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Aberrant: The Middle Children of History - Waiting

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[Evening, 22 December 2025]

As she had seven times before, the Lakota goddess known as Ptesan-Wi gently but firmly sent all visitors away three days before the winter solstice, and told the elders of the tribe that she would be in seclusion for the next four days. There were preparations that needed to be done, and distractions could not be tolerated.

Finding just the right wood for the fire was a task, but a welcome one. Hickory gave the coming feast a certain flavour that was undeniably welcome, and a touch of cedar let the smoke from the cookfire go up the natural rock chimney in an aromatic call to the skies above.

The feast itself took a full day to hunt and gather, and nearly another to prepare. The favorite dish, her renown savory venison stew, was the centerpiece as always, but flatbread baked on hot stones, filling the cave-home with a homey smell that told of happy childhoods and comfortable evenings. An herbed tea was made from various leaves and barks, steeped through with the vast bounty of helpful herbs given by the land.

New bedding was arrayed in the bed chamber, fresh with boughs of pine and new furs that Ptesan-Wi herself had tanned. It may have been a simple cavern at one time, but now it was as plush and comfortable as the finest of beds.

The places were set with care on the stone outcropping she had co-opted as a table so many years before. Her own place was set as usual, but from storage came his great platter for the other side, a massive bowl beside it.

All was ready, all was prepared once more. And as she had seven years before, Ptesan-Wi waited for the return of her mate from the spirit world to this one, to stand by her side once more and help to lead the people into the sacred Fifth World.


[Midday, 23 December 2025]

In the Lakota native village closest to Inyan Kara, the tribe rejoiced once more with their great feast. It was a tradition their Wakanwinyan from the mountain had started many years before, bringing a massive kettle of savory stew as the centerpiece of a winter feast for the entire village. Everyone contributed; cornbread, roast venison and buffalo, preserves, and an endless array of breads were brought to the feast, and everyone shared in the bounty of the tribe and of their goddess.

But for some reason, despite the joy of this meal she had founded, the White Buffalo Calf Woman never took part in the feast herself. And always, her divine face showed the trail of recent tears.

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