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Heq (standard:Inspirational stories, 1031 words)
Author: CyranoAdded: Mar 30 2009Views/Reads: 1655/886Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Shaman prays to the spirits for blubber...what comes is his destiny.

He arrives: a splintered flash of divine brightness, a naked child
holding out its arms. Shaman steps forward, staring up at the sky, 
eyes, mouth and nostrils agape scratching his head and mumbling. His 
people wait patiently for him to speak.  The child is simply another 
mouth to feed when they are already half starved. The villagers had 
asked Shaman to summon the spirits for better times, something to eat, 
something to wear, not another hungry mouth. 

Alipak, teenage son of Shamuk, already spoken of as the next shaman
laughs like a ghoulish queen. 

“This is your answer from the spirits, Shaman, o' great hunter and
protector of the people. Your pleas no more successful than your 
poetry!” The villagers' chuckle. 

Shaman turns from the child and speaks softly. 

“My prayers were not that we will have food tomorrow, but that our
people will survive the darkness. This child is the answer to my 

He turns to the child, lifting him into his arms. “Now will come a break
in the weather. The whale will come. After many moons a darkness will 
descend, and when it does this child shall be Shaman and his name shall 
be Heq.” 

Ojuat, too, is scornful of the Shaman. 

“Your pray for blubber is answered with a blubbering child!” 

Shaman holds the child to his breast, speaking in still softer tones, he
replies to the jubilant Ojuat.  “You are son of Pitak, guardian of the 
Great Moon-Dog, but neither he, nor you, can prevent what darkness 
comes. For our people shall be no more.” He holds the child aloft. 
“This child is sent by the guardian spirit, Kilalurak.  It falls to me 
to take his hand, teach him the ways of the hunter, instill in him the 
ways of the protector, educate him, teach him wisdom and nurture his 
courage. He will need all these skills and more to face the darkness.” 

Shaman tucks the child deep into the warmth of the caribou skin, kisses
his head and turns again to the villagers. 

“Alipak shall hunt in my name. I will remain Shaman until my heart is
won, cut out by my successor and fed to the sleigh dogs.  Is there any 
man here wishing to challenge me?” Brave men, strong, not without 
wisdom remain silent. Shaman turns his back and walks into the tundra's 
wilderness, carrying the child. 

Many full moons pass. Heq's education continues. He's a natural warrior,
a bringer of food, knowing of medicine and the darkness of advancement 
into his world. 

At seven he can build shelter strong enough to withstand the charge of a
walrus. At ten he make ropes and clothes from the skins of animals he 
has slain, and by fifteen he hunts the Minke with harpoons made by his 
own hand. 

Shaman has all along known the coming of Heq is the answer of the
spirits; that this child is his destiny, his end. For Heq to become 
Shaman he will one day have to fight for the privilege to lead his 
people in front of the oncoming civilizations and advancing 
technologies. It is an enemy that no Shaman before him has faced. Heq 
will need more than the skills of a warrior, more than cunning, more 
than fearlessness to keep the evil spirits away from the village. 

Shaman calls Heq to the warmth of his trapped body heat. 

“It is twenty cycles since you were sent, tomorrow we begin the final

“I'm ready, Shaman, to kill the polar bear. A single spear.” 

Shaman smiles roundly. “The polar bear is a large target, Heq. There is
another hunt; a great hunt, to be tracked with care. When you find it 
you must not wish to kill it, but to live with it inside you.” 

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