In the Inipi among the heat and haze a grandfather speaks… Hey ya ya hey ha hey ya yo… The sound of a lone drummer singing in the distance wakes me from the abyss of a nightmare. I awake disoriented and confused. The robes surrounding me still carry the smell of my lover, she lingers, providing warmth. She is always with me.
The sound of our camp rising and beginning another day steady me. I am safe. The nights horror was just a premonition. The dream was to real, I knew I could not ignore it. I needed to speak to the Council.
More than my lover, our children, our nation, our land was at stake. We had no other choice in this. We must come together to stand and protect.
Life was sacred the thought of going to war was never taken lightly. To take a life was always a great responsibility. The taking of life was a last resort. These invaders are now our problem. The invaders had become our responsibility to deal with.
Daily more and more of them invaded our territory. They threw things at us, stole from us, and desecrated our sacred spaces. Despite their actions, these invaders, acted like we were in the wrong.
These invaders, took everything, but left only destruction in their wake. We had heard from other tribes further east of the horrors they wrought. We had just been reluctant to believe that another human could be truly that destructive and hateful.
Our scouts came with stories from tribes nearly desecrated by these invaders. “Their men waited until our warriors’ left for a hunt, leaving only the village elders, women, and children in the camp. With the warriors away, they stole into the village murdering elders, our women, and our children.”
The elders shot. The women raped, their bodies desecrated. Our children beaten to death with the butt of their guns. Then to add further insult their scalps were sold alongside animal skins.
These stories were so gruesome it was hard for our people to accept such desecration of life. Not able to believe these horrors of a people so innately evil we sent scouts out to investigate the truth. Sadly, they came back with nothing, but confirmation and condemnation.
Every horrible story we had been told was found to be true. Our scouts watched in horror, they did not even respect the life of their own people. Our Scouts witnessed the soldiers of these invaders fighting and causing harm to each other with no see-able reason. They raped and beat their women, even beating their small children. No wonder my dreams were filled with such terror.
Even beyond their senseless violence and disgusting abuses was their smell and abuse of the land itself. They seemed to have an aversion to bathing, they drank foul-smelling water causing them to vomit and further degrade the earth and themselves.
We had to get rid of them before the diseases we were warned of were left in their wake. We had to save our people and our land from their desecration.
Looking around I realized I must have awoken late. My love was already busy with the days chores our children dancing around her smile. I had much to protect. Going out into the beauty of our camp I quickly her our youngest on her back our young son eagerly telling her of his latest feats. Her laugh and sweet voice carried, pulling me forward.
Just watching her filled me with strength. At that moment our eyes met, saying more than words could ever convey. I went to kiss her as I did every morning since the day she accepted me as her spouse.
I was blessed enough to earn her love. Kissing her softly I whispered in her ear I would tell her all after I met with the council. She nodded always understanding, always patient. I kissed my young son and daughter before accepting some soup to eat as I walked over to council.
Distracted I was barely conscious of the calls to me and friendly chatter as the camp awoke from sleep. This life was beautiful unsoiled, a place of peace and with every step my resolution grew. I would fight, I could kill, and I would die to protect our life here.
End Part 1
By Rae Rose
My name is Rae Rose and I live in the Pacific Northwest. I have always, always loved stories. I love writing, reading, listening and imaging the words coming to life. My youth was not the happiest and it is not an exaggeration when I say stories saved me more than once.
Every story I tell carries a seed of truth. Mine and of those who were not able to survive. Every story is special and personal to my heart. It is my hope that you enjoy the stories and find comfort, love, and laughter in my words.
*Rae Rose (Paiute, Mayan, Japanese) is a writer based in the Northwest. Follow her @Rae_Rose7