It’s Monday again, time for another Fantasy Free Read! Here’s part one of “Three Feathers.”
Toward sunset, after the thunder stops, Henry Joe takes Bobby’s pickup. It’s a fine big truck, never mind the dent on the side where the old roan kicked it, and the slit in the seat where Bobby’s woman had the knife that time.
In the old days, Henry Joe would’ve put on his paint and his feathers, and slung a leg over the back of a sleek red horse. But that was before the white man pushed the people onto the rez, took their horses and their pride, and so tonight he makes do with Bobby’s king cab. He’s got a handful of bills in his pocket and the sound of Jadie’s voice in his head, and the City has the only cure he knows.
Bobby’s out with the stock, so Henry Joe asks Sam Bass to come along.
“Goin to get me a drink,” says Henry Joe. “Goin to get me so drunk I’ll forget my name. Goin to forget how Jadie walked out for a white man and how I never got my check.”
Sam squints at the clouds dragging sunset on a wild wind, and he squints at the light that pours like blood on the wet sand and the saguaros . “I don’t know, man,” he says. “Changes comin with the moon. Old men can feel it. Raven’s spreadin out his wings on the wind. . Goin to make his choice tonight I bet.”
“Three Feathers” is a new version of a long ago draft inspired by monsoon summer days in the desert and the sacred mountain Baboquivari, south of Tucson. It’s also a look at Soledad City’s indigenous magic, personified by Nettie Chubai, medicine woman of the People. As you might expect, Mama Silva’s in here too, as a colleague of Nettie’s. In the world of Soledad, as the “real life” world of the American Southwest, cultures collide and merge, strange powers hit their mark and go awry, and you just never know who you might meet in the night.
Read part two of “Three Feathers” next Monday, July 18, 2016, right here. And I’d love to hear your comments about this story and the Moon Road universe!