Drama Indigenous Suspense

           It was a cold afternoon in late December as Ted trudged his way through the deep, wet snow. His heart pounded and his mind raced as he recalled the events that brought him to this moment.

           Ted was a quiet man, though he knew that deep inside, a rage was being held at bay. That rage surfaced as Ted returned home from work the previous evening and witnessed his neighbor beating his twelve-year-old son senselessly on the back porch. Without a second thought, Ted ran to the boy’s aid. He came up behind the boy’s father and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, pulling him violently down off the porch and onto the concrete patio below.

           It was as if a demon had possessed Ted as he began to throw one punch after another, striking the man in the face several times. The neighbor begged for mercy to his assailant, but Ted was acting outside of his own mind. His body refused to yield until the neighbor’s words faded into silence.

           The man’s bloodied body laid motionless upon the ground as Ted still straddled his torso with a raised, bloodied fist. Ted glanced up at the porch to see the neighbor’s son standing there horrified at what he had just witnessed. The boy began to yell out, “Dad! What did you do to my dad?”

           Ted quickly got up and ran back to his car then drove as fast as he possibly could out of town. He travelled over sixty miles through darkened roads, unaware of exactly where he was. His car began to sputter. It coasted up the road for another fifty feet or so before it came to a stop. He was out of gas in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, but all he could think of was running away from his problems. After slipping of his furry hat and mitts, Ted pushed the car off the road and behind a billboard sign.

           Ted abandoned his vehicle and made his way into a wooded area to his East. The sun was now beginning to rise, and he could see droplets of water forming on the leaves as the sun began to poke through the trees.

           He trekked through the deep snow until he came across the sound of running water. A little further up flowed a partially frozen stream. Sitting on the bank of the stream was an elderly indigenous man with shoulder length grey hair. In his hand was a makeshift fishing pole made from a willow branch and a length of vines from a plant. The man turned his head at Ted’s arrival and said, “Come, sit.”

           Ted walked up alongside the old man and introduced himself. The man he is known as Akshat. He was once a great hunter with his Mohawk tribe and now acts as one of the elders sharing wisdom with the younger people. Ted kneeled beside Akshat and the old man looked into Ted’s eyes before telling him a story.

           The man spoke of a legend among his people about how each person has two bears that live within them. One is a gentle giant that causes no trouble and enjoys life. The other is a raging beast set on destruction and feeds on fear and hate. He claimed that there is a constant battle between the two throughout a person’s life and in the end, only one will survive. Ted asked Akshat which of the bears survive, to which the man simply replied, “The one you feed”.

           Ted pondered Akshat’s words for a moment then asked him if he knew of a place where he could take shelter through the night. Akshat got up and told Ted to follow him as he made his way deeper into the forest. Ted had difficulty keeping up with the man’s pace. He seemed to scamper across the top of the deep snow like a rabbit.

           They came to a stop at the opening to a large cave opening. Akshat helped Ted gather some wood, then using two flint rocks and some dried grass, he started a fire. Akshat sat with Ted for a short while before heading back to his village.

           As darkness set in, Ted found a dry corner of the cave, covered up with animal pelts that Akshat left behind, and eventually fell off to sleep.

           His dreams were haunted by visions of the brutal beating he had given his neighbor, the look on the face of the boy, and a battle between two bears. In a clash of the two mammoth titans, just as the demonized bear was about to swat the peaceful bear with his massive paw, Ted woke up.

           The sun was shining through the opening of the cave as he gradually opened his eyes. The sleep must have done him some good, because he felt different somehow, but he couldn’t explain it.

           Ted went to shade his eyes from the bright sunlight, and as he did, a massive furry paw appeared before his eyes. Ted was startled and jumped back, but the paw disappeared. He looked from side-to-side, then down to the ground. That was when he noticed that he truly was not himself. He was in the body of a grizzly bear. He let out a shout, but the noise came out as a deafening growl that echoed off the rocky walls surrounding him.

           Ted tried to run out of the cave, but stumbled, not yet used to running on four legs instead of two. He picked himself back up and slowly stepped outside. Most of the snow had melted and he wondered how long he had been sleeping.

           Grizzly Ted wandered through the forest, now hungry after a long sleep and instinctively went toward the creek. There by the side of the water sat Akshat. He turned as Ted approached and did not seem startled in the least. Instead, he spoke up and said, “Come, sit”.

           Ted wondered how Akshat could possibly know that it was him. He waddled over and sat beside his indigenous friend.

           “Ted, you have been given a choice. The spirits saw your battle and have shown you the path, but it is up to you now to decide which bear is to be fed.”

           As before, Akshat’s profound words sunk deep within Ted’s soul and he sat silently. Akshat felt a tug on his fishing line and reeled in a fish. He released the hook from the mouth of the fish and offered it to Ted.

           Using his long snout, Ted sniffed at the fish, then without hesitation, he gently took it from Akshat’s hand, swallowing it whole. Akshat patted the fur behind one of Ted’s front legs and smiled. Ted spotted another fish swimming in the creek beside him and pounced in after it, capturing it under his big paw almost instantly. He poked his nose into the icy water and gulped the fish down.

           Akshat told Ted that he had to leave, but that he would return the following day. In that time, he asked Ted to trust what was in his heart to guide him on this spiritual journey.

           Ted watched the old man walk away and then turned and walked away himself. He journeyed for hours through the trees, taking in the natural beauty around him. His instincts began to tell him that trouble was near.

           Over a hill less than a mile away, Ted heard human voices. He crept up as slowly and quietly as possible, which was difficult in his 700-pound bear suit. As he reached the crest of the hill, he saw a campsite with two men drinking beer next to their tent. A shotgun laid at the foot of one of the men.

           He listened carefully as the men talked about various topics such as sports, women and of course, hunting. One bragged about the bear he had taken down with one shot the previous year. Ted began to get nervous. If they spotted him, his life could be in danger. He decided to wait until dark and sneak into the camp.

           When nightfall arrived, the two men had passed out inside the tent after a full day of drinking. Loud snores emanated from within. Ted crept closer and paused each time a branch snapped beneath his heavy paws. One of the shotguns laid on the ground by the entrance to the tent. Ted quietly picked it up in his strong jaws and carried it out of reach. He searched the area for a second gun but could not spot one.

           One of the men stopped snoring and began to cough. He quickly stuck his head out of the tent flap and vomited upon the ground outside the tent. When he looked up, he saw Ted standing there. With fright in his eyes, he reached for the shotgun that was no longer there. He popped back into the tent and woke his partner. The other man appeared with the second shotgun and took aim at Ted.

           Ted needed to decide if he should attack the two men or turn and run. Once again, flashbacks of the incident with his neighbor appeared in his head and recollection of the words that Akshat left him with fought within him. He began to charge toward the tent. The two men leapt back in fear at the approaching attack and hid inside the tent. Instead of pouncing on the tent and injuring the men, Ted chose to run past the tent and hide out in the forest.

           He retreated to his cave and hid there for the remainder of the night. Eventually, he dozed off to sleep, and in the morning when he had awoken, the sun was once again shining in. Instinctively, he tried to shield his eyes and this time, his hand had returned. His now naked body shivered in the cold and he gathered the clothes that laid nearby and quickly got dressed. Ted found his way back to the creek hoping to meet up once again with Akshat.

           Sure enough, the grey-haired wise man sat in his usual spot and without looking back at Ted’s approached, he stated, “I see you made your choice, my friend. The demon bear within you has been weakened because you chose not to feed it. Instead, you gave strength to the peaceful bear and chose the right path. You no longer need my guidance. The spirits now watch over you.”

           The sun shone brightly causing Ted to close and cover his eyes. When the light subsided, Ted opened his eyes and Akshat was gone. He looked around and saw no sign of him, not even a single footprint. In the spot where Akshat sat, Ted spotted something and leaned over to pick it up. Attached to a leather necklace hung a bear claw about two inches in length. Ted draped it around his neck then started back toward the highway.

           As he neared the location where he had abandoned his car, he saw a police car parked behind it. An officer was examining the car and writing down the information. Ted approached the police officer and explained that the car belonged to him. When asked why he had left it there, Ted explained that he had run out of fuel. He also explained about the assault on his neighbor and turned himself in.

           Back at the police station, Ted was brought into an interrogation room and question about the incident. He explained the details leading up to the assault and explained how he felt filled with rage. A short time later, the arresting officer returned and told Ted that he had spoke with the neighbor’s son and his wife. They corroborated Ted’s story and said that the man had a history of assault on both his son and his wife. The man was still in a coma according to the officer, but at this point, the family was not willing to press charges, so Ted was free to go.

           A few days later, the wife and son of the neighbor knocked on Ted’s door. The wife informed Ted that her husband had passed away and she wanted to thank him for defending her son. The boy held out his hand as well and Ted took it gratefully. His heart seemed to grow within his chest and a single tear cascaded down his cheek. He thanked them for stopping by and offered for them to visit any time.

           Over time, their friendship became a relationship and they eventually moved in together. The boy, Sam, was having some trouble with some bullies at school and Ted could see the rage building inside him. Ted took Sam to the side and told him the story of the two bears, then he removed the necklace from around his neck and placed it over Sam’s head. He told him that whenever her felt that rage coming on, that he just needs to place his hand over the bear claw and remember that story. He also told him that he would not tell him what to do because it was his own path to choose.

           The next time Sam faced the bullies and felt the rage building, he placed his hand upon his chest, felt the claw beneath his fingers, and walked away without saying a word. The bullies continued to call him names and taunt him, but Sam had chosen his path that day and never strayed from it.

           A few years later, Ted took Sam on a hike into the forest and told him about his unbelievable story of transforming into a bear after a long hibernation. Sam laughed in disbelief, but when they arrived at the creek, Akshat was waiting for them with a smile upon his face.

           “The spirits tell me that you have both chosen a true path. One filled with great opportunities. If you continue along this path, you will always find peace within yourself.”

           Ted thanked Akshat for his guidance and wished him the best. A great wind blew causing Ted and Sam to turn their heads to shield their faces from the arctic blast. When they turned back around, Akshat had once again disappeared leaving no trace behind.

March 20, 2021 18:57

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Haswanth Kirvan
06:11 Mar 29, 2021

Hey, Very well written. The way you started the story is very good and the quotes which you used in story also good. Overall very good drama. Looking forward to read more of your stories.


Greg Gillis
15:38 Apr 02, 2021

Thank you for your positive feedback.


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Ryan Lm Colli
19:53 Apr 08, 2021

What a lovly story meaningful and intense!!! Follow and like mine Lump the trump!


Greg Gillis
13:42 Apr 09, 2021

Thank you. I will check out your story once I have the time.


Ryan Lm Colli
13:43 Apr 09, 2021

Thank you


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