Prelude the the apocalypse – Ahote

They were now in the fourth world, the previous three having been destroyed by fire and ice. The age of the lone wolf was over. So had said the Shaman when Ahote had asked for advice the other day. The answer wasn’t exactly what Ahote was hoping to hear.

At a young age, Ahote had tried to get out into the wider world, but the world of the white man was harsh and unforgiving. Ahote’s size and toughness were the only skills he had. His descent into alcoholism and violence had seen him punished by judges and courts who had no right to judge him. At the age of thirty-two, freshly released from the state penitentiary, Ahote did the only thing he could do. He went back home to his people so he could heal and try to get himself right with the world. He expected to find himself an outcast, but instead he was welcomed.

The young are foolish; it is only natural they should make mistakes.

Truth was, he never should have left. The lure of the mighty dollar and the riches that waited in the greater world were merely lies sent to test him. And he had failed those tests, teaching him that the white man’s world was a sick and desolate place. At least, back on the reservation, he had some idea of who he was.

His addictions followed him back, though, and he became a favourite with the local tribal police. The monkey on his back refused to leave. It wasn’t as if he wanted to behave this way, but, as the Shaman pointed out more than once to those who would listen, the evil spirits had infested him. That was why he went to the Shaman in the first place, the ritual a last hope to rid himself of the evil that had latched onto his soul. He had mentioned his predicament to the elders, but they had replied with riddles and prophecy.

If anything, they seemed preoccupied. There was talk of the end times, for the blue star Kachina was visible in the sky. Ahote could barely remember what he had been taught as a child, but the night sky was definitely different to what he remembered before being locked up for ten years behind concrete and wire. You don’t get to see the stars when you are incarcerated in a prison cell.

It was hardly surprising to find that the ritual didn’t work. Ahote remained addicted to the liquor that was slowly killing him.

Ahote’s one saving grace was that he was a sleepy drunk, rather than a violent one. He got merry rather than vicious, his eyes drooping after his body had reached its limit. He tried to resist it, but his hopelessness and the pull of the brew were too much for him. Under the effects of the regular alcohol infusion, the world didn’t seem such a bad place, and he stopped cursing his ill fortune to be born into what he considered a backward and abandoned time.

He became a regular at his nearest bar and had enough good sense to leave his truck at the trailer he called home. He had enough problems with the law without getting arrested for another DUI. Those at the bar tolerated him, for some were in the same predicament.

Sometimes though, if he had been allowed to consume too much, he would often forget that he had left his vehicle at home and would wander the venue’s car park in a futile attempt to find a truck that wasn’t there. So regular was this that some of the other locals at the bar would sometimes come out and watch him stumble about in the dark.

Sometimes it was amusing; other times pitiful.

Presently, Ahote was once again in the car park of that bar, only this time he was looking up at the blue star that shone in the sky. It was one of the brightest things up there, a beautiful blue sapphire pulsing in the dangers of deep space. And every night, it seemed that little brighter, the result of a distant supernova. To many of the elders, it was a sign that the end times were at hand, a warning that the day of purification would soon be upon them. To Ahote, it was an almost hypnotic distraction that seemed to fascinate his addled neurons.

It often drew him out of the bar, a lonely beacon to draw in those who had been abandoned by fate. With tears of unknown origin in his eyes, Ahote let the light wash into him for a few more seconds, and then he turned and trudged back to the warm safety of his favourite drinking hole. He still had money in his pocket. He might as well spend it on something worthwhile.

 

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