• Nothing can ever prepare a person when it comes to unfortunate events, including me. But when you are a child, your knowledge was limited. It was a moment for me where I felt like there was going to be hope for me and for the future I might be able to see. My memories take me back to the sight of Red Alder trees. Dressed up in white, the trees made up a fantasy-like vast ocean. The droplets of white fell down onto the transparent barrier between me and the outdoors. The barrier was made by my father, whom decided it was best to take me to this vast land. It was his response to what seemed to be a nasty search-n-rescue for my missing mother. The words they spoke about my mother’s disappearance were nothing but inaudible recordings in my mind. The only thing that I understood at that time was the lands that passed by me like an instant slideshow.

    Inside of my father’s black 1964 Chevy Corvette, my hand lingered on the leather cushions that my body was on. I was confused as to why we were going a place known as Alaska. I thought my father hated that place, why are we here? So I asked: “Why are we going here? Don’t you hate the cold?” My eyes wandered around his face to find some sort of answer. He clutched onto the stirring wheel tightly to the point that his hands start to shake: “Well honey…” He mumbled, as if he was trying to find the right answer to the question. “After what happened that night, I just thought you will love to come with me. Yes I hate the cold, but I need to do some studies.”


    “Yes.” One hand was let go from the wheel so it could land on my small head. “It will take our mind off the troubles from last night.” He then quickly got the hand back on the wheel, feeling the car swerve to his right which was toward the forest that we were passing by.

    “What kind of studies?” I inquired him. I only knew of the studies of animals and plants, but I knew he did none of it. He coughs lightly as his eyes never left the road up ahead. “Well, my studies are what most science people would call Archaeology. It is the study of cultures from the past, so part of my work I have to go to places I do not like to go to.” He pointed out, as he continued: “A tribe called Ugashik is where my next study is. And I thought it will be educational for you since you only know of your tribe life.”

    My Tribe life…I had always thought that there was only one. But when my Father continued explaining about his studies in the Archaeology, I understood that there were many tribes. During the drive to Anchorage, Alaska to meet the Ugashik tribe he told me of many tribes he had studied all around the United States, including the famous Cherokee and the Iroquois. He said his favorite was the Shoshone tribe; which was my tribe, my mother’s, and the famous Native named Sacajawea.

    “I met your mother during my studies at Shoshone.” He starts, which made my eyes perk up. “Oh yes, she was doing the dance for the sun when I got there. I must admit, out of all the dancers, I thought she was so graceful.” His words then muffled to a summary of how they got together; a white Caucasian man visited the Shoshone tribe in the landscapes of Furnace Creek, California to study the tribal dance. It was supposed to be a one-time thing until he had settled down to take notes of the dance. His face was focused on the one girl dressed in yellow and red; a fine, hand-crafted buckskin dress decorated with intricate bead designs on the cape. Her fully-beaded moccasin stomped to the drum beat and chants of the Native American song praising the gods. Her hips swayed, the braided black hair acted like an eagle wing gracefully flying toward the winds. Then the red fringed shawl went 90 degrees, acting like a stilled lake as the drums grew faster and faster, contributing to the motion of her athletic body.

    “I then realized when she was done dancing, that I wanted to know more.” I tipped my head and blinked. His face enlightened as he went through the memory banks: “I continued going to the tribe, contributing to my studies. But your mother, I must say, was the biggest obstacle of my work hence I always had to take a second glance of her. It wasn’t until a week later when I finally gathered my courage to talk to her. Although she wanted nothing to with me, I knew she decided to give me a chance.”

    “And then you got happily married and had me!” I interjected to the conversation, gleefully as I was at that moment. Father laughed at my excitement: “Yes, it did end that way. But now I worry sick about her. She is out there and I have no idea where she went.” He sighs, saddened by this. “There is something I left out.” He gets my attention before trying to merge out of the freeway. “When I mentioned this to your grandma, she was not happy by the fact I was with your mother.”


    “Well...” He uttered, giving me a disappointed look. “You need to learn of this soon honey. Some people just do not like other people because of their appearance. For example, people like me hate others who do not look white. You would call them White Supremacists, whom believe everyone who is non-white like you, your mother, and the tribes are only second-class. It’s a harsh world right now. And your grandma does not understand that so she disowned me.”

    I wanted to know more, but he didn’t respond; as if it was something he did not want to talk about. I muttered a few words to myself as I turned my head toward the scenery of nature. In a spur of a moment, I suddenly witness a creature as magnificent as the dress of white on the land.

    The creature was a large, slender one, covered by the colors of pure white. It had a wide forehead with the ears being relatively small and triangular shaped. It was sitting on one of the hilltops, watching as if it was guard curious on the ‘visitor’ that passes by. Those 5 seconds felt like hours as I recalled the brown eyes, the eyes of my mother. Those eyes pierced me as if a dart to a board, leaving me in a moment of awe. Then time went to normal speed, and the creature was covered by the hill never to be seen. My head darted around the transparent barrier to maybe get another glance at the creature but it was gone. I thought that maybe it was the last time I was going to see it…not realizing that the strings of fate had a plan.

    “What’s wrong?”

    I heard my father request as he witnessed my frantic impression on the window, moving back and forth like a dog with ADHD. My hand thumped on the window as fast as Thumper’s foot, trying to see the creature. “Hey hey!” My Father hollered, “You’re going to break the window if you keep doing that!” I heard him castigate, but I did not stop there: “But Daddy-….DADDY DADDY DADDY! I saw a doggie! A doggie!”

    “Slow down!” he hushed me, trying to figure out why I was so jumpy. “Now tell me again what you saw.” Even though he tried to hear my excitement, his eyes were too busy to make sure nothing hit his Chevy. Not knowing it, I told him what I had seen on the hill; a dog with white fur. He was silent for a moment before he explains what I must have seen. ““The dog had brown eyes?” He interrogated me, making sure he heard right. I nodded, making him even more silent until he found the right words: “That must’ve been a wolf you saw. Alaska is known to have a few thousand of them wandering around, never have I heard of a wolf with brown eyes. If I may put it out there, that must have been your spirit animal. They are well known for Death and rebirth, and skilled with protection of self and family. But brown eyes are very strange for a wolf.”

    “Spirit Animal?”

    “Oh right….” He hissed softly, he had forgotten that I was not 10 yet. 2 more years and I would be. “Well... From my studies dear, there are different types of spirit guides. There is a messenger spirit, journey spirit, life spirit, and shadow spirit.” He then made a slight turn to the right, making sure he stayed on the route toward Anchorage. “To better understand them; I will tell you what each of them are. A Messenger Spirit guide is a spirit that usually appears in order to guide or warn of a specific situation, and will stay with you until the message is received and the warning has been heeded.

    “Then there is a Journey Spirit Guide: a spirit whom comes to a fort in the road or when a decision you have to make is needed in order to help change the path you are on. The spirit will remain with you until your journey is completed. Then the Life spirit reflects you and your life, kind of giving you the intuitive of your personality and how you will fare in office & love life. The last spirit is a Shadow spirit, which shows you the fears you have within your heart and tries to get you to overcome them.”

    I was stuck with admiration as he explained everything he had learned from his studies in my tribe. It was almost fascinating to me. “So what was that wolf?” I acted like an interrogator which surprises my family sometimes, and they would laugh saying I might be a good lawyer from all the questions I used to ask. “If it were me, I would assume that is a Messenger Spirit. I say that because a wolf is, like I have said, protections of self and family. Even though some think of them as monsters, they are actually like any other living being: protective, and territorial.”

    As soon as he was finished with his opinion, the scenery seemed to go in sudden slow motion. I took a peek through the car’s front window frame, to be shocked that nature was now replaced by these disgusting images; square-shaped buildings and many things I could not decipher. Many of the machines on wheels were moving behind me, in front, or zooming past which made my head spin a bit. These machines had colors from green to yellow, blue to red, and white to black .I literally thought I was observing a rainbow of colors on the same streets of Anchorage, Alaska.

    Then I took note that the car was slowing starting to stop; we made it to our destination. I took regard to my Dad turning off the engine. “We’re here.” I heard him say.

    He then exited from the car, which got me to do the same. I leaned back to stare at what was in front of me; it seemed to be a decent-looking hotel. The hotel was decked in white like snow, with wooden doors painted in a blue-wood color. The front was placated with seasonal signs that tell of the coming ‘spring’ ahead. I had to narrow my eyes to study the signs, before realizing my Dad was entering the establishment. Following him, I was able to get a glance at the interior design of the hotel.

    It felt warm and welcoming; the place had given me a sense of what home felt like. The fireplace made a crackling sound and gave some warmth to a lodge style waiting room. That room had a big L-shaped brown couch with a counter on each side. The counters had a magazine tray that included Time and Queen. Then a desk was seen, it had many flowers with the colors of green and yellow. The plants dangled around the edges as if to signify spring. I commenced that the desk had made two pathways; one seemed to be leading to a bar where many people sat on dust-colored chairs and couches. The people there were laughing and seemed to be into a conversation that I was a little oblivious to. Then I checked the other path which was to my left, it lead to a gift-shop with the setting of a wooden log cabin. My attention was torn away to hear what my Dad was saying to the receptionist: “Yes. I am here for a reservation for two for tonight. My name is John Burroway, and this is my daughter Tala.”

    He then patted me on the back to get me to introduce myself. As shy as I was, I let out a peep: “Hi.”

    The lady, whose short black hair curled toward her neck, sways her pink over blouse, shaped with curved bodice seam entangled by a bow gave out a nice chuckle, she was thinking of something that I am glad I did not know about. “Yes, pleased to meet you.” She then gazes down to the book and nods: “You reserved for a room in March 27th?”

    “Yes.” He responded, giving the young lady a smile, polite as always. “Well then mister, here you go. Your room is 203; it should be on your right side.” The key she held on to now reached my father’s hand, which gave me a sigh of relief. I had decided to go see the room while my Dad went to go get the luggage. My hand pushed down on the door handle as I headed up one flight of stairs to reach the 2nd floor. Every step I took made a metallic clang melody which reminded me of the drum ceremony my Mom used to take me to. By the way the people hymned and the strange dances toward the sunset; it was a place to be tranquilized.

    Tears went through my cheeks as my heart thumped in the memory of my Mother. I asked myself on where she went and why she was gone. Many more questions arouse as soon as I went to another door. That door had a sign that said ‘2nd floor’; this was it. So my hands held onto the handle, pushing the door open to be exposed to a long hallway, decorated in the color of beautiful purple tulips. My heart skipped a beat when it was shown the most splendid colors I had ever known of. So I paraded into the hallway, making sure every inch of the color was locked into my brain. I must have been so appalled by the colors that my hearing was disabled until a shout echoed the hall. “Tala! Help me with the door!”


    I turned to go help my Father open the door as he had three bags of luggage in his hands trying hard to not drop them. Once the door let us in, I ran in going after the big queen-size beds that were colored in brown and white. My body hopped up and down on that soft mattress, repeating a nursery rhyme I learned from school:

    “The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the crown;
    The Lion beat the Unicorn all round about the town
    Some gave them white bread, some gave them brown;
    Some gave them plum cake, the drummed them out
    of town.”

    “Tala, you need to help me out with the luggage.” He instructed me, as he patrolled me jumping up and down the bed, acting like a flightless duckling. I let my body stop by itself as now I stood still on the bed for a few seconds before joining in the errand. I let my fingers linger inside the bag to bring out clothing of mine and father’s, organizing them to each section of the drawer so we knew which belongs to whom. “Daddy…”

    “What is it?”

    “I’m really hungry…” I whined, feeling my tummy as it was starting to grumble. He laughs heartedly at my expression. “Well, it is starting to get dark so we’ll get dinner after this ok?”
    I nodded as I was more determined than ever to finish the job to get some nice food in my stomach. For a good hour we just got everything out of the luggage and found places to put them so we would be ready for dinner.

    Thereafter, my Father helped me get ready by picking up my outfit for the fancy place that was not far away. He cleans my tanned face first before he cleans off my black hair, braiding it as he told me was ‘so the hair won’t get into my food’. He brushed the baings down as he does the final touches before giving me the set of clothes to wear. “I don’t want to wear that.” I fussed at him.

    “We’re going to a fancy place, you can’t go there with a t-shirt and jeans; it’s improper.” His words made me annoyed, so I took the clothing from his hands and shut the bathroom door to change. Once done, I checked myself to see the outfit; a brown layered blouse with dark Capri pants and short cape. I tapped the moccasin shoes I wore to the counter as I exited the room, with the frown still implanted on my face. “You are going to look at me like that all day, are you?” My father asked, wearing a short-sleeved dress shirt and dress pants. He then puts on his Box coat that reminded of me of a detective as I just did a ‘humph’ and crossed my arms. “Don’t act like that honey.” He begs, wanting me to be good girl for tonight.

    He grabbed my hand as we exited the room and got downstairs to get back to the car that was showing signs of forming ice. “It’s going to be cold tonight you know? You sure you don’t want a jacket?”

    “Nope.” I responded to my Dad as we pulled ourselves inside the car and drove off to dinner. I sat on the seat again, but this time I felt a little unsure…it was as if I knew something was wrong, but I could not put a finger on it. When I explained this to my mother before she ended up missing, she had informed me that it was ‘intuition’ and it’s best to follow it. ‘Better safe than sorry’ she had always told me. Those words were stuck inside my mind for a long time as he went through traffic to get to the fish restaurant that did seem ‘fancy’, with the fountain on front depicting an angel holding a pot. My Dad stopped the car at a circular road that lead to the stairs. Once he had gotten out, I did too as I eyeballed him conversing with a man wearing a weird-looking red suit. When he seized our car, I asked Dad what he was doing with the car, he claimed that he was Valet and he would be keeping the car safe.

    So now we ascended on the steps to get to the exquisite room where many adults held up oval-shaped glasses held by a thin handle on the bottom. Most of them had either red or clear liquid inside the strange glasses. “Two please.” My father told the host, as the man led us to a room that was not as busy. It was good for both of us so we would not have to talk so loudly to hear each other, and look like goofballs. So once seated, my Dad immediately made sure that the napkin was on my lap. I frowned at him, but he had none of it. “I will never disown you, but I do not want a daughter raised in a barn.”

    “Neeeeeeeigh.” I mimicked a horse which made my Dad narrow his eyes at me for a bit: “Now I know you don’t like that outfit, but this behavior you’re putting on will not be tolerated.” He scolded me, unfolding the napkin to put down on his lap.

    After that, everything else went smoothly without argument. I enjoyed a nice drink of Coke while Dad got the Merlot which he tells me is from the California Winery, which creates the best wine in the USA. But I did not know my wine 101 so I could care less about it. When dinner came, I was wafted by the smell of many herbs and spices on the seafood that arrived at the table. The foreign smell made me confused and eager to try it out. I let the meat of a clam pop into my tongue, squeezing it with my teeth to let the juices flow in my mouth as I swallowed it with pride. It was a great dinner nonetheless, with different fishes like Sea Bass and Ahi. I even ate Crab which was new to me, which the tender meat made my mouth burp in satisfaction. It did not do well with Dad, but I enjoyed a good burp.

    With a paid tap, we got out of the place and waited for the car to be picked up by Valet. We both eyed the sky to see it was showing some signs of a storm. We grew iffy, hoping that it was just a minor storm. When the man came back, Dad paid him the exact price plus a tip before driving off. The storm had already picked up. My Dad cursed in frustration as he turned on the wipers on the car to get rid of the heavy water. With the headlights beaming on the empty streets, we had to rely on that and the empty road with trees and dirt to take us back. I was watchful on my Dad trying to prevent sliding on the slick road and not hit any obstacle. Then suddenly, something told me to look at the road. I could not tell if it was me muttering or an unknown voice so I turned my head:


    I shrieked, noticing a black figure on the road. My Dad panicked and swerved the wheel to try to get out of the way. But the car jerked and ended up hitting it with such force. My eyes shut in despair as my blood-curling scream was the only thing that was heard from the screeching and snarls. The car then stopped swerving and stood erect after 5 seconds of twirling on the road. I remained there with my hands gripping on the seat cushions; my chest was still as I did not breathe at that moment.

    My Dad did not wait: he got out of the car and got a flashlight. He was concerned on what that black figure was, shining the light at the big black blob in the middle. I sat there in the car, keeping an eye on my Dad standing there with the light on the huge black ball. I slid my body to the driver’s side so I had a better look on what was going on. My Dad shined his light on it and was frozen for seconds before he slowly let the flashlight fade away from the blob.

    Then his body turned to get back to the car. I was about to scoot back until something caught my attention; the light of two red balls made my eyes widen and heart skip a beat. I felt my face get cold and the fact the two red orbs grew bigger. “DADDY! DADDY!” I hammered at the window, screaming on the top of my lungs as my Dad widen his eyes and get pulled into the darkness. I could not holler any louder than I did that night. Knowing that now, nature had taken my Dad like it did to Mom.

    I kept crying my Dad’s name, hoping that maybe he will come out of there alive. Maybe he will give me that smile he always did and tell me that he is fine and everything will be ok. But instead, my eyes witnessed a huge circle come out of the darkness; a hand. A hand with 5 fingers and claws lingered toward the car that I was in. Right away did I scoot back and try to unlock the door but my body shuddered under the eerie presence. I fell onto the road with a thump when the door jerked open, with my ears now alert. A low growl transmitted through the air as it slowly grew louder…and louder. My breathing went quiet as the blob was now close to the car.

    The car creaked as if something got on top of it and rested with all its weight. I wanted to bawl; I wanted my Daddy and Mommy! I want the beast to get away from me! I cannot turn my head, fearing the appearance of the monstrosity that now had its hot breath against my neck. The hot breathe triggered a wail from within my mouth as if I wanted someone to listen to my cries of help. Right away the breath of hot air got out of my neck and a loud, bellowing howl erupted onto the air. Then an outline of a dog came from the darkness, leaping over the car and making whatever was in the car plummet to the ground. The noises expelled on the other side; two creatures fighting each other and I had no idea what was going on, or if I should run.

    My brain could not register on what to do or what was safe. My body started to shake tremendously as eventually, two become one. With that, a heavy thud and a last exhale was all that was made out. With that, I expected the same creature to come out and get me. But instead, I let my closed eyes come free to find that creature licking my face which was in friendlier terms. The tears of sadness and relief sunder down my face as the blob was gone…but so was my Dad. I sobbed there in the rain like any human being would, now having lost all of its parents. A whimper radiated from the pouring rain, my melancholy face peered at the dog: “You’re…not going to hurt me?” I croaked.

    That same dog from the hill greeted me with its white pelt and mighty face. “Your…You are that wolf I saw today! My Dad told me you were.” I proclaimed to the beautiful-pelted wolf. It stared at me with its brown eyes for the longest time before it did a short yip. Then it trudged toward me to lay its nose onto my shoulder and then face, licking off the tears. My eyes stared admirably into the wolf’s eyes, those welcoming brown eyes. Those brown eyes were the ones that greeted me into this world. Those eyes cheered for me when I danced for the mighty sun to thank the gods for a wonderful year.

    “Is that you mommy?”

    The wolf tenses up and lingered on that position for only a good second until it literally eyed me. I watch its tail flicker after I asked the question and then make another yip. “Yes Honey, it’s me.”

    My jaw went wide open.

    “Mommy?! MOMMY!” I tackled the dog, hugging her with all the strength I had. My moans were all that could be heard in the silent forest and the fading rain. “Mommy….Mommy.” I started to choke with my own tears and a dry throat. She lifted her paw, stroking me on the arm as she always did.

    “There there.” She said in a soothing voice, a song that reminded me of the singing mermaids located in the lagoons of Peter Pan. She then used her head to nudge me back as she bored her brown eyes to mine. “We have to go.” She then gets up and shakes her fur, revealing the scratches on her legs and nose to me. “That creature was after you dear; I am so sorry I left without you and your father knowing. I wished I was here early so I could have saved him but at least your alive, I am thankful for Mother Earth for her protection.”

    She then flicked her tail back and forth, acknowledging the event: “There is a place where we can be safe; people like you and me are hiding from those creatures that killed your father. If we go there, we will be protected.” I lied there, soaking wet from the rain as she told me to basically follow her. Follow her to a place where nothing will harm me is what she had proposed. My eyes focused back on the car and what was probably behind it… My feet trudged forward so I could get up. “Mom…I am scared.”

    “Do not worry, I am here. I won’t leave you alone ever again.” She barked as she got beside me and waited until I could scuttle forward. I brought me feet up and down into a run as the road was like another slideshow, the same as the one from the car. My Mom followed beside me with her galloping fours as we fled from the darkness and into the light.