Sunday, June 28, 2015

Visitors Part One

 “Hey son, wake up. I can’t stay long,” said a man’s voice while someone gripped my ankles and shook them lightly. The pain it caused my broken leg should have smacked me awake but it didn’t.
Recalling my dreamed visit to what I thought was the home of my youth and the bear paws that dragged me away, I snapped to attention.

“About time grandson. Soon as the sun first touches earth this morning, I gotta be gone. Rules of the spirit realm you know.”

Pastel hues of predawn-yellow light gently rose against the blues of night. It was just after five and the hospital was very quiet. I fought to hold my exasperation in check. 

“Ouch! Dammit! Let go of my busted leg. Grandson? You got the wrong room mister?”

“Yah, my grandson. It’s okay that you don’t recognize me. I know your brain’s wiring has gotten all twisted up and been shorting out for many years. That’s why I’m here, Migizi. You wanted answers, need answers, and it’s time.”

I thought about pushing the button for a nurse but batted the idea away.

“Good one. You don’t want them thinking you are talkin’ to invisible relatives and ghosties,” said my grandfather. “I named you. Had a private ceremony at my house on the Rez, the one you just came visiting in your spirit. Now think, you’ll remember.” 

Great, here was another person, persona, or ghost capable of mind reading. I thought about the picture and sure enough, it looked like the older man at the foot of my bed. His house, he said. I thought it was my house, heck, maybe even Clay’s.

“Spirit realm? Ghosties? So are you the ghost of my Grandpa or just some fabrication of my shorted-out brain as you call it?” I asked.


“Oh cripes, am I dead again Grandpa?”

“Yah, sort of. Don’t bother looking for that tunnel of light just yet. My visit has nothin’ to do with that,” said grandpa who chuckled and rubbed his chin.

“Now listen,” he continued, “I gotta share my words and scoot.”

“Sure, why not?” I asked, “For nearly a week now I’ve seen and heard from all sorts of odd ball people-ish spirits. Go for it Grandpa. Speaking of that, are you aware of my buddy Clay?”

“Hey, you testin’ me?” he asked. “Not allowed to speak that name. Listen up. I’m runnin’ outta time.”

There it was again, the idea of me testing people. I’d need to add that question to my list. And, I found it peculiar; the sense of clarity about things in the place of what should have been mental and physical shock.

“Migizi, Eagle, that’s your name,” said grandpa, changing my focus. “It’s a name to grow into, to lift you above a life of much soul testing and strengthening, a life of preparation. You have grown from the roots of spiritual people grandson, people chosen by the Great Spirit to heal and help others.”

The elder came around next to me and put his hand on my shoulder. Warmth entered it and traveled to my neck, throat, and mouth where it stopped under my tongue. Warmth turned to a pin point of piercing fire. Wincing, I reached for my water cup and thought of Aura, a good sign of memory being intact.

“My house became your house when I died and left it to my daughter, your mother,” he said. “She was born in that house when it was but a shack and before the government came and fixed it up.”

Shaking his head in disapproval, he went on. “She left it when she married your white dad. Yah, moved back after I died and then, your mom died in that house soon after, remember? After this is when the spirits came upon you and your dad moved ya’s away. Oh, oh, I’m outta here.”

Grandpa looked to the window, tossed a crooked smile my way, and vanished.

Copyright © 2015 Migizi M. New Song. All Rights Reserved.

Happily Snarky

“Well hello to you, too, Mr. Thunder,” said the young male nurse. “You’ve been in…”

I interrupted, “the land of fudgies and hell, a car accident, a helicopter, in and out of consciousness, and out of my body a handful of times.”

“Your wife mentioned you’d be snarky and cantankerous if you came around,” said an older female nurse. 

She was behind my bed adjusting the flow of fluids dripping from clear vinyl bags.

My wife…right. “Remember to ask her about seeing you do your levitation act.” I thought. She’s the one owing me an explanation not the other way around.

“I’m Edna, lead nurse on this floor tonight,” the female nurse said. “This is Albert and he’ll be your on-call nurse for the remainder of this shift. What answers are you speaking of Mr. Thunder?”

I considered telling the nurses of my spirit flight and quest for answers. No, I best not complicate things by sharing self-incriminating information, things suggesting my brain noodles were overcooked. 

“Oh, it’s nothing Edna,” I replied, “Just tantrum dreams I suspect.”

Nurse Albert, seeing me out of the coma, left and returned with a small plastic jug of ice water and an adult-sized sippy cup but with a straw. My mouth felt like a dried up creek bed and I motioned for the cup of water. Albert held it so I could drink. I was a pretty weak yet.

Looking toward the window, a strip of darkness about six inches wide squeezed between mint-green drapes. City lights twinkled and hinted at my location. The thumping of blades beating against the air outside got louder as the jet-copter came in for a landing.

“I’m in Marquette,” I remarked.

“Yes sir,” said Albert, “and for a while I’d say. You’re hurt pretty bad. And by the way, we’re taking you down for a scan, brain and chest mostly. The doctor wants to know what may have caused your coma. You lost lots of blood and maybe that’s all it was. Gotta rule things out, you know, clots and bleeds. Don’t you agree, Mahg-iss…how do I pronounce that name of yours Mr. Thunder? What is that, Indian?”

“Native American,” I grumped, “and its Mih-gih-zih but call me sir and save yourself the trouble.”

Undaunted, Albert smiled and tried again. “Mih-gih-zee?”

“Close enough. Now lift the head of this bed up,” I said.

Albert ignored me as pain in my led whined like an over-tired kid and I ground my teeth.

“You mentioned my wife. Where is she?” I asked, “And how ‘bout something for this awful agony my leg is causing.”

“Mrs. Thunder was here for a while,” said Edna, unplugging some wires from the wall, “but she went to a local hotel for the night. She’ll be here in the morning I’m sure. I doubt she’d want to be called after midnight. I bet you miss the coma. No pain in that state I’m told.”

Nurse Albert left and returned with a vial. Checking his watch, he remarked that it was 3 o’clock in the morning and marked it on my chart. Drawing some pain killer from the small bottle with a syringe, he dosed me via the tube taped to the back of my left hand. I felt sweet carelessness wind itself through my veins.

For the first time in weeks, I dreamlessly slept through a full body scan. Deep within my psyche and appearing as peace, anxiety and silence, having gone AWOL, formed an alliance. I would learn of their conspiracy soon. 

Copyright © 2015 Migizi M. New Song. All Rights Reserved.

Always More Questions

My wife’s action booted me straightaway into my cocoon of human flesh. That’s what I imagined it to be. It was dark, warm, damp, stifling. I was aware but trapped in an unresponsive shell of fleshy clay wanting to open my eyes, wanting light, wanting answers to questions I couldn’t recall asking.

Shell of clay, Clay. I remembered my old buddy and our last moments together fighting that trout. Using it as a reference point, my mind went forward and back in search of active memories.

Clay, I remember.

Those were the last words I remembered speaking, vague as they were, while in a helicopter being flown to a hospital. Right, I wrecked my car and got myself mangled up. What had I recalled, while in a state of shock no less, Clay would want to know? What had he challenged me to remember? Yes, and who kept rolling the file cabinet of my memories to another room?

Imagining myself standing at a chalk board, I wrote my name at the top left. Beneath it, I wrote numbers one through four. Attempting to create some order, I restated my words.

Clay, I remember…I remember…yes! I remember getting my name!

I wrote this beside number one and other questions came to mind, questions formed by some semblance of memory I presumed.

Number two. When did Clay and I first meet, and, not as teens?  

The clue was in a couple childhood dreams I’d had since visiting Clay. Badly beaten by a couple of gangs at a new school, an Ojibweh kid, Clay, came to my aid.

Number three. What connection exists between His Favorite Gal and my wife? 

Clay had told me the story of Gal's name and something about her once belonging to the Grand Medicine Society. I remembered the dream-vision I had back at the Boredman River, of both women’s voices speaking to me in unison. 

I went back to question two and my dreams. They were more than dreams of fantasy, they were actual events, and I was certain of it. Suspended in my coma and emotionally detached, I traveled back through time. I visited the school and watched myself getting pummeled.

Go further back, you need to go home, to getting ready for school,” I told myself.

My mind carried me to a house on the Rez. It seemed familiar and looked like Clay’s. I drifted inside like a ghost. Going from room to room, I tried to identify it as my boyhood home. 

In a living room, I found two old framed pictures. In the larger one was a young Ojibweh couple posed in a mix of traditional and contemporary clothing, a marriage photo I supposed. The second frame showed a much older version of the same man and it sparked a memory, one regarding my naming ceremony.

I was about to rewind and play the scene when something grabbed my ankles and pulled back. Looking down, I saw the large paws of a black bear before falling to the floor. I hit as hard as a dropped feather. Feet first and face down, I zoomed forward in time wanting to see the creature towing me.

After coming to a stop, I rolled over and my captor was gone. Strongly compelled, I entered my body. My spirit, like maple syrup, slowly saturated my body which felt increasingly dense and heavy.

“Look, he’s waking up,” said a young man’s voice.

Yes indeed. I blinked hard a few times and to my surprise spoke clearly.

“Dammit all, I was about to get the answers.”

Copyright © 2015 Migizi M. New Song. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Missing In Inaction

“He’s stable but in a coma Mrs. Thunder,” said the doctor while rubbing the back of her neck. “I’m a bit puzzled as to why. His injuries are not to blame. We’ve repaired the nicked artery in his compound-fractured right leg and his blood level is back to normal.”

Tapping my chart with the back of her hand, she continued her assessment. “There’s no head trauma or internal damage. The accident put a strain on his joints and pinched some nerves but again, not serious enough to cause a coma. Something else is going on.”

Rather amused, I hovered above my body near the ceiling watching and listening. I was getting used to the O.B.E. or out-of-body experience.

Brushing my hair with her hand, my wife Daisy smiled and commented.

“Doctor Radantmann, I’m a semi-retired DPN. I trust your judgment and I’m not worried. Is there anything else?”

“Well, he’s been through a lot today. It’s nearly midnight and I’m sure you’re tired but in the morning I want to do a thorough scan on him, head to toe, and see if anything turns up.”

“Sounds good to me doctor. I’m staying at the hotel next door. I’ll leave my contact information at the nurses’ station and be back in the morning.”

The doctor left and Daisy kissed my bruised forehead. I desperately wanted to hug her so I tried getting back into my body. Maybe I’d wake up and have control of my arms. I did a respectable breaststroke in the air but didn’t budge. My wife, grabbing her handbag, turned to leave. Looking right at me, she winked.

“Don’t get too comfortable up there. You’ve got a lot of explaining to do mister.”

I’d have filled my pants had I been wearing them.

Copyright © 2015 Migizi M. New Song. All Rights Reserved.