An Anasazi Story by Jeff Posey.
“You say the leader of this little band of orphans is from the Village of the Twin War Gods?” Pok asked Raana.
“Yes,” said Raana. Pok didn’t trust this man, didn’t know him. He claimed to come from an inconsequential village to the southeast where an army of orphans had appeared, killing a dozen Masaw Warriors and threatening to overthrow Pok and the High Priest.
“He’s called Tuwa?”
Raana gave a single nod of his head.
“The grandsom of the old skywatcher there?”
“Others told me. I didn’t hear him say it himself.”
“How big a man is he?”
“Not big at all. He travels with another, called Choovio, who is big in the chest and shoulders like a bear. But Tuwa is shorter than most men, as if he didn’t grow enough.”
Pok’s lips spread into a wry grin. Of course, he thought. It’s the boy I threw away coming back to haunt me.
“He should be easy enough to kill,” said Pok.
“Not so easy. He’s trained the orphans with him to follow orders he gives by hand signals and piercing voice calls. They’re the best archers I’ve ever seen.”
“You’ve not seen my best archers. How many of these orphans are there?”
“Twelve, counting the four women.”
“Women! The women are archers too?”
“They’re as good as the men.”
“Impossible. The war gods would not allow it.”
“One of the women makes all their arrows,” said Raana. “I’ve held them. I’ve never seen better, except she doesn’t know how to make stone tips.”
“So what kind of tip does she use?”
“Reeds, cut to sharp points.”
“How quaint. Our enemy hasn’t even advanced into the age of stones. You make them sound as soft as the underbelly of a rabbit.”
“Don’t underestimate them. They have surprising strength. But after I find where they’re hiding and I have enough warriors, I can take them, I’m sure.”
Pok glared at Raana. How presumptuous of him, he thought, that he would not only join in the fun of eliminating these meddlesome wannabe warriors, but would actually lead it.
Then he relaxed. If Raana wanted to help, he would let him. Allow him to believe he’s running the operation. Besides, his own warriors were so superstitious and skittish about the eerie flute music coming from the side canyons, he couldn’t get them to do much of anything. So he’d let Raana take the risk of finding and maybe even fighting his renegade son and his band of toy soldiers.
“If you can find where this Tuwa and his little group are hiding, you will be amply rewarded,” said Pok.
“Thank you. I will not fail.”
Yes, you will, thought Pok. Any way it goes, I will mash you like a squash bug.
# # #
Is this too much of a fragment? I know it’s not a “story” at all. Is it frustrating when all you get is a little out-of-context conversation like this? Am I violating the tenets of Flash Fiction by having a Flash Scene instead?