Once they found a place up on flat part of the roof that allowed a view of the moon and kept the wind’s sharp bite off them, Anton and Sarge hunkered down shoulder to shoulder with their backs to the brick chimney. Sarge waited in silence before Anton started talking in earnest. “You ready for me to read some serious Lily creed, Big Man? You got any doubt, say so right now. Cuz where we goin’ ain’t no return ticket. Later you got to lay this intel in a deep quiet spot until Lily drop it on you herself. Can you do?”
“Yeah, Anton, I can do that.”
“One more thing, I expect fair true value creed trade. Don’t dish me no shit. I had a full plate of that today already, and then some more. Even my ghost got a too full belly of bullshit. You fair warned now. ”
“I can do on both counts, Anton.” Sarge nodded as he turned up his coat collar. “If you want, I’ll lay my trade out first so you can decide if you think you’re getting a fair deal or not. If nothing else, you’ll know what I’m trying to figure out how to get straight with Lily without making a big mess of it. If that’s even possible. For all I know, I’m deluding myself on that score.”
Anton worked his parka hood into place in order to create as much warm air space around his head and face as possible. “I got trust. My bones say you ain’t playing bait and switch. I worked up a load of steam today needs release this way I blow off some first. Help get my ears clear for your intel. We got a good spot here for ear work, so I’m gonna get to it. Later, when she share with you, Lily wrap it her way, but info still the same. I’ll try to drop my chimes, make Lily story easy for your ears. You set?”
Sarge leaned slightly forward and sideways in order to better hear Anton without asking him to raise his voice. “Yeah, I’m good. Don’t sweat your chimes. If I lose your tune, I’ll call a time-out. Read at will.”
Anton stretched his arms out and rested them on his knees. He took a deep breath and blew it out slow and easy watching its cloud of warm air dance in the cold before dissipating. “Alright, Anton read hard now: Lily’s people hardly had any truck with any city folk ever. They got eyes and ears on them, but they keep their space wide away. Got no use for what they see city folk do. They do their life dance same as always, best they can. Then Stealth drop a bomb smack down on them. They don’t get no red alert. But Lily’s Gran, her bones were talking to her loud and clear before it drop. She had no idea what was coming. Still she knew some bad shit on the way. See Lily’s Gran had a loud and clear two-way Ma Bell intel phone line running between her and her bones. Her bones send their own red alert and she was on it. She was waiting with eyes and ears wide open for anything. Gran the only reason Lily, Peter and herself not blown to little pieces by Stealth. Gran felt Stealth coming and went to see what she could so as to warn the others. When she see that black Stealth high up in the sky, she know right off what her bones been talking about right there.
She try to do her warning thing, but Stealth fly too fast for Gran when she make a run. Lily and Peter were hanging with her when bomb blew everyone else apart. Lily figures they plain damn lucky they not in pieces too. From what Lily say, Anton think they be in about best place on that land they could have been when all science intel read its creed.”
Anton took a deep breath and stared at how the clouds were playing around the moon. He felt the bigger man next to him waiting patiently, the body heat coming off Sarge warming the space between them. “After bomb do it thing, it just Gran, Lily and Peter doing their thing until Air Force come back trying to figure out what went wrong with Stealth cuz they got their own intel. Air-Force take a shit-storm pounding from Gran. She don’t hold back even though her English need serious work. Some Air Force Man work enough guilt to try to make something right. Air Force haul Gran, Lily and Peter to Anchorage. Set them up. Not much, but enough. Gran got mad serious survival skills and she work them overtime cuz of Lily and Peter. Otherwise she just go back to where she came from and finish her life dance there. But she know that not quite right for Lily and Peter, so Gran do her best to read this new landscape. She do real damn good too. She old, but she rock solid love motivated. She figure out fast that top line for kids be school. She follow new creed hard. For a time things go fine. They all miss home places, but work best they can with all these new people, new life-way creed.”
Things go along okay until Gran’s bones start sounding an alarm she don’t know how to read. That a first for her. Thing is, Lily’s bones start trying to talk too. She and Gran figure out something not right with Peter. But they got no sure clues cuz he trying to be a man and keep them safe. Peter about twelve, a few months more by Lily’s reckoning. She be about a spring younger than him.” Anton went quiet while rubbing his gloved hands against each other and thinking about the next part of Lily’s creed. He glanced at Sarge sitting with his legs drawn up to his chest, arms wrapped around his shins, and chin resting on his knees.
“One day at school, this a church school that supposed to be top line where they living. One day at school, Lily’s bones start yelling at her. She don’t know what’s up, but she know she got to find Peter. So she turn on her home skills so she can track him down at school. When she find him, she know nothing is right even though she don’t rightly understand what she sees.” He hesitated and shot a quick look at Sarge. In the course of their conversations he’d picked up intel regarding the man’s Catholic upbringing which caused him to briefly wonder how the next part of Lily’s creed would go down with him. Seeing that he was still in solid listening mode, looking straight ahead while slightly leaning sideways towards him, Anton resumed speaking.
“But she knows these two priests are putting a serious hurt on Peter in this back room next to the garage. Lily sees what’s going on, but they so intent on Peter they don’t see her. She work up a damn big load of steam in the time it take her to go into the garage and grab the fist tool that looks like it do some damage. Turn out that be a tire iron. She take that iron back into that room and she lay it on them two priests like she the devil herself before they even know who’s hitting them where no man don’t want to be hit ever. After they laid out cold, she and Peter high-tail it out of there direct to Gran. They don’t hit their foot brakes for anyone or anything between school and home.
When Gran gets this low down creed, then she know why she couldn’t read her bones about Peter. Her people don’t have much history with this sort of shit. Gran ain’t about to let these priests off the hook. She does them like she did Air Force. Only one problem—they got no guilt. No remorse, no sorry. They stonewall her. Gran figures she take this mess to Air Force. Now some Air Force Man, he get his back up too. Gran figures this all gonna get sorted now. And it might have. But neither Gran nor the Air Force Man count on how wrong these priests be or how fast they move. They like Stealth. By the time Gran sees them coming it’s too late. Another priest comes around and makes a big sorry play on Peter. He get him just enough out of reach for just long enough, so that by the time Gran and Lily find him, Peter swinging from his own belt around his neck. Then Gran don’t stop for nothing cuz her bones are screaming so loud she know she got no time to waste. She got to get Lily far out of their reach. She get her home skills and new city skills working hard together. In no time flat, she and Lily are out of Anchorage and out where Gran can hear and see everything and anything that might come after them from any direction. Gran keep it that way for a long time.”
Gran knows there are still a few other people like her and Lily, so she decides to make some hookups until she find a safe place to settle, cuz she know her time running out and she don’t want to leave Lily all on her own. They make their moves checking out folks and moving further up north as they go along the coast and in land. Finally they get to a little place where Gran and the people there know each other on sight. All seems good until Gran eyes a white man these folks call ‘Priest.’ He got no other name. Gran is not liking this at all. But she notice a strange thing: her bones are not yelling red alert. She stash Lily out of sight with folks she know are right, then Gran go to get a look at this Priest up close and personal. When they face to face, Gran’s bones start singing and dancing like they ain’t done in a long time. She know this man from another time. She know they been together somehow. Maybe they been bears together. Maybe they been wolves together. Maybe they been seals in the sea together. It don’t matter which. It just matter that it be true and he be a good man in this life no matter what they call him. Priest, his bones dancing and singing too. He know same things Gran know with just they looking at each other with no words. Gran now knows this the place and people to settle with and do things right for Lily.
Turns out, Priest was one of those Jesuit types. He got a head full of hard-core mind skills and hell more. When Church sends him to Alaska, he do what they call ‘Going Native’ in no time flat. Church tells him to haul his ass back home. Priest tells Church to go burn in their own hell. Priest never going back there or anywhere, but where he damn well wants to go.
Priest and Gran make a plan to do what their bones tell them is right for Lily. Gran keep on teaching her all her home people skills. Priest goes to work on her head skills. He knows just what she needs to eat the oyster he say the world should be for everyone. Lily takes it all in like none other. She don’t fight either one of them cuz all this making her bones dance and sing too.
Meanwhile Priest, he start working on checking his reach. He got some years on him from another life before Church get hooks in him deep. He find out he got more pull than he thought. Time come when Priest and Gran know they got to get Lily on her own floe cuz neither got a lot of time left. Priest put a light sweet touch on people he know from time before Church. They come through. Next thing Lily knows, she knocking the shit out of every test they throw at her head skills. Priest’s people learn the score about Lily. Everybody put their heads and bones together until their bones sing about Falls. Only thing left is for Lily to get to Falls. Then a funny thing happen. Out of nowhere comes Air Force Man who got his back up about Peter. He thrilled to find Gran and Lily safe and sound cuz he worried a long time after Anchorage PD find Peter. But they never find Gran and Lily. Air Force Man scared same thing happen to Lily and Gran. Man pulls his own strings. Next thing Lily know, she learning the landscape in Falls and everywhere around and between the little college here and the big Uni in M- and way beyond.
Priest, his people, and Air Force Man worked up some money so Lily beholding to no one while she knocking the shit out of school. It don’t mean she rich, but it enough that it last as long and far as she care to stretch it. Stretching it is how she hooked up living with us all in the Flats. She say when she meet Esther, Rosa and JJ, her bones sing and dance so much she don’t give a damn what people tell her about living in the Flats. She know that’s where she need to be cuz they all good people. They all heart strong women like Lily and her Gran.
The folks in the Flats got strong wind of Lily when some of the kids she was helping with their head skills let on to her what Father John was doing. This time she knew how to read what her bones were telling her. The way she went after Father John she may as well have had a tire iron in her hand and beat him with it. She got in so tight with Father Richard so fast that it made folks who in-the-know heads spin. She don’t hold it against him none that Church smacked him down when he tried to do the right things. Lily knows Church creed damn well. She also knows there more than one way to skin and gut a seal as she say. She gave folks in the Flats ideas about how to shut down St. Luke’s and Father John and send a message to the Church that tied Father Richard up in knots. Some parents liked her ideas and gave them legs to run with.
Now you know why no Neighborhood Watch snow crew go anywhere near St. Luke’s or Father John. They say if Church love Father John so much then they can keep him. We don’t want him. We are going to pick our own priest and our own Church from now on. Screw your parish boundary lines. Ever since they found Father Timothy, he be the only priest they deal with. Father Timothy be a damn good man. He make everyone’s bones sing and dance. He not perfect, but he always does the best he can. That’s all anyone can ask of another human being. Most important to parents, he love their children like children ought to be loved. He do all he can for them and everyone do all they can for Father Timothy. It took Lily going after Father John to get folks and Father Timothy hooked up right and tight. Now, Sarge, you still think this dark shit of yours more than Lily can deal?”
FYI: Top Bomber B-52
Breakfast Special, #28, Fair Trade Creed Reads, part 1, Les Mis:
Breakfast Special, #28, Fair Trade Creed Reads, part 2, Stealth:
Breakfast Special #28, Fair Trade Creed Reads, part 3, Just Two Guys On a Roof: https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/breakfast-special-28-fair-trade-creed-reads-pt-3-just-two-guys-on-a-roof/
~~~music uploaded to YouTube by Niels Ovlla Dunfjell
Sámi artist Berit Margrethe Oskal singing/yoiking “Eamifámut” (English: “Ancient Forces”).
Music video by Niels Ovllá Dunfjell.
Ealli jurdda, ealli doaivva
Eat mii vuollán,
eat mii goarrán
Ancient forces, ancient dreams
Living thoughts, living hopes
We will not surrender,
we will not disappear
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