Okay. I used a lot of ways of Native Americans and First National People. Whatever you call them, they are NOT Indians. People from Europe weren't too bright then. I'm including my people. I resettled this continent, if you didn't know it. A'Dore is in Southern Georgia and upper Florida, Blethos is in the Texas/Louisiana area. I have an Artistic License, Daniel..
The False Prophet
“Never mind about that,” I said to Demetrius and Seth. “How is Wahkoowah doing this…” I wasn’t sure what to call it, “this creating a false world for you to see?”
“Good question,” Dyami nodded. “He was thorough with it. Everything was complete.” He chuckled, but held his hand up, “But he didn’t count on me. My visions don’t require vision at all. Other shamans or oracles use what they’re given to see with to see things. I don’t.”
“He may not know about you,” Seth suggested.
“I don’t believe he does,” Dyami admitted nodding. “He may know of a Medicine Man or Shaman with Weeminuche People, but he doesn’t know how my vision works. He went into fine detail, but it was constructed.”
“How’d he do that?” I asked.
Ceto came closer, “Perceptions are easy.”
Demetrius nodded, “We did it with Arthur Thorne’s home, remember?” He had a look of pleading on his face. “We did it with all of Royal Valley and with Grace while she was in the house! If you ask her, she will tell you about men working hard for weeks on the new house, but would have trouble remembering who they were.”
“I remember,” Seth said, “But this is a bit different.” He shook his head, “When there needed to be an explanation, you gave them one. Yes, it was a deception, but when Lukus blocked you from seeing Sam he didn’t give you a false sensation that Sam was dead. You were blocked from seeing him at all.”
I nodded, “That’s right! Giving everyone an explanation to prevent concern or worry is one thing. It really was to stop questions from even starting. I don’t recall anyone asking about the house’s construction. This thing with Wahkoowah is a lie!”
“That’s really different,” Seth continued. “Even Len Na,” he glanced at Max, “As nuts as she was, she didn’t lie. Her purpose just became confused.”
“And in that confusion,” I went further, “Many people died.”
Dyami sighed, “I felt you needed to know more about Wahkoowah. No one is perfect. There are spirits and beings we hold reverence with. As I said, they can be good and bad. You needed to know, this man is evil. Pure and simple. He presents himself as one kind of being but is another. From what I understand, I believe you call him Satan.”
There were several gasps from those with us.
Val strode forward then, “Okay, everyone stop for a moment.” He looked frustrated now as his “intelligence” was being challenged. “Noah, from the scriptures. You spoke of the Children of Eve and Children of Lilith. Do you mean Eve as in Adam and Eve?”
“Yes.” I nodded. “The Garden of Eden...all of it.” I recognized the look on Val’s face as he struggled to accept what he trusted we’d tell the truth, but his mind was telling him “it couldn’t be.” Quickly, I explained who Demetrius and Ceto were. How Dara helped Ella win my brother Christian over and my getting Seth. I explained about Len Na. I left out the part where Len Na knew if she got rid of the Children of Eve, Children of Lilith would once again give birth. I explained the disease she started and I explained how the juice from the Forbidden Fruit saved Christian and in fact flowed through Val’s blood right now.
“And there is no proof of any of it,” Seth shrugged and waved at Demetrius and Cote, “except they can do amazing things and those little warriors in your body. They can’t even prove it and they live almost a thousand years!”
Val was nodding as he listened, but it was one of those “of course” nods. He still wasn’t believing it, but how could he argue? People appear out of nowhere, they traveled a thousand miles in a single minute. And don’t forget the fact he hasn’t had even a cold in years. “Fine.” He stated flatly. “I’ll work on this, but Lilith?” He pounded his own forehead lightly to get what he was told in his head, as he paced back and forth. “I read a passage about a wife before Eve, but she became a demon!”
I chuckled, “I took issues with that, too.” I shook my head. “She isn’t a demon, not the woman I met.”
Val’s eyes widened now. “You met!?” He balked. “You met Lilith!?” He pointed straight down for unknown reasons. “You met the real Lilith?”
“We both did,” Seth confirmed.
“Are Adam or Eve alive?” Val asked.
“No,” I answered. “They ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Lilith did not. She wasn’t thrown out of Eden but left. She and Adam were created immortal.”
Ceto bounced and clapped, “You are right, Demetrius. These two Children of Eve are very smart! Bravo! That makes a lot of sense.”
“Whatever the Church started out as,” Seth began, “They gained power and began using the Church to say what we can and can’t do.” He shook his head. “My father didn’t trust priests.”
I nodded in agreement, “My family didn’t either. It was more than just Seth and I can’t marry or even have a relationship. My Grandfather refused to let the members of the Church from going into the surrounding villages and force people to convert or die.” I smiled. “I can go on and on, but,” I turned to Val. “You’re life and your spiritual journey is yours. No one is saying do it this way or die.”
Dyami was nodding, “And there is the problem. Wahkoowah is presenting himself as speaking for a deity. He is smiling and winning people to him by this lie.” He pointed at no one, but said, “That’s where it smells the worst.”
“The smell of burnt human flesh, human feces, and rotting garbage?” Toby asked.
Dyami smiled, “You could smell that?”
Toby shook his head, “How can anyone miss it?” He looked at me. “Right after the attack on Royal Valley. That’s when I first smelled it coming off the battlefield.”
I had gotten it, too. A little. Dyami and Toby had lost senses, Dyami lost his sight and Toby lost his hearing and they both had other senses enhanced to make up for it. Toby knew what Grace was cooking when he was still outside and a good distance away. Once, I challenged him on the way home. He knew we were having baked chicken and what it was seasoned with...and the green beans, potatoes, tomato and zucchini pie, and her special crushed apple cake! He swore he hadn’t known that before school and he was right. I didn’t doubt him.
“But Satan?” Max asked. “Do you know about Satan?”
Dyami chuckled, “I do! Being aware of other philosophies is important. The God you follow and Saints are a big part of you. Wasn’t he called Lucifer?”
I nodded, “That’s right. He was originally an Archangel and trusted by God.”
Dyami cocked his head. “This Wahkoowah is presenting himself as someone who can lead the way and to follow him.”
“So,” Max said carefully, “he’s not the Satan.” He wanted to be sure.
“No,” Dyami replied. “He’s Human.”
“Could he fool you?” Toby asked. Dyami looked up quickly. He couldn’t see anything, but you felt he could. Toby didn’t back away. “Yesterday he did. Could he be doing it now?”
Dyami wasn’t angry or annoyed. “I could be, but like the lie yesterday, I would smell it’s spoiled like I did this morning.”
“Wait,” I said, getting confused and turning to Chitto. “Is it just the Muskogee? There are no priests in your population. No churches as such. You said religion is more or less a way of life. No one converts.”
Chitto nodded, “That’s right.” He looked at the many curious faces of the many confused European descendants in this tee-pee. “I know with you, it matters if you believe in God or don’t. That determines where you move to after death. Our deities could care less if you believe in them or don’t. They’re still there. It doesn’t affect your afterlife. It’s who you are that matters.”
“There are people such as myself that are shamans and medicine men are often consulted about spiritual needs,” Dyami said. “Shamans don’t necessarily have a connection with any religion. We direct rituals that connect with nature. I was gifted with my ability to see when I can’t physically see at all. Over the years I developed ways to read what is in this world others can not. I’m not always right. I can make mistakes.”
Seth shrugged, “No one’s perfect.” He grinned.
Dyami picked up the new jar of...whatever he made to pour on the coals and “saw” the world through the smell. “This is a precisely measured content of elements from The Plant Kingdom, or the three sisters; corn seed, bean seeds, and squash seeds. There is the Animal Kingdom, soil from Mother Earth and I added powdered forms of flint and amethyst to ground and calm.” He chuckled. “I even added agate to help with worry.”
Chitto nodded, “Our spiritual practices are to help keep things in balance with the spirits, the Earth, and each other.”
I couldn’t help it. The feelings were so nice and so comfortable, I hugged Chitto.
Dyami smiled, “I think there are some here who feel that connection now.”
How did he do that? He saw that?
“I’ve known some Cherokee and these of the Muscogee Creek,” I said, “And one of the most beautiful things about them is this Holy reverence for the land and animals.” I waved at Chitto. “He and I hunted together once!” I emphasized. “Two years before I even met Seth! He had told me about Fayetu, the god of the hunt...after a few rabbits, I had heard him saying something each time. So, I asked. He was thanking Fayetu and the spirit of each rabbit for their sacrifice!” I threw my hands out. “I loved it!” I turned to Seth. “At the Hunt right before the Ball where I named you as my choice. The words you said to Darius about his callous disregard for the buck’s life and you said it was wrong to waste what God has given you.” I grinned, “That won me over!”
Dyami nodded, “We call that god Herne.” He shrugged. “But, it’s the same god.”
“There is a lot of Este Mvskokvlke in you,” Chitto nodded and turned to Seth. “You must have a tribe in you. Erik recognized something in you.” Seth’s reply was a shrug.
“My point is,” I continued. “There were bands of priests and monks that roamed the countryside. They want to convert everyone. You don’t.”
Dyami nodded with a shrug, “We don’t have to, but once in a while, a great Chief and warrior will come along, offering to show a way to greatness. That is what Wahkoowah is offering everyone.”
“To everyone?” Seth asked. “The few men who weren’t from a tribe, but not citizens of Blethos or A’Dore have been outlaws.”
“A good question for Wahkoowah!” Dyami nodded.
“When we find him,” Max muttered.
Dyami poured again from his jar and the sizzle came again and those ghost-like tendrils of smoke rose.
“How is it smelling different?” Toby asked Dyami.
Dyami smiled again, “Because the situation has changed. What are you smelling now?”
“I still smell the burnt flesh,” Toby replied. He shrugged, “I even smell the fecal matter and rotten...something, but it’s not as strong. Now, I get this clean soap smell.” He looked at me, “Like those fancy soaps from the Parisian Shoppe, but I also smell sweat;” He turned to Seth. “Like you after working in the vineyard all day. It’s not bad, but just strong like you.”
Dyami smiled even more and relaxed, “Okay. Is there a meaning to this? What impression are you getting?”
Toby didn’t hesitate, “That part is coming to a conclusion and will get better, but will take a little work?” He answered more like a question rather than a certainty. “Is that right?”
Dyami shrugged, “It wasn’t my reading.”
“How do I know if I got it right?” Toby asked.
“You’ll know,” Dyami said. “Just as I knew this morning I had been fooled last night.” He grinned. “There were finer points you didn’t mention, but that comes with exposure, but if I ever need someone to do this for me a while, you’d be perfect.”
Ceto reached over and slapped Demetrius on the arm lightly, “You said they were hard to work with! You haven’t guided a single step yet!”
Demetrius recoiled from the non-painful slap and frowned pointing at us, “It took Dara, Lukus, and I a decade of pretty intense work to get them here!” He turned and pointed at her. “And it’s not fair to compare your people with my people!”
“They’re all Children of Eve!” Ceto argued.
“Yes,” Demetrius nodded with a finger of exception, “but at least your people knew there was magic and aren’t as surprised as my lovely people are by it! Something miraculous happens and my people get all upset and look for demons and witches, yours just accepts it!” He waved at me. “I started off from nothing!”
“Hey!” Seth objected.
“Almost every one of you,” Demetrius pointed at me and Seth. He came toward me a little, “Even you to a point, after finding out I was different, you all asked if I was a demon.” He looked at me. “Not as much with you, because you asked me to come!” He started counting off others, “There was Sam, Terry,” he pointed at me again, “you’re brother Christian…”
“And made you family!” I argued with a grin. “There is a new Reformation happening in Europa. Protestants. The Disciples all did these traveling conversion trips. Is Wahkoowah doing that here?”
“He refuses their worship,” Dyami said, “and that just makes it worse!”
“What?” Thomas asked. He hadn’t spoken to me or Seth that morning. He messed up! He was cowering away from any reprisals Seth and I would give him. He was right. Toby had at least spoken and gotten some of the reprisals already. Thomas had not. Physically he was an adult now and capable of making his own choices. Seth and I weren’t his parents, but as Dilbert wasn’t here to protect him, or his father, it fell to us.
Again, I hated the adult prophecies that came true. He was an adult now, but I saw him as a baby! When he started to walk, talk...I shook my head. “You’ve met people with false modesty and humility,” I said to Thomas. “You pay them a compliment and they deny the truth, but also can’t get enough. Saying no to the compliment encourages people to continue complimenting them. Your Dad discovered that. He compliments, but stops it there when it’s denied.”
“Which makes his followers worship him even more,” Dyami said.
“How does that make any sense?” Thomas asked.
“I know your Dad taught you to receive compliments as well as give them,” I said to Thomas. “If someone thanks you by mistake, point out the error but accept it. You know that.”
He poured some of his elixir on the coals and inhaled, “These people that follow Wahkoowah like this will gladly step in the line of fire for him. Be very careful.” He smiled at what he “saw.” “Your search will end in two days.”
“That’s…” Max began slowly, “is some very unusual stuff you use to smell all that.”
“Yes, it is,” Dyami chuckled.
We went again to the horses to resume our journey.
“Uncle Erik,” Thomas came to us, but his head was lowered and appeared much younger. “What can I say?”
Seth shook his head, “This is unfamiliar territory for me. Ask your Uncle Erik.”
I sighed and stopped walking, “You know you were to come with us.” I stated. “You are. In A’Dore or Blethos a young man can marry at sixteen. He can work, earn wages, and pay for housing then. The general consensus between two separate countries was he needs to be eighteen to be better able to understand any contract he enters with that country.” I smiled. “That’s why it was important I married Seth after my birthday.” I took him by the shoulders. “Legally, you are an adult and can decide for yourself.” I raised the exception finger, “But, you are special. You are A’Dore’s Crowned Prince. Nothing can happen to you.”
Thomas grunted but didn’t say anything. He’d done this when he was smaller and he was thinking something he shouldn’t. He also knew he’d be fussed at if he did say it.
“What?” I called him on it. “Go ahead, say it.”
“It’s damned unfair!” Thomas shouted. “Because I am who I am, I can’t do anything!?”
“Unfair!?” Seth bellowed. “It was unfair that you had three meals a day? Unfair to have clean clothes, and for you to have parents that love you and…”
“Stop,” I said softly to Seth. “He knows this,” I assured him. “But he’s right.”
“He is?” Seth asked and Thomas blinked and said, “I am?”
“Absolutely,” I said with a smile. “Is it fair? Hell, no! Life isn't fair!” I nodded getting nearer my nephew’s startled face. “While other children struggle with having enough to eat, a comfortable and warm bed, Thomas lives in a palace, has the best education, nutritious meals...this is something he’s heard for years growing up.” I chuckled and leaned closer to Thomas a little. “I had that when I lived in the palace.” I gave a grudging nod, “Our roles were only slightly different, Thomas. I had to be there just in case I needed to step in. The years passed and you were born, pushing me away. Your sisters would have to step in if anything happened to you and me. Edward came and I was pushed farther away again, but I was married to Seth then. When the threat Anastasia posed, if she succeeded, I would have to step in again.” I looked back at Seth. “You had it a little when your father gave the crown to you, but I knew my entire life.” I pulled Thomas closer. “You’re given so much, but allowed almost nothing.”
Thomas was now nodding, “That’s right. I see something that interests me, but I can’t go do it.” He pointed at a memory he saw. “Sometimes, the palace workers would have to bring their children to work…”
I nodded and looked at Seth, “Not every day, but if their caretaker was sick or injured,” I laughed, “and not all of them at once.”
“Right,” Thomas nodded, “but sometimes two or more were there. They’d play in the Palace Courtyard and I could see them and it looked like fun,” he shrugged, “but I couldn’t. I either had lessons or something else to do.”
“I know,” I smiled. “You made friends with the others Jason was training, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” Thomas nodded, “but we never pal around after practice. I can never go to a tavern and unwind with them.” He blew a frustrated breath, “but I hear about the good time later and I never get that. My whole life is structured and the outcome is determined.” He shook his head. “I have no say about any of it! I will take Dad’s place.”
I nodded again, “That’s right. I knew I would most likely be given in marriage to form an alliance. No love for my intended wife,” I chuckled at Thomas, “and it would be a wife, but the situation in Blethos…” I waved it off, “you know it. You knew it at six! Your Dad sort of broke that tradition and married your Mom. You know there is a duty you have.”
Thomas looked away, nodded, and said glumly, “Yes.” Then he looked directly at me. “How can I prove myself if I can’t do anything? You did. Dad did…”
I nodded, “The situations will arise, I promise.”
“I don’t want you angry with me,” Thomas said.
“Too bad,” I shrugged, “I am. You and your cousin followed us here!”
Thomas’ eyes widened, “No.” He shook his head. “I left and he followed me! I didn’t know it for three or four days!”
“You came through the mirror and what?” Seth asked. “Whose horse is that?” He pointed to the horse that was waiting patiently. He looked at the horse, “I remember him a little.”
Thomas nodded, “He’s your horse. You had six in the barn.” He looked at us. “You’re my uncles, it’s not stealing.”
I grudged a nod, “Well, you borrowed him without our knowledge, so...yes, you did.”
“I’ll give him back!” Thomas defended, “I’m family!”
“Who would know that in Royal Valley?” Seth asked with a laughing question. “Grace would,” he began to speak of the possibilities, “but you got to Royal Valley with no horse, to borrow a horse? Only Grace would know how you got there.”
“You couldn’t talk to her,” I reasoned. “She would have thrown you back through the doorway! Three or four days until Toby caught up with you. You were in Creid?”
“Yes,” Thomas admitted.
“And you couldn’t tell anyone in authority,” I said, “they would tell King Yannick and he would have you escorted back to Royal Valley and they would throw you back in A’Dore!”
“Probably personally,” Seth added.
There was a two-edged sword with Toby. He learned to speak out loud, but he couldn’t really vary his tone or add emotion to his voice. You know he couldn’t whisper. The other edge was we couldn’t shout or whisper either. Or should I say, we could, he could see the anger or whatever, but he couldn’t hear it. His vision was better than anyone or thing is known about. Volume wasn’t necessary. He could see and understand conversations no human could expect to hear and understand.
“The reason Tom didn’t,” Toby began as he got close enough, “is because I threatened him.”
Seth looked puzzled, “You,” he pointed at Toby and then at Thomas, “threatened him?”
Toby shrugged and looked guilty, “You have to know-how. Not with violence or anything like that, but…”
“He threatened to tell everyone what I was doing,” Thomas growled looking at his cousin. “They would stop me and haul me back to Royal Valley! Then he’d tell Grace and she would send me home! I wasn’t ready to do that!”
“Aha!” I said in a loud shout. “Now, we get to what I am angry about.” I kept my voice stern, but I hoped I didn’t sound as angry as I felt. “To keep out of trouble, you endangered your ten-year-old cousin?”
Thomas threw his hands out. “It was too late! We couldn’t go back without problems.” Thomas waved at his cousin, “And I don’t think of him as ten. He’s no child! He hasn’t been in a few years!”
“You’re wrong!” Seth shook his head. “He is a child. He is your uncle’s and my child! And he always will be even when he has children of his own!”
I nodded, “Or even when he has grandchildren!” I added.
“If we’re still here,” Seth muttered.
“He threatened you?” I asked as I was kind of amused that Thomas said Toby could. I tried to keep that from my face.
Thomas nodded vigorously, “Oh, yes.” What also amused me was Thomas’ bosom-buddy hug to Toby. “You see this cute little boy.” He squeezed Toby's cheeks as he looked at Toby. “I see this guy who is a sneaky, conniving, genius.” Thomas leaned toward us. “I want to keep him on my side.”
Toby rolled his eyes and said, “Don’t be idiotic, Tom.”
Say what you will. Hard feelings aside, they were family and comfortable with each other. They weren’t just allies. We would protect them both. We hugged them both. “As I said to Toby. This isn’t over by a longshot.”
Seth nodded, “But we’d love front row seats when you tell your Mother in person, Thomas.”
I laughed as Thomas’ face got a little worried.
“I have to say,” Ceto said behind me, “You and Seth are amazing people, Erik.”
Turning to her, I again noticed that she was exceptionally, breathtakingly beautiful. Again, just to be clear, there are paintings and sculptures I find breathtaking, but I don’t want to mate with them. Keep that in mind and don’t forget that. Her skin was dark like Chitto’s and had dark, dark brown eyes. That sort of feature was preferred by me. Her hair was thick! Hanging loosely around her shoulders was a silky, amount of hair that hung in an attractive...mess? Different groups of ethics had unique features, such as Asians and slanted eyes. Africans had coarse hair. The Aborigine tribes had hair that was always black or dark brown and it varied from curly to straight. Some were thin. Ceto’s was not. One of my fellow European descended country men commented that they should wash their hair. That really bothered me. I knew their hygiene was better than many of ours.
“They use a plant they call Yarrow.” I said holding my anger back. “I’ve used it. There are other plants added to that for fragrance. Such as mint.” I looked at the man who was missing three teeth. “I’m sure they have things to say about some of our habits.”
“Thank you,” I said bowing slightly. “I’ve seen other Children of Lilith. I’ve gotten to know three,” I waved at Demetrius who was still talking to Chitto. “That one extremely well.”
“Most Children of Eve find him a bit odd,” Ceto said.
“He is!” I agreed with a smile, “but I like his brand of oddness.” I looked at her. “Are we going to see you again?”
She shrugged, “I looked in on you occasionally.” She put her hand on my arm. “Would you mind if I did?”
“I’d love it,” I confessed. “Demetrius and Dara are good friends. We can always use those.”
“You will in a couple of days,” she said with a gloomy tone.
I frowned, “I’ve had enough Lilith-speak to ask, is there something I should know?”
She sighed. “I don’t know.” She saw my face and hurried on. “The way this Child of Eve uses magic is…” she paused thinking.
“Different,” I offered, “and harder to track?”
Ceto nodded with a smile, “That’s right. So, the outcome is harder to foresee. Some of the blocking comes from you.”
“Yes, you.” Ceto laughed. “All of the Sons of Adam have access to the magic. As Toby was describing what he saw when Dyami poured that elixir, you were getting it, too. I could tell.”
“Maybe,” I admitted.
“Those touched often by the magic sometimes pick it up,” She frowned, thinking, “This man claiming to speak for Tawa, picked it up quickly and became more powerful. I will be there. Have a safe journey.” She hugged me but disappeared during the hug. There and then not.