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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:51 pm 
Dirty Ol' Man
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Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:02 pm
Posts: 574
Location: On the buckle of the bible belt

In another world, there is a civilization that closely parallels our own. Their history is the same, the general lay of the land is the same. There is one major difference. They all have tails and fur.
Welcome to the world of anthropomorphic fiction This story is about an Indian woman, her family, her friends, and her enemies. Be advised though, because their history is similar to our own, this is not your typical Disney story.

This all came about due to a very good friend of mine that started a graphic novel. After a long discussion with him, I started to write my own story and developed new characters based on his world. Despite the death and violence, it is, over all, a love story.

And with that, we start at the beginning with her grandfather and his involvement in the Second Great War.

Emoticons are the wheelchair ramps for the humor impaired.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:52 pm 
Dirty Ol' Man
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Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:02 pm
Posts: 574
Location: On the buckle of the bible belt
Chapter 1 The Beginning

The Village

The smell of spring was in the air. The sounds of the forest were everywhere. Looking up, Fires At Night saw a few clouds bright and white in the distance. All in all, a perfect day up in West Arikara. However, today was different from all the others in that today he was going before the elders to ask for their permission.
When Fires At Night had asked Greets the Morning if she would be his mate, he was not nervous. He had already known what the answer was. But now, to be standing in front of the elders waiting for their approval, it was a different matter.
Fires At Night and Greets the Morning walked into the main lodge building. Almost the entire village was present
The elders stood side by side and waited until they had stopped in front of them.
Great Father spoke first, “Fires At Night.”
“Yes Great Father?”
“You wish to take Greets the Morning as your mate?”
”Yes Great Father”
“You understand that this is forever?”
“Yes Great Father”
Great Mother smiled and said, “Greets the Morning.”
“Yes Great Mother?”
“Fires At Night has asked you to be his mate.”
“Yes Great Mother.”
“You understand that this is forever?”
“Yes Great Mother.”
The elders spoke in unison at this time, “We have watched you grow from children to young adults. You have learned our history and our ways. As mates you will be as one. You shall have no others even if one of you shall meet Death. Is this what you both wish?”
Fires At Night turned to face Greets the Morning. As they reached out to hold each others hands, they spoke as one, “Yes. We wish to be as one.”
The elders smiled, “Then it is done. May you both have a long a bountiful life together.”

The Cabin

The cabin was a good half mile from the village proper. It was large enough for four people and had a loft upstairs so that two of them could have some privacy.

The first year had gone by quickly. The cabin had seen the joy and happiness of Fires At Night and Greets the Morning. They had shared their happiness with their friends. Spring had returned bringing with it the promise of another bountiful year.
Fires At Night sat at the table in the small cabin as Greets the Morning finished the last of preparations for the evening meal.
Fires At Night rose to see who had knocked on their door. Opening it, he saw a young Reynard in a military uniform.
“Mr. Pawstone?”
“I am Lieutenant Brooks. May I have a word with you?”
“You have traveled far to see me?
“Then come inside and join us for dinner.”
The young officer looked around nervously.
Fires At Night smiled and said “Please, do not be afraid. Despite what you may have heard, we're almost civilized now. Greets the Morning, we have a guest, put an extra plate on the table.”
“Mr. Pawstone, I have been asked to tell you we need your assistance.”
”Not now Lieutenant, we will talk after we have had dinner.”
Having cleared the plates off of the table, Fires At Night set a cup of hot tea in front of the stranger, “Now we can talk. What is it you wish to discuss with me?”
“Mr. Pawstone, you are Cunni is this not so?”
“And you are fluent in both Cunni and our language?”
Fires At Night couldn't help laughing and said with a gleam in his eye, “Me speak your language plenty good.”
“Sir, as you are aware, our country is at war.”
Fires At Night nodded slowly, “Your country is at war. But I suspect you are about to make it our war as well.”
“It is your language Mr. Pawstone. Nobody except another Cunni can understand it.”
“I have heard of my brothers being asked to serve. So now, is this a request for me to serve as well?”
Fires At Night took a sip of his tea and looked at the stranger across from him. Finally he spoke, “It is my duty. I will serve. Despite what you may have heard about the Cunni, we have our honor and our traditions. We are no longer at war with you. Now, what exactly is it that you require from me?”
“You will be trained at Ft. Kemp. You will be given everything you need. I understand you will want to take some personal effects with you as part of your heritage. After your training, you will have a week back here to be with your wife before being sent off to serve on our behalf.”
“You have traveled far to speak with me. You will be our guest tonight. The chair in front of the fireplace is quite comfortable. I will go with you tomorrow morning.”
That night, Fires At Night and Greets the Morning spoke quietly to one another. “I suppose we both knew this was going to happen. I will miss you.”
“I will miss you too. You will always be in my heart.”
“As you will be in mine.”
The next morning, Fires At Night and Greets the Morning knelt patiently outside the cabin facing the East. As the sun first began to spread it's light over the horizon, they both spread their arms and bowed slightly.
“Thank you for the light and the warmth you give us. Standing slowly, they continued “We honor you as we honor those before us. We seek your guidance so that we shall continue and prosper.”
They walked back inside the cabin and were greeted by the young Lieutenant.
“Good morning.”
“Did you sleep well?”
“Yes thank you. You were right, that chair is very comfortable.”
“I have already packed the things that I must take with me. Do we have time for breakfast, or do we have to leave now?”
“We should leave soon, but I believe there is time for more of that tea from last night.”
After the second cup of tea, Fires At Night rose and embraced his wife. Picking up his satchel he turned to the young Lieutenant.
“Shall we be on our way?”
The bus ride to Ft. Kemp was boring at best. Fires At Night mostly looked out the window and occasionally at the young Lieutenant.
As the stepped down from the bus, they were met by another young man in a uniform.
“Mr. Pawstone this is Corporal Davis. He will take you to Ft. Kemp and will see to it that you fill out all the forms and are sworn in. He extended his hand, “I must say, talking with you has been my pleasure. Thank you for your willingness to serve and good luck.

Ft. Kemp

While West Arikara technically was a part of the Federated Union of States, it was pretty much autonomous with a minimum amount of interference from the government. Ft. Kemp was the exception. From the outside, Ft. Kemp hadn't changed much in the past 100 or so years since peace had been made with the Cunni. At one time, it housed 15 thousand troops. Fires At Night chuckled to himself, he knew that it had to have that many to be safe from his ancestors. But now, it was a training facility used by the Unionists to teach the relatively new methods of communications to the next generation of young men.
The thirteen weeks of training went fairly smooth with one exception. Fires At Night had known of the general distrust of the Cunni by others, and he knew he had to just ignore a majority of it. However, one of the other recruits was a younger Coyano. Probably trying to avoid being ridiculed himself, he had taken it upon himself to constantly ride Fires At Night every chance he got. “I smell hopfeet. Hey, who let the digger in here?” Fires At Night just looked down and ignored him.
The morning of the graduation ceremony, the Coyano was found hanging by his feet, naked with a gag in his mouth and line of blue powder around his right ankle.
No one said a word.

Out in the Western Ocean

Fires At Night stirred slightly, then sat up in his tent. Although this place, for out in the Western ocean was not what he was accustomed to, he knew what he had to do. He slipped outside and knelt, waiting patiently. The sun peeked over the horizon spreading it's warmth.
After performing his morning ritual, Fires At Night turned and headed for the mess tent.
“Good morning Corporal.”
“Good morning Sargent, may I be of some assistance?”
The Sargent laughed, “Now see here Corporal, you do plenty enough by setting an example by not complaining about my cooking. Sit down and enjoy your coffee while I get the rest ready for the boys.”
Fires At Night poured himself a cup and sat at the long table pulling the letter from his breast pocket.
“My darling, I hope you're doing well. I wanted you to know you're a father. It's a boy and he has your eyes. The nurse said she'll give me a copy of the picture they took for the records so I can show you. I love you very much and I miss you terribly. Greets the Morning.”
Folding the letter carefully, he returned it to his breast pocket and stood up. “I am a father! I have a son!”
“Yeah yeah, we know. You've been saying that for two weeks now.” A chorus of voices answered.
Fires At Night laughed and sat back down. He knew they were just teasing him and were secretly jealous. He was a few years older than most and had already been married when the government had told him his services were needed. The Cunni were special. Their language was even more special. And so, because of that, here he was out on some small speck of dirt surrounded by water and thousands of miles from home.
“Corporal? Are you in here?”
“Right here sir.”
“The Captain said, 'Tell that hopfoot to get to the radio tent on the double, I have another message coming in that goofy language they use.'”
Fires At Night stood up, and except for a slight tightening of his jaw, gave no reaction to the Lieutenant's comments other than an affirmation. “Right away sir.”
Half way across the space between the mess and radio tent, there was the sharp crack of a rifle. In less than a heartbeat, it was answered by several bursts of automatic weapons fire. But by the time it was over, there were two more casualties to the war. One of theirs, and one of ours.
“I don't understand why we have to do this. He's just another hopfoot. Throw him out into the trees and let the wild animals have him. And why did the medic cut the foot off of that other one.”
“Lieutenant, That will be enough of that. Unless you hadn't noticed, that man wore the same uniform you and I are wearing. If you wish to keep your stripes that will be the last I hear about hopfeet.”

Somewhere out in the great western ocean on an small island, there lies a Cunni warrior. As per their custom, he is wearing nothing. He has left this world as he had entered it. The only adornment he wears is the sacred blue powder on his eyes and in his mouth. The single line on the marker reads simply, “We are Cunni, Death is always nearby.”

The Cabin

Greets the Morning sat in front of the fireplace holding Running Blue Water against her breast. Turning towards her friend she said, “You really don't have to come over here every day. Shouldn't you be at the Cafe with your husband?”
Dancing Corn Flower laughed, “Think nothing of it. It gives the old man a chance to think he's the one in charge of the cafe, and it gives Black Shadow Bear a chance to learn “man things” with his dad. Putting the last of the dishes back in the cupboard, she grabbed a cup of tea and sat in the chair closest to Greets the Morning. “Besides, when Black Shadow Bear was only a few months old, I had a friend that came over and help me with him. They are quite a handful at that age.”
“They grow so fast don't they? Black Shadow Bear is what, five now?”
“Almost six. Dancing Corn Flower pointed a finger at Running Blue Water. “And from the way he's latched onto lunch over there, he should be as big as he is in no time at all.”
Blushing slightly, Greets the Morning changed the subject, “I do hope this war is over quickly. I want Fires At Night to watch his son grow up.”
“It would be over quicker is they had let my husband join. You know the old saying, 'An army travels on it's stomach' but they said his eyes weren't good enough. Personally, I think it's because he didn't speak their language good enough to do what Fires At Night does. And my friend said she heard that they only let Vepers cook.”
“That figures, they couldn't beat us, so they found some other group to abuse.”
“Do you believe the stories the old ones tell about one day Our Mother will rid our land of the Reynards and the others like them?”
“No, I do not. I think that was just a story they started telling back in the beginning of the long war against them before we learned how to beat them. It was to give us hope in the face of certain failure.”
“Oh, like their stories of salvation? So they would accept suffering in this life because of promise of a reward after they're dead?”
“Something like that, yes. It's been 3 months since I wrote to Fires At Night telling him of his son. I do hope he's ok.”
“Oh he's probably doing just fine lounging around. My friend says it takes forever for the mail to get sent home because they have to read everything first and make sure nobody is telling any secrets.”
“I miss him.”
“We miss him too Greets the Morning. Don't you worry, he'll come walking in here like he'd only been gone over night.”

Another Officer

Greets the Morning had just set Running Blue Water down for a nap when there was a knock on the door. Opening it, she saw another officer in uniform standing stiffly holding a box.
“Mrs. Pawstone?”
“Yes, may I help you?”
“It is with my deepest sympathy that our Commander in Chief and ordered me to send his regrets at loss of your husband. He was killed in action while serving his country. This box contains his personal effects and the flag under which he served. Please sign, or make a mark, here here and here.”
Greets the Morning just stood there staring at the officer and shaking. Finally, she said, “You murdering bastards. You killed my husband. Get off my property.”
“Ma'am, I'm sorry.”
“Nothing you say will bring him back, now get out of my sight.”
The officer, following protocol, gave Mrs. Pawstone a salute, then turned and walked away saying nothing more. Later he would write on the form, 'The surviving partner refused to sign the receipt.”
Greets the Morning pushed the box into the cabin, closed the door, sat down in the chair by the fireplace and proceeded to cry herself to sleep.
Greets the Morning awoke to the sound of Running Blue Water crying. Picking him up she said, “There there little one, I'm sorry, I won't cry any more.”

Greets the Morning picked up the box the officer had left. She had picked it up several times, but each time she set it back down in the corner unable to open it. “This time I will.”
Cutting the tape sealing the box, she carefully folded back the top and looked inside. The first thing was the flag of the country her mate had died defending. She found his ID card with his picture and both his name and the one to government had given him. Then there was medals and ribbons he was awarded in the short time of his service. Some of which were given posthumously. The satchel he had taken with him was full of his personal possessions. The cleaver that had belonged to his father, and his father before him. The sacred bag of Indamo. His wishing stone. The necklace of toe bones that had been handed down over the generations. She found the bundle of letters that she had written him.
As she closed the box, she put in with the rest of the things, the official letter from the military explaining how he had been killed, and how he had been properly buried according to his religion.
She put the box back in the corner and poured herself a cup of tea. “Fires At Night, I will always love you. You will always be in my heart.

The Cafe

The cafe was next to the main road that passed by the village. Between the counter and the one booth it could handle about 25 people. But it was always a popular place. Glowing Dark Eyes was known for his skill in the kitchen, and Dancing Corn Flower for her skill with the customers.

Glowing Dark Eyes stood behind the counter and stared at his mate, “What?”
“You heard me, I said Greets the Morning needs a man in her life.”
“But, she was mated. We are mated. 'You shall have no other.'”
“I'm not asking you to sleep with her, I'm telling you she needs a man in her life. Someone to let her know she is important. Someone to help guide her son.”
Glowing Dark Eyes turned red, “Oh, I thought you meant....I mean because... I, I mean before we were mates...”
“Then that's even all the more reason dear. We all know each other, we've always been close to one another. The others in the village aren't going to be spreading rumors about the two of you. She paused to take a sip of her tea. “Besides, you're not going to spend the night at her place.”
“So, you're saying I should act like a father towards her son?”
“And the occasional handyman around the cabin?”
Glowing Dark Eyes walked around the counter and sat next to his mate. “Any thing else?”
“Well yes. There's nothing that says she can't spend the night with us.”

And so it was. Greets the Morning was like a sister to the two of them. Running Blue Water and Black Shadow Bear were brothers. And on the occasion that Greets the Morning spent the night, it mattered not who was in the middle. It was the sound sleep of having another next to you that was important.

Emoticons are the wheelchair ramps for the humor impaired.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:00 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:17 pm
Posts: 397
Location: In the rural Southeast
We learn again - don't fuck with the Cunni, it's a Bad Idea.


Sometimes I wonder what tomorrow's gonna bring
When I think about my dirty life and times.
---Warren Zevon

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