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Judd and Moya-Smith: A Tale of Colonizer Close Encounters

Artist Steven Paul Judd and writer Simon Moya-Smith tell a tale of invaders and monsters charging viciously through the American frontier.
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Editor’s Note: This short story, illustrated by artist Steven Paul Judd and written by Simon Moya-Smith, is anticipated to be one of many installments by the pair.


"What's goin' on out there?" he asked.
"They're at it again," I said, splaying myself on the ground of the teepee.
"Those greedy foreign fucks," I said.
"Again!?" he shouted.
"What are they fighting over this time?"
"What do they always fight over?" I said. "Land. Bragging rights ... I heard someone say the monster is pissed over a rumor that he's got a small dick."
"Can you see it?"
"What?" I asked.
"His dick. Can you see it?"

I poked my head out of the teepee, grabbed my phone and quickly took a photo.

Barbara Teller-Ornelas with another masterpiece. Photo by Lee Allen.

"You dumb bastard," he said, looking at my phone. "It's a horrible shot. All I can see is the top of that teepee there."
"Well then you take the goddamn photo!"
“I’m not going out there,” he said. “Those things carry diseases. Haven’t you heard? A whole nation was wiped out because they don’t bathe. None of them.”
“They’ve got to bathe,” I said. “Everybody bathes at some point.”
“Well you can drink all the goddamn creek water you want. I’m sticking with bottled. It’s safer.”
"Wait a minute. … Look," I said anxiously, staring back at the photo. "Who the hell is wandering around out there?"

I zoomed in on the pic and could see a woman in the distance strolling carelessly as the battle erupted above her head.

"Is she crazy!?" Paul screamed. (Paul's the kind of Indian who doesn't like to be called an 'Indian' and he also doesn't like to be called a 'Native' and he also doesn't like to be called 'Paul.' "It's the colonialist mentality!" he's known to say now and then.)
"Those goddamn invaders are dangerous!” Paul continued. “And that monster. His kind wouldn’t think twice to take her and probe her – fuck with her mind, drink her blood, devour her whole.”
"I don't know," I said hesitantly.
"What? ... What don't you know?"
"Well that shit out there is a common thing here now. Those assholes have been around for a long time. They do and take what they want without regard or consequence. ... I just don't think she sees anything out there that isn't the norm, you know?"
"You’re probably right," he said. "Have you seen my cookies?”

Suddenly, Caitlin, the woman from the pic, waltzed in.

"What the fuck are you two jackasses doing hiding out in here for?" she asked. "There's work to be done outside. Who's taking out the trash?"
"Don't you see those goddamn things?" I asked. "Those evil-eyed alien thugs zipping around, and that fanged monster with a tiny dick? I tried to get a picture of it earlier.”
"Of course I do,” she said. “But you know we're the only ones who see them that way, right?"
"What do you mean?" I asked, hiding under a blanket.
"Well no one other than us can see them for the creatures and monsters they are. For others, non-Native Americans, they look completely normal."
“Jeezus!” I yelled. “And the water?”
“Oh it’s poisoned. You haven’t been drinking it, have you?” she asked.
“I have!” I shouted.
“I told you, man,” Paul interrupted. “Bottled water. And never the faucet, either.”
“What faucet? We’re in a goddamn teepee, you shitwit!”
“OK, I’m going back out there,” Caitlin said nonchalantly.
“What? Why? It’s safe in here,” Paul said with a mouthful of cookies.
“Why wouldn’t I? It’s our land, goddamnit. They may be monsters and creatures, but they’re monsters and creatures on our land. … And calm down on the cookies, Paul. You’ll lose a foot.”
“No worries,” he said pointing at his moccasin. “I’ve got a spare.”

Caitlin stepped out the hatch; Paul went back to wolfing down cookies. He stress eats. I could feel the vibrations of heavy stomping and hear the looming rumble of low-flying aircrafts. They’re getting closer, I thought despairingly.

“The water’s fucked,” Paul said between bites. “All we’ve got here are these cookies to eat. Those foreign fucks have taken over completely. We should’ve stomped them like roaches a couple hundred years ago when we had the chance.”
“I say we go outside.”
“What for?” Paul asked.
“Well why stay in here?” I said. “I bet you not all the water is polluted. Let’s go upstream and check.”
“What if one of those things catches us?”
“Those things have been catching us for a long time. But we keep going, right?”
“I don’t have anymore bottled water,” Paul muttered.
“I hear there’s a Whole Foods upstream.”
“Really? I love kale.”
“Hippie. You ready?” I said.
“I guess.”
“Alrighty. I’ll take a look outside and see if the coast is clear.” I slowly open the hatch and scan the scene for safe passage.
“What do you see?” Paul said.
“Jeezus. …”
“What is it?”

“They do have small dicks.”