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Amazoni #18 Civilized Journey A Visit Returned

Story ID:6917
Written by:Lisa Godin (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Serial Fiction
Location:Cleveland Ohio USA
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Amazoni #18 Civilized Journey  A Visit Returned

Lisa Godin

I'd been graced by a surprise visit from the mighty Ohna, born of Shesh but grown to lead the mighty Amazoni. It was nothing short of a miracle that one born of my own mind should become flesh and blood, and walk the spirit path to visit my humble home.
I'd shown Ohna my world of television, computers, and annoying telephones. We'd enjoyed a smoke as old friends would, and as the minutes passed I'd grown to know Ohna as more than a ferocious warrior with many scalps to her name. I'd found her to be also a woman of a gentle, warm nature, interested in the wonders my world had to offer, a woman separate yet in many ways the same as I.
And so I shall relate with great honor and pride this tale of a civilized journey--a visit returned.
Chapter 1
It was a mild day, just one of many in this unusually snowless time of year, when I decided to drive to my favorite park for a change of scenery. Arriving at my favorite camp site, I trotted past the picnic tables into a stretch of woods, carefully avoiding the days' old deer droppings. After turning onto several side paths, I slowed to a walk as I realized the route was new to me. Panic welled up--I'm alone and lost! I was started by a crow cawing overhead. What was a crow doing here so early, I wondered. Perhaps he too was lost?
Crow, unusually large, flapped from his treetop watchtower and, twisting his head and blinking rapidly, settled at my feet. He exploded into a fit of cawing and wing flapping.
"What are you yelling about? I'm the one lost!" I cried.
Crow cawed again most urgently, hopping a way, then returning. Hope sprang within for Crow was my savior.
"Lead on."
Cawing, Crow took flight.
Bounding with the deer's swiftness I kept up with my feathered friend, dodging prickly bushes, leaping over rotted tree stumps, silent in my treading through the woods, and broke through onto prairie. Funny thing is, there are no prairies in my state. But the view was so spectacular my confusion dissolved. I began my walk, not knowing what would find me and hardly caring.
Chapter 2
I walked the prairie for hours, reveling in the green expanse and peacefulness. Then, in the distance, I spotted a rider thundering toward me and recognized the rider as a tawny-haired Amazoni. Remembering Ohna's visit, I realized Crow had been instructed by the spirits to lead me to her land. The rider approached closer. It was the malevolent Cho-hot and I frowned. I hoped I could speak Amazoni well enough as Cho-hot knew not my tongue. Against the bow and quivered warrior words were all I had for defense.
Cho-hot ground to a halt. Scowling, she looked me up and down.
"You are yet another invading Trader!"
I was amazed I understood Cho-hot's words as if they were my own.
"You are a small one to be sure. It is good you are alone."
"Hello, Cho-hot."
The warrior blinked in surprise.
"You are looking well and as grouchy as ever."
Her scowl deepening, Cho-hot dismounted.
"You speak Amazoni well. You even act as if you know me."
"I know you."
"Never have I seen you before. Who are you?" Cho-hot demanded.
"I am Lisa."
"Ah yah! You are the Seer Ohna has spoken of. I was not moved by her tale."
"She is more appreciative of what I have to offer," I countered.
"I am appreciative enough to know Lee-sah is nothing to me."
I quickly changed the subject.
"Take me to Ohna."
Cho-hot chuckled.
"Why should I do this?"
"Ohna would expect you to."
"Here there is only us. Your commands in Ohna's name mean little."
"Good point," I conceded. "I will have to make it worth your while on my own then. As a gambler I know you will be interested."
Cho-hot's scowl softened, for games of chance were her Achilles' heel. I pointed to the bead and feather tasseled human scrotum waist pouch which I knew contained her gambling stones.
"I win the stones, you take me to Ohna. You win, I will most likely be a long-toothed cat's dinner in my wanderings."
Cho-hot laughed heartily at the thought. She kneeled. I kneeled before her.
Chapter 3
Cho-hot spilled from her pouch ten flat, nickel-sized stones painted black and white.
"I choose black," I said. "My black comes up overlapping none of your white, I win."
"Only Ohna can play that good."
"Deal?" I demanded.
Cho-hot thumped a fist upon the cropped grass in acceptance of my rules. I thumped a fist upon the ground signifying the bet as binding.
Roll after roll I competed, ignoring
Cho-hot's insults. After two hours of play, my black stones came up just as I had bet.
Cho-hot gathered her stones, plunking them one by one into her scrotum pouch. Mounting up, she moved her horse each time I got too close.
"Our bet said nothing of you sharing my horse."
"It is a long walk to camp," I complained.
"To a mighty Seer the walk will be nothing."
Laughing, the pompous Cho-hot kneed her horse into a brisk walk, ignoring my grumbling.
Chapter 4
Late afternoon Cho-hot and I entered the camp, drawing a trailing crowd. When we arrived at Ohna's tepee, Cho-hot hailed her out.
Ohna's eyes widened in recognition. Smiling radiantly, she clamped strong hands upon my shoulders. "Lee-sah! It is good you visit. It has been too long!" she exclaimed in Trader. "The spirits truly smile upon me. You had a good journey here?"
For the benefit of the listening people, I explained in Amazoni. Smile dissolved, obsidian eyes blazing, Ohna yanked Cho-hot off her horse.
"You had no right to force Lee-sah to bet for your help to find me, putting her in danger should she lose, then making her walk!"
Cho-hot stood.
"I did nothing wrong."
Enraged by the warrior's arrogance, Ohna backhanded her across the face. The blow was stoically accepted. "Display meanness to Lee-sah again, you will know what pain truly is!" she roared.
Her dignity unshaken, Cho-hot folded her arms across her chest and glared at me.
"You are Ohna's friend, not mine, Lee-sah. I will do you the kindness of tolerating you among my people. Ask no more of me."
"Fair enough."
With a curt nod, Cho-hot stalked off. The show over, the people dispersed.
"It is good you can so easily forgive
Cho-hot, my friend. Her fiery heart at times annoys me."
"I didn't mean for you to get so mad as to strike her," I said reverting to my own tongue.
"Cho-hot expected no less of me and will bear no ill feelings over it." She dismissed Cho-hot from her mind. "I am honored how well you speak our words. Amazoni is not spoken by most of your people. You look hungry. Ojah's pot is full of boar stew."
"I've never had it."
Ohna grinned.
"Ah yah! It is good food. It will give you strength and put meat on your bones."
Seeing how big and knowing how strong Ohna was, I knew she'd eaten a lot of boar stew. I followed the Shesh-Amazoni into her tepee.
Chapter 5
After our boar stew which I enjoyed immensely, Ohna lit her pipe.
Ojah left to wash the wooden dinner bowls and spoons.
"This is good tobacco."
Taking a puff I coughed at the strong, bitter smoke.
Ohna laughed, retrieving the pipe. Soon the air grew thick with smoke from her puffing.
I pulled out a pack of cigarettes from my pants' pocket and lit one with a burning twig from the fire.
Feeling playful, Ohna let loose a herd of smoke rings. Soon it became a good-natured battle of who could produce the biggest smoke rings, with me losing. It made me wonder if Ohna would've beaten my uncle who used to blow pipe smoke rings large enough for an Amazoni war shield to fit through.
By the time Ojah returned from his dish washing, I was settled beneath luxurious furs in a corner.
"Good night, Ohna, Ojah. Thank you for a wonderful meal," I said in Amazoni.
Ojah beamed at the compliment.
"Good sleep, Lee-sah," Ohna bade. "We have a big day tomorrow. We will ride."
"Can Et-esh come?"
"She would like that."
I fell asleep content.
"Seer Lee-sah is as nice as you said she would be, my warrior."
"She is a special one, Ojah."
"She has a big appetite that pleased me."
"For one so small, eating six bowls of stew is a feat. Et-esh would have burst at the fifth bowl."
Ojah giggled.
Ohna yawned as she tapped pipe ashes into the low fire. Within minutes she and Ojah cuddled beneath their furs and were fast asleep.
Chapter 6
The morning brought another fine bowl of boar stew and pleasant conversation.
"How well do you ride, Lee-sah?"
"As well as you," I replied knowing full well my abilities were exaggerated but willing to go to any lengths to avoid a fat, lazy mount.
"I have a perfect horse for you. Come. Et-esh will be at the corral."
We arrived at the corral where Et-esh was grooming her bridled sleepy-eyed buckskin.
"Hello, Et-esh," I said in Trader.
Et-esh gave me a crushing hug, lifting me off my feet. I felt my ribs gingerly when I was finally set down.
Ohna chuckled in amusement as she bridled Appaloosa. She then gracefully vaulted onto
Et-esh's sleepy-eyed buckskin.
"You will ride my horse, Lee-sah."
I was stunned.
"It is a great honor to ride her horse. I have yet to," Et-esh said.
"I'm too small to--"
Next thing I knew Et-esh hefted me onto the impatient speckled stallion. My pulse quickened as I took the reins hoping I'd not suffer the indignity of being dumped.
Et-esh vaulted onto her buckskin behind Ohna.
We rode the prairie for hours, talking, laughing, and galloping the horses. Never had I felt so free. And then to my dismay I saw a dark speck in the sky looming larger. It was Crow flapping toward me. I abruptly reined up. Et-esh and Ohna intuitively knew what the bird's appearance meant. Crow settled before us, flapping and cawing.
"You must return to your people," Ohna intoned then dismounted Et-esh's horse.
"I don't want to!"
"You must," Et-esh insisted. "Your time with us is spent. You cannot ignore this sign."
"Come with me to where I first came."
Ohna pointed to the right where a stretch of forest materialized before our eyes.
"There is where you came, Lee-sah. We cannot go further."
"The spirits forbid it."
Reluctantly I dismounted.
Ohna vaulted gracefully upon Appaloosa.
"Safe journey, my friend."
Et-esh held up a hand in salute.
Without a word the warriors cantered away.
"What a story this will be to tell Crow. Let's get a move on."
I disappeared into the woods under Crow's guidance. I was home again.