The glaring light stabbed thorns in her eyes; they streamed with tears. What she was straining to see could not be a vision, visions were given freely to her. This seemed to be a thing of the earth, but very strange. She hurried on.
Now she could recognize the body of a horse, one hoofed leg jutting up. But the black thing that had moved before now stayed absolutely still, wrapped up in a ball. She called out to it, identifying herself as a holy being, asking it if it were a holy being too. At the sound of her voice, it stirred, twitched.
Talks Different was not afraid to meet anything strange because she had been made an unusual being herself, a bote granted the blessing of Two Spirit. Confident in her sacred power she came forward, ready to face whatever waited there.
Slowly, unsteadily, it rose up on its hind legs and became a Hairy Face dressed in black pants and black coat. He said nothing. His clothes, his hands, the hair of his head, even his beard, downy as a fledgling duck, were smeared with dried blood.
Now he worked his lips, trying to make words, but nothing came from his mouth except the sounds of a baby wanting to nurse. He took a step and his legs gave way, dropping him on his bottom like a toddler. And like such a child, he stretched out his arms to Talks Different, begging to be picked up, carried and comforted.
Copyright © 2002 by G & M Vanderhaeghe Productions Inc.. Reprinted with permission from Grove Atlantic, Inc. All rights reserved.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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