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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Killing Raven Killing Raven: Excerpt

Tommy would go to the highway, she knew. He'd expect her to try to thumb a ride, and he'd provide the ride. She felt as if she could read his mind, and that gave her a sense of courage. She had the advantage. She could read his mind, but he couldn't read hers. When he didn't find her on the highway, he'd go to her house. He'd be waiting outside; she'd never get to the front door before he grabbed her. Even if she screamed, Dad'd be in a stupor by now. There'd be nobody to help her. She couldn't go home.

She waited until her feet felt like chunks of ice and shivers were running up her legs and into her back. The sound of the water lapping at the banks broke through the quiet that was as heavy as the night. Finally she started working her way around the boulders, slapping through the water, then, on her hands and knees, climbing up the steep slope. The mud was as slippery as glass, and she slid backward, landing hard on the rocks in the river. She crawled out and started up again, digging her sneakers as hard as she could into the earth as she inched upward.

And then she was on the top, sprawled face down, her heart pumping against the flat earth. It was a moment before she caught her breath and lifted herself to her feet. She started into the cottonwoods, a sense of destination beginning to form in her mind. The bluff was ahead on the right, a blur of light and noise so muffled, she thought, she might only be imagining it. The highway was on the left. She would have to make her way between them and stay in the shadows, close to the trees. About half a mile ahead—it would dangerous—she'd have to cross the highway, and there was always the chance Tommy would see her. She'd have to chance it. There was no place else to go.

© Margaret Coel