. .
. . A Novel by Douglas Christian Schroeder   .


Chapter 1
Ask Chief



Ish tak ha ba

... There was only one little light on in the room but it seemed to fill the room with light and color. Chief could hear what sounded to him like the wind blowing or like the roar of the crowd at a football game. He knew what the sound was. It was the sound of the "old people" calling him home. His grandfather had told him that when a soul of a person is ready to live the will of mother nature, letting go into the river of life, that he would hear the call of the ancestors. It will sound like the wind roaring or cheering for you, calling you to come home to the earth your mother. The first time that you hear this ,his grandfather had said, you will be in the grips of a dream or being helped by a teacher plant or tree. The second time that you hear this, he had told him, you will be in a fully awake state and you will see a white horse. The third and last time that you hear this sound you will be in a circle of the elders. You will be home. Your original face will be revealed to you at last.. Chief could still hear his grandfather telling him this as if his voice were on the wind.
He was brought back to present reality by a little brown hand being stuck in his face and a little voice was saying. Hi, I'm Tree. Mommy said that you were a chief, are you really an Indian chief? Speaking very slowly Chief said, My grandfather was a Chief of the Sioux. My father was a Sioux chief and I will be a Sioux chief if I make my claim to the elders. In order to do that I must show them my true face. I don't know what that is as yet so you could say that I was a chief in training. And why are you called Tree? My mommy says, that's Cherry over there that you are hanging on to, she says, I was conceived under a big redwood tree and I believe her because she always tells me the truth. Almost always that is. I can't remember that far back yet myself. Do you think that you will be able to remember back to your birth someday, says Chief? As he tries to bring his brain back into focus. Here was a little girl telling him that she could or thought she could remember backwards to her conception. OH sure ! says Tree, untangling herself from the pile. She tries to pull Cherry to her feet.. And beside that I meditate every day. Cherry says it's good for body and soul and I got both of them so I guess that I should be nice to them. Tree finally gets Cherry to her feet. She just stands there with a big shit eating grin on her face. Chief stumbles to his feet as well and goes over and sits on the couch. Cherry goes over and sits on the couch as well. Tree squeezes in between the two of them and say:, Now I will tell you what we are going to do, placing a small hand on both of their knees. Cherries being covered by the tops of her patent leather high top boots. Tree continues, What is going to happen is that I am going to go into my bedroom there , close the door and try to get a little more sleep because I have a dance class tomorrow, You Know!! You two can just sit there with those big shit eating grins on your face all night or go into Cherries room down the hall there and do whatever it is that you want to do. But keep the noise down, ok? She jumps off the couch, gives each of them a big hug and a kiss, runs down the hall doing some kind of dance step. She stops at her door ,turns and blows them a kiss..
Whew, says Cherry. She must really like you otherwise she would have been madder than that. Come on into my room, she says as she pulls him off the couch. Lets do what she says. It is always good to listen to her in a situation like this. She usually knows what she is talking about. They go down the hall and enter a room. Cherry closes the door and pulls out a cigarette lighter and goes over to a bedside table and lights a candle. The light from the one candle seemed to fill the room.
What a bed, thinks Chief. He is still not too used to talking. In the middle of the room stood the largest bed Chief had ever seen. It must have been a queen size and then some. It was made of rough lumber and looked very solid. It was a four poster. It was covered with a number of purple parachutes. It looked really comfortable to Chief about that time. He could feel himself coming down from the mushrooms. He was getting a little sleepy. He liked to sleep. Cherry sits on the chair next to the bed. Between her and the chair was a large sheep skin.. She was trying to get her boots off. Here help me with these Chief. I cant get them off by myself.. Chief goes over and starts pulling the heel of one boot and says, How do you get these off when I'm not here? I usually have someone like you to help me. She cackles like Janis Joplin again. Chief pulls off the boots, throws them on the floor and goes over and pulls down the comforter on the bed revealing a bright yellow silk sheets , pillow covers and says, mind if I lay down? I'm still seeing some really nice colors and I want to groove on this place. You have a really nice apartment.. Sure make yourself at home says, Cherry, my place is your place. Chief takes off his moccasins and his bib overhauls. He feels in the pocket and locates the mushrooms. He takes them out and says to Cherry. Do you want a booster? If not we should put these somewhere where they won't spoil. No I don't want any right now. You can go on down the hall there and take them into the kitchen and you will find a deep freeze. Put them in there. Chief walks down the hall in his chequered shirt and white boxer shorts labelled across the back in bright red letters; OSH.
[... Next >>]
[<< Back]

[Top] [Print]