked down at his body, and let the truth of what she had done sink in. Outcast, she whispered to herself. I killed, and now it is I who is Outcast. Her tears were carried on the wind to the rest of her clan. They mourned, but turned their backs on her as they wondered what this death would truly mean for their race.