You’d never know it, but the word is pronounced “Wye-NEE-mee.” It's a local legend I couldn't resist sharing with you in the month of haunts and spirits.
Hueneme is a peaceful, seaside Naval town named for a beautiful Chumash Indian maiden. The daughter of a great chief, she was not just lovely to behold but also kind, joyful and friendly. Everybody loved Hueneme, even birds who would land on her finger and sing.
Many suitors longed to marry her, but she sent them away. At last she fell in love with a handsome visitor to her village. They were married, and their idyllic union was legendary among the tribes of the valleys and nearby islands.
But jealously reared its ugly head when another woman wanted the husband. Her hate grew as she observed their bliss, and she learned black arts of witchcraft. She cast a spell upon Hueneme’s husband and his love turned to hate. When he looked upon his wife, he saw not her but the other, the witchy woman, who caused him to love her falsely and abandon Hueneme. The witch seduced him to leave with her to her faraway valley.
In grief, Hueneme returned to her home tribe. Her wise father told her to seek out her husband, for love cannot be destroyed by evil. She trusted her father, and searched for her man.
In a cursed valley of vile smells, Hueneme’s voice helped dispel the spell, and her husband followed her as she walked out of the miserable place. Partially unveiled by the curse, he realized he couldn’t live without her. However, the powerful curse hadn’t entirely departed him.
In despair, Hueneme forgot her father’s words, that true love could not be killed by evil. Giving in to her hopelessness, she headed into the cold sea at today’s Mugu Rock.. .(you've possibly seen it in movies and commercials...)
Filled with grief and regret, her husband followed her. And gods changed both of them to stones one can still see when the tide is just right.
Until missionaries came to the area, the Chumash Indians left bowls of food at Mugu Rock for Hueneme and her husband.
Speaking of love stories...I am honored to be part of the Halloween anthology, Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico. (Volume one). Wow, did I have fun writing my first-ever creep-fest. The Bridesmaid ain’t all white lace and a wing-ding bacherlorette bash. There’s a woman drowning in a well.
Except the well is dry...
Four nights in her dreams, a handsome cowboy tries to kiss her...letting Lydia think she's close to finding true love. Off to Colorado for her friend Milly's wedding, she's stunned to realize her cowboy is...Milly's bridegroom.
She's standing right in front of him, the beautiful woman Garner has ached to kiss for four long nights. Milly's bridesmaid. Can he betray his bride...even as his love for Milly turns to terror?