By: Jeffrey Delano Davis
The wind screams through the pickup. It tosses rusted bolts, fence wire, wrenches, and Sike’s feed bowl about the cargo bed with alarming ferocity. Nina rubs flints of plywood and sheep hair from her watering eyes. She grips Sike’s collar with one hand, the wheel with the other. The pair pop up and down in their seats as the chassis rocks over potholes. The wheels crush agates and quartz rock. The sky turns inky purple, and lightning flares about the clouds. Oddly, there is very little rain.
Nina has driven this windswept, desolate lowland at the base of the Chuska Mountains many times while going to her job at the 7–11 in Gallup. Never has it been this cold and this windy. The dirt road she’s driving on is treacherous, especially at 5 in the morning. If she could make it to the Indian Service Road a half-mile away, which is paved and slightly less dangerous, she’ll reach Sheep Springs in twenty minutes or so. From there, it’s a straight shot south down 491 to Gallup, about an hour’s drive. She might get to work on time.
“My God. My God…” she mutters through shivering lips.
The moon shines brightly through the filthy, mud-strewn windshield. She does her best to avoid eye contact with it, so she won’t take on the bad juju and, simultaneously, castigates herself for believing in her mother’s superstitions. She sings to keep her nerves at bay:
“So you’re a tough guy
Like it really rough guy
Just can’t get enough guy
Chest always so puffed guy
I’m that bad type….”
Nina wears a flannel and jeans, an outfit she picked out of a thrift store with exacting precision, elaborate turquoise rings designed by her mother Irene, and rows of bangles, bracelets, and cuffs, which jingle as she drives. She has wide expressive eyes, ragged cuticles from a nail-biting problem, thick jet-black hair, and bangs frequently blown out of her vision.
Suddenly, a massive burst of wind slams her truck with such violence it nearly spins off the road. She tugs on the wheel, rights the pickup just as it nearly plunges into a deep ditch, and brings it to a sputtering halt. She cuts the ignition.
Nina pulls her shaking hands tight to her mouth and blows into them to warm herself. She plucks her whimpering pug from his seat and sits him in her lap. The Chuska Mountains, built like ancient Ziggurats, rectangular, steeped waves of clay, rise with precision from the vantage of her window. Each wave finishes with a sharp crest that juts faintly out of the blue-black sky. Nina feels chalky New Mexico dirt settle on her skin. She’s close to tears. Worries the wind is a bad omen. Anasazi spirits.
“You smell like shit, Sike,” she mutters.
Sike never leaves Nina’s side. An extended absence while she was away at community college, prompted panic attacks. She is an expert at formulating reasons for his presence and convincing people to accept them. Last week, a worker at the 7-11 found him lying mangily with his feed and water bowls by toilet paper rolls in the stock room. Nina bribed the teen to keep quiet with a promise of a few flattering sketches, the meager cash she had, and a hand job at some undetermined date she regularly puts off. When she isn’t hiding Sike in the stock room, she keeps him in the truck’s cab, dashing out every chance she gets to run the air conditioner and fill up his water and feed bowls. Thankfully, he is usually sanguine about the matter. It is a temporary solution, but all she has are temporary solutions.
She works Monday and Wednesday mornings at the 7–11. It isn’t much, but they’re essential shifts. Management pays her under the table, allowing her to continue receiving unemployment. Her manager, an overweight twenty-something white guy, spends most of his time at the store hunched over his phone, flipping through TikTok. She steals frequently.
Nina earmarks the money for her mother; groceries, gas, repair for their motorhome, feed for the sheep, winter coats; the list goes on and on. Life on the ranch is hard, doubly so since 2020 three years ago, when the Navajo Nation got hit by Covid and a drought that killed many of Irene’s sheep.
Suddenly, the wind dies down. The scene has an eerie, silent beauty, as lightning forks light up the desert. Nina knows it is too cold for land spouts to form, but it is late August, and the land will warm quickly. Rain brings risks as well. When she was five, she spent an hour in terror in the seat of her father’s truck as he waded waist-deep in brown water on these dirt roads. She remembers the twisting movement of his hips as he trudged through the rushing floodwater with a jute rope tied to the truck’s fender and the calm, steady way he adjusted his Stetson.
“The rain will hold,” she thinks. She turns the keys, and the pickup rumbles to life.
— — — — — — — — — — — —
Nina received a scholarship after graduating from high school a year ago to attend a college in Phoenix to get her nursing degree. She was studying for her finals four months ago, in late April, when her mom asked her to leave school so she could help on their farm in the Chuska Mountains. Before leaving school, Nina drew a pro and con list on a legal pad and tapped her pencil down the bullet points. The exercise was pointless. She would never turn her back on her mother. With a heavy heart but firm resolve, she put her degree on hold and packed her belongings.
Back on the farm, she drives sheep through green pastures to dying streams, pulls ticks and thorns out of the sheepdogs, and stacks wood with Cody and the ranch hands. At night, they all sit by the fire, the flames dancing in her mom’s spectacles, eating tortillas, and drinking in the pure mountain air.
Her mom is short and stocky, with impressive strength despite her age. She has a tick in her right eye, which acts up when she trims the sheep’s hooves, something she does with increasing necessity. One-tenth of her herd has gone lame in the last year. On the rare occasions she isn’t working, she retires to her cabin, where she spins yarn for sweaters for Nina and Cody on a creaky 40-year-old spinning wheel, patiently winding and unwinding the wool around the maiden with gnarled hands, pumping the treadle softly with her foot.
Nina’s dad abandoned the family when Nina was 17 after a drunken rage over the farm’s finances. What delight on his face, like a baby playing with a new rattle, as he blew apart Irene’s cabin with a shotgun: boxes of rock salt, a washing basin, a 28-pound tub of fire barrier mortar which exploded and shrouded the room with a serene white mist. Nina and Irene quaked, staring at the scene from the trailer nearby, listening to the unholy sound of the gun loading, an ear-shattering blast, shards of glass flying out the window frame, silence, then tink tink tink as remaining fragments trickled off the windowsill. As her father exited the cabin and headed toward the trailer, nearly tripping on a large tree root, Nina walked out to confront him. He stopped in his tracks, growled, and loaded his shotgun again. As he raised it toward his daughter and aimed it at her with surprising precision, Nina held up her hand defiantly.
“I am the eagle that protects her home. I am your one and only daughter. If you harm us, evil spirits will tear your soul apart.” she said, trembling with rage, sadness, and righteous indignation.
Her father let out a gravelly laugh and lowered his gun. “They already are, Nina.”, he replied. For a moment, her father’s hardened, craggy visage softened, and Nina felt pity for him. He stumbled to his truck and drove off into the wilderness, never to be seen or heard from again. Nina listened to his truck rumble down the mountain, then stood watching the evergreens where he departed as if they could convey to her, somehow, how her present circumstances had come about. The press of her mother’s palm in her hand broke her reverie, which unleashed a torrent of grief. They held each other for twenty minutes before beginning the long slow process, both literal and figurative, of picking up the mess her father left behind.
Sitting by the campfire at night often reminds her of sitting in her father’s lap as a young child; the pungent smell of tequila on his breath, the way his fat hands lay loosely in her lap, how he liked to hum Willie Nelson songs, his face placid, lips moving gently. How can someone be composed of such terrible opposites? So peaceful and so hateful? She knows she will never understand him, but she prays that someday, he will understand himself.
Nowadays, she is content to leave the unknowable alone, her father, the pandemic, and the vicissitudes of life on the reservation. There are moments of levity. The night before her drive down the mountain, Nina sketched in the trailer with Cody. She was at work on a design that featured coyotes and Sike, who sat next to her while she drew, a stray tooth catching his upper lip and pulling it down, lending a cockeyed nature to his demeanor.
“If Sike were an Avenger, he’d be Thanos,” Nina bantered.
“Nah, Tony Stark yo,” replied Cody
“Tony Stark is bilagaana,”
“Yo, Thanos looks like my uncle after Denny’s.”
“Thanos looks like my mom after tamales.”
Then both rolled with laughter.
Despite the realities of rez life, things are ok. On any day in Navajo Nation, you have a reasonable shot at dying; many Navajos have no running water or heat and must chop wood or pump dirty well water for sustenance. Of the 7,600 roads in Navajo Nation, 1,600 are paved. Running out of medicine can kill. Distance can kill. Children with runny noses lick dirty school bus windows and stare at the immeasurable New Mexico sky while idling in mud. Ten-year-olds are addicted to meth, mass unemployment, absenteeism, and alcoholism abounds.
The Sheep Springs Chapter House, a community and administrative meeting spot that Nina and Irene attend frequently, serves as ballast to the despair of rez life. Sheep Springs is the nearest town to Irene’s sheep ranch, population 1000 or so, lying fifteen miles east at the base of the plain that extends from the Chuska Mountains, the plain she drives in now.
Before Covid, there were rug weaving classes, an herbology class taught by a medicine woman and a psychologist, and spousal abuse support groups at the Chapter House. Since Covid, the Chapter House has shut down, further isolating an already isolated portion of the world. The fireplace that roared and crackled to heat this sacred space has gone cold. The lights are darkened, and the shelves that held administrative binders, ceremonial blankets, and herbs for healing ceremonies now house rows of outdated hand sanitizer, and KN95 masks.
— — — — — — — — — — — —
“I am running and running.
My legs hurt. When do I grind the corn?
I will be strong for suffering to come.
The light is bright, and the wind brisk. I’m running in the sunlight. I close my eyes.
The rays of sunlight are soft and warm, like white peaches. “
Ping. Ping. Ping. Pingpingpingpingpingping….
Tiny milky white pearls of hail build up in the windshield molding. Nina puts aside her childhood reverie; denial usually serves her well, she is an expert at dislocation, but it offers nothing presently. She slows the truck as the battery intensifies.
“Hail is better than rain,” she thinks. She knows the soil is hard due to the drought and recent temperature changes. Hail will bounce off the dirt, but water will flow over it. She can drive over the chunks of ice. If the Chuska Mountains behind her became inundated with rain, however, its many creeks would become raging rivers and fuse in the plain she is driving in. She redoubles her grip on the wheel, sits up straight, shifts her shoulders higher, and defies the storm with her posture.
Sike looks at her with a sad, oblivious frown and tilts his head slightly to the side. Nina leans forward and hunches over the steering wheel, straining to see as the windshield wipers struggle to remove the wet pearls from the windshield.
“C’mon now, you got this….”
She begins to sing, whispering to start as the wind shrieks.
“When I’m away from you, I’m happier than ever
Wish I could explain it better
I wish it wasn’t true
Give me a day or two to think of something clever
To write myself a letter
To tell me what to do…”
A clap of wind crashes against the 20-year-old truck, lurching Nina and Sike to the side. The motor begins to shake fitfully. The hail rings the cab like a bell struck a thousand times. Nina thinks momentarily about eating herbs her mom gave her to ward off witchcraft; she reaches toward her bag.
“There is no such thing as witchcraft; there is no witchcraft.”
Nina slows and then stops the truck. She stares in awe at the eerie translucent waterfall of hail before her. Her visibility is nil. She closes her eyes tightly and tries to remember how far off the service road might be. Sike begins barking incessantly.
“STOP BARKING, SIKE! 500 yards? It’s 500 yards, I know it.”
Suddenly the hail dies down. A sigh of relief. Sike hitches his paws to the dash, eyes darting about the darkness. The horizon is a faint light blue; the sun will rise soon. The truck lights reflect brilliant white luminance from the pearls, a dazzling beauty. Dazed, Nina thinks, “I could be rich with all this treasure.”
“No no no no no no no no no..”
One drop of rain on the windshield. Two. Three. A dreaded and very sudden depressurization in the air. Quick math. If rain is on its way, the roads on Chuska mountain will be unpassable. She can’t turn back. She looks at her watch; 5:45 am. Trying to get to work is futile; however, Chapter administrators might be readying for food donations at the Chapter House. She may find shelter there.
She can try to run to the Chapter House, but Sike will not get out of the truck quickly, and Nina can’t contemplate the potential loss of the pickup, Irene’s sole means of transporting sheep feed. Driving is quicker. She has lived in this valley her whole life. She has seen countless storms. She has survived them all. She hits the gas.
The tempo of the rain quickens. First, a steady drumbeat, then it lashes across the windshield in swift volleys. A nauseating ball of tension forms in Nina’s throat. Plink, plink, plink. The hail, mercifully smaller, is back. The chassis vibrates as the wheels flatten rocks of ice. Then, a rush of water gushes over the windshield. The wipers stop working momentarily from the force of the water and wind, forcing Nina to navigate from instinct. Still, she punches the gas, trusting that the void she is driving in will reveal the service road eventually.
Time drifts away into the mist. She’s numb to the roll of the truck by now. “It’s almost here,” she thinks. “How long have I been driving? Thirty minutes? Twenty?” Tridents of lightning spear the desert—another batter of wind.
The truck lurches off the dirt road all at once, and the wheels gain traction on the paved service road. The wind and rain die down a bit, and the wipers start working again. The pickup cuts through the maelstrom now, racing toward the Chapter House at a much faster pace.
“That’s what I’m talking about!!” Nina shouts deliriously. “C’mon, c’mon!”
Another enormous peal of thunder. The cab shivers as old rusty bolts fight to keep the truck whole. The motor stutters periodically. Nina takes one hand gingerly off the steering wheel, grasps her phone on the dashboard, and gently turns it toward her, readying herself for a glance. Her eyes dart to the screen, then back to the road. No reception.
WHAM! A shower of glass. Nina screams. Slams the brakes. A baseball-sized ball of hail has hit the windshield. A four-inch trapezoidal glass fragment at the base of the shield judders and falls loosely to the floor. Water and glass shards flow over the dash. The impact’s lattice of cracks covers the windshield’s right half.
The shrieking sound of wind, rain, and hail through the apertures is deafening. Sike barks incessantly. Nina stares blankly. The rain now seems like one sheet of steel. Hail flits about the cab, popping through fissures in the glass like soda fizz. Sike’s eyes flicker back and forth from the cracked windshield to the pooling water on the cab floor as if trying to make sense of it.
Dazed, Nina returns to her reverie. She thinks of her mother gently combing her long hair before her Kinaalda Ceremony. The tug of the brush, the working out of each knot with focus and precision, her teenage friends dressed in lush velvet blouses and turquoise jewelry, staring at her in wonder, giggling. How she struggled with her dress while the elders made her run about the dessert, proving her maternal strength, the hand-woven lace hem powdered with clay dirt.
“Have I thrown away my heritage? Have I angered the Gods?”
She reaches into her leather handbag, frantically rummaging for the vial of herbs. She is losing time. The storm could intensify further. She is being deeply irrational, but she cannot stop herself. She plucks the small vial and uses her teeth to bite the cork topper from the glass tube. She blesses herself, swallows some herbs, and sprinkles some over Sike, who sniffles and sneezes rapidly. A tiny bit of hail bops her on the nose. She bats at the space absently as if swatting a mosquito.
She swats again at the pearl mosquitos and rubs her eyes vigorously as hail, splints of rotted plywood, and strands of sheep hair swirl about the air. Sike turns frantically in circles in his seat, still barking incessantly.
Nina takes her hands from her bloodshot eyes, stretches her arms out in front of her slowly, in a trance, flexes her twitching and trembling muscles, and makes two fists. She should abandon the truck and run. She should have done it when the rain started.
“Come on, Sike!”
She grabs Sike by the collar, but he immediately fights her, clawing helplessly at the upholstery. She leans further to lug him over the gear shift when he scratches desperately at her face, gashing her cheek. She releases his collar and recoils from the pain. A small trickle of blood on her trembling fingers.
In a rage, she throws the truck into drive and punches the gas again.
— — — — — — — — — — — —
Digital swords cross in metaverses instantly dated by other metaverses. Cryptocurrencies rise and fall like digital ocean waves. Human fingers tinkle on computer keyboards while currents whirl about the atmosphere above, stars wheel about the solar system, and black holes consume suns somewhere in the void.
And on Chuska Mountain, deep in Chuska Mountain, raging rivers pour over dry, hardened soil in creek beds, arroyos, and washes, culminating in a massive black wall of trees, mud, vegetation, and karma.
Nina is a tableau of concentration, arms hunched over the steering wheel, eyes squinting, neck strained and face pinched, nose inches from the howling windshield. Water sops her boots and cuffs. She blinks her eyes rapidly to disburse the moisture and ice from her eyelids and retain a laser focus on spotting the Chapter House. She is devoid of words, chatter, and internal communication. There is only the Chapter House, which she assumes is about a quarter mile ahead of her.
A deep rumble. The steering wheel, the rearview mirror, and the mica wolf ornament hanging from the mirror tremble. Sike has gone quiet, sitting helplessly in the passenger seat, head in his lap. Nina hears the rumble. She knows instantly what it is.
She presses harder on the gas as the Chapter House comes into focus, to her great relief. She tries to determine if there are lights inside, but all she can see is the porch light, a few potted plants, an evergreen tree, and wire fencing. Suddenly, the light seems to dance a bit about the horizon, bobbing up and down, left and right, confusing her. The truck’s momentum slows. The back gently fishtails to the right. Nina tries desperately to right the wheels, but the steering wheel turns loosely in her hands, to her horror.
The truck is floating.
“Oh, God…oh God….”
She quickly unbuckles herself. A frenzied struggle with the power window button. The window lowers most of the way down and then sticks. The rain and hail bite her like a viper. The rumbling grows louder. A burst of wind buckles the windshield, sending more water and glass to the floor. Nina squints her eyes, then sticks her head out the window.
The water around the truck is about two feet deep, turgid, and spread far across the landscape, logs, trees, and brush; a lone sheep bleats plaintively as it drowns in the thick mass. The truck pinballs off debris like a cutter in a storm. Nina turns toward the roar coming from the Chuska Mountains. Darkness.
She collapses back in her seat. A dizzy, lost moment. Then another. Her head shakes. Blood pounds through her veins, and her heart feels like it will rip from her chest. She is bathed in ice fragments, rain, and sweat. Even her eyeballs tremble. SLAM. The truck hits something and begins turning slowly. The water rises another inch. The dire wolf of clay and mud growls at her. How? How?! Where did this start? What was the moment? She felt something inexorable all about her, a field of evil spun out of tension. Circumstance? Fate, perhaps? Was it witchcraft? Will she do nothing? Why won’t her limbs move? What is this paralysis!!?
She balls her fists to stop her shaking, which only makes her shake more.
“You must.. must….”
The morning sun peeks above the horizon, and a few rays illuminate the frothing crosscurrents.
“…you must push.”
Nina knows she needs her arms free to lug Sike out. She grips next to the gear shift with her right hand and the steering wheel with her left. She turns herself downward, her face inches from the coffee cup holder, climbs the door with her feet, sticks one leg out the window, and then the other. Her thighs dig painfully into the tip of the window glass. Her shoulders twitch.
Suddenly, the wind cracks against the windshield. The right half bursts. Glass fires like grapeshot. Shards implant themselves in Nina’s forearms. Hail bees buzz and sting. Sike lets out a heart-rending cry and scratches at his face, blood streaming down his jaw. The truck jolts to the left. Nina’s arms shake uncontrollably as she tries to keep her grip. Her legs flail absurdly about the open air as the truck pirouettes. With each kick, her jeans dip deep into the water. Water and glass swarm over the dash. The water in the cab is up to the seats.
‘WE HAVE TO GO NOW!” Nina shouts above the howling wind. The wolf beckons and growls.
Nina releases her grip on the coffee holder and lunges desperately toward Sike. She grapples with the floundering dog, trying to find a grasp on his collar. Finally, she gets a firm hold and wrestles him toward the window, accidentally slamming him against the gear shift, prompting another agonizing howl.
“Please, Sike!!! Please!!!
With another violent jolt, her grip breaks. Her hands scramble to stabilize herself. She clenches the steering wheel and the headrest, an iron cross. She presses her thighs against the door to counter the increasing spin of the truck. Her arms collapse, and she falls face down into the seat, ludicrously, as rainwater slaps her cheek. Her exhaustion is total now. The truck begins to sink in earnest as water pours through the driver’s window, drenching her. She shuts her eyes to combat her growing disorientation. Water rushes over her face, a bitter taste of driftwood in her mouth. She makes one final futile attempt to lift herself off the seat. As the water envelops her, she feels a part of the vast flood, a moment of delirious peace, like a seagull floating in the eye of a hurricane.
The wolf catches up.
A cresting explosion of trees, rocks, earth, two souls, and a pickup surge past a lone figure in the Chapter House, swallow potted plants and fencing, rise far above route 491, and crash on the other side of the highway.
— — — — — — — — — — — —
“Mom are you here?” she thinks.
“Are you purifying the trailer?”
“I’ll get Paco from the pen. He found a lamb that looked lame.”
“Spin yarn Changing Woman.”
“I love the color I feel in my body now?”
“CAN YOU HEAR ME!?” someone shouts.
“I hear a whirlybird.” Nina mouths her first words.
“There was water…everywhere…”
Those were words too. These are thoughts:
“changing wOMAN. WILL YOU play me in your movie? We can be Avengers.”
“LIFT HER ARM; IT’S TRAILING, AND IT HAS THE IV.”
“Am I in a hogan? Who purified the hogan…” she says.
“GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU.” a voice says. “THE MASK IS THERE TO HELP YOU BREATHE; TRY NOT TO TAKE IT OFF.”
“I want…chocolate…milk….” Nina mutters weakly.
“YOU CAN GET CHOCOLATE MILK ONCE WE GET TO SHIPROCK, WE’RE GOING FOR A LITTLE RIDE. YOU JUST RELAX; WE’RE GOING TO TAKE CARE OF YOU.”
“Your breath smells….”
“WHAT’S YOUR NAME?”
“Where is my dog…? where is my dog?”
“Fuck, she had a dog…. JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES AND REST, OK. CAN WE GET HER A COUPLE MORE CCS TO TAKE THE EDGE OFF?”
“MoRE honey amber white firebird changing woman I am your child of water we are sexy moist with hate,” Nina thinks.
“ALRIGHT, ONE TWO THREE…”
“Tééhoołtsódii has taken me under.”
One more thought, Nina, before your Whirlybird.
“I will never survive…this sadness…
I will never…I will never…I will never…….”
— — — — — — — — — — — —
Bright phosphorescent lights. Squeak squeak sounds like sneaker soles and rolling hard rubber wheels. More light. Different light.
“The rose color is your eyelids,” say I.
“I am running and running. My legs hurt. When do I grind the corn? The wind is bright. I will be strong for suffering to come.”
“Yes, you will, my child. Come to me.”
“…fractured lumbar…. possible acute subdural hematoma ….”
“The light is bright. I love the wind…I’m running in the sunlight…I’m not there anymore Changing WOman…it is my Kinaalda”.
“…found semi-conscious…two sheep farmers… she’s fortunate…”
“Good morning, Nina.” comes a voice.
“Can you talk?”
“Good. How do you feel?”
“My head hurts.”
“How do you rate your pain on a scale of one to ten? Ten being the worst pain imaginable?”
“Nine. No. More. So, nine.”
“Ok, try not to touch your bandages, sweetie. I’ll be right there. So, quickly…”
“…100 mg ketamine to take the edge off. Diluted with saline to 10 mg concentration… propofol, midazolam… you’re in a hospital sweetie…”
“Yes. Shiprock Northern Navajo…”
“…I feel bad I don…
“Her IV fell out… “
“Can you hear me, Nina?”
“Yes. I feel dizzy.”
“You’ve been through a lot.”
“…vasovagal…I think.. ”
“63, 58. Where’s the saline? She’s fading fast..”
“…I was running on my Kinaldaa….”
“….I’m…I can’t spike her…her veins are minuscule.”
“Don’t spike her! Keep fluids minimal! We don’t know what this is yet.”
“It’s light now, bright light. I’m…still…running….”
— — — — — — — — — — — —
“This time, the wolf is back.” These are Nina’s thoughts.
“Trees, mud wolf is back. Just beep beep beep machines now Changing Woman. And so much pain, like blood roses. In my eyes and face.”
“Violence is delicious,” says I.
“Where is my mom…? Where is my mom?” a real voice, not a thought. It’s coming from Nina.
“I am here. I am here with you.”
“You are not my mom. You are a witch.”
“…she’s ok..just groggy…she may disassociate ”
“I’m here, Nina,” says mom.
“Let me touch your hand…please..”
“…we’re suctioning out….”
“That is a witch’s hand. You are a witch!”
“No. No. You are my mother.”
“Oh, Nina, don’t cry. Can you get some tissues, please?”
“Can I hug her?” says mom.
“You’re going to make it, Nina. Hang on.”
“…very gentle…very gentle… try not to go near her head…watch the tubes…”
“My head hurts so much…I can’t take it. I can’t take it…”
“You are strong. You are strong. I am with you. I am with you.”
“I want to go home, mom…”
“You will, sweetie.”
“My face feels numb.”
“Lie her down! Lie her down!”
“The wolf is eating my eyes now, Changing Woman.”
“Let her go, please step out of the way…now!”
“How do you feel while your eyes are being eaten?” says I.
“Check her eyes. Nina, can you hear me?”
“Nina, Try to stay awake. No sleeping.”
“Run, in the sunlight, Nina. It is your Kinnalda again.”
“It is bright. There are colors everywhere.”
“We’re losing her again.”
“I am the sunlight on your face.”
“Pupils are fixed in dilated position. We need Dr. Begay.”
“I am the wind in your hair. You are strong for suffering that is here, Nina.”
“Let’s get her rolling…”
“Your whirlybird has arrived.”
“…CT scan fourth….”
“You are mine now, Nina. I am the wolf. I am the sun.”
“Eyes open Nina! Eyes open…no sleeping.”
“Nina, Nina, can you talk to me, sweetie?”
You are mine.
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