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The Dowsing of Bolsom Ranch

the dowsing of bolsom ranch
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Estimated reading time — 20 minutes

Water divining did not come as natural to me as it did for my grandfather. He could reveal a well in Death Valley at the peak of summer. My sisters and I were told the gift skips a generation, but I fear it may have skipped two.

I didn’t even know what I was doing out there, sweating under that Arizona sun. Scouring that wasteland with dust sweeping into my nostrils was not a picturesque weekend for a young, twenty-four year old. That valley… it felt void and lifeless. To say Bolsom Ranch had seen better days would be an understatement.

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I found myself speculating about the origin of its decrepit solitude. Why had someone settled here in the first place? I asked myself. I was miles from the nearest semblance of civilization.

An uneasy feeling in my gut made me wonder if something horrid happened to the original occupants. Perhaps a tragic history still embedded in the land was interfering with my rods. After an hour I had still found nothing. No water anywhere. What secrets lie here? I wondered.

I shook my head and decided my superstitious inclinations were just making excuses for my inability to find water. I knew it was most likely abandoned because the previous well dried up. Perhaps the underground waterway shifted, which should’ve meant it was still there. I needed to find it—no need to get spooked over nothing.

But I had known this contract would likely be futile when it was offered to me. I shouldn’t have accepted it, despite the monetary reward should I discover a well. Besides, something had been unsettling about the way the new owner had smiled at me while looking me up and down. Perhaps my sense of detecting creeps was more reliable than that of finding water. I should’ve listened to it more.

Then again, jobs were scarce for a half Navajo water dowser, especially one of my gender. You would think people living in the desert would take what they could get when it came to finding water.

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The rods jolted and I felt my heart pause, skeptical that the phenomenon had worked. It never ceased to amaze me.

My body remained motionless, suspended in time with my right heel only partially planted in the maroon dirt. The rods swayed freely in the absence of wind. I slowly planted my foot into the earth and encroached further into the barren property, but the rods showed no further indication of life.

I continued.

The sunlight was dying, and only a crimson tint remained on the evening sky.

Ambiguous shadows appeared at the fringes of the desolate ranch, and I convinced myself that some childish fear of the night would not dishearten me.

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Still, my thoughts yielded to that inevitability of a memory that always managed to seize my mind when the setting was right.

My grandfather’s story. The one he’d told me in private. The one he said he’d never share with anyone. But he had shared it with me.

****

“The rods detect more than water.”

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There had been a hauntingly sober warning in his tone, a discordant melody to the moonlight’s gleam in his loving eyes.

“What else do they find?” I asked, my teenage self hopelessly incapable of resisting his tall tales. He must’ve sensed doubt or amusement in my question because his face turned to stone. After an uneasy silence, I swallowed and asked again. “What else, grandfather?”

The crackling fire had quieted, slowly turning into embers, the musky aspen smoke finally parting to give our faces relief. I took deep breath of cold, clean air that stung my lungs.

“The rods find water when they sense disruption,” he said. “But many things cause disruption.”

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“A mineral?” I asked.

Again there was silence as if grandfather was contemplating whether he should continue. A pack of coyotes howled in the distance, and I noticed his grip on his Winchester rifle tighten. It was strange; coyotes typically evoked a sense of appreciation of nature in my grandfather.

“No,” he said finally. “Terror. Pain. Hate. Fear. All kinds of evil.”

“The rods can detect those?” I asked, confused.

“That which carries it,” he replied. “That which walks between our worlds, like a stream underground. It goes unseen, but like the water, it’s never far.”

“I understand…” I said, pondering his wisdom. “When I hold hate or jealousy in my heart, it’s like a poisonous stream-.”

“Dooda,” he spoke harshly.

The Navajo usually only came out when he got particularly frustrated. He must’ve seen the embarrassment in my eyes.

“Dooda,” he said again softly. “No. In this story… the monster is real.”

I became uneasy at my grandfather’s seriousness. I prayed he was joking or trying to tease his granddaughter, but he wasn’t.

“I’ve seen it. Yee Naaldlooshii.” He removed a roll of sage and let the end catch fire before setting it to the side.

I pondered his action and reached a terrifying conclusion, suddenly aware of the towering black hills surrounding us. Every minute sound played like a preamble to violence.

“Are they watching us now?” I asked.

“No,” replied Grandfather. “But, we do not want to invite them with our talks.”

“Invite them? I don’t want them here.”

“Neither do I,” grandfather laughed. He smiled and nodded reassuringly. Immediately, I felt as protected by him as I did when I was a little girl on one of our campouts.

“How do you feel when you speak of your sisters or your mother? Or think of your niece and nephew?” he asked.

I smiled. “Good. They make me happy. I love them, and I feel that love when I think of them.”

“You feel their spirit of love, yet they are not here.” There was a pause. His face turned austere, and he leaned into the dying fire so that the shadows disappeared from his face.

A jolt of fear hit my spine like lightning as he spoke.

“And what spirit do you think will come when you speak of evil? What you speak, what you think, will invite the spirit of those things. This is why we do not tell stories for thrill of the Yee Naaldlooshii. This is why I tell you to keep happy thoughts with you always.”

“Then why do we speak of it now?” I asked.

There was another long pause as he stared up into the starry night sky and inhaled deeply. “I tell you these things because I love you. You must learn that you may be safe. Your sisters have chosen a different path. I know you will leave for school, but you will return. This is your home. It is left to you to carry our family’s knowledge.”

I pressed my lips at the mention of returning after college. He knew I had no desire to come back. How was he so sure I would?

He continued.

“Your great-great-grandfather was a white man. I am mixed, as are you. While one world can live in ignorance of the other, we are blessed to understand both. My grandfather knew water dowsing. My grandmother knew the history of the land learned by the Navajo. But we know both.”

There was a pause as I pondered our family’s history again. I had heard it so many times before, but this was the first time I understood why grandfather was the best water dowser in the west.

The sage mixing with smoke was a welcomed scent. Its supernatural properties calmed the world around us, and I no longer felt afraid. But the fear began to return when grandfather continued his story.

“I was water divining by a ranch near Snowflake. A rich white man from San Francisco bought a plot of isolated land and was told it would be fertile. Many others told him the land was useless and that he was tricked, but he would not give up hope. He had heard of me and wanted me to find a place to dig a well. Many of the white men laughed that he was using a Navajo ‘water witch.’ In my pride, I knew I had to prove them wrong no matter how long it took.”

There was another pause as the insects continued to chirp around us. Somewhere an owl hooted, reassuring us that nothing insidious was stalking our camp. I tucked myself further into my sleeping bag, escaping the cold desert night. Grandfather continued, and I felt the scent of sage grow stronger.

“I searched for water until dusk. Just as I was about to give up, the rods crossed. They met with such force they nearly bounced from my loose grip. But I could never repeat the finding in the same spot; it was always somewhere different. I looked up to take a drink from my flask. That is when I saw it. That evil creature. Perversion of nature.”

****

My thoughts were interrupted as the rods crossed almost violently. I paused. Inexplicable dread filled my soul as I stared down at what should’ve been a welcoming sight for any water dowser. The hair on my neck and arms stood up, an ancient alarm for danger. I knew something was watching me.

I dropped my rods and turned as I pulled my .38 special and aimed it into the dimming desert behind me. The sun was still half an hour from setting, so I didn’t need my flashlight. Not yet. I scanned the sagebrush thoroughly.

Bolsom Ranch was just as eerily quiet.

The brush and ocotillo cactus stood motionless, like a backdrop painting made by Wile E. Coyote. The color felt shallow and disturbed me oddly. Everything felt superficial as if I had entered a museum with wax figures. The life in the place was draining.

There was a decrepit ranch house with a window blind hanging partially on one side. The act played out before me like a trite western scene. I watched the window blind creak open and close suddenly, but the sight stung my heart with fright. There was no wind.

I slowly walked toward the abandoned house, trying to keep the sand silent beneath my boots. My eyes darted down to my .38 special, quickly spotting the brass shining in the cylinder, easing my mind that my weapon was indeed loaded. I looked back at the window.

I paused several feet away, not wanting to continue. I knew I needed to prove to myself the house was safe, or I’d be looking over my shoulder the rest of the evening. I pointed my handgun through the window as I peeked inside. It was empty, the dust undisturbed. I turned to leave.

Unexpectedly I recognized a face staring at me in the brush. My heart felt like it burst, and adrenaline flooded through my extremities to my fingertips and toes. I realized the image I saw and laughed softly.

“You scared me,” I said to the coyote. I was relieved, for it meant there was some life in that godforsaken place after all.

She continued to stare from a distance, concealed in the brush.

I lowered my snub nose revolver. I turned back to where I left the rods, this time I made more noise as I went. I looked back as I walked, fully expecting the coyote to have taken her leave, but she was still there, staring. She hadn’t moved, not an inch.

That painful feeling that something bizarre was taking place began to loom in my mind, but I pushed it out.

“One marker down,” I said to no one. One more to find, then I had to discover where the two streams met. If I finished before nightfall, I told myself, I wouldn’t have to drive three hours that way again.

I licked my lips and tasted the salt from the sweat of my upper lip, granules of sand mixed with it, and stuck to my teeth. I spat and wiped my face with my sleeve, pushing my straight black hair from sticking to my face. I holstered my revolver and picked up my grandfather’s rods.

Longing to begin my long drive home, I looked back at my pickup parked just outside the barbed wire fence, nearly a hundred yards away. I didn’t trust the rubble ridden road with its rusty nails and screws. I considered that some careless farmer must’ve dropped his shipment years ago.

I held the rods loosely in front of me as I retraced my last steps, clearing my mind like grandfather had taught me so that I wouldn’t subconsciously control the rods. I thought of my niece and nephew again. Immediately the rods crossed as if guided by the wills of a phantom. It was over the same location.

Removing a marker from my pouch, I stuck it into the earth and continue.

Almost immediately, I felt static in the air as the rods cross again. I felt a flood of relief and thought I might finish soon, but I was wrong.

I followed the pathway of the two hidden streams, but they did not intersect. I continued where I left off and found a third stream. I placed another marker, but this stream ran parallel to the first two. Still no intersection.

Faithfully holding the rods in front of me like a guiding cane, I continued, clearing my mind of my surroundings. I felt the rods cross a fourth time and, again, placed a marker. And again, the streams did not pass.

“Son of a bitch!” I cursed.

Why were none of those streams crossing? I imaged the shape the bedrock must’ve taken to form such long, parallel lines without allowing the water to intersect. The markers had too even a space to have been chance. Maybe it was some ancient form of irrigation below the ranch, for the aisles remind me of cornrows. Or perhaps a foundation made by the first pioneers.

No, it would’ve been too old.

I continued divining and found another mark which also did not intersect. I was no longer surprised and mindlessly marked the location while pondering the shape of the monolith beneath the saturated zone of the earth.

Reminding myself of the peculiar atmosphere at Bolsom Ranch, I wondered if it was related. Perhaps what lied far beneath were the vestiges of something occult.

I shuddered and pushed the silly thoughts from my mind.

“Mother Mary, help me,” I whispered, but immediately felt guilty for calling on her after swearing just moments ago.

If a well was dug into only one of these lines, it could drain a secluded chasm of water, unabridged by other streams. I convinced myself the most plausible explanation was merely a unique formation of rocks, perhaps caused by magma or earthquakes long ago.

The sun was now completely gone, but the evening sky was still radiant. It would be another hour before the first stars appeared. I had to hurry if I was to finish before dark.

The rods crossed smoothly that time, and I mindlessly removed a marker and placed it into the earth. I tried to keep my thoughts on happy distractions, so I thought of my students back on the reservation.

It wasn’t long before images materialized in my mind about the evils so poignantly expressed through the ruins below the earth, but I pushed the pictures from my mind.

Like a horse to water, the memory of my grandfather’s story returned, but I remembered his words.

Keep happy thoughts with you always. They keep you safe.

Minutes passed like seconds, and I uncovered more parallel streams. I placed more markers. I was unaware exactly how many tags I had set but I continued my purpose instinctively, like a dog mindlessly driven to circle his bed before sleeping.

Finally, the task was complete.

I slid the rods into my belt and looked over the barren pasture of the ranch at the many bright yellow flags which marked the lines of underground streams at their strongest points. They subtly converged, meeting somewhere below the ranch house.

I walked to the edge of the formation, overlooking the property. I noticed something odd about the layout of markers which indicated where the rods had felt the most energetic flow of water.

The flags formed something…

Backing away, I found a rickety barrel and carefully climbed on top to get a better view.

My skin crawled and I heard blood pounding in my ears as I made out the letters:

RUN.

The clairvoyance in my mind vanished, and I lost the merciful immunity I once had against that malignant aura, that inescapable evil enshrined within the abysmal valley of Bolsom Ranch.

My knees felt mysteriously drained, and it took the utmost concentration for me to crawl off the barrel without falling.

My mouth soured, and I felt bile work its way up my throat. Thoughts rushed through my mind, more questions than answer, but I conceded that speculation was only a distraction at that point.

I regained the strength in my legs as I exerted them with willful purpose. I turned toward my truck but froze.

It was an image of such peculiar horror that my mind was possessed with chaos. It was the coyote. In the same. Exact. Spot.

She was still staring at me.

We stared at one another for a moment. The pounding in my ears had returned. I slowly approached the coyote and realized her eyes were not consciously open but that she had her eyelids removed.

As I walked to the coyote, I smelt it before I saw it. She was dead. She was skinned from the neck down and was propped into this position, for some unknowable reason. I looked beyond her and saw six or seven more coyotes placed in precisely the same manner.

The disorder and outright obscure events on that ranch had convinced me of everything I needed to know. I had to leave. Now.

I ran to my truck. I couldn’t wait to see that place in my rearview mirror. I reached my truck door, but for some reason, it was locked. I tried to peer into the driver’s window for my keys, but saw a reflection in my window of a man standing behind me.

I try to yell and turn, but he grabbed me and forced a handkerchief to my mouth. I threw my elbow into his side, and I heard him grunt, but his hold was too tight. I tried to deliver another blow, but I felt my strength weakening.

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Pushing off the truck, I swung my arm back, trying to grab his groin. He jumped back, still holding the cloth to my mouth, and laughed.

“Oooo, you got fire! Don’t worry, darl’n, that’ll come later!”

My vision turned black, but I knew I recognized that voice. It was the voice of that disgusting creep who hired me…

It felt like a dream. No, a nightmare. One where you can’t run, yet your heart is beating as if you were. My sinuses felt congested, and my eyelids felt like they weighed ten pounds.

I was confused at first, but quickly remembered what happened. I felt the fighting instinct in me surge through my arms and into my fingertips, but my head was still lacking strength and direction.

Layers of dust rubbed onto my face and clothes. I squinted, trying to keep my eyes free from irritation. Looking around, I could see I was in the abandoned ranch house.

There was a lantern style flashlight at the end of the room. The objects beside it were blurry, but it looked like one of the blobs was my attacker, hunched over a table. He was whistling some off-pitched tune.

Softly squirming my tied hands toward my waist, I felt for my revolver, but it was gone. Of course.

I heard a laugh.

“Look’n for this?” he said, holding up my revolver. “I saw you point it at my friends out there.” He laughed again. “Don’t worry. You’ll get it back. But you won’t need all these for a game of roulette.”

The man fidgeted with my firearm, and I could tell he wasn’t overly familiar with a .38 special. He found the cylinder release button and emptied my rounds onto the table before picking one back up and inserting it into the cylinder.

Thanks to my mother’s encouragement, all those years in sports had made me flexible. I was able to bring my secured hands down to my boots. I scarcely grabbed the handle of my boot knife before he saw me.

“Hey, where you tryna go? The fun hasn’t started yet.” His stubbled mouth parted like an infected wound, showing his gaping teeth. He closed the cylinder on my revolver and walked toward me, unbuckling his belt. He kicked my arms away from my boots but didn’t see the knife.

“What, can’t get your fun like most men?” I asked, trying to cut the rope around my wrists. “No girl’s willing to take you home?” I could tell in his eye that he couldn’t stand my patronizing tone, but he quickly gained control of the conversation

“Nah,” he said, unbothered. “Feisty women like you are more fun this way.”

“Right, I’m sure you’re a regular Casanova,” I said, trying to get him to speak longer. The knife fumbled in my hand, but I managed to hang onto it.

His upper lip formed a smile, but it was obscenely fake. “I’ve had women like you. You won’t talk so smart when the pain starts.” He held my revolver up to my head.

I looked at him through phony eyes. “Stupid threat, unless you like your women dead first.”

“I jus’ like the pain first,” he whispered. He crouched to me and pointed my revolver at my leg. He pulled the trigger.

My leg helplessly flinched. This made him laugh, so his large gut bubbled against his button shirt.

The rope is tighter than I hoped.

“Where will it be?” he asked, toying the revolver over my legs. He pointed it to my other leg and pulled the trigger.

I didn’t flinch this time and instead, smile. I could tell he was frustrated.

“Maybe an arm,” he scoffed.

I watched the revolver make its way to my arm, and I knew I must act. My hands were free and shoot forward, seizing the gun on either side and pulling it towards me. My grip was wobbly because I was still holding my boot knife. I jammed my thumb between the hammer and cylinder, stopping the firing mechanism.

He let out a gasp and tried to pull the trigger, but it pinched my thumb and didn’t fire. He struck me in the back of the head with his free hand, but I didn’t let go.

My knife’s edge found its mark and cut a deep path into his wrist, covering my hands with his sticky blood. He yelled and lost his grip on the gun.

With divine swiftness, I turned my .38 special back toward my attacker and pulled my thumb free of the hammer. A resounding CRACK exploded from the weapon as the bullet hit him square in the gut. He fell to the ground with a scream and held his stomach. Blood seeped from the wound and stained his shirt.

I watched him for a moment, maintaining distance from my injured attacker. The drug was still present in my head and made me feel dizzy after the bout of physical exertion. He groaned and hissed as he slid further away from me. Wearily, I stood and watched his retreat.

“You dumbass,” I said. “You can see the rounds in a revolver. Russian roulette is played with empty cases, too.”

Finally, I saw why he was sliding toward the table. He had a hatchet, skinning knife, and .22 rifle there. I groaned as reached down to grab my knife so I could finish the job, but the drug’s effect was still strong and I wasn’t sure I’d make it to him in time.

But something else caught my eye.

Beyond the table and out the window, approximately sixty feet away, I saw it, watching me.

The unparalleled fear I had experienced reading the flags seized my body. I lost the ability to hold a single coherent thought. Only one thing repeated in my mind.

It. Can’t. Be. Real.

I commanded my body to move, but I was frozen. I knew there was another, nearer threat in the same room just feet from his rifle, but it was no longer important. There was a sole, abhorrent truth that was petrifying my mind: wickedness is wearing skin.

The primordial figure stood like a human, but without a shred of humanity. It was nearly as tall and as muscular as a bear. Its head was the silhouette of a skull of a once mature buck. Its large antlers reached into the night like bat wings while its two needle-like eyes radiated like glowing pearls against the brim of its slit, bony nose. Its foggy breath flowed into the cold, desert air, carrying the light from its eyes, expanding like a spirit’s body until it dissipated.

My attacker reached the table and pulled himself up with labored breathing. He grabbed his .22 rifle, but froze. I knew he was seeing that same horrifying enigma that had pierced my soul.

“What the f-”

His question was cut off by a terrifying chromatic screech, echoing through the valley like my ancestors’ war cries.

We both watched as this perversity of nature lowered itself to the ground. On all fours, it charged at the house.

I had no time to contemplate the paranormal absurdity of this creature’s existence nor to confront the disbelief within me, currently at war with everything my physical senses were experiencing.

My revolver was empty, but I was not hopeless. My attacker would provide my escape.

I heard him cry at the sight of the demonic monstrosity running toward him. He raised his .22 rifle and began firing, but I didn’t wait to watch. I turned and ran down the deteriorating hallway.

Still drugged and not entirely in control of my faculties, I stumbled but caught myself on the wall.

The room behind me exploded into chaos. I heard wood snap accompanied by unholy screams and mortal terror.

His cries turned to gargles, and I flinched to the sound of his flesh ripping.

I made it out the door and started running down the old driveway without looking back. I made it halfway before a rusty nail pierced my boot and sunk into my foot.

I let out a moan of pain and fell but quickly regained myself. I paused. It was utterly silent inside the house. Panic started to take my mind, but I remembered what my grandfather taught me.

Keep happy thoughts with you always. They will keep you safe.

I was unsure how literal the meaning was, but I had nothing else to lose. I closed my eyes shut and thought of my family. I focused on them as I continued down the side of the road, limping.

With relief, I reached my trusty pickup and tried to open the door, but it was still locked. My heart deflated within me, but I battled it with memories of my niece and nephew.

Remember.

I looked to the other side of my truck and saw the passenger door was still unlocked. That degenerate must’ve locked the driver’s side so he could sneak up on me.

I hobbled to the passenger door and opened it, sliding myself to the driver’s seat. Starting the engine, I finally looked to the ranch house. The light from the lantern was still on, but I didn’t see any shadows in the room. I put my truck in drive and punched the gas. After a brief moment, I turned on my lights.

As soon as my lights came on, a flash of black fur appeared. A haunting image of a deer skull with glowing eyes staring at me sent terror through my body. I screamed seconds before we hit.

Violent vibrations shook my truck, but I kept my foot on the gas. Miraculously, I made it over the body and continued down the road, hitting potholes and loose gravel.

I continued driving into the night, looking into my rearview mirror every five seconds, but nothing appeared. Each time I looked up, I expected to get transported back into the hellish nightmare I just escaped, but it never happened.

I was shaking as I drove.

After two hours of driving, I reached Flagstaff, home of the nearest 24-hour hospital.

The rest played out like a hazy dream. White lights and clean scrubs surrounded me. It was apparent I looked horrific because the nurses at the front desk were immediately concerned about my well-being. I tried to talk, but all I managed to get out was, “he tried to rape…”

I needn’t say anything more.

They took me to the back where I met with nurses and a doctor. They removed the nail in my foot that I had forgotten entirely. They patched up the rest of my body. The police promptly arrived and asked me questions regarding my experience. I felt like I was on autopilot because no part of the conversation stayed in my mind. Eventually, they gave me a room where I washed and fell asleep.

I slept through to morning or plausibly noon judging by the amount of light that was coming through the window. I drearily opened my eyes. I saw my sister sitting in a chair next to me, asleep. I smiled and reached out to grab her hand.

My sister woke up startled at first. She looked at me with pure love and joy. She rushed to my bed, and we gave one another a long, tight hug.

“Mary!” She started to cry.

“Oh, hush, Jenny,” I said. “I’m fine.”

“I know, I just-” She inhaled sharply. “I just love you.”

“I know,” I said, still holding her. “I love you, too.”

After a moment of reassurances, there was a knock on my door. It was the detective.

“Can’t this wait?” my sister asked with an impatient tone.

“No, it’s fine,” I said. “I want to help.”

“Maybe you should get a lawyer, first,” said Jenny.

I nodded for my sister to leave, and she reluctantly did.

A white man in his early 30’s entered the room, notepad in hand.

“Thank you,” he said softly. “You answered most of our questions last night, and it’s been a great help. I need to ask a few more questions now that we’ve been to the scene.”

“Sure,” I replied, but a burning question came to my mind. “Did you find the.. thing?”

The detective’s eyes narrowed, pondering the nature of my question.

“The… your attacker?” he asked. “We’ve found several strange ‘things’ out there.”

I sighed. He would’ve known what I meant if the body had still been there. I just wanted the validation that I wasn’t crazy, that I had seen what I know I saw.

He sensed the disappointment in my eyes and tried to offer reassurance. “Your attacker is there.”

“He’s alive?!” I asked in shock.

“Uh, no,” replied the detective with a nervous laugh. “I’ll put it this way: in my twelve years of law enforcement, I have never been more sure of a ‘deceased’ call.”

I nodded my head. He continued.

“We’ve found fourteen other bodies out there, all women. It looked like wildlife had eaten most of them. This guy was the real deal, real evil. But you stopped him. You saved future victims.”

I nodded again but remain silent. The detective continued.

“It’s obvious there was something much larger out there… an animal probably… of some kind… It was at the scene with you last night, as you had mentioned. Honestly, our guys and gals are completely stumped at what it could’ve been.”

I held my tongue, choosing not to volunteer more information on the matter. It’s not like he would’ve believed me. Or so I thought.

But this detective… there was something about him; an aura, an instinct, a gift. Whatever it was, he knew there was more. And I felt him wanting to believe.

“I know you don’t want to tell me,” he said. “I’ve worked alongside the police on the rez. I know you won’t tell me because I’m a cop. But I’m not asking for me. I’m asking for them.” He pointed out the window. There was a pause as he struggled to tell me the next part. “This is not the first scene like this I’ve come across. Those obscure animal marks, mixed patches of fur, human footprints mixed with beasts’, gory puncture wounds mixed with human bite marks… I need to know. Please.”

I paused and looked out the window, trying to find the right words.

“Perhaps, if we knew one another better, I would tell you.”

I heard him sigh in defeat, but something made me continue.

“I would tell you how old this land is, and the many secrets that lay buried out there. If we were friends, I’d tell you about my family’s history, and the stories our great-grandparents passed on. Maybe I’d even tell you about the strange things we know of that wander in the night, slipping between our worlds like a hidden underground stream. If we were especially close, I’d tell you about what I believe happened out there during the dowsing of Bolsom Ranch. I’d tell you things you already know, how evil leeches off of, and draws other evil. But I’d tell you that it’s more real than you know. At Bolsom Ranch, it was real. Evil showed its form and fed off the corpses left behind by that maniac. First, it watched and fed on the torture and pain experienced by those innocent women. And then it devoured their bodies as a sacrifice once they were discarded.”

I stopped and looked back at the detective who was staring at me like a child clinging onto every word of his grandfather’s story.

“And I’d tell you, detective, to keep happy thoughts with you always. They will protect you from evil.”

Credit : Kaylun Rice

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3 thoughts on “The Dowsing of Bolsom Ranch”

    1. Hi Micah, I have linked the authors Reddit and Instagram accounts at the end of the story. Also to let you know, we are currently looking for guest narrators for our official YouTube channel too

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