But, fear is a funny thing. Some people avoid anything (and everything) they might fear. Other people, like Monty and Willy, believe that being out on the limb is where the fun begins. "I crack up at those guys who wear those shirts that say ‘No Fear.'" Monty says, "That's crap. If you allow the fear to be there and you deal with it . . . Now, that's where it's at!"
"That's why ‘Fear is Never Boring' is our motto." Willy announces proudly. "That's the way we live our lives. With everything we do. Either together or alone."
"You betcha'," Monty continued. "We hang it out every chance we get. If nobody's ever been there before; well, we become the first. If it is a location that is a little dangerous; we'll end up there, eventually. Now lemme tell you: It's not pride that drives this spirit. It's not the glory. It is the fear that drives us to continue these adventures."
"Life on the edge." Willy added. "There's nothing like it!"
However, when I asked Monty and Willy if they were ever going to go back to Goblin Valley I got a different response. "I don't think there is anything left for us to do there." Said Willy. "We faced that fear once and don't care to do it again."
"We are the only known people to survive a night in the valley." Monty added. "And we even did it on Halloween night. Willy and I took that ride. Now we're ready for something new." Note: you may read part one of this story "Monty and Willy Enter Goblin Valley" by clicking HERE.
Well, I don't blame them for that. They brushed up against death several times that night. As I said before: I certainly wouldn't be out there after sundown. No way! But, Monty and Willy were out there. With full knowledge that nobody had ever survived a night there before them.
Monty and Willy were the first.
But, for a while it looked like they might become just another statistic.
# # # # #
They had walked for so long that they couldn't believe they were still in Goblin Valley. "We were weaving in and out of Dry Humps and goblins." Monty told me. "We knew that as long as we were in with the goblins at night we were still in danger. And it wasn't even midnight yet. After a while, we heard a crow cawing. Something you don't hear at midnight."
"We walked around a pretty big Dry Hump and we saw it." Willy said. "It was a crow that stood about 8 feet tall and was as detailed as the Laughing Man. It had streaks that looked like feathers and wings, holes for nostrils and eyes that followed you anywhere."
"Yellow eyes that followed you anywhere." Monty added. "They lit up the whole area like a mercury vapor light in a parking lot. Those eyes drive me to drink every day at five."
"Now here's where the story starts getting weird." Willy said. "We couldn't tell what it was at first. There was a sort of hypnotic sound that filled the air. After a couple of minutes, we were able to make out what the sounds were. The Crow Goblin was singing to us."
"It sure was." Monty added. "It was singing to us. It was singing the way that Frank Zappa sang. Ya know, it sorta talk-sang. It was telling us to trust the spirits of the desert. ‘The spirits will guide you to your benefactor.' It sang. It wasn't singing in English. I have no idea what language it was singing in. But we KNEW what it was singing."
"Its voice was a soothing sound." Willy said. "For the first time since we left the camp, I actually felt . . . I dunno . . . Calm. I wanted to stay there all night. That's about the time it started to sing: ‘Don't rest for very long. You must be impeccable warriors. Follow the spirits to your benefactor. He waits by the fire. He is the fire.'"
"Then the bird turned 180 degrees to the south." Monty added. "It sang ‘Your benefactor is where I face. It is a short trip as the crow flies. And longer for you. Your benefactor is your only hope to live.' Then the crow's eyes stopped glowing."
It didn't take long for their eyes to readjust to the darkness. They could still see the Crow Goblin and bushes just beyond the crow. They hadn't seen any vegetation since they walked down into Goblin Valley from the observation platform. "Wherever the hell that was." Willy said. "We were hoping that if there were bushes about maybe we were leaving Goblin Valley."
"I started looking way off into the distance in the direction that the Crow Goblin had faced." Monty said. "I thought I could see a glow on the horizon. But, I wasn't sure. I asked Willy if he could see it. He suggested that we climb on top of one of the Dry Humps to get a better view. It was a fire way off to the south. It looked like a campfire but it was a long way from any campgrounds. I didn't even remember any roads on my map being down there."
"We started walking to Our Benefactor." Willy told me.
# # # # #
They walked for over an hour before they reached the fire. During that time they saw fewer and fewer goblins. One of them brought some uneasiness to the two. It was a goblin that resembled a dinosaur. They didn't know what kind of dinosaur it was and didn't stick around to find out (Two years later while working for Steven Spielberg at an undisclosed desert location. Monty and Willy — under assumed names — were site advisors for the filming for the movie "Jurassic Park." It wasn't until then that they realized just what kind of dino it was; a Velociraptor). They pressed on into the remaining Dry Humps and expanding vegetation as they headed toward the fire. "But," Willy informed me. "We kept looking back at that Dinosaur Goblin for Justin; Justin case it followed us."
"When we got to the fire," Monty said. "There was an old Indian man sitting cross legged on the ground next to it with his back to us. As I began to say something to him, he said ‘You stroll through this desert like it is a playground for children! It is a good thing the spirits are with you on your journey else you would be in the valley of the goblins never to return alive.' He still had his back to us as he seemed to look out to the desert beyond the fire. ‘Willy, you sit here.' He said and patted the ground to his left. ‘Monty, you sit here to my right.'"
"His voice was calming," Willy added. "But, there was something that made me uneasy. Like, he knew our names for starters and didn't turn to look at us. Even when we sat next to him. He just looked off toward Mt. Ellen. Like there was something holding his eyes. Like a magnet. We were both taking tugs from our canteens after sitting there for what seemed like ten minutes when the old man's concentration left whatever he was looking at as he said, ‘You are very lucky men to be sitting with me here now.' He still wasn't looking at us. Now his attention seemed to be focused on some beads and coins that were scattered on the ground before him."
"How do you know our names?" Monty asked the old man. "Did Ranger Tim tell you who we were?"
"I know many things about you two. I have observed your adventures from afar for longer than you would believe."
"How have you watched us?" Willy asked. "Where do you live?"
"I live nowhere." The old man responded. "I am only here now. As for me watching you; I watch what I watch. If what I am watching interests me then I continue to watch."
"What is your name, sir?" Monty asked.
"I have gone by many names." The old man responded. "In my tribe, the Yaqui's, I was simply called Brujo. Others just called me Juan. You may call me Juan, if it pleases you."
"I felt like I was in a dream." Monty told me. "A Yaqui Brujo, named Juan. It was like I was back in the 70's reading those books again. I was about to ask him if he were the Juan that Carlos Castaneda had written about when he said: ‘Do not ask questions you already know the answer to. You remind me of Carlitos with all his logic. Logic is for people that do not want to believe that there is more than what they see on TV or read in books. You have to follow your heart and place your trust with your Spirit Guides. If you are true. If you are an impeccable warrior, you will find your way to true enlightenment.'"
"Look," Willy said. "We just wanna find our way back to camp."
"You cannot just come to a land of numerous evil spirits, many of them capable of taking your life like a crow that takes a lizard from a warm rock. The lizard is lucky. He will be eaten quickly. If you cross the territory of the wrong spirit, she may torture you for days, even years before she allows you to die. If she ever allows you to die. She may fall in love with you and your tortured cries. You may be her play-toy forever.
"You made it out of Goblin Valley alive because of your strong belief in true adventure. And because of your embracement and understanding of fear. Also, with a little help from me. The spirits must have seen that you are true adventurers and only gave you a warning. That is why you are sitting beside me here now. Otherwise, you would surely be dead. Or worse."
"Everything he said reminded me of those books." Monty said to me later. "I was remembering how don Juan worked so hard to get Carlos to understand and believe in the spirit world. How he introduced Carlos to many different spirits in order for him to become a sorcerer himself. That's when I remembered that don Juan was dead.
"I was about to say to him: aren't you supposed to be dead? When he said, ‘Do not ask questions that you are not prepared to hear answers for. I am here, beside you now. That is all that you need to know. That and you are still very vulnerable. This night is not over yet. We have much work to do. Shall we get started?'"
# # # # #
Juan led them to the edge of a cliff where they looked out over a desert valley about two miles across with nothing but a shear-drop below them.
"We are going down there." Juan calmly told the two.
"You gotta be crazy!" Willy blurted out.
"I am not crazy young-one. I do not fear. I've embraced fear all my life. I have come face to face with fear in the forms of some very evil spirits. But, I have never turned away from fear." Juan faced Willy head on. "You can bet your chorizo that I was scared. I was scared with every ounce of my being. That is what kept me alive during those encounters: Fear!
"You two are always saying ‘Fear is Never Boring!' That is true. It is also what you will have to overcome to stay alive tonight."
Without speaking, Juan led them to a switchback trail. "It didn't look wide enough for a cat to walk on." Willy told me. "But, we walked down the trail like we were mountain goats."
"That's true!" Monty interjected. "Even though the cliff was in the shadows. We could still see every foothold like it was daylight. It seemed like no time at all before we got to the bottom where Juan took us to a hummock about 150 yards from the cliff face that we had just descended."
Juan told them that they were going on a hunt. They were hunting for Peyote. "We will walk in a straight line until we get to Factory Butte." Juan said and pointed the way. "We will not deviate from our course of travel. We will continue to walk until we get to that butte. As we walk, we will pick the peyote buttons of the peyote cacti that The Mescalito places before us. We will only pick those buttons. We only want the ones that The Mescalito leaves for use. You must not falter. Your life may depend on it."
"Aren't we a little too far north for peyote?" Monty asked.
"The Mescalito has left them here for us." Juan told them. "You must leave your logic here at the bottom of this valley and trust that The Mescalito will be favorable to you. Be true and only pick the ones that are placed before you. This is part of your test. A test you cannot fail.
"Willy, you walk on my right, Monty over there. We have to keep 10 feet between us. Do not pick the peyote that is off to your sides. Only the buttons that are directly in front of you are safe."
"Safe?" Willy offered up. "I don't know if I'm young enough to take that trip. This ain't the 60's anymore and I ain't 18 years old either."
"This is not some Love-In, Willy, where ‘everything is groovy, baby'. The only thing that you have to do is ‘stay away from the brown acid'. We are not here to ‘catch a buzz'. We are here for you to meet The Mescalito. He is your only hope to confront the spirits of the desert and survive the night. Don't ever forget that. There is only one way for you to meet The Mescalito: you must eat the peyote button. I have met The Mescalito many times before. Sometimes I have been lucky to live. Other times have been to my advantage. That is why you must be as serious as you have ever been. You don't know what The Mescalito will be in the mood for. Remember; even though The Mescalito is a spirit, and surely he is one of the strongest spirits that one could call, doesn't mean he doesn't have his good days and his bad days. Maybe he's in the mood to teach you things that you may never have a chance again to learn. On the other hand, maybe he feels like peeing in your boot while he looks at you straight in the eye with a gaping smile and says: ‘Hey sailor. New in town?' That is when you better be ready to face the worst. What you survived in Goblin Valley might just be a warm-up for the main act. Do you understand how serious your situation is?"
"I said yes." Willy told me. "I wasn't sure I understood him. But, I didn't think we had too many choices."
"He seemed like he knew his shit!" Monty announces. "I mean, he was only looking out for us. I could feel his power and his sincerity. He definitely had an aura that surrounded him. I nodded my head yes and hoped that I was making the right choice."
Juan led them into the valley in search of peyote cacti. They walked for over half an hour; more than halfway to Factory Butte before they picked their first button. They had already passed by many of them before they got to this one. As they waked, Juan pointed out the first dozen, or so, so M&W knew what they were looking for. But he wouldn't let them pick any of them. "You must pick those that The Mescalito has left for us to use. Those that we pass to our sides were placed there as your test."
"I was about 25 feet from the cactus when I saw that first button that I knew was mine to pick." Willy said. "It had a subtle, but very distinct pink glow with a green halo. It was right in my path. Juan showed me how to remove the button and told me to apologize to the cactus as I did so and to thank it for letting me take of it's special offering. He also told me how to thank The Mescalito for leading me to this cactus."
"Not less than two minutes later was when I found my first button." Monty told me. "Then Juan found two; one after the other. A couple of minutes later I found two. As I was cutting off my second button, I could see the third button glowing about 20 feet away. Juan cut another one then just as we reached the foot of Factory Butte Willy found one more. That made three buttons apiece. Juan took all nine of them."
"We haven't much time." Juan said. "We must climb the butte and begin the ceremony."
"Once again." Monty tells. "We were on a switchback trail that was as narrow as a transvestite's ass that went up around the back side of the butte. Again, we were in the shadow but we were still able to see every foothold as Juan, a very old man, lead us breathlessly to the top. When we reached the summit Juan, lead us to a rock shelf that faced the southwest and the full moon and told us to sit down."
"As soon as we sat," Willy tells. "Juan gave us three of the peyote buttons. They were different from when we had picked them. He had prepared them somehow while we climbed up the butte. It looked almost like a ball of clay. Then he handed us some dried fruit and some kind of dried meat and told us to eat the buttons with the fruit and meat."
"I had heard all the stories about having to throw-up after eating peyote." Monty tells. "But, that didn't happen. And it didn't take very long before things didn't seem quite normal anymore. Juan kept telling us that we must keep our heads clear and I was thinking that my head about to leave; fly away forever, didn't need my body anymore. What for? Not when I had a floating head set adrift in the on the sea of the Utah desert.
"I felt like a big head perched up there on top of the world. I was about to say something to Juan about it when he reached over and grabbed my nose with his thumb and forefinger. As he grabbed it he pulled and my nose grew as he did. He pressed on the sides of my head until my eyes looked off to both sides. Then he pulled on my ears until they grew well beyond my head/body. He turned away from me and began doing the same thing to Willy. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
"Juan was turning Willy into a silver bird. I then tilted my head to the right and turned my right eye down to my ear. It didn't look like an ear anymore. It was a sleek wing. Juan had turned both of us into crows. He turned us into silver crows."
"I was flipping out!" Willy continues. "Both of my ears, I mean wings, were flapping so hard I started to lift off of the ground. Juan grabbed me and tucked me under his arm before I flew too high. I could see with my left eye that he was picking up Monty and tucked him under his other arm and then walked to the edge of the butte. He told us that we were about to meet three different spirits The Mescalito would introduce us to. He said: ‘You must be valiant. Remain true and be impeccable warriors. I will not be going with you so you must be ready to face these spirits without my guidance. You must remain true. You must remain true."
"I was about to ask him for some advice." Monty continues. "You know? Something that might help us when we met The Mescalito. The things we should beware of. When he tossed us off the edge of the butte."
THIS STORY WILL BE CONTINUED ON A COMPUTER NEAR YOU.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of The Adventures of Monty and Willy and will come back for the thrilling conclusion. Bookmark the Home Page and check the Adventures Links for new editions or those that you may not have read yet.
Thanx to Sheela for planting the seed.
While gathering the various links for this page, I learned that Carlos Castaneda passed away earlier this year due to cancer. Carlos, who was thought to be 72 when he died, lived a very mysterious life. Now it seems in death he will carry that mystery with him. He was very influential in my life and writings. Therefor, I would like to dedicate this episode of The Adventures of Monty and Willy to one of my heros, Carlos Castaneda.
I do believe, Carlitos.
Malcolm Tasz, 25 November, 1998
The next episode of The Adventures of Monty and Willy: Monty and Willy and The Island in the Sky has been completed. You may read this exciting installmet by clicking HERE.
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