Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Monster of Nature Comes to Ghosts of the Heart by John Bradford Branney

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Allow me to set the stage for this blog posting about Ghosts of the Heart, the second book in the Shadows on the Trail Trilogy by John Bradford Branney. Imagine that you are living almost 11,000 years ago in what would thousands of years later be called North America. You and your tribe of First American explorers are literally surviving hand to mouth. You have no possessions that you can not carry. You and your tribe follow the seasonal migration of the herds of Pleistocene mammals. You learned how to survive in this harsh and unforgiving land when you were just a child. You know nothing about science or weather or the physical phenomena of nature. Since you and your people are always one step away from annihilation, you do not have time to ponder anything except where your next meal is coming from and surviving for another sun. One day, you see the sun cloaked into darkness and after that, complete chaos. An unknown beast is coming alive!! You believe the gods are angry, but you don't know why. What is happening in front of your eyes is a horrific mystery that cannot be explained. 

The following text in blue is from my book Ghosts of the Heart, the second book in the Shadows on the Trail Trilogy. Nahuu was the leader of a hostile band of warriors who were tracking down the heroes of my prehistoric trilogy, the Folsom People. This was what happened.

Nahuu watched the billowing dark clouds to the north of the war party. The dangerous looking storm was crossing the trail the hunters had left to the north. Nahuu and the war party would wait the storm out before continuing their hunt. Iinii stood next to Nahuu, watching the black-tinged clouds swirling and bubbling in the sky. No one in the war party had ever seen a storm like this and the warriors stood there frozen, staring up into the clouds. On the west side of the storm, small swirling claw-shaped clouds descended out of the larger clouds. Each of the claws grasped the sky, like talons from a bird of prey. Then as quickly as the talons appeared, they disappeared back into the cloudbank.
While the large cloudbank slowly rotated through the sky, the talons lengthened and shortened, spiraling left and then right, until they disappeared into the clouds above. The warriors watched the dark clouds with both fear and awe.
While most of the warriors watched the talons in the northwest appear and disappear, Nahuu kept his eye on the furious thunderstorm to the north. The winds gusted when the two powerful storms collided. The sky erupted with lightning and thunder. Out of the storm clouds, five talons dropped down, swirling and twisting their way to the ground.

The five talons gently swayed in the sky, hypnotizing the warriors into believing there was less danger than there actually was. The five talons then touched each other and then quickly separated while ascending back up into the cloudbank. They suddenly reappeared as two larger talons. The two talons swirled and danced while a bolt of lightning struck a dead pine tree, showering the warriors with shards of wood. By the time the warriors looked back up in the sky, the two talons had become one.   

The pointed talon swirled in the sky, its shape weaving back and forth. The talon suddenly lunged towards the ground, colliding into the ground and the dead pine trees. The air erupted with the dust and dirt that climbed up the funnel cloud, turning its color from gray to brown. The Arid Plains lit up with lightning and shook from the thunder as the funnel cloud metamorphosed into a beast, a gigantic tornado that was ripping dead pine trees from the ground by the hundreds and tossing them across the Arid Plains. The war party stood there on the hill, too petrified to move as this monster of nature came towards them.
Well, what do you think? What would you have done? Read Ghosts of the Heart to find out what Nahuu and his warriors did. Ghosts of the Heart is available at better booksellers everywhere. Click Here to Purchase John Bradford Branney Books.