Hiawain's Curse

Written by Isla Burgess

Hiawain walked into the deep, green forest. His left arm brushed past a crisp leaf damp with the morning dew. He felt a soft, light wind whoosh past him as he entered a clearing. This was where the battle was to begin. Hiawain grabbed his silver freshly sharpened spear and planted it into the ground, As he plunged it, dirt from the area of impact flew out of all four corners of the hard-packed ground. Suddenly a voice echoed through the crisp morning trees. “Hello Hiawain, welcome to the battle grounds”. Hiawain whirled around. It was the evil Toneadone. “You-you killed my people!”, Hiawain yelled, his flaming anger visible. He stomped over to Toneadone, dirt flying from the ground. He lunged his silver shining spear at Toneadone, all cares forgotten. In a flash, Toneadone whipped Hiawain across the face with a faded leather strap. Hiawain backed away, stumbling as the mark burned brightly. Toneadone laughed. “Ha!”. As a response, Hiawain whipped out his silver spear and struck Toneadone across the back and cut him deep. Blood started pouring out of the cut. Toneadone cried in pain. “I-I cannot be defeated! I am Toneadone!”. He then slowly disappeared into the forest. Hiawain ran back to his black charred camp and looked at the Chief’s tent. It was his father’s. “Oooooooohhhhhhh”, said a voice. It was soft and sweet. “Oooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh”. Hiawain followed the sound to a girl sitting on a bare, scratchy hard rock. She was wrapped in a white shawl. “Hello?”, Hiawain called. The girl turned around and hopped onto the ground. “Hello, I am Belle”, the girl said, wondering if he was a suitor. Hiawain gaped in awe. “You're the peacemaker’s daughter!”. “In fact”, she said in her sweet, calming voice, “I am.” “Have you heard of my father?”, Hiawain asked, hoping to hear he escaped the fire caused by Toneadone and his subjects. “Yes”, she said, but her voice had a sad note to it. “Your father died in the fire. He was praying right to the end, praying for you and your safety.”. “I-”, Hiawain broke down into tears, sounding so sad that Belle wished she hadn’t shared the news. Hiawain noticed that Belle was watching him and wiped the tears off his face. “Don't tell anyone you saw that”, Hiawain said, very embarrassed. “Ok”, Belle said. She looked into the distance. Hiawain saw a shimmering white shape on the clear, slightly waving water. It was the ever famous stone canoe. Hiawain, all sadness forgotten, ran out to the canoe and hit the water swimming.

“Hiawain, no-”, cried Belle. But she was too late. Hiawain was stuck in the quicksand, and he was pulled under the water. Belle ran, but suddenly stopped. If I go in there to save him, I will get stuck and die!, she thought. Belle continued to run. She tried to grab his waving hand but she could not reach it without getting in the water. Hiawain’s hand drooped. Suddenly Belle realized it was over. He was going to die, and it was her fault. Belle, taking a breath in,  jumped into the water. Bubbles floated around her. Her feet jammed into the quicksand, gloopy and sticky. She looked through the dirty, barely see through water and saw his face. His lifeless face. She grabbed him and pulled as hard as she could on his body. His feet, half-submerged in quicksand, popped out like popcorn in a machine. She then pulled herself out and she floated to the surface. She dragged his body on shore and covered him with her shawl. She got into the canoe and paddled back to her camp. “Belle, Belle!”, said her people. “You came home! We thought you were never coming back!”. “Oh, hello”, said Belle, still grieving from the loss of Hiawain. “Were your able to spread the message of peace with the boy”, the Peacemaker prodded. “Oh”, Belle broke down in tears. “He’s dead! He’s dead!”. Her people stopped looking so excited. They left her to cry alone on the dark, grey and cloudy beach. She wept with such agony that even the most ignorant squirrel would turn and feel a small twang of pain that hit it’s heart. The saying, “Over my dead body!” was coming alive in this moment. But Belle had different ideas. She got back into the canoe and paddled to one place so evil that even the most kind hearted person would feel the need to just do something bad. She walked up the steel walkway to the Onondaga Castle. She went to the gate and standing there were two guards. “You may pass, Miss Belle”, said the guards. She entered the castle and went down the hall to the throne room. There, sitting on his black velvet throne, was Toneadone. “You evil monster, you killed Hiawain!”, Belle lashed in anger. “I was only paying for when he damaged my back”, Toneadone replied, laughing. He pointed to a bandage on his back. Wait, dear reader. You may be wondering how Toneadone killed Hiawain if he was not there when Hiawain dies. Well, Toneadone has dark magic that can hurt and kill people from far away. He made Hiawain get stuck in the quicksand and drown.

“You are so evil!”, Belle yelled, her anger at Toneadone uncontrollable. “You killed him without a thought to his family and people!”. “They are gone, so nobody will care”, said Toneadone in a sing-song voice. “Banish her!”. Two large guards came running and sized Belle. “Where should we take her?”, the guard said. “To the jail, you fool!”, Toneadone exploded. “Right”, said the dumb-founded guard. They took Belle down to the jail. Belle kicked the guards, but it did nothing but get her locked in a cell. Belle screamed. “I hate you, you Toneadone!”, Belle pulled at her hair and kicked the cell. The metal bars suddenly snapped. She punched her way out of the cell and quietly ran out the door to outside. She jumped in the canoe and paddled until she was back at her camp. There was no people around. She took Hiawain’s body and pulled it out of her shall. She laid it on a blanket special to her and wrapped his body up in it. Digging a  hole in the ground, she gently placed his body inside. She covered the body with dirt and laid flowers on top. She had a moment of silence for Hiawain. “Oh Hiawain, may you rest in peace. May you be happy up there with the spirits. I pray for you, oh Hiawai-” She couldn’t hold it in anymore. She cried, cried hard. “Hiawain, Hiawain!”. Belle laid down to rest, rest at his gravesite. Later, she got into the canoe. I will spread the message of peace by myself, Belle thought. She got back in the white stone canoe and paddled with a heavy heart to the Onondaga camp, right next to the castle. Belle wiped the tears from her eyes and remembered Hiawain. This is for Hiawain, she thought. “Peace is the answer”, Belle sang. “Go away!”, said the field worker there. “Peace is the answer”, Belle sang again. More workers came, and more insults were fired. Belle sang louder and louder yet. The men stopped. The women entered. “That song-”, Belle braced for a mean comment, “Is wonderful!”. They turned to the men. “Listen to the poor girl’s song!”. “Has she ever done anything to you?”. “Well”, said the men. “We-”. “Quit it!”, yelled the women. “We will join you in your spreading of peace”. “We will”, said the men. “Well, I will not!”, said a mad voice. It was Toneadone. The men gulped. “What are you doing, you silly, silly fools! Get back to work!”, Toneadone yelled. They obeyed, fearful of their master. “YOU ESCAPED!”, screamed Toneadone. Before he could do anything, Belle escaped again and paddled far away from the island, with Toneadone screaming after her.

She ran to her camp and yelled a warning: “Toneadone will come; band for peace”. The Oneida people came out. “We shall go to the Mohawk!”, chanted the people. They all got into their canoes, with Belle paddling in the front. They reached the Mohawk camp. It was burnt. The people gone. “Well”, Belle sighed, holding back tears. “We shall go”. A single tear rolled down Belle’s cheek. A crisp, clear tear. Belle wiped it away. We shall not let the past overcome us, Belle thought. She paddled with the Oneida people behind her, to the Cayuga camp. The Oneida people shouted their message of peace loud and clear: “Toneadone will come; band for peace!”. The Cayuga people joined them in their canoes. They paddled to the Seneca camp, and the message was even louder: “Toneadone is coming; band for peace!”. They finally reached once again, the Onondaga island. Belle listened, and heard a faint cry. It sounded like... “The Mohawk! They’re trapped!”, Belle shouted. The Seneca, Cayuga and Oneida people followed Belle to where the Mohawk were being held. “Help us!”, they yelled. Belle rummaged in the ashes and hay to look for the key and found a shiny, silver spear. It had blood on it and a name carved in the side. It said Hiawain, Mohawk tribe. Belle gasped and dropped the spear. She then grabbed a key, laying on the ground. She fit it into the lock and turned it. The lock released and the Mohawk practically flew out of the captivity space. They marched toward the castle and stormed the hallway. They marched into the throne room and yelled, screamed, and cried the message of peace. Toneadone was powerless against the sound of agony. “Stop, stop!”, he cried. It ceased instantly. “I will join you, ok!”. He called his subjects up. “We will join them, whether you like it or not!”. A chorus of agreement rang out. They walked outside, all five tribes together. Belle took an axe and chopped down a big canoe birch tree. This will make great canoes, thought Belle. “Bury your weapons of war here!”, Belle yelled. They put their weapons underneath and she planted a fresh tree on top. It was forever known as the peace tree. One day, a long time after the banding of the five tribes, Belle was walking by the old shack when she spotted something inside. It was a child. Belle picked up the child and cradled it in her arms. “Where did you come from?”, asked Belle. “Wahhhhhh!”, cried the little child. “Who do you belong to?”, Belle said to herself.

She looked around. There didn't seem to be anyone looking for a child. “You're coming with me”. Belle walked back to her teepee. She spread out a blanket made out of bear-fur and laid the child on top. Belle paced around while she thought of a name for the child, since she was obviously keeping it. “How about... Hiawain?”, she asked herself, thinking of her long-lost friend. “Ok, Hiawain!”. She would always remember that moment, the moment when she found a new Hiawain. Belle took Hiawain the baby out to the beach. She set him down the same blanket and ran back to her teepee, where she changed into her swimming clothes. Belle jumped into the water and started floating on her back. She then swam back to shore and picked up the baby. She plopped him into the water. He fell under and Belle scooped him up. “There you go buddy”, said Belle. I will not let you die or drown, even though Toneadone has changed his ways! thought Belle to herself. She ran with the baby and blanket away from the beach, and they both fell asleep on the blanket. A couple hours later, Belle roused herself and was about to rouse the baby when Belle noticed they were not in the teepee. They were in a field with no sight of people around, just an empty farmhouse. Where are we? thought Belle. She softly picked up the baby, making sure not to wake up Hiawain. She walked into the farmhouse. She quietly swept off the dust of the couch and laid the baby on top. She then walked into the bedroom and fell on the bed, tired from her long day. Belle continued to lie there. She then got up and got the baby up. She walked out of the farmhouse into the dark and ran to the north, following the macaw constellation as it's beak pointed to the north. She followed it until she hit something familiar. A tree! she thought. It was partly charred. It must have been from the fire that Toneadone set long ago! Belle knew she was close. She kept running and soon saw a welcoming and familiar site. The Onondaga camp. She ran up to the Oneida people living there since the Five Tribes had joined together. Belle walked back to their original camp and walked up on that hill that she had buried her dear friend 12 full moons ago. Belle had a moment of silence. A single tear rolled down her cheek and she wiped it away. No more tears! I’ve had it!Nothing can change the fact that he’s dead! Belle ran back to the Onondaga camp. “Lis ce livre”, said the Chief of the Oneida people. Belle had taught them to speak French after she learned it from the Europeans who wanted to take their land but the Five Nations won the battle. “Bonjour Belle!”. “Bonjour Chef!”, Belle replied. She spoke English for a moment. “Do you know where Hiawain is?”, Belle asked, hoping to hear where her child was. “Yes, I have heard of him”, the Chief replied. “He’s gone”. “Noooooooooooooooooooooo!”, Belle screamed. “Not another Hiawain!”. “Yes, he’s dead”, said the Chief. A big explosion was heard from behind. It killed all of them.

The End