Chapter 7

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"No! Please, mercy!" Gray Hawk begs Lone Wolf, feeling the cold blade pressed against his scalp.

"Mercy? Did you not come here for my little woman? Our children? Our scalps?"

Gray Hawk's protests turn to screams as he feels searing pain all over his crown. In one fluid motion, Lone Wolf uses his knife to cut a line from the back of Gray Hawk's right ear, then circles around his forehead and stops behind the other ear. Gray Hawk resists, but it is of no use.

"Arrrrgggghhhh!" Gray Hawk shrieks.

With a quick jerking motion, his scalp makes the same noise as cracking grass roots when the sod is separated from soil. Blood gushes down his face.

Lone Wolf holds the bloody trophy high and shouts, "Many take on few, and few win!"

He waves the son's scalp at his enraged father.

***

"Eww. He scalped him while he was alive?" Kevin gags.

Charlie adjusts his waistband and growls. "Lone Wolf's favorite weapon was the shoulder blade of an elk. With this mighty club, he fought off fifty men and prepared to fight off fifty more," the scoutmaster says, swiping his hands back and forth.

"He killed a hundred bad guys? That's not nearly as many as Alexander the Great," John blurts out.

"Yup!" Charlie responds, gulping down his coffee. "But 'bad guys' is a funny phrase. These two tribes were bitter enemies, though neither really knew why. They just knew someone scalped so-and-so and that's what started it all."

"I wanna see a scalp," Luther says with a devilish grin.

Charlie grunts and ignores him.

"How'd Lone Wolf get to be so strong?" Zack asks.

"He learned to be strong by becoming a great Indian wrestler. For sport, he would sometimes seize the ankle of his enemy, pick 'em up with one arm, swing 'em around his head, and smash 'em against a tree or a rock. You know, whichever was closer."

***

Lone Wolf does not seize an enemy by the foot but by the heart.

Black Bear sees the gleam of his son's blood-soaked skull. He watches helplessly as his son looks up and reaches for him. Chief Black Bear immediately feels his lust for power fade. His courage, conviction, and conceit evaporate. He immediately charges the Dog Warriors.

"My son! My love! My heart! Your father comes for you!" Black Bear roars.

Black Bear's ambience grows bright and temporarily blinds Lone Wolf. The brilliance of his power forces everyone to cover their eyes and shield their faces.

Lone Wolf slowly and deliberately makes eye contact with his enemy. He immediately notices that one of Black Bear's eyes is blue and the other is brown.

Dark clouds roll in. They blanket a blue sky. Cracks of lightning ignite and touch down all around Chief Black Bear. Bodies of both tribes become conductors and convulse when electricity touches them. Their torsos shake violently as their eyes glow and blue flames flicker out of their mouths before their scorched bodies fall to the ground.

The earth begins to shake and split apart. Indians struggle to keep their balance. It's useless. The grinding earth opens up and swallows warriors of both tribes. Chief Black Bear lifts the Sun God's lance to the sky. He summons a single bolt of blue lightning. The fluid crackles from far across the sky and touches the glowing lance. Sparks explode off his body and splash across Lone Wolf's shield.

In an impossible instant, the Cheyenne chief's black-and-white-painted face splits down the middle. Something terrible within fights to get out.


A word: Is there something within you fighting to get out? If so, what might that be? When I wrote this chapter, I felt like it was fighting to get out. And so it did. Two things you should probably know, first, this book is available on Amazon. Search for "Harvest Moon," by Zachary H. Lovelady. Second, I've made my best effort to bring the old west to life. Check my tribe out on Instagram: harvestmoonofficial

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