There is a mirror.
Ida no longer knows on what side of the glass she stands. Is she the girl in the white dress, with dark hair and a pointed hat, or is she the white bird with dark eyes and a slender white crown rotating above her head?
She stares at the mirror. Through the mirror.
She is afraid to touch the glass.
She does not know how long she has been walking. She knows she is Ida, but she does not know who Ida is. She holds secrets beneath her hat, geometries whose importance she cannot grasp.
The path back has collapsed. The path beyond is uncertain.
Only the stone beneath her feet can be trusted.
There is a ghost.
He looks nothing like her.
He looks nothing like the Crow People.
He says things to her that make no sense.
He calls her Thief. He calls her Princess.
He intercepts her at points on her path and gives her cutting words and riddles she must attend.
She does not know what was stolen.
She does not know who she might have ruled. Nor when. Nor where.
The touches come regularly, on her shoulder or back, or causing a momentary shadow on the stone before her or behind her. The world shifts and spins around her: meaningless, and confusing.
The stone beneath, and the sacred knowledge bound within her hat.
Within her head.
Her heart clenches and her gut sinks every time one of the Crow People step in her way, or she in theirs. Their rough raw voices tear through her, crying alarm, alarm! Trust nothing, danger is here!
Beware. Be ware.
Ida does not know how she so clearly remembers the meanings of their calls.
She sacrifices what she believes to be her only friend. Feels herself crushed by the pounding stone along with the brilliant totem.
She would curl up into a ball and surrender herself to these thousand tiny cuts of confusion and loss but for the riddling words of the ghost and her unexplained reflection in the mirror.