I stop moving but these veins run through me like electric wires, vibrating. Somewhere in my DNA that mountain witch’s memories are ascending, and the magic she held in her blood is percolating into my nerves.
The forest stills. Even against the wind, the trees will not move; not even the canopy swings against the dark sky. The cold north air howls around me. What a test of the laws of the earth, I think.
With a crash, seven whips of lightning strike seven ragged mountain peaks. The Padôgiyik, a voice whispers, reminding me.
The mountain witch whose DNA still lives on in me, she reminds me. She takes my nerves in her endless hands and twists them, reminds me what the old gods were called. She sings, in a gravelly voice, of Tabaldak.
I breathe. Goosebumps rise, and I see my mother’s face.