Note: I am aware the Cree did not use salvia divinorum but use your imagination.
Note: I hope this won't be seen as pandering to my native fan base, I didn't mean it that way, I really do like your old religion a lot more than Christianity. Also I'm sorry for the racist language but it's gotta be authentic.
Note: The views expressed in this story are not, nor have they ever been, the views of it's author. The author means no offence to those who do believe and hopes he has presented your views respectfully.
The year is 1862. Drunk in a saloon in Winnipeg, talkin' to anyone who's listenin'.
"Now God's taken my best friend. First my family now my friend. It ain't easy for me to make friends. It's a lonely life bein' the best. God's fucked with me from the beginning. Ever since I was a kid I couldn't make a move without God stickin' his nose in and fuckin' with my plans."
Somebody yells "'Ey! Shut up! The lord has given you everything you have, the lord has kept you alive this long!" "This long so he could torture me, and he ain't given' me shit, I took everything I got!" "Well shut the fuck up nobody wants to hear it."
"My beautiful wife, my beautiful daughter, taken away from me by the Indians when I wern't there. I wern't there because God wants to watch me suffer alone. All alone. Always gon' be all alone. Don't be my friend or you'll wind up dead, that's how it happens."
"I can take comfort in the fact that I'm the best damn gunslinger in the prairies. If I want something I take it. You stand in my way you gonna be dead."
Another man says "Well if you're the best I got second." "Oh, Wyatt Smith. Awfully humble of you to put yourself below me. You're a fuckin' legend." "My reputation does precede me, that's for sure, but this legend's retired from bounty huntin'. These days I just sit on my ritches, gettin' weaker by the day." "I see you have put on some weight since the picture." "Yep, fat and happy." "Well I'm sure there still plenty people your lesser."
Wyatt says "These days I get my fulfillment from payin' for scalps. Kill an Indian, 20 bucks in your pocket." "That's interesting. I do hate the dirt worshippers, maybe I'll take you up on that." Another man yells out "I'm comin' with you. Don't take none of my scalps." Another says "I'm comin' too, before the whisky wears off and I lose my nerve."
I say "I already kill any native I see. Fuckin' dirt worshippers murdered my family and that sealed their fate. Up to me I'd kill every last one of 'em." The first man says "I've lost people to the Indians as well."
"Fuckin' dirt worshippers sayin' we're in the same boat as the dogs and the horses. Sayin' any other creature has a soul is fuckin' moronic. Think they can do a little dance and fuck wit' the weather... Smokin' their funny weeds. Fuck all of 'em."
We pull up on a settlement, one man sees us and calls out. Women and children get in their teepees and the men prepare for war. The four of us pick a different corner and work toward the middle. I almost take an arrow to the shoulder but narrowly avoid it, one of my new friends not so lucky, took one to the neck and made a lot of noise then died. Another friend shoots the Indian who killed our friend.
Then a man walks out of his teepee carrying a rifle and shoots my other two friends dead. He shoots at me and misses, but my horse wasn't so lucky and it was shot dead. I fell to the ground and blacked out.
I wake up in a teepee, the chief standing over me. He says "You are alive because it was willed by the great spirit. The man who shot your friends stood over you ready to kill, when his rifle backfired and killed him. I felt a whisper in the wind saying this man must stay alive. So I brought you inside and we tended to your wounds."
I say "You speak English?" "I have spent a lot of time with the pale faces." "I see."
"Well it's great your crazy spirit friend saved my life but I'm afraid I must be going." I pull my gun out and point it at him while I exit the teepee.
He says "We will meet again, you terrible person."
Walking home alone without a horse, just me and my thoughts.
Was God fucking with me again? He kills my friends and makes me watch, then endears me to the dirt worshippers? He tells the man I must stay alive? Why must I stay alive? So God can fuck with me some more? God's gonna keep pushing it and pushing it until the day I die an early death. An early death if I should be so lucky.
Surprising the savages even have knowledge of the concept of letting people live. They sure didn't feel that way with my family and they were completely innocent. We... Sure don't ever feel that way towards them.
Back at the saloon in Winnipeg.
I raise my glass and say "To my friends who were lost today!" Wyatt says "Here here!" And then "How many did you get? Where's my scalps?" "Well I don't know how many I got, but I'm afraid I had to leave before I collected any scalps." "Oh, well that's a shame. Next time I'll give you double. It's the least I can do."
Another voice says "Fuck it, let's go get 'em." "Yeah!" "You comin'?" I say "No... I'd like to rest. Good luck to you though."
I rent a room and go have a nap.
I step outside and see the chief wandering into town, lookin' like shit.
"Chief?" "Oh... You..." "You look like hell." "I feel like hell. They're all gone. Three of them made it out into the wilderness but the rest are dead. They burned everything to the ground, scalped my tribe and left. What kind of perversion was it that lead them to scalp my tribe?" "Well I believe the man asking for scalps is makin' a dig at you people." "Clearly."
"This is your fault you know." "Actually it's Wyatt Smith's fault. He's the one who's payin' money for scalps." "You are the one chosen by the great spirit, you are the one who's responsible, and the great spirit is going to make you atone, and it will be grand in scope." "Sure."
"If you want to live you need to go on a vision quest." "You threatenin' me?" "I am." "Interesting." "This is what the great spirit wants, this is what your god wants, do this and life will open up to you." "...Alright, guess I got nothin' to lose. Just don't go tellin' anybody about this." "Let's go for a walk."
We walk for about half an hour until we find a nice little wooded area with a creek. "This is my favourite spot, you will do your vision quest here." "Yeah alright then." He pulls something out. "Chew on this for awhile then stick it as a wad under your tongue." "What is it?" "Sage, it will bring you visions."
"This is where I leave you. I will see you again in Winnipeg."
Everything starts to feel a little strange, I have trouble keeping a hold on where the ground is and where the sky is. I feel a certain... Glow. My vision starts to tunnel. At the end of the tunnel there's a presence. "God? Is that you?" I feel like I'm going through the hole. When I get there I realize I am the trees, I am the grass, I am everything.
I gain a certain coherence and I say "God! Why, god!?" Then I get this feeling from the trees, they seem like they're trying to tell me that everything will be fine, everything will always be fine, forever. My family is fine, I'm fine, the universe is fine. Expressed in this one feeling they want to impart to me. As the wind blows them forward they seem like they're talking but they're not really talking.
I see all these runic looking characters and I realize I am the warrior, my role in this grand pattern is that of the warrior. I've been taking part on the wrong side of this thing, I was the one who was evil, I am the one who must atone. I realize there isn't really much that I can do to help, except one thing, I can kill the man who's killing people simply for defending their land. I really do represent the white man, as the chief has said. And as that representation I must make things right.
As the best gunslinger in the prairies it could only be me.
The effects wear off and I'm alone again.
I go to take a drink from the stream, feeling more peaceful and serene than I ever have. The water refreshes me like I've never felt before. My mind is clear. I am at peace.
"I'm sorry I cursed you, God, the Great Spirit, whatever you want to call yourself. Maybe you picked on me because I deserved it."
Does this make me a dirt worshipper now?
I come back to Winnipeg and enter the saloon, the chief seems to be in trouble with a couple of my racist comrades.
"Hey, a fight with him is a fight with me." "...What?" "Fuck off." The chief says "Welcome home." I say "Let's go out back and talk."
I start talking and immediately started crying. I haven't cried since I was a boy. Barely shed a tear over my family. It feels like a gate got opened and now I can't stop it. "You were right. This whole time you were right." "Yes. Do we know why the Great Spirit chose you?" "We do." "I don't need to know, only you need to know." "There's something I need to do. You'll like it." "I'll like it? I don't care much to like anything anymore." "Basically I need to avenge your tribe." "You have my blessing."
I enter the saloon again.
"Wyatt Smith!" "Yes?" "We duel." "Do we?" "It must be done. You killed my friend's tribe." "I thought... You tried to kill his tribe." "I was a different man." "I thought you hated the dirt worshippers." "Maybe I hated them because at a certain level they struck a personal cord. Maybe that they knew something I didn't." "Sounds like a whole lot of horse shit. I don't like this new you and I'll be perfectly comfortable killing you." "Out front."
We stand, 50 yards apart, hands ready.