The Aftermath: Banishment
“A Real Friend is one who Knows your
Faults and still Loves you
In spite of Them.”
I was in deep shit. Not only did I take her Virginity, I went ahead and got her Pregnant. Now I must leave my family and my whole Village. One factor was in my favor, I had a Real Friend: Joshua.
Joshua and I had been friends as far back as we can remember. Joshua showed his loyalty when he admitted to the counsel that he had been the one who stole the booze that lead to the events that Infamous night. It had no effect on my punishment: Banishment. So Joshua threw himself on the mercy of the counsel. “I will leave here with Jarl. I am culpable.”
“Now way, Joshua! I and I alone must be punished for this . . . Uh . . . Crime.”
“You are my Friend, Jarl, and I join your Quest for Redemption.”
“Very well. The council has spoken: both Joshua and you are hereby Banished”
“No wait. Josh you cannot do this! I do not accept this sacrifice.” I pleaded.
“Jarl, you are my Friend until the End of Time.”
As we gathered our backpacks, Joshua noticed a note in his bag. It said simply: “FAG” So Joshua and I left, never to Return? Alone in each other’s faults.
We approached the nearest village and were not allowed in the front gate. So they gave it a wide birth. It was the case at the next three villages who knew of their crimes already. Joshua and I trudged our path without a word: Alone in our
thoughts and prayers. When will this punishment end? I ruminated.
What have I done? Who have I hurt? Repeated in Joshua’s mind as he prayed to his Ancestors.
“Joshua, you have made a True act of Selflessness. You will be rewarded in this life and the next.” Then Joshua broke the silence. “We will be there soon; I can feel it!”
“Be where?” I questioned.
“Where we’re supposed to be.”
“Yeah, right!” I scoffed. “We will always be Marked from this day forward just like Cain in the old stories. Get used to it!”
“No Jarl, my friend. This, Now, is the first day of our New Life. Time is on our side, Java. Every day, the Closer we are to Fine.”
“’The Closer I am to Fine?’ Bullshit!”
“You make a bad Optimist, Java.”
“Goramn it, Josh, quit calling me Java. That’s my True Name!”
“I’m here for you, Jarl . . . We’ve won the anti-lottery, my friend. It cannot get any worse than it is right Now!”
“Now that’s right.” I admitted. “We’re Starbuxed!”
“If we are at the bottom, then there is Hope . . .”
“What if we just keep skipping off the bottom and falling down again?”
“I tell you the Truth: This is the beginning of the End. For my Ancestors have spoken the Truth to me.” Replied Joshua.
“They came to me while we were walking in Silence. I forgive you, Java.” He said softly.
Taken aback, “Thank you, Joshua, my Brother.”
“You are welcome, Brother.”
The Brothers Trudged On.
The Fireside Song
Later, we sat close to the Fire as frost was in the air and I began to sing:
Our circumstances were truly dire.
The air was heavy with the thought of our Sin.
Where to start, where to begin?
We know our Friendship keeps us warm.
We give each other shelter from the Storm.
I’m here on my soapbox, here to Inform.
Our Love is so strong that the World will Transform.
The song over, both of us sighed and lightened the grip that we held on our blankets. Despite the cold, we both felt an inner warmth. Warmth from the ancient ritual of Song. I spoke first to break the Spell: “That was Tremendous, my brother.”
“I felt I was Home.” Joshua shed a tear.
“Me too,” I said with a long sigh.
After a dreamless sleep, Joshua and I woke to the “Caw Caw” of two Crows that were eating last night’s dinner. Both of our bodies ached from the previous days Trudge. However, we both felt somehow refreshed. I attempted to scare off the two Crows, but they insisted on finishing their meal while keeping one eye on us.
I’m into superstition: Black cats and Voodoo dolls. I feel a premonition, that Crow’s gonna make me fall.
“Is this omen good or bad, Joshua?”
“I’d say Good. They seem to be enjoying themselves.”
“Caw, caw?!?” I asked.
Good. We’ll be better when are bellies are full.
Yes. We are here to help you.
No, I don’t know.
“Should we follow you?” Asked Joshua.
Yes. We are satisfied, now. Do as a say: Try to keep up! And with that both Crows took flight.
Joshua and I packed quickly and took off in the same direction as the Crows: Due west. The pace was quicker than we would like, but we knew we had to keep up. By noon we were exhausted and fell to the ground: Spent. But the Crows flew on. On a hunch,
I took out some bread and threw it on the ground. Both Crows circled back and began to eat with one Crow on sentry duty Yes, we are hungry, too. I smiled to myself . . . so we ate and then packed up and moved on.
As the day neared darkness the two Crows landed in a tall white pine tree for twilight was a dangerous and powerful time of day. Plus it is easier to setup a tent before the sun sets. Crows are the Kings of Twilight so they felt safer to converse with the two travelers. Where do you two think you’re going?
“We seek new Adventure.” Joshua lied.
Are you seeking or are you running from? Hahaha! Everybody wants to Rule the World. Hahah! The Crows were in a good mood: Enjoying their role as guides: Knowing they would soon eat again. It comes naturally.
I questioned: “Who sent you?”
Odin, of course. I am Muninn and this is Huginn.
“Memory and Thought in Old Norse.” I explained to Joshua. “These are Ravens not Crows. Thank you for your Service.”
My pleasure. We are at your Service.
“What a gift, Java!”
As darkness fell with no light from the New Moon, Joshua I finished a meager supper. When Joshua threw another log on the fire sparks flew into the air. Then he began to sing:
I met two Ravens today.
Why they came, I cannot say.
Odin’s own: Muninn and Huginn,
Memory and Thought in unison.
Munin and Thunin guide our Way.
From their Path I will not Stray.
I Trudge the Way Unknown.
Our Past we cannot outrun.
The days they run together.
No Home for a tether:
Renegades on the Run,
The Old Ways we do not shun.
With no news at all from Home,
We’re Cursed, yes Cursed, to Roam.
All we own is on our backs:
Living the Life of an Amnesiac.
The next day was warmer because the Sun was out the entire day. I kept my eyes on the Crows and Joshua kept his eye out for a path. The phrase ‘As the Crow flies’ has new meaning for me. When we needed rest, we would stop and put out food for the Ravens. Sometimes the food attracted other animals as well: hawks, buzzards, squirrels, mocking birds and little finches. None of these spoke, however. The Ravens, Muninn and Huginn, in their true form were half again as large as a normal Crow. This fact helped me pick them out in the sky.
Several days after they met, Joshua and I found ourselves looking down into a gully much larger than either had ever seen. The other side was only 50 yards away, but it might as well be on the moon because of the depth of at least 3000 feet. The Ravens stood on the other side. You must get over here, as soon as possible. The depth is only an illusion. Walk out on Faith! Just then Joshua noticed a dust trail on the horizon. Now! You must come! They are coming for you! Walk out on Faith!
We did not move: like 2 deer caught in the head lights. Run! Run Now! I was waiting for courage to run on Faith. “Do what they say, Java!” Screamed Joshua as he ran toward the cliff. To his delight he ran onto solid ground where there should be none. I followed close after. On the other side we hugged each other and the two Ravens watched. The two SUVs stopped short of the edge of the cliff. They spoke through a loud speaker: “You are Trespassing on private property!”
Java yelled back: “Were! You mother flowers!”
A while later as we made camp, I sung:
Here we are Safe and Sound:
Our Blessings do abound.
To our Fear we have not caved:
By two Ravens we were Saved.
We used to be full of Fear:
Wanting to just disappear.
Now we both have the Courage we need:
Free in both Thought and Deed.
Fear is the mind killer.
I know you will concur.
You can Learn for yourself:
‘The only thing we have to Fear is Fear itself.”
False Evidence Appearing Real.
If you believe your Fate is sealed.
No Free Will can you find:
To your Fate you are resigned.
My friend for me did sacrifice;
He did not even think twice.
We are Masters of our own Fate;
Our Future do we now create.
Both men slept well for the first time since they left.
I had a Dream last night . . . that I met Steve Jobs outside of a clinic. I was broke, homeless and desperate. I asked: “Are you Steve Jobs?”
“Yes.” He took me into a warm embrace and said: “Bless you, my son.” And I was. Then he looked me in the eyes: “Your Faith will set you Free. Go in Peace!” And I did.
End of Dream.
Joshua and I woke from a restful Sleep.
“I had the strangest Dream last night.”
“Me too! I met Steve Jobs.”
“No way! Me too.” Jarl was incredulous.
“‘Your Faith will set you Free.’”
“Exactly!” I exclaimed. “What the eff is that about?”
“We need to find someone to interpret the Dream for us.”
“How bout I interpret yours and you interpret mine.” I suggested.
“That might work.” Joshua was dubious. “You go first.”
“So . . . Yeah! Steve Jobs represents Christ who wants the best for you and will provide for you what you need.”
“I can see that. But who the Hell is Steve Jobs?”
“I think he was a King in the Old Times.”
“King of what?”
“He cured malaria.”
“I think so . . . Now it’s my turn. Someone will give you a gift . . .”
“You already . . .”
“Don’t interrupt me! You already have given a Gift of Love and Forgiveness. The Gift of Grace.”
“Oh. . .Really?”