Reservation Beer Run
Daniel G. Snethen
my bitch and some rez dogs were partying at Denby Dam late
one Friday evening. We were all smoking peji and drinking alcohol while
listening to some P-Diddy rapping from Billy’s woofers. We were all high and
drunk and the girls had all stripped down to their panties ready for a midnight
swim. The moonlight shimmering off their
titties was nearly as intoxicating as the drugs and the booze and it looked as
if every last one of us horny bucks was going to snag a piece that night.
I was pawing Sammi’s melons and grabbing a
bit of bootie when I heard Lloyd yell.
“What the hell, aint we got no goddamn
I says, “Fuck man, what you mean we aint
got no beer left?”
“Aint nothin left but this Zima shit.”
And I reply, “Only pussies and fags drink Zima.”
Sammi gives me a tittie-twister, whispers
in my ear and we run and hop into her Daddy’s beat up powder blue 1980 Chevy
pickup, screaming out the window, “We’ll be back, just going to get some more juice.”
We could see the dust billowing up behind
us in the light of the full moon and I knew something awful was going to happen
when that damn owl nearly flew into our windshield.
“What the hell,” Sammi began whimpering.
Not thinking and being stoned to the
gourd, I started laughing.
“That shit isn’t funny, you know what my Grandfather
says about owls.”
“Yeah babe, it means someone’s going to
die tonight, maybe you or I.”
That didn’t seem to help one bit. We
pulled off the gravel onto the highway just north of Wakpamini and headed her Daddy’s
Chevy towards Pine Ridge. The night was really eerie. The moon was full and
blood-red like the engorged gut of an anopheles
mosquito. Everything glowed with a copper color and the air was hot and heavy.
I laid the pedal down and had the straight-six whining at 80 and shoved 2-Pac into
the dash, turned up the bass and tried to ignore the weirdness of the night.
Solitude, complete solitude, not a car in
sight, none on the highway and no-one cruising the loop, as we barreled into
downtown Pine Ridge. A disturbing sight
on a Friday night just past one in the morning. I thought where the hell is
everyone as I headed south out of Ridge for the Nebraska border and White Clay
and the beer I’d promised the guys. Sammi
was scared but I didn’t mind, as she
nestled beside me, her nipples stabbing me like two pointy darts.
“Is it me Sam, or did we smoke some
strange shit, nothing seems quite right tonight.”
“I don’t know, I just wish we were home,
Grand Daddy’s always right. As soon as we saw that owl we should have headed
straight back to Evergreen.”
“And to hell with the booze and my bro’s… riiight.”
Suddenly the truck started lurching and I heard
something banging my oil-pan. My head hit the roof and I tasted blood when I
bit my tongue, but managed to keep the vehicle on the road.
“Jesus Christ, what the fuck did I hit?”
the hell you stopping for Dane? Don’t
you dare pull this mother fucking truck over...shit you pulled the
“Shut up Sammi, I gotta find out what I
hit...probably just some big ass snapping-turtle or something.”
I got out of the truck to check what I’d
run over and it wasn’t no big ass turtle, but it was something. It was a man.
“Christ Sammi, I killed him. I killed this
drunk bastard. How the hell was I supposed to see his ass on this mother
fucking road. Shit, I’m in trouble now.”
Then what do you suppose my bitch does?
Why she gets out of the truck and walks right up to the stiff and kneels down
“What the hell you doing? Get away from
that bastard. Don’t touch it. Why the fuck you go and touch it for? Shit, let’s
get out of here before the cops come.”
I opened the door to the Chevy and shoved
her, not too gently, in and scooted her ass over and climbed in behind the
“Dane,” Sammi cried.
“You didn’t kill him.”
“What!!!” I stammered.
“I said you didn’t kill him. The old fart
was cold when I touched him and I felt dried blood on his neck. He was already
dead when you ran over him, he was already dead!”
A loathsome shadow floated
Clay, a malign shadow which summoned the hairs of my back to suddenly stand at
attention. I turned my head. In the rearview mirror I could see a midnight
denizen hovering over the drunken corpse, its cape gently blowing like the
wings of a massive bat. It slowly descended upon the gruesome repast; I ground
my gears, hauled ass and got the hell out of White Clay.
Snethen is the owner and publisher of Darkling Publications. He serves as
vice-president of the South Dakota State Poetry Society. Recently (May 2017),
10 pages of his poetry was anthologized in Resurrection of a Sunflower,
a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, curated by Catfish McDaris. Snethen's poetry has
been published by Bear Creek Haiku; Cover of Darkness; Danse
Macabre; Dark Gothic Resurrected; Haiku Journal; The Horror Zine; Miller's
Pond; Pasque Petals: Thirteen Myna Birds, and several other publishers of
poetry. Snethen also coaches oral interpretation of literature and Poetry Out
Loud. He has qualified two high school students for the National Poetry Out
Loud competition in Washington DC and has had the SD State Poetry Out Loud
runner up on two separate occasions. His favorite poet is William Blake and his
favorite poem is “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.