“Goodbye my beautiful huntress, Nujalik!”


Jack sat at his campfire for a while pondering on Celeste’s words.  Nothing came into mind except his relatives.  “The girl is full of it, all she saw was my relatives.”  But still something she said kept nagging at his thoughts. “You are not they only one who survived in your family.”  He began to relive the site of his family when he found them dead a long time ago.  He saw his father, mother and brother, but he suddenly remembered seeing another body.  He just assumed it was a visitor and left it like that because the body was unrecognizable.    

He cradled his head, trying to think why Celeste would say such a thing?  He thought out loud, “Maybe she was bluffing after I exposed her for having a hidden soul-mate.” He knew she was powerful in spirit being, but did not know for sure her full hidden ability; in fact, she didn’t know her full range of skills that laid dormant inside her until they peeked out in time and need.

He had finished the pot of coffee while examining her conversation in his head after she left to feed her horse.  He got up from his stump and started to kick shit around with his foot. Whatever, was in his path he made sure to kick the crap out of it.  He quickly went into his hut and under the floor board where a bear rug laid, he moved it out of the way to get to the contents he had hidden for many years.  

With care and love he grabbed the small book and opened it.  Inside were only a few pictures of his family, except for one.  The woman was a beautiful Eskimo lady.  Jack was knocked out of his thoughts when Celeste called out to him.  He quickly put the book back and covered it back with the bear rug.  He walked out into the evening air, but he was not in a good mood.

“Well, well Jack, did we throw a tantrum when I was gone?”  Celeste snicker at Jack with amusement. “Looks to me like something crawled up your britches, and you decided to kick the shit out of everything.”  Jack gave her a disapproval look and didn’t say anything while he cleaned up his mess.

She helped him out and when finished she then told him it was time for her to leave and return back to her campsite to begin her journey back home in the morning.  Jack didn’t say anything, he moved around the land in total confusion.  Celeste realized he did not know how to handle her information, nor did he put two and two together yet.  She smiled to herself, then walked in front of him and said, “Jack it’s been a pleasure meeting you.  I hope to see you one day again my partner in crime.  I just want to let you know that I don’t see you as a coward.  And if you ask me, we all have bats in our cave.  I feel you did no wrong while you were in service with the Army; so your secret is safe with me. May you live a long life Aklaq.”  Jack didn’t look at Celeste while she spoke, he kept his head pointed to the ground.  She got into her backpack and pulled out the rest of the coffee and a few more cigars and placed them on a stump where Jack pondered his information.

Without warning she quickly turned around and gave him a bear hug and kissed his cheek.  Jack was ridged and unyielding.  Celeste walked over to Quad and skillfully popped onto his bare back. “Adios amigo, Vaya con dios.”  (Goodbye my friend, go with god)

Jack watched the first human contact he has seen in 50 years, disappear into the dark forest, leaving him alone with his scattered private thoughts.  For the first time in his life, he truly felt alone without the spitfire’s company.  Jack turned around and kicked a stick while mumbling to himself with anger for not talking to her.  In his own time he finally spoke softly to the campfire.  “Goodbye my beautiful huntress, Nujalik!” While a tear from his eye slowly ran down his cheek.


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“Here’s to Jack, dipping his stick!”


Celeste stayed quiet till she finished the fleshing of the bear hide.  Evening was setting while the two worked in unison to prepare the meat and hide in silence.  She took out her pack of coffee in her backpack, and put a pot on the fire.  Jack watched her walk around his camp with her hands behind her back.  He was becoming nervous with each passing quiet moment.

While coffee was brewing, Celeste walked around the camp looking at all of Jack’s amazing well cured animal hides, while many thoughts flew through her mind.  Silently, she walked back to the fire pit and poured her and Jack a cup of coffee.  Then sat back down on a log by the warm fire, and looked at Jack who was feeling a shame, she spoke lightly.

“Your a half-breed just like me Jack.  Who was not an Eskimo in your family?” Jack was surprised to hear she knew he was a half-breed.  He took a deep breath then slowly let it out.  “My mother first married an Eskimo man; henceforth, that is how I had an older brother. Sadly, his father died early in their marriage due to a Walrus hunt.  She then married a white man explorer, and they created me.  My father was a gentle knowledgeable man, my mother and him had a very special spiritual bond. We had a happy family Nujalik through my growing years. I think I broke my mother’s heart when I enlisted myself into the Army.  They wanted me to wed a woman and stay with the tribe.”  Celeste stayed quiet, staring into the embers of the fire deep in a trance.  What seemed like an hour had passed in silence, is when Jack took note her eyes immediately widen, she then looked at him and said, “You’re wrong!” 

Jack raised is only eyebrow at her, not understanding what she meant…he was wrong?  “You are not the only one who survived in your family Jack.”  Jack saw a spacey look in Celeste’s eyes when she spoke to him in a soft distance voice.  “What do you mean, woman?” He dared to ask her. Not answering him, she picked up the pot of coffee and filled both of their cups again with the black liquid.  She then put a frying pan on the fire and went to cut a few pieces of bear meat to cook.  Jack watched her with interest while she added herbs and water to the meat.

As she sat back down upon the log by the fire, she picked up her coffee cup and looked deeply into Jack’s eye, he became curious under her gaze.  What did she know that he did not?  In the distance, they both heard the howl of a wolf.  Celeste returned the howl perfectly, as the wolf in the distance replied back.  “Wolf loves you Nujalik,” Jack softy stated. 

“You have someone who doesn’t know you, but who loves you dearly Jack.  He has been searching for you, for many years!”   Celeste began to giggle.  “What do you know woman?  Tell me now!” Jack was becoming short with Celeste.  She then decided to tease him in a little kid fashion…”I know something you don’t know!  Tisk, tisk, patience Jack.”  Celeste said with amusement. 

Jack was not liking her comment regarding patience’s, when she threw her bomb at him. “Doesn’t feel good huh, dude?  Remember patience is torture sometimes to others.” Celeste was loving this edge she had over Jack.  She was getting ready to tell him, when she felt him invade her mind.  “Get out of my head old man, ain’t happening!” She added with glee, pissing off Jack further.  She was giving him hints, but he was not really listening to her.  If he was smart enough he would put it together.  Men….I swear!!!! She chuckled to herself.

Jack sat quiet in thought, while she got up and told him she needed to leave him for a while to his thoughts.  “Quad needs to eat, we will return in an hour, enough time for our dinner to finish.”  Jack watched the two leave the forest, while he thought about what she told him.

Celeste found a perfect spot for Quad to eat.  She watched her lovely stallion eat while she sat on a rock and thought about the delicious information she saw in the fire. Pulling out a cigar, she lit the tobacco stick with her lighter and chuckled out loud.  Quad looked at her then continued eating.  Celeste looked into the night sky, stars shining brightly.  The full moon was peaking over the volcano rocky mountain top.  She got into her backpack again and pulled out her whiskey flask.  “Thank you Mother Earth for informing me!” Taking a big swig of the burning liquid, she smile with glee and toasted the moon with her flask before taking another drink and said, “Here’s to Jack, dipping his stick!” 


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“So Jack is a deserter of war!”


When the crew finally reached Jack’s hut, Celeste was amazed how cozy and perfect it was for one person.  Jack had skins of many different animals hanging and drying in the shaded trees for the winter.  They both unloaded the meat off the horse and started the prepping of curing the meat.  Celeste watched Jack with interest, his skilled aged hands stretched the large hide on a stretcher.  “This will make good clothing for me Nujalik, for many years.”  They both worked their magic skinning the hide of the bear to perfection in no time at all.  “You are good with that blade woman.  I did not realize how good you are in skinning an animal, impressive I do say.”  Celeste smiled knowing she was doing something right.

Celeste whistled out loud for wolf.  “Why you doing that for girl, the wolf is having a fling with another.  He will not be around for a day or two, so leave him alone and let him do his business.”  Celeste looked at Jack and asked.  “How do you know?”  “Well, while you were sleeping you did not hear the calls.”  Celeste nodding her understanding, and began to take the hide of the bear that Jack skillfully skinned and nailed it to several boards.  Laying the fur out straight and tight, they attached it to the boards so it would not curl up.  When finished she took her knife and started to scrape out the flesh, while Jack cut up the meat.  Both worked in unison, with skill and knowledge on the bear.

Celeste worked quietly making sure she didn’t miss any flesh that needed to be removed from the hide.  As she worked on the hide, she got the nerve to ask Jack a question. “Since I keep asking you why you live here, and we keep getting interrupted, don’t you think it’s a good time to tell me your story, Jack?  Also, do you have some salt that I could cure this hide with?”  Jack looked at the skin and left his task of cutting up the meat and hanging it dry over a small fire he built to make jerky.  She watched him walk up close to his hut, grab a man made pitch fork and started to remove some debris away into a pile. He then opened a hidden door going down inside the ground.  “Pretty cleaver Jack, I wondered how you stored your food.  Did you build that cellar or did it come with the hut?”

Jack didn’t say anything until he came out of the cellar with a box of salt.  “I built this hut and cellar with my own two hands .  Took me a long time, but I was younger then and could do most the work by myself.”  He handed her the salt and returned to cutting his meat up.  Celeste asked again.  “Now old man, let me hear your story!”

No more interruption, Jack took a deep breath and began his story.

“I am in my mid eighties, I have been here I think over 50 years. I like it here, its not too cold and I love the plenty of food the forest offers me.”  Jack looked at Celeste and watched her use the salt on the hide.  “Good job, you are doing on hide!”  Celeste didn’t look up at him, she stayed quiet and let him speak freely.

“I came here when I was in my late twenties, escaping mankind and it’s ugly world. When I was younger, I wanted to see the rest of the world.  I would day dream of seeing different places and people.   I loved living in Alaska Nujalik, but I also have a wondering spirit.  I learned to hunt very young to help my family survive the freezing weather.  I have killed many bear and seal to survive with my older brother’s help.  When I reached the age of 19, I never married because I wanted to see the world.  I thought since I have an older brother, he could spill his seed. I was too young to think of having a family.  I was a strong cocky young man Nujalik, maybe too cocky for my own good.”  Celeste looked up at Jack when he didn’t proceed.  She watched him battling with the right words to say, while reliving his memories silently.

“I thought I knew everything as a teenager, but I didn’t. Yea, I thought I was big bad strong man, because of my many battles I fought with the Earth elements, and creatures. I did have many near death experiences, but survived. One day we got word that World War II had begun.  So I saw this as my chance to leave Alaska and do a service to our country.  How stupid I was Nujalik! Do you know any of your history girl?”  Jack suddenly asked Celeste.  She looked up at Jack and told him what she knew of the History of World War II.

“It was known as the second World War that included many Nations to gather.  It was a horrible global war that lasted if my memory serves me from 1939 to 1945.  There were two military alliances, called Axis and Allies.  To me it was probably the worse of all wars, due to the Holocaust and the only nuclear weapons used in human warfare. I think the lost of humans were over 50 million.”  Jack smiled and said, “Very good girl, smart you are! Your teacher was good to educate you on this war.”  Celeste smile and thought of her wonderful male tutor.

Celeste proceeded to tell him more of her knowledge of the war.  “In 1941, Japan joined the Axis alliance, an attacked the United States, Hawaii to be exact.  Then in 1942, I think Japan lost a crucial battle in Midway, and never gained back their momentum back after that lost. Now, back to you Jack.”  Celeste returned her attention back to the hide.

“To make a long story short, I enlisted myself into the Army.  My parents thought I was crazy and should stay out of the affairs of man kind.  But I thought this was my country too and needed a free ride out of Alaska. I fought for the United States bravely Nujalik, but was scared by all the death I had seen. I killed many men due to that ugly war.  In the end, I think I lost my head.  And the next thing I know I abandoned the service.  So I became a fugitive of war.  I headed back home to the safety of Alaska.  When I returned I found all of my family dead and frozen.  They were killed by a polar bear Nujalik.”

“I really went crazy in the head at that time, and went out with rage to kill the beast. Many days I hunted that bear down, but I was looking for a needle in a hay stack.  How stupid I was thinking I would kill every polar bear I saw, until the thirst of revenge was complete. In the end I got what was coming to me.  I met up with a ferocious bear and lost my eye in the process.  He walked away from me after taring me up and leaving me for dead.  But I didn’t die, I made shelter out in that winter land and healed.  I returned back home to clean up my home and bury my family, when I saw a USA truck in the front of my igloo.  I knew they were looking for me as a deserter, so I left Alaska and ended up here being a coward.”

Jack didn’t say anything else, while Celeste stayed quietly pondering on his story.  The more she stayed quiet, the more Jack worried if he did the right thing telling her his shame.

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“You shut your PIE HOLE up woman! Get your crap together right now!”


While holding her grandfather’s Bowie knife, she stroked the metal with care.  Jack watched Celeste’s attitude change to light into darkness after telling his shame to her.  “What else do you know about me Jack?  Or are you going to tell me when you see fit?”  Celeste gave Jack a dangerous look. “Well as I see it spitfire, you have enough junk in your trunk to create a novel.  So don’t get peed off girl, your secret is safe with me!”

Celeste became defensive and ripped out foul words to Jack with venom. “Listen Mother F&^%&^, it’s not a secret that I have a soul mate.  So if the story was told to my husband, then SO BE IT!”  Celeste’s face was turning beet red with anger.  Quad started to side step to get away from her ugly energy.  “It’s not like I went out and had an affair with every Tom, Dick, and Harry.  Like most women and men would do when their marriage SUCKS…Besides, Valis was ordained by my Cherokee grandmother. What the F*&^% am I telling you this for?  I could give a hoot an Annie, what you think, so piss off!”

Jack stood watching the wild women vent her anger out upon him.  He had to deescalate the situation and fast before she became a raving lunatic.  As foul words exploded out of Celeste’s mouth.  She suddenly ranted and raved about everything that was building up inside her for many years.  She wasn’t making sense anymore, her yelling was letting out all the lost, anger, sacrifices, helpless feelings that she had kept hidden an endured for many years, burst forth.  Jack watched Celeste lose it as she stomped on the ground back and forth yelling out her anger.

While she was busy ripping him a new asshole, he looked on the ground and saw a good strong stick of wood.  He picked it up and turned around while Celeste’s back was facing him and gave her a good hard swat on the rear with the stick, not once but twice. “OUCH….you Son of Bitch!” Celeste turned around immediately ready to sock the old man with her fist bunched up, and the other hand held the dangerous knife ready to cut his tongue out.

“You shut your PIE HOLE up woman! Get your crap together right now.  I’m not going to stand here and listen to you pop off your ugly mouth to me anymore!  You woman, have some serious issues brewing!”  Both stood facing each other steaming with heat, daring one another to make a move.

Celeste was fuming…she hadn’t been ass licked like that since her grandfather gave her a good whooping with a hickory stick for being rude to her elders. It was Jack who broke up the silence between the two.  “Girl your eyes turn forest green when you are madder than a hornet.”   Celeste didn’t know what to say.  She looked at Jack and spit out…”Let’s go old man, so I can be rid of you!”

“We are not moving till you apologize to me right here and now girl!”  Jack held the stick up firmly ready to use it again.  “You’re darn lucky I don’t use this switch to whip it across your foul mouth.  What the heck is a matter with you girl?  Stop acting so tough, when you know your heart and spirit is breaking.  Don’t let them win, Nujalik!”

Something snapped in Celeste when she heard him tell her that her heart is broken. For moments they stood silently while she figured out what the heck just happened. Swallowing her pride, she apologized to him.  Then without warning, Jack found Celeste giving him a hug while sobbing her sorry’s to him.  He stood ridged…it has been a long time since he had felt a human’s hug.

“I’m sorry sir, I will try to get it together.  Can you forgive me?”  Celeste released Jack from her hug, while looking into his eyes.  “Now, now Nujalik it will be okay.  It was my fault too, I shouldn’t have said those things to you in your condition.”  Jack softly spoke while feeling embarrassed by the hug Celeste gave him.

They both gathered themselves, and proceeded through the heavy woods speaking lightly to each other.  In an hour, they passed the site where Celeste was caught in the snare Jack had made to catch the bear.  She watch her stallion carry the load on his back with the bear meat, while stepping lightly and sure footed around the timbers of fallen trees with ease.

“We are almost to my hut girl,  another half an hour time.”  Jack said while slowly weaving in and out of the heavy wooded trees.  Celeste didn’t hear him, she was too busy reliving the memory of hanging upside down. while thinking what the heck did she say in her mumbling.

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“Do not judge me Nujalik, we all have our faults.”


Celeste slept on till late afternoon, awaken by Quad nudging her with his whisker muzzle. Quad pulled on her ear lightly to wake her up.  “Hum…I am trying boy, but I seem to be wiped out.  My body is so sore.”  She gently reached her hand up and patted her companion. “Okay, I am up just give me a second.  Celeste opened her tired eyes and noticed Quad was loaded with bear on his back.  

She sat up quickly, taking note Wolf was gone.  The sun was shinning brightly, not knowing the time of day.  She stuck a stick in the ground facing north and guesstimated the time was 2:00 p.m.  “Jack?” she called out in a worried tone.  “Right here, Nujalik!”  As Jack walked up behind her, answering her call.  

“Why did you not wake me to help you load up Quad?  You should not be doing this by yourself, old man.”  “Time is wasting girl, and we need to get this meat prepared before it spoils.  I have made a small fire by the ram so it will dry and make your journey home. It will keep other animals away until you return.  But we have to get this bear to my hut. Can I have the head from the ram?”  Celeste was still groggy from her sleep, and nodded yes to Jack.  

“Well give me a second and I will get dress.  Are you hungry or need a cup of tea before we leave?” she asked him.  “Nope don’t need nothing. I ate enough last night and there is tea still hot by the fire I made you.  So get up and let’s get moving!”  

Celeste tried to get up slowly, everyone of her muscles were sore to the core.  Stretching your body to get the circulation flowing, she yawned and grabbed her lower back, rubbing the ache away.  “I can’t sleep on the ground much longer Jack, son of bitchen age!”  She bellowed out.   “Well aren’t we in a good mood today?”  Jack smiled at the spitfire woman.   Celeste gave Jack a mean snicker with her lips and didn’t utter a word.

In less than 10 minutes, Celeste was back into her dry buckskin attire, ready for the hike to Jack’s camp.  Her ankle was better, but she still had a limp to her walk.  She would be unable to ride Quad, due to his heavy load with the bear meat and ram head strapped to his body.  “You going to brush that mop of yours girl?”  Celeste pulled her wild curly long hair away from her face, thinking it had been a while since she comb out the mass. 

“Hell no, I am gonna leave it just to piss you off! Besides, you can’t brush a mop ass wipe!” Celeste stood with both hands on her hips staring and daring Jack to say another word.  “Nasty mouth woman, I have lye soap back at my hut.  I plan to use it to wash your mouth out when we get there.  Too bad I don’t have any nice pills at home, you could use the whole darn bottle!”  Celeste thought about what Jack said, and realized she was being a bitch.  “Sorry, I am not sure why I am becoming sharp tongue and nasty at times. Please forgive me grandfather?”

Jack raised his eyebrows when she spoke grandfather.  Celeste didn’t know why she called him her grandfather.  She became puzzled with confusion and started to get teary eyed.  One  minute she was nasty, and then the next she began to cry.  Tears streaming down her cheeks uncontrollably, she quickly turned and walked away from Jack and Quad, while trying to get her composure together.  Jack and Quad patiently waited where she left them.

It took Celeste about 15 minutes to pull her crap together, then returned to the men and began their journey, speechless to her companions.  Jack filled the void by telling Celeste ancient stories of the Eskimo way of life. Celeste feeling more like herself, she finally spoke up and asked Jack why he was living in New Mexico.  Jack gave Celeste a blank look, she turned away from his look and waited patiently without saying a word to him.  Before he began his tale, he stopped and made Celeste look at him.

“Do not judge me Nujalik, we all have our faults.  Before I begin my tale I have to tell you that I have seen your grandfather in my dreams.”  Celeste’s eyes raised in shock, staying silent, she looked deeply into the old man’s eyes.  “He is a tall Scottish Woodsman, Nujalik.  He loves you to pieces and is very proud of you.”  Celeste’s eyes began tearing. “He came to me the first night I had your knife.  He told me where to find you to return his knife to the rightful owner.  You see, I was not going to give the knife back to you.  It is a good knife.”  Jack smiled his shame to Celeste. 

“But your knife has a curse on it Nujalik, it is forever tied to you. Your grandfather has never left you girl,  his spirit is inside that metal!”  Celeste pulled the blade out from her moccasin, lovingly she stroked it not saying a word. “It would be an honor for you to call me grandfather, if you like.  I know you have no family, except your daughters and husband.  You are the last of your breed girl, and the best damn woman I have ever seen. You have a very strong power that lives inside you that you don’t really realize you have.  Many spirits protect you Hialeah Elena!”  Jack spoke softly to Celeste.

“How do you know that I have two daughters an a husband Jack?  I did not tell you that!”  Celeste felt stupid when she asked him the question.  She realized he probed into her soul without her noticing his invasion.  “You talk in your sleep girl, and yes I did learn more about your exposed energy when I first met you hanging upside down.  You kept mumbling names, especially a man’s name Valis.  He is not your husband, but he is your soul mate, isn’t he child of the light and earth?”

Celeste was floored! 






“I see your junk in your trunk!” She said while busting out with uncontrollable laughter.


“Okay, Mr. Piss Butt, take them britches off so I can wash them!”  Jack gave her an embarrassed smile, then proceeded to take his pants off.  Celeste got up and went to her tent for a blanket to wrap him up in.  “Be thankful, I didn’t shit me pants Jack, then both of us would be in a shitty pickle.”  Celeste giggled while handing him the small blanket to cover his goods.  He reached for the blanket, but she quickly took it away teasing him to no end.  “I see your junk in your trunk!”  She said while busting out with uncontrollable laughter.

Jack stood with only his shirt, no underpants and dirty socks on.  “You’re drunk, you cruel woman!”  She then gave him the blanket to cover himself.  “Give me those socks too, I think I have a pair for you to wear and keep.  I do believe those socks have seen better days!”  She turned around and entered her tent.  Quickly grabbing a pair of clean white tube socks, she handed them to Jack with glee on her face.  He mumbled words under his breath, making Celeste smile more, while he took the socks from her and put them on. He handed her his dirty socks, she quickly threw them into the fire.  Jack gave her a scowl. “Don’t say a word dude, I gave you a new pair.  If you think I am going to wash those piece of shits, then you are sadly mistaken!”  Jack didn’t say a word he just smiled.

Celeste took his pissy pant’s down to the little pond of water with her soap.  The rain had stopped, but the night air was getting chillier.  Quad was drinking his fill of water, when she arrived.  “Thank god my man you are safe.  What a smart boy you are.”  She put down the dirty clothing and went to pet her buddy.  She took a deep breath of her friend’s scent, while giving him a hearty hug around his neck.  Adoring the smell of him, she silently thanked Mother Earth for protecting him.

Celeste began to wash the old man’s pants, while reliving the scene of the bear.  Pure dumb ass luck it was to be able to kill a bear like that.  When finished she grabbed her wet buckskin outfit and headed back to the fire.  Hanging the wet clothing on the limbs of a pine tree, she took note that Jack and Wolf was checking out the bear.

She didn’t know what time it was, but sure it had to be after midnight.  “How about some coffee Jack?  I think we will be cleaning out that bear till morning.” Jack was too busy with the bear, he paid her no mind.  Not needing an answer, she put a pot of water to boil by the fire, and threw in more of her instant coffee.  They both had to clean the bear out if they were going to savage the meat.  Celeste began to worry that she might get into trouble with the law for killing that bear. “Well, the deed is done.  I will give everything to Jack, because if I take that home, I am sure someone will turn me in.  Besides, I don’t have another horse to carry the load.”  Celeste mumbled to herself.

She grabbed her Bowie knife and headed towards Jack and Wolf.  For the first time since all three of them killed the bear, she was able to see how many hits the big black bear took.  She could not remember how many arrows she drove into the beast, until she counted seven. They were all broken in half when the bear fell to his doom.  Celeste stood silently looking at the arrows.  A tear rolled down her cheek, she quickly wiped it away.

“I feel your sadness woman, why?”  Jack didn’t look at her, he felt her lost feelings of something beloved.  Softly Celeste gave him a reason, “I have had those arrows since I was a little girl Jack.  My grandfather made them for me.”  Jack looked at the spitfire, softly adding, “They were strong arrows Nujalik, be honored that they killed this beast. Bear is hard to take down if you don’t have strong arrows.  I wish I would have brought my gun, but didn’t think we were going to kill a bear!”  Celeste smiled at Jack, she pulled up her sleeves and began to gut and skin the bear with Jack’s help. But not before she chanted her Indian blessing upon the dead animal.

Jack surprised her when he cut out the heart, offering her the bloody raw blob to eat.  “Is you nuts, hombre! I ain’t eating that raw. ”  Jack smiled and told her, “This is important medicine Nujalik to a hunter.  We honor the strength of the beast by eating it raw.”  She watched him cut a piece of the heart and put it into his mouth.  Jack began to savor the taste of the raw heart with yummy sick smacking sounds.  Celeste wanted to throw up, “Your gross dude, absolutely gross!”  Jack laughed and cut another piece and gave it to Wolf. He then cut a small piece and offered it to her.  She looked at the piece and thought, What the hell! She shocked herself when she reached for the bloody piece and quickly threw it into her mouth.  She was surprised that it wasn’t as gross as she had thought it would be.  “Good huh”… Jack asked offering her more, she turned him down.

They finished their task late into the early morning light.  Exhausted, and full bellies they sat by the fire hardly speaking to each other. “Go into the tent Jack and rest.  I think we both had a long night and morning.  When we wake up, I will load Quad up and take the meat to where you live.  Does that sound good to you?”  Jack didn’t say anything, but went into the tent.  Celeste just curled up next to Wolf and quickly fell asleep!

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“Great huntress I am honored to be in your company, and you too Wolf!”


When Celeste finished her story about her hunt, Jack smiled and patted the sleeping wolf by his side.  “He is good for you Nujalik, you both belong together.”  Celeste looked at her partner in crime and agreed with Jack’s findings.  She took a long draw on her cigar as she watched the rain fall. “Okay, Jack, I would like to know your story.  How is it possible that you live in these woods alone?”  

Jack contemplated on his words.  Celeste stayed quiet, waiting for him to begin his tale. She could feel his hesitation, but what intrigued her more was his thoughts. “I told you Injun…stay out of my head! I will tell you what I want you to know, nothing more…you got that!”  Celeste simply stated to Jack, “Well get on with it dude, sheesh…by the time you begin, the first snow fall probably will be here.”  Jack gave her a cross look, “You have a sharp tongue girl, and lack patience.  Has anyone told you this before?”  “Yep, they have, and I hold that title with pride!”  Celeste ripped out,  Jack chuckled. 

“Your husband must have his hands full with you?” Celeste didn’t like his comment, she just gave him a dirty look and said nothing.  Minutes ticked by in silence when Celeste popped off.  “Stop pussy footin’ around hombre!  Or are you scared to let your ghost free?”  Jack gave Celeste a crooked smile, “I fear nothing cowgirl.”  Celeste took another puff of her cigar and gave Jack an evil eye look, and spoke out…”Right!”  

When Celeste spoke her word, Wolf became alert and started to growl. He quickly got up and stood by the dead ram hanging in the pine tree.  Hairs standing up on the wolf’s back, ready to pounce, Quad took off into the light rain away from the group. Celeste flicked her cigar out into the rain, and quickly ran in her tent for her bow and arrows.  Jack stood up and had a huge Bowie knife he produced out of his backpack.  “It’s bear, he smells your meat girl!” Jack said.  

“Oh, hell no!  He ain’t getting nothin’!”  Celeste scanned the woods with her bow an arrow drawn, wolf looked at Celeste waiting for a command.  “Stay boy, we will do this together if we have too!”  Wolf bared his teeth, Jack stood by Celeste with Bowie knife ready.

“You know, Nujalik that bear is a mean one.  I have been trying to get him for over three years now.  That trap I set was for him, not you.”  “Shush!”  Celeste barked out.  She needed silence to hear the sounds. Celeste watched Wolf’s reactions, she knew his hearing was better than hers. “Old man, can you climb a tree?”  Celeste asked Jack softly. “No I don’t woman, I am too old for that shit.  I am staying right here with…”  Jack didn’t finish his statement when they watched a deer run for it’s life towards Celeste. Wolf was ready to pounce on the deer when Celeste commanded him to stay.  She stepped out of its way and let the deer pass.  In no time at all the bear showed itself.  

Celeste raised her eyes in shock when she saw the huge beast racing through the woods. She only had a few yards to kill the bear before he entered their campsite.  Celeste felt something whizzed pass her ear, Jack had thrown his knife at the beast.  She had no time to waste.  Arrow after arrow plunged into the bear with great force.  The bear was almost on top of them when Wolf distracted him.  The bear stopped, stood up on his hind legs and took a swipe at the wolf with a huge bear claw.  Wolf cried out in pain, Celeste let several arrows loose, one right after another.  They embedded itself into the chest of the bear.  The beast roared it’s anger into the face of Celeste, then charged at her.   

Celeste wanted to run for her life, but stayed firmed.  She had one more arrow left, when wolf jumped on the back of the bear.  “He tires Nujalik, one more arrow, quick!”  Jack barked out.  With all her might she drew the arrow and let it fly towards the bear’s heart. She dropped her bow quickly and withdrew her knife.  Ready to finish him off if he came any closer to her.  Wolf was ripping into the back of the bears head, when the beast dropped to the ground two yards from her.

When the bear fell to the ground, Wolf finished him off biting into his throat.  Jack didn’t waste time, he limped his way to the bear and pulled his knife out of the beast’s shoulder.  Celeste couldn’t move, she watched Jack cut out the beast’s claws with his blade.  Then chanted in Eskimo around the bear’s dead carcass. Wolf quickly went to Celeste’s side.  She looked at her beautiful friend with admiration.   

Her body began to shake uncontrollable, immediately she went to get her flask of whiskey on the ground by the fire, sat down on the log and took a LONG swig of the stuff. Not wanting to puke her guts out from the trauma and drama, she took another big drink while listening to Jack’s chanting. 

She sat next to the fire, trying to get rid of the chills that invaded her body. Jack walked over to her, patted her on the back and spoke lightly.  “Great huntress I am honored to be in your company, and you too Wolf!”  Wolf wagged his tail, but didn’t leave Celeste’s side. She took another long drink of the whiskey in her flask.  “I will take some of that now, if you don’t mind.  I think both of us could use a drink!  Look I even pissed myself from fright!”  Celeste handed him her flask, and looked at his private area.  She busted out with laughter. “Oh, boy some fine hunters we are!”  Was all Celeste could say with a smile… 



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“Now this is good girl! Damn good, if you ask me. Awe…a woman smoking a cigar, who would ever think?”


The rain finally lighten up enough for Celeste to work on the ram. She changed back into her Indian clothing since they were already wet and dirty, then proceed to clean out the ram.   Wolf laid down beside her, waiting for more of the tasty morsels of the ram, that she shared.  She built a fire under the dry pine tree.  Took out her pan to fry some of the meat slowly.  Adding a little water, herbs to the meat so it would be easier for Jack to eat.  She finished dressing the animal, when evening was settling in.  Celeste became worried about Jack.  The minute she thought about the man, Wolf growled towards the woods.  Jack limped out carrying his backpack.

Celeste, smiled to see the old man.  He was growing on her, an enjoyed his company the short time she had spent with him.  “Smells good, Nujalik! Good size sheep too!”  He smiled his toothless grin at her.  “I named you correctly Hialeah, you are a great hunter!” Celeste put a pot of water near the fire to boil, and threw in some instant coffee.  “Well, I have a story to tell you how we got this booger.  Give me a few moments to clean up, and we will sit and talk about it.”

Wolf got up and laid against Jack, for a scratch.  “His ear looks infected, can I put something different on it?  Hey, is that coffee I smell.”  “Sure is Skippy, one question at a time remember?”  She gave him a devilish smile with a wink, Jack smiled back.

“I thought to spoil you tonight since it’s been a while you had coffee.  Besides, I would like to take this wrap off my ankle, and take a dip in the pool before we eat.  I don’t know what you used to heal my ankle, but it feels great.  It’s still sore, but not like it was two days ago.  I would be glad if you could do the same with Wolf’s ear.”

Celeste sat on the ground in front of Jack, giving him her leg.  When he finished unwrapping her ankle, she was in total amazement.  The ring around her ankle was still nasty, but it wasn’t infected anymore.  She still had the bruising, but not as deep in color as before.  “Amazing Jack! What the heck, is in that stuff you use?”

The old man said nothing, and turned his attention to the wolf’s ear.  When he finished with his task, Celeste offered him a cup of coffee, he quickly took a sip.  “Mumm…good! It’s been a long time.”  Jack commented while relishing on the flavor of the brew. “Well I need to go clean up Jack before dinner, so sit here with Wolf, and enjoy your Mississippi mud.”  Jack gave Celeste a puzzled look.

Celeste limped towards the water hole with her soap.  She could care less if Jack watched or not, she took off her clothing and started to wash out the blood.  She knew her outfit was ruined; nevertheless, she tried to scrub away the stains.  The rain started to come down hard and fast.  She placed her outfit on a rock and jumped into the pool.  The water was colder than she remembered, but she took her time cleaning herself.   Loving the rain falling down upon her face, while resting against the embankment of a rock.  Her ankle began to throb, so she left her clothing on the rock and headed to her tent.  When she got close enough she lightly spoke out to Jack.  “Turn your head old man, I need to pass by you nude to get dry clothing on.”  Jack chuckled, “Shit, woman I already seen you nude, so get on with your business.”  Celeste smiled and didn’t think anything of it when she passed him by.

Feeling cleaner and dryer, Celeste joined her companions.  Quad sought out the safety of the pines by her tent and fire, while wolf was resting next to Jack.  She poured herself a cup of coffee, then sat on a log next to the warmth of the fire.  “Do I smell potatoes?” Celeste asked Jack.  “Yes you do little one and I added some fresh mushrooms to the meat.  Your spices is good, but needed more ingredients.”

“Well I am hungry, and it really smells yummy.   I thank-a-kindly for the goods bud.”  Celeste dished out the dinner, both sat silently watching the rain while they ate.  “Good meat girl!”  “Good ingredients!” She replied.  The rain stopped long enough for Celeste to clean up.  She put on more coffee to brew, went into her tent and came out with her flask and two cigars.

Jack smiled when Celeste offered him a cigar. “Been ages since I have had a good smoke, girl.”  He put a long stick into the fire, getting the tip hot enough to light his smoke.  He lit his and Celeste’s cigar.  “Now this is good girl!  Damn good, if you ask me.  Ah…a woman smoking a cigar, who would ever think?”  Celeste gave him a questionable look.  She unscrewed the top of her flask and offered it to Jack first.

“No thank you Nujalik, I don’t touch that stuff,” Jack replied.  Celeste nodded, not asking why.  She screwed the lid back on the flask and set it aside.   “Tell me the story of your hunt Nujalik.”  Before Celeste began her story, she filled Jack’s cup up with more coffee. Took a couple of puffs of her smoke, and let the story loose, while leaning against the large pine tree.

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