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Art and Amy Rollins drove along a desert road in the southwest.  “There’s something serene about the desert.  I love to come here.” Art said.

“It’s beautiful.  Imagine how nice it would be to live here, far from the hustle and bustle of city life.  It’s so quiet and peaceful,” Amy said looking out the window.

“Imagine what it was like here 200 years ago,” Art said. “The cabin my father built is on the Gila River, which is territory that was occupied by the Apaches. They roamed free until the white man came west and settled.  Then the soldiers came to protect the settlers, and that was the beginning of the end of the way of life the Indians enjoyed for hundreds of years. ”

“In the movies, the Apaches are always depicted as wild and violent,” Amy said.

“Well, they were here  before the white man, so they fought to keep their land.  Would you want a family setting up camp in our back yard?”

“I guess I’d have to go on the warpath to make them go away,” Amy said chuckling.

Thirty minutes later, they arrived at the cabin, unloaded supplies, and settled in.  After dinner, they went outside and enjoyed the view of the river and the sunset over the desert.  “ It’s so beautiful here, Art.  The Apaches must have loved their world.”

Tired from the long drive, Art built a fire in the fireplace, and he and Amy turned in early.  They slept soundly until the middle of the night when they were both awakened by unfamiliar sounds. “Did you hear that, Art?” Amy said as she and Art sat up in bed.

“Yeah. It sounded like a…a thunk,” Art said. What would make a thunking sound? There it is again and again,” he said, went to the cabin’s only window and tried to wipe the dirt off the pane of glass the best he could with the palm of his hand and looked out.  “I can’t see anything.   I’m going to take a look outside,” Art said.”

“Art, you can’t go outside without a weapon.  It could be a dangerous animal.”

You’re right. There, the fireplace poker,” he said, picked it up, and swung it in the air a few times. “This should be a good weapon.  There it is again. That thunk. Well, I hope this poker is enough to protect me”, he said, and went to the door.”  He looked back at his wife as he turned the knob.  “Okay, whatever you are, here I come,” he said and slowly opened the door. When it was halfway open, an arrow was shot into the door.  Art slammed the door shut and jumped back to the bed not taking his eyes off the door.  “Amy, the thunk.  It…it was an arrow,” he said shaking.  Both stared at the door.  The minutes that passed seemed like hours.  “Somebody is playing games.  Whoever it is, he, or she is using this cabin for target practice.”

“What are we going to do, Art? We’re prisoners here. If we leave the cabin, we could get killed.”

“We’ll have to wait until sunrise.  Hey, Amy, something’s burning,” he said and they looked at the fireplace.  “Amy, the cabin is on fire.  Come on. We have to get out of here,” he yelled, grabbed her hand, pulled her outside.  “Oh, My God,” he gasped.  In front of them were about a dozen Apaches on horses.  They screamed at Art and Amy in their language and shot several arrows at them, killing them instantly.  As the cabin burned to the ground, the Apaches rode away.

The next morning, Art and Amy awoke earl? “I had a terrible dream last night, Art. I dreamed Apaches attacked the cabin and killed us.

“Jeez, Amy. I had the same dream. How is it possible that we dreamt the same dream? I guess we had the poor Apaches on our  mind. Oh well, let’s take an early morning walk and then we’ll come back and make breakfast,”  They went to the door and Art opened it. “Oh, my God.  Amy, there are arrows in the door and all over the cabin.”

“Look,” he said and walked several feet from the cabin.  Those are prints left by horses, many horses.”

“Our dream, Art , our dream,” Amy said, in a low voice as though she were talking to herself. They looked out over the desert for several minutes.  “Look, Art, in the distance. It’s  huge cloud of dust. Is that a sand storm?”

“Yeah, it…wait, it’s not a sand storm.  Oh, My God, it’s horses, Indians on horses.  It looks like hundreds coming straight at us,” he said and held Amy.  “I love you, Amy,” he said and both closed their eyes as the Indians, whooping and screaming in their language, rode by Art and Amy, shooting arrows at them as they galloped by. They lay on the ground  in each other’s arms, dead. The Indians rode away into the  cloud and they and the cloud disappeared.


The End


While teaching  communication skills and English at a community college, Mr. Greenblatt wrote short stories, and plays, one of which won a reading at Smith College. Since retiring in 2000, he has written short stories and novellas


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