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Ashes to Ashes, Dust to What the Holy Hell!?

Posted on Tue Dec 13th, 2016 @ 2:30am by Stormwolfe
Edited on on Mon Sep 25th, 2017 @ 9:03pm

Chapter: The Hornbook
Location: Canyon de Chelly, North America
Timeline: Earth year 2016

The early evening air was growing cooler, making Sofi glad that she'd grabbed her jacket out of the Jeep. The walk from where she'd parked earlier had been nice, in the upper 60's with a light breeze. Now, as the evening sun had started to set at her back, Sofi stood overlooking one of the Canyon's sipapu. Sipapu were small, round holes in the bottom of an old kiva ruin. Kiva's were rooms or areas used by the ancient Puebloans for rituals or ceremonies, and the Canyon de Chelly National Monument was littered with them. Her sister had been utterly fascinated by Native American culture. It felt only fitting to be here for her intended purpose.

When she'd sat down with her father earlier in the week and discussed where they wanted to spread Kenna's ashes, Canyon de Chelly had been the obvious choice and when Sofi had looked up the Park's website, she hadn't been able to find anything specific regarding the spreading of cremated remains. She didn't anticipate any problems with any park Rangers that might come around while she was visiting, but Sofi had come armed with a letter of permission from her father, Sheriff Edward Grace of McKinley County.

A set of stairs had been carved into the stones that surrounded the sipapu and Sofi's hiking boots crunched over grit as she made her way down. Her fingers were wrapped around a hiking stick that she’d had for years, made out of petrified wood. The wood had been worn smooth over the years and she’d long ago drilled a small hole through the top of the staff, through which a leather string had been threaded through and tied into a loop that went around her wrist. Sofi paused for a moment halfway down the stone steps to adjust the leather messenger bag that she’d slung across her chest. Satisfied that it was more comfortable, she continued down the remainder of the steps.

Now that she was here, Sofi took a moment to allow her full reality to sink in. Yes, in her head and heart she knew that her beloved baby sister was gone, finally resting peacefully after fighting futilely for over three years with that bastard Cancer. Still, as she pulled a small plastic bag from her messenger bag, her heart ached in her chest and a few tears sprung up hotly behind her eyes. “Damnit Kenna, I promised you I wasn’t going to cry, right? You made me promise…” She said quietly as she walked over and sat on some large, flat stones.

Setting the plastic bag down, Sofiya removed a few more items from her bag, placing them on the stones she sat on; a picture frame with her sister’s beautiful face smiling back at her, a candle and lighter, a small ceramic box and then another box, this one a little larger, flat and long. The larger box contained the last gift her sister had given her, a special set of ancient Acupuncture needles. She could still see the love in her sister’s eyes, shining through the pain and the sickness when she’d held the box out to her from her hospital bed. Kenna had secretly ordered the kit as a thank you for her sister for everything she was trying to do, a small token of her love to show her appreciation for the long hours of classes and training, staying overnight in the hospital even when she had to work the next morning. All of it.

Sofi took the small ceramic box and dipped it into the bag that held her sister’s ashes, closing the lid snugly. That would be going home with her to join a small portion of their mother’s ashes that sat on a shelf in her bedroom. The box was then wrapped in a few layers of newspaper to protect it before it went back into her bag. Opening the case with the acupuncture set, Sofi ran her fingers over the tiny needle for a moment before she closed and pressed a kiss to the wood. It also got placed back into her bag. Using the lighter, Sofi lit the candle next to her sister’ picture, watching the flame flicker and dance in the gentle breeze.

Standing up, Sofi picked up the plastic bag and began walking around the sipapu, slowly sprinkling her sister’s remains. The only sound was that of the light breeze, and her own breathing. With the bag nearly empty, Sofi stopped her walking as she felt a little lightheaded. She’d only had an energy bar for dinner, figuring that she’d get something proper on the drive home so she assumed that was the cause of the ailment.

She shook it off and finished scattering Kenna’s ashes, returning to her stuff on the rock when she was done. “I love you baby sister. Say hi to mom for me.” She said, the wind catching her words and blowing out the candle. Sofi picked up the picture frame, the lighter and the candle and tucked them back into her bag along with the empty plastic bag. After everything was secure, Sofi grabbed her walking stick and looped the leather strap around her wrist. Heading back to the stone steps, the young blond medic suddenly found herself overcome with the same lightheaded feeling as before, only much stronger. The world spun, pitching her forward. The last thing she remembered?

Falling...

 

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