Seriously Kenny, could you have been any more rude! She was just talking. you know. The raven thing just happened to coincide with our new friends visits. ” Cassie said.
“Sorry Cassie, but she freaked me out. I haven’t said much to you about things I’ve gone through lately, but she nailed it! What if what she said was true? I don’t know where she was talking about returning to. You can’t go back, not like she was talking anyway. If I were to find the area, what’s to say that we would go or move there. This is too much. Let’s go tour or something.” Kenny replied.
The drive around the countryside was pretty enough but the dark cloud of confusion lingered over Kenny’s head. Cassie tried to turn the small bits of conversation to lighter affairs. Kenny was not buying. Finally,she tried no more and a silence fell over them as they drove further north. They passed a place where sled dogs were raised and trained. Kenny slid the truck into the drive and glanced at Cassie, giving her a wink and half-smile.
It was an interesting place., noisy, to say the least, but interesting. The instructor/trainer, Bill, gathered a team together and took them on a grass sled ride. This is just what Kenny needed! The tension seemed to slip away with every movement the graceful team made. His mood was much improved by the end of the run. They thanked Bill for the time and education they received, as they grabbed a few brochures to share with friends at home.
“Thanks, Kenny! That was a blast! Can you believe the stamina of those animals? Amazing!”
“Cass, I’m sorry for that ‘mood’. Like I said, she freaked me out. I’m shaking it off, see?” Kenny said as he jokingly shook himself.
Sunshine and cool breezes, kept them uplifted for the rest of the trip there. Reluctantly, it was time to return to their lives back in the city and they packed up the tent and all the goodies they purchased and found. It was a trip that would stay in their memories for a long while.
It did not take long for the routine to fall back into place. The job was the same, the gossip and people’s dramas created the constant conversations there. Kenny felt like he was listening to Charlie Browns’ teacher; wha wha, wha, wha, wha! The nagging pull was inching its way back into his belly.
This, combined with the dreams of the village started playing havoc on his sleep. It took about a week and a half before Cassie started noticing the physical signs of his restlessness; the dark circles under his eyes, the pallor of his skin, listlessness. She decided to make an appointment for him with the doctor.
The following Wednesday found the couple sitting in the doctors office thumbing through the outdated magazines. “This is stupid, Cassie. I am just tired. I’ve had the village dreams again. I feel the tugging again! I don’t know what to do. This is the problem, not some kind of illness.” Kenny stated.
“Well maybe the mental issue is what needs to be addressed? You are not well, my love! This is going to drive you nuts if it is not taken care of! Sure it’s not affecting your job – yet.” Cassie said.
“Kenny. Please follow me.” The receptionist said entering the waiting room. She then turned to walk down the hall. Kenny scowled at Cassie before he followed begrudgingly.
It was a slow fifteen minutes before he emerged to the reception area. The look on his face told Cassie his was ticked off. He turned to the receptionist to make another appointment in two weeks. “Let’s go!” he grumbled as he turned to Cassie.
As they walked out of the office, they saw, perched on the handrail in front of their truck, a raven. CAW – CAW! It hopped to the right, then back to the center, cawed again and then back to the right once again. As they drew closer to the truck, it cawed twice, looked at them sideways and cawed again as it flew off to the east.
“Great! Now the damn bird is back!” Kenny drew in a big breath and exhaled loudly.
Cassie tried to bridge the tension, but her curiosity got the best of her. “Well what did he say?”
“His solution is to pop pills into my mouth and see me in two weeks. I am not going to fill the prescription. I will deal with this, alright?” He snapped back.
That night as he lay sleeping in bed, it all started to come together. The dream showed him the things Moriah told him about. It showed him where the land was, and what the people were doing before his warrior days claimed his life. The forest was magnificent, but there were also waters that ran clear, open fields where berries flourished and animals that would clothe and feed the mouths of the villagers. What a paradise. The pull to the land or the vision was strong enough to wake him. This time he was at rest.
He quietly slipped into the kitchen and rummaged through the drawers for the Canadian Atlas. The page opened almost automatically to the spot and his eyes fell upon the town instantly. It still existed. It was not the original name, but he knew it was the place.
He turned on the laptop and proceeded to search the area. He needed to know everything that was posted about this part of the world. He found that the lands once belonged to a strong tribe that were eventually introduced to fur traders, greed, long rifles, diseases, and other vices of the eastern world. Kenny continued to search for the key., the driving force that kept pulling him back to that time, that area.
He felt eyes upon him and assumed that Cassie was standing behind him. As he turned to look at where she should have stood, he saw two eyes glistening in at him through the windows , highlighted by the early morning light. Raven, silent and staring. Shivers ran up Kenny’s spine. The raven remained silent, but nodded its head up and down. He heard the raven make a clicky-cluck sound and it hopped to the right, once again nodding its head.
Kenny tried to send his thoughts to the bird. “What is it you are trying to tell me now? I have done everything except go there. I am just visiting? What?” Raven flew off, leaving the questions unanswered.
Although it was close to alarm clock time. Kenny decided to return to bed and snuggle up to Cassie for comfort. As he lay there he fell into a deep sleep. The dream came back to him, but this time he knew what it was telling him. Raven was there, but it was dressed as a child. There was a woman who pointed to the child and lifted her hands to the air, crying out in pain. He saw people approaching the area where she stood. He looked back to raven but only saw shallow graves; graves that only partially buried the remains of those who laid within. He could faintly hear the woman crying but she was no longer within view. The people continued to flood into the area where she previously stood. They were talking lightly, oblivious to the graves strewn about.
The beeping of the alarm startled him back to reality. He had to go. As Cassie stirred to awaken and shut the alarm off, Kenny hugged her tightly. “Cassie, my love, I have to go away for a few days. I know the reason I have been dreaming.”
Kenny poured them coffee as he told her of the experience that night. He explained the reason for the journey and the problems he may encounter. Cassie, sat there for a moment, trying to take it all in during her morning fog time. He was talking so quickly, like he really didn’t want her to understand, at the chance of appearing nutty. She murmured her consent and well wishes not even asking to go with him. It was rather obvious that this was to be a solo trip.
It took less than six hours for Kenny to make all the arrangements. By two o’clock he was on his way to the destination. The flight landed and he picked up his car. He did not book a room anywhere as he know that he would not sleep that night. He started out on the two-hour ride to the old village.
There was a large bog construction job underway nearby where he stopped. A small river flowed towards it. Two of the workers asked if they could help him find something, being slightly suspicious of the stranger. Kenny stated that he was looking for the mouth of the river. He was given instructions and started off as it was only two miles away. The light was starting to fade slightly, but he gauged his time and felt confident that he would be able to complete the task.
There it was, a gentle flow of water, standing by open fields amidst a forest that showed its age poorly. A sign was posted close to the area, stating that there was going to be an apartment complex erected in the spot where he stood. CAW – CAW! Raven was there suddenly, perched on the sign. CAW-CAW! bobbing his head up and down.
“Yes, yes, raven I know!” Kenny said as he trudged through the tall grasses. He was caught by surprise as he fell over something. Looking back at his feet, he saw the first of many bones, exposed ever so slightly, through the dirt and grass. He found it. The graves of the warriors people. They could not build here now! He wished he had remembered his camera! Damn! Who was he to contact now?
His first thought was the local R.C.M.P. detachment, or maybe one of the tribal offices, possibly the newspaper. His heart started racing. Suddenly, there was a burst of fluttering wings as a flock of sparrows covered the skyline. Startled, Kenny fell backwards to the ground. Tears flowed, his heart broke into a thousand pieces, seemingly, each bird took a piece of it with them as they soared into the night sky. His cries we loud and showed pain like he had never experienced. After some time, he wept no more. He could only lay there among the graves, the warriors people, the victims of a undesrving destiny.
Exhausted, he laboriously picked himself up off the ground. He had a bit of difficulty navigating to the car as the was no moon to light his path. Once he found the door, he crawled inside and sat in silence. Slowly, a sense of calm overcame him and he did sleep. He knew the path he had follow now was not going to easy, but he would succeed. They would not build here, ever. These people would be buried with proper ceremony. Peace to them and finally, peace to Kenny.