In one of Toronto's many parks, three 20-something women raced toward a hill as though their lives depended on it. Donis was a tall, thin Anishinabe Kwe, all elbows and knees. Jazmin a voluptuous city-bred Black woman was muscled and powerful in her movements. Nadia, Palestinian, was petite yet fit and her curly black hair bounced in the wind as she made the run look effortless.
Oblivious to the warmth and sunshine of a beautiful fall day, the three women converged on one spot at top of the hill. Without hesitation they shoved, elbowed and pushed each other aside in order to remain on that hilltop.
Lightening struck. Thunder sounded. The sky darkened and rain began to fall, as though crying at the women’s competitive folly. Yet Donis, Jazmin and Nadia were unperturbed in their struggle to emerge victorious on top of the hill. The harder it rained the more forceful and violent they became.
Gradually the rain turned pink and then blood red. The women finally started to take note as icky stuff ruined their hair and clothes. They first noticed each other, covered in blood, like failed heroines in a horror movie. Then they regarded their own limbs, dripping in blood. The crimson rain weighed heavily on them. It pushed them to their hands and knees and seeped into the mud below.
Below ground the bloody rain oozed from above, spreading out into the soil like red veins. Still on their hands and knees, the women were suddenly able to see what the Earth wanted to say.
Against a black backdrop, Nadia, in hijab, ran and ran and ran. She clutched her baby in one arm and dragged a young girl by the hand. Bombs and gunfire sounded in the distance. Mother and children disappeared in a blinding flash of light.
Deeper in the ground, Jazmin, dressed in rags, was chained to a wall. She flinched at the sounds of a whip striking flesh outside. A man cried out, each time answered by the crack of a lash. Knowing she was next, Jazmin struggled with her chains, trying to free herself. She would fight back and run away. The light faded to black.
Even deeper in the ground, a priest grabbed an eight-year-old boy dressed in buckskin. He shoved the child into a chair and began to cut his beautiful long hair. The boy squirmed and called out for his mother. Donis entered through adisconnected door. She reached out to her son. The priest pushed her out the door and locked it. Donis banged and kicked at the door ignoring the bruises that developed. It finally burst open. A flash of red light obscured what happened next.
Aboveground the blood rain continued. Still on their hands and knees, Donis, Jazmin and Nadia were moved by what they had sensed below. They studied each other with newfound respect.
Donis rose and extended a hand to Jazmin, who in turn offered her hand to Nadia. All three women stood and held hands in a circle atop the hill.
The rain turned to cleansing water again. It washed the blood from the Women. They hugged each other in celebration. Eventually the rain stopped and the sun returned.