Sonny Ray finally had gotten off his cell phone. And it was good he did.
He was in the red at eight percent, and fading fast. Nikko and little Raye had engaged him for over an hour and a half. He was coming home tomorrow.
Sonny Ray had decided he would drive back to Las Vegas. The freeway system had improved dramatically over the last several years. This monstrous marvel of modern engineering; was a bridge that bypassed Hoover Dam, and shaved a bunch of time off the drive from Vegas to Tucson. It would of course be a short drive from Antelope Springs to Las Vegas; especially the way
Sonny Ray was known for driving.
Their house in Las Vegas began to reflect a family in full moving mode. Nikko had been a busy lady. Sonny Ray was excited to get home. It was late. Sonny Ray had taken a shower, and was relaxing in the guest room. Dwayne had run over to check on his grandmother. She had made some food for Dwayne, and his friend. Dwayne had taken him to a more remote part of the rez, where his grandmother lived alone, in a traditional hogan. She had never met someone from Hawaii before. Her and Sonny Ray had hit it off immediately. She had many questions, and he fell in love with her frybread. Sonny Ray had promised her he would bring poi for her to try. She had smiled, nodding in approval. He had repeatedly assured her it was very good.
“Uh, that’s bullshit,” Dwayne had said with a muffled voice, pretending to cough. All three stood looking at eachother smiling enthusiastically. Dwayne and Sonny Ray decided to take a short walk from his grandma’s hogan. Dwayne took Sonny Ray to the edge of a large ravine. It was Dwayne’s favorite place as kid to watch an Arizona sunset. After visiting for another forty five minutes, the two men said goodbye, and headed home; anxious to partake of some cannabis, hot showers, and warm beds.
As Sonny Ray lay in bed listening to his hawaiian playlist on his phone, he could hear Dwayne singing loudly. He was happy for Dwayne. You could see it in the way he carried himself when Nadia was around. Sonny Ray brushed his hair into a ponytail. It had to be around one thirty in the morning now. Sonny put his cell phone on it’s charger. He slid his knife under the pillow, and laid down to get a few hours of sleep. He could hear Dwayne singing off key as he fell off into a deep sleep.
Tonight he would dream
dreams of the black eagle dream. And although it might on the outside; appear to be a night of diminutive duration; the dreams he would see would arrive; traveling at the speed of light.
The following morning Sonny Ray was up early as usual. He loved the quiet of Dwayne’s mountain home. He loved the beginning of a new day. He walked out back to retrieve some kindling, and a few pieces of pine that Dwayne had chopped a couple of days ago. Dwayne had a small honeycomb wood burning fireplace in a corner of the dining area. Sonny Ray wanted to warm the house a little. The air outside was cool and crisp. A few stars lingered in the sky. The black eagle was on his mind. He had liked the way it felt when the large creature had rested on his gloved hand.
It felt like an extension of his own power.
Sonny Ray walked down the stairs that lead out back to a small structure where Dwayne would cut and stack firewood. It had a pitched roof and a back, but no side walls or front door. It kept the rain and snow off for the most part. Dwayne had several heavy canvas tarps as well. He gathered up what wood he needed and headed back up to the house. As he approached the stairs, two fluffed up male sparrows sat on the wood side railing. He smiled. They chirped excitedly as he approached. Sonny Ray decided to see if they would come to him. Sonny Ray stood quietly, and composed himself. He felt calm, and at ease. He slowly raised his arm, and as he did, they leapt from the railing energetically, and instantly they were hovering above his arm, waiting for him to stop shaking and offer a stable landing pad. Sonny Ray finally corralled his adrenaline. The two senior male sparrows settled on his arm. “Good morning gents, and how are we today?” Sonny Ray said, pretending this was an everyday occurrence. The two sparrows conversed briefly, and then turned their attention to the black eagle’s human companion. Dwayne could hear Sonny Ray’s voice. “Hey Sonny Ray who you talking to?” “Well gentleman, I bid you adieu, and fare well may you be,” Sonny Ray said grinning. He wasn’t sure that made any sense, but it sounded good.
He lifted up his hand and they flew away; returning to their clan. Sonny Ray picked up his bucket, and opened the screen door to find Dwayne sitting at the table drinking a cup of coffee. “You ready for a cup?” Dwayne asked as he stood up. “Yes sir,” Sonny Ray replied. Sonny Ray started the kindling, and placed a small piece of pine pitch wood on top. Soon the pine began to crackle and pop, as the warmth spread gradually in the room. He sat down for the ritualistic pleasure of a caffeine fix. The men drank their coffee in an eased silence. “So are you all packed up?” “Yeah pretty much,” Sonny Ray replied. A knock came at the back door. Both men turned.
It was rare for anyone to come to Dwayne’s home this early in the morning. “Hello in there,” a familiar voice called out. Dwayne walked toward the back door. “Oh hey, what are, uh, oh come in, come in,” Dwayne said, completely surprised. He held open the screen door, as Nadia and Natalia walked in, each with a bag of groceries in tow. “Good morning boys,” Natalia said with a smile. After putting the bags on the kitchen counter they put their beaded courier bags, and jackets on the couch. “We wanted to express our appreciation for you two helping us in breaking the choke hold of the soon to be former Sheriff, and his maniac deputy, besides neither one of you cook very well so…,” the four friends looked at eachother, and began to smile, and then the laughter ensued. Everyone was in a celebratory mood. In time fresh coffee brewed. The girls cooked up some omelets, turkey bacon, toast, juice, hashbrowns, and freshly cut fruit. Sonny Ray even talked Natalia into making him some pancakes. Soon they all sat stuffed. Dwayne and Nadia poured another cup of coffee, and decided to go out on the back deck to talk. Natalia looked at Sonny Ray. First on one side of his head, and then on the other. “What, what’s wrong, what you got to say smarty pants?” Sonny Ray fired off the first volley. Natalia smiled slowly. “You know your going on tv today right?” Natalia asked, preparing to cap on Sonny Ray. “Yeah I know, and?” He was playfully goading her now.
“Bro you need to do something with them hawaiian curls of yours cause right now you look a hot mess, for real,” Natalia concluded. “Oh is that right?” Sonny Ray asked, defiant now. Natalia nodded in the affirmative, smiling sweetly, well sort of, more of a sneering type sweetness if you will. Sonny Ray took off his bandana. “What you like do?” he said with some thick hawaiian pidgin. “Sit,” she commanded. Natalia laughed, as pointed downward for him to sit in the black leather dining chair. She walked to the bathroom to get a brush and some light hair oil. In no time she brushed his hair into a thick single braided ponytail. They had a few hours before the press conference would start.
After they cleaned up the kitchen, it was decided that they would hang out at Nadia’s office. Wes had called Nadia earlier from nearby Williams to tell her that someone had fire bombed his barn last night. He lost a horse, and several farm animals, and an old tractor with a gannon box on it. He was concerned for them. Nadia assured him that they were prepared for whatever; passivity was no longer an option or forethought.
It was a call to action.
The tide had begun to turn; in favor of the home team. Mascots need not apply.