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Alexi is dead! What do you mean Alexi is dead? He was here this morning, I just saw him he can’t be dead. No, those guys were out in the river and he fell overboard. That river took him, he’s dead, he’s gone. It can’t be. Alexi works with my dad, he is a terrible tease. He sings stanzas of “Oh Donna, “ to me. It’s true; they just put Alexi’s body in the town freezer. Alexi did not count thirty years on this earth.

An oppressive weight settles over the village, drums pound, low chanting fills in the quiet spots. The throb of the drums is the heartbeat of the earth. It feels like Mother earth is expressing her sorrow with the low heavy beating of her heart. No one is in the streets. We are told to stay in the house until my dad can figure out what is going on. He is gone for a very long time, I am now afraid that something has happened to my dad.

Today you kids will stay inside. My dad has come home. We never stay inside, what’s going on? Alexi’s family will remain in their house while three of Alexi’s friends haul water and chop wood for them for three days. Drums remain a constant pounding in the background. The friends check the snares and traps and bring food to Alexi’s family.

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