The Lost Son – Part III

via flickr
via flickr

Microfiction

Bull Elk did not say a word as the men quickly moved through the forest. He knew that all of this was his fault, and it was all he could do to hold himself together. He was torn up inside and he knew it. Why was he so stupid last night? Somehow he found the courage to apologize to his wife before they left. She said nothing but shook her head “yes”. He loved his wife more than anything on this earth, but he had caused her great pain. He hated himself. He knew it would be a long time before they embraced again. She had every right to leave him, according to their custom. At least if they died out here, trying to find his son, he did what he could to make peace with his wife. At least he had done one thing right.

And now it was time to find his son, before it was too late, before they all froze to death and there would be no asking for his forgiveness. He didn’t usually pray but Bull Elk prayed for help from the Creator. They moved swiftly, and made good time following the trail of Talking Eagle. They found themselves at a group of very large rocks, where they climbed and surveyed the land. There was a creek and thick brush up ahead. It was very clear that the trail of Talking Eagle went into the thick brush. They all looked at each other, and knew that it would be tough going from here.

By the time Talking Eagle made it to the other side of the thick brush he had no idea where he was. To be honest though, he didn’t care. He was away from his father and all the pain of the village. He came to a clearing and decided to rest. He also needed to do something about his feet. They were wet and cold, very cold. He took off the many layers of buckskin, and replaced them with fresh ones, after drying off his feet. He did have sense enough to prepare for this, but he was starting to become concerned about the extreme temperatures.

He built a fire, which was not easy, just before the sun began setting. In the distance he heard aWolf 1 wolf howling, which sent chills down his spine. He decided to do something his father had taught him, and that was to dig a pit in the earth, and put heavy logs over top of him, once he was in it. The pit would protect him from the wolves but there was no way to have a fire, once he was inside. He might freeze to death. It was either the fire and probably facing the wolves, or sleeping in the pit. Either way he might die.

Oh no! As he started digging he realized the earth was frozen, which ruined his knife. It was slow going, but he made it deep enough, to move the earth with his hands. At the same time, he had to keep the fire going. Wolves did not like fire. Off in the distance he saw several sets of eyes. They were not people eyes, and they were not friendly. He would have to move quickly to get the large logs.

The logs were so big he had to roll them into place. Then he put more wood on the fire, and kept digging. He could see forms moving in the forest, shadows really. He guessed there were 4 or maybe 5 of them, pacing back and forth, looking for the right time to attack. He worked quickly, but not quickly enough. The wolves became bold and showed themselves. He began throwing burning pieces of wood at them which held them at bay.

Once he had the pit deep enough, he got in and said goodbye to the fire. He might be saying goodbye to life, and for the first time he realized that coming out here by his self was not a good idea.

The men had a tough time getting through the brush. Most of them were cut or scratched on their faces, and then on their hands as they tried to protect themselves. Seven Hawks got the worst of it, as he tried moving his huge frame through branches that hit him like ropes with knives on them. He gave up trying to protect himself, and barreled through like a buffalo in a corn field.

By dark, they had made it through the brush, but they had lost the trail of Talking Eagle long ago. There was no sign of the young man, and they had no choice but to build a fire, in order to stay alive. Was that a wolf? Night Scene

 This weekend the conclusion of The Lost Son, and some poetry!

Thanks for reading! Peace!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

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The Lost Son – Part II

from indianscowboys via flickr
from indianscowboys via flickr

He made his way to the forest, and had gone inside of it, through a trail that Two Wolves had shown him. Once he was in the forest for a while, the sun was beginning to rise, and he could see everything clearly. Up and over logs, around rocks, down into a ravine, and up the other side he went. As he traveled he noticed deer tracks. There were two – no three – deer not far up ahead according to what the trail was telling him. He thought about hunting, but no, he needed to get deep into the forest and away from the village.

It was bitter cold, some of the worst he had seen, and that was another reason to keep moving. He was still being driven by what he felt inside, but he knew he would have to build a fire by nightfall in order to survive. This was the kind of weather that could kill a man.

The trail ended at a large group of boulders, which he climbed. At the top he could see nothing but trees, and a small creek. This is where he wanted to be, the deep forest. No one would find him now. There was some thick brush that would be difficult to get through and that is exactly where he went.

At the village, it took a while for his mother to realize he had left. When she woke both her husband and Talking Eagle were not in the lodge, and she thought maybe they had gone out to talk. She prayed that there would be healing in her family. Her heart ached and tears filled her eyes. A short time later though, Bull Elk came inside and stared at her. He looked terrified. He did not say, good morning, or I’m sorry, he stammered, “I cannot find him, our son is gone”. Her mouth dropped open and her heart sank. He continued, “I’ve looked everywhere, the trail he left is headed for the forest”.

Bison in SnowThey both ran to the lodge of Standing on the Mountain, and the village sprang into action once the word had spread. There was no reason to ask why, or how did this happen? The people knew already, but more importantly they judged no one, and only wanted to help in some way. A group of men volunteered to go into the forest without horses, including all of the Grie men. They were Seven Hawks, and his son Wild Horse, Strong Bear, Buffalo Talker, and the boy’s father, Bull Elk.

Standing on the Mountain thought for a moment, as they were all assembled together, and asked Bull Elk if any Grie men needed to stay in the village. Bull Elk was having trouble facing the people, but he looked up and said, “The Grie people are safe here among the Tsi, and we know that”.

Most of the Tsi men also wanted to go looking for the young man, but not everyone should go. Hawk in the Sky mentioned that the group needed to be small, because of the thickness of the brush in the forest. Fifteen year old Two Wolves spoke up, and said, “I should go. I know the forest better than anyone. Besides, Talking Eagle is my friend.” It was true on both counts, and everyone knew it.

It was decided that 8 men would go, the 5 Grie men, Standing on the Mountain, Hawk in the Sky, and Two Wolves. Songbird was scared for Two Wolves, and she told him so when she had the chance. They were too young to be married, but they were very much in love. He embraced her, and told her he would be back, but he needed to help a friend. She shook her head yes. No one objected to their embracing, in fact it was expected. After all, the Creator had put these two together.

The men left quickly, and were in the forest in no time, led by the young man Two Wolves. Standing on the Mountain couldn’t help thinking, how remarkable this young man was. Here he was just fifteen, and he was leading the men.

According to the trail, Talking Eagle was about 3-4 hours ahead of them.

Dawn Snow

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all – the best in the upcoming year!

I look forward to more of your wonderful blogs in 2015!

The Lost Son Part III, next time! Peace to you!

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

The Lost Son

Harley Upton Jr. (Diego James Robles) from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork
Harley Upton Jr. (Diego James Robles) – Apache from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork

His father was angry again, and he couldn’t take it anymore. Why did he always have to yell? There was something wrong with his father for sure, but he dared not say anything. Fifteen year old Talking Eagle loved his father but not when he was like this. He had had this problem for a long time, but it was worse now that they were in a new village.

No matter what his mother (Holds the Fire) did, his father would not get out of this mood. She tried yelling back, but that did not go very far. She tried talking softly, and even touching him but he pushed her away. He was an impossible, snarling animal, and Talking Eagle was fed up.

The topic was always the same. Bull Elk felt betrayed by his own people because they did not want to start a new Grie village. They had come to the Tsi village only for safety in the middle of winter, and they were to start another village in the spring (or so he thought). What was to become of their customs, their ways? Were they all supposed to become Tsi? Were they even to give up their language? “Never!” shouted Bull Elk at the top of his lungs.

Talking Eagle was sure that everyone in the village heard that outburst. He was becoming so angry at his father for humiliating them in the eyes of all the people, that he thought he would burst. Holds the Fire was trying to calm him down and moved in closer to her husband, but he pushed her away again. Talking Eagle jumped up and started yelling, “Stop pushing her! Stop pushing her!”. A swift blow came to Talking Eagle’s face from the back of his father’s hand, which knocked him sideways. His father had never done this before, and all of them, even his father were in shock. Nobody said anything. Talking Eagle instinctively placed a hand on his face, and found that his lip was bleeding.

Holds the Fire was weeping now. Her son had never seen her weep like this, unless someone had died. Perhaps they were dying. His family was dying right before his eyes, and he wanted no part of it. He was about to leave, when someone came to their lodge, and scratched at their door.   Horse at Night

Standing on the Mountain came in with concern written on his face. Being a tall man, he also carried a certain amount authority and calmness. The spiritual leader of the Tsi, spoke in perfect Grie, and asked to talk to Bull Elk outside. They talked for what seemed like a long time. Through her tears, Holds the Fire tried to gather herself together, but she did move her bedding as far away as she could from where her husband would be sleeping. Talking Eagle laid down in his place but did not sleep. Instead he made plans. He knew exactly where he would go.

When his father came back in, he stood and looked around but said nothing. He laid down as well, but no one slept for a long time. Talking Eagle was thinking about what he needed to take with him. He would also dress with many layers and travel to the forest. Should he take a horse? No he thought, some parts of the forest were too thick with brush for a horse.

He loved the forest. He and Two Wolves and some of the other young men would go there, just for fun, or to do some hunting. It was peaceful there, not like this place. He needed to be away from here. As soon as he could hear his parents sleeping, he would leave.

Eventually he fell asleep too, but woke up with a start. He quietly moved around the lodge gathering what he needed, and dressed as warm as he could, especially his feet. Grabbing his weapons, he slipped quietly out of the lodge. He could not stay in this place any longer. Night

Next time Part II of The Lost Son. Thanks for reading! Peace to you!

 Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

New Dreams

Sheena Cain - Jingle Dress Dancer
Sheena Cain – Jingle Dress Dancer

Microfiction: This is the continuing story of the Tsi people, and the Grie people, who live together in the same village. They live near a forest, on the Great Plains of Canada, in the 1700’s. For new readers, Thunder Speaking and Bluebird are a young couple that have just been married.

No one saw the young couple much for several days, which was to be expected. They were enjoying each other. Laughter could be heard coming from their lodge sometimes, so the people were happy for them. Couples, young and old, not only had knowing smiles on their faces, but looked at each other more intently!

The young couple would talk for hours inside, while he made weapons and tools, and she made clothing. The snows were getting deep now, and no one went much of anywhere. He often watched her, amazed. He was surprised by her in a number of ways.

from texasbirds.info
from texasbirds.info

He did not know that a woman could be so tender. She helped him daily with his injured arm, and fussed at him gently to take care of it. Her gentleness when she unwrapped it, melted him. She often kissed his arm and spoke sweet things to him.

He was also amazed at how wise and practical she was. He had been making a new bow, a long one, much longer than the Tsi people normally made, and he was very proud of it. He had also carved some beautiful designs on it, and was just about finished it, when Bluebird asked him, “Shouldn’t you have a smaller bow?” “The longer one will be difficult to pull”. He was stunned. Of course, she was right – his arm was not strong enough for this bow yet! He had not even thought of that.

At night he dreamed about her, mostly about the two of them in the summer, walking, and riding together, looking at birds in the forest, or listening to the river flowing over rocks. She was a friend to him, but so much more than that. She was his very life.

Bluebird dreamed about him too, but in a different way. She dreamed about his strength, his connection to the Creator, and how he was willing to talk about anything. She had never met a man like this, and she was always amazed at the loved they shared. She could see eternity in his eyes.

She also dreamed about sunsets, but they were always strange. In the dreams there were the brilliant colors of orange, red, and pink, but then, as she was looking at the colors, she heard a baby crying. The two always went together, the sunset and the baby. The dreams always ended with an image in her mind, of her holding a beautiful baby boy. She knew these dreams were important but she did not know what they meant.

On the other side of the village, Cricket in the Meadow was having dreams too, and some visions while she was praying, but she did not like the looks of them. They were dreams about dark clouds, and a storm brewing. The storm kept coming closer, and would always stop over one lodge. She knew trouble was coming, and it could turn deadly. The storm always stopped over the lodge of Bull Elk. Everyone knew that he was disappointed, over the Grie wanting to stay here in this village with the Tsi, instead of building a new Grie village. But there was more, and it had to do with anger.

One day the sun was shining, and Bluebird felt a need to get outside. After a short walk, the idea came to her that she should talk to her husband about the dreams she had been having. She called to him, and Thunder Speaking came outside, carrying another robe for her. He wrapped her in it, smiling, and proud of himself for taking care of such a beautiful woman. They looked at the sky together, with him embracing her, and she told him about the sunsets, and the baby crying.

They talked about it for a while, watching their breath make smoke. As they were talking, she realized what it was all about. The two went together – the sunsets, and the baby – because it was all about the baby’s name. She didn’t know if she was pregnant yet, but when she did have a child, it would be a boy – and his name would be….yes….his name would be….“Fire in the Sky”. After all “Sunset” was a girl’s name.

Sunset

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

Time Together

Leslie Deer
Leslie Deer

Microfiction

The more she learned about him the more she loved him. When he told Bluebird about leaving his original village near the coast, she cried. She was horrified about his people dying, and that the village was mostly abandoned. She thought out loud that maybe the Grie and Tsi should go and fight the bad people there. He pondered this for a moment and said, “Then we would be no better than they are”. She cried again and held a hand over her mouth, this time because she was so happy the Creator had given her this particular man.

Both the Grie and Tsi people made sure the young couple had time together. They talked freely for hours, only occasionally stumbling over words, smiling or laughing about it. Sometimes they were outside but mostly they were in a lodge. A lot of shifting had taken place since the Grie people arrived. The Tsi people were one of the few that had lodges for their supplies. This was especially important in the winter, and included food for their horses. Supplies and people were moved so that each of the Grie families now had their own lodge. The young couples did share their space, but only with extra supplies of food.

Thunder Speaking was living alone in his lodge again, which was good for having people visit. Bull Elk and Seven Hawks were regular visitors. At first he thought the visits were just social, but he caught on they were also teaching him about the Grie people. Their origins and customs were of a particular interest to him. They spent hours talking together, eating, and smoking the pipe.

As his love for her grew, there were times when she came to his lodge, and he loved these times! She would fuss over his arm, and they both were busy setting up the lodge for when they were married. They talked about their lives and their dreams. They often kissed, and held one another, but stopped before it went any further. “Soon” they both said, smiling.

Since they were near the forest some of the Grie and Tsi men went deer hunting, and Thunder Speaking went along for the ride, even though he could not hold a bow yet. They were stretching their supplies by going hunting in between storms. The Grie were clearly impressed with the fact that there were so many deer and elk living in the area. Bull Elk spoke in perfect Tsi, “this is a good land”.

When his mother, Cricket in the Meadow, came to visit she always spoke about her relationship with Lone Horse. He learned about men and women, how they see things differently, what makes them think a certain way, and how to resolve conflicts. She did this by telling stories, and what she and Lone Horse did in different situations. He could clearly see a light coming from her face. She would often stir the fire when she spoke, but he could also see the image of Lone Horse’s spirit sitting next to her, nodding his head in agreement, and smiling. Thunder Speaking always thanked his mother for these visits but he really had no words to express his gratitude for the gifts of wisdom that she shared.

After she left, he would always sit alone and ponder her words. She truly was a mother to him, and he knew without a doubt, that the Creator was living in this village – his village – and that he belonged here…. among the Tsi and Grie people.

Friesen in the Snow

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

The Stranger – Part II

by R. Tom Gilleon
by R. Tom Gilleon

Microfiction

The snow stopped long before dawn, never reaching very far above a man’s ankle. After sunrise the hunting party returned with a huge amount of food for the winter, the village was a buzz with activity, and with news about the stranger. With the buffalo, and the elk, the people knew they were well supplied, and they were happy.

When he woke up he did not care whether he lived or died. This was the end of his journey, either way. He had seen too much to go any further. If they killed him, then so be it. He sat up and looked around the buffalo lodge, and noticed he was alone.

He was surprised at how warm and comfortable it was. There were pelts and hides of every kind, and the buffalo blankets were especially warm. The lodge was stronger than he thought, and far different from his own home, or what used to be his home. A shot of pain came from his arm and went through the rest of his body. Before passing out again he noticed how well he had been cared for.

The next thing he knew his head was being lifted up and something warm was being pressed to his lips. It had a strong smell of herbs. When he opened his eyes he saw that it was the old woman, so he drank. It gave him strength and gradually took away some of the pain. He sat up and looked at her closely. She had a lot of wrinkles, but there was a light coming from her face, he was sure of it.

After a while they began to try to talk with each other, making signs, sounds, and drawing pictures on the floor of the lodge. It took a long time to just find out each other’s name. She noticed his language was similar to water in a stream, flowing over rocks. He figured out she was Cricket in the Field, he wasn’t sure about the last part though. When he tried to tell her his name, he made a lot noises and felt foolish, but he kept trying. She understood the first part, Thunder…., but the second part was harder. Finally he moved his lips without saying anything, and the thought dawned on her – Speaking…. It was Thunder Speaking.

Over the next three days he was visited by different people, including a very tall man, whose name he understood to be, Standing on the Mountain. He also came to understand that he was their spiritual leader. He liked the man and they spoke freely, sort of, with making signs. Cricket in the Field also met with him each day and they were busy trying to learn each other’s language. He felt uneasy about what he understood regarding her name so he asked her about it. She explained it wasn’t just a field, it was a particular kind of field where animals graze. He was from the forest near the coast, but he did notice the grasses here and the animals. Finally he caught it. It was a meadow.

A strange thing took place as they were talking. Cricket in the Meadow, realized she really liked the man, and she thought about her son who had died at the age seven. She was happy and sad at the same time. An image of Lone Horse appeared out of the corner of her right eye. She said nothing but felt his presence. He moved very close to her, and whispered in her ear, “this man will be your son”. Chills ran up and down her spine. She closed her eyes and tears streamed down her face.

Thunder Speaking saw the whole thing, including the man dressed in light. He was not scared, but he knew this was a special woman, and this place was a special place.

Paint Running

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

The Storm

Lightning

Microfiction

Lightening cracked open the sky, and thunder shook the earth again. The storm was on top of them. Most of the men and women were outside now, even though it was the middle of the night. The wind was getting stronger and was playing havoc with the flaps, so the people were busy closing them, tightening the lodge poles with more lashes, and gathering in what they could. Anything they could not grab was tossed into the air like leaves. Children were crying, mothers were screaming, and the men were busy giving commands which were never heard.

A few of the men tried tending to the horses, which were panic stricken. Herding them into a small space worked well in spite of the noise. Another crack, and more rumbling from below. It seemed as if the earth might break open, with the shaking. The men stayed with the horses as long as they could, until the rain started. It was a hard rain, and everyone went inside. In spite of the wind, the lodges stood throughout the storm.

No one could sleep. Young lovers took advantage of the time, parents held their children, and some worried about the damage to the village. Would the horses return? They would have to wait until morning to see.

There was one person that was not awake or asleep. He went to live in the spirit world that night, and left his body behind. Lone Horse had been an old man, and he was loved by the people. He had wisdom from the Creator, and usually after a council meeting people would say – Lone Horse thinks….or Lone Horse says…Now there would be an empty seat at the council meetings. It was a great loss for all the people.

His wife, Cricket in the Meadow, would not find him until morning. They had been married for more than fifty years, and the people would worry if she could survive the loss. Her health was frail, but fortunately there was still the sparkle of light in her eyes. They had had only one child, and he died at a young age from the fever. They carried this pain for the rest of their lives, but it gave them both a vulnerability, a sensitivity, that brought out love in all that they did. The people would wrap their arms around her, holding her tight, enveloping her with their love, for as long as she needed. They would get through this somehow, together. Still, it was a dark time.

 

  Night Storm

 Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree