Thursday, August 26, 2021

Horsepower & Medicine, by Charles de Lint

Triskell Press, February 2019

Yirah Green is working on the wrecked bike of her uncle, Jimmy, who went off to war and never came back. She's doing it in a hidden arroyo on the Kikimi rez, telling no one except her best friend, Santana Corn Eyes.

Yirah is also being visited by what she believes is Jimmy's ghost, silently encouraging to keep working on the bike. Santana isn't so sure; ghosts should not be crossing over from the Otherworld. It might not be a good idea to keep working on that bike.

But Yirah won't be dissuaded, and Santana has promised not to tell anyone her secret.

All seems to be well until Yirah completes her repair and refurbishing of the bike.

This is a short story, set in the Painted Lands where de Lint has set other recent works. It's as much about two teenagers coming of age, learning to blend important tribal traditions with what they find good in modern life, as it is about a confrontation with a monster out of those tribal traditions.

Highly recommended.

I bought this short story.

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