margaret coel
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        Winter's Child
        Man Who Fell from Sky
        Night of the White Buffalo
        Killing Custer
        Buffalo Bill's Dead Now
        The Perfect Suspect
        The Spider's Web
        Silent Spirit
        Blood Memory
        Girl w/ Braided Hair
        Drowning Man
        Eye of the Wolf
        Wife of Moon
        Killing Raven
        Shadow Dancer
        Thunder Keeper
        Spirit Woman
        Lost Bird
        Story Teller
        Dream Stalker
        Ghost Walker
        Eagle Catcher
readers guides

short stories

wind river




Winter's Child

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The Lost Bird The Lost Bird: Excerpt

The afternoon was beginning to gather into dusk when Vicky left the office. Long, gray shadows swept down the brick building and chilled the parking lot, but the Bronco still held the day's warmth. She switched on the ignition, let the windows down, and tuned in her favorite country music station. Her thoughts were on the famous movie star who seemed so lost. Sharon David had hurried out of the office, past Laola bubbling about how great she was in Ranger Woman, how she should have won the Academy Award. The moment the actress was gone, Laola had stuck her head around the door to say she was also leaving.

"We'd better keep this quiet," Vicky told her.

The girl's face fell, and Vicky knew that ten minutes after Laola had walked out the door, the news would have been flashed over the moccasin telegraph to every house on the reservation: Sharon David here looking for her Arapaho family! Not news Vicky wanted bantered about; not if she wanted to keep her own inquiries discreet.

Now Reba McEntire's voice spilled through the Bronco as Vicky pulled out of the parking lot and joined the evening traffic moving past the flat-roofed, brick buildings on Main Street. The leaves on the Aspen trees that dotted the sidewalk shimmered a deep amber color in the graying light.

She drew up at a stop light, her mind still on the unexpected new client. Sharon David. Arapaho. What would the press make of it, if the news ever came out?

Suddenly, the Reba McEntire song stopped. A man's voice came on: "We bring you this late breaking news from our news bureau. A homicide has just been reported on the Wind River Reservation. A man was shot this afternoon as he emerged from a red Toyota pickup on Thunder Lane. The victim has not yet been identified, but a spokesman at the Wind River police headquarters confirms the victim was a priest at St. Francis Mission."

© Margaret Coel