Fire Fight

  • CHAPTER ONE

  • Run!

  • Kai Hunter

    I stared down into the still face of death, hardly recognizing the lifeless shell lying in the coffin.

    Profile Picture of Kai Hunter in Fire Fight
  • This was the worst day of my entire sixteen years on this planet.

  • My ikusin, my grandmother, was the most important person in my life, and now she was gone.

  • Kai Hunter

    I was alone, which meant Stoney Nakoda Social Services would come calling . . . again.

    Profile Picture of Kai Hunter in Fire Fight
  • They knew me as a “born troublemaker”— their words, not mine––and would toss me into foster care until I was an adult of eighteen.

  • Kai Hunter

    Right.

    Profile Picture of Kai Hunter in Fire Fight
  • As if you could put a number on that.

  • Or worse.

  • They’d send me to the States to live with my Navajo relatives, whom I’ve never met!

  • The only thing Navajo about me is my first name, Kai.

  • Kai Hunter

    It means “willow tree,” and my parents chose it because of the willows around our house, where I was born.

    Profile Picture of Kai Hunter in Fire Fight
  • The name Kai Hunter is a mash-up, like me— part Navajo, part Stoney Nakoda.

  • My parents met on the powwow trail, married, and stayed here on the Stoney Reserve near Calgary, Alberta.

  • We were a happy, normal family.

  • All of that came to a fiery end one rainy night when a drunk driver ran my parents’ car off the road.

  • Kai Hunter

    They both died, and I moved in with my grandmother.

    Profile Picture of Kai Hunter in Fire Fight
  • And now . . . I touched Gran’s cold hand, still trying to wrap my head around her really being dead.

  • Profile Picture of Kai in Fire Fight

    Kai

    “Thanks for taking such good care of her, Mr. One Spot.”