I have been thinking for a long time about what my next blog series might be, and I decided to do something very different. I decided to give you installments of a story as I work on it. (Each installment is numbered if you wish to re-read or start from the beginning.)
I have been tinkering with Wind Song Girl for going on fifteen years. It started as a poem from a dream I had, then it turned into a short story. At one point, I thought it might make a great script (which it still one day may), but for now, I am settled on the idea that I can turn it into a novel or a novella in the literary fiction genre.
By way of explanation, I do personally believe in past lives and reincarnation. That Indigo Girls song "Galileo" is one of my favorites. Sing along with me! "And then you had to bring up reincarnation over a couple of beers the other night..." You'll see why this is an important bit of information as the story progresses.
Set in Michigan in 1991, Wind Song Girl tells the story of Tiponi Red Hawk, whose life has been threatened by her mother's disappearance.
Enjoy, and please pass it on. The beauty of this form of storytelling is that you are coming with me on this organic journey of creation. I welcome feedback, questions, or ideas for where to go next! Free free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
WIND SONG GIRL
Silwa ate the last of the pole beans. She forgot the time or the day and had not bathed in so long her hair was matted to her head. She even she smelled herself – the dank odor reminding her of the caves near the creek where the wild men lived. She thought for a moment that the great turtle swallowed her, eaten her whole where she would not live forever in its stomach, with no one to talk with or sing to.
She looked up hoping to see daylight but instead saw something else farther away than the sun where nothing grew but the nothingness. In this place, the deer turned to dogs, the hawks into slugs. Silwa wandered around the blank landscape and thought she was dead, witnessing the beginning of all things as earth, and the sky lifted hard against the water to raise it up. Her eyes widened in surprise at the realization, knowing that none of her ancestors ever saw it so. The old ones often spoke of the place in the time before time began when all that was great and unknown in the world forced itself upon the earth as the unknown birthed the known.
The milky white sky turned a pale shade of blue clear as the ocean as she stood in wonder.
Suddenly self-conscious at her own inadequacies, Silwa looked down at her hands. She was not the wisest one to witness such things and could not understand why she had been chosen to watch the sky turn a deep blue, dark blue as the clouds shifted behind the mountain. Suddenly, she saw ocean waves crash against the sky in anger or jealousy, she could not discern which. Silwa believed it was the first time anyone saw the air talk to the water and she was the first person to witness the miraculous conversation between the two primary elements. She endeavored to tell the old ones when she saw them. They would rejoice because one of their own will have seen the sky and the earth talk, and it will be her, small Silwa of the Creek.
Something pulled her back, away from the comforting thoughts of her ancestors. She looked down at her aged and withered hands and realized she was not a child; she was old like the ancestors she dreamt of seeing again. She slumped over against a tree, trying to place the moment of her death, trying to piece together fragments of memories. The pain of childbirth, holding a crying baby in her arms who stared at her as if they were connected beyond words, beyond names from a deeper place she could not quite recall.
Out of the nothingness, she heard crying – a young girl crying. The sound pulled her away from herself and reverberated around her insides, causing her physical pain. She pushed her dirty hands against her chest in an effort to stem the ache that flowed out from within her at the sound. She looked around but saw no one. The crying persisted.
“Stop crying!” Silwa yelled into the nothingness, but the crying only intensified until Silwa covered her ears with her hands and screamed into the emptiness around her in an attempt to drown it out. She did not want to hear this sound. She wanted to continue watching the beginning of all things so she could make her ancestors proud. But the beginning of all things had ended, and now, the earth simply was. She had missed her chance.
The pull inside her toward the crying girl increased. Why does that sound so familiar? Silwa thought to herself as she pulled her old bones into a standing position and brushed the dust from her legs. She looked east, where the sun peeked its head up over the horizon, leaving a pink glow across the vast expanse of this wild place.
She did not know why, but she began to shuffle toward the sunrise. One foot in front of the other, she stepped in the direction of the crying as if an invisible thread tied to her waist pulled her toward the sound. She had no idea what she would find when she reached the crying girl. She only knew that she had to go because she was needed. Perhaps she wasn’t dead after all. No one needs the dead. Only the living are indispensable. Only the living can do something to stop the crying.