Dreamers is Copyright © 2016 by Dell Sweet. All rights reserved foreign and domestic.
Cover Art © Copyright 2016 Wendell Sweet
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This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual living persons places, situations or events is purely coincidental.
Parts of this novel are Copyright © 2010, 2015 Wendell Sweet and his assignees. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s permission.
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This Present Day:
In The Land Of Shadows
Benjamin Bear Killer
The mountain climbed another two thousand feet from where I was at. It made no difference. For my purpose, I was up high enough.
The cave was exactly where I remembered it being. It had been many years, in a life that belonged to someone else, since I had seen it. But when I had seen it I had known that it had an important part to play in my own life. Here I was to see whether I was correct, or if you think like I do, what part it intended for me to play. What my purpose was.
I ducked low under the overhang and slipped inside. It felt safe. A stone womb where nothing could touch me. I realize for some of my brothers that it is impossible to find such a place.
The remains of the fire were long dead. There was no animal smell in the cave. That told me it had been a very long time since it had been inhabited by anyone or anything. I pushed in the rest of the way and set about finding some answers.
The City Of The Dead:
Most Honored Among The Dead
Her prison was what she allowed it to be, and she had never allowed it to be what the Thief of Souls had intended it to be. In every purpose there was a twist. Sometimes the knife did turn: When it had to turn she tried to make it turn on him. In the many thousands of years she had not submitted and she could not envision a time when she would.
He owned her soul, but she did not submit. The advantage he had always hoped to gain did not exist. The knife cut whenever she could make it cut and as deep as she could make it cut.
She was as free in her mind as she could allow herself. In reality he kept her soul imprisoned in a small stone that was set inside an iron cage, which in turn was surrounded by wrought iron fencing tipped with spikes.
A moat filled with demons from the underworld surrounded the fence. Even so, in all the land of the dead, it was the most honored place. Honored by the inhabitants of the City of The Dead.
There were only a few who knew who it was that was held there. Very few. But within her small stone prison she had built her own world. She could not leave and stay gone from her soul for long periods of time. She was too weak. Too many thousands of years hidden away from the sunlight. Without freedom. Without a touch that wasn’t meant to subjugate. It had worn away her strength. Still, he could not kill her completely. She had her helpers. Helpers that even the threat of everlasting death could not scare away.
The birds that were her namesake were also her greatest allies. They allowed her to live briefly within their souls. And they could not be kept away by steel bars, spikes and moats. Demons were meaningless to them. They came to her and sat close to the stone so she could feel their heat. She joined with them and traveled to the dreamers worlds to listen to the dreamers that spoke. Left the city of the dead. At least in the dream state.
Deep within the stone she had made a world of her own. Valleys green with grasses. Plains, mountains, oceans and rivers all existed: As real as anyplace she had ever seen in the real world. She was not the dreamer. Four Feathers had been the dreamer. But she had learned over the years to create: To build from nothing. All that she lacked were physical companions. The sparrows her totem spirit sent to her were always near. Sometimes she would dream them into her world.
She walked now with one of them. The sparrows tiny clawed feet wrapped around one finger as she climbed the rocky path to her cave. The sparrow spoke to her in bird song, and Sparrow Spirit responded with her own song.
Her long black hair shone blue in the sunlight of her world. Her pale white skin made to look even whiter where her hair rested against it. Bone beads, buffalo horn beads and bits of feathers were woven into her hair. A pattern of small squares, three by three were tattooed on one cheek. They had been on her physical body as a child. They identified her clan and her place in it. Her high cheekbones were smooth and marked with two yellow chevrons on each.
Today she wore a leather tunic and skirt. Soft smoke cured leather that lay close against her skin and kept her warmth inside. The thing that always invaded, even here, was the cold. The cold of death. The cold she had lived with for thousands of years.
She had decorated the tunic herself. Spirals, circles, more square patterns that matched the squares on her face. Hand prints, chevrons. The power symbols of her ancient people. The symbols that still lent power to her lonely existence.
She sang back and forth to the small sparrow as she climbed. Shutting her real circumstances out, pushing them away. The sparrow told her the news of the fight against the Thief of Souls. The sparrow related news from all the other sparrows. All the sparrow brothers and sisters in all the dream worlds. Passed along the prayers of the dreamers who sent them to her. She knew Bear Killer and was glad to know that he was back from the world of the dead. He had less power that she had, but he had decided to use it as well as he could. The Red Path was not the same for all, and it was never easy, but it was the only way to walk. She was glad to know that the Bear Killer walked it again.
The sparrow told her about Joe, the dreamer who was at least the equal of Four Feathers. Maybe, Sparrow Spirit thought, the time of the end of the Thief of Souls was here at last. It was why she remained to fight instead of surrendering her soul to him. A purpose. There was someone whose purpose it was to free her. Someone, and she believed they would come soon.
She continued to sing back and forth to her sister sparrow as she climbed the path to her cave.
In The Darkness:
Grandmothers Of The Clan
Joe’s body lay on a low bench in the middle of the circle. The Grandmothers of the clan sat in the circle. Candle light lit the small room. His body shone with red ochre and bear grease. Spirals, circles, and Clan markings were drawn on his body in black. The prayers of the Grandmothers rose and fell as they prayed to the Creator and the spirit world to accept him and guide him in his dreaming. The prayer chant rose one last time and then came to an end.
“And our minds are one,” Grandmother Crow said.
“And our minds are one,” The others echoed.
Joe’s chest rose and fell slowly. His body was fed and the Clan Grandmothers would take care of him as he dreamed, from this time forward. They would see to his needs. He would not have to interrupt his dreaming or cut it short any longer.
Grandmother Crow lifted her eyes to the ceiling where Joe’s eye still lingered watching… Waiting…
“Go,” She told him. “You will be safe with us.”
No one else spoke. Grandmother Crow lowered her eyes back down to Joe’s body. “He’s on his way,” she said softly. “He’s on his way.”
In The Sunlight:
The Dawn Of Knowledge:
More From The Book Of Memories
I had read my way through the small book throughout the day as Bear slept, dreaming his dreams, if spirit-dogs did dream, and after watching him I believed they did. One story remained. ‘The way of the dreamer.’ I began to read…
The understandings of Four Feathers the first and most powerful Dreamer, who forged a way to the spirit world with the help of Sparrow Spirit.
Four Feathers was the most powerful Dreamer the people had ever known. They tell legends of him still. They invoke his name when they dream now. They follow his paths to the stars and to the spirit people, paths that would not exist if he had not first walked them. This is the legend of the paths to purpose. Why they are there, and how to dream them. It is also a foreshadowing of the one whose purpose it is to take the purpose from the Trickster. From the Dream Killer. From the Thief of Souls. To lock away the evil and abuse of power, and to set the souls that have been stolen free. To allow Sparrow Spirit to come back to her people where she belongs.
Now Four Feathers lived to the age of 932 years. The years were made from the four seasons. Carefully counted and accounted for. And the writer attests to the truth that is written here.
Four Feathers dreamed himself to the ancestors on his last day. Some say he left, that he chose to leave. The Creator would have allowed him to dream forever. That is how powerful their relationship was.
His bones do not lay within the Mother Earth because he took them with him and buried them in the sacred burial grounds of the original Star People. But some may find that path and gain his power. It can be walked.
The pathways to the spirit worlds are all around all us at all times. You simply wish them to take you there and you are there. Four Feathers taught us this all of his days. The powers. The spirits. The Creator, Mother Earth, are with us every cycle of our lives. At all crossings. All testings. All failings. All successes. If they are with us, their powers are with us as well. Living with us. Inside of us. A part of who we are, so they are accessible to us and can help us or answer our prayers at all times.
The pathways are clearly marked, and this is how you should know that. The paths are straight. The true paths are a testing to all who seek them out. The true paths are many but the true destination is but one. The doors that open for you will lead you to where you want to go, but they will not light the way for you. Your belief will be required to open the doors. Your faith will be required to light the path, your trust in the Creator to set your feet. The courage of all the ancestors that is always at your call to fight for you. The bravery of every warrior that has ever drawn a breath will keep you from being turned aside. Allow you to concentrate on the task that has been set before you. In the ending, even though you may go to where you have sought to go, where your purpose has called you to, you may find you have gone where you did not wish to go.
If you have been called, you have been called. If it is you the Creator has purposed, none other can take your place. If it is your true purpose you will know it. You will feel it in your soul. Your soul will cry out to the creator for guidance, the creator will provide it.
If you follow you must not be concerned with your physical well being. It would be best if you have no concern, and the legends say you will not for physical life. No ties to keep you or tie you to your body. For the one who sets out to follow the path must be willing to give up their physical life for all time. Yes, the one who chooses to follow the path will lose their physical life but they will gain true life.
Once your feet are on the path you will not be able to turn back. You will feel the power that will be yours. You will become the superior of the dreamers, of all dreamers, and legends will be told about you, so you must dream well.
Four Feathers walked those paths. He lived. He learned. He knew all the ways of the spirits. It is said that the one who is to come will convince Four Feathers to come back from the stars and hand his power over to the new Dreamer. And that Dreamer will rule forever over all the people. The ways of the Creator will again be honored. The people’s will turn from killing, from wars, from lusts, and prejudices and love one another as the Mother Earth loves each of us.
This is a road with no exits. Once the soul departs without a body, there is no coming back for any reason. Prepare yourself well, Dreamer, prepare yourself well…
I turned the page, but there were no more words. I set the book down, raised my hands and began to pray to the Creator