Pluribus 27

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September 30, 2031, 8:00 PM.

“And now Ladies and Gentlemen, the Story of the Stolen Circle!”

Don and Tap sat in a theater in the round at the Raven casino. Deputy Deer sat next to them in what were supposed to be the best seats in the house. Deer had been a gracious host after the jurisdiction issues had been worked out. Loman was under heavy guard at the hospital. An all points bulletin was out for Anita Gromex. It turned out she had a string of restraining orders across seven states on top of several murder investigations.

The lights dimmed. Chanting and drums began quietly. An old man in a fur robe stepped into the spotlight center stage. “There are many circles in the world. There is the circle of water that falls from the sky to the ocean and back again. There is the circle of fire and forest. There is the circle of the sun and moon. The Raven has shown us the circle of all living things. We are born and die and our spirits change as we move around the circle.

One day the invaders, the people with only one way came. They said you only have one name and one spirit. You cannot move around the circle. You must stay put. They took our land and told us to pray only to their god. Their soldiers came and they took our circles away.”

The drums pounded to a stop. The old man stepped out, replaced by a young woman in deerskin. Mournful flute music began.

“Their medicine men captured our medicine men and said they were sick. No one can be another spirit. But the circle does not stop. One of their medicine men figured out how to make anyone see the circle of spirits. He gathered the children of the tribe and kept them from dreaming so he could fill them with his dreams. Then he did this to others and built a tribe of his own. We called it the stolen circle. They used it to keep people in and out. As the Raven knows, you cannot be inside or outside a circle. You are part of the circle.”

The woman stepped out of the light, replaced by a boy with a raven headdress. War drums started up.

“One of the Raven children held all the dreams and learned how to free the circle of spirits. They tried to stop him, but the circle would not work for them anymore. Like the invaders, they told him he could not practice the old ways. He could not laugh. He could not find food or shelter. He could not move. They took everything but the sky from him. Then the Raven laughed and the other circles turned on them. The circle of the land shook their villages. The circle of fire burned their villages. The circle of water came and flooded their land. Then our cousins from the west came to visit. Now the circle of spirits spins for us again. It spins for everyone.”

The stage lit up with a laser show and dancers moving in interlacing circles to thunderous beats and chanting.

Deputy Dan leaned over and shouted. “Tommy thought you would enjoy it.”

Don shouted back. “If you have to sit through a deposition, it helps if it ends with a big musical number.”

Copyright 2006 DJ Cline. All rights reserved.