The Shaman and the Party 5/17/2007
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#1430975 - 05/14/07 10:07 AM The shaman and the party


The shaman was up and busy at an unusual hour that morning. Campers heard him sawing and hammering from their sleeping bags. Several came bleary-eyed to see what was causing the racket. The shaman was in the process of constructing a raised dais.

“What’s up?” said the camper.

“I’m running late on this.” Said the shaman. “I’ve been much too busy with other stuff, and now the moment is nearly upon me.”

“What’s that?”

“Excuse me, but could you hand me the hammer over there?” said the shaman. “I could really use some help. There’s a box of stuff over there that needs to be set up—tiki torches, table clothes for the picnic tables--- stuff like that. Could you round up some of the fellows and lend a hand?”

“What’s going on?”

“I could say, but then it would not be a surprise.” Said the shaman. “Ooops! Do be careful with that. I’ve got ashes from an outdoor writer in there-- that one that got jiggy with the Pillar of Trvth. We’re going to fire off the cannon later and I thought we’d use him in one of the salute rounds.”

Everyone scratched their head, but began pitching in. Pooh Bear, the giraffe, and a couple of others kept bring in gear: A caged duck, party hats and favors, and other seemingly random paraphernalia.

Somebody went up to Pooh and asked him what was going on.

"I'm not sure." said Pooh. "But it looks like a good time, don't you think? Perhaps the shaman wants us to guess."

"Yes," said Nosmo King. "That's it. He's throwing us a surprise party. However, we have to guess what the surprise is and then figure out a way to celebrate it."

"That sounds painful." said Pooh. "I'm not sure I am up to all that thought."

"You'll only get out of it what you put into it." chided Nosmo. "At least that's what Frank Zappa used to say-- something like that anyway. He started to hum a very odd tune and tried to remember some words.

". . .Cause I can't get into it. Unless I get out of it
An' I gotta get out of it Before I get into it.
'Cause I never get into it Unless I get out of it
An' I gotta be out of it To get myself into it "

"Where's the shaman?" asked a camper.

"He's disappeared." said Pooh. "Oh dear! Now what?"

"All that's left of him is his pair of zircon-encrusted tweezers." said Nosmo.


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#1434806 - 05/16/07 11:11 AM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: shaman]


“I thought I’d find you here,” said Nosmo. “Where is this anyway?”

“Nowhere.” Replied the shaman.

“You can say that again.”

“Nowhere.”

“How did you get here?”

“How did you get here?”

“You have a point there.”

Silence.

“Why did you bug out like that?” asked Nosmo.

“It wasn’t fully intentional.” Said the shaman. “I guess I started wishing I was elsewhere and somehow elsewhere became nowhere. I have to watch what I wish for, being a shaman and all.”

“So why not come back?” asked Nosmo. “There are at least a few people wishing you would.”

“I guess I’m hesitant.” Said the shaman, “Because it’s middle age setting in. I’m nearly forty nine. I really enjoyed being a ranger. Now I’m almost a guide.”

“Yeah,” said Nosmo. “So?”

“Well,” said the shaman. “I’m supposed to be a guide, right? Give advice, stand behind the shooter and say ‘you want the big one behind the small one with the crooked ear,’ ‘we’ll hunt over hear today,’ and all that.”

“I suppose.” Said Nosmo.

“But I’m not ready.” Said the shaman. “I’m really not much more than a Regular. In fact, I liked being a Regular. ”

“Middle-aged guys pray for that.” Said Nosmo. “You should consider yourself lucky.”

“You know what I mean. “ said the shaman. “Heck, I’ve got three kids now—two teenagers. They need a guide, and it’s all I can do to just muddle along myself—let alone light the way for others.”

“Look at it this way,” said Nosmo. “You’re just a schmuck like all the others, right?”
“Yes.”

“So why do you get to be a guide? Right?”

“Yes.”

“Who were your guides as you were getting going?”

“Well, there was Jerry. There was John D, Big Bob. . .”

“And . . .”

“And what?”

“Where are they now?

“They’re all dead, except Big Bob.”

“And who did you look up to before them?”

“Probably Ray Bergman and Jack O’Connor.”

“And where are they now?”

“They’re all dead.”

“And the point is . . .?

“And the point is . . .?

“The point is that they were primal schmuckola just like you. The only difference is they’d been in the game longer.” Said Nosmo. “Remember that there’s a steady stream of us all marching to oblivion, and somebody has to look back once in a while and yell ‘Look out for the dog turds!’ We don’t need experts around here. We just need a guy who can stop looking at the ground long enough to call back down the line. Half of us step in it anyway, just ‘cause we’re ornery. And a few of us slip and fall in it. All you’re there for is to call out to the few that can listen and watch their step.”

“I suppose.” Said the shaman.

“Look at what it is to be a shaman.” Said Nosmo. “Three principles: Intercede beyond the Veil for the good of the group. Interpret the Collective Dream of the group. Heal. What part of this isn’t being a guide already? Now stand up and get into your kit.” Nosmo held up a dry cleaner’s bag.

“Thanks man,” said the shaman.

“Don’t mention it.” Said Nosmo. “I came up here expecting to have to slap you around a little. I’m sort of sorry you rolled over so easy. Hey, this is spiffy!”

“Does it look okay?” asked the shaman
“It makes you look older and more distinguished.” Said Nosmo.

“Hmmmm.” Said the shaman. “Maybe with all the other guides, it was their outfits that fooled me. I don’t feel any older.”

“It’s all in the crush of your fedora.” Said Nosmo. “Once you’ve got enough nicks in the felt, people start looking up to you. There just is no faking honest wear in a man’s hat.”

"By the way," asked Nosmo. "How do we get back from here?"

"I thought you'd know." said the shaman.

"Funny, I thought you'd know." said Nosmo.
_________________________
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#1436683 - 05/17/07 11:36 AM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: shaman]
shaman shaman
Campfire Guide


Registered: 12/28/02
Posts: 2136
Loc: Neave, KY

content Online
They had been walking a long time. Shortly after leaving Nowhere, they had found a road. The question became which way to go.

“Which way to go?” asked Nosmo. “I wish we had a map.”

“A map doesn’t do you any good.” Said the shaman. “We’re out in the middle of nowhere. We don’t know where we were. We don’t know where we’re going. At this point in the journey, we should seriously think only about pushing on.”

“You’re the boss,” said Nosmo. “Which way then?”

“This way.” Said shaman without hesitation, pointing to the right.

“Why this way?” said Nosmo.

“The opposite of right is left.” Said the shaman. “This one is definitely the right way. Therefore, any other way must be wrong”

“I like your logic.” Replied Nosmo. They walked on in the darkness.

It was somewhat around midnight when they stopped at the first crossroad in their path. The shaman produced a canteen and they both drank their fill. The shaman stood in the middle of the intersection—just two country lanes and tried to make a decision on which way to go. He was about to make another right turn.

“Good evening gentlemen,” said a voice. Both Nosmo and the shaman peered into the darkness. Presently a form appeared in the crossroad. It appeared to be a tall man in a dark suit. What little light that came from stars and such showed the collar of a white shirt behind a tie. That was really all the could make out.

“Good evening,” said the shaman. “ We’re somewhat lost.”

“That’s okay.” Said the dark stranger. “I may be able to help.”

“Which way do we go?” said the shaman.

“That depends.” Said the stranger. “Where do you want to be?”

“Back at the 24HourCampfire.” Said the shaman.

“Oh,” said the stranger. “Are you one of the outdoor writers?”

“Uh--” the shaman hesitated.

“Sure he is.” Said Nosmo. “He’s one of the new ones—good one too! This is the shaman.”

“Shaman, huh?” said the stranger. “I’ve heard of you. Your writing was passed on to me a while back by a friend.”

“No kidding,” said the shaman. “Imagine that.”

“Yes,” said the stranger. “I was most impressed with your defense of black rifles for hunting.”

“Well,” said the shaman, “I was not defending black rifles per se.”

“Let’s not quibble,” said the stranger, “My time is short. You’re just the sort of writer I’m looking for.”

“Oh?”

“Yes indeed.” Said the stranger. “In fact, I must confess that this meeting is not by chance. I was intent on meeting you here. I would like to make you an offer.”

“Oh?” asked Nosmo.

“Gee.” Said the shaman. “I’m flattered.”

“Don’t be.” Said the stranger. “You write the way I need for my enterprise. I will give you whatever you ask for your cooperation. I need someone who can represent our product line.”

“What product line is that?” said the shaman.

“We manufacture a line of black rifles and black shotguns and other black hunting and shooting paraphernalia.”

“And the name of this line?”

“We actually OEM for other entities. Our product lines never appears under our own brand names.”

“So how can I represent them?” Asked the shaman.

“Simple.” Said the stranger. “I will pass on your contact information to our strategic business partners. They will send you product for review. You will also get an entrée into our network of magazines, web-resources, trade jornals, and so on. We will make sure what you have written gets printed.”

“Sounds like a great idea.” Said the shaman.

“Does he get Shot Show tickets?” asked Nosmo.

“. . . and free hunting junkets.” Added the stranger.

“So what’s so unique about a black firearm.” Asked the shaman.

“Oh,” said the stranger. “I did not mean that they are necessarily colored black. They’re black in other ways.”

“And those ways being?” asked the shaman.

“Trade secrets.” Said the stranger. Nosmo nodded knowingly.

“So what is so special about your stuff?” said the shaman. “Name a product I might be familiar with.”

“You name it.” Said the stranger. “We probably have a hand in making it. But more importantly, we have a hand in making it desireable to the consumer.”

“That’s a neat trick.” Said the shaman. “What makes it that way—more desireable?”

“Trade secret.” Said the stranger.

“So how do I know what’s really black?”

“If you get it from us,” said the stranger. “There will be no strings attached. You’ll know because it’s just so easy to write about. Furthermore, what you write will fit so well with other things the consumer knows from our presence elsewhere in the market. It will all fit hand in glove.”

“So how will I be able to distinguish that from your competition?” said the shaman.

“Oh,” said the stranger. “You’ll know. It will be something you find online, or buried in the back of a magazine in a classified ad. It may be something you find on your own by mistake.”

“So if I go to a magazine,” said the shaman. “And I find a nice full-page ad for something, it means you probably have had a hand in making it?”

“Precisely.” Said the stranger. “You will find your writing will dovetail nicely with what you see in the ads. The more it fits with the ads, the more things you will be sent to write about.”

“What about the 24HourCampfire?” said the shaman. “I can keep writing there?”

“Of course.” Said the stranger. “This is not an exclusive contract. We just find that most smart fellows who have this opportunity find little reason not to give us a try. Once they have tried us, there is no reason to quit.”

“And my compensation?” asked the shaman.

“Whatever you ask.”

“Anything?”

“Why don’t you ask for a lift back.” Said Nosmo.

“I can arrange that.” Said the stranger. He pulled out his blackberry and texted in a message. Soon headlights were seen coming up the road.

“You’ll like this.” Said the stranger. “It’s yours if you like it.”

“Mine?” said the shaman.

“Call it a down payment. “said the stranger. “When I say you may ask for anything, I mean what I say.”

“I know this gig.” Said Nosmo. “He probably wants you to sign your soul away. “

“No.” said the stranger. “You do not have to do that. We find that those sorts of covenants are too restricting. We find our business partners far prefer these methods.”

The lights came around a bend and were soon in the crossroads. It was a six-wheel side-by-side ATV. It was riderless, but it pulled to a stop in the middle of the intersection and turned itself off. The stranger reached in and pulled out the keys.

“Yours.” He said. He held out his right hand to shake the shaman’s.

“No thanks.” Said the shaman. “It’s nice, but I prefer to walk.”

“What?” said Nosmo. “You’re going to be late for the party.”

“Then I’m late.” He said. “You go, Nosmo.”

“Sure thing, buddy.” Said Nosmo. “Thanks a bunch.”

“If you change your mind,” said the stranger, “Just let me know.”

“I told Mooseboy a while back,” said the shaman, “That we could buy one of these and we would have a good time and all, and I would probably live a good life and die in my seventies the way it was intended.”

“Sounds pleasant enough.” Said the stranger.

“. . .Or,” added the shaman. “I could keep from buying one, and we could hoof it all over the farm, up and down the hills and they would have to beat me to death in my Nineties.”

“A simple choice,” said the stranger.

“I’ll walk.” Said the shaman.

“Call me,” said the stranger, mounting up with Nosmo into the ATV.

“It’s been nice talking to you.” Said the shaman.

“Aren’t you worried about your soul?” asked the shaman to Nosmo.

“Who me?” asked Nosmo. “I stopped worrying years ago. It doesn’t do me any good.”

“I suppose,” said the shaman. “Good night to both of you.”

“Good night.” Said the stranger. He started the ATV and roared off into the distance, having taken the turn to the left. The shaman took this as a good sign and made a right turn from their original course and set off again.

As he walked on into the darkness, he mused to himself over what might be happening at the campfire.
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#1438226 - 05/18/07 08:28 AM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: Gadfly]


The shaman walked on in the dark. It was a long featureless road, and it was so dark that it was at times hard to tell if he was remaining on the pavement. He checked his way occasionally by stopping to feel the ground. When he felt asphalt or gravel, he knew he was doing well.

Overall, it felt good to be out. It was good weather, only a few clouds here and there obstructed the clouds. May was a good time to be out walking. He had no trepidations. He thought about a lot of things, but mostly he thought about the Campfire and how he would explain his absence.

The road had been mostly straight with pastures and plowed field to either side. However, it gradually changed to a winding path that took him down into a hollow. Finally he faced a tall stand of trees and the road beyond was darker than anything he had known. He kept going, however. He knew that this was his best way to get out without complication. It became increasingly harder for him to feel his way, and at some point near the bottom, he lost his way. Perhaps it was a side track that he followed, or perhaps he slipped off the pavement and into the weeds. However, he came to a dead stop and realized he had gotten lost.

He made a rough estimation of how long it had been since he knew he was on the road, turned methodically around on his heels and counted that number of steps back. He had taken only a few steps before something struck the back of his head and he lost consciousness.
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#1439912 - 05/19/07 07:57 AM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: Bullwnkl]

When he regained consciousness, he looked up to find that a waning moon had risen and the light was shining down upon him. He was a bit scuffed up, but a swift inventory of parts found that nothing was broken. He was unable to move, however. Then he realized that he was not alone. Something moved close by and then he received a sharp blow to his kidney that made him wince.


“He’s awake.”

“Good, then we can begin.”

“Bring him over. Gather around everyone. Let’s get this over.”

The shaman found that he had been trussed up with vines in a very intricate way. Something was pulling at a vine near his ankles and dragging him. He tried to struggle, but he was hopelessly caught up. Presently he was brought from a deep shadow and into a pool of bright moonlight. It was then he realized he was surrounded by forest creatures of every sort. Owls, skunks, deer, raccoons, and birds of ever shape and size. Some seemed to be seated in an organized fashion around him while others milled about in a gallery, half in shadow.

“Is the accused ready to proceed?” Asked an owl, perched on a tall stump.

“We are ready.” Said the bear.

“Then we can begin. The prosecutor can read the charges.”

“The defense waives the reading of the charges.” Said the bear.

“Very well.” Said the owl. “We will dispense with the reading of the charges. How does the defendant plead.”

“The accused pleads guilty on all charges.” Said the bear.

“Does the prosecution have anything to add?” said the Owl.

“The prosecution has nothing to add at this time.” Said the Badger.

“Very well,” said the Owl. “Bring the defendant to me so that I may pass judgment.” The shaman found himself being dragged again. This time he realized that he was not just a spectator.

“Excuse me.” Said the shaman. “I believe my counsel has erred somewhat. The defense WOULD like to hear the charges read.” There was an uproar in the glad. The owl had a hard time bringing the assemblage into order. In the meanwhile the bear had come over and put his snout in the shaman’s face.

“Listen here,” said the bear. “I’m trying to get this taken care of easily for you. It will go much harder on you if you do not cooperate.”

“Yes,” said the shaman. “But I have no idea what I’ve done.”

“Let me handle this.” Said the bear. “Excuse me!” said the bear to the Owl. “I need only a moment to confer with my client.” The owl waved him on.

“What did I do?” asked the shaman.

“It really does not matter.” Said the bear. “This is merely a formality.”

“What happens if I am found guilty.” Said the shaman.

“You will be executed according to the Law of the Forest.” Said the bear.

“And if I were to be found not guilty?” asked the shaman.

“They’ll execute you anyway and make it rougher on you.” Said the bear.

“How much rougher can it be?” asked the shaman.

“More than you want to know.” Said the bear. “Just shut up and we’ll try and beat this on appeal.” Turning to the owl, the bear said. “Thank you for your patience, your Honor. We can proceed.”
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#1440799 - 05/19/07 09:09 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: shaman]

The nightmare that followed was something that would haunt the shaman for the rest of his days. It finally came out what was going on. It was the opinion of the animals that the World demanded sacrifice. Normally an animal would be chosen to be sacrificed, but somehow the body of animals had come across the shaman, wandering in the dark and had decided to make it his turn. Under normal circumstances, the condemned would be chased out into the road, to be hit by an automobile. This performed the requisite letting of blood, and also gave Humanity the responsibility for taking the life. In this situation, however, a human had been selected to be thrown out into the road, and a special tribunal had needed to be convened to decide the proper way to go. A motion by the shrews had been carried such that, contrary to normal Forest Law, the human needed to be tried and convicted of the killing of the other forest animals for there to be legitimacy to the proceedings. A lengthy debate had erupted. The raccoons and the opossums had formed a coalition with the coyote to make sure there was not going to be any debate. Finally, the deer had made a impassioned plea for there to be justice. No one could stand it when the deer got emotional. It was in their eyes. No one could say no to a deer, except the coyotes, and they were already in cahoots. All this was hashed and rehashed in front of the shaman. He found that most of the big power brokers of the woodland had thrown in support for the proposition. The only real opponents now were the largely unaffected songbird coalition, the ants who could care less one way or the other and crows and vultures. They knew the carrion level would be a lot less with a human, and their palates were more attuned to the rest of the forest.



“This could lead to retribution.” Said a turkey vulture. “If the humans find out, who knows what they will do.”



“Shut up, you ninny!” said the head of the coyote delegation. “Humans don’t care one way or they other. They kill indiscriminately anyway.”



“Excuse me.” Said the shaman. “Might I question something here?”



“Watch yourself.” Said the bear. “I hope you know what you’re doing.”



“What is it?” asked the owl. “It’s getting late.”



“I just don’t understand why you feel a blood sacrifice is necessary.” Said the shaman. “Perhaps if I did, I could go back and make a case for it with my own kind, and we could share the burden.”



“We did.” Said the Owl. “It used to be that way. Then the humans pulled out of the bargain.”

“But why do it in the first place?” pressed the shaman.



“Because if we do not, the sun will not rise in the morning.” Said the owl. “If we do not make our sacrifices, we will find that we have covenant with Forest and we will be plunged into eternal darkness.”



“And how do you know this?” asked the shaman.



“Because that is the way it has always been.” Said the Coyote. “Things must die so that the rest may carry on.”



“Yes,” said the shaman. “But plenty die anyway. Why force it?”



“We are judged not for what is lost.” Said the Owl. “But for what is freely given. In each animal’s turn. One night it is the opossum, the next is the raccoon and so on.”



“Is that why you only see one kind of animal at a time in the road?” asked the shaman. “I’ve seen that before when I’m driving across country. You never see a raccoon and a opossum. It’s always all one animal.”



“Yes.” Said the owl. “Each animal has his night to do what is required.”



“And they do this willingly?” asked the shaman.



“For the most part.” Said the coyote. “Sometimes they need help making up their mind.” He shot a sly look over at the cougar who gave him a knowing nod.



“And you say the humans reneged on the deal?” said the shaman. “I was not aware of this.”



“You all pulled out a long time ago.” Said the bear. “You’re way behind on your quota.”



“My apologies.” Said the shaman. “I did not know. I suppose I should just go back to my guilty plea and let it go at that.”



“There you go.” Said the bear. “See, what did I tell you?”



“Except for one thing. “ said the shaman. “I would like the ability to renew the human’s pledge to you. Take me to the highway. I will put myself in the road and let things happen. If you will do this, I will submit willingly.” There was a loud discussion. The songbirds tried to intervene, claiming an insanity defense and the requirement for treatment. There was much turmoil before the forest settled again.



“I take you at your word.”said the Owl. “You will put yourself in the road?”



“Yes.”



“And accept the consequences?”



“Yes.”



“And do you wish to make any statement before I pass judgement.”



“Only this.” Said the shaman. “Gentle creatures of the forest, my brothers and sisters, I wish to apologize for the misunderstanding my forebears may have caused. We did not mean to have you shoulder our burden. Whatever was done was done out of ignorance. I only hope my actions can begin the path to reconciliation.”



There was a huge round of applause from the crowd. Death was pronounce by unanimous acclimation, and the fireflies lit a path for the shaman, leading the way to the highway. Along the way, he received advice from the raccoons.



“They say it’s best to just look to the other side of the road and not look at the headlights.” Said big boar coon.



“Nonsense.” Said the deer. “Go out in the road and stand. Look straight at the lights and think of all the succulent green leaves you will have waiting for you on the other side.”



And so it went. It was like a huge parade as the living wave of animals left the forest, strode across pasture and field and finally approached the highway.



“Any last requests?” asked the owl.



“None.” Said the shaman. “I’ll just stand here by this post and wait for a good one to come by.”



“You had better hurry.” Said the owl. “It is soon to be light out. We have not much time.”



“Don’t worry. “ said the shaman. “One will be by soon. You’d better all get back. I would want to hurt anyone with bits and pieces of myself flying through the air.” The wave of animals drew back.



The shaman waited by the signpost. It was a sign that had some odd numbers and the letters “TANK.” Of course the animals could not read. Several cars came past, and then a large truck. The coyote called out to the shaman that he had missed a good one. The shaman just turned and waived. Finally, he saw some headlights coming. He turned once more and bowed to the hidden crowd and then strolled out onto the pavement and met his fate.



A huge bus was barreling along the highway. It skidded on its breaks and stopped. The doors opened. The shaman got on.



“God bless the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky.” He said, paying the fare to the driver. The bus was empty. The shaman strolled to the back and sat. Behind him, he saw a bewildered black wave forming on the side of the road, and way off in the Eastern sky, the orange dawn had begun.
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#1442670 - 05/20/07 09:53 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: shaman]
wannatikka wannatikka
Campfire Regular


Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 890
Loc: Wisconsin

Offline
'That's strange', thought 'tikka as he picked up the worn leather and bead adorned bag. 'This looks like ol' Shaman's bag and he's never far from it.' 'Why would he go and leave without it,' he thought. (Luckily 'tikka still had the instant 3rd person translator that Shaman had given to him as a gift a few years ago so he was at least able to communicate this effectively ;\)

The campfire had died back a bit and the bed of embers cast a warm glow over toward the western edge where a small platform seemed to have been hastily constructed. Boxes and crates of decorations rested on the ground next to the platform and a large ghostly white duck sat perched in a cage atop the dais.

'Yep, this sure has Shaman written all over it,' he thought to himself again, 'but it's really strange that he'd go off and leave his bag unattended.' 'Tikka walked over toward the platform with the bag in hand and in doing so saw something that made him have a feeling of dread. There, just inside the leather cinch atop the bag was the end of Shaman's rattle.

'He never goes anywhere without THAT,' said 'tikka, this time out loud to nobody in particular.

Pooh walked by and nodded approval, 'Oh bother, he seems to have forgotten much today, and with so many things to be done and so little time. He even went off and forgot these,' Pooh said, reaching out a paw with a glittering pair of tweezers. 'This would be so much easier if we just knew what Shaman wanted to do with those cases of empty powder kegs, the tiki torches, the lights, the barrel full of frogs, and all that stuff sitting off behind that platform. He disappeared before he even got to finish the steps,' said Pooh.

'Well then,' said 'tikka, 'I guess we'll need to lend a hand to old shaman with finishing his decorating ... though him leaving without his rattle makes me feel a bit uneasy.'

'Tikka busied himself in finishing up the remainder of the platform and building a sturdy set of stairs leading up from below. Having run out of lumber, 'tikka started opening up crate upon crate of party decorations. There were small strings of lights and cheesy looking plastic garland in one box.

Another was filled to the brim with various types of hats. There were old fedoras, well worn and smelling of old campfires of years gone by. There were a handful of silk tophats, a plethora of 24hourcampfire baseball caps, panama hats, old Setsons and even a beret or two. There were tall gaudy party hats and even a chef hat down at the bottom of that crate.

As quickly as they could be unpacked, the hats were handed out to all who needed one around the fire and strangely, each seemed to fit the chosen wearer perfectly, both in size and style.

Quickly, crate after crate was opened and eagerly old hands and newcomers to the fire helped to distribute the decorations. The tiki torches were lined up along the pathway leading up the stairs and streamers and lights were draped about the railings and tied between torches. The empty kegs were placed along the other side of the path and upon each was set various ceramic painted garden gnomes.

Just then a ruckus arose near the platform. The duck had begun anxiously quacking and nervously flapping about in the small confines of the wooden cage. 'Tikka hurried over to see a campfire regular, the one wearing the chef hat, eyeing the duck with a cast iron roasting pan in his hands.

'I probably wouldn't do that ... at least not to THAT duck,' said 'tikka, 'that's shaman's duck, and he can be kind-of protective of things, especially things for a party.' The chef nodded nervously, while glancing upward, and wandered back around down toward the other end of the fire.

With that, the duck settled back down and 'tikka went back to unpacking crates. 'If only shaman had left instructions on where to set all this stuff up,' thought 'tikka as he unpacked a large coil of rope. 'Now, where is that sky hook?' Ahhh, here it is, underneath the old record player and Field and Stream issues from the '60s'

'Tikka carefully coiled the rope next to the duck and placed the sky hook next to the shaman's bag on the other end of the platform, then stood back to admire all the hard work everyone had done to make the campfire seem more festive any mysterious. 'Looks pretty good ... pretty good indeed,' he said aloud, though the sight of the bag gave 'tikka that sinking feeling that all was not quite as it was supposed to be ... not yet at least.
_________________________
B.I.C. 'tikka


#1444003 - 05/21/07 03:48 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: wannatikka]



Once he was away from the crowd of animals, the shaman sat back and thought about his puzzle. He needed to get back to the ‘Campfire before he was missed too terribly much. The way he was going was going to eventually bring him into downtown Cincinnati and past his old stomping ground at the Dixie Terminal. That was certainly not the way back to the ‘Campfire.

The shaman waited until he was well away from the forest animals and then pulled the cord to get off at the next stop. Where he was let go was no closer to his destination, but then it was no farther away. It was light now—nearly sunrise. That cheered him somewhat. He struck off at the first side road and headed away from the road. The first thing he found after the bus pulled away was a less-than-fresh opossum carcass, lying in the road. The shaman approached it with a new found empathy.

“Don’t look into the lights.” said the shaman. “Just keep going. That’s what they told me.” He then finished, “Better luck next time.”

The shaman started missing company, but he also appreciated the time alone. It gave him time to think.
_________________________












#1447790 - 05/23/07 03:41 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: shaman]



It was sunset when the Shaman approached a grove of Oak trees that looked like it would be a good place to settle in for the night. It was up on the point of a ridge, overlooking a patchwork of farms below. It had been a hot, dry day. After sating himself at a nearby creek, he retired to a fold of roots at the base of one of the larger trunks and took an evening nap.

“Excuse me.” said a voice.

“Huh?” said the shaman

“Excuse me.” The voice repeated, “You’ll have to move.”

“Why is that?” asked the shaman, half awake.

“I’m going to be working there in a while.”

The shaman looked around and saw no one. He figured it was nothing more than a figment of his imagination. He dozed back off. Presently, he felt something rapping on his head. He looked up and saw a small winged creature buzzing about his head. It was human in form, and very much female—quite pretty if she had been scaled up to the proper proportions of a woman. It’s means of locomotion were a set of wings reminiscent of that of a large dragonfly’s.

“You will have to move.” Said the spirit.

“Why is that?”

“Spring cleaning.” Said the spirit. “We’ve got a big thing going on this weekend. I’ve got to get this part of the forest cleaned up.”

“Go clean somewhere else. I’m busy too.”

“That’s not so. You were sleeping.”

“As well I should be again after you leave.”

“That simply won’t do. You need to move out of here and not come back until at least the middle of next week.”

“I’ll tell you what. You clean around me, and when I go you can have this all to yourself. What’s all the Hoo-haw anyway.”

“The May Queen is making her appearance this weekend. We have to be ready.”

“Right here at this tree?”

“Well, no. But we have to have the whole wood cleaned up before then.”

“Tell the May Queen she can lump it.”

“That is not a satisfactory answer.”

“You can waste your time with me, or you can go work somewhere else. I don’t care a wit either way.”

“You’re not cooperating.”

“No.”

“That is not polite.”

“You’re the one who woke me up out of a sound sleep.”
“That’s right. You will have to move.”

“No. You remind me of a hornet I had once out on my back deck. It kept annoying me until I swatted it. A little later another hornet came and I swatted it too. Pretty soon, I had a dozen or so hornets carcasses gathered up and I put them all on a fencepost as a warning to the others. When I came out in the next morning, they were all gone. I suppose the nest had come and claimed their dead in the middle of the night. I never saw any more hornets that entire summer. Is that what I am going to have to do to you?”

“You are a barbarian.”

“You are a rude little pixie. Now shoo! “ The shaman managed to backhand the pixie and sent it a good ten yards. She did not immediately rise back up out of the grass. The shaman went back to sleep. Somewhat later, the shaman was awakened again by the sound of rending metal. He looked about and saw a treestand up in one of the oak trees, rattling violently. He got up and went over to investigate. It was the pixie. She had recovered and was now worrying the treestand off the tree.

“Stop that!” said the shaman.

“Oh, you’re awake.” Said the Pixie.

“Stop what you’re doing.”

“I have every right to do this.”

“No you don’t. “ replied the shaman. “First off, that treestand belongs to someone besides you. As long as it was placed there with the permission of the landowner you have no right to take it down.”

“Hunters put that there to hunt deer.” Said the Pixie.

“Yeah?”

“They hunt deer around here, you know.”

“I can well imagine.”

“If I can remove it, maybe the hunters will go away.”

“If you remove it, I will take it upon myself to remove you.”

“This is an abomination. It is a sin against the forest.”

“Hunters have to eat too.”

“No they don’t. They don’t have to eat harmless animals.”

“Oh? What do you eat?”

“I don’t eat deer. They’re so sweet to look at. How could anyone eat a creature like that?”

“Well, first off, you make an incision in the lower abdomen-“

“That’s terrible. You’re terrible for even mentioning it.”

“Why is that?”

“It’s disgusting.”

“No it’s not. It’s dinner.”

“You’re not saying that you would do anything like that, are you?”

“Yes.”

“Well, I suppose in a survival situation-“

“In a survival situation, I would eat just about anything.” Said the shaman. “Besides, venison tastes great. It’s good lean red meat.”

“I find your joking around disgusting.”

“Who is joking.”

“You’re saying that you’d eat something that was alive?”

“No.” said the shaman. “I’m saying I only eat dead things. Live things wriggle around too much.”

“Even the term—what did you say? Venison. You deliberately objectify the animal when you say that. Why don’t you come out and say it: ‘hunters eat dead animals!’”

“Okay. We eat bits and pieces of things that used to be alive. We enjoy it. It is part of what makes us who we are.”

“You’re not trying to say that you-“

“That I’m a hunter? Of course I am.”

“You are a cretin.”

“No, actually I was baptized Methodist. But I have strong Taoist leanings.”

“You’re trying to say” said the pixie, “That you relish the thought of killing things for food.”

“No.” said the shaman, “I relish the food. The killing is just a natural consequence of the process. “

“I’d like to get a hold of some of you . . . you hunters and giving you a dose of your own medicine!” sputtered the pixie. “I’d put a real hurt on you. I would too! I would make you ever regret you ever thought to injure a poor forest creature.”

“What’s all this talk about hurting things?” said the shaman. “I’m only going after my supper. You want to torture me. Mine’s a matter of sustenance. Your’s is sadism.”

“You deserve to be tortured.” Said the pixie. “Torture as cruel as can be imagined.”

“When you can get enough like-minded individuals together.” Said the shaman. “I will begin to worry. Honestly, I find your position reprehensible. I’m talking about eating the food that I’m built to eat. You are talking about causing intentional pain. A hunter does not kill to inflict pain. He tries to minimize it. You, on the other hand want to hurt things. That makes you monstrous.”

“You’re trying to say that you look into the eyes of a creature like a deer and don’t see a bit of yourself in them?” asked the pixie.

“Of course I do. I see a little of me in you as well. Besides, I try not to look at the eyes—center of the chest is where I focus.”

“You’re being obnoxious.”

“So,” said the shaman. “You’re saying you see nothing of yourself in me?”

“No.” said the pixie. “I am utterly opposed to everything humans represent. They’re disgusting creatures and you belong to the lowest rung on the ladder.”

“You’re not human then?”

“Absolutely not. Don’t be insulting.”

“Are you absolutely sure?”

“Positive.”

The shaman paused a moment and reflected.

“What are you doing?” asked the pixie.

“I’m thinking about something.” Said the shaman, and then to himself he murmered. “ . . .And the fear of you and the terror of you shall be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.”

“What are you doing?”

“Just thinking things out. “said the shaman.

“Well, I wish you would stop it. You’re scaring me.” Said the pixie.

“I’m sorry. “ said the shaman. “ I did not mean to cause you any concern. I apologize. “

“You mean that?” said the pixie.

“Of course.” Said the shaman. “I wish you would just relax a little more.”

“Stop looking at my [bleep].” Said the pixie. “What are you, some sort of perv?”

“I’m not looking at your [bleep].” Said the shaman. “I’m just trying to concentrate.”

“On what?” asked the pixie. The shaman’s right hand made a sweep and knocked the pixie against the tree. It fell to the ground lifeless.

“On that.” Said the shaman. “Momma taught me it was impolite to play with my food.” He picked up the body and shook it a bit.


It was well after dark when another pixie came by and found the shaman reclining beside a small fire, picking what was left off a small carcass and using a bone to massage his gums.

“Excuse me,” said the pixie. “You’ll have to move.”

“Certainly.” said the shaman. “It looks like this place is being set up for a party. I don’t suppose you have an alternative location in mind.”

“For . . .?”

“Camping. “said the shaman. “I was camping here tonight. However, since you asked so nicely, I inclined to move.”

“Oh,” said the pixie. “That would be ever so nice of you.”

“I’d be happy to oblige. You have a lovely place here.” Said the shaman.

“Thanks. There’s a spot over on the next ridge that is just as nice. It’s just that we’re planning something here, and--”

“No problem.” Said the shaman.

“Oh,” one other thing said the pixie. “You didn’t by any chance see another one of us come through here?”

“Another pixie?” asked the shaman. “Yes I did. She was picking up for a while and then she went over that way in a bit of a hurry” He pointed to a large tree with a small splatter mark on the trunk.

“Thank you.” Said the pixie.

“Don’t mention it.” Said the shaman. “Have a nice party.”
_________________________



#1448513 - 05/23/07 11:50 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: shaman]
Elf Elf
Campfire Kahuna


Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 5264
Loc: The Cupboard Under the Stairs

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Tell me Shaman...What does pixie taste like?

Whew and I'm glad you didn't say elf...... \:\/
_________________________
Kelley Griffin- Yukon Quest
http://www.yukonquest.com/site/race-updates/



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#1448873 - 05/24/07 09:17 AM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: Elf]
wannatikka wannatikka
Campfire Regular


Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 890
Loc: Wisconsin

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As 'tikka went back to unpacking party favors from the shaman's crates a trio of rangers approached hurriedly.

'So, are you the one in charge?' asked the tallest one to 'tikka. 'This is one big mess you've managed to create here at the campfire, I need to see your permit.'

'In charge? Me? Nobody's really in charge around here.' said 'tikka. 'People come and go, sometimes there's someone up on a stump shouting about one thing or another but everyone kind of kicks in to keep things cleaned up and running smooth around the fire,' continued 'tikka. 'Of course, Rick brought the first cord of wood here and cut a little clearing but things have changed since then. Sure, Rick continues to bring wood to the fire and lets us use his land, but he hardly has time to make it around the whole fire, let alone try to control it.'

'No, we're not talking about Rick,' interrupted the tall one by pointing around at the party decorations, 'who's in charge of making all this mess?'

'Actually, they're party decorations,' answered 'tikka.

'You say decorations, we say mess,' said an old grizzled and bearded member of the trio. 'Now, let's see your permit?'

'Look, like I said before nobody's in charge and I'm just here helping out ...'

'Now listen here 'tikka, do you, or do you not have a permit for all this?' interrupted the grizzled ranger.

'No, I don't have a permit for shaman's party,' answered 'tikka while shaking his head. 'But since when...'

'Then you're in clear violation of section 14 paragraph 3 of the campfire code,' interjected the third slender ranger as he continued, 'which clearly states that any and all modifications, improvements, construction, additions, or reorganizations of campfire shall ...'

'Wait, did you say shaman's party?' said the tall one. 'Do you know where he is?'

'Nobody seems to have seen the shaman for quite a few days,' answered 'tikka. 'He started setting up for a party of some sorts and then just vanished into thin air. Not that disappearing isn't normal for shaman, it's just that he left so much to be done and absolutely no instructions on how to do it. I happened by a couple of days ago and found a half-constructed platform and crate upon crate of stuff to unpack.'

'And that's not the half of it, look over here,' 'tikka said in pointing toward the left edge of the platform, ' shaman seems to have gone off and forgotten his rattle.'

'It's worse than we feared,' said the grizzled ranger to the tall one. 'Shaman's missed the last two meetings and we just figured he was out planting food plots, but he'd never leave without that.'

'I say we should form a search party and try to find him,' said the tall one.

'I concur,' said the thin one.

The three rangers headed away from the platform and 'tikka back to the fire to round up a search party.

'Hey, but who's gonna help get the rest of this stuff unpacked and the decorations set up?' shouted 'tikka after the rangers.

But they couldn't hear him because they'd already started discussing the finer points of WAAS enabled mapping gps systems.

'Great ... it looks like I'm going to have to set things up myself,' thought 'tikka.
_________________________
B.I.C. 'tikka

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#1449134 - 05/24/07 11:42 AM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: shaman]
wannatikka wannatikka
Campfire Regular


Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 890
Loc: Wisconsin

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'Tikka returned to the task at hand of unpacking the remainder of the boxes and crates for the party. Time was getting short now and he redoubled his efforts to get things set up in time.

Hmmm, in time? In time for what?, he wondered. Shaman had pullled off other parties and events before at the campfire that had seemed chaotic and haphazard at the time, but in retrospect appeared as carefully choreographed as an action film's climactic fight scene.

'Oh well, best not to ponder how much time is left but just keep on keeping on,' thought 'tikka.

'Tikka rummaged through the next box to find a Big Lots bag stuffed with strings of little lantern lights, the kind you typically see hanging from campers and RVs in state parks. Though he always disliked the cheesy glow they gave off, it somehow seemed to suit the mood and eclectic nature of a shaman party. He strung them along the front of the platform suspended from pegs that were already in place.

Next came a box filled with 18" squares of indoor/outdoor carpet, some a faded green like old Astroturf that had seen better days and others a variety of shades of brown, red, and grey. These were laid out on the platform in a mismatched random pattern to cover the cracks between some of the boards. Not surprisingly, there were just enough squares to perfectly cover the full surface of the raised dais.

'That figures,' thought 'tikka, 'things just seem to work out when you don't think too much and just go with what you've been given.'

The next crate contained what appeared to be a large canvas party tent and sections of poles, guy lines, and stakes to secure it. 'Tikka unpacked the tent and tried to organize the pieces as he went, though of course there were no instructions.

'Mmm, this one looks like I may need some help in setting up. Hopefully, someone will wander by and lend a hand with this one,' he said to himself.

Next came a box filled with cheap plastic tablecloths, old sets of tarnished silverware, tin plates and cups. 'Guess these are for the tables over 'yonder,' thought 'tikka again. 'And I suppose there's just the right number to match the tables, too. I guess there's still a bit of heavy lifting to move those tables under the tent ... if we can ever get it set up. There's just so much to get set up and my coffee cup is just too low to get it all done.'

With that, 'tikka paused a moment from his unpacking and walked over toward the fire to refill his mug with fresh hot coffee. 'Mmm, that's another thing I guess I take for granted around here,' he thought, 'Rick always seems to a pot of campfire coffee going and we never seem to run out no matter what time of day or night it happens to be. Gotta remember to add that to the list of things to thank him about next time he's around.'

Looking back over towards the party decorations, 'tikka noticed quite a crowd of campfire folks gathered around taking it all in. Groups of two or three stood chatting and pointing over towards the tiki torch path or platform, while others just wandered around by themselves in wonder of what might be afoot.

The chef was back with his roasting pan, but thankfully this time he had it loaded with some large deer or elk roasts seasoned and surrounded by new potatos and onions. he headed over to the hot coals and laid the roaster in then replaced the lid and covered it too with hot coals. Before long others from around the fire started arriving in search of the source of the aroma given off by the roasting meat.

'That should work,' thought 'tikka, 'hunger is always a good way of getting folks to lend a hand in setting up.'
_________________________
B.I.C. 'tikka

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#1449310 - 05/24/07 01:14 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: wannatikka]
shaman shaman
Campfire Guide


Registered: 12/28/02
Posts: 2136
Loc: Neave, KY

content Online
The pixie, although tasting a lot like chicken, and presenting a dish not unlike a brazed squirrel on a stick did not stay down like chicken. Once the shaman tucked in for the night, against another sentimental old oak, he began to have a fitful night.

He felt a rapping on his head. The shaman tried to shoo it away, but his hand came up with something solid, and he came awake with a jerk. It was the pixie.

“You?” said the shaman.

“Me.” Said the pixie. “It’s unfortunate for both of us, but that is the way it is.”

“I thought you were my supper.” Said the shaman. “You certainly did not stay down well.”

“I’m a bit at a loss to explain it myself.”

“Why bother me? I could cuff you another one.”

“You must come with me.”

“Must? I do not think you have the means to compel me.”

“I am now your official spirit guide.” Said the pixie.

“For. . . ?”

“You will see.”

The shaman knew better than to resist a spirit guide. He had tried it once, and it had given him a severe headache. Best to follow the advice of the voices inside one’s head—at least that was what he had found over time.

“Where are you taking me? The May Queen’s Party?”

“No, certainly not. You’re not fit for that affair. There is something else afoot.”

They traveled on in the darkness. By and by they came to a meadow, now drenched in moonlight.

“What is this place?” asked the shaman.

“It is your internal landscape.”

“Hmmm. I’m actually quite impressed. I would have figured it a whole lot messier.”

“It’s messy all right.”

“Why do you say that?”

“A lot of unresolved issues.” Said the pixie. “The same reason everyone’s a mess. Just look over there.”

The shaman looked out into the gloom. At first, all he cold see was a beautiful Midsummer’s Eve with the trees all fully leafed out and the grass reaching waist high. Gradually though, he saw through a break in the trees a foreboding glow.

“What is that?”

“That with which you have not come to grasp.”

“And that is?”

“The ultimate question of your life.” Said the pixie.

“Sounds heavy.” Said the shaman.

“It is,” said the pixie, “As long as you have not faced up to the answer.”

“Grandpa always told me not to ask the question if I wasn’t going to like the answer.”

“Grandpa is down there right now.” Said the pixie.

“He is?”

“He’s pissed at you.”

“Pissed?”

“Pissed off because you have never faced up to ultimate illusion of your life and moved on.”

“But,” said the shaman. “There is plenty of time for that. I figure I can hang out until they all gang up on me in my Nineties and beat me to death with truncheons.”

“The time is now.” Said the pixie. “I am hear to guide you.”

“It has been many a Midsummer’s Eve.” Said the shaman. “It was on a moonlit night like this. You’re right. I did turn away.”

“We know.” Said the pixie.

“And I have been running from it ever since.” Said the shaman.

“We know. We figured you would get tired eventually.”

“Tire of this?” said the shaman. “Tire of this world? Let me tell you something, my little pile of indigestible pixie turd. I said it then and I say it now—let the faithful follow the Shepherd, let the lemming-hearted hordes go driving to the shore, let all who want off the train get off at the next stop. Just leave me here to enjoy the day. Let me bare my face to the rough wind. Let me see the next dawn and the next one. There is no greater reward I ask than to see the aay, to take the World in my arms and hold it.”

“Was a score and twenty enough?” asked the pixie, interrupting. “Your prayer was answered. I don’t think you can ask for more.”

“It could never be enough.” Said the shaman. “So then again, I suppose now is as good a time as tomorrow.”

“Then come with me.” Said the pixie, “And we shall see.”
_________________________
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries Lighthearted Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer

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#1449330 - 05/24/07 01:23 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: wannatikka]
Elf Elf
Campfire Kahuna


Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 5264
Loc: The Cupboard Under the Stairs

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"Hey 'Tikka, Where can I set up the camera equipment?" Elf asked.
We need to record this moment for the Shaman and I want to make sure I have the right lighting etc.
_________________________
Kelley Griffin- Yukon Quest
http://www.yukonquest.com/site/race-updates/



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#1449363 - 05/24/07 01:50 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: Elf]
wannatikka wannatikka
Campfire Regular


Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 890
Loc: Wisconsin

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'Mornin' Elf,' said 'tikka, as he continued unpacking the latest crate full of table settings, 'I was wondering about that myself. It'd be a shame to not have a record of this thing. The only thing is you never really know when or where shaman is going to pop up but whenever he does it's sure to be in grand fashion. Are you thinking of trying to capture the whole scene or to do a super macro shot of him ... you know like some exotic flower?'

'Well, I'm thinking it's best to keep my distance from shaman for the time being,' replied Elf. 'You know how jumpy he can get when he's planning something and besides I just have this weird elf-sense that he's not too happy right now with pointy-eared or winged forest creatures.'

'OK, then how about if you set up on the hillside over left of the path,' answered 'tikka. 'That should give you a good view of the platform, the whole path, and the tables ... if they ever get set up. Will that work?'
_________________________
B.I.C. 'tikka

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#1449376 - 05/24/07 01:56 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: wannatikka]
Elf Elf
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Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 5264
Loc: The Cupboard Under the Stairs

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That would be a great place. I can see the platform from there and the scenery behind it will be a nice back drop for the photos.

'I heard about his troubles with the pixie so I think your right about me staying my distance for now,' answered Elf.
_________________________
Kelley Griffin- Yukon Quest
http://www.yukonquest.com/site/race-updates/



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#1450871 - 05/25/07 07:07 AM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: Elf]
shaman shaman
Campfire Guide


Registered: 12/28/02
Posts: 2136
Loc: Neave, KY

content Online
So the shaman let the pixie take him and down from the meadow into the wood they went. The shaman found that the glow was that of campfires burning in a grove. He came and sat down beside one fire that looked particularly inviting.

"We were getting worried about you." said a familiar voice.

"John, is that you?" asked the shaman.

"I believe so." said the shade. He threw a handful of twigs on the fire and the flames grew. There was John, seated like a glowering Buddha on a log.

"I hate to tell you this, old buddy, but you're dead." said the shaman.

"You always said I would go before you to find a good campsite." said the friend. "You were right. I got in yesterday and found this spot. It's near the showers and away from the teenagers."

"Teenagers?"

"You were right." said John " You weren't being dramatic. For leading a quiet life, you know a lot of dead people. I think it's your graduating class over there somewhere. They're having a reunion or something. Do you want to go?"

"No," said the shaman. "I was not all that close to them when they were alive."

"Is my Grandfather here?"

"Yes." said John. "I met him. He had us all in stitches with his stories. I think he is a tad peeved with you though."

"Why's that?"

"Because you have been so stubborn."

"He should talk. He was stubborn."

"But when his time came, he went. You've been a hold-out."

"Given the chance, wouldn't you?"

There was silence. The shaman reflected a bit and looked about. Among the trees were several deer and turkeys and nearby in a field were a host of cattle.

"Why are there so many animals about?"

"You've been a successful hunter."

"And the cows?"

"I remember your fondness for hamburgers. Don't worry, we couldn't stand the chickens and banished them ."

"And so let me get this straight." said the shaman. "You're all here, because I've come to the end of my road? You're hear to wish me well?"

"We're here to help you get your head out of your ass and let you move on." The voice was a familiar booming. Jerry plunked his big form down in a lawn chair he had brought with him.

"Jerry!" said the shaman. "This is great!"

"You didn't call me this year." said Jerry. "I was getting worried about you."

"We had a dog die right about then." said the shaman. "I kind of was distracted."

"That's okay parnder. "said Jerry. "I don't need the call. "

"I know." said the shaman. "I do. . . er. . . I did . . .oh, well. You know what I mean."

"So why have you stayed so long?" asked Jerry. "Don't you think it was time to move on?"

"I don't know," said the shaman. "I guess I wanted to raise a family, try my luck in business, you know."

"And where did that get you?" asked John, "Same place it got all of us!"

"Well, you two weren't exactly role models."

"No! We bloody well weren't." said Jerry. "John, I'll take that back if you want me to."

"No," said John, " You can keep it. No harm."

"So I guess it's time?" said the shaman.

"Whenever you're ready."

"I didn't think I'd have such an audience."

"We've always been there pulling for you." said John.

"Thanks. I guess." said the shaman.

"So, um. . . what should I do? How. . . how does this get done?"

"Anyway you want," replied Jerry.

"Do you guys want to come with me? Would you. . . will you stand with me?"

"We would be honored." said John.

"I suppose I should go say hello to Whitey." said the shaman. "He IS my grandfather, you know."

"There' plenty of time for that." said Jerry. "You can see him when you're done with the business at hand."

"I suppose." said the shaman. "So what?"

"Get up and get moving." said John.
_________________________
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries Lighthearted Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer

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#1452264 - 05/25/07 09:28 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: shaman]
shaman shaman
Campfire Guide


Registered: 12/28/02
Posts: 2136
Loc: Neave, KY

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The shaman stood with his friends and began walking in a way that looked appropriate. Jerry and John fell in behind him. Soon the entire wood had fallen in behind him, and they went in a slow procession through the woods until they came to the bank of a creek.

"I don't get it." said the shaman after a bit. "What do I do?"

"Keep going." said Jerry. "You'll see."

"Lay down your mind." said John. “Just relax.”

“Float downstream.” Said the pixie.

In the moonlight he saw Jerry rolling out his collection of inner tubes. He handed out a tube to the shaman.

“Ever gone floating in the moonlilght?” he asked, pulling out a cooler and stuffing it in one of the tubes. “We might get thirsty.” He said.

The party waded out into mid-stream and hopped into their tubes. It was warm and there was a breeze. There was just enough current to carry them. Shaman lay back and relaxed.

“Isn’t this fun?” asked the pixie, perched on John’s belly.

“I didn’t think it would be like this.” Replied the shaman.

And so they went, laughing and swapping stories. Jerry and the shaman told the story of their boar hunt and disagreeing as usual on many important details. John amused the crowd with stories of shaman’s girlfriends and their interaction with his waterbed. The pixie was enthralled. The moon had moved considerably in the sky when they floated around a bend and the shaman spied a small white chapel along the bank. It wasn’t much bigger than an outhouse, but it sat stately on the bank and beckoned to him. John beached his tube and got out.

“Here’s as far as we go.” He said. “You have to take the next step yourself. That chapel’s not built for a crowd.”

“End of the line, pardner.” Said Jerry. “Just walk through the doors. It’s not hard at all. By the way, there’s a three-headed dog around here somewhere. Watch out for the turds.”

“Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it.”
_________________________
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries Lighthearted Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer

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#1454091 - 05/26/07 09:52 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: shaman]
shaman shaman
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Registered: 12/28/02
Posts: 2136
Loc: Neave, KY

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The shaman recognized the chapel. He had been there before. It did not make much sense to hold off now. It was time to go in. He waived to the crowd, gave John a big hug and walked up the well-beaten path to the door. The doors were heavy, and did not give way at first. However, the shaman tried them again and they both flung open for him on the second attempt. He stepped inside. It was a tastefully appointed affair with a small altar and a couple of pews all done in a light maple and sort of a mock-colonial sparseness.

The shaman walked to the altar and stood. He had been there before, twenty-some years ago on this very night. He had come to the crushing realization that all of Humanities boiled down to this: questioning why we lived only to die, and attempting to cope with the answers derived. All of culture, science, art, religion, and philosophy, all of Mankind’s endeavors was driven by this one Singularity.

Sure enough, up on the altar, a Naked Singularity left over from the creation of the Universe hovered over the altar. It was a single point of blackness, surrounded by the brilliant light caused by bits of matter being sucked in and devoured.

“Awesome, isn’t it?” Said a familiar voice. The shaman turned around and saw his longtime friend, The Surfer, slouching in the pew. He was reading the February 1965 issue of Surfing World.

“Dude.” Said the shaman. “How’s it hanging?”

“Not bad.” Said The Surfer. “I haven’t seen you here in a while.”

“Haven’t been around.”

“What’s up?”

“I guess I’m at the end of the line.” Said the shaman.

“Dude! What makes you say that.”

“I am here. This is the end of the line, isn’t it?”

“Depends on the line, Dude.”

“I’ve never been able to get a straight answer from you.” Said the shaman.

“It all depends on how you look at the answer. But I agree that you and I. . .well, we have not been communicating much lately.”

“I figured it out the other day.” Said the shaman.” Why we weren’t all that close.”

“Cool.” Said the Surfer. “I’d be really interested to know why.”

“Well, from the start, I never really dug the idea of you or your dad being like right there all the time. I mean, I’m an only-kid. We get used to privacy. The idea that you’d be in my bedroom at night listening to my prayers always freaked me out. I figured you could be in the backyard, but I didn’t want you in my bedroom.”

“That’s cool.”

“I suppose I dug you the most when I was just getting out in the world. You seemed to be the coolest thing around. You had all the answers. You rocked for me, man.”

“That’s what we’re here for, dude.”

“And then one day I realized I’d gone out in the world and had a family and gotten a career, and you were still just living in your Dad’s basement and hanging with your buddies, and I was waaaay past all that. Heck, it finally dawned on me that here you were like so into surfing. . . you had the old Woody and you were always playing Beach Boys and you had all these great boards, but you were like 2000 miles from the nearest ocean, and you never went.”

“I can see that.”

“Dude!” said the shaman. “Doesn’t that like weird you out? You’re like forever stuck at thirty-three and a third.”

“But see,” said The Surfer. “I had this like one monster dream. I dreamed of riding this big wave. It was like the biggest wave, man. The biggest wave ever. . . and-”

“But don’t you see?” said the shaman. “You’re still just a guy who lives in his Dad’s basement, waxing his boards.”

There was a silence.

“How is your Dad, by the way.”

“He’s cool.” Said The Surfer. “He hangs out-watches a lot of TV in bed. He really digs The Weather Channel.”

“That’s cool” replied the shaman. “I’m glad he’s getting along okay.”

“Oh,” said The Surfer. “He rocks. You know what I mean. He is just soooo cool to be with. You want to go upstairs and see him?”

“Later, maybe.”

“How’s your Mom?”

“Cool. She visits around a lot. She’s not here right now. She’s always got some gig or the other to go to--fundraisers mostly.”

“Cool.”

“So like why are you all wired? Why don’t you just chill a little.”

“Well,” said the shaman. “This is . . .like IT. Right?”

“What do you mean?”

“I come here. I meet you. We go off together. You introduce me around. I go find what I’m going to do for Eternity, and then that’s like . . . IT.”

“No way, Man.” Said the Surfer. “You’ve got it all wrong. See, it’s not like IT, because there is no IT. IT is just some weird construct folks put together to compare it to things that are NOT IT. You with me?”

“So this isn’t IT?”

“Well, like yeah.”

“I’m free to go?”

“Look, this is all like some big dream. You think you’re apart from Dad and Me? Fine, go be apart. You want back in, come on back. The only thing I was trying to tell folks was this: either you’re in or your out. You pick. We’re cool either way.”

“But,”

“No buts.” Said The Surfer. “Pick Door Number One or Door Number Two. Sorry I don’t have lovely Carol Merrill for you eyes to feast on, but there you are.” He pointed to side doors to either side of the altar.

“What’s behind each door?”

“It’s whatever you want.” Said The Surfer. “Or if you want to, go up on the altar over there and offer yourself to the Naked Singularity.”

“Then what?”

“If you’re looking for IT.” Said The Surfer. “That’s IT. From there, you’ve got hanging with Dad and Me. From there, pick your door.”

“What about the door I came in?”

“That’s cool too. I just figured you came in for a reason and you didn’t want to go back. Okay, so now you’ve got three doors.”

“And what do I have beyond that?”

“It’s however you want to go. “

“This Naked Singularity thing,” said the shaman. “What if I go that way. What’s the gig there?”

“Pretty much what you expect. You go in time stops. You become one with the Universe.”

“Does it hurt?”

“There’s nothing left to hurt.”

“Oh. So if I want to keep some semblance of me in this, that is probably not the way to go.”

“You’re rockin’ dude.”

“And if I stay here with you guys, I can stay with you and we can talk surfing and listen to Pet Sounds.”

“Ain’t that a great album? Have you ever tried playing it backwards? There are some intense backwards maskings, like at one point Brian-”

“Or I can take my pick on three doors.”

“I doubt you’ll be displeased with any of the choices.”
_________________________
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries Lighthearted Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer

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#1454937 - 05/27/07 01:31 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: shaman]
Elf Elf
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Registered: 08/12/05
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Loc: The Cupboard Under the Stairs

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What choices???

Elf sits and ponders as she waits for the Shaman to show up for the big shindig. "The camera is ready the tables are set, but where in the heck is Shaman" , she wonders.
_________________________
Kelley Griffin- Yukon Quest
http://www.yukonquest.com/site/race-updates/



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#1458263 - 05/29/07 04:37 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: shaman]
wannatikka wannatikka
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Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 890
Loc: Wisconsin

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'Tikka realized he could hear the rhythmic sounds of drumming coming from off in the distance. No, not quite drumming it was more like hammering. Not the rap-rap-rap-bang of framing hammers as they drove home 16 penny nails, no this was a much deeper and methodical type of hammering. Heavy hammering. The sound continued thwack ... thwack ... thwack ... thump. It was the kind of sound you'd imagine someone would make when driving something with a heavy sledge.

'But who'd be out hammering at this hour,' 'tikka thought to himself as he leaned with his back up against the trunk of the tree, 'and on opening day to boot!' It seemed just a moment ago he had settled into his stand and sat back to listen to the woods come to life with the approaching dawn. Now someone was interrupting his hunt.

But this wasn't any ordinary opening day of bow season. No, 'Tikka had anticipated this day for years. This day, today, was his oldest son's first bowhunt and if this hammering didn't stop soon it'd mess up the deer moving into their little patch of woods.

Thwack ... THWACK ... THUMP ... the sound seemed to be getting louder and closer. 'Durned fools!' he thought, now getting agitated. 'If only I could see them through this darkness, I'd run 'em ...

'Tikka awoke with a start and realized that he was still back at the campfire and the sound of hammering wasn't out of place at all. He glanced over toward the decorations and found that the source of the hammering was the last tent stake being driven home. With that, the last guy line was put in place around the stake and the group of guys who had been holding the rope retreated back under the tent.

As he rubbed the sleep from his eyes, he tried to recall what had happened. The last thing he remembered was unpacking a crate ... wait, what was that again ... that's right he'd finally made it through all the crates. All, save one, that is. That last crate was right next to the platform and the biggest one of the lot. On each side, in large orange block letters about 6" high, it read

'DO NOT OPEN UNTIL THE TIME IS RIGHT.'

That's it, he had sat down to contemplate what the cryptic message meant and must have fallen asleep while unpacking.

'How long have I been out?' 'tikka thought to himself worriedly.

A quick glance around the campfire told him that he'd been out for a considerable amount of time. The tables and chairs had already been placed underneath the large party tent and each table was decorated for an outdoor feast. The center of most tables had a stuffed critter or two as decorations. Some tables held dusty old raccoons or prairie dogs, while others looked to be well crafted waterfoul mounts. Another contained a large eyed tiny African antelope and a mean looking kind of cat.

'Mmm, must be the Africa section of the fire,' he thought to himself.

A huge crowd had gathered and people were rushing to and fro about the fire. Glasses were being filled with favorite beverages and the lone chef hat adorned camper had been joined by a throng of cooks at the fire. A table of desserts had been placed out and was watchfully guarded by a large pack of dogs and a fiesty little lady who placed an apple pie amongst the treats.

The party seemed to be getting into full swing, but it still didn't seem the time was right since Shaman was still absent.

'Mmm, that's strange,' thought 'tikka as he glanced back toward the last crate, 'I thought the words on the box were orange. In this light they're really more of a red .'
_________________________
B.I.C. 'tikka
 

 

 



#1460139 - 05/30/07 03:29 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: wannatikka]
shaman shaman
Campfire Guide


Registered: 12/28/02
Posts: 2807
Loc: Neave, KY

content Online

“You know,” said the shaman. “I probably need to get back.”

“Yes,” said The Surfer. “I knew you wouldn’t want to stay.”

“You’re okay with that?”

“Oh, totally cool, but thanks for asking.”

“No problem.”

“So how did I get here? I don’t remember ever really trying.”

“Well, think back. Have you had any close calls recently?”

“What you mean like dying?”

“Yeah, like dying.”

“No not really. I stood out in front of a bus.”

“That was probably it.”

“You mean I got hit by the bus?”

“Dude, that must have hurt!”

“No,” said the shaman. “All I remember was that it stopped for me and I got on.”

“Getting on the bus.” Said The Surfer. “That was probably how you got here.”

“But-“

“Remember how you used to tell me, how if we wanted you, you’d come?”

“Yeah, but-“

“And how I used to answer that we always wanted you, but you could come when you pleased?”

“I guess I missed that part.” Said the shaman. “I sort of expected a phone call or something.”

“That’s okay. Most people miss that part of the message.”

“So it was as easy as that: get on the bus and find your way here?”

“There are a lot of friends out there who will guide you.”

“But I must go back now.”

“Yeah. It’s been cool seeing you again.”

“Well, goodbye then.”

“Later, dude.”

With that, the shaman fell into the arms of The Surfer and wept.

“I’m sorry. I’m realizing I’m lost here.” He cried.

“Tell me which door you want.”

“The right one.” Said the shaman. “I only want the right one.”

“Cool.” Said The Surfer. “He led him to the door to the right of the altar, and said. “Here you go, man. Have a nice trip.” Without much else, the shaman opened the door and went through.
_________________________
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries Lighthearted Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer


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#1460197 - 05/30/07 03:54 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: shaman]
joken2 joken2
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Registered: 08/28/03
Posts: 1271
Loc: Kentucky

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Shaman, hope I'm wrong but I'm beginning to be a little concerned about where this one is headed. Just seems things are sounding more serious than the usual Shaman's adventures. Sure do hope everything is OK for you and yours.
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#1462117 - 05/31/07 02:06 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: joken2]
shaman shaman
Campfire Guide


Registered: 12/28/02
Posts: 2807
Loc: Neave, KY

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Emptiness.

More Emptiness.

Maybe some time passed. It was hard to tell.

Emptiness and more Emptiness. It was not dark. It was not cold. It was not anything.

Something realized it was surrounded by Emptiness, and in doing so a Universe was created. Now, something was surrounded by emptiness, and it was alone.

. . . and in realizing darkness, it created light and in the light it discerned form, and so it went until it realized that it was hungry and cold and not having much fun and it was alone, and it decided to assume a form, separate from the world and yet a part of it. Into this world it stepped.

The shaman emerged from the gloom and found himself looking at a blank cinder block wall. He was cold, tired, hungry and alone. He wished he was none of these and he turned away from the wall and looked. He was in a corridor and he turned to his right and ventured down it, emerging in what must have been a terminal of sorts.

“Good evening,” said someone. The shaman looked and saw a man in uniform that he took to be the station master.

“Good evening.” Said the shaman. “Where am I?”

“Not much of anywhere,” said the station master. “I guess important thing at this point is where you are going?”

“Hmmm” said the shaman. “I like that. What are my choices?”

“Anywhere you want.” Said the station master.

“I think it’s time for me to go home.” Said the shaman.

“Not a problem.” Said the station master. “There should be a bus along any minute now.”

“Which one should I take?”

“Where’s home?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Then it should make much of a difference which bus you take. If you don’t want to stay here, I would take the next one.”

“That seems logical.” Said the shaman.

“Remember to ask for a transfer.” Said the station master. “Ride a ways and then get off and take another bus. Always remember to ask for a transfer. Eventually you will find your way. Remember to sit up front and ask the bus driver. He may be able to help you. If not, just remember to be nice to him. Otherwise, he’ll drop you off in the boondocks somewhere.”

“That sounds like a good plan.” Said the shaman. “It’s not very crowded, is it?”

“No.” said the station master. “We get a lot coming in, but few going back. Usually this leg first leg coming up is a dead haul for the driver.”

In a short while a bus did come by. It was designated “The Fulham Road Express.” That sounded just fine for the shaman. It slid up next to him and ejected one passenger, an old woman who walked back up the corridor the shaman had just come from. The shaman thanked the station master and got on. The driver did not wait long before closing the doors and took off.
_________________________
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries Lighthearted Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer


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#1463796 - 06/01/07 02:33 PM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: shaman]
shaman shaman
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Registered: 12/28/02
Posts: 2807
Loc: Neave, KY

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The ride was long. Several times shaman attempted to engage the bus driver in conversation, but to no avail. The shaman had a lot of time on his hands, but he had nothing to think about. His life was still an empty vessel, having poured all he had into his trip so far.

Now that he had returned from his return from the ultimate abyss of consciousness, what exactly was he going to do? If he had anything to do in the world, what would it be? Travel to the Himilayas? Visit the great gurus? Go to Paris and study art? Go back to college? Stay home and watch the Weather Channel? How was he going to fill his days until he met up again with The Surfer and His Father.

He needed something that would help him fill in the pieces of his life. He needed something that would challenge him, and expose himself to himself. After you’d been to the Abyss and come back, there was not much on Earth to compare. The path within was really the only one left.

He wanted to keep his family together. Three sons were going to be a lot to handle if he just let them go their own way. He needed something exciting to hold their attention and a matrix on which to paint his life lessons that they could grasp.

“Deer Hunting in the Fall, Turkey Hunting in the Spring and a little bit of shooting and fishing in between.” Said the shaman to himself. “I hunt. I hunt, therefore I am.”

With that, the bus jerked to a stop. The doors opened.

“Your stop.” Said the bus driver.

“How do you know that?” asked the shaman.

“Trust me.” Said the driver. “You’ve come plenty far. It’s time to get off. Exit to the rear, please.”
_________________________
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries Lighthearted Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer


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#1468416 - 06/04/07 10:15 AM Re: The shaman and the party [Re: shaman]
shaman shaman
Campfire Guide


Registered: 12/28/02
Posts: 2807
Loc: Neave, KY

content Online
When the shaman got off it was getting on towards dusk again. He had been let off at the intersection of Fulham Road and a small lane that the shaman knew quite well. It would be a long walk, but it was the last leg of the trip. The moon came out about midnight and lit his way through sleeping pastures and fallow fields until at last he came to a toe-path angling back across a narrow ridge.

The shaman had to cross through some woods to get there, and the way would be dark under the canopy of the trees. However, the shaman knew a familiar niche in the rocks and it did not take him long to find a small lantern, a plumbers candle and some matches. He lit up and continued on his way. It would not be long now.



When he arrived at camp, he was surprised to find many folks gathered at the rows of picnic tables. They had mostly gotten bored and fallen asleep. A few had drifted back towards the fire. The lanterns and tiki torches had all gone out. It was nice to see such a turn out. The shaman stopped by the small podium and was rummaging around for his things. He found his antler headdress close by, and his possibles bag, with his rattle in such, stored within the podium. Nosmo and Pooh, and a woman he did not recognize came up to him.

“Excuse us,” said Pooh. “May we help you.”

“I am just looking for my things.” Said the shaman.

“Your things.” Asked Nosmo. “I’m sorry fellow, but I do not recognize you.”

The shaman brought his lantern up to his face. “Nosmo? It’s me.” Said the shaman.

“Oh,” said Pooh. “It’s the shaman. He’s come back!”

“Shhh! “said Nosmo. “You’ll wake everyone.”

“Sorry I am late. “said the shaman.

“That’s okay.” Said Nosmo. “By the way, this is my wife, Sofa.”

“Nice to meet you.” Said the shaman to the comfortable looking woman.

“Thank you. “said Sofa. “Nosmo’s told me so much about you. Thank you for the new ATV.”

“I brought her to the party.” Said Nosmo. “That new ATV thing is great!”

“Don’t mention it.” Said the shaman. “If you don’t mind, I’m feeling tired. Do you mind if we sit down?”

“No problem, old man.” Said Nosmo. “He and Pooh brought over a couple of benches while the shaman flopped down and laid his head against the dais. By the time everyone else was situated to their liking, the shaman was snoring.”

“Oh,” said Pooh. “I guess this means we won’t hear about what’s kept him so long.”

“I suppose not.” Said Nosmo. “Let’s get back to playing Euchre, and maybe after he has a nap he’ll join us.”



And so that is how it ended. The shaman wandered back into camp and slept the rest of the night away. While the last of the party goers played cards until the sun rose.


 


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