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‘Danny, you don’t understand. Enjoy the sofa alone and watch your TV.’ That was what she’d said before leaving me, Daniel Boone recalled while watching the muted television. TV characters on mute, they look like a bunch of fools. They say something soundless, like fish. They respond excitedly, sometimes thoughtful… as though they can think. For seconds, the clowns are entertaining, but they quickly become insufferable. We know that their acts are written beforehand in a plot, simple mimes; but what else do we have to forget the monotonous loop of life? I turn the volume up to hear their words; the stupidity is intolerable. What have I missed? It is not Eve. She asks questions, just needs and wants. And this new notion in her mind, the day and night’s repetition. The Prairie, what is that?

He paused the TV, and the stupidly mute characters on the screen looked even more pathetic. He stared at them for a moment as if remembering something. Not due to the standstill figures, but the silence of the two‐day pause in his routine. Danny could feel tranquility in the air, a breeze through the open window, and the rustling of green, orange, and yellow of a lonely tree outside. This was the last month of autumn. Something has been missing for a long time. He had always sensed it, but never paid attention.

He jumped to his feet and ran for the basement door, opening it swiftly. The rays of the tired sunset hardly reached the first few steps; the rest remained out of reach. Hidden. There was no lighting for the staircase, and none at the bottom either. He stood for a moment. She had been afraid to climb down these wobbly wooden stairs, no handrail for support. Narrow boards even for her small feet, great gaps in between, plunging shakily into the darkness. It was my hideout until she overcame her fear and added the basement to her territory of influence. TV became my last resort. He descended the steps, waiting for his eyes to accustom to the darkness. Before a shadow cast on the far wall there lay a chest drawer. He approached. He stood before the bottom drawer and opened it. A dim light shone out from a large metal box. He took it out. Though heavy, the well‐built man carried it with one hand up the stairs.

He carefully placed the box on the sofa and sat by it. There was dust on the lid; he rubbed it and the particles danced around his nose in the lazy sun of the cold evening. He took a deep breath, saved the sacred dust. A feather was neatly glued to the middle of the lid: a souvenir. A real feather, which had fallen from a golden eagle in a struggle to catch and carry away a mountain goat. He had witnessed the scene. Once the eagle pierced its sharp claws into the flesh, there was no way for the young goat to escape. He found the brown feather and kept it as a sign from ancient gods. He turned the combination carefully, releasing the old shackle. He removed the lock, pulled up the latch, and lifted the lid.

An array of beautiful pieces lay before him: gold, silver, ivory, woods of Damascus, birch, and Scandinavian handles with blades of steel and titanium. Tens of knives and daggers in variation, each expert for a certain job. He put the box on his lap, and picked up each artifact with the admiration of memory. He then decorated the sofa with them at his sides and placed the empty box at his feet. The silent companions gave him a few moments of glee; the useless standstill characters on TV looked funny again. The good old dust circulating in his veins reminded him that the beautiful knives could not fill his void; the guests on the sofa would not preserve his faint smile.

He went back to the basement, directly to the chest of drawers and slid the bottom drawer closed. He crouched down and stretched his hand across the dusty floor into a narrow space under the chest. His arm extended fully through the gap and his fingers searched for something sacred and familiar. Not smooth, not soft. They fumbled, wandering until finally reaching their aim. Danny retracted his hand. He sat on the floor, legs outstretched, looking at the wrapped gift in his lap. He held an old sackcloth, woven with coarse strings. Brown, seemingly random reddish spots stained the fabric. A wooden piece protruded from within. He smiled, stood up, and took it upstairs. He placed the concealed item onto the sofa and returned the other knives to the box. He then unwrapped the rag.

A Kentucky knife: its wooden handle made from a sacred tree, a sharp but coarse iron blade that had seen the inside of many bellies in battle, it displayed the mingling of dried bloodstains and rust. He rubbed the blade clean as best he could and raised it to view its lustre. The sun, before going down, sent its blessing upon it to shine. He placed the knife at his side on the sofa, turned off the TV, and leaned back to rest the nape of his neck on the sofa’s top. He stared at the ceiling and let the chill of a breeze and the favour of the old tree outside stray under his thin shirt. The open window had something else. The wind of autumn from an ancient graveyard circled around the branches of the tree. Rustling leaves whispered the spell of life into the old warrior of Kentucky.

“Long time no see, Jonny.”

“I had forgotten my real name,” answered Danny. “Hello Shawnee, my old friend. My warrior knife.”

“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it, Jonny?”

“Yes, Shawnee. A long time.”

“What happened? I thought you’d forgotten me, Jonny.”

“I don’t know,” Danny admitted

“We had a good time together, Jonny,” offered the shadowy knife. “Didn’t we?”

“Yes, Shawnee. We did.”

“It was like yesterday, in that old forest of Kentucky where we met, in the restricted area where campers had not set foot for hundreds of years.”

“Yes, Shawnee, I remember.”

“The old sassafras tree, tilted not by wind, but for a reason many years ago,” continued the knife.

“Yes, Shawnee, I remember.”

“I was there for centuries, in pride.”

“Yes, Shawnee, I remember.”

“You saw how I stuck the bastard to the tree- kept him there until his rotten flesh fell from the bones. How delightful it was when my grind was sawing his bones alive. His skeleton lay on the slanted trunk, motionless, arms suspended at his sides. His waving bones were squeaking in the wind of autumn, harmonized with the rustling of the leaves of the holy tree.”

“Yes, Shawnee, I remember.”

“Do you remember when you saw me? First you were afraid, then you came close. I saw you, a teenager with a slim body but with the eyes of a warrior. You touched my wooden handle, trembling. I gave you warmth; you grabbed my handle tight, removed me from the wood and bones. The skeleton fell to the soil, shattered. You stared at me while the cold rain of autumn started to cleanse my blade. You were amazed by the shining green, orange and yellow of ample leaves I reflected. I was looking at you, a great master, later a true friend. Do you remember, Jonny?”

“Yes, Shawnee, I remember.”

“Jonny was the name I thought right for you when I heard you singing Bitter Tears in the autumn rain.”

“Yes, Shawnee, I remember.”


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