Chapter 10-2A Chapter by Shep
Pa looked them straight in the eye. “Did you mean what you said about becoming Indians for EJ? You weren't joking because it's real bad? His legs are swollen and he won't let anybody touch him and Ma needs to change and clean those wounds everyday? That means you have to sacrifice that little pride of yours sooner than you like.”
They looked at each other and swallow hard. “We know Pa, it’s not like Ma hasn't done it before,” they said as they looked down at ground. “But if we don't. EJ could get very sick and could... So what's a little embarrassment vs. that? You said we're brothers right, well brothers help each other,” Will said.
“Robert what do you say? You are older than Will. So would it be harder,” he said.
Pa put his arm around his two boys. “For the first time, I do not know what to say. Except the Indians are coming to the Downing Farm; so after desert we deliver our little surprise to EJ. I need you two to come out to the barn and I'll help you make that tepee and those loincloths you boys are going to be wearing. I think I have enough dear skin and leather in the shop. Your Ma and sisters will think we've gone mad,” as he laughed. “Indians on the Downing Farm.”
“And where have you boys been?” Ma asked putting her hands on her hips standing in the doorway on the porch.
“Just working on something for EJ,” Pa said with grins on their faces.
“Sorry Martha, it would spoil the surprise and it’s going to be a whopper. In fact it might even take your breath away. If I were you, I would prepare lots of soap and water. That much I can tell you.”
They quickly ate their cake. They could barely wait to give EJ his surprise. Pa grabbed the frame, which he had wrapped, tucked it carefully under his arm. They all headed to EJ's room. EJ, still sitting up seeing the entire family together, croaked, “Hi, what's going on?”
EJ and Downing Declaration of Promise
I EJ am not going to get out of this bed and I am going to mind his Grandma and Mrs. and Mr. Downing I promise.
The Downing Family Promise
I promise that I would keep you safe son and that's what I intend to do. I won't let anyone lay one finger on you or anybody and will give you love, guidance and fathers caring heart son.
I Promise to be the best, caring, understanding mother, I also promise to treat you with compassion, love, dignity as if you were my own child to me you already are my son.
Four Brothers promise
I Promise Robert, Will and Sam and Danny going to be his brother and his
Friend, you are my brother now and forever, brothers protect their brothers and love their brothers no mater what, we love you too.
I Promise to be the best sister, to love, to care for you as my brother because you are my brother. To tease you, make you blush and squeeze the stuffing out of you because I already love you.
I promise to work beside you brother with a sister love, as a sister should, to help you when you need it to be there when you need me, for that's what sisters do.
For you will always be my brother and I love you too.
EJ looked up from the frame bewildered. Tears formed in his eyes, he looked over at his grandmother. Tears welled in her eyes, she ran to his bedside and hugged him and whispered in his ear. “Yes son, they mean every word.” Then kissed his tear, drenched cheek, “its ok to cry son, just let it all go.” As he buried his face against her shoulder, she gently patted him on the back. Martha gave him a hug and a kiss on his head and Pa laid his hand on his shoulder as they left the room one by one.
Will and Robert each put a hand on his shoulder and whispered.” You are our brother now, it’s going to be ok,” and walked out of the room. Julie and Anna stroked his hair one at a time then bent down gave him a kiss one on each cheek. Danny and Sam gave him a hug as well. Martha wiped the tears from her eyes with the back of her right hand. She took the boys by their hands and lead them a way so he could be lone with his Grandma.
“Alright girls,” Ma said trying to regain her composure. “Let’s see if we can get things put away.” Noticing the boys where already heading towards the barn she mumbled “Indians. What’s that's so supposed to mean?”
“Well Martha, EJ settled back down again,” she said walking back into the kitchen to help as she wiped the remaining tears from her eyes. “I sure hate leaving him like this, but I know I am leaving him in good hands. If I don't, it will only get harder for him and me and for little Danny. They both need to grow, and I do have other grandchildren that need me too. It's just so hard seeing him like this. It breaks my heart, but knowing he's here with you and this family. I can rest a little easier.
“I won't have to worry so much, I just hope this plan your boys are working on works for EJ’s sake. Or you won’t have a choice dear, but to drug him enough to sleep which is dangerous in itself.” Grandma added. “Hopefully he will allow you to remove those bandages everyday so you can check for infection. Lord knows that child is frightened enough already.”
“Grandma, do you have any idea what they’re planning?” Martha asked drying her hands on the kitchen towel.
The boys worked through most of the night. Pa and the boys set up a tepee in the middle of the yard. Martha couldn't sleep so she went outside on the porch. Seeing the tepee being erected, she walked over to where Pa was standing. “
“Oh, just our four boys that's all. They'll need a place to sleep and this is their tepee,” he said.
“I know that dear, but they’ll be Indians come morning and need a place to sleep.” He said smiling seeing her confused face.
“Hi Ma, I thought you where in bed.” Will said dressed in one of the loincloths. He looked over at his Ma then turned to Pa as if nothing was wrong, “Pa how's the tepee coming?” Pa smiled at Martha. She had a shocked look on her face seeing her son Will dressed in an Indian loincloth.
“Well, Roberts almost done and I have EJ's and Danny's finished. Roberts is almost done and I have a start on Sam's Then we can start building one those stretcher thinger a bobber's to load him on and we can put a mattress in for EJ and sleeping bags for us. Then tomorrow we’ll set up camp. See ya Ma, still have lots to do,” Will said and turned around headed back to the barn.
Martha took one more look back then shook her head and mumbled. “Indians” and walked back into the house and down the hall. She walked down the hall to EJ's room and checked to make sure he was Okay.
That night EJ screamed as the cold sweat glistened on his body. He found himself running through a forest of evergreens. Large yellow eyes and creatures with long scaly necks like a dragon and part wolf with sharp claws and sharp long teeth chased him through the woods trying to kill him. His father angered voice yelling behind him with burning torch in one hand and long butcher knife in the other yelled. “Come back here you brat, it is time for your punishment. How dare you run from me and your mother? I am going too whip you to the inch of your life this time and peel the flash from your bones.” EJ ran faster as he leapt large logs nearly tripping over his feet and the broken chain tied around his ankles dragged behind him getting caught in the underbrush as he ran. It slowed him down having to pull it to get it lose as snagged around the debris as he tried to run and hide.
He screamed. “Grandma where are you? Save
Deeper and deeper he ran as they seemed to be gaining on him getting, closer with ever step he takes, there large grotesque bodies leapt bondless as the wind as the howls got closer. EJ stumbled and fell and tries to get up before they reached him, but it was too late. The beast and his father hands reach out as he scrambles back just barely racking their nails down his back as he tries to crawl way further in the underbrush. The pain was burning as warm blood slid painfully down his back the poison in it clawed hands numbing his body making it harder to move and stay awake. The beast teeth snapped wildly with a low hungry growl trying to gain purpose. EJ screamed as his father’s knife plunges in to his left side burning as more blood spills upon the ground. The beast hissed. “You will never be safe boy, not here or anywhere. As I strip your flesh and grind your bones like I have done with your brother. We will use your head as candle and reminder to those that dare run or upset the balance of the light.”
His father’s hand pulling on the chain dragging him closer to his doom…Your grandmother can not help you now. And why would she help a worthless whelp like you? The words echoed in his mind. “Worthless, bad seed, garbage.” EJ crawls dragging his limp body further trying get way as they and the monsters dig after him pulling on the chain wrapped around his ankle. The ground shook around him as there feet and claws grew closer...
* * *
Grandma tries shaking EJ awake as he screamed crying out her name. “Why Grandma did you leave me? Why…? EJ eyes flashed open seeing grandma’s face as he buried his face against her begging her not to leave him. “Please don’t leave
“Shhh, it’s alright I am here now,” She said hugging him tight against her as she looked up seeing Martha coming into the room.
EJ looked up over grandma’s shoulder as the room comes more into focuses and the nightmare leaves him. He hears sing almost angelic as a soft warm voice sung to him EJ relaxes against her.
“On the wings of doves you glide my son. Softly you slumber beneath them.” May the angles guide you safely home and protect you on their wings. Rest my son and let them calm you….
EJ’s eyes closed as the words echoed in his mind.
Martha kept humming as she helped put Danny beside him and grandma turned off the light with a tired yawn. She placed a kiss on both their cheeks watching Martha close the door. And watched the sun from the windows as the roster crowed with the coming of the dawn and the shadows receded once more.
Pa walked in the front door yelled at the top of his lungs. “We are surrounded by Indians come quick! They are taking over the Downing Farm.” Everyone leapt out of bed as fast they could saw smoke rising outside around an erected tepee with two Indian boys running around. Hooping and hollering for all their worth as they danced around the teepee. Ma and the girls ran outside. They could not believe what their eyes were seeing. Will and Robert dressed in their Indian loincloths, Grandma laughing nearly busting a gut. Sam ran up to Will to join in the fun with little Danny right behind him.
Will and Robert grabbed the two boys as to kidnap them and took them inside the tepee. Martha ran to edge of the porch, Pa stopped her. “No Martha, this is between them,” he said.
Robert and Will grabbed the stretcher and started to head for the house. “Ma if I were you and the ladies, I would stand clear of the doorway. I think they mean business. They mean to take prisoners,” he said.
Martha turned to
“Actually Martha, I mean to help them. You wanted a problem fixed. Well there's your solution.” Pa said as he opened the door and leaded the way for the Indians down the hallway and closed the door. The boys entered the room alone with EJ while he remained outside waiting to be called.
“What are you guys doing dressed like that?” He croaked.
Robert went over to EJ's bed. “Ok boys, let’s get these blankets off and start peeling this banana. Be careful we don't want to take off those bandages. Ma will have our hide. EJ hold still. Man you are a mess,” he said.
“No buts,” and they cover his mouth so he couldn’t say anything else and held down his head. All he could do was feel himself turn blushing red. “Ok Pa, were ready,” as Robert yelled through the room.
Pa came into the room and looked at his five little Indian boys and smiled, turned to EJ. “I hear you are bustin out son?” All EJ could do was nod with his mouth being covered “well it’s about time,” he laughed with a slight chuckle. “That bed was getting tired of you being it so let’s say we give it a rest.”
Then they picked him up and put him down on the stretcher. “Alright boys, I'll go check to make sure the coast is clear.” Pa ran down the hall and yelled. “Stand back, they are on the war path, the natives, are not too friendly, they have got they’re prisoner…! Alright boys, bring him through and watches his head now.” Pa said helping on the sides as they carried EJ to their tepee.
Grandma slapping her knee busting a gut with a tear in her eye as she watched fives little Indian boys ran by. The look on Martha’s face not sure what to think. Wondering if everyone on the farm has lost their minds. The girls glanced at their Pa and new grandma, and then their new Indian brothers and burst out laughing.
After a few minutes, the shock wore off, Martha grinned and put a hand to her mouth trying to hide her giggling, but it was too much, she burst out laughing.
The flap closed and the boys set him down on the mattress and cover him back up. “Ok boys, it’s up to you now,” Pa said.
Pa left through the flap of the tent as he wiped his brow and walked over to Martha.
“Martha,” he said as he kissed her on the forehead. “Don't push him, our sons will help you. It looks like you got your wish; go clean him up a little at a time. After all, you now have five Indian boys for sons.
Martha looked over at Grandma slapping her knee then looked at
“Your boys, say you can't touch EJ without them being present and they have to be first that includes bathing them all before him. They'll never leave his side or the tepee without him. He goes wherever they go, they promised him. And they intend to honor that promise everyday and they mean it. You could say it’s their honor code for their brother.”
“Yes dear, they’re not joking, but for right now I would clean up what you can so they can setup they’re camp. It’s been a long night and they are tired and they have long day head of them.”
“Too much time waiting for the excitement to happen,” he said as they all laughed.
© 2012 Shep
Added on June 8, 2012
Last Updated on June 14, 2012
Whats Behind the Looking Glass?
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