The Steady Uniting
As I rode to Nana Shima’s I discovered that my heart was pounding hard behind my jacket, my blue shirt with two black stripes (one of the only patterned things I own) and my flesh and muscle.
Why am I so worked up? I wondered as the caravan park came into view.
I soon parked and hurried to the fireplace, there was no fire but instead was the short figure sitting by it, weaving a basket.
“You want to speak to me about your quest,” she said as I came close to her. I paused, glanced around before sitting down.
“Well you’re running out of time,” she suddenly added, finishing a row. I froze.
“What….Do you mean?” I asked swallowing beforehand.
“You want her back don’t you?” It was the first time since I’d visited again that she’d looked at me. Her face sent chills down by my spine.
She wasn’t kidding.
“Your enemy grows stronger with each passing day,” she told me going back to her arts and crafts, “if you’re going to have any hope of defeating the Sumanitu Taku then you need to assemble the four together as soon as possible.”
“I’ve tried,” I said exasperated, “but I haven’t had any hints or clues as to the whereabouts of the last one!”
“You need to stop looking,” she simply said. I frowned.
“What’s dumb is how long it’s taken for you to find them,” she said looking up to the midday sky, “there has not been a full moon since you started to search and there won’t be one tonight.”
“So, it means that it’s still less than a month for me to find them,” I said (I knew little astronomical methods but it was something mum had taught me.)
“Time is not the concern Cole, it’s what happens in the time,” she said sternly placing her basket down and slowly turning all her body towards me. I heard her back crack.
“You’ve been too busy moping about her. Haven’t you?”
“What? Don’t be ridiculous!” I retaliated, “I’ve slacked off on school work, barely seen any of my few friends for this quest!”
“Your feelings for her have slowed you,” she told me. I jumped at this.
“Forget about her and focus on finding the last one.” This infuriated me but the last thing I wanted was to continue the conversation so I grabbed my bag and in a huff I left.
I had to talk to Jay, tell him that I needed him, for a reason.
He was with his gang of hooligans behind the school building at lunch. I knew they didn’t eat. I’d accidentally knocked a bag out of their hands and there was no lunch packed.
I was right to assume they would be vandalising the building, spraying ghastly blacks and reds in jagged lines across the brick wall.
I had made sure I was dressed to appear more intimidating, a black t-shirt, dark jeans, boots and my jacket. I walked confidently towards them, noting their hoods, bright blue, black, red, dark green and a familiar yellow.
“You guys should get a life,” I said standing with my hands across my chest. I knew how to act, (this was how I had been when I first met Luna). They all turned around, swearing amongst themselves as they did. The one in the yellow hood stood.
“F*** off Kenward,” he said coarsely. I took a step towards him. The others gave way and they started to leave.
“Forget him Jay,” one of them told him, “he’s just a piece of s***.”
“Oh am I?” I demanded taking another step closer, easily determining it was the one in the black hood. I grabbed him by his hoods collar and easily lifted him up.
“This is not between you and me. So I suggest you get lost before I suddenly change my mind,” I lifted my upper lip, to show my rather scary teeth. I heard him swear in fright. I let go and he collapsed onto the floor before scrambling to his feet and running with the rest of them. I turned to Jay.
“We need to talk,” I said firmly.
“About what,” he demanded, taking a defensive stance. I did the same, spacing my legs about half a metre more apart. I watched as he slowly glanced behind me.
“You can’t run,” I told him, “unless you’re fine with them finding out,” he swore again. I had him trapped.
“You think you’re so strong,” he said, clenching his fists, “but I know that you’re nothing but a weak mongrel.”
“What makes you say that?” I demanded feeling my claws slowly rise out of my cuticles.
“I know exactly what you are,” he spat, his hood falling off to reveal the scowl on his face. I kept my expression firm.
“Werewolf,” he said, my body began to heat up.
“And you’re a skin walker,” I growled, “a crow at that. You can tell people’s futures just by touching their personal belongings.”
“Yes and I would have remained a secret if you hadn’t spied on me,” he answered. My claws were their full length.
“I don’t wish to hurt you,” I admitted through my teeth, “but to ask you to join me.”
“Join you?” He laughed, before turning his focus back on me, “what makes me think I want to join you? For what may I ask? Is it for personal, spiritual or emotional growth? Become the strongest and most powerful, than the other werewolves in the land. Rule the town and eventually the world as the Alpha Omega with nothing against you or to stop you? Or is it for a certain someone whom you miss?”
“I have no areas in which I need to grow in,” I snarled opening my hands out, my claws fanned out in a spiky flower.
“I don’t wish to rule over anyone, I despise who and what I am in my darkest depths of my very being.” I admitted opening my mouth as my teeth came to their maximum.
“Indeed there is someone. Someone whom I hated at first until I realised that it was pointless to do so,” I felt nostalgia kick in.
“I didn’t realise how much they meant to, until I learnt how they loved me,” I was starting to lose it.
“Then I saved them from death and how they mourned when they thought I was gone.” My vision became shaky.
“I touched their lips, held them in my arms and I could not think of being without them,” a face came to my mind; a malicious smirk of intent and ambition.
“Then those bastards, the Sumanitu Taku took them from me! And I vowed I would bring them back!” I turned back to him.
“I need an army to defeat those pathetic dogs and was told that I needed you, the crow, and the eyes into the future, ONE OF THE FOUR!” I was unaware that I was quivering uncontrollably. My claws went back into me, my teeth shortened.
Jay scoffed at me.
“You’re pathetic,” he told me, starting to walk off, “I won’t consider joining you, but I won’t tell anyone what you’re really like either.” He added smirking as he left. I could do nothing but let him go.
The last thing I wanted to do was talk to Bronson or to Maxene. I decided it would be safer to see Bronson first. I remembered everything from last time so I was able to sneak into the secret area without him noticing.
“Be gone trespasser!” He cried holding a short blade at my chest. I raised my eyebrows before he noticed it was me.
“Ah Cole, sorry about that,” he quickly apologised sheathing his weapon, “it’s been a while since I practiced and well…”
“No need to explain,” I told him coming down the stairs and going past him. I found the nearest chair and slumped into it. I heard him come behind me and then to stand in front.
“You look disheartened,” he stated leaning forward to stare at me closely, resting his chin in his hands, “penny for your thoughts?”
“A what,” I asked pushing back in my chair while he stood back up.
“It’s an old proverb which means, ‘do tell me what’s on your mind.” He answered running a finger along the spines of the books before stopping on one and plucking it out.
“The only one that should be wordless is a picture book,” he told me thumping the book before me and opening it. He flicked through the pages fast, each containing a brightly vivid image with a few shapes seen.
“Ah Van Gogh, one of the most tortured souls in the world of art,” he said holding up the cover which had the artist’s name on the front.
“I’m aware of that,” I told him, “He also shot himself.” I added normally
“Yes, and how sad that he should do so,” he said dramatically, twirling on one of his lanky legs to place the book in its spot. He suddenly spun back around to face me.
“So anyway, Cole, what is wrong?” I sighed.
“It’s kind of hard to explain,” I admitted folding my arms across my chest (like I had done so earlier.)
“Try me, after all. One can learn something new everyday,” he said optimistically.
I guess I have no choice
“Do you know about Sioux traditions and beliefs?” I asked.
“Sure, they believe in well being and balance between certain forces,” he said bending down and going through a small cupboard. He picked up something and joined me at the table where he placed the oblong before me.
“In Pocahontas, they believe in spirit guides,” I stared at the video cover.
“It’s nothing like that,” I told him shaking my head, and “a mentor of mine, Nana Shima introduced me to the concept of medicine wheels where it’s a compass pointing to four main poles.”
“I see, you’re talking about balancing your soul’s wellbeing through certain aspects such as love, wisdom etc.”
“Almost, but they are wisdom, innocence, far seeing and inner seeing. And are the same in the directions, north, south, east and west,” he nodded somewhat intrigued.
“I need to find four people…Well skin walkers who are animals that are for certain traits, I just discovered that one of my friend’s cousins’ is a fox and she represents innocence,” I flushed as I added, “as she tried to take mine.” He smirked and I scowled, embarrassed.
“There’s a guy who’s a crow and he can see the future, so is east,” I also felt like a failure as I remembered what had happened between me and him earlier on.
“And you are the owl who represents north and wisdom,” he nodded but then his face changed to surprise.
“Me?” He asked in disbelief. I nodded.
“I need you to help me defeat the Sumanitu Taku,” I explained, “they…Well…Took her away from me.” His eyes went wide.
“Took her away from you? Someone who’s a member of your intermediate family? Someone who’s a work colleague? Was she someone who was a close friend of yours or of your family?”
“Well, sort of,” I admitted, smiling slightly as I recollected her, “actually we were seeing each other for a short time.”
“Ah I see, a girlfriend,” he answered grinning before punching me playfully on the arm, “you sly dog Cole, tell me. What is her name?” I didn’t bother mentioning that I didn’t see her as a girlfriend for I was happy that he didn’t look down at me because of it (unlike my old man and a certain bimbo…)
“Lunetta,” I said my grin increasing in width slightly, “but I know her as Luna.”
“Luna, like the moon, soft and mysterious” he said, I nodded.
“She is more than that,” I added as I saw her face in my mind, “she’s more beautiful and gentle than anyone else I know.” Beautiful yes, but when provoked she could be rather fierce. I looked forward and saw that Bronson had disappeared, I peered around and a piece of paper fluttered in front of me.
“Here,” Bronson said unexpectedly pointing the blunt end of a pencil in front of me, “I suspect that you’re somewhat of an artist so I want you to draw her for me.” I took the pencil and stared at it.
2B huh, no problem I thought as I looked at the page. Her image formed onto the page and before I knew it my hand automatically moved. I sketched a brief outline of the shape of her head and the shape of her hair and her chin. I paused as her eyes came to my mind, large almonds with thick upper lashes. I gently marked the outlines of these and of her medium curved shaped nose and her petite defined lips. I leaned back as I viewed where there were details. I shaded her lips and her eyes making sure I drew in the lines for her irises and darkly shaded her pupils and places for highlights. Lashes were a collaboration of thick and thin lines which emerged from the top lid and some from the corner of the bottom lid. I finished the nose doing the nostrils and indicating where the light would come from. I hid her ears by drawing her hair (I hated drawing them which is why). Her locks were made of mostly straight lines, almost evenly distributed which started at the crown and came to a little past her shoulders. I did her shoulders and then removed certain lines with the white gum eraser attached to the end.
Once finished I sat back and placed the pencil down. My right hand ached so while Bronson looked at the picture I stretched out my fingers and cracked my knuckles.
“Wow,” he said at last, the paper covering where his face roughly was, “this is amazing,” he added sounding blown away by it. He held it down and smiled at me.
“You must really like her, for you’ve drawn it so well it’s as if she was sitting across from you and modelling,” my mouth slowly formed into a small smile.
“Yeah I suppose.” Then I suddenly remembered the time and glanced at the clock right behind me.
“Oh crud I have to go,” I got my bag and stood up, “Umm Bronson,” I began somewhat hesitant, “would you…You know umm, help me with defeating the Sumanitu Taku?” He nodded and came to stand in front of me.
“I’m more of a pacifist than a fighter,” he admitted, “but if she means that much to you then I’ll be happy to help.” He added patting me on the shoulder.
“Thanks,” I said the word somewhat foreign to me. I turned to go upstairs, “I better go and persuade the fox to help me.”
“Hey I’ll give you a lift,” Bronson said fishing in his trouser pocket and dangling a key, “just tell me the address,” I nodded, though wondered how Maxene would feel if I suddenly showed up at her place. But that could wait.