Gale Meets Pocahontas: A Ghost Town Time Story
Captain John Smith
I was really glad for a period of normalcy. It’s been several months since I found myself in the ghost town. I still have no explanation for the ghost town. I only know it exists. But on what basis? Is it just a hole in the universe? It seemingly has no physical space but I and others just suddenly happen on it. Or in it. What is most frustrating is that I find such interesting stories, but I can’t use them because people would think I’m insane. Anyhow, I’ve been delighted to just live a normal life for awhile, just doing my daily news show with an occasional special feature, going on a normal date, attending a party, playing some tennis without being transformed to another dimension.
I suppose I was due for another strange happening. That’s the thing; I have no control over what happens. The ghost town exists, but I am not sure how or where I might run across it. I don’t even know if it is part of our universe or some sort of crossroad of the universe. Is there more than one universe? But that’s a contradiction in terms.
Gale seeks Thanksgiving story
By the way my name is Gale Nielson. I live in Chicago and have a local TV news show. To add some interest, I occasionally get out of the Windy City and look for an interesting feature for a special. In this case, I was looking for some sort of unique Thanksgiving event. A news release I found on my desk told of a Thanksgiving dinner party near the lake. Lake Michigan, that is. Costumes were optional, but they are usually expected. Turkey dinner, prizes, dancing seemed attractive at the moment. So I wrapped up my assignments for the day and decided it was time to go shopping.
I went to my favorite shop for party clothes to see what I could find. I rejected the idea of Pilgrim costumes because they seemed a bit bulky for a working assignment. Then I found a rack with clothes that might have been worn by a young Pocahontas, probably inspired more by Walt Disney than by history. Well, a party is a combination of make believe and wishful thinking. I tried on several, looking for an attractive look but not too much so. It was a work assignment, after all. I don’t know about authenticity but I liked a tan doeskin dress that came just above my knees and high topped moccasins. Then I found a beaded leather vest to go with it. I guess I never outgrew the impulse for “dress-up.”
The station had a new intern camera man and I asked him if he wanted to go on assignment with me and arranged for him to meet me at the party-with or without a costume. The station would pay expenses and he could share a byline with me. As working journalists it wasn’t necessary to wear costumes, but I guess I can’t pass up an opportunity to dress up or show off my looks. I like to think it draws more audience to my TV show.
Marriage of Pocohontas to John Rolfe
The party was fun and a couple of guys asked me for a phone number. I gave them my business card, no home or cell numbers. I was pleasantly exhausted from interviewing and dancing by the time I got back to my Jeep. I was glad o be heading home. When will I ever learn that my life has not been my own since I first found the ghost town?
I was heading down the Interstate when I suddenly saw a sign in giant letters that said “Detour!” I had a bad feeling about this but I turned off the Interstate an slid down the ramp. Instead of a highway, I ended up on a bumpy dirt road.. One of those we call “washboard.” I was still going fast when I hit the brake and my head bumped the steering wheel.
I woke up in a tent of some somewhat dazed. A young woman who appeared to be Native American was offering me a cup of hot liquid.. It tasted good and seemed to settle my nerves. “Where am I?” I asked and thought how dumb that sounded. I pointed to myself and said “my name is Gale” She said she was known as Pocahontas, although she had many names. After awhile I found that she did not know where she was, not did her companions. I asked her to walk with me outside tent I mentioned. Yes, it was the ghost town. We sat down on a bench in front of the saloon.
Pocahontas was a pretty girl and wore a leather dress with much beadwork depicting birds and animals. In our time, she would probably be a high school student or maybe a college freshman. She was well built and would probably be a cheerleader or a tennis player—very athletic. I told her that I knew of her helping the Pilgrims survive a harsh winter and how she saved Captain John Smith’s life.
She looked puzzled that I knew of such things. She said: “The English people are really kind of dumb.’
That kind of surprised me and I asked her why she said it. “Well,” she said. “Captain Smith, he brag about all the exploits he has done. How he sailed on his big boats across vast oceans. Yet they get here and they are hungry because they have no food.”
“I have heard about the groups nearly starving and how you and other Indians brought them food and shared a feast. In fact, we commemorate it in our time as “Thanksgiving Day.”
She looked at me like I had lost my mind. “More strangeness with your people.”
“White people too dumb to find food that was all around them. There were Turkey and small animals that they could have caught and ate. There was grain, maze and other plants like berries that they could eat. There was fish in the streams. You tell me. Why were they hungry?”
I didn’t have much answer to what the girl said. She certainly wasn’t the naïve primitive that I imagined. I asked her about her affair with Captain Smith and the story of how she saved his life. As we know the story her father was the Indian Chief and was ready to bash the Captains brains out with his war club. Pocahontas, as the story goes, laid her head on Smith’s so that her father would have killed her first.
“I remember that now,” she said. “Smith was fun for a young girl, as I was at that time. But he told a lot of stories. Some might have been true but he bragged a lot. My father thought a ritual might help him see truth better. In my childish ways I thought I might share his visions.”
“I’ve noticed that you have been called by different names. Why is that?” I asked.
“Don’t you have different names, too?”
“Your called, gale. English call that a first name. Then you got “last “name. A—family name. How about you got a baptized name? “
She got me there. “How about nicknames,” she said. “Pocahontas in English mean “Little wanton” which I got because I was considered playful and hard to control.”
“I think some folks would call me that too,” I said. “Was your relationship with Captain Smith a close one?” I asked her.
“No. Not really. When I was young I liked his stories of adventure. The stories were fun but I think he would have to be at least a hundred and thirty years old to do all those things he claimed.”
“You think he was trying to impress you to win you affection?”
“If he did, it didn’t work too well.”
I must say that I had a few affairs like that myself.
From previous experience with the Ghost Town, time warp or whatever, I felt this interview was about over. I told Pocahontas that I wished her well. I did not tell her that she was fated to die at went to bed and wished I could publish the Thanksgiving interview with the Indian Princess,
© 2014 Don A. Hoglund
More by this Author
The Turtle is a children's story based on our own children and dogs that we had at at one time.
This is a fictional western short story told by an anonymous narrator about the publisher of the town newspaper. It starts with a local business being vandalized and she investigates.
They came from upper Alaska where they were working companions to a native tribe.. They are a Nordic sled dog that descended from the arctic wolf and are often mistaken for wolves.