It had been years since Cody could drum up the nerve to leave Chicago, t after, well, he stopped the pictures from resurfacing. He didn't need the terror of it sneaking into him right w, challenging his courage as he drove along the bumpy paved road. For this first trip outside the city he'd chosen a small cookie-cutter safe town in southern Illiis named Keebler Ridge. His therapist had encouraged him. She'd felt this would be a good baby-step back into that big bad world he projected out there, waiting for him like some beast waits in the bush for its prey. Just drive down, she'd said, interview the mayor, enjoy the country air, and come home the next day. The advice had sounded swell sitting in the leather chair, in her safe office as Peruvian flute music softly filled the room. But as he pulled up to the 'T' intersection on the dark country road he felt the old fear tingle up his spine. The sign posted ahead for Keebler Ridge had lost one of the two bolts holding it up. Now it swung downward, the arrow pointing to hell. Was this some bizarre foreshadowing of events, some omen? Sweat rolled down his left temple, down his cheek. He put down the window and focused on his deep breathing taking the cool night air in through his mouth, into his diaphragm, exhaling slowly through the strils. Seven more times and Cody felt the muscles in his shoulders relax, his mind going calm. In fact, he began to chuckle at the things that scare us, the superstitions and fallacies based in fear. Then the scream came. No, t a scream, more of a screech that rooted in a deep tone before searing through an unbelievably high range of tes slicing the moonless night. The sound stabbed inside Cody, holding him unable to move. Suddenly released from its spell, he punched the gas, loose gravel shooting out behind him as he raced for town. Whatever the source of that sound, he knew that it raged with anger. Yeah, he whispered, welcome back to the big bad world.
After living in many areas around the globe, for a brief two years I came to live on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Some of my ideas for The Damaagome were developed while living in the desert exposed to the Navajo world of magic. Later, after obtaining my Master's Degree in English, I somehow began work as a Technology Administrator proving once again that while college can be fun it doesn't necessarily prepare you for how Life deals out her deck of cards. And she never stops dealing. Perhaps that is the magic.