Spirit Warriors: The Scarring
Spirit Warriors Book # 2
By- D.E.L. Connor
Genre- YA Fantasy
Publication Date- July 21st
Published By- Booktrope Publishing
“One of us would finally end what had been started by the machayiwiw so many years ago. I would have to kill him. It was just that simple. I never thought I would want to kill anybody or anything, but maybe I never had anything worth killing for before.”
-Emmeline Rima Belrose, The Scarring (Spirit Warriors, Book 2)
In the majestic beauty of a Montana summer, Emme and her friends celebrate her near-drowning survival and their defeat of the powerful evil spirit, the machayiwiw. But even as they rejoice, things are amiss. Emme watches helplessly as her family divides, and her friends struggle to hold their relationship together. Worse yet, the love-of-her life, Charlie, announces that he will move back to the reservation, without Emme. Different nightmares take over and Emme realizes she must fight and kill—or watch those she loves be killed. Friends from the reservation reach out to Emme and show her what evil can steal from her. Emme believes that evil can never break her bond with the Spirit Warriors or the love she shares with Charlie. Or can it?
Before I knew it, it was Dovie and Hawke’s wedding day. They were getting married at sunset and then there would be a feast and a celebration with dancing.
I rode with Ollie, Raymond and Jack. The sun was starting its slow descent to the ground, and the breeze was warm and fragrant. As we drove, I saw the wind stir the grass by the side of the road. The boys were dressed in dark colored jeans and brightly colored shirts. I had on my shorts and t-shirt. I had washed my hair and left it hanging down my back. In my duffle bag, I had my one sundress, makeup, a comb and brush, and a pair of flip-flops. When we got to the reservation, I hopped out of the car and headed to Dovie’s house. The door was open and I walked in. Irene spotted me and ran up and grabbed my hand. Her hair had been braided into two sleek braids at the nape of her neck. She wore an outfit similar to Dovie’s, only it had yellow beading.
I saw Dovie surrounded by several women. “Hi, Dovie,” I called out. Dovie waved at me. “You better go get ready.”
I nodded and headed down the hallway with my duffle bag to Aunt Jean’s bedroom. The door was shut. I tapped on the door. Jean’s wrinkled face peered around the doorframe. She grabbed my arm and pulled me in the room. My dress was lying on the bed. I ran my hand over the soft leather. I took off my t-shirt and shorts. I stood there in my bra and panties as Jean dropped the dress over my head. She tied the blue beaded belt around my waist. She motioned to the bed, and I sat on the corner of it while Jean took out my comb and parted my hair down the middle. Her bent arthritic fingers slowly and tightly braided my hair in two braids that were nestled in the nape of my neck, just like Irene’s. Jean motioned to my makeup. I put on a complexion colored sunscreen, then a bit of blush and a pale pink lipstick and a touch of blue eye shadow and some mascara. Jean reached in her closet and handed me a pair of buckskin knee-high moccasins with the same blue beads as the dress and belt. The beads on the boots formed a bird shape. I pulled them on and laced them up. When she finished, I looked in the mirror. I looked like me, but then again I didn’t look like me. Jean nodded her head at me.
I walked down the hallway. Irene was the first to see me. “Emme, you are beautiful!” she squealed. I felt beautiful.
Dovie walked up and embraced me. “That outfit looks like it was made for you.” I nodded in agreement. I could hear the beat of the drums signaling the start of the celebration. Dovie walked out of her house and we all followed behind her. There was laughter and joking as we walked to the rock outcropping. The sound of the drums was getting nearer and nearer. There was a large circle of rocks on the rock outcropping. As we walked to the circle, I noticed the feathers, moss and flowers around the circle.
Ron Fast Waters stood outside the circle facing us. He was wearing the chieftain war bonnet that Oscar Hines had given back to Archie. He had on a bright-multicolored shirt and buckskin leggings and his leather lace-up moccasins. He had a breast shield of small white bones around his neck. He stood straight and tall. His headdress was blowing in the breeze, the feathers twisting around. The drums were beating faster and faster as Dovie neared the circle. Hawke walked out from behind Ron Fast Waters and walked to Dovie, taking her hand. They stepped into the circle together. Hawke had on buckskin leggings and a cream-colored shirt. He was wearing the bears’ claw breast shield. The claws were sitting against his skin, lifted up like they were suspended. Hawke’s hair was down, and he wore three feathers on the top of his head. He looked at Dovie and his eyes were soft. Dovie looked beautiful in her white buckskin dress and red beaded moccasins, her hair braided and pulled back like mine.
I stood outside the circle as Charlie walked up. He whispered in my ear, “You are lovely.” I had a pleased look on my face as I turned to him. “Thank you,” I told him. He grabbed my hand.
The drums were beating slower and softer. Ron raised his hand. Everyone grew still. I looked at Charlie and made a ‘be silent’ gesture to him. I slipped away behind a rock as Ron spoke. I had been practicing all week on my gift. I closed my eyes and leaned against a rock. I lifted myself up and above the trees. I called out to the animals until I found what I was looking for. I spoke to them and I motioned for them to follow. I led them to the ceremony, and as the sun hesitated at the top of the trees, I stopped the magnificent buck and beautiful doe in front of Dovie and Hawke. The creatures stood there staring at everyone. The buck stood tall with his huge rack of horns. His doe with soft brown eyes and long dark eyelashes was at his side, her head touching the buck’s neck. The sun was behind them and it touched their bodies, making them seem to sparkle. Hawke and Dovie stared at the deer. Dovie leaned into Hawke and he put his arm around her. I was looking at everyone from above. Aunt Jean was wiping her eyes while everyone else stood there transfixed at the beauty before them. Charlie was smiling and nodding. Jack was looking around for me. His brow was furrowed as he pushed his way between people, searching for me. The deer stood there for many minutes. Finally, as Ron cleared his throat and he started speaking, I motioned for the deer to walk off. They walked off slowly, side by side. The buck was staring at the wide-eyed doe.
As the ceremony closed, I called the doves. I directed them around and under the rock outcropping. As Ron stopped talking, the doves flew straight up and for one precious moment they hung suspended in the air forming a perfect heart shape. They flew off into the trees and their soft cooing sound carried over everyone. I felt myself being pulled back. I opened my eyes and Jack was standing next to me. I stood upright as Jack put his arm around me. I looked up at him.
“That was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen,” Jack said to me.
“I hope Dovie and Hawke enjoyed it. I wanted their day to be extra special.”
“No one will ever be able to forget it, not even them!”
Jack and I blended back into the crowd of people as we all walked back to the main building. Tables of food and drink were set out everywhere. Music was blaring and people were already dancing on the wooden deck. Jack grabbed my hand and we ran to the dance floor. Jack twirled me around and I grinned excitedly at him as we danced around the floor, bumping into other people. Ollie and Raymond joined us on the dance floor, holding hands and dancing next to us. Ollie’s hair was the same wild mop around his head. It made him look taller and skinnier than he really was. No one paid any attention to them. They were safe here. The music slowed and Jack pulled me close to him. We swayed to the music and I was happy as I looked over and watched Ollie and Raymond. They were dancing close together and swaying to the music. I looked beyond them and I saw Charlie standing on the edge of the dance floor. His arms were crossed and his eyes were sad.
I touched Jack’s arm and pointed to Charlie. Jack and I pulled apart, and as I walked over to Charlie, Jack grabbed Irene and lifted her on his feet as he danced around with her. Irene squealed with laughter. I reached out for Charlie’s hand and I pulled him on the dance floor. He put his hands on either side of my face and then ran them across my sleek braids, and then down the cool blue beads on my arms. My skin tingled with his touch. I leaned my head into his chest. He wrapped his arms around me and we swayed to the music, not even bothering to move our feet. Charlie’s heart was beating fast and it matched mine. We didn’t say anything to each other. I looked up and saw Dovie and Hawke looking at us. My eyes filled with tears.
Charlie looked down at me. “What’s with the tears?”
“I wish this was our wedding. I wish we were the ones who could be all alone tonight, loving each other. Sometimes, I wish I had never met you, Charlie. I have never felt so much pain and sorrow in my life.” I looked down.
Charlie sucked in his breath. “I understand. I feel the same pain and sorrow.” Charlie turned around and walked off, leaving me standing on the dance floor. I watched him as he walked to his trailer house. I walked over and sat at one of the tables. My finger traced designs on the tabletop. I did it over and over, not even realizing what I was doing.
Archie came and sat down next to me. “Are you okay?”
I shook my head. “No, I’m happy for Dovie and Hawke, but I am sad for Charlie and me. I wish I could change things.”
Archie shook his head. “Instead of asking for the ability to change things, you should be asking for peace to accept them.”
I looked up at Archie. “I don’t want things to change.”
Archie looked at me. “You need to let your leaf drop from the tree. Enjoy the beautiful journey on the way down. It’s not the end, it’s only the beginning.” Archie squeezed my hand and he stood up and walked away.
About the Author
Della was born in South Dakota and raised in the vastness and beauty of Montana on a farm. When she longed for the big city life, she moved to Texas where she attended college and received a PhD in nursing. When not nursing people back to health you can find Della huddled over her Mac writing the stories that have occupied her mind for so many years, or traveling with her best friends, the NOLA’s, riding bikes across the Golden Gate bridge or exploring botanical gardens. She is the proud mother of a champion triathlete, two aging dogs and 1 grand-cat. Della has admittedly confessed to her coffee addiction and swears that her two hour coffee crawl while on vacation in Seattle –was the best two hours of her life!
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