<bgsound src="hearse.mid" LOOP="1"> A night of magic.A night of mischif

The Wandering Indian

    2000
by

RUTH WILLERTH



I leaned over the pile of small sticks that I had carefully arranged so when I lit the match there would be enough air so the flames would catch. Nancy and her husband had the cabin next to ours. She would be here any minute.

The sounds of branches cracking on the path told me someone was coming. I continued to concentrate on my pile of sticks as I lit a match and held under the small twigs. "The wood's a little damp, but I think this should do it."

The flame increased as the twigs started to catch on fire. "It will be awhile before we're ready for the meat." I looked up, as I added some bigger sticks to the fire. My body stiffened. My heart speed up five or six notches. Whoever it was watching me build the fire wasn't Nancy.

It was the same size as Nancy, but it was not human nor animal. It was more of a shadow, than anything else. "I'm sorry to look so startled. I thought you were somebody else."

The shadow stood facing me, but said nothing back.

I added some even bigger sticks to the fire. "You are welcome to warm yourself by the fire, if you'd like."

The shadow looked toward the fire, which blazed and cracked like a good fire should.

"The fires probably too big for your liking. You'll have to forgive us for that. We like cooking on big fires."

The shadow moved closer to the fire. He leaned over it slightly. It looked like he was warming himself.

"Lynn!" Mom called from inside the cabin.

"Excuse me," I explained to the shadow. "I'll be right back." I hurried up the wooden steps and walked into the cabin. "What Mom?"

"Who were you talking to?" Mom asked.

"Don't know--a dead Indian I guess. I thought it was Nancy, but when I looked up it was a shadow instead."

Mom stared at me grinning.

"If you're quiet and don't startle it, I bet you can see it too." Mom followed me out of the cabin but the shadow had gone.

 
 
 
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