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Amazoni #28 Trader Birth

Story ID:6977
Written by:Lisa Godin (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Serial Fiction
Location:Cleveland, Ohio Ohio USA
Year:2011
Person:me
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Amazoni #28 Trader Birth

1999
Lisa Godin

Chapter 1
It was the dawn of a torturous morning for Trader Joseph's wife, Kiddy, doused with sweat, surfing through another tidal wave of agonizing labor pains. "Joseph!" she screeched in her frenzied thrashing.
Trader Joseph turned to his twelve-season-old daughter Xona standing beside him.
"Your mother needs Doctor's help. I have to stay here."
"Yes, Papa."
"You ride that palomino as fast as she can run. Don't even bother saddling her. Go on."
Kiddy moaned.
"Momma--"
"Now, Xona!" Trader Joseph commanded.
Tears streaming down her milky cheeks, Xona ran out.
"Joseph...the...pain," Kiddy sobbed, unable to finish her thought.
Trader Joseph submerged his cloth into the delicately flowered, porcelain washbasin atop the nightstand beside the bed and wrung out the cold well water, wishing desperately his worry could be as easily drained as the cloth's excess fluid. Gently he patted Kiddy's flushed face, wiping aside auburn hair from her forehead.
"Shhhh, Kiddy. Xona will bring Doctor in no time and everything will be just fine."
"Nothing's fine Joseph! I can feel the baby turned wrong. It's a breech. I know it's a breech! The baby and I will die before Doctor comes!"
"Horse spit! No more of this dying talk. You and the baby are going to be just fine."
"Are you sure?" Kiddy panted.
"Have I ever lied to you?"
"No."
"All right then."
Kiddy winced under a lighter contraction. "I love you, Joseph," she whispered. She closed her eyes in exhaustion.
Easing tiredly to his knees and burying his face in calloused hands, Joseph rested his elbows inches from Kiddy's arm resting atop sweat-saturated bed sheets. He heaved a sigh of relief at hearing Xona gallop away.
Chapter 2
Xona pushed her palomino hard. The mare, trained to perfection as a runner by Amazoni war chief Et-esh, accomplished the five mile gallop without breaking a sweat. She slid with long-legged grace off the animal's tawny back and ran to Doctor's cabin door. Pounding frantically as she screamed for the physician she failed to notice the wooden sign hanging on the doorknob on which was scrawled the message: GONE TO FAR CONTINENT. Crying, Xona vaulted upon her mare and headed for home.
* * * * * * *
Ohna sat before the fire, Ojah beside her watching his warrior honing her gleaming knife. Suddenly Ohna stiffened. Ceasing her task, she cocked her head slightly, listening to a whispered spirit voice only she could hear.
"What is it, my warrior?"
"Soon visitors will enter our camp, Ojah."
"Who?"
Ohna roused herself from her trance with a shake of her head and resumed the task of honing her blade.
"Trader Jo-teff."
"Why?"
Ohna flicked a dark thumb gentle along the knife's razor edge. "My spirit helper did not say, nor does it matter when. Jo-teff will come." She sheathed her knife and rubbed her muscled belly. "I am hungry," she grunted.
"Your friend comes, and all you care about is your stomach."
"I have not eaten yet, Ojah. You know how I am when I go long without food."
"You grow grouchy."
Ohna grinned wickedly.
"Would it settle better with you to know that after I eat I shall make passionate love to you?"
Ojah giggled.
"Can you wait that long?"
Ohna's playfulness dissolved. "No, my mate." She walked to the high fur bed and sat, patting the silken pelts beside her. "Come to me, Ojah," she beckoned.
He stood but purposely didn't move. "You have to do better than just sit," he prompted.
"You tease me."
"Me? Never! I--"
Ohna left the bed to scoop Ojah into powerful arms and deposited him gently upon the bed furs, her dark eyes smoldering with pent-up lust. Pressing a forceful kiss upon Ojah's lips, she wrapped brawny arms about his small frame, her probing kiss intensifying.
Responding like putty in his warrior's mighty grasp, Ojah responded with equal passion, arousing Ohna further.
Her kiss deepening, Ohna eased Ojah upon his back.
Chapter 3
Sobbing, Xona burst into the house and clung to her father.
"Doctor isn't in, Papa. I knocked and knocked. I tried, I really did!"
Joseph gazed at the slumbering Kiddy, paler than her bed sheets.
"You did your best and that's what matters. Will you do something else for me?"
Xona wiped away her tears, sniffling loudly.
"Anything, Papa."
"That's my girl. Hitch up the team and bring the buckboard 'round. We're taking a trip to the Amazoni. Medicine Woman is a darn good midwife. If anyone can help your mother, she can."
Wrapped in a light blanket, the slumbering Kiddy was gently loaded into the backboard. Xona sat beside her mother.
"Hold tight, child. It's going to be a wild ride."
Joseph slapped the reins atop the team's rumps, and the buckboard lurched forward, forcing Xona to grip the sides for dear life.
Chapter 4
Mid afternoon the Trader buckboard careened into Ohna's camp, rattling toward Medicine Woman's tepee while scattering hapless Amazoni in its path as Joseph forced the exhausted team to press on.
A warrior ran to her tahna's tepee where Ohna chatted with Ojah as she smoked and burst in.
"Jo-teff heads for Medicine Woman in great haste."
Leaping to her feet, Ohna dashed ahead of her messenger.
A rumbling crowd watched Trader Joseph struggle to lift his wife.
Ohna bounded into the buckboard and whisked the blanket-wrapped Kiddy into her powerful arms, then hopped lightly to the ground.
Roused, Kiddy screamed, torn by another wrenching contraction.
"Help Momma!" Xona squealed.
"Come, Jo-teff."
"I'm going too!" Xona declared.
Ohna spotted Et-esh in the crowd. "Young one, take Xo-nah to my tepee. Stay with her," she tersely ordered.
Turning abruptly, Ohna entered the medicine lodge with Trader Joseph at her heels.
Et-esh approached the buckboard.
Xona defiantly stood, her pout challenging.
Scrambling into the buckboard, the war chief plunked Xona over a shoulder, ignoring the child's thrashing. Jumping to the ground, she proceeded to Ohna's tepee with her combative charge.
Chapter 5
Ohna eased Kiddy upon furs and kneeled.
Forcing himself to remain calm, Trader Joseph sat.
With experienced hands Medicine Woman prodded Kiddy's dress-covered distended abdomen, ignoring her moaning. "The child faces the wrong way," she diagnosed. "It must be cut out."
Dipping into a belt pouch, she dissolved a handful of orange powder in a tin cup of water for Kiddy to drink, the mixture putting her to sleep instantly.
From her wolf skin purse the shaman draw a knife honed to a sliver, a wad of sinew, a Trader needle, and surgical scissors.
"Ohna, you will cut the cord."
The warrior nodded.
Hiking up Kiddy's dress to expose her bloated midriff, Medicine Woman sliced into flesh with surgical precision.
Trader Joseph gasped at what he witnessed inside his woman.
Chapter 6
The baby, two months premature, was a tiny creature, with veiny skin a deepening blue due to the swollen umbilical cord coiled twice around its throat.
Ohna carefully snipped the cord's strangling coils.
Medicine Woman applied red powder to stop any bleeding. Placing the still infant atop her snoozing mother, she massaged the newborn's tiny chest, gradually applying more pressure.
The baby opened its gray eyes, wrinkled up its nose, and bellowed a hoarse cry, strengthening with each breath. Its limbs flailed.
Trader Joseph burst into joyful laughter.
Medicine Woman handed the squealing newborn to a grinning Ohna.
Her incision rapidly sutured by Medicine Woman, Kiddy continued to sleep.
"You have a girl, Jo-teff. I told you it would be so. She must be washed and wrapped in fur before she can properly meet her father," Ohna declared.
Medicine Woman handed Ohna a fur scrap to wrap the tiny one, whose crying ceased.
"Ah yah! We must celebrate this new one's birth with dance and song. Because she was born among my people, it is only right that she should have an Amazoni name, my friend."
"What do you have in mind?"
Baby and warrior locked gazes.
"Your new one was close to death. She has the heart of a warrior to pull through. She should bear the strong name of Sah-leshgoo. 'To live' suits her."
"Sah-leshgoo is a very good name."
Ohna stood.
"Xo-nah awaits you in my lodge with Et-esh. The good news will excite them both."
Ohna walked to the lake outside of camp, chattering in Amazoni to the mesmerized Sah-leshgoo as if she could understand every word.
"You will make Jo-teff very proud. You will grow tall and strong. You will visit some day. My tepee will always be open to you as will my heart."
Sah-leshgoo yawned.
Ohna laughed heartily, amused as she pictured
Sah-leshgoo's reaction to the chilly waking shock of her first bath.
Chapter 7
That evening, bathed in torch light, Ohna stood in the dance ground's center, a beaming Xona and Trader Joseph at her side proudly holding his newborn wrapped in fur. Kiddy, who was too weak to attend, remained in the medicine lodge.
"Behold the daughter of Jo-teff," Ohna announced, "who bears the name of Sah-leshgoo. Though born Trader, she has the heart of Amazoni. As with Jo-teff and Xo-nah, our camp is
Sah-leshgoo's second home."
Amazoni applauded.
"Do you wish to dance with us, Jo-teff?"
"I think Xona and I would prefer to keep company with Kiddy a while."
"Ohna?"
The warrior looked at Xona.
"Thank you for helping Momma."
"Kid-deh is family to me. I will always help."
"Will you forgive me?"
Ohna kneeled.
"Have you done wrong, young one?"
"I acted like a baby and got you mad. I'm sorry."
Ohna hugged Xonah.
Trader Joseph smiled at the warrior's love for his daughter.
Ohna released Xona and stood.
"You did not anger me, young one. I respect your great bravery. I think Et-esh was hurt more by your action."
"She didn't say a word. She picked me up and slung me over her shoulder like I was game and just stared at me while we waited in your tepee."
"Et-esh was hurt in her feelings. She is very sensitive."
"Will she ever forgive me?"
Appearing behind Xona Et-esh startled her with a heavy hand upon her shoulder.
"Et-esh, will you ever forgive me for giving you trouble?"
The good-natured warrior smiled.
"You were no trouble my little friend. Come. The dancing is about to start."
"After I visit Momma I'll come back."
"Good! We will dance and sing. Dancing makes me hungry. We can look for boar meat together and feast."
Ohna, Trader Joseph, and Xona laughed.