Algonquin Magic

Sunday Scribblings: Dare

When things got too crazy in the city Micaela moved.  Fair Haven.  She had not been back to Fair Haven since she was eighteen.  It was one of those towns with one main highway running straight through. If you weren’t careful you found yourself leaving it before you arrived.   The kind of town you can’t wait to grow up and leave. Sixteen bars, five gas stations and a drug store.

Of course, that wasn’t counting the marinas.  She knew this was where she would stay.   Water fed her soul.  The wooded areas and the miles of coast land with the cattails and shallow marshes held more magic than most entire cities.  That’s where Micaela needed to be.  Near the magic and out where she could sit on a pier and let the rhythm of the waves soothe her.  She was back.

But the waves would have to wait for summer.   For now the waves slept under the snow and ice and the whole town was quiet.  Micaela walked through the streets, hands in her pockets.  She wished she had remembered her gloves  Her feet crunched on the snow as she strolled towards her new home.  She was renting an old boathouse with living space upstairs.   On summer evenings she could sit in the old rusted metal lawn chair in back and watch the fisherman slowly bringing their boats back home at dusk when the mosquitoes would be swarming in the willow trees, coolers full of fish, happy tired guys all sunburnt and smelling like beer.

The boats were put up for winter and the canal was frozen over.  The ice was black but where snow had drifted you could see the moonlight reflected and it was easy to walk along the canal towards the lake.

She started hearing the voices when she hit puberty.  She was sent to visit her grandmother who knew what was happening and taught her how to begin controlling and separating them.  These days she often slept through the day and stayed up at night when most people were asleep.  She had learned to close her mind to much of the chatter but night brought a relief and peace that came with not having to control it.  Her grandmother was fae and had been through much of what Micaela had experienced but Micaela had surpassed her by the time she was twenty.

At first she hated people.  Hated the petty things they thought.  Hated knowing too much. Over time, she had learned to love them.  They were weak but they fought it.  They fell, but they kept trying. They were confusing, wonderful, and endlessly changing.

This night, there was no sound except the skittering noises of a muskrat, the creaking of the ice,  her own footsteps, and the wind in the ice covered branches of the trees.  She walked along, alone with her thoughts except for the occasional ghost.  Old fishermen who had passed on but refused to pass over, to give up their lake.  They grumbled about noise scaring off the fish as she passed by, but she ignored them.

There was power in this place.  It was situated on a natural border, there was water all around, and the spirits of the Old Ones still lived this place.  There had been People here for thousands of years.  Not the whites, though they claimed this winter wonderland.  No, the People Of the Land, the Potawatomi, though they had been herded up and now were mostly confined to an island out in the St. Clair River.   Power tends to concentrate at borders and here it was enhanced by the spirits of the Old Ones.

Micaela had reached the end of the canal and stared out over the dark expanse of the lake.  She could feel the power gathering around her.  It came to her with no effort on her part.  Did she dare?  She held her hands out and with a slight movement of her fingers, the snow began to rise from the ice.  She closed her eyes and waited and when she opened them, there stood Brother Wolf.  The spirits of the Old Ones stared out at her from ice blue eyes.  She lowered her head slightly to show respect.  Brother Wolf howled once and turned and trotted away. Micaela turned and walked back down the canal to her boathouse.  Summer was going to be interesting.

13 thoughts on “Algonquin Magic

  1. Kate

    Very intriguing–I love the part about power concentrating at borders and this small, one-highway town actually being a place of great power. I would love to read more!

  2. Jae Rose

    Your pieces are so atmospheric. I can really picture the places and characters (despite living thousands of miles away! literally and metaphorically!) Now I want to find out about what happens in the summer…Jae

  3. Dee

    I wasn’t certain what atmospheric meant so I had to do a little research. I’m even more thankful for the compliments now that I understand it better LOL. This was a joy to write. I have been in a stuck place and when this came it was a sweet relief. I’ll be working with this more. The “atmosphere” was there but I would like to flesh out Micaela a bit more. Again, thank you for coming by and commenting and Merry Christmas!

  4. old grizz

    the spirit of the desert Indian that runs in my blood rose in my sole as I read your story. When I walk the desert the spirit is strong and revives me. The spirit of the Indian owns this land
    Merry Christmas.

  5. paschal

    Oops. Shoulda read chronologically, not backwards: these last three seem of a piece, and this, too, is gorgeous: I see you got the philosopher-girl out about in her world after all. You and the Duchess really know how to use your paints, filling even the smallest canvases with whole worlds. This was wonderful to read this merry morning.

  6. Dee Post author

    Strolling down memory canal and then re-painting it. Sadly, I went to google maps and followed some of the old paths. Not sure if it looks smaller because of memory, or if the years have taken their toll. Of course some of the old places won’t ever show up on the google…those maps are only in my heart

  7. old egg

    I can relate to Micaela, having wandered in the Australian bush and feeling and knowing that that you are not the first, and that you are being observed and judged on your actions in an ancient land.

    Thank you for your eerily beautiful writing.

  8. Susan Helene Gottfried

    Okay, I’m late to comment… for a change. But I, too, really like this. I’d wager it’s more of a character sketch (which is something I’m all for) than an actual finished piece — which means I want WAY more.

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