Lois Foyt and Jon Foyt
Copyright 2010 by Lois Foyt and Jon Foyt
All characters in this short story are fictitious, and any resemblance to real persons living or dead is coincidental.
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Ocotillo Omen, a short story
She stared for a long time at the Ocotillo plant in the protected courtyard garden of the Palace of the Governors, New Mexico’s flagship museum of Southwestern treasure. The multiple unbranched stems of the thorny cactus-like shrub were sprouting their tiny green leaves of spring, yet the time was midwinter in Santa Fe. The courtyard’s spreading old Cottonwood centerpiece was bare, and snow covered its tree branches. Museum Director Lee Roberts shivered at the thought of her own barrenness, having devoted her life to her career instead of mothering a child. Yes, the Ocotillo plant was reminding her of Running Deer’s special baby, born on the very day she had opened her museum’s exhibition of magnificent 10th- and 11th-century Mimbres and Anasazi pottery—the pièce de résistance of last August’s Indian Market Week, beautiful pottery with designs so precise, so imaginative, so ingenious as to rival any metropolitan museum’s artwork.