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I should have known better than to think my will alone would shape my life – Michael

Ghosts Through the Cracks by Sarah Zama is a historical fantasy novella set in 1920s Chicago. Meet the good guy, Michael.

Black and white photo of a young Native American man in a suit and fedora.

I’ve always known why I was born, and as a young man, I willingly chose to follow that path. The path every man should tread, that of defending his people with his hands and his wit and protecting his land with weapons in hands if need be – though I should have known better than to think my will alone would shape my life.
We were invincible (aren’t all young men?), but it wasn’t enough. I was at the right place at the right time. It was a victory, but it wasn’t enough. I lost one of my brothers that day. Then I lost my family, my wife and my daughters. And then my tribesmen and my leader. And then our land was taken from us piece by piece, no matter how fiercely we fought, with weapons and wit and mere willpower.
Nothing was enough.
During one of those fights, I was severely wounded, and that’s when it happened to me the first time. I had seen across the veil before, in dreams and during ceremonies, but when I woke from my wounds, I could see through it even when awake. The grandpa who healed me was the first to realize it. He was the one who gave me my new name, Cansasa. I asked him, why that name? He told me one day I would know.

Then I met Wewacipi. We were both so lost in a world so different from the one we knew that it wasn’t surprising we came together. He always says I saved him, though quite frankly, I think it was the other way around. He was the steady point in a shifting world. My brother.
I trust no one the way I trust him. That’s why I let him convince me to go to the reservation. I hated going. It wasn’t home. But Wewacipi was right. They were my people.

I should have known better than to think my will alone would shape my life – Michael (Characters Speak Series) A historical fantasy #novella set in #1920s Chicago Click To Tweet
Black and white photo of a young Native American man

I wish I could erase those years from my mind and my heart. Claw those memories off of me and just bury them where I will never find them again. The Pine Ridge reservation is a prison with invisible walls on land inside a line written on a piece of paper, a place they call South Dakota. It means nothing to me. My people lived at the foot of the Black Hills, where I was born. Pine Ridge never meant anything to me. But Wewacipi convinced me to go.

Had I been stronger, I may have made a difference. I should have known I wasn’t. I watched my people, cousins, elders, women fall to deprivation and illness, and anything I did was meaningless and weak. I was useless.

Indians don’t leave the reservation these days. We know there’s nothing for us outside. But there was nothing for me inside either. I just knew. I needed to… go.
Wewacipi wasn’t happy with my decision, but he went with me nonetheless. We walked roads increasingly busy with traffic and came to this city, Chicago, where there’s no remembrance of what the land used to be. No connection. Though sometimes the veil still becomes clear enough to see on the other side.

In this world that makes no sense to me, perhaps it’s beyond the veil that I will find some peace.


MICHAEL - "I wish I could erase those years from my miind and my heart" - GIVE IN TO THE FEELING by Sarah Zama (dieselpunk novella)
MICHAEL (Ghosts Through the Cracks by Sarah Zama) I wish I could erase those years from my mind and my heart. Claw those memories off of me and just bury them where I will never find them again - Meet Michael, a character from my novella "Ghosts Through the Cracks"
MICHAEL - "I wish I could erase those years from my miind and my heart" - GIVE IN TO THE FEELING by Sarah Zama (dieselpunk novella)

Who’s modelling as Michael

Rick Mora

Rick was born in a field of corn called Los Angeles but raised on a 100 acre farm with no electricity and a wood burning stove in Crescent City, California. He returned to the city at age 7. He obtained a Bachelors

Degree from California State University, Northridge in communication. Acting and Modeling soon followed when he was discovered by legendary Male Super Model agent Omar Alberto. Mora then successfully shot with great photographers like Carlos Reynosa, Cliff Watts, and Matthew Rolston which allowed him to enter the American & European commercial & modeling market.

In addition to acting, Rick is an artist involved in the business of photography with over 9 commissioned pieces. He specializes in Landscapes but also shoots head shots, modeling portfolio, children and weddings. He photographs feature film as well as many high profile events.

Rick Mora – official website


Image of a book titled "Ghosts through the Cracks" by Sarah Zama on a tablet computer.

9 Comments

  • Alex Hurst
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 13:22

    Michael sounds like an awesome voice for your story. 🙂 I love the diversity of the characters, too! (I would use the ‘click to tweet,’ but there is a typo in it! Should be “shape” not “shaped”)

  • Sara L.
    Posted February 23, 2016 at 19:56

    Interesting. It didn’t occur to me until now that Michael and Blood were Native Americans. (Maybe I missed something when reading the story…?) I’d assumed they were some kind of paranormal species, a benevolent spirit race in human bodies. The aloofness and air of mysticism around them in the speakeasy made me think so. Or maybe perhaps they’re both Native American and something else…?

    Anyway. I enjoyed reading Michael’s post. But I confess I’m really looking forward to Blood’s! 😉

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted February 23, 2016 at 20:04

      I’ve long debated how I should write Blood’s and Michael’s posts, because very little is told about them in the novelette. But the novels are mostly about them and I’m nearly scared to realise how well I know these two guys.
      In the end, I decided to tell a bit about them, trying to remain as close as possible to the novelette.
      Really you didn’t realise they are Native American? They are Lakota Oglala, to be exact.

      • Sara L.
        Posted February 24, 2016 at 18:50

        “Really you didn’t realise they are Native American? They are Lakota Oglala, to be exact.”

        Yeah. (*blushes*) It could be that I missed something in the story that would have clued me in otherwise. That sometimes happens to me when I’m reading…

        I was going to ask you if you meant the Ghost Trilogy when you said “the novels.” But now I’m reading the Ghost Trilogy pages here at your site, and I found the answer there. 🙂

  • Ali Isaac
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 22:33

    He is soooooooo gorgeous! Your characters are all so glamorous! No wonder you get lost in your writing!

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted February 29, 2016 at 08:04

      Thanks Ali, I’m so happy you like Michael.
      I’ll admit I have a soft spot both for Michael and Blood. Besides, I’ve worked with these two characters for close to 6 years and I feel I know them so well it’s almost scary at times…

  • Natasha
    Posted June 6, 2019 at 07:23

    Got lost in those wondrous words and your deftly portrayed character.

    Thank you so very much.
    Glad to have stopped by after eons.

    Have a great week ahead!

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted June 6, 2019 at 14:44

      Awww, thanks so much to you, Natasha. Your comment put a smile on my face, today 🙂

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