Doctora Xilbalba's Datura Enema

by Ernest Hogan


Story Copyright (C) 2010, Ernest Hogan.
Images Copyright (C) 2010, Rudy Rucker.
2,500 Words.


We were well into the desert when the gangster’s crudmobile lurched beyond the speed limit. I stomped on the gas after him.

“Suddenly he doesn’t want to sell me that marijuana,” I told Mission Control. “Think he suspects something?”

“Follow him,” Mission Control ordered through my earbug. “We need to get something—anything—about this new gang.”

Then my earbug went dead.

“Mission control? Do you read?” I asked, but got nothing.

I glanced out my window, hoping to see a sign of the drone. Instead I saw a faint, star-like spark, leaving a skimpy smoke trail. They shot it down? What kind of smart missiles have they gotten their hands on?

I popped a button on my shirt, making my gun more accessible.

The gangster aimed the crudmobile at a rest area that had been closed by President Brewer early in her administration. The plastic barricades had deteriorated in the Arizona ultraviolet sun. They disintegrated as he tore through them.

His brakes screeched and smoked. I made mine do the same.

The rest area was overgrown with ugly bushes covered in white flowers that had horns sticking out of the petals. It had been abandoned a while. It was a real jungle.

He came to a stop just before he could impact the sealed women’s room. It was all I could do to keep from rear-ending him.

He turned off the engine and just sat there, smiling at me through his rearview mirror—a smug little bastard with a shaved head, a skinny Fu Manchu mustache, tattoos all over, and steroid-enhanced muscles. If he didn’t look so much like a guy from L.A., I’d be shipping his ass across the border, or at least to one of the camps.

I pulled my phone.

My phone was as dead as my earbug. I opened the door, tried the phone again—still nothing.

The gangster broke into a shit-eating grin.

I got out of my car and elbowed my way through the weed-jungle. White, horned flowers scratched my hands and face.

As I got closer, the crudmobile’s door popped open. An accordion-dominated narcocorrido filled the night air. I stared down an AK-47 into his T-shirt decorated with a skeleton in a dress. He was a fan of Santa Muerte, Mexico’s new unsanctioned saint. “Ay, you’ve done it now, mano!”

“You’re the one acting funny, ese,” I said. “Why the car chase? Don’t you want to sell me anything?”

“So you could arrest me?”

“You think I’m a cop? What makes you think I’m not just a guy who likes to smoke a little grass now and then?”

“You speak Spanish like a professor. We can profile too, you know!”

I was made. “The Arizona Department of Security does not use ethnic profiling.”

“Is that why they hired you? Or are you an Arab or something?”

“I am a citizen of Mexican descent.  I've passed all the extensive loyalty tests required by the Republic of Arizona.”

“Yeah, being born here isn’t enough to make you a citizen—you gotta fit the profile.” He looked me over. “You should grow a mustache, or get some tattoos, mano. There’s nothing worse than people thinking you might be an Arab. You could get killed.”

I looked at his AK-47. “Is that what you have in mind?”

“Not unless you decide to be some kinda cabrón. Why don’t you drop the toy, make yourself comfortable until the boss gets here?”

“The boss?”

“You’ll meet her soon enough. Sentarte, mano.”

I bent my knees and sat. The broken weeds slapped me in the face. I brushed them away.

He laughed.

“What’s so funny?”

“Don’t you know what you just sat in?”

“Some kind of weed.”

“Its called the Devil’s Trumpet or the Angel’s Trumpet, depending on who you ask. And as one of my ex-girlfriends, an Apache chica, said, ‘Be sure not to touch the Sacred Datura, it’ll make you go crazy, or die, or some chingadera.’”

I shrugged. “I’ve seen it all over Arizona.”

“It grows all over Aztlán—” he began.

That was what militants called the Southwest. He was no doubt a racist. We would probably have to put him in a chain gang.

“—down in Mexico, and all the warm parts of the world. You can even buy seeds legally in nurseries.”

“It grows wild—it must not be dangerous.”

He gave me a pitying look. “It makes marijuana seem like bubble gum.”

“Then why isn’t there a law against it?”

He shrugged. “Don’t ask me. I’m just a vato trying to get by in this loco world.”



Headlights blasted us.

“Get ready, mano,” he said. “Here comes the incredible Doctora Xilbalba!”

“Sounds like something out of a cheap Mexican movie.”

“She is, mano. We should be wearing masks like luchadores—Santo, Blue Demon, Mil Máscaras . . .”

The vehicle was gigantic—a stretched Hummer limo. It mowed through the datura jungle like a mutant locust. The door opened with the whir of motors, sending light and music spilling into the darkness. A Spanish version of Love Potion Number Nine mixed with and dominated the narcocorrido.

“Chavo!” A woman’s voice called. “Is he secured?” She asked in Spanish.

“Sí, sí, Docotra. I got his guts lined up with my cuerno de chivo, and my finger on the trigger.”

“I see a gun under his shirt.”

He pointed the rifle at my face. “You better drop it, mano.”

“No. I will not.”

“Konga!” The doctora screamed.

A huge figure blocked the light as it shot out of the driver’s door. Before my brain realized what I was doing, my hand reached for my gun. I even managed to get my fingers around it. A light flashed, twice. Crushed datura exploded near my crotch and a hammer blow numbed my hand. My gun disappeared in the weeds.

Smoking gun in hand, the hulking driver walked over, flexing muscles bigger than Chavo’s. I gathered from the makeup and large breasts that Konga was female.

Konga swept my gun up in one huge paw. The other paw gave me a good whiff of her gunsmoke.

“Chavo!” Doctora Xilbalba screamed from the rear of the Hummer. He went to help the old woman out of the vehicle.

The Doctora looked like a Mexican actress from the Nineteen-Forties playing a vampire in the Nineteen-Sixites. Her cleavage was still spectacular. You could imagine her having a threesome with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. She brushed off the evening dress she was wearing and approached me. Her eyes focused like lasers.

“Is he the one, Chavo?”

“Of course, Doctora. He’s Special Agent Johnny Garcia of the Arizona Department of Security. I checked him out real good.”

“Would you like to see my ID?” I asked.

She frowned, then relaxed. “No. That will not be necessary. Are you a trusted member of your organization?”

“I passed all the loyalty tests with flying colors.”

“Very good. Konga, Chavo, prepare him!”

The two came at me, hands reaching.

I jumped up. “What is this?”

They all laughed.

“Don’t worry, mano. There ain’t nothing one of Doctora Xilbalba’s datura enemas can’t cure.” Chavo pulled up the Santa Muerte T-shirt, revealing his ample belly decorated with a tattoo of a Mayan getting an enema while fantastic birds flew above.

I tried to run, but they were on me like pitbulls.

Konga tore my pants off and pinned me to the ground. Chavo stood over me holding an enema.

“This can’t be happening!” I screamed.

Doctora Xilbalba laughed as they violated my rectum.

Suddenly, I felt a major earthquake in my guts. I was burning, shivering, dripping sweat, pissing, shitting. I wanted to vomit. Why couldn’t the bastards have squirted the stuff down my throat instead? Lights flashed, in and outside my eyeballs, and in my brain. Everything throbbed with a fiendish electric pulse.



I felt weak, tried to sit down, but had a hard time telling which way that was. Gravity—what happened to it? I grabbed some mashed datura. It grabbed back. The ground—the Earth—seemed to be above me. I crashed into it face first. I felt no pain, just thousands of tiny feet marching all over my face and down into my pores.

All to the rhythm of that electrothrob.

“I’m going to die,” I thought.

“Is he going to die?” asked Chavo.

“They always think that,” said Doctora Xilbalba. “That’s the way it feels. Maybe you do die—a little.”

Could they hear my thoughts? Was I speaking aloud? My mouth didn’t seem to work . . .

“Agent Garcia!” It was the Doctora. It didn’t sound like a human voice—more like a static-filled loudspeaker in an echo chamber. “Are you really a trusted member of the Arizona Department of Security?”

“I am. I passed all the tests. I am a loyal citizen of the Republic of Arizona.” It was more like thinking than talking. “I can hardly wait until they finish the fences on the other borders. California might as well be part of Asia, and New Mexico is just too damn liberal. And you never know when a Utahan is trying to start a polygamist colony. The Indian tribes aren’t crazy about us building fences across their reservations and keeping people away from their casinos—but if they don’t like it, let them rejoin the United States.”

“Hey, how we gonna get tourists with everything closed and sealed off?” asked Chavo.

“We don’t need no stinking tourism!” I said. “We have a security-based economy now.”

“You’re all gonna get rich putting people in the camps?” His tattoos grew more complex, 3D, moving in and out of his skin.

“Once we’ve sealed off all the borders and check the IDs of everybody in Arizona, everything will be alright.”

“Ethnic cleansing,” said Doctora Xilbalba. She looked like a terracotta idol.

We aren’t the racists,” I explained. “I’m a citizen. They hired me! I passed all the tests!”

They laughed, including Konga, who loomed larger and grew fur all over. She was becoming a female King Kong. Why was I thinking about what it would be like to mate with her?

Doctora Xilbalba stepped forward. She was becoming younger. She looked like an Aztec princess out of an old Mexican beer ad.

“I got my American citizenship decades ago,” she said. “I recently bought Arizona citizenship, too. I’ve got good lawyers. I wouldn’t be in this kind of business without them. Laws—you just need to know how to get around them.”

“But laws are—sacred.”

More laugher ripped through my ears, my brain, the landscape. It sounded like a rattlesnake preparing to strike. The Earth trembled and cracked.

“What’s that?” I demanded.

Konga spoke: “The Centipede God!”

“The what?”

Chavo’s tattoos slithered off into the landscape. “Like in that old beatnik book, ‘the Centipede God reaches from Moundville to the lunar deserts of coastal Peru’ . . . Guillermo Burroughs—the vato knew.”

The Doctora became even younger—a little girl, then an embryo. “People have been coming here and not checking in with the local authorities for centuries. How long did you think the Centipede God would put up with your insults? Didn’t you think you would ever have to pay?”

I tried to express my disgust at this nonsense, when a nearby mountain crumbled, and something snaked out of the billowing dust-cloud—something with a long meandering body that went on for miles. Something with thousands and thousands of legs.

It’s head was the size of a planet —with two compound eyes and a mouth full of twitching parts. It looked down at me and spoke: “I was here before the mammoths and Indians came. I was here before ancient Egypt. You have desecrated my world. You will help establish a new order.”

“How would that be possible?” I wondered.

“There’s nothing that one of Doctora Xilbalba’s datura enemas can’t cure!” said Chavo, his tattoos reaching for the stars. Grinning down at me, he waggled the enema bag. It was, I vaguely realized, still connected to me.

The Doctora aged from embryo to ancient woman again. “This is such an improvement over the traditional Mayan and Toltec formulas. It puts the God directly into your brain.”

I saw myself reflected and distorted for miles and miles in the facets of the Centipede God’s eyes as he said, “Cybernetics is older than the pyramids. I am the ancient knowledge and the latest news. You will put me online again.”

“You see,” the Doctora explained as she morphed from ancient to embryo and back again, “we have a new product—that you are sampling now. It’s a genetically engineered neonanodatura. I’ve been working on it for centuries, and now the good old days will finally return.”

“No! I’m a loyal citizen of the Republic of Arizona! An Agent of the Department of Security! I’m sworn to uphold the law!”

The Doctora, Chavo, Konga, and the God all laughed.

Konga’s breasts grew larger and hairier. They flowed across the desert like lava. I yearned to be engulfed by them.

The Doctora cycled embryo/girl/woman/ancient/embryo faster and faster. “When you get to be my age, you realize that laws, like civilizations, never last. You will help us. The Centipede God is in your brain right now, reprogramming you. You will go back and infiltrate your organization. Now that bringing marijuana and other drugs into Arizona and the United States is difficult, we should have no trouble marketing our new datura product. And Arizona will be the hub of our world-wide distribution network.”

I was about to object violently. I could feel the touch of the God’s feet all over my brain. His coiling, infinite body filled the sky . . .

. . .then I found myself back in my car, driving back into the morning sun, to Phoenix. I was shaved, showered, my teeth brushed, and my hair combed. My clothes were cleaned and pressed and my shoes were shined. My gun was back in its holster. I could feel the God walking up and down my DNA.

My earbug tweeted with my ID ringtone.

“Are you there? What happened to you?” asked Mission Control.

“Nothing—I feel great. I bought marijuana from the gangster—we can make the arrest.”

“We’ll have to abort this one. We lost the drone.”

“It should be easy to set up another score,” I said. “He trusts me.”

“Bag the marijuana as evidence. I hope none of it is missing, Garcia.”

I laughed. “I don’t smoke that stuff.”

There were things I couldn’t wait to do when I got back to Phoenix. I wasn’t quite sure what they were, but I would know when the time came.

There was something wrong with all the signs. They were in weird hieroglyphics. But after a while, I could read them. Guess there really isn’t anything that one of Doctora Xilbalba’s datura enemas can’t cure.

My brain still buzzed, though.

I wondered when it was going to wear off—when my brain would stop buzzing and things would return to normal—and the Centipede God’s laughter echoed from Arizona to the center of the Earth.


About the Author


Ernest Hogan is the author of the mind-altering, underground cult novels, Cortez on Jupiter, High Aztech, and Smoking Mirror Blues.  His infamous short story, "The Frankenstein Penis," has had many unauthorized translations, and has been made into short film.  It has been decades since he has experimented with drugs.  He is in the United States of America legally, even though he enjoys bullfighting, has an understanding of Spanish, and occasionally hears the voice of Tezcatlipoca.  For further information, see La Bloga and Mondo Ernesto.

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