Felicity ignores us. She walks out to them, an apparition in white and blue velvet, her head held high as they stare in awe at her, the goddess. I don’t know yet what power feels like. But this is surely what it looks like, and I think I’m beginning to understand why those ancient women had to hide in caves. Why our parents and suitors want us to behave properly and predictably. It’s not that they want to protect us; it’s that they fear us.

The land has a memory.
Every stream and river runs with a confession of sorts, history whispered over rocks, lifted in the beaks of birds at a stream, carried out to the sea. Buffalo thunder across plains whose soil was watered with the blood of battles long since relegated to musty books on forgotten shelves. Fields once strewn with blue and gray now flower with uneasy buds. The slave master snaps the lash, and generations later, the ancestral scars remain.
Under it all, the dead lie, remembering.

Miss New Mexico stared, dumbfounded. “Stand out? Stand out? I have a freaking tray stuck in my forehead!” She broke into fresh sobs.

Taylor clapped for attention. “Miss New Mexico, let’s not get all down in the bummer basement where the creepy things live. There are people in heathen China who don’t even have airline trays. We have a lot to be grateful for.

Duff’s little moans traveled up her spine, made her head buzz. And another thought grabbed hold: She was doing this. She had the power to do this. THat she could be both completely vulnerable and totally in control was mind-blowing.

The glow dies down, and she’s standing at the end of my bed–the one who’s been following me around leaving feather messages. I take in the torn fishnets, plaid mini-kilt, shiny, riveted breastplate with leather straps at the sides and a worn Great Temolo decal near the left shoulder. Her wings are a crazy black-and-white-checkered pattern, like they’ve been spray-painted at a body shop to look like hipster sneakers.

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