Tag Archives: soul

Joe and the Stranger

Joe is walking down the dirt road about 20 KM from his rez. While he is tired and hungry, he has no wife or kids of his own, which means no real worries. Responsibilities are for his foolish friends, not him.

It is a beautiful night, it is more morning, about 2:45AM. The cold autumn wind and misty clouds lightly cover the moon in wisps. He has not seen a vehicle for over an hour and when he did, they were going too fast, probably a drunk driver. Good ol ‘rez boys and girls, he thinks. He looks ahead further and declares, “niwī atāwākān nitahcahk simāk kita takosiniyān itī kāwīkiyān.” – I will sell my soul to get home now.

At 3:00AM, about 100 metres ahead of him, there flashes a light. It was not a big light, it is more of a spark. It fades and as he gets closer, he sees another hitchhiker meeting up with him. He might be from the same rez but Joe realizes that the hiker does look familiar. When he finally meets up with him, the stranger looks all too familiar. He looks exactly like him.

“tānisi cō, tāpwī kayās.” – How are you Joe, it has been a long time. Says, the stranger.

Joe stands fearful of what he is seeing. “awinōma kītha?” – Who are you?

Stranger, “cō, īmowī nihtāwikīn kāki wāpamitān, ikospi kākī nitowithihtamān kitahcahk.” – Joe, I saw you before you were born, since then, I wanted your soul.

Now fearing for his soul, Joe steps ahead, “namwāc kiwī mīthitin kīkway.” – I will not give you anything.

“kiwi asotamātin kīkway cō, māka kita mīthin kitahcahk” – I will offer you something Joe, but you must give me your soul.

Joe shakes his head as he takes a few steps back.

In the middle of the dark road, appears a beautiful brand-new truck, higher than two regular cars and tires as tall as Joe’s chest. Joe looks in awe as the beast of an engine roars like a lion.

Joe is astonished. In all his 30 years, he never had his own vehicle, not even an “Indian” car. He drove before and loved it. If he takes the truck for the mere price of his soul, his friends would envy his masculine prowess even more. He can ride through the rez with his new sexy wheels while they dragged along their rez chicks and rez rats. He could just imagine the looks on their faces, they would be so jealous.

The stranger smiles as he anticipates the answer he craves. Men like Joe are of a rare breed of warrior. A soul, a spirit that strengthens the possessor. However, the prowess sought by Joe would be short lived, as he would surely dive into the depths of despair in short order. The wine, the drugs and fast woman would be easy to come by. Joe would be, in all his glory for the whole rez to see and then the stranger would have the full soul.

Joe explores the vehicle further; he runs his hand over the chrome bed railings. He was always the handsomest, fastest and strongest of his friends. However, they always had something over them, they had wheels and he did not. This truck would put him over the top. He reassured himself that a truck like this will make almost godlike, on the rez.

Joe turns to face the stranger that looks like him, and flash! He sees himself in a drunken stupor, squeezing an alcohol ravaged woman. Flash again! He sees himself fighting another native man as they stumble around like idiots, getting videoed from bystanders on their cell phones, going live on social media. Flash again! Joe sees the stranger standing and waiting for his answer.

The stranger stares at him: “tānihkōma cō?” – What is the matter Joe? Flash again! Joe sees himself inside the crumpled truck, his body halfway out of the windshield: Dead.

Joe stares ahead and in disbelief. Would he really go down that path? Can he trust this stranger that looks like him, to even actually follow through with his gift? Joe opens his mouth and shakily states: “namwāc!” – No!

The stranger glares at Joe, “kihtwām kawāpamatin cō.” – I will see you again Joe. Poof, he disappears.


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