Posts filed under ‘Story #9 – Cedar Stormchaser’

Cedar Stormchaser – p.22

In the morning, when things were calm, Cedar rose and stretched, and looked at his grandmother, who had kept vigil with him during the night, stirring a pot of simmering grains. “I am sure I heard homes fall, and people cry.”

“Yes. It will be another long day of work for you, man of my house.”

“I know. This time we will rebuild a little differently.”

Cedar called the men together and told them of the sounds he had heard during the night, and how he could see the storm with his ears, just as when he had been able to defeat the giant bird of prey. That, and the memory of being pulled inside the storm through the clouds, had drawn clear pictures in his mind during the long night. He explained how they could alter the shape of their homes to better let the winds pass, how they could change the shape of their roofs to better let the rains roll off.

The people rebuilt, according to Cedar’s vision. The next storm came, and there was damage, but less than before. By the time Cedar became the great chief, his people were thriving, growing, and outsmarting the storms, and the sons of his sons found it hard to believe that the trickster spirit who sent the precious rains could ever have been cruel.



August 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm 2 comments

Cedar Stormchaser – p.21

By the time the storm was upon them, Cedar was back inside, eating the meal his grandmother had made for him. He had spent many hours working alongside strong men and capable women, and they had asked him many questions about the trickster god, the creatures he met, and the power of the storm itself. He was tired, but content. They could not keep the storm from coming, but they were ready.

The wind rushed over the fields and slammed into their homes. Small slits cut in the wood of the walls allowed air to pass through, whistling and screeching, but the walls stood. The rain soaked the thatch of their roofs, and began to drip inside. People put bowls underneath the leaks and went on with things. They had built their homes lifted on thick mud bricks a few inches off the ground. They had learned many years ago about flash floods. Cedar could not remember a time when these things were not done, but somehow it never seemed to be enough.

He closed his eyes, as he had when facing the bird of prey. He listened to the wind, to the sounds of their home as it groaned and shifted. As the storm raged, he sat motionless. He did not sleep that night.

August 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm 1 comment

Cedar Stormchaser – p.20

Cedar could not believe what was happening. One by one, the men of the tribe came forward and made signs of greeting and acceptance, as the women and children stood by in silence. After the last man, the great chief, had acknowledged him, everyone cheered. His grandmother was smiling widely and her cheeks were touched with pink. Cedar shook his head and said, “Whether I am a man now is not important. There is still the coming storm.”

“Both are important.” She put a hand on his arm. “You will have much to do, that you did not before.”

He looked around at the homes of his people, the baskets, the tools, the gathered grasses and grains. “There is still time to prepare.”

“Certainly. Go and do; I will tend to our home, and make you a meal fit for a strong man.” She shuffled back inside, and Cedar clenched his fists. He’d helped carry things inside and reinforce walls before, but always as a boy, taking orders and feeling weak. Now, he saw things differently, knowing what would withstand the winds and the rains and what could not, and he set about to make them all as strong as they could be.

July 30, 2012 at 5:36 pm 1 comment

Cedar Stormchaser – p.19

Cedar’s grandmother smiled, patted his hand, and slowly got to her feet. She motioned for him to follow, but stopped him when they got to the door. “Wait here,” she said, and then she left the house.

He stood there, still breathing in the sweet smell of the herbs on the fire, and wondered how she could take what had happened so calmly. Suddenly he heard, in the distance, a roll of thunder. They had not escaped, they would not escape. He felt worse than ever.

The door opened again, and his grandmother was there, still smiling. She turned her back to him and he saw that everyone was gathered outside. Why had she brought everyone here? To shame him? She spoke then. “The son of my son has gone on a great journey. He wished, as a child might wish, to make the thunder stop, to keep the lightning from striking, and he set out to fight the rains. I let him go. I knew what he would find.” She stepped aside then, revealing Cedar to the people. Some of them gasped.

His grandmother continued, “He has been tested, and marked, and has learned much. The god of the storm has made him a man.”

July 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm 2 comments

Cedar Stormchaser – p.18

When Cedar opened the door to his grandmother’s house, he found her kneeling at the cooking fire, her eyes shut. She was offering sage and other sacred herbs and grasses to the gods, their aromatic smoke filling the air, while she mumbled prayers for Cedar’s safe return. He quietly sat beside her and waited.

She stopped in the middle of a word and opened her eyes. “They have sent you back! Oh-!” She reached out and touched the feather in his hair, and then lifted his hands in hers to inspect his scars. “They took my child and sent back a man.” She squinted at him, seeing the red line on his face, almost invisible in the orange glow of the fire. “Who did this?”

Cedar sighed, happy to be home but sad that he had no good news to tell. “The god of the storm, my grandmother. He said there was nothing I could do to fight the storms, that they would always come, and that we should rebuild as we have always done. Then he dropped me from the sky. I have failed.”

July 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm 2 comments

Cedar Stormchaser – p.17

The man had fresh tears in his eyes but he smiled. “The storm will destroy the weak, and you will rebuild to be stronger.”

Cedar blinked. “That is what we always do.”

“Yes, and the storms will always come.”

The weight of the world seemed to settle on Cedar’s shoulders again. “Then my quest was for nothing.”

“No, your journey has changed you, and I think when you arrive at your grandmother’s door, you will see just how much.” The man wiped a finger across his own face, and it came away covered in red. He then traced an unbroken line on Cedar’s face, under one eye, across the bridge of his nose, and then under the other eye. “Cedar Stormchaser, go help your people rebuild.” The next thing Cedar knew, he was falling through the clouds, and he could see the rain but it did not touch him. There was a flash of lightning, and afterwards, darkness.

He opened his eyes and saw blue sky above his head, felt damp earth underneath him where he lay. He sat up and looked around. He was only a hundred paces from his grandmother’s house. He stood, noticing that he felt tired but strong, and walked home.

July 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm 1 comment

Cedar Stormchaser – p.16

The man finally sat up, dried his eyes, and sighed. “My young storm chaser, let us speak openly. You have sought me out, and learned that I cannot stop the storm. You have faced many trials, but you cannot stop the storm. The storm will come to your land. Then what?

Cedar shook his head. “There will be damage and chaos.”

“Yes. Then what?

Cedar did not see the point of this questioning. He was beginning to hate this man, and considered renouncing all the gods, once he was back safe on the ground. “We will mourn, and you will not help us!”

The man nodded. “Then what?

“You do not care, so why do you keep asking? I shouldn’t be here wasting time with you, I should get back to my grandmother, she will need me!” He stood and wondered if he could just jump through the hole in the clouds and land unharmed.

“She will, she will, and why?”

Cedar was in a rage now. “To rebuild everything your careless storm is about to destroy!”

“YES!” the man stood, and grabbed Cedar by the shoulders. “Then you will rebuild.”

July 18, 2012 at 5:38 pm Leave a comment

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