Thunder on the Plains

Thunder on the Plains by Gary Robinson

Book: Thunder on the Plains by Gary Robinson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gary Robinson
Chapter 1
The One-Two Punch
    I sometimes wonder what goes on in my room before I wake up or when I’m not there. Do my books and CDs move from one place to another so I can’t ever find them? Does my soccer ball roll across the floor so I’ll trip on it when I come in the door? These are mysteries I may never solve.
    The first thing I remember hearing on this particular morning was the opening words of Road Warriors’ hit song “Don’t Hate Me” blasting at full volume. “Don’t hate me ’ cause I live on Native land. Don’t hate me ’ cause I am who I am.”
    I stuck my arm out from under the covers and searched for the snooze button to quiet the bass drum throbbing in my ears. The pounding stopped.
    â€œDaniel Nathan Wind!” My mother’s voice came from down the hall. “You’d better not push that snooze button. You’ve got to get up and finish your report for school!”
    A moan escaped from somewhere deep inside me. Dragging myself upright, I flung the star quilt off me. My grandmother made this quilt for me years ago when I was little. We lived on the reservation then.
    I tried to make my eyes focus. The first thing that came into view was the front of my T-shirt. The faded writing shouted “Road Warriors Live On Stage!” That reminded me of their concert I got to go to last year. Awesome!
    I looked up at the ceiling above the bed to see the poster I’d taped up there. The guys from Road Warriors glared back at me with painted war faces. Urban skins, just like me.
    â€œDanny! Do you hear me?” my mother called again.
    â€œAll right, Mom. All right.”
    I took a look around my room. Rays of morning sunlight streamed through thewindow and onto the bed. Was this the typical room of a typical teenager? Dirty clothes covered parts of the floor. The faces of rock stars, skateboarders, and race car drivers looked back at me from the posters that lined my walls.
    My “Duty Calls” video game called to me. I had left it on all night. My laptop computer waited in standby mode for me to bring it to life.
    First I had to bring my brain to life. I realized it was Monday. My history report was due today. That’s what Mom was yelling about. I got up slowly and sat at the desk. Cheese from a slice of uneaten pizza hung over the edge of a bookshelf. Several soda cans stood guard around the pizza like cops guarding an armored truck.
    I took a bite of pizza. It was cold. I took a sip of one of the sodas. It was warm. I touched the computer keyboard. The screen woke up a lot faster than I did. The title of my history report showed at the top. “The Civil War inIndian Territory” was waiting to be written. I began typing.
    Fifteen minutes later, I hit the print button and got up to get dressed. The left side of the closet contained clothes approved by my school. My mother had picked out that stuff. The right side held the clothes I wore all other times. Whenever possible. It was a school day. Of course, I had to choose a shirt and pants from the left side. Really stylish.
    After dressing, I gathered up the pages from my printer. I stuffed them into my backpack without reading them. I was confident the report would be fine as is.
    I stumbled into the kitchen to see what else there was to eat for breakfast. My mother was standing at the stove cooking a batch of scrambled eggs. My stepfather, Bill, was reading a newspaper at the table.
    Mom was already dressed for work. A bright red apron covered most of her beige dress. Her dark brown skin and black hair told me she was still Indian underneath. I always liked it better when her daily wear was bluejeans and denim shirts. They seemed more Indian somehow.
    â€œGood morning, sleepyhead,” she said.
    â€œMorning,” I mumbled.
    Mom scraped the eggs onto a plate and set it in front of my stepfather. Bill was a white businessman, forty years old. He was wearing his usual

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