Saturday, August 19, 2017

Prairie on Fire ~ Coming Fall 2017



"There's a wild fire catching in the whip of the wind
That could start a conflagration
Like there has never been..."

~ Natalie Merchant, This House is on Fire





On the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, Native American U. S. Army veteran, Devin Goes Along the Road, finds himself thrust into a prairie fire that threatens to rage outside the borders of North Dakota.  Without warning, armed men swarm the Four Bears Casino and Lodge, ordering everyone out, triggering Devin’s secret that he brought home with him from Afghanistan.

High atop the butte, Crow Flies High, on the opposite bank of the Missouri River, Blake Eldridge, a Homeland Security agent, keeps watch over the Four Bears Bridge and the deserted casino. Distracted by a small twin engine plane, flying low over the river, he doesn’t hear the men, who will change his life forever, sneaking up behind him. Held captive in a cabin in the middle of the vast emptiness of the prairie, Eldridge has to formulate his escape, before the men make good on their promise to behead him on live television.

At the Capitol Building in Bismarck, Governor Mark Danielson agrees to a meeting with the Tribal Council of the MHA Nation, regarding the closing of the casino in New Town. Tribal Chair, Ronald Yellow Feather, is whisked away to the hospital, while the throng of protestors that have gathered on the Capitol lawn ignites out of control and the Bismarck S.W.A.T. team moves in assisted by the North Dakota National Guard.

In a small diner on the main street of New Town, patrons watch in anticipation of the most horrific thing they have ever seen in their entire lives: the beheading of the Homeland Security agent. Devin, along with his fiancĂ© and her mother, is among the patrons. Devin replays the event over and over in his mind. It wasn’t real. At least he doesn’t think it was. Leaving his fiancĂ© and her mother at home, Devin follows his instinct to leave no man behind, and goes in search of the agent, that only he seems to know is still very much alive.

Lying helpless in a hospital bed in Bismarck, Ronald Yellow Feather makes a confession to his wife that will end their forty year marriage ~ for good. As far as she is concerned, her husband is a traitor, not only to their marriage, but the tribe, and all the Native American people of the world. Medicine Man, and Ronald’s life-long friend, John Big Bear, has the evidence in his hands that will throw Ronald not only out of his office as Tribal Chair, but out of the Tribe as well.

In the hunting shanty that had belonged to his grandparents, Devin and his best friend Paul, learn that America’s greatest fear has come to pass. The men, who had held Eldridge hostage, are not foreigners at all. They are Americans; men in the employ of a megalomaniac, who is sick, twisted and sadistic to the core. The man who is now hunting them.

Lake Metigoshe, North Central North Dakota on the Canadian Border, near the Peace Gardens: Governor Mark Danielson ponders the chaos that has set his state on fire. Danielson commandeers the Humvee of the Guardsman tasked with the protection of the Governor and his family, and heads southwest to the Minot Air Base, where he finds the answers to all his questions ~ answers that shock him to the very center of his being.

Alone in his hospital room, Ronald vows to redeem himself. There may be no redemption from his wife, Elizabeth, but he has to make it right for the Tribe. He confesses all he knows to General Ryder at the Minot Air Base, promising to testify in exchange for leniency. He may spend the rest of his life in a Federal prison, but at least the Tribe will have the hope of a future. His only regret is that it will be a future that won’t include him.