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Hello everyone. I’m continuing my MacCallister boys-to-men story in my blog today. Previous last line: “…he missed the stealthy approach of the Indian braves slipping soundlessly through the night.”

The McCallisters

Charlie didn’t realize they’d been found until a brave jerked him to his feet and another had Rob secured. A third Arapaho warrior straddled Sam, holding a knife at his throat, as he fisted a handful of hair.

“This will look fine hanging in my lodge,” the Indian crowed as he jerked on Sam’s blond mane.

“Black Hawk, cease.” The guttural rebuke came from the brave holding Charlie. “Lozen wants these watchers brought to her alive.”

“Apache brothers, we’ve come to parlay,” Charlie answered in Kiowa, greeting the Indians as kin and ignoring the precarious fix the McCallisters were in.

Rob had tensed up for a fight, but Sam, pinned on the ground with a knife at his throat, grinned. “Sharp blade you got there, Black Hawk. Maybe we can make a trade,” the kid muttered in Apache as good as Charlie Wolf’s.

A Few More LInes

The only answer to Sam’s overture was a trickle of blood running down his neck. The brave holding him, abruptly stood and jerked his captive to his feet.

Evidently Black Hawk was intent on being first with his prize and holding onto Sam, muscled his way to the front of their line. Though Robert looked as docile as a sheep going to slaughter, Charlie understood his cousin was controlling his inclination to lash out at the Apache shoving him.

Every step he took on their way into the gathering, Charlie Wolf felt the call of death. This was not what he’d intended. He’d just wanted to see his father’s people up close in parlay again. The fact that he’d dragged his white cousins along now seemed momentously stupid.

None of them had a chance to make a move before they were pushed in front of the witch woman. During this moment of utter stillness, the night and sounds had receded, leaving only them, the flickering flames, and Lozen.

Charlie swayed on his feet, the pounding of his heart steadying to match the low throb of sound at the periphery of his senses. Funny, he hadn’t heard the drum from the cliff above, but now the pulsing beat smothered his clamoring thoughts. Boom…boom…boom…


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Hello everyone.  Welcome to Snippet Sunday and Weekend Writing Warriors. I am continuing with my boys-to-men story today. One question seemed to crop up more than any other. Why are they going to see a witch? My answer—because they’re kids and kids do stupid things. The final line from last week: With great care, Sam turned his head to face Charlie, arching his brow in silent question. Lozen?

McCallisters 1866

Sam watched Charlie nod, confirming that the center of all eyes was the legendary seer. Regardless of the figure’s male-like appearance, they were gazing at Victorio’s sister, said to be a witch, healer, and spiritual guide for her people. His cousin claimed Lozen was a woman of magic. The hair on the back of Sam’s neck stirred at the idea.

He didn’t know if he believed in God or magic, but if the McCallisters lived through the night, he’d agree that some kind of divine intervention must be at work. Even as the ground heat seeped through the barrier of his clothes, chill bumps skated up and down his spine.

Repressing a shudder, he thought fleetingly that he saw a white owl circling above the flames. When he focused, he realized it was only smoke twining into the shape.

Nevertheless, when the Indian priestess leaned over the blaze and waved a huge feather across the fire, Sam wondered if she’d plucked her mystic tool from the phantom bird circling above.

A Few More Lines

Using the pristine white feather, she fanned the glowing embers into flames and sent new gusts of smoke drifting upward. Threads of white and gray twisted into more strange shapes, each eerily clear to him against the backdrop of the midnight sky. Sam was as mesmerized as the Indians.

As one of the chiefs leaned close to hear her words, Sam teetered precariously on the edge of the cliff and strained to hear too. Charlie hadn’t said why he’d been determined to see the tribal mystic, but once Sam had heard his plans, he’d known he had to come along.

Next to Sam, Rob lay flat on his belly, disapproval making him rigid and tense. He’d argued against the foray into forbidden lands and joined them only after he’d been unable to dissuade his brother from the intended trespass.

Sam lost interest in anything but the drama unfolding below, enthralled by the sight of the Apache woman commanding the attention of all the warriors. His gaze was so intent he missed the stealthy approach of the Indian braves slipping soundlessly through the night.


Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!



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