|Mind Bond excerpt|
“Wolf is your totem,“ Ka'e said, pressing the small wolf carving into my left palm and closing my fingers over it. “He will guide you throughout your life, Christa. Look for him. Listen for him. Most importantly, care for him, always, and he will care for you.“
“There are no wolves in the city, Néške'e,“ I said, looking up at my grandmother, into the rich brown eyes so like my mother's, so like my own. Cheyenne eyes. Pieces of beautifully beaded jewellery encircled my grandmother's neck and wrists, and the tiny glass and brass beads seemed to glisten against Ka'e's dusky skin. Her long black hair was sleek and straight, like my mother's and brother's. My skin was a creamy gold and I'd inherited my thick, wavy hair from my white father. It was medium brown, or sable, as my mother lovingly called it.
Ka'e ran a caressing hand over my hair as she bent towards me, fierce love in her eyes. “You will not always live here, Christa. One day, Wolf will call you home.“
I opened my fingers and stared at the tiny wooden wolf. I stroked the head and the smooth curved back; the wood felt warm. I smiled. “Maybe a wolf will call Josh home too.“
Ka'e's eyes filled with tears and she straightened, gently pulling me to her. “Maybe.“
I leaned back from the hug, but kept my arms around my grandmother's waist. “Do you think Josh is still alive, Néške'e? Do you see him in your visions?“ My brother, Josh, had gone missing a month before on his fifth birthday, when our parents had brought us to the city to see a movie. As we'd exited the cinema, Josh raced ahead of us, getting lost in the crowd on the street. Then he was simply gone, without a trace.
Ka'e took a deep breath, calming herself. “I know he's still alive, Christa, no matter what the police say. But someone is keeping him from us.“
“If Josh hasn't returned by the time I'm grown-up, my wolf and I will find him.“ I spoke with all the confidence of a seven-year-old child for whom nothing was impossible. A month before, we'd all lived on Ka'e and Mitch's ranch. Following Josh's disappearance, my parents and I had moved into a small, dark rented house in Rymont, but I viewed the move to the city as a novelty, not understanding that I'd left my old life behind.
Ka'e gasped suddenly, her eyes closing and I recognized the signs: her body was filling with Spirit. “Change is coming, Christa,“ she whispered. “A change that the world cannot deny or stop because Nature calls it forth.“ She opened her eyes and looked at me. “A huge change that you will be part of.“
“Me, Néške'e?“ I grinned delightedly.
“Yes, Christa. You and Wolf.“
A few minutes later, my father, Jim, strode into the living room, jingling his car keys. He'd come to drive my grandmother to the bus station. I hugged and kissed Ka'e goodbye, then I crossed to the open window to watch them walk to the car parked in the driveway. I heard my grandmother say, “Christa doesn't understand about Josh.“
My father stopped, his mouth tightening. “There's no point scaring her. She's a child; she doesn't need to understand. Tahnee and I are doing all we can to find Josh.“
“Christa will be safe, Ka'e. We'll keep her close.“
“That's what I fear.“
My father ignored her and walked ahead to unlock the car, so that I was the only one who heard my grandmother say, “You will keep her too close. My little she-wolf, my he'évo'nehe, will not learn to be free. And a wolf needs to run free.“