Graphic courtesy Steven Paul Judd
Artist Steven Paul Judd and writer Simon Moya-Smith tell a tale of invaders and monsters charging viciously through the American frontier.

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


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.

"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.”

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torjames389's picture
Submitted by torjames389 on
Simon Moya-Smith, did you actually read your story “A Tale of Colonizer Close Encounters?” Did you take a few minutes to give it a once-over when you finished the first draft or did you just put it out there hoping that people would like your use of language and comments on dicks and damn anybody who didn’t get it? Were you actually thinking about what a story was as you pecked at your keyboard? Were the apostrophes and question marks and combination of the two enough to make you think that there was tension in the piece? When you put BAD PIX, SMALL DIX AND COOKIES into all caps and abbreviated pictures and dicks into the kind of cuteness a 15 year old high-school student would use, did you think “genius”? Did the thought ever cross your mind that descriptions might be good to set the scene? What color was the teepee? Was it on a street in New York or in the arctic tundra or the plains? Why were you splayed on the ground? Were there other items splayed on the ground with you? Or was it just you and your ego stroking each other? What exactly is the monster supposed to represent? What is the monster? Is it Godzilla? I ask because the only indicator I have that it might be Godzilla is the accompanying images. Why do we not know the name of the person you’re talking to until halfway through the story? Why can’t he look outside the teepee on his own? Why are you in the teepee together? Is this a version of “The Exterminating Angel” set in a teepee? Why do we not know what time of day it is? What are the motivations of the invaders? What are the motivations of Paul? What are your motivations? Why the obsession with dicks? Have you ever attended the theater? If so, did you not pay attention to story arcs or plot development? Have you ever read a book where people talk to each other? Even the sparse direction and conversations of Samuel Beckett had a raison d’etre. Did it not occur to you that words are more than just toys to play with? Has no one ever told you that those who write truly live the life of kings? Or is the equivalent of a literary selfie all you’ve ever aspired to? When you sit down to write do you think to yourself that your passion for idiosyncratic rants in the style of Hunter S. Thompson make you Indian Country Today’s answer to Miley Cyrus? When you walk the streets of New York waiting to write your next “story” do you think the world will suddenly sit up and listen because they’ve been waiting for a voice like yours all along? Again, why the dicks? Dicks and balls seem to be the one overarching theme to all your work. Is it a jab at American masculinity or are you simply interested in shock value? Why the camera phones in a teepee in a landscape where there is a monster and presumably alien-like beings? Are your characters not frightened? If not, should they be? If not, why? Are you the only human on the face of the planet that ignores the violent rampage of Godzilla? Why does the conversation feel like two bros trying to use big words? Why does the action feel like a snapshot of smug privilege? Why should I want to read more of these pieces? Explain how reading this story is more appealing than getting a colonoscopy? Do I make it sound like your story is completely unreadable? I don’t mean too, I just have a lot of questions. I’m curious to know who edited this piece? Who in your newsroom thought this was going to be a great idea and make for a great series of stories? Was a conversation even had when it came to publishing this? Did nobody ask what the greater purpose of this was? Did nobody ask if there was a purpose? Maybe you lost a bet and were required to write a bad play. Maybe somebody held you at gunpoint and told you to write a fiction piece that would mock the craft of writing and undermine the news value of Indian Country Today. Have you ever spent time studying other writers? Have you ever taken a writing course? Have you ever read a book? When you walk the streets of New York do you speak in exclamations and guffaw at everything and everybody but offer little more than noise and Thompson-esque curses? Or do you actually engage in conversation and provide thoughtful analysis of the world you live in? When you became a journalist did you think the only beat you would cover would be yourself? When you became a journalist did you think writing fiction was part of the job? Did you know what a journalist was before you decided to apply the moniker to yourself? Did you think you’d be constantly talking about male genitalia? Did you think you’d be literally making things up? Thanks for listening, Mr. Moya-Smith. I’m sure your work will continue to be held to the same standard as your colleagues on your “Media Network.”

torjames389's picture
Submitted by torjames389 on
Dear Indian Country Today Media Network, can I please hear your reasons to not publish my previous comment? I used no profanity, no inappropriate and kept to community standards. As a reader, I feel I have the right to ask questions of a publication I read regularly as long as it isn't offending anyone. Has it simply offended you? Thanks for responding to me.