Part in spite and part in compromise she drove all the way into the city to make 10 copies of the book. Now they sat in a pile on the floor next to her. For Annabelle the story felt different now that it was in print and bound together by a spiral instead of handwritten in a journal. Tired of indecision, impulsively, she reached down, grabbed two copies and stuffed them in a brown satchel. Then she whirled around her room collecting the following items – a bundle of sage, her grandfather’s lamented prayer card, a pen, journal and a turkey feather. Decisively Annabelle walked barefooted out into her backyard. She moved through the tall grass with purpose, her long black ponytail swinging behind her. Her hands firmly gripped the strap of her brown satchel dangling across her body. The wind blew and carried with it smells of sweet summer basil from her garden. Annabelle didn’t stop to take in her favorite summer smell; instead she kept her long legs moving forward towards the river.
A collection of leaves and flower petals swirled in the wind and blew across the rickety, wood planked bridge she and a neighbor friend made. The moon illuminated each of the different colored planks in an inviting way that reminded Annabelle bridges are rainbows of the ground. As she walked along the bridge the moisture in the air gave her exposed skin a cooling sensation. She let go of the leather strap and took hold of the rope handrails, happy to be crossing over.
On the other side Annabelle stepped down into the clay earth, wiggling her toes in solid ground. She pulled out her hair tie shaking loose her locks. Hurriedly, she unbuttoned the top of her blouse exposing the skin at the nape of her neck. Ahead under a patch of Maple trees was a bamboo and canvas shelter.
Inside it Annabelle placed a bean cushion by the fire pit and let out a deep exhale. She closed her eyes, focusing her attention on her breathe, amazed at how simple it was to gain control of her nerves by gaining control of her breath. Once she felt calm and centered she gathered small twigs, placing them in a tepee shape in the middle of the pit.
A Warrior Princess