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?
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.
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Hi everyone. Welcome to Snippet Sunday and Weekend Writing Warriors. For all those who have stopped by in the last couple of weeks, thank you so much for your comments and feedback. With your help, I’ll continue to meander along in the 19th century, looking for a title as I decide where this story ends.
A cold wind swept from the canyon below, brushing icy fingers over their skin, reminding them why they were here.
“Up ahead is the bluff that overlooks the gathering place,” Charlie said. “My father called it Cañón de las Almas, Canyon of Souls.”
A wave of excitement surged through Sam as he followed his cousin up the trail. Though it was Charlie’s witch woman they’d travelled all day to see, it was this place itself that pulled at Sam. He wanted to explore the rocks, crevices, and canyon.
When Charlie and Rob led their mounts to a copse of scrub pines and secured them, Sam removed his tack and stashed saddle and bridle behind a rock before setting his animal free.
Rob frowned at him. “I hope to hell we don’t have to ride out of here fast.”
A Few More Lines
Sam grinned. “He’ll come when I call him. I don’t need the tack if push comes to shove.”
“Push and shove being a tribe of pissed-off Apaches chasing us down,” Rob muttered.
“No talk from here on.” His cousin’s murmur was barely a whisper, but the command shut them both up.
Sam inhaled. A hint of burning sage drifted in the air. He tapped his nose, mouthing the word smoke. Rob nodded.
Charlie crouched low and then dropped to his stomach, belly crawling to the edge of the cliff. Sam and his brother followed their cousin. Once all three lay side-by-side, they peered down at the Apache camp.
From their vantage point, Sam recognized the markings that distinguished the braves in the clearing below as Mescaleros, Arapaho, Chiricahua, and Kiowa. He counted at least four war chiefs and estimated that there were over a hundred Apache braves attending the powwow.
The person inside the circle appeared to be a warrior. Sam stared down at the stocky figure, trying to decide if it was a she, and the reason they’d come to spy. With great care, he turned his head to face Charlie, arching his brow in silent question. Lozen?
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