Short Story #149: The Road to Mictlantecutli by Adobe James
Title: The Road to Mictlantecutli
Author: Adobe James
SummaryThe story begins with Morgan, captured by a Mexican federal officer named Hernandez. This isn't the first time that Morgan has been captured and managed to escape and he fully intends to do so again. At a stop along the long trek back to the US border, Morgan seizes the moment to quickly dispatch the officer. Once gone, Morgan proceeds to take the car down a road that heads to Linaculan. He rides for several hours but as it gets dark and the terrain gets fierce, he's questioning his decision about going to this town. He passes an old priest walking the road in the night. He considers giving the man a ride but keeps on driving. However, after passing the man, he gets a haunting sensation that he is headed for trouble. Just at this moment, his car gives and results in the car rolling. When he awakes, the priest has taken him from the vehicle and is awaiting patiently. The priest agrees to walk with the ungrateful Morgan to Linaculan and the two take off on the long journey. Morgan grows impatient with the man as he walks along not providing directions but just heading in the direction of the town. Along the way, a beautiful woman arrives on a horse. The woman says that she will take Morgan to Mictlantecutli if he so chooses. The old man warns him that she is evil incarnate but he refuses to listen and gets onto her stead with her. As they ride along, he gets frisky and begins to let his hands rise up. As they reach her breasts, she stops and recommends they take a break. As they strip and begin to have sex, the light reveals that she is a corpse. He is disgusted and runs away. She returns on her horse, looking normal and orders him back on the horse. As they ride, they encounter the priest again and Morgan pleads for help. The priest explains that he made his choice to go to Mictlantecutli which is just another name for the Devil. The woman takes him off to the Devil while he weeps the entire way.
ReflectionA well-executed story with that pulls the reader in rather quickly. There is a fantastic contrast between Morgan and Hernandez in that Hernandez is scorned by Morgan for pleading for his life at the last minute and that's all Morgan can do in the tail end of the story. I also liked the development of the story from physically captured to physical freedom from spiritual freedom (with the priest) to spiritual capture with the woman.
Short Story #149 out of 365
Rating: 3 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read: 5/26/2014
Source: Masters of Horror and the Supernatural: The Great Tales, compiled by Bill Pronzini, Barry N. Malzberg, & Martin H. Greenberg. Bristol Park Books, 1981.
For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.
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