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The Stream This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I'm not sure when I came to realize my ability, and I know that I've never been able to understand it, but it is nevertheless, a part of me. In truth, this accursed power, the ability to see into other men's minds, may be the force that originally drove me across and unexplored ocean into an unexplored land, containing countless unknown, deadly perils. It matters little now, however, for I've made a home of this strange new land, both in Jamestown and, here, with the Indians.

Catatough is speaking now, his strong, lithe Indian form blending in well with the surrounding countryside. The great oak under which he stands, almost obscuring him in shadows as the dying light of dusk deepens to night, seems a massive pillar, representing not only the strength, but the accomplishments of the Indians. I understand little of his spidery, foreign language, only snatches of words that float about me and the countless others of his tribe standing near. As Cataough continues, I realize that I need not translate. Soon enough I will understand, and all too clearly. Looking into his squinting eyes, I see the sun setting below the trees; I see his people stretched out before me in the grassy field, and, as a cool breeze brushes my cheek, I realize that I see myself staring into his eyes, causing his thoughts take shape in my mind:

Chill wind flows through the fields today. Looking at my people, I see the bright future, like the sun, but I also see the white man, and he is like a dark cloud. I do not understand him. He looks at me now, too, and in a sense he is one of us, yet so different. Some of his kind come to burn our corn and homes, while others, like he, come to beg for such things that our kindred destroy. There was a time when we would gladly have given them all we had, and out of simple kindness and friendship. Now my people almost don't have enough to survive each passing day, while the white settlers still come from their distant land, wanting more.

That distant place, across great waters, must be one of much evil. The people come in vast numbers to escape, and many die as soon as they touch our shores. Those who survive cause us only concern and trouble . Their weapons are strong: our best fighters cannot defeat them. Their magic, too, is very powerful. With these, my people can do little but hide in the woods from such awesome enemies. If I could convince my brother, our great Chief Powhatan, we must fight. We must turn these Englishmen away before, we, ourselves, are destroyed, though such is not out way. I must warn out people now, I must make them understand, even if the white man still looks on.

Catatough's thoughts lasted only seconds, making up nothing more than brief pause in his speech. In those fleeting moments, those silent breaths of time, I learned more than a thousand, or ten thousand pictures, could convey. The settlers were no longer welcome by the Indian's standards. Those of us who ran away to live with the Indians during the starving times of winter were now simply, and little more than, tolerated. There will eventually be war, that much is obvious. I must not, can not, be involved. I belong to neither side any longer. Unlike the other settlers who defected, I did so as a spy for John Smith. I joined the Indians not our of hunger or sorrow, but out of greed for a commission. I see now that curse, which beginning made the job so simple, has brought me to understand these strange people. I could never betray them, or my own people, for that matter.

Turning, Towetah, as the Indians had become to know him, passed on into the woods. Looking back, he saw Catatough, once more staring off into the setting sun, his words flowing about him like a cool ocean breeze, his face set in firm resolve. Continuing, again, further on into the woods, the spy, Towetah, came upon a small stream flowing from the west towards its destination, the Atlantic Ocean. Following this stream, Towetah traveled on into distant lands, lands not yet affected by the troubles created by the greed of invading settlers. n




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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