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Excerpt from "Earth Sentinels: The Storm Creators"

by Shaman Elizabeth Herrera

A white, double cab pickup truck was driving down Highway 55 in remote Canada, heading toward Bear Claw Lake, one of the deepest and largest bodies of water in the Alberta province.

The passengers were the second team of specialists commissioned by the Falicon Gas and Oil Company to investigate an ongoing oil spill. Their predecessors had been unable to solve the crisis, because this was a new kind of oil spill, the kind with no “off button.”

The disaster had been caused by the company’s use of the in-situ extraction method, which pressurized the oil bed with extremely hot steam and chemicals. The pressure cracked the reservoir, causing oil to escape through a spider web of cracks in the earth, rising to the surface where it smothered the plants and trees and bubbled from the lake.

Falicon and the Canadian natural resources department publicly announced that the affected areas were being cleaned up and reduced daily. However, it was not true. To safeguard their interests, a no-fly zone was put into effect over the lake. The official statement was that it protected civilian planes and helicopters from the increased activity around the nearby military base.

The double cab pickup turned off the main highway onto a paved two lane road that eventually became a dirt track. Dust billowed behind the vehicle as it sped toward the disaster. After several miles, the driver caught a glimpse of a truck in his rearview mirror. It was an old GMC, painted robin’s egg blue with a rusty chrome grill and bumper. Inside were two men from the nearby Bear Claw First Nation reservation, glaring at Falicon’s hired men. The passenger riding shotgun held a Winchester 30-30 rifle between his knees, the barrel protruding a few inches above the dashboard.

The oil company driver said, “Don’t look, but we’re being tailed by Indians.” The engineers and scientist immediately peered out the back window. “Jesus! I told you not to look!” The driver was clearly irritated. The passengers spun around, focusing their eyes straight ahead. “Now, keep your cool. They’re probably just headed back to the rez and havin’ a little fun with us.” The driver’s comments provided little relief to the others, who were obviously uncomfortable.

The blue truck closed in on them, nearly bumping their rear end before easing back. The engineers and scientist tensely waited for the driver to react, but he stayed calm, stating matter-of-factly, “Don’t worry. Those punks won’t do anything. Nobody wins if someone gets hurt out here.” They drove in silence until the truck behind them finally veered off, heading toward tribal territory.

A mile later, the crew came to a security check point. A guard waved them through, directing them to a grassy area where a dozen company vehicles were already parked. Beyond this point were hundreds of square kilometers of what used to be a virgin forest.

The men got out to remove their equipment from the back of the truck. When everyone was ready, they trudged through the eerily quiet forest.

Mike, the head engineer, sniffed the air. “Something smells terrible! This isn’t going to be pretty.”

The team cautiously approached the lake, observing the disaster splayed out before them. The water was covered with an iridescent film of oil, decomposing into a foul, brown sludge along the shoreline. A few Canadian geese and a loon gasped for air, struggling to flap their oil-covered wings. A bloated beaver carcass bobbed in the lake. Dead walleye, sauger, lake trout and other fish species floated on the surface. The surrounding vegetation lay rotting in the sun. The cleanup crew, fully protected inside their bio-hazard suits, was using rakes to cull the tar balls.

The scientist stared at the disaster. “I gave my recommendations early on. I told headquarters we had no ‘Plan B’ if something went wrong, but they went ahead anyway. Fuck the animals! Fuck the planet!” He threw his hard hat down. “Do they really expect us to depressurize the earth!?”

The ground shuddered, sending a warning signal.

“Did you feel that?”

Mike answered, “Yeah…didn’t think they had tremors here.”

Suddenly, lightning blazed out of the clear blue sky, striking the water. Thunder boomed as the oil ignited, creating a lake of fire. The flames reached the shoreline, following channels of oil runoff, spreading through the forest until one of the fire streams reached an oil reservoir where it exploded, creating a mammoth ball of fire that billowed over the trees. The force of the combustion knocked down the engineers, scientists and cleanup crew. Thick, black smoke descended upon the dazed team, who struggled to their feet, coughing and choking. The earth shook again. Everyone raced out of the man-made hell.

On the other side of the forest, the Bear Claw First Nation Tribe heard the explosion and saw the fireball arch over the trees. Children stopped chasing a ball. Men playing poker in the shade were dumbfounded by the sight. Finally, one of them spoke, “I knew the oil company would screw up again. They always do.”

“It’s time for a council meeting,” said Tom Running Deer, “It’s time for this to end.”


Shaman Elizabeth Herrera is a healer and author, who writes life-changing books. Her stories encourage people to stretch outside their comfort zones and reexamine their own beliefs. Her books include Shaman Stone Soup, Dreams of Dying and Earth Sentinels. www.ShamanElizabethHerrera.com

Paperback: 270 pages

Publisher: Blue Gator Inc.; 1 edition (May 21, 2014)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0692225315

ISBN-13: 978-0692225318

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