A short story by Elgin Jumper
Lyncoya and his family had been touring the Loxahatchee battlefield on their own for two hours, being ever-respectful of the clash which had occurred there some one-hundred and fiftyeight years before, when, all of a sudden, Lyncoya heard the Seminole warriors’ sad sounds of despair and pain from behind a large ancient oak tree.
“He’s hurt,” Lyncoya said, “See,look, he has a wound in his side.” Now, of course, Lyncoya was concerned for the safety of him and his family – that is, his father, his mother, his brother and sister – but something inside him told him to help the Seminole warrior.
“Here, help me get him up and lean him against the tree,” Lyncoya’s father urged,”That wound doesn’t look so bad from here. I think he’s trying to figure out how he got here, as are we. . . Fair enough.”
Lyncoya’s father, a writer, had been working a modern-day Seminole myth, laboring for days and days over it, trying to get his imaginative inspirations going. He had been trying so hard to conjure up a Seminole warrior into his imagination, with few results when he had the wonderful idea to take his family to the nearest historic Seminole Battlefield park. But he hadn’t factored in the fact that a real Seminole warrior from the past might miss his mark – his father’s imagination – and land on an actual battlefield from the past. But there the Seminole warrior was moaning and groaning, snatched up from the past.
Lyncoya offered the Seminole warrior bottled water, even demonstrated how to drink from it, and the Seminole warrior had learned quickly and had downed the entire bottle, as if it were renewing, healing waters. Groups of visitors were passing by and looking over, their expressions that of astonishment. Some had their smartphones in hand, taking videos which were speedily uploaded to YouTube. The Seminole warrior, with battle-seasoned eye, had on a weathered ruffled shirt of calico material, dark red, and he wore breech-cloth, leggings, and moccasins. He had an old tattered turban, also dark red, but it lay cold on the ground beside him. His hair was black and tangled and drenched in battle sweat. But Lyncoya and his family were undisturbed by his appearance, quite inclined to render him assistance if at all possible.
“Are you okay,” Lyncoya asked “Do you understand?”
Lyncoya leaned in. The Seminole warrior did not respond, for he only had looks of misunderstanding.
“Is- Is he a battle reenactor, dad?” Lyncoya inquired.
“Well, he’s a real Seminole warrior, I’ll give him that,”
Lyncoya’s father said. And then he added, “Hey, I’ve been looking for a Seminole warrior for my modern-day myth book, remember, and now this happens. . .”
Word had spread quickly throughout the battlefield park. The electronic grapevine of social media had made known that there was a Seminole warrior on-site somehow yanked from the past, hurled into the here and now and was being helped by a Seminole family, according to Facebook and Twitter. They claimed the Seminole warrior was bad hurt, but bottled water and picnic food were reviving him and the Seminole boy Lyncoya was the driving force behind the Seminole warrior’s recovery.
“So much time has passed since the wars” Lyncoya declared. “We must help the Seminole warrior.
By now a large group had gathered and the Seminole warrior’s presence had become a wide-spread sensation on the interwebs. A good number of visitors to the battlefield were taking selfies with the Seminole warrior. Historians, Archeologist, Anthropologists, wanted to work with him. A movie director/ producer wanted him for her next project. A myriad of companies wanted him to endorse their products, cars, etcetera . . . Lyncoya was all smiles, his eyes alight, so proud of his new-found concern, who, at this time, was applying medicinal plant life to his cuts and bruises. Then Lyncoya heard the Seminole warrior utter something in his native language, which he couldn’t understand.
Several drones had come up onto the scene, Lyncoya noted, and were evidently video-taping the Seminole warrior. Lyncoya alerted him and pointed up at them. The Seminole warrior was astonished to see them, having no concept of the technologies of the modern-day. Lyncoya then got the idea of hiring a photographer and charging a fee to have a picture taken with a real Seminole warrior and then donating the proceeds to the battlefield society for the preservation and upkeep of the historic site.
With the funds, the battlefields society would put up Seminole huts at strategic locations throughout the park, helping to fascilitate the storytelling of the historic battle. Lyncoya then became the Seminole warrior’s public relations director and began arranging press conferences and photo shoots. He needed all manner of acting and vocal lessons, Lyncoya reasoned, etiquette lessons and whatnot. Then the entire battlefield park started to glow with enthusiasm, with excitement. People came from all over the globe to learn firsthand of the battle. Lyncoya and the Seminole warrior became fixtures on the Loxahatchee Battlefield Park.
They got to know all the leading battle reenactors of the day and worked closely with them on staging the best possible reenactments ever. News of these developments spread far and wide and the number of visitors increased exponentially, spilling past boundaries and halting all traffic on nearby roads. But Lyncoya could tell the Seminole warrior was missing something, his home and family, perhaps, and he didn’t feel right without them.
Lyncoya noticed the Seminole warrior would disappear intothe forests sometimes,as if into a dreamy mist, but would soon mysteriously reappear and with a different shirt or turban and plume. He was careful not to let on that anything was going on, that something was up and that things might soon change, as was the case in all things.
And then one day, as Lyncoya sat listening to the wind rustling through the trees, he swore he could discern a battle raging in the top branches and leaves. Such an uproar in the ancient trees. And then the Seminole warrior was looking up, tears rolling down his cheeks. He pointed towards the ancient oak tree, where Lyncoya had first hear him groaning in despair. The Seminole warrior patted Lyncoya’s shoulder, brushed the boys hair back with his palm, and then began walking towards the ancient oak.
Lyncoya knew the Seminole warrior had to return someday to his own time and place, though he would rather have adopted him into his family. He watched the Seminole warrior walk away till he got to the old tree and then in a magical mystical flash, which all present witnessed in awe and wonder, the Seminole warrior was gone, back into the past from whence he had come, the whole scene drenched in a warm, scintillating light.