Here is this weeks excerpt from my latest novel, The Awakening of Russell Henderson. Stay tuned for next week’s.
He went to the entrance, got down on all fours and crawled in. Hanna followed and I followed her. We entered and went to the left around the pit in the center. John and Hanna located and I located next to her, sitting cross legged. We were on bare dirt. It smelled of sweat and some other smell I couldn’t define. Others followed, six other men and five women, until we were fairly packed in. I was uncomfortable in confined places to begin with, and to be crowded in with strangers made it even more uncomfortable. I took some deep breaths and tried to relax. I felt my heart pounding.
When all were settled, Raymond began placing the red hot rock into the pit with a pitch fork. Then he lowered the flap. It was pitch black. I suddenly felt the intense heat hit my body like it might feel to walk into a blast furnace. John began a chant with words I guessed were his native Lakota language. While I didn’t understand, I was guessing he was calling in the spirits as Hanna had said. My nervousness had left. I was becoming entranced by the chanting. I could feel some sort of emotion building in my chest. I looked around in the pitch black and could swear I saw shapes moving about. I immediately closed my eyes. John finished his chant and apparently poured a ladle of water on the rocks because I heard the sizzle and the steam hit me like a punch. It was so hot. I immediately began to sweat. I heard one of the participants begin to speak, also in Lakota. After some time the first person ended and everyone said, “Ho,” and another started.I was finding it hard to breath and was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. It proceeded around until I was up. All I could say was, “I pass.”