Looking for Redfeather is a contemporary story about three runaway teens on a road trip, looking for an Apache musician named Redfeather. I wrote the first draft during National Novel Writing Month in November, 2007. Looking for Redfeather was one of five winners in Incite Denver – a contest sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers based on the first 100 words. Watch all five winning pitches on YouTube. The manuscript is represented by James Schiavone of Schiavone Literary Agency.
Here’s how it begins:
Looking for Redfeather (copyright 2012)
Ramie left Cheyenne in a hailstorm, tramping up the on-ramp to Interstate 25, right past the No Hitchhiking sign, his thumb in the air. A raging, purple sky hurled hailstones and forks of lightening at him, but the boy pulled his hat down and kept on walking.
Just as suddenly as it had come on, the fury was spent, leaving the air scrubbed clean, smelling of wet dirt and sage. The sun reappeared like nothing had happened and a southbound semi roared by, throwing a rainbow of slush from its wheels. Ramie shivered, his wet shirt clinging to his back. Tumbleweeds piled up against a barbed wire fence. A shredded Walmart bag caught on a roadside thistle, how I feel. Hail stones, melting, crunching underfoot. His new shoes were rubbing blisters on his toes.
A driving guitar rhythm filled his head from the MP3 player in his pocket. Go on and save yourself, and take it out on me… The thunder of Audioslave had matched the wrathful weather, infusing him with fresh anger and purpose, propelling his feet forward, lifting his thumb even as it lifted his heart. Lifting his thumb was like knocking at a door, it felt hopeful, a question (going my way?) and somehow more potent than lifting the finger he was accustomed to. Fuck you had become a feeble cliché, a defensive gesture, a cheap shot in the dark.
Blue skies now, and fresh-washed chicory. To the west, the Medicine Bow mountains were stark cut-outs on the horizon; a familiar boundary, a fence he was prepared to jump, or break if he had to. Redfeather, had he been in Denver all along? Then again, the name could be a coincidence, but Ramie didn’t care either way. School was out and Cheyenne had become too small to contain him.