When she ï¬nally came out of it, Beth stayed on the bed, belly down, hands tucked like two crumpled leaves beneath the pillow. It was winter, and where the heavy curtains nearly met the sill, she watched the black line of glass turn cold indigo. Not counting the afternoon Emma had had to shake her awake in the back of the snowcatâbecause she wasnât sure it had really happened then, and she wanted to be sure when she countedâ seventeen times Beth had woken from a nightâs sleep or a nap and been unable to move. After those ï¬rst terrifying episodes, sheâd stopped trying to ï¬ght it and had ï¬nally learned to let it pass: feel her heart beat against the thin mattress, count the small thumps, a helicopter in her chest revving and relinquishing but never taking oâ, until by some ï¬ick of a switch she was released. Now she pushed herself up from the bed, and like a wet dog, shook herself all over. This was Bethâs third winter working at the Old Faithful Lodge, and as in previous years, it was part of her job four days a week to drive a snowcat to Westâthe
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Aug 7, 2016
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