True Peace Will Come


four winds 









does not 

want to 


caught up 


the illusion 


he himself 




the nations 



to wonder

in angst 


in fear.

The earthquakes 

the floods



the question is ever clear…. 

‘Could this be the end of all things 
knocking firmly 

at mankind’s 














it will not 

delay the day of all days…

The great day of Jehovah is near.


all accounts 

are to be 



True Peace Will Be Here.


August 28, 2016

All rights reserved.

Written by: Kawika A. Stafford 


Empty Rooms

Yeah I guess it’s over 

I know it to be true,

hard to pull the trigger


me and you.

Thirty one years 

has come and gone 

it took us some time 

to write this song, 

fading is my heart away. 

This feeling of dread 

encircles my soul, 

my heart beats silent, 



Empty rooms, 

our hair turned grey. 

Where do all the memories go – to fade? 

Yes time 

like fire 








For Lisa



Copyright 2017

All Rights Reserved

Black Eagle Dream


Chapter 1 

Book I

In 1996, 

Sonny Ray was living in 

Las Vegas, Nevada when his father died. 

Sonny Ray and his family had arrived at the pow wow on the Paiute reservation on saturday evening.

It was the annual event for the memorial day weekend.
Sonny Ray was standing in line for some frybread when his phone rang.
It was his older brother Stewart, calling from Tucson with some really bad news.
“Sonny Ray,” she called out softly, momentarily interrupting his thoughts. “Are you going to be all right?” Nikko, had taken their daughter, little Raye for a walk, and was not there when he had first taken the call. She was clearly shaken herself, but her concern now was for her husband. After leaving the pow wow early, they headed home, exchanging glances, and holding hands. Sonny Ray stared straight ahead, hot stinging tears rolled slowly from his eyes. Nikko caressed his neck, gently rubbing the nape of his hair.
In truth they were both afraid.
This was the very first direct hit either of their families had taken thus far. Death had struck close to home for sure; as close as a kiss on the lips. Little Raye lay fast asleep in the back seat of the car, as they continued south on the 95.
Sonny Ray was numb. He just wanted to get home to make some calls, and check on a flight to Tucson. They remained southbound on 95, headed for the Boulder highway exit.

The following morning,
Sonny Ray sat on the edge of his bed, thinking about the last conversation he had had with his father. He was packed and ready, waiting on the girls.
Sonny Ray sat on an emotional precipice; teetering on the edge, but outwardly behaving like his life was; as it always had been.
“Sonny Ray can I get you something, are you ok?” Nikko asked again, pleading now more present in her voice. “Yeah I’m
fine,” Sonny Ray responded, trying to sound casual like he had been in a fender bender.
But like most people who find out unexpectedly, that someone that they love has died, there is a sudden queasy pain; like how it felt when you got sucker punched in the stomach by the neighborhood bully.
A dull uneasy feeling coursed through his body.
A feeling that literally wanted to make him curl up in a ball, and pretend he never heard the words. For Sonny Ray, guilt spread slowly over his body. Just two months prior, Sonny Ray’s father had called. He sat on his bed staring at the floor, his fathers question reverberating over and over
again in his mind.

‘Son, when are you going to come down and visit your old man?’

His dad had retired from the military, and had decided Davis Monthan Air Force base would be his last duty station when he first arrived to Arizona in 1970.
“Nikko I’m ready, can we go?”
Sonny Ray sat quietly, because he realized not even his dad dying could alter his wife’s perception about time. She always seem preoccupied; searching for something, forgetting nothing.
Sonny Ray knew he had to keep his composure. “Nikko,” Sonny Ray said without expression, but with the hint of impatience. After so many years of the hurry up and wait routine, Sonny Ray grabbed his bag, and decided to go sit in the truck.

“I love you more little girl,”
Sonny Ray said, as he held his five year old daughter Raye, in his arms. Nikko kissed Sonny Ray on the lips, and squeezed his hand gently.
“Don’t forget to feed my horse,” Sonny Ray said trying to give his wife the stink eye. “Whatever
Son,” Nikko said, feigning offense. Nikko had forgotten to feed his horse, one Saturday when he went to Casa Grande to ride a few bulls in a small jackpot.
Over the years it had become their banter. Sonny Ray gave her a quick kiss trying to prevent her from pulling away. Nikko arched her head back laughing.
“Come here baby,” Sonny Ray said in his best Barry White.
“Would you go?” Nikko pretended like she was going to put her truck in gear.
“Okay, okay, don’t get your panties in a bunch.” Nikko pulled away from the curb. She winked and gave him a little tongue wave and a smile. Sonny Ray smiled, and stood waving at his family until the truck was assimilated into the warm Las Vegas night.

‘I can only give him a five and a half on that one,’ Sonny Ray thought to himself, as the jet touched down at Tucson international. Sonny Ray had flown on many an airplane, and as a kid he and his two brothers had made up the game of rating the pilots. If they landed smoothly they would be given high marks. Most pilots sucked anyway, but it had been fun to play as children. As an adult they still hadn’t improved that much, but the truth was Sonny Ray was always happy and relieved when the lights came on, and he heard the simultaneous sound of seat belts clicking. He grabbed his bag out of the overhead compartment, and stood quietly impatient like everyone else; desperate to get out of the confined space. His older brother Stewart greeted him at the gate. They bear hugged and left the cool confines of the airport, venturing out into the warm Arizona night. Although it was ten thirty at night it was a crisp 102° as the two men walked to the parking lot. Sonny Ray looked out to the north, seeing the outline of the Catalina mountains. They were like a close friend that had not judged him harshly for leaving. Sonny Ray, and his family had migrated to Las Vegas two years previous. The two men had barely spoken. After a few miles Stewart asked, “You feel like stopping at Johnny’s for something to eat?”
It was their old man’s favorite spot. “Sure, let’s go,” Sonny Ray replied.

“Mommy, when is my daddy coming home, huh when mommy?” Nikko smiled as she tucked her baby in for the night. “I don’t know baby your daddy has to help uncle Stewart with the funeral arrangements…” Nikko suddenly realized she was speaking to a five year old. “Daddy has to help uncle with grandpa’s things.” “What’s a funernull? What did you call it mommy?” “I called it goodnight little lady, mommy will talk to you more about in the morning. Sleep tight. I love you.” Nikko kissed her baby on her cheeks, as was their custom. “Okay mommy, love you.” Nikko double checked the window. Nikko finished the dishes, and made herself a cup of carob tea. She sat curled up on her couch, wrapped in a hand knitted afghan. She looked at the picture of her husband, and her brother in law Stewart, in happier times. “I hope those two can keep it together,” Nikko thought out loud. For two brothers who were really close at one time, they could be equally stubborn about a lot of shit. Typical petty shit. Nikko changed the channel, and enjoyed her tea before heading off to a hot relaxing soak in the bath.

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Black Eagle Dream


Chapter 2

“Hey let’s get out of here,” Sonny Ray said. He was becoming more anxious now, knowing they would be at their dad’s apartment in the next fifteen minutes or so. “C’mon Son let’s get going,” Stewart said, as he finished paying the cashier. “Hang on bro I got to pee, gosh,” Sonny Ray said in his best Forrest Dynamite. Stewart stood there shaking his head at his younger brother. “He drinks two beers. Man your such a lightweight.
I’ll meet you at the truck. Hurry up big coconut head boy.”
“I’m right behind you my brother.”
Sonny Ray soon exited their old man’s favorite restaurant, and headed down the sidewalk. As he looked to see where his brother was parked, he saw three men standing around Stewart in a semi circle. Sonny Ray smiled. He was going to get his brother good. Sonny Ray continued on the sidewalk as he walked by Stewart, and the three men. Sonny Ray pretended he was talking on his phone. The three men ignored the stocky man, choosing to focus on the frumpy thirty seven year old dude. “Now listen guys, I assure you I am not Mexican, but if I was,” Stewart said, wondering what his brother was up to now. Faster than a pay raise, Sonny Ray approached the tri-squad of punks. “Hey,” Sonny Ray bellowed from behind, startling the three men. That always made Sonny Ray smile. He loved when people jumped like that.
“What seems to be the problem gentleman?” Sonny Ray spoke to the three men in the bi-colloquial
stylings of Ving Rhames with a
Woody Allen twist; in order to create
a push-pull effect on the flimsy, and diminutive intellect of the men who stood before him. In doing so he would thus attempt to diffuse the moment, as well as reducing their threats, and their words as weak, contemptible. But if that didn’t work out; Sonny Ray was more than willing to put in some work, and beat somebody’s ass. “Why can’t you Mexicans just stay where you belong?” The big guy among the three assumed the position of spokesman. “You know the mexican people have taken back their territories without firing a shot, you clowns do know that, right?”
Sonny Ray smiled as the etched look of, ‘Huh?’ began to appear on their faces. Sonny Ray approached slowly, and stood near to the big man. Sonny Ray motioned to the spokesman to come closer. The big man obliged Sonny Ray, coming forward cautiously. “Listen to me for one minute young man.”
Sonny Ray spoke in a low tone, like Whisper, his younger brother. He looked at the young man in earnest. Sonny Ray remembered when he was bullet proof. “I have no desire to smash you up in front of your friends, but I will.” The cock sure young man’s countenance dropped ever so slightly. Sonny Ray continued. “Listen man, I just flew in town tonight. My old man died, and I’m tired. Do me a favor, step aside; and me and my brother can go.” The big man looked at his two friends, then at Stewart, and then finally at Sonny Ray. “Man fuck you, and your dead dad, old man.”
A palpitant spasm of stillness ensued. For it was just a sliver of width in time, that all was well, in the universe that was Sonny Ray Willetto.


He looked at Stewart then at the three men, and then back at his brother. “Stewart how long do I have to tell these people this?
My brother and I are not Mexican. We are Hawaiian okay? But if I was Mexican,” Sonny Ray suddenly took a step back, dipped his knees slightly, and in one centripetal motion Sonny Ray turned his torso sharply, and slammed a left hook off the side of the big fellas face. The punch created a clap, like a short but crisp sound of electric static. The big man dropped, and was stunned for sure, but he regained his footing, and slowly stood up, determined he came forward, wanting to make a showing in front of his peers. Sonny Ray admired the bullet proof moment; even as he launched his forehead into the big man’s nose and mouth. As the big man began to fall for the second time, Stewart ran to his truck. “Hurry up Stew,” Sonny Ray said, as he followed closely behind his brother.
“How’s that for a big coconut head?” Sonny Ray smiled as he dove headlong into the back of his brothers truck. “Dude what happened to all the carpet you used to have in this truck? Shit.”
Sonny Ray had banged his elbow hard, and he sat rubbing his elbow. He attempted to hold on to the bed of the truck. Stewart, not known for his fighting prowess, decided to go all Starsky Hutchison on his younger brother. “Slow down moron, and stop swerving,”
Sonny Ray yelled. Meanwhile,
The two other young wannabe combatants stood quietly in the parking lot of the restaurant, as Stewart and his brother headed east to their dead dad’s apartment. Their goliath lay flat on his back, unaware that he was unavailable for any further unsolicited comments about the status of the two strangers deceased father. Stewart finally calmed down long enough to pull over, and let his brother in the truck. They continued down east 22nd street. After turning north on Swan road they drove a couple of miles. Sonny Ray and his brother were breathing hard. Stewart turned into the apartment parking lot. They parked in front, and grabbed the two small suitcases.
The brothers walked quietly down the sidewalk, the same lonely sidewalk their father had walked for the last few years since the divorce. Dark shadow spaces on aged concrete shown between the memory laden apartments; these were the hallmark of this dingy, and lifeless dwelling. Stewart unlocked the apartment door. The two men filed in quietly. Their father, Wendell T. Willetto had been retired for quite some time now.
He served twenty four years in the Air Force. He had a ten year pension from the county, and he was receiving his monthly social security check. To top it off he received a disability check from the VA for injuries he had sustained in Vietnam. However, the moment you walked in his apartment, you would never guess Wendell was pulling down over 4k a month. “Man, this place is foul.” Sonny Ray walked over and turned on one of his dad’s yard sale lamps. The stench of stale cigarettes hung in the air. Empty beer cans were overflowing from a paper commissary bag in the corner of the kitchen, next to the refrigerator. There was a dirty dog dish with half a can of mushy dog food under the kitchen table near a large window. “Who took Tyrone?” Sonny Ray asked as he plopped down in his old man’s recliner. “Your sister, here.” Stewart handed his brother a makeshift ice bag. Sonny Ray placed the ice right over the small gash on his forehead. “Caught his tooth.”
“Yeah I see that.” Stewart sat down on the couch. “Well someone had to save your old ass again.” Sonny Ray was drained, but still possessed enough energy to rib his big brother.
“Thank you brother bovarism, your my hero,” Stewart fired back. Sonny Ray stood up and headed down the hallway. “Dude I got dibs on dad’s bed. Sonny Ray was in a matter of fact moment. “Night Stew, love you bro.”
“In the morning then. Goodnight Son love you too man.” Sonny Ray slowly closed the bedroom door. He stopped short, and left the door ajar slightly. The night was long, an eternity for the morning to come.

Sonny Ray opened his eyes. His mouth was dry. He sat up looking around at his fathers room. His dad had a small calendar on the wall. Sonny Ray smelled like he had slept in an ashtray all night. He wandered down the hallway looking for his brother. He could smell coffee brewing. Stewart handed his brother a hot cup of coffee.
“Thank you sir.”
“Sonny Ray check this out.”
He opened a cabinet, then another. Soon he had opened every cabinet in the kitchen. Without fail every cabinet was filled to capacity. There were four or five of everything. The refrigerator and freezer was full as well. For as long as the two brothers could remember their father had been this way. They both began to wander in the apartment, each lost in their own memories of their father. It was kind of like walking in a museum. For anyone who has lost a loved one, you know the feeling. Sonny Ray walked from room to room; touching, feeling, remembering. Of course their old man only had a two bedroom apartment so this trip down memory lane was going to be a quick turnaround. “Man, this place stinks,” Sonny Ray said, trying to avoid the issue at hand. Stewart nodded but said nothing. They poked around for another half and hour so, feeling kind of guilty for intruding and probing in their father’s life. Stewart went to shower as Sonny Ray sat drinking another cup of coffee. His father had a few pictures on the wall of when they were all much younger. Sonny Ray loved traveling. He always pretended to be sad when his father announced they were moving again, but inside he surged with excitement. Sonny Ray had lived in Ohio, Hawaii, Japan, North Carolina, Georgia, California, Arizona, Alaska. His mother was native hawaiian, from Waimea, on the big island. His father was a white man from Pennsylvania. His father rarely spoke of his relatives, which over the years Sonny Ray thought was odd, but he never pressed the old man about it. Truthfully it didn’t really matter to him, because in certain respects he was odd man out on either side of the family fence. Sonny Ray had long thick curly hair which he usually wore in a long ponytail. Stewart was more conservative with short hair. Both had hazel eyes. Stewart was fair, and Sonny Ray was considerably darker. His siblings would tease him that he was adopted, when they were growing up. When you looked at him it was obvious he was of mixed blood; but with what, was always the question. When Sonny Ray graduated high school in Tucson, he left Arizona five days later, moving back to Hawaii. He had planned, waited, and saved his money. At seventeen he had purchased his own ticket. In 1978 it was four hundred dollars round trip. Sonny Ray had dreamed of moving back to Hawaii since the age of five when his father had been ordered to Southeast Asia. After years of waiting he finally returned home.
It was only a matter of a few weeks though that Sonny Ray discovered that he was not quite as hawaiian as he had perceived himself to be. The local boys made him painfully aware that not only had he not grown up as a kamaaina, but he had haole blood in him. Which was ludicrous, because the majority people living in Hawaii today are mixed blood as well. Nonetheless, even with his fathers parentage, which served as nothing more than genetic filler, he walked amongst his contemporaries as the culturally lacking invisible man. Years later, by chance and circumstance, he had moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. He began to meet many local people from Hawaii, who were streaming out of Hawaii in mass, leaving it to the wealthy, the Hollywood elite, the rich Asian investors, and a boatload of white people; who seemingly were the only ones who could afford to live there, and prosper at the same time.
Las Vegas had been dubbed, the ‘ninth island,’ by local people living in Vegas. After years of being not quite right in the eyes of others; Sonny Ray grew indifferent towards people. He was tired of proving who he was, and who he wasn’t. So when people asked if he was this or that, he just agreed. ‘Sure, why not,’ was his standard answer.
“Hey fathead get up,” Stewart yelled from the kitchen, interrupting his private little cultural tug of war. “After breakfast we can meet mom at the hospital,” Stewart said. Sonny Ray looked up from his plate. “Why does she want to come see dad now?” Sonny Ray felt himself getting heated. “Hey listen, I know mom has a new husband, and you two don’t,” “Nope,” Sonny Ray said, interrupting. She is not coming in, period. When they pull the plug she will not be there to see dad go, I ain’t having it.” Stewart knew better to press the issue. So when Sonny Ray was in the shower Stewart called his mom, and let her know how Sonny Ray felt about her being there. She was upset that she was rebuffed, but agreed to wait until Stewart called when it was over.
The men arrived at St. Joseph hospital to meet with a Dr. Campbell. Sonny Ray and Stewart rode the elevator in an uncomfortable silence. Sonny Ray took a deep breath before exiting the elevator. The two men walked side by side as they approached the large waiting room. Several families, and others sitting alone all had, ‘the look.’ It was the grim reality of life right up in your face.
Children played, not grasping the sorrow that swirled about their young lives. Most anguished in silence, but several people cried openly. Death always reminded you that it was just a phone call away; whether you needed him or not. Sonny Ray felt a knot growing in his throat, threatening to shut down his airway. He sighed, realizing he could hear his heart beating in his chest. They approached the ICU, as two nurses were leaving. As they walked through the double doors they were met almost immediately by a wide eyed nurse. “Can I help you two?” It almost sounded like she was taking an order at a fast food drive thru. “Uh yes, my brother and I are here to meet with Dr. Campbell.” Stewart had always been very businesslike in his dealings with people. “Certainly. Dr. Campbell is running a little late today, perhaps I could take you your fathers room until he arrives,” nurse happy offered. “That would be fine,” Stewart said. Stewart and the nurse proceeded down the hallway. Sonny Ray stood there watching the nurse with a Dr. Spock Vulcan mind probe gaze. The last time Sonny Ray saw someone smile like that was when he had purchased a Millie Jackson album while stationed at Ft. Bragg
North Carolina, in the Army. Sonny Ray wondered if she was going to offer him a balloon. As miss cuckoo for cocoa puffs left, Sonny Ray watched her walk the hallway greeting random people like a politician up for election.
“She needs to consider a career change,” Sonny Ray said to his brother.
“Well I’m sure she has seen a lot of death, so cut her some slack bro,” Stewart said. Sonny Ray nodded.
The knot in Sonny Ray’s throat increased to the size of a golf ball
as Stewart slid the sliding door open. Stewart held the curtain open as Sonny Ray entered the room where their father lay. Wendell lie in his bed passively, with his arms at his sides. Various machines, and tubes, were on both sides of his bead. With tubes in his nose, and sensors on his fingers, his face was dominated with a monstrous tube down his throat, eclipsing his face. White medical tape held everything in place, robbing their father of his humanity. Wendell’s eyes were closed as the two men approached the bed. Sonny Ray gently placed his scarred hand upon his dad’s forehead. “Ah, dad,” Sonny Ray felt light headed as he finger combed his dad’s silvery hair.
Stewart, who historically was not a man given to tears, wept openly. “Sonny Ray this is our dad, what are we going to do now?” It was a loaded question for sure, but the business of their father was at hand. “Well, I know one damn thing, we ain’t leaving him like this.” The unusual sound of the pump caught Sonny Ray’s attention. As he watched, the pump caused his fathers chest to rise and fall in an eerie rhythm. Both men had become fixated, and stared blankly at their father. “I’m sorry did you say something?” Sonny Ray asked. “You remember what dad always told us,” Stewart said with the sound of resignation in his voice. Sonny Ray looked up at his brother. “Yeah, I remember, he didn’t want no fat nurse wiping his ass, or slapping him when no one was around,” Sonny Ray said, feigning a weak smile. The door slid opened.
A middle aged man with glasses walked in slowly. After closing the door he turned and faced the three men. “Excuse me, I hope I’m not intruding,” Dr. Campbell said apologetically. “No, please doctor come in,” Stewart said shaking the older man’s hand. “Dr. Campbell this is my brother Sonny Ray.”
The doctor extended his hand.
“I’m pleased to meet you young man.” “Likewise sir, Sonny Ray said firmly shaking the doctors hand.

Black Eagle Dream

Chapter 3

Nikko stood in the doorway looking at her daughter affectionately.
Raye slept peacefully, taking her usual afternoon nap.
For whatever reason, it called to her mind when her daughter had first been born in Tucson. She began to recall when the nurse had wheeled her daughter in the room so that she could breast feed her.
“Oh, I’m sorry I must be in the wrong room,” nurse Pavlov said. “No you’re in the right room, and that is my baby, so,” Nikko said, her voice beginning to trail off. She had to have an emergency cesarean. She was weak, and groggy. The nurse reacted as though she had not heard Nikko. The nurse continued to look at the infant information card, and back at Nikko. The nurse did this several times, before wheeling the newborn up to the side of the bed. “There you go,” nurse ratchet said with an aspartame smile. Nikko could feel a small fire beginning to burn inside her. However, she took a breath, not wanting her daughter to hear any unnecessary nonsense right from the beginning of her young life. She would experience America soon enough. As the nurse prepared to leave, Nikko couldn’t resist a little condescending smile. As she began to feed her child, she watched the nurse leave her room with the swish swish sound of her white hospital dress and white panty hose echoing in her ears.
The sound of her tea pot whistling interrupted her thoughts. She stood in the kitchen waiting for her tea to seep to it’s fullest flavor. Nikko mulled over how insensitive some people could be. She knew that everyone in general, was color conscious to a greater or lesser degree. She felt though that; Americans led the charge when it came to poor race relations. She also felt it hypocritical on the part of Americans to criticize other countries for human rights violations when they have a long standing history of that themselves. Throughout her life she had heard all the simple simon rhetoric, white with white, black with black, bullshit. She poured some cream into her cup, and stirred it gently. “If only people could be like a cup of tea.”

Black Eagle Dream


Chapter 4

“Sonny Ray will you look at all this crap?” Stewart yelled from the bathroom.
“What now?” Sonny Ray exclaimed as he walked down the hallway toward his brother. “Damn, dad must have seven of everything,” Sonny Ray said, looking amazed.
As he opened the door to the hallway closet they were greeted by a surplus of various household items. “Well you had best call your brother and sister, because I ain’t hauling this cache back to
Las Vegas.” Sonny Ray was trying to goad his brother. “Kiss my ass Sonny Ray,” Stewart replied, taking the bait. After the four siblings had all left home, they had slowly drifted apart. When speaking of each other they would often refer to their siblings as, ‘your brother,’ or ‘your sister.’ Their parents were not left out of the fray either. The two brothers continued to bag on each until they had exhausted all the familial repertoire in their arsenal. They knew it was an emotional diversionary tactic as the two men tried desperately tried to sidestep the pain, and the grief.
“I have never seen someone die before,” Stewart said, looking in his brothers eyes. Sonny Ray nodded. “I have, but never like the way dad went,” Sonny Ray said quietly. Stewart had called Whisper, and Michelle. They met as a group in the lobby of the hospital. They had not been together like this in several years. They road in the elevator without speaking. For the most part they all lived comfortably disconnected from one another. Over the years they had grown accustomed of not being in contact with one another for years at a time. They exited the elevator and walked the hall to the ICU. After a short wait Dr. Campbell entered the small room. He slowly closed the sliding door, and then pulled the curtains shut. He turned to face the anxious family. The nurse assigned to their fathers care stood at the head of the bed, waiting for further instructions from Dr. Campbell.

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Black Eagle Dream


Chapter 5

“So it was pretty bad huh Son?” Nikko spoke consolingly to her husband. Sonny Ray looked away from his wife, trying to focus on something, anything in a feeble attempt to get his snap back. “Yeah it was tough,” Sonny Ray said finally. “The doctor said it would be a couple of minutes but it was more like fifteen minutes.” Sonny Ray paused, with a look that told you his mind was a million miles away. As the couple sat quietly, a pained look transformed Sonny Ray’s face. A mournful smile it seemed. “The old man was tough, right to the last.” Nikko knew it was important that her husband to get it all out. She held his hand as grief came barging in unannounced, and without mercy. “I told him he didn’t have to fight anymore, that we would take care of everything, all his wishes would be honored.” Tears began to well up in the normally cool, calm, and collect Nikko. “Right before he died, a single tear rolled down his cheek. The doctor said he was brain dead, that he couldn’t hear us. That’s bullshit though, he heard,
I know he did.” Sonny Ray emotionally imploded, and sank low into his chair. Nikko started to speak but checked herself, and instead rubbed his shoulders and neck. They both began to cry. Sonny Ray no longer had a father.

Black Eagle Dream


Chapter 6

“Hello? Sonny Ray is that you?
Are you awake?” A voice asked softly.
“Uh yeah, who is this?” Sonny Ray asked, definitely not awake. “This is your brother Whisper.” “Oh hey Whisper, what’s up, everything alright?” Sonny Ray sat up slowly in bed, trying his best not to wake his wife. “Well I was hoping you could pick me up at my place, and maybe we could get some breakfast, and catch up. You know.” Whisper asked, thinking he would be blown off. Sonny Ray glanced at the clock radio on the nightstand. “Sure Whisper, give me a half hour. Are you still at the same spot?” Whisper said he was. After hanging up Sonny Ray attempted to swing slowly out of bed, hoping to avoid the barrage of questions that were sure to come. He was halfway to the bathroom when the first mortar volley landed.
“Who was that baby?” Nikko asked, half asleep. “That was my brother Whisper,” Sonny Ray said in a low voice, hoping to escape. Nikko sat up slowly, “Sonny Ray I know he ain’t trying to hit you up for money first thing in the morning?”
Sonny Ray looked at his wife. “We’re having a long lost brother moment, and breakfast, I don’t know, I guess we are going to try and catch up. “When I get back we are going shopping.” After a quick shower he kissed his wife, and headed out. ‘Why does someone have to die, before we break bread with our feelings?’ Nikko thought. It had been two or three years since the two brothers had seen or heard from each other. The last thing Sonny Ray heard, his brother was a bouncer, and his girlfriend a dancer at the same club. Although Whisper had fathered a daughter it hadn’t slowed or altered his lifestyle much. Whisper had spent the last ten years in and out of jail.
He appeared a man hell bent on getting himself killed, for he had a polarity like attraction with violence.
If Sonny Ray was the dark horse of his family, then Whisper was most certainly the black sheep. Whisper was an extremely fragile person inside, and like many people he masked his pain with violence, in an attempt to secure the desired outcome of any given situation.
His present problem solving techniques had proved fraudulent; as he yielded low gains in the first half of his personal portfolio; in his holdings in the game of life.
Whisper covered his fears over with a mean disposition, and a really nice left hook. Sonny Ray pulled into the parking lot of his younger brother’s beat up and run down apartment complex.
He spotted Whisper, and pulled up to where he was standing. They headed to the restaurant.The two brothers would talk now.

Black Eagle Dream


Chapter 7

Cyrus awoke to a chilly morning in the mountains of northern Arizona. He had slept in the hogan of his young friend Dwayne. Cyrus had served with Dwayne’s father, Russell Notah in the military. They had met at Schofield barracks, on the island of O’ahu in the early nineteen forties. In the military you don’t have a first name. Over time Russell just became Notah. Russell was recruited to be a Navajo Code Talker. Cyrus was a communication specialist. The two men had become inseparable during the war, and beyond. Over the years Cyrus would travel from Hawai’i to Arizona, staying for months at a time with his friend on the Navajo reservation in Kayenta, Arizona. Notah traveled extensively before settling down back into his homeland, Arizona. In his travels he would drop in unexpectedly on Cyrus, who lived in remote Waipi’o Valley on the big island tending his ohana taro patch.

It was a quiet morning in the mountains. A raven could be heard calling in the distance. Cyrus sat up on one elbow, remaining on his side. He hand fond memories of his old friend. The fire had burned down overnight, with white ash, and a few embers of orange coals remaining. Cyrus placed a small handful of tinder, a few pine needles upon the white ash, blowing gently. A flame jumped up and consumed the needles. Cyrus then placed small pine sticks on top of the tiny fire. They began to crackle in the early morning that was absent of any other sound.
The flames flickered gently upward, offering light and warmth to the old man. As the warmth spread inside the small hogan, the cool crisp mountain air retreated back into the mountains. As the morning went along, Cyrus began his day making coffee with a pilot cracker and some butter. At some point he knew he would receive an expected guest. Dwayne had yet to wake up, for he had been up half the night talking to Sonny Ray and the old man. The black eagle circled the hogan four times and landed on a ponderosa pine nearby. The top of the tree had been struck by lightning, and had caught fire. The black eagle sat perched upon a single and blackened branch that had somehow survived the lightning strike. Cyrus would wait now. He would hope. For him, time was no longer a friend. A slow steady stream of smoke ascended up the small stove pipe, as it engaged in battle with the cold mountain air of Arizona. The huge black eagle sat quietly waiting patiently for the old man to appear. It stared down intently at the hogan, it’s eyes fixed, pupils adjusting like the zoom lens of a camera. The eagles eyes filtered through the trees and smoke, searching for any movement. The door of the hogan creaked open slowly as the old man, wrapped in a blanket stepped outside, and began a search of his own. The black eagle perched silently above, now cried out; it’s piercing black eyes detecting movement. Cyrus squinted his eyes and began to scan the tree tops.
A smile slowly came over his face, though not apparently surprised to see the large bird staring down at him. “Good morning old friend, I trust your journey was a safe one. Come on down, so you can eat.” The black eagle issued a quiet chirping reply, and leapt from it’s charcoaled perch. Cyrus held his gloved hand up, allowing the predator to land. The black eagle landed firmly. It sat comfortable, staring intently at the old man. Cyrus placed a small strip of raw elk meat on his gloved hand. The black eagle immediately clamped down on the raw meat, and began to eat ravenously. The eagle looked up at the old man for a moment, and then continued to consume the elk meat.

Black Eagle Dream

image Chapter 8

In 1962, Sonny Ray’s father rushed him to the emergency room on Lockborne Air Force Base.
“Nurse, nurse, we are going to need more help in here, now,” the doctor in charge barked. “Can you believe this,” another nurse asked. “Let’s go people,” the doctor said urgently. The little boy, only two years old, was resisting two grown men. Every time they thought they had him secured he would wriggle free. The head nurse had located two more interns to assist with the little boy. The boy continued to struggle. The pitiful screams of the little boy could be heard in the entire ward of the burn unit. The boy had been rushed to the hospital by his father. The little boy had second degree burns on both of his feet, well past his ankles. The two year old had been burned in scalding hot water. His skin had curled up; and as his older brother would describe the carnage years later; Sonny Ray’s feet looked like the color of red
jell-o, smeared in vaseline, and in blood.


The doctor had attempted to calm the little boy, but the pain was beyond description, and the boy did not have the ears to hear anything spoken to him this day. The doctor’s unpleasant task would now be to remove all the dead and dying skin to prevent infection from setting in. The doctor had already administered two injections in order to ease the boy’s pain, but to no avail as the boy continued to struggle. Sonny Ray was sweating profusely, his screams growing ever louder. The doctor choked back his own emotions as he continued his pain staking task of peeling off the remaining dying skin; piece by piece with a large pair of Air Force issued tweezers. The handsome boy with the wavy brown hair cried out again. “Nooooooo!! No! No! No!” Sonny Ray chanted, his little checks flush with anguish. No tears could come as the searing heat of excruciating pain soared through his body. “Should I give him another injection?” The gristled head nurse was on the verge of tears as she continued to assist the doctor with his gruesome task. “Not yet, one more now could kill him,” the doctor said without looking up.
Finally the intern asked. “So what happened to him doc?” The doctor paused looking over the top of his glasses. “His mother said she was bathing him and forgot to turn on the cold water.” The head nurse understood the inflection of the doctor’s voice, and what he implied, although not speaking on it directly. But they all knew.
“This boy is a fighter,” the head nurse said quietly as she handed the doctor a fresh sterilized pair of tweezers. The doctor glanced again over his glasses.
“That he is, but I have to wonder; what’s going on inside that two year old mind.” The two interns held Sonny Ray fast, as he began to feel the affects of the third shot that the head nurse had just administered. The little boy’s eyes began rolling in the back of his head. The easy part was over.

Copyright 2001


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