Friday, August 5, 2011
Grace becomes Dancing Fawn in WHLS
Papa scraped the last speck of egg from his plate and set it aside. "I s'pect Kev and me'll find gold any day now. People are discoverin' it all around us. When we make our strike, we can find some land and build a real house. It's sure to happen soon...afore summer is past and the weather turns cold. In fact, Sassy, you and yer ma might want to start gatherin' fair-sized stones and rocks for our fireplace.
He pointed to the lean-to, still in progress. "In the meantime, Kev and I will finish our temporary shelter so we can spread out a bit."
No more climbing in and out of the wagon to sleep. Grace clapped. "Oh, Papa, that sounds so good."
She sobered and flashed the look that always won him over...the half-pout, wistful gaze. "When we finally settle in our real house, it will be near a town, won't it? Otherwise, how do you expect me to be courted out here in the middle of nowhere?"
"I'm not sure I want you to be cour...." He jerked around and looked over his shoulder. "Do you hear that?"
"Hear what?" Kevin asked.
"I hear it, Papa," Grace chimed i. "Sounds like yelling."
Her father stood and scanned the horizon. He pointed. "Look. There!"
A group of riders emerged from a cloud of dust in the distance. The yelling grew louder as the came closer.
The furrows in her father's brow frightened Grace. "What is it, Papa?"
He darted for the wagon. "It's Injuns! Hurry! You two women get inside and keep low. Kevin, get yer rifle!"
What would pass through your mind? Fear most certainly. The history between the red and white race has been depicted in many TV and movie westerns. Indians traditionally scalped their victims as proof they were victorious in battle. Those who survived and were held captive didn't fare well. Now picture yourself in this scene... as she stumbles into camp, and would you share Grace's feelings in the second scene?
His gaze (the chief's) gaze shifted to the white woman tethered and stumbling behind the Appaloosa of his nephew's closest friend, Black Crow. Each faltering step testified to her exhaustion. She struggled to remain standing. Her chin lifted momentarily, and she looked directly at Lone Eagle. Long blonde hair hung in matted strands. Her blue eyes, barely visible beneath the dirty tresses, were wide with fright. One sleeve of her soiled dress hung in tatters down her arm, and crimson chafe marks marred her wrists. Raw and weeping red spots peerked through the veil of dust on her bare feet.
Grace scanned the village and the seemingly hostile people surrounding her. Her heart pounded. What would become of her? Her mind played flashbacks of her family sprawled on the ground. Not even a proper burial...just left to the hungry animals roaming the prairie. If only she could block the scene from her mind, but her heart ached for the loss of her family. She'd never see her mother's lovely face or hear her father's booming voice... And her brother, Kevin, her protector and best friend. He died without even experiencing life.
Oh, how she hated the brutal and heartless man who held her tether. Never before had she wished anyone dead, but if he dropped at her feet, she'd find the energy to dance with joy. Her mind spun in a million directions. What was her captor saying? Was he going to kill her? What had her family done to deserve such a brutal end?
There is a lot to the story in White Heart, Lakota Spirit, and Grace has to make a difficult choice at some point. How accepting would you be? Could you understand the Indian's POV and find compassion in your heart? Find out how Grace deals with the circumstances life has dealt her and walk mile in her "new mocassins."
White Heart, Lakota Spirit is available through Eternal Press or at Amazon in both print and Kindle editions. I hope you'll check it out.