[In the coming days, we will be presenting teasers from the upcoming Issue No. 10: McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales.]

- - - -

THE CHEYENNE WOMAN
CAME TO HIM IN A DREAM,
WITH DEATH IN HER KISS.
BUT THE NIGHTMARE
SEVENTH CAVALRY
CAME IN WAKING LIFE,
WITH A TASTE
FOR HUMAN FLESH.

Two cops, one big and the other little, traveled through the dark. The big cop hated Indians. Born and raised in a Montana that was home to eleven different reservations and over 47,000 Indians, the big cop’s hatred had grown vast. Over a twenty-two year law enforcement career he’d spent in service to one faded Montana town or another, the big cop had arrested 1,217 Indians for offenses ranging from shoplifting to assault, from bank robbery to homicide, all of the crimes committed while under the influence of one chemical or another.

“Damn redskins would drink each other’s piss if they thought there was enough booze left in it,” the big cop said to the little cop, a nervous little snake-boy just a few years out of Anaconda High School.

“Sure,” said the little cop. He was a rookie and wasn’t supposed to say much at all.

It was June 25th, three in the morning, and still over 100 degrees. Sweating through his polyester uniform, the big cop drove the patrol car east along Interstate 90, heading for the Custer Memorial Battlefield on the banks of the Little Big Horn River.

“But you want to know the worst thing I ever saw?” asked the big cop. He drove with one hand on the wheel and the other in his crotch. He felt safer that way.

“Sure,” said the little cop.

“Out on the Crow rez, I caught these Indian boys,” the big cop said. “There were five or six of them scalp-hunters, all of them pulling a train on this pretty little squaw-bitch.”

“That’s bad.”

“Shoot, that ain’t the bad part. Gang rape is, like, a sacred tradition on some of these rez ghettoes. Hell, the bad part ain’t the rape. The bad part is the boys were feeding this girl some Lysol sandwiches.”

“What’s a Lysol sandwich?”

“You just take two slices of bread, spray them hard with Lysol, slam them together, and eat it all up.”

“That’ll kill you, won’t it?”

“Sure, it will kill you, but slow. Make you a retard first, make you run around in a diaper for about a year, and then it will kill you.”

“That’s bad.”

“About the worst thing there is,” said the big cop.

The little cop stared out the window and marveled again at the number of visible stars in the Montana sky. The little cop knew he lived in the most beautiful place in the world.

The big cop took the Little Big Horn exit off I-90, drove the short distance to the visitor’s center, and then down a bumpy road to the surprisingly simple gates of the Custer Memorial Cemetery.

“This is it,” said the big cop. “This is the place where it all went to shit.”

“Sure,” said the little cop.

“Two hundred and fifty-six good soldiers, good men, were murdered here on that horrible June day in 1876,” said the big cop. He’d said the same thing many times before. It was part of a speech he was always rehearsing.

“I know it,” said the little cop. He wondered if he should say a prayer.

“If it wasn’t for these damn Indians,” said the big cop, “Custer would’ve been the President of these United States.”

“Right.”

“We’d be living in a better country right, let me tell you what.”

“Yes, we would.”

The big cop shook his head at all of the injustice of the world. He knew he was a man with wisdom and felt burdened by the weight of that powerful intelligence.

“Well,” said the big cop. “We’ve got some work to do.”

“Sure,” said the little cop.

THE SPINE-TINGLING CONCLUSION AWAITS YOU, AVAILABLE ONLY IN McSWEENEY’S MAMMOTH TREASURY OF THRILLING TALES.

- - - -

Sherman Alexie lives in Seattle with his wife and two sons. He writes poetry, short stories, novels, and movies.