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from Frienemies by Aleta Kay

Copyright © 2017–2019 Aleta Kay

Chapter Four
Subterfuge

After the doctor left Fawn closed and bolted the door. She fixed Nana a cup of tea, then went upstairs to put things back in order.

The upstairs was also the attic. Two bedrooms were divided by the stairs. Each room had a curtain that ran the length of the room, hiding it and its occupants from each other. Fawn’s room was on the left. Gray’s had been on the right. The walls were sloped and hung with blankets made from animal skins which had been passed down by her ancestors. Each had Shawnee tales of life painted on them. Fawn’s depicted the village as its people traveled from through Virginia and Ohio.

Fawn sighed. There was no reason to keep the curtains drawn any more. Gray’s things were still just as he had left them. She could imagine him sitting on his bed, whittling a stick into a spear, or a piece of wood into a dog or a horse. His long black hair always gleamed as the evening sun came through the window. He was not real fond of reading, but he liked books about the Shawnee way of life. He believed in the herbs and foods our people used for healing, but he also believed in Nana’s God, the one they call Jesus. Not me. I want to believe my ancestors are all around me, cheering me on, watching over me, protecting me. She picked up his two books from the floor and set his bedside table upright, placing the books on top just the way Gray would have had them.

She put the mattress back on the bed and made it up for a brother she would never see again. The porcelain bowl and water pitcher that had graced the center of the dresser their father had made lay in shards on the floor. Her brother’s clothes were scattered around the room, drawers pulled open and left hanging. Even the side drawers that had been built into the wall had been broken as they were yanked out and emptied. Gray’s whittling knife, she realized, was missing. His wall hanging and blanket with the Shawnee fetishes sewn in had been cut to ribbons. She wept.

Going across to her own room she saw the same kind of mess. Her bowl and pitcher also lay broken on the floor. Bed clothes and apparel were also scattered about, some cut or torn. Her trinket box, her one luxury given to her by Nana on her twelfth birthday, also lay shattered on the floor. Every memento of their Native American heritage had been destroyed. Whoever did this wasn’t just looking for something. They were attacking us....







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