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 Story Teller The Story Teller: Excerpt

Vicky parked in front of the house where Mary and Doyal lived – a small, white bungalow – and waited a moment, taking some deep breaths, trying to get control. She'd come to pay her respects to the old couple, to console them; she didn't want to appear at the door and collapse into their arms in tears.

Finally she gathered her soft leather handbag and got out of the car just as a pickup backed into the space across the street. Headlights flashed over her, fixing her to the asphalt. It was a red Toyota, like the one John O'Malley drove. She caught her breath as the driver swung out – the long legs, the sure, athletic way he walked towards her. She knew him in the darkness.

"What are you doing here?" she asked as he reached her. Only this morning she had learned he was coming back to St. Francis, when for weeks she'd believed he had left for good, that she would never see him again. Now he was here, as if she had conjured him up out of her own pain, her own need.

He said, "I drove down today. I just heard about Todd." He exhaled a long breath before adding softly, "I'm sorry, Vicky."

It was then the tears came, hot and biting on her cheeks, salty in her mouth: tears for the young man on the gurney at the morgue, for the Hinono eino who were still losing the warriors – the best, the very best. She felt John O'Malley's arms around her, his breath in her hair, the comfort of his heart beating close to hers.

© Margaret Coel