Thomas Doty – Storyteller


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Under the stars, on a ridge above the Klamath River, I watch lights flicker in the distance: the airport beacon at Montague, the glow of Yreka, traffic snaking through Siskiyou Pass.

Below, in the thickness of trees, are different lights, swelled with centuries of Shasta stories.

Sparks flash from shadows where rattlesnakes have slept. Red lights follow the dini dini, the little people of the woods. Near Shasta graveyards, quivering flames are the spirits of those who have died or about to die.

Climbing down the ridge and into the woods, I step carefully toward the Klamath River in the faint light of the rising sun.