*Native America anyone? Original I know but I hope you can look past that and give it a try. Warning: OOC America, Violence, tiny bit of self hurt, blood, did I mention violence?*
Her name is lost. Her identity is too great to be tied down by a mere title. She is the wild, is the mother, the Great One, freedom.
Her people have seen her. Whispered of her existence. Caught glimpses of her through the ages still evermore beautiful and youthful. Stars sparkle in her eyes and dance on the tips of her raven black hair. Wood, turquoise, and stone, carved, and colored molded beads hang from her neck with wolf fang and eagle claw. Feathers grow from her hair. Her lithe body weaves through the trees like wind, a passing phantom.
A cry resounds through the forest and she pauses. Trained ears listen intently. Again it sounds, demanding attention. She sprints to the east. Her footsteps are quiet as she leaps through the tangled brambles and streams and the paths hidden to human eye. The source of the wails appears, illuminated by the morning light like a sign from the Great Spirit, a small bundle encircled in a ring of trees. In the cover of the bushes she hides, all but invisible but for two shining black eyes.
It is a baby with strange white skin and golden hair and blue eyes almost hidden as its eyelids narrow from crying. Deeming the babe harmless she slowly approaches it. She makes sure to look around just in case its parents are close by.
The baby sees her and abruptly stops crying. Its small hands reach out to her with want. She steps closer. Even wrapped in clothes she can see that the babe is starving, unhealthily skinny and pale. She looks into his large eyes and there is a feeling that builds in her chest, a feeling that compels her to scoop the child gently into her arms and into her warmth.
The baby smiles with a look impossibly aware for its age and impossibly bright for being so starved. Such a strange babe, such a beautiful child. How could one abandon such a helpless little thing? She nuzzles the baby, cooing to it in her native tongue.
"I will take care of you my little one. You will never be hungry again."
Weeks pass. The baby boy is chubby and healthy from her care. She calls him Little Eagle for his eyes always look to the sky and his arms spread and reach for it like wings.
Even healthy he is always hungry. One blonde stand of his hair cannot be tamed and she plays with it. As she twirls it he reaches for her finger and puts it in his mouth to suck on. He sucks almost painfully on her finger and for a moment she thinks he is going to eat it. She pulls her finger away to get some food for him. For a moment the world spins and her steps are unsteady. She stops, surprised at the sudden fatigue. The moment passes and she shakily resumes getting food. It is barely noticeable but her legs do not carry her as fast as before.
When she returns the boy reaches for the food hungrily and finishes it within seconds. He says his first word afterward, far too young to be of speaking age.
Men with white skin appear at the borders. They remind her of her Little Eagle, ignorant and hungry. She is kind and helps them find shelter and feed themselves. Her sickness gets worse every passing day. She is coughing up blood and fever burns her from the inside.
Her Little Eagle does not grow as the human children do. Years pass and he is still a toddler. It is then that she realizes that he is like her and the man who lived south of her: a living symbol of a people. He is foreign and unnatural to her lands. She still loves him as her own.
His laugh is infectious. His smile is sunshine. Every time he touches her it hurts and disgusting boils grow on her skin. Her people are dying and he is the cause. She still loves him as only a mother can.
One day as she was holding him he pushes her away and she cries out as he falls. He lands on his feet however and runs. She tries to keep up but it becomes painful and her legs are weak. Again she cries for him Comeback! but he does not hear or does not listen.
It is night when he returns. In the firelight his eyes glint mischievously. He wears the strange garb of the white men now. It makes him more like one of them but she lets him wear it; happy that he came back.
She is weak now. Scars cover her skin. She can feel it, the sickness is almost gone and so are her people. So many have died…
Little Eagle has grown; he has better control of his small body now. He is incredibly sweet looking and is a nice boy. She wonders if he hurts her because he is inhumanly strong or she so incredibly weak.
Something tells her that it is both.
He runs out countless times, to his people and their ways. Her heart aches as he leaves but she is reluctantly grateful for the absence of the cause of the ugly pustules and bruises and cuts. Every day he leaves he is gone for a little longer.
One day he brings one of his people's garbs, a green dress that is restricting and strange. He holds it out to her expectantly, "Sivilwize," he drawls childishly.
"No," she shakes her head.
Little Eagle pouts. He shakes the dress as he holds it out to her, "Sivilwize!"
She shakes her head again, "No, little one."
He stomps his foot angrily and throws the dress on the ground. Angry tears covering his face, he runs away. He does not return.
She risks going by the white men to find him. She sees the boy with a blonde man with green eyes. He holds her Little Eagle in his arms and he does not cry from the pain. She slips away quietly, silently praying to the Great Spirit that the green eyed man would someday experience her pain…
Anger courses through her, fueled by her people. The white men keep asking for more, taking more land. Her Little Eagle visits her and she tries not to hurt him as she hears him repeat the familiar words, "More, more." She can hear a man in the background calling her Little Eagle by some horrible name and he has to leave. That day she moves west, away from the pain she feels now every time he takes a step closer to her.
Years later he visits her again. He is still a child, looking around five or four years old. "Hello Mother," he says in the white man's ugly tongue.
She responds in her own language, "Why are you here my Little Eagle?"
He frowns, "Why are you talking like that?"
There is a pain in her chest; he does not know her language anymore. He is like the white men now. "Why are you here little one?" she says with a heavy accent.
He smiles at her he always used to, "I'm crowded Mother. I need more room."
"Have you not taken enough? You have so much."
Little Eagle steps forward hands behind his back and he looks at her with pleading eyes, "It's not that much, your people have enough. Please? I won't ask any more I promise."
"Leave me alone, leave my people alone," she pleads back.
"Please," Little Eagle grabs her arm. He squeezes so hard she feels that her arm might break.
It is too much. Her people's frustration roars and suddenly her strength returns. She slaps him hard enough to send him reeling backwards. Shocked he puts his hand to his cheek and looks at the blood drawn from her long nails.
Little Eagle tries to look at her ruefully but the bloodlust in his eyes is painfully obvious. "I didn't want to do this," he says stepping forward.
She told herself that it wasn't him, it wasn't her Little Eagle-it was his people. But that was his eyes and his smile and his strength. And as she lies there bleeding on the ground it is his lips that kiss her forehead and his voice that speaks softly, "Thank you, Mother."
War is confusing. She hates it and its complexities. Her people are not united: she fights the white man, she fights against her own people. Sometimes she is helping the white men capturing a tribe, sometimes she is the tribe fighting for freedom.
The white men, her Little Eagle, his new caretaker, and the man with long blonde hair and blue eyes; they confuse war even further with the wars between themselves. It messes with her mind. She finds cuts on her arms and legs that she gave herself. She screams for peace. It rarely comes.
It starts with the blonde haired man with blue eyes so similar to her Little Eagle's that offers to help her. For the most part she helps him war against the green eyed man, yet she fights the curly haired one at the same time. In the end she watches her Little Eagle and his new caretaker push out the blue eyed man and his people.
He is a grown man now. He is no longer her Little Eagle. He grabs his gun and shoots at the green eyed man. They war with each other and her not-so-little boy forever tears the bonds away from his brother.
The green eyed man cries there in the rain, nursing a broken heart. The scene is sweet to her eyes.
He sees her often, telling her empty promises as he takes more away. The words "I love you" fall flat on her lips. He is no longer her Little Eagle; there is only America.
America doesn't mind, he never said "I love you" back anyway.
The tension builds and another war starts with the growing number of attacks her people make on the white men. She is pulled to the battlefield. It is another defeat, her people lay dead on the ground, bloodied bodies posed in a sick dance. She can only watch from the cover of the trees, torn inside but unable to reverse it.
A toddler cries beside its slain mother, covered in her blood. She watches in horror as a white man walks up to the child. She knows this man, he is already known as a great warrior among his people because he has killed so many of her kind. He is a cruel, savage man, hot-blooded like his nation. The toddler makes no move as he cries. Silent tears fall down her face.
The man stares at the child for a moment before crouching down and wiping the tears and blood from the boy's face. He then picks up the boy and carries him away.
She watches in wonder as he sends the boy to his own home. He treats him like his son.
Her Little Eagle is the only one that is left on his side of the world. He is content for awhile but it is not long before his hungry eyes turn west again.
He brings her papers. She does not care to sign them, they mean nothing to her. Actions are true, papers are fake promises. She refuses to sign them. He smiles and tells her that it is okay and leaves.
A thousand of her people are killed. She signs the papers.
It is cold. Her fingers are black and so are her toes. Her people become markers on the roads as one by one they drop into the snow. The light snowfall hides bodies and makes them unrecognizable, indiscernible from fallen trees. Their traditions call for them to honor and morn for the dead but there are too many and they are hard pressed by the adequately dressed white men. The white men do not care as they always have; the "reds" are inferior, their deaths mean nothing
He said this was an order from his boss; they were to be moved west for the better of his people. As her heart slowly freezes she cannot shake the thought from her mind that they are just making up an excuse to get rid of her and her people. The tears freeze on her face.
The so called boss is the man she remembers as a killer who on some whim took in a child that was one of her own. From what she sees he loves the boy. Lyncoya; it's a beautiful name.
She does not know what to think, to hate or love this man. Hate him for the thousands he has killed or love him for the one he cares for so deeply. The truth is that life is too complex for black and white and she simply cannot choose.
The truth is life is too tragic.
The boy becomes sick. He dies at 17.
The west was a harsh place but she has grown accustomed to it and to calling it her home. Her people, though they have their own petty squabbles and fights, are happy for awhile.
Time passes and America is hungry again. She knows that the cycle is going to start again when she hears the sound of wagon wheels. He says that the land is his now, that he has rightfully obtained it. They could share for awhile; let his people settle in peace.
Innocent families start to travel on the harsh trail west for opportunities. She lets them settle, helps them even. She foolishly hopes this time will be different.
She knows that peace will not last.
Sitting on her tall horse looking out to the orange and pink sky she feels a small fragment of the pride she once had. But as the sun sinks brightly in the west, from the darkness of the east came another rider, proudly sitting upon a finely brushed horse.
"Hello my son," she says, not turning from the brilliant sunset.
"Yeah, yeah, hello mother," the man says impatiently.
"Have you come to take what you promised I could keep?"
Quiet fills the air as he forms the lie, "No…I'm just going to move you to this place. It's just for you! You'll have food and land…"
She closes her eyes with a pained sigh, "Everything I want to say you have already heard America."
He silently trots up in front of her and gives her his bright smile. It is too white. "Don't worry about it. You're going to love it," his tone makes it clear she doesn't have a choice.
She hits him away as he makes for her reigns. He breaks her fingers.
War overtakes the land again. Her people fight for what little they have. America splits in half but still fights her. He reunites and still fights her. There is no mercy from him. A white flag of truce is waved only to be stained in blood as the soldier's massacre her people. Her people win a battle but as they celebrate the armies return and force them into submission. Again and again her people fight and struggle, trying to climb a slick cliff.
She is captured by the one she raised. He points a gun at her head as he forces her onto a measly piece of land.
One of her people prophesizes a deliverer. She dances for their freedom. The white men are scarred, they tell them to stop. She does not listen but instead dances all the more wildly. They cannot restrain her, no; this is her land and these are her people.
"Stop! I'm telling you to stop!" her former son shouts.
She ignores him, pushing the limits to her dancing. Her deliverer will come.
"I'm warning you, stop right now or I will have to use force!" the other white men look on with alarm as well.
She dances. He raises his gun and fires. The ground gets a new coat of red paint.
And her deliverer never comes.
She cannot bear to look at herself in the mirror anymore. She can feel the wrinkles in her face from aging years, the pockets in her skin from the disease, the scars from the thousands of lost battles. Running like she used to is impossible, she is reduced to walking feebly. Her silky black hair is now gray and rugged.
As she looks at her scarred, shaking hands she knows the fight is over. She will never roam the lands free and great as she once was. She will never be that great nation comprised with so many diverse and strong people.
Retiring to her cage she mourns for her people.
Shame. It pulses through her strongly. Children are born ashamed of their heritage, harassed because of their skin. To her horror she sometimes wants to be white skinned and blue eyed just so she can be free again.
She despises the want she feels to be a part of America, the want to be a citizen, to prove herself to him. His visits are few. His reluctance is partially because he doesn't like the slight feeling of guilt that rises in his stomach at the sight of her.
No, he has more pressing matters.
She has assimilated to his culture. Her beautiful, colorful dresses are put away and replaced with his clothing. Her language is replaced with English. She attends his church. If she practices her own traditions she is punished harshly.
The only time she dons her traditional garb and paints her face with many colors is for the entertainment of tourists.
She feels like a circus performer.
The camp provides almost nothing for them. His people could care less if her people lived or died.
The clothing, the shelter is all inadequate. They were promised food but it never comes. They are daily reminded they have no rights. The reservation is absent of any comfort.
It is not surprising when her people slowly die from starvation and lack of sanitation.
She tries not to reminisce about the past but her former leaders refuse to be forgotten in her mind.
The great yet peaceful warrior Black Hawk.
And Tecumseh the great military man who united her people for a time.
Then there was proud and generous man Sitting Bull and his deputy Gall.
Their faces are etched in her mind and their ghosts haunt her dreams. They call to her with their deathly lips and send shivers down her spine. Even more vivid are their deaths, some gallant, some pitiful, few happy.
Death is a central part of her life now.
She learns quickly that there is nothing like slowly starving to death, especially when you cannot die. The will to survive, to live, that made her so alive in her early years is spent and she sometimes finds herself thinking about joining her people as they starve and take their own lives. To fend off the dark thoughts she drinks but the alcohol she consumes changes nothing and the suicidal thoughts do not disappear.
Years pass of this, eons to her. The same self-deprecating routine.
There are breaks. When the call for battle comes to America her people join. They are warriors at heart, strong and valiant and are eager to join to serve their country. The percentages of her people that join are more than any other people in America and she is proud at the fact. She helps as well, sending out messages in her language that is indecipherable to any other country.
Yet, for all of the awards from the merit and courage displayed in battle, at home she is still inferior to those outside of the camps. It is no news to her.
Casinos are raised. "Pokerhontas" she is called so mockingly. The casinos are a curse and a blessing. It is a way to get back, to take money from the people who owe her so much yet another part of her cannot stand all the gambling, the harm that she is pulling her people into. She doesn't have a choice anymore. They are too tempting and generate much needed profit. The casinos are a part of her now.
They start to notice. In a time of change and rebellion attention is finally turned to her people. America finally sees what condition her people are in, how much the government really does, how prevalent drink and suicide are. People call for change.
She knows not much will be gained from this movement but she welcomes it all the same.
The first time in years America visits.
One night she awakes to the sound of a man sobbing. She sits up to see her Little Eagle, not America, kneeling at her bedside crying into the sheets. He mumbles almost incomprehensibly as the chocked sobs past his lips, "I'm sorry….I'm so, so sorry…"
She does not move for awhile, just staring at him with tired dark eyes. The mother in her suddenly resurfaces and she pushes the blonde hair out of his face and tenderly wipes the tears off his face.
She sees her Little Eagle again. It is not much but it is something in years of nothingness.
Such is the life of a conquered nation…
AN: Sorry for the bittersweet ending (and the never ending line-breaks) but the truth is that there really isn't a happy ending to Native American history. I really couldn't touch all aspects of their history but I hope this was a decent enough tribute to their struggles.
This is my very first fanfic I ever wrote, three chapters melded together that are a product of APUSH. I love to write sad things for some reason and OOC America. I guess to me America, even though he is no doubt a decent guy, still has his bad history. Don't misunderstand, I LOVE America; he's my favorite character.
All the History References!: The first part is pretty well known, too much to go into…If you didn't get it the "blue eyed man" is France and the war is the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years War). There were tribes fighting on both sides reason for the confusion and self-harm.
The man that was well known for killing so many Natives is, you guessed it, Andrew Jackson and believe it or not he did adopt a Native American child. He was said to have loved the boy and planned on enrolling him in Westpoint University before he died of tuberculosis at 17. It truly is ironic for the President known for the Trail of Tears to be the only President with a Native American child and I think says something about the whites of America as well.
I think that it's important to know that for all the fighting Native Americans are known for in Western movies, the Natives were generally kind to settlers.
The white flag raised but still bloodied is based off a real battle as well as the prophesy for the "deliverer". The Ghost Dance to pray for him frightened white Americans however and at the Battle of Wounded Knee soldiers opened fire at unarmed men, women, and children. It was the tragic conclusion of the battle of Native American freedom.
FYI Native Americans were very active in WWII and had the greatest percentage of participation. There were great with codes, using languages that were only spoken by 16 people or so.
Last note to top off the outrageously long AN: the time of change is 1960's and 70's when Americans realized just how bad the government was handling the Native situation. Slavery is one thing and I believe is very well known. The treatment of Native Americans was hidden to the public but the protests brought their situation to light.
Thank you for reading! Please tell me what you think!