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Flash: A Gift in Trade from Another Country...

by  Dreamer

Posted: Thursday, May 3, 2007
Word Count: 300
Summary: Small excerpt from my Novel that fits the challenge.

Shodhenawat looks at us, his eyes seeming to weep dry tears. “The village wailed in fear for the people recognized the Evil Spirit. The ‘Rotting Face’ so feared by our Sachems; the ‘Pimple Sickness’ of the white man, brought from across the great salt lake.

“Walks with Bears, oldest and wisest of Medicine Men, beseeched the Manitous. He stamped the earth outside our lodges so the evil could not walk there, laid sacred charms at our doors, danced enchantments ‘till he dropped; but it was too late. The Evil Spirit already walked among us. It had spit in our cooking pots, soiled our robes, and lain with our wives.” He draws a deep shuddering breath. “The Evil Spirit threw its blanket across the village, branding young and old alike with its mark. It crawled beneath their skin, beat a war drum in their heads and threw dry kindling on the fire raging in their spirits.

“The little ones cried out for water then wept with the pain of swallowing. With every cough, blood flew from their lips, tearing the hearts from their mothers, even as they writhed in their own agony. Pain ripped through their bodies as flames leaping across the majestic pine when the forest burns. Yellow pus poured from their sores as sap bubbles from the young sapling thrust into the fire.”

Bile rises in my throat as my mind lives the horror my friend is describing. Beside me Frederick weeps. Shodhenawat alone seems unaffected. It is as if his spirit has fled and he reads from a script written in the sky. “Our lodges stank of the rottenness of our flesh. We burned the dead with sweet grasses but nothing relieved the stench that filled our nostrils. I know I shall have that stink with me always.”