Wednesday, August 17, 2022

#WEP #NativeAmerican #ShortStory and #BoutOfBooks Day 3

WEPFF image

Moon Phase on May 15 1994 image

The following is 😉fictionalized.
This is about a teen reuniting with his biological parents, and discovering the challenges of reproducing. (Tag)
Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
If it were real, the reunion would have probably occurred on May 15, 1994.
The Moonlight Sonata is full of ups and downs, as is this piece, which takes place under the moonlight.
999 Words FCA

  • A Dakota fire hole has two holes in the ground connected by a tunnel. 🔥 The fire is in one hole, and smoke filters out the other. This contains the blaze and makes it more difficult to see from a distance.
  • The paperwork person referenced was a social worker.
  • The American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed in August 1978. The Indian Child Welfare Act was passed in November 1978. Both of those events are after the first pregnancy in the story.

The Reunion

Though he hasn't seen his parents since he was preschool age, over a decade ago, recognition is instantaneous. The three hug and cry from early to late twilight. Father lights the Dakota fire hole. Mother prepares pine tea. He sits on a large, flat stone on the lush forest floor. It feels familiar, as though he had sat on this spot a thousand times before.

"We come this way each year after the flowers start to bloom. Some years, when summer is too disagreeable, we head to the cabin where you were born," Father says as he checks the fire.

The teen boy has millions of questions. How much time will there be to get answers? He looks from the hidden fire to the moonlight. The Waxing Crescent offers some light in the night sky. He scribbles a question in his notebook. 

"Hmm," Father contemplates after reading the question. "We are not concerned with calendars or clocks. Nature cares little for man's time trackers. The moon was brighter than this the night before you were born, though not entirely full. Summer had turned to her hottest days."

"I confess I prayed you would be born to ease my discomfort. Though I also hoped you would wait. An infant that cannot be cooled is difficult to silence."

His mother's remark makes him chuckle, for dysarthria from severely damaged laryngeal muscles has rendered him mute. Hot summer days meant his real birthday probably was in August. The paperwork person might have picked well when she guessed. He writes another question.

Mother tends to the tea brewing on the heated rocks. "Our grandparents were friends. My grandfather brought your father to our family's farm."

"I had traveled with my father's uncle for some time before that. He was the one you encountered last time you searched for us."

The boy smiles. He had been so glad to find an uncle. The elder passed on vast knowledge in the months they spent together. 

"My parents hoped I would marry a different boy. Your father encouraged me to marry another."

"I loved her and wanted the easier life that a pale husband could provide."

Mother reaches for Father's hand and kisses it. "Love is not about an easy life. We wed, and soon I was with child."

Father squeezes her hand. "I was joyful and terrified. There was no guarantee the community would protect our child. I knew there was a better chance they would be safe if I left. While praying on it in the woods, I encountered another from our tribe. He told me the pales were harming our women in childbirth, taking motherhood from them. They take and raise the baby without love or guidance. Born as a villain, raised like a slave, then abandoned to harshness and early graves."

"Terror for our family gripped my soul," Mother says as she pulls a fur around her shoulder. "What were we to do? How could we stay safe?"

"There was time, though not much, before winter set in and her stomach would plump. So I learned all that I could. A midwife gave me lessons, books showed me what to watch for, and her mother imparted wisdom. We carried little with us and moved away from the world." Father opens a pouch filled with dried meat. He passes it around before eating some. 

"Winter was too cruel. And we did not plan early or well enough. It was around this time, when the flowers first bloom, that our child came too soon and without life."

Mother stares at her jerky. The new leaves rustle with the soft breeze. "It took time, but I still wanted a child. We got better at living in the wilderness."

"I negotiated and traded with certain hunters, fishers, and farmers. I helped one build a cabin in exchange for occasional use."

The boy nodded. He remembered the cabin a bit. 

"It was not long after a pumpkin feast that I realized you were inside me." Mother distributes the pine tea. The boy is glad he brought a cup on his journey. "We stayed in the cabin much longer than usual. I was determined that you would live."

"We did all we could to keep you with us. I taught you survival skills from the moment you took your first steps. You learned so fast," Father claps his hands. "You made us proud every day."

Tears roll down the boy's face. He shakes as he writes an apology for wandering off, being taken, and not finding them sooner. His parents embrace him and assure him that the blame is not his. Mother wraps him in her fur as her tears mingle with his.

"We tried to find you. There was very little help," Father stares at the fire.


Sunlight breaks through the lowest branches before the boy asks his biggest question. His parents frown.

"No, son, your mother and I cannot go with you. Our home is here, among the trees. This is the safest place. You are welcome to stay with us. We have helped many in situations such as ours. This is our path in the world."

The boy explains his medical needs and asks how he could survive without modern care. He writes that laws have changed, that it's safe now.

"Nothing we have can do what you ask. How well you would live, I cannot say. Never trust pales to keep their word regarding your safety. They think death is our only use. Pox blankets may change form, but continue to exist."

He pleads for them to come back with him. To not leave him with strangers for years to come. Mother gives him an address and a note. 

"This woman of science lives near the farm our family had. She openly shares knowledge and compassion. The note requests she houses and cares for you. We will return to this spot again. Soon after the flowers bloom each year. Meet us, if you can."

Image of moons of August 1979 image Temperature in the area August 1979

The boy's actual birthday is probably early August. The paperwork person picked August 21 because that was the day she filled out the form and the boy did not give her a different answer.

Feel free to wish the author, me, 🎈 a happy birthday. 🎂 Legally, it's this weekend. 

If you look at my post from Monday, you'll see the book I used to plot this writing offering. I don't normally plot, but this did help me decide how to tell the story.

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) helps Native American children stay with their tribe.
The Dad in the story is right. There's a new ""pox blanket"" intent on taking away rights of Native Americans.
The ICWA is in danger of being defeated. Registered US voters can help by signing a petition.
You can also contact your elected officials by other means about the matter.

Today's Instagram Challenge:
Today's prompt is AUTO-BUY AUTHOR. Who's your "auto" author? Whose book do you auto-buy or auto-request from the library?
#boutofbooks #boutofbooks35 #bobigphoto
Victoria Aveyard ~
#Fantasy #SpeculativeFiction #FutureFantasy
image of Victoria Aveyard books image of Victoria Aveyard books

Day of the challenge: Day 3
What I read today:
Small! by Hannah Moffatt @MissDePlume

Total number of finished books: 1
Titles of finished books:
Write Better Right Now: The Reluctant Writer’s Guide to Confident Communication and Self-Assured Style by Mary-Kate Mackey
storygraph image

My GOALS during Bout of Books 35:
  1. Finish reading 3 books
  2. Take part in the IG challenges
  3. Write 3 book reviews
  4. Interact with at least 10 of my fellow BoB participants
  5. Take part in at least one Twitter chat ✔

Operation Awesome Happening at
Stacy Stokes answers #13Questions in OA's Debut Author Spotlight #giveaway
Teen & Young Adult Magical Realism Thiller
Your chance to win a signed copy. (USA only)

  • Did you enjoy the short story?
    • Did your parents fear you would be kidnapped by the government at birth?
    • If you are a parent, did you fear your baby would be taken away at birth?
    • Were you born a villain? Hated for your bloodline?
  • Did you consider looking at the ICWA petition to protect Native American families?
  • How do you celebrate your birthday, if you acknowledge it?
  • Have you read any of Victoria Aveyard's books?
  • Ever taken part in a read-a-thon?
  • Have you ever heard of
  • Did you check out the signed-book giveaway?


  1. A heartbreaking childhood! I can't imagine the agony of separating a child from his family and having all cultural influences suppressed. I am glad the boy in your story reunited with his parents, however briefly.

    Here in Canada, the government has been making reparations to indigenous people for all the wrongs of the past. Even the Pope got involved, apologizing for the role the Catholic church played in the mistreatment of children in residential schools. Seems like too little, too late! Over the last couple of years, many unmarked graves have been discovered.

    Happy Birthday! 🎉

  2. Hi, this is sad and heartbreaking. I have a deep friendship here in Germany with a German couple that goes for two to four weeks to work with the Lakota tribe in South Dakota. They come back each year with stories that many in Germany cannot comprehend. Thank you, the story is well written and needs to be told.
    Also, Happy Birthday. May your new year be filled with hope and positive achievement concerning the goals you undertake.
    Shalom aleichem

  3. Happy Birthday! It's heartbreaking when a child has to through so much.

  4. Happy Birthday!
    Your story is heartbreaking and true, although fictionalized to protect the innocent. Thank you!
    Such a horrible legacy we have of not protecting the innocent!

  5. It is so sad to learn how many wrongs have been done to the Native Americans. Hopefully, the future will be brighter for us all.

  6. Happy Birthday, J. It's so terrible what was done to Native Americans. The problem of ostracizing is a world wide one. I love your story. Well done.

  7. Oh, my heart. So much sadness. Humans need to be better and do better. There has been so much harm done and there is so much to fix!
    Happy birthday!

  8. Happy birthday! Wishing you a wonderful birthday weekend with many pleasant surprises...

    Such horrific conditions Native Americans have suffered. Throughout history and all through North and South America, these spiritual, creative, intelligent, and loving people have been ostracized and abused by the Europeans (white man). It is such a cruel world we live in, but there is so much natural beauty and spirit...if we all could just forget our differences and tap into all of our similarities. A sad but beautifully told story.

  9. A very happy birthday.
    Thank you for this poignant piece. A reality which is repeated in too many countries across too many cultures.

  10. A sad story, but an important one. Thank you for sharing and for presenting a way to do something about it. The ICWA isn't perfect (as many court cases have shown, when white money is worth more than Native blood), but it's what we have. It's important to keep it. Unfortunately, Native rights seem to be suffering in a number of ways due to the current political climate.

  11. Hi JLenni. Happy birthday!
    A sad, sad, story, but not uncommon for sure. Many Western cultures removed native children from their parents. It happened in early Australia, went on for 90 years. We call it the Stolen Generation as indeed it was as children were heartbroken until they were reunited with their parents. Sadly, all too many were not. So I related to your flash. Congrats on the plotting. I find that hard, but it's paid off for you. Thank you for sharing this important story.

  12. Happy Birthday! A sad story, but it's beautifully written.

  13. Happy Birthday!
    Thank you for sharing this sad but beautiful tale.

  14. Thank you for a poignant and important story. Well written. So many indigenous families have suffered at the hands of “pales.” Change comes too slowly.

    Clearing my throat and singing… Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear J. Lenni, Happy Birthday to you. Wishing you a cake and ice cream day.

  15. Happy Birthday to you. Your story is important and heartbreaking. I can't even imagine how awful it was for parents to fear that their children would be taken away from them, and possibly never see them again.

  16. Hi JL - thank you for bringing to life a tale so very true for many. I do hope you have a lovely birthday and happier years ahead. With thoughts - Hilary

  17. This story is filled with so much sadness and love. So many families have been tragically separated from one another. Thank you for sharing this story with us. While this particular tale is fictional, it is based on harsh realities. Happy birthday!

  18. This was heart-stopping to read. So much injustice and sorrow to burden a child with! Well crafted and compelling, and a great use of the prompt. Thank you for sharing it at WEP. Happy birthday!

  19. A very touching story, indeed. It may be fiction, but it's a very real story. Thank you for contributing it to this month's WEP! And, of course, I hope your birthday was truly special. Sending belated balloons to keep the celebration going.

  20. Happy Birthday. A truly heart-wrenching tale inspired by a still relevant reality. Well done.

  21. Happy birthday. This is a beautifully written story that makes the reader think about the injustices that continue to be faced by American Indians.
    I never worried that my child would be taken from me at birth. I was 25 years old and married. I had a friend in high school who was pushed into giving her baby up for adoption. She fell into a deep depression after that and disappeared. Nearly 40 years later, I still think about her often and wonder what happened to her.

  22. Belated birthday wishes to you. This was sad and beautifully expressed. For me, it was also new because I had little knowledge about it. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Such a touching piece.
    Also a belated happy birthday.


Welcome! Please let me know how to find you to say hello back.
What is your favorite fiction genre to read?