Authors: Patrick Cassidy
book, or any portion thereof, may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the author or publisher.
is a work of fiction and all names, places, incidents and character traits are
products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons
or events is purely and totally coincidental.
2013 (All Rights Reserved)
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Table of Contents
Slowly and lovingly, the warrior laid out his
weapons upon the animal skins before him, painstakingly arranging each one of his
tools. He allowed his hand to linger for a brief moment on the smooth ash
handle of his tomahawk; he was reluctant to be parted from it for even a
second. It was a beautiful weapon, measuring more than two-feet long and
featuring a stunningly crafted handle that was covered from base to head with
intricate Native American carvings.
This was the work of his grandfather’s people, many
Christopher traced the blade, running an index
finger along its edge. Despite its age, it was still a deadly weapon and he
smiled as he imagined the 4-inch stone head whirling end over end before
striking the chest of an enemy invader. Yes, it was his favorite weapon by far.
A weapon any warrior would have been proud to call his own, such was the
mastery of the craftsmanship.
Carefully checking each weapon, Christopher had to
make sure they all looked the part that they were to play in the events of the
His face was a mask of concentration as he wiped and
polished each blade and each handle – his tomahawk was first, as always, soon
followed by his trusty black bear-jaw knife, gleaming white in the dim light,
and finally his bow. The warrior stood, feet spread apart, as he motioned
drawing back the string, aiming at an imaginary target in the distance, letting
loose an invisible arrow that was to inflict his righteous fury upon those foes
that would dare encroach upon his sacred land.
Satisfied that his bow was battle-ready, Chris
placed the last of his weaponry on the skins and turned to the place where his
clothes and armor hung.
First, the warrior hung around his neck what had
become the most essential part of his battle attire – a bone breastplate,
fashioned from long bone-beads and held together with leather strapping.
He savored the ice-cold chill it sent through his body.
Next, he carefully attached the belt that was to
hold his weapons. The leather leggings that attached to the belt would
offer his legs some small measure of protection from the rough times that
awaited him in the darkness to come. The colorful beads and decorations
stitched into the leggings stood out even in this dim light. They
summoned a spiritual guardian, his mother had told him when she stitched them,
which would follow him into battle and protect him from those that would seek
to cause him harm.
He applied the necessary war-paint and slowly
affixed several feathers to his hair. The feathers hung downwards, in the true
traditional fashion of a brave ready for war.
Now fully garbed, the warrior fixed each weapon into
its place upon his belt. His trusty steed awaited him, and he could feel
its impatience boiling over just as his own adrenaline was beginning to surge
through his veins. This rush of energy would, he prayed, help see him
through the night successfully.
Switching on the light, Chris took one last moment
to examine himself clearly in the long mirror before him. Even in the dim
light of the small lamp on his dressing room table, he could see that each
aspect of ceremonial costume was perfectly attended to. After all, he had
fought this battle countless times before.
Chris smiled at his reflection; it was ironic that
he stood here now, dressed as his people had throughout the ages. Born of
a native and a white man, Chris was an impure being in an impure world. Yes, he
would ride out on his ‘horse’ into the light and people would scream at the
very sight of him, but there would be no glory in this battle.
As he heard the screams outside grow louder, Chris
turned and exited the dressing room, closing the door behind him. The corridor
was brightly lit and hurt his eyes as he made his way towards the clamoring din
that signaled a large crowd, impatiently awaiting their Indian warrior. Chris
walked confidently, sure of himself and of his ability to entertain even the
most demanding of crowds. This was his turf and he was the chosen one.
His services were in demand and he never disappointed.
The noise was growing louder and louder and as he
approached his horse, ready to ride out into the night to whatever fate awaited
him. Thumping music and screams of lusty women filled the air as
smiled and nodded. Tonight was going to be something
Working as a partially clothed male entertainer was the
only way Chris knew to provide for his mother, and ensure they lived at least
modestly in their two-bedroom apartment. He knew he wouldn’t have to do it
forever. Once he graduated from UNLV he could pursue a career in what he truly
loved – engineering, but that was still years away.
Besides, he actually kind of liked being an
Indian-themed male stripper, because in a perverse kind of way, it brought him
closer to his roots. He took a quick peek beyond the curtain, the only
thing separating him from the hungry crowd of barking women. The place was
packed. As usual, the heating was turned up too high and he could smell the
aroma of the women out there, a sweet almost sickly smell of sweat and perfume
mixed with the underlying scent of lust. Steadying himself on his custom made
horse, crafted from a broom handle; Chris checked his watch. It was 9:59pm.
Soon his song would announce to all that he had arrived.
He wondered what his mother was doing at that very
When he had left her she had still been fairly
cognizant, but he doubted she would be that way when he made it home later.
Addicted to heroin, she was almost lost to him… the
drugs had taken away most of the mother he once knew. A full-blooded Native
American princess, she had been warped and twisted by Chris’ white father, a
despicable man who preyed on the weak. This man made his living sucking
the life from others to sustain his own grotesque empire.
Chris scowled at these thoughts of his father, a man
he barely knew, but who was well-known to all those who suffered because of his
All at once, his song began to blare and Chris
stiffened, assuming the pose. The Indian drums played out a background beat
that he would ride his horse to. Chris readied himself before bursting through
the curtains, whooping like an Indian warrior riding into battle, his tomahawk
clasped in one hand and the other gripping the reins of his horse.
The club was indeed packed full of waiting women and
Chris spotted the bride to be immediately, amongst the screaming, excited mass.
She was the one being pushed to the center of the dance floor, bashful and
embarrassed. They were always like that to begin with, but Chris had his ways
and soon she would be riding him as wildly as he was riding his broom horse.
Whooping and waving his Tomahawk, Chris discarded
his horse and approached the dance floor to begin his night’s work.
Chris pushed closed the door and stepped into the
hallway of his apartment, he was happy to be home at last. He was greeted by
silence, but that was nothing new. He rarely returned home from work
before 2am and his mother was probably passed out on the edge of the sofa just
as she always was when he came home at night, a needle hanging out of her arm.
The curse of her poisonous addiction was not only
that she spent most of her life lost in the perennial fog of a heroin high, but
that she always had access to this evil drug that literally sapped the life and
spirit right out of her. Chris felt a pang of regret as he switched on the
hallway light and regarded himself in the mirror, not quite happy with the
image that stared back at him. He was a handsome young man; that much was
certain and he never lacked female attention, but that wasn’t exactly a
priority on his list. He just wanted to be normal, or at least be part of a
normal existence, with a family who loved him and helped him as he studied and
worked his way towards his degree, like other American families did.
Rummaging in his backpack, he found what he was
looking for and began to locate and wipe away the lipstick that seemed to cover
his entire face, causing his olive skin to appear unnaturally pink. Something
had to give sooner rather than later, deep down he knew that a reckoning was
approaching fast, like the strong winds of
the wind god that had once plagued his people.
His face now clear of lipstick, he felt more like
himself, and felt a power surging through his veins as he looked into the dark eyes
of his reflection staring back at him. He had known for a while now but was
unable to or maybe even too cowardly to do anything about it. He scowled and
shook his head, slapping his hands on the wall either side of the mirror before
his body went limp and his head fell forward in defeat. His mother was using
his money to pay for her habit … a habit that was killing her. One can only
hide the truth from oneself for so long, before it eventually finds its way
back out into the light, it is inevitable.
Dropping his bag in the hallway, Chris made his way
into the living room where he was sure his mother would be lying prone on the
sofa, as usual. The bright light from the naked bulb in the ceiling illuminated
the disgrace that had come to be their living room. Discarded junk food
packaging, pizza boxes, empty beer bottles and rotting food littered the floor,
discarded by his mother who could barely even haul herself to the toilet these
days… unable to escape the deepness of the chasm she had willingly thrown
Chris sighed and made his way over to the prone form
of his mother. She lay passed out, her once beautiful ebony black hair was now
streaked with white and looked tired, lank and lifeless but it wasn’t her hair
that brought tears to Chris’ eyes. Her beautiful face, once proud, with dark
brown eyes that radiated strength and dignity was now just a shadow of its
former glory, as was her once great spirit. He stood over her and looked upon
what his mother had become for the thousandth time, and for the thousandth time
he felt a fury washing through him, causing him to shake and ball his fists
until his knuckles hurt. Nita was the name given to her by his grandfather.
In Choctaw, Nita means bear and his mother had lived
up to her name for a long time, possessing strength that Chris was in awe of.
That was, until his father had corrupted her and introduced her to heroin.
Chris, being only nineteen now, was too young to really comprehend what was
happening all those years ago when his mother began to change. It was
subtle at first, but then as he grew up and neared the end of high school, she
transformed drastically. Gone was the spirit of the bear within her, replaced
now by a shadow.
Even that elusive shadow would disappear for hours
on end while she was lost in the darkness that only heroin could bring.
Chris had lost his father too.