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.
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: email@example.com
WIND SONG GIRL
The last time Tiponi looked at the sickening baby blue house, she stood at the edge of the driveway, chest heaving, lungs hurting from the early winter cold. She glared at the structure, steely-eyed, sizing up her enemy, waiting for it to make its move, lift itself off the foundation and lunge forward to pull her back inside. But the house did not budge. The white shutters remained unblinking, the large oak double doors curved into a slow, wide smirk as if to say, "You will not stay away from here for long."
Tiponi turned from the house and flew down the street, legs pulling, arms propelling her farther and faster. Away. At this moment, Tiponi finally understood the meaning of leave – or never come back. Of go or stay like it could be a request, a choice; not an order, nor a debt to be paid.
The last time she tried to run, it was mid-summer when the warm breeze and the smell of the river made everything feel open and flowing. She left at midnight when the moon was full, but only reached the outskirts of town. That time, Mama caught up to her in the old, rusted Ford pickup. As her mother drove the two of them back to the house, she held her only child to her chest, whispering to her, or to some spirit behind the wide-eyed moon, "You are my daughter. My wind-song girl. When you were born, you would not breathe. Grandmother Silwa pushed air into your lungs, and you sang your first song, long and clear. My daughter, you are all I ever have done right in this world. Do not leave me."
Now, Stitch Road stretched out before her, cold and voiceless, as Tiponi's long braid rolled from shoulder to shoulder while she ran. No hawks or crows, no wind, no one yelled in the house on the corner or the shacks down the street. No man's footsteps shuffled along to pay a visit to the house she hated. This is the beginning of its end, and somehow watching Tiponi, the road knew it.
In its day, Stitch Road was a busy thoroughfare to town. Four thousand people made this place by the river and mountains home, by force or by choice. Iroquois mostly, some Algonquins and Hurons, and even a few Chinooks who came east when the salmon chose not to let the nets take them. Little by little, the old women died, defeated and lost. The men, without their mothers, left drunk and hunched over, to shacks built on other people's homelands. Before the Great River dried out, Stitch Road became just that, a single stitch on the land's curvi