SLINGSHOT…Available worldwide! Check it out through Amazon.com

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Wild southern cowgirl Celeste has reached a crossroads in her life. She still loves her life as a rancher, but after many years as a devoted wife, she’s hit a wall with her marriage. An unexpected opportunity comes her way when her best friend, Geraldy, asks her to travel with him to his native Haiti to help with disaster relief efforts after the devastating earthquake. Strong-willed and resourceful, armed with her trusty slingshot and hunting knife, Celeste invades Haiti as a loving force for good…and in the process, she collides with Captain Valis, the strong, sexy official of the United Nations support force. The electricity between them is immediate…and confusing! Valis is a lone wolf who is used to loving women and leaving them; Celeste is a wild spitfire whose womanhood has been unappreciated for too long. Against the exotic and heartrending backdrop of their humanitarian work in Haiti, a compelling love story unfolds…of two wild spirits who met their match in circumstances neither of them could have imagined!

 

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Slingshot-Dawn-Martinez/dp/1478711116/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377894478&sr=1-1&keywords=slingshot+Dawn+Martinez

Link to Outskirtspress:  http://outskirtspress.com/slingshot/

“God, I thank you for this wonderful gift of an energy connection I have with Valis, I am bless!”

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It took Celeste longer to climb down the volcanic rock than going up it, but she made sure she didn’t lose her footing.  Wolf was licking the ram’s blood when Celeste reached the bottom.  “Hang in there son, I will give you, your portion soon.”  She grabbed the hind legs of the ram, and tried to drag it close to Quad.  It took all her might to move the dead weight of the animal.

Celeste lowered herself to the ground in front of the sheep and gave thanks to Mother Earth for her kill.  In no time at all the woman had the ram gutted, and cleaned out, giving the heart to Wolf to eat, she threw out the organs, because she had nothing to carry them with.  Her ankle was beginning to throb.  She sat on the ground resting, trying to figure out, how she was going to lift the ram onto Quad’s back.

The weather was starting to change.  She could smell rain coming, as the temperate started to drop.  “Wolf, we got to get back to the camp and soon, or we will not make it before the rain begins.”  Celeste told her companion.  Wolf could care less, he was perfectly happy eating the remains of the ram.

Celeste got up from the ground and tried to pick the ram up, but couldn’t.  If she cut the head off, she thought, she would be able to pick him up.  So with that being said, she did just that.  Her blade was sharp enough, and in a matter of minutes she decapitated the ram.  Wolf started to go for the head, Celeste barked at him to leave it alone.  He obeyed.

Celeste picked the body of the ram up and threw it over onto Quad’s back, behind the saddle on his rump.  Then used rope to secure it to the saddle. The stallion didn’t move, he was use to Celeste’s hunts.  She then went to retrieve the head, and wedged it in a tree, so when she got on her horse’s back she was able to grab it, and go.

She left Wolf eat his fill, while her and Quad headed back to their campground.  The wind picked up, bringing chilly weather.   Celeste shivered, between the hot flashes and the chills,  “Damn it, I am freezing Quad, winter is coming, and I think we better get our crap together and soon, to return home.”  She commanded Quad to move at a faster pace, while holding on to the heavy head of the ram with all her might.

Light rain began to fall, and the wind picked up even more.  Celeste could feel this storm was going to be a good one.  She had a lot of work to do on the animal before night fall.  As she thought about what needed to be done, the rain came down, in full force, soaking horse and rider to the bone.

Wolf, eventually caught up with the pair.   Celeste smiled at his bloody face and full belly. “Well, I think you have had your fill, Wolf.  Boy, are we going to sleep good tonight.  You were amazing!  I can’t believe that you rounded up those sheep for me like that.”  Wolf paid her no mind, he just followed his family dripping wet.

When they arrived at their camp soak and wet, Celeste dropped the carcass to the ground, and took care of Quad.  She gave him a big hug, patted his rump then released him to graze in their meadow.  Wolf was under the safety of a huge pine tree, resting with his full belly.  She dragged the ram to a pine tree, and strung it up high.  When finished, the need to get into warm, dry clothing, and brew a cup of tea, was calling to her cold body.  She was loaded with blood, and needed to clean up before she changed clothing.

Stripping down to nothing, she unwrapped her injured ankle from the rabbit hide, so she could wiggle out of her wet britches.  Remembering not to get it wet, she re-wrapped it with the rabbit fur, then stood out in the chilly windy rain, and washed herself clean.

Quickly, she went into her tent and took off the wet rabbit hide that covered her ankle, and put on black leggings with an orange lama hair sweater.  She dried her hair with a towel while watching the rain pour down.  Waiting for the rain to let up, she thought of Jack.  “I wonder if he is okay?  There is no way he will come tonight with this rain, but you never know.”  The rain was making Celeste sleepy, but she had to get that ram put up before evening time came.  Wolf came to the tent seeking shelter from the rain.  Celeste let him, and rubbed him down with the towel she used to dry herself off.

“Wolf, your ear looks nasty, and its hot to the touch.”  Wolf shook his head, then pawed at the wound.  Celeste reached into her backpack, pulled out a healing ointment, and loaded the poultice on his ear.  “Don’t shake it off, son, leave it alone,” she warned him with love.  Wolf whined, trying desperately not to touch his ear.  She lovingly patted her friend to ease the pain.  “I love ya’ my Wah-ya!” she spoke with affection.

The storm kicked up another notch, sending Quad to find shelter under the large pine by Celeste’s tent.  She pulled out a small heating unit that would be able to cook under a candle light.  Poured a little water into a tin cup, then added a tea bag, and waited for the water to boil. She sat silently in peace, watching the rain fall down, while patting her sleeping wolf.

“Awe…Cheri, you love me?”  Celeste smiled.  What timing the Captain had, invading her clear mind with his yummy voice. “It’s raining my darlin’, and you couldn’t have picked a better time to say hello, my Wah-ya.  I did not mean to call on you, Valis.  I also, call my wolf, Wah-ya at times, so it was he, I told I love you too.”  Celeste spoke quietly to Valis. Wolf opened his eyes, and looked at Celeste, she gently smiled at him.

“The beast is lucky to be with you, my love. How are you?  Did you get your knife back?”  Valis inquired.  For over an hour the lovers spoke quietly to each other.  Not in a sexual way, but talking about everything that had happened, even the crazy hunt she experienced. When the rain let up, Celeste said her good-byes to her soul mate.

“God, I thank you for this wonderful gift of an energy connection I have with Valis, I am bless!”  Her body was warm with love, and from the tea.  She was ready to tackle the ram with good spirits.

“YAHOO!” she screamed out, “OMG…that was BANGING, WOLF!”

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Celeste’s crew was on the hunt for Bighorn Sheep.  Since her leg would contravene her from carrying an elk, she decided to go small.  She also knew that the high altitude would impede on her speed, but she had wolf, to guarantee a clean kill, if she could not move fast enough over the volcanic rock. 

Bow and arrows upon her back, dressed in her buckskin Indian attire.  She wore one moccasin with her knife tucked safely inside, while her other foot was still wrapped up in the cheese cloth and herbal poultice. Her other moccasin did not fit over her swollen foot. Celeste, being clever when hunting, never threw anything away.  She had kept a few rabbit skins, so she used it to camouflage her ankle and foot, and secured it with a strap of leather. 

She pulled out her compass, making a memory note not to forget the whereabouts of their camp, and headed into the unknown territory of the Sangre de Cristo peaks for over an hour.  Quad was feeling frisky, in need for an open run.  It took all her might to settle his bad self down.  “Listen mister Stud Muffin, get it together.  Tomorrow we will play, but for now, I need you to hunt, so quit, and let’s get serious.”  Quad shook his head, but became more animated. He started to prance in a sexy way.  Celeste recognized his behavior of courtship.  She scanned quickly the mountains, and found the source.  Three beautiful bay mustangs, grazing.  Quad whinny-ed his manly song, catching the attention of the mares.  Celeste knew this was going to cause her more trouble if she didn’t nip it in the butt, after all Quad is a stallion.  She turned him in the opposite direction, to head away from the free roaming horses.   “Listen bud, sorry to bust your bubble, but breeding season is over.  Now let’s get to work!”  Quad, looked back one more time, then obeyed Celeste’s command with ease.  

Wolf was no where in sight, he had separated from the group over a half an hour ago. When Celeste and Quad entered the highest peak of the mountains, she dismounted and tied Quad to a tree.  She never tired of the scenery of the mountains. Whistling for Wolf, she proceeded with a limp to her step into the rocky territory.  

The need for her to be in a safe area to shoot the sheep with her bow arrow, weighed heavily upon her.  “Damn, my ankle…I didn’t realized how much missing one leg would slow me down.  I shouldn’t be here like this.”  Scanning the rocks she decided to sit on top of the highest rock.  She climbed the rocks slowly and sure footed.  Breathing hard, she plugged on until she stopped on a level edge of a rock. 

Celeste became alert with a loud noise of hooves climbing the rocks. She ready herself with bow and arrow.  

She didn’t reach the highest peak of the rock when two sheep suddenly jumped over her, landing on her flat surface rock, only to jump quickly off to another.  “Holy, shit!”  Celeste commented.  Quickly she put an arrow into her mouth to hold, then drew her bow and arrow, while planting herself against the sharp rocks. The next sheep that flew over her, she let the arrow loose, hitting it’s target with great force.  Skillfully and quickly, she put other arrow into the bow, and let it fly.  The second arrow missed, but Celeste was shocked when Wolf jumped on her ledge.  She looked over the steep downhill climb to find the ram was injured at the bottom of the rock wall. Not only by her arrow, but broken his leg from the fall.  

Celeste pointed to the ram, “Hunt, Wolf!”   Wolf did not hesitate, he flew down the sharp rocks with ease.  The huntress watched her hound finish the ram’s life, in seconds.  

“YAHOO!” she screamed out, “OMG…that was BANGING WOLF!”  Celeste said with excitement.  Wolf wagged his tail, while looking up at Celeste with pride.  “Boy, I do declare, that I didn’t even need to climb this rock.  That was pretty scary, but wickedly intense!  YAHOO…..”  Celeste rang out~  

What a great day to hunt, thought Celeste.  🙂

 

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I carry my own load without the human kind mucking it up.

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Celeste sat quietly, trying to decide how to begin the tale.  Jack watched her battling with the demons inside.  “I take it, that you have never told this story to anyone, am I right?”  he gently spoke to her.  She looked at the man, nodding quietly.  “I am private Jack, I don’t like people using things against me.  I have found that no one can help me, but me! For many years I have been a loner, because I am different than most people.  I carry my own load without the human kind mucking it up.”  She took a deep breath…while watching the flames of the fire, casting a dance of heat.  Celeste went back in time, as Jack silently watched her.

“I did have parents as you know Jack, but never really knew them.  It was my grandfather on my mother’s side, who has been my shining light, while growing up.  Sadly, he passed two days after my sixteen birthday.”  She took another deep breath, blew it out, and proceeded with her story.

“We moved a lot in my elementary years of school. It was hard for me being a half-breed, and as you know, I have two different color of eyes.  Not to mention, I am very spiritual, and always have been.  Odd things happen to me Jack, actually bizarre things if you ask me.  But I have always taken it with a grain of salt.  It was hard for me to stay in school, due to the bulling that I endured; nevertheless, I was teased to no end for being taller than most kids, and my eyes.  So as a little girl, I decided to have animals keep me company, instead.  I have a knack of being able to speak to them, especially horses.  I also have Mother Earth, and my Cherokee spirit world guide me, when I am in trouble or need of answers, they have never forsaken me.”  Celeste stopped and poked around the fire with a stick.

“My father is an alcoholic, he played music for a living.  My mother left me when I was only ten years old. I think she went crazy in the head.  Anyways, I still can remember the day she left my dad and I.  I lost my best friend, Ghost that day. I was monkeying around in the hollers of Alabama with my raccoon friend, named Ringo. Who I hid from my parents, because I had too many different animals.  The next thing I knew, I was visited by Ghost in fog.  Mind you, he was not real, but a spirit at that time.  I think we was saying goodbye to me.  So, I ran home, only to see my horse covered in plastic, and my mother gone.  No one could find her Jack.  Till this day, I have never seen, nor heard from her.  I had to leave Ringo with my buddy Ernie, because my father, and I left Alabama to return to Ohio.  We were hoping she might have went back home to her father.  But she did not.  So I think my dad really lost it, and left me a lot with my grandfather, while he played his music, and catted around with other women.  My father is a half-breed too. His mother was full blooded Cherokee, his father was Scottish. Both died at an early age.”  Celeste waited till she gathered her strength, and then plunged again back into the tale.

“My father eventually remarried, but the woman he married was a drunk.  In the end Jack, she was cruel.  I had to endure a lot of crazy things while I lived with her.  My dad was gone most of the time.  I stayed away and hunted, so I didn’t have to deal with the lazy woman.  I would like to think perhaps it was a good thing.  To make a long story short, I returned home one day tired to the bone. I had brought home a rabbit for dinner, when I went into my home and found a mess of people having orgies.  I don’t know what happened, but I ran back into the woods and stayed the night there.  The next day,  I had started my menstrual cycle, and thought I was bleeding to death. I ran back to my home thinking I was going to die.  When I got there, and went inside my home, nothing was inside, but puke, cigarette butts and beer bottles.  I think we were robbed by that lady and her friends.”

“I ran again to my grandfather’s home, my pants were soaked with blood when I knocked on his door.  After that, I lived with my grandfather.  I didn’t see my father until my grandfather passed.  I wanted to see the home where I last saw him.  Oh, he was there when I got there, but he also was smashed.  He was back with that ugly lady when I last saw him.  Both were drinking.  My dad’s head was resting on the table.  Sadden by how my parents didn’t love me, I left, and never looked back.  In the end my grandfather wrote me a note telling me, that he told my dad to stay away from me.  So I understood why I never saw him again.”  Celeste poked the low fire again.  Jack stayed quiet, while watching her tears fall.

“My grandfather hired a tutor for me, so I didn’t have to go back to public schools, since I seemed to get myself in trouble.  I am glad he did Jack, but that is another story.”  Celeste looked at Jack, “I think that is enough for now, I really need to do something instead of sitting on my rear, and telling stories.”

“Thank you Hialeah, for telling me your short tale.  I know you are not done, but maybe tonight we can add some more.  I agree, I too need to go back to my hut, can I come later in the evening? I like your company.”  Jack smiled at the teary eyed Celeste.  “I would like that old one.”  Celeste felt misery slipping in when she watched Jack get up and leave with his coon.  She stood in silence, watching the fire burn out.  Shaking her head out of her memories, she whistled loud for Wolf.  She needed his energy to heal the hurt that invaded her heart, when she told some of her tale to a stranger.  The only thing that came into her mind, while speaking softly to the earth, “Where are you mother?”  Wolf ran to Celeste, knocking her out of her thoughts.  “I am happy to see you my love, come lets clean up and go hunting.”  Wolf ran around Celeste like a little happy puppy…while Celeste giggled at her companion.

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“I see an interesting story little one, would you care to share it?”

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Celeste could sleep for only a while, throughout the night, she heard Jack’s atrocious snoring. Instead of fighting to sleep, she just put several logs on the fire.  Sitting quietly with her trusty companion.  She caress the wolf’s neck, while her thoughts went haywire. “Can you believe it Wolf, he’s from Alaska.  What made him come to these valleys in the Sangre de Cristo, and I do believe Wolf, he lives here alone?  He has to be about in his early 80’s? There is something about him, but I can’t put my finger on it?  Besides, I have to watch out for him.  I think he’s got my number, and he freakin’ entered my thoughts so easily.”  Celeste spoke lightly to her friend.  Wolf just looked at her, then decided to lick her hand to comfort her.  

“Could him and I, be kindred spirits, my wolf? Is this my next task Mother Earth?”  Celeste pondered into the heated fire for a while, until Jack kicked up his snoring another notch.  “Jimmy crickets, Wolf, he puts you and my husband to shame!”  Wolf lowered his head to the ground like he was guilty, while batting his puppy dog eyes at her.  She smiled and gently patted his head.  “No worries my man, I still love you.”  Wolf wagged his tail. 

“Well, since I can’t sleep, and it’s almost morning, how about we find something for  breakfast?  Humm…maybe fish for breakfast, since Jack made us a bear dinner.  I think I also saw some mushrooms and raspberries over the ridge there.  Since my leg feels awesome, I think I can manage riding on Quad.  Besides, I don’t think Jack is going to miss us.”  

Wolf got up when she tried to stand on her leg, still tender, but workable.  She gathered her collapsible fishing pole silently heading for the little pond, wolf followed.  The moonlit water hole was breathtaking.  Celeste could see clearly, even if it was a half of moon.  She dug around the earth to find some worms.  In no time at all, she baited her hook, and dropped the line into the pond.

As she waited patiently for a bite on her line, many thoughts started to swim inside her head.  “My husband, what I am going to do with our life together?  It’s been six days, I wonder if you miss me?  Maybe I should go on my way.  There is nothing holding me back now to venture out on my own.  But damn it, I married for better and worse.”  Not paying attention to her fishing pole bending, she was in deep thought when her pole was being dragged into the pond.  Quickly, she grabbed a hold of the pole before it went into the water, and started to reel her catch in.  “Nice, ooo…it’s a good one!”  Celeste remarked when she pulled the 15 inch rainbow trout out of the water.  She threw it on the ground, then baited her hook again.  When finished she went to clean the fish, but it was gone. “Dang it Wolf, how could you.”  She looked around to see where he went, but he was not insight.  

“Dang it Wah-ya, eating what you are not suppose to eat…Damn men!.”  Celeste’s mood quickly changed.  She started to cuss out anyone and everyone she thought about.  Until she heard a cracking sound, then a light clicking sound.  She got her pole and wedged it in between two large rocks. Then took off lightly towards the sounds.  

Even though she could not see that well, she was skilled enough to know where the sounds came from.  She limped softly,  then she heard her pole move.  Quickly trying to move not too fast,  she headed back to her pole, and pulled out another good size trout.  This time she did not throw it on the ground.  She took it back to the fire pit and skinned it.  Then hung it from a branch.   Jack was still snoring soundly, when she added another log on the fire.

She whistled softly, Quad didn’t take no time to represent himself.  “Take me over there, boy.  Let’s go pick some mushrooms before dawn shows herself.  She pointed into the direction she wanted to go, to Quad.  She hopped on his bare back, while winching in pain.  Softly, in the last of the moonlight, horse and rider left the cozy meadow.  In less than a half an hour, they returned with a mega load of juicy mushrooms and raspberries.  

Celeste slid off her horse by the pond, and washed the food clean.  Then hobbled back to the warm fire to make breakfast. When she unloaded her bounty, she put a pan on the fire and headed for the hanging fish.  Stopping in her tracks, the fish was gone.  Only the string hung on the branch without the fish.  “I know Wolf, could not have gotten that fish, high on that branch?  What the hey?”  Celeste looked around, while scratching her messy hair.  She walked up to the pine tree, and started to look around for tracks.  

“It wasn’t Wolf,” said Celeste in a confused tone.  When she saw the faint track, she busted into a smile.  The only thing that came into her mind about who’s tracks she saw, was a mischievous raccoon.  So without due, she turned around back to the fire.  When she got the mushrooms into the skillet, she grabbed her pole again, and headed for the water hole.  

Morning was breaking upon the mountains when Celeste caught another fish.  She hobbled back to the fire and skinned the fish.  The delicious aroma of fresh mushrooms cooking, made her mouth water.   She opened the lid then added the fish, just in time.  Jack came out of the tent stretching and yawning.  Celeste watched him breath in deeply, and then made a comment to her with a smile.  

“Is that fish I smell woman, maybe some mushrooms too?”  Celeste smiled.  “Indeed it is Jack, I hope you are not too hungry. I only have one, considering my fish end up missing.” Jack walked slowly over to the fire and sat down.  “I brewed some tea, it’s chamomile, would you like some?”  Celeste offered.  Jack went over to his backpack, and got out his own mug.  Celeste filled it to the brim, then poured herself one.  “Taste good, Hialeah.  It’s been a long time since I have had tea or coffee.”  

Celeste didn’t say anything, she busied herself making breakfast.  “Trout smells good girl, you seem to be home outdoors.  Do you hunt alone all the time by yourself?”  Jack asked.  Celeste gave him a soft look with a smile.  “I grew up in the woods, sir.  It’s like my second skin.  My grandfather helped me out a lot.  He taught me everything I know in hunting; however, I do not use a gun.  Only a bow an arrow, slingshot, and my knife.”  “That is a good knife, where did you get it?”  Jack inquired.  

Celeste picked up the knife and smiled tenderly at it.  “It’s my grandfather’s, it’s the only thing I own, that is his.  In fact, I would move earth, to keep this knife…and yes, it’s gotten me in pickles, and out of them.”  Jack watched her treasured the knife with love.  That would explain the name he saw on the blade…above the stag horn.  “You ready for breakfast sir…I think the fish is ready?”  He smiled his toothless smile while taking a few more sips of the tea.  

Celeste opened the lid to the pan, cut the fish in half and spooned out some mushrooms. Placing them on top of the his half portion of fish, then sprinkled a few berries on top of it.  She handed the plate to Jack.  “Beautiful, Hialeah! Smells good.”  The old man started to gulp down the soft food.  He was finished with his meal before Celeste ate a few bites of hers.

“Dude, why you wolfin down that food so fast?  Your going to get a tummy ache, or catch a fish bone in your throat?”  The man put down his plate not saying anything, and left her sitting on the ground, while he went to take a leak in the woods.  When he returned to the fire, Celeste had to take a double look at the critter that followed Jack.  Sure enough, she was right.  It was a raccoon.  She smiled at Jack while she watched the raccoon make tons of excited noise, while following him.  When Jack sat back down, the coon jumped on his lap and curled up falling fast to asleep.  She watched Jack pet the animal with love.  “Boy if this isn’t a picture made in heaven. I would never think that you own a pet!” 

“I don’t own nothing, he is free to come and go as he pleases.  He keeps good company in the winter nights.  But he is a rascal too, and I have to hide everything from him.  I think he was the one who ate your fish.”  Jack tickled the coons nose, then looked at the smiling Celeste who was in her own little world.

She remembered a time long ago as a little girl, her only friend was a raccoon, and a horse named Ghost.   Such a long time ago, she thought…”I see an interesting story little one, would you care to share it?”  Jack softly spoke out.  Celeste nodded as a tear ran down her cheek.  She began her story in a daze voice.  A childhood tale, she never has shared with anyone, until now!

 

 

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Patience Celeste, all in good time!

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When Celeste came out of the woods, she limped back to the fire.  Jack was waiting, while poking a stick in the fire. “Looks to me Hialeah, you are going through menopause.” Celeste gave Jack a nasty look, then went into her tent, and grabbed an Indian blanket.  She limped back to the fire, and sat down ready to hear Jack’s introduction.  

Jack watched Celeste cover herself, when done, she gave him a look,and spoke. “Okay buck, spill the beans!” He was dreading the exposure of telling the wild woman who he was.  He didn’t want anyone to know his where about.

 He had spent his life living in these woods for over 20 years.  Celeste could feel his hesitation, she knew he was battling with telling her who he was.  She sat patient, but spoke lightly to him.  “You have asked me to be honest, now I ask the same from you, Jack.” 

Jack took a deep breath and began his story.  “Jack is a name I call myself.  In Inuit, my name is Aklaq; it means Black Bear.  My father was a white man, my mother was Inuit.  We don’t like using the name Eskimo.  The word Eskimo has been used for centuries by white man.
Some tribes up north are not offended by the use of the word but others are. 
Eskimo, the original name for a northern native is derived from the Native American word “Esquimantsik” which translates to “eater of raw meat”, and originally it was intended to be pejorative by tribes who wandered into overlapping hunting grounds.”

Celeste didn’t expect this much details, but she was loving the knowledge of the American Indians in Alaska.  She stayed quiet, wanting to hear more of his story.  For over two hours Jack spilled his beans about his Alaskan Heritage.  Celeste had to stop him, due to the late hour and getting sleepy.  “Come, Aklaq, it’s time we sleep.  I want to hear more of your story, but can’t keep my eyes open any longer.  Go in the tent Jack, rest until morning.”  Jack got up and limped to the tent.  “Good-night, Nujalik.”

Celeste gave the old man an odd look, wondering what Nujalik meant.  She would ask him later, but for now she was ready to crash and burn.  Instead of waiting in the morning she heard Jack give her the answer before going inside the tent.  ” Nujalik is the goddess of hunting on land. She is the opposite of the goddess of sea, Sedna.”   She watched the man entered her large tent, then looked up into the crisp dark sky, ready to fall asleep, when Wolf came back and laid down beside her.  In no time at all, the pair fell asleep, snuggling into each others warm.

 

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“I swear woman, you got a serious trucker’s mouth. I think I should call you for now on, Mrs. Potty Mouth.”

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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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“Oh Jesus, that feels bitchen babe! It’s almost better than an orgasm.”

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Celeste came out of her tent wearing her daisy duke shorts, and a red t-shirt that stated “Believe” backwards. The old man had to take a double look at her shirt. She loved this soft cotton t-shirt, even if the words were written backwards.  When looking in the mirror, it gave her encouragements, and hope to believe in all things in life.  Odd as it sounds, it worked for her.  

Celeste took note how the old man was not bothered by Wolf.  In fact, Wolf laid down, watching every move the man made, while he built a fire for tonight’s dinner. “That sure is a weird shirt girl, you read backwards?”  The old man asked her with amusement. She tried to figure out his different kind of dialect when he spoke.  Not wanting to reply, she limped her way towards the man, and wolf.  Sat down on the ground cross legged, next to Wolf, and began stroking the animal’s fur, while observing the stranger, as minutes ticked away. 

“You gonna just sit there and not talk woman? Or are you not done, checking me out?”  Celeste was homing onto the strangers interesting aura, when he spoke out sharply.  “Old man, I am a wonderin’ why you are high in the mountains trapping? Unless you live here in the forgotten valley of the Sangre de Cristo’s.” The elder looked at Celeste with deep thoughts, not giving her a reply, he just smiled his toothless grin at her. 

The man put a small pot onto the fire and threw in a bunch of grounded herbs, while he chanted blessing to the pot, adding water.  Celeste really became interested, when he spoke his odd dialect to the funky smelling concoction. “What language you speakin’, and watcha makin’, dude?” she inquired.  “Same language you do girl, Indian! What I am making woman, is a poultice for that ankle of yours. It looks pretty angry right now.” Celeste looked at the ring around her ankle.  It was swollen, black and blue, becoming infected, she was unsure if she would lose the foot.  She lightly rubbed the injury, while giving the old man a dirty look. 

The man paid her no attention, while he stirred the mixture of herbs.  He set it aside, then put a frying pan on the fire, producing three big raw pieces of meat, out of his large backpack, wrapped in cheese cloth.  He gently laid down one piece of the raw meat on the ground. Wolf wagged his tail and licked his chops.  “Don’t touch, dog!”  He pointed his crooked finger at the canine.  Celeste raised an eyebrow at the man, while she watched his aged hands throw the other two raw pieces into the hot pan. The smell of food made Celeste lick her lips. Hunger like no other invaded her senses, while the aroma of meat was cooking. 

She watched the man wipe his hands on a wet cloth, then asked Celeste, “Give me that leg woman.”  Celeste obeyed.  Wolf began to growl at the man for touching her.  The man smiled at wolf and spoke with care.  “Have no fear, my wolf brother, I will not harm her.” He then pointed at the piece of meat on the ground and said to the wolf…”Eat,” Wolf didn’t hesitate.  He quietly ate his meat while the man was able to pack the poultice around her ankle in thick globs.  When finished, he wrapped her leg with cheese cloth tenderly.

Peace, calm, feelings overwhelmed Celeste.  The poultice sooth the intense pain away, she laid down on the ground taking deep relief breaths, relishing in the coolness of the concoction. While hearing wolf chew on his dinner in her ear. “Oh Jesus, that feels bitchen babe!  It’s almost better than an orgasm.”  The old man roared with laughter. His laughter echoed throughout the valley. Celeste smiled with relief, while listening to his rich sounds of happiness. 

“You will heal in a few days, just don’t get it wet and leave it wrapped. I think you will be able to keep that foot if you obey the rules! Now let me see that cut above your eye.” Celeste sat up, and admired his work, softly speaking while he applied a thin layer of the poultice above her eye.

“Much appreciated, sir; but rules don’t apply to me.  Now I know how it feels to be a trapped animal.  I wish it upon no creature of Mother Earth.”  They both sat quietly staring at each other.  Celeste wondered where he got that ugly scar. He was not American Indian, but Indian no less. She centered herself, and looked deeper into his soul.  “STOP that, half-breed! I feel what you’re are doing!” he barked at her dangerously.

Celeste wanted to show her stunned reaction, but held firm.  This was her first time meeting someone, who felt what she was doing, when she probed into their souls. The old man turned his attention to the cooking meat, not saying a word.  When the meat was finished, he handed her a piece to eat.  Quickly accepting, Celeste shoved the hot meat into her mouth.  Savoring the tender meat, she asked the man what kind of meat it was. “Bear, woman, I like bear meat, good to work with, doesn’t spoil quickly. It makes, good jerky.”  Celeste now understood who the trap was set for. 

“Your not allowed to hunt bear old man, in these neck of the woods.” The man gave her a blank look, then returned his attention on cutting the rest of the meat.  “Why you here old one? Are you by yourself?”  Celeste asked.  The man replied, “You ask too much questions, girl. Just eat, and we will talk later; because, I too want to learn, why a woman is out in this rugged country by herself, walking around nude!”  

Celeste smiled how witty the elder was.  This was going to be an interesting conversation, and perhaps a friendship made in heaven. Especially when she got a small taste of his half-breed soul.  Oh…what many ghost we hide in our closets…Celeste thought to herself while eating the bear meat with gusto.

“You come any closer Mr. Jackass, and I will shoot your other eye out!” Celeste bravely proclaimed.

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In the early morning light, Celeste crawled into her tent, and slept the day away.  Wolf laid next to her, never leaving her out of his sight.  The only time she left the tent was to release her pee pee.  Finding it hard to stand on her injured ankle, she held on to a near by tree, while standing up, releasing the pressure in her bladder.  “If I was feeling good, I might spend time spelling my name with my pee.  Now I know how easy it is to piss like a man.” Wolf looked up at her, waited until she was finished, then peed on the tree. Celeste wanted to giggle, but couldn’t find it in her heart to laugh at the situation, but it sadden her seeing the beautiful beast, missing an ear.  

When finished, slowly she hobbled around her campsite.  With care, she walked to her steed, and thanked him for bringing her home.  “I love ya boy, and I do appreciate you helping me out in my time of need.  Like I said earlier, I trust no horse, but you, except Ghost.  Did you meet my friend?  You truly are a magnificent creature, you complete me, my son!”  She ruffled his thick black mane, then headed to the little water hole to freshen up. 

Wolf had licked her eye clean during the evening and morning hours.  It was still swollen, but she was able to see out of it. It was her ankle that was in bad shape.  When she reached the water hole, she stripped down to nothing.  Looking at the badly bruised ankle, she knew the ring of pain around her ankle would forever be there.  The cable cut deeply into her skin, cutting off her circulation while hanging upside down. 

She lowered herself softly into the cool pool of water.  The water calmed down the pain that invaded her body.  Lingering in the pool, her thoughts were filled on how to get her knife back.  “Snap! I left my bow and arrows…Shit, tomorrow I will get them back, but tonight I will just heal to gather my strength, before I open a can of whippin’ on that Jackass! What the hell was he doing deep in the forest, snaring animals? How stupid I was for not seeing that damn trap.”  Celeste realized that she wouldn’t have seen the well hidden cable anyways, while running. Her thoughts were only on saving her friend when she heard the gunshot.

Celeste stayed in the water for over an hour.  Evening time was approaching and she suddenly became hungry.  She knew she had to hunt for her meal, or she would starve. She was getting ready to leave the water when Wolf, ran over to her and stopped.  Wolf became protective, the beast snared his warning at the forest.  Celeste looked at where wolf was growling, all was peaceful, when she remembered the bear.  With haste she tried to get out of the pool.  Wincing in pain with each quick movement, she hobbled to her tent nude, and quickly produced her last weapon, the slingshot.   

She could care less if she had clothes on or not.  Celeste watched the hair on the back of the wolf rise…she was ready with her trusty companion next her.  “Easy boy, stand down until, you see the whites of his eyes.”  Celeste whispered to him.  Wolf was ready to pounce, and so was she.  If she died today, then it was a good day to die! she thought. She looked at Quad, who was alert, but not as much as Wolf was.  This told her it wasn’t another animal; nevertheless, she was ready.

The old man limped out of the woods, carrying Celeste’s bow and arrows.  He stopped at the edge of the forest when he saw wolf, an a naked wild woman.  No words were spoken as the three checked each other out.  Wolf didn’t want to wait, his stance was dangerous ready to rip the old man to pieces. “Easy my boy, let him come.”  Celeste told the canine. To Celeste the man must have been in his early 80’s, dark skinned, about 5’11 in height.  He wore a bear skin across his shoulders, but wore civilian clothing underneath the cape. She could see the ugly scar that adored his left side of his face. 

The man stopped when he was close enough, fearful of the angry beast that bared his teeth at the stranger. “Shut that damn dog up woman, and go get some clothes on,” the old man bellowed out loud. Celeste drew her slingshot with the marble inside the cradle of the leather strap at the man.  “You come any closer Mr. Jackass, and I will shoot your other eye out!”  Celeste bravely proclaimed. The man did not come any further.  She watched him lower her bow and arrows onto the ground, and then withdrew her Bowie knife, throwing it on top of her bow. “These are yours, Indian, come and get them.”  

The old man then turned around and headed back into the forest.  “Wolf, retrieve!” Celeste barked out to wolf.  Wolf was happy she released him, he ran after the man before he disappeared into the forest.  The man stopped and stared at the wolf. He didn’t move when Wolf approached him, ready to rip him to shreds. 

Wolf with skill, and being the hunter he was, circled the man while snarling.  “Control this beast woman, or I will kill him!”  The man said in a dangerous tone. “Not before I take out your eye old man!  You touch my wolf, I will be puttin’ the hurt on you!” The man stared at Celeste, paying no mind to the canine.  When Celeste saw the man take a step towards her, she let fly the marble.  Not wanting to hit him, but scare him, for approaching her any further, he felt the marble fly pass his face with great speed.  He quickly spoke out, “I come in peace girl, I am sorry for what happened to you. You took off before I returned to give you aid with that damn leg of yours. Now put that son of a bitchin’ thing away.”  

Celeste let her guard down.  She lowered the weapon and whistled to Wolf.  Wolf quickly listened and grabbed her knife in his mouth and ran to her.  He dropped it by her feet while she stood nude.  The man was in awe when he witness, the woman controlling the beast with ease.  Nothing prepared him when he saw the black and white painted horse come out of the woods, and decide to join his companions.  Allowing the man to see the family stand together as a strong force to be reckon with.  Quad stomped the earth with his hooves, while tossing his head in the air, Wolf growled.

“Well I be dipped in shit, what a group you have there woman. How about you getting some clothes on, and we sit and talk for a few.  I brought some food, thinking you would be having a hard time finding food in your condition.  How does that sound to you, girl?” Celeste wasn’t sure if she wanted him here, but to see the knife come back to her, was all she needed to let the man approach her campsite.  “Come in, if you think you can.”  She spoke softly to her friends, then turned on her heels, and limped back to her tent to put some clothes on.