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The International Writers Magazine
: Dreamscapes Fiction

The Woman with the Hoofed Feet and the Woods- Part Two
Sidi Cherkawi Benzahra

"You must have bad experience with women, Brian," Teddy said...

A black Mercury Sable was speeding up on highway 90 and its headlights were moving with it like two laser beams. Three young men were inside talking, laughing and their faces were shining dimly behind the windshield. The driver, Willy, and the man sitting next to him, Brian, were in their early twenties. They were young and they had fresh faces. The one sitting behind them, Teddy, was a dinosaur compared to them, and the skin on the side of his eyes had already developed some wrinkles. He was in his late thirties and the sadness of his face, coupled up with his moustache, had added up hefty extra years of aging. Brian and Willy were seniors at the University of Minnesota and Teddy was a graduate, a lousy graduate student.
Teddy Heinz had graduated from college a long, long time ago and had gone to work for a large corporation in Bloomington, Minnesota, to save up money and buy a nice car and a house and live up the American dream. He worked there for quite some time, before he realized the corporation was nothing but a black hole full of shit and rotten wood. There was a thick, glass ceiling overhead in that corporation, and whenever he tried to climb up the corporate ladder, he would get bonked back to his place. He tried and tried and one day he got sick of trying and said to himself, `fuck it,' and went to register at the graduate school of physics and astronomy. But graduate school wasn't easy either, for no matter how hard he worked, or how well he organized himself, he would always end up with a B.
One winter quarter, though he studied days and nights and lost a few pounds, he got the same usual B. And when he went to the professor to complain about it, the professor said it was a high B, but then when he received his transcripts from the office of the registrar, they showed only a lousy B.

The Mercury now went over a bump and all of them shook inside, wobbling their heads. Brian moved his body around and produced a cigarette from the inside of his jacket. He tapped it against the back of his thumb and gently placed it between his lips. Brian was chubby and clumsy, but his eyes always glowed with exaltation and pride.

Brian lighted up the cigarette with the car lighter and sucked powerfully on his cigarette, sending all that smoke inside his lungs. He was a heavy smoker and cared less for his health and for the health of others around him. Nicotine had rendered his teeth yellow and his lips dark. Through his mouth, he exhaled a large and warm plume and then looked at Teddy. The plume climbed the air and spread under the ceiling of the car like an octopus.

The Mercury Sable moved fast on that highway now and crossed over the Missouri River. The river looked wide and dark, and the moon shone on its slowly-moving waters and on the hills of its banks. The white goat climbed on one of the hills and looked down at the highway. The Missouri river was silent and you could feel it, mighty and powerful.

Brian rolled down the window and snapped the cigarette butt against the wind. He then leaned over and pulled a can of Budweiser from underneath his seat and right away cracked it open. It spurted and white foam hurried itself out of it and rolled down the side of the can and dripped on Brian's pants, between his legs.
"Do you love your wife, Teddy?" He asked, licking the side of the can and sucking on the rim.
Teddy didn't want to answer, because he wasn't fond of Brian drinking beer in the car. After all, it was illegal. But Brian cared less about the indifference, so he turned around and asked Teddy again. "Teddy, do you love your wife?"
"Of course, I love her," Teddy scowled. "We have a daughter together, for chrissake! How about you? Do you love your girlfriend?"
"Me? Are you crazy?" Brian grinned. "I will never love any woman. Women are just for pleasure, like horses for riding, and cows for milking. Women are considered to be the life support of the vagina. I'll never love any woman." He looked at his buddy, Willy, and Willy nodded, agreeing and smiling. He was always agreeing.
"Your mother is a woman. Don't you love her?" Teddy asked and leaned over and put both his elbows on both front seats.
"My mother died when I was six, and my father hardly cared for me. He was an alcoholic, you know. He would sometimes come home drunk and sit on me when I was sleeping on the couch. He almost cracked my ribs once. You know what Freud said?" Brian sucked on the can like a thirsty pig sucking on a water pipe.
"What did he say?" Teddy asked and Willy turned his face to look at Brian.
"He said, `all women are whores, except my mother, by respect.' I kind of agree with him on this one." Brian looked at Willy and Willy nodded again, grinning.
"Are you sure, Freud said that?" Teddy asked.
"Of course, I'm sure! I read it!"
Teddy loved his mother, his wife, and daughter, and he was very mad now.
"You must have bad experience with women, Brian," Teddy said and then noticed something funny about Willy's ears. Willy's right ear was smaller than his left ear and some kinky hair was grown on its rim.

"What's wrong with your ear, Willy?" Teddy said and focused on Willy's ear again to study it deeply.
"A dog took my ear when I was five," Willy explained.
"What do you mean by took your ear? It's still there!"
"When I was five, I hugged our neighbor's dog tightly and the dog just went hysterical and snapped my ear like a cracker."
"Do you mean he ate it?" Teddy was laughing.
"He didn't just eat it, Teddy, he pooped it in the back yard under the apple tree. Obviously, the doctors couldn't retrieve it and had to cut some pieces from my leg and fixed me up this little one, here." Willy looked at the rear-view mirror and he fingered the lump under his ear lovingly.
Teddy leaned backward and his face hardly showed in the darkness of the backseat and said, "Jesus. I've never heard such a weird story."
"It's not a story, Teddy," Willy said. "It's a fact."

The white goat looked at the car and hurried itself over the rolling hills.

"You know what we do, Willy and I, at the U of M?" Brian asked.
"What do you do, Brian?" Teddy leaned forward again and looked at both of them. He was somewhat interested.
"You see, Teddy. If you want to get laid, don't go to a bar or a fraternity house too early in the night. You might get too drunk; your dick wouldn't know what to do and would sag on you before you even touch a woman. It happened to me once. I found me a good chick in a bar-a very beautiful chick. She was as good as those damn Hollywood actresses: tall, blond, long legs, big natural watermelons," Brian gestured with his hands to indicate large breasts, "but then when I wanted to crack her up, so to speak, my dick wouldn't stand an inch to cooperate. It drooped on me an old-man's dick. And after the woman left me and I slept there alone for a while, my dick rose up like a flag pole and became as hard as frozen salami."

Willy cracked up, laughing and Teddy smiled. Brian went on, "Women don't like to go out with drunks, you know. They get scared of them. They get scared, they become rapists. So what you got to do is go to the bars late in the night, look for drunken girls, buy them a drink or two to get them even more drunk, and then take them home, spread their legs and shove the Johnson.
"You see, on Thursdays and Saturdays nights, during school time, we'd wait till it's eleven, when it's really dark, and we'd go to the fraternities. We would get free beer and look for drunken women, like I said. Sometimes we would get lucky, we would find willing women and we fuck them." Brian and Willy laughed hysterically, enjoying the intensity of the word, fuck.
"How about unwilling women?" Teddy asked. His eyes were now wide open and his neck, due to interest, grew longer through the collar of his white shirt. Although Teddy was a married man, sex was a subject he lacked a good deal of information.
"We fuck them, too." Brian said and laughed. He then looked at Willy and Willy burst into a cascade of laughter and the Mercury Sable went over the yellow line, but retreated back to safety.
Teddy wasn't laughing. He didn't find this funny.
"That's rape, Brian," criticized Teddy. "You can go to jail for that."
"You see, Teddy. You're very...very stupid man. You marry one woman and you stick to her like a leech. How would you feel if you have to eat spaghetti for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? How would you feel if you have to bang your wife's skinny cracked ass every now and then? You know what I mean, Teddy? You see us, we're very smart. We like variety of food as much as we like variety of women. Women are like food." And he laughed. Willy burst into laughter again, and snaked the car over the highway.

The woman with the hoofed feet was slowly walking on the right shoulder of the highway and the wind was whining around her and playing with her skirt.

"Look!" Willy pointed. "A woman!" He slowed the car down and moved over to the shoulder. The woman with the hoofed feet was walking steadily on her hooves and her hair was blowing in the wind and her shoulders were straightened. Her hair was Swedish blond and her eyes were sparkling blue like the background of a computer screen. Her stomach was flat and her nose, small and pointed upward, looked magnificent. Her neck was skinny and long like a fancy faucet, and her bottom firm-very firm.
"Hey, woman, you need a lift?" Brian cried through the car window. His eyes were following the woman, like the eyes of a submarine.
The woman didn't say anything; she just kept on walking, minding her own business. A business nobody wants to know about, a business that would make your hair stand.
"You're in the middle of nowhere, woman. Come on in!" Brian hollered.

Brian signaled to Willy with his head and the Mercury swerved to the right, careening onto the gravel, and pulled over, shaking everybody inside. Willy killed the engine. The woman quickly ran down the ditch and disappeared, crashing into the brush with her heavy hooves. Brian got out of the car and stood by the edge of the ditch, looking and hesitating whether to chase her or go back to the car and forget about her. Willy automatically followed him and stood by him like a sergeant would do with a captain. Wherever Brian moved, Willy would follow. He was his shadow, an obedient shadow. They were both attached with a string of dependency. It was strange and even frightening, when the engine wasn't running and the silence of darkness was settling in.
Teddy stuck his head out the back window and hollered, "Come on, you guys!" He looked uncomfortable, sitting there by himself. "Let's go! We've got a lot of driving ahead of us." He protested and collapsed, sitting back in the back seat.
Willy buttoned up his jacket and pulled his pants up.
"Did you see how beautiful she was?" he said, tightening his leather belt. "God, she was beautiful. We shouldn't let her go like that." He mopped his mouth with the back of his hand and combed his dark hair with his fingers and turned his head to look at Brian.
"You damn right, Willy. I'm not gonna let that sexy woman go away that easy."

A cloud of sin had enveloped his mind and his eyes became wide open and bright with madness and starvation. He ran down the ditch now, his arms flailing about him, and Willy clumsily followed him like if he had been attached to him by an invisible rope.

In a single file, the two young men moved heavily across the brush of the embankment and crashed into a vast, dark field. Straight ahead of them, across the field, a large cluster of woods stood, covering the bottom-half of the moon. The moon was large and white and you could see its land configuration. The sky around it was pitching dark. From here they could see the woman getting into the woods and slowly vanishing into its darkness. It was almost unbelievable for that woman to reach those woods that fast. It felt as though she had flown over that field like a flying ghost.

The two men just kept on running and cared less how fast that woman could run. Their minds were now in control and had given their bodies the command to go forward. In their heart they knew they were trapped, because an unexplainable force-field was sucking them into the darkness of the woods, and even if they had changed their mind and wanted to go back to their friend, Teddy, it would have been too late.

Teddy got out of the car and stood by the ditch, looking. A wolf howled a long, domineering howl and Teddy quickly crawled back inside the car and slammed the door shut and pushed down the lock button.
The two men, Brian first and Willy last, entered the woods and kept on moving forward. The moon light slanted through the trees and shone on their pale curious faces as they moved from tree to tree, pushing leaves and branches away from their faces. The wind sang horror songs through the trees all around them, and the violin of sin macabre began to play the music of doom. Brian started to realize that it was not worth it to go through all those woods, but it was too late now. It was too late to back away.

Ahead of him, he heard a pistol-shot snap of a dry branch and paused momentarily. He knew the woman was there, somewhere, and he didn't want to follow her blindly, but he had to. The force-field was pulling them to the center of a hungry black hole-a hole where they would never be redeemed. They were getting sucked, foot by foot, inch by inch, into the heart of the woods, believing it was their choice when in fact it wasn't anymore. It was her choice.

There she was in the clearing under the moon light, standing still like a totem pole, standing like a goddess of doom, staring at them with no eyes. Her large hooves sunk in grass and mud, and her chest moved up and down as she was heavily breathing. She wore dark wooden bracelets on both forearms, and a triangle of gold on a chain around her neck.

They saw her and they instinctively knew she was a no human being. And she was no ghost either, for they couldn't see through her body. Objects behind her could not be seen. But, it was too late for them to wonder what world she belonged to, or what mystical nation she had come from. It was their lives they had to worry about now.
"Oh God, Brian, what is this?" Willy asked.
"Let's get the hell out of here," Brian said.
They both backed up and ran as fast as they could, crashing through branches and briers as wild pigs would crash through corn fields. The woman with the hoofed feet followed them, skirt flapping, hooves digging, leaving a beaten trail behind her, her hair blowing in the wind, her breath whistling in her throat, and her white and large horse teeth showing, almost bright in that night. In a few seconds she reached them and kicked Brian with her right hoof on the back, cracking his ribs, and making him grunt with pain.

Brian fell to the ground and the woman quickly stood on him, her large hooves pressing heavily against his chest and her face looking down at him, grinning. She jumped high and landed on his chest, cracking more ribs again. His heart leaped like a frog inside of him. She kept on jumping on his body up and down and screaming aloud devilish scream. Her scream was so loud that Teddy could hear it through the closed doors of the car. Gooseflesh crept up on Teddy when he heard that deep, spooky scream. He knew it was neither a human nor an animal scream.

Brian lay dead underneath her hooves, his chest caved in his clothes and his eyes rolled up, showing white. Blood was rolling down his neck from underneath his collar. The woman bent over and unzipped his pants. Turning to claws, her right tendony hand dug in his crotch and cupped the pouch of his balls. She sunk her claws into the skin of the pouch, blood oozing, and snapped his balls, nerves, and skin. Brian's body jerked up when she snatched his balls. Blood dripped from her flesh-loaded hand. She grunted, and dropped his slimy testicles by his face and saved the skin. She looked up, searching for Willy.
Willy crashed out of the woods now and ran into the clearing with a speed he would have broken the national record, had he been timed. Above in his chest, his heart was galloping like an Arabian horse, and below on his feet, his shoes were sucking sticky mud. He saw a large paddle of water in front of him and crashed through it like a torpedo, fearing the woman would catch up with him if he ran around it. Willy now saw a long trench in front of him and ran faster down into it and then slowly up, breathing through his mouth. Even though he had never run like this before, more momentum seemed to have been building up in him.

But the woman flew straight over the trench, her skirt flapping in the wind, her hooves dangling heavily in air, and came right behind Willy and kicked him hard on the back with the same fashion she had done Brian. Willy flew twenty feet through air, splayed out like a bagpipe, and landed on his belly with a sucking thud on the mud. She stood by him, solid and strong, and rolled him over with her thick leg and stood on him. Willy stared at her, breathless, scared green, but the woman cared less for his emotions. She looked cold and desensitized when she was on top of him. Her tongue was caught between her teeth, and the sockets of her eyes were bulging, staring at him. She lifted her right big hoof about a foot above his face, screamed that devilish scream of hers again, and landed her hoof straight on his face. She kept her hoof pressing against his face as though to suffocate him. Willy's chest heaved for a moment and then slowly collapsed under her other hoof. She "hoofed" him again and again and after he collapsed dead, she unzipped his pants and castrated him. Two bloody testicles dropped by his dead face. The woman with the hoofed feet saved the skin.

Teddy had already heard the woman's scream and locked himself in the car. Willy had taken the car keys with him when he had left with Brian. Teddy looked through the side window and saw the glow of the woman's white shirt nearing through the field. Teddy began to pray in his head. The glow of the white shirt was closer now, and it moved and bounced over that field at high speed. The woman now was at clear view and ran toward the car and climbed up the ditch and jumped on the hood of the car, shaking it violently. Her hooves were planting against the bent sheet of metal. Teddy's legs were shaking with fear when he saw those hooves through the windshield. The woman screamed loud with all her body and Teddy shook and plugged his ears with his hands. Her scream was loud, long, almost deafening. Was that of the thousands of women, probably the millions, who had gone through rape, torture, and death for thousands of years? All the cries of those women sounded in unison.

Teddy quickly crossed himself, pulled a picture of his wife and daughter and looked at it to say goodbye, but then for certain unknown reason, the woman jumped off the hood and descended the ditch, leaving him unharmed. Teddy felt the car moved when she had jumped off it. He couldn't look up, but then after a moment, he did and saw that the glow of her shirt had almost disappeared in the darkness of the field.
Teddy put his head down between his knees and kept on praying and praying for almost fifteen minutes. Finally, he heard a voice in his mind saying he wouldn't be harmed. Teddy turned on the hazard lights and waited hours, locked up in the car before a state patrol pulled over behind him. He was relieved, but still sweating when he saw the state patrol car behind him, flashing the red white and blue.

© Sidi Cherkawi Benzahra Feb 2004

Woman with Hoofed Feet - Part One
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