U’tlun’ta - based on the Cherokee legend of Spearfinger

in story •  last month

In the deep recesses of the Blue Ridge Mountains among the foliage and wildlife awaits a most deceptive creature.

Her name is U’tlun’ta and she hides in plain sight amongst large boulders and rocks. The Cherokee sometimes call her Nûñ'yunu'ï which is loosely translated to “stone dress", for her skin is as gray and coarse as granite and what may look like red moss is actually the blood of her former victims oozing from her mouth as she sits and waits for a new, tasty morsel to happen by.

utlunta.jpg

Artwork by Traci Shepard
image source

This opportunistic shapeshifter often appears as a frail, old woman clutching at her breast with her right hand. Do not be fooled by her weak and demure ruse. You see, legend states her only weakness is her right palm -- but no one has ever lived to confirm its truth. Her greatest weapon is her pointer, the “spearfinger” which she carefully conceals... until it's too late.

Honed to the sharpest blade, she tucks her spearfinger away and lures her altruistic victims with a sense of security. Small children are especially susceptible to her scheme; for who can resist helping a lost and scared elderly lady in the woods?

She preys upon the innocent and gullible indeed, for once her victims are close she pierces their flesh with her razor-sharp finger. Dead or near dying, she savagely slurps and gnaws on their hot, moist liver.

Rejuvenated, this wicked creature shifts into the form of her last victim thus infiltrating their home. Her hunger never ceases as she feasts upon one family member after another...then perhaps to the neighbor's house.

So, my friends, if you hear boulders rolling down the mountainside, trees groaning in protest, or screeching birds suddenly falling silent, gather your loved ones close and beware of the lone entity at the threshold of the mountain forests.

To say her name too loudly or too often may bring her to your neighborhood because she awaits every opportunity to invite you for dinner.


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Originally written for HitRecord November 17, 2015

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Very interesting pic...lol

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LOL. I thought it was the most appropriate because it's the only one I could find that was truly tied to U'tlun'ta

now that's creepy. Thanks =( ... don't give me nightmares plz

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Ah, strangely that is music to my ears. LOL

Wow, that's absolutely creepy! Reminds me of human government.

I was glad to come by this morning and see you posting. I've wondered how you're doing, and not heard from you for all too long! I hope all is well.

😄😇😄

@creatr

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Thanks @creatr
I'm finally crawling out of my winter depression and feel like I have a pulse again. Nothing like getting one's heart racing than writing creepy things. LOL

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LOL!

Your cheerful presence and encouragement has been sorely missed. Your whip-cracking also. ;)

Isn't the lovely rise of Steem nice to see? :D

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Yes! I hate the fact that I'm powering down but playing the market with its ups and downs is great fun and earning a decent profit. I've already told hubby that I need to start powering up again. He agrees.

psst... I'll be launching a new Community Engagement Challenge soon. Be on the lookout!

The first I saw of U’tlun’ta was a sunny, cool morning in March. I got off a train that I'd been on all night, most of it spent in the bathroom because I'd made unwise food choices in the Capital City that I'd just left.

I certainly felt like I'd take a spear through the guts!

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I do know the horrors of such experience. It's quite possible that it was her, but only if your liver suffered as well. As a shapeshifter it's quite possible she morphed into a bottle of wine.

This story reminds me of one we were told growing up - about Mrs. Crewel....we had to always be careful not to "see" her....otherwise she would sew our mouths shut. She could be summoned by parents as well if children wouldn't behave. Charming.

Great writing @merej99. Very creative. I've never heard of this legend before - maybe Mrs. Crewel is a weakly inspired version.

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I used to scare my kids with the Boogeyman/Sand Man until I realized it was counterproductive. If the kids were too scared they couldn't go to sleep. LOL Missteps in parenting. ha!
I've been doing some light research on different legends while putzing around. I do love spooky campfire tales.

I vaguely remember a tale about children getting their mouths sewn shut but a witch (or something). I don't recall her name but it could be Mrs. Crewel!

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One of my kids, name not being mentioned, truly believed that this person existed.....only because a certain husband, also name not being mentioned, retold the story and showed them the yarning needle from his mother's sewing kit to show that Mrs Crewel had visited the house.

But, I'll let the bitterness go.....exhale!

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ROFLMAO I love him...and that is exactly something I would have done. My kids are old enough to pay for their own therapy now. hahahaaaa

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You're the best....you always laugh at my stories. And I know you are laughing which is even better :)

Kind of reminds me of those pics of the Moon or Mars where people see all kinds of shapes that just happen to be the same texture and colour as the landscape - they're everywhere!

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Right?! But when you feel the temperatures drop quickly and feel a chill down your spine then you know it's time to get the heck out of there.

So this thing is roaming around the mountains where I live?!! Terrifying creature and great story. How have I never heard of Spearfinger before? She lives in the exact part of TN where I live. And I live out in the woods...sometimes at night I hear trees snapping in the distant woods. Now, I'm forced to tell my husband about this creature and work my hardest to freak him out about going into the woods.

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I was hoping you'd see this story because in the back of my head I was wondering what you might think of the old Cherokee legend, especially living in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's very creepy and she's not quite my first idea of a pet rock either. LOL Have fun scaring hubby! tee hee.

Your story is very nice Thank you for sharing such a nice story with us

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TYVM @razib59 - I love writing spooky short stories.

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Thank you @smysullivan :)

Oooohhhh I love a good folktale! I believe that all fiction has some grain of truth to it. So, I'm always interested in seeing how everything came about. What sort of stories led to this prevailing story standing the test of time. I think I've heard of Spearfinger before, but I have yet to read up more on its origins. Thanks for sharing it here!