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It was the wind, that penetrating hooting and howling that went on without end. It had Tina on edge, and she was sure it was responsible for the change in Bette. She’d seen Bette pull first LoriAnn, then Martin, and finally Rita off behind the RV where, despite the drowning effect of the wind, Tina could hear Bette talking harshly to them while each had held their hands up and shook their heads as if denying some accusation.
Now, for the last hour, everyone worked sullenly, quietly while hauling supplies from the vehicles and piling them either at the far side of the main building or in front of the double metal doors that lead into the gymnasium. Tina kept silent, too, only asking clarifying questions for where some piece of equipment or camp supplies needed to go. She tried to only engage Katie, who of all Bette’s crew, seemed to be the friendliest toward her. Still, she tried to make eye contact with Bette during all this moving around, hoping to see those kind eyes rest upon her as they’d done last night and just that morning.
But Bette was apparently in a very dark place because her brows knit together and she barked orders and scowled often. For Tina, the change she saw come over Bette dismayed her. She had worked with a lot of high strung directors in the past for sure, but everything she’d perceived about Bette at the moment was counter to the woman she’d met less than twenty-four hours ago. Maybe she’d been wrong about her. But then again, this wind. Perhaps it was the wind taking its toll.
She set down one of the gas heaters outside the entrance to the main building and pulled her camera up and took a few shots of the outside wall. She could hear Kit inside chanting, smelled something fragrant wafting out the open door.
“What’s she doing?” Tina asked Katie.
“Smudging the rooms we’ll be in,” Katie said. She left Tina there as she went back to the trucks.
Tina stepped closer to the doorway and peered inside. It was difficult to see much since the air hung heavy with dust stirred up by the wind, but she could see Kit moving about with a roll of dried plants tied at one end. It was smoldering, and its smoke floated in a slow arc as Kit moved her hand up and down as she chanted. She fingered her camera and thought about stealing a shot, but she feared she might be trespassing on something sacred, so she refrained. Instead, she continued to watch Kit wondering about the purpose of her actions.