Indian on Purpose
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More by Craig Strete
The Bleeding Man and Other Science Fiction Stories
When Grandfather Journeys Into Winter
Paint Your Face on a Drowning in the River
Amos Brokeshoulder was an old man as Indians reckoned it. He was proud of getting old because he knew winters and summers and fall. He most likely would have lived a long time but now he was mostly waiting to die. His old wife Betta died five years ago in the spring so he figured to join her. She had cancer. One day she was fine and the next she fell down and couldn't get up. Doctor said she had pancreas cancer. Maybe different than other kinds of cancer but Amos didn't care. She died anyway. Doctor said she didn't suffer but Amos didn't believe him. It had been five lonely years without Betta but Amos figured he was about done with living. There was no fooling around now. He even bought himself a new shirt just to die in. He used to drink and maybe he thought about diving into a bottle again but he had promised Betta he wouldn't drink no more and he didn't. He figured he'd die in the spring when the weather got better. Amos Brokeshoulder was partial to April. He figured that was a good time to die. And he would have died too but things got changed round and he had to give up the dying business altogether. There was a knock on the door and the old man got up slow and went to see who it was. People so rarely knocked that he found it strange. "I come back," said the girl named Solace and she looked plenty sick when she said it. She had a tiny baby cradled in her arm. She was dressed in blue jeans and a shirt that must have belonged to some guy as it don't fit and it got the name Bobo stitched on the pocket. She had a running cold sore on her lip and she looked like she been run over. "I see that," he said, looking shocked. "I am home now," she said...
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