This month we’re celebrating the men and women (and animals too!) that rock a uniform–whichever uniform that may be. Military, Police, Firefighter and all others who serve and protect. So…Who’s Your Hero? Stop by each blog for a giveaway and to find out who OUR favorite fictional and real life heroes are…
Who is my hero?
The trouble with this question is that every time I have a hero, they let me down. I don’t blame the hero in every case. After all, if you force someone onto a pedestal and then shake it all the time, they are bound to fall eventually. People have flaws. Some people spend their lives looking for those flaws. I don’t know why that’s a job, but apparently it is and it pays well.
I have plenty of flaws. Please, never put me on a pedestal. Leave me in a tree or feed me to a wolf.
There are those who regularly commit heroic deeds. Police, firefighters, soldiers, teachers, etc — in every one of those groups, there are those who have also committed atrocious crimes.
I’m going to give you an old story now. Did I write it? Well… I don’t know if anyone else has ever written it down, but I’m not the first to hear it, either.
The Tale of Red Sky
Red Sky came from a land far away. The Great Turtle allowed him to cross to our lands.
“I have come in search of a wife,” he told those who greeted him.
“What would you give one of our women to marry, mate, and join our tribe?”
“I am a great warrior. I fought many battles against our enemy from the water.”
“Why then have you not married in your own tribe?”
Red Sky fell to the ground, his heart too heavy to allow him to stand. “Though my village defeated many enemies, there was one we could not fight. Our mountain roared and reached to the heavens, striking at a god. The sky bled red. The god struck back, breaking the mountain open. The air was sucked away as the god and the mountain yelled at each other. Boiling blood from the battle rolled down, destroying all that it touched.”
Our people considered all that he said. They brought him food and drink so that he might rest while they debated.
“When the mountain struck the god, you were doomed. How did you get away?”
“Our enemy from the water had lost a great ship in a battle against us. I gathered those who would come. Our sky is red! We must go before the angry god strikes. I pleaded with my people, but only a few believed.” Red Sky took a long drink. He shifted on the ground, fingering the grass beneath him. “We knew not the ways of the water. Many who came died soon after we left. Some from watching as our home vanished. Others from the black air. Two of us made it to this land.”
“Where is the other?” our people asked.
“He died two moons ago. I am the last. So I must take a wife to keep my people from dying out.”
One of the unwed women stepped forward. “Red Sky,” she called him, for he had no relation to any gathered, “you bring only your word of this. I will require proof.”
And so a group set off with Red Sky to journey back to his home. When they got there, the sky was not bleeding. The mountain did not roar. It was easy to breathe the air, all of which was clear. There was no sign of a village or reason to believe that anyone would have settled here.
Red Sky had left his home. He went on a long journey to seek another place to live. But that was all that could be known for certain. So Red Sky, who perhaps was once a great hero, was left on the shore of the place he once called home. Five days rations were given. No woman decided to stay.
The lesson: You are only a hero if there’s proof, but villainy can be stumbled on accidently.
So who is my hero that serves and protects?
Indie Authors. The only way to improve publishing is to get out there and do something. Many indie authors have said “no” to ridiculously high prices, too-low prices, ebooks priced higher than paper or hardback books, and other bizarre twists from the publishing world. They’ve made their own marketing plan, figured out cover art, and found their own editors. They’ve scheduled book tours, given out ARCs, and created mighty email lists. It’s brave. They serve the writing community. Indie authors, and small press publishers, challenge the publishing community– forcing them to protect authors’ rights, hard work, and contributions. Underdogs? Maybe. But none are better suited to bring positive changes in the world of books!
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Peregrine “Perry” Eckert is one of my favorite fictional heroes.