Monday, November 14, 2011

Honani, The Badger

My father is an idiot of the worst kind. He refuses to subdue his pride, refuses to admit he's wrong. I'm not buying in to what the rest of this camp says just yet, though I do find Chumana's story disturbing. What I find more disturbing is that the honored chief of a village could be so stuck in human affairs, that he would exile his own wife and children is some desperate far-flung attempt to save face and save power. 
Oh, right. Zia says I'm supposed to introduce myself. Call me Badger, or Honani if you like saying interesting names. I'm sure you can guess the name: My spirit animal is the fierce badger. Stopping at nothing, fighting until the very end, very grounded. I struggle with the spirit realm, which is probably why I'm the resident skeptic of the group.
I'm the only one the spirits didn't seem to affect that Halloween night. I mean sure, I felt sick and lost a few hours, but that happens in the desert on long journey with little water. Heat stroke does things like that., people. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Where shall I begin, but to tell you of myself? I am Chumana, the Snake Maiden. I am called this because when I was born,  a viper of the desert rest itself next to me but did not strike. The snake is my guardian. Most fear him, but I respect his ways. The snake is a curious creature, but not the creature of evil he is made to be. 
I am Running Bear's sister. I do not know why he calls himself of that name, but he forbids me speak his true name. I chose to run with him because of the darkness that is within my father. I shall now tell you a tale of our family's downfall, and why it is so important he never find us.

About seven cycles ago, my father came home with some words written on a piece of paper. He said they were from a young boy passing through, a boy with no hand. He said that the had been divinely inspired to pass along a legend long forgotten, and had lost his hand in pursuit but gained enlightenment. He refused to give his name, calling himself only "The Emissary". Father read these words and soon began to act very strangely. He would remain awake late at night, rereading. He would go out into the night and sometimes not return until daybreak. At first he seemed fearful of the night, but as time passed on, he changed. 
Our mother one night while he was gone stole the papers from a hidden hole on our wall. She read them herself, and the very next morning confronted him.I confess, I do not know what transpired in the conversation. But every night thereafter, my mother also began to consume herself in reading the words The Emissary left behind.
A cycle and a half later, the symbol started appearing. My father became more and more agitated, my mother, more paranoid. She began to refuse my father's company. She held a meeting with a few elders and told them what she had read and seen. They ignored her, of course. And then, father discovered the symbol in their bedchamber and perceived it to be the ultimate abandonment.
He forced her out of the house, on a journey of purification. Or, so he said. 

But I caught him talking in his sleep, two nights before Running Bear and Zia returned. He mentioned the box dwelling, sending her there to be "Remade". And that he was sorry he had failed. Then he screamed, and awoke, and ran from the house.

I am resigned to the fact that Zia is right about this. That there is more to it than a broken life symbol. When something is worshiped as this figure was in the dwelling....It is bigger than a legend. But what if it is real? My father then serves a false god of death.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In which this blog almost came to an abrupt end.

I wish I was joking about the title. I was so preoccupied with getting to Mesa Verde and avoiding the Chief and his friends that I sort of forgot the day. October 31st. The Day of the Dead, Halloween, The Beginning of the Winter Calendar..Whatever you call it, one thing is certain. It is a day for precaution. Why anyone celebrates it is beyond me, but maybe that is just my experience with the spirit world talking. All I know is, Halloween is the day the veil between the living world and the realm of the ancestors grows very thin. It is a day of transition, leaving everything vulnerable.

We were walking through an empty stretch of desert, we didn't really have a choice but to cross this open patch of ground. It was nearing midnight, the darkness was covering us almost completely. It was decided that we'd go at it at a slow run, spaced out. We were almost exactly halfway across the stretch when Running Bear crumpled to the ground.  Naturally I thought the Chief had shot him. We've managed to stay only a half a step in front of the bastard this whole time. He's attacked us twice already with no real damages, but..I can't enter Mesa Verde until I've lost him. I can't let him find my place. too sacred for the evil he would bring there.

Running Bear's sister screamed and ran to him. She rolled him over and...his face...He looked frightened. "Spi...Spirit...." Spirit? A spirit did this? And then I remembered. It's October 31st, and we're on potentially active ancestral ground.  I don't know what happened here in ancient days. I know little about what happened anywhere, unless I get a friendly spirit to talk. And this one obviously wasn't feeling friendly.

Running Bear's brother then spoke up. First time I ever heard him say a thing. "Zia. Look. Look around us. The dead walk."

Holy. Fucking. Hell. You know the saying "When Hell is full the dead walk the earth"? Yeah well. It has truth rooted in the legends. All of us were enveloped by a literal wall of spirits. Unhappy ones. Screaming voices, cursing, howling...It was painful. Soon, all of us were on the ground on our knees, hands pressed against our ears. They assailed us from all sides. I don't know how many of you have ever been physically attacked by something not completely of the physical world, but, it is decidedly unpleasant. And can be deadly in the long term. And it's hard to fight back.

Pain. Unnatural pain. Oh, it hurt..
And then they disappeared as quickly as they had come.  I looked up at the sky. Blessed daylight. The sun was rising. Oh, thank you Great Father.. And then I realized something.

We'd been in the same spot, under attack by these strange spirits, for almost five hours.