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Out of Alaska is a story of magic, loss, and transformation. Read Snow's story before she arrived in False Key, Florida, when she was still Candice, the shaman of False Pass, Alaska. Read the prequel story here.
Hiking down Craggy Jack's steep trail, Candice heard a gunshot echo between the mountains. Hunters. Tough to gauge where the shot had come from as sounds of rushing springtime water filled her ears. Bounding away on four sure paws, Oreo bolted from the trail into the spruce forest. Candice whistled to her Husky-wolf, no time for side trips this morning. She'd promised to open the gym so her students could decorate for tonight's potlatch. Old folks would shake off cabin fever, show off the hot dishes they always brought, and complain that Candice wasn't taking her role as a shaman seriously. If they only knew how the spirits called to her lonely heart. Oreo knew. Her sole companion and only solace since Buddy died last year, Oreo heard the whispers.
“Come, on, Oreo. Time for school.”
Pausing for a moment, he turned and whined once in her direction as if to say, “Please?” before dashing away.
She sighed. Ex-sled dog.
Gathering speed he sprinted, a black-and-white blur of fur. Her shaman's heart raced with his. What had he scented?
Reaching out her senses to join her companion, Candice inhaled cold morning air--spruce parting for the sour smell of fear. She closed her eyes to see through Oreo's. A steel gray animal thrashed in the brush, radiating pain, then growing still. Upon reaching her, Oreo nosed the wolf's red-stained fur and howled, low and long. A second shot rang out, cutting off the sound.
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