IN THE DAYS OF CYRUS
Notah woke to the faint and whirling sounds of a hushed wind. He slowly lifted his head from his sand pillow. He rolled slowly to his right side, glancing over at the slumbering officer across the fire. The Colonel continued to sleep soundly. Notah slowly turned his attention to the attaché. Florian sat quietly staring at Notah over the top of the flames. His piercing blue eyes examined Notah with curious fear, causing the hair on the back of Notah’s neck to stand up. A silent but icy awkwardness ensued between the two men. The native soldier slowly glanced down at his hand. The stump where his pinky finger once was, had begun to slowly heal. His head was pounding, his stomach empty. “Can you drink?” The last time Notah had heard this man’s voice was two days ago. He had only spoken in german up to this point so naturally the Navajo code talker was surprised when he spoke to him in his second language. This man with the light blue eyes had held a pistol to his temple while his hulking and sadistic coworker lopped off his finger. Notah was satisfied with having killed the man who had beaten and tortured him. Notah hoped he would have an opportunity to kill this blue eyed man before him, before he himself died. Notah would give it a go if the opportunity presented itself.
“Yes I can drink,” Notah responded his voice dry, hoarse. Florian slowly stood, canteen in hand. He kept his head down in the small rock enclosure as he came around the fire where Notah lay. He kneeled next to Notah slowly tilting the canteen as he continued to stare fiercely at the bound soldier. He lowered the canteen closer to the prone soldiers face. The german soldier tilted the canteen up in a cruel and deliberate manner, allowing only a few drops to touch Notah’s parched and broken lips. Sneering with unfeeling eyes, he returned to his place at the fire. Notah licked his lips with his dry tongue as he stared back at his tormentor defiantly, finally allowing his head to fall back in silent despair. “Gunther aufwachen,” Florian whispered as he placed his hand gently on the Colonel’s dirt laden uniform jacket.
Gunther opened an eye glancing over at his attaché. “We need water, and food …” Florian’s voice began to trail off. ” Okay you go, i will watch the prisoner. ” Florian had begun to notice over the last two days that the resolve of Gunther seemed to be waning, not so urgent now. He knew hunger and thirst had played it’s part in eroding the shores of his determination. “Wach bleiben Sir,” Florian urged as he crawled on hands and knees toward the entrance of their rock crag. Florian slipped into the shadows of the entryway and disappeared outside into the quiet and still morning of the great desert, Sahara.
Cyrus had awoke well before dawn. He had just completed a small reconnaissance of the immediate area. He stood on a dune looking down at the valley of goethite rocks. He had not located the trio of men as of yet but he knew they were close. An earlier wafing of their fire amongst this maze of varying and dizzying heights of ancient rock formations had been detected, but Cyrus hoped with a little patience and persistence he would recover Notah, and together they would get off the continent of Africa, and return to their homes in Arizona and Hawai’i. They would all need water soon. Without warning a large shadow cast itself directly over Cyrus. The black eagle hovered above, creating an umbrella like division of the sun and his face. The black eagle let out a clear greeting chirping out small sounds of its own language. Cyrus managed a gritty smile as he arched his neck skyward, observing the black eagle gazing down upon him with fierce eyes of bronzed fire. For this was no ordinary black eagle, no this was a winged creature from a higher order of intelligence above mankind. This was the black eagle dream.
A shadow suddenly appeared to be closing on the face of Cyrus. He instinctively leaned back and raised his arms to protect his face as the freshly killed rabbit struck him in the upper chest area. He lay on his side, mildly stunned by the rabbit that fell from the sky. It was a large rabbit which surprised Cyrus for some reason. Cyrus smiled. He now knew what was for breakfast. He also realized he had just received the perfect trap for desperate men.
Florian softly kicked sand over the small pile of excrement. He fastened his belt and began to look about. It had occurred to him that he should mark the spot in the event that he could not procure any meaningful sustenance.
He immediately dismissed those thoughts and began to walk up the rocky hill.
Cyrus hoped to make contact with the trio today. Cyrus knew that sooner or later they would have to reveal their position. When they did, the large native hawaiian would be there to intercept them, and end their journey here in this ancient place of stone and sand.
For now though he would build a fire, eat, and rest a little. He sensed that his friend Notah was still alive. Either way however, the german Colonel was the last target on the list. There were many variables that would have to play out before he could even consider the long trek home.