October 1, 1997
Herbs and stones. Feathers and bones. Amulets and charms. A pinch of tobacco, a few dried kernels of corn.
The cloaked woman carefully arranged the objects on a piece of soft leather spread across the flat surface of a rock that lay among the boulders in Keams Canyon. Next, she tossed a handful of freshly picked herbs into her compact fire. Smoke curled up and blurred the image of the evening sun. She gathered the smoke towards her with a wave of her hands and inhaled deeply. With her eyes half-closed, she called upon her spirits and chanted their names. Her head slowly bobbed and perspiration beaded on her brow.
Eight others, her allies, her power base, rimmed the flat rock. They wore baggy black sweatshirts with hoods pulled forward, their features shadowed. They joined her as she whispered his name and their voices grew louder and louder as an image of his face appeared to her. She reached into her pouch and her fingers closed around a jagged piece of quartz shaped like an arrowhead. She held it up and stabbed at the image.
“Sending it to you, and into you. Sending it to you. Sending it…sending it.”
She jabbed again and again, and twisted the arrowhead until she saw him fall. He grabbed his knee and cursed his luck.
She knew she had delivered her dark medicine.
She hung her head and closed her eyes. She would show him what happened to someone who dared to chase witches, who wanted to expose their secrets and their identities. She would show him the power of the witching way. Her power. Her way.
She stood, smothered the fire with water from a metal canister and scooped up the leather cloth. She folded the corners inward and clutched the objects to her chest, then leapt onto the rock to complete the spell. She dropped her head back and began to spin in a circle among the boulders. The silent spirits watched and listened as she whispered his name again. The others embraced in a tight circle around her. Their voices joined with hers and chanted.
“Will. . .Will. . .Will. . .”