Aligned in the Ranks of Amoebic Ancestry

by Derek White

Printer-friendly version


Before the Indians appeared on the horizon, I was a secret agent posing as one of them. I was so convinced of my role, that I forgot all my past lives. There was another real Indian with me whose name was Rank & File because the first thing he saw in this world were braves congregating for battle.

We were hunting with bows and arrows far away from our base camp. Rank & File saw an enemy of ours on the horizon, a lone Sioux, and followed after him. He didn’t intend to kill him—he just wanted to straighten him out.


I lagged behind to keep an eye on him. I was scanning the rolling plains as Rank & File caught up to our enemy. The white clouds billowed into the sky and disappeared into blue.

A figure appeared from under a cloud with a large black headdress flanked by two if its offspring.

They were stalking him. I wanted to yell out to Rank & File, but it would have given us up. It was too late to catch up to them. For a brief instant I was reminded of a future life because I wished we had walkie-talkies, or a radio, or some other form of technology that was ahead of the time we were in.

Then hundreds of Indians with black headdresses appeared on the horizon like a swarm of black ants. They were all hunting down Rank & File. I figured they were all Sioux and the original lone Sioux was a decoy to trap Rank & File. He finally noticed the Sioux behind him and began to run.  They were gaining on him. There was nothing I could do for him or even myself.

There was no place to hide on the plains.

I found myself running as fast I could just to save myself not knowing which direction I was running our camp was uphill so I ran the opposite direction down into a sparsely vegetated ravine I ran dropping my bows and arrows because they were slowing me down I ran not turning around because I didn’t want to know if they were chasing me as I was running. 

My bowels stirred. I entered a cave that had cobwebs hanging from the ceiling. There were three light bulbs and a cylindrical manmade shaft that went straight down. The shaft walls were lined with graffiti that I didn’t understand. The fiberglass insulation made it hard to down-climb. But it was too late to leave the cave and continue running. I started unscrewing the light bulbs.

Just as I was unscrewing the last one, a Sioux took off his black headdress and peered in. The light flashed off right as he blinked so he wasn’t one hundred percent about what he had seen.  He came into the cave to check it out for himself.  I retreated, further wedging my body down into the cylindrical shaft. I could hear him breathing. He yelled to his comrades that were outside of the cave, “he is not in here, but there appears to be a shaft going down into the Earth.”


 

I stemmed down the shaft, staying one step in front of him. Bits of fiberglass insulation were itching my skin. There was nothing solid to grab on to. Then I found some hidden holds that were beneath the insulation.

Half way down I became Mexican instead of Indian.

By the time I reached the bottom I was Castilian.

My enemy and I emerged into an empty underground research facility. There was lots of laboratory equipment and pipes that ran into the earth. The Sioux didn’t understand where he was, but I was starting to remember my past life. Before I became an Indian secret agent, I worked in this European research facility that looked at single-celled organisms. The amoebas I studied had only one hole they used for both a mouth and an anus.

I had given up my wife and kids and a normal life to become an Indian secret agent. But now that I was conscious of my past life I was back to being a research scientist. The Sioux was with a moving company and was helping me relocate my furniture, which were mostly built-in fixtures. He was actually more like a carpenter that was helping me to convert my kitchen into a bathroom. He wasn’t happy about it, he kept shaking his head and saying, “you really shouldn’t shit now where you ate before, and vice-versa.”