KISS OF THE RED SERPENT
(excerpts from the novella)
By Anselmo J. Alliegro
Witness to the Massacre
Hugo Bosque left the shade of the sacred jungle he was fighting to protect, made his way across the sunbaked riverbank, and stepped into the shallows of the Manu River to launch his canoe. He said goodbye to the villagers and promised to return soon.
A familiar voice barked, spewing words at him like poison darts, “Turn to face me, Hugo. I don’t want to shoot you in the back.”
Hugo Bosque began to turn, but Franco Sartori didn’t keep his word and shot him twice with his pistol before Bosque could face him. Bullets cracked and sent flocks of birds scattering from the treetops. The forest appeared to lash out at Sartori.
Bosque did not fall, and he continued turning and glared defiantly. A moment of panic gripped Sartori, watching his foe standing, invincible before him. Even now Bosque threaten his prospects. Sartori wanted to cut him down like the trees to clear land for his cattle.
Bosque’s face flared with rage. He lunged forward, wading in the water, and said, “Franco, you fool. This jungle will take you!”
Shots rang out again, in rapid succession, as Sartori emptied the clip of bullets into the obstacle standing between him and his land. Bosque fell on the shallow water that reddened with his blood.
After killing his detractor, who had fought against him to protect the land and the territorial rights of the indigenous people, Sartori turned his hate to the peaceful Matsigenka tribe. He participated in the slaughter, and ordered his men to spare their bullets and hack the remaining villagers with their
machetes. The hired gunmen swung their blades at the defenseless Indians who lay wounded from the gunshots – men, women, and children alike. They were hacked to death by Sartori’s men, no different than clearing the jungle, until their terrified screams fell silent.
Other villagers were forced into a palm-leaf hut that was set on fire, and were burned alive. Sartori wanted to send a resonant message of terror.
Franco Sartori inherited the farm from his grandfather, an Italian immigrant, who bought the land back in the 1920s. He was the only cattle rancher left within the vicinity of Manu National Park; other ranchers had sold their land when the government failed to build a road through the area. With Hugo Bosque eliminated, Sartori could regain some influence in driving the policy to serve his needs.
His fluency in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and English helped him extend his reach beyond the South American continent.
Hugo Bosque’s blood streamed out of his body from the shallows of the Manu River, ushered along its course by water from the river’s tributaries high in the Andes, flowing into the Madre de Dios, and downriver to join the Madeira and the Amazon River, before its final transfusion into the Atlantic Ocean.
The jungle spared a witness to Hugo Bosque’s murder, and the massacre at the Matsigenka village. This witness, torn and disheveled after crossing miles of dense forest, staggered into a clearing harboring several octagonal-shaped huts, or tambos as the natives call them. The Matsigenka residents went about their business, in this peaceful and idyllic place. Ever the dedicated anthropologist, Dr. Cortez Chandler had escaped with a backpack full of field notes, a canteen of water, and his life. He specialized in the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, and was fluent in the Matsigenka language, among other native tongues; that is why he was able to warn the villagers about the imminent devastation.
The Serpent Spirit
A large candle in the center of the group was the only source of light. The small group sat on the floor, in a circle inside the dark ceremonial house, or the maloca as the shaman called it. The maloca consisted of an elevated platform with no walls, and except for the mosquito netting it was open to the jungle. The night sang with the call of birds, croaking frogs, insects buzzing – those loud, trilling cicadas. And hidden creatures rustled near the settlement.
The red serpent with glowing blue eyes tempted him with her secrets. Mark Dorsey couldn’t wait to see her again, for she had promised him the truth. His good friend and fellow Iraq War veteran, who presently sat beside him, had an adverse reaction to the hallucinogenic tea; the ayahuasca had conjured persecuting demons and terrible indigestion and nausea. However, Dave Burton braved it for Dorsey, ready with a new brew of tea, as Dorsey had braved it for him, in the hot, distant sands of Iraq. Both men were in their late thirties; Burton had a stocky physique with thick forearms, and had kept his military visage, sporting a crew cut and exuding confidence and rigidity; whereas Dorsey had a casual air, wore a bandanna on his head, and his hair fell below his ears. Meanwhile Sally, a middle-aged hippie-type with long frizzy hair and rose-colored, round-rimmed glasses, was eager to take the magic elixir. Dr. Cortez Chandler sat outside the circle, not partaking of the hallucinogenic tea. Scratches crisscrossed the anthropologist’s arms and weatherworn face and his clothes got shredded in his desperate dash through the jungle. His graying hair was scruffy and a small leaf and plant debris clung to it, and he wore an equally scruffy beard.
On Dr. Chandler’s empty gaze, Mark Dorsey recognized that thousand-yard stare produced by the stress of war; he had seen it while serving as platoon sergeant for the Marine Corps in 2004, in the Babil province of Iraq. Dorsey began to sweat, a profuse and cold sweat. The post-traumatic stress the ayahuasca promised to relieve started flaring, and on the learned anthropologist’s lips, Dr. Chandler’s words of warning about the horrors he had witnessed still rang fresh and loud.
A one gallon water jug was filled with the mushy, brown ayahuasca. The shaman’s assistant quietly handed out purge buckets, and now Dorsey looked at Burton with a mischievous smile. Their shaman, named Mateo, said vomiting removes toxic spirits and helps with the healing process.
Mateo belonged to the Matsigenka tribe, and his ancient knowledge was acquired from his grandfather and father.
The three participants in this ceremony – Burton, Dorsey, and Sally – had their cups filled with the psychoactive brew. Dorsey was the first to swallow the foul-tasting liquid, and he was happy to do it, yearning to see her again; the red serpent with the bright blue eyes, reaching out to him, promising to reveal the truth to him in her soft, melodious voice. Mateo had told him, “You have seen the Serpent Spirit. She is the mother of ayahuasca.”
In his broken English, Mateo said, “The Serpent Spirit will guide us and keep our village safe.”
Mateo blew smoke from the mapacho, a potent tobacco, onto the top of each participant’s head and over their bodies. He whistled a song called the arcana which provides protection and is the language of the plants. A hot flash swept over Dorsey’s body, and most intensely to his head. He saw an explosion of colors, but he could still see the room, and saw Burton purging into his bucket.
Red and blue hues floated and transformed for him, and he became synesthetic as colors merged with thoughts and emotions. Mateo continued to sing the arcana, and Dorsey felt protected by it, and imagined the plants loved the haunting melody.
The room began melting away and the jungle beckoned Dorsey into her. She spread before him, ripe and fertile, promising to reveal her secrets. He plunged deep into her and his vision grew sharp as a cat’s in the darkness as he scuttled through the moonlit forest. The serene sound of flowing water whispered in his ear. He pursued the rushing stream like a man parched to the bone.
Mark Dorsey discovered the narrow stream, cutting through the murky forest, sinuous and shimmering in the moonlight as it trickled down a gentle slope. Sensing the water to be pure and clean, he followed it upstream to its source. A few more steps up the slope and a mysterious light appeared like a ghostly lantern in the distance. The stream receded into the spectral light, and Dorsey saw the eerie glow was coming from inside the mouth of a cave.
He stood at the opening, a portal not much bigger than himself, and peered into the illuminated depths of the cave. Dorsey ventured inside and was swallowed by a vast cathedral of stone. A sunbeam entered through a hole in the rocky ceiling. The sunbeam spotlighted a small rounded oasis with a giant fern at its center and flowering plants, in the heart of the cavern. A narrow and sandy peninsula flanked by a sparkling blue river led to the oasis. Dorsey started over the peninsula and toward the oasis and saw the bright multicolored plants under the sunbeam. Orchids and bromeliads clung to the fern’s thick trunk. The fronds of the fern tree were extended high above Dorsey’s head. He saw the ominous, thick ayahuasca vines wrapped around the fern tree, as a kraken’s tentacles on the mast of a tall ship; they smothered and strangled the fern as it strained to reach up and be kissed by the sun.
The water rippled on each side of him and glitter patterns danced hypnotically on the cave walls. He saw two large snakes swimming in the river. They slid before him onto the patch of fertile land on which he stood.
A pair of giant anacondas with iridescent scales lifted their fierce heads high above him, and crossed each other to form a restrictive X shape to block his path. They hissed and observed Dorsey with their cold reptilian eyes. They were the sentinels at the gate of this mystical garden. Now the shaman’s arcana faded in from a faraway dream and slowly faded out.
Mark Dorsey’s heart wakened with joy when he saw her, stretching herself out to him. The delicate red serpent with the glowing, piercing blue eyes, uncoiled herself from inside a luminous bromeliad anchored to the trunk of the tall fern.
She stared into him and he felt her kindness. In his mind, he heard her say, in a voice sweet and melodious, “Come forth. I have the truth you seek.”
At once the two giant anacondas lowered their menacing heads and slithered back into the subterranean river. The red serpent lifted her slender body from her bromeliad perch and curled herself around the fern’s trunk until she disappeared behind it. Then she emerged from the other side, transformed into a graceful and slender, striking young woman, scantily clad in Indian garb.
Her blue eyes glowed as they studied him, accentuated by a mask of bright red paint that framed them. She wore a crown of fire; a headdress of yellow and red toucan feathers. And her long golden hair flowed in waves down to her bare shapely breasts. Her firm upper arms sported toucan-feather bracelets, and a skimpy loin cloth exposed her sensuous hips and thighs.
She plucked a bromeliad from the fern’s trunk. Holding it to her breast, she said, “Behold the truth. It exists in the center of this blossom.” She extended her arms, bringing the bromeliad close to Dorsey. He looked down into the center of the leaf rosette and saw a pool of water. Suddenly, with a slight tilt of her hands, a flash of sunlight on the bromeliad pool blinded Dorsey.
The Scouting Mission
Back in the ceremonial house, Dorsey lay awkwardly curled on the floor. Dave Burton was kneeling next to him and looking exhausted.
“Hey buddy, you okay? Please don’t start blathering about the green snake,” Burton said, reminding Dorsey he was back on terra firma.
“She’s red. I saw her turn into a beautiful girl,” said Dorsey, quite groggy.
“I don’t know what shit you’re taking. You get a supermodel and I get attacked by flying demons.”
Sally spoke to Burton from a corner of the room, “The guardian spirits won’t protect you, since you don’t respect them.”
“I’m talking to my friend,” replied Burton, dismissive of the woman with rose-colored glasses. “Go back to your magical mystery tour.”
“I think she’s right, Dave. It’s bad karma.”
“You’re taking her side? Don’t lose your head in this jungle. Remember, you’re a marine.”
After a brief period of rest they regrouped that same night in the maloca as Mateo had insisted. It was Mateo’s duty, with his shamanic powers, to explain the will of the spirits concerning Dorsey’s curious vision. Mateo assigned Dorsey to an expedition; a scouting mission first thing in the morning, to find a suitable place for a new settlement. Mateo understood the dangers they might encounter from hostile tribes and Franco Sartori. They were one of three expeditions – Mateo’s version of the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Mateo requested the anthropologist, with his knowledge of several indigenous Amazonian languages, accompany Dorsey along with a third man, a Matsigenka tribesman armed with a bow and arrow to provide and protect.
Mateo trusted Dorsey to return with a safe location for his village, away from Sartori’s deadly reach and the toxic water, polluted with the mercury used in illegal gold mining, which had made many of his people sick. This water diviner can follow the pure stream that led him to the red serpent. Mateo thought the stream in Dorsey’s vision signified the Manu River.
“Let the Serpent Spirit guide you. Listen, water speak. Bring gift to village. The spirits of the forest, the Karawara, protect you,” Mateo said to Dorsey.
“I don’t like it,” Burton said. “That’s a policy of retreat. I know someone right here in Peru.” He came closer to Dorsey and whispered, “Give me a few days and I’ll get what I need. Put me within a mile of this guy –”
“The war is over!” Dorsey strongly denounced Burton’s method.
After retiring from the Marine Corps, Dave Burton found work as a machinist, and was quite literally a nuts and bolts kind of guy. Find a problem – fix it. He lived in a cause and effect world; a place where every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
“If the war is over, why are you here?” asked Burton.
Dorsey reported symptoms of PTSD by filling out the military’s questionnaire, the Post Deployment Health Assessment. Yet he received no treatment. Later bouts with psychotherapy were mostly ineffective. Burton was the one, as a matter of fact, that had told Dorsey about this ayahuasca treatment in the depths of the Amazonian rainforest. And a fellow Iraq War veteran – a Texan living with his Brazilian wife in a ranch in the Peruvian Amazon – was the one that told Burton about this Matsigenka village and their use of the medicinal vine.
“This place was your idea,” said Dorsey, pointing a finger at Burton. “Let me help these people.”
“Then let’s report this to the authorities,” said Burton.
“That won’t work,” added Dr. Chandler. “Wealthy landowners buy the politicians and the police.
They influence the policy of the country. The government has not, and will not bring Franco Sartori to justice.”
“We move into forest where Karawara protect us,” Mateo said.
“You mean retreat into the forest,” argued Burton. He turned to Dorsey. “Not being able to fight, that’s what gave you the post traumatic anxiety that’s torturing you. The Humvee got blown to shit and you got pinned down.”
Dave Burton remembered being overwhelmed by a barrage of bullets and the cutting shrapnel, mortars, and rocket-propelled grenades in the parched sand of Iraq. He owed his life to Dorsey, who drove into the kill zone to rescue him. Dorsey’s Humvee was torn to pieces by a roadside bomb as they drove off, and they were pinned down by enemy fire. The bullets buzzed near them like horseflies at their ears, and struck with a terrifying, loud clang against the Humvee’s metal. Burton occasionally saw the fuzzy bullets in his peripheral vision, zipping by in a deadly parabola. Dorsey radioed for immediate artillery support. That is what ultimately saved them.
“Snap out of it,” began Burton, determined to discourage his friend. “It’s all in your head – the green snake, the broomlid…. If Sally hadn’t shown us that plant, you wouldn’t know anything about it.”
“The damn snake is red,” Dorsey reminded him once again.
“And it’s called a bromeliad,” Sally added.
“Thank you, Sally, for that useful information,” said Burton, and continued with Dorsey. “You don’t have supernatural powers. The anthropologist can go. He’s familiar with this place. That’s why Mateo wants him to go.”
“This is no place for psychedelic tourists,” Sally said, directing her statement squarely at Burton. She looked at Dorsey regretfully. “I hate to say it, but your friend thinks this is all a big joke.”
“Talk about a burned out hippie,” Burton shot back. Sally, out of all people, was calling him a psychedelic tourist. Sally with the round rose-colored glasses and the yin-yang necklace, looking like she got lost on her way to Woodstock. The hypocrite!
Mateo spoke at length with Dr. Chandler in his native language. Answering with a few words of his own, Dr. Chandler proved his fluency in Matsigenka. Then Mateo quickly withdrew from the maloca.
“What did he say?” asked Burton.
“It’s settled,” answered Dr. Chandler.
“Is that what he said?”
“Tell him I want to go.”
“He said absolutely not.”
“You haven’t asked him.”
“He already mentioned it. Said you can’t go, ‘bad vibrations,’ he said.”
“That’s bullshit! And you didn’t tell me everything he said.”
“I gave you the gist of it, Mr. Burton. It’s settled.”
The Manu River and Beyond
The morning light graced the Amazon basin with its rich biodiversity and mysterious wonders. The Matsigenka are animists and believe everything is imbued with spirit, and Dr. Chandler felt it now, in the stillness of the riverbank and the splendor of the wooded hills. He discovered fresh paw prints on the sand and showed Dorsey and their Indian oarsman, Davi. “Look, jaguar. He came near the village last night.”
There are no docks in these parts. Dorsey and Dr. Chandler sat in the dugout canoe that was partly lodged on the beach. Davi pushed it into the Manu River, jumped inside with his bow and arrows, and began steering it with a paddle while he rested on his knees in the hollow log.
It was sweltering hot away from the shade of trees. Burton lent Dorsey his wide-brimmed military hat to shield from the burning sun, and Dorsey took his own Marine Corps jacket. Dr. Chandler took a straw hat Mateo gave him with an even wider brim.
They navigated over calm water, and sometimes the river was rough and slapped the canoe. Part of the river was so placid it lent voice to the soothing sound of the oar dipping into the glassy water. They glided quietly past crocodiles on the shore, with their jagged mouths open in the scorching heat. Anacondas stretched themselves on branches; the prehistoric reptiles waited steadfast to warm their cold blood.
A narrow river of clear blue water converged with the brownish, muddy water of the Manu. Dorsey watched the crystalline tributary receding into the depths of the unknown. This new waterway was the right shade of blue; the shade Dorsey saw in his vision, in the subterranean river and realm of the red serpent.
“Stop,” said Dorsey, and reached back to signal that word to Davi who stopped rowing and let the canoe drift forward as the oar cut through the water.
“What are you doing?” asked Dr. Chandler.
“We’re heading up that river,” Dorsey explained. “Tell Davi.”
“Bad idea, Mr. Dorsey. Ever heard of the legendary Inca city of El Dorado?”
“It sounds familiar.”
“Expeditions looking for the city of gold have navigated up that river. They’ve been lost forever.”
“That story doesn’t scare me. I’ve been shot at with rocket-propelled grenades. Two tours in the Babil province in Iraq. I’m a marine, Dr. Chandler. We don’t scare easily.”
“I respect your service. But I’ll explain myself again, and dispense with the old legends.” He leaned forward, and stared Dorsey in the eyes. “There are hostile, uncontacted tribes in that direction. They will cut off your head and eat you.”
“That’s precisely why I’m taking that route. It’s a safe place for a settlement. Visitors aren’t welcome.”
“And we’re the visitors! Listen to me, I grew up in these parts,” said Dr. Chandler, lifting himself to his knees on the canoe and barely keeping his balance. He had indeed spent part of his youth in the Peruvian Amazon with his family of missionaries. “When I say that’s the wrong way, I mean you’re sailing into a shitstorm of the likes you’ve never –”
“Can you swim?” Dorsey interjected loudly and forcefully. “Sit your ass on the canoe before you tip us over.”
Dr. Chandler’s cautionary words lingered ominously in the moist Amazonian air. The river lured them ever deeper, down its long tortuous throat, into the bowels of this undiscovered country.
They navigated exposed and vulnerable between two strips of rainforest. Anyone or anything could be watching them from the shadowy spaces in the dense foliage. As the sun dipped near the horizon, a menacing gloom covered the wilderness. Each man began turning his head in various directions to scan the landscape for danger.
A peninsula of white sand reached out from a suitable beach. This was a familiar geography to Dorsey; it was similar to the peninsula in his vision that led him to the beautiful red serpent in her garden of bromeliads.
“There,” said Dorsey, pointing with confidence at his landing site. “That’s where we dock.”
Dr. Chandler saw the peninsula, but then turned his attention to the jungle beyond the riverbank.
“Those trees are covered with Amazonian Oropendola nests.”
“What the hell is that?” asked Dorsey.
“A bird that likes to live near human settlements. Look at all those nests.”
“I see no settlements here.”
“These elusive tribes don’t settle along the riverbanks. They might be seen fishing there during the dry season. Mostly they hide in the interior, and don’t take kindly to strangers. I warned you before, and I’m warning you again. It’s getting dark and we should head back,” Dr. Chandler spoke firmly, but in a steady, measured way. The sun was about to plunge behind the misty mountains and cover them in the moonless pitch-black of this remote place.
“I’m on a vision quest, Dr. Chandler,” proclaimed Dorsey. He turned to Davi and said, “Go Davi. Go.”
“Or on a suicide mission,” added Dr. Chandler.
They pitched their tents hastily on the beach at dusk. The rich biodiversity buzzed in every nook and cranny of the forest, infusing the night with music, and even the stars listened as they hung plentiful and ripe in the heavens. The vampire bats came, striking and scratching at the tent and flapping about until dawn chased them away.
A Rare Orchid
Dorsey was almost finished packing, crouched on the sand and pushing supplies into his backpack. He saw Davi run to Dr. Chandler holding his bow which was loaded with an arrow. He spoke rapidly to Dr. Chandler in his exotic native tongue, and looked quite rattled. Dorsey wondered if Davi had seen the capybara, the largest rodent in the world; the same capybara he saw a moment ago, treading on shallow water. Perhaps Davi had already hunted it or was excited to do so. Then Davi led Dr. Chandler to the perimeter of the forest. They were captivated by something and Dorsey hastened to join them.
Dorsey had seen this portentous configuration before, although he couldn’t recall where right away. It was a powerful symbol and the warning was clear. Now he remembered.
“Crossed spears,” said Dr. Chandler. “We aren’t welcome here. You believe me now, Dorsey?”
Two long spears crossed each other, stabbing the ground to make a big menacing X.
Dorsey heard a stream murmuring softly. He could taste its pure water and wanted to swim in its source. The sound came from inside the rainforest. After all, such places exist; Mateo had spoken of the enchanted lagoon of Cochaconga.
“Listen,” said Dorsey, as if lost in a dream. “Hear that? The sound of running water. It’s coming from the forest.”
Davi aimed his arrow into the thick brush, sweeping his weapon from side to side, searching the murky tangle of leaves and vines. Dr. Chandler took off his straw hat and ran his fingers through his hair, and scratched at his scruffy beard in utter frustration.
“We’re turning back. Take a good look at those sharp spears. They spell danger!” exclaimed Dr. Chandler, glaring at Dorsey.
“No – X marks the spot.”
Dorsey walked beyond the crossed spears and into the jungle. Dr. Chandler hurried at his heels despite himself. He wondered if Dorsey, suffering from PTSD, was embarked on a suicide mission. At the very least, this man, he thought, wanted to escape from one place or condition to another.
Something whistled past Dorsey and the anthropologist. Perhaps a fast-flying insect, until they heard a grunt behind them. Davi had dropped his loaded bow, and his face was twisted in pain. He grabbed his chest from which a long arrow bulged. More arrows zipped past them and struck Davi’s chest with a thud; a morbid sound familiar to Dorsey, similar to when a bullet hits flesh, faster than the speed of sound, before one can hear the crack of gunfire.
Davi fell, impaled by several arrows. He began writhing and moaning in pain for a brief time before he died.
They emerged from all directions, in overwhelming numbers, abundant as the leaves on the trees. Their bows were flexed and seven-foot-long bamboo arrows were aimed with deadly precision at Dorsey and Dr. Chandler.
The tribesmen approached cautiously, with arrows ready to fly, intent on killing them at the slightest twitch. They were of medium stature, built strong and graceful, with shoulder length hair and almost completely nude, except for a string of brownish loincloth with arm and leg bands of the same cloth.
Dr. Chandler recognized them as members of the Mashco-Piro tribe; a people that rejected contact with outsiders and were willing to fight to remain isolated. Dr. Chandler spoke Yine and hoped this clan could understand a variant of that language.
Dorsey put his hands above his head like a prisoner of war. But Dr. Chandler dropped to his knees, stared at the ground, and repeated some words in Yine several times.
A tribesman lowered his bow and neared Dr. Chandler. He looked down at him, and spoke in an angry and forceful way. Dorsey watched nervously, unable to understand the exchange, with both hands still placed on his head. They had already killed Davi, thought Dorsey, and would likely kill them.
“What’s he saying?” Dorsey asked in a cautious whisper.
Dr. Chandler didn’t answer him. Now the tribesman was lifting his arm, gesturing, and telling them to rise. They were pushed and prodded and led deeper into the jungle. A dense canopy spread above them, tall as a skyscraper. Sprinkles of sunlight filtered down in beams through the humid air. A kaleidoscope of exotic, multicolored plants rushed past them. Some tribesmen laughed along the way and withdrew their bows, hanging them on their shoulders; others remained vigilant, with their bows flexed and ready. Dorsey wanted answers, but Dr. Chandler refused to provide them.
They reached a clearing, which turned out to be a plaza with a central ceremonial house, a maloca with a frame fashioned from palm tree poles and a roof of thatched palm leaves. A dozen small huts surrounded the maloca, forming the perimeter of the village.
Dorsey and Dr. Chandler were hurried along toward the maloca. Villagers watched the strange white men with curiosity. They stopped within a few feet of the maloca, and were held there under guard. Dorsey noticed the masks of red paint around the eyes of some men and women and remembered the red serpent. The tribe decorated their bodies with colors and bore some tattoos. The women wore loops of beads made of seeds and bones around their necks, and they went topless and wore a tenuous string of loincloth just like the men.
“They’re going to get the headman.” Dr. Chandler finally spoke to Dorsey.
“I like my head where it is. I’m warning you – I will fight for it!”
“No, you fool. The headman is the chief.”
A little girl approached Dorsey and, pointing at him, said a few words he didn’t understand. She repeated herself and kept pointing at him.
“She says she wants to kill you,” Dr. Chandler explained.
“Tell me you’re joking.”
“She’s just a little girl. Ignore her, Dorsey.”
“She’s attracting attention. Tell me you got a piece of candy for the kid.”
Several strong young men encircled Dorsey and began speaking harshly at him, taunting and pushing him. This mocking continued despite Dr. Chandler’s attempts to quell the growing frenzy.
Others joined in with spears and lunged them at Dorsey to torment him.
About the Author:
Anselmo J. Alliegro gained a scholarship and took writing courses at the New School University in New York City. Alliegro has been published in The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Contraposition Literary Magazine, Bewildering Stories, and The William and Mary Review among other publications. He will be published in the 2017 issue of California State University’s Badlands Literary Journal.