Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-nine): By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
The Haida Gwaii has carvings of three men with hats on the top of their totem poles. These watchmen tell the carver of the totem pole if enemies are coming or if there is any other important information they should know. (all references are at the bottom of the blog).
It’s unusually warm for autumn and Zsofia had asked Rita to bring her class to Victoria Park in Kitchener.
From the driver’s seat Rita glances in the rear-view mirror of the college’s Ev Star Min-eBus. All the elementals are here now. Marlo is sitting right behind her with his arm across two coolers full of sandwiches and thermos with water. Behind Marlo is Aella and Ember. The other students fill the rest of the double chairs behind her and the single seats. Kanayago sits on a single seat at the very back by herself.
After the police came to talk to them about the attack the man named Norm made on the woman called Wendy, Rita asked Aella her background. Once Aella found out who Rita is and that she teaches the Environmental Technology class at Six Nations Polytechnic Brantford Campus she became more talkative. Aella explained that she was supposed to be in Rita’s class but couldn’t. She was volunteering in the Haida Gwaii as a Red Cross Emergency Response Worker until just a few days ago.
No one is talking so she turns on the radio. The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby” comes on and when the song gets to the verse “All the lonely people” she glances in the rear-view mirror at Kanayago. The girl is looking out the window with a conflicted look on her face.
After she parks she and her students walk towards the lake that runs through the park. Rita sees a weeping willow. Not knowing why she touches its bark.
Shrouded in mist she stands on the eastern shore of Haida Gwaii. She knows its Tlell because of the totem pole with the three watchmen carved into its top. The mist disperses for a moment and she can see Rae standing on a wooden outlook with cedar rails. Rae is staring across the Hecate Strait. This time Rita can tell Rae knows she’s there.
Rae modeled by Nicki Henry, picture taken by Darren Henry of Nixxx Design Custom Printing firstname.lastname@example.org
“You have all the pieces,” a soft soprano voice says. “They must come to Haida Gwaii before the eclipse. I have already told this to Ember.” Mist covers Rae and Rita awakens from the vision with a feeling of displacement.
“Are you okay?” Marlo asks.
“Yes, but I need to get everyone to Haida Gwaii.”
“I don’t think that will be so hard. Rán has already told me we must go and the new girl, Aella told me of a vision she had from Onya also saying we must go to Haida Gwaii.”
“I wonder if Kanayago has received a message from Kaneki?” Rita asks. She sees Kanayago walking separate from the others.
As they reach the shore of the lake Rita sees Zsofia standing in a sleeveless t-shirt and shorts reading over a sheet of paper.
Zsofia modelled by Dr. Arla Kasaj picture by Dan Watt: email@example.com
Zsofia looks up and says, “You’re all here!”
Rita doesn’t miss the remark: all here. Zsofia is the only person who is not an elemental that knows almost all her secrets.
“Have a seat but watch out for the Canadian Geese droppings,” Zsofia tells them. “What happens with our medical supplies once they’re used is quite interesting. In the past many of the sharps such as needles and syringes were put into containers and autoclaved. Hydroclaving was found to be more efficient so that’s how all needles and syringes are sterilized now. All other medical items such as bandages, gloves, and so on have to be sterilized and buried in a separate landfill or incinerated. Incinerating is becoming safer for the environment as stricter rules are enforced and as better technology developed.”
“Our health is hurting our environment?” Marlo asks.
“Not as much as it used to,” Zsofia answers. “Infectious disease such as AIDS, Hepatitis, and super bugs such as SARS will increase if we don’t keep everything sanitized. But to clean items like bed sheets or to sterilze needles means putting CO2 or other pollutants into the air.”
“A catch 22,” Aella says with a shake of her head.
“Less so as we use better technology and learn to waste less. Any other questions or comments?” Zsofia asks.
No one else asks anything so Rita stands up. “Thank you Zsofia. Well let’s eat,” she continues nodding towards the coolers they brought from the mini-bus.
As the others eat Rita walks with Zsofia along the lake’s shore.
“What happens now that you have them all gathered together?” Zsofia asks when they are out of earshot of the others.
“We go to Haida Gwaii,” Rita answers with simple solemnity.
“You want me to go?”
“Yes,” Rita replies. Zsofia may be part of the solution no one considered.
With thanks to Nicki Henry of:
You can contact Nixxx Designs Custom Printing at: firstname.lastname@example.org
And Dr. Arla Kasaj: email@example.com