Twisted Grass

Twisted Grass smiled to herself. Crow Dancer was picking berries again. A quick glance in his direction, then back to her task. She heard giggling from the other girls as he moved closer. Sensing his presence next to her, she reminded him that picking berries was for girls – maybe he would play house with the girls tomorrow?

Crow Dancer reminded her that he was fastest and strongest of the boys, he would pick berries if it pleased him and once she became his wife it would no longer please him to pick berries-so she should be happy he was helping.

Her turn again to do the reminding, Twisted Grass points out that her father Next To Mountain is a great warrior who has counted more coup than the night sky holds stars and he would expect many horses in exchange for his daughter’s hand. Many, many horses – how many would Crow Dancer bring with him when that day came?

Both children spread their arms wide and cried out This Many!

Throwing her handful of berries at his face, Twisted Grass ran off as the fastest of the boys gave chase.

She awoke with a familiar feeling of resignation. Next To Mountain needed the White Man medicine drink again. Escaping briefly from father’s shouting and mother’s crying, Twisted Grass carried a clay pot down to the creek. Crow Dancer stood outside his family’s lodge, tending a fire, eyes cast down. He did not look up as she passed.

On her way back with the water, she took a fleeting look at Crow Dancer’s family lodge. The fire had been extinguished. A group of young men played a hoop game nearby. She looked down as she passed them, feeling their gaze upon her. A brief whisper, then a burst of laughter.

Her father walks as Twisted Grass sits atop the pony. She knows this is intended as a kindness, him walking both ways. Of necessity she will ride on the return trip. Her grandmother’s words echo in her mind.

Hot, foul breath scorches her neck as matted hair scratches her cheek. A hand reaches roughly under her buckskin skirt. A second pair of hands joins the first. The wisdom of her grandmother stifles the revulsion. Twisted Grass whispers a few words to the Creator as she dreams herself into the real world.

She smiles to herself. Crow Dancer is picking berries again. A quick glance, then back to her task. She hears giggling from the other girls as he moves closer. Sensing his presence next to her, she reminds him that picking berries is for girls – maybe he will play house with the girls next?

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About osori

Too old to know better.
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16 Responses to Twisted Grass

  1. Gwendolyn H. Barry says:

    And horrible truth of this is too UNKNOWN to the white world. This white world doesn’t know that even today on the ‘rez’ … Indians have no rights. Their women, the Goddess incarnate, are badly used by even their brothers and their pain and their exploitation is far greater in numbers than any other ‘race’ of People on Mother Earth.

    Like Sabrina Zephier in Minot S. Dakota who was murdered execution style in her home with her infant baby left there on top of her body crying out for hours until someone thought to look. Down the street, her mother, 13yr old brother and mother’s boyfriend were murdered … mass murder committed against Sioux People and now hanging fire because they do not pay close attention to mass murder of Indians. It’s as old as dirty God! No one cares, there. Except other Indians who are afraid of the murderer who is probably working with the FBI.

    And now politicians, two tongues!, work to make RAPE a word that defines something more convenient for a political agenda? Oso, friend, how do you count coup against such monsters? How can any of us? Let alone vote ….
    soapbox removed but voice still raised. Good job Oso.

  2. osori says:

    I hoped to get across the message that women in abusive relationships are generally in them because they have no place to go. The story’s set in the old days, Twisted Grass had no alternatives-neither her family nor her tribe would come thru for her. She couldn’t go off on her own, couldn’t go to some other tribe-and ultimately women have few choices even now. In many ways though, it’s not much different now.

    Their are govt programs (which the pols wish to defund) as well as church and other groups which help, and these can be good starting places. But they are also stopgap measures-a woman without a proper support structure in place still faces an uphill battle.

    Men and women often look at an emotionally/physically abusive relationship and say “why the hell does she take that crap ? I sure as hell wouldn’t” – and maybe you wouldn’t-but that’s because you have the proper resources.

    I’m not telling most women anything they don’t already know I guess.

  3. Gwendolyn H. Barry says:

    You did a good job of it, Oso. I went where my mind has been most connective to of late…. with all the budget debates and such, we are seeing the ‘agenda’ of GOP as to women’s rights and control of their own lives and body’s. It’s a strong story.

  4. Bee says:

    You do realize you also wrote a damned good metaphor for the decline of the middle class as well, don’t you?

  5. John Myste says:

    Disturbing. I was not expecting a happy ending, as I have learned better. However, I definitely was not expecting that.

    Here is what I think you should do …

    I think you should round up all your fiction and write a one or two sentence description of what it is about.

    I really think you have a collection that could one day be publishable, either as a collection of short stories, or even better, as a novel that somehow ties several things together. I am not really sure exactly how that would work. You have a rare talent of telling a story in a few words, which is difficult. Most flash fiction ends up being pointless. Your flash fiction is very poignant.

  6. osori says:

    Thank you John. Funny, this one disturbed me. I kept thinking about the character afterward. Hurting for her-yet a fictional character from my own mind. Maybe cause there’s some truth to it?
    Both are good thoughts, I appreciate them and they give me some things to mull over.
    Take care, my good thoughts go out to you and yours.

  7. Stimpson says:

    I agree with John. Oso, your fiction should be put in book form.

  8. scaredstiff says:

    One thing I’ve learned reading your stories, get everything else out of your head. To truly enjoy your work is to take it all in. For me I read it, think about it for awhile and read it again… I get so much more out of it this way. Thanks Bro.

  9. John Myste says:

    Oso, by the way, if you have no aspirations of producing printed work, which I acknowledge is very complicated, you can produce Amazon Kindle versions of work at virtually no cost. I don’t know how to do it, but Vincent does, and I will be happy to introduce you to him upon request.

  10. Krell says:

    Projecting yourself to another place to escape the present harsh reality. Sometimes that would be all a person has to cope in a hopeless situation. Abusive relationships with no possible way out.

    Your one sentence.. “The wisdom of her grandmother stifles the revulsion” tells so much. That the abuse has been for generations as a reality of life and as each generation teaches skills to survive, her grandmother must teach her these things to continue.

    Heart wrenching as you want to be able to do something for her, to help her. Show her that this is not how it has to be. You have drawn in the reader, Oso, and succeeded in getting the reader to empathize with a fictional character.

  11. Beach says:

    Sorry, I’ve been busy and missed this one until now. This was freaking art!

    My wife did some volunteer work with a women’s shelter back in the 90’s. Because of the locations she had to go to pick up these ladies and their children I rode with her many times. Many liberals rightly oppose the death penalty but my Southern blood burned with rage many times hearing some of the stories the ladies told and seeing the scared faces of those children. Screw the bleeding heart crap, the parasites that hurt their familes frankly need to be taken out in the street and put down like rabid dogs.

    • oso says:

      Couldn’t agree more, Beach. Anyone chooses to terrorize a weaker or smaller or helpless person deserves a bad fate. Thanks for reading man!

  12. Pingback: Cricket | roundtree7

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