I’ve slept over the oceans, rolling tides rumbled the boards of my own boat. There’s my wife, Margie and my daughter, Julie. She’s been struck with famine. Her beautiful, soft face reflects that of her mother’s. Both hold their own in our venture to the new world. My daughter holds my her mother’s image. Her eyes gleam green after my own frame but she holds no build like I. Our voyage has set us anew unto New England, my red eyes, dried and strained. I see the glory of the new land not so far away.
We haven’t sailed alone, our own supplies has dwindled, resources are scarce. It matters not now, our goal is soon achieved as we slowly keep pace with the sea. Amongst our voyage, a new start was a golden gleaming reality so far from grasp. However, now, I may start new for the sake of my family, and declare to plant our roots in this land. We may all lead freedom in our new lives, in God’s name may we prosper.
First, stone slab walls to support hay roofing. Hunting provided fur for warmth, but sheep provided cloth. The sun sets on the Saturday after our arrival, it’s been a whole week. Walking along the dock, the wooden boards creek. Following my feet along the boards, it’s the sudden presence of silence that stops me in my tracks. Work is done along the outskirts of the colony boundary, allowing access to the fish. But the men speak amongst themselves just outside the boundary. Jonathan, a slimmer younger lad of about twenty-four years of age. His own brown colored hair has begun to sprout at the chin. Mason on the other hand, has much more length around the chin, however he’s of age twenty-seven. I approach the circle of passionate banter, a passion i’ve never seen lain upon the faces of this settlements men.
“What is this banter? You’re all so worked up, what’s the matter here?”, “There’s been an incident within our colony walls Mathew”. I face myself towards Eli, a leader amongst our colony, righteous and available in confinement whenever convenient for any and for all. Referred to as father in times of crisis. He clothes himself similarly to the rest of us, but he stands out with a white cloak.
His features are nothing to point out. His face was kept clean and his build was nothing of significant size. It was in his presence and well known comforting smile that he was unique. Alongside him was a brother of two, Samuel and alongside him Maxwell. Both kind and helpful. Not yet the age of twenty, i’m not certain how old each is exactly. Samuel stands shaking, “Samuel what leaves you shaking so? You look as if you’ve seen a horror”, “It was a red man, we spotted him through the tree’s along the outskirts of the boundary”, Maxwell had replied. He stepped to the side to comfort his brother.
“This is the third time a Native has been spotted and they’ve been discovered to be spying! Just watching in the brush, it’s an omen of the devil. Their red tone marks it explicitly”, Mason was furious.
We all had discussed the issue, over the time of our settlement, Natives to this land have appeared to peer out of the woods. They often scan us at the time of dusk. Eli claims this to be due to a presence of evil in their lives. I’ve only heard of such incidents, never experienced. The conclusion was made that they were in fact dangerous. On account that the first encounter with one he had attempted to steal our own livestock. It was oddly not a sheep, it was a goat. Of all the animals in our livestock, the goat was drawn out. But goat’s aren’t as much help. Goat’s offer milk, but I can’t grasp how the redmen could be so foolish. Sheep provide cloth. The redmen already have little on their backs as it is.
Concluding the discussion, I get to the cottage. My beautiful wife waits by our daughter’s side.
“How is her condition?”, “Her fever isn’t as high as it was. I pray she sheds this illness like a snake’s skin. My daughter mustn’t be afflicted with these cursed ailments”. Julie’s eyes opened and she turned her head to me, “Father I had a dream”, “What was it my child, what have you seen?”, “It was a field, and I was walking along a hill. There was a soft wind, and I saw a sheep at the top of the hill”, I look into Julie’s eyes and then at Margie’s eyes with a quiet content. “Was that the end of the dream my child?”, Margie rested her hand on her chest as she spoke to her, softly and sweetly.
“No, I walked up to the sheep and the wind got stronger”,
“And then what?”, I asked her. Julie didn’t answer me, she laid quietly. Her expression was plain.
“Your father asked you a question dear, don’t be rude”, Julie’s eyes darted to me and quickly back to her mother…and then past her mother. She silently muttered her response. She almost didn’t open her mouth at all,“…I pushed it”. I was speechless, her mother looked to me with the essence of concern and fear in her eyes, “Why would you do such a thing?”, she asked.
“Now calm down, it was a dream. She has no control over such a thing.”, my heart was beating quicker, but I was calming my beloved. Julie laid stiff, I put my hand on her shoulder, her body draped over plain cloth. She raised herself and looked to me. I looked back to Margie who was still taken back, “I pushed the sheep off the hill, and it died…bleeding everywhere father”, “ How did you know the sheep died?”, “I know the sheep died, because when I looked at it it wasn’t a sheep anymore. It was dead but it wasn’t a sheep, it died into a goat”.
“It died into…a goat?”, I stammered, looking into my daughter’s eyes, she drew a quick breath, “but it’s eyes were gone and it was bleeding in the grass”, My eyes misted at the imagery. My daughter was sent an image of darkness, her ailment was something that demanded urgent attention. Father Eli came to bless our daughter. Margie was pale, unable to hold any more detail, we had our dinner. Margie prepared stew, after bathing we went to rest, tomorrow was Sunday. I plan to have my daughter attend and we may find some answers.
In the dead of the night, the sudden uprise of the animals awakens a few of us.
I grab my coat to check on the mild uproar. “What is the commotion?”, Eli stood with his lantern standing among the brothers and Mason, they called me over. I met them with Mary, a young woman and the brothers father, Ferb. Mary resided with Jonathan and his two younger brothers. Her parents mother stayed resting, cousin to Jonathan and his late mother. “I awoke to activity amongst the sheep” she explained. She held onto a white blanket wrapped around her, I walked with my light in hand beside the brothers as Eli led our way to the livestock. She followed behind with Mason, he didn’t bring out a light so she aided him. We arrived to the sheep, the sheep dens were held along the gate of the boundary. This way it was easy for them to access the grass and a well to the right of the fencing offered water. The chickens were held in coops to the further right of the well and the goats were all held together to the left of the sheep. Just beyond the gate lied the woods. Gateway to the unknown of God’s light, “what could have caused such a commotion?”, I searched around for a possible answer. “What do you think could have been the cause Father?”, “It’s unclear, perhaps there could have been a rustling in the trees above the sheep from wind”, close to giving up, we were about to return but Mary let her air escape her, a soft gasp leaped from her leaps unto the grass. We all turned to see what she saw, a figure standing amongst the trees, hiding behind a tree in the woods just past the boundary. “A redman” Mason exclaimed softly, his remark was a soft gasp for air. Holding terror and anger. The figure stood silent and motionless. The glow of our lanterns illuminated the red tone of his skin. His eyes stood out inhumanly. A faint glow could be detected, in that moment we all stood silently until Eli began to slowly step back. We all began to step away from the Indian in the woods. I began a little after, entranced by the redman he did not make eye contact, his vision pierced through me. I slowly shook at his barbaric display, so foreign, so frightening. I began to turn slowly when a gentle dripping noise caught my senses. I stopped and searched around. My eyes darting back and forth, the figure stood faintly now. Almost as if he was disappearing. “Mathew hurry, we can get our defences quickly” whispered Mason, “I hear something”.
In that moment Mary let out her exclamation, a skin chilling shriek of terror. I myself gasped aloud in reaction. The others were startled and most searched for reasoning but Eli replied with his own word. “My God”, he strained. I turned to him and turned back to what had snatched away his words. My eyes had to have been playing tricks on me. The others exclaimed aloud upon realization at the scene. I shook, in fact, I trembled at the sight. The commotion drew out more people from their sleep. Racing out with their lights, even my own daughter and wife came out to bear witness to the horror. A goat, hung from the twisted tree above the sheep. Dangling by its gashed throat, the branches intermingled with vein and flesh and poked out the blood. The noise I had heard was the dripping of thick blood onto the floor. The goats front legs had been cut. Completely removed, the body swung in the wind, the strands of skin spinning slowly. At close examination the gash appeared to be forced. It wasn’t a clean cut, there was an obvious struggle. My own daughter and wife, forced to bear witness to the presence of evil lurking just beyond the woods. The adding of light allowed for better view, and the better view allowed for the realization that the redman had vanished. The most noticeable detail of the gore were the eyes, the eyes of the goats. Not regular like a goat’s unknown eyes, these eyes were familiar, these eyes were red and strained. The goat’s eyes were no goats eye’s they were a human’s eyes. The color was so distinct, so different, they had a haunting green gleam. Just like my daughter.