A historical piece about John Smith trying desperately to help the colony survive the winter.
In every direction the leaves rustled. His boots slid slightly as he walked through the sludge of mud and snow. Winter hadn’t arrived, but every morning the snow took longer to melt.
A few boys were harvesting the corn stalks. They nodded to John as he passed by them, their empty baskets painted a bleak future for the colony.
A group of men were huddled in front of a campfire their hands hovered above the flames to keep warm.
“Those who don’t work, don’t eat.” John’s words were met with stares of loathing and contempt.
When he reached the gate he motioned to the guards who then opened the wooden doors.
“Is it wise to go alone?” said a guard.
John placed a comforting hand on the man’s shoulder, “Don’t believe what they tell you,” he closed his cloak to keep the cold out, “they’re not savages.” he added.
The forest ground was coated with autumn leaves. He walked two miles into the thicket listening to the wind brush through the branches above him. When John arrived they were already waiting.
His brother was draped in wolves’ fur and wore knee-high deer skin shoes. He separated from his entourage of men to embrace John.
“What news do you bring?” asked John, but by the solemn expression on his brother’s face he knew the answer.
“Father hasn’t changed his mind. We will only trade food for weapons.” he said as John lowered his head in disappointment, “Why do your men refuse to work?”
“They’re gold miners and rich men. They came expecting you to do everything,” John shivered as a breeze swept past.
“We’ve heard rumors from the west and the far south,” said John’s brother as he wrapped his fur shawl around John, “stories about death, starvation, and slavery.”
“They’re different people from a different country,” said John as his brother handed him strips of dried deer meat.
John snatched them, biting and salivating over the pieces, but he soon blushed and looked away ashamed of his animalism. His brother gently touched his shoulder.
“This winter will be chaotic, god only knows what they’ll do for food.” said John.
Daily Post Writing Prompt: Chaotic
**As a student of history I have to put a disclaimer. The original story of “Thanksgiving” involved the Wampanoag whereas this short story is about the Powhatan ending barter with the Jamestown colonists. There are more inaccuracies, but I was inspired by the holiday and a book I am currently reading.