Chapter Two: That Sinking Feeling
Chapter Nine: Seeking a Vision
The first night at the Sacred Place still haunted Skyfisher’s dreams. He’d fasted for two days and came seeking a vision, ascending the hill late in the afternoon of a warm spring day, watching shadows lengthen as the sun set, listening to the music of crickets and a wolf howling in the distance. He waited. As the moon rose, his spirits sank. No vision would come for a young buck fumbling his way into manhood.
Just as he was getting ready to leave, a gust of wind blew across the hill. Skyfisher distinctly heard it, yet none of the tree branches nearby were moved by the breeze. Something akin to an intake of breath, then the gust whipped through and around him, churning into a whirlwind, opening the roof of his head, funneling down his spine, branching into his legs, out through his feet into the ground.
It happened in an instant with no time for commentary or understanding.
Roots germinated from his toes, reaching into the earth, drawing forth a flow of firewater that burned its way back through his body, emanating from his eyes and hands with a cascading yellow-gold light that radiated in spasms of ecstasy. For an instant, he blazed like a beacon fire as incandescent as the sun. Then he was alone on the hill, with an afterglow that never left his sight.
Chapter Seventeen: Face Mask
Skyfisher wiped the water vapor from the sleek, flat surface. Like the face of a pond, only much better. He studied the reflection and even though he could see and verify its shape and texture with his hands, it wasn’t his face. A mask, a costume body he was deep inside of. In a strange way, he felt protected, as if he could do anything and it would happen to the body he was encased in, not him.
The dim flame of the candle was only slightly painful to his eyes. Eyes! He’d forgotten what real seeing was like, not a ghost outline or glowing phantom hues. Things had clearly defined edges. Colors were softer. He wondered if this way of seeing showed only the outer skin of things, their husks, their masks.
Skyfisher closed his eyes and tried to sense his real face. Its contours gleamed and subtly vibrated as he breathed. The particles of mist and air commingled, absorbed into his body, beginning to be transformed, reminding him why he was here and what needed to be set into motion.