The powwow performance started with the Grand Entry into the arbor, a sacred circle. A procession of visiting Chiefs, flag bearers, and dignitaries were followed by dancers who entered the circle to drumming and singing. They wore authentic regalia of colorful headdresses and breast plates with intricate designs. The drums, representing the heartbeat of Mother Earth, continued booming while additional dancers joined the circle. Excitement filled the air, and my senses went crazy. New smells, sights, and sounds were everywhere.
“That guy, with all those feathers on him.” Ramey pointed.
I held my breath thinking he wouldn’t notice me.
The man’s eyes, darker than the darkest of nights, bore into mine. I was frightened and couldn’t move or speak. His eyes had some kind of hold on me. I thought I could see movement in them, not his eyes moving, but something in them moving, and then some kind of vapor cloud formed before him. It looked like a misty shower of rain: colorless and odorless. The cloud shot out in my direction. It swirled around in front of me, and it was as if the air danced, testing me, tasting me, feeling me, and it pressed up against my head. It felt dry and warm. Not at all a liquid as I thought it to be. There was a quick sensation of pressure around my head. Almost too much to bear, I opened my mouth to scream right as the pressure released. Then it was simply gone, all of it, the mist, the man, and the mare.
I shook my head in disbelief and checked to see if anyone witnessed what had happened to me. As far as I could tell, no one else had seen. That’s when I noticed him; a boy I recognized from class. He stared lovingly at me, smiled, and went back to watching the tribal activities.
As always, Sam, our Golden Retriever of four years, was there wagging his tail because he never missed an opportunity for lovin’s. As he lapped my cheek with his wet tongue, I was able to get my breathing under control and calm down. Sam was a great dog. Petting him made me remember how I had been against getting a pet, but I loved him and couldn’t imagine our family without him.
I glanced at my alarm clock, and its green glow showed 5:02 AM. I slipped out of bed and sneaked quietly into the bathroom. In the mirror, I saw my hair was saturated with sweat as if I had gone swimming.
After my shower, while applying many products to tame my brown curly mane, I stared at myself in the mirror. Nothing was different, yet I somehow expected at sixteen something would have changed.
“Hey Dan, thanks for actually getting out of bed early and making an effort.” I wrapped my arms around him.
Mom gave an apologetic smile, and Dan brushed past her for the only bathroom in our one-story ranch style home.
One bathroom with two adults and two teens was a pain. Especially when Dan got in there. My routine was insane, but his was way worse. He actually embraced his natural curls and wanted them to be perfect. God forbid if it was a bad hair day, no one else could get in the bathroom.
I sat at the kitchen table staring at the cornflower blue linoleum waiting to be served and then it came: bacon, eggs, pancakes, hash browns, sausage, orange juice, and a hot blueberry tea, my fave. I devoured a little bit of everything feeling hungrier than usual.
“Um, thank you. How old is it, and where did it come from?” I questioned because it even smelled old.
“No one in recent memory knows the answer to either question. We do know it is an honor to receive it, and you have to wear it for your whole birthday, no matter what,” Mom explained.
“Or what, I will have seven years bad luck?” I didn’t know what else to say.
I lifted my flat ironed hair out of the way, and Mom placed the chain around my neck. The second I heard it click into place, I felt funny, and I swear the jewelry’s temperature rose. I stood up in a state of a panic as it warmed and the heat spread from my neck throughout my body. Everything went white, and then pulled out.
“Billie? Can you hear me?” Dan sounded scared. The fear in his voice made me open my eyes to see if it was really him, and I’ll be damned, it was.
Ebook will be available for purchase January 6th, 2012 through http://www.decadentpublishing.com/