by Dr. Ugadda B. Kidden [i]
There was a storm coming and the old man had fallen asleep. Or perhaps he had died. He had been speaking about drums and how to tighten them so they would speak in a deeper voice when his eyes had closed. There was no way to tell if he was asleep or dead. Had there been chicken feathers from a sacrifice to hold under the old man’s nose the boy would have done so.
The air was still; the in-between stillness before a storm. Stillness that held silence, the silence of the old man.
Perhaps he should carry him to shelter? He was small and light enough. But there was no shelter near; only the base of the trees beneath which they sat.
He moved as close as he could. The knees of his crossed legs pressed against the old man’s. He curled forward until their heads touched. He drew his brightly colored cloak over both of them and waited. A storm was coming.
[i] He’s not a real doctor.