margaret coel
about margaret


        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 Ghost Walker The Ghost Walker: Excerpt

The wind bore through Father John's parka, sending shivers along his spine.

He started down, his boots sliding in the snow. One boot hit something flat and sharp – a boulder – and he drove his foot against it, steadying himself while he extracted the flashlight. It flickered a moment, then went out. He pounded the plastic tube into his glove until a narrow, eerie beam burst over the loglike figure: the boots, the patterns in the black soles, the tops of gray socks. The figure was wrapped in a brown tarp, but hanging from the side was a strip of blue fabric with white stars and red and yellow stripes: the Arapaho star quilt. He recognized the stillness of death. He was looking at a corpse. "Dear God," he prayed out loud, "have mercy on his soul."

Jamming his flashlight back into his pocket, Father John climbed to the road and started for the highway. He was running now, gulping in icy air that punctured his lungs like a thousand sharp needles. He sensed he had passed from cold to numbness, the beginnings of hypothermia, but his thoughts were focused on the poor dead soul wrapped in a star quilt and tarp and thrown into a ditch. 'God help him,' he prayed silently over and over, the words matching the rhythm of his boots against the snow.

© Margaret Coel