Wednesday, November 23, 2016

SHADOWS ON THE TRAIL TRILOGY - No Snowflakes in this Ice Age Tale

Figure One - prehistoric human stalking a bison.
I am reading in the media about all the snowflakes in our population who are melting down because of the U.S. presidential election and I cannot believe it. These people are requiring safe zones, aroma therapy, pet therapy, hot cocoa, and school test delays. They are protesting and based on media interviews, some of the protesters aren't quite sure why they are protesting. Crazy world. When did the human race get so much spare time and leisure time that we don't have to work for our bread? 

When I think about these snowflakes in our population, they remind me of my characters in the SHADOWS ON THE TRAIL TRILOGY, not that there is any resemblance between the snowflakes and the tough characters in my books. Ten thousand plus years ago when the SHADOWS ON THE TRAIL TRILOGY took place, prehistoric humans did not have the luxury or time to think about anything that did not have to do with surviving another day. Weakness did not survive in human or beast. After all, in the late Pleistocene, there were large mammals attempting to use my characters as a food supply and my characters were in a daily struggle just to find enough food to survive. In addition, my characters had to worry about the hostile bands of humans roaming the countryside. There were no policemen or hospitals or dialing 911 for my characters. They were on their own without the hot cocoa or aroma therapy. The only thing between my characters and death was a well placed stone spear point.  

Below is a passage from the second book in the trilogy entitled GHOSTS OF THE HEART.  In this particular passage, some very bad people just attacked our hero Chayton and wounded him in the shoulder with a stone projectile point from a spear. Since these bad people wanted to kill him and his friend Wiyaka, Chayton did not have time for a 'woe is poor me' or to reflect on anything except the life-or-death predicament they were in.  Chayton was critically wounded and the bad people had NOT given up the chase. Here is what happened when Chayton and Wiyaka finally got a break from running away.   

Before the sunset in the west, Chayton and Wiyaka made it out of the mountains and onto the foothills. Wiyaka found a safe place for them to camp near a small spring-fed pond. Chayton collapsed on the ground, sick and exhausted. Wiyaka went to the pond and filled up their water pouches. When he returned, Wiyaka woke Chayton up, telling him, “Sit up! I want to look at your shoulder.”

Wiyaka knelt down behind Chayton and said, “It is getting dark, turn your back to the sun.”

“Where is Namid?” Chayton asked.

Slol wa yea shnee, – I do not know.”


Slol wa yea shnee, – I do not know.” 

Chayton slowly twisted his body, letting the rays of the setting sun reach his wounded shoulder. Chayton’s hide shirt was stuck to the wound with dried blood. When Wiyaka peeled the shirt away, the air exploded with hundreds of flies escaping from the festering wound. Wiyaka swatted at the dense cloud of flies, but they were not going to give up their feast easily. Wiyaka leaned closer, attempting to block the flight of the flies while he examined the wound. Wiyaka took a whiff and quickly turned his nose away. The smell of rotting flesh overcame his senses. Holding his breath, Wiyaka steadied his stomach and inspected the wound. Blood was still trickling down Chayton’s back and a whitish-yellow mass covered the wound. When Wiyaka stuck his face even closer to inspect the whitish-yellow mass, he caught another whiff of the rancid smell and turned his head away. Wiyaka’s eyes watered from the strong stench and his stomach began to heave. He held his breath once again and inspected the wound. This was too much for Wiyaka and he turned his head to the side, vomiting the contents of his almost empty stomach on the ground. When he had purged his stomach of everything in it and more, Wiyaka again tried to inspect the whitish-yellow glob that completely enveloped the wound and the surrounding area. He found that it consisted of fly eggs and when he looked closer, he saw that many of the eggs had already hatched and white maggots had taken over.

Waglulas, – Maggots,” Wiyaka declared. “Ayabeya. – Everywhere.”   

I yo monk pi sni, - I feel bad,” Chayton murmured.

“Your wound is bad, kola, - friend,” Wiyaka agreed.

“The River People?” Chayton mumbled. “Where are they?”

Wiyaka, his hand unsteady from nervous energy, extracted a very thin, oval-shaped stone knife from his satchel. He thumbed the edge of the knife’s blade, testing its sharpness. Then he told Chayton, “This is going to hurt, but I do not know what else to do.”

“What are you doing?” Chayton asked, his head drooping from one side to the other.

“I must rid you of the waglulas - maggots,” Wiyaka replied. “They will bring you death.”  

“Namid…,” Chayton murmured.

Wiyaka grabbed the top of Chayton’s other shoulder with his hand and then with the stone knife in his other hand, he shaved and sawed the dried blood and fly eggs from the wound area. Chayton screamed in pain as the honed edge of the knife cut into the tender nerves surrounding the wound. Wiyaka then poured water on the wound, giving Chayton time to scream out in pain. Then with the sharp stone blade, Wiyaka scraped at the wound some more. Wiyaka did this several more times until he was able to remove most of the coagulated blood, fly eggs, and maggots.  The wound hole in Chayton’s shoulder quickly filled with blood when Wiyaka reopened the wound with the knife. He needed to flush the wound to make sure the poison from the fly eggs and maggots were gone. Wiyaka hoped that he was not too late.

Ah snee was keyn ktay, - I am going to rest,” Chayton murmured, falling over on his good side.

Oh lou lout ah! – It is very hot!”

Ai, – Yes, you rest,” Wiyaka replied, rising to his feet.

Wiyaka gathered dry wood and started a campfire. While the campfire heated up, Wiyaka collected a few green willow branches from along the shore of the pond. He stuck the ends of the green willow branches into the flames of the campfire, heating them up. 


By the way, the language spoken in the above dialogue is Lakota Sioux. I used both Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne Native American languages in the SHADOWS ON THE TRAIL TRILOGY, not because anyone knows what language the Folsom People spoke over ten thousand years ago, but I am pretty sure the language was NOT English. 
Nope, no snowflakes survived at the end of the Ice Age, that’s for sure. Read the SHADOWS ON THE TRAIL TRILOGY if you want to read about some really tough people. In my next blog posting I will give you an example of how really tough these prehistoric people were. Do you think you could survive?   

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