Claudia wrapped the bearskin tighter around her. The nights were getting much colder the farther north she traveled. She should make a fire but was much too tired. She had traveled a long distance today. Longer than any other day, and she felt it in every muscle she owned. Yawning, she laid down upon the cave floor. She was grateful the Creator had shown her the cave. Tonight, she would sleep out of the rain. Puma came and curled up next to her. She welcomed his warmth. Soon it would be too cold for him and he would leave her. She would miss him; he had been her protector and companion since her child-time. Claudia closed her eyes. Perhaps tonight her dreams could tell her where to find the man called Dancing Bear.
She dreamt. She dreamt of a white room. All was white and very bright. It was hard to see for the brightness. It was as if someone stole the Sun from the Creator and put it in this room. Claudia shielded her eyes from the brightness but still could not see how big this room was. She could not understand how with all this light she would be cold. It should have been warm, yet she was cold. Suddenly she heard her name.
“Claudia, Claudia.” It was the man called Dancing Bear. She whirled, but could not find him. The voice seemed to come from all directions. “Come back to me Claudia.”
“I am here!” she cried, “Here!”
She woke. Sitting up, she looked around expecting to be in the white room. She was not. She was in the cave with Puma looking at her with concerned eyes. Claudia sighed. Her dream gave her no more than before. She just had to find the white place. There was where the Dancing Bear could be found. The only white place she knew of was to the north, in the land of snow. Why the man would be there she did not know. She only knew that her life depending on finding both the white room and the man called Dancing Bear.
She stood up and wrapped the skin around her shoulders. Claudia found a few berries in the inner pocket. She ate them even though she was not hungry. It was strange that she never was hungry, never felt the pangs of an empty belly. It seemed neither did Puma. He never hunted. She couldn’t remember Puma even nibbling at the grass. Well, she would have to gather some more berries as she walked, just in case her appetite came back. It would be harder to find food now.
She walked to the opening of the cave. It was a good cave, with a small opening and large room that she could stand in. She hated to leave it but she must find the man called Dancing Bear. Her life depended on it. She did not know why or how, but it did. Claudia stepped into the rain and headed north
Joseph woke with a start. There were alarms going off. His first instinct was to take cover, but thankfully, he regained his senses quickly. He hated when that happened. When he forget he was home and not out in the sandbox. They had flown him home to be with his wife Claudia after her accident. The car was beyond recognizable and the semi driver that hit her had died at the scene, leaving Joseph with no one to take his anger and his grief out on, no one to blame.
Claudia had been unconscious for the entire two weeks Joseph had been here. A coma they said. When a patient did not regain consciousness after a certain time and their brain scan show certain patterns, it was a coma. The doctors could not give Joseph a timeline. They could not tell him when she would wake up if she would wake up. That is what scared him the most that she would never wake up.
Joseph had had a conference with a team of specialists, doctors who had degrees and years of experience. They told him the best thing to do right now in this situation was to move her to a long-term care facility that specialized in trauma patients, patients in a Coma. Joseph would have rather seen her at home but he had no choice. His leave was soon up and his pay grade did not cover 24 hour professional nursing. They were to move her today.
A nurse came bustling in. She checked the monitors and pushed a few buttons silencing the alarms that had wakened the alarms. She removed the empty IV bag; the one that contained the nutrients that kept Claudia’s body fed, and replaced it with another. Who knows what was in that one, probably just saline. Joseph coughed. The nurse twirled around and seeing him smiled. She had one of those poor-soul- you-are-going-through-a-lot-aren’t-you nurse smiles.
“I did not realize you were awake,” She said, “Ambulance will be here soon Mr. Dancing Bear.
Joseph nodded then turned back to his wife. They say Coma patients can hear their loved ones and although Joseph wasn’t sure, he took her hand.
“Claudia. Claudia” he called her name with tears in his eyes. “Come back to me Claudia.”