The Trading Post... part 2
Daniel watched as the flames gnawed their way towards them. He knew that to make any effort to douse the flames would be without gain. The flames were not flames of this time, but of an era, long since forgotten by most. Ellie clung to his hand tightly, touching his face with her free hand.
"I can feel you, Daniel. I can sense the fear in your heart. The smell of old wood burning tells me that the bridge is on fire again. You need to tell me what you are seeing. Please, Daniel, describe for me everything you are looking at from on top of this bridge. It is the only way..."
Daniel interrupted her sentence. He knew exactly how to finish it for her. "My Love, I remember all to well that day. The curse not only took your sight, it left your soul needing to have things described to you. It is not just to fill your senses with what I see. God, how I wish it were that simple. Your soul is like your stomach now. It has to be fed in order to stay alive."
"Then feed me, Daniel, so that I can feel alive."
The flames continued to burn away at the wood. Daniel watched as the wood, rotted and sun-baked, slowly burned away at the bridge. He reached out and stroked Ellie's face, wiping the tears from her eyes as he did.
"I see the Valley below us. The grass is so green it almost looks blue. There is the train track below, as you know, and it is now looking so very old. Perhaps if you stopped the restoration and tried some-how to put things back to the way that they were when we found this place."
"Daniel, please, you must keep talking to me about the things that you see. I am feeling tired and a bit out of sorts here. I need your eyes to be mine."
The sand and gravel below the bridge began to settle. Daniel looked down at the figures that stood before him.
"Through my eyes, darling, see all that I see. There are four men standing beside the railroad tracks. They have mallets and railroad spikes in their hands. They are dressed in half over-alls that only cover the bottom portion of their body's. They are wearing shirts with the sleeves rolled up to their elbows. They look to be about thirty years old."
"Those are the same men that were there the day all of this happened, Daniel. Is the Chief there? Can you see him."
"Yes, Ellie, he is standing amongst the other warriors. He is wearing a head-dress that goes all the way to the ground. It is adorned with Eagles feathers and beads. He looks angry and I don't know how to approach him."
The sand stirred and blew debri all around the tracks. suddenly, from under the sand appeared a bike. It looked as if it had been struck by something. A train perhaps, was Daniel's first thought. The Chief began to rise from the ground as he stretched his arms out in front of him. The bike, red with silver stripes down the side, stood and re-assembled itself.
"I see it, Daniel. Keep concentrating like you are. My eyes see as long as I am looking through yours. But I also feel your soul, Daniel. You are so filled with sadness and anger. How I wish you could let it go and be at peace."
Daniel turned to Ellie and shook his head. "At peace?!?!?!" His voice was loud and it startled Ellie.
"Please Daniel, you know what will happen if you allow your anger to dominate your emotions."
"Ellie, that man," he said, pointing at the Chief that was nearly eye level now to Daniel and Ellie, "took your sight from you. He never gave it a second thought when he reached out and pluck the sight from your beautiful eyes. Damn him for what he did to our lives! You want me to find peace?!?!? You find a way for me to kill that creature and give your sight back to you and then, maybe I will know peace. Until then, I will find a way..."
Daniel was interrupted by the Voice of the Chief, his voice resonating through out the open landscape that surrounded them all. He raised his hand higher and then pointing at Daniel, he spoke.
"You speak of killing me and my people, but you do not know me."
"I know you took my wife's sight from her!"
"I took nothing from your woman. She gave it to me freely when she brought us back to life. She did not see the destruction that was brought upon us by the white man. She did not see the hundreds of my people that died under the white mans savagery."
The wind stirred again and all of the warriors were now just inches away from where Daniel and Ellie stood. A shot rang out from below the bridge. The men that had been holding mallets and spikes now held rifles. The bullets were striking the bridge and missing the Chief by only a foot. The Chief acted as if he heard nothing.
"This is what you brought back to life when you unearthed our resting place, woman. This," he said, waving his arm all around, "is how my people suffered at the hands of your people."
The bridge had stopped burning and was now just as it was when Ellie found it. The school-house where her grand-mother went to school, appeared just behind the white men. Children played outside of the building and a teacher stood near-by. Trees and tents began to pepper the landscape, some of the tents torn and burned. People ran around, snatching their children from the play-ground and screaming out for help.
"Daniel, you must calm yourself if we are to survive. Please, love, please." Daniel pulled his hand away from Ellie's hand. Her sight went dark again. Fear welled up inside her as she groped the bridge railing, trying desperately to stay on her feet. "Daniel, where are you? please don't leave me standing here alone!"
Daniel gave himself a push up with his feet. He stood for only a moment on the rail before jumping through the air towards the Chief. Total panic swept through his very being when his body passed through the Indian Chief's body and plummeted towards the rocky ground below. His body hit the ground fast and hard. Daniel could feel his arm bone snapping just below his elbow. He heard the crunch of bone being smashed in his left knee. He rolled over, crying ou in pain. He could see Ellie, looking over the rail of the bridge, searching, as if she could see him. He knew she could not. The pain erupted in his leg and arm and Daniel knew he was only moments away from fading into darkness himself. He saw the Chief rise up and take Ellie in his arms. She did not fight him in any way.
"Ellie, my love," he cried as tears began to wet the ground where he laid, "I am sorry. I only wanted to save you and give you your sight again. Please, forgive my stupid-ness. I love you, Ell..."
Daniel's world began to grow dark. The last thing he saw was Ellie being lowered to the ground in the Chief's arms. The bike was now being drawn back into the ground where it had been buried. What did the bike have to do with the bridge? Why were the women grabbing their children, when the Indians had not gone near them? The bridge was now turning to the same wood that had been on it when he and Ellie first came. Daniel could hear a train in the far distance. The last words he heard were from the Chief.
"I will not harm her, Daniel. I am taking her to the only place she can be healed. I am taking her to my time. You will know, if you can search your soul, how tyo come to her and save her eyes."
And then, Daniel's world... went dark.