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Posts : 7568
Join date : 2013-08-24

PostSubject: Reservation   Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:19 am

Time for a new challenge and at least we have a little more month to complete it in this month. Your prompt is

Rolling Eyes  Reservation No

That means your story can be based around so many takes on the word; from having doubts about someone or something, Native American Lands, a booking in a hotel or a train (or anywhere else for that matter), or to keep something back. You have all those or anything else your ingenious minds can come up with.

Get writing
Don't forget to comment on February's stories before moving on to March. Comments are the only thanks our writers get.  
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Nell McKeon

Posts : 28
Join date : 2017-04-18

PostSubject: Re: Reservation   Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:26 pm

This is an old story. My apologies to those who may have read it elsewhere. Still it fit the prompt and I'm not sure if I'll be able to come up with something or have the time to write this month.

So... another apology is in order, please take the story in the manner of which it is intended - harmless fun. No disparagement is intended to Native Americans. I have done absolutely no research into customs, habits or beliefs of Native Americans. The story is based on a mish-mash of childhood un-politically correct vague ideas. 
It Never Rains But It Pours

Under a brilliant blue sky, unbroken by even a wisp of white, two men rode their listless horses at a slow walk. In no particular hurry, they engaged in companionable conversation as they threaded their way through the saguaro cacti and rolling tumbleweeds. The heat waves shimmered in the distance and the time of day was rapidly approaching when all sensible creatures sought shelter from the relentless rays of the sun. The dark-haired one of the two lifted his arm and pointed to the red, brown, and yellow striated cliffs in the middle distance. A floppy brown hat was adjusted to better shield blue eyes and the blond nodded his agreement. The two swerved to their right and headed towards the mesa. 

Kid Curry was hot. He was sweating. He was uncomfortable and thirsty. He didn’t like the desert heat; he didn’t much like the cold either. And he didn’t care that Heyes seemed to tolerate extreme climates with aplomb, especially when Heyes kept reassuring him that at least it was dry heat. Kid thought, of course, it’s dry, it’s the desert where it hadn’t rained in God knew when. Even the hardy desert plants looked thirsty to him. Kid hoped the small spring at the back of a cave was still running. They had enough water to last them to their destination, if they were careful, but a chance to replenish the water supply was welcomed since the partner’s lives was rarely without incident. 

A slowly moving shadow crossed the horse’s path and both partners looked up. Soaring in lazy circles ever higher on the wind currents was a magnificent large eagle. The eagle swerved and swooped sharply down, straight at the Kid before pulling up yards from the partners. A large white-tipped brown feather drifted down to and fro in the resulting breeze from the bird’s sudden dive. Heyes scanned the ground, trying to spot possible prey and finding no signs of life looked up in time to see his stunned partner pluck the drifting feather from mid-air. Kid pulled his hat from his damp curls and placed the impressive eagle feather in the hat band. Satisfied with his new adornment, Curry remarked, “Maybe it’s a good omen” as he reseated the hat upon his head. Heyes smirked indulgently and the partners continued onward.

“What do you think?” Heyes peered into the dark mouth of the cave they had planned to rest the afternoon away in. The larger cave at the end of a rocky outcrop, if they remembered correctly, was the one, among the several, that contained the small spring. 

“Only one man in moccasins and the tracks look fresh to me,” Kid replied thoughtfully, while examining the soft ground. 

“We might be crossing the Reservation but I’m pretty sure we avoided all the Indian settlements; don’t know why a lone brave would be here. There hasn’t been any rain in ages and the air is still as can be, they could have been here for a while.” 

“We’re not in Southern Utah, Heyes, so your tracking skills aren’t champion-like. You aren’t looking very closely are you. The edges are still pretty sharp and there aren’t any insect tracks crossing at least the one set of tracks. I don’t know about you but I sure don’t want to surprise any Indian.”

“It’s pretty quiet, let’s just scout the cave out. Do you really want to continue riding in this heat?” Heyes looked knowingly at his sweaty, sunburned partner.

Curry sighed, unhooked the hold on his holster and dropped quietly from his buckskin mare. He nodded at Heyes to stay where he was, atop the sorrel gelding, and as silently as he could he crept into the cool dimness. 

Several minutes later, finished with his scouting and ready to report his findings, Kid slowly backed out along the side of the cave. The gunman drew his Colt at the sudden sight that greeted him.

Heyes, still atop his horse, was not alone. A male Indian, somewhat older than the partners, was engaged in a surprised starring standoff with the ex-outlaw. The brave was dressed in native moccasins and shirt but with western style jeans and hat and his only weapon appeared to be a sheathed knife hanging from the intricately tooled belt. The three men stood stock still until Kid raised his left hand, palm outward, his right hand still pointing the revolver straight at the stranger. 


Heyes rolled his eyes at Kid, contemplated their situation, and decided that Kid was the only one seemingly hostile at the moment. 

“What are you doing here? Who are you?” asked the Indian.

“Joshua Smith and Thaddeus Jones,” Heyes explained while helpfully pointing to himself and his partner. “Thaddeus, I think you can put your gun away. Excuse him, we aren’t used to encountering English speaking Indians, actually, we try to avoid Indians altogether. We were planning on resting ourselves and our horses during the heat of the day, replenishing our water supply, too. Didn’t think anyone would be here.”

“I’m Soaring Eagle, I prefer Ed. It’s a long story. Come on in out of the heat.” Ed slipped into the cave, keeping a wary eye on Kid as he did so. Heyes and Curry glanced at each other then at the retreating back of the nonconventional Indian, shrugged and settled their horses just inside the cave. 

Two ex-outlaws and one Indian lounged around a small fire a few feet from the cool spring. Conversation passed easily between the men as they shared a common meal. 

“So, let me get this straight, Ed, you’ve spent most of your life in Washington with your father, a tribal representative, no wonder you speak English so well, and now that your Grandfather is getting older your tribe has decided you have to start training to take his place as the medicine man? Sheesh, you don’t seem the medicine man type, no offense intended,” Heyes stated.

“No offense taken, Joshua. I’m not. I’ve been trying. I’ve got most things straight, the plant remedies, and the basics down but I’ve been faking the entire mystical thing. This is my test. I’m supposed to meditate, use visons to commune with my spirit animal to bring much needed rain. Only the eagle has been silent, my visions are anything but mystical and there isn’t a drop of rain anywhere. I told Grandfather to choose my brother but the old man is stubborn. I can’t stay out here much longer and I can’t go back without at least some rain drops.”

Curry wondered, genuinely curious. “Have you have any visions? What are they about?”

Heyes smacked the Kid on the arm, “Thaddeus, that’s personal, you don’t ask a medicine man something like that.”

“It’s okay, I don’t mind. Yes, I’ve had visions out here, after all, the mushrooms help.” Ed rummaged around in a small leather pouch hanging at his side and drew forth several small dried mushroom buttons. “I want to be an elder of the tribe, just not as a medicine man. The visions I have, plus what I’ve learned living with the white men, will do the tribe more good than I can ever accomplish as a medicine man.” 

Ed suddenly sat up straighter and focused on the large perfect eagle feather that was tucked in the silver hat band on Thaddeus’s hat. “Nice feather, you have. Maybe the eagle will speak through you. You want to help a poor Indian out?” 

Kid threw a bewildered gaze at Heyes, which quickly turned into a scowl at his partner’s barely contained sniggering. 

“Thaddeus loves to help needy folk out, don’t you Thaddeus. Why he can’t help himself, everywhere we go he’s gets involved in someone’s problems. He’s a regular do gooder, he is.”

“Cut it out, Joshua,” snapped Curry. “I don’t think I can help you, Ed, I’m not Indian and I don’t know nothin’ about visions or making it rain.”

Ed caught Heyes’ twinkling eyes and became a little more enthusiastic about the idea; if nothing else it would relieve the boredom. 

“I can work with you Thaddeus, why don’t you give a try, it can’t hurt. Who will know but us? Joshua won’t tell a soul, will you Joshua?” 

Heyes crossed his fingers surreptitiously while he prodded Ed Soaring Eagle on, “What’s he gotta do” 

Two men stood appraising the third critically and nodded satisfactorily at the blond dressed in ceremonial Indian dress complete with appropriate amulets hanging down his bare chest and face paint. The impressive eagle feather was incorporated into the headdress that sat incongruently on blond curls. Kid, finished chewing on one of the mushroom buttons offered by Ed, and hoped he wasn’t being poisoned. He knew he should feel utterly ridiculous but strangely he wasn’t bothered at all. 

Ed took Thaddeus by the hand and walked him through the basic steps of a rain dance. Thaddeus caught on quickly and started to move according to an internal rhythm as he thought of music in the sounds of a rain storm. 

“This is never gonna work,” laughed Heyes enjoying the sight of his partner making a fool of himself, especially since the Kid didn’t seem to care. 

“Nope, probably not, but nothing I’ve done has worked either.” 

“Come sit down and tell me about what you really rather do, while we keep an eye on Thaddeus.” The two men settled themselves back down just inside the cooler cave and resumed conversation. 

“Well, the way I see it, white men like to gamble and they like to drink but not in front of their women folk, so much. And they’re willin’ to spend a lot of money doing it. Us Indians have got reservation land that’s not worth much and it’s getting harder to survive. I think that the tribe should build a big saloon right along the railroad tracks at the end of the reservation, a big one, a great big one with lots of gaming tables. It needs long bars with whiskey of all kinds and girls, don’t forget the girls - white girls, china girls, black girls, all kinds. Everyone’s money is good money. The tribe owns the house, employs many of our people. We build a hotel next to the great big fancy saloon and stores to sell our genuine handmade Indian wares. Actually, the stuff we make is pretty good. The tribe has some talented jewelry makers, squaws who make real pretty bead work, pottery, blankets and such; we’d sell them to the men to take back to their wives and girlfriends. The railroad builds a station so they can make money running trains out for the gamblers to have a good time without being bothered and then they go home. We get rich.”

Heyes nodded as Ed talked, it sounded good to him. He felt compelled to ask skeptically, “You saw this in a vison, must be mighty fine mushrooms? How are you gonna convince the elders of your tribe?”

Ed Soaring Eagle grinned, “In a vison no, I’ve been developing this plan ever since I came back west but it’s not tradition and I’ve only explained small parts of it. The elders are not impressed. They only think in terms of mystical visions not true business vision. I know it can work, but I’m a man ahead of my time” 

Kid Curry was in his own little psychedelic world swaying and stepping in tune to the colors of the desert swirling around him. He smelled rain, heard it in his head, and felt his skin tingle with anticipation. Curry danced on. 

Heyes and Ed bandied suggestions back and forth to improve upon Ed’s plan for some time. Ed muttered, “It won’t come to anything though unless I can convince my grandfather that the spirit showed me the way. And that won’t happen unless it rains, which it isn’t going to do. Just a few drops over the village, that’s all I need.”

Heyes had to agree, it was a good plan, might even happen someday but Ed’s chances of convincing a tribe of peaceful traditional Indians to jump into the saloon, gambling and whorehouse business in a big way was as likely as Kid making it rain.

A low rolling rumble came roaring across the dry desert. Loud booms reverberated off the mesa and the ground shook. Huge towering steel gray clouds scudded across the sky. Lightening crackled in the distance. Low blankets of dark gray trailed behind the thunder clouds to cloak the brilliant rays of the afternoon sun. 

Heyes and Ed Soaring Eagle jumped to their feet, mouths hanging open in disbelief. 

Sheets of soaking rain advanced, drenching the desert with life-giving water as far as the eye could see.

Kid Curry stood still, the majestic eagle feather askew, rain sluicing down his glistening chest, and his eyes shining with pride. He lifted his arms to the sky and threw back his head to let thousands of cooling, tiny prism raindrops hit him full in the face. Turning to face his companions Kid calmly announced, “It never rains but it pours.”
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