Secrets of the Wind

 In Boot Hill

Written by: Collette Cottingham


Time heals all wounds they say…the blood drizzle down my fingers. This is a common occurrence for me this time of year. The dry heat cracked the inner lining of my nose. Just like the earth it longed for moisture.

“Here darling”

“Thanks Grandma” she knew a moist towel was just what I needed. The woman was wise. After four failed marriages she finally realized she was better off alone. Grandma says she was a magnet for bad apples. The first one being my dad’s father. He took off by the time my father was a year old.

My grandma worked hard and put herself through night school. She became one of the first female executives in the corporate world. After thirty years she retired.

Grandma’s third husband was the worst. He was mentally and physically abusive. Then there was all extra marital affairs. He thought expensive jewelry was a means of forgiveness. Grandma got out quick. He is the one husband I have never met. He disappeared three years after they divorced. She did end up with some nice jewelry.

My grandma was a city girl. Yet she owned this property out in no mans land. I was helping her plant another tree. Trees lined the whole driveway. It was very beautiful and relaxing to see. Now we were planting trees along the property line. Grandma planted one tree a year.

Like my grandma I think I am a magnet for bad apples. An abusive husband had left me shattered. As if I didn’t think he could hurt me anymore…he was now making our divorce impossible. I guess grandma thought I could use fresh air and she got free labor.

Grandma’s shadow closed around me. “Just give it patience and time. When enough time passes…when no one would suspect you…finish the job.”

“Grandma what are you…”

“You know what I am saying…my third husband didn’t disappear. He got what was coming to him. I plant a tree every year in celebration of his passing. No man treats me that way and the stupid ass thought shiny, decorative rocks could make it all better.”

I sat hunched on the ground with my mouth open…

“You better hurry, that tree won’t plant itself…and in three years you better take care of that husband of yours or I’ll haunt you.”

The wind swept through the canyon spending a hot swish over my body…yet I had goosebumps.



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