She sat on top of the mesa, feeling the wind finger her short black hair. The night was quiet. An occasional coyote call, the buzz-click of an insect, the shuffle of a vole, and the singing of the stars were all that she could hear. The smell of creosote bushes after the day’s rain drifted up to her nostrils. The sky was still indigo in the west as it clutched the last remaining thoughts of daylight. The moon was due to rise soon.
She turned to the east and with her eyes fixed on the horizon. There, a glow, then a sliver, then a slice, bit by bit the big ivory disc levitated into the black velvet. It was full tonight. Tonight, by the light of the full moon, she would do it. She stood up, slid her clothes off and naked, she turned to face the moon.
Whispering the words her grandmother had taught, she took her knife and slit the skin on her left forearm. Shiny black liquid bubbled up from the slit. Then, the skin on her right forearm. The knife hit the gravelly clay with a metallic thud. Blood dripped down her wrists and over the palms of her hands. She lifted them high towards the moon and chanting the prayers of the forgotten ones, followed its path across the sky.
When the moon set many hours later, she pulled her aching arms down by her side, brushed off some of the dried blood and reached down for her clothes. Now only time would tell if the ceremony worked or not.