That girl was so beautiful. She could have been anything. Everything. Sometimes the world can’t take so much beauty and light wrapped in one human body. The jealousy turns all-consuming and, even though it is dazzled by the energy this beautiful human being generates, in jealousy, the dark heart of envy has to destroy the very thing it craves and wants. Like that girl and her wraparound smile and sweet dimples.
For those of you who’ve been following the Karen Yellowtail story from way back, you will know that Ashley Callingbull, the Canadian First Nations (Cree) actress, model and beauty queen, is the inspiration behind this character.
As soon as I read Ashley’s story and how she never but never gave up and aimed for the stars no matter what, I knew that she had to be the source of Karen’s strength and light. Last night in Minsk, Belarus, Ashley won the Mrs Universe 2015 title, the first Canadian to do so, and the first First Nations woman to win an international beauty contest.
There is more than beauty to Ashley Callingbull. There is intelligence and generosity and a genuine desire to improve the lives of children who are having a similar start in life as she did. And her success enables her to help whenever and wherever she can. It is rare in this world that the beauty on the outside is just a reflection of what is on the inside. She truly is radiant.
If anyone deserves to be the Queen of the Universe, it’s Ashley Callingbull. O Canada! Be proud of your Cree beauty. Follow her on Twitter
….a cinematic device whereby the narrative constantly switches between the protagonist and the antagonist until the moment of encounter.
What this does is to highlight the shared humanity between killer, victims and the law enforcement agents who are involved in the case. Parallel lines and parallel lives until the big convergence. When people face the same set of circumstances in their lives, why does one turn to justice and another to violence? And you don’t have to go too far to walk in someone else’s shoes, as most human experiences are shared.
The same events that shaped the lives of homicide investigator Karen Yellowtail and FBI Special Agent Sal Fontaine are eerily shared by the man they come to know as the Angel Maker. One of his victims sits rocking in the same boat.
What will happen when all these intertwined worlds collide?
“I was thirteen years old and I fell asleep in the stables at the rodeo where my sister was competing and I woke up to hear her being raped and strangled. She was kicking out at the stall and I could hear this choking gasping, this help me, help me Daddy and this man was saying shut your fucking mouth you little Indian whore, shut your fucking mouth or I’ll kill you, but that’s exactly what he was doing to her, he was killing her as he was raping her, she died while he was still inside her and I should have moved, I should have run, I should have done something but I was so scared, I was so scared that he would do the same thing to me that I lay there and listened to my sister die.”
She threw the coffee out of the cup all over the ground, watched the dark liquid seep into the dry earth and disappear. “I lay there and I listened to her die.”
Artwork by Kristin Lebovitz