Crazy Wolf, Shaman of his tribe, stumbled out of his sweat lodge in a daze, naked and lathered in his own sweat. He fell to the ground, the leaves and short grasses of the sparsely wooded area sticking to him as he panted, eyes closed, knowing he'd really pushed it this time.

A young man, the successor to his recently passed father as Shaman, he was keen to quickly build trust and respect within the tribe, knowing they had to have it for him as much as he had to have it from them. He had gone on a vision quest, awaiting Koochee'moya, the great tree spirit, with patience and reverence, respect and thankfulness in his heart for as long as it took. Finally, in a place far from the bones of his ancestors in both time and space, he was indeed visited by the elusive spirit he sought, rewarded well for his patience and devotion.

In time, he was able to recover somewhat, to gather enough strength to drink the water and venison he'd set aside for himself before redressing and returning to the small circle of wigwams to share the good news. Once there, he called them out of their animal skin abodes, men, women and children alike. He told them of the gift from Koochee'moya, the sacred spirit which would ensure that their meager crops would be healthy and bountiful, that the land would be nutrient rich and life-giving, the game abundant. He promised them on behalf of the great tree spirit that their children would always be strong and healthy, growing up to be virile warriors of legend, the most pleasing and fertile squaws. Their tribe would flourish and be happy.

Chief Crowfoot, his young and very beautiful daughter beside him, didn't seem very excited by the news, more worried and disbelieving, Crazy Wolf ascertained, as he began sweating arrowheads.

However, as if waiting only long enough to prove the words of Crazy Wolf, the ground began to thrum, vibrating beneath their feet when he'd finished speaking to the disbelieving stares of his tribe, including Chief Crowfoot and his previously smirking daughter. Suddenly, the earth seemed to buck beneath their feet rhythmically, not in the way of an earthquake, so much as a grinding undulation as a sprout forced its way from the soil in the center of the Village. Over the course of almost a minute, it climbed from the womb of Earth to a height of about six feet before it stopped and began to bloom apple blossoms.

Just as astounding, it seemed that nature was slowly, almost imperceptibly flourishing with greater life in an expanding radius from the tree, somehow making things greener, healthier, more vibrant. The nearby brook appeared to sparkle with the life they all knew teemed inside, waiting to be passed on to them, their children and their children's children.

Crazy Wolf fought to keep the self satisfied grin from his reverent expression as Crowfoot, his now very impressed daughter, and the rest of the tribe fell to their knees around the young apple tree.

"And that," he smugly thought, "is how we do that."


The television, along with the lights and every other electrical appliance in the house, cut out suddenly and unexpectedly, as these things do when the power goes out. Like when the huge, twisted, ancient apple tree in the back yard suddenly gave up one of its large old limbs in a windstorm the previous summer, crushing Stuart Fairbourne's aluminum shed as if it were never there. He hated that shed anyway.

"Shit!" he swore, heaving his forty-seven year old, surprisingly fit body from the couch in the dark living room, hearing better the midwinter storm raging outside.

"Stuaaaart!" his wife, Brenda, called from upstairs. "The power went out!"

"Ye-! Okay, honey, thanks for letting me know!" he called, shaking his head and rolling his eyes.

"Are you fixing it!? It's dark!"

He smashed his knee on the corner of the heavy wooden coffee table and muted a curse as Melanie, his eighteen year old daughter, began yelling, "Daaaaaaaaad!! The power's out!"

Gripping his knee in agony, he stopped the curses that would have destroyed Mother Theresa long enough to shout, "I know!!"

"I was watching Twilight!"

"Randy!" Stuart yelled.

His reply was the sound of the kitchen door to the garage opening, a crash from the kitchen soon after and his twenty year old son snapping in frustration, "Fuck!"

"You okay!?"

" ... Yeaaah! Shhhhit!"


"Would ya listen to that?" he confided in disgust a moment later as the shadowy form of his son filled the doorway. "Help me out with the generator, will ya?

Randy, while somewhat of a born bumpkin as it turned out, since they moved to the country two years ago, was at least sensible and reliable, if not a little too relaxed in his new lifestyle and local friends, some of them Indians. He was tall, not lean, but not bulky like Stuart and the last two years in the country had given him a tan that, along with his dark hair and brown eyes, made him fit right in with his new crowd.

But, there was just no denying the benefits of the move to the beautiful British Columbia countryside. The scenery was spectacular, the air and well water was clean and clear, tasting as good as the yield from the small vegetable garden Brenda had begun in the spacious backyard two summers ago. None of them had even caught so much as a cold since they'd been there, the four of them even looking healthier, better somehow and both he and Brenda had made offhand comments about it on the odd occasion. "You got your boots on?" he asked his son.

"Yeah, I was in the garage bluing my rifle. Shit!"

"Stuaaaaaaart!" Brenda hailed from above.

"Yes, we're fixing it! Turn all the light switches off up there and then come down here and do the same!" he shouted. "Randy, grab the flashlight outta the drawer while I get my coat and boots. God dammit, I almost broke my leg on that son of a bitch coffee table!"

In the garage, they managed to locate and drag the portable generator out to the bay door, the icy winter wind howling in the snowy, sub-zero climate just outside, defiantly pushing and rattling the man made barrier. After adding fuel to the tank and making sure it would start, Randy grabbed a couple of shovels. Raising the door, hoods pulled tight around their faces against the suddenly shocking wind chill, they lugged the unit outside into the dark early evening's whiteout conditions and around to the buried generator box next to the foundation.

Watching from the windowed door between the garage and kitchen, Brenda didn't know which one of the tall men was which when they returned, covered in snow and stamping their boots on the concrete. They loosened and removed their hoods, solving that minor mystery for her as Melanie entered the room behind her.

"Did they fix it yet?" asked the curvy young brunette, curvier in the last couple years, Brenda had noticed.

"I suppose, they just came back in."

"Why did we have to turn all the lights off if they were just going to fix it anyway?"

"I have no idea."

"Will I be able to finish watching Twilight?"

"Well, no. The generator only has limited power."

"What? Well, why can't they fix it so-?"

"Look out, they're coming in," Brenda warned, moving back from the door to stand beside her.

Almost three inches taller and a bit thinner than her five foot five daughter, Brenda watched the men come in, sniffing and breathing hard, feeling the winter chill they brought in with them.

At forty-five years of age, Brenda had been suffering through menopause for just over two years at that point, experiencing rapid and drastic mood swings, aching bones, insomnia, depression, not to mention the frequent and random bouts of horniness that wouldn't be denied. When the power went out, she'd been reading a trash novel in hers and Stuart's bedroom, having changed into a little something she'd bought online while waiting for Stuart with a special movie for them to watch. Now, it looked like those little plans were ruined as she stood in her white bathrobe, the nipples of her D-cup breasts making love to the silk babydoll that barely covered them underneath.

Melanie, barefoot and wearing pajamas, fresh from watching her favourite show in her comfortably heated room, waited hopefully for some good news from her father as she fretted about the eleven minutes of the broadcast she'd already missed, half of which, hopefully, had been only commercials. It looked like Isabella was about to kiss Edward in what promised to be a very hot scene and her fingers had just started playing inside her bra when the current buzz kill occurred.

"Alright," Stuart began. "The generator's hooked in and running, but it only runs the refrigerator, the freezer, the basement bathroom, and two receptacles in the family room down there. Not the heating system. It's warm in here now, but it's only early yet and it'll be a long night, plenty of time for it to cool off and, believe me, it will.

"So, what do we do?" Brenda asked.

"We get ready now," Stuart answered, handing her a second flashlight from the garage. "Grab some candles, plenty of blankets and pillows and take them all down to the family room. Randy and I are going to start lugging some wood from the garage down to the basement; we'll use the fireplace down there for heat."

"What about Twilight?" Melanie whined.

"I'm afraid we'll have to find other ways to entertain ourselves tonight, Melanie," Stuart answered without much concern.

It did cool off.

By nine-thirty, the house felt colder than inside the refrigerator, driving the four family members to the basement, blocking the crack under the door to the family room with a towel to prevent any draft. Via radio, they'd learned that the power was out all over, hydro repair crews immobilized by the hostile weather conditions which were expected to last well into the next day, possibly early evening.

The family room itself, however, was quite warm, the fireplace doing its job nicely with the fuel that the huge, twisted old apple tree in the backyard had donated. In addition were the other questionable branches, some of them as large as the one that had fallen, which Stuart had had Randy prune before they could crush his new shed, or a member of his family.

He didn't like doing it, having Randy prune the tree back, but it was necessary. The thing was that he liked that ugly old apple tree because it was one part of the greater beauty that was his backyard. This area and a short distance beyond, reasonably close to the rural road, was the thing that sold him on the one hundred acre lot. It had a natural, picturesque beauty that almost seemed to go beyond natural, even giving him a wholesome, contented mood when he was within it. Even Brenda agreed, the kids also liking the area right away. It was almost as if the place was that perfect landscape painting, or picture and they were the lucky, nameless and carefree people in it.

Pruning the apple tree somehow seemed a violation of the beautiful back yard, especially the tree itself, which grew the sweetest wild apples. Somehow, it and its ugliness seemed the unlikely centerpiece of the beauty that surrounded it. Regardless of this, he was glad to have the wood by the fireplace, since he'd neglected buying a load from a local supplier that fall. They'd be okay for quite some time with the supply they had. More in question was the limited gas supply for the generator, a problem, Stuart and Randy figured, which may involve somehow bleeding some fuel from one of the frozen, snowbound cars in the driveway.

The wood itself, strangely, hadn't quite dried as it sat in the garage. That didn't stop it from burning well though, and it gave off the most interestingly pleasant smell whenever a gust of wind would blow it's smoke down the flu for a second, allowing for a light hazy puff to scent the room every once in a while.

"Can we at least watch a movie, or something?" Melanie complained in the slightly dim lit family room

She was lying beside her mother in the big, cozy, comfortable nest of blankets and pillows that she and Brenda had made in front of the fireplace. They'd gone around, once they'd realized that Stuart was right about how cold the house would get, collecting seating cushions from couches, chairs, the parson's bench, more pillows and blankets from their own beds and even Brenda's exercise mat to stuff underneath their nest.

"That's a good idea," Brenda agreed, looking back at Stuart where he and Randy sat on the couch behind them. "The TV and DVD wouldn't take that much power, would it?"

"Uhhh,... no, I guess not." he replied, looking at his son for a second opinion.

Randy shrugged and said, "Wouldn't matter that much, we'll be going out to visit one of the cars by tomorrow afternoon, anyway. It looks as bad as the radio says it is out there."

"Do we even have a movie to watch?" Stuart asked.

After a brief silence, Brenda volunteered, "I have one."

"What's it called?" Randy inquired.

"Autumn Serenity."

There was another short silence before Randy assumed, "Chick flick."

"It's a period film," she defended, rolling on her side to explain further. "And it's actually very interesting and historically accurate, you'd probably like it."

"It's a chick flick," Stuart confirmed.

"It takes place during the war of eighteen-twelve. A British woman meets an American Officer and falls in love with him."

"Awww, Mom, that's a chick flick. Why don't we watch The Wrath Of K-?"

"No!" both Brenda and Melanie disallowed.

"I'm not watching that again," Melanie asserted further. "I'd rather watch Mom's movie.

"Well, I'm going to get it," Brenda asserted, her mind made up as she threw aside a heavy quilt to get to her bare feet amidst the defeated groans of her husband and son.

"Maybe we should use this time to visit Mom's car?" Randy suggested as Brenda, now wearing slippers, kicked the towel away from the bottom of the door.

They didn't. It was too nice and warm in front of the fire, too content. They watched the movie, both father and son's jokes beginning to dry up about a quarter way through, when the storyline began to barely hold their attentions.

"There, now that was a pretty good movie, wasn't it?" Brenda asked of the two men when the credits began to roll.

During the two and one half hour movie, the room had heated even more as the fire was fed, the slightly wet wood burning as slow as it did hot, filling the room with its scent. Both women had thrown the heavy quilts back, Melanie having also removed her bathrobe in favour of watching in her light flannel pajamas. Even Stuart had opened his dark blue bathrobe, slouching in his pajamas, Randy without the blanket that had been covering him at the other end of the couch and sporting gray gym pants with a white, sleeveless undershirt.

"It was boring," the young man judged, suddenly noting that his mother's robe had opened a little way. It afforded quite a view of her cleavage and a small, pink shoulder strap that suspended the front of what must have been a revealing nightie, from what he saw at a glance.

"You liked it," Brenda smiled at him. "I looked back when they were chasing Laura Secord through the woods and you were entertained."

"Probably watching her bazugas bounce around in that thing she was wearing," Stuart laughed good naturedly, also looking down the front of his wife's bathrobe, only more obviously.

Melanie laughed at this too, sitting up Indian style in the nest and facing them as Randy snorted, "What chest? The scene where what's-her-face was in the water with buddy was better."

"Ariella and Elias?" Brenda asked.


"Because you could see her nipples a little. Why do men have to bring everything down to that, anyway?" she laughed. "It was a good movie without that."

"What about Elias in the water with her without his shirt on?" Stuart countered with a grin. "Gonna tell me that wasn't one of your favourite parts?"

"Well,... no," she admitted, laughing and looking away.

"Uh-huh," Stuart knowingly said.

"But, I don't watch it for that."

"Well, it was my favourite part," Melanie said, adding a little giggle afterwards.

" ... Fine, then," Brenda said with a hesitantly daring expression, once again getting up from the nest, inadvertently showing quite a bit of her left leg in the process.

"Now, what?" Stuart asked, watching her move towards the door in her slippers again, as was his son.

"Just wait, you'll see."

By the time she came back with another movie and a bottle of lotion, her bathrobe had opened a little further, creating the narrowest gap in the front that her legs came through with each step. Randy was surprised when he felt his meat twitch at the sight of this. He knew his mother was pretty, but he'd never seen her in that way before.

Stuart was well used to seeing her in that way and stared as she went to her knees in front of the set, the hem of her very short babydoll showing at the tops of her thighs as her robe spread around them. She came back to the nest after she was done loading the CD, the gap open a little wider.

"Let's see if you complain about this," she challenged, depressing the pump of the lotion bottle and depositing a dollop in the palm of her other hand.

"Can I have some too, Mom?" Melanie asked. "I feel a little dry and itchy, must be the heat of the fire."

"I know, me too. Just a sec, honey."

Randy's meat twitched again as he watched his mother work the lotion into her hands and lower arms, pushing back the billowy sleeves of her robe to do so while showing a lot more cleavage. She looked up and caught his eye once and smiled affectionately, as a mother might with her son and with no idea of what he was feeling as he watched.

Stuart's manhood was also twitching, especially when he watched Brenda apply the lotion to Melanie's hands and arms, also her bare feet and shins at his daughter's request.

It twitched more when he realized what kind of movie she'd put in. It was much like a trash novel on video, the one she'd bought without his knowledge for them to watch in their bedroom that night. She'd been thinking about it all the way through the first movie and had convinced herself that it wouldn't hurt, that it wouldn't be that explicit anyway.

The breasts were bigger, the sex scenes much steamier and there was a lot of partial nudity. Everyone was surprised at the soft core content, but nobody said anything.

Around halfway through this movie, Randy was distracted by his mother again, sitting on her thighs, knees together and slowly spreading lotion over them, caressing herself as she watched the screen. Half hard now, as was his father, he turned to look at him. He was also watching Brenda, but caught his son's glance. He turned to look back and smile.

"Good show, huh?" he passed to the other end of the couch.

" ... Yeah," Randy replied, rubbing at a strange, tickly itch on his bare arms and chest.

"I need some more, Mom."

"Be careful of the pump, it puts a lot out," Brenda cautioned, handing the bottle over this time.

Melanie expelled some on her hand and rubbed it into her neck and upper chest, pausing a moment afterward while looking down her pajama top. Holding the front of it away from her chest, she pumped a large dollop directly down it. She flinched a split second later, then squeezed out another two full dollops before putting the bottle down. She slowly stuck her hand down her top and began rubbing around inside it, the lotion making faint smacking sounds.

Stuart, who had been watching this, noted how she seemed in a world of her own, completely absorbed by her actions, apparently having forgotten about the movie that she was just very much into.

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