Black Eagle Dream


Chapter 23
Dwayne drove back quickly to his home. He grabbed the groceries and ran around to the back. On the glass door was a note from Nikko. She and Raye had accompanied Cyrus on his morning walk. After hastily putting away the perishable items, he wrote a note about what had happened to Sonny Ray. Cyrus had no phone, and he didn’t have Nikko’s cell so a note would have to do. After closing the back door Dwayne headed back into Antelope Springs to see if he could successfully retrieve Sonny Ray from the clutches of officer Bob.

Sonny Ray rose slowly to his feet. “Come on get up,” he said, talking to himself. In spite of the pain he managed to crack a smile. He knew he should of kept his big mouth shut. “Must be the white in me,” Sonny Ray muttered as he spit blood onto the ground. It hurt pretty bad when he took a breath. Sonny Ray was certain he had two, maybe three broken ribs. As Sonny Ray was about to cross the two lane highway something in the broken grass caught his eye. It was a silver bracelet. It wasn’t of significant quality this bracelet. it was the kind you bought for someone and had their name inscribed for an extra twenty five dollars or so. Sonny Ray bent down gently to pick it up. On the inscription it read, Officer Robert L. Fritz, Antelope Springs Police Department. Without thinking he dropped it in his pocket. He had to get the hell out of this area; but as he didn’t know the town very well he had to take the chance to continue walking alongside the freeway. After walking about a quarter of a mile he heard the blowing of a horn. He turned to see Dwayne as he pulled onto the shoulder of the road. After putting on his emergency flashers, he jumped out of his jeep to get to Sonny Ray. After buckling his injured passenger in, Dwayne eased back onto the lonely stretch of road. Dwayne had anticipated bailing Sonny Ray out of jail.
Sonny Ray went in and out of consciousness. Dwayne arrived home quickly. After a tearful reunion Nikko cleaned up her husband, and with the help of Dwayne they laid Sonny Ray in the guest bedroom near the kitchen. The afternoon went along as the injured man tossed and turned in a foamy sea of distress that had no top or bottom. The pain stalked him like a hungry bear.
The black eagle flew high above; as it circled in the starry black lit night of early evening. Round and around the black eagle dream circled above the two story cabin. Cyrus opened his eyes. His son would live.
As Sonny Ray drifted in and out of consciousness; he had the strongest emotion that he could fly.
His dreams came to him like a huge ball of rumbling rubber bands of many colors; threatening to overtake him if he didn’t keep running. He was tired of running. He just wanted it all to stop.

Black Eagle Dream


Chapter 24

Officer Bob sat at his desk tapping a pencil on his forehead. He was tired, but probably more agitated than anything else. Between that smart ass harwaiian and that redneck who had fell asleep at the wheel of his tractor trailer rig coming into town. By not taking adequate rest breaks, the truck driver killed an old lady. Her friends called her Toni. Her real name was Antonia Morelli. Her two cats Nick, and Dan were killed as well. Officer Bob knew the old lady. She lived about six trailers down from him.
It had been a long week. Somewhere along the way he had lost his silver bracelet. His commanding officer, Captain Shane Edwards had given it to him as a gift. They were supposed to meet later to discuss an upcoming fishing trip. Officer Bob knew it was of considerable importance that he locate it; for the repercussions of it not being found, could stir up the pot a bit. It was quitting time for officer Bob. Officer Bob had some fried chicken, corn on the cob, and some cold beer on his culinary calendar. He lived in a small travel trailer on the outskirts of town. Bob didn’t like people, particularly blacks and Indians. Come to think of it, he didn’t like anyone who wasn’t white. While on the subject Bob decided to add those Harwaiians on his list as well. Officer Bob, though not having a penchant for any thoughts of far reaching consequence; splished splashed his way through his puddle of life, wondering now and again, in the disquieting recesses of his mind; if his people were coming the new Indians, the new minority, of this the newest millennium. It might be his over active imagination, but his world kept appearing to be getting smaller and smaller.
Karma baby karma, the windward warrior chanted; as he pounded on the subliminal door leading to officer Bob’s mind.

Black Eagle Dream

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Nikko and little Raye had spent the day, and a good part of the evening fussing over Sonny Ray. The center of attention now sat at the kitchen table drinking a cup of coffee. Nikko and her young daughter were exhausted, had finally made it into bed. Dwayne and Cyrus were out back in the clearing, starting a fire. Sonny Ray had a really mean headache. The old man had wrapped his ribs, and put fresh aloe on his various scrapes and abrasions. He knew he had at least two cracked ribs. He had broken a few ribs parachuting in the Army, so he had a working knowledge of the pain. Despite all that had happened yesterday, his biggest question and concern was; who is this old man, and what did he want? Sonny Ray’s thoughts drifted back to officer Bob. He was uncertain what impelled a man like that. There had to be something more a fortiori, than ignorance. Sonny Ray pondered if it was congenital hatred, something inherited, passed on like a treasured family heirloom. Or perhaps it was a beast like signal, being sent out over the DNA highway; only detected by those with the same iniquitious ideology. He did not hate officer Bob, but Sonny Ray felt this man was very much in need of an expanded world view. And he was just the man for the job. It was now officially on his to do list. For now though he needed some answers. Wincing, he stood up slowly, trying desperately not to breathe deeply. He walked across the small kitchen. The floor creaked, singing a retort of sorts. He pushed the old screen door open, and descended the four steps. Each step caused him to groan within himself. Sonny Ray looked out into the coolness of the night. Cyrus and Dwayne sat out in the clearing, carved gently from the lush forest. The smell of cedar gently ascended upward,
the earthy wood caressing the supple curves of the night. Sonny Ray walked gingerly out into the clearing. Without a word he sunk down slowly in the chair near the fire. The flames created illusionary elastic shadows upon the canvas of the starry black lit night. The black eagle was no where to be found. Sonny Ray sat across the great divide, uncertain what he could believe or trust; of any words that might be placed into his ears.
After all, he had abandoned that belief at the age of two, when the most trusted person in his life had savagely scalded his feet and his heart. Sonny Ray stared into the heart of the flames, searching for veracity and for charge.
“Young man,” Cyrus called across the great divide. Sonny Ray was uncertain what he could believe or trust. These words afterall, came from the mouth of a stranger. Sonny Ray looked up, a pensive look that distorted the little boy living inside the walls of the protective mans eyes. Cyrus had lived long enough to know that words were not worth the paper they were written upon; if they were not honored. A picture on the other hand, could often reveal truth that required little explanation. Cyrus moved slowly, like a black man living in America that had just been pulled over by the police; hoping not to be shot down just for existing. Cyrus had a blanket around his aged shoulders. He slowly brought his hand out, and in it he held a yellowed and well worn envelope. Cyrus gazed at the young man, his fingers moving slowly with nervous anticipation, coupled by years of imagined rehearsals of this very moment in time. Cyrus reached across the great divide, and gently pulled the young man onto the ground where he stood. Sonny Ray quietly accepted the yellowed envelope, and leaned back again into his chair. He pacified the picture by handling it like a newborn baby, fearful of the universal ramifications for not respecting the past. The orange flames of the fire continued their elastic fancy dance, as Sonny Ray looked resolutely at the picture. It was a small palm sized black and white photo. Right away Sonny Ray recognized a younger version of the man who sat before him. He looked again, and saw a small boy clinging to the pant leg of the tall man with the long wavy hair. With an incipient thrust, like a calvary sword in the back of a fleeing child, it involuntarily caused Sonny Ray to bolt upright in his chair. Sweat began to gather and bead up on his forehead. His ribs hurt like hell, he could not breathe. Dwayne placed his hand placidly on Sonny Ray’s shoulder. “Easy cousin, I got you,” Despite the pain Sonny Ray exhaled deeply like he was blowing out a candle. He slowly slid the picture into the aged envelope. His emotional gauges were pegged, he was going in; uncertain if he could pull up in time, the ground coming up quick. Sonny Ray had just buried his father, gotten manhandled by some vainglorious cop, and now a complete stranger had handed him a picture with him in it. Cyrus, up to this point had said little. “I know this has to be hard on you but I need you to hear me now eh? Sonny Ray nodded, head down, unable to speak. Dwayne excused himself, leaving Cyrus and Sonny Ray; as the orange flames of fire lit up the night.
“First of all, I would like to give you my condolences on the passing of your father.” Sonny Ray nodded an acknowledgement. It was getting akward but Cyrus knew he had to push through it. “You are a man, so I will speak plainly.” Sonny Ray looked into the large man’s eyes for the first time. “Your mother and I first met in Kohala. She, like all young hawaiian girls of her time; were separated from her parents, and we’re made to attend a boarding school. There, they were stripped of their hawaiian culture, their language. I was a young student teacher at the time. Your mother and I became friends. Over the years we remained so, even after she left the big island and joined the military.” Sonny Ray winced in pain.
“I recall my mother talking about a hawaiian man she wished she had married when she was younger. I take it you are that man.” A long pause of silence ensued. “I am,” Cyrus said. “The moment I laid eyes on you I knew you were not my dad’s brother,” Sonny Ray said smoothly. There was yet another quiet moment between the two, as neither man were enjoying this small block of time.
“So, what is it you have to tell me old man?”
“As you you know, your father was not a very discreet man.” Sonny Ray cracked a short lived smile. “Your right about that, but I need you to tell me what I don’t know.” Sonny Ray locked eyes with Cyrus. “Okay.
Your mother begged me to come to Ohio to see her while your father was in England for a year. You recall that I’m sure.” Sonny Ray nodded. “Your mom had caught your father with yet another woman. So when he left to England it was not under the most favorable
circumstances. We, we ended up becoming lovers.” Sonny Ray stood up. He walked out into the clearing. The stars shone brightly in the sky. “So why are you telling me this now old man?” “Sonny Ray, I am your biological father.”
Sonny Ray walked further into the darkness. His breathing became labored. Cyrus stood up slowly. He walked into the clearing locating Sonny Ray. “I have made a couple of pallets in the hogan. Perhaps we could talk there.”
Sonny Ray and Cyrus walked a short distance to the hogan. Cyrus ducked down to gain entry into the small structure. Sonny Ray entered the doorway, but paused before stepping through the portal. The rich scent of the earth, the dirt floor of the hogan flooded his senses. It gave him an unusual feeling of calmness. The low roof, and the shape and size of the hogan gave Sonny Ray the semblance of being in an embryonic state again;
wrapped in a protective earthen womb.
The two men would talk more now.

Black Eagle Dream

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Chapter 26

1965 was a good year. That was the year that Sonny Ray learned how to fly. He had attended a private school to learn. As it turns out, no one else knew about it because it’s founder, CEO, and flight instructor was only five years old. Sonny Ray had discovered his hidden talent in Japan, while dreaming in his bed one night. He lived on Misawa Air Force Base with his family. Sonny Ray called his school; the Run, Bounce, and Fly school of Japan. While his father fought bravely in Vietnam on behalf of politicians, and drug traffickers the world over, Sonny Ray honed his fledgling flying skills. After school, he would walk the steep hills of the Air base, storing the breadth and the length of these mighty air strips; in his mind. This was done in the hopes of glorious flight come bed time. The premise for flight was simplistic in nature. In order to get air, thus freeing yourself to fly wherever it is you wished to go, you first had to run very, very fast. Secondly, it was the head flight instructors opinion that success could be acheived by running down the aforementioned steep hills. The second stage of flight, and perhaps the most crucial, was the bounce. It was all about timing really. When Sonny Ray grew up he recalled that his flight school protocol very much mirrored the track and field
event of the hop, skip, and jump. You just had to feel it. When you did, and you found that sweet spot; you were up and away, cruising the perilous skies of yesteryear. In his diminutive, and inexperienced tenure in life, and in flight, Sonny Ray made the grievous error of attempting flight after consuming great quantities of his mom’s world famous spaghetti and meat balls. There was something about the properties of pasta that caused his night visions, his dreams, to have the ability to at times be, extremely prodigious. Not to be deterred, he began his flight as he had previously; by promptly crashing. After his first dry run, Sonny Ray got that look of conviction, teeth gritting, and just plain old holding your mouth right; because this five year old kid was born to run, to bounce, to fly. Sonny Ray hit his mark and he was flying.
This flight however, was by far the scariest to date.
The five year old Sonny Ray immediately felt like his body had become powerless. With his arms and legs in super hero mode; there was only one thing that made this flight disconcerting; and it was the fact that he lacked the ability to control in what direction of flight this dream was leading him. Sonny Ray could see that he was being led away from the Japanese archipelago, and out to sea. Sonny Ray made several attempts to steer himself in the direction of where his family lay sleeping. But to no avail. Being so far from land Sonny Ray grew weary from the struggle. Flying over the pacific ocean, the yellow moonlight penetrated the soft and shimmering surface of the sea, dispersing it’s translucent light in a sensuous pairing of effectual creation. The light comforted the little boy, and his body began to relax. Sonny Ray looked ahead, and he thought he saw a big mountain jutting out of the sea. After only a few minutes Sonny Ray was sure he spotted land. The closer he came to land however, the more he knew he was not in Japan anymore. Even at his age he knew and respected the power of dreams. His tutu had taught him that. His grandma was a quiet soul. Yet she knew that life, her life, consisted of much more than the physical. She understood the source of the evil, and cruelty that resided in the earth. She was a hawaiian woman from a different place and time. In the distance the little boy could see the glow of lava flowing out from kilauea. Sonny Ray continued on his flight, as his sublime self consciousness brought him home once again.
It had not been quite a year since his grandma had died. Sonny Ray spotted his uncle Walters house. Soon he circled his grandma’s house, and began to descend. Sonny Ray had become fixated on his feet, and had failed to pay attention to where he was landing. As in all his flights, he landed as soft as a feather. Sonny Ray looked around and realized he had landed in the Imiola church cemetery. Many of his relatives were buried there. His grandma had died of cancer right before the little boy’s father had received his orders to Japan. Sonny Ray wondered why the black eagle He heard a scraping noise, and slowly turned around. His blood ran cold. His feet were hot. In the corner of the cemetery where his grandmother had been laid to rest, there was the aluminum casket that she had been buried in. It sat upon the grass and dirt where she had been buried. As Sonny Ray grew up he was curious as to why people placed there loved ones in boxes before putting them in the dirt. Was it one last attempt to insulate or shield their loved ones from the insult of dying? Sonny Ray the little boy, had to know. He missed his grandma. He crept slowly toward the casket. The casket lay there, open. Sonny Ray stood next to the casket, quiet he stood. Without warning his grandma sat up. Sonny Ray shrieked as loud as he could. No one seemed to hear his cries. Then she spoke: “Eia no Sonny Ray, Eia no Sonny Ray,” she cried out in decree. “E huli I wahi ma keia ao. Maopopo wau, ua ‘ike au ka home I loko o ku’u pu’uwai. Ke maopopo he hawai’i au.” Her mele rolled over the little boy; like a surfer being pounded, after being sucked over the falls on a large winter swell on the North Shore. His grandma said: “This is for Sonny Ray, this is for Sonny Ray. Trying to find a place in the world. Now I know, now I see, my home is in my heart, as long as I remember; I am hawaiian.” Tears flowed down the little boy’s face. He looked up to see a large shadow in the grass of the cemetery. Squinting, he gazed upward, and observed a large dark bird hovering. The trade winds blew softly through the young boy’s long wavy hair. Sonny Ray turned his attention to his grandmother’s grave; but she, and her shiny casket were gone. The little boy was confused. He sat down on the soft green grass of the cemetery and began to weep. That mele was a song, a song his grandma had taught him to recite. Sonny Ray missed his grandma. He missed his island home. Sonny Ray searched the sky. The large predator was gone. The boy was beginning to miss his brothers and sister. He was hungry. Wind began to swirl lightly in and around the cemetery. As the boy sat in the grass a small branch from a nearby tree popped the little boy on the side of his head. It was the branch of a Kukui tree with a Kukui nut attached to it.
Again, Sonny Ray was struck by the same type of branch. This time on his face.

Sonny Ray opened his eyes.

He was slightly disoriented, but he could swear he saw an upside down eagle, not three feet from his face. Sonny Ray had slept beneath the open window of the hogan. He focused his eyes in the dimly lit room. Sonny Ray rolled to his knees, standing up gingerly. In the open window sat the largest, blackest eagle he had ever seen. Not only had he never seen one; he didn’t know they even existed. The old man lay still not wanting to ruin this rarest of introductions.
The black eagle sat with watchful eyes. Something was in it’s right claw, but Sonny Ray could not tell what it was. After a few minutes of reflective introducton, the black eagle maneuvered itself around on the narrow ledge, and leapt out and away; into the cool stillness of morning. Sonny Ray grunted mutely, but rose quickly to observe the black eagle in flight. He lingered for a short span of time. He rested his left forearm on the narrow window ledge. He immediately felt something between his forearm and the ledge. As he lifted his arm up something fell to the dirt floor of the hogan. Sonny Ray bent down slowly to pick it up. He held it in his hand for several moments, looking at it in utter disbelief. It was a small branch from a Kukui nut tree. He slowly closed the door of the hogan so as not to waken Cyrus. It was cold as he stood in the sunless shadows of the gigantic ponderosa pines. Sonny Ray began to coach himself up. It surely had to be pain induced stress. But there is no way that black eagle had a Kukui branch in it’s claw, no f’ing way. Sonny Ray stood next to his jeep. He glanced in the window and saw the steam emanating from his head. The steam reminded him of fire. He quickly turned away. “Where in the hell did that thing come from anyway?” Sonny Ray was feeling frantic. He had some questions for that old man.

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Black Eagle Dream

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Chapter 27

“Daddy what is that?” Little Raye asked, as she struggled to close the car door. “I got it little lady.” Sonny Ray smiled as he took his daughters hand. They opened the gate and walked in among the quiet, and restful sleepers. After a short time, Sonny Ray found the headstone of his father. “I’m sorry honey what did you ask daddy earlier? ”

“Oh it was just a big bird flying around. Did you see it daddy?” Raye asked, looking with her right hand above her eyebrows. “No baby,
I missed him I guess.” Sonny Ray and his young daughter stood at the foot of his dad’s semi freshly dug grave. Sonny Ray stood quietly, as his first born leaned in close, sensing her father’s sadness. Sonny Ray had noticed as they were walking toward his dad’s grave; a small pile of sand that was obscuring words carved on the white marble headstone.

It was an odd pile of sand.

The sand was inverted, and cone like in shape. It reminded Sonny Ray of a volcano. It was perhaps two feet in circumference. The inverted volcano seemed so perfect, like every grain of sand was in place. Sonny Ray smiled. Now he remembered. As a kid, he and his brothers used to catch ants and drop them into a sand lion pit.
As children they would watch with grave and serious intent, as the ants would disappear, soundless into the abyss of sand death. Sonny Ray wondered how big the sand lion was; to make such a big sand trap. “Well big or not you gotta move son,” Sonny Ray said, talking to himself. He started to level it with his foot when he noticed a slight movement at the bottom of the sand lion pit. A little more sand moved, and then again. Little Raye wandered a couple of headstones over, after asking her father permission to pick a few wild flowers growing near the fence. After explaining cemetery etiquette to his five year old, little Raye went on to embark on one of her first adventures. Meanwhile, Sonny Ray turned his attention to the sand lion pit. As Sonny Ray bent down, he began a search. He was looking to locate a hard working, blue collar, custodian of the earth, type of ant. “Black or red, the lion must be fed. Sorry partner but you have been selected to be the next contestant on; Escaping the sand lions lair,” Sonny Ray said in his best game show host voice. He spoke at a volume slightly above a whisper so as not to have his daughter question his sanity at a later date. Sonny Ray carefully placed the ant on the lip; on the precipice of sand lion country. The Ant, though perhaps being the hardest worker on the planet, was not necessarily the smartest. It promptly walked down to the bottom of the pit to face a certain and prescribed end. There. He saw it again. The dance of death had begun. Little grains of sand began to move with incidental stir; as the sand lion tied his apron. The sand lion prepared a salad, and would soon sharpen his knife. The end for Mr. Ant was eminent. Sonny Ray focused his attention to the bottom of the sand lion arena, not wanting to miss a thing. The sand suddenly began to move violently, as the face of Sonny Ray’s father emerged from the bottom of the pit. Sonny Ray heard himself gasp, as his father’s face; blackened and ashy, was clearly seen. He looked around wildly for his daughter. She could not be found. A shadow crossed over his father’s grave. Sonny Ray raised his eyes upward, and saw the large black eagle hovering, circling in a slow tight spiral.

Sonny Ray began to slide into his own personal descent; a sand like confusion that terrified Sonny Ray.
He again looked into the pit of the sand lion. Sand began to rise, up to his knees it seemed to go. Sand continued to cover his dead father’s eye’s, but his mouth began to speak. “No he’s not, Sonny Ray, no he’s not, no, Sonny Ray.” His dead dad’s legacy of denial, echoed in the canyon of his live son’s mind.

Black Eagle Dream

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Chapter 28

Officer Bob roamed the streets of Antelope Springs,
the way a hyena cruised the plains of the serengeti, in search of a baby impala’s bones to break.
He navigated easily in town, comfortable in the knowledge that his visage would never be a color bar for him to cross, or cause him any personal discomfort to, or from, anyone else. After all, was he not like Mastercard; accepted, and welcome anywhere on the planet?
In his secure height, and in living from day to day; officer Bob wore his malignant intolerance on his sleeve, or perhaps more like a cheap pheromonal after shave.
It had a scent that stimulated a primal response,
and was voluptuous to the nostrils of the majority of his people.
Officer Bob had not seen Dwayne Notah, Mr. Navajo college grad, around town the last couple of days. He was hoping to run into his new friend, Sonny Ray. Officer Bob wanted to give this
Sonny Ray, a friendly Antelope Springs welcome. Instead, he ended up pepper spraying a few homeless guys, to kill the rest of his afternoon, but officer Bob was really hoping to find an indigenous impala. He cruised slowly thru the now empty student parking lot of the local college. Officer Bob spotted his baby impala, walking down the lonely sidewalk, near the border of the campus reserve. Borders however, meant nothing to officer Bob, as he poached the dignity of others, and wore them as invisible scalps, on his black patent leather utility belt. He was a young college student, but an indigenous one nevertheless. With his bullet launcher, and acrimonious rhetoric firmly in place, he exited his cruiser predetermined to shake him up, and put the unchrist like fear of manifest destiny upside his filthy heathen head. Yes, he opted for the road well traveled; the thin blue line of heritage and hate.
Officer Xenophobia would make the most of this official stop,
to impose his musty, and unseemly manifesto upon any, and all, who dare enter his border, his world, his country. ‘This land is your land, this land is my land,’ officer Bob whistled as he worked, slamming the young Apache man from White River against the hot hood of his police cruiser. “‘From California to the New York island, this land was made for you and me,'” officer Bob hissed into the young man’s long hair.

Black Eagle Dream

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Chapter 29

Sonny Ray sat at the little dinette table contemplating the minimum qualifications for feeling like a fish. The thought of being a marlin flashed through his mind, hooked, but still fighting to get away. Sonny Ray dove deeply into the ocean of his memory, shaking left, then right trying his best to arrange, rearrange, analyze and recall the entirety of his life, or at the very least; the way he thought it was up until about a week or so ago. Like the marlin, every so often he would come up out of the water trying desperately, instinctively, to shake loose the one thing that reeled him ever closer to the boat; the unyielding, and merciless memories of the past. The sound of the screen door broke the line, and for the time being Sonny Ray was free. Dwayne pulled the screen door shut, and walked into the kitchen. “Morning,” Sonny Ray offered. Dwayne nodded, somber as he poured some coffee. “So where is Cyrus?” Sonny Ray asked, trying to sound casual like he had known the old man his whole life. “Cyrus is not doing too well today,” Dwayne replied. “What do you mean?” Dwayne paused. He was about to say out loud what he had attempted to push from his thoughts for the last two months. “Sonny Ray Cyrus is dying.” Sonny Ray heard the words but his memory was sufficiently obligated. He had no room for a file of this enormity. He didn’t want to file share it, download it, none of that. “I didn’t want to drop this on you until you and your, Cyrus talked first.” Sonny Ray sat staring at his coffee swirling in his cup. He put down his spoon, and looked up at Dwayne. “So what does he want from me?” Sonny Ray asked. “He wants you to claim responsibility for the black eagle,” Dwayne said straight away. “Did I miss something? Black eagle? Oh I get it. Are you talking about that gigantic black whatever it was that was sitting on the windowsill earlier?” Dwayne nodded, knowing how it must have sounded. “Does he want me to feed it or something? Well if that’s the favor, sure why not.” Sonny Ray was rambling. He was beginning to feel like a retread on a tractor trailer tire that had just blown out. He was disintegrating, leaving shards of his brittle and rubber like emotions; up and down the highway of his mind. Sonny Ray sat alone sitting quietly drinking another cup of coffee. Dwayne had walked out back to the hogan to give the old man some coffee, and a piece of toast so he could take his medication.
As little Raye lay sleeping, Nikko slipped out of bed. After putting on her robe and slippers she found her way to the kitchen. “Hey.” “Morning sweetie, how’d you sleep?” “Really good Sonny Ray, and you?” “So, so.” After pouring a cup of coffee Nikko sat down across from Sonny Ray at the little table. “I think it would be best if Raye and I flew back to Vegas. I have to be back to work not to mention my American Literature final on Friday.” Sonny Ray did not immediately respond.
“I just think you should stay and give Dwayne a hand with your, your, with Cyrus.” Sonny Ray leaned over the table and kissed his wife slowly on the lips. Nikko would go on line after breakfast and book a flight. Sonny Ray would talk to Dwayne about getting his family to the Phoenix airport. Nikko and Sonny Ray talked for a bit. Nikko related her walk with Cyrus, and how she first saw the black eagle. She also related to her husband about seeing the large eagle when her and little Raye had left the mall in Tucson, the day before the funeral. What really freaked her out was the dream that Cyrus had, about them. Lastly she related Cyrus’ request to have his ashes spread near Shiprock Peak, New Mexico. Even though Nikko had reservations about the situation as a whole, she was happy that her husband could help. Nikko could not believe all that had transpired in the last week. Nikko was angry with Wanda. She couldn’t fathom how she kept such a dark secret. It was no wonder that Sonny Ray had little faith or trust in his own mother. It was going to be a busy day. Dwayne cleared the breakfast dishes from the table. Cyrus stood up from the table.
He motioned to Sonny Ray with his eyes. The two men walked out back, past the hogan, and finally down a few rock steps, that lead to the clearing. After placing Sonny Ray, Cyrus walked another fifty feet further into the clearing alone. Cyrus produced, and placed a large thick glove onto his right hand. Cyrus began to call to his companion. Cyrus made a variety of sounds. Sonny Ray stood quietly watching the old man, and scanning the tree line at the same time. The black eagle had heard, and glided silently over the whispering pines of Arizona. After locating Cyrus the large predator began it’s descent. Sonny Ray had to smile. The black eagle landed without fanfare, as this was old hat to Cyrus and his winged friend. As it feasted Cyrus stroked the eagle gently, speaking to it in low inaudible sounds. Without warning Cyrus pushed the black eagle upward, causing it to instinctively take to flight. Cyrus took off his leather glove, perhaps for the last time. He motioned Sonny Ray over. “Put this on.” Sonny Ray complied. Cyrus turned the young man in the direction he should stand. “You stand still. I will call to it from behind you. Keep your hand up, he will come.” The old man spoke with a reassuring tone. Sonny Ray nodded. The young man tried to pretend he was relaxed, but he
wasn’t. Sonny Ray spotted the large eagle perched in a tree about five hundred yards away. Sonny Ray half way hoped it wouldn’t come. Cyrus began to call. For what seemed like an eternity, the black eagle sat, unmoved by the familial calls. It’s attention was divided. Initially to the old man who did not wear the aged glove of comfort. The black eagle shifted his attention to the young man who wore the leather glove. Cyrus called out again. The large bird leapt from his perch, and began a slow circular observation of the two men. As it possessed a higher station above the men; it had ascertained that their blood flowed from the same stream. Sonny Ray admired the smooth fluid motion of this invisible predator from the skies.
It flew in the direction of Cyrus, preparing to land. As the black prepared to land, it could not see the familiar glove. For the first time ever, Cyrus waved off his old friend. The eagle turned and circled back again. This scene was repeated several times. Finally, it circled once more, and began it’s descent in the direction of Sonny Ray. It was at eye level now, bearing down on Sonny Ray. He held his gloved hand chest high. The black eagle dropped his landing gear. The large yellow claws seemed hungry for the glove. It was
twenty feet away and closing fast. Sonny Ray tried not to but could not help but to squint just a little. The large black eagle appeared to defy gravity as it landed swiftly, but gently onto the gloved hand of this young stranger. The energy transference exchanged between the two beings surged back and forth between the two worlds. He was not sure what just had occurred, but he was gonna go
with it. Sonny Ray had no words. His face felt frozen in amazement. Sonny Ray could feel the strength of the black eagle; from the tip of it’s claws to the aquiline point of it’s beak. Sonny Ray slowly made quiet eye contact from the now still and curious eagle. It was then that he became genuinely afraid. This was the same black eagle that had invaded his dreams, he was sure of it. The large black eyes of the eagle were watching, searching. It was as if it could see more of what a person really wanted to share. There was no room for lies or deception. This was no ordinary eagle. Were any of them ordinary? After today he would never make that assumption again. The old man walked up to Sonny Ray slowly. Cyrus began to chuckle. “Scared yeah?” Sonny Ray nodded sheepishly. “In time you will be more afraid without him then you are right now with him.” Sonny Ray was all over the board now emotionally, and didn’t have the courage to ask the old man what he meant. The old man stood quietly looking at his old friend sitting on the hand of his son. Sonny Ray detected the hurt in the old man’s eyes. “This eagle will always belong to you,” Sonny Ray said, at a loss for words. The old man smiled slightly, shaking his head. “No my son, you are mistaken. The black eagle dream belongs to the creator. Now today, you have been properly introduced. You must be sensitive to it’s leading, for it is to you that it will come, as long as you live.” Dwayne continued to load the truck with various supplies. The three men would soon depart for New Mexico.

Black Eagle Dream

image Chapter 31

The collective tears of those who cry for justice like karmic rain gently pitter patted on the window where Nikko and little Raye lay. They had gotten home late last night to Las Vegas, after a short flight from Tucson. It was raining lightly as they touched down at the airport. Nikko had several messages on her message machine. She ended up returning several calls, while little Raye watched a movie. The little girl was pretty wound up, and cried herself to sleep. She missed her daddy. She did not want to be away from her father. He was so sad. They awoke at mid morning to a rare rain storm. Las Vegas was usually rain free, but the monsoon rains could catch you unawares; if you were not familiar with it. Nikko wanted to get out of Las Vegas in the worst kind of way. They didn’t drink, smoke, or gamble. So the typical attractions, was not attractive at all, at least not to them. She was going to call her husband after making Raye breakfast, to see how he was holding up. Seeing her husband so distraught, after his father died, had her emotionally in a twist.
Nikko had a lot on her mind now,
with finals coming up next week.
Nikko was attending college in
Las Vegas. She was majoring in American literature.
Her professor gave the class the assignment to select a book, any book that dealt with, and was considered an American classic, or of great literary significance. Her search took her to the campus library, without success. She wanted a forgotten classic, something she, and perhaps everyone else had not read as of yet. She next searched the internet, and the many libraries of Las Vegas. Still no luck. As it turned out, she discovered one of this countries greatest masterpieces, of all places; at a garage sale. It was entitled,

“A treasury of American folklore.
It was the stories, legends, tall tales, traditions, ballads, and songs of the American people.”

image

She had read the inside flap of the book cover to her class. It read: “For the first time the great wealth of folklore of the United States has been samples for good reading and human interest. The result is a magnificent collection of material never before brought together in one place, a book every American will enjoy and treasure.”

The copyright was 1944.

This particular edition was the twenty sixth printing, dated,
November, 1964.
Her favorite chapters of the book,
was the negro section. They’re several songs that made Nikko laugh; the lyrical content was so ridiculous to her.
One was entitled, “Massa had a yaller girl.” Another was, “I’m going to Alabamy.” Her favorite though, was the classic American song,
“Run, nigger run.”
As Nikko began to peel back the many layers of the malignant tumor that was American folklore, she was beginning to comprehend the insidious, and psychoactive nature; that saturated the white vernacular. After just fifty some years, after the twenty sixth printing of this American classic, she was precocious enough to ascertain, that racism in America, in all it’s rancid variations, was more; much more, than just learned behaviors.

It was American folklore.

Nikko had the opportunity to read excerpts to her professor, and those in the class.
She thought it ironic that in several previous discussions on the topic of race, the majority of her classmates, were of the strong opinion that black people, and the indigenous peoples of the continent in general, we’re either

overly sensitive, and or only imagined racism and prejudice.

Nikko had heard those proponents of diversionary ambiguity, too many times to count. In the workplace, on the street, on the news, in school, in churches, in print, commercials, videos, and the Internet as well.
However subtle or subliminal it was implied in presentation, or not, Nikko understood; once words were written, it was hard to walk away from.
Several of her classmates scoffed at the notion that American folklore, and racism were related by blood. Nikko countered by reading the opening introduction of the book, which said: “What comes through in folklore is often in violent contradiction of our modern social standards. It is the essential viciousness of our folk heroes, stories, expressions, and especially in their treatment of minorities; Negroes, Mexicans, Chinese etc.”
It concluded by saying,
“Old songs,
old sayings,
old beliefs,
customs, and practices,
the mind skills,
that have been handed down
so long that they seem
to have a life of their own,
a life that cannot be destroyed
by print but that constantly has to get back to the spoken word
to be renewed; all this for want of a better word, is folklore.”

The entire class became suddenly quiet.

She realized their insolent silence was as a result of not really wanting to understand, or accepting the truth about their dark history. After all, these were young sheltered minds, eighteen to twenty somethings. Nikko was the oldest student in the class. At the age of twenty nine she was comfortable expressing herself more perspicuously, and she had the life experience to know that life; extended much further beyond the end of these youngster’s,
pointy little privileged noses.
They did not seem to fully comprehend the concept, that their history form and shape their various view points, and attitudes. People today primarily concerned themselves with social media, career, phones, partying, laptops, sex, cars, money, and fashion.
To speak of the past was like talking about a child with severe autism. You know it’s true, but you just didn’t want to talk about it. People wanted to talk about happy things. Reality had been relegated to television programs, except of course when tragedy strikes close to home. As Nikko flipped through the pages of the decrepit book, she could feel the breath of hate exhaling on her face; reminding her that fear and hatred had deep roots. Roots that remained entrenched; alive and well in 2016.
Historic roots that thrived,
and had morphed in the land
of the free, and the home
of the brave.
Freedom.
Free-dom.
Free-dumb.
Free.
Nikko knew there was nothing in this life that was free.
That old book smell
would forever remind
her
of
ugly things.

Black Eagle Dream

image Chapter 32

Dwayne and Sonny Ray were on the outskirts of Phoenix, as they continued north to Antelope Springs, adrift in the silence of their thoughts. Each man masked their loss behind the veiled notion that if they invested heavily on a sure thing; the low interest rate of denial, then perhaps some how they would gain valuable air miles in the blue skies of tomorrow.
However, one only had to read the fine print to know that a good deal, was a farce. There were no long term, low interest rates, no mail in rebates to be exchanged with the enemy, death.
This grim reality aside, both men
could readily appreciate that there was something that could lift a man’s spirit, and this quite naturally was the timeless institution of retribution; other wise known as pay back.
Funny how pay back is always associated with a female canine. Sonny Ray reached into his shirt pocket, and without verbalizing anything, extended his arm to Dwayne.
Dwayne smiled at his new friend, curious now. Dwayne reached out and opened his hand.
Sonny Ray dropped the silver bracelet into his palm. Dwayne looked at the bracelet trying to keep his eyes on the road. Dwayne read the front of the bracelet. “Where did you get this man?”
“I found it on the side of the road after officer Bob, you know, punted me like an under inflated football.” Dwayne nodded, flashing a sheepish smile.
“Yeah so why did you want me to see this?” Dwayne asked.”Read the other side my friend,” Sonny Ray said smiling now. Dwayne read it slowly. A long pause ensued. “Are you serious? Sonny Ray are you kidding me man? Get the hell out of here.” Dwayne was on the verge of losing control. Dwayne, who was generally a very reserved person, was now giving Sonny Ray a reason for pause. Dwayne’s eyes were big, like sand dollars; his smile perverse, scary, like Ronald Reagan’s. Dwayne had tears in his eyes, as he reread the bracelet. Dwayne and his long hair seemed to be in a convulsive state. He handed the bracelet to Sonny Ray. “Read it again for me before I wreck this truck,” Dwayne said. Sonny Ray looked at Dwayne as he held the bracelet up slowly. “It says, ‘Your lover, Captain Shane Edwards.’ ” Dwayne yelled like he had won the California lottery. “Man if I knew you were going to be so excited,
I would have gave it to you sooner,” Sonny Ray said laughing. “This my friend is a gift indeed, thank you. You have no idea.” Dwayne stated. “So fill me in on all the details,” Sonny Ray said. Dwayne composed himself. “Captain Shane Edwards is the big cheese running this town bro.” “So Captain Shane, and officer Bob are an item?” Both men nodded, smiling as they rode upon horses of recompense. However, the two men had more urgent business to attend to.
They both understood that this would have to wait for another day.
But when that day arrived,
it would be
sweet;

sweet like a mango.

Black Eagle Dream

image

Chapter 33

Cyrus sat at the table drinking a cup of coffee. Dwayne had just called to let him know they got back from Phoenix safely, and would be home shortly. The two men had to stop by the store before coming to the house. Cyrus negotiated down the small rock stairway that led out back to the hogan. The creaky door offered it’s hello to the old man who had to crouch down to gain entry into the aged hogan. Dwayne had insisted on moving it onto his property as he wanted to hang on to a small piece of his family. Dwayne had brought it down from Rough Rock. Cyrus had spent many nights in this hogan with Dwayne and his father in the cold country of northern Arizona. Dwayne was a little boy then. Cyrus was pleased when Dwayne told him it would be ready when Cyrus arrived from the big island. Cyrus sat down in the rocker that Dwayne had recently purchased for him. Cyrus was grateful, but thought it unnecessary considering he had so little life now to live. Cyrus had felt his desire to live, slip away the last few weeks. He hoped he could hang on a little longer so he could tell Sonny Ray of some of the inner workings of the black eagle.
It would not be easy though, because even Cyrus knew he did not have all the answers. However, through the years he had surmised that the black eagle flew between two worlds, the physical one, and the subconscious dream world; much like mankind it self. As the eyes of a person were the open window to their soul; it was given to the black eagle, access to fly through the eyes of a person’s dream.
In some respects it was like a compass if you will, leading to the true north of the young man’s subconscious mind.
Altair Ali, the man who had entrusted the black eagle to him, died in a remote jungle in North Africa during World War II. Cyrus happened upon Altair, while out on a special one man reconnaissance. He found Altair as he lay mortally wounded on the jungle floor of a tiger trap. Cyrus had lowered himself into the abyss to do what he could for the dying man. Cyrus was a large hawaiian man who possessed extraordinary strength. Cyrus lifted the impaled man from off the sharpened bamboo shafts. Altair would not eat, so Cyrus gave him sips of cool water, and some warm tea. Cyrus had built a small fire. After giving Altair the last of his morphine, Cyrus lay in the tiger pit next to the dying Altair, as the flames of the fire danced excitedly above their heads; ascending upward into the expanse of the dark star lit night, revealing the green and lush jungle fauna that surrounded the tiger pit; it was here that it was to be their earthen womb, this hot and humid night. Cyrus sung soothing but sorrowful songs in his native hawaiian language.
The large black predator sat upon the shrapnel filled coconut stump with attentive eyes, peering down into the pit observing Cyrus, as he cared for the dying man. Cyrus lay flat on his back looking up into the blackness of night. Altair’s breath became more labored. Before Altair died he told Cyrus he was from Morocco, and that this winged creature was the black eagle dream. It was Altair’s life long companion. The black eagle possessed extraordinary longevity, Altair said it had been in his family since the time of his grandfather’s youth. Altair struggled to talk, but was insistent that Cyrus cremate him after he died. He related that the black eagle would not leave the dying man, even if he was buried. It had to be by fire before the black eagle dream would take it’s leave. Thus by the flame of life being extinguished, and the vessel that would become dust again;
the window would be closed from the living to the dead.
Altair Ali spoke of dreams,
of his beloved wife and daughter….

The old man’s thoughts gradually began to shift to the present.

Cyrus had always desired to reveal himself to his son; but it was Wanda, the love of his life who would not agree to that, and swore she would never speak to him again if he did not relent to her wishes. Such was the selfish vanity of this particular woman. She would only relent and allow Cyrus to contact Sonny Ray after Wendell was deceased. Well that moment had arrived. During the latter part of his days, Cyrus began to have reoccurring dreams of Sonny Ray. Over time, it occurred to Cyrus that these reoccurring dreams solidified his resolve to contact Sonny Ray to not only tell him who he was, but to ascertain if he would consider caring for this magnificent creature. It would without question play a large role in the young man’s life going forward. Cyrus placed a piece of mesquite in the small pot belly stove. The fact that Sonny Ray hadn’t had the opportunity to wrap his mind around everything that had dropped on him in a small window of time; was very disconcerting to Cyrus.
But
it was
about
time really.

Time.

Cyrus had run out of time.

Literally.

We all run out of it

eventually.

Cyrus continued to pack up a few more supplies
as he awaited the
return of Dwayne and Sonny Ray.
In two day’s time
Cyrus hoped
to be well underway
to Shiprock mountain,
New Mexico
to watch
the
sunset,
one
last time.