It felt great having a good dinner of bear meat. Celeste had never tasted anything so delicious, especially the way the man made it and cured the meat. Her ankle no longer tingled with throbbing pain. Relaxed and bellies full, the old man began to tidy up the cooking dishes. Celeste watched the old man limped with labor to the water hole to clean the skillet, while she added a few more logs on the fire. Evening was setting and the weather was becoming chillier in the mountains. The fire was a welcome source of heat, even with her hot flashes. She watch the old man return, out of breath, and tired.
“I think old man, you should not be up in these mountains. By the looks of it, I say your alone, living up here by yourself. So how about sitting down, and let’s chat about that reason.” The aged man didn’t say a word and put the clean skillet away into his back pack. “I must go, I just wanted to make sure you were okay. I am sorry for trapping you young lady, but in the law of the wilderness, you better watch where you are stepping!”
“You can not leave now, dude…it’s dark and I don’t trust you leaving at this time. So spend the night with me, and I will sleep outside with Wolf, while you can have my tent. It’s the least I can do, for you helping me. Do you know, it’s the first time I have never asked a dude to spend the night with me in over 38 years…hum…I think that means you must be special!” The man smiled at the Mexican dialect the spitfire spoke in, while accepting her offer.
When the man sat down by the cozy fire, Celeste began the conversation. “You know old man, I don’t even know your name, are you willing to offer it?” The man took a deep breath, softly he spoke while his eyes told her another sad story. “My name is Jack, I am a half-breed Eskimo from Alaska. What’s yours girl?”
“Wow…Alaska you say? What brings you here in my neck of the woods, Jack?” Celeste asked. “I will not tell you, if you do not tell me your name half-breed?” he offered. “Sheesh…I am sorry, how rude of me, my name is Celeste. I come from all around the world, and how’d you know, I too am a half-breed?” She smiled devilishly at Jack.
The man pondered in silence. When time seemed to tick by, he gently spoke. “One question you ask, must be answered. Do not jump to another until properly answered. You must stop being impatient to know all, in a few sentences; besides, we have all night to get to know each other, Celeste, as you…call yourself?” She didn’t know what to say to his response. She then took her turn to think about her thoughts privately. Why did he question my real name? It took her a few moments to gather her wits. When ready, Celeste controlled her thirst for knowledge, an attacked the situation with kit gloves.
“May we start all over again, J…?” Not finishing her sentence, when she looked up at him, she felt him invading her thoughts and soul. She was stunned… “How dare you!” she spit out with anger. Jack smiled, “Don’t like it huh…you, stop doing it to me, then!” Celeste was becoming confused. Everything she was doing, seemed to be wrong with this man. What was he asking from her but the truth? The Truth! Celeste realized he was special, just like her, but different.
Feeling a little more confident, she let down her guard and plunged in. “I am Hialeah Elena, half-breed to the Cherokee Long Hair tribe. Grand daughter to Henry from Scotland. Guardian of the light, and earth in spirit. I grew up from the hollers of Alabama, and the woods of Ohio.” When finished, she bowed her head to the ground in silence, not looking at Jack’s intense glare.
“Now that, was a proper introduction, Hialeah Elena. Perhaps there is hope for you, after all!” Celeste raised her head, and looked at the aged one eye man with pride. “Forgive me, I will be honest for now on.” Celeste offered while remembering a golden rule to herself. Treat people the way YOU want to be treated! Jack smiled. He liked this woman, she was a quick learner, but lacked patience.
His thoughts were shut off quickly when Celeste went crazy. Heat permeated from her brow, she started to fan herself with her hands vigorously. Wolf quickly got up from being waken from her, giving her room to do her thing. She tried to stand up, her ankle rendering her from getting up with grace, sent her tumbling down upon her knees. Cuss words flowed like poetry from Celeste’s lips. Wolf took off, not wanting to stick around. Jack raised his only eyebrow in amusement at her.
“I swear woman, you got a serious trucker’s mouth. I think I should call you for now on, Mrs. Potty Mouth.” Celeste looked at the old man, while her hot flash started to cool down. She felt a barb coming on, so with her slapstick personality she let it fly from her lips. “Shit, old man, a bar of soap, won’t do any good to curb my tongue, but I will hold that title proudly from ya.” She got herself up from her tumble with care, she didn’t say a word, but limped into the woods, to release her bladder. Boy was this evening going to be a hum-dinger of an evening, she thought. Jack smiled at Celeste, while shaking his head. He could her the foul mumbling’s of the wild women clearly, as she disappeared in the dark woods.
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