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[Fiction] Wakinyan - Fools may walk


kestrel404

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[For canon considderation]

The sound of footsteps on loose soil awake Wakinyan. His mate sleeps soundly, the pulse of her heart steady and unperturbed by his awakenning. A moment's effort frees him from her sleeping embrace and he is away, seeking this intruder in his domain.

He finds a trail, a line of footsteps that stretch forward from the mouth of his own cave, human footsteps not left by his mate or any visitor. There is no strange scent to them, only the smells of the badlands, and this troubles him.

The trail takes him in a winding course, what would be hours of travel in a zig-zag pattern for most men, and he follows this trail even though he can clearly hear the footsteps still moving away from his den. Wakinyan does this instinctively, not questioning the why, only knowing that he must follow the stranger's path.

He gallops along, seeing the badlands clearly despite the dim pre-dawn light. Off to one side of the trail, there is an eagle with a white head, locked in a cage made of paper. In one claw it holds a long smoking pipe made of red stone, and in the other it holds an elaborately woven blanket, depicting an ornate medicine wheel. The eagle circled within the cage of paper endlessly, obviously wishing to be free.

Wakinyan approached the cage cautiously. It was made of strips of paper, on which was written nonsense in small black letters. It was shaped like a canary cage, and sat on the ground. It did not look to him like it should be able to hold up its own weight, but when he tested it with his claws, it did not bend or tear. He slashed at the cage, wishing for the eagle to go free and deliver the message it was sent with, but he could not. Frustrated, he continued along the path, drawing closer to the sound of the stranger's footsteps.

Farther along the zig-zag road, Wakinyan comes to a rock where a young man is sitting. He scents the young man, and smells a weak and fearful human. Coming closer, he recognizes him. With a start, he recognizes himself as he was before he errupted. His instincts rise up within him and call for this abomination to be destroyed, but Wakinyan holds them back with his curiosity. "Why are you here?", he asks.

David turns to Wakinyan with a fearful look and says, "Because you do not want me anymore. You cast me out, you have no use for me any longer, so I sit out here, alone."

Wakinyan is distressed by this answer, but he replies, "Of course I do not need you. I am strong, I am fierce, I am like the spirits. I am Wakinyan."

Daniel looks sad and shakes his head. "But you couldn't free the eagle by yourself."

This answer drives Wakinyan to a rage, and he pounces on the boy, devouring him in a single bite. His taste is sour, like the taste of fear and compromise, and leaves Wakinyans stomach in roiling turmoil. He feels conflicted now, not so sure of himself, but he also feels like he could go back and free the eagle. But it would take too long right now, there was too much subtlety in the eagle's cage, and there was still the sound of the stranger's footsteps moving away from his den. He continued down the path, ignoring the conflict in his gut for now.

He finally catches up to the stranger. As Wakinyan approaches, the man turns and smiles at him. The man, whose features mark him clearly as a pure blooded member of the Lakota people, is wearing jeans and a Spider-man t-shirt. He calls out, "Hello, cousin."

Wakinyan approaches with caution, half of him sensing danger, the other half trusting this man instincually. "You are in my domain, and you were very close to my den. Why did I not hear you then?"

The man answers without hesitation, "You were sleeping soundly, cousin, and I tread softly so you would not wake."

Wakinyan asks again, "What business do you have in my domain?"

The man replies, again without pause, "I am just a simple traveller, hiking throught the countryside. I am sorry that I trespassed, cousin."

Wakinyan asks a third time, "I have given warning that none are to enter my domain, and I do not forgive easily. Why should I forgive you?"

The man speaks again, answering quickly, "Perhaps I have something that you may want? Let me see..." He rummages through his pockets, and from the front pocket of his Spider-man t-shirt he pulls a bottle of pepto-bismol and a packet of asperin. "How is your stomach and your head, cousin? Perhaps you have had a disagreeable meal lately?"

Wakinyan nods, feeling the turmoil in his stomach and his mind as Daniel fights a losing battle within him. He takes the stranger's medicine, swallowing the pills and drinking the pepto-bismol. His stomach settles immediately, the feelings of conflict within him dying, and he now knows he can trust this stranger. "Thank you traveller, and continue on your way. I will return to my sleep now."

Wakinyan turns, and flies back to his den. There, he finds human sleeping in his nest. This annoys him and puzzles him, but her cries as he tears her apart and consumes her soothe him once more. As he finishes her, though, he swallows one of her tiny bones poorly, and it lodges in his throat. Coughing and wheezing, he fights a losing battle for breath. The world around him turns dark as he rages at the cruel bone in his throat, slashing angrily at the walls and floor of his den. The world turns black around him, his movements become slower, more difficult, little more than twitches. As the last of his vision fades out, he sees a spider on the wall of his cave, laughing at him.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wakinyan wakes with a start when Thoughtwave shakes him. He opens the eye facing her and catches her look of concern despite the bleariness of his vision. "I'm sorry for waking you, but you were having a bad dream."

Slowly getting up and stretching, Wakinyan nods and replies, "Yeah, it was a pretty bad one."

Thoughtwave frowns prettily and says in a slightly sulky voice, "I guess my present didn't work, then."

Wakinyan looks up sharply and asks, "What present?"

He checks cave around them and spots it even as she answers, "I got you a dreamcatcher the last time we were in town. This crazy looking man came over and sold it to me, he said it was a Thunderbird's dreamcatcher. I thought it was pretty appropriate, but I guess it doesn't work if you have nightmares the first time I hang it up."

Near the entrance of the cave, hanging from a rock outcropping, is the familiar shape of a dreamcatcher. This one, however, was woven in a crazy zig-zag pattern that held little symmetry but lots of emotion. Within that pattern where three beads of jet, representing caught dreams. He shook his head, thinking to himself that it had to be coincidence, but he told her what he remembered from his grandfather's longwinded philosophizing anyway.

"Usually, a dreamcatcher is supposed to catch the good dreams as they pass by you so you may dream them, while dispersing the bad dreams back to the world. But the thunderbird is a wise teacher, and knows that it is the bad dreams, the teaching dreams, that are the important ones. So a thunderbird's dreamcatcher catches the teaching dreams, and keeps the meaningless dreams at bay. Did this 'crazy old man' tell you his name?"

Thoughtwave, wide eyed now, nods in reply. "He kept referring to himself in the third person, so yeah. He called himself, Heyoka."

Wakinyan was silent for a very long time after that, but he did not sleep again until the dreamcatcher had been taken down.

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