Thursday, October 13, 2011

An idea in my head. Here's the beginnings.

Below is a very early (and rough) draft for the intro to a story I'm brewing in my noggin. The story is titled "Wašin Icu," and is about a Lakota WWII veteran who returns home from a VA Hospital visit only to have a premonition of something horrible about to occur. He's not sure what's going to happen, but he knows it'll be bad.

You see, Joseph Crow, the aforementioned veteran (decorated, thank you very much) is often prescient, and he only feels this way when bad things are coming. And definitely, something bad is about to make it's way onto the reservation.

So, for your enjoyment (I hope), here's an early draft idea for the intro to "Wašin Icu."

From the rear seat of the taxi, the slowly approaching gray, dead trees in the distance looked like low-lying smoke, and the branches merely wisps of fumes that were diffused in the wind. Behind the gray wall of woods were the fir trees, green as ever--as their common name would show--and beyond those were the fields of corn that had turned color. He was nearly home.

It was harvest time, and Joseph Crow would soon be back on the Lakota reservation. Being a decorated war veteran granted him some privileges--not great, grand honors--but a ride to and from the VA hospital as needed, and that was good enough for him. Pulling up to his crushed rock driveway, Joe stepped out of the dusty yellow cab and signed papers the driver had prepared. These papers--a mere legal formality--simply allowed the taxi company to declare Joe "returned" and they could get their payment for the work done. Better than having to pay those crazy mileage fees; and Joe couldn't drive himself, at least not until his leg healed.

Joe didn't mind signing the forms; he got his ride, and really that's all that mattered. As he stood there, his right leg began to throb around the new stitches, but he'd survive. After all, he survived the Ardennes Offensive, where some shrapnel from a German grenade managed to lodge in his leg; certainly, he could survive itching that would ensue over the next few days.

As he signed the last line--much to the happiness of the taxi driver--a chill wind blew and Joe shuddered. Not entirely from the cold, but from something else. It was a feeling Joe hadn't felt since he was a young man in the infantry. Something was wrong--something bad was going to happen. He just wasn't sure what. It concerned him so much, he stopped writing mid-signature, and lifted his eyes to the horizon, over the fields of dusky, yellow, dried corn, past the farms, and to the smallest of trees miles away.

These premonitions that Joe would experience were the reason his father had originally chose him to be the village's new medicine man, but thanks to a draft notice, Joe went off to fight in Europe, but the village's needs still remained; and so, Joe's younger brother, Thomas, would end up filling the role. A role which he was never suited for--or meant to have.

The last time Joe felt like this was the day he was hit by that damn Kraut grenade. Joe was the lucky one, he was only injured--for which he received a Purple Heart--three others nearby were not so fortunate. They received the honor of a battlefield burial, and Joe was evacuated to the rear by medics.

Just as then: the same chill shudder. The same feeling of dread. Something was going to happen soon.

The taxi driver tapped the clipboard with his knuckles. "Done signing?" He was impatient and wanted to leave.

"Huh?" Joe's trance was broken. "Uh, yeah, sure. Here." Handing everything back to the driver, Joe stood still staring, wondering what was going on.

The driver left Joe standing there, alone, in his driveway, blankly scanning the horizon for what he did not know.

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