Of The Before
They say that I am for the night. They say that I am of the tribe and for the tribe but different than the others. I have my own rituals. I have my own songs. When they move during the day they carry me along in thick skins sewn together with the rough vines that grow by the burning waters. When Father Sun is in the sky I lay covered by skins and buried in the shallow dirt. Two warriors stand by me as I lay there. They don't speak. They don't look to me. They stand with their backs to me and their faces to the sun.
I am honoured; I am hated.
I am for the tribe and of the tribe but I am different. They say that a tribe needs those like me to keep the fires lit through the night and to sit with my back to them. I am pale skinned. I have blue eyes. I see better in the dark than my brothers and my sisters. I move faster in the darkness then even the strongest and best of them. My ears are more attuned to things that are and things that should not be. I fear no wild creature for when I’ve my eyes on their eyes there is communion there. They are my cousins. They share my blood. When needed I do not hunt. I ask for a sacrifice and a sacrifice is always given. They share my blood. They are my cousins. We live with the assent of the other, of the before.
By day I lay covered in skins in the shallow dirt. I am no fan of Father Sun. He burns my skin. He makes my head and he makes eyes hurt. He makes my blood boil out of my mouth and I shrivel when I stand facing him. But Mother Moon, when she shows her full face to me, makes me strong. Mother Moon, when she shows her full face to me, fills me.
They say I am of the tribe and for the tribe because I protect them. I watch the face of the night and I feed only on things that they refuse to touch. They call them, the things I feed on, the Gahnee Ree: the weaker blood. They come into the valley from the hills with weapons and with words and they think, they truly believe that these things give power. Their songs are different and so very, very strange. I have my own rituals. I have my own songs.
When Mother Moon shows her full face to me I feed and I sate myself on the flesh and blood of whatever the tribe leaves tied up for me; the Gahnee Ree, the wanderers... the speakers... the holy men... their warriors. I sate myself on what the tribe leaves for me because I am of the tribe and I am for the tribe. And I keep the fire lit. And I keep them safe as they sleep. I move quickly through the darkness, watched, loved by Mother Moon. I move quickly through their camps and the shadows left by their fires. I study their weapons. I study their words. I watch as they prepare to make war upon the tribe. I kill their men. I chase off their women. I give dreams to their children that make them fear ever setting foot in the valley my people because I am of the tribe and I am for the tribe. I sate myself and I let them see me as I do it because I am of the trube and forthe trube and this valley is ours, and will be forever.
I pray to the face of the night, and Mother Moon, and I stand against the Gahnee Ree as they circle us, every night more of them, every night more of them, every night new weapons and words and things they think give them power. They rage in the sky like strange angry birds that are not birds and rain strange metal rain down on the tribe that cuts, pierces, kills...
And they are endless in number.
Yet, so is my hunger.
So let them come to the valley, despite me.
I am of the Tribe and for the Tribe, but different then the others.
Let them come.
Let their waves wash over us. Grind us down. It matters not. Grind us into the Earth. It matters not.
The hunger is endless in depth.
I am of the tribe and for the tribe and I am as I always was-
of an agreement with the before which none of them truly understands.