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The Chronicals of Sabado Domingo

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  • The Chronicals of Sabado Domingo

    Copyright June 2010, Kathleen A. Otis, aka Tenveria Arelo
    His name was Sabado Domingo and he was born on Easter Sunday, the sacred day of the Yaquis
    On that rocky precipice above where they call home, his mother labored, she was sent out as a scout, a worthless Yaqui slave
    When he came into the world, still grasping the umbilical chord, she laughed instead of crying with joy
    What can I call you my fatherless boy?
    Sabado, and Domingo were two days she liked best-so those are his names
    Bringing him down afterwards, she cringed in fear-how could she tell them that she hadn’t completed her task, perhaps they would overlook her tardiness and see that the boy she brought with her would be valuable as a worker
    But oh, she wanted more for her boy-but knew he would amount to little more than his father, Manuel who had died fighting the Mexicans
    Little good did this fighting and killing do for she was now a slave and had nothing more than the clothes on her back and a medicine bag she hit in the brush for fear they would take that too
    Still bleeding, she wandered around the camp looking for the mistress, Senora Diego who was nowhere to be found
    I could run she thought, no one would look for me till morning. But death in the desert did not appeal to her, especially weak now from her labor and wanting a good hot meal.
    She joined the fire circle with the other slaves and claimed her share of venison and a cup of cool water that was sweetened with agave, drinking long and deep because she knew she needed it for her milk, another cup and she would go into her wikiup and join the other young women who were unclean, menstruating
    She wrapped herself and the baby in blankets that lay on the ground between sleeping bodies, and finally warm and full she suckled the only thing that was all hers, she thought
    They let Isidra suckle the boy for exactly one year before Senora Diego said that the boy was strong enough to live without his mother and took him up as her own
    She never called Isidra anything but girl because, with her hairlip she couldn’t pronounce her name. She said it was because a slave was not entitled to a name, however.
    Young Sabado grew up lean, muscular and tall, a fine specimen of a man. But Isidra could only watch from the sidelines as he was introduced to Spanish gentry. He had a dog named Havana after the faraway land that his adopted father had wandered off to after the wars, leaving Senora Diego to fend for herself in the New Land.
    Sabado would walk the edge of his mother’s ranch with Havana, always followed by his “protectors”, the armed guards of his mother’s banditos. He envied the other boys, even the slaves who wore feathers and chestplates of real bone at the fiestas.
    Nothing said slave more than the grey shawl of the women that served his mother. One in particular that his mother always called “girl” stared at him as she swept and kept the household tidy. They said her name was Isidra and when he came closer to the women who knew her, they all stopped talking Spanish and gabbed in their native tongue that was forbidden around the white people. Isidra sat now on the porch, grinding corn in her grey shawl to keep the chill away. As he rode up on his mule, with Havana at his side, she looked up staring at him. This was one of the only times they were alone together that he could remember. She said something like mi ijo, or my son. Crazy Indian woman he thought and kicked his boots off before entering the house. He heard her gasp as he slammed the door shut, like she overheard his thoughts. Oh well, he thought, she would be gone soon because she was pregnant again with Sam Pedro’s baby. A night of passion he heard would get the slave with child and sent away for good. The last one she had was sold to another rancher, a girl they nick named Posita. Sam Pedro was the nomadic shamen who came and went, always bringing a stone faced Indian with him. They said he knew where the mescalito buttons were plentiful and the Indians would be left slobbering and vomiting again from eating too much of it. It made them loco, crazy like rabid coyotes. He was trouble, but apparently Isidra had a soft spot for him, or a hot spot, he snickered to himself.
    Sabado grew up with the Barcelona boys who knew how to shoot straight and set fire to Indian wikiups without arousing suspicion. They said they liked to hear the women screaming as they grabbed their babies and ran, sometimes on fire from the little huts. His mama would scold them, knowing it was them who had caused the problem of burned and dying slaves. But Sabado looked up to them and wondered if someday he would have the courage to light the torch that set fire to the wikiups. Though hearing women screaming did not excite him, it was the prowess he craved.
    Havana howled at the clavichord that echoed through the adobe walls. How can she keep up this endless recital of hymms that he wouldn’t even sing in church? It was maddening. He would have to put an end to this woman’s playing. He knew that his mother thought he would take a liking to her, Rosalita Mendes-Sousa. Oh, but he could not stand her. She smelled of onions and had the whitest skin he’d ever seen, almost with a yellow cast to it whenever she felt faint, which was way too often. He thought that she probably carried a disease of the people that came from the North. He stayed away from her even though she batted her eyelashes and fluttered her fan whenever he came into the room where she was. He preferred a maid that had been sweeping the floors lately and had visited her wikiup often during the day. It was good healthy exercise the men said, for him a boy who would have to take a wife soon and start producing some heirs. He wanted nothing of that though, he would rather eat lengue de cabeza, barbecued on the spit and served with the dreaded onions and chiles that he was so sick of. Isidra was still present on the ranch like a ghost that haunted him. Her eyes were frighteningly familiar and he looked away every time she glanced at him.
    Sam Pedro’s second baby, Juan was five now and ever present in the house. He was a cute kid, who had a talent with goats, every goat followed him in from the field and came in to be milked. Usually it was a big job getting them all in to be milked, but little Juan was a big help. His rosey face lit up at the sight of the kids as they came in and he would play with them as the nannies were milked. Carmelita, the kitchen maid would bake him sweets and spoil him. Nobody seemed to mind and they even said that little Juan reminded them of Sabado as a little boy. Funny, he seemed familiar to Sabado as well.
    So, little Juan and Havana were having a tug of war over a piece of rawhide when Sam Pedro walked up. Buenos dias Juan y Havana he said in his long drawn out way, with a big smile. Little Juan knew that Sam was his father and he reached up for Sam to pick him up as he always did before. Oh no, you’re too big for that Juan, you’ll break my back, he said. Little Juan settled for grabbing Sam around the waist and squeezing him tight. Sam laughed and patted the little one on the head. One wondered how many of these children Sam had left along his way. He seemed to have a talent for impregnating women. In fact it was rumored that Isidra was again with his child, though she would not speak of it, she was nearing forty anos, too old to take care of another little one. Sam had business on the ranch, the Indians were readying themselves for Easter the big fiesta and needed mescalito to help them find their allies. Allies are what you find for healing what ails you. A thing that helps you find your way in the world. Some said that Sam’s only ally was the stone faced Indian that had died two summers before and that he was looking for another. He would settle for nothing less than a big bird that circled the sky, they all knew. For when you are close to dying you want a strong ally.
    Sabado laughed with the other men around the fire circle who’d had too much cerveza. Oh how he wanted to vomit, but held it back for fear they would call him weak. He wanted only to crawl beneath the covers with his Indian maid and sleep till dawn. But, instead he carried on with his amigos, or men he called amigos. They were no longer men he looked up to, but men he feared would take over his mother’s ranch some day. He knew he’d better gather some allies quickly or the ranch would be theirs. Sam Pedro, grinning from ear to ear, passed a bowl of peyote buttons around the fire circle. Each man took one, not knowing what to do with it. Grind it like dry chiles and use it to flavor your flan, he said laughing. The thought of putting shriveled up piece of cactus that looked like goat testicals that had been lopped off in the spring in his beloved flan repulsed Sabado. But he knew that he would do it because that much was expected of a man. Okay, I’ll do it he thought, Carmelita will know what to do with it.
    When it brought it to Carmelita, she took a switch up from beside the fire and was about to hit him with it when she remembered who he was. She lowered the switch and snatched the peyote button away from him. She’d make a watered down version of the flan with mescalito she thought. That would be enough to send Sabado dancing naked through the cactus, pricking his bear bottom with needles that would have to be pulled out by his little whore the next morning. Oh well. Isidra must never know about this. She would have Carmelita’s head for it, and she knew that Isidra was capable of murder for her precious boy. She’d seen her rip through a man’s gut with a machete because she knew that he had made plans to ambush Sabado as he walked the edge of the ranch in the morning.
    Sabado made a big ceremony out of eating the flan that Carmelita made for him. He polished his boots and sharpened his sword, and wore his new chaps that chafed the inside of his calves. He would be in his best attire to meet his ally, whoever that might be. He’d visited his maid in the afternoon for good measure, and washed in the creek afterwards. He smelled of agave soap and the sweet blossoms that graced the desert landscape. The sky had a peculiar rosy, coppery glow that evening. A bad omen they all said. What would the morning bring? The earth tremors that had claimed so many lives the year before? Or a dust storm that would choke the new kids and poison the milk? There had to be an answer for this.
    Isidra paced the wikiup, not sleeping. She knew something was up on the ranch and the sky was a dead giveaway. Her machete was safely hidden in the brush with her medicine bag and she considered bringing into the wikiup, but knew the sight of it would scare everyone. So, she controlled the urge and looked at little Juan sleeping sweetly with his thumb in his mouth. Such a wonderful little boy was he, his life nothing like the disastrous birth and kidnapping of her eldest son.
    All of a sudden shots rang out and she could hear a man screaming, help they’ve got the ammunition! Had their worse fears materialized? Had someone taken over the bunker and the gunpowder and ammo that was their only protection against the banditos that would take over the ranch if their loyalty had shifted?
    Horses ran wildly in the night, not knowing which way to go to escape the blinding light and noise of the ammunition exploding. Small children, clinging to the mother’s skirts screamed and women ran toward the river bank to escape the fires that were engulfing the lowland brush and the wikiups surrounding the ranch. The men guarding the ranch house worked to douse the flames and wet the thatched roof so it would not catch on fire when the high reaching flames got to it. The house was surrounded by a flaming wall, built to “burn back” the approaching fires from the grasses and igniting mesquite trees that exploded within minutes of catching on fire.
    Senora Diego lay on the big four-poster bed in the middle of the large bed chamber, surrounded by her dearest slaves and maids, who took turns fanning her and holding her hand, as she moaned. She had taken sick a week ago with the disease that caused a deathly dysentery and yellow skin. The curanderia said she had not long on this earth – but she struggled on not willing to give up her fight for life. Where was Sabado? He should have been back hours ago. She worried that her worst dream would come true, that he would join his true brothers, the Indians and their revolt against her loyal group of banditos. She could only keep his true birth a secret for so long before the Indians would reveal that he was in fact not white. She moaned louder from the thought of this. To leave this world with a slave’s son for an heir who would most likely turn over her land to the tribe that had lost it many years ago. Oh, but he loved her, she knew. She had treated him well and raised him as her own, giving him all he needed to become the man that he was. Why had he not taken a wife? Why was he set on fornicating with that Indian whore?
    Sabado was deep in a trance, in a cave where he had wandered after eating the flan that was laced with mescalito. He had vomited over and over, till there was nothing left inside his gut, but bitter bile mixed with blood. He was indeed naked except for a pair of underpants that hid his shame, the diarrhea that poured out of him as he vomited. He stunk and he was sweating and shivering in the darkness. A buzzing in his head was his only comfort. He focused on the buzzing to keep from going insane. Was he not insane at that point? The drawings on the cave walls had been there since before anyone could remember. They were simple drawings of humanoid figures and deer, bear and the great birds that soared in the cloud covered sky above the ranch. The Indians revered these paintings, as they told of a time when life was simple and there was no white man raping the women and plundering their stores of grain and dried venison. No slave work for the white woman who ruled the ranch and the land they once roamed with an iron fist. They were free to hunt, fish and gather all they could to feed themselves with enough left over to offer the creator who made it all possible. Given back to the Mother, who gave them life, these offerings fertilized the fields and fed the insects that pollinated the plants on which they fed. It was a circle of life and renewal as they had known for as long as anyone could remember. Until the men on horses came and took more than they could possibly need to feed themselves, and left nothing for anyone else. The waste was never given back to the earth, their Mother and children went hungry at night.
    A small point of light was visible to Sabado as he circled the cave in search of an answer, an ally to help guide him on his journey of knowledge. The small prick of light grew larger as Sabado realized that the buzz in his head subsided as he looked toward it. Walking barefoot over the stones on the cave floor that had been there a millennium, and therefore were smooth, he came closer and closer to the light and felt the warmth of the glow that seemed to fill his entire being. A voice could be heard, mumbling softly and then becoming audible as Sabado focused on the light.
    You are the one who can lead the people back to the Surim, the knowledge and the truth. Do not be afraid, my son. You are Isidra’s first born and you will persevere. She has ensured with her blood and the blood of your father that you will succeed. Be not afraid.
    Sabado held he hands out as if the catch the knowledge that was given to him and not lose a shred of it. His ears filled with the comforting sound of the voice.
    Listen now my son to these words and you will know what to do. The Earth is but a seed planted in this great expansive space that is the universe. This seed was to flourish with life, but is on the way to destruction. The men who have come across the seas have brought slavery to this land. Not only have they brought slaves from a distant land with skin as dark as night, they seek to enslave the red man too. The brown man, the yellow man and any man with coloring different than their own will soon be the slave of the man with white skin. But he is on the road to nowhere, in the end the man he calls slave with skin as dark as night will lead his people. But this is all for naught because the man is not fit to lead a people in a land that is not his homeland. All people must follow the star they were born under when the planets align. They should follow the star and go back to the land of their birth to commune with their own people and unite with their brothers and sisters. They must bring their children with them. The white man came here because he ravished his own soil and cannot grow and hunt enough food to fill the bellies of his people. His land is not big enough to support the number of people that he has multiplied into. So he came here to take your soil and make it his own, but he is set to destroy it and will eventually make the land infertile and kill all the animals that you need for food. He will poison the waters and fill the land with his filth and disease. He will bring more people from far-away lands to be his slaves and work to make him richer. But all this is for naught because once the planet is infertile the creator will see to it that his species will die off. Nothing will be left here but insects to feed on the bodies of the men who destroy the land. The insects will regenerate and feed the mother who lives beneath the soil and she will give birth and the outer shell of the earth will break away and drop into nothingness, taking all men with it. Our mother will metamorphise and break free from the great cocoon where she is living now in the center of the planet. She rumbles and shakes the ground as she grows in strength and vitality. She will break out as a great butterfly who will fly through the empty space that is the universe and find another place close to the warmth of a star to lay another seed that will become your second chance. There you will have the knowledge to guide your people to their certain destiny to live out their days in harmony with the other life that feeds upon this great egg our host. I wish you a safe and pain free journey. But you must die and come again to this great new planet the egg in the heavens. Please do not be afraid for I will be with you, I am your ally.
    Sabado felt the earth move under his feet and the great warm light disappeared and he was cold and hungry, naked in the strange cave. Where was the light to guide him out?

  • #2
    The Chronicals of Sabado Domingo

    I didnt realize someone else had started a Xenon DiD story. I was actually in the middle of a Planetary Romance series that has a seemingly benevolent AI as the governmental body, so thats what inspired The First Question


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