Sonny Ray had taken a decent nap, but now was the time to get his ass in gear. He had spent the last hour talking to his wife Nikko, and his daughter, little Raye. Sonny Ray assured them he would be home in the next day or two.
After taking a hot shower,
he braided his hair into a single ponytail.
thought it best
for tonight’s mission.
However, he made the mistake of laying across the bed again, and fell fast asleep.
Fortunately, Dwayne had called
to make sure he was up and around. After reassuring Dwayne he was in route, Sonny Ray grabbed the gear they would need for tonight, and headed out. After locking the front door,
he walked across the deck to traverse down the stairs to the garage.
He instinctively stopped short, sensing something. He slowly slid off the bag he had on his shoulder, and placed it at his feet. From the top of the observation deck, the view of the mountains was panoramic. Heavy foliage, boulder formations, and the continuous sound of the stream, down in the ravine; all cast Sonny Ray into a different mode of seeing.
He quickly scanned the immediate tree line seeking out the slightest movement, or change in light or shadow. His eyes darted, going from boulder to stone outcropping, and back again.
He inhaled through his nose slowly, attempting to test the air for any sign out of the ordinary.
The stench of tobacco often
gave people up. Detecting nothing out of the ordinary, Sonny Ray advanced slowly.
He stopped midway, looking upward into the early evening sky; as the stars began to shine brightly upon the San Fransico Peaks of northern Arizona.
Sonny Ray scanned the other side of the ravine. In the fading blue of early night, he saw a lone pine tree across the way. Dark jagged rocks jutted out the westerly side of this eruption of earth; creating elongated shapes of the evening’s first display of shadow. The trickling of the stream echoed upward; and finally found it’s way into the ears of Sonny Ray.
He continued to search into the fading light, when he finally saw the powerful eagle. The outline of the large predator was unmistakable.
There sat the black eagle, observing quietly from veiled shadow; intently it had searched out the young man.
The hair at the nape of his neck stood on end as Sonny Ray, and the black eagle continued to view one another through unsheltered souls. Sonny Ray had also witnessed with his eyes, something he had never thought possible. Standing on the landing of the stairs, Sonny Ray stood quietly.
The large black eagle started
to flap it’s wings,
and began to slowly rise into the air, hovering high above the ponderosa tree.
Sonny Ray stood observing with the wonder of a ten year old.
A bolt of lightning on a cloudless night, struck the large pine where the large predator had been perched.
The crack of lightning was deafening. Sonny Ray held fast the railing of the stairs. The bolt of lightning caused Sonny Ray to involuntarily turn away.
With ears ringing,
he looked back to see; as the black eagle dream continued to rise higher still, above the burning tree.
The orange and yellow flames at the top of the tree could be seen for miles.
The black eagle continued to turn its powerful wings, remaining virtually unmoving.
Flames continued to engulf
the very top of the tree.
The under belly of the dark predator appeared to be afire; but as the black eagle continued to hover above the burning ponderosa; it became apparent that it was unharmed by the lightning or the subsequent flames from the lightning struck tree. With no forewarning, the black eagle ceased flapping it’s pinions, then quickly pulled it’s wings close to it’s body, as it dove downward, taking with it the orange vapor flames, as it appeared to vanish, fading into the darkness of night.
Sonny Ray looked up, then down.
“What the hell just happened?”
He momentarily lost sight of the black feathered predator.
The darkness however was of no consequence to the black eagle.
It traveled above and around the ancient, statuesque pines with swift precision.
It rose suddenly, and began to fly high above the main road, that led out of Antelope Springs. Sonny Ray strained his eyes to locate it; when he inexplicably began to see a vapor of orange mist high above the treeline. He had had a visual on the black eagle about four, maybe five minutes ago. As he continued down the darkened two lane highway, he had become perplexed.
He couldn’t comprehend if he had seen this orange vapor with his eyes or had envisioned it in another way.
He decided he would test it out.
Sonny Ray pulled over to the shoulder of the two lane highway. He looked out his side mirror, then he looked into the rear view. He stared into his eyes for a few moments, his breathing labored now; as he closed his eyes. For several moments he saw nothing. Then a slight spark of something. There. Another orange vapor.
He held the steering wheel tightly in his hands. His face was dampened in sweat. With his eyes closed still, he began to see the orange vapor trail of the black eagle once more.
Sonny Ray slowly brought his head up from the steering wheel, and reluctantly opened his eyes. He looked around, finally sticking his head out of the drivers side window. A cool mountain breeze blew by, offering much comfort.
A feeling of relief, and perhaps a small measure of acceptance slowly began to soften his countenance. His breathing slowed, and returned to normal.
He now began to grasp some
of the the things Cyrus had related to him before his death.
Sonny Ray was shaking with excitement.
Black Eagle Dream.
Cyrus had told him that
this would happen; well in so many words. ‘The old man said I
be afraid,’ he thought.
no going back
to the life he
No, not ever.
There was a knock on the front door. Dwayne stood quickly. Nadia and Natalia followed him with their eyes. Dwayne looked through the mini blinds. “It’s the package delivery guys,” Dwayne said, relieved. Both young women relaxed, as they continued to field and make several phone calls. Dwayne signed for the packages. After thanking Monico, his usual delivery guy, he closed the door and bolted it. “Hey Dwayne, what did you buy online now?” Natalia asked with a lilt of humor in her voice. Dwayne who was headed to the back door to put the two packages in the backseat of his vehicle; turned and said, “Oh this is some guy stuff you know,” Dwayne said, shrugging his shoulders. “Whatever Dwayne,” the two women said in unison. They all laughed. Dwayne placed the two packages on the backseat of the jeep. After activating the alarm he stood looking out in the starry black lit night. He was feeling exuberant, yet he had to stifle his emotions. Dwayne could not allow himself to open his packages here, in the presence of his two friends. It would have to wait until he got home. After all, what would they think if they discovered he had purchased a handgun, a weapon that would be used to shoot Sonny Ray with?