sister

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

fictional story lost sisters yakama reservation

Sister

I talk to her at the convenience store usually filling up our pickups -- hers is red mine black. Blue jeans, t-shirt, boots, earrings, hair braided down her back. She's a looker. I hope time doesn't gnarl her like an old cedar tree. She'll be alright as long as her old man doesn't knock her around. He so must as touches her, I'll kill that old bear with my bare paws, suffer the consequences. Her father is a belligerent asshole always has been always is. Belittling, putting everybody down, contentious, nothing nice to say, drunk most the time. She could be in Olympia or Washington D.C. fighting for our people not in Toppenish taking care of that old bear.

I saw her once here in white people clothes, said she'd been to the capitol fighting for Savannah's Act. She didn't look so good in those clothes. She looked worried for all our sisters being gutted, thrown into rivers, ditches and down ravines. I'm worried too. We talk a lot at the gas pumps. She asks my advice which an elder wholeheartedly wants to give to a younger person. I tell her to be careful.

She's a coordination liaison here in Toppenish between law agencies, the cops, tribal police, feds, some statewide and national databases. It's not going to bring our sisters back, but they may be able to fly, soar with dignity, if some of these stone cold cases get resolved. Stop the mutilations. Mutilations have got to stop. This woman, she has a name, Sharon. I call her Save Our Sisters Sharon. Sharon can hold her own. I hope. That red truck of hers is carrying survival kits: pepper spray, whistles, flares, cell phones, baseball bats, couple of hand guns. Armed and dangerous. All I see is a beautiful young Native woman in a t-shirt and jeans trying to help her sisters survive.

Why she's here in eastern Washington with her bellicose asshole of a father is beyond me. Maybe, she thinks that old man protects her. That old man can't even protect himself. I've got news for that old goat. If they're coming for her, they're coming for him too. I'd like to take her under my wing and show her some kindness, a gentler way of life, protect her. Save Our Sisters Sharon grew up here on the Yakama reservation. She knows our customs better than most. Speaks Sahaptin, drums, fishes, hunts, good storyteller. We could tell stories together.

I know it's hurtful having a father like that and no mother. You can see it in her eyes. You can see it when she looks at you. Well, this truck's about full. Hers too. Another day my Native beauty. Sister Sharon, you have lived another day. And now, you can tell it to somebody. Tell somebody about yourself. Tell somebody how to live. Seeing you has made my day the perfect autumn day. Kw'aianuu shamash.

 

 


Submitted: July 14, 2021

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