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Rattlers

By D.K. Lawhorn | https://www.khoreomag.com/author/d-k-lawhorn/ | D.K. Lawhorn
Edited by Rowan Morrison || Narrated by - || Produced by Lian Xia Rose
5000 words

Massive poplar trees are the only things keeping the midsummer sun from baking me alive in my regalia. Buckskin, usually light and breathable—perfect for anything a Protector might get up to in the line of duty—becomes unwieldy and suffocating when you sew hundreds of white and purple shell beads, woven together in a series of intricate rectangles, across the chest. My ceremonial cape of grackle feathers doesn’t help, either. The little black birds look so cool and happy with their iridescent plumage, yet here I am sweltering under the heat their feathers capture. A beyond-the-grave joke the grackles play on a fancydancing Protector. I can hear their cackling now. I haven’t even put on my turkey feather headdress yet. Who knows what kind of tricks those phantom gobblers have in store for me?

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D.K. Lawhorn (he/him) has stories that have appeared in Pyre Magazine and Haven Spec, with upcoming pieces in ANMLY and Flame Tree Press' First Peoples Shared Stories Anthology. He is a citizen of the Monacan Indian Nation and lives on his ancestral land in Virginia with his legion of rescue cats. He is studying Native Speculative Literature at Randolph College’s MFA in Creative Writing program. Follow him on Twitter @d_k_lawhorn or visit his website at dklawhorn.com.
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