Our Echo
Title, story type, location, year, person or writer
 
Add a Post
View Posts
Popular Posts
Hall of Fame
Projects
Visitors
Contests
Search

Amazoni #29 War Lance

Story ID:6980
Written by:Lisa Godin (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Serial Fiction
Location:Cleveland Ohio USA
Year:2011
Person:me
View Comments (0)   |   Add a Comment Add a Comment   |   Print Print   |     |   Visitors
Amazoni #29 War Lance

1999
Lisa Godin

Chapter 1
Autumn's twilight was refreshingly brisk with its light breezes. A flock of bats in hot pursuit of insects fluttered across the twin full moons. Wolf howled good night before turning in.
Sitting outside her tepee, Ohna shared the evening with war chief and best friend, Et-esh.
"It is a peaceful night, Ohna. All is well except for the coming snow. I hate snow and cold."
"Winter does not stop you from sledding on your boar hide with others."
"Snow games are fun. Cold freezing my hair and snapping my bow string is not. These things only happen to me, it seems."
"The snow spirits enjoy playing with you."
Et-esh frowned.
Ohna picked up a twig to peel.
"Until the snows come, I expect bothersome Outsiders."
"Why? They have not bothered us in a while."
"That is just it, young one. They have been quiet too long."
"You have the Outsider Itch."
"It is not something to joke about," Ohna retorted, tossing aside her skinned twig. "I have yet to be wrong in my feelings."
Et-esh heaved a heavy sigh.
"Tomorrow, I will assemble a patrol to search for those you sense."
"I shall lead."
Et-esh stood.
"Until tomorrow, my friend, betoga ahdohd."
"Good sleep, young one."
Yawning, Et-esh shuffled on her way.
Chapter 2
Ohna led the afternoon patrol of eight warriors, including war chief Chooka who toted a lance trimmed with black gorak feathers, through wilting grassland and browning prairie. Topping a bluff, the Amazoni party surveyed the plain below.
Ohna glared at the source of her bother, a clique of four, silk-clad men. Her piercing obsidian gaze settled upon the Amazoni guide. She pointed a dark, brown finger.
"Tamed with trinkets and burning water," Et-esh grumbled.
"I will see if I know her to learn why."
"What difference will it make? She is a traitor," Et-esh spat.
"It matters to me, young one."
Ohna curtly signaled interception.
The intruders' leader, clad in bemedaled crimson silk, mounted a white stallion, rode slightly ahead of his gray-silked followers, Amazoni guide at his side. Hindered by Ohna's patrol, he eyed their grim-faced leader with annoyance.
Chapter 3
Ignoring the crimson-silked Outsider leader Ohna focused on and recognized the Amazoni guide from those she rescued many seasons earlier from a fort reservation. "I see No-duk squanders the freedom I won for her by becoming tame," she observed in Amazoni.
"Yahtahchahkee and the others all died of Trader sickness. I had nowhere else to go."
"No-duk could have joined my band who are now the last of Amazoni. When she tires of serving the wrong side, she is welcome to join my people."
"Guide, who is this bold, burly savage?"
"Ohna, tahna of Amazoni, born of Shesh."
"Ah! This is the one I've heard so much about!"
No-duk nodded.
"Stories all true, Red Silk."
"Does this barbarian speak a civilized tongue?"
"I speak well your words," Ohna hissed. "Why do you trespass my land?" she demanded.
"Treaty negotiations with you."
"Ah yah! False treaty talk."
"Let me assure you that's not the case."
"You are as clear as Trader glass. I see into your heart that burns with treachery. Chooka, doashka la-eh!"
The war chief tossed her black gorak feather embellished lance to Ohna who plunged it into the ground its plumage flapping violently from the impact.
"Travel beyond the war lance of Amazoni, you will be a dead treaty talker!"
Ohna's party galloped away.
"Retrieve the spear, Guide."
"No! Bad power come to me I touch what Ohna touch."
"Superstitious nonsense."
"Is not nonsense. Is true!"
"I want that mouthy barbarian to believe my peace ruse so we can eventually pen her band into a reservation. I intend to offer back her spear as a good faith gesture."
"Ohna not stupid. You hear her. I not help you lie. You go to her camp alone and give lance back and see what happen."
"Coward!"
"I many things. Some bad. But I fight in many battle and am not coward. I not betray Amazoni with lies."
"Get out of my sight! You're useless!"
No-duk gladly abandoned the Outsider troupe.
Red Silk signaled a subordinate to withdraw the implanted lance. Unable, he enlisted assistance from a fellow subordinate then another. "Bumbling fools," Red Silk mumbled watching his men make spectacles of themselves.
Chapter 4
Only a good smoke of strong tobacco could soothe Ohna's temper, so angry with Red Silk was she. As she puffed upon the pipe, Et-esh entered. Assuming a place opposite her friend she refused the offered pipe.
"Red Silk will find us, Ohna, led by his tame Amazoni."
"I think not, young one. She may be corrupted by our enemies, but she is no fool. Red Silk possesses no such wisdom and is determined to snare me with his lies."
"You knew he would ride beyond the lance."
Exhaling smoke, Ohna nodded.
"His kind have no fear. If only..."
"If only what?"
"If only Red Silk was not replaced by worse, I would take greater pleasure killing him."
"One day his kind will disappear."
"Let us smoke to that day."
Et-esh reached for the offered pipe.
Ohna rapidly slurped her Lemon Bark soup in preoccupied silence under Ojah's watchful eye.
"Your thoughts drift elsewhere, my warrior."
Ohna nodded but volunteered nothing.
"It is a bad thing you think about?" Ojah pressed.
Downing her last spoonful of soup Ohna set aside her bowl.
"My patrol intercepted Outsiders, whose leader spoke of his want for treaty talk."
"This is not bad."
"It is, Ojah."
"I am confused."
"Treaty talk is nothing but lies. It was false treaty talk that imprisoned a sister band in a fort reservation long ago. I freed them. The Outsider leader's scout is Amazoni rescued from that reservation. Her people are no more. The pompous treaty talker called Red Silk does not wish true peace. He thinks me too ignorant to know this. He will ignore the lance of warning. His life is mine."
"You will not kill him, my warrior."
"You seem certain of this."
"I am very certain."
Ohna was in no mood to debate the issue. As far as she was concerned, the matter was settled.
"Enough talk of my enemy. I have hunger for your white bark pudding."
Chapter 5
The next afternoon, Et-esh stalked into Ohna's tepee interrupting her arrow making.
"Red Silk is reported to be closing upon our camp. You were right. His tame Amazoni does not ride with him."
"Inform me when he enters camp."
With a curt nod, Et-esh left.
An hour later the four-man Outsider entourage entered the Amazoni camp, soliciting whispers and pointed fingers from the people trailing them. Ojah, carrying a basket of berries, was among the crowd.
Running to Ohna's lodge, Et-esh poked her head in.
"Red Silk is here."
Ohna followed her friend at a brisk walk, intercepting the Outsiders.
The people waited. Ojah shoved his way to the front to stand beside war chief Et-esh.
Ohna approached the Amazoni lance-armed
Red Silk. Folding brawny arms across her chest, she glared at him.
"Even without my cowardly guide, I've found you."
Ohna spat her contempt.
Red Silk dismounted.
"I have returned your spear. Maybe now we can get down to discussing peace."
Ripping the black gorak feathered lance from Red Silk's hand, Ohna slammed the weapon against his jaw, felling him to his back.
Ojah gasped.
Ohna loomed over Red Silk, her behemoth shadow engulfing him. With a growl she kicked him in the ribs.
Red Silk's three companions, fearful of being Ohna's next victims, galloped out of camp.
Gripping the feathered lance in both hands, Ohna raised it, intending to skewer Red Silk.
Ojah dropped his berry basket and broke from the stoic crowd. He draped himself protectively over Red Silk, who lay paralyzed with fear. "You will not harm this man!" he shouted.
"He would destroy us with his lies. He breached the lance of warning. I will have his blood, Ojah!"
"Then you will have two to kill!"
The people gasped.
Ohna raised the lance higher.
Ojah fearlessly held his ground.
Medicine Woman shoved through the crowd.
"Lower your weapon, warrior."
Breathing hard with rage, Ohna remained frozen, lance poised dangerously.
"Ojah is doing what is right," Medicine Woman noted. "This man knows now his mistake. You can see his fear. To kill him would be pointless, and you would lose the respect of your people."
"He must die!"
"Lower your weapon, daughter of Codot."
With a shrill war cry, Ohna plunged the lance inches from Red Silk's head.
Ojah slowly got to his feet.
The people released a collective sigh of relief.
"Go, Red Silk. I see your face again, I will cut the treacherous heart from your body!"
Ohna stomped away.
Yanking the shaken Outsider to his feet by his crimson silk collar, Et-esh shoved him toward his horse.