This excerpt is from our upcoming collection of Writing That Risks, featuring fiction, poetry, and memoir that breaks rules to deliver the goods. These stories and poems--by more than two dozen authors from around the globe--will take you on surprising journeys to destinations both insightful and delightful.
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On the Rez, where fireworks are legal, Jeff Sky Hawk, an Erie, mixed gunpowder—and nitrates and different compositions to give colors—with Dusty’s ashes into assorted fireworks. The flashy red box filled with rockets sits way in the back of the extended Astrovan that contains generations of Erie children. I am driving. I am the Matriarch of the Erie. I connect all Erie.
Everyone is Erie.
Erie mental structuring is not in linear form, but rather holographic: Each contains the whole. And the whole contains each Erie. The Erie is capable of immediate connection with the sacred: Consciousness unconfined by space. Or time. Or a physical being. Free. The essence of our being is unconditional love. As the Erie say, Love, without reservation.
Beside me in the passenger seat is Dusty’s son, Jacob Stump, age 13. His dark hair covers his face to avoid intimacy. Jacob resembles his father, but he has my blue eyes. My long black hair is streaked white from sorrow; it has never been cut.
Jacob warns me urgently, “You’re going too fast, Grandma.”
Lightning turns the world brilliant; thunder shakes the earth. The atmosphere is white, then black. We pass over the border of the sovereign nation, where fireworks are legal—then they are not!
The siren is as unrelenting as a pulsating nerve. I view from on high a bar of flashing lights inches from my front window. Dusty’s song plays on.
I snap off the radio, and at the same moment, the cop car’s siren falls to a low wailing, the flashing lights die.
Every Erie inside the Astrovan is situated in a fixed determination. Still gripping the steering wheel, feet pressed on the brakes, my attention turns to the squished cop car beneath me. The driver’s door opens with a grinding of metal, and a little, teeny-tiny, uniformed figure jumps out, making excited noises.
I know this authority figure, badge number 911.
I am Matriarch of the Erie, and 911 is the law.
At some deep level of reality, we influence each other, we are quantumly entangled. We can separate to opposite ends of the universe, the law and I, but any change to 911 effects a complementary change in me. And vice versa.
Because we have need of each other.
Read the rest of the story in the Writing That Risks anthology, coming soon.