Chapter 17 ‘The battle’
Samson stood on the edge of the ledge, the cougar had been gone for twenty minutes, the fire had died away; it was getting time that he began moving again. Below, the forest was beckoning him to head into it, to get himself back into cover; he realised that where he was its just to open he let out a sigh and then jumped the two metres from the ledge onto the path below. Samson trudged on heavily, still holding the two large sticks he had made earlier during his confrontation with the cougar.
* * * * *
Akecheta felt more energetic as he jogged through the forest, there was evil in the air, his senses told him that evil was close, his only weapons now were his tomahawk and the large bowie knife which both hung from his waist. He jogged past some elderberry bushes, stopping; he turned back and pulled a bunch free from one of the branches, he breathed in deeply through his nose as he put several of the small berries into his mouth ‘little warrior wherever you are, I hope you are making the most of your environment!’ Akecheta knew the boy was still alive, and while the boy was alive there was hope, all he needed to do was to find him before the Mexican devil did easier said than done!
From where Akecheta was now stood he could see the tree-line break at the foot of the mountain; the mountain he had told the white boy to head toward. On his morning trek through the forest he had passed several trees that had been tore in two from the ferocious storm that had engulfed the mountains the previous night. The path he was now walking merged onto another; Akecheta stopped motionless footprints he crouched down and traced the print with his index finger, it was large, too large for it to be the boy. The footprints were heavier on the right foot; Akecheta was deep in thought that is the gun the Mexican devil and his modern weapons! ‘Looks like two hours old’ he whispered to himself’ still crouched down he placed his hands on the floor and stooped his face down low. His eyes searched the contour of the ground, he could see the Mexicans trail as it walked toward the base of the mountain, and then he caught sight of a smaller footprint, an older print. He scrambled to this smaller print, once he was level with the print he gently wiped his palm along where the boy had previously walked twelve hours? ‘Maybe……maybe more?’ Akecheta rose to his feet, he stared down at the trail which the boy and the Mexican had left behind, he rubbed his palm around his chin, stopping at his bottom lip, where he used his thumb and his index finger to pinch his bottom lip. ‘Well little warrior, you’re being tracked….let’s hope you didn’t linger around too long this morning, cause you’ve got the dogs of hell on your tail my friend!’
Twenty minutes later and Akecheta was beginning to move up the gradual incline at the base of the mountain, still following in the footsteps of those who had gone before, the boy named Samson and the evil that should never be named! Akecheta figured he was about two hours behind the Mexicans trail, but he slowed his pace; it paid to be cautious, his eyes scanned everywhere around him. Evil was around and he did not want to meet it, even though his heart told him that before this day was over he would come face to face with death. ‘I do not fear the living and I do not fear death, Wakatanka is the one true god and he will always be with me’ Akecheta spoke to the mountain as he walked ‘if death takes me I shall be re-united with my ancestors.’
Akecheta arrived at a rocky overhang, crouching down he had found the place where the white boy had laid the previous night, from his current vantage point Akecheta could see nothing but forest, the greenery of trees spread like a blanket across the landscape. In the distance there were more mountains; his mind drifted to the place where he had grown up, North Dakota and the killdeer mountains where he had been taught the ways of his ancestors. His mind saw the woman he had wanted since an early age...Winona, she was the daughter of Annawan, his chief, his elder, from childhood the two had been destined to become one, a sense of sadness swelled his heart as a tear ran down his cheek ‘Winona’ he whispered. As Akecheta walked solemnly along the shale path he visualised his childhood sweetheart, he could see her now, her shoulder length black hair blowing in the cool breeze. He was stood in the street down the main town, she was stepping out of the 24/7, she turned to face him; their eyes locked onto each other…..love is what they both saw in each other’s eyes, a love that would bind them together for eternity! Now they were lying on a blue checked picnic blanket, it was the last time he had ever seen her. The heat of the day was disappearing; it was dusk the time of day when the nocturnal animals begin to wake. They were lying on their backs looking up into the sky, when Winona rolled over onto her elbow, Akecheta could feel her eyes on him, and he could feel her piercing gaze as she stared at his features. His heart felt like it would beat out of his chest, he wanted to pull her into him, to kiss her passionately, to tell her his thoughts, to ask; ask her the question could they be one. His name meant fighter but now he was scared, scared of rejection; even though his heart told him that she felt exactly the same feelings for him as he felt for her.
‘I love this time of day’ Winona whispered, as she tucked several stray hairs behind her ear. ‘This and the morning they are both the opposite, the birds come to life, then now they go to sleep, soon the chorus closes down and a new chorus begins.’
‘Tomorrow I have to go to your father; he has summoned me to do an errand.’
‘What kind of errand? He has not said anything to me, but then he has been acting strange of late’ she spoke quietly her mind deep in thought.
‘I do not know what he wants, but my heart tells me something is wrong….he has gone to the sacred place, why I do not know, but tomorrow maybe the truth will be told’ Akecheta turned his head to stare at his love, he felt as though a shadow had passed over his soul. A sudden shiver went down his spine ‘I have a fear in my heart and I do not know why!’
‘You have nothing to fear my……’ she paused.
Akecheta waited his heart had stopped mid beat what, what will she say? He so wanted to hold her to pull her into him to kiss her, then his mouth spoke words ‘I love you, my Winona’ he reached his arm up and slipping it around her neck he pulled her into him. Into his mouth their lips made contact, wet and wanting they kissed………….
Akecheta was brought back to the present, it had all been so real, the last time he would ever see his love you don’t know that ‘no, I do not know that’ but the evil one…..a shiver shot down his spine, never in his life, had he ever had negative thoughts, but now! Akecheta swallowed nervously ‘stop these thoughts’ he spotted something about one hundred metres in front of him, a charred pile of ash and charcoal. Once he reached the remains of the fire he surveyed the land around him, the tracks moved off to his left, back to the forest and the undergrowth, then for the first time that day he saw the hawk off in the distance. The bird was circling high above the forest canopy, Akecheta knew instantly that the devil was near the boy….there was no time now for negative thoughts, the time was nearly upon him; judgement day was fast approaching.
Without a second thought Akecheta began his two mile sprint to the spot where the hawk circled, judgement day………
* * * * *
Killdeer Mountain; North Dakota 14.20pm local time:
Annawan sat motionless leaning with his back against the warm stone rock, he was not in the present, he was in the presence of the elders, the time would soon be upon them. The training and the preparation would soon come to the fore, he did not know if his strength would hold out, but what he did know was that the spirit of the Sioux nation would be with him, it would be with him and Akecheta. The spirit of their people would be with them both before this day is out we shall know Annawan opened his eyes, his features were tired, his body weary ‘soon; very soon, we will know!’
* * * * *
The Rocky Mountains, 14.55pm Local time:
Samson was thoroughly exhausted, every muscle in his body ached, his walk had now become a stumble, several times he walked into a tree or branch, his entire body was beaten and battered, his mind was oblivious to everything around him. He was totally unaware of the silence that had now descended on his surroundings; he was unaware of the man who was now walking forty paces behind him. Ahead he could see a clearing, and slowly he changed course and began walking toward the clearing, this was going to be his new route. After twenty more steps he emerged into the clearing and began to walk further into the open grass land. The grass was around two hundred millimetres in length, a slight breeze blew across the small meadow that dipped away two hundred metres further on, and the breeze cooled Samson as he took another step. Then his ears caught something? A twig had snapped behind him, Samson swung around just as the Mexican entered the clearing, his heart stopped, it was over and in one way his brain was glad that the end was here.
‘You’re a hard boy to find’ there was no accent almost no tone at all ‘caused me a whole lotta trouble; you and your family…..you understand don’t you that I can’t let you leave, your end is here’ the Mexican motioned with his hand around the clearing. ‘Quite a beautiful place to die don’t you think?’
Samson swallowed hard ‘yeah’ that was all he could say. There were no more words, nothing else could escape his mouth, soon he would be re-united with his family sympathy for the devil, how ironic. His whole body had now lost the energy to fight, to run; it was over, Samson fell to his knees ‘please God!’
The Mexican laughed ‘your God doesn’t listen, never has done, never will, please God! It’s what they all say and he hasn’t helped anybody yet’ he chuckled once more.
Samson caught a movement off to his left on the edge of the clearing, then another, then a third; whatever it was it was just inside the forest, then they entered…..three wolves, one by one they circled the perimeter of the field. The Mexican was walking slowly toward Samson, Samson had now risen back to his feet and was in turn slowly backing away, and the Mexican had also spotted the wolves as they circled the field. Samson couldn’t help but think that all his nightmares had come at once if being killed isn’t bad enough I’m going to get eaten as well? One by one the wolves began to move in different directions, two circled and the third began to move inwards toward the two prey.
‘Well little boy it looks like you’ve got a little help!’ his voice was louder and raspier, deep yet high if that’s possible, it sounded to Samson like no voice he had ever heard.
Samson looked at the Mexicans face, it was contorting, his features bubbling and moving around ‘they are with me?’ Samson whispered under his breath. The wolf who had moved inwards was snarling, but it was not paying any attention at all to Samson, who was now clutching his stick even tighter.
The first attack came quickly, the wolf pounced at the Mexican who had now, turned into some fiercely possessed demon, the wolf flew toward his throat as the second and third wolves began to make their move. The Mexican was focussed only on the attacking wolf; he was totally unaware of the other two attacks. One wolf landed on his back, its fangs ripped into his shoulder blade. With his right fist the Mexican punched the pouncing wolf in mid-air sending it sprawling sideways on away from him, his other hand had already moved behind his head and grabbed the biting wolf by the scruff of the neck, the Mexican had brute strength and pulled the wolf free. The third wolf was now attached to the Mexicans leg, he pulled the second wolf over his shoulder swung it around his head, letting go the wolf sailed through the air for several feet, landing cleanly it turned to pounce again. The Mexican now focussed his attention on the third wolf who has attached to his right thigh, with almighty strength his fist smashed in to the wolf’s head; the force sent the wolf crashing to the floor with a mouthful of the Mexicans flesh. But the force was that severe the third wolf was dead in an instant!
Samson watched as the wolf who had been thrown through the air spun back round to face its deadly foe, the first wolf the one which the Mexican had punched, was bleeding from its ear, its grey fur was slightly blood-stained, but now they were both focussed on one thing! The two wolfs one grey and one black now advanced as one, snarling and snapping, the Mexican, his face still contorting with rage, let out a deathly laugh then with lightning speed he withdrew the Gloch which was holstered on his right leg. With the pistol gripped tightly he brought it round to bare on the now pouncing black wolf, the shot was deafening as it echoed around the small meadow. The wolf let out a yelp as it fell to the floor mid-flight. The second wolf had begun its attack, low and fast it attacked with purpose its mouth was just about to close on the Mexican’s leg when the blast from the second shot from the Gloch hit just above its right hind leg. The bullet went straight through the wolf exiting halfway down its left leg, shattering its cruciate ligament instantly. It fell to the floor yelping with pain, the Mexican laughed hoarsely and aimed a massive boot into the wolfs stomach, the wolf only managed a soft grunt.
Samson watched helplessly as the wounded wolf tried to pull itself onto its front legs, it tried desperately to drag itself away from the demonic beast that was standing above it, it whimpered again as it moved away. The Mexican watched the grey as it tried its hardest to escape what was to come! The Mexican holstered the Gloch and aimed another almighty kick, the wolf was lifted half a metre from the floor, just as it landed again the Mexican kicked it once, then twice more, all the fight had now disappeared from the grey beast as it lay bleeding out, its chest rising and falling in time with its soft, last breaths. Samson could feel the tears burning his cheeks, his hands clutching the stick even tighter, he could feel his temper rising why, why take the life of something so beautiful Samson wanted to help the dying creature. The black wolf had been lucky, the bullet from the Gloch had only gone through the flabby bit in its neck, it still rolled around yelping, but the bullet wound was not going to kill it. The Mexican glanced over and knew instantly that his shot had not been true enough to kill the animal; he ignored the grey dying wolf at his feet and began walking toward the black yelping creature, withdrawing his knife as he walked.
* * * * *
Akecheta had left the mountain and was now travelling through the endless forest, his pace had quickened, his hopes were high from the tracks he was following they are close now he ran quicker. There was also a feeling of dread rising…..he glanced up through the gaps in the canopy overhead; the hawk was circling high above the ground. Akecheta felt dread in his heart, a great danger lay ahead waiting; waiting for him, soon his fate would lie in the hands of his ancestors, soon he would pay them a visit.
* * * * *
The Killdeer Mountains, North Dakota:
Annawan’s heart filled with dread, his eyes were closed tight as he watched through the eyes of the hawk, he watched the play of battle in the clearing below, he watched helpless from above as one by one the wolves fell to the powers of evil. Annawan watched the Mexican as he dealt with the three wolves with ease, the evil that the man possessed seemed to surround his frame like an haze and Annawan realised this is how the animals see the evil within mankind. He looked off into the forest and could make out a slight glow of light through the breaks in the trees, he knew instantly that the glow of light was the goodness that flowed through Akecheta, light and dark, good and evil, the way the animals saw it and the battle that had raged for millennia, for all time since the creation of the earth. Akecheta, run my son; the boy is in grave danger as though his thought had travelled through time and space he watched as the glow of light began moving quickly toward the small meadow clearing.
Back on the mountain, Annawan threw more wood onto the fire as the heat from the sun burned down upon him, sweat rolled from every pore. And Annawan knew the reason why, the time for battle was approaching, he began to chant, a rhythmic sound that brought with it years of hope and history. Putting his hand into one of the pouches around his waist he withdrew a handful of the yellow powder and threw it onto the fire, his eyes were still closed as he continued to watch the events unfold in the meadow clearing. Annawan was at one with the hawk as it flew in the skies high above the small meadow clearing, his eyes pained as he watched the demise of the wolves he had sent to aid the young white boy; he had watched first the bear and now the wolves fall one by one, now, any second Akecheta would be in the clearing. He would watch helplessly from above as the young man he classed as his own son would come face to face with evil, for the first time in his whole life Annawan was afraid I am sorry my son for what I have sent you to do, please be brave, but most of all be true; true to yourself and the temptation to turn from the path of our ancestors. The time was fast approaching; he knew he would have to aid the last hope they had of defeating this pure evil being that attacked the goodness that dwelled below him. But I am afraid……Wakatanka; please give me strength, strength to see out this last day; for this will be my last day, in this life.
* * * * *
The Rocky Mountains:
Akecheta heard commotion ahead, he was close, he could make out a gap in the tree-line about one hundred metres further ahead, there was a clearing, he could make out the outline of two people, one was smaller than the other, the smaller of the two was several metres away from the bigger. The bigger person wore a red baseball cap, a fear rose inside him, it shot through his bloodstream, bubbling through his veins run, run away, there is nothing to be embarrassed about.
His mind drifted off, he was back in Dakota, he was sitting on a park bench next to his one love Winona, they held hands, and his grip was tight, tight with the love that pulsed through his every pore. “Winona I am afraid of this evil that I have to confront.”
She smiled at her Akecheta ‘do not be afraid my love, you are brave, you are the fighter of the Lakota, you are the fighter of our people, you are the fighter the ancestors have sent and the blood of our ancestors flows through you, they are with you always, be brave my love!’
‘But I may not see your face again, the life that was destined for me and you may never happen?’
Winona moved her free hand up to Akecheta’s face ‘what will be will be my love, my heart, my soul will always belong to you, do not fear death as you should never fear life, you are true….you are Akecheta, you are “The Fighter” you will go and do battle for me, for my father, for our people and for that little boy. You will not fear anything so long as your heart is true!’
Akecheta was back in the forest, his face tensed as he walked toward the tree-line. Akecheta shook his head as he gritted his teeth ‘Please be with me Wakatanka, I will not deviate from the path of which I walk. I will fight for the powers of goodness and all that I hold dear and I will fight for the white boy’ he whispered to himself as he reached the edge of the clearing. Akecheta swallowed nervously as he stepped into the clearing............
Next week get ready for the last chapter of Samson, I hope you enjoy this instalment in his fight for survival?
If you like Samson then why not check out 'The Semiotic Networks' available in paperback, e-book and I-tunes!!! All the best........my avid readers!!